If you are having a memory blank about all the connections to the book read the epilogue of Firesong but only if you have read the rest of the books of course. Oh yes, and I apologize for not writing sooner, I really am such a dork.

Chapter 9 A Time For New Heroes

As a thirteen-year-old year old girl leaned over the side of the boat, a certain man eyed her with a dangerous look in his eye. He had suspected her of strange habits for some time, but specifics, he didn't know. Who would know? With a father as strange as Bowman was you could expect anything from his children.

Siri turned around and expected to see her family, but saw the man instead. She straightened and ducked her head ever so slightly. He nodded back, bowing. She felt uncomfortable with this man watching, a different kind than when Falcon insisted on coming to the Homeland with them. Falcon was the middle child, strong spirited but very ill for the past couple years.

There was only a two-year difference between Siri and Falcon, making her eleven and Ira seven. But the distinction between the two sisters was remarkable. Siri, was strong, of course, that trait they shared but Siri tended to do things softly, letting rebellious thoughts show themselves very subtly. But Falcon, was blunt and demanding, independent, not in a bad way though, it was just who she was. That is why the illness had made her very short-tempered; everything was reliant on somebody else.

Deciding to check on her sister, Siri passed the man, and tumbled down the stairs to their compartments. She rushed in and found her sister standing up. "Fal!" Falcon sat abruptly on a convenient chair. "You can walk!"

"I know!" Falcon beamed. "Or at least stand! I am going to climb down the ladder by myself, just like we used to do when we were kids."

Siri smiled, "They are going to be so surprised! Lately all they can do is worry. You know that this trip is strictly business but, oh! What fun it will be!"

"Yes, we haven't gone there since forever!"

"I know," Siri shook her head. "Four years is a long time."

Bowman paced nervously in Sisi's and his chamber, letting his mask of feigned happiness drop. "I can't believe I am going back there, I must be crazy!"

His wife patted the cot beside where she was sitting, "Bo, sit down, you are driving me mad!"

"I-I haven't faced them since what happened then and I don't know, I just don't know."

Sisi laughed, not cruelly, but sympathetically. "Since when do you not know something, Bowman?"

Bowman turned his head, thinking of that day which had tormented his life. It had been a close call on his family, on his wife and children. From then on, even though it had hurt him to say so, he told his father, Pinto and Mumpo and everyone else that they would not be able to return to the homeland again. He was convinced that they deserved to go their separate ways. "I-I need to go outside."

"Bowman!" Sisi cried, "You can't run from everything! You, you weren't like this before, you'd at least face up to the problem, do something about it!"

Bowman turned his face away and stood at the doorway, "Sisi, I don't know. I just don't know."

Falcon wanted to go outside, she whined and pushed at Siri, until her older sister let her lean heavily on her shoulder and they limped out of the room and up the stairs, very slowly. "I feel like an old lady," Fal grumbled.

"You look like one," her older sister said seriously. Falcon glanced at her mortified. Their eyes met and Siri made a snort of laughter. They both burst out laughing, Falcon the loudest her snorts so loud they made the ship's workers look up. A man with blue skin glided toward them.

"Ah, Miss Falcon, I warrant you are feeling well?"

Falcon's eyes sparkled. This man, coming from a distant country had always been one of her favorite adults. He was a sort of a shaman-plant and medicine specialist and had worked for Bowman's court for as long as Ira had been alive and some. But that is a story in itself. "Better, Glipshzek." Fal smiled. "Much better."

"And Johdila Sirharani, how fare you?" No one called Siri that anymore except Glipshzek and when formalities were necessary. She had always not cared for the elaborate name, just like she never really did care for elaborate robes they wore in court now a days. Only the blue skinned man could get away with calling her that casually.

"Fine," she answered. "Just having a few strange dreams lately." Siri had had to talk somehow about the thing that had happened between her and the boy but not in a direct way. So she talked about some strange dreams and a voice crying out for help, crying out for a mother. Which was more or less right.

Glipshzek was the only one who knew about these dreams, because he was the one Siri trusted most. He had been a kind of nanny to all of them, and because of his proud culture, he was calm and polite. Never would he let know any secret if the teller told him not to. "Indeed, Johdila? I hope they do not rob you of any sleep?"

"No, no, you need not worry, I'm fine. Its just that this boy, keeps…"

"You have a dream about a bo-oy?" Falcon cried in annoying high pitched teasing voice.

"No, yes…" Siri panicked.

"You dooo! Who is it? You don't know any boys except the visiting princes, oh! It's Petran isn't it? Isn't it?"

"No, no! I don't know him!"

"Sure, sure. You know Petran. Siri and Petran! Petran and Siri; gonna get married!"

"Be quiet! Shh, that's not true." Siri was scrambling for words and shaking her head of the injustice of it.

Suddenly the man Siri had seen watching her before suddenly walked up to the squabbling and teasing girls. "Anyway I can be of assistance?"

It was suddenly very silent to Siri, as icy fingers ran up and down her spine. She did not like this man, whoever he was. "No," Johdila Sirharani nodded swiftly, "We don't."

They eyed each other for a moment and the man strode away as calls of 'land' echoed over the deck. Falcon, of course forgot this incident with all the excitement around her but it stayed with Siri like a shadow, haunting her already muddled thoughts. But she could not worry about it now, the prospect of the homeland was enough to concetrate on.

Once again, sorry it took so long, I promise I'll keep writing, please forgive me and review puppy dog eyes