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"Hey Nick, come with me we have a possible double homicide ." Grissom stuck his head into the lunge and yelled into the breakroom, the others just stared in silence waiting for something to do , hopefully a case that would require air conditioning, the heat index outside over a hundred and ten.
"Can I come?" Sara asked wanting to be involved in an investigation, jsut wanting to get out of the lab.
"No. I need you and Warrick available in case we get a call. Catherine, if you want, you can join us." Grissom attempting to give his assistant supervisor the opportunity to say her usual, ' No, I'll just wait for the next one.'
"I think I will Gil." She stood , surprising both Grissom and Nick. She grabbed her kit and a magazine lying on the table and followed them out to the Tahoe, Grissom getting behind the wheel of the vehicle, Nick jumped into the back, and Catherine in the passenger seat.
The ride out to the dessert was rather quiet,Nick was preoccupied by the new video equipment that had been recently purchased, Catherine was reading the journal she had brought with her and Grissom listened to his latest classical music CD..
When they finally arrived, Brass had already arrived, beads of sweat had formed on his forehead, his gray suit stained with perspiration. "Welcome to the hottest place on Earth, it has to be a hundred and ten out here." He wiped away another collection of dripping sweat from his face and approached the vehicle carrying the CSI's.
Grissom and Nick stepped outside of the Tahoe, the blasting heat hitting them in the face, the humidity so thick that breathing was a chore. "Grissom, I got the car in the gorge." Nick volunteered seeing the car off the road in a large ditch.
Grissom nodded, motioning for Catherine to follow him and Brass to the vehicle still on the road. Catherine opened the door, already regretting that she had volunteered, this was more for the boys,hot and humid, the curl in her hair quickly leaving as the heat hit her hard. trickles of sweat already forming and rolling down her back . She reached back and pulled her hair into a ponytail and picked up her kit and followed t he two men,wishing silently that she had stayed behind,thinking to herself that she really wished Sara had came instead.
"What do we have Jim?" Asking as he looked inside the banged up car, the deceased body of Margaret Coleman lying on her steering wheel.
"Two dead bodies, One in this vehicle, a Margaret Coleman and the other Angela Starnes in Nick's. Both with gunshot wounds to the head." Brass explained the crime scene as he looked around and watched Nick make his way down the gorge to the other car," We haven't found any weapons yet but we didn't want to disturb the scene, no footprints or any signs of conflict."
Grissom and Catherine examined the car and started taking prints off the doors, windows and carefully opened the door to look inside, a gun lay underneath the victim's leg." "I've got a weapon! "Catherine yelled as she spotted the small caliber gun."I'll bag it."
Grissom looked up somewhat concerned that he hadn't heard from Nick since he went to the other car. "I'm going to go and check on Nick. He's being awfully quiet." Grissom remarked as he started walking over to the other car, leaving Brass and Catherine with the first victim.
"Hey Nick, You okay?" A feeling of uneasiness creeping into his mind.
He looked down, seeing if he could see Nick, who hadn't answered."Hey Nick, are you okay?" he yelled again, frustrated that Nick was not giving him an answer, Brass now deciding to join Grissom, also concerned that Nick wasn't answering Grissom's calls.
Grissom was starting to make his way down when he saw Nick look up, a frightened look plastered on his face,"Stop!" He yelled but regretted the movement he had just made to protect his boss, the rattler which had been poised to strike took that moment to take a bite of Nick's right leg,"Oh God!", he yelled, the pain and the fear, hitting him at the same time. He had learned in Texas on the farm that getting bitten by a rattler was not good thing, he had seen the damage done to their victims.
Grissom went into rescue mode as he watched Nick get bitten, not just once but twice."Nick,!"
He picked up a stick. pushed underneath the rattler as it tried to get back into it's striking position again and removed the venomous snake from the area , then quickly reacted to Nick's bites."Nick, I need you to sit down and stay calm." He instructed his CSI, who seemed focused on the discarded snake, fearing it would return to finish him off.
