*Callen awakens, groggy and disoriented. His head is pounding, he tastes the metallic hint of blood coming from his split lip, and his shoulders ache. Slowly, he takes in his surroundings, now realizing he is laying on his side on the ground, hands bound behind him. The room furnishings are sparse; uncovered concrete floor, one glowing lantern hanging above him, and no furniture save for a wooden chair against the far wall. No windows, just one door, presumably locked from the outside. He rolls painfully to his knees, resting his forehead on the floor. "At least the cold concrete is good for something." He thought as it slightly alleviated the pain in his skull. Taking stock of the rest of his body, aside from stiffness and mild pain throughout, he felt no major injuries. He turned his thoughts to trying to remember where he was, why he hurt, and how he got here.

Slowly, he pieced together the mission that had gone so horribly wrong and resulted in his captivity: The team was investigating why weapons and ammunition that were ordered by Forward Operating Base (FOB) Delaram never arrived. According to Eric and Nell's digging, the supplies were in fact shipped from the mainland and had been delivered as far as Camp Leatherneck, but disappeared before reaching the FOB. En route to Delaram, the team's convoy was attacked and came under heavy fire from Taliban militants. The last thing Callen remembered was a blistering explosion as the Humvee he had been riding in exploded behind him as he ran from it for better cover, throwing him to the ground and into blackness.

"That explains a lot. Except where I am…" He thought to himself just before the door clanked open…*

"Well, well, the enemy awakens." Said an unfamiliar voice with a heavy accent.

Callen turned his head toward the voice. The man stood approximately 5' 10" tall, with a stocky build. He had a full, dark beard and a mix of middle-eastern garb and military gear, including a tac-vest and AR-15 slung over his shoulder. He stood over Callen with a smirk and delivered a solid kick to Callen's right side. Callen groaned and coughed as he tipped back over onto his left side.

"For such a big, strong American, you look more like a weak dog to me." Another kick, this time to Callen's exposed belly, which knocked the wind out of him. In between gasps and coughs, Callen whispered a few words.


"What I want will not necessarily come from you, but you will help me acquire it." His assailant answered. He grabbed Callen and dragged him to his feet, then shoved him into a kneeling position facing the wall.

"However, you may still prove useful in the meantime. Where are the rest of your team?"

"I don't know." Callen replied. "I don't remember anything between being thrown to the ground and waking up here."

"Where would they be going? Why are you here?"

"We were taking a ride in the country. You know, taking in the scenery." Callen said lightly.

"Very well, have it your way." Grabbing Callen's bound hands, he forced them upwards, bending Callen almost to where his forehead could touch the floor. Almost. Callen felt his arms being pulled taut and remaining suspended. The rope holding him up was just too short to allow for him to rest his upper body weight on the floor, but also prevented him from raising his torso into a more comfortable kneel without further pain in his shoulders. In short, he was hanging by his arms. Already, his shoulders began to protest.

"Enjoy your evening. I will be back in the morning to continue our little chat." The door opened and banged shut again, leaving Callen alone in the dimness.

*Back at Camp Leatherneck, Sam, Deeks, and Kensi are being checked out at the infirmary. Aside from mild shrapnel wounds, cuts, scratches, and a small 1st-degree burn on the back of Deeks' neck from the heat of the exploding Humvee, the team are fine and released. They converge on the Comms unit, where they report to Hetty and Granger on the attack. *

"What do you mean, Mr. Callen is missing?" Hetty asks, alarmed.

"We searched the area as thoroughly as possible, but found only his helmet about 25 feet from the destroyed Humvee." Sam states. "There was a small amount of blood a few feet away, but not enough to worry about. Maybe G broke his nose or banged his head when he landed."

"What about his GPS beacon?" inquired Hetty.

"Turned off about an hour after he went missing." Deeks replied.

"Is it possible you were targeted specifically, or do you think it was a random assault on an American military convoy?" Granger asks.

"I doubt we were targeted; these were Talib insurgents, not Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers. My guess is, they were just watching the road, waiting for a target." said Sam.

"I don't think we were THE target, just happened to be in the wrong place, wrong time." Kensi chimed in.

"So we have no idea where they came from, where Agent Callen is, or why he is missing. We have an idea of who they were and possibly why you were attacked." Hetty mused aloud. "Sounds like you've opened a Pandora's box over there. We will check back with you in 2400 hours, unless you find any major answers. Report immediately, in that case."

"Understood" the remaining team members acknowledged, and the call was disconnected.

Sam was the first to break their silence.

"Let's start with finding out who they are. Might lead us to the rest of the answers we need. Kensi, you go speak with the security patrols Captain. Find out if there were any other attacks on convoys coming from here, or any attack within a 50-mile radius."

"And I can see ask around to see if there's been any suspicious activity around here. Anybody coming here seeking help that was unusual or poking around where they shouldn't have been." Deeks suggested.

"Sounds good" said Kensi.

"Yeah, sounds good. I will keep working our original case. It too, might confirm whether we were attacked intentionally or not. Which will help us determine who attacked us." Replied Sam.

Kensi and Deeks left Comms to start their inquiries. Sam remained behind for a few more minutes, his thoughts heavily on his missing friend.

"Wherever you are, G, just know we're coming for you."