When Sara finally led Catherine
and Grissom back to the conference room, it was evident if only by the looks on the others’ faces that something was
“We can’t find
him anywhere,” Nick told them. “Brass put out an APB for Vivian and
has given out information on Greg in case anyone spots him.”
“I found this on his
locker.” Sara held up a small piece of paper with some scribbling on it. “I looked up the verse, and…”
Grissom took the paper from
her and read. “Jeremiah 48:7. ‘Because
you have trusted in your wealth and skill, you will be taken captive.’”
“Oh, God,” Catherine
sighed, falling into a chair.
A similar felling passed around
the room. The team may have thought Greg annoying, but he held a place in each
of their hearts. Always eager to help, he balanced out the seriousness of the
rest of the team with his youth and energy. Now, an unsettling silence and a
deep feeling of loss filled the room, similar to when the crew had lost Holly Gribbs, as they all took in the endless possibilities.
The silence was broken when
Grissom suddenly called out to the others. “We need to check his house.”
“What?” Warrick finally managed to speak.
“We need to check his
house, his car, the lab, the locker room, anywhere he could have been when he was taken.
Maybe there’s some clue as to where he is.”
“But he could have been
anywhere,” Sara whined.
“Then we better get going.”
With that, their fearless leader
was out the door.
* * * * * * * * *
* * *
* * * * * *
Splitting up, the team took
on the search with a renewed vigor. Working as thoroughly as ever, all five remaining
members of the graveyard family, along with some outsiders from swing shift, searched everything Greg owned for some kind
of sign as to his whereabouts.
After their last search, they
all gathered outside Greg’s front door to try and figure out what to do next.
“I say we go back to
the lab and sort out what we have,” Nick exhaled noisily. “I know
it’s not much, but if we put it together with what we know, maybe we’ll get something.”
came Sara’s obviously concerned voice from one of the nearby SUVs.
Team members looked around
when he didn’t answer.
Just then, one of the newbies
from swing shift spoke up.
“He saw something he
wanted to collect and told me to go ahead when you called us all out front. He
said he’d be right there.” Though answering Sara’s question,
the tall and lanky young woman addressed Grissom.
“You left him alone?”
Nick cried, rushing to the back of the house where Warrick had been working. When
he got there, Warrick’s kit was laying open on the ground next to a shoeprint he’d been processing. In a way, it was kind of fitting; Warrick always said it was all about the shoeprints.
As more of the team came up
behind him, Nick put on a glove to pick up a white rag laying a few feet away.
“It’s not like
Vivian to leave evidence behind,” Grissom said, looking on.
“Smell it, Griss. It’s doused with something. Could
be chloroform.” Nick passed off the rag, hoping for some explanation as
to what was happening.
“Well, this accounts
for how she may have been able to subdue them,” Grissom proclaimed. “She
drugged them. Okay, there’s nothing else here. Let’s get back to the lab. Maybe we can get some DNA
off of that rag.”
“Sara, what tipped you
off that Warrick was gone?” Catherine asked.
“This.” Sara held up a small piece of paper similar to the one found on Greg’s locker. “I found it on the Tahoe. Proverbs 28:20.”
Since the renewal of Vivian’s
antics, Grissom had taken to carrying a small pocket-sized Bible with him for just such moments as this. He pulled it out now and turned to Proverbs.
“ ‘The trustworthy
will get a rich reward. But the person who wants to get rich quick will only
get into trouble.’”
“She’s not targeting
us for what we’re doing. She’s targeting us for what we’ve
already done!” Catherine cried incredulously, realization dawning.
stuff and let’s get out of here,” Grissom called. “We’ve
got work to do.”
* * * * * * * * *
“We’ve been doing
this all wrong!” Nick cried. “She expected us-no, she wanted
us to continue following the original pattern… And we fell right into that trap!
That’s why Warrick and I came up empty.”
“That’s also how
she knew she could pull it off… She’s an expert at this.” Catherine
had gone back to some of the databases she had been showing Greg and was now projecting her findings for all to see. “On the left is New York. On
the right is Miami.”
“Long, tight spirals. Just like Vegas,” Nick observed.
“Right.” Catherine maximized pictures of the CSI crews in both cities. “The
only difference is that the CSIs in those cities didn’t go missing. This
is a whole new ball game… I think we need to make some phone calls.”
“Okay, Cath, you talk
to Miami. You’re
already familiar with them. Sara, you talk to New York. Talking patterns with them will be
easiest for you.” Grissom rubbed his temples as he delegated the tasks.
