Well, this brings my second NCIS Jedi story to a close. It's a bit ambiguous, mostly because I want to come back to Haven perhaps at some point, but this brings this part to a close. It's been a fun write. I must get on with the Terran Jedi (I also have to write for a living these days, plus I've written that book about Marcus Tullius Cicero getting some Books From The Future - shameless plug there) but I still have this one off in my head of Tim McGee in New York with a baffled Richard Castle far below him...
Oh and I still don't own these characters. Damn it!
He had to admit that this was upping the ante more than a bit, but he felt that he didn't have much choice in the matter, McGee thought as he stared at the woman with the electric touch. She was still staring at him, or rather at the lightsabre. They all were. Well, that was understandable. He deactivated it and then gestured at the remains of the gun, which flew into his hand. He raised an eyebrow at it and then emptied the bullets out, before throwing it over to a very grim-looking Tony, who caught it and inspected it himself.
"She's a naughty little kitty cat," Tony said with a sudden smirk. "A dark one too."
"Hey!" The voice came from behind him and he half turned to look at the speaker. Parker was sitting there looking baffled and aggrieved at the same time. "Who the hell are you people? And why am I supposed to kill someone I've never even met?"
McGee didn't react. Didn't blink, didn't even narrow his eyes at the woman. She had just lied. But why?
Wuornos was looking at her with a stunned expression on his face. "Parker?" he asked in tone that combined hope with horror. "Audrey?"
"Who's Audrey?" She asked the question with a quizzical look. "My name is Lexie. Lexie DeWitt."
Wuornos didn't exactly reel back, but he came very close to doing so. "What?"
She rolled her eyes. "What, are you hard of hearing or something? Who are you people. And why the hell did that guy," – she gestured at McGee, "have a lightsabre? What kind of place is this?"
The bafflement about the lightsabre was genuine. Everything else wasn't. McGee turned to look at Gibbs, who had raised an eyebrow of his own and who then looked at Jordan – before turning back him and rubbing a finger over his own lips for a moment. Aha. Best to keep this one quiet.
He looked at the others and was happy to see that Dave and Vince both looked flabbergasted, whilst Jordan had a disbelieving look on her face.
"Ok," Gibbs said with a shake of his head, "We need to get her back to town and get her checked out. By the way, none of you are getting your guns back. I don't like having weapons pointed at me whilst I'm carrying out my duties, and I'm taking a personal dislike to you all. If you want to complain – file a complaint. Good luck explaining how you lost them though." He gestured at Tony and Ziva. "Have they all been unloaded?"
"All apart from this puppy Boss," Tony replied as he gestured at the shotgun.
"Rack and stack it Tony. Make sure that none of them ammo is anywhere near the weapons. I think we need another demonstration."
"On it Boss," Tony barked crisply as he unloaded the shotgun carefully and then quickly threw the weapons into a neat pile to one side, before stepping away from it.
Gibbs squinted at the weapons and then pointed the first two fingers of his right hand at them. There was a moment of silence and then suddenly the air around the pile started to shimmer with heat, whilst the smell of red – no, white- hot metal filled the air. The barrels glowed with heat whilst the wood charred and then burst into flame. After a moment all that was left was a puddle of metal and ash.
"Let's go back to Haven, people," Gibbs said with a smile and then stalked off back to the cars.
"Now, that's an exit," Tony smirked at McGee, Fornell and Ziva. "Besides, isn't it time for lunch already?"
"Good point DiNozzo," Gibbs said. Turning around to look at the astonished group of Haven residents. "Hendrickson, Wuornos! Get Parker, sorry, DeWitt, checked out then meet us at the police station in an hour and a half. We need feeding and you need debriefing." And then he strode away again.
Nate stared out of the window of the car as Dwight drove back to the police station. He was suffering from what he knew was information overload. Hell, he felt as if his brain had been stuffed full of weird and whacky facts to the point where it wanted to burst out of his ears.
Audrey was at the top of his mental list though. She didn't know that she was Audrey. She thought that she was just a rather skanky barmaid called Lexie. His thoughts skittered around that thought for a long moment. He should have thought about that point. He should have wondered if the Barn had already started to give her a new personality. He should have thought about so much.
At least she was in good health. The checkup at the hospital had shown that she was still bewildered but physically just fine.
And then there were the Feds! A Jedi! That was crazy enough as it was. Added to whatever the hell Agent Gibbs was – well, they were in Twilight Zone land already enough as it was.
"We're here." Dwight's words broke in on him with a crash, and he looked around almost dazedly. Yes, they were indeed back at the police station. Nate smiled slightly and then got out of the car and trudged into the building. He felt as if he was 101 years old all of a sudden.
When they got to Dwight's office they both slumped into chairs. Dwight looked wryly at Nate and then smiled slightly. "You too, huh?"
"Long weird day, and it's only half done. At least we've got Audrey back. And you're not dead."
Nate sighed and rubbed hand over his chin. "Yeah, but she thinks that she's Lexie DeWitt, barmaid extraordinaire. I don't think that you can alleviate a Trouble with a Bloody Mary and commiserating with some guy about how his wife doesn't understand him."
Knuckles rapped against the doorframe and they both turned to see that Gibbs and McGee had arrived. Oh wonderful, Nate thought, the Jedi and Mage. Or whatever they were.
"We need to talk," Gibbs said quietly as he closed the door and pulled the shades shut.
Nate exchanged glances with Dwight. "About what?"
Gibbs and McGee both grabbed chairs and parked themselves on them. The older man spoke first. "Let's start off by saying that Fornell is currently in the building putting in a call to the FBI that will close the open investigation into the 'fake' FBI agent Audrey Parker. There'll be no more interference from wandering FBI agents from Bangor. And we're winding up our own investigation into the McNeill case. Hopefully he'll plan his life around his… condition."
