NCIS Fan Fiction ❯ Godly Marine: Killed ❯ 8 ( Chapter 9 )
The ride to Botsaris's get-a-way car was done as quickly as possible. Clarisse had grouched about Annabeth being driver and stole Percy's claim to riding shotgun out of spite.
For the demigods, getting out of the office couldn't have come fast enough. Grover, however, had doubts.
"Are you really okay leaving now? They're going to question Michael's family. Shouldn't we be there? It might help us in the case."
Clarisse cracked her knuckles. "It might end it."
Annabeth sighed. "The others will take care of it. They will find Michael's killer."
Clarisse stared at her. "You'd let the mortals completely take over the investigation?"
"Our priority is to make sure we are the ones to find General Botsaris and Monster Donuts."
"Wait a second," Percy said. "I thought the quest was to find out who killed Michael."
"The more important objective is to find out what Michael was digging up," Annabeth said. "Based on Michael's notes, there is a huge monster threat here."
"A-and you want to upset it?" Grover asked.
"That's what your brother did," Clarisse said, "And I'm not overly fond with the idea of turning out like him."
"Hey!" Percy glowered at her. "Not cool."
"Use the kelp in your soggy head, barnacle boy," Clarisse growled. "We'll be in their territory. We'll be outnumbered and out armed. Michael said they were arms dealing with Mexican Cartels, which means they'll have guns. We can't be sure they'll be stocked with celestial bullets, so we'll be the ones with the holes, not them."
"Then we shouldn't rush in there," Percy said. "We'll need a plan."
He looked at Annabeth expectedly.
Annabeth stayed silent, focusing on making a left turn.
"Um, w-we do have a plan, right?" Grover stuttered.
Annabeth took a breath. "Of course. It's simple. We sneak in and do some reconnaissance. We keep quiet. In and out."
Annabeth looked at Clarisse and Percy like they would be the most trouble to her plan.
'In and out, low profile,' Percy thought. 'I can do that.'
"And making sure the mortals get the killer?" Clarisse said. "If it was actually a monster who killed Michael, what do you plan?"
Annabeth glanced at her. "I'm sure it was a mortal. They are seasoned investigators. We are not. We should let them do their jobs. We must do ours."
"You trust them?" Clarisse asked.
"I do. So should you."
Percy looked between them and decided to change the topic. "What did Chiron say about Rodriguez?"
It was the wrong thing to bring up. Annabeth scowled. "Nothing."
"He wanted me to hand over all of the IDs and footage we got. He wants to tell the families."
"Sounds alright to me," Grover said.
Percy saw Annabeth's grip on the wheel tighten as her scowl deepened. He leaned forward and placed a hand on her arm. "What's wrong?"
Percy felt better as she relaxed a little to the touch. "I've known him for too long. He was dismissing my questions. Avoiding giving answers. It's not like him to hide important information."
"At least, not with me," Annabeth added.
"Are you going to let him do that?" Clarisse asked.
Clarisse narrowed her eyes at her.
Annabeth smirked. "But he didn't say I couldn't keep copies of the files."
Clarisse leaned back into her seat with arms crossed. "I should have talked to him. I'd have gotten the sense out of him."
Annabeth rolled her eyes and turned into a large parking lot.
"There it is." Percy pointed. "The car Tony and Agent David saw."
Annabeth parked the car, taking up three spots.
"A black 2007 Porsche 911," Clarisse said.
"Fits the description," Annabeth said. "Correct license plate."
"Also has a police officer keeping tabs on it," Grover noted.
The demigods looked up to see a cop car rolling to a stop.
"I don't know," Percy said. "They're probably giving us a ticket for Annabeth's parking."
Annabeth gave an airy laugh. "This place is empty," she said. "They probably won't even say anything."
The window rolled down.
"You the, uh, NCIS?" The woman said after a quick glance at her computer screen.
"Yeah," Annabeth said, showing her ID and badge, prompting the rest to do the same. Not that it mattered as the officer hardly even gave it a glance.
"Street cams have it coming in here yesterday afternoon."
