Top of the Food Chain
Top of the Food Chain
Summary: Throats are being ripped out with beastly savageness on the night before and the night after the full moon. Oz, Jarod from Pretender and NCIS each have a different reason for finding the killer.
Disclaimer: None of the characters are mine, I included the Drabble ‘Never Helped with a Sex Change’ for fun.
Spoilers: Season Five of Buffy and after the ‘Call of the Wild’ book by Christopher Golden, just general knowledge for Pretender and NCIS.
Rating: for language, adult situations and gratuitous violence
AN: Writing Oz, with this much conversation, was hard. Merry Christmas FaithDaria, hopefully this will make you stop nagging about the other BtVS/Pretender x-over.
The marine ran. The monster was gaining on him. He was panicking and weaving through the trees. The monster was howling and snarling at his heels. The marine tripped in the dark woods.
His throat was torn out before he had time for regrets.
“What do we have?” Gibbs barked at his subordinates.
“Finding this one’s secret wasn’t as hard to find as the last two,” Kate Todd said. She glanced at Gibb’s desk and was relieved that he had finally put away the crime scene photos of last month’s animal killings. “Abby has definitely matched the attacker’s DNA to Siler and General Roberts. She still can’t find the type of animal in any database.”
“The secret?” Jethro Gibbs stared at her, waiting for an answer.
Kate handed over a folder. “When I was interviewing his unit, no one was especially mournful. According to them, Sergeant Belofsky choked on the last mission and a marine ended up in a wheelchair. Belofsky and another team member were on medical leave, but expected to return to duty.”
Gibbs flipped through the file. “The hearing exonerated him of fault.”
Tony Dinozzo leaned forward. “But his team did not.”
“Any of them have any dealings with wild animals?”
Kate shook her head. “None of them have a pet now and most of them didn’t have a pet growing up. None of them have even visited the zoo since an elementary school field trip.”
Gibbs dropped the folder on the desk. “So where does a civilian selling Navy secrets to Al-Qaida, a general who placed his career above the lives of soldiers, and a sergeant who choked on a mission overlap?”
“We’re looking into it, boss.”
Gibbs glared. “Look faster. If this guy’s pattern holds, he’s going to loose the killer . . . hound on someone else tomorrow night.”
The marine was stretching in the park after his ten mile run. His scent, made more prevalent by his sweat, was easy to track.
Oz walked up to him. “You gotta stop.”
The marine glanced up at the short musician and immediately dismissed him. “Scram, kid.”
Oz set down his guitar case. “Use your nose.”
The marine looked confused but then his beast finally transmitted the message to his consciousness. The marine shot to his feet. “Where were you five months ago?”
The marine growled and stalked close.
Oz rolled his eyes. “Use your nose,” he said again.
The marine paused and sniffed. He could scent truth. He calmed a bit, or as calm as he could get with another beast in his territory. “When are you leaving?”
“When you stop hunting.”
The marine smirked. “What are you? The monster police?” He chuckled. “The MP for the supernatural?”
Confused, the marine blinked. “Why are you here?”
“You’re drawing attention.”
“They don’t know what they’re looking for,” he taunted. “There’s never any evidence of a human.” He spat the last word.
The marine shrugged. “I’m just culling the herd. Taking out the weak links. It makes everyone stronger in the end.”
“Look kid, what I’m doing is strengthening the Marines.” He grinned-wolfishly. “And there’s no better hunt. You should try it sometime.”
“You will stop,” Oz warned.
The marine snorted at Oz’s slight, unthreatening body. “Make me.”
Samantha Finn glanced up at her husband. “It was remarkably easy. Only one person on the whole base has not been on duty during the three pertinent nights of the full moon. He’s enlisted. Gunnery Sergeant Nicholas Trelfelger. So far he’s been lucky, he’s been able to slide out of duty while he’s Changed.” She handed the file to her husband. “He reported to the infirmary five months ago with a ‘rabid dog’ bite. He responded well to treatment,” Sam added wryly.
Riley read through the man’s folder. “He has a spotless record thus far and is well decorated. He’s showing remarkable focus and intention in his Changed form for one so new,” he said.
“So recruit?” Sam asked.
Riley nodded. “Those’re the orders so far.” Neither one voiced the SOP if the marine refused to be recruited. Another soldier walked into the room and nodded to Riley. Riley offered his wife a hopeful smile. “The plane’s ready. We have priority. Hopefully we’ll arrive in Virginia before nightfall.”
Jarod, the Centre escapee, swung the car into the Visitor’s Parking. He checked his badge and picked up his suitcase. This case had reminded him of a certain sim. The Centre had been trying to train bears and wild cats to kill when an assassination would have been too high profile. Jarod, himself, had managed to get the wild animals to obey some orders well, but had balked when he figured out that no one would be helped if the animal had been trained to kill someone specific.
Jarod’s little bit of resistance was all Sydney needed to close down a project that he had disapproved of. But had the Centre continued the research? Had one of the other Pretenders figured out a way to make animals into assassins?
If so, Jarod was here to stop them.
Jarod walked into the NCIS building, every action reflecting the persona that he had adopted.