I don't own CSI, or anything like that.

The door was kicked down easily, like a piece of weathered tin. SWAT descended the stairs first, then the CSI's, their guns out. At the bottom of the steep steps was a room that was only lit by a small flickering candle in the corner. Huddled around the candle were the kids the country had been searching for for a month and a half.

Catherine lowered her gun, counting the children quickly. There were six of them, only half of the number kidnapped out of a school in New Jersey. All appeared to be male.

The group were huddled together, clutching at each other, though out of fear or cold Catherine could not tell. The clothes they were wearing were no more then rags, showing a few of the many scars they had accumulated.

Brass stepped forward, his hand out, speaking the same low tone of voice you'd use when helping an injured animal, "Hey guys, you're safe now. We're the police."

The group relaxed slightly, though their eyes still stared distrustfully at the many men that surrounded them.

One of the group stepped forward, although another was trying to hold them back. "C'mon guys, let's get out of here."

Catherine was not the only one startled by the voice. It was undeniably female, although the close-cropped hair and stick-like figure said otherwise. The girl stepped forward, flanked on both sides by the rest of the group, looking very much like body guards. As they passed, Catherine saw every one of them trembling, reminding her that these were just eighth graders.

She looked at Nick and Warrick, both of whom were already pulling out gloves and surveying the room. "Hey guys, I'll be back in a sec." she started up the stairs.

The abandoned lot was filled with the flashing lights of police car and ambulances. She watched as the kids were brought to a paramedic. All of them seemed bewildered by the action, as if they weren't used to seeing so many things at once.

Catherine went over to the ambulance were the girl was putting up a fight. She wouldn't let the male paramedic take off her shirt to tape her bruised ribs.

"Hey honey," Catherine said, kneeling down next to the girl. "I promise that this man won't do anything to hurt you."

The girl relaxed enough to allow the man to do his job, though his eyes never left Catherine's. The woman was struck suddenly by a terrible thought. She looks almost like Lindsey. Except for the eyes, which were huge, round, blue-gray orbs, this girl was a replica of her daughter.

Still talking in low tones, Catherine started looking for information. "What's your name, Honey?" she asked gently.

The girl winced a little as the paramedic tightened the tape. "K-Katie," she stuttered, her eyes flicking away from Catherine's.

"Well Katie, do you think you could talk to me later?"

Katie nodded, looking away. Catherine smiled. "Okay."

Catherine was about to start back down the steps when she was intercepted by Brass. "None of those kids will let me within an arms length of them." He complained. "Or any of my men."

Catherine shrugged, "Can you blame them? THey've probably been raped by men looking just like you." she sighed, letting her mind linger for a moment on the unfortunate children who had to grow up so fast before pushing the thought back.

"Well, do you think we should bring them down to the station?" Brass was obviously uncomfortable.

Catherine pushed her hair back. "Do we have a choice? Their families are in New Jersey, Jim. That's not exactly around the corner."

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