There was now the feeling of humiliation as the child was turned over to another set of hands. These roughly pushed him and stripped him of the rags that he considered clothing. He was barely able to keep hold of the only thing he owned, … the viewer chips that held the few images of him and his parents. Terrified that they’d be taken from him, he put them in his mouth to keep them safe. It was hard not to yell out in pain as he was submerged in hot soapy water and scrubbed down. It was equally hard to keep from swallowing.

Eyes stinging from the abrasive treatment, Lexx had kept his mouth closed and managed. Now, they had dressed him in a light shirt and pants. The cuffs had been removed to wash and dress him, but now they were back. The boy was ushered down a long hall to another room, where he was left alone, standing and still dripping water from his disheveled hair.

Another Rishan stepped from the mists, shrouded for a moment until she spoke, her voice icy and disinterested. Lexx didn’t look up. He didn’t like looking at them anymore, the adults who considered him useless and in the way. “No parents to pay for your education, Shira Lexx?” She read from her viewboard. They had genetically matched him and knew quite well that his parents were both dead. It was more like she wanted to drill it into the boy’s head that he was alone. Maybe this conversation hadn’t gone exactly this way, but this is what Lexx heard.

“No.” his own voice was distant, moving further away.

“Family?”

“No.”

The Educational Services Officer looked down at Lexx and intoned. “An orphan then. I know just where to send you, but first, we’re going to have to do something about your appearance.”

As dreams go, Lexx was suddenly in his first uniform. He remembered that it was tight and scratchy, but more importantly, he was free of the cuffs. And once again, standing before a desk that was too high for him to see over. He couldn’t even remember what this officer had looked like, because he never looked up at him. There was just a voice, a condescending tone that was hollow with words that would have sounded comforting if they had come from someone who actually had an interest in Lexx.