02x07 - Caged

COLD OPEN:

[EXT. LAS VEGAS CITY (STOCK) - NIGHT]

[EXT. LAS VEGAS CITY (STOCK) - NIGHT]

[EXT. LAS VEGAS CITY (STOCK) - BARBARY COAST HOTEL-- NIGHT]

CUT TO:


[INT. SUV - NIGHT]

(A speeding SUV peals around the corner.)

(Cut to a train running on the tracks.)

(Cut to the SUV speeding down the road. MEGAN TREADWELL, the driver of the SUV, looks to the side and notices the train. She hears the train whistle blow. Still, she steps on the gas, hoping to beat the train across the track.)

Megan Treadwell: (urgently) Come on, come on, come on, come on. Come on, come on!

(The train crossing bell ring a warning. The train is approaching.)

(The SUV brakes screech. The train approaches. MEGAN TREADWELL steps of the breaks again, the car tires screech and still her car moves forward. Her car moves forward slowly, slowly through the crossing guard rail.)

(The SUV stops on the tracks. The train approaches. MEGAN TREADWELL looks out the car window and screams as the train smashes into her car.)

CUT TO:


[EXT. TRAIN TRACKS - NIGHT]

(Scene opens with a close up of a power saw cutting through the SUV door.)

(CATHERINE approaches the scene carrying her CSI kit. BRASS turns around when CATHERINE reaches him and starts filling her in on the case.)

Brass: Paramedics pronounced twenty minutes ago. Megan Treadwell. I ran her plates. Thirty-three tomorrow.

Catherine: One-on-one with a train. Did she think that she could beat it?

(CATHERINE looks at BRASS, then heads toward GRISSOM, who is checking the train out. She puts her kit down.)

Catherine: Hey.

(GRISSOM is busy looking at something on the front of the train. CATHERINE leans in for a better look.)

Catherine: Door handle.

Grissom: Point of impact: Passenger-side door.

Catherine: Dead center.

(They look on the side as Forensics carry the bagged body away on a gurney.)

Grissom: Question is: Why did the SUV cross the tracks?

Catherine: (deadpans) To get to the other side.

(GRISSOM looks at CATHERINE.)

HARD CUT TO BLACK. END OF TEASER. ROLL TITLE CREDITS.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)


FADE IN.


[EXT. TRAIN TRACKS -- NIGHT]

(CATHERINE walks down the steps of TRAIN #4009. When she gets to the ground, GRISSOM is on his cell phone. He hangs up.)

Grissom: Sheriff says we're holding up trains all over the country. This entire railroad division depends on keeping the main line open.

Catherine: Well, it's not like we can take this back to the garage.

Grissom: Well, unfortunately, his priority is clearing this train from the tracks. You have two hours.

(GRISSOM turns to leave. CATHERINE calls out to him.)

Catherine: Where are you going?

Grissom: Suspicious circs in town. This one's all yours.

Catherine: Thanks, but you got to give me some guys.

Grissom: Sara's all you get.

Catherine: All I need.

CUT TO:


[INT. WESTERN STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY (LIBRARY) -- NIGHT]

(GRISSOM enters the library. He's met up by DET. RAY O'RILEY, who fills him in on the scene. In the background, the alarm continues to ring.)

O'Riley: "Burglary in progress" call. Once we made entry, we found the victim downstairs. Never knew this place existed.

(O'RILEY and GRISSOM continue down the stairs to the lower level.)

Grissom: The Western States Historical Society. It's not on a lot of tourist maps.

(The alarm stops ringing.)

Det. Ray O'Riley: I had them cut the wires.

Grissom: We need to identify the source of the alarm, Ray. Security company said it was downstairs. The body's there, too.

(DET. O'RILEY opens the door and walks in. GRISSOM follows.)

CUT TO:


[INT. WESTERN STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY (LIBRARY) - NIGHT -- CONTINUOUS]

(O'RILEY and GRISSOM enter the lower room.)

O'Riley: (looking up at the ceiling) Trying to get them to turn some more lights on in here.

Grissom: There are no more lights, O'Riley. It's a controlled environment. Notice how you're not sweating? It's probably sixty-six degrees in here. Thirty-five percent relative humidity. Too much light, too much heat degrades the books.

(In front of them, two firemen cut try to cut the lock on the cage.)

Grissom: What-- nobody's got a key?

O'Riley: The curator's across town. He's on his way. She looks dead to me.

(The firemen put the cutters away and one gets out a power saw. He starts cutting the lock.)

(The door is unlocked. The fireman opens the door and GRISSOM steps aside for the paramedics.)

Grissom: You got first touch.

(The two paramedics enter the cage. They put their cases down and work on the woman on the floor. GRISSOM also walks inside after them and kneels in close to look at the body.)

Medic: 10:48. MEDIC: Red foam, blue tint.

Grissom: Foam could be from blood in her lungs. Edema. Skin is cyanotic. Maybe a blood disease. Leukemia. Meningitis. We'll know after the post.

(GRISSOM stands and gets out his camera. He starts to take pictures of the body. The camera flashes several times. Behind GRISSOM, outside the cage, a young man protests.)

Aaron Pratt: Don't do that.

Grissom: (turns around) Excuse me?

Aaron Pratt: These are very rare books.

Det. Ray O'Riley: Aaron Pratt. Librarian. Only other person here when the alarm sounded.

Grissom: Did he tell you what he was doing here?

O'Riley: Oh, yeah. Watching her. Set off the alarm, trying to get in the cage.

CUT TO:


[INT. WESTERN STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY (LIBRARY) -- NIGHT]

(GRISSOM questions the Librarian, AARON PRATT.)

Aaron Pratt: I wasn't watching her. I always say "good night" to Veronica because I have to leave at 8:03 to catch the 8:10 bus. It's three blocks away. And sometimes the bus comes at 8:08, so I have to rush to catch it.

Grissom: So you went down to the basement to say good night.

Aaron Pratt: "Good night, Veronica." "Good night, Aaron." Sometimes she ... w-walks me to the bus.

Grissom: Did she walk you to the bus tonight?

Aaron Pratt: "Are you coming?" "No. You go ahead without me. I have more work to do."

