DISCLAIMER: CSI and its characters are the property of Jerry Bruckheimer and CBS. No infringement intended.
CHALLENGE: Part of the 'Ground Zero' series and Vampires, Ghosts and Zombies challenge.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author

Ground Zero - Las Vegas, 3.19am
By ralst


Las Vegas, 3.19 a.m.

Smoke rose from the barrel of the shotgun, momentarily obscuring Sofia's face and the almost maniacal smile that had taken up residence the second Ecklie's head had exploded in a torrent of grey sludge and chipped enamel. She moved on, bypassing the growing pile of desiccated humanity, and moving towards the ever present groaning of the recently undead.

"She's good," Wendy whispered, as she trailed behind the determined blonde, her comment prompting a roll of the eyes and derisive look from Catherine. "Well, she is."

"If I had a shotgun -"

"You'd give it to Sofia and hope to hell she kept you from getting eaten," Sara interrupted. "Did you see the way she blasted the under sheriff?"


Catherine pulled out her gun. "I shot Hodges," she reminded them, the gun waving dangerously from one woman to the other.

"Yeah, but Cath, he wasn't a zombie." Sara ducked as the gun was levelled in her direction. "And you nearly missed."

"I did not miss!" Wendy laughed and Catherine swung the gun in her direction. "I was aiming for his foot," she insisted.

"Sure thing, Cath."

"Whatever you say."

"If I had a shotgun -"

"Quiet!" Sofia cocked her head to the side, as if hoping to discern meaning behind the groans and moans emanating from up ahead, before shouldering her shotgun and running, full tilt, towards a sea of grey bodies. "Yahhhhhhhhhh!"

"I love it when she does that," Wendy gushed.

"It is kinda impressive," Sara agreed.

"If I had a shotgun -"

"Sara, you might want to see this," Sofia called, cutting off Catherine's words and earning another disgusted look from the older blonde. "I've found Grissom."

Sara prepared herself for the worse. Watching Nick transform into a creature of the night had been haunting, but the thought of seeing the man she loved reduced to nothing but a soulless shell of decaying flesh, was more than she could bare. Bracing herself, she stepped past Sofia and looked into the zombie strewn corridor, the other woman's presence helping to keep her grounded.

"Sara, there you are." Gil Grissom stood, in the middle of the smoke filled room, a clipboard and pen clasped in his surprisingly clean hands. "I've been doing some calculations and I think I've found the exact point of origin for these strange attacks."

Sara blinked.

"The cannibalistic attributes displayed by a reanimated corpse are reminiscent of the preying mantis -"

Sara blinked again.

"- which only mates -"

"Gil?" Sofia interrupted, "Shut up."

Catherine and Wendy moved to stand behind the near catatonic Sara, neither quite sure how to deal with the obvious trauma. If it was anyone else, Catherine would have gladly given them a slap, but she was pretty certain Sara would hit back. Hard.

Sara blinked.

Sofia took the opportunity to load more shells, her dwindling supply of more pressing concern than her co-worker's apparent meltdown; she had every confidence in Sara's ability to recover, but she held out no such hope for the spent shells she'd left littered across the labs and station house. It was at that moment she regretted not stealing the two machine guns from the evidence lockup; they would have felt so delicious in her hands, their cool metal singing with the force of expelled lead and inevitable death.

"You're alive," Sara said at last, breaking Sofia out of her revelry.

"Of course." It was Gil's turn to blink. "Why wouldn't I be?"

Sara pointed to the bodies at their feet. "Zombies?"

"An interesting phenomena and, as I was saying, distantly related to the preying -"

"Gil!" All heads turned in Sara's direction, including those of the four zombies closing in on their location. "We're breaking up!"


Sara held her hand out to Sofia, "Gun!"

Sofia looked from Sara to Grissom, and promptly relinquished her most treasured possession.

Four shotgun blasts rang out in quick succession, each followed by the thud of a zombie hitting the floor. Gil looked both shocked and disappointed, a fact missed by everyone, as they all turned to watch the shit-eating grin appear on Sara's face. "Lets go kill zombies," she growled.

"If I had a shotgun -"

The End

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