written by Travis Cannon

Captain’s Log:

After our encounter with the Romulan Warbird, it has left the crew unease - it has most currently made me feel strange. My DNA is now in the hands of Romulan agents, who knows what they might be doing. I am gratefully for Admiral Anton’s assignment for the Pioneer. We have been ordered to Kobal, a planet on the nearest reaches of the Oralian system. The So’ja have almost no presence there. We are to meet with the Kobalian ministers and go through what they call the Mot’Ta. According to Admiral Anton it is a ritual they strengthens bonds. It is Starfleet’s hope that we can strengthen the relations between the Federation and the Kobal.

“End log,” Kelsoe said in a brisk voice. The computer hummed in response and stopped recording. Kelsoe turned in his chair and looked out of the stars of space. Brilliant, he thought. At least no So’ja will be around. But he did not like this about him having to do some alien ritual. He had no idea whatsoever what it was, or how it was done. He had assigned Ensign Tracy Carson and Lt. Norman Craig to find out what it was. The Kobal had sent a detailed briefing of the ritual. All Kelsoe knew was roughly translated Mot’Ta meant “Bonding Strength”. Now Kelsoe just had to learn how to speak Kobalian to perform the ritual.

The door chimed and Kelsoe looked up.

“Come in,” Kelsoe said.

The door hissed open Ensign Tracy Carson stepped in with two data pads in hand.

“Is this a bad time?” she inquired, noticing Kelsoe’s expression.

“No, not at all,” Kelsoe said. “Please sit.”

Carson walked up to one of the chair in front of Kelsoe desk and sat down. She slid one of the data pads across the desktop towards Kelsoe. Kelsoe slowly picked it up.

“What’s this?” he asked.

“Look at it,” Tracy said.

Kelsoe glanced down.

“Wow!! This is good work, Ensign,” Kelsoe said.

“Kobalian isn’t as hard to learn as it looks,” Tracy said. “So, shall we begin?”

Kelsoe have the data pad a cursory glance and then nodded.


It was now fourteen hundred hours and Kelsoe sat on the bridge awaiting the transmission from the Ministry of Kobal, the Kobalians governing body. Commander Connor Burt sat next to Kelsoe, scanning through the console in-between their seats. Braxis sat at his station, calm as usual, observing the atmosphere of the planet of Kobal. Tracy sat at her station, listening for the transmission. Both Craig and Tuff stood at their stations just waiting for anything to happen. Suddenly in the dead silence the communications station lit up. Tracy looked up towards the captain.

“Captain,” she said. “They’re hailing us.”

Kelsoe stood up, and straightened his uniform.

“On screen.”

The screen flashed and showed the youthful looking face of a Kobalian female. The Kobal, as a whole, look much like humans except for the fact that they have no eyebrows. Where the eyebrows should be there are small black horns that look like shark teeth. They also have similar pointy ears, such as Vulcans and Romulans. Their overall appearance if a friendly one. They appear weak and fragile, which they are. They are a very thin race. Their hair is light and thin and varies in color depending on age.

The youthful Kobal smiled, weakly.

“I now introduce Minister Nala,” said the youthful female Kobal.

She stepped aside and a much older Kobalian appeared in front of them now. His hair was graying, but still rather long. He bowed.

“I am Minister Nala of the Ministry of Kobal,” said Nala.

Kelsoe bowed in a very similar way to Nala. Nala nodded with approval.

“Well done, Captain Kelsoe,” Nala said. “The Ministry is very much happy to have this opportunity to strengthen our two people’s relations. May this be a time of joy.”

“May it, yes,” Kelsoe said nodding.

“We will extend you and your crew every ounce of courtesy that we can afford,” Nala said. “You may give shore leave privilege to your crew. That will help our two people get to know each other. I will like to have you and your first officer come to the Ministry, so that I may assist you in the primaries to the Mot’Ta.”

“I would very much enjoy that,” Kelsoe said. “We’ll make plans to beam crew members down for shore leave every half and hour.”