(AARON gets very serious as he remembers what happens next.)

Aaron Pratt: Then ... a uniball pen ...

(Quick flashback to a camera close up of VERONICA BRADLEY'S hand holding the pen and the pen slipping out from her fingers. This happens in slow motion. The pen falls. The pen rolls across the table.)

Aaron Pratt: (V.O.) rolled across the desk ... fell onto the chair ...

(End of flashback. Resume to present.)

Aaron Pratt: ... hit the floor ...

(Quick flashback to the pen still rolling in slow motion.)

Aaron Pratt: (V.O.) and stopped rolling at the wastebasket.

(The pen stops rolling. End of flashback. Resume to present.)

Aaron Pratt: Then water ... water falls into her eyes.

Grissom: You mean she was sweating?

Aaron Pratt: From her forehead.

(Quick flashback to a veil of water falling from VERONICA'S forehead past her eyes.)

Aaron Pratt: (V.O.) Lots ...

(End of flashback. Resume to present.)

Aaron Pratt: ... and then, she grabs her stomach ... with both hands.

(Quick flashback to VERONICA BRADLEY dropping the book and clutching her abdomen.)

Veronica Bradley: Aaron ...

(End of flashback. Resume to present.)

Aaron Pratt: ... "Aaron" ... Then she put on her new face. Shelley's Frankenstein. Up and d-down ... flopping around like ...

(Quick flashback to VERONICA BRADLEY falling to the floor in seizures.)

Aaron Pratt: (V.O.) ... a salmon on my uncle's fishing boat.

(End of flashback. Resume to present.)

Grissom: She was convulsing.

Aaron Pratt: I ... couldn't help her ... because the cage is locked and I don't have a key.

(NICK approaches the table.)

Nick: Hey, there. Warrick's got three residential burglaries, so ...

Grissom: Mr. Pratt, will you excuse me for a moment?

(NICK and GRISSOM walk to the back of the room..)

Nick: According to O'Riley this guy's body language says he's guilty.

Grissom: I think he's autistic.

Nick: Autistic? You mean like Rain Man?

Grissom: Rain Man was a savant. Extremely rare. Aaron Pratt is a high-functioning autistic man with superior right-brain ability.

Nick: Kind of sounds like you.

Grissom: The crime scene's in the basement.

(NICK leaves to go to the basement.)

CUT TO:


[EXT. ROADWAY BY CRASH SITE - NIGHT]

(CATHERINE and SARA walk side-by-side with their eyes glued to the road trying to look for evidence.)

Sara: Man, I hate rushing through a crime scene. Two years from now, no one is going to care that the Sheriff turned this into a "scoop and run."

Catherine: Call was made above our heads. Just document the time in your notes.

Sara: Yeah, well, I'll let you testify on this one.

Catherine: Thanks.

(Off to the side of the road, a little dog comes running toward them. Both CATHERINE and SARA kneel to get the dog.)

Catherine: Aw ...

Sara: Hey, little guy. Hey. Hey. Let's see.

(SARA checks his collar.)

Sara: His name is Maverick. He lives on Martingale Street in Henderson.

Catherine: That's not that far from here.

Sara: Guess I'll go call animal control.

Catherine: Okay.

Sara: I'll be right back.

(SARA picks up the dog.)

Sara: Hey. Come on, boy. Let's get you home.

CUT TO:


[EXT. ROADWAY BY CRASH SITE - NIGHT -- CONTINUOUS]

(BRASS questions the TRAIN ENGINEER.)

Brass: So let me get this straight, all you saw was a car trying to beat the signal?

Train Engineer: I'm putting 55 miles an hour. It's dark. I got an oil leak, can't figure out where. I looked up and I saw something.

Brass: The SUV.

Train Engineer: Like I said, it was dark. I thought it was stopping. I turned my head for one second. Next thing I know, it's in the middle of the tracks. With all due respect we've got the right of way out here.

Brass: Thanks for your time.

(BRASS nods. The TRAIN ENGINEER leaves. SARA walks up to BRASS carrying MAVERICK in her arms.)

Brass: That's not yours, is it?

Sara: I am collecting evidence. Do we have an address on the vic yet?

Brass: 855 Martingale.

Sara: Vic had a passenger. Say hello to Maverick.

CUT TO:


[INT. CSI - FORENSIC AUTOPSY -- NIGHT]

(GRISSOM walks into the room. ROBBINS is washing his hands. He turns off the faucet.)

Grissom: Have you finished with our lady of the library?

Robbins: As finished as I'm going to be. You were right. Cyanosis. Blood was unable to oxygenate her tissue.

(Quick CGI POV as the camera travels to the deceased's face. The deceased's head rises and eyes open. The camera continues down her mouth as it opens slightly. It travels down her wind pipe where the muscles closes the passage. End of CGI POV. Resume to present.)

Grissom: Explains the blue face. Underlying cause?

Robbins: With blood in her lungs, asphyxiation's out. I found vomit in her throat, bloody stool, hemolysis and some irritation of the mucous membrane on her tongue. I won't know more till I get the blood test back. Could be blood-borne disease.

Grissom: I'm thinking about homicide.

Robbins: Then you know more than I do.

(ROBBINS looks at GRISSOM who's looking at the body. GRISSOM looks up at ROBBINS.)

CUT TO:


[INT. WESTERN STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY (LIBRARY) - THE CAGE -- NIGHT]

(NICK is in the cage dusting for prints on the books. In the background, a well-dressed man descends the stairs.)

Officer: Excuse me, sir.

Stanley Hunter: It's fine.

Nick: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Sir, you can't come in here.

Stanley Hunter: I told the officer upstairs. I'm Stanley Hunter.

(At NICK'S blank look, he continues.)

Stanley Hunter: The curator. Do you have any idea the damage you're causing? With your dust, flashbulbs. You see that?

(STANLEY HUNTER points to a book behind NICK. He walks forward toward it to emphasize it's importance.)

Stanley Hunter: Right there, behind you. That is a 17th century text by Johannes Van Den Avelen. It's one of two volumes in the world. Now, do you go to the Louvre and put your hands all over the Raft of the Medusa?

