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Work in Progress.

   Liliana Evens watched as the knife slid into her mother's flesh. The cuts were quick and smooth, sliding through human flesh as if through butter. The masked man pulled the slit open and begin removing viscera and putting it neatly onto  the table. They were lined up next to her father's. Her parent's faces were blank and staring at the ceiling, their eyes milky and lifeless, faces pale and drawn.

" You shouldn't be watching this sort of thing young one." A motherly female voice came from behind her.

" I spent 2 weeks watching them die, this is no worse and may offer answers." Liliana responded without turning around. She kept her eyes glued to the Sionact doctor who was performing the autopsy on her friends and family.

" Don't you think you have seen enough misery?" the motherly implored.

" They aren't suffering now, and i must know." Liliana said firmly. She was 15 years old but her stern demeanor and hard face made her sound so much older.

" What could you possibly learn from this child?" the voice came again.

This time Liliana turned to look at the speaker, another Sionact, this time in a nurses outfit. Her face was distressed and her ears down sticking out to the sides in dismay. The hardened Stoic behavior of this young human girl was obviously playing on the nurses nerves.

" I want to know why they are dead and i am not." Liliana answered with a composure that unnerved the nurse further. The Nurse expected wailing and grief this hard cold determination was not at all what was supposed to happen.

" Let her grieve in her own way." Came another female voice with a Sionact accent.

" Oh Doctor, but it can't be good for the child's mind to..." the nurse started.

" The Not know will eat at her worse then anything she sees here." The Female doctor said gently.

The flustered nurse deciding that there was nothing more she could do hurried off to see if she could assist someone somewhere else.

Liliana stood stock still and watched as the Sionact Doctor, a lean vulpine figure with black fur, a surgical mask covering a sleek muzzle and head device with magnifying lenses strapped to his head, continue to compare the removed organs to each other and to an open book next to him. Her parent's weren't the only subjects on the table, a younger boy she would play games in the village streets was also on a table waiting to be examined, so were the blacksmith's apprentice and the priest of the local church. All humans.

Liliana felt more than saw the female sionact doctor step up beside her. Liliana didn't turn to look at her but spoke.

" Thanks for letting me stay. You were right, not knowing why would be far worse."

" Think nothing of it. My son is exactly the same. If there is a tragedy he needs to know what happened and why or the not knowing drives him crazy."

" I could feel them getting sick before they started to show it." Liliana says without looking away from what was left of her family and friends.

" No one would believe me till the coughing started, then the fever and trembles struck them and i couldn't get them to the doctor myself, by that time all the other humans in the village were sickening the same way. in less then a day every human in town was bedridden and shaking. All but me. It happened so quick that it can't be a coincidence..... what if what people have been saying is true, Did i somehow cause this?"

Liliana finally turned and looked at the woman next to her as if for answer.

Without hesitation the Sionact doctor " No. I can say that for certain. some people might tell you that innate magic talents can cause people to sicken but the person doing it has do it on purpose or really hate someone to do it untrained, and even then 3 is the most people effected on record by such untrained users."

Liliana raised her eyebrows. " You seem well informed on the subject."

The Doctor gave a half smile " My son was born with an affinity for Bio-thaumaturgy, i know a lot about what untrained magic children are capable of and what they aren't. In order for this to be your fault you would have to be born a Bio-thaumaturg of immense power and absolutely wanted everyone dead. Even then untrained you could have only effected those near you. Intent is rather crucial to magic. You would have to really want them dead and from your behavior you didn't."

The Sionact doctor shrugged " From everything i know the stories about children accidentally cursing whole cities is bullshit." The doctor said nonchalantly. " Also notice that such stories always involve humans? You never hear tales of Skit'rich or Hesken children wiping out villages?"

The Doctor continued, " My son is on his way here actually he can tell you far more about this, but for now i think you should discard any notions or suggestions that this is your fault or that you should feel guilty for surviving. This may not be easy but focus on searching for the truth and less effort on assigning yourself blame. Survivors guilt is unproductive. "

" Ok, thank you." Liliana says calmly before turning back to watch the autopsy.

The Sionact doctor turned, walking out of the operating theater to check on the other patients. Liliana was left with her thoughts again and did not begrudge the doctor her duties. Almost all of the humans of village Bilbandian were dead of a strange disease but they had not died alone and isolated, as much prejudice and disdain as humans faced in their day to day lives some residents of the town had stepped up and tended the sick. Those individuals that had done so agreed to be checked up in the hospital, kept under quarantine in case it posed a threat to other species besides humans. It had also as a brawny brown Hesken who was the a farmer that lived outside Bilbandian but came into town to treat the sick, pointed out that even if other species didn't get ill from it they could still be carriers of the sickness and infect other humans without knowing. That made sense to Liliana, but she had the suspicion that he had pointed that out to the doctors so she would not have to ride alone in a quarantine wagon into the city.

She wondered if she would find answers listening in to the doctors examining them. She most likely would but didn't move. No there was more keeping her here than the need for answers. It was most likely the last time she would see her parent's faces. She was smart enough to know that the bodies would either be burned or preserved in some fashion and never properly buried. A custom among humans was a 'wake' she had no idea why it was called that but she knew her kind held parties and viewed the body for a time before the funeral, maybe that was why she was staying, to keep some small piece of that tradition alive. 

That was not it either or not all of it. She Felt something. Not an emotion but a small presence in the corpses, a trace of something she could not define. She had felt that small presence before they had gotten ill. She remembered it, it was not there one moment and then suddenly she felt it on people around her. Then hours later they were ill and only deteriorated slowly until they died. The moment she had felt that tiny echo of something she had started telling people that something bad was going to happen.


( To be continued )

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