"Thanks for calling us," Annabeth said.
"Do you need a tow?"
Annabeth shook her head. "It's part of an ongoing NCIS investigation. We'll have it picked up as soon as we can."
The cop shrugged. "No worries. You can take your time." She drove off. However, she did say one last thing as she rode passed them. "Oh, and please only take one parking space."
Grover grinned at Percy. "Nice." They shared a fist bump. Annabeth grumbled as she got back in the car.
Clarisse looked around. "If Botsaris left his car here, where did he go?"
"Maybe he went into the mall or got picked up?" Percy said.
Clarisse disagreed. "No, not at the mall. Since he knows we are involved, he didn't park too close to the Hydra nest. But, if he wanted to come back to his car, he would have wanted to be somewhat near it. Grover, see if you can get up something and look around."
"Get on top of something?" Grover said. "Like what?"
"There's a tree right there, Goat boy," Clarisse said. "The car is fine. You can even get on top of Prissy."
"Um, let's not," Percy said, hands up in surrender.
"The tree is fine," Grover said. He kicked his shoes off. The fake feet followed right after. He hopped up the tree like, well, like a goat. It looked a bit funny, a professionally dressed guy with hooves for feet surveying the land on top of a tree in a parking lot. A bit surreal, too. Even considering all the things Percy had seen.
It took a few seconds, but eventually…
"I see it!" Grover said. He launched himself back down and thanked the tree.
Annabeth got out of the car. "What happened?"
"I found Monster Donuts!" Grover told her. He snatched the keys from her hand. "Come on!"
"But I just – ugh!"
Percy felt for her and tugged her along to sit by him. He explained what happened as Grover revved up the car and went back on the street.
"Woah," Annabeth said, as they got closer. "I've never seen one so big."
Percy coughed down a joke and leaned over to get a look. The doughnut store was nothing like the one Annabeth, Tyson, and he found years ago. This one was much larger. "It has a drive-thru?!" Percy exclaimed. Did monsters drive? Or did this one also cater to non-monsters?
"Hmm, but it's closed," Annabeth said, noting the large sign, closing the drive-thru off. "Grover, park over there. We don't want to alert any monsters by parking right in front of them."
Grover parked the car out in front of an electronics store two stores down. They grabbed their gear.
"Right," Annabeth said as they snuck through the drive-thru, "A place this big will have a staff-only entrance at the back. I'm guessing that's where they keep weapons and deal with Cartels.
"Clarisse, you're with me. Going in through the front sounds like a bad idea, and it looks like the only door that isn't at the front is that back door reserved for loading and staff. We'll have to go through there. We should be out in twenty minutes. If that doesn't happen and you don't hear anything, regroup and try IMing us to get a grip on the situation. If it doesn't connect, call Chiron and leave. Don't go barging in.
"Percy, stay out here. See if anything loads in. Hopefully, no one goes in or out while Clarisse and I exit. If it happens, we might need your help. Grover, you'll be posted at the front. Try not to be seen. See who enters. It'd be great if you can…"
Percy's eyes started wandering. Oooh, a Boston Crème with chocolate icing.
"Percy! Stop looking at the menu and focus!"
Percy snapped back to attention. "Sorry, Annabeth."
Annabeth sighed. "At least you understand your part of the plan, right?"
Percy nodded. "Stay out here on lookout. Be backup when you guys leave. Regroup after twenty minutes."
'And if you're not out by then, barge in for a rescue.'
Annabeth nodded. "Let's do this."
They split up. Clarisse and Annabeth sneaking their way in, and Grover heading off to find his own place.
Percy went nowhere. This felt oddly familiar. Annabeth giving out orders. Annabeth going into enemy lines. Annabeth leaving him right on the edge of the enemy base. Ah, Percy got it.
'It's just another game of Capture the Flag for Annabeth,' Percy thought. Why did he always get left in the middle?
Great, and now he could hear a car coming in.
