In The Deepest Space - Chapter 10: The Bond - A Twissst of Pain
Chapter 10 – The Bond – A Twissst of Pain


wavessss of Uressssa - auric colors seen in the meditative state that connect mates to one another

ubilicus(sss) port - belly button

like a kit drawssss nectarr from a ssspitch - like a bee draws nectar from a flower

weakened nurishment pocket through this carrying phassse - weak stomach through pregnancy

Edwaird’s POV ~

We wait for Ah-lissss and my Bell-a ssset back from the ressst of the crowd.  Many linger, sssspeaking to acquaintancccessss they have not had the pleasssure of sssseeing in quite a time.  I watch the door, waiting to ssset my orbsss on my Bell-a again.  I never imagined sssshe could look much more exxxquisssite than ssshe already doessss, but on thisss eve, sssshe isss breath-ssstealing.

I ssssee Ah-lissss bolt from the door, her appearancccce issss frantic, and my Bell-a doessss not accompany her.

Sssshe flingssss her ssshell into my arms and I grip onto her, assssking, “Ah-lisss, where isss my Bell-a?”  I hear the heat and anger ssseep into my voiccce along with worry, but I can not erassse it.

Ah-lisss ssssobs loudly, flinging the ressst of her ssshell up against mine, then with a minissscule amount of air, saysss, “Vanissshed!”

I grab Ah-lisss by the armssss, pulling her ssshell away from me ssso that I can look into her orbssss, and see the pure terror there.

“Relay every detail to me with mossst hassste!” I demand.

The ressssst of my clan formsss a sssmall oval around Ah-lisss and myssself.  I hold onto her, sssenssing her worry and the possssibility that thisss may be too much for her.

“Sssspeak with sssoft tonessss, Ah-lissss.  The Queen hassss earsss everywhere,” Esssme warnssss.

Ah-lissss nods, and sssays, “Bell-a and I were usssing the facccilitiesss.  I ssspoke to her prior to going in, wasss telling her sssomething, but ssshe requesssted that I wait to tell her the resssst until we had both finissshed.  I ssssteamed at the counter, awaiting her emergenccce.  I waited longer, then finally assssked of her.  Sssshe gave me no resssponcce, ssso I waited longer.  I tapped on her door after a few momentssss, worried that sssshe had fallen ill from the stresssss.  Sssshe gave no reply, ssso I took a pin from my hair and opened her door.  When I opened it, sssshe wassss gone, and the air plate wassss ssswinging open.  Ssshe isss gone.  I am sssso ssssorry, Edwaird.”

Ah-lissss again beginsss to sssob into my chessst.  Essssme looks to me, ready to ssspeak, but I ssspeak first.  “We mussst sssearch assss much assss possible.  Ssshe could ssstill be here.”

Jassspeer ssshakes hisss head at me.  “No.  The guard mussst have her.”  He glancccesss up at the Queen who isss focusssed on our clan.  “Ssshe will have her gone from here immediately.  Edwaird, do you feel anything?  What isss your bond telling you?” he assssks.

I closssse my orbsss, focusssing on the tension in my body that issss oriented to only my Bell-a.  I feel the rope within me warp, twissst, then pull sssslightly tighter.  I gasssp, opening my orbssss.

“Sssshe isss not here, but ssshe isss alive.  Although, I sussspect ssshe may be in ssslight pain,” I relay.

That isss all we need to know.  We quickly retrieve our belongingsss before essscaping the Queen’s domain, making our way to the pod.

Once in the pod, we argue for a few momentssss, deccciding on where we mussst go.  

“Edwaird isss the key.  He isss the only way we will find Bell-a,” Essssme announcesss.

“Get usss to the ssssatelitesss, Emmeet!” I demand.

Emmeet quickly liftsss the pod upward and we ssset out for our country domicccile and hidden sssatelite room.  The trip takes a very ssshort time, and we are sssoon parked over bare land and running toward the bunker.  Inssside, we monitor ssships that come and go through our atmossssphere.  None belong to the Queen, and I begin to grow agitated.  Ssssomething isss happening.  I feel it within me, but I am unable to identify what it isss.  I feel sssharp ssstings inssside of my body onccce in a while, and I have no doubt that they are hurting my Bell-a.  

