The four agents stood as they stared into the empty silence. The question from their friend rang in their ears before Ziva stated quietly.
"We should start looking for him."
"McGee," The ex-cop turned away from the phone and looked at the junior agent. Timothy followed the gesture instinctively turning to the man who he believed would have the answers. When the Senior Field Agent met his gaze without a trace of fear or hesitation, Timothy allowed himself to relax. Gibbs was missing without a clue of who he was, and Tony, out of all the people, wasn't worried. There was nothing to worry about; they would find Gibbs.
Maybe years later Timothy would realize the fear was never non-existent but far greater than anybody else, only the Italian knew his responsibilities as a team leader. He was not going to demoralize his team; all the fear and worries were rolled up and folded away into the deep depths of the green eyes so nothing was visible but the sheer determination. For his team and their leader. "Did you catch the cell phone?"
"No. The signal's too weak. The signal dies whenever I get a fix so I can't narrow it down. Wherever Gibbs is, he's in a dead zone."
"A dead zone?" Jenny repeated.
"The area where the signal just dies," McGee explained. "It happens when the phone can't find a cell site antenna."
"Wait, then are you saying Gibbs isn't in the city? That he's in some boondock?"
"No not exactly. A cellphone needs at least three cell sites but right now Gibbs's phone can only find two. His signal is recieved by this tower, and this tower meaning he has to be somewhere within the radius of the two towers. It can happen in cities too, think about when you're in an elevator and you can't hear the person on the other end well. Or when you're in basements and you have to move toward the window."
"How thick do the walls have to be to block the signal? We can start eliminating from there."
"It's not just about the walls. Gibbs could be in a basement of a house that doesn't have an antenna. It's too risky to eliminate houses on the basis of a single factor. At this point, the only thing we can be sure of is that he's within this perimeter, in the area where the two towers radius overlap."
"Alright then, McGee's deduction left us with fifty neighborhoods, three hundred houses to search, and an average of twelve hundred people to qeustion. Freakin fantastic," The green eyes, which had been skimming through the streets on the map, stopped. "Hey, isn't-"
"Gibbs! Tony, Gibbs picked up again!" Ziva shouted snapping her fingers with one hand, and pressing the headsets to her ear with the other.
Every agent's attention instantly averted to the buzzing in their ears.
"McGee, I get it but you still have to try to minimize the area more," Tony took a deep breath before asking. "Boss?"
2:37 PM Thursday
The voice was gentle but Gibbs still flinched in surprise. He hastily fumbled for the phone he had flipped open mere seconds ago before.
"Damn," Gibbs growled as he curled his shaking fingers around the mobile phone. The man on the other end had woken him up before he had even realized he was asleep, and the abrupt awakening left Gibbs very cranky. "What 'hell d'ya want?"
"Wow," Came the response after a second's pause. "You sound like yourself already Boss. Okay Boss, put the phone on speaker and place it on the floor. You need your hands to place pressure on your wound right?"
"We found a bullet with your blood," A female voice explained not unkindly. "We can get details later so please refrain from speaking right now and only answer the questions. Where were you hurt Gibbs?"
He couldn't have answered in sentences even if she had asked him to but he found the offer comforting.
"Leg." Gibbs grunted.
"Where are you?"
Gibbs strained his neck to see beyond the shadows, and regretted it almost instantly; a surge of nasuea blurred his vision as he fought to keep the bile where it belonged. He failed miserably.
A basement, was all he managed.
Thursday, 2:39 AM
"Oh dear," The Scottish ME frowned. "It sounds like he's throwing up."
"Not on the cellphone I hope," Unlike the sarcastic bite to her tone, Jenny's eyes were wet. She stepped back and quickly rubbed her eyes but nobody took heed. Doctor Mallard was now on the phone, insuring that Gibbs would be given immediate medical attention once he was found. Ziva and Tmothy were focusing on the actual task of finding Gibbs; the Mossad Agent was trying to calm Gibbs enough to get him to talk again whereas the MIT graduate struggled to keep a fix on the phone long enough to get an accuarate location. Tony was...
Jenny watched the agent who was the only still figure apart from herself. He was slightly leaning against his desk, knuckles curled around the edge of the table as he listened to his team leader's hackings. He bore a look that made Jenny wonder exactly who was the one in more pain.
"His breathing is labored. It should be time for his fever to spike," Ducky who had finished making arrangements warned the team. "His condition is detoriating rapidly. We don't have much time left. Yes Director?"
Ducky looked at the Director who had pulled him a few steps away from the rest of the team.
"Doctor, it hasn't been long since Jethro recovered from the last explosion. What would happen if he's concussed again?"
Not wanting to distress Jenny further, the ME chose his words carefully.
"He would be highly susceptible to carious neurological conditions that may cause serious damage. However," Ducky squeezed his friend's arm. "There is a chance that the concussion itself is mild and it is the delay in medical treatment that has caused this. We must hope that is the case."
"He doesn't remember who he is. It doesn't sound anything close to mild, Doctor." Jenny whispered, her eyes never leaving the agents in the bullpit. Ducky followed her gaze as he answered slowly.
"That is why, we must hope."
When the nausea died down- or at least, became bearable- Gibbs tore himself away from the aftermaths of it. He wrapped his good hand around the leg of a table beside him and pulled.
"GIbbs? Can you hear us?"
Crap, he had left the cell behind. He leaned for the phone, nearly having another fit of vomiting in the process; the mixed smell of various human biohazardous wastes did not help calm his stomach. HIs vision was starting to fail, and he had to grope for the small device. Once it was back in his lap, Gibbs scooted closer to the cover of table that would make him less vulnurable against intruders.
Either the world was coming to an end, or his sight was failing him but the basement was blurrier by the minute. Realizing he did not have much time before not only his eyesight but everything failed all together, Gibbs searched wildly for something, anything that would he could work in his advantage. And that was when Gibbs's attention fell on the flight of stairs to the basement that he remembered why he was here.
It was Wednesday night.
Technically, it's Thursday morning, I know. Thanks for reading!