Nick: Officer, Mr. Hunter would like to give a statement to Detective O'Riley.

Stanley Hunter: Statement?

Nick: Mm-hmm.

(Behind them, DET. O'RILEY and GRISSOM enter the room and stand just outside the cage as STANLEY HUNTER continues to talk to NICK.)

Stanley Hunter: I just got here. I don't even know what happened. But what I do know is that these are masterpieces. One of a kind.

Grissom: They're evidence in an active criminal investigation -- also one of a kind.

Det. O'Riley: Mr. Hunter, why don't we go upstairs and talk?

(STANLEY HUNTER leaves with DET. O'RILEY. GRISSOM puts his gloves on and looks around the room.)

(From a round POV, he views the table to the chair to the floor and he sees the pen near the wastebasket. GRISSOM walks over to it and picks it up. He looks at it.)

Grissom: The good news, Nick? We had a camera in here.

Nick: There's no surveillance system.

Grissom: Yeah, there is -- Aaron Pratt. We just have to figure out how to get the film out of his head.

FADE TO BLACK.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)


FADE IN.


[EXT. ROADWAY BY CRASH SITE - NIGHT]

(The tow truck takes the damaged SUV away. CATHERINE and SARA continue to take photographs of the crime scene.)

(Between evidence markers #16 and #17, there's a piece of glass. CATHERINE picks it up and looks at it.)

Catherine: Filament.

Sara: Train probably busted out her headlights. First thing on our list when we get to the tow yard.

(SARA looks at the treadmarks on the road. Something puzzles her about it.)

Sara: Catherine ... check this out.

(SARA snaps a photo of it.)

Catherine: Two sets of skid marks.

Sara: One set going forward ...

(Quick flashback to the SUV stopping and skidding to a stop. End of flashback. Resume to present.)

Catherine: These skid marks are about seven feet shy of the gate.

(SARA walks over to the next set of skid marks between evidence markers #18 and
#19.)

Sara: The second set of skid marks are darker more rubber residue.

Catherine: Could be an overlay.

(SARA snaps several photos.)

Sara: Looks like the tires were spinning in place.

(Quick flashback to the SUV burning rubber. Cut to a close up of the tires running in reverse.)

Sara: (V.O.) In reverse.

(End of flashback. Resume to present.)

Catherine: Burning rubber. Going nowhere.

Sara: So ... which set of skid marks are telling the story?

Catherine: Maybe they both are.

CUT TO:


[INT. WESTERN STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY (LIBRARY) - THE CAGE -- NIGHT]

(GRISSOM is questioning STANLEY HUNTER inside the cage.)

Grissom: So, all of your chemicals in here are alkaline?

Stanley Hunter: We're not dealing with the far ends of the ph range. See, old book pages are slightly acidic. The acid eats away the paper. We neutralize them by a solution that's slightly basic.

Grissom: To reach "7," the neutral ph.

Stanley Hunter: Exactly. Imidazole. Fifteen percent ammonia. That's the sort of thing we work with here. It's all about preserving the books. No, not that you could even assign a value but do you have any idea how much each of these books is worth?

Grissom: No.

Stanley Hunter: The first printed book was a Gutenberg Bible. It sold at Christie's for $5.3 million. Lewis and Clark's elk skin journal sold for
$500,000. We have an illustrated Audubon, The Birds of America, which is worth an estimated $30,000.

Grissom: All of that and you never thought about beefing up your security?

Stanley Hunter: You know, special collections are kept in the vault. Any rare book removed from the vault gets scanned through a coder. If the book is to be read it's delivered to a secure room upstairs. And if Veronica was going to work on it, it stayed down here.

Grissom: Is this one of the books that Veronica was restoring?

Stanley Hunter: Yes. It ... it was published in 1797. The author was a British Botanist. It's worth an estimated $300,000. It's really not a dangerous profession.

CUT TO:


[INT. WESTERN STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY (LIBRARY) -- NIGHT]

(AARON PRATT reshelves books. DET. O'RILEY walks up to GRISSOM.)

Det. O'Riley: We got a situation. You know that weird guy?

Grissom: He's not weird, O'Riley, he's autistic.

Det. O'Riley: Whatever. First on the scene, and he's got sticky fingers.

(DET. O'RILEY hands GRISSOM a book.)

CUT TO:


[INT. LIBRARY -- NIGHT]

(GRISSOM stands next to AARON PRATT as he works.)

Grissom: "But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve / for daws to peck at. I am not what I am."

Aaron Pratt: Othello, act one, scene one. Line 61 and 62, Iago to Roderigo.

Grissom: Very good, Aaron. Now, you want to tell me how Othello ended up in your briefcase?

(AARON looks around.)

Aaron Pratt: It's my ... favorite Shakespeare tragedy.

Grissom: I like Hamlet myself. And I bet Mr. Hunter is into King Lear. He's very concerned with property rights. He tells me the rare books are kept in the vault and they're not allowed off-site.

Aaron Pratt: Mr. Hunter doesn't like me.

Det. Ray O'Riley: I don't think the rule was made with you in mind.

Aaron Pratt: He breaks the rules all the time.

Grissom: He takes the books home?

Aaron Pratt: No. He... eats his lunch in his office. Carrots, celery tuna on whole wheat ... and Veronica.

Grissom: What do you mean, "and Veronica"?

Aaron Pratt: She's eating and he takes her sandwich ...

(Quick series of flashbacks. Veronica sighing as STANLEY HUNTER kisses her neck. Cut to his hands on her breasts. Cut to his hands running down her thighs. Cut to them kissing at his desk. In the background near the door, AARON PRATT watches.)

Aaron Pratt: (V.O.) and he puts his hand on her breast. And then he puts his tongue ...

Grissom: (V.O.) (interrupting) Aaron ...

(End of flashback. Resume to present.)

Grissom: I get it. Did they know that you were watching them?

(AARON PRATT looks away.)

CUT TO:


[EXT. DUMP SITE - NIGHT]

(CATHERINE and SARA check the SUV out after it's been towed. SARA notices something.)

Sara: Hey, you know that filament you picked up?

Catherine: Yeah.

