The moth-eaten republican institutions of ancient Eldshore had been re-tailored with egalitarian trappings by Pirate Empress Zayne fifty years ago, and officials were now Chosen every year by a thin slice of citizens. Zayne had labeled those who were eligible to stand for office, and to participate in the Choosing of the officers, the Free Brethren, in model of the Spiral Sea corsairs she’d dallied with in exile. She’d still been firmly in charge, but many decisions had been left to a consensus of the officers in much the manner of corsairs choosing their captains, or their targets.
Exmere was studying her as if seeing her, for the first time, as the woman of medicine she’d become. For a moment Luzetia wanted to press this advantage, to prove to him that Agata was in her past; that she was a different person, now, with different concerns. Then she remembered that she had not been aware of an influx of Woltani refugees into her city. The lesser evil was still an evil. She would look it in the face.
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