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you?" She ran to the window, looked out.

Galen bent forward, bracing his hands against the cold ground.

"Gale isn't here," Mirm said. "He sent me. To say good-bye."

"Honored El said that they must leave." She turned back to Mirm. "Can't Gale stay?"

"No," Mirm said. "He must go with all the others like him."

Fa crouched beside the window, her head bent. "He's my best friend."

"He asked me to tell you he is sorry he has not been more friendly."

"He is sad. I understand. I wish he wasn't so sad, though."

Galen's fingers tightened, digging into the dirt. "He worries that you will be sad," Mirm said.

"I wish we could be sad together."

Galen needed to end this. "Gale said that wherever he is, he will look up at the stars in the sky and think of you."

"I want to create lights in the sky, just like him. If I do, can I go where he goes?"

"You cannot create lights. Not from the ring. You can use it only to call Gale by saying his name three times. But you must not call him unless you are in dire need. The ring will watch over you. He will watch over you."

She stared at the ring-at him-and began to cry. He was a coward.

"But I don't want the ring," she said. "I want Gale. I don't want him to leave."

This was only making her more upset. As usual, he had no skills for dealing with others. Galen moved Mirm toward the window.

Fa lunged at the swug, extending her arms to embrace him. They passed through the illusion, and she fell to the floor. She lay there sobbing, her skin a bright pink, the hair below her eyes matted with tears. "Mirm!"

Mirm hesitated at the window.

Fa pushed herself up on her hands. "Tell Gale I love him."

Galen's heart pounded. "Good-bye," Mirm said.

He conjured equation of motion. Mirm scrambled out the window,
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