As soon as Tony exited the elevator, Abby spoke to him over her shoulder. "You're a little early, Gibbs! I only just started running the samples through the computer!"
"Well, I'm sure that would make Gibbs feel very out of place, but unfortunately, you're stuck with me," DiNozzo replied, smirking when Abby spun around to face him, surprised. Abby's mouth quickly formed a smile and she explained what was going on.
Abby received the blood sample from Ducky only a few minutes before DiNozzo came into her laboratory, so he had to wait a while. DiNozzo handed her a cotton swab covered in the pink liquid they found, so Abby started searching that as well. Both the search for the blood sample and the pink substance were being run at at the same time, so, to occupy himself, DiNozzo told Abby that Gibbs planned on bringing her a CafPow as soon as the case was solved. Abby was happy, though she wished she could have her drink right then and there.
It took longer than DiNozzo would have wanted, but Abby finally heard a beep from her computer. She looked over the results of the blood test, then she frowned. "That's not right."
Tony walked over and read the result aloud. "'Unidentified substance, no DNA detected?'"
"It must be broken again," Abby guessed, taking the blood sample out and fiddling with some of the controls, her fingers dancing along the keyboard. When she found nothing wrong, she stared at the blood sample questioningly before she brought it over to another table.
Abby carefully placed a drop of the blood onto a small slab of glass, sliding it under a microscope. Maybe she had gotten the blood and the pink liquid mixed up and put them in the wrong scanners, though she highly doubted that. Abby looked into the microscope lenses, and after a moment turned the dial to get a better look. "Tony, it's the liquid."
Abby stood up and let Tony get a look through the microscope. There was the victims blood, red like it should be, but there were traces of pink all throughout. They seemed to clash with each other, though not moving, as if the pink was trying to destroy the red. It was very strange.
As he looked, the other scan buzzed in completion and Abby looked over its results frown growing larger.
Before she could say anything, DiNozzo spoke as he peered into the liquid with mild interest. "It looks like some sort of rejected Pepto Bismol."
"I just searched everything in every database we have access to. There's no match," Abby shook her head in defeat, pouting slightly. "I mean, there's a match, but those matches don't have matches either! Know one can even tell what it's made out of."
Tony 'ah'd. "So I'm guessing that you can?"
"No. The computers don't recognize anything," Abby huffed. "I was really looking forward to that CafPow."
"You're still going to get it, Abbs," Gibbs said, suddenly walking into the room with a CafPow in hand. Abby almost squealed, taking the cup and sipping at it briefly before she set it down.
"Bad timing, Gibbs," Abby admitted, gesturing to the results of the tests on her computers. "We can't identify the victim by her blood, because it's been contaminated by that pink liquid."
"I consider that good timing," Gibbs responded. "We know that she had been injected with something that may have killed her."
Abby blinked, pointing to the computers again. "Well, yeah, but we don't know what it is."
Gibbs only nodded, turning around and abruptly walking out of the room. The facial scan was most likely still be running. He had time to go see if Ducky was finished the autopsy before the scan would be complete.
Tony paused before looked to Abby. "I'll never understand how you get used to that."
Abby merely shrugged.
Neither McGee nor Ziva had been in the evidence garage in a while.
For McGee, it brought back too many bad memories. It wasn't the first time a vehicle seemed to have a mind of its own. The Department of Defense had been working on a project to make a vehicle that could drive itself, almost like a robot. The vehicle had almost killed his friend, and McGee didn't notice because he was too busy listening to audio files of the latest victim. If Gibbs hadn't gotten there in time...
McGee shook his head to clear his thoughts. He had more important things to worry about, like the truck that could possibly belong to a murderer. McGee reread his notes, where he had written down everything they knew about the vehicle.
The truck had been driven into NCIS by a man under the alais 'Orion Cullen'. The truck had no license plate, and therefor, it was impossible to determine who owned it. The truck had possibly been to the scene of the murder, as the pink liquid it was leaking was also found there. It's driver was no where to be found. It was likely that the driver was either a witness or the perpetrator of the crime.
