The below is written in character. If you’d like to see a certain topic in the universe of the comic addressed, please drop me a note here or on my twitter account.
I had received quite the backlash from individuals of a spiritual and religious persuasion over some of my observations in my last entry on the Cycle of Spirits, and that is not necessarily surprising. To those individuals who disagree with my stances on the supernatural, particularly those of you who believe in Shatterhelm, I respect your beliefs, but as stated, these are my raw, unedited research notes. So while you may not agree with my particular stance you needn’t send me comment after comment wishing “the bad juju” upon me. We are members of a space-faring civilization after all.
That being said, I feel like maybe we can take a moment and think of happier things. Perhaps an exploration of a concept that is universal such as the concept of bonding. We’ve all experienced bonds in our lives, but often bonding tends to be seen as a singular entity rather than an array of socio-emotional connections.
Silver Spiral Field Notes: #003 Bonding
The concept of bonding is one that everyone in this galaxy is initially familiar with. It goes without saying that over any being’s life span that they cultivate dozens, if not hundreds of bonds. Of course you may be asking yourself why would Galactipedia advocate for dozens of lovers and therein lies the problem with the current popular interpretations of the concept of bonding. Over time the concept of bonding has come to represent a romantic love between individuals when in truth bonds represent a variety of relationships. While the language of Common has done much to accelerate trade and the spread of ideas across cultures, often times in translation something gets lost.
In the simplest terms, the concept of a bond is simply a generally positive relationship between two or more individuals. Negative bonds exist in the forms of hate bonds or blood bonds, but these are subjects for a much more dour observation. There are three principal bonds to be explored when it comes to understanding what larger galactic society has been missing with its lesser interpretation of the concept.
The familial bond is the bond that can occur hundreds of times in an individual’s life span. Family is a loose concept in galactic society. A family can be comprised of close friends and blood-relations and generally a familial bond represents a devotion to one another to a degree of being considered family. Gender, race, and position does not generally matter when it comes to familial bonds. Naturally within familial bonds you may have roles such as parents, siblings, and extended relatives, but the implication of the familial bond, in the traditional sense, is that a person is considered a member of a family unit. The emphasis on family sometimes is attributed to early Gaur culture as in their past the tribal Gaur would have taken such bonds incredibly seriously. It is natural to assume that with their introduction into the larger galactic sphere that their rather sociable point of view rubbed off on existing races in the Alliance.
Mated bonds are purely biological and natural imply a relationship that has resulted in the siring of offspring. Once again, race and gender does not generally matter in establishing a mated bond, particularly when it comes to genetic developments and artificial fertilization. In Grey culture, for example, mated bonds have been known to extend beyond three genetic parental figures. This is also true in the case of the typical Mantid clade as a single female would have mated bonds with multiple males. The only criteria of a mated bond is that offspring has been created by those within the bond. Is it entirely possible to have a mated bond without a familial bond? Naturally. Generally, though, mated bonds and familial bonds go hand in hand. Mated bonds are somewhat rarer when it comes to interracial relationships however, mostly due to genetic incompatibility (Might be an important article to consider. -MT). Outside a handful of pairings of different races, most attempts at procreation tend to fail. (This could potentially be an entire article. -MT)
One of the more ancient forms of bonds that seems to exist is the fated bond. Relatively rare in our modern galaxy, it stemmed from ancient rites and arrange marriages between families. Just as the concept of the bond itself has changed over time, the fated bond too has changed. Current interpretation of a fated bond is a foreswearing of all other bonds upon the loss of the one with whom the bond was originally made. In a sense, a fated bond is always tragic where one person can not continue to live without the other. Most citizens keep their options open, but in some cultures, particularly among certain groups of Mantid, the loss of one part of a fated bond becomes unbearable and can lead to an early, tragic death. Fated bonds are particularly important in the dramatic arts, such as the Saga of Houl and Faen, or the Terrans’ Romeo and Juliet, and rife with the tragic drama that audiences expect. Naturally, fated bonds taken to such extremes are a little more rare outside the dramatic world.
For the most part, claiming someone is bonded to you implies a close relationship, which must then be clarified further, usually by describing their bond in terms such as girlfriend, boyfriend, smizmar, sibling, etc.. One could suggest adding the proper modifiers to the term could save that step, but does that even need to happen? If you love someone wouldn’t you want to talk about them? (If I could feel emotion in an outwardly expressed manner, I might find this ending to be sweet. -MT)