Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Microstory 1123: Hadron Grier

There once was a planet orbiting a star. There was nothing particularly astonishing about this planet, nor its parent. But this rocky world had a gas giant brother, who nudged himself closer to their mother with every orbit. The gravitational disturbance grew to be too much for the smaller planet to handle, so it was ejected from its system, and began a long journey across the Milky Way. Through means unknown, it formed a connection to Earth. It had never encountered Earth before, nor had anyone traveled from one to the other. Temporal anomalies are, for the most part, random and unpredictable. This quantum connection had dangerous implications, however. People started slipping through the breach, and ended up on the rogue world with barely enough resources to survive. They wouldn’t have been able to survive at all, however, if the world they called Durus hadn’t been borrowing any resources from Earth. It was a cold and lifeless place, except that it funneled warmth and a breathable atmosphere from its far away partner. A society was formed by the castaways, but this society was far from perfect, and life was difficult, even for the most well-off. Hadron Grier’s family was always on the fringes, though no one seemed to be able to explain why. They weren’t known for revolting against the leadership, or siding with that leadership as it was falling. They weren’t notably poorer than others, or less equipped to contribute positively to society. They just somehow developed this stigma, so people around them grew up being told to stay away. Some believed it was some kind of curse, while others simply did not give it much thought. As it turns out, the former were partly right. Generations later, Hadron’s father became one of the last holdouts when the government transitioned from the phallocratic republic to the provisional democracy. He accidentally killed a political candidate during a protest, and was sent to prison for life. This had terrible consequences, not only for the future, but the past. The candidate was a mage remnant, who lived his whole life without knowing what he could do, and it’s unclear today exactly what how it could have manifested if he remained alive. His death, however, echoed in both directions of time, ultimately branding the Griers as the outcasts they were seemingly predestined to be. It was a self-fulling prophecy at its finest, for the only reason Hadron’s father was so angry was because of how his family had been treated since humans first arrived on Durus. Hadron wanted to leave his past behind, and start a new life on Earth, but was summarily rejected. There was only so much room on the vessel that was making the trip, and already one Grier was on the manifest; his cousin. Jarrett considered this to be unfair, and after several unsuccessful attempts at rectifying the situation, decided to sneak Hadron aboard anyway. Their deception was discovered, and Hadron yet again fell victim to his family’s curse when he was locked up in the ship’s secret jail. Jarrett’s crime was obvious. He followed in his uncle’s footsteps, and killed the woman who had imprisoned his cousin. Hadron’s crime was not so cut and dried, and it was completely unprosecutable once they arrived on Earth. So the question became, what to do with him now?

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