Xev sighed, softly drumming her fingers against the top of 790ís
disembodied head. She sat cross-legged on the step in the middle of the
bridge, alternately glancing at Stanley, who stood slouched against the
command post, and the viewscreen, which displayed the Lexxís progression
through space. Normally, she would have enjoyed watching the pleasantly
simple view of the universe, and the familiar sight of the little silver
dots of stars against the inky black background of empty space, but not
today. For today she was absolutely bored out of her skull, and as she
watched Stanley Tweedle practically falling asleep standing up, she
guessed the feeling was mutual.
In an effort to distract herself, Xev took the time to look around her,
at the insides of this huge insect they were traveling in, this
machinelike yet living being named Lexx.
In a way, Xev felt safer and much more comfortable to be soaring through
space in a ship that was, technically, alive. A normal, mechanical
vessel really couldn't do so much without specialized people controlling
it, and could very easily fly itself into some unknown danger. But Lexx
had a mind of its own and, even though he was under Stanís control, was
still capable of some degree of independent thought. It had amused her
countless times to hear Lexx and Stan interact, and she had come to
think of Lexx as a rather naive child who didn't know his own strength.
This was, she mused, probably the safest place to be in the two
universes, seeing that Lexx was the most powerful weapon of destruction
in those two universes.
But as much as she enjoyed pondering about Lexxís nature, right now she
was really bored.
"There's really nothing out there?" she asked, more of an attempt to
pass the time with some conversation than a question.
"Wait, Iíll check." Stan mumbled, the side of his face pressed against
his arms. He raised his head to look at the viewscreen briefly, then
let it fall on his crossed arms again.
"Nope," he told her. "Nothing."
Xev thudded her head back against the command post, brushing one hand
through her cerise-colored hair, untangling a few strands. "Weíve been
floating around pointlessly for what, over a week? We havenít even run
into a planet, or a ship, or anything."
"I hate this," Xev snapped. "Thereís nothing to do."
"Well, I know what we could do." he said, bowing his head to look at
her. It was obvious what he was implying, but his tone clearly
indicated he knew what the answer would be-- yet again.
Xev didnít bother to answer. Instead, 790 wailed, "Donít listen to him,
angel of mine. He appears to have gone delirious."
She smiled at her over-protective robot head. She knew all too well his
love and endless devotion to her was utterly artificial, and yet she
couldnít hide her delight at his constant demonstrations of passion.
After a lifetime of pain and rejection, it was normal to enjoy basking
in a little attention, after all.
Finally, Xev placed 790 next to the command post where Stan was still
slumped unceremoniously, and rose to her feet.
"Where are you going?" Stan asked.
She shrugged. "To wake Kai, I guess. Things are always more
interesting when heís around."
"Aw, donít do that," Stanley whined, although it was unclear whether he
was actually concerned about Kai wasting his protoblood supply, or
simply because he didnít want any competition.
"Xev!" came 790ís voice from the ground. "What do you need the dead man
in black for? I can delight and entertain you for hours with my words
"Yeah, you do that, robot, and Iíll personally toss you off this
bridge." Stan said, hardly with enough energy to sound menacing.
"Why not do us all a favor, Tweedle, and toss yourself off the bridge."
Xev shook her head and, leaving the two to their bickering, set off
through the fleshy hallways of the Lexx.
Adami smoothly glided through open space, patiently waiting to encounter
a planet or a vessel in need of her skills. Occasionally, she sensed
the warmth of a nearby star, the icy gases of a nebula, even the subtle
gravitational pull of a planet. But so far, no one in need of her.
She felt a bit sad. The last object she had encountered was a small
ship where two of the crew had recently died following an accident. She
had restored life to them, and they had been very grateful. This
encounter had made Adami very happy, but now she hungered for the chance
to breathe life into another poor soul.
She drifted around for a while longer, until she felt a strange shift in
gravity before her. Something very big-- she focused on what she could
from her distance. A ship. A very, very big ship. She focused a bit
more... a living ship. A very powerful, very big, very living ship.
And then she sensed it, the familiar coldness of death, of a very old
death. Finally! She wanted to see more.
Increasing her speed until she felt she was directly in front of it,
Adami finally saw the ship she had sensed: a very large insect loomed
If she could have smiled in her present form, she would have. What a
beautiful ship! She had never seen so much life in just one being. She
couldnít stop looking at it, absolutely enthralled by its sight.
But, she had work to do, and Adami shook herself out of her rapture.
She silently focused again; yes, there was indeed the evil hand of death
within this lovely vehicle of life. She had to find out more.
Quickly, she altered her outward form, thus making herself imperceptible
to normal eyes. After all, she didnít want to frighten anyone before
she could explain herself.
Adami trailed along the side of the big ship, noting its robust
contours, a mixture of sophisticated technology and vulnerable yet
powerful flesh. She stopped as she reached what seemed to be its head,
where she could feel its thoughts and memories. She just needed to
unearth a bit more.
Ever so gently, Adami allowed her form to seep within its brain, just
enough to learn what she needed....
This beingís name was Lexx, Adami saw. And along with that she sensed
his memories, the memories of his birth, his growth and what he had seen
throughout his life... in this brief instant, Adami had assimilated all
of who Lexx was, everything he knew, everything he could say or do.
Within Lexxís mind Adami had seen others, others that lived within him.
She wanted to learn about them, too.
She carefully flowed out of Lexxís brain, and sensed, as well as saw,
three more life-forms.
One was speaking. "I hate this. Thereís nothing to do."
Adami immediately recognized she was female. She quickly swooped down
and touched her mind, just as she had done with Lexx. The female didnít
even feel or see anything.
Xev Bellringer, Adami saw. She had known a life of trials and
suffering, but she was happy now, and that was all that mattered. She
was quite lovely, too. She had flaming red hair and a fiery spirit to
In that split-second, Adami had absorbed every aspect of her mind, to
the point where she could accurately predict her next thoughts, her next
"Well, I know what we could do." said the other one.
A male. Adami swept through his mind.
Stanley Tweedle. A curious man. He had the power for great bravery and
nobility within him, yet he had not yet learned how to harvest that
power. In time he would, Adami thought.
"Donít listen to him, angel of mine. He appears to have gone
An artificial life-form ? Even more curious. Adami absorbed his mind
Having completed this task, Adami quickly saw in her mindís eye the
being whose death she had so strongly sensed.
Kai. But he wasnít quite dead. Or was he? Adami had never seen
anything like him. But she did know she had smelled his death, and
where there was death there was room for life.
She glided through the insides of Lexx, heading decidedly for the
location of this being. She had to act fast... she knew from what she
had taken from the other threeís minds that their soon-to-be
conversation would lead Xev to Kai. And, since she could already
predict Xevís reaction to seeing her, she wanted to complete her task
before scaring anyone.
Adami finally ended up in the room where Kai rested-- the cryochamber,
she remembered-- and prepared for the task ahead of her.
She focused her mind again, this time on re-arranging her own molecules
into a shape she knew was as non-threatening as possible.
Slowly, her glowing energy-like substance coalesced into a humanoid
form, then the light faded away to reveal the human form of Adami.
She now appeared as a middle-aged human female, short golden hair
speckled ever so slight with gray, large blue eyes a perfect example of
warmth and kindness. She wore simple, emerald-green robes.
Adami took a few steps towards the glass coffin encasing the being known
as Kai. Yes, she thought, he was indeed dead. And yet she felt dimly
confused by what she had seen in Xevís and the othersí minds; not alive,
but animated, with the help of a vile substance called... protoblood?
It didnít feel right. Stepping closer, she pushed her hand through the
frosty panel of the cryo-pod as though it werenít there, and gently
stroked his face, waiting before she collected his mind.
He was beautiful, she thought. His eyes were closed and he seemed
relaxed, as though frozen in a peaceful sleep. She felt his hair,
caressing the silken ebony strand that tumbled down the side of his
face. It stood out darkly against icy white skin, marred only by a fine
crimson tattoo on his right cheek. His supple, elegant body was clothed
with a coarse, black garment.
He seemed to radiate beauty and innocence, and yet he was dead. Adami
could clearly feel this. What kind of a puzzle was she facing now?
She hesitated before searching his mind, as though somehow knowing his
true nature would spoil his loveliness. She could have tapped into the
memories she had borrowed from the others, but she preferred to learn
about Kai from himself. Instead she continued to gently touch his face,
brushing the tips of her fingers against his closed eyes, feeling the
light softness of his dark eyelashes. She pressed her palm against his
cheek, wondering about the significance of the tattooed line she traced
with her thumb.
Eventually she placed her hand flat against his chest, feeling the cold,
mechanical device beneath the surface of his clothing. She urged to
remove the sinister apparatus and replace it with the warmth of a
beating, vibrant heart instead.
He didnít even stir, utterly oblivious to her presence. He remained
still and quiet, like a child safely and comfortably sleeping away.
It was time she learned just who this Kai really was. She pressed her
hand to his forehead and closed her eyes, breathing deeply.
