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By Marcus L. Rowland
"It's bizarre," said Nick Stokes. "Look at this guy. Must be incredibly accident prone. He's lost an eye and a leg, and somewhere along the way he's picked up about thirty scars. And now this..."
"Whatever did this," said Grissom, "detonated without leaving any traces. No powder burns, no chemical residues I can find. Can't be nitroglycerin, can't be C4, can't be ammonium iodide or any of the other standard explosives. No trace of a primer, no electronics."
"About the only thing I'm finding here," said Nick, peering into the microscope, "is wood splinters."
"Wood splinters?" echoed Grissom.
"There's a lot of small fragments, all badly damaged. If I had to guess I'd say that it was something like a long thick pencil, except that there was no graphite core."
"Could it have been the casing for the explosives?"
"Maybe, it was certainly damaged badly enough."
"So let's go through the sequence again," said Greg. "The guy ignores the pedestrian crossing and walks straight in front of a bus. Somehow the driver slams on the brakes in time, and he's hit so gently that he isn't even injured. Except that he's knocked off balance, lands on his ass, and explodes. That right?"
"That's about it," said Grissom. "Blew his buttock off, he bled out before the paramedics arrived."
"Damn. Any suggestions?"
"Have I missed anything?" asked Catherine, coming into the lab.
"Our mystery man had something in his pocket that detonated," said Nick, "it's about all that I can tell you."
"Can't believe anyone would make a mistake like that," said Catherine, pulling a wooden rod from her bag. "Petrificus totalis. Sorry about this guys," she said to the paralyzed CSIs, "but don't worry, I'll soon clear it all up." She efficiently cleared all the evidence, went to the door, said "Obliviate!", and quickly slipped the wand into her bag.
"Where were we?" said Grissom, looking a little confused.
"You were just saying how quiet it is," said Catherine. "I agree, we haven't had an interesting case in days."
"Tell me about it," said Nick, and Greg nodded agreement. Catherine chatted for a few minutes, to smooth over the cracks in their memories, then went off to draft a message to her real employers, suggesting that it was about time for another wand safety campaign...