DISCLAIMER: CSI: Miami, CSI, and all its characters are the property of Jerry Bruckheimer and CBS Broadcasting. No infringement intended and no profit is made from this.
CHALLENGE: Submitted as part of the Vampires, Ghosts and Zombies challenge.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Not Exactly Undead...
"Stomach contents are strange Horatio, it looks like some sort of strange meat...beef maybe, and a thick, red liqui-...Oh, oh my god."
Her head was throbbing, a marching band seemed to be in competition with a full on rock concert and an active quarry, all three taking place in a steel drill factory. Vague, unidentifiable colors wafted through her mind, pulsing, swirling, creating a strange pattern to go along with the voices she seemed to be hearing on every once in a while, all of which pressed against her eyes, begging to be let out. Every limb pained her horribly, screaming in silent agony at the slightest twitch of a nerve-ending. For the life of her, she couldn't remember why she was hurting this bad but she knew it had something to do with where she was and why she was there.
"Horatio, this is very strange. I have a feeling this liquid is...blood."
"Blood. Alexx, this is Miami, not Transylvania."
"Horatio, I don't know what else to tell you."
Taking a small breath, Elizabeth Kahne tried desperately to relax her tense muscles, knowing most of the pain rested in the fact that she had no idea where she was and that her body was reacting to the beating she was almost certain she'd had. Centering herself, she concentrated on letting the negative energy flow out of her. No sense in having negative chi, she was already in enough trouble as it was. Slowly, some of her extremeties began to loosen and the tension eased a little. Five years in Thailand with Buddhist monks had done wonders for her self-control. With the sharp pain dulled to a slight ache, Elizabeth was suddenly faced with another task. Figuring out where the hell she was. Laying perfectly still, she racked her brain for information. Her current location was hopefully still Miami, she'd been sent down to take care of some business. Following her mark hadn't been the most pleasant thing in the world, but she'd gotten the job done. And then...everything went black.
"Cause of death was penetration of a wooden stake through the pectoral muscle in straight into left ventricle, exiting through the trapezius muscle. It took a hell of a lot of force to shove this thing in there."
"Blood in the victim's stomach. Not the victim's, not even the same bloodtype. There was some sort of strange anomaly to the vic's blood, I sent it to DNA to see if they could work it out."
"The canines look sharpened, maybe an overzealous Bela Lugosi fan?"
"They appear to be natural, no tool marks, no purposeful wear and tear..."
She was on her back, she knew that much. It felt as if she were elevated, solid ground didn't really seem to be within her grasp. Whatever she was lying on, it was cool and more than likely metallic. The origin of her headache seemed to have been a bright light shining in her eyes, something which had been moved at some point, though her sense of time seemed to have been altered just a bit. She also didn't seem to be clothed, something that more than a little disconcerting. All that felt like it was covering her was something cloth-like, maybe a sheet or something like that. A bad feeling began to drift into her consciousness. This could be a very bad thing, a very bad thing indeed. It could be what someone like her dreaded with a passion. Elizabeth Kahne had been in some scary, strange, and downright dangerous situations, scenarios she couldn't even begin to fathom, but if she was where her gut was telling her, this was definitely going to be a long day.
"Alexx, you can't be serious."
"Then you explain it to me, Calleigh. Explain these circumstances and tell me what I put in my report. That the man died from a stake through the heart? You know me Calleigh, I don't usually give into popular fantasy."
The soft conversations had been continuing throughout her personal inventory and following mini-meltdown. At first, it'd been a man and a woman, then two women. If her memory was as keen as her hearing, the man's name was Horatio, and the two women, Alexx and Calleigh. Elizabeth knew two women would be easier to take out than the man, if it came down to that. She prayed she wouldn't have to resort to violent means, she wasn't usually a violent person. As the women continued talking, various phrases turned over in her mind, seeming to point in big neon arrows to the fact that she was indeed dead and in the morgue. How lovely. Well, at least it wasn't the first time. Taking comfort in that small fact, Elizabeth knew she had to get out before they broke out the scalpels and other little knick-knacks. She still had scars from her last encounter with a coroner. Quickly and quietly was the ideal, but she knew as well as anyone things often don't go the way you want.
"Well, what about the girl, the one we found lying next to the body? Do we have a name, any i.d.?"
"Right now, she's a Jane Doe. No I.D. and I haven't had a chance to print her yet, we've had a shortage of assistants these last few days. There's no obvious cause of death, though she did take a pretty heavy beating. Minimal bruising and scarring though, that's odd."
"Mmmm-hmm. I'd estimate somewhere from fifteen to early twenties."
"From the clothing we got from the bag we found near her, I'd say she was a model or something. Probably on her way to an audition..."
"Well, might as well get started. Baby, we're going to find out who did this to you..."
There was a sound that was a little too close to gloves snapping on, and the rustling of cloth. Elizabeth suddenly felt a lot colder and a lot more exposed. This was no time for modesty however, she had to get out of there. Something clinked ominously, and self-preservation kicked in before common sense could. Leaping off the table, Elizabeth opened her eyes mid-jump, holding the cloth that had been covering her close to her body, trying to keep at least something unseen. For a split second, the three women stood and stared at each other in amazement and fear. An African-American woman with elegant features and warm eyes just gazed at her in awe, scalpel sitting forgotten in her hand. Elizabeth turned her attention briefly to the other woman, a tall blonde with bright blue eyes and a shocked expression. Aquiescing to her flair for the dramatic for just a moment, Elizabeth dipped a low bow, turned, grabbed what she hoped was a spare lab coat and scampered out the door before anyone could recover from that shock.
Shooting through the nearest exit, Elizabeth nearly collided with a redheaded man who'd been speaking on his cell phone. The two exchanged glances before Elizabeth slipped through, not wanting to be seen for more than a second after an escape like hers. Bosses weren't pleased when their employees were caught, especiallly after escaping from the Miami-Dade Morgue following an assigned attack on the leader of one of the most powerful vampires in Florida. Elizabeth scooped some spare change off the street and headed for the nearest payphone.
She had a big problem. And somewhere in her gut, she knew this wouldn't be the last time she would see the pretty blonde or the carrot-top man.
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