And she then understood the horrifying fate this young man had known.
He was Kai, last of the Brunnen-G.
Kai, whose very own death had been stolen, twisted and manipulated by a
spawn of such evil and darkness that even Adami couldnít believe it.
Kai, shackled to a life that wasnít one, had been enslaved as an
assassin by the one who had effortlessly taken his life, his death, his
very essence... Kai, while now free of his enslavor, was still a
prisoner. He was dead, forced to wander the realm of the living, a
world he didnít belong to. Yet he didnít quite belong to the other
realm either. He was trapped in a purgatory where the boundaries of
life and death were undefined to him.
And Adami also felt the pain of this man. The intense pain of his
profound loss, having witnessed his homeland, his people, his loved ones
destroyed.... and another pain, one of having both witnessed and
committed forced atrocities during his enslavement. Adami knew that Kai
constantly portrayed an emotionless facade, in an attempt to appear
coolly indifferent to the memories he carried... but Adami knew how deep
down, no matter how hard he tried, the sorrow and regret of his acts had
a very important place within him. And yet, due to the state of his
body, he had no way of expressing that pain.
The intensity of this sudden wave of knowledge hit Adami so strongly
that she recoiled from Kai a bit, removing her hand from his forehead.
She couldnít believe it. She just couldnít believe it.
It wasnít fair for a being to carry so much pain. Not without having
the fire of anger to express it, or the tears to release it. She felt
intensely relieved that she was here to help.
She stepped back a bit and closed her eyes, thinking about the
information she had collected from Lexx, Xev, Stanley, 790 and Kaiís
minds, and briefly envisioned the outcome of her actions.
It was time. But by now, Adami knew that she had wasted precious
moments as she contemplated the inanimate Kai, and she could already
hear the footsteps informing her of Xevís arrival. She stepped away
from the cryopod, letting her arms fall defenselessly to her sides,
ready to face Xev, knowing exactly what needed to be said.
Xev stopped dead in her tracks the second she saw the unexpected sight
of an elderly female standing next to Kaiís pod. Adami knew that her
first instinct was to be concerned about Kaiís state before considering
any possible danger to herself. She was pleased to see that Kai had
someone so selfless to care for him.
Adami raised her hands and took another step away from the cryopod,
clearly displaying she meant no harm.
"Who are you?" Xev asked, carefully approaching. She kept glancing at
the pod, trying to see if it was damaged in any way.
"My name is Adami." she answered. She spoke in hushed, silken tones.
She patiently waited for Xevís next question, already knowing what to
"Did you stow away on the Lexx?"
Adami gently shook her head. "No. I arrived here by myself. I knew
you needed my help."
Xev frowned, not quite understanding. "What are you doing with Kai?"
"I have not harmed him in any way. You have my word."
And she stepped even farther away from the pod, allowing room for Xev to
check for herself. She quickly walked up to the pod, peered inside, and
nodded to herself when she saw Kai was undisturbed.
She turned back to Adami. "How did you get here?"
"I arrived here by myself."
"Do you have a ship?"
Xev paced a bit, nervously smoothing her hands around the bottom of her
"Why are you here?"
Adami smiled. "I came here because you need my help."
Xev blinked. Adami knew she was confused and patiently waited for her
to continue her questions. It was the only way she could eventually
"What kind of help do you have to offer?" Xev asked.
Adami answered by stepping up next to the cryopod again. She placed her
hand against the frozen glass. "I can restore Kai to life." she said.
Xevís face seemed to illuminate itself upon hearing those words, but she
quickly replaced it with a skeptical gaze. "How?"
Adami lifted her hands, palms up. "I have a power," she explained. "I
cannot explain why because it is part of my nature. I can restore life
whenever and to whoever I wish."
"Just like that?"
"Just like that."
"And Kai will be completely alive again?"
"Will he remember anything?"
"He will remember everything he remembers now."
Xevís eyes were wide with exhilaration. She stared at the pod.
"Heíll really be alive?"
"As though he never died."
And Xev believed her. Adami could see it. They both smiled.
"You can really do this for Kai?" Xev asked, suddenly excited. "Right
"Right now, if you wish." Adami said.
Xev nodded energetically, motioning towards the pod. Adami saw she was
still a bit confused and wasnít quite sure what to expect, but the mere
possibility of seeing Kai alive and well again thrilled her.
Adami smiled warmly. She was happy Xev trusted her.
She turned to Kai, and felt even happier that she would finally be able
to release him from this bodily prison and give him the chance to live
and breathe and think and feel again.
Once again she effortlessly pushed her hands through the frosty panel,
briefly stroked Kaiís milky-white and innocent face under Xevís
Adami closed her eyes and breathed deeply, both hands now clasping Kaiís
shoulders. She exhaled, and focused her energy towards her hands,
feeling the familiar intense heat pouring from them, filling and
enveloping Kaiís body. Her head kicked back a little and she visualized
her precious life energy raining from her hands. In her mindís eye she
saw Kaiís form, slowly filling with an expanding spark of shining life.
She fixated on the sight to the point of complete abandon, of oblivion
to anything else. She could no longer see Xev, the cryopod, the Lexx
itself. Nothing else mattered.
She felt glorious. Slowly she could sense the vile, icy death draining
away, utterly frightened away. Her senses were filled with the vital
energy she was both dispensing and basking in.
It was almost complete. In her mind she swept her gaze over the
newly-born being before her, bathed in a luminescent glow. She felt
little bursts of memory, a blur of emotion... all that would finally
take their place again.
She had saved the best for last. She felt within the humanoid light for
the cruel, unnatural device she had seen earlier. Grasping it in her
hand, she crushed it until it completely disintegrated. And when she
opened her hand again, a strong, vibrantly warm heartbeat replaced it.
It was done.
Adami felt her head spin as she opened her eyes, taking a second to
restore her equilibrium.
Xev was still standing anxiously next to her, staring at her every
move. To her, it didnít look as though Adami had really done anything.
The older female removed her hands from Kaiís shoulders and, after
stepping back as the casing of the cryopod opened, she slipped them
around his arms. She was holding him upright as he remained quiescent
"Did it work?" Xev asked frantically. "What did you do to him?"
Adami didnít answer, simply watched Kai and waited. Any second now...
And then, with a gasp that made Xev start, Kai breathed in his very
"Kai?" Xev asked, her voice a shaky whisper.
Adami smiled and sighed. She could feel Kai beginning to tremble
beneath her hands.
He breathed again, this time more smoothly. Then, suddenly, his eyes
popped open and his face registered a brief instant of shock before he
"Kai!" Xev shrieked, and she plunged to catch him, but Adami was already
holding him in her arms as she gently lowered him to the floor.
Kai blinked a few times, breathing shakily. His face was a mask of
confusion as he looked back and forth between Xev and Adami, struggling
"What...?" he asked weakly. "What happened?" He raised one hand,
flexed it, looked at it quizzically.
"Oh, Kai..." Xev whispered. Her eyes blurred with tears and she
gratefully looked at Adami. "Thank you so much..."
Adami merely smiled.
Xev lowered her head to face Kai. She gently placed her hand against
his cheek, and he gasped and his eyes widened. "Xev... I can feel
that," he said softly.
"I know, Kai." Xev said. Tears trailed down her face. "Youíve...
youíve been restored to life."
Kai tried to sit up and Adami removed her arms from around him. He
looked at her and frowned, pressed one hand against his chest.
"You did this?" he asked.
Adami nodded, and reached out to caress that lovely black lock of hair
again. "I returned what had been unjustly taken away."
He blinked again. "Who... who are you?"
"I am Adami." She rose to her feet. "And if you are happy now, I will
Xev snapped her head up. "Thatís it? Youíre just going to leave?"
"I have no further need to stay." Adami said. "Unless you especially
Xev nodded slowly, placing a hand on Kaiís back to steady him. "Itís
alright, weíll manage on our own. Thank you, Adami."
Adami bowed her head in a farewell gesture, taking a second to admire
her work. Kai was obviously still shocked by his new condition, but he
would adapt. He seemed even more beautiful now, she thought. She
almost regretted having to leave him.
A moment later, her humanoid form melted away into a cascade of brightly
glowing light. She flowed upward, and in seconds she had disappeared.
Kai still sat on the floor next to Xev, unsure of what had exactly
happened, unsure of how to react, unsure of what to do next. He felt
Xevís comforting presence next to him and lifted his head to look at
She also seemed uncertain of how to proceed, and finally decided to slip
her arm around his shoulders, rubbing them.
"How do you feel?" she asked.
Good question, Kai thought. He blinked a few more times, still getting
used to the sensation. Even breathing felt odd, almost uncomfortable.
He still had a hand pressed tight against his chest and he could feel
the steady rhythm of his heartbeat beneath it. His forelock tickled his
cheek, and he resisted the urge to scratch at it.