Brass pulled out his radio, "I need air medic, we have a snake bite victim at Berkman's Hollow, about thirty miles out of Vegas." He was unable to take his eyes off Nick who seemed to be having difficulty keeping it together, tears rolling down his face, a look of terror in his eyes.
Catherine now at the top of the gorge looking downward, taking in the site of her fellow CSI having a medical emergency."Catherine, I need a pair of scissors and the first aide kit from my car!" Grissom yelled.
"Nick, I need to cut your jeans and take a look,." A very pale Nick looked up and nodded as he sat down and held out his leg for Grissom to assess, "How are you feeling?" He asked concerned about the paleness of his skin and the diaphoresis already present, the desert heat could be the cause of both but he was concerned that the poison was in a major vein or artery, the proximity of the bite near the femoral artery and vein.
"I hate snakes. "Nick's voice was almost a whisper, the pain in his leg requiring his attention."It hurts, that's not a good sign Griss."
"Keep you leg low and still Nick," He instructed as he awaited the scissors from the first aide kit. He was keeping a close eye on Niock who already seemed to be having difficulty, thinking more that the strikes had hit major blood vessels.
"How big was the snake Griss?" Nick finally snapping out of his dazed state, knowing he had to be able to think to survive.
"It would be considered rather small for a rattler in comparison to an Eastern Diamondback Nick but it was probably a Western Diamondback and fairly large. Why?" Grissom looked up with a sense of curiosity as to why Nick was asking how big the snake was, maybe he knew something he didn't.
"The bigger the snake the worse the venom. Snakes found in the desert aren't as poisonous as those found in other places but the size matters." He explained to his boss who was now cutting his jeans open,Impressed with Nick's knowledge.Catherine now at Nick's side holding onto his shoulder, a feeling of dizziness washing over him, his heartrate fast and tready, and a sudden feeling of nausea developing.
"And where did you read this?" Grissom asked as he continued to cut the heavy fabric of his jeans, wanting to keep Nick focused and calm.
"Discovery Channel." He joked as he instructed his boss what procedure to follow regarding the bites. Actually, I've had first aide training with snake bites, living on a farm, it was a necessity."
"I'm probably going to get pretty sick, keeping my blood pressure up is essential, but don't raise the bites on my leg above the level of my heart, it could kill me." Nick was feeling his lips and tongue getting numb, he was becoming more lightheaded. The venom was definitely in his bloodstream, he needed medical treatment."I think it hit a vein, the symptoms are really hitting hard and fast." His eyes starting to roll.
"Nick, you need to stay with us okay. What else?" His experience with snakes was very limited, but he knew that Nick would know what to do, he just needed to stay alert enough to be able to tell them.
"No ice, no tourniquet, and don't make any incisions into the bites, it can cause more damage than good." His eyes were getting heavy ,the poison had reacted quickly."Place a bandage above the bites, it will slow the venom down, you need to be able to place a finger between it and my skin."
"Nick, hang on. You're doing great." Catherine comforted him as he laid his head back into her arms, his ability to stay awake getting more difficult.
Grissom was assessing the bites and doing what Nick was instructing him to do, both wounds had quickly become red and swollen. "Nick, the bites are red and swollen, the first bite already seems to be turning purple, like a bruise."
"That's not good, that is actually necrosis, the tissue is being effected." he licked his dry numb lips with his tongue that was feeling very numb . "Get my boot and sock off, cut my pants up to my groin." Nick watched as his boss did what he was instructing,knowing that he was not going to be able to assist much longer. The effects of the venom already in full force.
Brass was on the radio but was focused on what was happening with Nick, guilt plaguing him. He watched as Nick's breathing was getting labored, the combination of heat and the venom starting to effect his current condition."How long on that med flight?" He questioned, looking down and seeing seeing that Nick was no longer conscious.
Grissom looked up at Catherine,concern and panic both etched on his face.
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