I wonder what it is, he thought. They were in every combination of attire, formal and informal, from one severely elegant woman in her sixties dressed in a Grecian-style gown of pure white, through uniforms of every rank in the Domination, to a few who had just come up from the lake in nothing but the glistening water on their skins. Sitting on the benches, strolling, talking, one even in a wheelchair. ... There was a sickness to them, he could feel it, a rot somewhere within, but it had not seemed to weaken them. Instead they fed on it and it made them strong. ... You could see it in their eyes and movements, a consciousness of power. Power of life and death over other human beings, power held since birth by hereditary right.
S. M. Stirling, The Domination (430)