Kai lifted his other hand; it was familiar, yet it was not. He flexed it
a bit, feeling the muscle stretch underneath the taut skin. He could
see the network of thin veins through his wrist, and he realized they
were once again filled with blood-- real blood. This sudden realization
filled him with a surge of emotion, although he couldnít quite identify
it yet. His mind was still racing to understand what had just been done
"Kai?" Xev pressed.
"Iím all right," he finally said. His voice echoed through his head,
almost in a surreal way.
Actually, he wasnít sure if he had spoken the truth. He felt slightly
dizzy, a bit tired too. He knew he felt cold... he shivered as he
It felt strange. It felt strange to be feeling again. New emotions
were clawing at him and it was difficult to understand them. Happiness,
perhaps? Maybe a bit of fear too. It was a normal reaction to his
situation, wasnít it?
There was also another strange sensation that felt buried so deeply
within him he couldnít tell if he was actually feeling it. Why was his
mind trying to hide his own emotions from him? Was this sensation
normal for the tremendous shock his body had gone through?
He looked at Xev again, her face mirroring his own apprehension,
although her eyes radiated joy and the warm hand she held his shoulder
with displayed her tender concern. Kai was relieved she was here with
him. Relieved... and happy.
Yes, that was it! He really was happy. He was happy to be alive again,
and he was happy to be near Xev.
He smiled shyly at her. It felt good. It felt better than anything had
for a very long time.
"Iím really alive?" he asked, not sure if he trusted himself to say
anything else with this sudden deluge of feelings assaulting him.
Xev giggled. It was a beautiful sound.
"You really are, Kai!" She leaned closer and embraced him warmly.
Uncertain of how to react to this sudden closeness, Kai hesitantly
placed his hands on her shoulders, attempting to return the hug. He
started to smile but it instantly faded when he saw the cryopod over
Xevís shoulder. It was open and empty, surrounded by the freezing
vapors that hissed from above in misty cascades. The sight of his
former resting place uncomfortably stirred something within him, and the
full realization that mere minutes ago he had been dead struck him like
a slap in the face. He suddenly felt chilled to the bone, terrified.
"I want to get out of here." he whispered against Xev.
She pulled away from him, but still held his arms. "Are you okay?"
He nodded, trembling. "I just... want to get away from this room."
"Where do you want to go?" Xev asked.
"Anywhere. Just away from here."
She nodded her agreement and started to help Kai up. "Weíll go to the
bridge. Can you stand?"
He rose to his feet and his brow creased as he swayed a bit. His legs
felt weak but he was determined to make his newborn body obey.
"Iíll manage... I think."
He was unsteady but his desire to leave this frightening room gave him
enough strength to place one foot in front of the other and move
forward. Xev calmly clasped his arm, although it seemed more a gesture
of reassurance than an attempt to keep him up.
His feet fell in heavy, awkward steps and he frowned again. The
sensation of his clothes rubbing against his skin with every move was
still new to him, another sensation he found uncomfortable. Had it
always felt like this to be... alive? He couldnít remember. Even his
eyes ached as he glanced around the dimly-lit passageway. He closed
them for a moment, wondering if it would help.
"Are you okay?" Xev asked, and Kai flinched when she placed her hand
against his neck.
He swallowed reflexively, opened his eyes to look at her, realizing he
hadnít really looked at her until now.
She was truly beautiful, he realized this as though for the first time.
When he had been dead, he had seen Xev just as he did now, but somehow
her full beauty just hadnít registered up until now.
Her eyes were green as a forest and they now looked at him with a
tender, almost maternal concern. Her skin was so lovely, so flawless,
framed by soft hair that stood out like a whispering fire around her
head. How could he not have seen this until now? He suddenly
understood what 790 meant when he said she was the ďperfect example of
the female formĒ.
He could even smell her as she moved her hand up against his cheek. She
had a sweet, fragrant scent, like the gentlest of wildflowers. He
couldnít believe he had never noticed until now.
"Are you feeling alright?" she asked again, softly.
Kai nodded, the corners of his mouth upturning in a small smile. "Yes."
he told her. And he knew it was true.
She seemed pleased with his response, and slipped her arm around his
again as they continued their trek through Lexxís insides to the bridge.
They arrived unceremoniously to find Stanley sitting on the bottom of
the command post, arms crossed and legs outstretched. 790 sat quietly
nearby, both apparantly having run out of insults.
"You sure took your time." he said to Xev as he heard her footsteps, not
even bothering to turn.
Kai watched him and 790 for the first time through his living eyes, and
felt a sudden uneasy sensation gnawing away at him. They didnít know he
was alive again. How would they react? He anxiously waited to see if
Xev would say anything.
She squeezed his arm as though to reassure him and urged him to move
forward, in front of the slouched Stanley.
"Notice anything different?" Xev asked, almost playfully.
Kai held his breath, unsure of how he felt about Xev turning this into a
bit of a game. But then again, he wasnít sure how he felt about
anything yet, so he trusted her.
Stan sat up straighter. "Yes." he began, a bit patronizingly. "Kaiís
here while he should be frozen up and not wasting protoblood."
She smiled sweetly. "Thatís true, but try again."
He sighed impatiently. "I donít know."
Xev took Kaiís hand in hers, taking a step away from him as though to
single him out. "Kai..." she said slowly, relishing every word. "Is
"Yeah, I can see heís out of his cryopod, if thatís what you mean."
"No, really alive." Kai finally said, slightly uncomfortable being the
center of attention.
Stanley raised his eyebrows, gripping the armrests of the command post
as he bolted to his feet. "You... what? Why? What happened?"
"Thatís impossible!" 790 shouted. "Heís trying to trick you, beloved!"
Kai frowned, a little hurt by 790ís comment. Why would he believe he
would try to trick Xev? Now he knew what Stanley went through every day
with 790ís jabs.
"No, 790, I saw it happen!" Xev told him, all of the excitement she had
contained until now bubbling over. She gripped Kaiís hand a little
tighter. "Heís really alive, just like he used to be."
Kai started to smile at her but was interrupted by Stanís voice. "Wait,
wait, wait. Just how did this happen?"
"A woman was here a few minutes ago," Xev explained.
"A woman?" Stanley asked, suddenly interested.
"Sheís gone now, Stan."
"She had this power, to restore life. Thatís what she did for Kai."
Stanley scratched his forehead, looking Kai up and down. "Really?
Well... you donít really look any different."
"I donít?" Kai said, looking down at himself. But the movement made him
dizzy again, and he staggered a bit. He could feel Xevís hand
tightening over his arm again.
"Iím okay," he said quickly. "I guess Iíll just need to... to get used
to living again."
His own words sounded strange in his ears. Get used to living again?
No one else ever had to do that. No one else had lived as a mockery of
life for two millenia.
He clenched his jaw, feeling a familiar surge of emotion-- anger--
within him, although he couldnít tell what he was angry at. Himself,
But his thoughts were soon cut short as Xev, who still hadnít released
his arm, began leading him away again. He felt like telling her to let
him go, that he could walk on his own, but he knew it would be unfair to
release his anger on her. Instead he let her take him.
"Why donít you get something to eat?" she was asking. "It might make
you feel better-- make you stronger."
Yes it would, Kai thought. Was he hungry? He couldnít tell.
Probably. He hadnít eaten for centuries, after all. Although when Xev
started walking him out of the bridge, Stanley following behind, he
wondered if what would really make him feel better right now would be to
sleep. As his body recovered from its initial shock, he was beginning
to feel rather exhausted.
"Shouldnít we get the robot to scan him or something?" Stanley said,
trailing behind the pair. "Just in case that lady didnít do quite what
she was supposed to?"
"I saw what she did, I trust her." Xev told him. "You worry too much,
"Yeah, and you donít worry enough."
When they arrived in the galley, Xev finally disengaged her arm from
Kaiís, allowing him to sit down as she fetched some of the transluscent
faceplates serving as food plates.
He sighed a bit, leaning his cheek against his hand. His skin felt
warm-- it was an odd sensation. When was the last time he had actually
remembered feeling something? It had been so long ago, just before he
"Hope you like it." Xev said, handing him a platefull of green goo.
Kai shook his head, abandoning his fleeting thought, and took the plate
from her grasp.
"Thank you." he said. He contemplated the gleaming jelly-like food,
noticing how different it was from the synthesized food he used to eat
on Brunnis, the only kind he had known. He briefly wondered if it
tasted as strange as it looked, but then he had seen Stan and Xev
consume it countless times. It couldnít be so bad. Besides, he would
have to eat something, sooner or later.
The other two were seated to either side of him, and while Stanley was
eating his plate of goo and trying not to crowd Kai with too much
attention, Xev kept casting persistent glances over to him, watching his
every move like a hawk.
Kai shifted uncomfortably on the lumpy flesh-like seat, self-conscious
under her gaze. He wordlessly dipped a finger in the lime-green
concoction and lifted it to his mouth. His eyes widened slightly as his
lips closed around it; it actually tasted good. Unfamiliar, but good.
