"WELL FIND HIM!" Gibbs bellowed across the bullpen, it had been a full day since he had last set foot in headquarters having spent the whole night in the hospital getting his dislocated and broken arm tended to and his leg put back in place. He was currently in a sling and leg brace, hobbling around one-armed trying to find Kort who had been missing for fifteen hours, God knows who took him and what they were doing to him.
"There's nothing on the security tapes, his cell isn't turned on and we haven't had a ransom call yet. There is nothing to find Gibbs." McGee said looking him in the eyes; it was in moments like these that he knew he was pushing his team too far and too hard. He sat down, trying to think of everything Kort had said to him. He suddenly looked up, a possible lead in his grasp.
"There was one other person involved in this, the man who started it all. Marcin Jerek. You find him you find Kort." Gibbs said standing up moving behind his youngest agent as he typed in the interrogators number, an address popped up seconds later, he was in his basement. He grimly remembered Tony describing Jerek's house being more stocked in weapons than the tower of London. This wasn't going to be easy-or pretty. Walking to his desk, he started suiting up.
"Evidence garage in five, I want everybody suited up with as many weapons as you can carry. Whatever you do remember fighting Marcin will be useless you either kill him or he gives himself up and you arrest him. This is a recovery mission people. Let's go." Gibbs said leading the way to the elevator.
"Just shoot me already." Kort said, he was tied to the rafters, his hands and arms raised above his head dangling, his toes just brushed the ground. At first it had killed, his arms burned, his ribs ached, but soon the ropes made everything go numb and now all he could feel was a strange tingling and the warmth of his blood streaming down his arms and onto the floor beneath. Jerek had started right away cutting and slicing methodically to create the most pain but the less damage. The man wanted to drag out Kort's pain as long as possible, and Kort was beginning to feel the weariness in his body. Marcin had spent the entire night using him as a punching bag and cutting him. His blood was pooling on the floor rapidly, one cut to his cock had sent blood every where's, he had screamed in pure agony while Marcin laughed and said coldly, "Yes, there are a lot of blood vessels there. Did you know that?" He could feel himself shaking, and losing blood, making him feel tired and drained, his fight practically gone, but this was nothing, this was what he deserved. He killed those children, he killed them and it felt good, everything had consequences.
And his finally caught up with him. He breathed shallowly unable to take deep breaths and watched as Marcin took out a three foot long wooden crate and placed it at his feet. For a fleeting second he thought Jerek would have mercy and let him stand but that hope was killed the minute he lifted the lid of the crate. Inside was a skeleton, a three year olds skeleton, his stomach churned as bile rose in his throat and spewed from his mouth. He knew who it was, it was Lilith-his niece. He felt his throat tighten and he shut his eyes, bowing his head, he said a silent prayer. He had loved that little girl more than anything, how he wished he could have taken her away from her parents and raised her right, but the mother was an Iranian citizen, and his brother decided to stay with her, and soon enough their daughter had been taken away by the militia to be raised as one of the many children warriors that were being used as a wall of defense against the Americans. It had been their job to take them out, to infiltrate the terrorist boot camp and kill the children and their parents. He had never thought to find his precious Lily in that camp but he had and he couldn't let Marcin kill her, it wouldn't be right, it had to be him. It both pained him and brought him great joy when she immediately recognized him and ran to him with a big smile on her face, it was the first time in years that he had ever felt love for someone else. This little girl, only two and a half feet tall had made such a profound difference in his life, had brought meaning to it, the difference was night and day. And now he had to kill her. He had to kill his life, the only thing that made it worth living. He sucked it up a couple hours later, took her away from the others to a quiet room in back, sung to her, and read to her until she fell asleep against his chest. As he put the barrel of his gun to the side of her head he let his tears fall and pulled the trigger. Her blood splattering across his face, seeping into his clothing and bathing him in red. He just held her limp body to him and continued to rock as if she was just sleeping after all.
"Lily…" He gasped painfully, his heart physically hurting as tears gathered in his eyes as he stared down at the box, cursing Jerek for this.
"Ah. So you do remember." Marcin said coldly.
How could he forget? He had tried to many times but every night he dreamed it was of her, every time he saw a little girl she stood right next to him asking him if she could play with them. He had killed her. And for that there was no forgiveness, there was no punishment great enough to vindicate him of his guilt, there was blood on his hands, blood of his own kind, that would never be washed off. It was permanently stained on him, he saw her blood on him every time he looked in the mirror, every time he sat in a rocking chair, every time he sung that song. He felt the burden of his guilt, of her death, weighing him down, drowning him underneath the dark waters. Many times he held that very same gun to his head and tried pulling the trigger but he knew he didn't deserve to have such a quick death-he deserved to suffer for his sins. Marcin was just fulfilling his wishes, they both knew it, it was just convenient that the Agency considered him a threat and a liability and wanted to be rid of him. In the more permanent way. Marcin immediately signed up for the job and had been going at it enthusiastically ever since he stole him away from Gibbs in that field. He felt tears slide down his cheeks, making Marcin laugh
"Trent you were always such a disappointment. Never could do anything right no matter how hard I tried to teach you. I did try, so hard with you, perhaps if you had been more receptive to me this wouldn't be happening, none of it wouldn't have happened. Your niece might even be alive. If only you'd have listened. You put your trust and faith in morals that have failed you." Marcin said patting his cheek roughly, grinning at him, Kort shut his eyes that were filled with pain. "And now all you want is punishment. Where did you go wrong Trent?"
