Thursday, December 5, 2019

Microstory 1249: Aqil Saqqaf

Until Valda Ramsey’s mother returned to the timeline from the past, and finally gave birth to her child, Aqil Saqqaf was the youngest source mage in Springfield, but it was not originally meant to be like this. Aqil’s father went on an extended business trip shortly after he was conceived. He was gone for four months, and returned to find his wife pregnant. About a month after the Deathfall sent the entire town to Durus, the baby’s due date came and went. Then more time passed, and then more. Aqil ultimately gestated in his mother’s womb for a total of 380 days, which they would never have access to the internet to discover was the longest overdue pregnancy in recorded history. The father didn’t believe it anyway. He was completely convinced that his wife had cheated on his while he was away, even though she claimed that she was always faithful. At first, things were bad. He refused to take care of the boy who was indeed his child, but the survivors were all in this together, so little Aqil was not lacking in love and care. They would get through this as long as things didn’t escalate beyond this. The problem was that things got much, much worse. His father’s anger grew as time went on, and possibly thanks to the influence of the time monsters that plagued this world, he fell off the deep end. He eventually killed his wife for her supposed infidelity, leaving poor Aqil with no parents. Smith tried to take responsibility for him, but Dar’s parents, the Treslers knew that Aqil would grow up maladjusted if they allowed this to happen. They took him in instead, and raised them as Dar’s brother. They quickly realized how intelligent Aqil was. Had school, in the traditional sense, existed on this hell world, he would have skipped at least three grades by the time he graduated from high school. He actually struggled with finding the resources to satiate his thirst for knowledge, and understanding of how things worked. With no way of reaching Earth, there were just some ideas he couldn’t explore beyond reading about them in library books. Still, his limitations didn’t stop him from being the driving force in curating the Mage Protectorate’s laws and policies. He borrowed from preexisting constitutions, and other law documents, but a lot of the way the government on Durus would come to function safely and effectively were from his new ideas. He ignored past procedures he felt were detrimental to a progressive society, and enjoyed the benefit of being born at a time when equality was at least already established as desirable. He never, for instance, had to give white land-owning men exclusive civil rights, and then gradually start including everyone else. These rights existed for all citizens, right from the start, which made moving forward that much easier. People almost even thought being portaled to the rogue planet was a good thing; a way to start fresh. Aqil wouldn’t take it that far, but he did want to make the best of their situation, and the new world was better for him having been part of it.

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