Sara: The lamp cover's smashed, but the filament's intact.

Catherine: So what, the filament's from another car?

Sara: Well, taillights have different filaments, so ... yeah.

(CATHERINE kneels to examine the back bumper. She finds something.)

Catherine: Paint transfer.

Sara: Recent?

Catherine: Hard to say.

(SARA peers inside the car and notices a bag of gourmet doggie treats from
"Vegas Finest". They're Bac'n'Chees flavored. SARA gets into the front seat of the car.)

Catherine: You know, this right rear tire's lost a lot of rubber.

(SARA finds a cell phone on the driver side floor. She checks it out.)

Sara: I got a cell phone. Battery's dead.

(SARA also notices something else strange.)

Sara: Hey, Catherine ... her emergency brake is still on.

Catherine: Maybe her brakes failed or she had to engage it for some reason you know, I'm thinking that maybe another vehicle was involved.

Sara: Engineer didn't mention anything about a second driver.

Catherine: Maybe he didn't see it.

CUT TO:


[INT. CSI - HALLWAY TO LAB -- NIGHT]

(ROBBINS walks down the hallway to the lab where NICK is testing the chemical bottles from the cage. ROBBINS enters the room.)

Robbins: Fifteen minutes before my next post. Bottled chemicals from the library?

(NICK nods his head.)

Robbins: Hey. Great room. Great table. I could use this. Lay out all the body parts. Get a real overview. Is that a light under there?

Nick: Do you have something for me?

Robbins: Oh, your vic. Poisoned. Substance as yet unidentified.

Nick: Well, there's no smoking gun in any of these bottles. What's on the label is what's in the bottle. Isopropyl alcohol ... 15% ammonia solution ... imidazole ... bleach.

(NICK gets up and walks to the doorway.)

Robbins: When you isolate the toxin you'll have a better idea where it came from. Nick ...

Nick: Hmm?

(NICK turns around.)

Robbins: I love this table.

(NICK smiles and nods.)

CUT TO:


[INT. CSI -- LAB]

(SARA is looking at the filament that they found on the road. CATHERINE is fiddling with the cell phone.)

Sara: There's no glass on the filament.

Catherine: 10:30 at night?

Sara: Crim 101. If a guy's driving along at night with his lights on ...

(Quick CGI POV to loud tire screetching. The camera heads toward the light glass, through the light and down to the filament. A piece of glass melts.)

Sara: (V.O.) gets in a wreck, glass breaks fuses to the filament.

(End of flashback. Resume to present.)

Sara: Instant evidence. But there's no glass on the filament. His headlights weren't on.

(CATHERINE stands up and walks to the scope to look.)

(Cut to the scope view of the filament with no glass melted on it. CATHERINE thinks about it for a moment.)

Catherine: Black car ... headlights off.

Sara: Easy for an engineer to miss.

Catherine: So he hit our SUV. Accidental or intentional?

Sara: Hard to tell.

Catherine: Maybe not.

(CATHERINE looks down at the cell phone in her hands.)

CUT TO:


[INT. AARON PRATT'S RESIDENCE]

(AARON PRATT straightens a picture on the wall, then turns and watches as GRISSOM and NICK go through his things. GRISSOM looks through the books and NICK is looking through his mail.)

Grissom: These books are from the Historical Society.

Aaron Pratt: (nervous) That's my mail.

Grissom: Aaron, what about these books?

Aaron Pratt: Don't ... don't mix those up.

(AARON grabs the mail from NICK and puts them back on the shelf.)

Aaron Pratt: I have two bills due tomorrow -- gas and electric -- and I have to mail them on my way to work. Don't.

(NICK calmly picks the mail up to continue to look through them. AARON grabs them from him again.)

Aaron Pratt: (frustrated) You're messing everything up.

(GRISSOM walks over to them.)

Grissom: (interrupting) Aaron, may I have a glass of water, please?

Aaron Pratt: (immediately) Of course you may.

Grissom: Thank you.

(AARON leaves to go to the kitchen.)

Nick: Is this guy the real deal?

Grissom: I think he's incapable of deception, Nick. We're just witnessing displaced anxiety. I mean, look around. Everything's in precise order.

Nick: Organized by size.

Grissom: Order provides comfort. His life is based on routine. Without it, he can't function.

Nick: I'll check out the bedroom.

(AARON returns and hands GRISSOM a glass of water.)

Aaron Pratt: Mountain spring water, Calistoga, California. Bottled at the source.

Grissom: Thank you.

Aaron Pratt: You're welcome.

(GRISSOM holds up a couple of books.)

Grissom: Now, how did these books get here?

(AARON grabs the books from GRISSOM and reshelves them in its proper order.)

Aaron Pratt: Veronica brought them.

Grissom: She was here.

Aaron Pratt: Yes, she was here. We date.

Grissom: What do you mean you date?

Aaron Pratt: We have dinner -- roast beef, baked potato ... organic broccoli ... acacia pinot noir. Shakespeare in Love. DVD. Miramax. M-c-m-x-c-v-I-I-I.

(Cut to NICK going through AARON PRATT'S dresser drawers.)

(Cut back to AARON PRATT seeing NICK in the bedroom and starting toward him. GRISSOM stops him.)

Grissom: You two were involved with each other?

(AARON turns around.)

Aaron Pratt: Why? Don't you think she would date someone like me?

Grissom: No. You told me Veronica was involved with Mr. Hunter.

Aaron Pratt: I have a masters in library science and an English Degree from UNLV. And some people like Mr. Hunter, treat me like a freak. But Veronica didn't. She ... loved me. Not him.

(In the background, NICK stops searching the drawers and starts back toward GRISSOM.)

Nick: Grissom. You might want to come back here a sec.

(GRISSOM hands the glass of water back to AARON.)

Grissom: Thank you.

(AARON takes the water and smiles.)

[BEDROOM]

(NICK leads GRISSOM back to the bedroom dresser and pulls aside a piece of cloth. Under it is a lipstick, a pair of earrings, a couple of photos and a hair brush.)

Nick: Personal effects. Like some creepy little shrine. Vic's hair. She was seeing Hunter. Aaron got jealous. Incapable of deception, huh? How do you feel about murder?