"Itís not bad." he told Xev, and she smiled happily at this.
They continued eating quietly for a while, until Stanley broke the
"So what did that lady do to you, exactly?" he asked.
Kai frowned. He hadnít thought of it. The woman-- Adami?-- had left
shortly after he had regained consciousness. She hadnít even bothered
to explain precisely what she had done. It was a shame, as Kai would
have liked to learn more about her.
"Iím not sure," he admitted. "Xev? What did you see?" He turned his
head towards her slightly.
Xev swallowed and put her plate down. "I didnít really see anything.
She was just touching you, like she was in some kind of trance... and
then you woke up. Alive."
She pressed her lips together in the tiniest of smiles, and Kai could
see her eyes shining with tears again.
He watched her for what seemed like a very long time, staring into those
lovely gleaming eyes as though somehow concentrating on the intensity of
her emotions would help him understand his own. He didnít feel like
crying, though; in fact, he didnít feel like feeling anything in
particular. Still, that odd, vague sensation he had noticed earlier was
still gnawing at him, almost annoying him in its bluntness. Maybe he
would finally understand himself and his newly-alive body once he had
rested for a while.
Stan continued, "So what about your... uh, protoblood? Are you still
going to need that?"
"No..." Kai said, uncertain. "I donít think so."
He felt through the material of his black uniform over his chest for the
protoblood receptacle, but only felt the even smoothness of his chest.
"Itís gone." he said quietly. He felt relieved again.
"Well, thatís great!" Stanley said, bringing his hands together in a
short clap as he rose to his feet. "So, what now? You guys want to do
anything? Not much going on outside the Lexx, though."
Xev tilted her head to the side, gently rubbed her hands against Kaiís
shoulders as she lifted herself off her own fleshy stool.
"Kai?" she questioned sweetly. With her graceful hands, she began to
gently massage his shoulders.
Kai sighed slightly, the rhythmic pressure of her hands a delightfully
He closed his eyes and said, "If itís okay, Iíd just like to get some
"Of course," Xev said. She released his shoulders and gracefully ducked
next to him, inevitably grasping his right arm again as she helped him
to his feet. "Would you like to take a shower first? I know it always
helps me sleep better."
Kai resisted the urge to roll his eyes. His head was beginning to hurt
and he really just wanted to lie down for a while. But then he realized
he still felt the cold of the cryochamber permeating him, and was
suddenly eager for anything that would warm him up.
He dipped his head in agreement. "All right."
He could almost swear he saw Xevís face flush a bit and her eyes twinkle
when he agreed, but then she turned her head away from him to wave off
"Weíll be a while," she said to him, decidedly leading Kai away. "Weíll
come join you later, okay?"
Stan shrugged, letting his hands fall to his side. "Yeah, sure. Okay.
Iíll be on the bridge."
And without further comment Kai was once again being walked through the
"Would you like me to stay?" Xev asked.
Kai stared hesitantly at the membranous shower unit. He hadnít noticed
until now how wide-open it seemed... how could Xev and Stan stand to
shower with such a lack of privacy?
Sensing Xev was waiting for his answer, Kai gently disentangled his arm
from hers and said, "Thank you, Iíll manage by myself."
"Oh, okay." she said, almost somberly. He curiously noted a small tinge
of disappointment on her face. "Iíll be in my sleeping chamber." she
said, patting his arm. "Come join me when youíre done. You can use my
bed to sleep."
"Thank you," Kai said again, and he watched her turn and leave until her
footsteps faded away.
Why had she wanted to stay so much? he wondered. Oh... of course! A
sudden wave of realization swept over him. How could he have been so
She was in love with him, he realized, noting another strange stirring
of emotion in his gut. She had made it so painfully clear back when he
had been dead, and yet was being so subtle about it now. Did she
understand he needed time to re-adapt to his emotions first? He felt
extremely grateful that she had placed his needs above her own. She
really did love him.
Kai smiled to himself, finding comfort in the thought that he was still
loved. He reminded himself to tell her how much he appreciated her.
He almost felt bad about sending her away, but he knew he would feel
better if he were alone right now.
Kai leaned toward the shower unit and activated it as he had seen the
other two do, watching the steady jet of warm water flow from the
He reached behind his head and undid his long black braid, shaking the
strands loose, then up into his bun to remove the clasp that held it
twisted up with a heaviness he had grown accustomed to. His raven locks
quietly tumbled down around his face, spilling to rest over and around
Kai briefly ran his fingers through his heavy black mane before closing
his fingers around the fastening of his top. He pulled it down and
slipped his arms free of the garment, which he finally dropped to the
floor when he couldnít find someplace to set it down on.
He was about to bend down to remove his boots when he stopped. Very
slowly, he lowered his eyes to his chest, which he realized he hadnít
seen bare for two thousand years.
Now that the protoblood receptacle was gone, he looked completely
normal, without even a scar to show for it... but he felt odd to see
himself uncovered after so long, as though his own body was alien to
Carefully, he touched his chest, frowning. He was pale, too much so.
He had always been pale, seeing that the Brunnen-G society was located
underground. He had hardly ever seen the sun of his planet, much less
felt its heat tanning his skin.
His fingers felt cold against his naked skin, making him shiver
slightly, and he pressed them closer, feeling the firm muscle beneath.
So strange... he touched one of his nipples, and he winced as it
hardened under his cool fingers.
Letting his hand fall away, he sighed, and knelt down to remove his
boots, placing them neatly next to his uniform top. Finally he reached
and unfastened the top of his trousers, quickly and silently removing
them, keeping his eyes averted from himself for now. Completely naked
now, he held his breath and stepped into the shower, under the water
Kai opened his lips and moaned in relief as the water flowed over him,
enveloping him with its warmth. It felt so good... he closed his eyes,
dipping his head under the jet, letting it sprinkle through his hair.
The symphony of this new sensation was definitely pleasant and unusually
calming. Of course it helped Xev sleep; he was already feeling more
He turned his body underneath the spray, using his hands to spread the
water over his arms and chest. A faint but growing smile formed on his
lips; this was definitely something he was going to enjoy now that he
was alive again. The water trickled over his chest, warmly caressing
it, then flowed down to his stomach, around his slender hips, and
finally over his elegantly muscled legs.
He hesitated before moving his hands any further down his body.
Scowling at himself, he tried to understand why looking at his own nude
body was making him so uncomfortable. He had seen himself uncovered
many times before and he knew what he looked like. Then again, it had
been centuries since he had seen himself naked. He hadnít had any
reason, or motivation, to remove his Divine assassin uniform and take a
Itís just something Iíll need to re-adapt to, Kai decided. Like just
about everything about me, about... life.
Pulling his wet hair away from his face, Kai raised his fingers to his
right cheekbone, over the tattoo he knew was there. He wondered if it
still looked the same; he would have to remember to ask Xev for a mirror
Slowly, very slowly, he let his hand fall to his chest again. He
pressed his palm flat against it, feeling his skin now slippery from the
water, smooth pale skin drawn over the shapely musculature of his
chest. With now-warm fingers he touched the darker, sensitive skin of
his nipple again.
There, nothing to it, Kai thought. He turned away from the water spray,
which was obscuring his vision of the rest of his body.
His gaze dropped to his feet, then up his legs, and he stopped at the
soft black hair and the long, slender organ nestled above his thighs.
Curiously, biting his lover lip, he lowered his hand to his bare thigh,
then moved it to gently grasp this dormant part of himself. He felt a
strange kind of shock at the sight and warm feel of it; it had laid
completely useless for centuries, but now... it couldnít still be so.
Briefly, he remembered a while back when he had told Xev his sex organ
had not functioned for over two thousand years... he chuckled at
himself, finding the idea funny now.
Oh, Xev. She was waiting in her sleeping chamber right now, Kai
realized. Heíd have plenty of time to study himself and his newly-alive
body later. Right now, he wanted to be near Xev again.
With a quick gesture he deactivated the shower unit and reached for one
of the flimsy cloths used as towels. He dried himself as best as he
could and wrung his wet hair, gently toweling it dry too. Finally he
reached for his discarded uniform and only slipped his trousers back on,
draping the top over his arm to take it with him. His damp locks, still
loose, clung to his bare shoulders and back as he stepped out of the
Ďbathroomí and headed for Xevís sleeping chamber.
Kai breathed in deeply as he walked, feeling much better and warmer
now. His body was beginning to function like he remembered it, and he
was finally starting to comprehend the emotions he was experiencing.
Once he had rested, everything would be much better.
But he still couldnít deny that odd, nagging sensation. Despite
everything, it was still there, quietly screaming for attention. It
wasnít physical, but he couldnít tell if it was emotional either.
However, all thoughts concerning it vanished when Kai arrived to see Xev
sitting beautifully on her bed.
