Actions

Work Header

No Such Thing

Work Text:

“A good morning to you, young man,” Ducky said as he washed his hands, turning his head to look at the doors on the refrigerated storage chambers. “I trust you had a good night’s rest . . . Interesting.” He was certain that he’d put the body that had come in just as he was leaving into number 107, but the door to 107 was slightly ajar. “That cannot be right.” He was always extremely careful to make sure that he’d closed all the doors after opening them.

And was that . . . slime? No, it could not be slime. Autopsy was always spotless. He made sure of that. But it was, a trail of slime, brownish in places, leading from 107 over to the door. And then back from the door, over to the--

To the closet. There was something in the closet.

“Good morning, Dr. Mallard,” Jimmy said, as he walked in with impeccably horrible timing.

“Out!” Ducky said, and reached for the panic button, but it was too late. The door to the closet flew open and . . . something . . . came shambling out.

Ducky hit the panic button twice, for good measure, and dragged Jimmy into the hallway before the doors sealed behind them.

“That wasn’t a zombie, was it?” Jimmy said. “There’s no such thing as zombies.”

“Mr. Palmer, of course there’s no such thing as zombies.” Despite the thing in autopsy with greenish-gray skin, patches of which were falling off, trailing brownish slime behind it. “Therefore that cannot be a zombie.”

“So what is it?” Jimmy flinched as one decaying hand--and wasn’t that interesting? The decay process shouldn’t be nearly that far along--slammed into the window.

“That, Mr. Palmer, is what we must find out.”

--

Some hours later, even though it pained his soul to have allowed it, the corpse was in three pieces--the body, lifeless once again, strapped to a table; the head, similarly lifeless; and the brain, extracted with no care whatsoever, sitting in a glass, all in the haz-mat containment room. No one was allowed in without full haz-mat gear and decontamination afterward; Ducky had gone in and removed samples of various fluids and parts for Abby, carefully putting them in multiple layers of bags and jars. Now, he was standing outside the haz-mat room, staring at the improperly-dissected corpse. “Well,” he said, “that removes my ability to determine cause of death.”

“Says it was a car accident, Duck,” Gibbs said, staring at the various pieces of corpse through the window.

“Well, yes, Jethro,” Ducky said, “but it shouldn’t have killed our young musician, which is why he ended up in my hands.”

“Musician?”

“Musician First Class, in the Navy Band. I believe he played the trumpet.”

“Ah. So,” Gibbs said, “what caused him to get up out of the fridge?”

“I do not know yet, but I can tell you it wasn’t that he became a zombie.”

Gibbs raised an eyebrow. “Did I suggest that?”

“No, of course you didn’t.”

--

“Gibbs Gibbs Gibbs oh my god you brought me ZOMBIE SAMPLES have I mentioned how much I adore you?”

Gibbs patiently patted Abby on the back and suffered through her hug and, when she was done (temporarily), said, “There’s no such thing as zombies, Abs.”

“Oh, no, that’s where you’re wrong, Gibbs; there are absolutely zombies.”

Before she could go into a five-minute lecture on why there were zombies, he held up the bag of various samples and said, “Do you want to talk about zombies or run tests?”

Abby grabbed the sealed bag from him and said, “I can do both.” She pulled on goggles and a pair of gloves and put the bag into the haz-mat containment box. “I don’t mean the vodou zombi, either, because those are totally real and have nothing to do with George Romero and his zombies. Also I recently read this book about the zombie apocalypse, which had something to do with two viruses--virii--combining and turning people into zombies, and then bloggers took over the world, which, in some ways, was much more creepy than the actual zombie apocalypse. But that’s not important.”

“What is important, Abby?”

“I don’t know yet,” she said. “I’ll tell you when I have it, though. Cross my fingers!”

“You’d better,” Gibbs said, smiling, and left.

--

“What d’ya got?” Gibbs said, when he rounded the corner by the cubicles. The rest of his team was standing around the monitor, and whatever argument they’d been having quieted. It was always nice to see that he’d trained them properly.

McGee flipped the screen over from what looked like a zombie movie to a picture of the probably-deceased corporal. “Musician First Class Steven E. Norton, originally from Gaithersburg, Maryland, currently here as he played third trumpet with the Navy Band. Twenty-seven years old, parents still live in Gaithersburg, one younger sister still in college. Perfect record, nothing but commendations, and made it into the elite concert band. Before that he went to college at the University of Michigan, studied music, obviously--”

“Boo,” DiNozzo said, and everyone ignored him.

