She cracks wise: “Not much sympathy there, I suppose.”

Forensics either doesn’t get it, or, more likely, doesn’t think it’s funny. “Not that I can tell, no. That’s not terribly surprising. Lots of ways to erase that sort of thing, now that every third gashlycrumb is full of our methods. Melt it down and make it into something else, like a bowl, maybe. Or soak it in vinegar, bury it below the tideline.” He shrugs. “Never more than middling useful, anyway.”

She turns her back on the blood, shuts out the conversation from the stewards going through the correspondence. It’s a beautiful day, which seems to be a trend lately. No one ever dies under low’ring skies; should make the trainees memorize that, give their empty heads something to hold on to. Some magicians go wheeling past on their bicycles, hardly sparing a glance for the crowd pressed against the window. Well, they wouldn’t, would they? Just more grist for their labs, sooner or later.

Who did you love, she asks the silent corpse, and wishes for the thousandth time that necromancy weren’t so damn unreliable.