The Girl in the Cellar.By Dave Turner.
Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or NCIS I write these stories for fun not profit.
Crossover: The Buffyverse with NCIS based on the episode, ‘The Good Wives Club’.
Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar; Written in glorious English-English which is different to American-English.
Timeline: Set after the events depicted in the Faith in the Army story, ‘Semper Fidelis’.
Words: Seven chapters of about 3000 words.
Warnings: None…maybe a little icky in one or two places but nothing graphic.
Summary: A ‘Faith in the Army’ story; Gibbs and his team are in a race against time to save the ‘Girl in the Cellar’, better known as Staff Sergeant F Lehane. 0=0=0=0Hammer Horror, Hammer Horror,
Won't leave me alone.
The first time in my life,
I keep the lights on
To ease my soul.
Hammer Horror, Hammer Horror,
Won't leave it alone.
I don't know,
Is this the right thing to do?
‘Hammer Horror’; Words and music by Kate Bush.0=0=0=0Abandoned Base Housing, Norfolk Naval Base, November 2006.
Ignoring the cold wind that blew in off the sea, Nick Poole studied the plans held in his gloved hands. Glancing up he stepped to one side to allow the mechanical digger to pass him by as the driver got it into position to start demolishing the house behind him. Satisfied that the house was in fact the next one on the list for demolition, Nick gave the signal for the driver to start his work.
After walking away from the house towards the road, Nick stood and watched as the digger was maneavoured into position. As the vehicle backed up, Nick noticed something on the ground; the earth was falling away under the digger’s wheel making a hole that grew larger as he watched. Realising that there must be a cellar or some other void under the garden he ran forward waving his arms in the air and shouting at the driver to stop. If the vehicle drove into the hole the entire area might give away. Bringing the digger to a halt the driver climbed down from his cab demanding to know what the problem was. For the moment Nick ignored him, he was too busy checking the plan again. He’d been right the first time, there were no cellars or service tunnels marked on the map.
“Get me a flashlight!” he called as he walked towards the hole.
The hole was about two feet deep and three or four feet across at the top. What interested Nick most was the dark opening at the bottom of the hole. Someone passed him a flashlight; switching it one he shone the beam into the opening. At first he couldn’t make out much, but after moving the beam around a little he saw what looked like a room, maybe it was an old fallout shelter, this was his first thought. Walking slowly around the hole keeping the flashlight beam focused through the opening, Nick gasped as he stopped dead in his tracks.
“Call the cops!” Nick stumbled away from the hole his face turning deathly pale.
“What’s wrong?” Demanded the driver as he stepped forward to try and see what Nick had seen.
“Just call the cops, would ya!” Nick recovered a little from his initial shock and advanced towards the hole again.
Once more shining the beam through the opening, Nick realised he’d actually seen what he’d thought he’d seen. Lying on a bed in a room built under the garden lay the desiccated body of a woman clothed in a wedding dress. 0=0=0=0Fort Robert Shaw, Virginia.
No more ‘direct action’ (as the army euphemism went for infantry combat) the army had told Faith after she’d collected her third Purple Heart. Her company commander had given her the stark choice, either transfer out of the 54th Motor Transport Battalion or leave the army. The thing was, Faith didn’t want to leave the army, it was the one stable thing in her life after she’d woken up in Sunnydale General Hospital and being in a coma for eight months; she had no memories from before her coma other than knowing what her name was.
The trouble was that ‘direct action’ seemed to follow Faith around like a stray dog and she enjoyed it (the combat not the stray dog thing). Combat seemed to make her feel even more alive than sex did, and (like sex) she was good at it; combat appeared to fill some deep seated need in her. The army had at first appeared to agree with her, but after she’d picked up both a Silver and Bronze Star in Iraq. They’d changed their minds. They told her it would be bad for the army’s image if she got killed, people didn’t like reading about dead female soldiers over their breakfasts.