“That is suitable,” Nala said with a nod. “We are sending you the location for the must suitable transportation site.”

“Thank you,” Kelsoe said.

Nala looked at Kelsoe oddly. He turned to Tracy with a questioning look in his eyes.

Na-ba no-nee,” Tracy said.

“Ah,” Nala said nodding. “Sorry, I have not learned everything human word.”

“That is okay,” Kelsoe said. “I haven’t learn all of the Kobalian words yet.”

Nala nodded.

“We’ll expect you in two hours,” Nala said.

“See you then,” Kelsoe nodded with a smile.

Nala smiled back and then ended the transmission. Kelsoe turned to Burt.

“Connor, I want you to create the beam down list,” Kelsoe said.

“Aye, Captain,” Burt said.

“And make sure that everyone has a chance to have shore leave,” Kelsoe added.

Burt nodded as he began to create the list.

There was a shimmer of blue light as Captain Kelsoe, Commander Braxis and Ensign Tracy Carson beamed down into the front courtyard of the Ministry of Kobal. Kelsoe glanced around, and cracked a smile. It almost looked like the courtyard at the Palace at Versailles. Kelsoe walked around the edge and looked over at the steps that lead up to what he thought was the entrance of the Ministry. Walking down the steps appeared a Kobalian in an elegant long orange robe. Kelsoe could only assume that this was Minister Nala. Behind Minister Nala were two other Kobalians, these ones dressed in green robes which were shorter than Nala’s robe.

Kelsoe and his party walked up the brick passage way until both parties met in the center of the courtyard. Kelsoe extended his hand and shook hands with Nala.

“Minister Nala,” Kelsoe said. “It’s an honor to finally meet you in person.”

“Same here, Captain,” Nala said. “Let me introduce my companions.” Nala gestured to the two other Kobalians. “This is the Minister of State, Vicka.” The female Kobalian nodded. Kelsoe nodded back. “And this is our Minister of Interstellar Affairs, Daco.” The other male Kobalian nodded. And yet again, Kelsoe nodded in reply.

Kelsoe turned to his crewmen.

“This is my science officer, Commander Braxis,” Kelsoe said, “and my communications officer Ensign Tracy Carson.”

“It is a pleasure to meet you,” Nala said with a wide smile. “We are truly happy to improve relations with a people such as yourselves. The Federation is a truly wonderful organization. A long and rich history.”

“Yes,” Kelsoe nodded. “And yet we see the same in you.”

Nala leaned back and smiled.

“You are too kind, Captain,” Nala said. “We are a simple people with simple needs.” Nala gesture for them to walk, and Kelsoe took a place beside Nala as they walked around the gardens in the courtyard. “You’ve already met with the Velos and Dinokians, I believe.”

“Yes,” Kelsoe nodded. “I am curious, have you met the Tulop.”

“Yes,” Nala said. “We do not deal with them much. We are too use to brightness, and they darkness.”

Kelsoe nodded. “We had to dim the lights on our ship when we transported the Grace to Andres Rae.”

“Ah, Andres Rae,” Nala said in a dream like way. “Once as a child I visited it. I understand that Federation personnel call it the Oralian system’s Risa.”

“That’s true,” Kelsoe said.

“What type of planet Risa?” Nala said. “I’ve never heard of it.”

“It’s a resort planet,” Kelsoe said. “A very infamous resort planet.”

Nala nodded, “That’s how we see Andres Rae.”

“Maybe you can tell me something,” Kelsoe said. “When we first call into this system, we were calling it the So’ja system.” Nala looked at Kelsoe shock. “The So’ja were the first race we met, so we thought they were the race in charge of the system.”

“Oh no,” Nala said shaking his head. “The So’ja are more like a bug bite the is very ignoring. I think the strongest force here is the Kai Imperium.”

“The Kai Imperium?” Kelsoe questioned, confused.

“They were not mentioned in the data the So’ja gave us about this system,” Kelsoe said.

