Is she from some Family I’ve not heard of?”

No, your honor.”

Then why is she here? I can’t stand colonial trash.”

You had an appointment open, your honor.”

God is most merciful, child, but I am not, particularly when you’re clotting up my schedule with colonial martyrs. I suppose it will pass the time until prayer. Send her in.”


Bakira so Dasheem gave birth to her children at the breeding compounds in Jameela, a thriving green settlement in Nasheen between the mountains and the sea. She took the train there from the inland farming town of Mushirah, crossing a desert waste of toppled cities and war-torn vistas that she had only read about in old history texts. It was her first train ride, and she found it exhilarating and just a little bit terrifying. The long war with Chenja and Nasheen spared no one, and each train line she transferred to had the ring of the familiar about it, as if she had heard some news story about it getting blown up or mined or heard of some great catastrophe that came upon its travellers.

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