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The Grieving Mother

Posted on Tue Mar 15th, 2022 @ 10:08pm by Lieutenant Devinona Ral Daughter of the Fifth House of Betazed & Captain Nimeeh Vixil
Edited on on Sat Mar 19th, 2022 @ 8:07pm

Mission: Federation News Network Coverage

Claudia Rinaldi sat on the edge of the overstuffed seat, reaching up to smooth an invisible stray hair back into position before she turned her gaze back toward the video camera that was pointed at the two occupied chairs in front of the fireplace.

"Among those missing, presumed dead was 32 year old Counselor, Devinona Ral, Daughter of the Fifth House of Betazed. We are joined tonight by Lwazanda Ral, mother of the missing officer. Ms Ral, first, I want to say how very sorry I am to hear about your daughter, I can only imagine how devastating it must be for your family," Claudia said gently, reaching forward to lightly rest her fingertips on the other woman's forearm.

Lwazanda, ever the dramatic, was dressed in full black mourning wear. A black cage veil obscured her face slightly. Her voice was laced with sadness when she spoke. “The entire Fifth House calls out to the Deities for her safe return. I myself cannot eat or sleep knowing my darling Devinona is somewhere, unable to come home.”

There was a moment of silence as Claudia comprehended what it was that Lwazanda had said. "You hold out hope that your daughter is still alive, even in the face of the announcement from Vice Admiral Devane that the crew of the Tyche has been legally declared dead?" she asked.

"Hope is all we have." Lwazanda countered. Emotion dripping from every orifice of her being. "If we lost hope every time some Starfleet Admiral made a grand declaration then we would have stopped searching for Voyager and that crew would still be lost in the depths Delta Quadrant. Hope gives us the power to search for answers." Her lip quivered as she spoke. "I know in my heart that she is alive.

Claudia nodded slowly. "They say Betazoid mothers especially have a deep telepathic bond with their children, do you believe that that bond is what gives you the hope that your daughter is still alive?"

“It isn’t that simple.” Lwazanda sounded astonished at the other woman’s presumption. “It’s much more complex than a simple telepathic connection. It’s more akin to the Imzadi connections that one forms with a lover. It’s not psychic it’s…. Physical.” She places her hand on her chest.

"I see," Claudia said softly. "Ms Ral, perhaps you could tell us a bit about you daughter? Give our viewers a glimpse into her life, into the person she was? Is?"

“Devinona has always been our free spirit. Even though she was born a twin she never failed to show her individuality.” Lwazanda smiled warmly. “She’s always been the most nurturing soul, and I simply know she is bringing comfort to her fellow lost comrades.” A small tear formed in Lwazanda’s black eye until it flowed over and rolled down her cheek. “That’s just who she is. It’s what she does.”

"Again, Ms Ral, we're all very sorry for your loss," Claudia said gently. "I'm sure in our hearts everyone wishes the USS Tyche and her crew would return to us." There was a pause as the reporter contemplated. She wasn't used to such unyielding determination in the face of adversity as what she was seeing now from Devinana's mother. "Do you perhaps have a picture of your daughter you could share with us, so everyone can remember her face?"

Lwazanda nodded. "She was on Betazed before leaving, and we were sure to take a lot of pictures." She thought about the moments they chose to commemorate and it grasped at her heart. Lwazanda reached for a chain that hung from her shoulder to the front closure of her dress. It was a locket-like piece of jewellery. She opened the front and a holo-image appeared. "I have been wearing her since I got the call."

The camera zoomed in closer to focus on the picture, giving the audience a solid view of the missing officer, staying there for a long moment before panning back to show Claudia and Lwazanda sitting in front of the large fireplace.

Claudie offered a gentle smile of reassurance and understanding. Ms Ral, I want to thank you for taking the time to speak with us today. I want you to know that your daughter will never be forgotten. None of the crew of the USS Tyche will be forgotten."

Lwazanda didn't like how Claudie's words sounded so final. 'Why should they be forgotten? They are still out there." The Betazoid woman thought, she was careful not to project her thoughts. "Thank you for having me." She said aloud.

The camera moved again to focus squarely on Claudia who offered a charming smile. "This has been Claudia Rinaldi from the Federation News Network. Join us again tomorrow night when we speak to more families who have lost loved ones aboard the USS Tyche. Until then, may the deities smile upon you."

There was a moment of silence and the camera cut out, the FNN logo lingering momentarily on the screen before fading into darkness.


Claudia Rinaldi
Federation News Network
(As played by Captain Nimeeh Vixil)


Lwazanda Ral
The Grieving Mother
(As Played by Lieutenant Devinona Ral)


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