It was an ordinary day at the Las Vegas Crime Lab. It was busy with cases, as usual, especially on a bright summer day like this. The doors of offices and labs opened and closed so frequently that everyone inside CSI forgot what quiet sounded like. The workers' individual fans buzzed on and off because the central air unit was broken, so there was generally no space to sit and think - if there was time for stopping at all.

The heat and noise was especially getting to graveyard supervisor Gil Grissom. He had brought in his own air conditioner from home because his precious jarred specimens couldn't get overheated. Grissom was an entomologist, a serious scientist, and could remember every quote he'd ever heard. He also loved puns. Throw him a phrase and he'd catch it, then throw it back to you with a play-on word. But at the moment, Grissom was not in the mood for puns. He wasn't up to any kind of joking with Youkai. He was sweaty, and tired, and had just solved a very difficult case. Now he came back to his office to find a pile of new cases waiting to be solved. Five more murders, Grissom thought. Why is it always on the hot days?

There was no time to lose, no matter how stressed he was. With a sigh, Grissom gathered up the papers and went off to the break room to find his team. As soon as Grissom left his office, he felt the intensity of the heat. When he walked into the couch-filled break room, he saw all of his CSIs tired and beat, stretched out on the cotton slipcovers. None of them looked up when he walked in. To get their attention, he gently rapped on the doorframe. The room fell silent.

"Listen up, team," said Grissom, holding up the files, "we've got five new cases. Since they are all important, and there's only five of us, I'm letting all of you work solo."

The team put all the strength they could muster into a soft, hoarse cheer. Grissom began calling out their names and handing each of them a paper with a full description of a case.

"Oh, joy," said Catherine Willows sarcastically, who was fanning herself with a folded obituaries section of the newspaper. "A hiker found dead in the desert."

"I expect all of you to use your best judgement, and act as though I was there to watch over you. Don't try to speed up the cases just because you want to get home. Good luck." Grissom turned to exit, but then looked around. "And no trading," he added, trying to lighten up the situation. And he walked out the door.

The CSIs looked glumly at one another. "Well, we'd best be going now," said Nick Stokes, getting up and stretching. He was excited to get a solo case. He always was. "Enjoy your cases, comrads, I've got one in an air conditioned casino!"

Grissom watched the team filter out of the break room, and then turned down the hall to the office of Greg Sanders, a trainee CSI. He usually worked with Grissom, at least until he passed proficiency test to become a Level 1. The spiky-haired young man looked up from the book he was reading and smiled. Greg jumped up from his chair, throwing aside The Pancake Murders, looking ready to go. "Hey boss," he said, grinning despite the heat, "where we off to today?"

Grissom looked around Greg's tiny office. It still had most of the lab equipment there form when he was a CSI techie. Grissom saw that Greg has positioned his fan so that it blew on his face, giving his already heavily gelled hair the look as though he had just gotten out of a convertible on a windy day. The supervisor looked back into the determined face, but he had to put it down. "I'm sorry Greg," said Grissom. "Not today. We really need you to work in the Lab today. There's going to be a lot of DNA coming your way, and we don't want our cases backed up on such a busy day."

"Oh." Greg looked disappointed, but Grissom was sure he understood. Back in his lab days, there were tons of times where there was simply too much DNA waiting to be processed for any of it to be done on time. "Okay."

"Great," said Grissom, trying to cheer up the normally eccentric trainee. "I'll send Sara and Warrick's cases to you, then." Grissom turned to go to his own case, hoping that he hadn't made Greg too downtrodden. Once in a while, he had to let someone down, but this was the first time he had ever seen Greg that glum. He'll get over it, said Grissom, shifting his brain into murder mode.

Now they were all gone.

I hope you like it, it'll get much more interesting during the next chapters. I hope. Otherwise, they'll come get me. I don't know how, somehow they'll find me, I- No...not now! Get away! I've got sprinkles! And some popcorn! Okay, I think they're gone. Review now. Or so help me, I'll come over there and MAKE you..uh...uh...eat ice cream.

Please review! I loves me some reviews.