“It is probably a wise idea to avoid the Imperium at all costs,” Nala said. “They are not a very friendly people, as the So’ja. And the So’ja are just starting to get worse. They were having a good phase, until the rebellion got out of hand. However next to the Imperium, the So’ja is nothing.”

Kelsoe gulped. Some of the So’ja technology is more advance that the Federation’s. If this Imperium was further along than the So’ja, the Federation would have a hard time dealing with them.

“Oh, and Captain,” Nala said. “I would stop calling it the Oralian system, if I were you.”

“Why?” Kelsoe inquired.

“Well, for one thing,” Nala said, “This part of space is made up of a dozen different systems. We have a different sun then the So’ja and the Imperium. It is better to call this a sector. The Oralian sector. That is closer to the truth than calling it all a system.”

“May I ask way this sector as chosen to call itself the Oralian system?” Kelsoe inquired.

“Sure,” Nala said. “I am more than happy to make up for the rudeness of the So’ja.” Nala paused to take a small breather, after all we was quite old. “There was a planet call Oral. The people on the planet, the Oralians, were said to be super bearing. How the legend goes is that something terrible happened on Oral. It was a massive tragedy of some natural occurrence, and the planet was completely destroyed. The Kai are said to be the descendants of the Oralians, however not everybody believes that. Some of us consider it just a legend, that the planet never existed. There has been some saying that in the Great Beyond is a great nebula that is made up of the remaining pieces of Oral. However no one has ever been able to confirm the existence of the nebula. The Kai Imperium have never let anyone explore the Great Beyond.”

“The Great Beyond?” Kelsoe said, confused.

“Yes,” Nala said. “If you look at any map of our sector, the Great Beyond is the part that is completely empty. So you may have thought it has nothing there. The Imperium portals the borders quite regularly. Anyone that has made it across the border never came back.”

As they walked through the garden, they eventually reached the center of the courtyard, where was four guards posted. The center was surrounded by tall green hedges. In the center with a small fence around it was a batch of blue flowers. Kelsoe looked at them. Suddenly he started to smell something that seemed to smell like a festering pile of waste. Thankfully he remembered what he had read about the Kobalians. This flower was a sacred icon to the Kobalian and they believed that the smell was absolutely wonderful. They would be deeply offended if Kelsoe said that is smelled bad.

“This is the Gem’De,” Nala said, sniffing the air above the flower. “Ah, what a marvelous smell.”

“Yes, it is interesting,” Kelsoe said.

“It was discovered by our greatest leader on one of the planets surrounding the Beta Nebula,” Nala said. “He was enchanted with its brilliant smell and brought it some of its seeds. However it turned out that they are very hard to grow in our climate. We sent a team back to get some more and found that a bacteria brought from our first mission to the planet had eaten all the vegetation on the planet. So our scientist worked hard to keep this remaining flowers alive. They are very rare and can never be replace. This is one of the only patches left.”

Kelsoe, Braxis and Tracy stared at him blankly.

“I’m sorry for rambling,” Nala said. “This is just such a sacred flower in our culture.”

“We understand,” Braxis said. “Every culture has its own sacred item or items.”

“Indeed,” Nala said nodded. “Now follow me and we’ll begin the Mot’Ta.”

They walked back towards the steps that lead into the Ministry of Kobal.

Kelsoe sat in the room, half-naked. He was wearing blue cloth around his privates, similar to the type that Japanese Sumo wrestlers wear. Minister Nala sat across from him, wearing a similar cloth, but of the color orange. Nala’s chest had blue dots that went around his breast plate and converged at his belly button. Behind Kelsoe stood Braxis and Tracy, waiting to assist if anything should go wrong. Behind Nala stood the two Ministers that had accompanied him to meet them in the courtyard.

“Do as I do, Captain,” Nala said. “Place your hands together, like so.”

