It has been way too long, I know. I think this is what they call writers block. BUT, because I love you all so much, I came home today and promised I'd write two chapters. TWO! Call an ambulance. So, many cups of coffee later, here is what I have. I blame you all for my twitchiness, the result of way too much macchiato.
Review! (I need the sustenance!)
Xxxxx(more x's, because I need to bribe you all)
"Have you ever considered putting Parker into gymnastics, Booth?" On the way to re-interview members and staff at Aaron's gym, Booth lost momentary control of the SUV, managing to narrowly avoid mounting the pavement.
"Gymnastics, Bones? As in twirl a ribbon, throw a hoop, fly a kite gymnastics?"
"I'm not certain there are any kites involved in gymnastics, Booth. And what you mention refers only to rhythmic gymnastics. Artistic gymnastics requires far more speed and power, the apparatus used…" began a slightly perplexed Brennan.
"Get the picture, Bones. Jump up and down, swing on some bars. Why would I make Parker do that?"
"I'm just saying Booth, it's an excellent form of exercise for both males and females, and the building of muscle mass could prevent Parker developing all sorts of health complications later in life."
"You know what, Bones? Football suits just fine." Shaking his head, Booth hit the accelerator.
Tony and Ziva stood in the unattended waiting room at Adreno Scuba Diving centre, where they were waiting for Holly Water's instructor to finish a class. Ziva was bored, and decided to do some poking.
"Dr Brennan is an attractive woman, yes?"
"She's, uh, well she's…" A somewhat taken aback Tony struggled to form a coherent response. Ziva ploughed on.
"Will you sleep with her?" By this time, Tony had recovered his usual cool DiNozzo exterior.
"I wouldn't say no to the offer. Will you?"
"Hm. Only in your dreams, DiNozzo." At that point, the person they had been waiting for emerged from a room to their right, and any thoughts Tony might have been entertaining were interrupted.
"Tetrodo-what?" On the way back from Aarons Gym where they'd had no luck in finding information about Tessa Nelson's church, Booth was getting more than a little frustrated at all the squint speak that was coming from his partner in the passenger seat, who was on the phone to Angela, relaying messages back and forth.
"Tetrodotoxication, Booth- uh, sorry Angela, what was that?"
"Just put her on speaker, Bones."
"Right, sorry. Angela, you're on speaker."
"I know, sweetie. Now, we found a substance in the flesh of the forearm of victim four."
"The scuba diver?"
"No, Booth, that was number two. Victim four was the ballroom dancer."
"Oh. So what was the sticky stuff?"
"Blue ringed octopus venom. And judging by the lack of damage to the skeletal structures of the other victims, I'd say that's what killed them." Brennan was nodding in agreement,
"You haven't been able to confirm that same cause of death from the other victims?"
"No, toxicology reports weren't done, case went cold before ME's could even look at the bodies properly. They just got buried under all the red tape. All the bones have been cleaned, but we still have samples of tissue from the Petty Officer, Cam's seeing what she can get from that."
"Thanks, Angela. Make sure Gibbs and his team get that info." Booth didn't want to step over the older agent's head.
"They're next on my list. Talk to you later." She hung up.
"Bones, what exactly would blue ringed octopus venom do to a person?"
"I'll admit, Booth, I'm not an expert. I've never heard of it being used as a murder weapon before, most people are bitten when scuba diving, if they try to pick up the octopus- it's indigenous to Australia, I've never encountered a case myself, but I did have an associate once…"
"Bones, can we possibly get to the point this side of tomorrow?"
"Right, sorry. Firstly the victim might feel symptoms of nausea, experience what I believe is colloquially dubbed as 'hazy vision', then soon after blindness. The senses are weakened and speech is impaired. Within minutes, the victim would surely be paralyzed and unable to breathe. It would be a very painful, terrifying death. Victims are unaware of what the creature really is until it has bitten them- the last thing they will see is the characteristic blue rings, which are only visible when it is about to attack." At this, there was a heavy tone to Brennan's voice.
"How the hell is someone using them to murder people?"
"I don't know, Booth, but they'd have a hard time getting one here. I can't imagine it would pass through customs unnoticed, but for sure they'd only need one- one adult Hapalochlaena maculosacontains enough venom to kill 26 adult humans. I'd say that the victims are simple being placed in close proximity to the creature- it's virtually impossible to extract their venom, but I imagine some sort of struggle would be involved, and there was no evidence on the bones to suggest that…" She trailed off, a slight furrow on her brow. It'd been a while since they'd had a case that had truly stumped them all.
Back at the lab, Angela had left Abby the task of phoning Gibbs with the cause of death- she was more than a little intimidated by the agent.
"Gibbs, it's Abby!"
"What do you have, Abs?"
"Caffeine deficiency. Did you know this place has no Caf- Pow machine?"
"The case, Abby."
"Right. We have cause of death for victim four, Isabelle Plowman, the…"
"The ballroom dancer, I know."
"Very good Gibbs, you've done your homework. Anyway, cause of death is Tetrodotoxication. From a blue ringed octopus, which is weird, because they're native to Australia and there's none missing from any marine wildlife centers, before you ask, I already checked. The others are still trying to figure out how someone would have gone about murdering a bunch of people like this, but be on the lookout for someone with a blue ringed octopus under their arm."
"Cause of death for the other victims?"
"Looks like the same think. Want details?"
"No." Gibbs hung up and accelerated. McGee struggled to keep his laptop upright.
"What can you tell me about the organizations the victims belonged to, McGee?"
"Not much, Boss. Apart from are very own Navy, they're all relatively small, though very well known because of their exclusiveness. There's nothing shady about any of them, no court cases, no complaints, nothing. Then again, these people have enough money that they can make things just go away. I'm working on finding links between them, but right now Angela's pick-them-from-the-phone-directory theory is about the best we have."
"Find me something, McGee." He turned into Danielle Combe's soccer club.
Review, pleeaseeeee! The next chapter will be up by tomorrow night (where I am, at least.)