Whatever It Takes

Chapter 10

Gibbs and his team, as well as Fornell, arrived at Frank Jefferson's home and found that the man was not home. They began to search through the house for any clues, but it was difficult because the man was a slob. Papers, trash, and clutter was everywhere. Dirty dishes filled the sink and the place looked like it hadn't been cleaned for months.

This led the agents to believe that Frank rarely came home, except maybe to eat and sleep every once in a while. Chances were, they would not find anything that would help them out in finding Tony. Gibbs banged his fist down on the kitchen table in frustration.

A few minutes later, McGee asked for Gibbs and Fornell into another room where Frank had kept a laptop. When they did, McGee hacked into the system and tried to pull up an email that was labeled, "New Contract."

Gibbs asked, "Why isn't it opening, McGee?"

McGee replied, "Because it's encrypted, Boss. I can get into it, but it will take me a few minutes; hold on."

The encryption was more sophisticated than what McGee would have expected to find in this guy's home. From everything the team had learned about Frank, he didn't seem to be someone who was as smart as this. The information that Ziva had found at the gun club showed that he was a great shot, but he was more of a thug than anything else.

Finally, McGee finished the code and the email came up on the screen. It was a message from whoever put the hit out on Tony, saying that they would give $10,000 to whoever was able to kill him. An email address, as well as a contact number, was given for them to be able to respond and give proof that the job was finished, but nothing else. There was also an attachment and when McGee opened it up, a picture of Tony popped up.

"Can you trace this email and the number to whoever it was that sent it, McGee," Gibbs asked?

"I'm trying, but whoever it is, is brilliant," Tim answered. "He's the one who encrypted the email and made the email account for someone who is non-existent. He's also managed to route the cell number through several cell towers. There is no way for me to track either one. I'm sorry, Boss."

Fornell asked, "Is there anything that you can tell us that could be helpful? Is there anything that shows us where Tony is?"

Ziva walked in the room and said, "I may not know where Frank took Tony, but I found something that you need to see. I found a hidden opening in the floor that leads to a cellar. I think that I know who is involved. We just need to figure out who the men are."

Gibbs responded, "Show me."

As Ziva led them down to the cellar, there were two bulletin boards full of pictures. Many of them were of Tony. Everyone saw that Frank had been tailing Tony for some time. Fornell walked over to a small TV with a video camera attached and turned them both on.

The video tape was filmed at some bar downtown. Gibbs and the others focused on the patrons in the bar and watched as Tony walked in. After Tony finished ordering a drink and took a sip, a man appeared on the screen and pulled out something small from his jacket as he walked up behind Tony. It was hard to tell what the object was, but when he suddenly attacked their friend, the team could see that it was a knife.

The video showed Tony struggle with the guy, but within a few minutes, it showed Tony gain the upper hand as he grabbed the knife and slashed it across the man's face. The man screamed and pushed Tony into one of the tables. As Tony struggled to get up, the man bent down and picked up the knife, which Tony had dropped in the fight, and then ran from the bar.

As the video stopped, McGee looked over at Gibbs and saw the anger that was formed on the marine's face and that his fists were clenched. Fornell just looked down and then followed McGee's stare over at his friend.

Ziva just stared ahead until she asked, "Why was there no police report of this fight? There were several witnesses there. Did no one call the police?"

Fornell replied, "I'll do some digging to see if there were any reports, but even if there were, from the video it doesn't look like Tony gave any indication that he was a federal agent. The report never would have come to you."

"I still cannot believe that Tony never told us he was attacked," McGee said.

Gibbs finally spoke up saying, "Both Conway and Finch confirmed that Tony was attacked more than once. Are there any other tapes? It's possible that Jefferson was watching and filming Tony for the other attacks too."

McGee responded, "I don't see any more tapes, but there are more pictures that are not of Tony. I don't recognize any of the men though."

"I recognize one person," Ziva said as she moved one of the pictures that was blocking another one behind it. "It's Tony's father."

"I'm going to go talk to him," Gibbs replied in a very dangerous tone as he turned to walk out of the room. "Ziva, I need you and McGee to bring this evidence back to the base and do what you can to find out who each of these men are. Let me know as soon as you have anything. Have Abby help you."

"I'm going with you, Gibbs," the FBI agent said as they left the house. "You're not exactly in the mood to have a decent talk and I have not yet had the pleasure to meet DiNozzo's father."

Gibbs glared at his friend and answered, "Tony's father is a smug, Bastard and a con man. He and Tony are not close and never were, but I never would have expected the man to be involved in something that would harm his own son."

Fornell responded, "It's possible that he is not involved at all, Jethro. Maybe Frank was just doing a background check on Tony."

"For his sake, I hope you're right, Tobias," Gibbs said. "If he is, I'll kill him."

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