Tony’s gut churned hard as he drove into NCIS. He couldn’t place it, the more he tried the harder it was becoming to sort through what could actually be wrong. He was hypervigilant as he walked through the parking lot, his eyes taking in every person, car, pillar and rock.
“Your gut churning too?” Gibbs questioned as he jogged up alongside his partner. “Can’t place it, but it’s working overtime since I got up.”
“I’ve been the same way.” Tony sighed as he studied the guards at the security desk, he watched each one of their actions, nothing seemed off, but it did nothing to relieve his building anxiety.
“Palmer and Ducky?” Gibbs questioned as watched Tony direct the elevator to autopsy.
“I honestly don’t know,” DiNozzo sighed. “We have to start someone where.” Finding that Palmer and Ducky were fine, the next stop as to check on Kasie. “You okay in here, Lovely Kasie?”
“I’m good,” Kasie sighed. “Well, I’m not, but I don’t know why. Is that making any sense?”
“More that you know,” Tony sighed deeply. “Gibbs and I have been trying to figure it out too, we’ve both got a bad feeling about something.”
“But you just can’t place it,” Kasie watched as Tony and Gibbs agreed. “I don’t want to say I am relieved, but I am relieved. I thought that maybe I was losing my mind, but if you are feeling the say way, there has to be something to this.”
“Ducky and Palmer are fine,” Tony sighed. “Let’s go check on Director Vance and maybe SecNav needs a call too.”
“I’m fine,” Vance called out as he made his way in the lab. “Gut is churning, just like yours. All agents are present and accounted for, I spoke with Secretary Porter, she’s fine. I’m at a loss, it has to be something or someone we are all connected to.”
“That’s tough,” Tony sighed only to be knocked into by Kasie.
“Tony,” Kasie gasped. “I’m so sorry. I just got a text from my aunt, she’s a nurse at Walter Reed. There is a hostage situation, she knows I work here and thought maybe I could get you there before they asked for help. She doesn’t want anyone to die, Director.”
“Every available team,” Vance shouted. “Front and center, we have a hostage situation at Walter Reed. We have inside information on this situation, so approach with caution. Agent McGee, I want you running point in MTAC, we are going to needs eyes on the inside. Agent Dorneget, I want you with Agent McGee. I’m counting on you.”
“Kasie,” Tony pointed to her phone. “Is she still answering texts? If she is, I need details, as many as she can give while staying out of harm’s way.”
“She is,” moving to Tony’s computer, Kasie pulled up the floor plans to Walter Reed. “This is where the suspect is. According to my aunt, there is only one, but he has hostages. She is trying to get a picture of his face without being seen, she’s hiding in a linen closet on that floor she has her co-worker’s with her..”
“What is on that floor?” Vance questioned.
“Outpatient services,” Bishop called out. “Gibbs, Dr. Confalone’s office is on this floor.”
“Go,” Vance pointed to Gibbs and Tony. “Gibbs, whatever you need.”
Tony was pulling the sedan to the exit by the time Gibbs made his way outside, he couldn’t help but feel a large amount of pride as his agent put the car in gear and floored it towards the gate with the lights and sirens going so the guards would open it without stopping them. They drove for miles with the lights and sirens going, only to shut them down fives miles from the hospital.
“You cut twenty minutes off that trip,” Gibbs panted as they got out of the car. “Got to get some driving lessons from you, DiNozzo.”
“Learned it all from you, Gibbs.” Tony pulled their gear from the trunk. “Want to run anything in particular on this one?”
“Let’s go see what we are up against, I will follow your lead.” Gibbs was handing Tony the lead, he needed to keep his emotions in check. Grace had helped him through a lot in his life, she had become a friend. This was personal, but he and Tony were the best chance she had.
“Tony,” Gibbs stopped his partner. “She has a tough exterior, but she’s sensitive.”
“I know,” DiNozzo whispered. “I spent a lot of time with her when you were missing. She had a hard time, a real hard time. Hopefully, she is hiding with Kasie’s aunt.”
Making their way up the stairs to the floor in question, Gibbs and Tony evaluated the situation. “She’s by the elevator. Looks like she is one of the hostages, those two nurses look like they are too. That must be the supply closet that Kasie’s aunt is in. McGee, I need you to cut the alarms to the fire doors. We need to get this floor cleared and gain access without alerting the entire building.”
“Done,” Tim called out. “Kasie’s aunt can see you, Tony. She has three people in the closet with her.”
“She thinks they can get to the other set of fire doors, if the alarms are disarmed.” Kasie read the text out loud.
“Get us into one of those cameras, gentlemen.” Turning towards Jack, Vance sighed. “I want your read on the situation. From what I know about Dr. Confalone, she will do what she feels she has to do to save the other hostages.”
“His body language is hostile, defensive. He’s got a lot of rage. Can we get a closer look at his shirt? That design, it’s so familiar.” Jack was stumped for a moment. “Oh my God,” there was a gasp from the agent. “That design is one of John Wayne Gacy’s paintings.”
“Gacy targeted young men,” Vance questioned. “How does Dr. Confalone and the staff on that floor figure into his plan?”
“Gacy may be one of many that he is studying.” Jack turned towards Kasie only to be stopped by Ned’s voice.
“His name is John Martin Hummingworth. I found his current address and the local LEOs are on their way to it. I found an email address for him, it is in the database at Walter Reed, it led me to his computer. According to what I am finding, he has a great fascination for serial killers.”
“He belongs to fifteen on line groups that focus on serial killers,” McGee added. “There is also monthly dues taken from his bank account to a fan club for serial killers. This month’s featured serial killer is Michael Swango.”
“Joseph Michael Swango is an American serial killer and a former physician. It is estimated that Swango has been involved in as many as 60 fatal poisonings of patients and colleagues.” Ned flipped from one screen to another, “John Martin Hummingworth became a nursing assistant after joining the club.”
“He’s setting it up,” Jack commented as she watched his moves. “Can Gibbs and Tony hear me?”
“We can,” Tony called out softly. “What do you see?”
“He’s easily distracted,” Jack watched John closely. “Each time his concentration is broken, he lowers the gun to his left side and loosens his grip momentarily. The knife in his right hand, he tightens his hold on.”
“The nurses are out,” Tony reported. “He was concentrating so much on Dr. Grace, he didn’t hear them. We’re going in. Director Vance? Is our back up in place?”
“Agent Burley and his team are in place,” Vance answered. “Bishop is joining them.”
“Here it goes,” Tony sighed as he took off his NCIS jacket and placed it in the stairwell, his gun tucked at his side by his suit jacket. Following his lead, Gibbs removed his own NCIS jacket and hat. Reaching inside the closet the nurses had vacated, he donned a lab coat to conceal his weapon.
Loosening his tie and mussing his hair, Tony made his way down the hallway. “Gracie? Babe? You going to leave me all charged up and waiting? Daddy needs some love. Come on sugar, you and me…”
“What are you doing?” Gibbs shouted as he came around the corner. “Get away from her!”