There werenít any other words to describe it-- she was beautiful. And
yet she wasnít trying to be seductive or particularly attractive. She
merely sat cross-legged, smiling sweetly at him. She was beautiful just
But it wasnít just an outer beauty... despite himself, Kai had to admit
that, even in his dead state, he had always found her attractive. And
since he couldnít respond to physical beauty, it had to have been deeper
than that. Xev was utterly beautiful, on the inside as well. She had
cared for him practically the entire time they had known each other and
tirelessly sought to protect him and keep him Ďaliveí for as long as
possible, even though he needed no protection and at times would have
preferred to slip free of his existence. But it didnít matter. She had
even died once for him. Died... for him.
She was so very, very beautiful.
He didnít realize he had been staring at her until she spoke. "Kai?"
He smiled. Oh, it felt great to be able to smile again. To smile, and
to have feelings behind that smile.
He didnít know what to say, so he merely stated "Hi." and sat down next
to her on the bed.
Kai could see she was looking rather intently at his naked chest and
supple downed hair, although he made no move until he could see what she
wanted to do next.
But Xev remained still, smiling radiantly at him. "Kai..." she began.
Her eyes darted downward, then up again, as though she seemed to be
searching for her words. "You canít know how happy I am to see you like
this. To see you alive."
She parted her lips as though to say more, but instead she raised her
hands and ever so gently brushed her fingers against his cheek.
Kai drew in a quick breath, his skin tingling under her fingers. He
remained unmoving, tense, staring into the green pools of her eyes.
"Youíre so beautiful, Kai." she whispered. Slowly, very slowly, her
fingers moved towards his mouth, tracing his lips.
Kai swallowed hard, wanting to make some kind of move to touch her, but
he felt frozen in place. Her sweet, flowerlike scent greeted him again
as she inched closer.
And before Kai could think again, she had kissed him.
She captured his mouth with her own, rhythmically moving her lips
against his. Kai moaned against her and tried to move his arms around
her, aching to feel her against him.
But then she broke the embrace, and pulled away to smile coyly at him.
"Xev..." he gasped.
She lifted her hand again, pressed it against his cheek. "Just testing
to see how... alive you were."
"Okay." Kai breathed. He couldnít think of anything else to say. His
entire body felt bathed in heat.
She moved herself forward and kissed him again, but this time it was a
light, tender kiss, on his cheek. "Get some sleep," she told him as she
got up from the bed. "Then weíll see just how alive you really are."
Xev stood over him for a few seconds as though to watch his reaction.
Then, Kai nearly moaned again when she turned to leave, quietly walking
out of the chamber, turning once last time to wave at him with her
"Sweet dreams." she said. Seconds later she was gone.
For a while Kai sat alone on the bed, closing his eyes as he felt his
heart hammering wildly against his ribs. What she was suggesting was
quite clear, and it both thrilled and scared him at the same time. He
knew of Xevís accelerated libido-- in fact, he wondered how she had
managed to hold out just now when he himself was burning for her touch.
The truth remained, he hadnít made love for over two thousand years.
The thought frightened him a little. His body would certainly know what
to do, but he wasnít quite sure how his mind would react.
When finally he had calmed himself enough, Kai laid himself back on the
cool sheets of the bed, twisting his hair beside his head so it wouldnít
get in the way. After a few second of lying back, he closed his eyes,
and soon felt himself drift off into the pleasant oblivion of sleep.
There was a bright light in front of his eyes... something, like an
image, he couldnít quite identify. Was this a dream? Perhaps a vision?
Kai squinted, and suddenly the familiarity of the image hit him like
Before him, Brunnis 2 was under assault, slowly being torn apart by
energy sheets from the Foreshadow.
Dream, vision, or not, it didnít matter anymore. He was back in the
moment, so real it felt.
Kai gripped the hand-held controls of his small insect ship, casting a
glance to his fellow fighters. They were few, but they fought with all
the strength they had.
Kai maneuvered out of the way of an incoming missile, his mind racing
for a new strategy. Their own missiles were depleted and had been
useless anyway against the impossible power of His Divine Shadowís
weapon. What last, brave course of action was left to attempt?
From where his ship was, he could see his lovely planet glowing under
the impact of each energy sheet. It wouldnít be long now. The prophecy
had said so.
Suddenly it seemed to ignite, engulfed briefly in a deathly fireball.
Then the fireball faded away, leaving an inert, dead planet in its wake.
Kai watched, shocked. He knew this was going to happen.
But knowing it
was very different from witnessing it.
He felt rather than heard the screams of agony of his people, the people
he had known and loved his entire life. And despite the events of the
past few days, despite their belief he had betrayed them, he still loved
They were all gone now.
Kai felt tears burning behind his eyes, but only for a second. Soon, an
overwhelming surge of anger swelled inside him, which he made no attempt
to control, not that he could have. All his life he had been told anger
was an empty emotion, and acting upon it couldnít bring any good.
Well, the people who had taught him that were now dead. And he wasnít.
He aimed his vessel back towards the Foreshadow, which stood triumphant
like a huge spider on its deadly web. Pressing his lips together,
breathing shakily, Kai knew exactly what was left to do.
"Crash into the control pod!" he yelled at the top of his lungs.
The other two remaining ships turned to obey without question or
hesitation, knowing nothing else could be done, because so it had been
prophesied, and Kai himself soon yanked at the controls and sent his own
ship on a collision course with the insanely powerful weapon.
Missile and energy charges flashed past him, and within seconds the
other two insect ships had been destroyed, leaving only Kai.
Kai, last of the Brunnen-G.
But he didnít think about that now. All that mattered was that the
Foreshadow was looming closer at an increasing speed. Kai kept his eyes
riveted on his target, refusing to think about anything else.
The exterior doors to the control pod were slowly sliding shut, and Kai
moved his body forward as though it would help his ship accelerate its
mad course. Almost....
And, in a sudden blinding blast, time seemed to freeze and the world
exploded around him.
Kai felt himself being hurled through the window of his ship, shards of
glass and shrapnel cutting through his clothes and tearing his skin as
his helpless body was tossed through the air. With a hard impact that
made him feel as though his head had exploded, he collided with the
floor, an odd snapping sound reverberating through his body, and was
thrown even farther away.
When finally he came to a stop, Kai cracked his eyes open, his ears
pounding with the distant sound of an alarm klaxon. Every nerve in his
body was alive and screaming with pain, except for his legs, which he
couldnít feel at all. He could do nothing but lie there, unable to
move, every breath sending sharp needles of pain throughout his brutally
broken body. He could smell and taste his own blood, spilling from his
wounds. He wondered how long it would take until he died.
But from the back of his dizzied and pain-hazed mind he remembered the
His Shadowís order would be destroyed at the hands of the last
Brunnen-G. Had he succeeded in his suicidal attempt?
But wait... there was a figure, shrouded in black robes, standing over
him now. Though his vision was blurred and his head was throbbing
mercilessly, it was quite clear in his mind who this figure was.
"His Shadow." he gasped. So he hadnít realized the prophecy.
"His Divine Shadow," the figure gently corrected. "Yes."
Kai could feel his energy draining but he refused to let himself slip
away without making some last, final attempt at bravado.
"The Brunnen-G will defeat you."
It was an utterly ridiculous statement. The Brunnen-G were gone, and he
was obviously in no shape to fight any more. But he didnít care about
that. All he wanted was for His Divine Shadow to know his people had
fought him to the bitter end with every last ounce of strength they had,
and had ultimately found a good way to end their existence. It was all
that mattered to him right now.
"I do not think so," His Shadow said, speaking softly as though to a
child. "The power of Order has destroyed your planet. The power of
Order will destroy you. And you are the last of the Brunnen-G left
The last of the Brunnen-G. Kai almost wept at those words.
"The Time Prophet has seen your Order destroyed by the Brunnen-G." It
was all Kai could say; his voice was beginning to falter and he could
feel himself growing weaker by the instant.
Before His Shadow spoke again, Kai heard the metallic swishing of a
dagger unsheathed. The black hooded Shadow knelt down next to him,
placing the tip of the small curved knife against his chest. Kai felt
the prick of the dagger through his clothes, although the pain seemed
rather insignificant compared to the agony assaulting the rest of his
body. He was almost relieved it would be over soon. And yet, he lifted
his arm as though to try to stop His Shadow from plunging the blade
through his chest, despite the protest of pain it brought.
"The Time Prophetís vision appears to be flawed." His Shadow calmly
said. And he pressed the knife in.
Kai gasped only slightly, feeling the cold blade burning through his
skin and deep into his heart. Soon, the only thing he felt was
coldness... a coldness that seemed to radiate from around the blade and
spread throughout his limp body.
Darkness swallowed him. But then, as he opened his eyes, he had the
strangest impression he was nestled within that darkness. The darkness,
and the coldness.
Using only his eyes, Kai looked around. He was somewhere else entirely
now, in what felt like a different time, a different universe even. Out
of the darkness, somber colors swirled around and formed images.
