Humanism.

Three: Shel


Shel Sens pushed her bright turquoise hair out of her face and lifted the cardboard box from the back seat of her vehicle. One hand slid into the handle that had been cut in the side, right through the logo: "TAAE, The Terran Association for the Advancement of Exans."

The box was heavy, more so than she expected, but she didn't mind. The struggle, for her, was worth it. Volunteer work could be sweaty and backbreaking, but it was always rewarding when she delivered one of these boxes to a poor Exan family in need. Besides, as her Exan Studies professor told her, after centuries of brutality and oppression inflicted by humans against Exans, a little bit of volunteer labor for an Exan charity was the least a Terran can do while keeping a sound conscience.

Without warning, something hit her in the back of the head. When her vision cleared, she was laying on the sidewalk, surrounded by young Xeltans. Two of them had broken open the box and were now opening the snack bags and protien packs inside, and passing them out to the others.

One of them spoke in a heavy Xeltan accent. "Human dirt! We don't need your pity. But we will be taking your... gifts." The others laughed.

Once the crowd around her had turned their attention to the box, a female Xeltan stepped up to Liz and extended a hand to help her stand up. Liz started to say "thanks," but only got as far as "th--" before a fist belonging to the same female Xeltan slammed into her face, breaking her nose.

Shel dropped to the sidewalk and curled into a ball. She started to shout apologies as she tried to cover her face, her head, her neck. She understood their anger. She wanted to help them voice it. She knew why they felt this way, if she could only explain, she was on their side, she was trying to help them...

The Exan crowd was surrounding her again, and the toes and soles of their shoes, and their fists, were pummeling, stinging, jabbing, bashing into her ribs, her back, her legs, her head. Blood took over her vision. All manner of Xeltan and Terran insults and swear words were raining down on her: "HUMANIST PIG," "FUCK HUMANS," "FUCK TERRANS," "DEATH TO EARTH."

Then, Shel no longer saw any Xeltans, no longer heard any insults, or any voices at all. Shel no longer saw the blood that had begun to form a pool beneath her. Shel no longer breathed.


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