So it was with a heavy heart that Faith had gone to her company commander and requested a transfer to the Military Police Corps. Having read up on the MP’s Faith, had quickly realised that transferring to the MP’s would be her best hope of seeing more action. The MP’s got posted to Iraq where they escorted convoys and convoys got ambushed. All she had to do was bide her time and wait for her unit to be rotated back to Iraq so she could get back into the action.
However, Captain Baron, her old company commander, had seen through her ‘cunning plan’ and sent along Faith’s friend, the newly promoted Corporal Brenda Mitchell to keep an eye on her. After finishing their training at Fort Leonard Wood, the Military Police training school, Faith and Brenda had found themselves posted not to an army base but to the Marines at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. The Marines were forming a new division and they were desperately short of instructors. As combat vets Faith and Brenda found themselves attached to the Recon Platoon of 1st Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment. As if this wasn’t enough they were then sent (with the Marines) to help restore order on the Caribbean island of Nunca-Aterriza.
After returning to the States, Faith had pleaded with the Marines to send herself and Brenda back to the army. The Marines were sad to see her go and had asked her to transfer, but Faith liked being a soldier so she stuck with the army and wherever Faith went, Brenda went with her. The two young women then had the good fortune of both being posted to Fort Shaw in Virginia.
Fort Shaw was an army transport and stores depot near Norfolk Naval Base. It had nearly three hundred military and civilian personnel on base plus families. These people were all watched over by ‘B’ Company, 727th Military Police Battalion of which Faith and Brenda were the newest and, so far, only female members. The company commander, Captain Horne was desperate for female personnel. By some fluke all of ‘B’ companies previous female personnel had come to the end of their enlistments within a couple of months of each other, so when Faith and Brenda turned up fresh from their adventures he was overjoyed to see them.
By the time they’d been on the base for a couple of weeks Faith’d got used to the routine of base security, patrolling and training. At first she’d thought she might find it boring and was worried that she might regret her choice of new career. But, late at night, when she was patrolling the camp and the surrounding living quarters, she’d occasionally bump into one of those weird creatures that had plagued her life since before she’d first gone to Iraq. The ‘things’ that bit people on the neck and who, for want of a better name, Brenda and herself referred to as bloodsuckers.
Having first come into contact with these ‘bloodsuckers’ in Iraq, Brenda and Faith had later found themselves fighting ‘zombies’ and some really weird beasts which a mysterious Ranger Captain called Finn had told them were ‘hellhounds’. Of course Faith didn’t believe a word of it, there were no such things as bloodsuckers, zombies and hellhounds; she’d long suspected that they were all products of government run experiments that had gone wildly wrong.
In Iraq, when she’d come up against anything weird, mysterious officers like this Captain Finn guy always seemed to turn up and tell her that what she’d just fought was one of Saddam’s bio-experiments that had gone wrong and escaped. Obviously, or so it seemed to Faith, someone in the US government had brought some samples back home with them then let them escape. Other than Brenda, Faith never told anyone about these little night time adventures; she always had this feeling that if she did her life would get infinitely more complicated than it was already. As a result both women kept their mouths firmly closed on the subject.
After only a couple of days living on base, Faith had rented a small house just outside the base for herself and Brenda to live in. Normally Faith, as a Staff Sergeant wouldn’t have been allowed to room with her friend Brenda who was only a Corporal. However as they were the only two female soldiers in the company, Captain Horne had raised no objections. So, Faith had signed the rental agreement and Brenda and herself had moved in. They’d had to rent a two bedroom house, but in reality the two women only used one bedroom, the other being there for appearances sake.
Living off base gave Faith more freedom so no one questioned her about her late night comings and going. It also gave her and Brenda a safe place to carry on the relationship they’d started when they’d been with the Marines. Everyone knew that Faith and Brenda were old Iraq buddies and didn’t think it strange that the two women liked to spend time together. It helped that they both liked guys and were often seen in the local clubs and bars with guys on their nights off. They both knew to be careful and never made there relationship appear to be anything other than that of two buddies sharing a house for conveniences sake.0=0=0=0Abandoned Base Housing, Norfolk Naval Base.
