Whatever It Takes

Chapter 8


Tony became conscious once again as someone entered the room. The man walked over and held up a cup of water to Tony's mouth. Tony sipped the water and then lowered his head back down to his chest. He began to cough pretty harshly, but he soon stopped. As the man pulled the cup away, he noticed heat radiating from Tony's skin and sweat beginning to form on his forehead, despite the cold air in the room.

Tony was the first to speak as he said, "So, what can I call you?"

The man replied, "You can call me Frank."

"Well, Frank, thanks for the room service, but I'm afraid that your accommodations are not quite what I was looking for," Tony said. "I've been in a room just like this once and I'm not impressed. Is there any food to go with the water? I'm starving. Also, I could go without hanging like a rack of meat in a butcher's shop. Any chance you can cut me loose?"

Frank replied, "You think that you're pretty funny, don't you? I'm afraid that you're out of luck. Get comfortable. You'll be here for a while longer, at least until I find out if I am getting paid the money I've asked for. Then, eventually you'll die."

"Isn't that what your boss hired you to do in the first place," Tony asked as he coughed again? "Kill me, I mean. Everyone else tried to kill me. So far, you are the only one who wanted to kidnap me. The question is, why? What exactly is your plan?"

"If he doesn't pay me what I am asking for, then I'll take everything I know to the police," he answered. "I dig a little more digging. I wasn't about to kill a federal agent without finding out who it was I am working for. Then, I plan on leaving you down here to die, where no one will find your body. He'll get what he wanted, but he'll have to enjoy it from prison. That is until the day of his execution."

Tony responded, "Ah, blackmail, I see. If you think you'll get more money, you're a fool. Your greed is only going to get you killed. Who wants me dead so badly, that he would risk getting caught and sent to death row?"

"I'm sure that if you thought about who hated you, you'd figure that out," his kidnapper responded.

"Please, I've ticked off more people than I can count," Tony replied as he began to cough again and again. "I'm sure there are a thousand of men who want me dead. Who did I insult this time?"

Instead of answering Tony's question, Frank asked, "Why are you coughing so much? And why are you burning up. You've been here for two days now, but you shouldn't be ill yet."

Tony looked at the man in the eyes and answered, "Have you ever heard of Y. pestis? It's bubonic plague and it's extremely painful. I caught it years ago when a crazy woman sent us a letter filled with it because she wanted NCIS to pay for a crime we didn't commit. I somehow managed to survive, but my lungs took one hell of a beating. They've never been the same since. The cold air and dampness in this room is bringing it back. If you don't want me to die, I suggest you let me go, or at the very least, move me to another prison where the accommodations are not quite so poor."

"I'm afraid that that isn't possible," Frank responded. "I need to keep you in a safe place where no one would think to look for you. I'm just going to have to speed up my plans. My boss will want proof of life before he pays me the money, but once I have it, I will kill you quickly to put you out of your misery. If I don't get the money, I'll leave you to suffer until you die."

After Frank finished talking, he exited the room and Tony was once again left alone. His coughing fits continued. Tony wanted nothing more than to pass out, but he didn't get any relief when he had the plague before and he knew it wasn't going to happen this time.

As Frank headed toward the entrance of the sewer, another man suddenly appeared in front of him, blocking his path. Before he could ask who this stranger was, the man pulled out a gun from under his jacket and shot Frank in the head.

The new guy put the gun back into his jacket and stepped over the body to enter the room where Tony still hung. Tony didn't even bother lifting his head because he expected it to be the man who kidnapped him, thinking that maybe he forgot to mention something. However, as soon as the man spoke, Tony recognized the voice was not coming from Frank, but from a man whom he considered to be an enemy since the day they met, even though he was supposedly a good guy.

"I must say that I never thought I would have this pleasure, DiNozzo, but I am glad to see you like this," he said.

Tony looked up at the man who stood in front of him with shock and asked, "Kort, what on earth are you doing here?"

Kort replied, "As much as I would like to take the credit for bringing you here, I'm afraid that I had had nothing to do with it. I was asked to find the man who was responsible for this and keep him from revealing the truth about his employer to anyone."

"So, Frank's dead then," Tony asked? "Good, now you can let me go so that I can get out of here. I've been missing for more than two days, or so Frank said, and I am sure that my team is searching for me. I could use a nice hot shower."

"I'm afraid that I did not come here to let you go," Kort responded. "The employer still wants you dead and let's just say that the CIA owes him a favor. Before too long, you'll be dead and no one will ever know of mine or the employer's involvement. Gibbs will never learn who killed his precious protégé. Goodbye, Agent DiNozzo!"

With that, Trent Kort walked out of the room and left Tony alone. The CIA agent smiled and left the sewer to go inform Prince Omar Ibn Alwaan that both jobs were done. Tony had been a thorn in his side since the incident with La Grenouille and was very happy that finally DiNozzo was going to die without there being a chance of him getting caught.

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