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Chapter 2

Casey sat herself down at her desk and keyed on a voice memo on her work station.

"Incident report case number 26160117. Date: 27 July 2616. Report author: Casey Adler, detective INTERPOL, assigned to aid the Midtown North Precinct, AKA Hell’s Kitchen."

She glanced down at a notepad sitting on her desk, a finger sliding across as she read.

"Victim name: Helen Pratt. Age: 24," she continued. "Occupation: graduate student in physics. No side jobs noted, although there is a note about a possible internship on her My Experience or ME Feed. School: New York University. Status: single." She looked up at the screen. "Family: Parents both live in New York City and are members of the Lenox Hill Commune. No direct siblings, which is unusual as the Lenox Hillers, as they are known, are a love child community and often have multiple children per pairing."

She pulled up a photo she had taken from the victim’s residence.

"Physical description: five feet six inches, brown hair, brown eyes, a darker pigment skin common to Lenox Hill’s version of the Ethnic Heritage Project, AKA the EHP," she said then set the image aside.

"Hobbies...no," she began, then shook her hand and set the notepad down. "I’m done with the particulars. On to what really matters."

She pulled a separate leather-bound notepad and opened it. She flipped through a couple pages before nodding and looking up.

"Victim recorded straight A’s from high school on through graduate school. Friends describe her as stable, normal, but very devoted to her studies. No outward signs of instability prior to this month. A review of her medical records show no abnormalities in genetic scans. Her family has no history of instability."

She turned the page.

"The victim had no significant other in her life. The closest partner she may have had was a Marian Cole who moved to Washington City two years ago. Her friends and family say it was an amicable separation and that the victim had shown no signs of grief past the expected few weeks when such a relationship ends."

She held up her other hand, counting off as she read.

"The victim has no record of drug abuse. No criminal record of any kind. She has a stellar community service report from her school, and had already signed up for her obligatory community service in her parents’ communal group in Lenox Hill."

Casey looked up at the screen as she set the notepad down.

"I found no record of her agreeing to provide her genetic donation as per communal laws, but that’s not unusual for a student planning on continuing her studies into the doctoral level."

Casey shrugged and shook her head.

"In short, there is no reason she should have jumped off that building."

She looked down at the image sitting to one side.

"So why did she? Why would a perfectly healthy, normal woman suddenly jump out of her window to her death? And is this incident related to the previous cases I’ve examined. I have my own theories, but I refuse to give in to supposition just yet. More data is needed."

The door opened behind her. She turned to see her police chief, Linda Park, stick her head in.

"Adler, my office. Now."

Casey nodded as the chief closed the door and looked back at the screen.

"End initial report case 26160117."

Next Chapter: Bad Day