He could feel the tears sliding more freely down his cheeks as the words pierced him, he felt sobs rising up in him, he shook with the force of them able to get out, "I don't know. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. Lily….Professor." He whispered harshly, unable to see past his grief. Jerek just smiled as he moved behind Kort, putting a hand between his bare shoulder blades, having stripped Kort down right after hanging him from the rafters. He stared at him for a second, enjoying the knowledge that he had just broken Trent Kort, before asking, "What shall I punish you with now Trent? What do you deserve?"
"The whip. Please." He begged pathetically, the sobs and pain tightening his throat, shaking his body, making tears mix with his blood on the floor, he heard Jerek taking the tool off the shelf, he imagined how he fingered it lovingly it was one of Jerek's favorite's and Trent knew exactly how it hurt, knew it would match the emotional pain he was in. How in the world a physical whipping could ever make up for years of emotional whipping he didn't know. Jerek drew back the whip, excitement tightening his muscles, concentrating on the most painful way of doing this he brought the whip down on Kort's back. Kort gave a cry of pain as the crack of the whip echoed around the room, his back feeling the fire that seemed to be bone deep. He could feel a river of blood pouring down his back and wondered just how deep it was. Seconds later the whip was brought down across his back once more, making him jerk in his chains and cry out once more, soon the basement was filled with a steady, quick, rhythm of the crack of the whip and Kort's screams and tears. Blood covering not only the floors but now the wall and Jerek as well, the pain was excruciating and unbearable, the whip now cutting into flesh and muscles, in some places the bone could be seen. Jerek had been going at it for twenty minutes straight, he could tell Kort was about to pass out, but he gave him enough time to make sure he was awake for every second of pure agony. He no longer cried out but screamed as if his life depended on it.
It was the gory scene of a dangling Trent, his blood a huge lake on the floor, painting the walls and bathing both himself and Jerek, tears pouring down his face, shaking and sobbing and screaming, and a grinning Jerek that Gibbs and DiNozzo barged in on. The two NCIS Agents froze in shock, but quickly recovered, DiNozzo became all business while Gibbs had fire in his eyes as he pointed the gun at Jerek's head ready to blow it off at any second.
"Drop it Jerek." Gibbs growled
"What this?" Marcin held up the whip laughing, "Why? I'm not doing anything illegal, Kort wants this don't you Trent?"
He swallowed and sobbed, but nodded.
"It's his punishment. And it's sanctioned by the Agency, well the killing part not the torture but seeing as how Trent wants this….." Marcin shrugged. Gibbs stared at Trent, moving closer to him, but keeping Jerek in his line of sight.
"Punishment for what?" DiNozzo snarled disgustedly.
"Tell them Trent. Tell them what you've done. Tell them about Lilith." Jerek taunted coldly.
Trent shook his head, Jerek took his knife and laid the sharp blade on the exposed flesh and muscle on Kort's back and cut through them, causing Kort to scream and jerk around in his bindings.
"Bastard!" Gibbs growled aiming his gun once more at Jerek who just shrugged. "This ends now."
"You're right it does. I tortured him enough." With that, Marcin leapt forward with the knife, ready to stab Trent through the heart, but before he could even get a step forward, Gibbs had put a bullet in his forehead. All went silent for a minute, before DiNozzo called for an ambulance and Gibbs went over to him. He couldn't look at Gibbs, tears still were rushing out of his eyes and sobs assaulted his body, Gibbs looked as if he didn't know what to treat first.
"What did you do Trent?" Gibbs asked fiercely as he pulled a stool over to undo Kort's chains from the rafters.
"I…..I…I killed my own niece! I killed her! Murdered her! She trusted me, loved me. And I loved her, she was the only person I've ever loved. She….I…murdered her….I just put my gun on her and I…I pulled the….the…I murdered…I….I killed….I…need to die….I deserved this, you should have left, let me deal with the consequences of my actions." Kort said brokenly, his voice breaking and letting loose his pain.
Gibbs didn't speak for a while, he pushed his outrage and anger down and looked at the man in front of him. There was more to the story his gut was telling him and until he knew it, he wasn't going to judge the man and push him farther away from him. He gently lowered Kort's arms, supporting him with an arm tightly around his back, causing Kort to hiss in pain and tense in his arms. He gently slid them to the ground, looking up he told Tony to get a couple sheets and a blanket. Kort looked at the floor and continued to cry and shake, hoping that he'd just die sometime soon. He didn't feel the sheets or blankets Gibbs wrapped gently around him, didn't hear Gibbs telling Tony to wait upstairs for the paramedics, didn't feel Gibbs pull him into an embrace until he really let go of his pain and just screamed into the older man's shoulder.
It was the first time he had ever let anyone hold him. He didn't deserve the comfort. But he took it anyways. Greedy bastard he was, always taking what shouldn't be his. He almost laughed bitterly but instead just screamed as Gibbs tightened his hold on him.