911 (Fiction)

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911 - Rambling Observations - In the Face of War

Lexx stared at the screen, watching the footage with Chel sitting next to him. He didn't understand what he was seeing, but he was aware it had upset the girl. She was quiet, her mouth slightly open with a stunned look on her face. He hadn't seen that expression cross her face before. She hadn't blinked in several minutes.

"Is the movie upsetting you that much, we can watch something else?" He lifted what would pass for a remote and switched channels. The same thing was on the next channel… and the next… and the next. That was odd. In orbit, he had thousands of channels to choose from and most of them shouldn't be showing the same thing. It must be a really popular movie.

"It's not a movie, Lexx…" Chel leaned forward, her eyes fixated on the screen. She was so far from what was going on, but it didn't stop a heavy weight from settling into her stomach. She breathed shallowly, absorbing the images, unaware of Lexx staring at her.

"Then what is it?" Lexx inquired, settling on one channel. The way Earth TV was set up was strange to him. Usually planets set up their channels to show one type of material. There were news channels, channels sorted by worlds, channels that showed movies of the same genre, not this mixing of news, movies and other strange things humans found interesting enough to watch.

"That was the World Trade Center. Read the text on the bottom, Lexx." She motioned to the scrolling words. "Terrorists flew two planes into the buildings… and they collapsed. That's what they're showing. That's what's happening right now on Earth!"

"Oh…" Lexx felt a little foolish that he'd thought it was a part of a movie. It looked so much like something he'd seen in ID4. He'd kinda liked that movie. "Why does that upset you?"

"Because, it's in America, that's where I live!"

"But you're not there right now. What is the problem?"

"Just because I don't live there right now, doesn't mean that this doesn't affect me. Lexx, … we've never had something like that happen. It's so sudden … all those lives lost and for what?"

Lexx shrugged, "Beings die, that's life."

"Lexx!" Chel snapped at him. "Several thousand people just died! You can't just say, beings die. These people were murdered by someone because they disagree with what we're doing."

Lexx stared at Chel. He idly rubbed his jaw and responded, "That's a stupid reason to kill people." He muttered matter of factly.

"Yeah .. it is," Chel spoke softly. "They think they're sending a message to us, but in reality, they're just making everyone mad that they killed innocent people."

"What are your people going to do?"

"Most likely, go after the ones who did it."

"Sounds logical." Lexx nodded.

Chel sat quietly, staring at Lexx. "You still don't understand, do you?" Lexx shrugged his shoulders. "America is a free country, because it's free, we're a little too … confident in our security and take a lot of things for granted. We don't believe stuff like this happens to anyone but those in nations that aren't free. I know I don't,… I'm just as bad as every one else." Chel sniffed, wiping her eyes, "We're a very lazy nation, we're fat and absorbed in our games and entertainment to a point that we don't really care about what's going on outside of the United States…. That's the first thing that's coming to my mind, that we weren't expecting it. Why do we think we're so special?"

"Uh… I don't know." Lexx blinked.

"We're free, we enjoy it so much." Chel stared at the screen for a few minutes longer. "I imagine a lot of people will rush to church and suddenly become patriotic because our freedom has been attacked."

"Why?" Lexx scratched his head in a bit of anxiousness. He wasn't sure what to make of Chel's tone. It was more emotional than usual and sounded almost on the verge of panic.

"That's what people do…" she whispered.

"And why does that bother you?"

"Because,… we don't think anything of those things unless there's a disaster and then, only then do we think about God or how lucky we are to be Americans. Yeah, we got set back this time, but we band together when we're hit and rise up stronger… but you know, maybe if we had that pride in our nation all the time, we would have been more aware… and maybe… we could've seen the threat."

Lexx shrugged. "You're talking to someone who doesn't believe in God and doesn't have a place to be proud to live in, Chel."

Chel just looked at him. "And if you did, Lexx. If you at least had a place to live where you didn't have to play this game, how would you feel if it were threatened?"

Lexx looked away, thinking for a moment on the question. He'd never had the luxery of being truly free. To do as he wanted, go where he wanted to, live as he wanted to without someone demanding he do this and that or be killed for it. He lived every day under the fear that it might be his last enjoying the very little bit of liberty he had. At least, he could think as he wanted to. What would it be like if that were taken away from him? He did have something that he held to. It wasn't physical, it wasn't a location, it was his mind. His thoughts were his, the only thing he had complete control over. He could go anywhere he wanted, entertain himself there. If THAT were taken away from him. If that final refuge was stolen, he'd be nothing more than a mindless drone.

And then he knew what it would feel like, just a little. "I can't say I understand completely, Chel." He gave her a sympathetic look, "But I think I do … what you're talking about, it threatens that freedom and if my freedom, what little bit I have, was threatened, I would do anything to protect it."

Chel smiled just a little, "Yeah,… and I'd do everything I could to help you, Lexx."

"You don't really make a lot of sense when you're upset, Chel." Lexx clicked the viewscreen off and almost playfully ran his hand through her hair in a nervous motion. "I have a good book I want you to look at. I think you'll enjoy it."

"… Lexx, being distracted is what got my people into the situation they're in…"

Lexx tilted his head to one side, blinking at her, "Chel,… will it do you any good to sit there and worry about things that you cannot do anything to stop?"

Chel twiddled her fingers and stood up, sighing, "No,… I'm only one person, but I think I'll just go and pray about this. Would you mind … sitting with me?"

Hadn't he just said he didn't believe. Lexx stared at Chel, the question making him uncomfortable.

"You don't have to say anything, Lexx, just a moment of silence?" Chel added noting his expression.

Lexx nodded. That was acceptable. He'd feel awkward if he'd been expected to say or do anything, but simply being quiet and reflecting on what Chel had told him, it was an honorable thing to do in this type of situation. "Ok." He forced a faint smile. He really didn't like talking about what sounded to him as a war. He'd seen war. He'd seen the results and noted the stupid reasons wars were fought. He never really understood it. Why do some people have to take what isn't theirs? Why do they have to attack someone who has done nothing to them? Why must they for any reason, seek to start something in which innocents would die in. Why? His father had been lost to a terrorist as Chel had described, someone who hated their people and their small piece of world, their spacestation. Their only claim to a civilization. His father had stopped that terrorist. And then,… his mother had been lost in the ensuing war that had taken five years to end. In the final battle … her squadron was victorious, but she was not among those who returned home.

He was left an orphan with nothing. He pondered a moment. Those who died, they would have left children behind. What would happen to them? He sat in silence across from Chel, thinking. He understood.