Tony, Gibbs, Tim & Ellie
Tony stood at the window, looking outside as he sipped from his coffee cup. “It’s going to rain,” he said.
“I don’t think so,” Ellie replied, not even looking up from her laptop.
Returning to his desk, Tony picked up his black umbrella, twirling it like a baton. “You’re going to wish you’d brought in one of these today, Bishop.”
“Nope,” she said, making a popping noise with the P. “Because it’s not going to rain today.”
“What are you? A junior meteorologist?”
Finally looking up, Ellie glanced outside. “Wrong type of clouds. Didn’t you pay attention in science class?”
“Didn’t have to. I have a television, and a computer, where I can access the weather as predicted by professional meteorologists. It’s what they get paid to do.”
Tim tapped the edge of his report on his desk to align the stack before placing it on Gibbs’ desk. “Why don’t you get busy doing what you get paid to do, Tony?”
After tucking the umbrella under his arm, Tony looked down and straightened his tie. “I am the senior field agent. My job is to supervise the two of you. Which is exactly what I am doing, McUnderling.”
Coming around the corner silently, Gibbs head slapped Tony, then handed him a file. “And you’re my underling. We have a case. I need you to lead the team to investigate.”
“You won’t be joining us, Boss?” asked Tony.
“As my senior field agent, I think you can handle this one. I have a meeting scheduled with Vance and SecNav up in MTAC. High priority intel.”
After grabbing a different file from his desk, Gibbs turned back to Tony. “It’s highly classified and I haven’t been read in yet. Want some advice, DiNozzo?”
“From you? Of course. I would treasure any words of wisdom you care to share.”
Pointing back to Tim with his thumb, Gibbs said, “Take a cue from Probie here and get busy doing what you get paid to do.”
“Yes, Boss. I will do that. Have fun in MTAC.”
Gibbs glared at Tony, then took the stairs upward toward the communication center.
“Let’s roll,” said Tony as he grabbed his pack and headed to the elevator.
“What’s the case?” McGee asked.
Once the elevator door closed, Tony scanned over the file. “An aircraft carrier just made port and the authorities found a huge stash of marijuana and cocaine on a routine search. They’re holding the crew. Our job is to figure out who is involved.”
“Where else did they make port during this assignment?”
“Mexico, for shore leave. Four times in the last six months.”
Leaning back against the wall with her arms folded, Ellie mused, “That’s about five thousand people to interview.”
After closing the file folder, Tony tucked it under his arm. “No wonder Gibbs was happy to sit this one out.”
“It’s going to take days,” added Tim. “Gibbs may still join us.”
Tony smiled and smoothed his hair. “Maybe, but I wouldn’t count on it. What do you think the highly classified intel is?”
“There’s been some buzz about an attack; a bad one that they’re not sure how to prepare for.”
“That’s all you have, Probie?”
Rolling his eyes, he reminded Tony, “I’m not the probie anymore. Bishop is.”
Resting an arm around Tim’s shoulders, Tony said, “You’ll always be Probie to me. You’re my first, you know. And you never forget your first. Remember that, Bishop.”
Tim folded his arms and audibly huffed in annoyance.
A few minutes later they were traveling in one of the dark sedans from the NCIS motor pool. Tony drove, with Tim riding shotgun and reading through the file. In the back seat, Ellie was busy tapping away at the keys on her laptop.
“Something huge is going on,” said Ellie. “There is data flying all around the Hill and the Pentagon.”
“Can you tell what it’s about?” Tony asked.
“Like Tim said, it’s all about some attack. I have never seen so much communication being sent all at once. There is an insane amount of email and encrypted files going around. I’ve never seen anything like this before.”
Tony smoothly navigated a turn as he merged into DC traffic on their way to the port where they would meet the ship. “I wish we could hack into the MTAC feed.”
McGee chuckled. “Even I have never managed that. Gibbs will read us in when we get back.”
“Only if Vance gives him the green light to do so.”
“He’ll read us in,” Tim said confidently. “We’re his team. If this is as big as it looks like it is, they’ll need us to be involved.”
“All hands on deck,” Ellie added from the back seat. “It’s a foreign threat. Definitely foreign.”
“What the hell is that?” asked Tony.
Tim frowned as he stared at Tony. “What the hell is what?”
“That!” Tony pointed into the sky to his left.
“Raincloud?” Ellie asked, not looking up as she focused on her laptop.
“It looks like a mountain in the sky. What the hell is it?”
