“Only CEO’s get to see what goes on when someone gets a pass,” Zaile muttered stubbornly. He wouldn’t be denied his viewing rights. “It’s a privilege and I’m taking advantage of it.”

“Like I said, Zaile,… Voyeur!” Riley continued teasing, knowing that Zaile was just like Lexx in his moods. He might glare at Riley, but he wasn’t really mad or bothered by him. It was all a front from someone who hid well and rarely let it drop.

“You make it sound so,… lewd.” It sounded funny the way Zaile said it, because he was trying not to smile. He was determined to be mad at Lexx. “I’ve only see two out of the forty-seven who have scheduled time with Lexx actually manage to do anything with him other than show him off and parade him.”

Riley smiled and nodded, looking away as though giving in to Zaile’s statement. ‘Not that they don’t try!’ Riley was happy with what he’d done. This was going to be good. ‘Just another facet of this horrible game. The ADC owns them and can make them do anything they want,… one way or another, even if the player thinks it’s their choice.’

To avoid the galactic console’s anti-slavery laws, certain conditions had to be met in the ADC’s contracts. It was perfectly legal to have a nondisclosure agreement while a player was in the game and under employ by the ADC. Once the indentured player completed the game, he or she could talk. They thought that this would keep abuse from occurring. They were short sighted.

Riley saw the loopholes. They were there from payoffs. He was sure of it. Once out of the ADC, most of the players were so screwed up that they could never live a normal life. They were only trained for the game and most of the abuse they received as kids, they thought was normal treatment. They knew no other way. The abuse was rarely physical, mostly mental and a lot of the time, unintentional by caretakers who were not Littans, Rishans, Sairah or Kourwine. They didn’t understand that all four races had needs their own kind often didn’t. Most of the caretakers considered the humanoid breeds to be overly high maintenance. The young ones whined and cried too much, even though they were fed and clean. The older ones were more preferred, but at a certain age, they were not accepted.

The majority of indentured players came into the main ADC centers between the ages of 2 and 5 years old. There were a scattering of babies and most others were not accepted past the age of 10. Lexx was an exception due to his scoring and DNA markers. The older ones remembered too much of what a family was and if it was a decent one, they caused problems. These were the ones who were dangerous to the ADC. They had been taught what was right and wrong in life and knew a different life in many cases. Even one of them could cause serious problems.

Between the ages of 5 and 15 the gleaning process began to weed out the weaklings who wouldn’t survive training. They didn’t want to waste time and money on any that wouldn’t make a profit.

They were still slaves once they were out of the ADC’s training academy, but it was veiled. The ADC couldn’t force them to do anything they really didn’t want to other than play the game. They couldn’t physically make them do anything they didn’t want to. Riley shook his head. Lexx would put an end to all of this if he won, but he’d have to see to it that Lexx remained alive to do it and with Zaile’s help he could. He just had to turn Zaile around to seeing that Lexx was not his real enemy. Riley just hoped that Lexx’s desire to be free wouldn’t be compromised by the ADC making an offer he couldn’t refuse. They would do it if they thought Lexx would bring down their entire operation. Lexx had to be made to realize that he wasn’t the only one and to do that, … he had to care about someone other than himself. More importantly, he had to get past selfish desire and see the larger picture.

Riley’s thoughts shifted, he could worry about Lexx’s decisions later. There was plenty of time to talk to him, so then, he gloated to himself, thinking of the strings he had pulled. ‘Zaile’s going to be –MAD-! Heh!’

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