May 21, 2011: Interview Room A
Jackie held the door open for Nick as he walked into the interview room. He sat down in the ‘suspect’ chair, watching her sit down in the ‘interview’ chair. She pulled the second folder from the stack on her right and opened it. She reached back and tapped the record button on the camera beside her.
“State your name,” Jackie ordered.
“C.S.I. Nicholas Stokes.”
“What was your relationship with Capri Martinez?”
“There wasn’t any.”
“Did you like her? Dislike her?”
“What you want to know is if I wanted her dead.”
“Didn’t you push to have her fired, C.S.I. Stokes?”
“Well, if she’s dead, she certainly won’t be working as a dispatcher again. She was rehired two days ago.”
“I didn’t know she was rehired.”
“That seems strange. Several EMS and C.S.I. did. Why didn’t you?”
“Ma’am, I didn’t care about Capri and I wasn’t in the least bit interested in keeping tabs on her.”
“For the sake of argument, what would you have done if you had known?”
“Demanded they fire her again.”
“Thank you for your time.
The abrupt end surprised him. “That’s it?”
Nick stood up and walked to the door. He stopped and turned around. She was looking through the last folder.
“You don’t you want to know where I was when she was murdered?”
“You were on route to a call during the time Capri was murdered. The length of time it took to get to that crime scene was twenty minutes. You made it in fourteen. Try not to speed in the future, C.S.I. Stokes.”
He hesitated, unsure how to respond to her answer and scolding. He decided silence was probably best. He stood up and left the room.
May 21, 2011: C.S.I. Lab
Under the fume hood was the tubing used to kill Capri. Sara watched the smoke slowly fill the box and didn’t look away when Henry leaned in to watch with her.
“What’s this?” he asked.
“Tubing that was used to strangle Capri Martinez.”
“Didn’t you print this already?” he asked.
“I’m checking it again.”
Sara ignored his question. “Did you have something for me?”
Henry handed her a folder. “DNA results from the semen found on Capri. You’re not going to like them.”
She opened the folder and read the papers. She closed her eyes a moment. He was right. She didn’t like them.
“You know what that reminds me of?” Henry said.
She looked at him. He’s still staring at the fume hood.
“Those really thin I.V. tubes used on babies.”
Sara stared at him, for a moment too dumbstruck by the remark to say anything.
He became worried. “Did I say something offensive?”
“Like what a paramedic might have in an ambulance?” she asked.
“Yeah. I guess so.”
“You are a genius!”
“I know I am. What does that have to do with anything?”
Sara fumbled for her cell phone and hit a speed dial. She grabbed a pen and paper. “Brass. What exactly did that lady say about the ambulance?” She began writing down what he told her.
Henry left, confused about why she thought he was a genius.
November 8, 2008: 10:30 PM
On the verge of collapse and suffering third degree sunburns, Catherine and Greg walked at a snail’s pace. Their dehydration has reached critical. Neither of them sweated any more, or walked in a semi-straight line. The road they followed had become a well-maintained dirt road but so far, they hadn’t come across any signs of civilization. Winter cold had begun to set in and their breath puffs out, but they had abandoned their coats at the barn to escape the cougar.
The sound of an approaching car started low and far away, but eventually Catherine heard it and stopped walking. She looked back but saw nothing. She looked ahead, toward the crest of the hill they’re climbing. She could see headlights growing brighter over it. Catherine slid a hand around his wrist.
“Greg, there’s a car coming.”
Greg kept walking, pulling away from her. Catherine grabbed his wrist again, staying with him.
“There’s a car coming, Greg.”
Greg stopped suddenly. She smiled until he collapsed at her feet. Catherine fell to her knees, shaking him.
“Greg. Greg wake up. Greg!”
She turned, hearing the car coming closer. Catherine stood, facing the direction the car was coming.
The car changed direction. The light suddenly disappeared and the sound of it faded away.
Catherine begged, “Come back.”
Catherine took a couple steps up the hill. She turned her head, watching headlights on a road to her left. The car soon disappeared out of sight.
Hoarse she cried out to it, “Please come back. Please.”
The driver didn’t listen.
Catherine returned to Greg’s side and sat down in the middle of the road next to him. She picked up both flashlights, switching them off.
Somewhere in the desert, the coyotes broke into a chorus.