There were several reasons why Oistrem did not lightly use the trick of the spines to sever themselves from the Craisht's oversight. One was that there were consequences to thinking without guidance. The Craisht kept you active, gave you the distilled wisdom of thousands of cycles, and one could not achieve a dishonorable end by obeying. Abandoning this cincture left you at the mercy of chaos, of treasonous thoughts, of thoughts that could end your life.
Chax simply stopped moving as his muscles tensed and his blood pounded through him. He was conscious of a pressure within his head, and the feeling of the pressure suddenly became his focus, and for a time it was sufficient to be aware of the feeling. There was no call for thought, no chains of words, no enticing branches of logic, no surges of emotion, only an enforced introspection. Awareness of time and body and self had quietly dropped away; there was only something that pressed and something that felt the pressing. Nothing else was possible or necessary.
At length, his blood flowed quietly within him, and in myriad small stirrings of thought, trembling and hesitant, he reentered his own mind. He knew what had almost happened and hoped that he was not now stricken by some mental wound that would leave him little better than a corpse driven by instinct. He longed for an authoratative voice that would tell him whether he had been hurt, but he was severed from such comfort, and for a long while he cursed his folly as he probed his memory, seeking evidence of some gap. There was the chance that he might have lost some fundamental part so completely that he could never know that he lost it, and this thought more than any other tormented him as he searched.
At length, as more and more of his memories came back to him, he concluded that he had escaped mostly unharmed, if harmed at all. Inside his mind, as the reflection of a distant beacon, his mental image of Botaram shined unsullied. He had lost all of his mood for introspective thought, and he became aware of his patient but weary body, of the smells of his surroundings, of the light surrounding the curves of the eggs in their dangling web.
Chax became aware that Aun was below him even before he heard the voice. "Any luck?" Aun shouted.
"Yes," said Chax as his foreclaw moved almost without volition and severed the strands that secured the egg cluster to the Kollen's shell.