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Vala does not remember much of who she was before she became who she is. She remembers her father, his face coarse and stiff beneath her own plush, sticky child-like fingers. She remembers her stepmother's dark eyes, not unlike her own, but always different enough to remind Vala that she was born of another woman.

Memories of her birth mother come and go in waves. Often a smell, or sound, or feeling. Roses on Earth remind her of the essence that her mother often wore. Vala could close her eyes and feel the soft, fragile cloth of her mother's blouse tickle her cheek. She would lay her head in the crook of her mother's neck, enveloped by that smell, and the soft pat-pat-pat of her mother's frailty beating heart.

Sometimes, alone in the commissary or in her quarters at night she falls into these memories like a trap. Often it is when Daniel speaks of various religions that make her vaguely wonder of her mother's fate. She believes that her own faded memories are simply those of a traumatised child who lost a parent too soon; she wants to believe that they are really the spirit of her mother watching over her.

Vala can recall the stories that her stepmother would tell her of the world after; stories of peace and eternal love. But Vala didn't understand either of these things, and they were lost to her long before she could ever really know them. She fell into a world of thievery and loneliness, but she always had those memories; the smell of her mother stinging playfully in her nose, the lull of a heartbeat.

She wants to believe that her mother's spirit hovers above her, like the angels that Earth religions speak of. But she wakes up to often in the night to the fleeting smell of dying roses, and she remembers she is alone.

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vala мal doran


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