Homecoming coverLetter MCentral was not the only planet settled by the R’il’nai when their home system became uninhabitable – but the groups fleeing R’il’n lost touch with each other. One group settled on Riya, a planet outside the region encompassed by the Confederation. Here Marna, a Healer, was a young researcher into infectious diseases. (Though the R’il’nai were immune to most such diseases, they were still cautious.) She was on an isolation satellite, studying a new disease, when a plague which did affect the R’il’nai struck Riya and the few colonies it had managed to settle. Everyone was infected. Everyone died. Only Marna was left alive, protected by the isolation satellite designed to protect Riya, and ordered by her mentor to stay on the satellite and keep sending a warning to anyone else who might try to visit the doomed planet. Her only company, aside from the satellite’s computer, was the Tinerals (monkey-like feathered singers with wings) whose ancestors she brought to the satellite as pets.

Physically, Marna has red-gold hair, dark blue eyes veined with silver, and a skin tone a bit lighter than Lai’s, but not by much. Here she is speaking from her first appearance in Homecoming, after she has realized that the life-support system of the isolation satellite is failing after two centuries.

At least I can save the Tinerals.

They’re vulnerable to predators, but there aren’t any predators on the island of Windhome, so they ought to be safe there. And it’s no trouble to teleport them down, now that I’ve reviewed how to do it.

Only three left, now, and we’re all gasping for breath. This is the last oxygen bottle. I have to send them now, while I still have the strength – but I’ll be so alone. Not for long.

Oh, Tyr, I did my best to stay alive, to keep warning off any other R’il’nai. If there are any. I did program the planetary computer to keep broadcasting. How I wish I could feel a Riyan wind in my hair once more, but if I go back the plague will kill me, and I’ll no longer be able to do my duty.

Use your head, girl. Your job was to provide a warning. You can’t do that if you die here. It’s time to come home, Love.

Win? But Win’s dead! I felt him die! Or ….

Common sense, that’s what it is! I can’t do my job if I die here, so I might as well die on Riya and join the rest of my people. Just let me get the few things that are truly precious to me, like the hair clasp Win gave me when we decided to try for a child.

I’m doing my A to Z blogs from my books, both characters and background information. For characters I’ll introduce them quickly, say what point of time they’re talking from since their situations change drastically through the books, and let them talk. The format of background information will vary according to what I’m talking about. Bold type indicates that more information has been or will be available in another A to Z post. All of these blogs will be scheduled to go live just after midnight Alaska time.Banner AZ logo