Crossovers this chapter NCIS, Dexter, Burn Notice, see first chapter for disclaimers.Previously:“Officially I’ve heard nothing, but they’re reviewing a lot of blood and genetics work, judging by the files we’ve been asked for, and that means it’s either Dexter Morgan or Vince Masuka.”“It isn’t Masuka. He was in court this morning, giving evidence in a rape case, they’d have to suspend him if he was a suspect.”“I think Morgan’s been doing a little blood work of his own.”*“Mister Morgan, we’re aware of your current... ah... difficulties. I’m here to suggest a career change would take advantage of your skills, and might make these problems go away.”“Career change, mister…?”“Kort, Trent Kort. I work for the CIA.”*Little Havana
Tobias Fornell chewed a fork-load of pollo con quimbobo y platanos, swallowed, then said “That’s good. Okay, let’s get this over with… tomorrow Vance is going to instruct you to hand everything over to me, and take your posse back to Dodge. Then we’ll bring in a full task force, reopen the Bay Harbor case officially, and find more evidence to nail the son of a bitch.”
“I figured it was coming,” Gibbs said calmly, cutting his sea bass; “Why you? Isn’t there someone local who can handle it?”
“I asked for it. Lundy was my friend and he would have wanted to catch the Bay Harbor Butcher, so if there’s any chance of that I’m going to give it my best shot.”
“What about NCIS?”
“Be honest… do you think you’d nail Morgan if you kept at it?”
“Not easily. He didn’t kill Lundy, we know that now, but my gut feeling tells me he’s our man for everything else. If we’d gone in there with a warrant and found those slides we’d have him behind bars by now. As it is the illegal search will screw things up as soon as the lawyers get involved. Westen won’t admit anything, but there’s no way a judge will believe that a complete outsider just happened to break in and leave things perfectly set up for the blood slides to be found. Westen was working for LaGuerta, which makes it tainted evidence.”
“So what else do you have?”
“Without the blood slides everything is circumstantial. We think he killed Lila Tournay while he was in Paris, but without the slides all that we really know is that he was there around the right time. We think he killed Zoey Kruger, he certainly knew she was a murderer, but without the slides there’s no proof that he did anything about it; hell, there’s no real proof she’s dead. There’s not even anything to connect him to the death of Trinity; the MO is different, and he worked the crime scene so he would have had a legitimate excuse if someone had thought to test him for explosives residue.”
“What about… what’s his name, the hand guy?”
“Nathan Marten? Same again, if the blood evidence is inadmissible we can’t prove anything; he wasn’t on parole and there isn’t much record of his movements, he was keeping a low profile and paying cash for everything. We can’t establish a connection to Morgan.”
“So what could you prove?”
“Not a lot. We know now that the Ice Truck Killer was Morgan’s brother, but being related to a dead psychopath wasn’t a crime the last time I looked. He faked records when he altered the DNA samples, but the evidence wasn’t used in court – I don’t think it’s ever been used at all, so all he’d be likely to get is a slapped wrist. I can think of innocent reasons why he might want to hide it, starting with not wanting his adopted sister to know she was nearly killed by his brother. I’m damned sure he has something like that in mind, so it isn’t going to get us anywhere useful. The bottom line… He’s smart; he isn’t trying to set up an alibi or anything that can easily be disproved, he’s just denying everything and pretending to cooperate, and leaving us to do all the work.”
“I thought that was about it,” said Fornell. “Okay, the way it’s going to work, NCIS and the local police will get some credit if we nail Morgan. You know the sort of thing, ‘building on earlier investigations by the FBI, NCIS and the Miami Police Department the FBI has finally captured the Bay Harbor Butcher.’ If I can’t bring it off we’ve still got Lundy’s killer, and everything gets blamed on the local cops.”
“I still can’t believe none of them caught on to him.”
“Two words – Michelle Lee. How long had she been spying on you before you even guessed there might be a problem?”
“Point taken,” said Gibbs. His phone rang, and he said “I’d better get this, it might be important.”
Tobias Fornell shrugged and chewed more chicken, as Gibbs listened and almost snarled. “Where are you? …I’ll be there in twenty.”
“You could say that. Dexter Morgan’s having a heart to heart with an old friend of ours; Trent Kort. I’m going to crash the party.”
“We’re going to crash the party,” said Fornell. “I wouldn’t miss this for the world.” He beckoned to the waiter. “We’ll need the check and a couple of doggie bags.”Michael Westen
When you’re a spy, a sudden loss of communications is rarely good news. I was headed into the bar when I met Fiona coming out, a glass of wine still in her hand, and said “What happened?”
“I know the man Morgan is meeting, had to get out in a hurry before he spotted me. He’s an arms dealer, used to work for that French bastard, Benoit.”
