Environmental Crimes Division: Part 1
As the sun rose high in the pale green sky, Sgt. Thrace awoke from her deep and restful summer. She slowly gathered herself and prepared to meet the day. She checked her phone and had a message from Jonathan.
Fi - I've got some results from the samples you dropped off yesterday. Stop by in the morning and we'll talk. I think we're on to something here.
She strapped on her weapon and her evidence tote. She locked the door and took off from her balcony. The morning was beautiful and calm. It was a good day for flying. She landed on the roof of the The Lab and headed down to Jonathan's office. As she walked in, he stood up from his desk and embraced her heartily.
"You have gotten some sleep. Splotchy isn't a good look for you."
"Thanks bro." She said rolling her eyes at her brother. "Now on to more important things. You said you found something for me."
Jonathan focused on business and led her into his lab area. "You brought by two samples yesterday and I've tested them both. The yellow substance you found was fairly easy to identify. It is a type of moss. It is very common and tends to grow in small clusters."
"That doesn't sound like something to be burned away."
"Well, that is debatable. Many believe it is this that caused the destruction of our first planet. The fault in the theory is that the destruction is so complete on that planet that we have trouble proving what we know to be true. We can't even find concrete evidence of cities and societies. I don't know how anyone could know for sure what caused the devastation. We know that something used to live there, but we don't know who or what. I don't see how we can find evidence of such a small thing."
"So we have a conspiracy theorist. Lovely. What's his angle?"
"Hard to say. He could be torching the places he finds this in a misguided effort to protect our planet. Or he could be torching them as a method of proving their danger. Or he could be torching them in an effort to eliminate them and the conspiracy surrounding them. I can't even guess what side he is on."
"And the gel?"
"I ran almost every test I could. The findings are here he said sliding her a file of information. We did run into 2 problems. First, the test I didn't run requires norol. In order to run that test, your captain will need to formally petition the Director of Testing to use it. You know we have a limited amount of norol left from our escape, so it is only used in extreme cases."
"Is the test needed? What could it reveal?"
"There were 3 separate substances that I could not identify in gel. The test I could not run would reveal if any of the unknown substances were from our first planet. Considering his focus on this moss, it is not unreasonable to believe some of his materials would relate to Tae as well."
"Is there a chance that we can run the test?"
"I have only heard of it being used once and that was 25 years ago on the Killer Candy case. So the chances are small and they get even smaller when you consider the second problem."
"The sample disintegrated."
Thrace's eyes grew two sizes and face took on a particularly angry shade of purple. "It what?!"
Jonathan held up his hands in a position of surrender. "It isn't my fault. The tiny beads that were in the sample were full of nitrogen. They were a slow release capsule to ensure that any of the gel remaining would disintegrate after a period of time. You were lucky to get that sample. So even if you get permission to run the test, you have to find another sample to test."
Thrace sank to the ground feeling very defeated. She sat there quietly for several minutes. Jonathan knowing his sister very well said nothing and went about other business. After some thinking, she stood and left the room quietly. She walked down the stairs and out into the street. She needed to focus on this latest development and not the air space. Although the offices of the ECD were only a few blocks from The Lab, she took the long away around. An hour later she arrived at her office with a plan. Before she could enact her plan, she was called into the Captain's office.
"Sgt. Thrace, where are we on the Arbor Arsonist case. I heard there was some new evidence found yesterday."
"Yes. I just received the report from Dr. Thrace at The Lab." She continued to tell her superior all of the information that she had received in the last few hours.
"Then it seems we are back at the beginning."
"Not exactly, sir. I have been thinking and planning. I think we have a few new areas to explore. If the unidentified elements of the gel are connected to Tae, then we can eliminate several portions of the population. There are only a handful of people who have access to anything from Tae or the ability to go there and get more. Secondly, we know that he or she is focusing on this specific type of moss. That can help us identify the next possible target for the Arbor Arsonist. And if Dr. Thrace is correct that many believe this is the cause of the destruction of Tae, then we could begin looking at some of these groups who either espouse these ideas or those who seek to destroy these ideas. If we can gather a list of their members, then we can compare that to those who would have access to Tae and narrow down our list of suspects considerably."
Captain Jorns sat looking at her for several seconds. "Good work, Sgt. Thrace. I'll expect a report on this tomorrow."
"Tomorrow sir? I'm not sure I can prepare all of that information that quickly."
"I'm sure you can. I'll expect to see you at this time tomorrow."
"Yes, sir." Thrace said as she quietly exited the room. She went to her desk and began the long work of researching all of these leads.