“Agent Gibbs?” Asked the slightly bored looking naval officer as Gibbs climbed down from the NCIS truck and presented his ID to the officer. “Lieutenant Commander Willis, Base Security.”
“Special Agents Todd, McGee and DiNozzo,” Gibbs introduced his team as they lined up having followed Gibbs down from the truck. “How long has it been since anyone lived in these units?”
“Base closed the tract five years ago,” Lt Cmdr Willis explained as he started to lead Gibbs towards the house, “plans were to convert it to a park but cutbacks meant it had to be put on hold.” Willis paused to gather his thoughts, “The units were becoming a health and safety hazard so civilian contractors were brought in to demo them.”
Leading Gibbs and his team around to the back of the house, Willis stopped where a section of the overgrown garden had been cordoned off with yellow hazard tape.
“As soon as he knew what he had,” Willis explained as he gestured to the hole, “the foreman stopped all work and called us.” Willis shrugged, he was a man out of his depth, “We secured the scene and called you.”
“Old bunker?” Gibbs asked as he rested his hands on his knees and peered into the hole.
“We don’t know what it is,” Willis replied with a shake of his head.0=0=0=0Faith and Brenda’s house, Fort Shaw.
“Hi honey I’m home!” Faith called as she closed the front door behind her.
“I’m in the kitchen,” Brenda called from further inside the little house.
Walking through the living room Faith came to the kitchen where Brenda was making a fresh pot of coffee. Coming up behind her friend she slipped her arms around her waist and kissed the cute blonde on the back of the neck.
“Hey,” Faith let go of Brenda and climbed up on a stool to watch the girl work, “what’s with the uniform?”
“Prisoner escort,” Brenda turned a sour face to Faith and gave a resigned shrug, “came up at the last minute.”
“Crap!” Faith cast her eyes down and studied the floor for a moment.
“Sorry, caint get outta it,” Brenda gave Faith a resigned look; they’d planned to go out that night to a club near Norfolk Naval Base where they’d stand less chance of being recognised.
“Crap!” Faith said again, “The sooner you get promoted to sergeant and don’t have to go on these crappy details the better.”
“Hey,” Brenda stepped towards Faith and put her arms around her, “yuh know that’s not gonna happen any time soon, Captain Barron was pushing thangs gettin’ me promoted to corporal.”
“Remind me to send him a Christmas card,” Faith slipped her arms around Brenda’s middle, the two women kissed slowly for several minutes, eventually Brenda pushed Faith away.
“Hey, Staff Sergeant,” Brenda grinned, “girls’ gotta get on duty ya know?”
“Life’s not fair,” reluctantly Faith relinquished her hold on the southern girl, “when are ya coming back?”
“Sorry sweetie,” Brenda looked sadly at her girlfriend, “not ‘til tomorrow morning.”
“Crap!” Faith repeated for a third time, anyone would think that the army was deliberately trying to keep them apart.
“Look,” Brenda started to pour freshly made coffee into her thermos flask, “I know we were s’posed to go out an’all so why don’t yuh go an’ recon the place anyway, tell me what its like, huh?”
“Won’t be the same,” Faith sulked like a teenager.
“Well,” Brenda finished screwing the top on her flask and stood facing Faith with her hands on her hips, “if yuh stay here yuh just gonna sit an’ mope, yuh might as well go out an’ enjoy y’self.”
“Yeah,” Faith agreed reluctantly, “I s’pose ya right.”0=0=0=0Abandoned Base Housing, Norfolk Naval Base.
Bending over the TV screen, Gibbs and Agent Todd studied the ghostly grey images as they flashed by unsteadily.
“A little to the left,” Gibbs called to McGee who was standing over the hole manipulating the camera on the end of a long pole which was at present sending the pictures of the inside of the ‘bunker’ back to Gibbs, “Your other left, McGee,” Gibbs called as McGee swung the camera in the wrong direction.
“Sorry, boss,” McGee replied as he shuffled around the hole.
“Nervous?” DiNozzo asked with a superior smile as he stood menacingly over McGee, the younger agent declined to answer.
