“So the Zemmour is desolate?”

“Yep. A few tiny villages on the coast, where enough for rolls in that the locals can drink the dew, but the biggest of them is maybe five hundred people on market day. Maybe.”

Li stroked his chin. “Then why all the fuss?”

Guitarrez snorted. “Imeyrib and Agawej, that’s why. The Sultan of Imeyrib is hoping for oil in the Zemmour sands so he can join the club that his fellows in the Gulf are in, the one where you live in a mansion made of Bugattis.”

“And the President of Agawej?”

“Well, I’m sure he wouldn’t turn down the oil. But mostly he doesn’t want Imeyrib to have it, and he wants to keep his military brass happy lest they overthrow him, which happened to eleven of his twelve predecessors.”

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