Author: TC1097

Title: The Ebony Road

Genre: Action/Adventure.

Summary: Tony might have to travel a dangerous dark road in order to help one of his team.

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The Ebony Road

Chapter I

An unpleasant sound was prodding Anthony DiNozzo out from under a thick blanket of sleep. He allowed the noise to navigate his journey back to alertness. His hearing was the first of the senses to arrive fully in reality. It identified the noise as a ringing and determined that it was coming from the area of his right hand. That didn't make a whole lot of sense though. Why would his right hand be ringing? Skilled investigator that he was he decided that, well, further investigation was in order. His hazy brain managed to deliver a rather sloppy message to his right hand. It was really more the length of a mini post it note than a fully fledged message but it got the job done, resulting in the wiggling of fingers and an eclectic series of movements that might have been loosely classified as fumbling. The fingers made an interesting discovery despite their lack of any strategy. A cell phone was gripped tightly in his hand.

"Don't tell me!" his voice exclaimed, having newly arrived from slumber. His brain switched on another light bulb inside his mind and promptly sent an inquiry to his left hand. Dutifully it carried out orders patting down random spots on the body, first the chest then the leg then his right arm. It confirmed for his brain that, yes indeed, he had once again fallen asleep fully dressed and clutching his cell phone in one hand. He really needed to stop doing that!

During all this sleuthing the ringing had continued. It was curious that voice mail had not picked up yet. Perhaps the caller had hung up and kept dialing back, determined to get more than the recorded version of his charming self that greeted visitors to his voice mail. With his right thumb Tony pried open the cell and then managed to convince his right arm to lift the phone to his ear. He said a silent little prayer that the one percent of his brain that was actually awake wouldn't say anything that would later embarrass the other ninety nine percent once it regained consciousness.

"DiNozzo," he offered to the caller. It was delivered a tad more cheerful sounding than his brain had planned. But his mouth had always been an independent sort.

"DiNozzo!" A faint far away voice responded back.

"Uh. Hmmm? I'm pretty sure I'm DiNozzo. You must be someone else. Any guesses?" he encouraged and strained to listen for the distant voice to return.

"DiNozzo. It's…" the reply finally came but he cut it off before this little circular game could continue any longer.

"Didn't we cover this already? Me DiNozzo. Youuu…?" he inquired and waited for the caller to fill in the blank.

"Tony. It's McGee."

"McGee, you sound very…uh…long ago in a galaxy far, far away-ish. Is the Elf Lord perhaps off visiting with the Ewoks or taking a spin in the Millennium Falcon?"

"Doubtful there are any Ewoks here. But I am certain of one thing."

"What's that McGee?"

"I'm in serious trouble."

And with those words the other ninety nine percent of Anthony DiNozzo's brain arrived on the scene, mental light bars flashing away and intellectual sirens blaring. It arrived with such a reckless screeching halt that it startled his body into unorganized fast forward motion. Luckily the fact that he was newly awake lessened the impact of his fall off the couch onto the floor below. Physical grogginess buffered the blow.

"And we're going to get you out of it. Where are you?" Tony instantly responded from his new location sprawled out on the hardwood surface of his living room floor.

When no response filtered back to his ears Tony's head popped up to attention from its resting spot against the cool wood floor.

"McGee? McGee? Are you there?" he begged.

Only white noise answered his pleas.

"Tim! Answer me!"

To Be Continued…