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       The temple was a large, imposing stone building, with a set of large, imposing oak doors. Alice lifted the large,
imposing brass knocker and released it to announce her presence. At the large, imposing sound made by this action,
an orb resembling an eye floated out of its place in the wall and pointed itself at Alice.
       “I’m here to see the corpse. Is he taking visitors?”
       The door creaked open, revealing Pelleas behind it.
       “Hello, Father. Care to show me to the scene of the crime?”
       “Of course, Ms. Hellstalker. Right this way.” He stopped to look at the bandages on Alice’s arm. “May I ask what
happened to you?”
       “I was shot. By someone who I expect didn’t want me investigating this. I may have to charge you extra.”
       “I apologise...”
       “Don’t. You didn’t shoot me.”
       “Well, no, I didn’t... but if I caused you harm indirectly...”
       “It is a flesh wound, and I am immortal. Do not lose any sleep over it.”
       “Er... right. Well, the body is right in here.” He pointed to a door going off from the main chamber of the temple.
       “What’s the room used for?”
       “Generally, it isn’t.”
       “Excuse me?”
       “It was a storage closet, but we ended up removing everything from it years ago. We’ve never put anything back
in.”
       “Huh. Now, why would Father Terev have been in a room with no actual use?”
       “I do not know. That’s been worrying me.”
       “Well, let’s see if we can find out, shall we.”
       “Excuse me, but what exactly do you mean by ‘we?’ I had thought I hired you to investigate this.”
       “I wasn’t speaking literally. I’d prefer if you were in there with me, though.”
       “Why?”
       “Because I may have questions you could answer.”
       “I see.” He opened the door, and they both entered the room. Except for the body and what appeared to be a
ceremonial dagger, it was entirely bare. No windows, and only the one door.
       “Hm. Interesting dagger. Do you recognise the figure in the hilt?”
       “It’s... Aldarken, is it now?”
       “Yes. Chief servitor demon of Golaun. Does your church have any feud with the church of the devourer?”
       “Not that I am aware of.”
       “Hm.” She knelt to look more closely at the body. “He’s missing his heart, it would seem. I think I can be fairly sure
of what caused his death, at least.” She reached into the gaping hole in Terev’s chest, poking around inside. Pelleas
gagged. “He appears to be missing several other internal parts as well. I can’t feel any lungs. I’m not sure how those
could be pulled out through a hole this size... Interesting detail.” She removed her hand from the wound, pressing a
small stone on her wrist as she did so. The blood on her hand disappeared instantly. “I’m going to try something I’ve
been meaning to for a little while. I just got this new tool, and... well, I’ll explain as I use it.” She pulled a black stone and
a pinch of red dust from her coat pocket. “I’ll need complete darkness for this to work,” she said, rubbing the stone. All
light in the room was gone. “Much better.” She snapped her fingers, and a tiny explosion came forth from her hand.
Coloured streaks ran through the air in the room.
       “What...”
       “The lines show movement of living creatures through the room within a month. This particular powder is attuned to
work only on humans. That keeps vermin from screwing up the scene. The red lines are me... I guess I’m human
enough to count. The blue lines are you. That leaves the green and the yellow lines, if we leave out all the lines that
stop just outside of this room. Those must be from priests discovering the body, I assume. The yellow line, if I can guess
correctly, must be Freaggar, the Guard investigator. See how it stops just above the body? He was investigating it. If he
was doing so, he must have had utterly useless notes for some other reason. I’ll have to question him. Now... this green
line... It looks like whoever left it was holding something heavy, and you can see traces of their fingers having been
under where the body now is. Terev has left no lines, so we now know he was dead before he was in this room. But...”
       “But what?”
       “The green line stops where it set the body down. It doesn’t exit. I don’t understand how that’s even possible...
Unless whoever did this teleported out of here.” She rubbed the stone again, and light returned as the lines
disappeared. “I’m still a little lost, but I have a few leads. You shouldn’t need to keep the body here any longer.”
       “Thank you.”
       “Don’t thank me. I haven’t found your killer yet. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go see a man about an assassin.”

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All text 8 2004 R.