Appearing before him were images of people, men, women, children, but
something wasnít right about them. They all seemed limp, as limp as he
had been, their mauled bodies drenched in blood. Kai tried to muster
any feeling for them, but he remained completely unaffected by the
visions before him. Not only that... they seemed strangely familiar
Then all at once the figures seemed to animate themselves, struggling to
focus their agonized eyes on Kai. The poor souls began screaming,
crying in anguish, in pain, begging for mercy, mercy Kai felt no
motivation to grant. Some stretched their arms out to him, others
shrank away in terror.
And Kai recognized these people. They were the people he would meet,
and then kill, for the next two thousand and nine years. Innocent or
guilty people, young or old, none of it would matter to him. All that
mattered was killing them. And he would never feel anything for those
But suddenly he frowned, his hands feeling damp. And as he raised them
to his eyes, he saw they were covered in dark, cold blood.
Blood he had spilt, powerless to do otherwise. Innocent blood that, in
its icy coldness, would stain his hands forever. The image was
painfully clear and now permanently etched in his mind.
The butchered people continued to scream.
Kai awoke, violently startled, bolting upright in the bed where up to
now he had been quietly sleeping in. His eyes darted around him, trying
to understand his surroundings, while his fevered mind struggled to deal
with the intensity of the images he had just witnessed.
Gradually, reason returned to him. He was safe on board the Lexx,
sitting on Xevís bed. And what he had just experienced had been nothing
more than a dream.
No, not a dream, he realized. A memory. His death. His two thousand
years of killing.
And Kai became aware of something else. The vague little feeling that
had laid buried inside since the beginning of his re-transformation was
now mercilessly tearing away at him, assaulting him. Evidently his mind
had tried to shield him from the emotional intensity of his memories,
not knowing how else to cope.
But in sleep, his mind couldnít deny what he carried within himself.
Horrified, Kai pressed a hand against his mouth, trying to muffle the
sound of his own ragged breathing. His heart was beating so wildly in
his chest he feared it would burst. Long strands of hair were clinging
to his face, which he realized was drenched in sweat. In fact, his
entire body was covered with a fine sheet of perspiration.
For a while all he could do was sit there, dazed and still confused,
trying to come to terms with the racking sensations crying for attention
within him. Overwhelming guilt and horror clawed their way through his
mind as he finally realized the full scope of what he had done for the
past two thousand years. How could he possibly have done such
unspeakable deeds? The very thought of taking a life was alien to him.
And yet he had done so mindlessly for his entire artificial life. Since
Oh, God... his death. He had died. He had died!
Images of that moments flashed before his eyes, of having painfully
survived the crash into the Foreshadow, of His Divine Shadow himself
quietly speaking to him, of the icy dagger piercing his heart...
Of everyone he had ever known and loved, dead. His planet, his
homeland, where he had been born and had lived, destroyed. And all
those innocents, killed by his hand, who hadnít deserved to die...
dead. All dead.
Kai gasped, feeling the tears he hadnít shed centuries ago swelling in
his eyes. He felt the desperate need not to be alone right now. He had
to see someone, anyone who still cared for him despite the monster he
"Xev?" he tried to yell, his voice a strangled cry. "Xev!"
Trembling uncontrollably, he clawed at the sheet beneath him, gathering
his strength to yell out again, but Xev was already running down the
round passageway that led to her sleeping chamber.
Her face was a mask of apprehension and concern as she skidded to a halt
next to him.
"Kai?" she asked, a hint of panic to her voice. "I was just coming down
to check on you. Are you all right?"
He stared at her through water-filled eyes, silently begging her to come
closer. He longed for her touch, for any kind of closeness that would
She seemed to understand this, and she shuffled up to him on the bed.
Gently she took him in her arms, brushing the hair away from his face as
she held him.
"Whatís wrong, Kai?" she whispered.
Kai shook against her, his arms wrapped around her as if he were holding
on for dear life. He couldnít speak-- he was still having trouble
breathing. Memories were racing through his mind and he could barely
"Did you have a bad dream?" she asked innocently, comfortingly stroking
He nodded shakily, wiping at the tears that streamed down his cheeks,
like a child in her arms. He wanted to tell her-- he had to tell her.
But he didnít know where to start. He couldnít find the words to tell
her what he had seen.
"What was it about?" Xev asked, cupping her hand under his chin so that
she lifted his head to look into his eyes. ďYou can tell me.Ē
Kai sighed in an effort to calm himself. "My death," he said, his voice
small. "I died."
"I know." she said, sympathetically. "It must have been terrible."
"I hadnít realized it until now." he continued, finding the words, his
mind slowly beginning to clear. "I mean, I knew it, but it just felt so
He pulled away from her, sitting up straighter, but he kept his hand
cradled in hers.
"I canít imagine what it must have felt like," Xev said. "I once died
too, but for me it wasnít so bad. It was like... losing consciousness
for a while, and then waking up from a long sleep."
"You were lucky." Kai murmured. "For me, it felt like one long
nightmare I couldnít wake up from."
"Oh, Kai." Xevís expression turned to one of sadness. "Youíre
remembering all those years you were His Shadowís assassin, arenít you?"
He closed his eyes in an effort to hide another flood of tears.
"Donít try to hide it," she said, her other hand clasping his shoulder.
"Talk to me. Tell me how you feel."
"I donít know how I feel." Kai whispered. "I mean, I feel... I feel
horrible for the things I did. For those people... I killed."
"You know you werenít responsible for that." Xev insisted. "You were
under His Shadowís control."
"I know that." He thudded his head against the skin-like posts around
the bed. "But it just doesnít help. Maybe I am responsible after all.
If only I hadnít survived the crash, or--"
"Kai, donít you dare blame yourself!" Xev said, grabbing him by the
shoulders, shaking him gently. "It wasnít your fault. None of it was
your fault! You couldnít have done anything else."
"You donít know that," Kai told her, his voice quivering. "If I canít
stop feeling guilty, then maybe I am."
"Kai..." Xev moaned.
He closed his eyes again. "I just feel so dead inside," he said, so
quietly she could barely hear him. "Iíve been dead for a long time. I
donít deserve to be alive."
"Stop it!" Xev nearly growled, trapping his face in her hands, forcing
him to look at her. "Kai... it doesnít matter what happened in the
past. Adami gave you a gift; she thought you deserved to live again.
And so do I. Thereís more to life than just suffering. Life means so
much more than that."
"I donít think my life has any meaning." He lowered his eyes, an
attempt to hide the moisture shining in them again.
Xev sighed, shaking her head. "Thatís not true. Thereís a meaning to
every life. With the terrible life I had, I never realized it. But I
do now. I know what the meaning of life is."
Kai raised his eyes at her, focusing on her face. He needed to hear
more. "What?" he asked softly.
She smiled slightly. "Love."
"Yes, love... and not just the physical kind. Isnít it good to believe
that love, real love, can exist in this universe?" Her smile widened
and her hand tightened around his.
"I didnít know you thought that way." Kai said, fixated on her.
"I don't mention it a lot. I guess itís a bit silly." she said,
grinning at herself.
"No. It's not."
Such goodness, such beautiful innocence was exactly what made her so
lovely, he mused. And in that instant, he found himself completely
trusting her, trusting that she was right, that his life did have
meaning, and he was struck with an overwhelming emotion he could barely
put into words. He wanted to tell her so badly it nearly hurt not to.
"Xev..." he whispered. She had begun stroking his hair again, twirling
a few ebony strands between her fingers. She watched him quietly,
waiting for him to continue.
"I love you."
The words felt so good he was convinced Xev was right about love. He
wanted to cry again.
Xev responded by smiling joyously, then leaning forward to press her
full, beautiful lips against Kaiís.
Her mouth fully claimed his, in a kiss that was even more passionate and
powerful than the first. Gently her tongue pushed its way between their
lips to explore his mouth.
She tasted as sweet as she smelled, and Kai allowed her control without
protest as she slipped her hands behind his neck, pulling him closer.
Xev pressed her body against his, gently pushing him down, pinning his
hips between her knees. A muffled groan escaped from Kai, a wave of
heat tingling through his body until it seemed to settle in his groin.
He winced as he felt his organ stirring and then swelling.
Xev broke the kiss with a gasp, and briefly touched her forehead to his
before continuing to kiss him, down his neck and finally to his chest.
She licked one nipple with the tip of her tongue, listened to him moan,
then gently nibbled and sucked the sensitive bead of skin until it grew
hard, before moving on to the other one.
Kai squirmed beneath her, hands clenching into fists as his every muscle
tensed. He felt his erect male flesh, very much alive, straining
against the material of his trousers.
She slid her hands down his body, tugging at his uniform trousers until
they opened. Kai drew in a sharp breath as he felt the cool air of the
room on his burning flesh, and groaned as Xev wrapped her fingers around
it, circling the wetly glistening tip with her thumb. Instinctively his
hips gave a quick thrust, and Xev released him to pull his legs free of
He was now laying completely exposed, his throbbing organ pulsing with
life, his breath coming in short gasps. His body was once again sheeted
with sweat under her gaze.