While everyone elssse isss studying sssatelitesss and watching the atmosssphere, I walk around, unable to sssstop.  I move round and round, looking for sssomething, anything, when I feel a sssudden, sssharp twissst in my gut.  It takes the breath from me, and I fall to my kneesss.  I feel my Bell-a moving away from me then, and asss sssoon asss I’m able to ssstand again, I run over to the wall of ssscreensss.

A Queen’sss sssship leavessss our atmossphere, and asss ssssoon asss it hasss cleared the Beacon, it goesss into Blackout Mode.

“Mexxsssh!”  I exclaim.

When a sssship goesss into Blackout Mode, it cannot be ssseen.  Only ssships that are equipped for the Queen can do thisss.  Our ssship issss alsssso able to do thisss, and we have the capability to hide from the Queen, but not find other sssshipsss that have gone into Blackout Mode.  

“Edwaird, you know what thissss meansss.  We mussst rely only on your Bond with Bell-a to find her.  You mussst think of Bell-a and only Bell-a,” Esssme informssss me, while at the sssame time, moving usss from the bunker back to the pod.

The trip from the bunker to our larger ssship isss quick, and ssssoon we are sssettled in and making our way toward the Beacon.  Onccce we are off of Sssisla, I do assss Esssme sssaysss.  I think of nothing but my Bell-a.


Ah-lissss issss able to sssee thingsss.  The majority of thessse thingsss ssshe seesss, revolve around mattersss of the mating ritual.  For ssso long, malesss of my kind have been ssseeking out the intuition of my birth companion, enabling themssselvesss an insssight of their future mates.  I wasss not ever one of the malesss to do sssso.  I knew that if sssshe sensssed a matter of importanccce, ssshe would immediately notify me.

Thisss issss why, when I sssuddenly felt the sssshadow of a mate’sss presssence on the ssship prior to finding my Bell-a, I became confusssed and disssoriented very quickly.  There wassss no warning, no time to make preparationssss, but only fall into dormancccy.

While normally, I’m never one to have ssscenes play out before me with resssting orbsss, they plagued me through my hibernation period.  Repeatedly, my visual orbsss were only able to focusss on a sssingle perssson, who died each time I attempted contact.  Each and every time sssshe exxxpired in thessse ssscenes, I fell further away from the waking period.  It felt asss though ssshe was being drawn away from me, caussssing pain to flow through every cccell of my form.

Then I felt her presssense.  Ssshe wasss closse to me.  Clossser than I thought possssible.  I began to awaken for ssshort periodsss of time, tassssting her sssscent on the air.  


I feel another twissst in my gut.  I am sssettled into the ssseat next to Emmeet assss he manueversss the ssship.  He waitssss for my cuesss before he makesss changesss in our direction.  We go by nothing other than the feeling within my ssssshell -- the feeling that bindssss me to my Bell-a, telling me where sssshe iss and how I bessst can get to her.  I point off toward the Mixarrr Conssstellation, feeling the pull from that direction.

The remainder of my clan issss in the compartment assss well, but like me, they feel no need to sssspeak unlesss it isss to find my Bell-a.  There issss nothing of importanccce other than her.  We will find her, and we mussst find her before it isss to late.  Her final death issss sssomething I cannot even begin to comprehend.

I arrange my ssshell in the chair so that I may take myssself into a meditative sstate.  In thisss way, I will enable myssself to maintain a true connection with my Bell-a.  It isss of the mossst importanccce to remain intuitive to her in thesssse momentssss.

My cranium resssts againssst the back of the lounger, and my orb coversss clossse.  I take deep breathes, coaxing my ssshell and my computer to find that plane, the plane where it isss only Bell-a and me.  The wavessss of Uressssa find me, sssswirl around my sssshell, sssoothing me and pulling me deeper, closssser to my Bell-a.

I reprimand my thoughtsss, demanding they ssstay away from anything other than her, than our bond, and on finding her.  I focusss my attentionsss on the familiar pull in my abdomen that has grown sssso taut it ssseemsss assss though that part of Bell-a within me, may be pulled out from my ubilicussss port.


