“The portal tried to suck me in.”
“I don’t know. I was setting up some of the equipment to redirect radio waves and I guess I must have gotten too close or the portal didn’t like what I was doing or something and pulled me in.”
“We better be careful then.”
Bishop nodded in agreement. “We don’t want a repeat.”
“Let’s get this finished then, so that we can both go home.” McGee stood up and headed over to the portal.
“You know we’ll have to keep this sub rosa.”
“Yes, especially given my latest run in with Director Shepard.”
“Did she follow you?”
“Yes, but I lost her.”
“I hope you’re right.”
The two of them worked together to reduce the emanations from the portal as much as possible. The portal tried to suck each of them in at different times throughout this process. There was no set pattern to when the portal would try to suck them in as far as either of them could tell. Though, it always, without fail happened when they were within a foot or less of the portal.
McGee wasn’t sure if it was triggered by proximity or something else. He just knew that it made their job even more difficult. He was beginning to wonder if they could even leave once they got the protections in place.
They wouldn’t want anyone stumbling across the portal given it’s instability or tendency to draw people into it. He’d hoped to be able to leave once they had the appropriate interference setup, so that no one could find it, but now he wondered if that was even possible. On the other hand, he had no idea how to set up round the clock protection without drawing the director’s attention.
After what felt like hours, they finally had the portal completely undetectable on McGee’s signal detection device unless you were actively on top of the portal. Deciding to call it a night, they both climbed into the NCIS vehicle and McGee dropped Bishop at her place. They’d reconvene tomorrow and figure out what to do about the portal.
McGee couldn’t help wondering about the spirit telling them to not forget the grass. He couldn’t help feeling like grass was the key to this portal somehow. He just didn’t know how.
Before McGee picked Bishop up the next day, he made a stop at a farm and garden center. He gathered about fifteen different types of grass and paid for them. He loaded them up in the back and then headed over to pick up Bishop.
Together they returned to Tony’s apartment and the portal. McGee gathered up the grass and carried it up the stairs with them.
“What’s with the grass?”
“The spirit said not to forget it.”
“So? That doesn’t mean you go out and buy it.”
“I just have a feeling that it’s linked to the portal somehow.”
Bishop raised an eyebrow. “This I have to see.”
McGee glared at her. He knew very well she was making fun of him. Still he felt that this was important. He set the grass down at the edge of the room the portal was in.
Then he picked one and then another and carried it to the portal, all the while watching his signal detection device to see how the portal reacted. He was disappointed when there appeared to be no reaction. He had been positive that the grass was necessary.
With a frown, McGee started to take apart the interference they had setup to prevent others from finding the portal. Maybe they had done too good of a job with it and that was why the grass was having no effect?
“What are you doing?” Bishop protested, moving to stop McGee.
“I know the grass has to have some effect. Maybe all this electronic and radio interference is preventing it from having an effect. We can put it back if I’m wrong.”
Bishop stopped in her tracks, her forehead wrinkling and her eyes going cross-eyed as she tried to compute that bit of idiocy. Finally, she sighed, rolled her eyes, and sat down on the floor. “Fine, but you’re the one redoing it if you take it apart.”
McGee huffed, “Fine.”
He finally finished dismantling the protections around the portal enough that he could read it loud and clear using the signal detection device. However, the first two grasses still made no effect on the portal, but McGee wasn’t giving up. He continued with each of the fifteen grasses to see their effect.
Some had a minor effect on the portal, but nowhere as good as what they’d setup before. McGee’s frown deepened as he stared at the portal. He had been sure that the grass was what was needed. “I was so sure that would work.”
“Maybe the grass needs to go in the portal?” Bishop offered half-heartedly, still convinced that McGee was letting the prophecy get to his head.
As McGee moved to pick up the grass to try just that, Bishop shook her head, “Don’t get sucked in.”
McGee took a step back from the portal as he realized getting sucked in was a very real possibility. “Maybe you should do it?”
“What you think it’s safer for me to go through the portal than you?”
“I have no idea.”
“Just do it if you think it will make a difference.”
“You better be ready to pull me out.”
“Don’t worry. I will be.” Bishop stood up, just to make McGee feel a little better about her readiness.
After one last glance at Bishop, McGee took the first grass and tried to pass it through the portal. Instead of going through it came flying back out at them. It almost hit Bishop in the face, who had to quickly dodge.
“What was that?”
“I don’t know. Maybe it doesn’t like that grass. Let me try this one.” McGee pushed another grass through the portal.
“McGee!” Bishop yelped as she had to dodge, yet, another grass coming at her head. “Watch what you’re doing.”
“Sorry! I don’t know why it’s doing that.”
“Did you bring any catnip or cat grass? Maybe since it’s the cat dimension it would like one of those better?” Bishop suggested, mostly to avoid getting another grass to the head. The portal seemed to have uncanny accuracy with its throws.
McGee looked at the grass at his feet and then shook his head. “No, I didn’t.”
“Alright. Finish testing these grass then and let’s go back and get some catnip and cat grass.”