“La Grenouille?” At one time Benoit had seemed a major player in the international arms market, trading with various terrorist groups including Fiona’s old playmates. I’d heard through the grapevine that the CIA had his operation thoroughly bugged; most of the people he dealt with ended up arrested, dead, or both of the above. Eventually Benoit was killed; I’d been in the Middle East at the time, a year or so before the Agency burned me, and only heard about it much later.
“We know him too.” Ziva appeared out of the shadows, a phone in her hand. “He is very dangerous. Gibbs is on his way.”
“So who is he?” I asked. “I know I’ve seen him somewhere, and I never had any contact with Benoit’s operation. A mercenary?”
“If Gibbs wants you to know he will tell you.”
“Does anyone actually have eyes on Morgan right now?” asked Sam.
“McGee is watching them,” said Ziva. “He has found a rear door into the bar’s security cameras.”
“Don’t you mean a back door?”
“Back, rear, aren’t they the same thing?”
“Close enough for government work.”
A couple of minutes later we were crowded around their car, watching a low-resolution camera view of Morgan and the mystery man talking. There was no sound, of course, and Morgan was facing the camera, the other guy had his back to it. Judging by Morgan’s expression he was interested in whatever he was saying.Dexter Morgan
Visions of silenced automatics and self-destructing tape recorders danced through my head. As far as I know the CIA doesn’t recruit agents in bars… of course, what I know about the CIA could be written on a very small piece of paper, but it seemed unlikely. He was obviously well-informed about my future career prospects, which implied that he knew why they were decidedly murky. Did they want to recruit me as a spy… or an assassin? The silence went on a little too long; I broke it by saying “Do you have some identification?”
He dug into his pocket and pulled out a black leather folder, and opened it to show a card with the CIA logo, his picture, a bar code and some numbers.
“Okay… since I don’t actually know what CIA ID looks like that may only prove that you know how to use Photoshop. For all I know you bought the card at a novelty store. At some point I might want more proof, meanwhile can I get you a drink?”
“Thanks. Scotch on the rocks.” He didn’t seem surprised by my scepticism.
I went to the bar and after the usual interminable wait got the Scotch and a refill for my coke. I went back to the table, and said “Why meet here?”
“I wouldn’t be surprised if your home is bugged. Here the noise level is too high.”
“Okay; what’s this about?”
“We have an occasional need for a scientific adviser; someone who can tell us how to handle certain problems discreetly, and with a minimum of evidence. Our last expert recently retired, we’ve been looking for a suitable replacement, and your name came up as a forensics expert who might be looking for work.”
“My name came up? Exactly how does that happen?”
“Oh, you know… a word here and a whisper there, requests for files and DNA identification that suggest that you might need a career change and possibly some expensive legal help, that sort of thing.” He looked entirely too cheerful about the prospect.
“What sort of salary would I be looking at?” I didn’t want the job, but it wouldn’t hurt to find out more.
“The pay scale you’re on plus fifty percent, help with relocation, and immediate legal cover up to half a million dollars.”
It was insanely generous, and I didn’t believe it for a second. For that money they’d want more than a little advice; they’d want me out in the field killing people to order, and dangerously deviant Dexter doesn’t take requests – I learned that lesson well during my uneasy association with Miguel Prado. “Relocation?”
“Mostly you’d be working at our Langley headquarters, possibly an occasional trip to an embassy overseas.”
Langley, of course; Just outside Washington. Now, who else did I know that worked in that area? The President, of course, but someone I’d met a lot more recently. Step forward Leroy Jethro Gibbs and his merry men. The job hadn’t attracted me to begin with, and the idea of living and working on his doorstep was a very powerful disincentive. “Let me get this straight; you want me to train CIA agents to… to kill people and leave minimal evidence?”
“I wouldn’t put it that way.”
“How else would you put it? I’m a blood spatter analyst, the kind of evidence I deal with isn’t going to be a problem for someone who breaks codes or watches North Korea through spy satellites.”
“Well… there might be an occasional operation that involved that side of things, but your resume says you’ve plenty of training in other aspects of forensic science. That would be most of the job.”
“I don’t think I’m interested.” I drank the last of the Coke.
“I really think you should consider it carefully,” said Kort. “It would be unfortunate if you missed this opportunity, I think you may be running out of options.”
“Yes,” I said. “Interesting coincidence, isn’t it?”
“Well, there’s you looking for a shiny new expert, and there’s me, who’s suddenly got some very strange problems. It would solve both our problems if I took you up on your offer, but I think I’d be a little worried that I working for the people who got me into this mess in the first place.”
“Bull,” said Kort.
“I really don’t think so. And I think Sergeant Batista might find it a little hard to believe too… won’t you, sergeant?”
While we’d been talking Batista had come into the bar, and positioned himself at an adjoining table. He got up as I spoke, and said “I only heard the end of that, but it’s certainly interesting.”
“Don’t worry,” I said, patting my pocket, “I’ve got it all on tape.”
“You son of a bitch,” said Kort, surging to his feet.
And that’s when the fight started.TBC