AN:

First of all thank you for taking the time to read this story. It is 99 percent casefile with just a hint of G/S and N/S in the last chapter - I like to make you wait for it ;-)

Secondly, I don't own any characters and will not profit of this story.

Lastly, if you enjoy this chapter, please leave a review, it only takes you a few seconds and makes me feel all warm and fuzzy for hours. Also, don't forget to look at my profile and read some of my other stories. They are all mainly Nick oriented and the other Casefile I have is not completed and probably won't be. Some are good, some are fair but I don't think any of them actually suck. My favourite is still Obituary. Please review if you enjoy (or not- I can take it).

Again, thank you for taking the time to read this. - Donna

Chapter 1

"What is the deal with men and heavy machinery?" Laura handed her husband a cold beer. "You have been watching them for hours." Her husband stood at the edge of their porch and looked out over their back yard. The sun had started to sink behind them. Long shadows formed across the yard and over the large machines gouging huge clumps of earth from the middle of their back yard. Installing a swimming pool was the final touch their dream house needed, and finally they had begun work after months of planning and loan extensions.

"Shouldn't they have finished by now? I've never known a contractor to work past 5." Laura checked her watch and noted it was after 6:30PM.

"They were going to work until the hole was done because they started late," Michael informed her.

The trench digger was turned off and the driver jumped out of the cab and headed towards the last clump of dirt removed. His foreman also came forward. "Well it looks like they are stopping now. What are they looking at?"

"I don't know, let's go have a look." Stepping off their back porch they headed to where the men were standing.

"Is there a problem here guys?" Michael asked them.

One of the contractors turned towards the couple, "Well yes sir, I am afraid there is. Seems we may have dug something up."

Looking down at the dirt Laura and Michael realised that they were not looking at a clump of dirt, but at a desiccated body partially wrapped in a blanket.

The foreman turned to the owners. "I think you should call the police."

"What have we got Jim?" Nick Stokes asked as he and fellow CSI Sara Sidle strode into the crime scene.

Nick and Sara hadn't worked together on a case since Ecklie had split the shift and Nick had to admit to himself he was a little excited to have Sara with him tonight. They worked well together and usually had fun doing it. Assuming Sara wasn't in one of her moods that is, and she seemed as happy as he was to be working with him again.

"Thought you two were on different shifts now?" Jim Brass said as he looked up at the two of them. Jim also enjoyed working with these young CSIs. Both were more than competent and enthusiastic.

"Cath has been in court all day and Warrick is booked up on field work this month. The lovely Miss Sidle was kind enough to come in early and work shift with me. What can I say, she can't stay away from me." Nick poked his fellow CSI in the ribs with his elbow as he said this.

"Who begged who to work with them?" Sara shot back as she walked over to inspect the body.

"Mumified body, looks to be female from the clothing, but this is Vegas so we'll wait until the coroner confirms shall we. Found buried and wrapped in a blanket. Just waiting for David to finish up," Jim Brass filled Nick and Sara in on the small amount of information he had managed to gather since arriving some 20 minutes earlier. "Hard to tell how long it has been here. The Landers bought this block of land 18 months ago and built their house. Decided it was time to put in the pool and this is what they dig up."

"Nice little surprise for them. Are they suspects?" Sara asked.

"Nah, I don't think so, they seemed genuinely shocked at the discovery."

"Hi Nick, Sara," David greeted him as he walked over from the body.

"Super Dave! What have you got for us man?" Nick greeted the assistant coroner in his usual jovial manner.

"I was unable to ascertain a time of death, based on the mummification it could be anything from 6 months to 6 years. It is female though regardless of Detective Brass's suspicions. I've finished up if you all want to take a look." David led them over to the body that had now been laid out at the edge of the large hole.

The mummified body of the woman lay before them. It was laid out on top of the blanket it had been wrapped in. Nick and Jim knelt down to take a closer look at her while Sara went to work photographing the body and surroundings. Large holes were gouged out of her mid section where the machinery's shovel edges had dug into her. Other than that, there didn't seem to be any obviously signs of what might have killed her.

"How did she die Dave," Jim asked as he pulled out his notepad to take down what the coroner had to offer.

"Nothing obvious, I will have to take a closer look when I get her back to the morgue. Could be anything from blunt force trauma to asphixiation or even natural causes."