Percy stopped. Was that car coming through the drive-thru? Wasn't it closed? Wait a second. If someone was coming through the drive-thru, they had to come around back which was where-
Percy cursed when he realized he was just standing there. He would never hear the end of it if he was seen. He looked around for a hiding place. 'Oh, not again.' Percy forced his pride down and shoved himself in the tight place. Percy couldn't tell which was worse. Being in the dumpster or stuffed in between two of them. At least when he had been in the dumpster, he had Tony's company.
A black SUV came coasting through the road and stopped by the corner of the building. Percy watched as three people stepped out. The one woman was carrying a briefcase.
For such a professional-looking ride, they didn't dress the part. All of them in casual clothes. The lady with the briefcase gazed around the back area. Percy tried to shrink himself further into the shadows.
They went up to the store's back wall. But they weren't anywhere near the back entrance. With one final glance behind her, the lady raised her fist and knocked on an unassuming part of the wall.
And just like magic, the wall opened to reveal a secret doorway.
Percy couldn't see who opened the door. What he did know was that Annabeth and Clarisse definitely needed to know what was happening in this secret entrance. Annabeth probably wouldn't want him to move, but this was a reconnaissance mission. What kind of information would he get from outside the secret hideout?
Percy pushed himself out from between the two dumpsters and ran over to the wall, after making sure no other surprise visitors were coming.
He inspected the area. He brushed his hand over the wall until he found it. A very small, straight chasm. Unnoticeable to those who didn't know what to look for.
Percy went back to the trash to find anything he could use. He picked up a thin sheet of metal that had corroded off of the dump itself. That should do the trick. He went back to the secret door and tried opening it. He jimmied the metal piece through the small area. The door slid open. He was met with a small, dark hallway. He entered, closing the secret doorway on the way. Percy crept in.
A couple paces away, the path turned, and there was a door-sized opening.
Percy pressed himself to the wall and took a chance, braving a peak. He gulped.
Those were a lot of monsters. Tens of telekhines and dracaenae were standing in different places around the room. A few harpies hung from the ceiling. A Hydra was curled up in the far corner. The mortals either didn't see them or didn't care. They just kept walking to the center.
There, dozens of long cases were strapped on rolling two-wheelers. And with them, stood Markos Botsaris.
"Mr. Tarsibo," the woman said, emotionlessly.
"Ah, Ms. Cuadra," Botsaris said, going in to shake her hand, "How wonderful to see you again."
Ms. Cuadra waved him off. "Sí, sí, sí. Just the deal, Mr. Tarsibo."
Botsaris went to grab her case. "Of course. Business as usual. Now, for the rest of the money."
Ms. Cuadra held the case away from him. "Where are the rovers? You usually have them set up out back."
"Ah," Botsaris said, "Yes, there has been a little mishap with the vehicle order."
Botsaris spread his arms in a shrug. "We don't have them."
"You don't have them?"
"Then the deal is off," Ms. Cuadra said. A couple dracaenae hissed, but the woman continued. "Reynosa would have the transfer she gave you up-front back."
"The money cannot be recalled. Unfortunately, we do not have access to our vehicles at the moment. And won't have for some time. Your car order has, at the moment, been canceled."
The woman bristled. "We have been trusting you and doing business together for a while. Do not get on the Reynosa's bad side."
Botsaris didn't look bothered. "We will, of course, try to send the cars you ordered as soon as we may get them, but…" Botsaris looked at the wall behind him towards the inside of Monster Donuts.
Percy froze. Had they been found out? Had he sensed Annabeth and Clarisse?
The lady chortled. "What? Don't remember your excuse?"
Botsaris smiled. "I'm sorry. But it seems we must have a break in proceedings. We have uninvited guests."
The building rumbled, and the sounds of gunfire began.
Tony left the car door open as he and the rest of Gibbs's team surrounded the very familiar black Porsche.
"That's the car that tried to run us over, Boss," Tony said.
"Call it in," Gibbs said.
Tony looked at McGee, who nodded and took his phone out.
"What are we thinking, Boss?" Tony said. "Chase and her friends find anything in the car that leads to Tarsibo?"