Gibbs & Vance
Gibbs barely held his temper during the meeting. As soon as the session had ended, he turned to Vance. “You knew about this and you let my team go out there?”
“Watch your tone, Special Agent Gibbs. I did not know. I am responsible for your team and everyone else at NCIS. Call them back.”
“Director Vance, we need to go now,” said a Marine.
“What do we do in your absence?” Gibbs asked.
“This is uncharted territory. There are no written protocols in place for this,” said Vance, his face betraying his worry. “I’m sure we’ll be in touch once we’re secured. You stay here if you can. If not, get to a safe place. Take whomever you need. You have my permission to read in anyone you deem necessary.”
Gibbs nodded as Vance and SecNav were quickly escorted from the room. There was a jet at a nearby airfield waiting to transport them, and other people in power, to secure bunkers, in safe, undisclosed locations. They didn’t know what was coming, but they weren’t going to take any chances.
As soon as Gibbs left MTAC, he nearly ran down the stairs to the bullpen. As he rounded the corner, he flipped open his cell only to find no dial tone. “Damn it!” he yelled, throwing his phone as far as he could in his frustration. It bounced off his desk before landing on the floor. “Keep them safe, DiNozzo. Keep yourself safe.”
Wasting no time, he ran toward Abby’s lab.
Tony, Tim & Ellie
Leaning forward, Ellie stared up at the object in the sky. Bolts of light began shooting from it.
“Is that lightning?” she asked, shielding her eyes.
“Is this the beginning of the attack?” wondered Tony. “The one they’re discussing in MTAC?”
All of a sudden, their car was lifted into the air, then crashed down at an angle before it rolled, landing upside down.
Slightly stunned, Tony shook his head as he managed to get his seatbelt undone. “Shit! Are you guys okay?” he asked, touching his forehead. Pulling back his hand, he realized he was bleeding. “McGee, Bishop, what is your status?” he asked more urgently.
“Lost my laptop,” Ellie said, sounding dazed.
“It’s up here,” Tim noted. “Hit the windshield, I think.”
“Are either of you injured?” Tony tried again.
Ellie fiddled with her seatbelt. “I think I’m okay. Just a little breathless.”
“I can’t get my seatbelt undone, but I don’t think I’m injured.”
Grabbing his knife, Tony cut the strap holding Tim. “Let’s get out of here.”
Tony kicked out the front windshield, then crawled through. Ellie followed after him, taking the helping hand he offered. As they stood and surveyed the damage, they saw several cars flipped over or crashed. There were a lot of people walking around, dazed. Some held their ears, others held their heads. Tony touched his forehead again. Tim was still pulling the severed belt loose, then tried kicking open his door.
“No lights,” Ellie observed as she held her hands over her ears. “What’s that noise?”
“What?” Tony asked. As he turned around, his eyes grew large. Grabbing Ellie’s hand, he yelled, “Let’s get out of here.”
She turned to see what he was looking at, and yelled, “Holy shit! What are they?”
“Foreign threat. Very, very foreign. Tim, let’s go. Run!” he shouted as he pulled Ellie along with him.
Tony was several yards from the car when a feeling struck him, stopping him in his tracks. Turning back he saw strange beings overtaking Tim. Their bodies were green and covered with a dark armor of sorts, and carrying long, narrow weapons that were unlike anything he’d seen before. The aliens were nearly seven feet tall and towered over Tim as they overtook him. Tony immediately began running back toward Tim.
Fear flashed in Tim’s eyes as he looked to Tony and yelled, “No, take Bishop. Get away. Find Gibbs. Go! Run!”
Four aliens were surrounding Tim, and more were running toward Tony and Ellie. Quickly analyzing the situation, Tony was certain they didn’t have a chance to free Tim. Drawing his weapon, he began firing, and the nearest two aliens dropped to the ground.
“Get out of here, Tony! Run! Don’t worry about me. Go!” Tim yelled as the aliens took him down to the ground.
“Shit!” Tony said again. Giving Ellie’s hand a firm, reassuring squeeze, he tugged her along with him as he began running away from the threat. Tony glanced back one more time, confirming that Tim had indeed been captured.
Sprinting away, as far and as fast as he could, Tony dragged Ellie with him, until she finally pulled back.
“I have to catch my breath,” she said.
Tony glanced about, surveying the area. Many people were wandering around the streets and sidewalks, appearing lost and confused. He could see groups of aliens overtaking some of the humans. “We have to keep moving. We have to get away.”
“What the hell are those things?” Ellie asked, as they bolted down a side street, away from the commotion.
