Everyone was late that morning- the traffic was horrible. Cars were parked on the side of the road, and everyone was moving at two miles an hour. Everyone called the graveyard shift supervisor, Gil Grissom, or the day shift supervisor, Conrad Ecklie, to tell one of them they would be late.
Everyone drove up to the lab quickly. Warrick Brown jumped out of his car, grabbing his jacket from the passenger seat and closing his door before locking it up.
Nick Stokes gulped down the rest of his now freezing cold coffee, before jumping out of his Tahoe and running towards the lab entrance.
Catherine Willows grabbed her coffee, closing the door to her SUV as she did so. She was disappointed that she had already finished her coffee- she needed more.
Greg Sanders arrived a bit late. He stumbled out of his car fashioning old blue jeans, converse sneakers, and his normal hair-do. He ran to the entrance.
When Gil Grissom arrived, he found everyone at the lab who had arrived was standing outside. He ran out of his car. "What's going on here?" he asked. "Gil, I didn't give my shift the day off, so I don't know about you, but we need to get in here," Eckile told Grissom. Grissom was a bit confused. He tried opening the doors- they were locked, and locked tight. He grabbed his key and tried unlocking the door- nothing.
"Alright, I think we're going to need to kick down the door," Grissom said. "Nick, Warrick- help me, please," he said facing the two male members of his team. "Alright, one…" Grissom looked around. "Two…" His eyes sought out Catherine, but no Sara. "Three!" Maybe she was just late…everyone barged into the building. Inside, they found the night guards unconscious on the floor. Grissom ran ahead of them all.
A small black string hung from the ceiling with a folded piece of paper on the end. Grissom slipped on a glove and took the piece of paper. He read it to himself before his eyes widened and he showed it to everyone else.
"Remember me, Mr. Grissom? Yes, of course you do. Anyways, incase you haven't noticed yet, your little CSI hasn't made it to work yet. Such a pity, isn't it? If you are wondering why I only have Sidle, it is because that was my employer's wish: he told me he wanted Sidle dead- that much he said for sure. I will keep sending you letters but keep in mind that I am timing you, and if you don't find me in a matter of thirty-two hours, Sidle dies. Until then, Mr. Grissom; until, then."
"Bastard," Catherine said reading the letter with tears in her eyes. "That sick bastard!" she buried her face in Warrick's chest. He just rubbed her back and hugged her. Nick looked at Grissom, who was speechless. Sara had been through enough, and there was just something about her that made him smile every time he saw her. She had a life to live, and Grissom just didn't understand why anyone would want to take that away from her.
"Catherine, Warrick- I want you at Sara's apartment immediately. Greg, Nick- you're with me. We're going to process the lab, seeing how the perpetrator got inside the lab," he said with anger and determination in his voice. Catherine and Warrick ran out of the lab. "And where the hell is Brass?" he said irritated. "I'm right here, commando," Brass said outside. "Brass- I want the whole lab taped off. Whatever it takes- roadblocks, the works," he said walking off.
He would find Sara; he had to. He remembered the last thing she had said to him, which was the night before. She had just finished a case. The only thing she said was, "Goodnight." Goodnight, that was it. He sighed as he thought about it- was that going to be the last time she said goodnight to him? He mentally slapped himself in the face.
Get it together, Gil! Stop thinking like that! You are going to find her, so just shut up! He thought to himself. He walked into the locker room and went over to her locker. He knew her combination- he knew everyone's, but he wasn't about to reveal that to anybody. He turned the lock a certain amount of times to the right, and then to the left. The lock finally clicked off and he set it down.
He opened the locker slowly. The locker reminded him even more of her. Her scent poured out of the locker, and for a minute he thought she was really there, but then, remembering that she wasn't, his eyes filled with sadness. He tried not to think about it and he went through her things, looking for fibers, letters, anything. He finally found something folded up inside her locker and took it out with a gloved hand. He opened it up and read it.
Hello again. I bet you can guess who this is. Anyways, I just wanted to give you a heads-up. Tomorrow night, around nine 'o clock, I will be coming for you. And if you don't come willingly, then I'll just have to take you by force. Oh and one more thing- don't tell the police or I will make sure that I don't only kill you, but each and every member of your team will be killed. Until tomorrow, Ms. Sidle.
Grissom got a bad feeling in the pit of his stomach. He checked the postdate- it read that it was sent to her two days ago. He was suddenly mad at himself- he let her just leave like nothing was wrong, and he didn't think anything of it! But…then again…she wasn't acting different than her normal self or anything, so he didn't think anything was wrong…but the fact that the perpetrator had let Sara know before he acted made Grissom shiver.
Catherine and Warrick taped off Sara's apartment and went inside, looking for any evidence pertaining to the case- fibers, blood, hair, fingerprints; anything would have helped. They found nothing. Either she had never even made it to her apartment building that night, or the perpetrator had cleaned her apartment from head to toe. They found absolutely nothing…or so at least they thought.
Catherine went into Sara's bedroom. She looked around with her flashlight shining onto the objects in front of her, and found the mirror in her room had been shattered, and there was another slip of paper taped to the mirror. Catherine quickly tore the paper off the mirror and read the note.
"Good job to whomever found this next note. As you can see, the apartment is spotless. I am a very discreet fellow, as you will soon find out even more than you know now. Find the next note. I do want you to know, however- I am so much enjoying this!"
"Bastard!" Catherine said running out of the bedroom. "Warrick, I found another note," she said showing it to him. He read it. "Damn…" he said sighing. "Let's go back to the lab and tell Grissom."
Grissom dusted the first note he had found- no prints. This wasn't any surprise, because obviously this guy wasn't planning on being caught. Warrick and Catherine ran into the lab, handing Grissom the second note, which just made him even angrier. "We…have nothing," Grissom said, now realizing it for the first time. He sat down.
The news hit everyone like a ton of bricks- one of their teammates was missing, and they only had 30 more hours left to find her. What was worse is that they had nothing to help them try and find her. Catherine's eyes filled up with tears again and Warrick hugged her again. Nick and Greg were devastated. For the first time ever, they all realized what an important role Sara had played in their lives, and when their friend needed them most, they had no way of helping her.
To be continued.