This was good news and Nate raised his eyebrows and nodded. "That's a relief. Thank you."
Gibbs smiled slightly. "Don't thank me yet. I'm very good at spotting when someone's lying to me. McGee here is even better at it. Is Parker ok?"
Nate blinked at them. "You mean Lexie DeWitt," he said with more than a trace of bitterness in his voice.
The two Feds exchanged a glance of their own, with flickered eyebrows, before McGee leant forwards slightly. "About that – No. She's not Lexie DeWitt. She's Audrey Parker. She was lying back then this morning."
This was… it was… he felt like he had been walloped on the back of the head. "What?" he finally said rather feebly. And then more strongly: "What?"
"Look at it from her perspective. She came back from this Barn thing, she's dropped into a field in the middle of nowhere, with you and a bunch of people she doesn't know, and another bunch of people who want her to kill you." McGee leant back in his chair. "She loves you Detective. Do you really think that she was going to kill you there and then?"
He sat there whilst his mind literally reeled – and then he stood on shaking legs. "I need to see her."
An invisible set of hands landed on his shoulders and pushed him back down again onto the chair. "No, you need to not see her and calm the hell down," Gibbs drawled. "She is trying to protect you. To save your damn life. So don't do anything to jeopardise that. You can't tell her that you know that she's lying, that she's Audrey Parker, until she's ready to tell you. Give her time."
"And then there's something else that you need to know." McGee looked worried about something. "When I saw her through the door, in the Barn, she was talking to someone. A man I think. You need to find out who that man was – because he is evil."
Nate stared at McGee. "Evil? In the Barn?"
"I don't understand."
"You need to ask her who she talked to. And why they were talking to her. Because that person was – is – evil to the core."
"Why would an evil person be in the Barn?" Nate asked, bewildered.
McGee and Gibbs swapped raised eyebrows again. "What exactly do you know about this Barn? Why is Parker linked to it?"
Nate shrugged. "Your guess is as good as mine. All we know is that it would turn up on a regular basis whenever the Troubles started, Audrey would walk about and help deal with them, and then the Hunter meteor storm world turn up, signalling that it was time for her to back into the Barn."
"So she helps with the Troubles and she's immune to their affects?"
"Why is she unaffected?"
Another shrug. "Your guess is as good as ours."
"And you don't have any idea what her original personality was?"
Nate frowned. "None at all. Why?"
Gibbs and McGee both stood up. "It's just a thought, but what if she's the person responsible for the Troubles?"
He frowned at them. "What? Why would you think that?"
"Because," Gibbs drawled, "It might be that someone is making her clean up her own mess. She's had various people's memories and personalities imprinted over her own, she gets sent back on a regular basis to help with the Troubles – sounds to me like she's being punished. Find out who she talked to in that Barn and then make sure that she never goes anywhere near him again. And keep an open mind." He reached into a pocket and pulled out a business card. "We'll be out of your hair by morning – depends how long it takes Fornell to close the investigation. And call us if you need help." He tossed the card onto Dwight's desk and then the two Feds opened the door and swept out.
The police chief picked the card up thoughtfully and then looked at Nate. "They've got some good points," he said dryly after a long moment. "Might explain a few things."
Nate scowled. "Let's look at this another time. We need to work out when to tell Audrey that we know that she's her and not this Lexie person."
McGee bent over the silver globe, carefully soldered the last connection into place and then looked critically at the small electronic display on the end of the chord that he'd plugged into it. Satisfied he disconnected the chord and packed it away neatly. This would be interesting.
Naturally it was at that point that Tony knocked on the door, with Ziva behind him. He sighed slightly – and then smiled and used the Force to open the door.
"Show-off," Tony groused good-naturedly. "So, you want to join us for one last meal and a beer before we blow this freaky little town tomorrow morning? I still can't believe that we couldn't get out any earlier."
"Even the FBI has to service their planes Tony," Ziva sighed. "We'll be out first thing."
McGee grinned. "I'll be up for some supper in a little bit. I've got to test this thing first." He held up the silver globe.
This stopped Tony in his tracks. He looked at the globe with bulging eyes and then grinned massively. "You finished it? Does it work? How does it work? Does it work in a way that you can explain to me and not have my head explode because of geek technobabble?" He gabbled the questions excitedly, a bit like a small child being shown a very shiny toy, and McGee could see Ziva raising her eyebrows and looking at him as if he was raving mad.
"What is this thing?" Ziva asked with some exasperation.
McGee grinned, flicked a small switch and then tossed the globe to one side. There was a sudden whine as the repulsorlift activated and all of a sudden the training remote was hanging in the air.
Tony just stared at it with his mouth open and a look of indescribable glee on his face. "Thatistoocoolforwords!" he finally said, before catching himself and sitting down on the nearest chair in what looked the world's worst attempt at being casual. "I mean – very interesting Tim, very interesting indeed."
"Aha," said Ziva as she snapped her fingers. "I know what this is now – a training remote?"
"Yup. I've dialled it back to its minimum settings, so I can check it out." He pulled out his lightsabre and then adjusted the control panel. "Same with my lightsabre. Anyone want to volunteer to try it out?"
The response was everything that he expected. Including the yipping noises that Tony met when the remote hit him repeatedly.
It was dark in the woods and he had a nasty feeling that he'd stepped in some bear shit earlier on. But that wasn't the problem that was gnawing at him. William had the oddest feeling that that something was terribly wrong somewhere, that somehow someone knew about him. He shrugged and walked on. Mara was out there somewhere. And he would find her.