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Transference ritual

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A vacant cenotaph

The transference ritual was a practice performed by the Vhnori either when death was near or by those who were depressed or lonely. Furthermore, disabled Vhnori who were seen as taking up too much of their family's time and resources might be pressured to move on by said family.

The ritual depended on the naturally occurring subspace vacuoles on the Vhnori homeworld, which the Vhnori believed could would transport them to their afterlife, referred to as the Next Emanation. The dying Vhnori were wrapped completely in a ceremonial death shroud and placed in a device known as a cenotaph that would kill them just before a vacuole opened. As part of the ceremonial aspect of the ritual, the soon-to-be deceased's loved ones' would hold their hands against the cenotaph while a speech was given.

Unbeknownst to the Vhnori, the ritual did not work as believed: those who had been killed remained dead, and the vacuoles transported their corpses to a Delta Quadrant planet's ring system. On this planet, thousands of bodies had been piling up, resulting in the first known concentration of the 247th element discovered by the Federation. (VOY: "Emanations")

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