Richard Alpert lived high. Using some of the millions of dollars he had accumulated in his life, as the retired CEO of Mittelos Biosciences, he had paid off governmental, environmental, and business interests, to be allowed to build his mansion on the top of steel pillars eight miles high, just outside of Portland, Oregon. In his very, very long life, his research into life extension had shown that at a molecular, quantum level, time slowed down at higher altitudes. He had claimed he was born in 1837 and at one time was immortal. When he was immortal, he had always secretly wished he could die. However, he was once a religious man and feared that if he did die, he would face eternal damnation for the many things he had done in his long life. The real problem, however, was that having an eternal life brought eternal memories. Richard Alpert remembered everything. Every detail of his life. Every loss. Every sadness. He had lost many friends and associates over the eons. The largest loss was of his wife. He thought of her and missed her everyday. Even though she had been gone well over 160 years, tears still formed in his eyes whenever he thought of her. But he had lost his "curse" of immortality many years ago, only to be replaced with the "curse" of mortality. Since Richard Alpert had started aging, he realized how precious life was. He was now afraid of death. So he had embarked on years of experimentation to extend his life. It worked. As long as he remained in his "mansion in the sky" he believed he would cheat death. Time raced on eight miles below. People were born. People died. Life was so short. But Richard Alpert lived on, as time passed him by. But one day, even the world died. The economics of the world collapsed. Fortunes were destroyed and one of those fortunes were Richard Alpert's. Soon, all of his servants left. His mansion had to be sold to pay off immense debts. He was forced to vacate his home. The day came when he had to board his elevator and start the long descent. Further and further down he went, until the elevator doors opened and Richard Alpert stepped, for the first time in over 42 years, onto solid ground. Richard soon discovered he was right. Time did move so much faster now. Too fast! Richard felt suddenly weak. He gasped for air! He fell to the ground. He aged so rapidly. His memories racing through his head. Memories fading. Life fading. Everything fading. As Richard Alpert breathed his last breath, he realized that he had finally caught up to time. Next: Case #4 "Uncle Frank's Last Summer"

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