Chapter 1 - Wrong Place

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The alien no longer responding, the attackers got bored and walked away; pushing their way out of the crowd as a few onlookers threw random junk on top of the unmoving alien.

The crowd dispersed. Their Personal Assistant Drones following them at their shoulders. A few took selfies. The PADs floated a little above head height in front of them and got a shot of the body behind them. Oblivious to everyone's interest in getting out of there, Wendy stood still, holding her PAD with its camera pointed at the motionless body.

"I think it's dead," she said in a soft voice.

A young woman came back for her. "Come on Wendy, let's get out of here before the police show."

****

A non-stop ride later, Gill's car pulled up to where the crime occurred. Getting out, he walking past a few people hanging around. Gill looked at the faces of each one. The Aivot system checked each face and displayed known information about the individuals. He strolled over to the exact spot where the ram-horned alien had died. The ground sprayed clean by firefighters, the area still smelled of urine. Accessing his Aivot, Gill gave it a list of certain people to scan for and identify.

He set an AI program to search for possible clues. It categorized some sharp objects. "No sharp objects," thought Gill and the Aivot removed those.

A minute later Gill walked off. His Aivot mapped out a path directing him to the person he figured to be the most instrumental in solving the case. Entering a run-down apartment complex, Gill walked to an elevator, got on, and pushed an icon on its panel. The elevator descended one floor. The doors opened. Getting off, he walked down a maze of corridors past many identical doors, except for the letters and numbers displayed on them. Stopping in front of apartment AU79, he touched the doorbell icon on a panel next to the door.

"Yes, what do you want?" Keren Arwa's odd accent came through the door's speaker.

"Hello, I'm Gill Rune. I'm here to investigate your son's murder." Gill held up his PAD's screen to the door's camera.

"Um, um... Give me a minute to see if your ID checks out."

"Sure, I understand. I'll wait."

A minute later the door opened. Keren had ram horns and white skin. She had a different brown mottled pattern than the other Chrysomallus. She looked Gill up and down. "Please come in."

"Thank you." Gill entered the apartment and looked about the room. His Aivot system identified all potential threats; locations where someone might hide, where weapons could be hidden, sharp and blunt objects hard enough to do damage, heat sources, sources of metal. It searched to ID known weapon shapes including attempting to identify bulges in the pockets of clothes. It did not find any.

"Have a seat." Keren motioned to the most comfortable chair in the room.

Sitting down, Gill looked up at her. "I would appreciate any information you have."

"What can you do? It was locals."

"And do you believe Anlon would have sent me to investigate if that was all there was to it?"

"...No, I suppose not. What are you saying?"

"It appears as if some locals have joined up with the G.E. Anlon wants them eliminated."

"Eliminated? And you mean what I think you mean?"

"I'm sure some will end up in prison. However, groups this hardcore tend to end up dead when attempting to apprehend them."

"I see. So you will avenge my son?"

"I will."

Keren sat down, sadness enshrouding her face. "You know we would have left Earth if we could have... You know right?"

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