The deputy investigator followed the trail that his brother had found, searching for evidence of trauma. He shook his head and looked up at his supervisor to give his assessment. Gesturing to the man’s body he began, “So the baby grand over there went up the walk – blotto, by the way he parked his breezer – “ he broke off when he noticed that his supervisor was frowning intensely.

Emery smiled up at Morrissey, though the older mage wasn’t smiling even slightly. After a few moments he asked, “Do you have a problem with my assessment?”

Morrissey shook his head and opened and closed his mouth a few times. Then he pinched the bridge of his nose and took a few deep, even breaths. “Do you have to abuse the language every time you open your mouth?” he said after a few moments. “Can’t you just call it a… a… a convertible car?”

“Breezer’s faster,” Emery replied with a shrug. “I’m not abusing the language. It’s called slang. It’s perfectly normal to use slang.”

“Not in polite society,” Morrissey corrected. His eyebrows were twitching. “Try to use proper speech when we’re working with society people.” He cast a glance at the witnesses, both of whom were dressed in the fine attire of those in power.

“I will, I will. Don’t have a kitten,” Emery said. “So the man – probably drunk, if the way he parked his convertible car is any way to judge – came up the walk, got to the steps and tripped. He struck his head on the stone and was knocked unconscious. He died soon thereafter without regaining consciousness. There is no secondary trauma, so there are no witnesses to the event or, for that matter, perpetrators. There is no foul play – just a foolish accident. He died happy anyway.”

“How do you surmise that?” one of the witnesses asked.

Emery shrugged and replied, “There wasn’t any primary trauma – aside from the blow to the head and subsequent death – either. He never experienced mental trauma; he wasn’t angry, upset or anxious. Therefore, he was likely happy.”

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