Colors Bit: Post-Mortem

A bit after the Commander went down. Poor Lee Cheong….

The first wails went up. Gods, but I wanted to join them. Yet I had an order. A duty. “Captain Kang.”

“…Sir.” His eyes were wet. His gloved hand twitched, ready to summon his ghost-hawk.

“Seal the barracks. We must check everyone again.” I stood, as Chae released her grip and Chin-sun shook with tears. “Bring everyone… bring them past Master Yaow. He knew.”

“Master Yaow?” Chae’s eyes narrowed. In one fluid leap she was on the rooftop, ps-ps-psing with an outstretched hand. And a bit of dried fish, if I knew her.

“There was a smell,” I managed, as the falconer eyed me. “Like sea-wrack. I didn’t know… Master Yaow knew. Just before the Commander – lost.”

Chae thumped gently down, arms full of pale warm fur. Not purring, as green eyes blinked at us; Master Yaow was a cat, but he knew the signs of humans in grief. “Better to catch this with two noses than one.” She let Master Yaow flow into Captain Kang’s arms, as her golden gaze sought mine. “The court will panic.”

If anyone knew how courts panicked, it was Chae. “We will send a quick message,” I stated. “That the Commander suddenly… died of his wounds.”

“Should hold them a while.” Kang scratched under Master Yaow’s chin, eyes still on the horrible body before us. “But what happened?

“I don’t know!” Chin-sun clasped her hands together, gripping to turn knuckles white; head bowed as if her neck anticipated a blade. “He was healed, all but a little. He was well….”

“Some curses hide.” Chae’s voice was quiet. Gentle. “We must learn how.”

Ah. So my second order would draw everyone’s hate. So be it. “We must have an autopsy.”

“What?” Ha-neul paled; he was far from the only one. “No!”

“Sir,” Captain Kang protested.

“We must know how it hides!”

Ah. I had not meant to roar. My own ears rang.

14 thoughts on “Colors Bit: Post-Mortem

  1. If the Commander were standing there as a ghost, *he’d* probably be roaring the same thing. The kind of leader who gets that kind of loyalty from their troops wouldn’t scruple over their own corpse when the safety of their people is at stake.

    Liked by 9 people

  2. I take it ancient Korea was one of those places that detested the idea of cutting up the honorable dead?
    Using a cat to give a second opinion is great.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. There’s also the potential hazard to the coroner.

    “The commander turned into a shark monster and died.”

    “Did the autopsy find anything?”

    “Maybe, but the coroner turned into a shark monster and died before he could tell us anything.”


    Liked by 4 people

    1. You’re not wrong about the hazard. They plan to do the autopsy very carefully. And with all the anti-curse and anti-infection stuff they can muster.

      They do know that it seems to take a physical wound to infect someone. So they plan to Not Do That.

      Liked by 1 person

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