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Raphael, the Field Medic - James R


With a medical clinic on the edge of Union territory, Raphael and his many medical 'officers' attend to the needs of anyone who has something to give (equipment, a favour, a good word in the right ears, or just a fine vintage of wine). The clinic's practitioners can offer some of the best non-magical healing available, few questions asked, no secrets betrayed, and all with military efficiency. They bear a red cross, which apparently came from a conflict in a different dimension, and use it in all of their dealings.

Raphael finds Union meetings awkward when he attends at all, struggles to maintain his composure when around those in the business of brutality and murder, and preaches pacifism and non-violent resolutions to conflict. He also carries a loaded revolver, and speaks most candidly when talking with professional soldiers (or anyone that resembles them). Is there some internal conflict present? Regardless, the skill he's shown in building both an efficient, well-organised medical practice and a reputation with the general public suggest he's not just good for resetting bones, nursing wounds and restarting someone's heart with a well-aimed kick.


The month after the end of the war was a busy one for Raphael. His people spoke afterwards about a frantic level of activity which in hindsight was his preparation for leaving the Red Cross and the City behind. He worked closely with Gaius in this time handing over many of the tales of the people he and his people had gathered to the minister. He found some time to devote to teaching Madison a little of medicine, providing her and her travelling university with a fully equipped medical wing, staff, three cassowaries (two of them made of jade) and a capercapallie. He never explained the logic to this but just nodded when asked and told them to ‘ask Madison’. Most tellingly he appointed some of his more trusted staff to senior positions and between them allowed them to take over the running of the Red Cross entirely, including his ‘carpet filing system’ of information. His final instruction to them being to work closely with and listen to Walter Howe should he ask anything of them and to integrate the White Cross organisation into the Red Cross as new research branch of the organisation.

In those last few weeks, Raphael spent much time with Walter Howe, Aki and Gabrielle before finally packing up his few worldly belongings into a small airship and, together with Gabrielle, heading out to explore the multiverse.

Raphael never settled down in one place for long - he and Gabrielle always seemed restless to try new things and see new places to make up for all the time they’d lost staying still before. They stopped in at the Peripatetic University a number of times and Raphael made sure to keep in contact with his old friends from the City - in particularly Gaius, Astriam, Howe and Aki. Wherever they travelled they left something better behind, fixed things (people or machines, it didn’t matter which) and moved on, leaving behind tales of ‘When Raphael came by’.


“That’s it! We’ve done it! It’s perfect.” Exclaimed Howe
“Are you sure this is going to work?” Raphael sounded more dubious
“Yes. Well. No. Maybe?” Howe replied.
“The theory is sound and I followed him every step of the way - this should fix her. The other devices were flawed, each interfering with a different bit of her brain. This one is perfect, at least it should be. It should slot everything back together.” Said Aki.
“Well… ok then. Shall we try it?” Raphael asked the final member of the group. Gabrielle nods, her amber eyes full of trust.

The pattern swirls in front of her eyes. The perfect fractal, down to every detail. It works its ways into the depths of her mind and, stripped of its destructive potential by the protections of the universe, unlocks parts that had been trapped for years.

She stumbles, the worried red cross doctor catching her, as memories, thoughts and ideas come pouring out.
“Gabrielle! Are you ok?” The worry clear in Raphael’s voice
“…Yes.. yes I am. For once, I really think I am… Your turn…” She smiles.

Raphael sighs in relief as he turns and looks into the perfect fractal for himself.


“So where now?” Asks Gabrielle.
“Well, we’ve tried most of the worlds this side of the Triumvirate and nearly all the ones connected to the river network…” replies Raphael
“We could always try Plagaria?”
The doctor laughs “I’m not sure I can cope with that level of colour. Where do you want to go?”
“Well… I’ve been working on this new modification for the ship. A way to map new paths to new dimensions… without needing to know about their existence first. We could find places no one has ever heard of before. See places no one has ever been. If it works…”
“It will work. Since we left you’ve not created a faulty device yet. I don’t see why this would be any different.”
“I don't think I ever thanked you properly for…“
“Don't. You don't have to. I just helped undo the harm I caused.”
“No. Don't say that. That's not fair, and it's more than that. You saved me. You put me back together again in more ways than one.”
“No more than you saved me.”
“I'm glad you asked me to come with you. I wouldn't have missed this for the world - any of them.”
“Shall we?” He motions towards the lever, a smile playing across his face.
“After you…”

They’ve been to every world they’d ever heard of and few they hadn’t. They’ve been home to peaceful fields of poppies where churned earth used to lie and seen old and familiar ruins where towers once ominously stood, now overgrown with ivy. They’ve seen cities and plains and endless oceans. As Raphael pulls down on the lever they prepare for their next big adventure on their extended holiday.

A letter

Dear Gabrielle,

I hope this letter finds you well. I am sorry I have been out of contact for a time; tying up some particularly evasive loose ends has taken longer than I had hoped.

As you may have noticed, I have started making plans for my extended absence from the City. And as you will have guessed, I do not want to travel alone.

I would be delighted if you would accompany me on a vacation. Or an escape attempt, depending on your perspective.

We have been prisoners for too long - prisoners of dimensional barriers, amnesia, and our past. Now we have the opportunity to be free of all of that, if we can only free ourselves from distant history, and focus on the wonders of the present day. So I propose, in the hope of sounding suitably ambitious, an unscheduled tour of the multiverse.

We have been through enough; existence owes us our freedom. We can see the worlds we have only heard tales of, meet people so unique that even the City had no-one like them, and, when it would be pleasant to do so, lend our expertise to otherworldly denizens - people who would see us as questing angels, brilliant and benign.

I do not mean to devalue the past; I know that curiosity will force me to discover the fate of my origin world, and that somewhere out there must be a place you once called home. There is time for those places, and there is time for so much more. We can explore, discover and enthusiastically applaud everything good about all the worlds we can reach. We could enrich people's lives in the process. And when we are tired of travelling, we can rest in the company of old friends, or settle in some pleasant land that avoids most worldly concerns.

I will completely respect your decision if you decide you would rather pursue something else. Please do not feel forced to join me on something you might not enjoy. Furthermore, do not feel this is an all or nothing choice - we can each stop, or change course, whenever we like. Perhaps it is time for you to shape a world with your intellect; if so, who am I to stop you?

But if this sounds appealing, please start coming up with some ideas for places to visit! I have heard good things about this little plane of archipelagos, fjords, and sunsets of deepest violet…

Yours always,


bio/raphael.1331029959.txt.gz · Last modified: 2012/03/06 10:32 by elliew
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