(GRISSOM picks up a photo of VERONICA BRADLEY.)

Grissom: "Yet she must die else she betray more men. Put out the light, and then put out the light."

(He turns around to look at AARON PRATT standing in the living room behind them.)

FADE TO BLACK.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)


FADE IN.


[INT. CSI - AUDIO/VISUAL LAB]

(CATHERINE and SARA watch as ARCHIE JOHNSON works his magic on the 911 tape.)

Archie Johnson: Last call on her cell phone was to 911. Reel to reel's already interfaced on my computer.

(Start tape recording.)

Dispatcher: (tape) 911, what's your emergency?

Megan Treadwell: (tape) Oh, god, you've got to help me, please, help me.

Dispatcher: (tape) Ma'am, try to calm down. Where are you?

Megan Treadwell: (tape) I'm in my car. There's this maniac, he's following me ...

Dispatcher: (tape) Ma'am, what's your location?

Megan Treadwell: (tape) Help me, please!

(End of tape recording.)

Catherine: Can you isolate the individual tracks?

Archie Johnson: Yes, ma'am.

Catherine: Good. Lose the dog.

Sara: Train, too, please.

(ARCHIE turns off "TRACK 1: DOG" and "TRACK 2: TRAIN". He leaves "TRACK 3: VICTIM", "TRACK 4: DISPATCH" and "TRACK 5: CAR" on.)

(Start tape recording.)

Dispatcher: (tape) Ma'am, what's your location?

Megan Treadwell: (tape) Help me, please! Oh, my god!

(End tape recording.)

Catherine: She was flooring it.

Sara: With the emergency brake on? It doesn't make any sense.

Catherine: Okay, lose the victim's voice and let's just hear the car.

(He runs the track for a third time.)

Archie Johnson: Two engines.

Catherine: Separate them out.

(He separates the remaining TRACK into two TRACKS. They run the tape again.)

Archie Johnson: SUV -- sounds like any regular four-cylinder.

(ARCHIE fiddles with the panel and runs the tape again.)

Sara: Sounds like the same thing.

Archie Johnson: Hang on.

(ARCHIE runs the tape for a final time.)

Archie Johnson: You hear that? Turbo. Probably diesel.

(That's enough to confirm that there definitely was a second car there. CATHERINE leaves without a word. ARCHIE and SARA watch.)

Sara: She definitely likes you.

(SARA pats ARCHIE on the shoulder and leaves to follow CATHERINE.)

CUT TO:


[INT. CSI - DNA LAB]

(GREG is reading the test results.)

Greg: You ever see the attack of the killer tomatoes?

(NICK is also in the lab. GREG shows the results to NICK.)

'Cause there's something in the victim's blood that looks like one of those heirlooms.

Nick: Well, it's not pulling a spectra. It's not a chemical.

Greg: No, it's a large, ugly, globular mass. You know, it's probably a protein
'cause it's the largest mass of anything in the body-- except organs, of course.

Nick: But it's foreign. How did it get in there?

Greg: Cart before the horse, Nick. First you identify it then you figure out where it came from.

(GREG walks to the cabinet and removes a thick book. He leaves through the book and finds what he's looking for.)

Nick: I always thought you kept your p0rn in there.

Greg: I move it around. Okay, now, this is a 66-kilodalton globular protein, composed of two disulfide-linked sub-units, a and B.

Nick: Very impressive.

Greg: And I know what you all think of me -- I'm just another pretty face who got to where I am by sleeping with Catherine.

(GREG starts to draw on the clearboard to illustrate to NICK what he's looking at.)

Greg: But seriously ... Phi Beta Kappa, Stanford. Can I help it if I'm hip?

Nick: Yeah, yeah, which one of your relatives got you in?

Greg: Full ride. Hey, eyes forward. A and B chains link together to form a large three-dimensional structure of these beta sheets and helices.

Nick: Translation ...

Greg: Wait!

Nick: You just drew the molecular structure of a foreign protein. A Plant?

Greg: Correct. But, more specifically, a lectin.

(GREG goes back to the book and looks it up. He gasps.)

Greg: This is nastier than I thought. It's ricin, a biotoxin.

Nick: Biotoxin?

Greg: Yeah. (reading) "B chain binds to glycoside residues which trigger endocytotic uptake of the protein which internalizes the toxin and begins the irreversible effects ... "

Nick: Whoa, whoa, whoa, stop now. Biotoxin, as in anthrax, smallpox? I was at that crime scene for eight hours, man.

Greg: Relax, man. It takes, like, two hours for ricin symptoms to show and, like, 48 more to kill you.

Nick: (worried) What kind of symptoms are we talking about, here?

Greg: Um ... sweats? Cramps?

Nick: No.

Greg: Convulsions?

Nick: Mm-mm. [Translation: No.]

Greg: Then you're fine.

Greg: And where did you say this woman worked?

Nick: Western State Historical Society.

CUT TO:


[INT. CSI -- LAB]

(GRISSOM walks in through the double doors and catches ROBBINS.)

Grissom: Hey.

(ROBBINS looks up and stops.)

Grissom: I just got the word on our library victim. How does ricin grab you?

Robbins: Well, ricin. I never would have gone there but it explains the irritation of the mucous membrane on her tongue.

(Quick POV flash to the victim with her mouth open and tongue hanging out to show a close up of the irritation. End of POV.)

Grissom: So you think she ate the poison.

Robbins: I don't know about ate but the ricin made contact with the tongue which means you're probably looking for a powder.

(GRISSOM nods.)

CUT TO:


[INT. WESTERN STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY (LIBRARY) - THE CAGE]

(A couple of suited up guys return back to the cage. NICK puts his CSI kit down, opens it and takes out a large piece of equipment.)

(Dissolve to Inside the Cage where NICK gathers and bags anything that looks like powder.

(Dissolve to NICK bagging some small glass containers and handing them to the other guy there with him. He turns to continue looking.)

(Several dissolves as NICK looks.)

(Dissolve to NICK opening up VERONICA BRADLEY 'S make-up compact.)

