On a whim, she scanned other cases of bar fights in the city, and found more than she had expected. Most had only a few pages and a pro forma investigation with the drunks paying a fine, working extra hours, or (most of the time) spending a night in jail sleeping off the intoxicants. But most didn't involve deaths. The ones that involved someone being killed numbered nine. Four were foreigners and none of those reports ran more than 10 pages. Three were Klingon civilians and these ran up to 20 pages. Two were Klingon military officers (a major and a lieutenant) and both ran 40 pages. Why is this one so short? This man was a colonel ‹ a colonel of military intelligence. That was curious. Nothing was missing from the file, but the police were always going overboard investigating military deaths, to protect themselves in case the military complained about anything. Why so few pages? she thought. Somebody doesn't want anybody dwelling over the details of this case. Somebody doesn't want anyone to see something and ask questions.
        Krenda had a method of investigating her cases. She would ask herself questions from several angles. Was anything missing, omitted, or corrupted in the file? No, nothing indicated that. Was this too easy, too obvious? Perhaps. She let her mind wander. If I wanted to murder this colonel, she thought, how would I do it? And if I decided to do it this way, is this what it would look like? Would I use a proxy? How could I recruit a proxy?
        She dug into the life of the Dunkar, whose name was Toravis tel-Dinba. He had been an accountant his entire life since graduating from university, and had worked on Klinshai for 13 years. His wife had divorced him a year ago and gone home to Dunkaria with his children. His co-workers said he had been depressed and angry for several months.
        Her nose twitched, and she checked into the ex-wife. No, she was alive and well on Dunkaria, and had remarried, to someone she had known years earlier. There was no indication that his wife had been in contact with her new husband before she got home. Toravis had been simply an angry, lonely, man, who drank too much and tried to pick up the wrong woman in a bar. A Klingon woman. That sparked a thought, and she did a scan of the tavern's records. Toravis had, over the time since his divorce, approached several Dunkar women in the tavern, but had never had any success with them. He had never approached a woman of another species. Decided to change your luck, did you? she chuckled. She had a few inter-species dates in her lifetime, even a couple of brief flings. She sighed for a moment, remembering a Zoolie who had ... well, never mind that. It's in the past and this case is not about me. Besides, at her age, she was way beyond picking up subject race lovers in a tavern.
        Is that how I'd kill him? she asked herself, reviewing the fight tape again, then again, then a third time in slow motion. The colonel's punch didn't seem hard enough to knock the Dunkar down, and the Dunkar's spin-and-fall move seemed ... off, maybe staged. Stabbed in the throat? She did a scan of other bar fights over the last five years, selecting for stabbings and knife fights. Most were slash cases, and slashes (while bloody) were seldom fatal. Stabbings were far less common, and most of them were in the body: the back, the stomach, the chest. There was only one other case of a stab in the throat, and it had been ruled a murder. Murder? she thought. I'm drunk, I pick up a knife and stab for the throat. The throat.
"Krovenza," she spoke into her intercom.   "Yes, Lady Krenda," he said, entering her office less than a minute later. "How may I serve the Empire?"
      "You want to kill someone with a knife. How do you do it?"
      "Go for the throat," Krovenza said, "from behind. Pull the head back and cut from ear to ear. I prefer to start at the far side and pull across, but others like to stab the knife into the near side of the throat and push out. I don't like that method. If you don't get deep enough on the stab, you don't cut the blood vessels. Pull in until you hit bone, then you know you'll bleed him."
"Not from behind," she said. "You have to kill him from straight ahead, face to face."
     "Go for his gut," Krovenza said. "That will put him down. Then you can cut his throat when he's on the floor."
     "You won't have time for that," she said. "Everyone around you will pull you away from him. You get one shot."
     "With a knife?" the old detective smiled. "You've only got one sure target, the throat. If you go for his chest, you've got a 50-50 chance of hitting a rib and going nowhere. Even if you hit a gap, all of that cartilage is tough to punch through. But going for the throat, well, Lady Krenda, you had better be lucky or good. You'll have to cut the blood vessels. A slash will be too easy for him to block. He'll see you coming and just raise his arm. Going straight in, you've got to get it right. Or you've got to be lucky."
       "Dismissed," she said. You know nothing I don't. Good.
       Lucky, she thought. He had to be lucky, or good. Her nose twitched. Either the colonel just got stuck by an amateur, or by someone who had really known what he was doing. Who are you, Toravis? Nothing in his background indicated any military or martial arts training. She had to force her nose to twitch and look further. Any changes in his behavior? That was a tough one. Individual homes were not monitored, and there were no detectives following around every subject race worker on Klinshai recording his every move. The most she could do was check the security door on his apartment building. For the three tendays prior to the fight, Toravis had gotten home near midnight every night. Before that, all the way back to his divorce, Toravis spent most of his evenings at home, but he did stay out drinking a couple of times every tenday. There were no records, but the security door showed that on his midnight returns up to a few tendays before the incident, he had needed three or four tries to get the code right. For the 34 days before the incident, he had gotten the code right the first try, every single time. Not drunk. Her nose twitched. What were you doing? She ran his face through facial recognition for the cameras that monitored the streets (each snapped a picture every minute or so), and found him walking west from work after supper and east again near midnight. Meeting someone? she thought, her nose twitching for real. Where? She found him entering an apartment building in one frame on one of the evenings. Other evenings he was seen on the same block, but the random photos only found him entering the building once. She never found him west of it.
       What's there? she wondered. It was a nondescript apartment building full of subject race and foreign people. Lyrans, Romulans, Seltorians, Orions, even a Cygnan renegade who worked for military intelligence. Her nose twitched. The Cygnan had left Klinshai two tendays after the killing of Colonel Khost. There was no indication that the two had ever met. Three other people in the building also worked for military intelligence, and two of them had left Klinshai since the fight, which had been six tendays ago. For that matter, four others who resided there had left Klinshai in that six tendays. Leads to run down later if this goes anywhere. Toravis had been walking to this building after work every night for nearly a month, then he got into a fight with Khost and killed him with an expert stab.