The science of psychometry was still frowned upon by many of Tekemuzh’s colleagues, he knew. They said it was folly and superstition; they said that it was a misuse of the aether if it worked at all, and certainly it wouldn’t really work. Usually, they stopped after he managed to make his “parlour tricks” reveal something about them they would have rather he hadn’t said.
He could have done without Aetherist Ovanobina calling him in to this particular task, however. Bones upon bones upon bones… and the silver vein that had led the miners to this dig.
“Tell us.” Ovanobina pulled Tekemuzh to the first in a long row of skeletons. “I want to know how they died.”
“Well,” Tekemuzh coughed, “there’s the problem, of course, that if they didn’t die with any major trauma or any surge of aeth…” He trailed off as his fingers brushed the first skeleton. “Oh. Oh by the Three.”
He sat back, trying to keep the contents of his stomach where they belonged. She had bled out, slowly and in pain, next to the still-warm corpse of her sister. She had died, bleeding aether into the very rock. “I think…” Tekemuzh swallowed and tried again. “I think it was a ritual.”
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