Monday, August 23, 2021

Microstory 1696: Symbiotic Death

For the most part, the commensalistic relationship between a human and their nevilere is a loving and happy one. As stated above, they’re like a pet that you keep with you throughout your entire life. There are almost exactly as many nevileres as there are humans. Nature didn’t keep the populations so even like this, but in modern days, with doctors and other medical professionals keeping track of such things, it’s been pretty equal. Occasionally something can go wrong, but that does not mean that there is no way out of the problem. It’s sad, but death is a part of life. When a nevilere embeds itself in its host, it will enjoy an extended lifespan. It won’t die until the human does, and it won’t ever survive beyond that, unless it’s removed from the hump in enough time. This is a dangerous and risky procedure in any situation, and most humans don’t want to think that their lifelong symbiotic organism friend was later given to someone else. Plus, the nevilere probably wouldn’t survive for much longer anyway, and even if it did, it would probably be depressed, because it would have become just as attached to its original host as the host was to it. There are some cases when the nevilere dies before the human does. This universe didn’t come up with a lot of the more violent or dangerous sports; there is no such thing as boxing, or even SCUBA diving. Doing harm to a nevilere—be it one’s own, or another’s—is considered more heinous than murdering a human. So people are generally a lot more careful around each other, but that doesn’t mean that accidents don’t happen. If a nevilere dies before the human is sufficiently old, it will often leave the survivor in great despair. It has been known to lead to suicide.

Luckily, there is hope. Someone else’s nevilere can birth an offspring without the host having anything to do with the process. It can then donate it to the other host. The challenge is coaxing it to do this. Nevilere are smart, but still just animals. Nevilere experts know how to provoke conception with vibrations, tickling, and other techniques. It’s a little weird, but it’s necessary, and no weirder than any other form of animal husbandry. Not everyone would choose to go this route. If they were to lose their nevilere, they would never dream of trying to bond with another. This is all right, but there is a little bit of stigma attached to it. Being asymbiotic, as people call it, can sometimes make other people feel uncomfortable. They don’t know whether something unavoidable happened to it, or if you intentionally did something to harm it, and of course, being flawed human beings, they can assume the worst in you. Overall, however, people of Nevilereverse are compassionate and patient with each other, and they try not to judge. They value facts and understanding. It is unknown if this has something to do with the nevileres themselves, or if being part of such a profound symbiotic relationship has taught the human race to choose kindness over cruelty. Either way, it’s had a generally positive impact on their impact on the environment. While they do have a history of burning fossil fuels, and otherwise harming the ecosystem, due to a delay of innovation, they’ve done fairly well for themselves, and their planet. After careful study and deliberation, the Ochivari ended up deciding to leave them alone, and let them develop without any interference. While many cultures end up walking the path towards transhumanistic upgrades, the Nevilereversals were not able to figure out how to bring their nevilere with them, so they remained forever organic.

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