“You’re an investor,…” Riley pointed out dryly.

“You work for me, Riley.” Zaile didn’t appreciate the Littan’s tone. “Do not bring this up again. You know I was not aware of what they were doing.” Zaile, like the majority of investors in the ADC, did not know about the conditions the sentient players were put under. They did not know that they were indentured players, essentially slaves to the ADC.

Zaile had come across the information when he discovered that his sister was one of the ‘students’. He’d tried to go through the proper channels, speaking with the ADC council about taking responsibility for her. She was only thirteen years old. He had been told that since they had taken guardianship over her and she had been signed over to them as an orphan, they owned her. They hadn’t said it in those exact words, but that was the gist of their conversation.

Many of the ADC’s indentured players were Rishan. It wasn’t uncommon, and it caused fewer problems because the parents of Rishan children rarely had the means to locate them. Zaile on the other hand was not like any other Rishan. He’d been adopted by a very well to do Littan family that couldn’t have children of their own.

They’d been investors in the ADC and he’d inherited their holdings when they passed on. He’d been raised with the best of everything and nothing had ever been denied to him,.. except knowing his family. Records were kept of all Rishan children born, even if they were taken from their parents. These records were sealed from the parents and only the child, once they reached the age of maturity, could access their family records.

Zaile had waited. He didn’t feel the need to look into his family because he had one, but then, when they were gone he had been curious about his parents. Who were they? Were they still alive? Did he have any siblings? It was lonely to be the only Rishan among so many Littans, even though they fully accepted him as one of them. Even his two contract escorts could not fill that void of who he was.

“But you won’t give Lexx what he’s owed if he succeeds!” Riley’s annoyed voice broke through Zaile’s thoughts.

“He’s mentally unstable,.. suicidal,…” Zaile snapped back. “It would be a waste. His bonding was a test to create a more challenging dice,.. it did that, but he is useless. He can never lead a normal life. That bonding did more than give him the abilities of a dice. It destroyed anything he could have been. Lexx,.. before the bonding was a genius. He scored better than any other student in the Academy. That’s why they did the experiment on him.” Zaile grumbled.

“I recently accessed more files, Riley,.. you need to understand the nature of what you’re dealing with. The longer Lexx is in the game, the more out of control he is going to become. They’ve been keeping track of his emotional imbalance and it has gotten worse and more unpredictable the more he levels. He has to complete the game before he loses it all.”