“What about me?”
“You need to cool your
jets. Get started on Greg and Warrick’s stuff in the lab.”
* * * * * * * * *
“Caine,” came the
familiar voice of Catherine’s favorite Miami colleague.
“I seem to have lost
my tan in the last two years,” she said with a smile, wondering if he remembered that conversation. “And my boss has cut my vacation time… You wouldn’t happen to know any place I could
get one in Vegas, would you?”
“Catherine Willows. I should have known I hadn’t heard the last from you. Chasing another runaway you need our help with?”
It was clear to Catherine that
Horatio Caine, and probably the rest of his CSI team, hadn’t lost this laid back style.
“Well, we hard core CSIs
here in Vegas could probably use a few of your ‘fanciful’ theories right about now, if only to lighten the mood,”
Catherine said heavily. “We do need your help, though, and in a bad way.”
“Okay, who’s flying
where, and when?” he asked, realizing that the time for friendly pleasantries was over.
“Actually, no one’s
flying anywhere this time. We need information.
We’ve got a crazy woman who thinks she’s talking to God. She’s
killed four people, including her court bailiff, and now she’s kidnapping CSIs.”
Horatio broke in knowingly. “She blew in here like a hurricane.”
“I know. That’s why I’m calling. We need to know everything
we can about her as quickly as possible. We have no idea what she’s doing
to Greg and Warrick, and she’s made it clear that she’s out for the lab and the entire crew.”
“What do you need to
“Did she hold any patterns
when she hit Miami?
Anything that determined any kind of order?”
“Every person she it
fell upon a spiral-“
“Same here. Long and tight-”
“With the lab at the
middle,” they finished simultaneously.
“She sent us verses by
letter and pager to warn us about divine punishment. She also talked to us by
phone,” Horatio continued.
“Us too. She wanted to get across the point that she was enforcing God’s law.
That’s why she left verses at the scenes.” Catherine recalled
that first phone conversation in the conference room.
Horatio sighed. “Unfortunately, we missed that until about number seven. She
didn’t contact us until number six, and by the time we pulled it all together, she’d left her epicenter, giving
us absolutely nothing. She’s good, Catherine.”
“I know. That’s what scares me. We’ve already caught her
once, but she never confessed or left enough evidence to truly convict her. So,
they let her go. Then our only piece of evidence tying her to the crimes got
‘lost in the system’ by our dayshift supervisor.”
“Ouch! What was it?”
“A journal. She kept entries of all the victims here in Vegas, including one of our CSIs that she was planning to,
and almost did, kill.”
“She actually went after
one of your CSIs?” Horatio sounded shocked.
“Yeah. She set Sara’s apartment on fire. We didn’t see
her again for three days… We thought she was dead.”
“Wow. Gutsy move. Well, we got a journal, too, with details of all
of her victims in Miami.
It looked like a continuance.”
“Probably from New York. Horatio, would
you mind sending that journal overnight?”
“Sure. I’ll send the prints we got off of it and copies of the phone conversations, too. Maybe they’ll help.”
“See, I knew there was
a reason I liked you! Thanks. Tell
the rest of the team I said hi.”
“Sure, no problem, Catherine. Tell your boss I said you need more vacation time.
Sasha says hi.”
“ ‘Kay. Thanks again. Bye.”
* * * * * * * * *
* * *
* * * * * *
When Catherine arrived back
in the conference room, Sara and Grissom were waiting for her, sitting on opposite sides of the table.
Catherine asked warily, feeling the tension in the air.
“Still in the lab,”
Grissom said straightening, obviously ready for a report. “What’s
going on in Miami?”
“Horatio says I need
more vacation time,” she sneered, a smile in her eyes and tugging at her lips.
Grissom’s eyes narrowed
in frustration. “Anything else?”
“The Miami lab is sending us their taped conversations with Vivian and the journal that she kept
there. They found it when they raided her place.”
“New York is doing the same. Mac said they got
a journal, too.”
As the others turned to listen,
it became clear that Sara was directing her words exclusively at Catherine.
“He said they caught
on late to the verses,” she continued. “Vivian didn’t contact
them right away and seemed disappointed that they didn’t immediately understand her point. However, fortunately for us, she got sloppy in New York. She let slip that she liked to be near the water.
Mac and his team found a cabin that she used to store everything used in the murders.
Chances are, she’s done the same in Miami and
Vegas. If we can find them, we can nail her in all three cities.”
“Great. Let’s go find Nick and share the good news. Maybe he’ll
have some for us, too.”