Nala brought his hand together in a praying formation, and twisted his arms so that the part from the elbow to the wriest was parallel to his shoulders. Kelsoe did it that exact same why Nala said. Nala watched, pleased.

“Very good, Captain,” Nala said. “Now, do exactly what I do.”

Nala raised his hands to his forehead and softly patted his index finger against his brow. Then he lowered his hands and placed his index fingers on his lips. He lightly kissed his fingers. Then he brought his hands back to their original starting position of the prayer. Kelsoe watched with great concentration and duplicated Nala’s movements. Nala nodded.

“Good,” Nala said. “Now we begin the bonding.”

Two servants from the sides stepped in, each holding a metallic ring that was big enough to fit around their head. The servants slowly placed the metallic rings on Kelsoe’s and Nala’s head, while they kept in the praying position.

“Now,” Nala said softly. “Close your eyes and we shall begin the bonding.”

Kelsoe slowly closed his eyes. He immediately felt a cool breeze hitting his face. He heard a faint voice that grew louder. It sound angelic and soft.

“Open your eyes,” said the voice.

Kelsoe slowly opened his eyes and saw a glowing white figure standing in-between them. Nala and he were still in the room, yet everything else had become dark, except for the white glowing figure. Kelsoe looked over at Nala.

“This is the Mot’Ta,” Nala said gesturing towards the white figure.

“Where are we?” Kelsoe inquired.

“In the mind,” Nala smiled.

The glowing figured turned towards Nala and raised its hand.

“Release your control, give me your mind,” it said in its soft and angelic voice. “Let us bond.”

Nala closed his eyes, and Kelsoe watched a blue light came from Nala’s mind and flowed into the hand of the glowing figure. Soon it was complete. And Nala opened his eyes with a beaming smile. The white glowing figure then turned and stepped across the room to Kelsoe. The figure was now only a foot away from Kelsoe. It looked as if it was made up entirely of pure light. It raised its hand.

“Release your control, give me your mind,” it said. “Let us bond.”

Kelsoe closed his eyes and relaxed. Kelsoe started to feel something that seemed like pain. He opened his eyes in agony. The figure grew red eyes.

“Oh no,” it said in it angelic voice. “This is not right. You are not of the same species.”

The figure release Kelsoe and Kelsoe limped forward. It turned to Nala.

“The bonding cannot be performed,” it said.

“Mighty Mot’Ta, what of Captain Kelsoe?” Nala inquired.

“He cannot be retrieved,” the Mot’Ta said. “I do not have the power. I release you back into control.”

And with a wave of its hand the room became lighter.

Nala opened his eyes and removed the ring from his head. He looked across the room.

“Oh no!” he said.

Captain Kelsoe sat in his chair unmoving. He had become a human vegetable. Nala stood up sharply, making the ministers behind him jump.

“What is wrong?” Braxis inquired.

“Your Captain has been reject by the Mot’Ta,” Nala said. “The bonding must be completed if your captain is to survive.”

Braxis reached for the metallic ring.

“No!” Nala stopped Braxis with remarkable speed for some one so old, that Braxis was shocked. “If you remove the ring your captain will die.”

Braxis stepped back and turned to Tracy, who was starting to get tears in her eyes.

“Contact the Pioneer at once,” Braxis said in a emotionless tone. “Inform Commander Burt of what has happened.”

Tracy nodded and stepped out of the ritual room.

Lieutenant Norman Craig and Dr. Chase Braga were walking around the gardens of the courtyard in front of the Ministry of Kobal. They came upon the center of the garden soon, where they saw the blue flowers. They sniffed it and quickly stepped away. As they walked way from the flowers one of the Kobalian guards turned around as he heard Craig mutter something.

“Stop!” he shouted pointing at Craig and Braga.

They stopped and turned around. The guard stepped over, with the other ones behind him.

“You,” he said pointing at Craig. “What did you say!?”

“Nothing,” Craig said. “It was nothing.”

The Kobalian guard glared at Craig.

