Lady Graile (Longarm Severed)

The enigmatic Lady Graile is a character I get many questions regarding. She is from the novel Longarm Severed, and while a minor character in the book, seems to evoke a lot of interest from readers. Who is she really? What is her background?

Well, in order to answer this, I am drafting this article about her history, to hopefully help with the immense curiosity which surrounds her life. My intent is to one day write a novel of her life before the events of Longarm Severed. If you have not yet read Longarm Severed, I warn you now that some of this article may be considered spoilers. Also be warned, this is going to get rather melodramatic.

Evelyn Mitchell-Graile was born as heiress to the Mitchel-Graile fortune. Her father was founder and CEO of a group of companies spanning the solar system, including but not limited to Mitchell-Graile Interplanetary, Systemwide Logistics, and Belt Ore. Her father famously bought out Belt Estates and Libertarian Futures, before merging the two to form Belt Liberty, the largest property development and brokerage company in human space – all at a cost rumored to be greater than any deal previously recorded.

In the book “Longarm Severed” Evelyn Mitchell-Graile is known only under the pseudonym of “Lady Graile,” and she keeps the details of her past a secret to all but those closest to her. How she came to be confined to Claustrum Mundus is also a secret she guards closely.

Growing up, Evelyn had two close and constant companions. One was her beloved cousin Phoebe, a girl her own age with whom she spent almost every waking hour, and a boy, David Hulong, the son of a close friend to her father. The three were inseparable. As they passed their teenage years, Evelyn developed a deep and unyielding love for David. Unknown to her, David and Phoebe loved each other as much as Evelyn loved David.

As an eighteenth birthday gift, Evelyn received a car. However, due to threats to the family, including threats against her specifically by enemies of her father’s business empire, she was ordered not to leave the family estate, and she was forbidden to take her car out. At this time David and Phoebe, unaware of the threat situation and believing Evelyn would not mind, borrowed the car and fled, intending to elope.

David and Phoebe were then attacked. The car crashed and the pair were dragged from the wreckage by their assailants, who believed Evelyn to be driving. In the ensuing struggle, one of the attackers accidentally shot Phoebe, before the attackers fled, leaving the weapon behind. David cradled his lover in his arms as she died.

Meanwhile, Evelyn became aware that her friends had taken her car, and in worry for their safety, begged her older brother to take her to look for them. He took her, but they were too late, arriving on the scene to find David, a broken man, weeping hysterically over the body of his beloved Phoebe. Realising that the police would think him guilty of the girls murder, and that the facts of the industrial espionage and threats behind the events may not ever make it into the investigation for a variety of reasons surrounding the corruption of power by those involved, she made the decision which would change her life forever. Knowing her beloved David, if found like this, would be charged with murder, and that his family, not having the industrial and political power of her own, would be destroyed by the controversy, while hers would not, Evelyn ordered her brother to take David away. David resisted, but Evelyn’s brother persisted, and forcibly took the boy in his car and left.

So it was that Evelyn was found near her wrecked car, in possession of the weapon which had killed her dear cousin, whose body she held as the police arrived. Very little investigation was made into the case, and she was soon charged with the murder of her dearest friend, in defense of her truest love. A crime that both young people were innocent of. Found guilty, Evelyn Mitchell-Graile was sentenced to live the remainder of her life inside the VR Prison known as Claustrum Mundus. Evelyn demanded of David and her brother that they not reveal her innocence, out of the very real fear of what this information would do to David, and his family.

Media interest in the case was of course enormous, however much of it was kept quiet thanks to her father’s power, and the threats on her life were never reported. The considerable clout of the family was not put to work securing her release, instead being used to protect the family and its businesses from any fall out from the case. In time, they would crush the business opponents responsible, though this was to be of little comfort for Lady Graile, were she even informed of such matters, while living inside Claustrum Mundus.

At the conclusion of Longarm Severed, though unnamed in that story, David in fact appears briefly, in an act he hopes can go some way to repaying the unrepayable debt owed to Evelyn, but she must let him go, in the knowledge she has lost her love forever.

That is the tragic story of Lady Graile.

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