"Car is locked," Ziva said. "It's abandoned and empty. They couldn't have found out anything by it."
Tony frowned. "So, where'd they go?"
Gibbs gestured behind him. "Officer."
Tony turned to see a local enforcement officer stop her ride. She looked out her window with pursed lips. "Let me guess," she said. "NCIS?"
Gibbs flashed his badge, which was pointless as the officer didn't even look. "Thought so. No double parking."
Tony looked at where the federal vehicle was. True, it was taking up two spaces. "But there's no one here."
He got an unimpressed look. "You know how many times I hear that?"
Tony started to sputter a rough estimate, but Gibbs spoke over him.
"There was another team that came over here. Know where they went?"
The officer cocked an eyebrow. "You don't know where your co-workers are? Do you not like talking with each other?"
Gibbs shrugged. Tony forced a chuckle out. "Government employees, am I right?"
Her face showed that no, she did not agree. "I think I saw them going down that street. I can't be sure, though. They had one of their agents climb up a tree."
Gibbs lifted an eyebrow and looked at his team.
They all took a step back. Tony, McGee, and Ziva made their excuses at the same time.
"You know, I've just got this cramp in my legs- ooh. There it is."
"Boss, I've never seen a tree before. I'm probably allergic."
"I will light the tree on fire before I climb it. I'll toss Tony in, though."
The cop smirked. "Government employees, indeed."
"Mmhmm," Gibbs hummed and went back in the car.
Tony gladly followed. He almost didn't have time to click in his seatbelt when Gibbs put the pedal to the metal and raced down the street.
"Where are we going?" McGee asked.
"Following a hunch."
Tony and McGee shared a look. Gibbs's gut.
"Gibbs," Ziva said a minute later, pointing out the window, "Monster Donuts."
Tony stared at the passing store. He had been searching this whole time! How did he miss that?
Gibbs turned into the nearest shopping area.
"Boss," McGee said, "It's Lima's- er, Chase's car."
"They must have gone in already," Tony said.
"Let's go," Gibbs said. They moved in on Monster Donuts on foot. Tony felt uncomfortable. Like they were being watched.
"It's closed," McGee said, noting the sign as they came up closer.
Gibbs tried the door. It didn't open. Locked. He gestured to McGee.
"Not kicking down the door, Boss?" McGee asked.
Was he for real? Making snarky comments in this situation?
Gibbs's eye twitched.
McGee withered. "Sorry." He clicked his way through the lock, and they all filed in. The lights were off, and nobody was in the customer area. Seemingly empty. However, soft sounds came from behind the service counter.
Gibbs pointed at Ziva and signaled for a wedge formation. They went in. Gibbs taking flank, McGee watching six. There was a ton of equipment. Large tray stacks, fryers, a whole bunch of connecting rack wheels, conveyor belts. It was pretty cramped.
Ziva froze and held a fist up for the others to do the same. Tony watched with bated breath as she pressed herself against a large refrigerator. Ziva dropped to a crouch and waited a second. She suddenly whirled around and popped out of cover, gun at the ready.
Tony sighed through his nose when she gave the okay. Ziva made a hand sign. Tony frowned and took a peek behind the huge appliance.
A white poodle was lying down, stirring awake. Whoever put it there had cleared a really large space for it. It started to growl the instant it saw them. For such a small dog, it made the sound of a truck. Its beady eyes were murderous.
"Gibbs," Ziva said quietly.
"I see it."
Both had their guns drawn and pointed upwards. Tony didn't see anything.
"What are you guys looking at?"
"Use your eyes," Gibbs said.
"And let yourself believe," Ziva added.
What? Tony looked back at the snarling dog. Use his eyes and believe was what they told him. Keep an open mind. It was essential for an investigator. Anything was possible.
And for perhaps the first time, Tony really looked. The white poodle faded away, replaced by a massive paw.
Tony drew in a long breath. He slowly tilted his head back, letting the air out in time.
He had no idea what he was seeing, but it was slobbering, had teeth almost the size of Tony's head, and was much, much more menacing than the little poodle.
