“The Zhü Kaz is not a hospitable place for a lady, even one so strong-willed as Dame Caryn Naughton,” said the guide.

“Nonsense,” I said. “There were ladies aplenty across the Pilecheza. We saw them in the streets of Lushutuma.”

“Those were Zhachupul women,” the guide said, spitting. “To call them women is to belittle the word. They are animals.”

“I feel you may be saying that as a Latum, rather than as a human being,” I said rather sourly. “The enmity between your people and the Zhachupul is well-known, even where I come from.”

“Is it now?” the guide sneered. “Well, then, what need have you of my services? Surely you can locate the missing Dame Naughton and her entire expedition.”

Inspired by this.

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