The trip back to The Rift was uneventful. After the battle, Chel was more interested in how Lexx was doing than the station. Lexx didn’t want to run the chance of getting into another battle so soon. Once they left the station and started back to Earth, he could be challenged, but the challenger would have to wait until Lexx had reached Earth once the course was logged.

This was one of those rules that benefited Lexx. They still had to wait two hours before starting the trip back to Earth. It wasn’t long enough for Lexx. They played a few games, which Chel picked up very quickly,… stating that one was just like some game called Monopoly, only quicker. Then, Lexx showed her his private collection of book plates and how to use them in case she got bored when he had other things to do.

Lexx loved his books. They were the most valuable things he owned, because they took him away from the game for a time and to other worlds. He’d managed to pick up book plates from each world he’d visited and learned their languages. He hoped to get a few books from Earth as well to add to his collection, only it would be harder because he didn’t have the same kind of money.

Chel promised that she could get him a few books to read when they went home and he could have them, only they weren’t on plates. They were made out of paper. Now that would be something. Books made out of organic materials were very rare in space. She had said she had one that would take him a long time to get through and was filled with information on her religion.

That was among the many things that interested Lexx. Foreign cultures, their languages, ways, reasoning. Everything. He loved the myths of other worlds, how they explained things that nothing else could at their times. Growing up around so much technology only made them that much more peculiar. Chel told him a little bit about what was in the big book, creation, war, destruction, love and hope.

Then, she told him a story about a boy and his shadow. He felt like a little kid listening to it. It brought back a sensation he hadn’t experienced since he was a child, with his mother reading to him. To never grow up. To always be a boy. It hit Lexx more strongly than Chel was aware.

He was sad thinking about it. Being a child had been a short phase in Lexx’s life. He missed his mother,… and his father, even though he had been very small when he died. He remembered.

Never grow up.

When this was over; Lexx smirked to himself. That’s what he’d do. He wanted to play and have fun. Enjoy life instead of dreading it. He really did want it. It was just the game that was a burden.

Never grow up.

Clap your hands.

So … strange. Do you believe in Fairies? Do you believe in imagination? That’s what it meant. And Lexx excused himself, stating that he was tired and that if she didn’t mind, she could go back to the sleeping quarters to read so he could rest undisturbed in the living area. Chel took a couple of his books that were written in standard and left with a smile.

So strange. He felt like crying and at the same time,… he felt warm inside, comfortable. The moment the door was closed, Lexx went to the view port and stood, staring out at space and the unblinking stars. His thoughts wandered. ‘Surely Trasik won’t break the rules. She’d be heavily fined. Probably disqualified. Surely not – but I better make sure to have the scanners on just in case and activate the recorders. I should contact Damian and Claudia,….’ Lexx mused to himself. ‘For Chel’s safety.’

‘This has turned out to have been a very interesting trip,.. now they know where I am. They’ll all be coming for me. I have to move fast, but I can’t be stupid about it. If I Rush,.. If I rush,.. I might make mistakes that I can’t afford to make. I’m a little concerned about the girl..’

It was completely quiet, other than the steady humming of the engines. The dice were either in the environ globe or with Chel. Dig was sleeping on the couch, sprawled out on his back snoring. Lexx had to admit he really liked the little overly aggressive dice. He was so completely unafraid of everything. Lexx glanced at him and went back to his thoughts, pondering… why did his thoughts always drift to Chel now?

‘She shouldn’t be involved,… at all. This is dangerous. She doesn’t know how dangerous it is, this is,… but at the same time, I’m brought back to indecision. Let’s see. I don’t want her to know how dangerous this is, but it’s still her decision to be here. She’d go home, … maybe if it were clearer.’