“Under the articles of the Ministry of Kobal I am arresting you under the crime of desecrating our most sacred belief.”

Craig opened his eyes wide as the guards behind the one in front of them came up and grabbed Craig by the arms. Craig looked at the guard shocked.

“You had been warned,” the Kobalian guard said. “You will pay for you neglect in respecting our beliefs.”

The other Kobalian guards dragged Craig away. Braga tried to follow but the Kobalian guard stopped him and held him back.

“You can do nothing now,” the guard said. “It is out of our hands. The Ministry shall judge him.”

The guard release Braga and walked back to his position. Braga shook himself and straightened his uniform. He turned around to see Tracy walking back towards the Ministry. Braga dashed over to her.

“Tracy!” he said.

Tracy stopped and turned. She noticed his expression.

“What’s the matter?” Tracy said.

“It’s about Norman,” Braga said. “He’s just been arrest by the Ministry’s guards.”

“What?!” Tracy said. “Why? What for?”

“Well,” Veli, the Minister of Law, said. “Your crewman desecrated our most sacred belief. He violated Kobalian law.”

Commander Connor Burt stared up at the Minister of Law on the view screen.

“I’m deeply sorry for this,” Burt said. “But you must do something. There has been an accident involving our Captain in the Mot’Ta. Surely you can allow Lt. Craig to be released under the circumstances.”

“I’m sorry, I cannot,” Minister Veli said. “You would have to talk with Minister Nala.”

“I will,” Burt said. “It is your Ministry that got Captain Kelsoe into this. I feel that as an offer of your good faith, you should release Lt. Craig.”

“As I said before,” Minister Veli said. “You’ll have to discus it with Minister Nala.”

Minister Veli terminated the transmission. Burt leaned back and looked over towards Tuff. Tuff, too, was not feeling well with this news. Two Starfleet personnel were trapped, both by Kobalian beliefs. Burt stood up slowly and straightened his uniform. He stepped up to Tuff’s station.

“I want you to beam down to the surface and figure this thing out with Lt. Craig,” Burt said. “Meanwhile, inform Dr. Braga to met me at the Ministry.”

“Yes, sir,” Tuff nodded and they both headed for the turbo-lift.

Lieutenant Commander Joanna Withrome stood with Tracy in the courtyard. Tracy was in tears. The sunny day of Kobal did not represent how Tracy and most of the crew felt.

“Both the Captain and Norman,” Tracy said in tears. “We’ve got to do something.”

“I don’t know what we can do,” Joanna said. “But we’ve got to faith that Commander Tuff will get to the bottom of it.”

“Commander Tuff’s a good man,” Tracy said. “I know he won’t rest until he has uncovered what has happened to Norman.”

From around the hedges, Minister Nala came followed by Minister Daco, Minister of Interstellar Affairs. Nala walked up to them and bowed.

“I am Minister Nala,” Nala said, “and this our Minister of Interstellar Affairs, Daco. I’ve asked him to assist you in anyway he can.”

“Thank you,” Tracy said softly.

Nala bowed again and left. Daco was a much younger Kobalian than Nala. His hair was golden brown and worn long. They stood there in an uncomfortable silence. Joanna could not stand this, so she broke the silence.

“So how long have you been Minister of Interstellar Affairs?” Joanna inquired.

“Um, for about three years now,” Daco said slowly. “This was my first big interstellar affair to put together and I have failed. I will surely be dismissed.”

“What?” Joanna asked.

“It is my fault for what happened to Captain Kelsoe and Lieutenant Norman Craig,” Daco said. “I should have specified the laws regarding the Gem’De. I should have known that the Mot’Ta would reject Captain Kelsoe.”

“Excuse me,” said Commander Braxis, who had just walked around the hedges to join them. Commander Tuff was with him.

“Yes?” Daco said, turning.

“Why did the Mot’Ta reject Captain Kelsoe?” Braxis inquired.

“Minister Nala has not told you?” Daco inquired.

