“I’m just Wind Yoe Tashqur, an ageing woman with bones that ache in this freezing weather and a passion for old roses.”

She paused, winnowing thoughts. Meriel felt compelled by her eyes, Quereshi-golden, truthful and very clear in her dark face.

“But I’m also a woman with authority vested in her by this city, by this biosphere, by my children’s children’s children. I’m accountable to them. I was an economist before I was ever a footprinter. Do you know the economist’s oath? To be responisble for the equilibrium and wellbeing of the whole Eirenikon of Thalassa An-Nur El-Loha La’Hazhva, for thirty-three generations of humans, a hundred lifetimes of eagles, thirty thousand of butterflies or one of Huon pines, whichever is longer.”

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