scarlet_gryphon: (Kate Todd)
[personal profile] scarlet_gryphon
Chapter Word Count: 1,585

Chapter One | Chapter Two | Chapter Three | Chapter Four | Chapter Five | Chapter Six |
Chapter Seven | Chapter Eight | Chapter Nine | Chapter Ten


Abby and Tim called Gibbs when he, Tony, and Ziva were ten minutes away from the Navy Yard, both sounding excited and talking a mile a minute.

'Gibbs, Gibbs, we got something!' Abby announced as soon as Gibbs picked up. Gibbs turned on the speakerphone and then handed the cell to Ziva so he could talk and drive safely at the same time.

'What did you find, Abbs?' Gibbs asked.

'Commander Dalton's finally turned his phone back on,' Abby said.

'He's on his way to Bethesda,' Tim chimed in. 'He'll be there in twenty minutes if traffic holds up.'

'McGee, alert the local LEOs, and then get over to Bethesda,' Gibbs ordered, flipping the switch for the siren. 'We'll meet you there. Don't engage until we get there, got it?'

'Yes, Boss,' Tim said. Gibbs ended the call and then sped up, forcing his teammates to hang on for dear life as he wove in and out of traffic, hell-bent on getting Dalton before he could get away.

~/~/~

It took less time than Tim would've thought for the rest of his team to get to Bethesda, but one look at Tony's face told him all he needed to know: Gibbs must've taken one of his infamous shortcuts, and at high speed, if past experience was any indication. Tim joined the others at the back of the black sedan they'd arrived in, watching them get geared up as he gave a quick debrief to Gibbs.

'Okay, so I checked with Personnel, and they confirmed that Commander Dalton clocked in about fifteen minutes ago,' he began, checking over his own gear for a second time, just in case. 'A nurse confirmed that he's been with his first patients of the day ever since then. Abby's tracking his cell phone to make sure he stays where he's supposed to be.'

'Good. Let's move out,' Gibbs said, and the team fell in behind him. 'Don't shoot unless you have to; I don't want any civilians getting hurt.'

'Got it, Boss,' Tony said, Ziva and Tim adding their affirmations a half-second later. They moved quickly and quietly through Reception and into the inner halls of the hospital, each keeping a hand ready to draw their sidearms.

~Wait until the Commander comes out of the room,~ Gibbs said over the Pack Bond. ~Ziva, Tony, get that side of the hall; McGee and I will cover this one.~

Tony and Ziva nodded and then hid themselves out of immediate sight, with Tony ducking behind a pillar and Ziva crouching behind a housekeeping cart that had been left behind when its owner had been cleared out by hospital security. The NCIS team settled into a tense wait, all of their enhanced senses focused on the door that hid Commander Dalton from view. The wait felt interminably long to Tim, but in reality there was only a ten minute gap between when he and the others had arrived and when the door opened, revealing Commander Dalton. He paused at the sight of Gibbs and Tim waiting there for him, his posture closing off in an instant.

'Can I help you, Agent Gibbs?' Dalton asked warily. 'Did you have more questions?'

'No,' Gibbs replied with a terse shake of his head. He moved forwards, but as he did so, Dalton broke to his left, heading to what looked like an easy way out. He hadn't counted on Ziva and Tony, however. Tony tackled him to the floor, while Ziva held her gun on him, the muzzle just kissing the back of his head.

'Do not move,' she said, her voice a deadly calm. 'I assure you, this is not a toy gun, and these bullets will kill you.'

Dalton went still, allowing Tony to cuff him. 'Commander Jonas Dalton, you are under arrest for the kidnapping and unwilling ensorcellment of Lieutenant Laura Cadman,' Tony said, getting off of Dalton's back and then hauling him to his feet. 'You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. Do you understand these rights as they have been explained to you?'

Dalton grunted in reply, a serious case of tile burn forming on his chin from where Tony had tackled him to the ground. As Tony continued to inform Dalton of his rights, Tim poked his head through the open doorway to check on the patient Dalton had been dealing with just minutes before. The woman was sleeping soundly, a fact that was reinforced by the steady beeping of her heart monitor.

