Summary: The teams from NCIS and Bones team up to find a serial killer. Warnings: none at this point.
"Grab your gear," NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs ordered as he entered the bullpen. "Gas the truck." Tossing a set of keys to his senior field agent, Tony DiNozzo, he moved quickly to his desk. Once there he opened the top desk drawer and pulled out his service weapon. Checking to see that it was loaded and the safety was properly engaged, he clipped the holster to his belt.
"Where are we going, Boss?" Special Agent, Timothy McGee, the Major Case Response Team's computer specialist, asked has he retrieved his own weapon and hooked a backpack over his shoulder.
"Dead marine found in Rock Creek Park." Gibbs headed toward the elevator. He didn't pause to see if his team was following. Rather, he knew they would rush to be at the elevator before the doors opened. His wrath was something none of the agents on his squad wanted to willingly tempt.
"What about Ducky?" asked Ziva David, referring to NCIS's medical examiner. Agent David was the newest member of the team. Although she was a probationary agent, she had spent several years working with the team as a Mossad liaison to NCIS.
The elevator doors opened and Gibbs and the other team members stepped into the car. "He and Jimmy are meeting us there."
McGee hitched his backpack higher on his shoulder. "Do we have any details about the body?"
"A couple of kids playing in the woods found the body buried under a pile of leaves. No ID. A park ranger called us because the body was dressed in a marine uniform."
Later, when the team arrived at Rock Creek Park, Gibbs approached a park ranger who was standing that the head of a trail that lead into the nearby woods. He flashed his badge and introduced himself. The park ranger introduced himself as Seth Rogers and motioned for the NCIS team to follow him.
"A couple of kids were exploring the trails. They and their parents had made a day trip here from Virginia and were having a picnic. Kids found the body covered in a pile of leaves."
"Is the scene secured?" Tony asked before Gibbs could voice the same question.
"It is now," Seth said over his shoulder. "From what I understand, the kids dug into the pile of leaves to find out what was in it. When they found the body, they went and got their parents. Instead of calling us right away, the parents decided to go check it out." He paused, shaking his head. "The parents moved the body to get a better look at it."
"Ducky's gonna love that," McGee said, the sarcasm clear in his voice.
"Who's Ducky?" Seth asked.
"Our ME," Gibbs replied shortly. "You were saying?"
"Oh, yeah. Anyway, when the parents finally got around to calling us, my partner and I went in. It was pretty obvious what was going on."
"How so?" Gibbs asked, somewhat skeptically.
"You'll have to see it for yourself."
"Where is the family now?" Ziva asked, looking around to get her bearings and locate landmarks for the journey back to the truck.
"We've got them stashed at the ranger station with another ranger. Figured you'd want to talk with them after you saw the body. My partner remained at the scene to make sure the body wasn't disturbed any further. Again, figured that was the best plan of action."
"You figured right," Gibbs responded. "Sounds like you've got some law enforcement experience."
Seth smiled. "I spent ten years in the army before becoming a park ranger. The last four of those was as an MP."
"Sorry we're late," Ducky stated as he and his assistant, Jimmy Palmer, arrived at the crime scene more than twenty minutes late. "Mr. Palmer got us lost, again. "
Jimmy looked apologetically at the group. "I didn't get us lost," he protested. "That was supposed to be a short cut. The last time I was through there, that road was open."
"You two through?" Gibbs asked shortly. "We've got a body here that needs attention."
"Quite right," the medical examiner stated, moving to the body that was still partially buried in the leaves and other forest clutter.
"What can you tell me, Duck?"
"I've just started, Jethro." He knelt by the body, which had been dressed in a marine dress uniform. In Ducky's opinion, that wasn't the most interesting part of the scene. That honor belonged to the fact that the body had been mummified. "You must give me a moment to get acquainted with our friend, here."
Gibbs wasn't particularly satisfied with the answer he had received, although it had been the one he had expected.
Turning to the rest of his team, he instructed. "Tony, you sketch and photograph. McGee, you go north. Ziva, you go south. I'll go west. Search in a quarter mile radius for evidence." Since they had come into the scene from the east, they would search in that direction when they left. Seconds passed and nobody moved. Looking at his team members, Gibbs demanded, "well?"
Meanwhile . . .
FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth swiped his card through the security sensor and entered the forensic lab at the Jeffersonian Institute. His frequent partner, forensic anthropologist, Temperance "Bones" Brennan, was busy examining the bones of some poor soul.
"What do you see here, Mr. Fitzgerald?" she asked the young man standing at her side. Booth assumed he was one of the ever changing number of interns who worked with her.
"Whatever it is, it's going to have to wait."
Brennan looked up, slightly annoyed at the interruption. "I'm examining this skeleton at the request of the Peruvian government. It was found in a pre-Inca burial near Ollantaytambo in the Urubamba Valley. I've been asked to identify the gender and age of the person at death."
Booth was momentarily intrigued. "Pre-Inca?"
"Yes. Did you know that the Moche, one of the pre-Inca cultures, are known for making realistic ceramic portraiture as well as effigy vessels?"
He hadn't known that, but he wasn't going to get Brennan started in lecture mode. "Yeah, well, we have recent body in Rock Creek Park that needs our attention."
'Recent implies that there is still flesh on the bones, that's Cam's area, not mine," Brennan responded, referring to Camille Saroyan, a pathologist and former coroner who was the head of the Forensics Division at the Jeffersonian Institute.
"Let me rephrase," Booth stated, impatiently. "We have a recently found body in Rock Creek Park that needs our attention. I don't know anything beyond that." He took a step closer, intending to take Brennan by the arm to lead her out of the lab.
"Why didn't you say that in the first place?" She removed her examination gloves and turned to her intern. "Mr. Fitzgerald, please finish x-raying and cataloging the bones."
Booth and Brennan entered the main gate of Rock Creek Park and pulled to a stop behind the forensic van. They made their way over to where Cam was crouched beside the remains of what had once been a human being.
"What have you got?"
Cam looked up as the FBI special agent and the forensic anthropologist approached and knew from the expression on his face the moment Booth regretted having eaten lunch.
"We have the remains of what appears to be an adult male dressed in a police officer's uniform. Because of the advanced state of decomposition, I will not be able to tell you much more than that until we get him back to the lab."
Brennan moved to crouch beside Cam. "I concur. It will be impossible to determine cause of death without further examination."
She moved to get out of the way of Dr. Jack Hodgins, the Jeffersonian's self-proclaimed bug, slime and mold guy. During the entire time Cam and, later, Brennan had been examining the body, he had been moving around it collecting samples of insects and plant debris that had taken up residence on it. Standing, he stated, "I've got everything I need here. I'm going to walk around and search for evidence." Everyone knew that Hodgins meant that he was going to look for other samples of insects or other organic evidence he'd found on the body. It was something the FBI forensic team wouldn't necessarily think to look for.
Hodgins wasn't playing close attention to where he was going. Instead, he was focused on examining the plant life and any insects he'd come across for samples of the same materials he'd found on the body. That's why it came as such a surprise when a female voice ordered him to freeze. He looked up to see a dark-haired woman wearing a navy-blue jacket bearing the letters NCIS. She was holding a gun pointed in his direction.