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Truth Montenegro straightened up at the exam table, wincing at the soreness in her back. Bending over for long periods of time tended to make her back hurt, and most of her job, at least in the lab, was bending over a body on a table. She stared down at the body before her, mulling over what she was seeing. The bite marks embedded in the bone were consistent with a carnivorous creature, but the bite strength was utterly off the charts. That meant one thing: they had a nova with animal teeth who was removing chunks of people.

Truth rubbed her forehead with one hand while stating her findings for the computer. The program would ‘listen’ to her words and translate them into her document program. She’d need to fix a few things later, but it saved her hours of typing. Despite the unquestionable help of her writing program, this work was the kind of thing that made her feel tired – the endless variety of ways with which novas could kill their fellow men. Worse, she was sure that the victim had been alive-

The buzz of an email hitting her inbox pulled her out of her dark musings. Drawn back to the case at hand, she finished her summation and closed the programs. Rotating her neck, she opened her email to find a new missive from Dr. Carver. The subject was ‘Need your opinion’. Her curiosity aroused, she clicked it open to find a short message:

To:Truth Montenegro

Subject: Need your opinion

Dr. Montenegro,

I have a fat file on my desk from an associate of mine in the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States. I can recognize it’s an autopsy file, but I’m not sure what the cause of death is or how the body got into that state. Also, identification of the deceased is rather difficult. Would you be willing to take a look at my file?


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