The picture on the TV monitor appeared to show a room from the 50’s or 60’s. There was a bed, a toilet, sink and a dressing table. There was also what looked like the body of a long-dead woman clothed in a wedding dress. If the unfortunate woman had been killed in the 50’s or 60’s, Gibbs knew that their chances of catching the killer were slim at best even assuming the killer was still alive.
“Whoa!” Gibbs stared intently at the picture on the screen, “back a little,” he ordered as the camera sung back over the area it had just covered, “There!” The camera froze at his call, “Looks like a tunnel leading back to the house.”
Quickly the four NCIS agents gained access to the house by kicking in the door, once inside they split up and started to search. Walking into a room, DiNozzo found himself in what must have been the master bedroom. The room smelt musty from long disuse and was bare of any furniture. Noting the marks on the carpet where furniture had once stood, DiNozzo made his way over to a large closet built into one corner of the room. Pulling open the doors he saw nothing but a few old wire coat hangers and an abandoned pile of newspapers. Sighing with disappointment he was just about to close the doors again and start looking elsewhere. It was then that he noticed the air vent at the rear of the closet.
“That’s a little weird,” he told himself, “why have a vent there?”
As far as he could remember the wall with the vent in it was an internal one, there’d be nowhere to vent air to or from. Kneeling down he opened the vent and held his hand in front of it, he could feel a significant draft. Bending closer to the vent he sniffed, there was no escaping it, fresh air was blowing through the vent and into the room.
“BOSS!” he yelled as he pulled the pile of old newspapers out of the closet, “IN HERE!”
By the time Gibbs and Kate Todd had joined him, DiNozzo had pulled up the carpet from the floor of the closet and found the trapdoor concealed beneath. Lifting the trap door, DiNozzo leaned to one side to allow Gibbs to shine his flashlight down into the dark. They all clearly saw the ladder leading down into the bunker.
“Kate, McGee,” Gibbs started to climb down the ladder, “with me, DiNozzo wait here for Ducky.”0=0=0=0
Standing at the bottom of the ladder, Gibbs, Kate and McGee found themselves in a short passageway about eight feet long, although the corridor was over seven feet high it was barely two feet wide making it feel very cramped. Running his flashlight beam over the planks that lined the wall of the passageway, Gibbs noted how well it’d been constructed. Who’d ever dug the bunker must have copied it from the marine field manuals on how to build field fortifications. For a moment Gibbs scratched his head as he wondered what the digger had done with all the spoil.
Leading the way, Gibbs came out into a large room at the end of the passageway. Again this had been well constructed, the only damage he could see was the hole made by the digger when it had passed over the bunker earlier. Again Gibbs wondered what the killer had done with all the spoil, the room was twelve or more feet square and maybe eight feet high, that was a lot of earth to move and get rid of.
“Okay people,” Gibbs said quietly, “lets do it.”
Quickly and professionally the three agents went about collecting evidence and taking photographs. Walking over to the body lying on the bed, Gibbs looked down at her studying the way she was lying. It was almost as if she’d just lain down and died, he checked her wrists and ankles, there appeared to be no sign that she’d been restrained in anyway. Scratching the back of his head once more he moved on only to be brought up short by a call from McGee.
“This is weird,” McGee pointed his flashlight at the carpeted floor.
“What’ve you found McGee?” Gibbs came to stand next to the junior agent.
“Ever seen anything like that boss?” McGee asked nervously.
“Only in the movies,” Gibbs crouched down to examine the marks on the carpet, “Kate get some shots of these.”
“Boss!” Again McGee called out, “There’s more over here!”
“And here,” Kate called as she put her camera to her eye and started to snap pictures of the strange symbols burnt into the carpet and onto the walls.
“What do you make of them, Kate?” Gibbs walked up behind the female agent and examined the symbol branded into the wooden wall.
“Don’t think I’m the right person to ask boss,” Kate replied quietly, “this looks more like Abby’s area of expertise.”0=0=0=0