Emery knelt down beside the outline that showed where a woman’s body had laid a short time ago. The woman had been killed; butchered. The questions of who had killed her and why were up to them to answer.

He opened his senses to find the trauma that the woman had experienced. Trauma often showed facts that were not immediately in evidence. Such was the case now. “She was pregnant,” he said in a soft, tight voice.

“How can you tell?” Morrissey whispered.

“There are three distinct trauma impressions at the scene,” Emery said. He drew his trauma detection wand out of his bag and held it aloft. To his eyes three faint lines traced themselves in the area.

“The victim, dying lay on the floor here,” he said, gesturing to where one track was coiling inside the outline on the floor. The colors showed both physical and emotional trauma, especially fear. A second trace hovered over the first for a small space, then flowed toward the exit. The colors were darker, indicating that the trauma was emotional and a direct result of the person’s own actions. “Her killer stood over her for a time then fled through the door. That’s not strange.”

“What’s strange is this,” Emery continued. “There’s a third track that goes from the victim to the killer and then goes with the killer. The trauma there is mostly emotional – fear, some physical, but not a great deal.”

“The killer took the baby… right out of her,” Morrissey whispered. “That’s… horrendous.”

Emery nodded his agreement as he put his wand away.

**
The man looked out at the nursery. The new addition was settling in nicely. His aura was strong and bright. He would make a fine mage. He looked around the room, smiling. Already the next generation of mages was looking better. He couldn’t wait to watch them grow, nurtured as only the Order could do.

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