“--and worked briefly as a professional musician before making it into the Navy Band Great Lakes, and from there over here.” He hit the button and a picture of an internet website of some sort came up. “According to his blog, he took up distance running during college and at his first marathon last year posted a 2:45 time--that’s an outstanding number, basically super-elite,” he added.

“That is a very good time,” Ziva said.

“What’s your marathon time?” DiNozzo asked.

“It is not quite that good,” she said, and somehow it sounded like she didn’t actually care.

“You know I could find out what it is if I tried,” DiNozzo said.

Gibbs rolled his eyes and cuffed DiNozzo on the back of the head. “Back to the case.”

DiNozzo rubbed the back of his head and said, “Okay, so the guy probably could have outrun a zombie if it tried to bite him. What does that have to do with anything?”

“Well,” McGee said, and he sounded faintly triumphant, “according to his running blog, he was training for a 50K here in DC shortly, and Sunday morning, just hours before he died, he went out running on a 20-mile training run in the suburbs and into the countryside. If whatever he’s got was a contagion, we know exactly where he was Sunday morning.”

“Do we?” Ziva asked.

Another click, and a map appeared with a red line around it. “He uploaded the data from his GPS watch,” McGee said, sounding extremely triumphant.

“What’s that right there?” Gibbs asked, pointing to a clump of red that looked more like a knot than anything else.

“Um,” McGee said, as he checked a chart just under the map. “Looks like Musician Norton stopped there. He also stopped here and here,” he said, pointing to two other places on the map.

“Well, go find out what’s there and tell me.”

“On it, Boss,” McGee said.

“Take DiNozzo.”

“Oh, boy, just what I wanted to do today!”

Gibbs rolled his eyes. “Ziva, you’re with me; we’re going to talk to Musician Norton’s commander.”

--

Musician Norton’s commander was otherwise known as the director of the Navy Bands, Captain Edward Bell; the senior enlisted leader, Master Chief Musician Brian Freer, and Norton’s section leader, Master Chief Musician Margaret Hartley, were there as well.

“I thought he passed away in a car accident last night,” MUCM Freer said. He was tall, African-American, and bald, and sat very still.

“Ah, he did, but there were some irregularities in the autopsy,” Ziva said. “Did he--his, ah, blog, I think, said he had dinner with some friends right before the accident?”

“Yes,” MUCM Hartley said. She was Caucasian, short, brown hair back in a regulation ponytail, but her eyes were red-rimmed. “I was one of them--it was a trumpet section dinner.”

“Who else was there?” Gibbs asked.

MUCM Hartley rattled off eleven other names; Gibbs caught Ziva’s eye, and she was already writing them down.

“Where did you eat?” Ziva asked.

“We went to the Chinese buffet on 14th,” MUCM Hartley said. “Half the section, it seems, is training for a marathon, even if no one is--was--going to be as fast as Steve, and everyone wanted to eat as much as possible after their Sunday long runs.”

Ziva smiled, just a little. “I can understand that. Can you remember what Musician Norton ate?”

MUCM Freer chuckled; even Captain Bell smiled. “Everything,” MUCM Hartley said. “Everything, and then some. He was notorious for how much he ate. He’d steal things off your plate if you weren’t looking, and even sometimes if you were.”

“Did that happen at the buffet?”

“Yes,” MUCM Hartley said. “Oh, absolutely. You have to understand--” She blinked, and looked away for a moment. “He was such a sweet guy. Never got in on the, ah, ego-comparison of the rest of the section.”

MUCM Freer chuckled again, but nodded. “He was a good guy,” he said. “Honestly, not a single person minded when he stole their food.”

Ziva blinked a couple times, and then wrote in her notebook.

“Did Musician Norton have any particular friends in the band other than his section mates?” Gibbs asked.

“His roommate, Christopher Brummett,” MUCM Hartley said. “He’s a saxophone player. Also he had a running buddy who was a JAG officer; I don’t know his name. Chris might.”

Gibbs nodded, writing all of that down. “Do you know where Musician Brummett is?”

“Probably back at his apartment,” MUCM Hartley said. “He . . . hasn’t been taking it very well.” She shook her head. “Most of us aren’t. We’re in the Navy Band, Agent Gibbs. We’re musicians. Death isn’t . . . something we expect at all times.”