'Let's go,' Gibbs said, and then began walking towards the bank of elevators. Tony, Ziva, and Tim followed their Alpha, Dalton trudging along between Tony and Ziva. A crowd had gathered in the lobby, and murmurs broke out when those closest to the elevators saw that Dalton was in handcuffs. The muted babble followed them out to the cars, and then was cut off as soon as the front doors of the hospital slid shut.

~/~/~

Gibbs left Commander Dalton to stew in the interrogation room while he collected the necessary components of Dalton's file to use in his questioning. Abby had prepared a document that showed where Dalton's fingerprints had been found on the seat lever in Warner's car, as well as the 98% match to his Naval records. She'd also processed the newest envelope and had found a small hair that had gotten stuck to the glue on the inner flap. There had been a skin tag still attached, providing Abby with a workable DNA sample that, after it had been processed and run through the various civilian and military databases, had come back as a match to the Commander, further linking him to the previous two murders and Lieutenant Cadman's kidnapping.

'How much longer d'you think Gibbs is going to make him wait?' Tim asked, but before Ziva or Tony could answer, the door to the interrogation room opened, admitting Gibbs, who carried two things: the case file and a fresh cup of coffee. He set both items down on the table before taking a seat, not speaking a word to or looking at Dalton.

'Care to explain why two Weres who worked with you turned up dead with cryptic notes at the crime scenes?' Gibbs began after opening the file folder and pretending to read the words printed on the first page. 'Or why a third victim identified you as one of her kidnappers?'

'I had nothing to do with that,' Dalton said promptly, causing Tony to hand a ten-dollar bill to Ziva, as the two had bet on how soon Dalton would deny being involved with the crimes he'd been linked to.

'Really,' Gibbs said flatly, momentarily quirking an eyebrow before he continued on. 'Strange, because I can place you in the driver's seat of Petty Officer Warner's car.' At this point, Gibbs pulled out the fingerprint report Abby had prepared, sliding it in front of Dalton, turning it so that the Commander could read it properly. 'And I haven't even mentioned the physical evidence- DNA evidence -that links you to the kidnapping of Lieutenant Cadman. What I don't have is the reason you killed two men and endangered the life of another of your people.'

'You wouldn't understand,' Dalton said haughtily. 'I can tell you're not a man of science.'

'Try me,' Gibbs replied. 'You might be surprised.'

Dalton snorted. 'Unlikely, but since you asked, I'll try and dumb it down for you,' he said. 'While the deaths of Warner and Proctor were... unfortunate ...every medical trial has its downsides.'

'“Medical trial?”' Gibbs repeated. 'You're telling me that two good men died because you felt like playing God?'

'They weren't men, they were animals,' Dalton said, barely blinking at Gibbs' growing anger. 'The study was meant to see just what their limits were. Of course, if I had been in charge, I wouldn't have used military personnel- too high profile, in my opinion -but that was the decision of people with far more power than I'll ever have.'

From their vantage point in the observation room, Tony, Tim, and Ziva could see the tension building in the lines of Gibbs' stiff back and shoulders.

'And the notes?' Gibbs asked, a growl escaping him before he could control himself. A look of revulsion twisted Dalton's face when he realized just what Gibbs was, and his next words were short and to the point.

'I've had enough of this. I want a lawyer,' he said. 'A human lawyer.' With that, he leaned back in his chair, folded his arms across his chest, and then fell silent. After a few tense seconds, Gibbs grabbed his coffee and file, got up from his chair, and then left the room. His team met him in the hallway and then returned with him to their desks, where Kate was waiting for them.

'How'd it go?' she asked.

'Well, we got a confession out of him before he lawyered up,' Tim said once everyone had sat down. 'So that's something.'

'Yeah, McGee, but what about the people Dalton said were in charge of everything?' Tony replied. 'Confession or not, that doesn't sound good.'

'Shadowy figures pulling strings are never good, Tony. Trust me, I should know,' Ziva said, a dark tone in her voice. Gibbs remained silent on the matter, and his team knew better than to try and get him to join the conversation. He just stared at his computer, lost deep in thought.

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December 2011

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