The characters and situations in this story belong to Alliance Atlantis, CBS, Anthony Zuicker and other entities, and I do not have permission to borrow them. No infringement is intended in any way, and this story is not for profit. Any errors are mine, all mine, no you can't have any.

This is in response to an improv challenge at the Unbound forums; the first and last lines were given, and the word limit is 1,000.

Spoilers: none


Brass knew it was going to be one of those days. He surveyed the milling crowd outside Police Headquarters and sighed, thankful at least that today was coolish, with something of a breeze. Doing this in 100 degree heat might be more realistic, but it wouldn't improve anyone's temper or response time.

He strolled through the knots of people in the parking lot, stepping out of the way as three paramedics charged past with a gurney. Well, two paramedics and a secretary, anyway. As far as Brass knew, Tom Dunkerson wasn't even certified for CPR.

Someone was droning orders through a bullhorn off to one side. Brass spotted a familiar face and headed towards it, but before he got there the blood-daubed young man was swarmed by three people carrying first-aid kits. Judging from the surprised smile on David's face, Brass figured he was discovering the joys of playing wounded, and grinned at the younger man, who was now being crooned over and generously bandaged by three lovely ladies from the police switchboard.

Altering his path, Brass headed towards the building. The third annual Clark County Police Department Emergency Preparedness Day was in full swing, and looked to his jaundiced eye to be marginally more successful than the last two--that is to say, they might pass the proficiency test this year. Maybe.

Chaos was the name of the game, though that was probably more realistic than some choreographed walk-through, Brass had to admit. Fifty feet from the building, several rows of people were lying on towels on the asphalt, with needleless IVs taped to their arms and--in some cases--rather realistic splotches painted on their skin. A few, he noticed, had had the foresight to bring along their sunglasses while playing victims of a biological agent. A few people with medical equipment were monitoring them, while one more with a clipboard was taking notes nearby.

A southern-accented voice rose over the crowd murmur. "No, you can't use that door, the building's unstable there! There's been an explosion, remember?" A frustrated Bobby was waving his arms at a trio of cops headed for the entrance, and Brass shook his head. There were always nitwits who just didn't read the memos.

The ballistics expert got them headed off in the proper direction, and they disappeared around the corner of the building. Not everybody on the force was participating today, of course. Life--and crime, and emergencies--went on in the city as usual. But those who volunteered for today got overtime pay for participating.

So far, Brass had spotted most of his nightshift colleagues, with Vega playing wounded and O'Reilly hauling bodybags; the CSIs he worked with were out in force, too. Warrick was one of the foresightful plague victims, one arm folded behind his head, and Nick had passed by on a gurney, chatting with the petite cop pushing it. He'd even spotted Lindsey Willows helping sort equipment earlier. But Robbins and Grissom were nowhere to be seen, and while he wasn't expecting the latter, he was a little surprised that the former wasn't directing operations somewhere.

Sara was one of the clipboard-wielders, stalking along and frowning to herself as she compiled data. Brass glanced at his watch, noting that it was about time, and made sure that his Preparedness Day ID was still firmly clipped to his shirt pocket. He walked on another couple of yards, looking for a good spot, and found a nice even patch of ground--no oil spots or gravel. He considered--briefly--clutching his chest and emitting the most melodramatic groan he could muster, but reined in the impulse. Opportunities for amusement notwithstanding, today was for serious business, and he'd been assigned a "secondary incident". So he caught the eye of one of the medical personnel halfway across the lot--real or pretending, it didn't matter--and started rubbing one arm as though it hurt, then sagged slowly to his knees.

He'd seen a few heart attacks in his time, so it wasn't hard to imitate. By the time the EMTs converged on him, he was lying on his back, eyes half-closed against the sun. As they bent over, he gave them a quick wriggle of his fingers to reassure them that he wasn't actually in distress, and then put on his best acting ability and pretended that his chest was hurting so badly that he could hardly breathe. As per instructions, he answered a few questions, then lapsed into "unconsciousness", and waited peacefully as they opened his shirt and did other arcane things to him. Within minutes he was lifted onto a gurney, arm itching a little where the IV line was taped to his skin, and he was wheeled briskly away to the area cordoned off for accident victims.

As his gurney was maneuvered into place, he glanced over to his right; three people were clustered around it, voices low but urgent as they tossed medical terms back and forth. Finally one shook her head. "The damage is too extensive. We've lost him."

The sighs that followed did sound a little disappointed to Brass' ears. The woman drew the sheet up over the victim's face and they moved away, revealing a lanky form liberally splashed with fake blood. A thick, ragged spike of wood rose from the man's abdomen, and Brass could see the dull bands of duct tape that held it in place. As his own attendants left him, Brass watched as the "corpse's" hand came up to pull the sheet down, revealing Greg's grinning face. "It is a far, far better thing--"

Brass rolled his eyes, unable to hold back his smirk. "Shut up Greg, you're dead."