Chapter Twenty Five
Doctor Donald Mallard was a man who, throughout his many varied experiences in life, had developed a sense of when things were just not right. After a career that had taken him to places like Bosnia or Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion, he knew better than to refuse to listen to his own instincts.
The fact that it was now pitch black in the morgue did not help either.
Or the noises that had come from the section of sliding shelves where the bodies were stored.
No, this time, discretion was required. Slowly, he stepped towards the exit, his eyes trying to adjust to the darkness. There was a clanging noise from deeper into the morgue, and Ducky found himself moving a little faster.
He reached the area where the doors were, and closed his eyes in extreme annoyance. Pressurised doors, triggered by sensors. Sensors which obviously now had no power going to them.
Oh, bugger. He was stuck in the morgue with whoever else was present.
~ + ~
Ziva David wanted nothing more than to open fire. However, all her training (both Mossad and NCIS) told her opening fire discriminately in a pitch black corridor when she was uncertain of her target’s location was unwise at best. Stifling a curse, she leapt forward to where she had last seen Rosenberg.
Rosenberg was not stupid, and had in fact moved as soon as the unexpected blackout had occurred. Ziva paused and concentrated, her hearing trying to determine any sort of idea where her quarry might be.
A noise to the side alerted her, and she rolled across the floor immediately, aiming to cut Rosenberg’s legs out from underneath her. Nothing was there, but her questing hands slid across the floor and encountered something plastic. Quickly, her fingers played across it and she recognised it as the ID badge her quick thinking opponent had obviously discarded.
“Very clever,” she said into the darkness, moving as she did. Ziva doubted Rosenberg would be as stupid as to answer, but these things had to be tried. This was cat and mouse tactics of a kind Ziva had played before in her training. Normally blindfolded of course, but the same basic ideas were at play.
A small smile passed over her face in the darkness. Rosenberg was obviously not as good a fighter as Summers or Lehane, otherwise she would have closed the distance and attempted a more physical type of combat. If she was in fact the handler for the other two women, then that would make sense.
Either way, that meant if Ziva could locate Rosenberg, she was now fully confident she could take her down. Painfully, if necessary.
An idea struck her. Abandoning the idea of hearing her target, Ziva concentrated on one of her other senses. Breathing in hard through her nostrils, Ziva twitched as the first stirrings of perfume reached her nostrils.
~ + ~
Two corridors over, in interview room 2, Tony DiNozzo struggled to full alertness, aided by somebody slapping his cheeks over and over again.
“Don’t wanna go to school, ma,” he mumbled, vaguely flapping at the hands around his face.
“Gah! Could you be any more of a cliché, Tony!?!?” hissed a pissed-sounding McGee bending over him. “Keep your voice down!”
Tony pushed himself up against the wall behind him, and tried to clear his head. It was dark in there, and the only light around was coming from a cell clasped tightly in McGee’s hand. “What hit me?” he said as quietly as he could, and then shook his head in irritation. Less clichés, more actual dealing with the situation.
“Lehane, from the look of you,” McGee hissed just as quietly. He glanced quickly at Tony, before resuming his careful watch on the doorway. A small smirk crossed his face. “Trust me, I know how that feels.”
“Lehane,” Tony repeated, before everything slid back into place. “Oh, yeeeah... Lehane.” He tried to get to his feet temporarily, before abandoning that plan for the moment. “So, where is everyone,” he said blinking, “And why is it so dark?”
McGee looked solemn. “No idea on the power, but Lehane’s definitely left here and I just hope Gibbs has Summers safe.” The light on the cell phone dimmed, and McGee adjusted it slightly until it came back fully. “We have to get moving, Tony. Can you walk now?”
Tony tested his legs. Seemed fine to stand on. “I’ll do. Might need someone to lean on for a bit though.”
McGee nodded. “Okay. I’ve got an idea on what to do about the power, but we got to get to Gibbs soon enough. He needs to know there’s a third person working with them.”
Tony stopped, mid-getting up. “Another?”
Tim nodded again, glancing back at the doorway. Stretching out his spare hand, he pulled Tony up from the floor. “Has to be. I’m fairly sure now I heard three voices at my apartment, and neither Summers or Lehane could have arranged for this black-out.”
“Damn,” said Tony, swaying for a moment. “Makes sense, as much as this case ever has.”
McGee considered Tony for a moment before passing him the cellphone. “You hold this, I’ll take point.”
Tony’s mouth quirked, but he didn’t argue. “Lead on, McGeek.”
~ + ~
Ziva’s second leap in the dark was a lot more successful. The female body she crashed into let out an “Eeep!” and tumbled to the floor with her.
Rolling about in the dark on the floor, Ziva quickly forced the other down underneath her and pulled both of the other woman’s arms up behind her back. Straddling her downed opponent, Ziva smiled in triumph. “As I was saying, you are under arrest...”
What felt like an electric shock passed through Ziva’s nervous system, causing her to buck and spasm, flying backwards off Rosenberg and crashing into the wall there. Ziva gasped for breath, as she scrambled to move again. Some sort of hidden taser...? The thought flipped through her mind as she tried to get back up again, her mind demanding urgently what her body could not quite deliver.
The non-dazed part of her mind also registered a new step of steps running up the corridor towards them. And suddenly Ziva was very much awake when a familiar voice spoke.
“Hey, Wills... need a hand?”
~ + ~
Ducky frowned. Instinct was now telling him two different, distinct things.
Firstly, stay well away from the far end of his own morgue. Frankly, from the odd sounds that he had heard, his conscious mind was most certainly agreeing with that. And secondly, he should step away from the pressurised doors he was currently trying to prise open. This, he was having trouble reconciling.
There was a sound from the corridor he was attempting to reach. Ah. That might explain a few things. It was a grinding sound, as if two blocks of metal were being grated across each other.
Then there was a most familiar sounding ding.
To his faint surprise, Ducky identified it immediately as the noise made by the elevator doors opening, and that... that had to be footsteps approaching his door.
“Yo, tweedie,” a cool sounding young lady’s voice spoke, and Ducky could not help but to automatically try and identify the slight twang in it. “Ya might wanna step back a moment and let the professionals in.”
Ducky paused for a moment, assessing the situation. It was a Boston twang most certainly, which meant Faith Lehane had obviously escaped from upstairs. Equally obviously, that meant Jethro would soon be down here in pursuit.
He pursed his lips, but stepped to the side of the doorway. After that incident with poor Gerald and Ari, he knew better than to try anything he was no longer equipped to do so. And frankly, from what he had picked up from a quick perusal of her file along with Buffy Summers’s, he very much doubted he could have kept her out.
And also anyone who could force the elevator doors open would have absolutely no trouble with the morgue doors.
“Good call,” Lehane said, quickly forcing the doors open and stepping through. “Now, shut up and stay still. Mama’s got some hunting to do.”
With a sudden chill running down his spine, Ducky realised the opposite end of the morgue had gone very, very quiet. Until a roaring, raging something charged at them out of the darkness.
~ + ~