Friday, June 14, 2013

Environmental Crimes Division: Part 3

Environmental Crimes Division: Part 1
Environmental Crimes Division: Part 2

After a long and largely sleepless night, Thrace had a file of information ready for the captain. When he entered the office, she was following him with the information.

"After much research, I have discovered quite a bit of information. First as I was looking for people who had access to Tae or its artifacts. Of course there are the scientists and high level politicians. However, I found a surprising group with access to Tae, garbage collectors."

The captain stopped fixing his coffee and turned to look at her. "Garbage collectors? How did that happen?"

"Fifteen years ago there was a movement to rescue items from Tae. As such they sent in garbage collectors to collect artifacts, elements, and other items from Tae to be used here. The plan was to live on the Space Fort for three months. They would take a ship to various parts of Tae to search for items. They would bring them back and clean them as much as possible. After three months they were to come back and further clean the items and turn them over to the Department of Science. However after three months the mission was considered so successful that they were assigned to the Space Fort for three more months."

"Six months at the Space Fort? I have never heard of anyone being assigned there that long. Three months is longer than most terms up there. What happened to them when they came home?"

"There was only one crew of 7 men. James Ardan, Bruno Blanda, Micheal Cyra, Nolan Gildava, Robert Lagash, George Motya, and Felix Sulci. They all made it back, but since then they have had very different lives. Bruno Blanda was from North Region and returned there. However within 5 years he was dead of an unknown disease. Micheal Cyra was from West Region. For the last 7 years, he has been in a home for the mentally unstable. George Motya was from Central Region. He came back and settled in North Region. He has also been dead from an unknown disease for the past 9 years. Felix Sulci was from South Region and settled back there. He has also been in a home for the mentally unstable for almost 10 years. Nolan Gildava was from the East Region and has settled back there. He has been living happily with his family since his return. James Ardan and Robert Lagash have lived in various regions and had various jobs. They haven't kept a job or a home for longer than 6 months since their return. Neither one of them have any family living. In fact for over two years now, they have not been heard from. I have been able to find no recorded evidence of them for the last two years."

"Is there reason to believe they are dead?"

"No sir. There were no hospital reports of them and their physical reports all say they are healthy with no disease or ailment known."

"So we need to find them."

"Yes sir. And I have an idea about that as well. Upon researching the groups who may be claiming that this yellow moss caused the destruction of Tae. I found one scientific article from 40 years ago written by Dr. Bartholomew Tharros claiming to have found evidence that what he termed Yellow Death Moss contributed to the flammability, poor air quality, and even famine that caused the evacuation of Tae. He never directly came out to say what was the evidence or where he got it. I didn't find any response to it or anyone that seemed to think he was correct in his assumptions. In fact there was no mention of it until about the time of the garbage collection project. They were not connected in anyway that I could find other than the timing. Then about 10 years ago a group was created called Yellow Fever. Their membership rolls are unavailable. Their meeting times and places are secret. The induction requirements are unknown. The only thing that we know is a few public statements made by Gerard Divici who claims to be their voice and nothing more."

"What has he said?"

"He hasn't said anything recently. The most recent statements I could find were from 3 years ago. At that time he claimed that this Yellow Death Moss was not only the destruction of Tae, but would also be the destruction of Geala. I have the full article as well as the other information I have found in this file." She said handing him the folder she had been carrying.

"Good work. I think the next step would be..."

"For me to sleep. I mean the interruption in the most respectful way possible. However in order to get all this information, I have not been home since about this time yesterday. So in order for me to function at my best, I need to go home and sleep for several hours. I'll be back after lunch ready to work."

Captain Jorns glared at her for a few seconds and then relented. He nodded his head and she was free to go. She went up to the roof and took off for home and her very comfortable bed.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Environmental Crimes Division: Part 2

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."

"Which is?"

"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.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Environmental Crimes Division

The water was the perfect temperature, hot enough to make her skin purple.  She eased herself into the tub as her stress melted away. Investigating these crimes all day had left Thrace exhausted. This suspect had her flying from one end of the region to the other tracking down leads and crime scenes. Without her permission, her mind drifted back towards today's events.
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She had barely walked into the station when the call came in. She was gone again. Flying toward the southern edge of the region to investigate the latest destruction. As she flew toward the crime scene, she saw the news flights as well.

Grr. I wish the wish the no fly law had passed. She thought to herself. You know you are about the only one who is affected by them. It would be a little excessive to have a law just for yourself. The other side of her reasoned.

She flew very far left and then to south. She came upon the scene from the south instead of the north. She flew directly over the destruction before finding a place to land. She saw the acre of land burned black. From the previous crime scenes, she knew it was exactly one acre, no more no less. She also knew she should be flying through smoke as the forest should be smoldering. As was becoming normal in this case, there was no smoke.

Her mind was already reviewing the known facts of the case and adding what she had seen of this crime scene. As she approached the news flight, she dipped down low flew between the trees that were still standing. She arrived at the crime scene unseen by the news flight. She approached the officer on duty.

"Sergeant Fiana Thrace, Enviornmental Crimes Division."

"Sergeant Thrace, thank you for coming so quickly. You saw that we have the hallmarks of The Arbor Arsonist."

"Are there any new pieces of evidence?"

"Yes, ma'am. In a particularly thick clump of trees, we found a gel like substance. We bottled it, but otherwise haven't touched it for fear of contaminating evidence."

"Good work officer. I'll want to see the area later, but for now where is the bottle."

The seasoned officer handed her the bottle. She took it and examined it with the precaution she would an antique shovel. This could explode or disintegrate and be rendered useless. She noted it was colored orange and bore little weight. She strapped it into her evidence tote.

Mental note: Thank Jonathan again for creating this. I couldn't have gotten the promotion without this. She thought as she engaged her protection armor and followed the officer to the crime scene. She walked the perimeter and measured the destruction. It was as she figured, exactly one acre. She indicated she was ready to enter the destruction. She again followed the officer. This time they arrived at the site where the gel was found. She took photos and attempted to measure the unharmed portion as well as the thickness of the foliage on the forest floor. As she was taking measurements she noticed a yellow substance poking out from underneath the remnants of the gel. She grabbed a scalpel from the tools on her armor. She scraped what she could of the uncontaminated yellow substance. Without the use of all of her senses, she had no inkling what this could be. She strapped that into her evidence tote as well. After a bit more looking, she left the crime scene. At a safe distance away, she cleansed and disengaged her protective armor.

"Thank you for your help officer. I'll leave the rest to the technicians who should be here shortly. I will be heading back to The Lab to get these things tested. Good work today. This just might be the break through we need."

"I'm happy to be of assistance and if I may say so, it is my pleasure to serve your case in any way I can. You have been a revolutionary force in this division. Thank you."

She blushed a deep navy color and mentally cursed herself for it. Her words were simple though. "All in a days work."
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Now soaking in her tub hours later, that term a day's work had a physical pain to go with it. She had dropped off the materials off at The Lab with Jonathan. She would check on that in the morning. Between now and then, she was going to try to rest.