“Even if it’s a car accident,” Captain Bell added. “Musician Norton was a hell of a trumpet player, and a hell of a sailor, Agent Gibbs, Agent David. I hope whatever you’re investigating turns out to nothing and we can let his memory rest in peace.”

Gibbs stood. “I’m hoping that’s true as well, Captain, Master Chief Musicians.”

--

“What’s up, Abs?”

Abby looked up from her computer screen. “Well, I found something,” she said.

“What is is?”

“I have no idea,” she said.

Gibbs raised an eyebrow.

“No, seriously--I have no idea. I have never seen anything like this before.” She put a picture of something that looked, well, vaguely spongey, up on the wall screen. “This,” she said, “is a slide of Musician Norton’s brain. That right there--” She pointed to one section. “--looks like a prion disease--a spongiform encephalopathy.”

“Why does that sound vaguely familiar?” Gibbs asked.

“Probably because bovine spongiform encephalopathy is the real name for mad cow disease. You knew that? Good for you!”

He rolled his eyes. “Go on, Abs.”

“Well, this section over here--” She pointed to a different part of the image. “--looks like a viral infection.”

It looked different. He left the details to Abby and her big brain. “So he has mad cow disease and a cold.”

“That might just be it, except first, it’s not mad cow disease--that’s a different prion--and it’s not the cold virus, although I have no idea what virus it is. And second, see this section here?” She pointed to a third part of the image. “That looks like a combination of the two.”

“Is that possible?”

“No!” Abby said, and turned to look at him, her lab coat swirling behind her. “No, it’s not possible. It should not be possible. Viruses have RNA, and prions are malformed proteins--I mean, they’re two entirely different things. I’ve looked at five or six more slides and I’ve sent a set down to Atlanta and I’ve got an appointment with people from Georgetown in about half an hour, which means I should probably go, but Gibbs, this isn’t actually medically possible.”

“Okay,” he said. “Well, figure out what it is.”

She nodded quickly. “I will. I will absolutely figure out what this is.”

“Is it transmissible?”

“Probably,” she said. “Viruses can transmit via aerosolized particles, and so can prions. We should probably all be wearing full haz-mat suits everywhere--or at least masks, like you’re supposed to during flu season but no one ever does. But I have to go.” She pulled a handful of surgery masks out of a drawer and handed them to him. “Here.”

Gibbs took the masks and let her herd him out of her lab.

--

McGee and DiNozzo had just returned, when Gibbs and Abby got upstairs. “What d’ya got?”

“Boss, we found . . .” DiNozzo held up a bag of samples.

“Fecal matter,” McGee said, before DiNozzo could finish it. “At all three sites.”

“Well, now we know why he stopped,” Ziva said.

“We also found one of these.” It was a small plastic bottle, maybe an inch and a half long; it couldn’t have held more than an ounce or two. “There’s still some stuff in the bottom. We think it’s probably Musician Norton’s because he had a blog entry from a couple days ago about experimenting with making his own gels.”

Gibbs blinked.

“Running food. And by the last of his pit-stops, there was a stream; we found running-shoe footprints that match Musician Norton’s preferred brand of running shoes. Looks like he ran out of his own water and decided to drink out of the stream.” McGee held up a small bottle of water.

“Ack!” Abby said, waving her hands. “I’d love to test all of that but I have a meeting!”

“Go, go,” Gibbs said.

“We’ll leave the samples on your desk,” McGee said.

“Thanks!” She turned theatrically on a heel and left, almost running.

“Well, we can’t do anything until she gets back,” DiNozzo said.

“Yes, you can,” Gibbs said. He ripped a page off of his notepad. “Go to the Chinese buffet, get samples from their food, and if they have it, the names of as many people who were there that evening as possible. Take Ziva.”

“On it, Boss.”

“I’ll . . . check into the car accident?” McGee said.

“You can do that until Musician Norton’s roommate gets here,” Gibbs said.

--

Musician Brummett showed up about forty-five minutes later; he was also African-American and bald, but in his late twenties. “I thought Steve died in a car crash, sir,” he said.

“He did,” Gibbs said, “but there were irregularities in the autopsy.”

“We’re just making sure that everything is fine,” McGee said.

Musician Brummett still looked a little suspicious, but he nodded.

“Did you see Musician Norton on Sunday?” Gibbs asked.

“I did, sir,” Musician Brummett said. “After he came back from his run, I was practicing, but I stopped to talk to him for a few minutes.”