Uresssa pullssss me deeper, and I remember the firssst phassse of the mating ritual.  I had been in the hibernative ssstate for sssome time.  The sssceness recurring in my computer were becoming more and more intenssse.  The female met her final death every time, and with thissss, I became weaker, lesss able to pull mysssself out of the hibernation ssstate.  I could feel my own fear but wassss unable to change it.  That changed sssuddenly when I felt her presssence out of nowhere.  

Our mating ritual wasss vivid.  The firssst phasssse connected ussss together in an imposssible way.  Ah-lisss and Essssme have dissscussed the mating ritual many timessss over, but the type of thing that happened between Bell-a and mysssself wassss never dissscussed.  I do not believe it issss becaussse it issss a private matter.  I trussst they would endow me with all of the knowledge they obtain.  I believe that thissss issss a firssst for our kind, and what the meaning of that issss, I do not apperceive.

It wasss Bell-a herssself that wasss able to bring me back from the brink of my final death, while embedded in the hibernation ssstate.  Her love, her complete commitment drew me out like a kit drawssss nectarr from a ssspitch.

At the time of the mating danccce, our first sssshell connection, the execution of the ending phassse wasss more powerful than I could have thought.  It wasssn’t ssso much the matter of physical releassse and pleasssure; it wassss that I became within Bell-a, and ssshe within me.  There isss no way to desssscribe the intensssity of what wasss experienccced.

Then at a later time when we were able to focusss on one another, I began to noticcce different markingsss on her ssshell.  Markingsss that did not make sssense to me, although they did.  The marking on the inner ssside of her lowessst extremity, the rough patch behind her hearing ssshell.  Nothing added up, and everything did.


A touch to my cranial column drawsss me from my tranccce.  I look up, behind me, to ssse Esssme ssstanding behind me.

“Hasss a change taken placcce, Edwaird?  Do you ssssense Bell-a’sss nearnesss?” ssshe quessstions, her voiccce low and filled with worried emotion.

I placcce my hand over hersss where it ressssts at my column.  “I ssstill feel her, Esssme, although, her ssshell isss growing weaker, and I fear ssshe isss being beaten.  The bond pulssses within me at timesss.  Her pain isss mine.”

Esssme grasssps my hand tightly and draws a large intake of air.  I hear her let it out ssslowly behind me.

“You musssst remain focusssed, Edwaird.  We mussst find her,” ssshe sssays, then retreatsss.

I ssset my jaw asss another twisst of pain sssurgess through me, thissss time, much ssstronger.  I sssupresss a painful groan, but sssee Emmeet glanccce over at me, worry written plainly upon hissss cranial sssurface.  I ssshake my head at him and focusss on my Bell-a onccce more.  I feel a change in direction and point in itsss direction.  Emmeet immediately changessss our courssse and I feel usss get clossser yet to her.

Asss we get clossser and clossser to her, I begin to feel pain all over my ssshell.  The stabsss come at a fassster pacce, leaving me almosssst no time to recover from the lassst.  If thisss isss how bad it feelssss to me, I can only imagine how it hurtsss my Bell-a.

A sssob ripsss through me, and I cannot contain it.  “They are beating her.  Her life forccce isss thin now,” I tell my clan through a grimaccce.  I hear Jassspeer growl with fiercccenesss behind me.  He underssstandsss thisss.  Her pain, my pain, although Ah-lisss never had to endure her mate’sss pain asss it wasss before they came together.  I would never wisssh thisss on Ah-lisss, not in a million querasss.

The nexxxt ssstab of pain forrccesss my body forward, and I expel on the floor in front of me ssseveral timesss.  Emmeet groansss bessside me, but he maintainsss his focusss.  He hasss taken a weakened nurishment pocket through this carrying phassse.  I sssit back up and sssuddenly, noticce that our bond is weakening again.  Ssshe isss losssing her will.

“We mussst move fassster, Emmeet!  We are losssing her!”  I pull at my hair, beginning to panic then collapssse into the chair, feeling my head leave me momentarily.