A small gasp to his right told Tony that McGee also saw it. His younger friend took a step back. For a scary moment, Tony thought he saw the dog smile.
"Easy," Gibbs said.
"What is it?" Tony asked.
Gibbs narrowed his eyes. "A hellhound."
As if recognizing the word, the hound responded.
Its bark shook the building.
Annabeth couldn't even act like she was surprised. She and Clarisse were already on there way back out when Hades broke loose. Out of all her plans to be garbled, it always had to be one of the more important ones.
They scrambled outside and were immediately on edge upon seeing a black SUV.
"It looks empty," Clarisse said, "Where's Percy?"
Annabeth eyed the tinted car warily. She could take a good guess.
A slab of the wall slammed open. Annabeth didn't even jump, but Clarisse rounded on it in a flash.
Percy yelped when he saw the gun in his face.
"You," Clarisse said. "Where have you been?"
"The secret meeting room," Annabeth answered.
Percy gaped at her. "How'd you know that?"
"The dimensions of the place didn't add up." Honestly, who were they trying to fool?
"Well, Botsaris is there with a ton of monsters and some people from the Reynosa Cartel."
Clarisse spat a curse. She hefted her spear off her back and expanded it to full length.
"They are coming out right now!" Percy said.
"Guys!" Grover scrambled to a stop. "It's the team. They went in through the front."
"Let's grab them and go," Percy said.
The secret hatch crashed open once again.
"Go?" A dracaena hissed. "No one'ssss going any-"
She let a short wail as something gutted her stomach.
"Oh, someone's going alright." Clarisse bared her teeth. "But it sure as Hades ain't gonna be me." She twisted her spear, and the snake dissolved to dust.
The man who had stood behind the dracaena growled. Clarisse readied her spear as the man did the same with his own weapon.
Percy's eyes went wide. "Gun!" he shouted. He grabbed Clarisse by the collar and dragged her away just before the shot came out.
Annabeth took cover with Grover behind the SUV. Clarisse and Percy joined them a second later. She took out her gun, prepped it, and fired a few shots. She missed the mortals but at least got them scrambling for their own cover. They weren't the only ones with guns.
Clarisse followed her lead, taking shots at monsters. While being unable to kill immortals, regular bullets could still pack a mean punch. As they fell, vines and roots grew from the ground to keep them in place.
Annabeth looked at Percy. He had his sword out, but it was pretty out of place in a gunfight. "Percy," Annabeth called, "The NCIS team. Go to the front and help them."
"I would, but," he ducked as an arrow chipped the car's hood. "How am I going to get passed this?"
Annabeth thought for a second. "We'll need a big distraction. Grover, can you get us something big?"
Grover paused his reed pipe rendition of 'Boulevard of Broken Dreams.' "I'll try, but I don't really know. Having to keep all this playing up is making me tired."
"What's plan B?" Grover asked.
"We fight!" Clarisse said, unloading a couple shots.
"Actually, that's plan E," Annabeth said.
"Try anyway," Annabeth told Grover. "Percy, just help while I figure this out."
Percy's brows scrunched up. He looked down at Riptide. "How?"
"Use your gun!"
He nodded at her and pried it out. He crouched over his cover and pulled the trigger.
Nothing came out. Percy looked at his gun in shock. Annabeth facepalmed. "Percy! The safety!"
"The what?!" Percy held out his gun. "How in Hades do you use this thing?!"
Clarisse snatched it away. "Give me that, doofus."
"Hey!" Percy made to retaliate but had to dive down as a flurry of bullets came his way.
Annabeth watched as Percy screwed eyes tight. There was a squeal of metal. And suddenly, the barrage died out. Pipes burst from the doughnut store and sprung from the ground, water gushing out.
A harpy took its chance at the pause of gunfire and arrows. It swooped down on them. It didn't get far. And it screamed as an electric spear pinned its wing to the ground.
"Percy!" Annabeth said, "You're amazing!"
"You just made the distraction!" Annabeth gave him her spare knife. "Give this to one of the NCIS mortals."
Clarisse also threw him a knife.
