Leti sat down in the mud alongside the monster-thing. Her fingers grazed the book's cover; she remembered the attic. Daka's cold and callused body. And across town, the terrifying illness that had taken root. Her body trembled once, deeply. The monster-thing watched with great interest. Leti turned the page and started to read.
I look back down the table at Eris. She is staring thoughtfully at the ceiling with bright eyes, and then her gaze drifts down—over me, whom she seems not even to notice—and settles on the Queen, with an expression simultaneously fired with curiosity and cold with regard. I have seen that expression many times before, when she first holds up the organ of a newly dissected animal with her forceps, or when she discovers that prodding the exposed brain of a mouse can make its leg twitch. That is how she is looking at the Queen.