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Title: Backtrack Creek, Chapter 1
Pairings: Greg Sanders / Nick Stokes,
Ryan Wolfe / Eric Delko
Rating: PG
Genre: AU
Disclaimer: Not mine, etc.

Summary:  A deranged serial killer is terrorising a small isolated town of Backtrack Creek. CSI Ryan Wolfe, detective Vartann and Greg Sanders, a pesky reporter, end up in the middle of it, and there is no shortage of suspects.

What is the local police officer Nick Stokes hiding? Does Catherine Willows, the madam of the local full-service Inn, have her own ideas of customer service? Has Lindsay, the owner of the tiny diner mummified something else besides her pastries? Is Eric Delko, an enigmatic mechanic, as good under the hood as he says he is? What is Warrick, the man without a past, running from? Has the long lack of bathing finally snapped garage owner Timmy Speedle`s fragile mind? Who wanted to kill the perverted science teacher Gil Grissom and the police chief Brass, the patron saint of the local doughnut shop?

Confused?
If you’re not, you will be.

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----


Chapter 1

 

“I’ll figure this out, just gimme some time…” Vartann complained and disappeared under the hood once again.

“You already had time. Three hours and we’re still here.” Ryan stepped out of the car and slammed the door shut. “Admit it, you have no idea what’s wrong with it.”
“Neither do you.”
“Yeah, but I don’t pretend I can fix it.”
“I can fix it!”

“Listen…” Ryan rubbed his eyes tiredly. “Let’s recap the facts, okay? We can’t be more than couple miles from there. That’s fact number one. Number two: It’s getting dark.” He leaned against the car and crossed his arms over his chest. “Fact number three: Cellphones haven’t worked for the last thirty miles.”

“What’s the fourth?”
“We’re stuck in the middle of nowhere, near the town where a maniac has killed five random travellers. And the local police chief.”

Two points of light appeared from the growing darkness, the sound of an engine approached, and a car slowly paused next to them.

“Need help?” The man in the car flipped the small ceiling light on so they could see each other. “Or are you just having a little picnic?”
“Help.” Ryan stated dryly. “Any chance of a ride to the nearest telephone?”
“Sure.” The man grinned. “Isn’t it my civic duty to help the officers of the law?”
“How did you know?”
“The badge was kind of a hint. And that thing back there.” He pointed at Ryan’s metallic kit on the backseat. “Going to Backtrack Creek?”
“Yeah.”

“Me too.” The guy leaned closer to the open window and stretched out his hand. “Greg Sanders, Crime & Grime Magazine.”

“Ryan Wolfe, Crime lab.” Ryan shook his hand. “That’s detective Vartann.”
“Called to help the locals?”
“Yes.”
“Well, when they can’t even keep their own ones alive, I guess they need all the help they can get. Five out of towners and two of their own locals-”
“One local.” Ryan corrected.
“How long have you guys been here?” Greg smirked and didn’t even bother to hide his gloating. “Outside of phone service?”
“A while…”
Two locals. That’s why I’m going, this story is getting better and better.”
“When was the second one?”
“Today.”

“And we’re here out of reach.” Ryan slammed his hand down on the roof of their car. “What do you know about it?”

“I’m kinda busy here, I got a job to do. Get in and I’ll take you to the garage in the town.” Greg smiled innocently. “That way we can exchange information on the way.”

“Fine by me.” Vartann closed the hood and pulled their overnight bags out of the car, while Ryan grabbed his kit from the backseat. Vartann locked the car, shoved himself to Greg’s backseat with the bags and Ryan took the passenger seat. He clutched his kit safely in his lap.

“So what do you know?”
“How far back do you want me to start?”
“As far back as you can.”
“Well, Backtrack Creek, population one hundred and fifty-something, mostly scattered around the area. Used to be pretty lively place, but after they built the new main road, it started its slow and painfull death. Now people just go there when they are passing through or don’t wanna be found. Like the latest victim.”
“Who’s the latest victim?”
“Old schoolteacher, retired last year. Gil Grissom.”
“Was he found like the rest of them?”
“Yep, throat slit and pants down. My editor sent me to cover the story as soon as we heard. The guy, who handled the earlier killings got disciplined, and not in a nice way.”
“Why?”

“Just between us? We were kinda friends and he told me most of what there was to tell about his trips here.” Greg’s fingers hovered over the buttons of the CD-player, but then returned to the wheel. “You know what it’s like in small towns? I mean I don’t know personally, but I’ve heard enough. I’m originally from Frisco, but I’ve been around the map-”

“Get to the point.” Vartann demanded from the backseat.
“Anyway, small town, one motel, couple diners… one full-service Inn. If you know what I mean.”
“You mean… what?”
“Pay the regular fee and you’ll get a room for the night. Ask for room service and you can pick from the girl pool a nice country girl for the night.”
“A whorehouse.”
“Isolated little town, lonely men… Totally understandable.” Greg shrugged. “Little town mentality, everyone knows about everything, but they stay away from other people’s businesses.”
“What does that have to do with you predecessor?”
“He got a little carried away at Madam Willows`s and got kicked out. Our mag has a slimy reputation as it is, so the editor thought a new face could wheedle something new out of the locals.”