Xev moved over him, her eyes meeting his, and for a long moment it felt
as though time, the universe itself, no longer had meaning.
Only love mattered. Only the pure, beautiful love they were sharing.
Kai moved his hands around her waist, reaching upward to remove her
dress, but she pulled away from him. With a quick gesture, she removed
the lizard-skin garment herself and tossed it aside.
She towered over him in her resplendent nudity, her body like a flawless
work of art. Her full, shapely breasts rested on her chest, perfect
little nipples pointing outward. Her smooth, lightly tanned skin seemed
to be glowing with beauty.
Unable to hold out any more Kai reached for her, urging her to move
closer, desperately needing to feel her against him. She did, brushing
her body against his, swooping down for another long, passionate kiss.
Kai returned the kiss in all its intensity, nearly overwhelmed by the
wonderful heat of her body. He wrapped his arms around her back,
gently stroking it until she broke away from the kiss to moan with
pleasure. Guided by her reactions he continued to touch and caress her
tender skin, evoking sounds of passion from her. When he reached her
breasts, pressing his palms against her straining nipples, she whimpered
and stiffened, and he stopped.
"Are you okay?" he asked, his voice barely audible. He had forgotten
how difficult it was to speak when caught in a tidal wave of passion.
Xev giggled. "You wonít break me." she chided, pushing herself more
firmly against his touch as though to prove it. "I like feeling you
Another kiss. Another pure, utterly simple proof of passion.
Completely lost in the kiss, Kai began to gently massage the heavy
softness of her breasts, feeling her wild heartbeat through the warm
flesh. She ended the kiss to gasp for breath, burying her face against
his neck as his hands continued their pleasuring quest.
Kai felt her moist, warm breath against his neck, then her teeth biting
into the skin of his shoulder as her hips began to grind against his.
He threw his head back a bit and groaned, his painfully rigid organ
pressed tightly against her hip.
He closed his eyes, basking in the wonderful heat of Xevís body. He
couldnít remember the last time he had felt so good, so utterly
abandoned to such a pure sensation. Sometimes, when he had been dead,
he found himself reaching into one of the many memories he contained,
remembering moments of physical intimacy. Never his own, though; for
some unconscious reason, he rarely observed his own memories.
But the remembered feelings were nothing compared to... to *this*. Back
in his dead state, he felt emotions rather as echoes of emotions, where
he recognized the idea but never the actual sensation. It was more like
having been explained what emotions were, and, as though never having
experienced them, he could only fathom what they must feel like.
But now, his emotions were very real, and so very powerful. Xevís
insistent thrusting of her body over his was much more intense than all
his intimate memories placed together.
And, as though suddenly aware of the precious gift he was experiencing,
something he thought would never live again, Kai wrapped his arms around
her and held her tightly as though she would disappear from his embrace
if he didnít hang on hard enough.
He felt her stirring as she moved to look at him, sensing the sudden
"Something wrong?" She was beautifully flushed, and her eyes burned
bright with desire.
"Nothing," he breathed. "I never want to leave you, Xev."
Xev smiled and plunged her fingers into the black silk of his hair.
"And Iíll never leave you."
She leaned forward, nuzzling his cheek before moving to whisper in his
ear, "I love you."
Kai exhaled, turned his face to repeat the words to her, but she was
already backing away. Her tongue pressed against his neck, tracing
little circles on the smooth skin, then trailed a paths of moist kisses
down his chest. Her mouth continued to work on his chest and he groaned
and writhed as her hands gently rubbed and teased his nipples.
Kai reached for her, needing to touching her, but she caught his hands
and held them away as her tongue continued its excursion down his body,
tasting him, savoring him. Her skilled hands were everywhere, caressing
him intimately. Kai whimpered, his body trembling with need, his blood
heating, on fire where she touched him.
She reached up to take his hand, uncurling the fingers that were so
firmly clenching the materiel of the bed, and held it tenderly. With
her other hand she very gently stroked his hard organ, up and down,
making him shudder helplessly. And when she encased it in her mouth, he
bit into his lip to keep from crying out.
Kai tightly closed his eyes, squeezing her hand as she licked the
dampness from the tip, then swirled her tongue around his aching member,
bathing it in warm moistness, sometimes stopping to suck on it
rhythmically. She ran the fingers of her other hand against the inside
of his thigh, stopping to caress the fine black hair cradling his rigid
Abandoning himself to the sensations, to the physical ecstasy he had so
missed without realizing it, Kai felt his mind reeling with the aching
intensity of the experience. His hips were moving, slowly thrusting
into Xevís mouth, then faster, until his breathing became loud and
ragged and tears escaped his closed eyes. His body stiffened in
anticipation of his climax, but in a sudden twist Xev released him,
He gasped with shock, trembling with the sudden absence of her touch,
and he opened his eyes to look at her.
She was smiling-- warmly or wickedly, he couldnít tell through his
feverish mind. Before he had managed to think again she was on top of
him, straddling his hips, tenderly kissing the tears from his cheeks.
He wanted to talk to her-- to say something, anything, but he could only
moan, lifting his arms around her again, needing to feel her.
Finally, she slipped a hand between them, wrapping it around his
throbbing organ, and he stiffened again as he felt her warm, silky
wetness against his straining tip. With a quick move of her hips, she
pushed herself down on him, letting him slide completely within her
Again Kai moaned, crushing her body to his, once again lost in the
feeling. But this one was so much more intense than the pleasure she
had given him before-- they were connected now, a part of each other,
their bodies interlaced and fused in the heat of their passion, lost in
the timeless rhythm of their lovemaking.
It was like a slow dance. Xev was relentlessly grinding her hips
against him, burying him within her as deeply as possible. She groaned
passionately, sometimes seeking his lips for a quick kiss, reaching up
to tangle her fingers in his loosely flowing hair.
Soon Kai lost all power of thought, and he held onto her even more
firmly as his thrusts became faster, more insistent, driven only by
desire. Sheathed inside her, he felt the throb of her heartbeat,
pulsing tightly around his own heated flesh as she rocked against him,
sliding him in and out, riding him with such exquisite precision it
would have been impossible to believe how inexperienced she really was.
He could feel his blood roaring in his ears, his mind ablaze and
unthinking. Gradually he felt his pleasure rising, and finally
exploding, filling his senses until he could no longer see or hear.
Xev seemed to melt into him as he held onto her with all his strength, a
sobbing cry escaping his lips as he climaxed. With a jerk he pushed his
body upward, felt the explosion of pulsing liquid heat flow from him and
deep within Xevís accepting body. He felt her spasm against him, and
thought he heard her cry out as well, but he could barely think
anymore. He continued to thrust, heart pounding wildly, shuddering with
the aftershocks of his climax, until he finally fell still, gasping for
Incredible... so much more intense than he remembered. Briefly, the
image of a woman flashed through his mind, a lovely woman with hair as
black and skin as pale as his own, the only other one he had ever shared
such physical intimacy with. But the image dissolved just as quickly as
it had come as he caught his breath, leaning his head back to simply
feel the glorious sensation he had just experienced.
After a long while, he opened his eyes, and saw Xevís face buried
against his neck. He reached up to stroke her hair, kissing her
forehead, and she smiled beautifully. With a soft moan she raised
herself up, pulling herself free of his soft warm flesh, then gently
draped a pastel sheet over them as she nestled herself against him,
weaving her fingers in the ebony hair she so loved to feel.
"I guess you really are alive." she said softly.
Kai sighed lightly, smiling peacefully. He couldnít imagine a moment
that had ever felt more glorious than this one.
He felt Xevís movement as she propped herself up on her elbow. "How do
you feel?" she asked.
What an odd question, he thought. "I feel... great." he told her.
He winced. For a brief, wonderful instant, he had forgotten about the
horror of his memories. He shivered a bit as their reality came back to
him, but Xev seemed to sense this and she caressed his cheek, a gesture
"Itís going to be all right, you know." she said gently. "Iím here for
"I know." he whispered. Yes, it would be all right. He had her love,
and nothing could be stronger than that.
Kai took her hand from his cheek, kissing it. "Thank you."
Xev leaned against him, lifting her head to kiss him. Not a strong,
passionate kiss, but a loving, tender kiss. It said so much more than
words ever could.
She released his lips, pausing to look at his so-vulnerable and trusting
eyes, and rested her head on his shoulder. Basking in each otherís
warmth, embraced in a loving union, they soon surrendered to a peaceful
Kai stood still, letting his eyes wander around. He knew he was
dreaming again-- but this time, there was no fright, no horrible new
sensations to tear at him. It was a good dream.
Indeed it was; taking in his surroundings, he saw he was standing in the
middle of what appeared to be a lush garden, filled with beautiful and
fragrant flowers. In the distance, he could hear the crystalline
trickling of a waterfall.
Kai knew of no such place on Brunnis, sadly. The image must have come
from one of his memories, but he didnít want to think about that right
now. He felt so calm, all he wanted was to enjoy the sight around him.
