"Death is the beginning and the end..." Holding a flag at half-mast, Corum led the death parade down the scarlet aisle. Faint sobs and prayers echoed incessantly as the line stretched into the distance. Its length forewarned either a merciless epidemic or bloody war was imminent. Even should one recognize someone in her procession, it was folly to approach. Those who set foot upon the mourning path would not return alive.