Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Microstory 1253: Raphael Neville

Though he was born and raised on Earth, Raphael Neville spent a healthy chunk of his life on Durus. He was an unwilling participant in the 2161 Deathspring, which saw to it that thousands of refugees were helplessly pulled up to a passing rogue planet. This occurred in the middle of his wedding with one Wayne Crawford, so he didn’t care, because as long as he was with the love of his life, it didn’t matter where they lived. Things were difficult for the refugees in the beginning, though. The native Durune, which were all relatively recent descendants of Earthans themselves, developed a nationalist-like attitude towards the newcomers. This was only exacerbated by the bigotry that plagued the government at the time. Though society was improving, and wising up to the logic behind equality, it would be a long time before the world truly functioned properly. Still, this was where Wayne and Raphael made their life together. There was no way back, so they had to make the best of it, and find joy where they could. Though institutionalized misogyny had been abolished, there were still a lot of men who believed that women could not be trusted, and even some who outright believed they were inferior. They were objects to be owned by a man, and treated however that man wished. One of these men decided that he wasn’t going to accept how the world had changed, and mostly as an act of defiance, he raped a neighbor of his. Not only did he not try to keep her quiet about what happened, but he proudly boasted of his conquest, to anyone who would listen. Of course, he was arrested for his crime, and was never given the opportunity to hurt anyone again, but this is not his story.

The young woman belonged to a religion that didn’t believe in abortion. She didn’t have to raise the baby herself, but she wasn’t allowed to not give birth. She did not feel pressured to follow these rules; they were part of her convictions as well. But she also could not take care of the child. It was the product of rape, and she didnt feel like she could handle that constant reminder. And so Raphael and Wayne adopted the little baby girl, naming her Vitalie Crawville. Before too long, some other people came to Durus in a ship, which provided a chance for a select few to be ferried to Earth, whether they had been part of the Deathspring, or otherwise. Wayne was ecstatic. He would finally be back where he felt he belonged, and might once more get to see everyone else he loved. Raphael did not feel the same way. He was against leaving. He and his husband were both from Earth, but their daughter was from Durus. Did she not have the right to know her own home? They fought about it for months until he felt like it was no longer worth it, and just gave in. After they were all three chosen as passengers, they boarded The Elizabeth Warren, and began the years-long journey to the homeworld. Little Vitalie grew up on Durus, and then on that ship, where they learned she possessed a special time power, and then she grew up some more on Earth. She had made friends with the crew, because of her gift, so her life took her on many adventures with her new friends; away from her fathers. Raphael began to resent his husband for having forced them into this, believing that they would have had more time with their daughter if they had just stayed put. The fighting started again, and eventually threatened their marriage. Only through hard work, and professional help, did they get through it. Raphael was able to accept that his new life was here, and that Vitalie was now old enough to live her own life wherever she wanted. That was really all he ever wanted for her.

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