Ziva walked up to the truck, taking a picture of it close up. She placed a hand on top of one of the many scratches on it's exterior. She shivered. The truck was unnervingly cold. It looked slightly greyer than before, but Ziva assumed that she was just imagining that. Ziva briefly wondered how long it would take for it to run out. It was still leaking that pink liquid as well. It didn't look like gasoline. Perhaps someone was testing out a new type of fuel.
Ziva traced a finger along the scratch until her hand reached the passenger side door. She gripped the handle and gave it a gentle pull, the door opening with ease before it slammed shut.
Ziva jumped back, instinctively pulling out her gun. McGee's head snapped up from reading his notes and he stared at Ziva in surprise before hesitatingly reaching for his own weapon. "... Why did you slam the door?"
When she accessed the situation and verified that there was no immediate threat, Ziva relaxed and placed the gun back in her pouch. "I didn't. It must be a security system."
Ziva walked over to a nearby toolbox and took out a crowbar. She went back over to the truck, and McGee briefly wondered if she was going to try and break into the vehicle. Ziva opened the door a second time, and before it shut itself again, Ziva placed the crowbar directly between the door and the outside frame. The door tried to close a few time, each time weaker than the last, before the security system gave up and the door stayed still. Ziva smirked, climbing into the passenger seat and looking around.
She took another picture, noting that the truck looked a lot better inside than out. It was considerably cleaner, though there was a small puddle of the pink fluid on the floor mats. The seats were ripped in various placed, but it was barely noticeable. The dashboard seemed seemed to have received the worst of whatever got to the truck. It had a large, jagged crack that went along the top of the dash, connecting to a crack in the windshield that Ziva hadn't noticed from the outside.
Ziva reached down and grabbed the parking brake. It was in place. One of the people towing the truck must have set it after the driver forgot. She looked around for something that would help identify the driver, a license, a health card, a hair, even a footprint in the puddle of liquid, but there was nothing. It was almost as if no one had been inside in the first place, though she knew that it was impossible. A man had been seen inside. She knew that some vehicles could drive on their own, but they had a witness. She couldn't just jump to conclusions.
Ziva scanned the truck's interior one more time before climbing out, removing the crowbar to allow the security system to take over. When the door hung open for a few seconds, Ziva closed it herself.
McGee wandered over to the front of the truck. He bent down and curiously brushed away some dirt and dust that stuck to the grill. He blinked in confusion. He never saw that symbol on the truck before. It looked like a face, almost cartoonish, but it also looked sad. Timothy took out his camera, hoping it wasn't water damaged, and snapped a photo of the strange symbol. After he finished, McGee stood up and steadily opened the hood of the truck.
Timothy didn't really consider himself a 'car person'. He didn't know the first thing about fixing a vehicle engine, or how someone managed to build a vehicles frame, but he knew just by looking that the truck was in very bad shape. "Ziva, could you come here?"
Ziva nodded and walked over, her eyes widening slightly at what she saw. The truck looked even worse under the hood. Many of it's main fuel lines were cut. Most of it's vital part were either missing or broken. The pink fluid was leaking furiously from various cracks in the metal. Even though she wasn't the best mechanic in the world, she knew that it was a miracle the truck could even move.
"What do you think could have happened to damage it so much?" Ziva asked, turning towards McGee, who responded only with a halfhearted shrug. McGee began to write their findings in his notes, leaving Ziva to look over the truck herself. She couldn't see anything that would warrant her attention, so she just raised her camera again and took another picture.
In a way that made Ziva feel like she might be experiencing deja vu, the camera flash reflected off of something within the many gears and parts. Ziva paused, then with a gloved hand reached in and picked up something that looked very familiar.
A shard of metal. Despite being smaller, it looked just the same as the one she had found at Great Falls Park.
Where the murder had taken place.
Ziva quickly picked up her phone. She had to inform Gibbs.