“Did he say anything interesting?”

“I tuned most of it out,” Brummett said, with a wry half-smile. “I usually do, when he starts talking about running. He did say something about drinking out of a stream somewhere out in Maryland, though.”

Gibbs nodded.

“I think he said he was throwing up or something? I don’t really remember. Again, that running stuff. I mean, I run some, but I usually just throw on shoes and go.” Brummett shrugged.

“Throwing up before he drank out of the stream, or later?” McGee asked.

“Later. Actually, he ran for the bathroom halfway through the conversation. He does that sometimes. I’m not particularly squeamish, so I barely even register it when he does.”

“Is that normal?”

“I guess,” Brummett said. “I waited for him at the end of his last race and he definitely threw up there. He wasn’t sick on Saturday or anything.”

“Okay,” Gibbs said, and handed him a card. “If you remember anything else that happened, anything out of the ordinary, give us a call.”

“I will, sir.”

--

“What would cause a runner to throw up?” McGee asked Gibbs, after Musician Brummett left.

Gibbs raised an eyebrow at him.

“On it, Boss.” He turned to the elevator, and then said, “I guess this means I need to go collect a sample.”

“Go.”

--

Ziva and DiNozzo came back with disgusted looks on their faces. “Remind me never to eat there,” Ziva said, and held the sample bag out at arm’s length.

Gibbs chuckled, and sent them out to interview the rest of Musician Norton’s section-mates.

--

Abby returned about an hour after lunch. “They don’t know anything, Gibbs,” she said. “They couldn’t tell me a thing that I didn’t know already. On the other hand, maybe some of this stuff will.” She’d already spread out all the samples across the table.

“Call me when you have something.”

“I always do. Or you just show up anyway.”

--

“I think I figured it out, Boss, but Abby will need to confirm for me,” McGee said when Gibbs got back to his desk. “Hyponatremia.”

“Oh?”

“It’s happened to Musician Norton before,” McGee said, and put one of Norton’s blog posts, or whatever they were called, up on the monitor. “It’s what happens when a runner gets dehydrated, and drinks too much water. It can cause basically similar symptoms to heat stroke: fever, chills, vomiting, confusion, et cetera. His sodium levels get too low, and things stop working.”

“Well, get Abby to confirm, and then tell me what that has to do with anything.”

--

Abby called both McGee and Gibbs down an hour later or so. “I have a lot of results, but I haven’t put it all together yet,” she said. “But! I definitely know a few things. Musician Norton definitely had hyponatremia when he, ah, produced this sample.” She pointed to a point on the map. “That was after he drank out of this stream, which has strangely high levels of KOH--potash--in the water, as well as nitrates, and some weird amino acids and sugar. No bacteria, but it looks like a little too much fertilizer in the water.” She tapped the map again.

“There was a garden right next to the stream,” McGee said. “We got a sample of the dirt, I think.”

“You did,” Abby said, “and I tested it, and there are no normal fertilizers in it, but again, a lot of potash and nitrates and amino acids. Whose garden was it?”

McGee pulled out his phone. “It’s the Life Garden, and it’s run by a funeral home,” he said, flipping through the pictures with one fingertip. “The Duvall-Rainey Funeral Home. It’s located about half a mile away.”

“Funeral home? Life Garden?” Abby said.

“Yes,” McGee said, and showed her a picture on his phone; Gibbs leaned over, and saw that it was a picture of the sign.

“Give me just a second,” Abby said, and brought up the funeral home’s website. “Oh, my God,” she said. “It’s--oh, my God.”

“What, Abs?”

“Alkaline hydrolysis,” she said. “Resomation. It’s--they take the bodies, and turn them into this weird brownish syrupy-stuff, and then it can either go into the sewage treatment system or, or some places let the families use it to water a--”

“--Life Garden,” McGee said. “And it got into the stream, and--”

“Zombies!” Abby said, and grinned.

“There’s no such thing as zombies,” Gibbs said reflexively, and then said, “Okay, so prove it.”

“Oh, give me time,” she said, “and I will prove that there are zombies and that drinking water with corpses in it did it. Alkaline hydrolysis will be illegal like that.” She snapped.

Gibbs rolled his eyes.

--

Gibbs sent the team home at eight; they were essentially waiting on Abby’s samples to turn something up, and there was no point in making them sit around at work. He went home an hour or so after that, and went straight to the basement, picking up a finger plane and sitting by the work table.