CUT TO:


[INT. CSI -- LAB]

(CATHERINE walks into the lab. SARA is already there where she has the contents of MEGAN TREADWELL'S car spread out in front of her on the table.)

Catherine: Day in the life.

Sara: Megan Treadwell wakes up at home on Martingale street puts the dog in the car, heads to work at her desk by 9:00 A.M.

Catherine: We know this how?

Sara: Brass. Talked to her boss.

Catherine: Why the dog?

Sara: Dog went with her, every day.

Catherine: So she works till six?

Sara: Eight, actually. Hard worker.

Catherine: Finishes packs up and leaves the office.

Sara: Except she doesn't go home. She runs an errand. I found these in the front seat of her SUV. There's only one store in Las Vegas that makes them.

(SARA lifts up the bag of Bac'n'Cheez doggie treats from "Vegas' Finest.)

CUT TO:


[INT. THE PET PLACE -- NIGHT]

(SARA, CATHERINE and BRASS question the workers there.)

Worker 1 (red-haired): Yeah, it happens all the time. Parking spaces are too narrow, and at a premium now that the restaurant moved in. This guy was out of line, almost... psycho.

Brass: Because of this woman?

(BRASS holds out a photo of MEGAN TREADWELL. The worker immediately knows her by her dog.)

Worker 1 (red-haired): Yeah. Maverick's owner. I think her name was, um, something with an M.

Sara: Megan.

(CATHERINE is in the back looking around the shop. She turns around when she hears Megan's name.)

Worker 1 (red-haired): Yeah. And this guy yelled so loud. I came out here just to check it out. He said something like ...

Worker 2 (dark-haired): "You could have kill me, bitch!" I heard it, too.

Brass: Did you see it?

Worker 2 (dark-haired): Kind of. I mean, I didn't hear a crash or anything, just brakes. It seemed like she backed out, didn't see him. Happened right over there.

(The WORKER points to a place outside in the parking lot. CATHERINE and SARA book look at the direction.)

(Quick flashback to MEGAN in her car and starting her car. Cut to MR. CROFT walking past the car as it slowly backs up.)

Mr. Croft: Whoa, whoa, hey, hey!

(End of flashback. Resume to present.)

Catherine: And that set him off.

Worker 2 (dark-haired): The last thing this guy needed was coffee.

(Quick flashback resumes as MR. CROFT and MEGAN TREADWELL start yelling at each other.)

Mr. Croft: Hey!

Megan Treadwell: What?

Mr. Croft: Pull your head out of your ass and use your mirror!

(End of flashback. Resume to present.)

Catherine: Was he a regular?

Worker 2 (dark-haired): Double latte, tall Monday through Friday between 8:30 and 9:00.

Brass: Does Mr. Double Latte have a name?

Worker 2 (dark-haired): I think it's Croft. Works right down the street - CPA. He's always telling us how to streamline our business.

Sara: How did Megan react to Mr. Croft?

Worker 1 (red-haired): She told him to go to hell.

(Quick flashback to MEGAN and MR. CROFT yelling at each other.)

Megan Treadwell: Go to hell!

Mr. Croft: No, you go to hell!

(MEGAN drives off.)

Mr. Croft: You're an ass!

(End of flashback. Resume to present.)

Worker 2 (dark-haired): And then just drove off.

Catherine: And what about Mr. Croft?

Worker 1 (red-haired): Everyone was just staring at him and then he got in his car and peeled out.

(SARA nods her head slowly. CATHERINE turns to look at SARA.)

CUT TO:


[INT. CSI - GRISSOM'S OFFICE]

(GRISSOM is reading up on ricin. He has the book open flat on the table to a page with a picture on it. GREG walks in.)

Greg: Ricinus communis. Castor beans, like castor oil.

Grissom: Well, botanically speaking, it's a spurge, not a bean. Ricin is made from the husk. Castor oil is made from what's inside.

Greg: Hmm, which makes two people who know that -- you and the guy who wrote the book.

Grissom: Three, actually. Someone knew how to turn this spurge into a poison.

(NICK walks into the room.)

Nick: Hey, guys. That's Aaron's book, right?

Grissom: Mm-hmm.

Nick: Shouldn't you be looking at that under a fume hood?

Grissom: We brought this from his apartment, not his office.

Nick: What makes you think there's a difference? He probably cooked up that ricin in his kitchen.

Grissom: Our guys didn't find anything there.

Nick: So he cleans up well. What, you're not feeling sorry for this guy, now, are you?

Greg: Hey, man, he is autistic.

Nick: Anybody else would be in a cell right now.

(GRISSOM looks at NICK who definitely has a point. GRISSOM grabs his jacket and leaves the room.)

CUT TO:


[INT. POLICE DEPARTMENT - INTERROGATION ROOM]

(GRISSOM and O'RILEY question AARON PRATT.)

Aaron Pratt: Yes, I've heard of ricin. Georgy Markov, 1978. Bulgarian political refugee in London assassinated by injection with a ricin pellet shot out of a black umbrella. Died two days later.

Grissom: Not that different from the way Veronica died, is it?

(GRISSOM stands. He carries the book to AARON and puts it on the table open to the page on Ricinus Communis.)

Grissom: I found this book in your apartment. What if I also told you that I found your fingerprint on this page?

Aaron Pratt: Page 153. I don't touch that book anymore.

Grissom: But you did touch it.

Aaron Pratt: Why are you mad at me?

O'Riley: Answer the question.

Aaron Pratt: I don't touch this book anymore. It doesn't feel right.

O'Riley: Ever since you killed Veronica.

Aaron Pratt: I loved Veronica.

(GRISSOM sits down next to AARON.)

Grissom: What do you mean, it doesn't feel right?

Aaron Pratt: Like a new bus pass. Smooth. Feel the page. It used to feel like my bus pass after a month. Now ... it's rough.

Grissom: Did you tell anyone that the illustrations felt different?

Aaron Pratt: Yes. I told Veronica and I told Mr. Hunter. She said that sometimes the books feel that way after they've been restored.

Grissom: What did Mr. Hunter say?

Aaron Pratt: He said, "Get out of my office, Aaron, I'm having my lunch!"

(AARON stands up and walks over to the window.)