Catherine rose halfway through
her sentence and made her way to the door, holding it open for the others. Following
them down the hall to the lab, she added silently, ‘Maybe Nick can figure out what’s up with these two.’
* * * * * * * * *
Not finding him in any of the
labs or layout rooms, they asked Jackie if she’d seen where Nick went.
Jackie shrugged. “He said he wasn’t feeling well. He went out for
some fresh air.”
Sharing worried looks, they
thanked Jackie and rushed to the parking lot, Grissom calling Nick’s cell phone on the way. When they reached the parking lot and still couldn’t find him, Sara tried his pager.
beeping? I turned mine off.” Catherine followed the sound towards Nick’s
car. Her shoulders fell when she saw what lay on the ground beside it.
“What is it, Cath?” Sara came up behind her to see Nick’s pager buzzing across the asphalt, a white
“No! Nick knows better, he wouldn’t…” Sara trailed off as the tears started to come, this
blow being the straw that broke the camel’s back. She dropped down to sit
on the curb, pulling her knees to her chest.
Catherine and Grissom watched
as her body racked with sobs. Though not entirely surprised at Sara’s reaction
to her best friend’s disappearance, it had been a long time since they’d see her openly show her hurt at work.
Catherine backed off as Grissom
sat beside Sara, trying to comfort and calm her. As she looked around for anything
that might indicate Nick’s whereabouts, Catherine’s eyes fell upon a small piece of paper tucked in the wiper
blades of Nick’s car.
They looked up to see her holding
the piece of paper in the air with a gloved hand.
“ ‘Those who are
short tempered do foolish things, and schemers are hated,’” Grissom quoted.
Silence fell between the group
as they thought of Greg, Warrick, and now Nick in the hands of a pissed off serial killer.
“So, now what?”
Sara managed between sobs.
“Now we stay together. We work in the lab as a team, on all we have until we find the place where this sadistic
bitch is and what she’s done to our family.”
Now it was Sara and Catherine’s
turn to be surprised. They looked at Grissom in shock, seeing the anger that
had boiled over as his eyes flashed the steely gray that warned his patience was at an end.
Never had they seen him show this much emotion, though they both laughingly called him their best friend. Readying themselves for an emotionally, if not physically, draining day, they followed a seething Grissom
into the building.
* * *
* * * * * *
It’s never easy doing
one’s duty, but Vivian took comfort in knowing that these blasphemous sinners were getting their just reward. Not only would they burn in Hell, but God was giving her the pleasure of sending them there.
Bent over her many books and
papers before her, Vivian’s thoughts were interrupted by several continuous grunts from behind her.
“Nicky, if you don’t
stop pulling on those chains, you’re going to hurt yourself,” she called without looking behind her. “You know, you should follow your friends’ example. They’ve
resigned themselves to their fates… They gave up hours ago.”
She turned to glance at her
captives’ faces. Greg was laying on the cold basement floor as close as
possible to Warrick, who sat chained just a few feet away, facing Vivian with a look of disgust and anger in his eyes. Nick, defiant to the last, stood a few feet from Warrick, desperately pulling at the
chains that held him to the wall.
It hurt Vivian to have to do
this, to watch them suffer in their sin, but she was keeping them alive for her grand finale.
She’d use these six as an example to the rest of the world, showing them the consequences of sin.
“What do you think?”
she asked the boys. “I’ve been working on the next few and I can’t
decide which verse works best for your friend Sara. Let’s see… Should I use ‘Pride goes before destruction and haughtiness before a fall.’?” That’s Proverbs 16:18, by the way.
I like it but I don’t think it conveys the point. What about 1 Samuel
2:3? ‘Stop acting so proud! Don’t
speak with such arrogance! … He will judge you for what you have done.’”
She paused to see the anger
and otherwise indifferent looks turn to fear for their sister and friend.
“No,” Vivian smiled,
“I think you’re right. Too harsh.
But don’t worry. I’ve got one more that I think will be perfect. Isaiah 2:11-12. ‘The day is coming
when your pride will be brought low and the Lord alone will be exalted. In that
day the Lord Almighty will punish the proud, bringing them down to the dust.’
I like it,” Vivian smirked, clearly satisfied with her findings. “It’s
the perfect balance of warning and foresight.”
She twisted back to her workbench
and grabbed her purse. Turning to the boys before leaving, she cooed, “Don’t
worry. Sara will be fine…for now.
No, Catherine will be joining you next. She needs a little break. This case is more taxing than she’s letting
* * * * * * * * *