A half hour of turning cedar into gerbil bedding, and he heard the door close upstairs. It was safe to assume he knew who the visitor was--and it was probably Sam--but . . . He looked over at the bench, where his gun was sitting; the safety was on, but he could still get to it fairly easily. There was a saw or two that he could use to remove the thing’s head, as well.

No. There was no such thing as zombies, even if Abby kept saying she could prove it. Besides, those were definitely Sam’s footsteps, and he could see her feet as she walked down the stairs. “So, zombies,” she said.

“I’m not even going to ask how you know,” he said, and stood, brushing shavings off his clothing.

Sam laughed as she rounded the corner by the table to meet him, and kissed him briefly. “Still working on the chest?” she asked.

“Yep,” he said, and gestured to the new part of the design he’d been piecing together. “It should be done in time.”

“Good,” she said, and her smile turned a little more devious. “How much more work do you need to get done tonight?”

He made a show of looking at the plane, at the pieces of wood strewn on the table, and at his plans before saying, “Oh, I could probably be done for the evening.”

“Good.”

--

Sam didn’t stay, of course, but Gibbs was pleasantly asleep when his phone rang. “Yeah, Gibbs,” he said, once he found it.

“Sorry to call you, Agent Gibbs, but you asked to be notified if anyone on that list you gave us was admitted to the hospital or turned up dead.”

He didn’t recognize the voice of the agent on the other end, but that didn’t matter. “What happened?”

“Ah, a Musician First Class Vera Lockett committed suicide around 10 P.M. She was discovered an hour later by her roommate. Her body was transferred to the high-risk haz-mat unit at Bethesda, as per Dr. Mallard’s directions.”

“Thank you, Agent,” he said. He was pretty sure that Lockett was another trumpet player and had been at the Chinese buffet. “I’ll be there shortly. Anything else?”

“No, sir, that’s it.”

--

He got there and suited up just in time, apparently, to see Musician Lockett re-animate and break out of the secure room.

“Oh, my God!” someone yelled. “It’s getting away!”

It? She? Gibbs wasn’t sure. A good deal of the medical staff fled, but Gibbs charged straight at the former musician, who . . . flinched?

She--it--started to turn and run from him, but he tackled her and held her down, with the help of a couple other people, while one of the surgeons, wearing a full haz-mat suit, used a bone saw to cut its head off and then remove the brain.

He watched as all three parts were put in separate rooms, the body strapped down to the table and the jaw of the head immobilized. It was pretty disgusting, but Gibbs mostly felt glad to know that the corpse was down for good.

He hoped.

--

“Wait, so the zombie tried to run away from you? What is it? Omigod, Gibbs, I need to do tests! I need blood samples, hair samples . . . I mean, I have those on file but I need more recent ones, like, from today. And what did you eat? And what have you done for the last few days? Where have you been? And what about your soap and shampoo and aftershave--” Abby stopped, her eyes wide. “That’s it. Sawdust. You don’t wear aftershave.”

Gibbs raised his eyebrows at her. “Sawdust?”

“You always smell like sawdust, a little, and also sort of gun oil and maybe varnish or something if you’re finishing something rather than starting it, but--” She leaned in and sniffed. “You’re not. I mean, you don’t smell like varnish right now. You smell like cedar or something.”

He nodded. “Cedar chest.” He’d showered, but the scent tended to linger.

“I need some cedar right now!”

--

A couple hours later, Abby had fashioned a weapon of sorts, and came up to deliver them.

“It looks like a tiki torch, Abby,” DiNozzo said.

“Well, Tony, that’s because it used to be a tiki torch,” she said, grinning at him. She’d sawed the poles down to about four feet, but they were still recognizable as, well, tiki torches. “It’s full of cedar instead of citronella, and it should scare off any zombies, or at least give you a few moments. Not that they’re zombies, because zombies don’t exist in your world, I know,” she said, although Gibbs hadn’t so much as raised an eyebrow. “Here. Everyone gets one.” She passed out a cedar torch to each of the members of the team. “You shouldn’t need to light it on fire, but it will set on fire.”

The elevator opened as DiNozzo and McGee started pretending to sword-fight with the tiki torches. “Do I get one?” Sam asked.

“Dr. Ryan,” Abby said, turning to face her. “I only had enough cedar for four, which means Gibbs, Tony, Tim, and Ziva, and the next one goes to Ducky, although at the moment he’s locked in autopsy trying to figure out how to disinfect everything in there with ozone and bleach. But I’ll put you on the list after that?”