Grissom: Was Mr. Hunter having lunch with Veronica again?

Aaron Pratt: Hard-boiled egg, celery, fruit salad, iced tea. Veronica was on a diet. She had to lose three pounds.

Grissom: Was this lunch different from the other lunches you told me about?

Aaron Pratt: Yes.

Grissom: How?

Aaron Pratt: They fought.

Grissom: Aaron, I want you to be very specific. Tell me what you saw.

(AARON looks out the window and remembers.)

(Quick flashback to STANLEY HUNTER'S office and his lunch with VERONICA BRADLEY. They're arguing.)

Stanley Hunter: You did what?

(He hits her.)

Stanley Hunter: All I have is my reputation and I'm not going to let you ruin it for me!

(End of flashback. Resume to present.)

Aaron Pratt: Veronica started crying. Mr. Hunter stopped yelling. He sat down. He started eating. He cut the hard-boiled egg in half.

(VERONICA is crying.)

Aaron Pratt: (V.O.) He reached in the drawer and pulled out the salt shaker.

(VERONICA BRADLEY stops him from adding salt to the egg. End of flashback. Resume to present.)

Aaron Pratt: No s*x, no food, no salt.

(AARON turns back to look at GRISSOM.)

FADE TO BLACK.

[EXT. LAS VEGAS CITY (STOCK) - NIGHT]


[INT. WESTERN STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY (LIBRARY) - STANLEY HUNTER'S OFFICE --
NIGHT]

(NICK is in full gear and back at the library this time in STANLEY HUNTER'S office. He opens the drawer and picks up the the salt shaker.)

(Camera close up of the salt shaker. Hold on NICK.)

HARD CUT TO BLACK.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)


FADE IN.


[INT. POLICE DEPARTMENT - INTERROGATION ROOM - DAY]

(GRISSOM and O'RILEY question STANLEY HUNTER.)

Stanley Hunter: Poison? What are you talking about?

Grissom: We're talking about ricin. The toxin that killed Veronica Bradley. You were dating her. You ate lunch together.

O'Riley: Opportunity. So, you mix up a batch of ricin put it in a salt shaker. Next time you're breaking bread, she asks for the salt ...

Stanley Hunter: It never happened.

Grissom: We have a witness who says he saw you try to kill her.

Stanley Hunter: What? Aaron? Are you sure you trust him?

Grissom: Normally an eyewitness is the least reliable evidence we have. But in this case, it's the most reliable. Veronica knew about the forgeries. A career-ender, huh, Stanley?

Stanley Hunter: For her, not for me. She's the forger.

(This surprises GRISSOM.)

Stanley Hunter: Oh, Aaron, Aaron, Aaron. I suppose he indicted me for that, too? He's the one who came to me. Told me about the illustrations. Said they felt like his bus pass. Whatever that means.

Grissom: Go on.

Stanley Hunter: He even knew the page numbers. So, I checked it out and he was right. Veronica was using me and mea culpa.

Grissom: Why didn't you tell us about the forgeries earlier?

Stanley Hunter: When she died, I thought the problem was solved. In this business, all you have is your reputation. There was a dozen books. I was going to remove them from the collection inform the board, collect the insurance and cut my losses. If you don't believe me go ask your very reliable witness.

(Camera holds on GRISSOM.)

CUT TO:


[INT. WESTERN STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY (LIBRARY) - THE CAGE -- NIGHT]

(GRISSOM is standing on the inside of the cage. AARON PRATT is on the outside looking in.)

Grissom: Tell me again, what did you see?

Aaron Pratt: Uniball pen rolls across the desk. Falls on the chair, hits the floor and stops rolling at the wastebasket. Then water falls into Veronica's eyes ...

Grissom: (interrupting) Aaron, when you look at things you see pictures in your mind. Tell me the first picture you see of Veronica in this cage.

Aaron Pratt: I already told you.

Grissom: Tell me something you haven't told me. Tell me what Veronica was doing before you said good night.

Aaron Pratt: She pulled out a canvas bag. Then she looked around.

Grissom: Why was she looking around?

Aaron Pratt: She was deciding something.

Grissom: Tell me what "Veronica deciding something" looks like.

(Quick flashback to VERONICA BRADLEY crouching down and removing a book from the table. Cut to VERONICA standing up and picking a book off of the table. Cut to her opening the book and flipping a page. Cut to her biting the end of the pen. Camera close up of VERONICA BRADLEY biting the end of her pen. End of flashback. Resume to present.)

Grissom: Thank you, Aaron.

(AARON looks back at GRISSOM.)

CUT TO:


[INT. CSI -- LAB]

(NICK is going through the pens they picked up from VERONICA BRADLEY'S house.)

Nick: Veronica Bradley must have loved uniballs. She had about a dozen at her house. Plus every known piece of forgery equipment.

(GRISSOM puts a swab in its box.)

Grissom: Some people bite their nails; she bit her pens. Bad habit.

(GRISSOM swabs the end of another pen.)

Nick: I also found this under her refrigerator. Funny how people don't think to clean there.

(NICK holds out an evidence bag for GRISSOM to take. GRISSOM looks at it. Camera close up of a single castor bean.)

Grissom: Castor bean. Ricinus communis.

(Quick flashback to VERONICA BRADLEY cooking in her kitchen. She takes some of the solid and grinds it into a powder. She puts the powder into the salt shaker. Camera close up of some of the ricin powder falling onto her notebook and pen.)

Nick: (V.O.) But if we find Ricin on any of the pens from her house ...

(End of flashback. Resume to present.)

Nick: ... we'll know where she cooked up the castor beans.

Grissom: And maybe how she died.

(GRISSOM hands a tray full of boxed swabs to NICK.)

Grissom: Get these to Greg right away. We need the results of the ricin elisa test.

(NICK leaves.)

CUT TO:


[INT. POLICE DEPARTMENT - INTERROGATION ROOM]

(CATHERINE and BRASS question MR. CROFT.)

Mr. Croft: I came home straight from work. I don't know what you're talking about.

Catherine: You want to submit to a lineup?

Mr. Croft: A lineup? What for?

(SARA opens the door and enters the room.)

