The sweet smell of the barleen fields were pungent in the air. This section was about ready to
external image 9181515.jpgharvest again. The green sea of the plant extended out before Shevene. The cavern of this organ always impressed her. She sat down on one of the higher parts of the stomach. This was a growth in the Balesh that occurred sometimes. It emerged out of the left side of this stomach just enough so that if you walked onto it, you were at a slightly higher elevation than everywhere else. It was one of Shevene's favorite spots in the entire pod of Balesh. It is quiet here and the view was one you can't get anywhere else.

The organic movement of the stomach's mighty walls gave the entire place a hypnotic feeling. There were a few farm houses scattered throughout the fields. Workers were milling about, tending to the fields and making preparations for the next day's work. The workers here could pull up all this barleen in a matter of hours. It was tiring work, Shevene had taken part in it once or twice before, but it was rewarding to know that the work done here would feed the thousands of inhabitants in the pod. She loved the way they worked together all striving towards the same goal with no animosity between them. Life is so much simpler for them, at least it seemed that way.

Shevene suddenly realized that while she was thinking, a new shape had appeared in the corner of her eye. She glanced over to see a human man sitting a few feet away from her. How long had he been there? She kept looking out to the fields, but couldn't help but glance over again at him again. He looked like a younger member of his species. He was also a farmhand for sure. The worn clothes and his build gave that away. He was eating a salad. Probably on lunch. He also had a cup of that coffee his people introduced to the Balesh. What a terrible drink.

He turned towards her, catching her mid stare. She looked away quickly. Not quick enough.

"Sorry, is something wrong?" he said, looking at her.

"No nothing, I just didn't notice you sit down."

"Oh... well, sorry to startle you." He went back to eating his lunch. Shevene didn't really know what to do. Should she leave? Was that rude? She was never really concerned with humans, but she was raised to respect all cultures that live under the Balesh. His presence made her uncomfortable.

"Do you come around here often?" The man was looking at her again.

"Normally I'm here later in the day." That was a lie. She only came here a few times a year. With all the work she does as an Arorem, her days are usually too busy to take time for herself. Traveling from Balesh to Balesh is time consuming and although she has always enjoyed her work, sometimes it can be a bit much. The only time she ever takes time for herself like this is when she really needs it. The man shrugged at her answer.

"Haven't seen many Arorem around here since the festival started. Would've thought you'd be on Primarch too."

There it is. Even here Shevene couldn't escape it. The Exalt Exposition began only a day ago and she already couldn't stand it. Her friends and family were all clamoring to prepare for the event. Their sculptures and trinkets were all they talked about, how they bought a piece of glass from down in Garago or how they went to Skolumen's for a special piece. Shevene was sick of it. Unlike the rest of her species, she was never interested in those types of things. She could admit that this made her an anomaly among the Arorem she knew. Her work was a nice get away and kept her distracted from that aspect of her culture. Only around this time, when the Exposition began, did it seep its way into every aspect of her life. This was the only place she could find where it managed to be kept at bay. At least until now.

She didn't respond to the man's comment. She kept looking out to the fields, trying to forget he even brought it up. The man didn't seem to mind the lack of communication. He finished his food and stood up from where he sat, a few scraps of the salad having escaped him still outlining where he had been.

"It was nice talking to you or..." He paused. "Goodbye."

With that he left. Shevene waited a few seconds to turn and watched him go. Admittedly, she was jealous of him. Humans always seemed like outliers on the Balesh. They were all so different from one another. Independence fueled them. If he didn't want to be a farmhand, nothing would stop him from making that a reality. He would do what he needed to until he was where he wanted to be. His culture couldn't stop him. Nothing could.

She looked back out over the barleen. The hands she saw earlier had started picking it. She laid on her back and looked up at the roof of the organ, closing her eyes and breathing in the sweet odor around her. For now, she was where she wanted to be. At least for a little longer.