“Not a clue. They got Tim.”
“Do you think…”
“What?” asked Tony.
“That they killed him?”
“I don’t know. There was nothing we could do. There were too many of them. He knew that. He told me to get you to safety.”
“I didn’t have a chance to grab my computer.”
“It crashed into the windshield. It probably wasn’t worth saving.”
“What do we do, Tony? Where do we go?”
“This way. Let’s keep moving.” He gave her hand another squeeze, never letting her go.
After running over a mile, they began walking quickly, both high on alert. Ellie tried her phone. “It’s dead.”
“They’ve probably disrupted the cell towers, if not our whole power grid.”
Ellie nodded. “Those things that looked like lightning bolts we saw, they could have been some sort of energy disrupting beams.”
“Your guess is as good as mine.”
“Where exactly are we going? Do you have a plan?”
“Yeah.” Tony reached for his head again. His wound was still bleeding, but it had slowed.
“Tony, you’re hurt!”
“No shit. I hit my head when we rolled. It’s not bad. It doesn’t hurt exactly, but it feels strange, like something has changed. There’s an odd pressure. I keep getting these…feelings.”
“What kind of feelings?”
“Impressions. It was like I could feel Tim’s fear. He was scared.”
“Of course he was. God, Tony, I can’t believe we just left him behind. What have we done? We abandoned him to those…creatures.”
“Had to. We had no choice. If we had stayed, they would have gotten us all. There were just too many of them.”
“You shot two of them.”
“I hope they stayed dead.”
“What do you mean?”
“If they were human, they’d be dead. The shots were clean. But those things? I don’t know what they were. Their vital organs, or whatever they have, could be in their feet for all I know.”
“They went down. That means something.”
“We have to find Gibbs and let him know. We need to do it for Tim. Maybe we can still save him. Getting him back is now our mission.”
Tony kept moving, bringing Ellie with him. They continued alternating between walking and running. The pair kept an eye out for other aliens, but it seemed like they’d left them behind. It took the two of them well over an hour to get out of the city.
Tony avoided the main roads, and eventually found a house with a detached garage. He tried the side door and found the garage was unlocked and had no cars in it. “We can rest in here. I can feel that no one is home.”
“Shouldn’t we be leading other people away?” Ellie asked.
“We have no intel. I just have a bad feeling. It feels like an organized attack. Those alien creatures are watching the main roads, and are rounding up large groups of people. The more people we have, the more vulnerable we are. We’d move slower and be easier to track. They’d catch us all. It’s better if we get to safety and then put a plan together to rescue Tim.”
Ellie dropped to the floor and leaned her back against the wall. “Just where can we go that we’ll be safe?”
“There are places.”
“And you have some feeling of where we can go and be safe?”
“Yeah. Gibbs’ cabin. It’s secluded. We just have to avoid the major roads to get there.”
“How can we avoid those creatures?”
“I can’t explain it. But I can feel when they’re close,” said Tony.
“And you don’t sense them now?”
“They’ve been here already. They’ve cleared out the people in this area.”
“With all your zigging and zagging, we must have slipped through their net.”
“I can see the safe path. It’s like a silver-blue light marking a trail to follow.”
“This feels like a nightmare,” Ellie said, shaking her head.
“I wish it was. But I assure you, we’re both very much awake.”
They sat in silence for several minutes, catching their breath.
Eventually Ellie ventured, “You know those lightning bolt things?”
“Yeah. I’ll bet they did take out our whole power grid.”
“I wonder if it changed you in some way. Like magnetically altered you or something. And maybe that’s why you’re getting the impressions.”
“Why would it affect me and not you? What about McGee?” Tony asked.
“We don’t know if Tim feels it or not. But probably not.”
“Why do you think it didn’t affect him like it did me?”
“You said you could feel the aliens when they were close. He was captured.”
“That may not mean anything,” Tony said. “I didn’t realize that the feeling was the alien presence at first. And maybe McGee felt that we couldn’t all get away. He could have sacrificed himself to save us. Damn it!”
Ellie shook her head again and wiped away a tear. “I just hope he’s okay.”
“I can sense that he’s alive. We’re going to make it our mission to find him and get him back.”
Moving across the cool garage, Tony sat down beside Ellie and wrapped an arm around her shoulder, pulling her close until her head was settled against his shoulder. “We have to get to the cabin and find Gibbs. He’ll know what to do.”
“What if he’s been captured, too?”
Tony laughed. “Can you imagine anything capturing Gibbs?”
Ellie sighed. “I guess not.”