Sara: His car, out in the parking lot, it's a rental. Rented this morning.

Catherine: Let's just cut the B.S. Where's your car?

Mr. Croft: I sold it.

Catherine: You got proof of sale?

(He shakes his head.)

Catherine: An accountant who doesn't keep receipts.

Mr. Croft: Hey, you don't know anything about me.

Catherine: I know you've got a temper.

(Camera holds on MR. CROFT.)

CUT TO:
[EXT. (STOCK) - NIGHT]


[INT. CSI - GARAGE]

(CATHERINE enters the GARAGE. SARA is already there with MR. CROFT'S car.)

Sara: Hey. Brass did the legwork and rushed the warrant. Found it in a body shop a mile from his house.

(CATHERINE looks at the car.)

Catherine: Black Excursion. Turbo diesel.

(CATHERINE walks to the front of the car and looks at the broken headlight.)

Catherine: Gutted.

Sara: Gets better. Vic's SUV was silver.

(SARA shows silver paint on the car's front bumper.)

Sara: What do you think?

Catherine: Well, this is a lot more than a fender bender.

Sara: Sustained contact.

Catherine: Get some scrapings.

Sara: Yeah.

(SARA puts her flashlight aside. CATHERINE opens the car's front passenger-side door and looks around. She sees the coffee on the front dash and seat.)

(Cut to SARA getting the scraping.)

(Cut back to CATHERINE climbing into the car and sitting down. She finds the empty coffee cup on the driver-side floor. She picks it up.)

Catherine: I think I may know what ...

(She smells it.)

Catherine: set this guy off.

(SARA looks up.)

Catherine: He spilled his coffee.

(CATHERINE looks around and finds the coffee lid with lipstick on the cap.)

(SARA walks around to the driver side.)

Catherine: (shaking her head) Not a good color for Croft.

(They're both putting the pieces together. CATHERINE also notices the coffee on the driver-side window. She rolls the window up to show the coffee stain.)

Catherine: Coffee on the outside, coffee on the inside. Lipstick on the lid.

Sara: She threw her coffee at him.

(Quick flashback to MEGAN in her car. MR. CROFT pulls up beside her. He yells at her. She yells back.)

Catherine: (V.O.) Croft chases her from the parking lot caught up to her at the light.

(End of flashback. Resume to present.)

Catherine: They said their "screw you, screw you's." I think I know the word that made her throw the coffee.

Sara: I hate that word.

(Quick flashback to CROFT swearing at MEGAN. MEGAN throws her coffee cup at CROFT. It hits him square.)

Sara: (V.O.) Those lids never fit. She nailed him.

(She drives off. End of flashback. Resume to present.)

Sara: Light turns green and the chase is on.

(Quick flashback resumes as MEGAN peals off when the light changes.)

Catherine: (V.O.) And now she's got a problem.

(CROFT pursues. Cut to a car chase between the two cars. End of flashback.)

Sara: She's got a pursuit on her hands.

Catherine: And she's the pursued. So, she dials 9-1-1.

(Quick flashback to MEGAN on her cell.)

Operator: (over phone) 9-1-1. What's your emergency?

Megan Treadwell: (to phone) Oh, my god, you've got help me, please. Help me!

(End of flashback.)

Catherine: Somehow she loses him.

Sara: And she's still spooked. All she wants now is to get home.

(Quick flashback to MEGAN turning the corner and scared. She stops when the track guard bell rings and the rail lowers.)

Megan Treadwell: Please ... pl-please.

(She checks her rear-view mirror and sighs when she doesn't see the car. She turns around and looks at her dog.)

Megan Treadwell: Hey, sweetie ...

(Then from behind her, the car hits her full speed. She starts to inch forward. The train whistle blows in the distance. Her brakes screech. She slowly inches forward toward the guard rail. Behind her MR. CROFT looks very smug behind the wheel of his car. The train whistle blows.)

Megan Treadwell: Oh, god, no! Help me!

(She puts her emergency brakes on. End of flashback.)

Catherine: That's why she had the emergency brake on.

(Quick flashback to the car still inching forward and MR. CROFT mercilessly pushes the car forward. The train whistle blows. The car breaks through the rail and onto the track. End of flashback.)

Catherine: She could have jumped out.

Sara: Not without her dog.

(Quick flashback to MEGAN being pushed all the way to the middle of the train track.)

Megan Treadwell: Help!

(Her tires squeal; the train whistle blows. CROFT pushes the car forward, then goes in reverse once the car's in place. MEGAN tries to start her car, but the engine won't turn.)

Megan Treadwell: No!

(The train makes impact with the car. CROFT sits in his car and watches. End of flashback.)

Catherine: And that's why you always cut the other driver some slack.

Sara: I'll call Brass, tell him to make the arrest.

(CATHERINE nods.

CUT TO:


[INT. CSI - GRISSOM'S OFFICE]

(GRISSOM watches as AARON PRATT nervously arranges the items on his shelf.)

Grissom: Veronica removed the original illustrations from the books and replaced them with forgeries which she then left at your house so that she could point the finger at you if it ever came to that. She never thought that you'd find out but you did. And you told Mr. Hunter.

Aaron Pratt: "All you have in this business is your reputation."

Grissom: So, Veronica tried to save hers but instead of killing Mr. Hunter she ended up killing herself.

(AARON knocks down the containers he was straightening.)

Aaron Pratt: Oh. Sorry.

(GRISSOM rushes over to help him pick them up.)

Grissom: That's okay.

(AARON nervously giggles.)

Grissom: (quietly) I like order.

Aaron Pratt: Me, too. That's why I was scared.

Grissom: Scared?

Aaron Pratt: Of Veronica. Of being in love. I was stupid. I thought she loved me.

(Quick flashback to VERONICA kissing AARON. End of flashback.)

Aaron Pratt: "Then must you speak of one that loved not wisely ...

Grissom: ... but too well."

Aaron Pratt: Othello, act five, scene two, lines 343 and 344.

Grissom: But Othello killed Desdemona.

Aaron Pratt: I didn't kill Veronica.

Grissom: (quietly) No, you didn't.

(GRISSOM smiles.)

FADE TO BLACK.

End