Emery followed Hassett and Morrissey to the place where the older mage had determined that the bullet had been fired from. “You know the bullet isn’t what killed the man, right?”

“People still get in trouble for discharging a firearm recklessly,” Hassett pointed out. “Even when the bullet that they fired hits someone who’s already dead.”

Emery nodded and followed the pair up to a small apartment. It was obvious from the moment they entered the room that the inhabitants were not natives. They spoke another language, one foreign and musical to Emery’s ears.

“Do you know anything about a weapon discharging in this residence last night around six o’clock,” Hassett asked as the trio was allowed inside. Emery smiled at a girl around his own age, obviously the daughter.

“He knows all about it,” she said boldly. “He fired it.” Both parents made hushing gestures and the father snapped something at the girl but she continued, “I will not be quiet. You almost killed my boyfriend and he hadn’t done anything wrong.”

“He sleep with you when you not married,” the father snapped. “I protect my family.”

“He wasn’t going to sleep with me, all we did was cuddle on the couch,” the girl snapped back.

“That’ll do,” Hassett said firmly. “Sir, I understand that you want to protect your family, but shooting recklessly is not the way to go about it. I’m going to ask you to come with me now and we’ll take your statement down at the station.”

“What you doing with my husband?” the woman asked as Hassett placed handcuffs on the man. “What have you done?” she asked her daughter. Before Hassett could reply, she began haranguing her daughter in a language that none of the officials could understand.

Emery sighed and edged toward the daughter’s side. “He’s discharged his firearm recklessly and illegally,” he explained to the girl. “He probably won’t get much jail time but he’ll be fined. Can you tell your mother that? Will it help?”

“Yes, in a bit, when she’s calmer,” the girl said. “I know he shouldn’t have done it but no one was hurt, right?”

“No, but they could have been. Stray bullets account for nearly as many lives as purposeful ones,” Emery explained. “In this case, it strayed into a crowd but fortunately hit someone who was already dead.”

“I see, thank you,” the girl said. Emery could hear her calling to her mother over the woman’s angrily raised voice as they left. The man of the house followed Hassett docilely enough, hanging his head and talking to himself.

Emery shook his head and sighed. “This is the part of the job I hate,” he murmured.

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