Braxis raised his eyebrow. “No,” Braxis said. “He has not. I am most intrigued, please, will you explain.”

“I really do not know,” Daco said, looking at all of them. “Minister Oftero of the Ministry of Religion should know. Come I will take you to her.”

“I will appreciate that,” Braxis said with a emotionless voice. “Lt. Commander Withrome, I will require your assistance.”

Joanna nodded and followed behind Daco and Braxis away. Tuff turned to Tracy. He walked up and put an arm around her shoulder.

“It’ll be okay, Tracy,” Tuff said. “I’ll find out how to get Craig out. If the Kobalians want peace between us they will have to release him.”

As Daco, Braxis and Joanna stepped into the office of Minister Oftero they were shocked to see that Commander Burt was already there. Minister Oftero was an elderly woman of great features. She stood there was her head held high wearing a robe similar to Minister Nala’s except it was blue. Similar to the color of the blue flower, Gem’De. Burt turned and saw Braxis and Joanna.

“Come in,” Burt said.

They stepped in. Oftero made a “humph” sound when she laid eyes upon Daco.

“Minister Daco,” she said in a powerful voice. “I respectfully ask you to leave my presence.”

Daco bowed.

“Of course, Minister,” Daco said and then left.

Burt watched with confusion.

“What’s wrong with him?” Burt inquired.

“He has embarrassed the Ministry of Kobal,” Minister Oftero said. “He will be dismissed.”

“Oh,” Burt said.

Braxis stepped forward.

“Madam Minister,” Braxis said. “Would you kind enough to explain to me what Minister Nala meant when he said that the Mot’Ta reject Captain Kelsoe?”

“Certainly,” Minister Oftero said. “Let us sit.”

Oftero slowly sat down into the large chair behind her desk. Burt, Braxis and Joanna sat down in the small chairs in front of her desk. Braxis gestured for Minister Oftero to continue.

“The Mot’Ta is a deeply religious being of the Kobalian faith,” Oftero said. “In fact Mot’Ta was the founder of our faith and our race. Those rings that were placed around there heads are the last remaining artifacts left of Mot’Ta’s work. He placed his very being into those rings to allow us to perform the bonding with his help. In life he had the ability to perform this rite in our world. But with his passing of age, his soul, his very essence remained to perform the rite in our minds. So we’ve called the bonding the Mot’Ta after our glorious teacher of the faith.”

“Why did He reject Captain Kelsoe?” Braxis inquired.

“Well, He saw that your captain was not Kobalian,” Oftero said cocking her head. “The Mot’Ta was meant for Kobalian-Kobalian bonding, not for inter-species bonding. I should have warned Minister Nala. But I was being foolish. I thought that it might be possible. We had no idea, this was the first time that we attempted a bonding with a member of a different race.”

“How can we save the Captain?” Burt pleaded.

“I do not know,” Oftero said, she looked over towards the entrance of her officer and suddenly stood up. They turned to see that Minister Nala, accompanied by Minister Veli and Commander Tuff had just entered the room. Oftero bowed.

“Minister Nala,” Oftero said. “It is an honor.”

“The honor is mine,” Nala said, returning the bow.

“We have found a way to allow them to release Lt. Craig,” Tuff said cheerfully.

“Yes,” Veli said, very disgustedly. “I was not aware how law could allow this.”

“What?” Burt inquired.

“Well, Lt. Craig is not Kobalian,” Nala said. “In our laws it says nothing of outsiders. He merely as offended us, not broken our law.”

“That’s great!” Burt exclaimed

“Not quite,” Tuff said.

“Huh?” Joanna said.

“Now the only thing that remains in setting him free is our religious offense,” Nala said looking up at Minister Oftero.

Braxis nodded and raised his eyebrow.

“What is it that must be done?” Braxis said towards Minister Oftero.

Minister Oftero sat back and placed her hands in the Kobalian praying position. Nala noticed what was going on.

“Come,” Nala said. “We must leave Minister Oftero in mediation. She will find the answer.”

