Lexx took a step back, still speaking and glaring at Chel. “That’s where I come in. They created new dice that affected sentients. I told you earlier that dice don’t, they only affect blank slates, animals. My dice only affect blanks. I would never wish this on another sentient being.” He paused to gather his breath and make sure that Chel was following what he was saying. She wasn’t looking at him, but she was quiet and her mouth was shut. That was good enough.

“They picked up the trash of the universe, orphans and those nobody really cared about ended up in the program and still do. It’s like what you call an orphanage on Earth, only far worse, because we were supposed to be trained for future jobs and not be a pull on intergalactic society. The Alien Dice Corporation as a gesture of goodwill, charity, took us in, hundreds of thousands of us. They educated us, taught us the game, and taught us things we needed to know. It looks good on the outside and nobody cares what happens to us anyway, just that we have a purpose and aren’t a burden to them.” Lexx’s words came increasingly faster as he spoke, wanting to get this over with, wanting to have it all explained … for the first time. He’d never told anyone all of this. His only friends had been on the Academy and they all knew the same story, but none of them spoke about it. It was mass denial against being a simple toy for a game.

“I was an unfortunate one who actually got put into the game. Not everyone gets put into the game itself. Some get to work on other aspects of the game, less dangerous aspects. They like putting Rishan into the games, because there aren’t a lot of us to begin with. We’re rare in space, except on the space colonies ….” Lexx realized he was about to go onto another tangent and stopped himself, switching immediately back to the original topic, “To make things even more interesting, we are to play the game. Our,…” He paused. “My only chance of freedom from this game to live a life that I set out for myself and isn’t charted by the cooperation, is to complete three sets of Alien Dice. This is my third set, so you can see why I need to complete it fast, before someone really powerful shows up. If I’m defeated, I’m a slave for life.”

Lexx didn’t wait for Chel’s response, although she opened her mouth as though wanting to say something.

He went on. “That’s also why I chose Earth. It’s a fringe world that isn’t near any of the main Alien Dice routes. It buys me time to get stronger. Every time I complete a set, they reset me for the next and knock me back ten levels!” He paused again for emphasis, staring at Chel. “To me, this is not a game, Chel.”