Sam smiled. “That’s fine, Abby. I’ll try to stay out of the line of fire.”

“You should,” Gibbs said. “This isn’t exactly a case requiring your particular skill set.”

“Oh, I know,” Sam said. “I just wanted to be prepared when the zombie apocalypse comes.”

“That,” Abby said, “is a sentiment I can absolutely get behind. Have you been doing your cardio?”

“Of course,” Sam said, and she and Abby grinned at each other.

Gibbs had the strange feeling he was missing something, but was certain he didn’t want it explained, so he said, “I think we’re hoping there are no more incidents, Abs.”

“Just you wait,” she said darkly, and he rolled his eyes.

--

“Gibbs! I figured it out! Well, the guys at the CDC and I figured it out. Well, not all of it, but one of the problems.”

“What, Abs?” he said. “Should I come down?”

“No, I can explain this over the phone. I mean, I think I can. The salt is the key.”

“How so?”

“Well, when Musician Norton--let’s call him Patient 0--got infected with the prion, it was when he had a high concentration of sodium in his system, because he was dehydrated. Then he drank too much water, and the sodium level got too low.”

“That was almost in English, Abs. I’m proud of you.”

“Thank you, Gibbs! Anyway, after his sodium levels got too low, he went to the Chinese buffet where, well, let’s face it, his sodium levels got way too high. Then he died, and turned--and re-animated.”

“What does that mean for the disease?” Hey, as long as she wasn’t calling them zombies anymore, he was happy.

“The guys at the CDC made a culture and exposed it to various levels of salt,” she said. “As long as the salt stayed super-high or super-low, either the prion or the virus was able to survive, and would--they’d kind of keep the other alive. It’s a weird sort of symbiotic thing. So Norton’s wildly-varying salt levels basically were perfect for this. But if the salt stayed in a certain range, it would die in about twenty-four hours.”

“So what you’re saying is--”

“I’m saying that even though all of us are probably infected--I need blood samples, by the way, from everyone--as long as we don’t get dehydrated or drink unhealthy amounts of water, we’re fine. I mean, not that any of us were going to die, because obviously the infection doesn’t mean anything unless we die and then we’ll, uh, re-animate. Probably by now we’re all clean, unless one of us drank a bottle of soy sauce.”

“Might want to check with DiNozzo,” he said, and she laughed. “So do we need to be worried about anyone else?”

“Well, traces of the prion and virus both appeared in several of the dishes at the Chinese buffet, most likely because Norton was there and, I don’t know, sneezed on the food or something.”

“His CO said he was a food-stealer.”

“Yeah, that would do it,” she said. “So anyone else who was at the buffet the rest of the evening, who drank too much water or ate too much Chinese food might be at risk.”

“I’ll have McGee check.”

“I mean, they’ll be fine as long as they don’t die.”

“Of course.”

--

Abby’s blood tests proved everyone clean except Ziva, who had apparently gone to the gym last night. “What?” she said. “It was a stressful day. I needed to exercise.”

Abby sat her down in a chair in her office and said, “You’re not moving for the next 24 hours, and I’m going to test your blood every hour and give you salt or water as necessary until you are not likely to turn into a zombie if you die, because I don’t want to have to remove your brain.”

“Well, thank you, Abby,” Ziva said after a moment. “That is very sweet. I would not want to have to remove your brain, either.”

“And what am I supposed to do without one of my agents, Abby?” Gibbs asked.

“She’s helping me,” Abby said, and crossed her arms.

Well. Okay then.

--

“Boss,” McGee said as he hung up his phone. “We’ve got a problem.”

“What kind of problem, McGee?”

“They just discovered a bus crash outside of Gettysburg. The bus driver apparently had a heart attack, and lost control of the vehicle, driving it off a bridge.”

“And?”

“The bus was full of tourists, who, two nights ago, ate dinner at the Chinese buffet on 14th.”

“Grab your torches,” Gibbs said. “Let’s go.”

--

Later, McGee would lament that he never got a picture of DiNozzo battling zombies with a tiki torch. DiNozzo would lament that he never got a picture of McGeek battling zombies with a tiki torch. Abby would lament that she didn’t get more samples to study. Ziva would lament that she didn’t actually get to fight zombies.

Gibbs would just roll his eyes, because there still wasn’t any such thing as zombies.