On a trip to the Obsidian Order's storehouses to obtain Bajoran soil samples for her project, she was directed to a Bajoran religious artifact that had the encrusted samples she required: an Orb. With no prior knowledge as to the nature of the Orb, Vara had an overwhelming response to it. After that experience, she began to research into the Oralian Way, whose tenets and customs she previously had almost no knowledge of. She returned to encounter the Orb again, this time experiencing a powerful vision, in which she met with generations of women who had taken the name "Astraea" and served as guides of their Way. She came to understand that she was to become the new Astraea and lead a revival of the ancient Hebitian faith.
A former friend of hers from the Science Ministry, Kalisi Reyar, heard about the rise of the Oralian Way. She realized that Astraea made her first appearance at exactly the same time Miras Vara had disappeared. Reyar attempted to betray Astraea to Dost Abor of the Obsidian Order, but Astraea was warned to relocate by a believer within the Order's ranks, so the information Reyar passed along to agent was outdated. Furious at having his time wasted, Abor shot Reyar. The death of Astraea's former friend guaranteed her a period of safety.
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