"David and Goliath"

Chapter One

Las Vegas, Nevada

December 6th, 1999, 1:30 a.m.

Gil Grissom pulled his Chevy Suburban up into the gravel driveway. The usual plethora of flashing lights greeted him and the rest of his crime scene investigation team. A stout and medium built man approached known as Detective John Brass of the homicide department. "What've we got tonight?" Grissom asked as he exited his vehicle and retrieved his briefcase of the 'do it yourself crime scene kit'.

"An alleged suicide," Brass replied and led the way towards the front of the house.

"Why do we say that?" Grissom wondered and gave Brass an odd facial expression.

"I'll let you be the judge."

Grissom stepped inside and switched on his flashlight. "Sarah, would you mind taking some notes of my preliminary walk-through, please?" he requested to his younger, auburn haired and brown-eyed colleague.

"No problem, Gris," she responded and whipped out her notebook.

"Thank you. No forced entry." The two investigators along with Brass strolled carefully inside the foyer as Grissom continued his mental notes. "What do we know about the victim?" he finally questioned Brass.

"Late twenties caucasian female. A neighbor heard a gunshot and then called the cops. I say alleged suicide because it really looked like one, but I wasn't sure of course," Brass answered sincerely.

"Looks can be deceiving. Until I'm positively sure of it, I never rule anything out. Here we are." The trio stopped at a desk where the victim rested in perfect peace. Her head was slumped on her left shoulder, and Grissom's flashlight found the gun adjacent to her right foot. "Murder or suicide weapon is a Beretta of a 9 mm calibre. Gunshot wound to the right temple. Bullet went clean through her head and..." He paused to don some latex gloves. "The casing is...hmm..."

Sarah followed his eyes to underneath the chair and the flashlight pursued his curiosity. "Underneath the chair. It's possible it could have rolled there," she remarked.

"True." At that moment, Brass' cell phone chirped and disturbed the investigation.

"Sorry about that," Brass announced and crept a few feet away to answer his call.

"Do you hear something?" Grissom wondered and cocked his head to the side.

"Music. Somebody left the stereo on," Sarah agreed and left to go find the music station.

"No, no. Don't disturb it. Just make a note of what radio station it's on or which CD was playing," Grissom instructed her.

"Sure. I'll have Warrick photograph it when you're done with your pre-lim."

"Sorry to interrupt you, but I have some news for you, Grissom," Brass stepped back into the den and secured the cell phone back to his belt.

"What kind of news?" Grissom asked.

"I'm not so sure it's good news. That was the FBI. They just got jurisdiction to come over here to Vegas and assist us with this case."

"Why the FBI?" Sarah demanded.

"They don't think it was a suicide."

"Oh yeah, speaking of that, what's your preliminary determination for cause of death?" Sarah prodded Grissom.

"Her fingertips are blue. Even though she was shot, I'm going to say asphyxiation," Grissom stated. "All right. Let's bring everyone else to begin the fun. Unless we're not authorized by the FBI."

"Forensics belong to us. They're sending a couple of special agents to help match the killer's profile," Brass shook his head and turned to leave the room.

"Mind if I join you?" Catherine Willows, a middle-aged but attractive blonde haired woman walked in with some supplies. "Ooh, this one's supposed to be a suicide?"

"Actually, Grissom just hypothesized murder. And that's what the reinforcements are here for," Sarah motioned behind Catherine to Nick Stokes and Warrick Brown.

"Strike a pose, Warrick. Make the scene look good," Grissom pointed to the surrounding area. "I'll be back in the office if anyone needs anything, filling out paperwork."

"What for?" Warrick asked in simple curiosity.

"We're working with the FBI on this case. They always expect a trail of paper to describe the evidence found at the scene rather than seeing it for themselves."

"The FBI? What do they want?" Nick piped in.

"The same thing we do. Now please start your work; they arrive here in four hours," Grissom answered and left the rest of his team as surprised as he first felt.

Washington, D.C.

3:30 a.m.

The phone woke Dana Scully up from a deep sleep, and she groaned as she rolled over to her bedside table to pick it up. "Hello?" she replied groggily.

"Scully? It's Mulder. Sorry to wake you, but I just saw a story on the news about an X-File I've read."

"Mulder, can't it wait until morning?" Scully yawned and sighed.

"No, sorry. Skinner just got us a flight out to Las Vegas. We leave in two hours. You can sleep on the way over there if you want," his Mid-Atlantic accent droned.

"How generous of you."

"I'll pick you up in an hour and a half. Make sure you bring some change if you want to be betting."

"This had better be good, Mulder."

"This is a break that I've been waiting for. The only better crime lab than Las Vegas' is our Quantico, Scully."

"Mmmkay. I'll see you then," she mumbled and hung up. As she crawled out of her bed and hefted a carry-on suitcase on her bed, she paused to think for a moment. "Las Vegas!?"

Somewhere between Washington, D.C. and Las Vegas

6:25 a.m.

"Of all the places in the U.S., Las Vegas has the best crime lab? Mulder? Mulder, wake up!" Scully shook her colleague gently beside her as she examined the red striped X-Files herself. He slumped down even farther into his leather seat and gave a low growl. "I thought I was the one that was supposed to sleep on the plane," she reminded him and poked him in the arm.

"I've already read the case files, Scully. Why disturb a man in peace?" Mulder slurred and grabbed hold of her hand to stop her incessant finger jabbing. "Stop that."

"Because I want to know more about why we're going to the middle of nowhere."

"All right, all right." He let go of her and sat up. "The first murder, as you read, was up in Spokane, Washington."

"Murder? Mulder, the police and coroners all list these as suicides."

"But look at the forensic evidence. The photos all appear to be as if these women shot themselves, but I don't think they did. And that's why we're going out to Vegas-because they have the best forensic equipment available to us. There's also something else that makes this an X-File."

"What's that?"

"The murders-"

"Mulder, we haven't proven anything yet," Scully patronized him and they made eye contact.

"Bear with me, Scully. The murders all move in a southwestern pattern. This makes number six in three consecutive years."

"Excuse me, sir...madam, would you like something to drink this morning?" A middle-aged flight attendant asked as he brought the beverage cart down the first class aisle.

"Two coffees, please. One black with sugar, the other, no sugar, but with cream," Mulder answered.

"We've been working together for way too long, Mulder," she marveled and sat back as the attendant served them their drinks.

"Well, people have sometimes asked me if we're married," he whispered and began to stir his coffee briskly.

"I'm going to pretend that I didn't hear that last comment." She blew on her coffee and sipped it slowly.

"No prints were found at the scenes-not even on the gun. Wouldn't you call that strange?"

"Strange, yes, and now I am beginning to lean my suspicion towards murder. But what makes this case an X-File, Mulder?"

"The fact that our suspect was seen entering as a man and leaving the scene hours later as a boy." Scully stopped in the middle of a sip, turned her head, and raised her eyebrows.

"I know what you're thinking already, but, let's see what the local forensics have to say about it," Mulder continued.

"Actually, my thoughts go to wonder more than skepticism at this point, Mulder. We've seen a lot of odd things throughout our cases together-and I think this one takes the cake should it be remotely plausible."