“Take couple steps back. Willows?” Ryan repeated. “The same Willows, who found vic number three?”
“Yeah, Catherine Willows. How much do you know about her?”
“We made background checks on everyone involved, when the locals asked for our assistance. If I remember correctly, she was born and raised in the town and has lived there her whole life. Nothing that would indicate that she’s anything, but an innkeeper. Inherited the place from her mother.”

“That’s what you get when go by the records.” Greg giggled. “You can get more out of the locals in one evening if you don’t have a badge. Danny definitely did.”
“What did he get on Willows?”
“Like you said, born and raised in Backtrack Creek. Local little beauty queen, wanted to go to the big city hoping to become an actress and  came back after few years with her tale between her legs. Her mom used to run the Inn, and the daughter took over when the mom got sick. She`s been dead for years now.”

“Any grudges with other residents?”
“Not according to Danny. She provides services and people turn a blind eye. And in little town everyone will know if a married man uses her girls, so it’s fair play for all.” Greg guided his car carefully off to a smaller road and checked the small sign on the side of the road, that welcomed them to Backtrack Creek. “But he didn’t get much about her friend.”

“What friend?”
“Big guy, bouncer all-around Mister Fix-It at her Inn. Makes sure customers treat the girls well and sometimes serves some of the male clientele, if they’re into that.”
“You know a name?”
“Something like Ricky… Sounds kinda weird… Warrick. Warrick Something, I don’t know about his last name.”
“Does he live with Willows?”
“I don’t think so, Danny said he has a room at the Inn.”
“We didn’t even know about him.” Ryan sighed with frustration. “We did check all the personnel, that’s listed at the Inn, but they all came back with clean records. There was no Warrick listed as a resident.”

“Well… somebody told Danny he just showed up one day. Maybe he knew Willows, maybe she just needed a new bouncer, who knows.” Greg reached over Ryan’s legs and opened the glove compartment. He pulled out a notebook and flipped open the first page. It was filled by a hand drawn map of the town. “Let’s see… this gotta be the main road… What else could it be, there’s only one road… So the garage should be about…” He slowed down a bit and stopped the car in front a worn-down building. “… here. They should be able to get your car towed here.” He parked the car to the side of the road and got out.

“Thanks for the ride.” Ryan stepped out and took a look at the dark building. “Any idea where we could find the police station?”
“That’s easy.” Greg pointed across the street. “This is the main road, and everything is pretty much around it. There’s a motel that way, in case you need it.” He took another look at the notebook. “And there’s a recommendation here too: Lindsay’s Diner across the street from my motel. Good food, decent coffee, mummified doughnuts.”

“Is there anything in there about who’s in charge at the station?”
“Wait a sec…” Greg started flipping through the pages. “Gossip, rumours, more gossip, here it is. I think we can cross off Chief Brass, so the next in line would be officer Stokes. But they only got like three or four officers here anyway.”
“What did your buddy have to say about him?”
Nick Stokes. Transferred from Dallas PD, avoids too many questions, make more inquiries. That’s all there is about him.”

“What kinda inquiries?”
“I don’t know, I gotta call Danny when I get settled. He’s now limited to background checks and making coffee. And washing the editor’s car when needed.”
“And you’ll let us know when you do know.” Vartann added with a tone that made it clear it was not a request.

“Only if you got a little something for me.” Greg responded and selected another page from the notebook. “But I’ll give you a little freebie about the latest victim.”
“The schoolteacher?”
“Yeah. He used to pay to one of Willows`s girls to perform special services for him.”
“How special?”
“He took her to the woods so they could follow the patterns of all kinds of insects.” A shiver went up Greg’s spine and he grimaced. “Each to his own, but if that gets a guy going, he`s probably not playing with a full deck of cards.” He shoved the notebook to his pocket and grabbed his backbag from the car. “Anyway, the guy who owns the garage is called Speedle, if he’s not here, you should try the backdoor. According to Danny’s notes, he has a little place there.” He pulled his bag up to his shoulder and gave them a mock salute before turning to leave. “Good luck, guys.”

“Thanks.” Ryan said, sounding more than a bit annoyed. “What do we do first? Get the car towed or go to the station?”

“The car.” Vartann stated grimly. “I’m not leaving my car alone for a night in the town of creeps.”


Chapter 2

 


Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
sexycazzy
Sep. 23rd, 2010 08:30 pm (UTC)
A new series with all the casts...yay!

Can't wait to read more of this! -grins-
finnishsphinx
Sep. 23rd, 2010 08:48 pm (UTC)
Just couldn`t resist this one, it`s always so much fun to thow the characters in the middle of an unfamiliar territory ;) LOL

(This one was actually inspired by watching one too many eps of "Twin Peaks" and "Soap" (that old sitcom from the 80s). And to top it all off, one of the channels here started to run that old 60s Peyton Place... little town where everyone has a secret was just too tempting... LOL)
alligator138
Sep. 24th, 2010 08:49 am (UTC)
Fantastic start! And how could anyone resist that intro you wrote? I'm so looking forward to more. :D
finnishsphinx
Sep. 24th, 2010 10:44 am (UTC)
Thanks! :)
(And that intro was too much fun to write... it`s the the longest one I`ve ever done for a fic... LOL)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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