Disclaimer: I did not create CSI: Miami, and am in no way profiting from this work of fanfiction.
Chapter 1: Detour
The Atlantic waves gently lapped at the edges of the small cruise ship Cynethryth. A few dozen partiers occupied its deck, eating, drinking, making small talk, and enjoying the weather. The Florida coast was visible in the distance off the starboard side of the ship. To port, slightly closer, a row of mangrove islands. A steady breeze took the edge off the morning heat.
"Have you ever been to the Bahamas, Ms. Onan?" asked a refined middle-aged man with salt-and-pepper hair.
"This will be my first time. Have you, Mr. Thorpe?" replied a thirty-something woman with long brown curls draped over her shoulders.
"This is my third trip this year. Usually I fly, but this time I decided I deserved a little vacation along the way. Are you going for business or for pleasure?"
"I've never been able to distinguish between the two," Ms. Onan replied smoothly before taking a delicate sip of her margarita.
"A woman after my own heart."
He was about to say something else when a shudder reverberated through the ship. All conversation ceased in an instant. A few people were knocked off their feet. The woman's drink spilled down the front of her lime green sundress.
"What happened?" people began to ask. The ship had stopped moving, and was tilted at an angle.
"We hit something."
The captain came out. "We hit a sandbar. Is everyone alright? Was anyone hurt?" He and the other crew members walked through the ship, assessing the damage.
The captain was walking through the hall between the sleeping quarters when he detected a sickly metallic smell. Turning a corner, he found the source: his first mate, lying on the floor in a pool of blood.
"First blush, COD is exactly what it looks like. This man was killed by a single gunshot to the head," Dr. Price determined.
"This man's name is Frederico Costa," Horatio said. "And I'm guessing by the broken door that he was not the primary target here."
"No bullet casings. Looks like whoever shot Mr. Costa took a moment to clean up the scene," Calleigh noted while snapping photographs.
"Whoever broke in this door was on a mission. The first mate might have interrupted a thief," Ryan suggested. "We need to find out who's room this is." He pushed his way through the broken door. The cramped space was cluttered with pieces of broken wood, scattered clothes, and the pillow and sheets from the bed. "Someone was definitely looking for something specific."
Horatio looked down at the body. "And now," he said, "so are we."