• The Vampire's Bride (Atlantis #4) Darkness Avenged (Guardians of Eternity #10)

    The crowd was thick, and the music was loud—it usually was as we were leaving port—and Pax disappeared to find Leah. I surveyed the gyrating masses and wished I could feel a little of their excitement.

    You see, Maire says, her voice sad. You remember.Your mother cut me off from you when you were very small, Maire says. And I always thought I knew why. When I heard you speak in the temple the day Bay left, I knew for certain.

    A Mere Formality

    She wanted to protect me from you.She was right, Maire says. She knew I’d want to talk to you, to teach you about your gift. I wouldn’t have been able to resist. But I would never have hurt you intentionally. She looks up at the floodgates. I wonder if that was what she was coming to tell me, the day she died. I wonder if she meant to tell me about you. Or if it was something else entirely.My mother’s last act was to go to her sister’s house. What was she trying to do? Was she trying to tell Maire something? Give her a warning? Ask her a question? And did she die before her message was given, as Maire asserts? Or was she able to deliver it and then struck down? By whose hand? My aunt’s?

    Necroscope (Necroscope #1)

    My mother and my sister trusted Maire, but I’m not certain she repaid their trust.The clamor outside is growing. They’re about to break open the doors.

    I won’t be able to control them for long once they get inside, Maire says. There will be too many. You should go. Slip out the door as they come in, and I will make sure they don’t see you. But take this. She presses another shell into my hand. It is ridged in black and white, mostly black, and rough to the touch. This one holds my voice. This is how I will teach you about what you can do, since it will be difficult for us to be together in person very often. All you have to do is ask a question into that shell and then listen for the answer to come back to you.

    How can that work? I ask. How will you hear me? If this is real, and not some kind of trick, then Maire’s is a terrific, terrible power, and she can do things I’ve never heard of or imagined. I always thought my mother was the most powerful woman in Atlantia, but now I am not so sure.The situation, Nevio says, is the sirens.

    My heart jumps in my chest. What is he planning to say? Does this have something to do with Maire breaking into the floodgate chamber?Does Nevio know that I was with her?

    The Fifth Elephant (Discworld #24)

    As some of you are aware, Nevio says, the sirens’ time is ending. The last known siren was born twenty years ago.Can this be true? If it is, then I am the youngest siren. The last one. My mother never told me that.

    The sirens are a miracle, Nevio says, but they are our miracle, to be contained and controlled for our good. They belong to Atlantia. Just as the bats cannot be allowed to fly about unchecked and need a place of their own and people to feed them, the sirens also need keepers and a safe haven for their protection and ours.He speaks to Atlantia, but I have the strangest feeling that he also speaks to me specifically. That he’s telling any sirens out there—Could there be others like me?—that they need to come to him to be safe. That we are capable of terrible things. We might hurt the ones we love. We might turn evil and wrong.

    But then I look back at the pulpit and picture my mother there instead of Nevio and I know that was the very thing she tried to protect me from—a life under the control of people who didn’t love or understand me.And as the time of the sirens ends, Nevio says, we may look for a new miracle. For the third miracle.

    The people rustle hopefully, murmur to one another. They’re all too ready to give up the strangeness of the sirens for something else, for something new.This is what I want to speak about with you today, Nevio says. We must prepare for the third miracle. We must be ready. He speaks of sacrifice, and love, and duty, and of the relationship between the Above and the Below and the importance of following the rules set forth by the Council. I stop listening, because I have heard the same thing said before, and much better, by my mother.

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