After Kira's mother dies, Vandara makes accusations against the girl, whose leg is twisted. Vandara, who wants the little section of land that Kira has accuses the girl of being unfit, eating too much, and taking up space. Therefore, Kira is brought before the Council. Fortunately for Kira, she is allowed a defender against the accusations of Vandara, who contends that the girl was not destroyed because she had a grandfather that had power. But, the beasts killed this grandfather and now her diseased mother is dead.
Jemison, Kira's defender, opens the rule books and acknowledges that because Kira is crippled she should have been destroyed, but "exceptions can be made" according to an amendment. As cause for an exception being made for Kira, Jemison has the Singer's robe brought out, a robe made for the Ruin Song of a festival that the people hold. Jemsion remarks that Kira's mother had been teaching her the art of sewing the robe and repairing it; Kira replies that she has been learning since she was small. "We are told that your skill is greater than hers" Jemison remarks. Then, the Chief Guardian nods to Vandara, telling her, "You may go. The proceedings are complete. We have made our decision."
Angered, Vandara insists upon hearing the verdict. The Chief Guardian informs her that she has no right to know, but just "so there will be no misunderstanding" he informs her and the court, "The orphan Kira will stay. She will have a new role." This role is to continue her mother's work, and to go beyond it since her skill is even greater. Kira will
- Repair the robe
- Restore the robe
- Complete the robe
Kira's land is given to Vandara for her to build a pen for her tykes. Nevertheless, Vandara is resentful and tells Kira, "You will fail. then they will kill you." To Jamison she says, "The girl is yours." Jamison merely tells Kira to get her things and report back before the bell that regulates them rings four times. Then, he will show her to her quarters in the Council Edifice where she will live.