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Outside the arena was a busy courtyard, but Chel didn’t take any notice of it. She had walked past the arena guards and over to a railing. She wanted to be alone, but there really wasn’t anywhere to go. The last thing she wanted was to get lost. Lexx followed her out, his eye caught by a flash of color from one of the vendor carts. Chel liked pretty things. Maybe he could find something that would make her smile.
Chel stared out over the busy levels all around her. Hundreds of alien creatures were going about their daily business, each of them engaged in this or that activity. Some of them were as familiar as what is commonly seen on earth’s city streets, others were simply bizarre. Chel felt the annoyance creeping further and further into her mind. She was confused and upset without any real explanation. People just didn’t normally make those kind of comments to her and she didn’t know how to handle them.
‘That was rude of Riley.’ She thought carefully about Riley. It wasn’t right to judge him on human standards. ‘But,… I really don’t think he meant to offend me.’ That wasn’t all that had upset her. A second thought wound its way to the surface. ‘I don’t like it when they talk like I’m not there.’ They had done that so many times. It was like she was never expected to take part in any conversation because she would have nothing to contribute.
Chel suddenly had a prickling sensation run up her back and neck. Someone had placed their hand on her right shoulder to get her attention. She turned abruptly, to see a handful of brilliant color being held up to her. Astonished, Chel blinked at the flowers, then up at Lexx. He nervously shifted the flowers from his right hand to his left, taking a step back in the process.
“I’m sorry, Chel.” He stared at the ground through half closed eyes and added, “Your chest looks just fine to me.”
“…” Chel stared at Lexx, speechless.