A sweet, feminine whisper. One so familiar, it hit him with
Briskly he turned toward the voice, and his mind froze when his eyes
came to rest on its source.
Standing a few paces away from him, clad in a sea green dress that
shimmered like ice with each of her movements, was a woman. Her skin
was ivory-pale, framed by the black velvet of her hair; a full moon
against a clear night sky.
She was smiling radiantly, her long, finely braided tresses resting past
her shoulders. She held a small blue flower in her hands, twirling the
fragile stem between her nimble fingers.
Kai knew her. His heart belonged to her. He had never loved and would
never love anyone like her.
He reached out for her, noting for a second his clothing-- the
intricately colorful jumpsuit of the Brunnen-G newborns-- and it took
all his strength to whisper out her name.
"Iím here, my love." she answered. Her voice was a serene melody, the
same angelic voice he remembered.
He smiled as she extended her hand, longing for the touch of the one who
shared his heart. Gracefully, her warm hand slipped around his, but the
second his fingers closed around hers, her tender expression turned to
one of horror. She yanked her hand back as though having plunged in in
fire, and stepped away from him.
"You..." she said, her tone dripping revulsion. "You betrayed me."
Kai blinked, confused. Betrayed her? How could he? He loved her more
"Kes, no..." he faltered. He tried to move towards her, but she took
another step back.
"How could you?" Kes demanded. She crushed the flower in her grasp,
throwing the crumpled petals towards the ground.
"I didnít betray you, Kes." he tried to say. "I love you."
"You love... *her*."
Kai frowned, trying to understand. Who? Who could he possibly love, if
not his own precious beloved?
No, wait... an image was forming in his mindís eye now, that of another
woman... but how could he love her when he loved Kes with all his heart?
He saw the other woman now, a beautiful, red-headed woman, though she
paled in comparison to Kesí beauty.
"Xev." she hissed.
Xev? Yes, he knew her. But she was only a friend, wasnít she? He
couldnít have shared with her what he did with Kes... could he?
Kes was quietly weeping now, barely containing her anger. "You forgot
me, didnít you? You forgot you loved me."
"No!" Kai cried. "I canít forget you. How could I?"
But did he? He struggled to remember the last time they had been
together. He saw his planet, some strange insect-like ships... a quick
kiss, some words of comfort, before separating and each boarding their
own vessel. But if that was true, then...
"Youíre dead... arenít you?" Kai asked, confused.
Kes startled him by taking a step forward, only a few feet away from him
now. "And you thought you could just forget me? Even in death, I never
Kai watched her, listened to her, trying to conjure up the memories of
the other woman, Xev. Had they...? No, they couldnít have... did they?
"Yes, you did." Kes whispered, answering his unasked question.
longer sounded angry, only terribly hurt. "But youíll never love her
like you loved me. And sheíll never love you... like I loved you."
Kai winced, realizing with a sudden shock she was right. He had made
love to this Xev. And throughout it all, he hadnít spared a thought for
Kes. He couldnít believe it.
"Kes, I... Iím so sorry..." he said shakily. He reached out for her,
but she backed away again.
"You did forget me, Kai." she murmured. "And you love her now."
"Thatís not true..." he whispered, closing his hands into fists when she
still refused to take them. Instead she turned her back to him, her
shoulders gently convulsing with her sobs.
This was another nightmare, he thought angrily. He was so completely
aware of it, why couldnít he wake up? Why did he have to endure such
"Please, Iím sorry," he pleaded. "You have to know what Iíve been
Kes whirled to face him again, her unforgiving eyes brimmed with her
tears of anger.
Kai shook his head in frustration, closing the distance between them in
two quick steps. He took her by the arms, although this time she did
"I donít love her." he said, firmly. "I canít love her. I love *you*."
Kes said nothing, and neither did he. Nothing more needed to be said.
Kai opened his eyes and moaned. Kes? he thought, feeling the warmth
a body pressed to his. He glimpsed red hair, and flinched, waking her
in the process. Xev!
"Kai, whatís wrong?" she asked, still sleepy, but obviously distraught
that he had awoken from another nightmare.
He didnít answer, only looked at her face. Yes, she was beautiful.
Yes, they had shared complete physical intimacy. And yes, he cared for
her deeply... but he didnít love her. He couldnít.
Avoiding her eyes, he looked away. How could he tell her? How could he
explain his feelings when he himself had just understood them?
Kes... his beautiful Kes. Another memory his mind had hidden. She had
died, shortly before he had. He could grieve for her now, feel the pain
of his loss he couldnít feel before. Yes, my beloved, even in death I
will still remember you.
"What is it?" Xev insisted, squeezing his shoulder. "Talk to me."
And now, Xev... she was his friend, he felt very strongly about her, but
he couldnít love her.
Tears filled his eyes again-- how much could a living person cry?--, and
the guilt and pain returned full force. Love was wonderful, but all his
love rested for Kes. And she was dead now.
Xev was wrong. His life had no meaning. His body was alive, but he had
been dead for a long time.
"Iím sorry." he whispered, crawling out of the bed, reaching for his
clothes. "Iím sorry..."
She stared at him through uncomprehending eyes, frozen in place.
"What? Whatís wrong?" she demanded. But he was already putting his
uniform back on, and was slowly stepping away. He couldnít stay near
"Iím sorry, Xev." he said again. He turned and left her sleeping
chamber, walking at first, then running as she cried out his name.
He ignored her, racing through the passageways, uncertain of where he
was heading, only knowing he had to get away from her. He felt so
guilty. How ingrate could it seem, making love to her and then telling
her he couldnít love her?
Gasping for breath he finally came to a stop. He hadnít put his boots
back on, and the coldness of the floor assaulted his bare feet. He
glanced up-- of course. Unconsciously, he had returned to the very
place he most belonged to: the cryochamber. Far from being frightened
by it now, Kai felt strangely comfortable.
How could he go on now? He had no love to share, no one to turn to who
could truly understand him. Certainly, Xev would try to comfort him, to
tell him things would be okay... but they never would be. He understood
He had been dead for too long. His pain had been bearable when he had
been dead, but he simply couldnít take it now. He could never be
redeemed. He could never come to terms with his memories, with the
unspeakable horror of it all. He deserved to be dead!
Kai groaned in frustration, staring at the cryopod. This is where I
belong, he thought.
But it wasnít fair. It wasnít fair for his life to be taken away and
then his death savagely manipulated. How could such unfairness exist?
The fire of his anger overwhelmed him for a moment, and he drove his
fist into the casing of the cryopod, making it rattle a bit. It isnít
fair, his mind cried. He punched again. It isnít fair...
He hit the pod a third time, with so much rage he shattered the frosty
glass. The shards tore their way through the tender skin of his hand,
and he withdrew it, gasping in pain.
Kai swallowed with difficulty, gripping the wrist with his other hand as
he lifted it to look. Blood flowed from the cuts, which werenít deep,
but still radiated small circles of pain. Strangely, it was as though
they conveyed a clear message to him: youíre alive now. And itís never
going to stop hurting.
The pain steadied him for a moment, and he leaned against the pod,
slightly dizzy. Moisture escaped his eyes as he opened them, staring at
his injured hand. Slowly he sank to the floor, felt the vapours of the
chamber hiss downward, enveloping him for a second as though attempting
a comforting caress. So this was his life now, he thought somberly.
Only pain, and guilt, and loneliness....
Kai thudded his head against the cold panel of the pod, letting the
tears flow freely now. He had died that day when the dagger plunged
through his heart. There was no more life for him to live.
With a short gasp, Adami opened her eyes. No! It couldnít
She sighed in faint horror, scanning over the scenario she had just
created in her mind, the exact scenario she knew would result from her
actions. Before her, Kai was still quiet and unmoving in his cryopod,
still dead, still oblivious to her.
Adami looked at him sadly, pushing her hand against the panel of the
pod, not venturing any further. Life was a beautiful, pure thing, but
not when it brought so much pain. And as much as it angered her to
leave him in this state of existence, she couldnít bear the thought of
bringing such pain to someone so undeserving of it.
Perhaps it was better this way, she decided. At least this way, he was
safe from the torment that would destroy him otherwise.
"Iím sorry, Kai." she said softly. "But you are not meant for life.
Itís better this way, trust me."
And as she heard Xevís soft footsteps from the passageway, Adami stepped
back, adjusted her molecules to make herself imperceptible by her eyes,
Xev lightly stepped up to the controls, worked them with a knowing hand,
and watched in anticipation as the lid to the cryopod opened.
She paced up next to it, smiling sweetly. Kai bowed his neck to look at
her, and Adami felt slightly saddened he couldnít be as beautiful as she
had seen him in her mind. But it would be better this way, she
"Hello, Kai." Xev said.
Kai nodded slightly at her, his placid face expressionless as he
contemplated her. "Hello, Xev."
Adami smiled to herself, and silently allowed herself to flow through
the organic hull of the Lexx, leaving Kai and Xev alone together, and
continued her journey through the universe.