"You would hardlywrap someone in a blanket and bury themin a back yard for natural causes now do you," Jim responded.

"Not usually no, but I have seen stranger things." David responded.

"Actually, Jim, this was desert only 2 years ago. They started developing the land then and built this housing estate." Nick notices Sara, Dave and Jim all looking at him, wondering how he came across this little piece of information. "I was thinking about buying out here but I was too far from work. I ended buying a little fix her up about 15 minutes from work. Should make a title little profit."

"Not turning into a capitalist pig on me are you Nicky?" Brass asked.

"No, just decided it was time to move. No harm in making a profit in doing so."

"Did you sell your old place?" Sara asked.

"Yeah, about 18 months ago." Nick bent back down over the body and Sara and Brass didn't continue with the conversation. They knew Nick had been having a hard time getting over what had happened at his house and they didn't want to open any old wounds.

"So the body could have easily been dumped out here prior to that time. At least the gives us an approximate time to start looking," Jim straightened up and moved to the other side of the mummy. "I'll contact the council and see who owned this land before the developer bought it. What is that under the body?" He pointed to some white paper sticking out from under the body's back.

Coming around to where Jim was pointing Nick bent down to take a closer look. "Looks like paper of some kind. Sara, you want to get shots of this while we roll her over." Sara's flash lit up the night as Nick and Jim carefully rolled the body onto it's side and revealed some sheets of paper. "Photos?" Sara asked.

"Looks like it, the top one is pretty much ruined from the body fluids." Nick lifted the first photograph and laid it on the blanket beside the body. Sara flash lit up the night againas she took photos of her own. Lifting up the second and third photographs and laying them down beside the first Sara continued to document the find.

"Who do you recon that is?" Jim asked as he looked at the two viewable pictures laid out before him.

Sara bent down beside Nick and Jim and looked as well. "Could be anyone. Looks like a teenage boy. Depending on the age of this woman it could be her son, grandson, uncle, brother…. "

"Could be anyone. I'll take these back to the lab and see if we can get anything from them and try and at least ID the kid in the picture." Nick placed each of the photographs retrieved into an evidence bag and sealed them.

"I suppose it would be too much to ask that it be a photo of the murderer now wouldn't it," Brass commented as he eased himself up with a groan.

"Good to see you still enjoy a little wishful thinking even after being a detective for so very, many, many years Jim," Nick smiled at the older man and Brass threw him a look that most people would find intimidating, but after working with the man for more than eight years, he knew he could take a joke.

"Just do your job Stokes and leave the smart arse comments to me please." Jim shot back. "Anything else on the body that could ID her?"

Sara stood up and shook her head. "No, nothing else with the body. Looks like we might have to see if Doc and get some fingerprints out of her."

Nick jumped down into the hole in the ground and spent the next 5 minutes looking at the ground around where the body had been unearthed.

"Find anything," Sara asked as she looked down at her partner.

"Nothing! Looks like she was pretty much ripped out of this area here but there doesn't seem to be anything else here. No signs of a weapon." Nick reached out a hand and Sara grabbed it and helped him climb out of the hole that was nearly as deep as a grave, but round as half a swimming pool.

"Someone sure didn't want this body found. Hard to believe they could dig this deep without some kind of help." Sara looked back down into the hole.

Nick removed his latex gloves and placed them into an evidence bag. "He probably didn't. This ground would have been levelled out when they started building the estate. If the body was buried in a gully she might have only been 2 feet under. Then the graders come along and level it all out… bingo, six foot grave."

"They were just lucky it wasn't found 18 months ago when they started building the house. Lucky positioning I suppose." Sara also had removed her gloves and placed them in the same bag as Nick. Everything from a crime scene went into evidence.

"You can take her now Dave. We'll see you back there for the autopsy." Nick turned back to Jim. "That is pretty much it for us, this is obviously just a dumping ground. Not much more we can get from here."

"OK. I'll head back to the station and start work on trying to ID her." Call me and let me know if the autopsy turns up anything else.

"Will do, catch you later Jim."

"Catch you later."

The two CSIs and vetran Detective parted ways and headed off to their destinations to start work on a case, that in their experience, had a very low probability of ever being solved.