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Before and After

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It all made sense, then- how people avoided him even when he didn’t push them away, how everyone else on Colu knew his name when they’d never met him personally before, how he sometimes felt, even on a planet of geniuses, like he was too intelligent.

His great-great-grandfather. His family. The legacy he was supposed to uphold, as the latest in their line, replacing his disgrace of a mother, who’d left him long ago.

Vril I. Vril II. Lyrl. Fabala.

Querl.

Just one, I’m a few, no family too.

Who am I?

My name is Querl Dox.

I am Brainiac-5.

~

In the end, it’s the circles remaining that bothers him the most.

He could deal with the rest, but that reminder- the reminder that, even though he is as human as he can be on the inside, he can never truly integrate with them- is too much to ignore. His punishment, even after everything he went through to become…this.

He isn’t human.

He isn’t Coluan.

He’s…something that falls between the two, something even he can’t fully understand yet.

Brainiac-5 is dead, he tells himself.

My name is Querl Dox, he says to his reflection, and there’s only one of me.