That issss when I feel the direction change again.  I look to the monitor and sssee where ssshe isss now leading usss.  I point in itsss direction, and Emmeet looksss over at me, making sssure that he isss underssstanding me.  I nod.

“Jasspeer.  I requessst your utmossst forgivenesss, my dear clan member.”  I ssstand up, holding my arm around my middle, fearing that I may fall apart, but meet Jassspeer’s gaze.  He peersss at the ssscreen, then at me.  

“Thisss is valid?” he quesstions.

I nod.  “Sssshe isss there.  On the largessst particle that isss left of Kaswhahk.”  I know with all that isss in me that ssshe isss there, and it makesss it that much harder, becaussse thissss will now caussse Jassspeer pain.

Jassspeer nodsss at me, then facccesss Ah-lisss.  I turn back to the screen and fall back to my chair assss an onssslaught of beatingsss wrack Bell-a’sss ssshell.  I cry out in pain, and when it isss over, I gasssp for air.  Her air sacsss are damaged.

Assss we move toward Kaswhahk, I feel the pull between usss grown ssstronger, yet weaken.  We are clossser to her, yet ssshe isss fading at a quickening paccce.  The pain that flowsss through my ssshell pulsses all over, to move any part of my ssshell induccesss excruccciating ssstabs through my core.

I ceassse my movementsss, for they only caussse more pain, and inssstead, turn my attention back to Bell-a.  There isss sssomething, sssomething that I have not ssseen.  I am unable to mark what it issss, but I know it hasss sssomething to do with the Queen.

There wassss not much interaction between my Bell-a and the Queen.  Thisss I wasss taken back by, and Esssme too, I believe.  There ssshould have been more, yet the Queen disssmissed her nearly asss sssoon asss ssshe sssummoned her.  The Queen asssked no quessstions, none important in the leassst, which ssshe alwaysss doesss.

I own no doubt, thissss isss the Queen’ssss doing.  The Queen isss ridding of her, but sssso quickly, I am not sssure why.  Ssshe did it at her own party, which disssrupted the flow of the event.  The Queen dessspissses that kind of thing.

After traveling a great dissstanccce, we are upon the firssst trailsss of Kaswhahk debris.  It will not be much further.  We are clossser to the largessst remnant of what isss left of Kaswhahk.  Esssme movesss to ssstand in front of me.  

“You are of ccccertainty that Bell-a isss here, Edwaird, yesss?”

“I am cccertain of it, Esssme.  I feel her near.”

“Why here, Edwaird?  Why hasss thisss happened.  Ssshe isss a human female.  Ssshe possses no threat to our Queen, or our kind.  Why would the Queen get rid of her?”

Esssme changesss her tone in the lassst two quessstions.  Ssshe sssenses sssomething.  Ssshe givess me nuturing look, the look that saysss ‘you are bourn of me, hold not a thing from me’ and I cannot help it.  I mussst confide my thoughtsss, feelingsss to her.

“You mussst tell me.  When you found my Bell-a, did you do an examination of her ssshell?”

“Yesss, but not a full examination.  It wasss necessssary to change her garmant asss well.  You inquire of thisss why?”

“You examined her marking?  On her lower extremity?”  I asssk.

Esssme tapss her finger to her chin, than ssaysss, “Yesss.  It isss a peculiar marking.  I have thought on it many timesss.”

With the forccce of a ssssoopla of Sssooom, it hitsss me, and I know.  I know why the Queen hasss tried to rid of my Bell-a.

Esssme sssees the expression upon my cranial sssurface and asks impatiently, “What isss it, Edwaird?  What have you concluded?”

I look up at Esssme, directly into her orbsss, willing her to think about the marking.  “The marking, the Queen, my Bell-a.  Envision, Esssme!” I exclaim at her, ssssuddenly ssso very sscared for my Bell-a, even more than before.

Esssme’s orbsss glaze over with concccentration, then refocusss on me.  Sssshe movesss her cranium from ssside to ssside, minimally, then whissperss, “Ssshe couldn’t be?”

But ssshe isss.
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