In the Blink of an Eye

Chapter 11

Nell sat alone inside the ops center as she searched all the databases for any information on the men responsible for kidnapping her partner and friend. When Kensi had called her to give her the names, she had told her that she suspected there would most likely be quite the records on each of them, but so far, Nell has been unable to find out anything on either Devlin Fassbender or Ryu Kang.

Nate walked into the room just as Nell suddenly banged her fists down on the computer's keyboard and cried out angrily. The psychologist slowly walked over and sat down in the chair that was usually occupied by Eric, which startled Nell, then she placed her head down in her hands in frustration without saying a word.

Nate spoke softly as he said, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to scare you."

She moved her hands away and then continued searching the databases as she replied, "You didn't. I was just… I was just trying to do my job so that we can find Eric, but so far, nothing is coming up. I mean, these two are ghosts and I'm getting frustrated. Surely, there must be a record for them out there somewhere. If Eric was here…"

"If Eric was here, he would only tell you that you can do this," Nate answered after she cut herself off. "You can. You're only allowing your worry and fear for your friend get in your way of doing what you do best."

"I know," she responded quietly. "I have always been really good at this, but I'm better when I'm with Eric. I never thought I needed any help, especially when Hetty told me that I would be working with a happy-go-lucky, eccentric, computer geek like him. I didn't like him at first, but… Eric grew on me rather quickly. He needs me to find these guys. He's depending on me to find them. What if I can't and Hetty and the others can't get our suspects to talk?"

Nate replied, "Hetty only hires the best to work for her and the reason why she hired you to work here alongside him is because you are just as skilled as he is. You will find him in time, Nell. I'm sure of it."

She turned to look at the team's old friend and answered, "Thank you, Nate. You know, sometimes I wish you were still working here. I'm sure the team made it difficult for you to do your job most of the time, but I get why you're needed. You make us all feel better."

"That's good to hear," Nate responded as he smiled. "Just mention that to the others every once in awhile. I think they'd disagree with you."

"They only pretend to dislike you," Nell replied as she began to run her fingers over her keys again to continue her work. "I think you'd be surprised to know that they miss you being here too."

He was about to say something until Nell suddenly cried out happily, "Yes, I think I've found them! I mean, at least one of them. Nate, you're the best."

He looked up at the screens as he quickly asked, "What have you got?"

"Ryu Kang, was a member of the Black Dragons street gang back in the early 80's and quickly worked his way up to become the leader's right hand until the guy was found dead in his apartment complex," she answered. "I sent a message to an old friend of mine who works for the FBI and he finally got back to me with this information. The cause of death was a knife to the gut. It appears that Kang was suspected of killing his boss himself, but then it was later disproved due to new evidence that suddenly appeared. It looks like a frame up job. A short time later, Kang's record was sealed after he disappeared, which explains why I haven't been able to find anything on him until now. I'm not sure how my friend got his hands on this information, but…"

"It's a good thing that he did," Nate finished for her. "Now, Kang is back and he once again is working under another boss, this Devlin Fassbender. Your friend couldn't find anything on him?"

Nell responded in frustration, "No, unfortunately not and unfortunately, there's no more information on Kang either."

It was then that Hetty and the four agents walked into the ops center as well, then Hetty spoke up asking, "Have you found out anything on our two mystery men, Miss. Jones?"

"We found a little bit on Ryu Kang, but nothing of real help to us right now," the youngest member of the team replied. "He was suspected of killing his old boss, but was cleared of the charges after new evidence pointing to someone else appeared, then disappeared a short time later. Now, he's back and working under someone new."

"What about this, Devlin?" Deeks asked.

Nell turned to look between her friends as she answered, "He's a complete ghost. It's like he doesn't exist."

Kensi responded, "Or he's changed his name to avoid people like us from looking into him."

"What about the suspects you guys have in custody?" Nate asked Hetty and the others. "Were they able to give you anything to help us?"

"Kitchell refused to give us anything and Dorn sang like a bird, but unfortunately, he couldn't tell us anything that can help us find Eric," Callen replied in frustration. "If we can manage to find either Kang or Fassbender, we've got a lot of things we can charge them with, but…"

It was then that Nell suddenly interrupted, "I don't know if this will help you, but the apartment complex where Kang's old boss was killed, it is still up, but is extremely worn down and is filled with drug addicts, stoners, and gang members. Very few decent people live there and there's a car garage no longer in service that used to serve as a chop shop right next door until it was closed down by the police. Either place could be the perfect place to hide themselves, Eric, and a giant supercomputer now."

Sam said, "It's the best lead we've got. Good work, Nell. If Eric's there, we'll get him back."

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