Nala beckoned for them to leave the room. Burt hesitated before he did so and was followed by the rest. Minister Nala waits a while, staring at Minister Oftero, in her trance.

“Good luck, Oftero,” Nala said and then left.

They stood outside in the courtyard, waiting for Minister Oftero to finish her mediation. Minister Veli had left to deal with other affairs of the law. Minister Daco and Minister Vicka had come to speak with Minister Nala. Meanwhile the Pioneer crew members stood of to the side talking to themselves. Braxis remained quiet, in his own little mediation. Joanna and Braga were comforting Tracy, and Tuff and Burt were discussing what they should tell Admiral Anton and Starfleet Command. Suddenly the door to Minister Oftero’s office flung open and Oftero, herself, came out into the dimming dusk of the Kobalian day. She approached Minister Nala and bowed.

“Have you found anything?” Nala inquired.

“Yes,” Oftero said. “I have found a way to deal with both problems at once. For his religious offense to be clean, Lieutenant Craig must bond. And to save Captain Kelsoe’s life, he most bond with another human.” Oftero turned to Burt. “Lieutenant Craig is human, right?”

“Yes,” Burt said.

“Then there you have it,” Oftero said. “The Mot’Ta must be performed between Captain Kelsoe and Lieutenant Craig.”

All the Starfleet personnel gave a cheer of happiness, except Braxis, fore he was a Vulcan and does not displace his emotion. But everyone there knew that he was happy. He was close friends with the Captain and everyone also knew that if he had to, he would have performed a mind meld to save Kelsoe.

Burt stepped forward.

“Well?” Burt said. “What are we waiting for, let’s do it.”

Craig sat in the chair opposite Captain Kelsoe. Minister Nala took Craig through the first steps of the ritual, then stepped back to allow the servant to place the metallic ring on Craig’s head.

“Now, close your eyes, Lieutenant Craig,” Nala said.

Craig inhaled deeply and closed his eyes. He immediately felt a cool breeze blow across his face.

“Open your eyes,” came a soft and angelic voice.

Craig obeyed and opened his eyes. He saw a white glowing figure in front of him. From behind the figure, Craig saw Captain Kelsoe siting there limp. The figure walked forward towards Craig and extended its hand above his head.

“Release your control, give me your mind,” it said in its soft and angelic voice. “Let us bond.”

Craig inhaled and closed his eyes to relax. It worked and blue shimmering light appear from the Craig’s head and flowed into the figures hand. It arched its back as it took Craig mind. When it was finished it moved its hand away and Craig opened his eyes. He watched at the figure walked over to Kelsoe and extended its hand above Kelsoe head. Blue light began to emerge from Kelsoe head and flow into the hand of the figure, just as it did with Craig. The figure removed its hand when the transfer had been complete and stepped into the center of the darken room.

“Now the bond,” the angelic voice of the figure said.

It stretched is arms out. One pointing towards Kelsoe and the other towards Craig. In a burst of blue light to beams of blue light shot out of the figures hands and towards Craig and Kelsoe. As the beam of blue light hit Craig, Craig’s mind was suddenly overwhelmed with Kelsoe’s memory. Craig felt every emotion that Kelsoe had felt. He assumed that Kelsoe was experiencing the same thing. When the memories subsided and the white glowing figured disappeared, Craig kept his eyes on Kelsoe. Slowly Kelsoe’s eyes opened and looked across the dark room at Craig.

“Norman?” Kelsoe said.

Kelsoe opened his eyes and looked across the room and saw Craig siting there with the metallic ring on his head. Craig opened his eyes as well. Minister Nala stepped forward.

“It is done,” Nala said. “You have bonded and are now better for experiencing it.”

The servant stepped in and removed the metallic rings, and then retreated back into the shadows of the ritual room. Kelsoe looked over at Craig. Their relationship would never be the same. Kelsoe now knew Craig as if Craig was his own brother. Things will be changing.