Symbol of trust

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'Anu social web diagram'

Lying on my bed I stared up at the glitter covered ceiling. I still remember when Mom had come home and found me painting the ceiling. I had gotten a half gallon of black and a half gallon of navy blue paint, and poured them in a pan together with over a pound of glitter. Mom had been so pissed at me but I'd already gotten halfway through so she left me to it. The only reason I hadn't ended up getting in trouble was because Mom thought it turned out kinda cool. She still wouldn't let me do it to the rest of the house though.

A muffled voice from the end of the bed interrupts my mussing. "Ya know it's not real right? If you want to look at the stars you'll have better luck blankly staring out the window." Valora mutters from her spot on the floor at the end of my bed.

"No really?!" I gasp in the best sarcastic tone I could muster.

"Hey, don't get snippy with me, I was just pointing out it feels different when you actually look at the stars instead of sparkly paint." She mutters still half asleep.

Most may think it's weird how easily I trust a complete stranger so much. But that's just it, I'm not most people. I've always felt something when Valora was around. And it'd grown exponentially stronger ever since this morning on the road when we both realized what the other was. It was like something had clicked together in my mind. I could feel it in my very bones, this need to have her trust me, to keep her safe.

I remember Mom teaching me about the Anu social interface. Our natural drive to be social with the other members of our clan and be very friendly and kind to strangers that followed the same mega.

But being a mega myself I had a bit different link with the whole interface. I acted as the mother-board and the majors where my links to the rest of the system. Mom had said this made mega's and majors naturally seek out one another's company until there was a strong social link between the mega and every one of its majors.

The minors from each clan band together and form a tribal bonds that directly link to their major who is directly linked to the mega. This is how we establish a social order and define ranking within our social webs. As a whole there is a social bond between each tribe as well linking the tribes through the Family bond which helps members from other tribes recognize one another even if they've never met.

It's not like we can talk to each other with our minds or tell how the others are feeling. It's sole purpose is to allow recognition of social order and establish an accurate friend or foe sense. Which makes us on guard and untrusting of anyone outside the bond.

"What are you thinking about?" A female voice calls from the bottom of the bed, breaking me from my thoughts. Taking a deep breath, I look down to see Valora's head resting on top of the mattress, the only part of her I can see.

Looking back at my ceiling I respond with a sigh, "What makes you think I'm thinkin' about anything?"

"Cuz your thinking very loudly." She fires back. "It's like walking in on the wrong part of a joke and everyone else gets it and your left in the dark." She now had her fore-arms on the end of the bed holding herself up. Her white short-sleeve shirt practically glowing in the moonlight.

Laughing softly, "Yeah, I guess so." I reply.

"You're not actually going to kill her are you?" She asks, a hint of worry in her voice.

"Worried for her safety?" I ask intrigued.

"No." She responds with a tone of seriousness lacing her words, "I'm worried for your sanity."

Heaving a sigh I sit up and scoot back until I'm resting against the headboard, "Don't be." I say with a blank expression. "It's not like I haven't killed someone before." I tried for a flippant tone but my throat constricted just enough to make the words sound forced.

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