I stare at Bestu incredulously, the confidence I felt just seconds ago quickly slipping away as I regard his expression.

He’s serious.

“What do you mean, you can’t?” I retort, frowning. “Of course, you can! You’re the Primus! You have the authority to shut this crock of bullshit down without even batting an eye!”

“Normally, I would,” he says, clasping his hands together. “And believe me, I wouldn’t hesitate in doing so. But Elder Rabab has considerable backing on the issue. This isn’t something I can just snap my fingers and end just like that.”

I lean forward, even more exasperated than before. “Bestu, criminals or no criminals, we’re talking about decimating civilians, here!”

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