Bonding (Ritual & Normal)
Normal Bonding is the simple pairing of a male and female of any species, one of which must have the ability to merge DNA.
Ritual Bonding is a much more intimate ceremony that requires that each pair of participants be fully united with each other both emotionally and physically for it to be completely successful. Ritual Bonding is when a mated pair of Nurturers share their thoughts, memories, knowledge and special abilities with a mated pair of another sentient species.
All forms of Bonding puts a significant, momentary drain on each participant, so Bonding can only be achieved twice in his or her lifetime. Any more than two attempts by any participant would result in dire consequences; most commonly death. (Typically true.)
During all Bondings, genetic material is exchanged between the pairs giving all members of the Bond the traits and abilities that every other member possessed individually before the Bond. All of the traits, abilities and knowledge that are transferred in the Bonding process are called ‘Gifts’ by the Nurturers.
The entire Collective holds Bonded families in high regard, closely protected. All forms of Bonding mentally and emotionally binds members of the opposite gender together so closely that the ultimate effect of the Bonding is to create a family-type unit where the shared Gifts are passed on to all of their descendants.
Bonding can be initiated by either gender that has the capability. Except under rare circumstances, Ritual Bonding always begins with the female of the opposite species, and ends with her performing a Normal Bond with her mate.
If a Bonding is performed with only a single member of a different species, whatever Gifts were received by the single member will not be inherited by his or her descendant and will be lost when that member dies. The inheritance can only begin when a fully Bonded pair procreates.
Steps to a complete and successful Bonding Ritual:
(Using the humans, Becky and David, and the Nurturers, Arcady and Prem)
- Prem Bonds with the Becky, all of the mental Gifts that each one possessed were shared with the other. (This is done by Prem converting to his energy self. No physical Gifts are transferred at this point.)
- Becky feels Prem’s energy-based matter flowing over her like a cool breeze as it penetrates her body fully, mixing both of their minds and combining their DNA instantly.
- Prem then shares his altered energy self with Arcady, combining their Gifts and DNA together. (Similar to what happened with Becky.)
- Arcady Bonds with David the same way as step 1, which allows them to share all the Gifts that Arcady possesses, including Becky’s Gifts and combines all of the DNA into one.
- David feels Arcady’s energy-based matter flowing over him like a cool breeze as it penetrates his body fully, mixing both of their minds and combining their DNA instantly.
- David received Arcady’s physical Gifts at this point.
- Step 1-2 repeats, combining Arcady’s newly combined DNA and Gifts with Prem. (Nurturers need only touch.)
- David Bonds with Becky, combining his new DNA with hers, and combining all of his Gifts, including the new ones, with her. (They need only hug and kiss, or they can mate; the important thing is intense physical contact and fluid exchange which both options accomplish.)
- David possess all Gifts of male Nurturers at this point, and Becky those of females.
After the ritual is complete, all participants will have the same Gifts, but one or more of the gifts may be more pronounced or powerful than in the original couples, or latent ones may come to pass in only one of them. Irregardless, the majority (if not all) of the Gifts will then be passed on to their offspring, so long as all four of the correct genetic markers remain intact. Offspring of both pairs of the Bonded family will pass on the Gifts regardless, so the offspring are born with that knowledge and the emotional and physical need to be selective and monogamous when they choose their own mates.
Ritual Bonding will normally cause unforeseeable differences for all participants and their offspring, either physiological (changes in body or body functions) or psychological (changes in mental processes). More often than not, these changes combine traits from both parent species, leaving the recipients somewhere in the middle, and subsequent offspring will normally be altered in some way.
One interesting side effect of full Bonding is that the Bonding Ritual completely and permanently repairs any and all genetic defects, regardless of type or parentage. This effect is also passed down to successive generations of the Bonded pairs.