"You keep spare knives?" Percy asked.
"Always carry a spare knife!" The two girls said.
"Now, go! We'll cover you." Annabeth pushed him out.
They turned back to the horde of damp monsters and made sure Percy made it out of the fight zone.
"Hopefully, the mortals can help us out," Grover said.
"I hope they don't shoot at us." Clarisse paused for a second, reloading a magazine. "Or die before they get the chance to."
Annabeth said nothing. They shared a nod and, together, popped out and fired their rounds. Annabeth focused on the mortals. Although few of the monsters also carried firepower, their aim proved to be atrocious. Most likely attributed because their flippers and snake-limbs were not taken into consideration when guns were made.
Clarisse ignored the mortals entirely and let her bullets fly to Botsaris, who simply hid behind a telekhine, causing it to take each hit.
"Letting others take the shots!" Clarisse yelled. "What kind of son of Ares are you?"
Botsaris smiled at her. "I'm not a son of Ares."
Tony dodged a snap of teeth that would have cut him in half. Barely.
Tony almost went for the holstered gun at his hip, again. Not that it would do anything. Gibbs had ordered them to hold off after firing a couple shots at the beast proved to do no damage.
A knife flew by him and would have gone hilt deep into the dog's head had it not been indestructible.
Ziva cursed behind him. Well, Tony had to give her kudos. It was one hell of a nice throw and had the absolutely wonderful effect of pissing the beast off even more.
Now, it really wanted to kill them, starting with Ziva. And Tony just happened to be in its way.
"Go!" he shouted.
He grabbed a spatula and held it like a bat.
"Come on. Come on," He muttered, hoping to God that the hellhound didn't actually do it. But it did.
This was it, Tony realized. He was going to die by dog. How pathetic. He always thought that this was how McGee would go. But if McGee, Ziva, and Gibbs survived because he, Very Special NCIS Agent Anthony DiNozzo, made the sacrifice, then that's what he would do.
Tony was about to swing his flimsy weapon and get himself eaten while totally not screaming when something slipped by him. No, not something. Someone. A flash of bronze sliced in front of the hound. It let out a yelp, and a gold ooze ran into its furry chest. The hellhound swiped a massive paw at the new attacker. But the boy just flipped over it.
Tony stared. That was Jackson! He was fighting a massive dog beast with a sword! And doing some epic parkour, too. Wow, he was pretty impressive!
At some point, Percy had managed to get on top of the beast. With both hands on the hilt and a victorious yell, he thrust his sword into the dog's neck.
The dog let out a whimper before rupturing to dust.
Percy landed on the ground, covered in gold dead-monster sand. If his brain was working properly, Tony would have thought that the scene he just saw explained a lot.
"Aw, did you have to kill him?" A voice called out. Tony turned around. A lumbering figure came out from the back. A man as big as a bear stepped into the destroyed area. He was wearing a colorful uniform and an apron that read, 'Donut panic! I'm Cooking!'. According to the name tag, his name was Steve. "He just wanted to play."
Tony swallowed. The man had arms thicker than turkey legs. And he could probably wield a spatula a lot better than Tony could. But what was really having him freak out was the one, big eyeball that was stuck right above his nose.
"Heh, you know, we got that dog when we figured out someone was sneaking around. Placed him right by the entrance."
Jackson frowned. "So, why didn't you put one by the back door, too?"
The cyclops blinked his one big eye. "Uhhhh…."
Tony watched in a repulsive fascination as that great big eye rolled backward. Its owner struck to the floor.
Gibbs stood behind the body, a huge rolling pin in his hands.
Jackson blinked in surprise, then smirked. "Looks like you've got yourselves covered." He dropped down two bronze knives. "Your weapons won't work. Use these." And before anyone could say anything, he rushed out back again.
Gibbs twirled the wooden utensil in his hands.
"Boss," Tony gaped, "You just knocked out a Cyclops!"
Gibbs's lips curled. "Yeah. I did."
Tony, Ziva, and Tim could only stand and watch as Gibbs turned and followed Jackson to the store's back.