Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copy left
You can read our best books
Allison Rose Warn would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Xenophobia

By Allison Rose Warn

Mystery

Chapter 1

Las Vegas was quiet that night, or so it seemed. There was work to be done, yes, as there always was, but there was also time enough for Grissom to sit for a few minutes, quietly watching his tarantula in her tank as he contemplated his current caseload. The phone on his desk rang, startling both man and spider. "Grissom. Oh, hello, Jim. What have we got?"

"Shooting at the Tangiers. At least one dead body and another on the way to the hospital. Oh, and a kid. Unhurt, but scared out of his wits."

"I don't blame him. How old's the kid?" Grissom sighed. The poor kid was going to have nightmares for months, in all likelihood. He'd certainly seen enough kids left orphaned by murder to know the trauma it caused. This child's life would never be the same again.

"We're not sure, he only speaks Russian. At least, we're pretty sure it's Russian. We've got a social worker down here, but she can't speak to him either."

"Can we get a translator?"

"Not till tomorrow; we'll bring over one of the Russian professors from WLVU."

"I can't wait that long." There was information he needed tonight to help solve this case, and a child who deserved answers as soon as possible, however bad they may be.

"Unless you've got a Russian speaker in the lab, you don't have a whole lot of choice."

"I'll be down there as soon as I can." The phone was returned to the cradle with a clicking noise. Vegas was quiet no more. "Damn it, why don't we put information like that in the personnel files?"

"Information like what?" Warrick asked. It was unusual to hear Grissom swear; clearly, something was eating him.

Grissom looked up from his desk to find the rest of the team standing in his doorway, waiting for him. "All right guys, we've got a shooting at the Tangiers. We're all on this one. Warrick, put out a page. If there's anyone in this lab who speaks even semi-decent Russian, I want them in my office, now."

"You got it."

Across the lab, Greg walked into the locker room. He looked up, startled. "Annie? I thought you worked days?"

"I did. Shift change."

"Ah. Nice to see you around more. How's life over in Tox?"

"Caught up, for once, as soon as I run the next sample through the GCMS. See you around."

"Yeah, I'll catch you later." With that, the two lab technicians headed off to their respective labs. No sooner had Annie grabbed her lab glasses, than her pager went off. She checked the message and headed down the hallway.

"Hey, Grissom. I hear you're looking for Russian speakers?" Annie hovered in Grissom's doorway.

"You speak Russian, Annie? I didn't know that. How well?" It had seemed unlikely that anyone in the lab spoke Russian—Spanish was a far more common second language in the American Southwest—but the attempt appeared to have paid off.

"Well enough to function on the streets of Moscow most of the time, or at least it was five years ago. I haven't had much chance to keep in practice since I graduated, so my vocabulary is a bit limited, and I can't promise perfect grammar, but I can probably manage to get my point across. Why do you ask?"

"I need a translator. We can't get a professor from WLVU until tomorrow, and I can't wait that long."

"How desperate are you?"

"Desperate."

"Well, it'll be very makeshift; speaking and translating are completely different skills, and I haven't done a lot of translation work. But I'd be willing to try it. Just let me run back to the lab and grab my dictionary and ditch the lab coat. Oh, and could you make sure we have a tape recorder available?"

"A tape recorder? Will do. "

"Awesome. Make sure the expert listens to the tape and double-checks it."

"No problem. Don't forget to transfer your ID off your lab coat, ok?" Grissom sighed. This was one obstacle out of the way, but there'd probably be more.

"Right, thanks. I'm infamous for that."

"I know." Smart, earnest, and usually wholly absorbed in her work, the young lab tech tended to be something of a scatterbrain about things not involving chemicals or instrumentation.

"Oh, and Annie? Try to look a little less like a lab rat, ok? Lab glasses are geeky enough in the lab," came a voice from the door. Greg was standing there with a grin, holding a file full of DNA results for Grissom. As usual, his loud shirt, visible above the collar of his lab coat, rebelled against the very notion of geekyness, while Annie reveled in it.

"I'll see what I can do," Annie replied, raising her eyebrow. With that she jogged back to the Tox lab. Ten minutes later, she returned, dictionary tucked under one arm, buttoning a flowered oxford over her lab t-shirt. She took her ID off her belt loop and clipped it to the shirt pocket. "Let's rock and roll."

Grissom, Warrick, Catherine and Annie were piled into a Tahoe on the way to the crime scene, where they would be met by Nick and Sara. 'Rock and roll' had turned out to be a surprisingly accurate term, as Warrick currently had control over the car radio, driver's privilege. "So, Grissom, what am I getting myself into here?" Annie asked.

"We're not sure exactly. We need you to help us find out. We've got two adults, one dead, one in surgery, and a very scared kid who's our only witness."

"And he speaks Russian?"

"Da."

"Otlichna. Ili nyet."

Grissom parked the Tahoe in the Tangiers lot. "Oh, good," he commented, "there's Nick and Sara."

"Hey guys," Sara called as they got out of the car. "How do you want us to play this, Grissom?"

"Sara, Annie; you go with Brass and talk to the kid; here's the tape recorder. Nick, I want you to get me any and all relevant security footage; hallways, stairwells, and elevators. Catherine, you and Vega go talk to the neighbors; see if anybody heard anything. Someone had to have called it in, and it couldn't have been the kid. Warrick; you're with me; we're processing the scene. Let's move."

Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

Darren Powell: Very nice read. Lots of surprising treats from: Schrodinger’s cat and dervish dance forms; to sensei masters and brownian motion. I wasn't expecting this, so it was a pleasant discovery.Also liked the 'cross-over' events connecting one character's/or group's journey to another. I like how that wa...

Someone: This was a fun, entertaining read. Although the novel wasn’t stylistically polished, and although the first couple of chapters struggled to hold my attention, the rest of the novel was engaging and beautifully done. You had me fooled until the end. The rest of this review will contain spoilers fo...

Atractivo Sumit: The story is an amazing blend of what we call natural, plain romance along with subtle emotions and interesting twists. The plot is so beautifully interwoven.

CornflowerBlues: I'm liking everything about this story so far: the brazen detective, the way he gave in to temptation, the temptation (<3!!), and the unexpectedly complex backdrop of his job and the case he's working. The story is well written, and despite its erotica tag, has an intriguing detective story and a...

C J Lawson: Nicely done. Good story with good characters, as well. I was very entertained by the story line, from beginning to end. I would definitely read more of this author's work.

Maryam Rehman: The story was overall amazingly penned down. I loved how the story transitioned from the lavish city of London to the war torn Aleppo. Even though the story had some loopholes in some places, it made me contemplate failing in chemistry, because I was up all night glued to my mobile screen rather ...

IceWinifredd: Hello there!I have to say that i really enjoyed this story a lot! I'm a huge fan of the Zodiac Signs and the things that come with them or things that we can add to them in literature to make them more interesting. I never thought that Capricorn would be the bad guy. Maybe Scorpio or Gemini or Vi...

Ali Albazaz: I started reading "Caged" few hours ago and I'm on chapter 7 now. Caged is definitely one of the most addictive stories I've ever read. Thank you so much for writing this novel.

M.L. Bull: Hello, Aalia!Your story compelled the emotional pain and struggle of a teenage girl very well.. The imagery was also convincing and well-written, showing the different personalities of your characters and their actions. However, I do think that many of your sentences are too lengthy and could use...

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral stories!
King's Lament

FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"

The Cyneweard

Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral story!
Spectra

Ro-Ange Olson: "Loved it and couldn't put it down. I really hope there is a sequel. Well written and the plot really moves forward."