Abby quickly weighed up the pros and cons of what she was about to do.
She took a long look at Tim and realized even though they were not together anymore she still cared about him and if it were her she would want him to do the same thing.
"Timmy was being blackmailed. He would not tell me who by, but he knew them and the blackmail hurt him deeply. It is where the last of the money from his book went and it is why he cannot afford to live anywhere better. They took his last twenty thousand dollars and he pays them a thousand a month still out of his pay check."
Gibbs looked astounded, "Do you have any information at all on the guy who's blackmailing him?" He felt a mixture of anger and fear.
"Nothing, I know he met him on the 28th of each month to make his payments and he usually came home quiet and bruised. He wouldn't talk to me and tried to brush it off but it kept happening and he ended up telling me but swore me to secrecy." Abby was openly crying.
She knew what she was doing was right, but it felt like a betrayal and it hurt.
Gibbs stormed out of the room and into interrogation.
"You can't corroborate your whereabouts and yet you expect us to believe you had nothing to do with the lieutenant's death?" Vance said to Tim incredulously.
"He didn't I can prove it." Gibbs said
"Agent Gibbs, you cannot interfere or I will have you removed from the building." Vance said.
Vance stood up to remove Gibbs and Gibbs turned to Tim, "Tell them about the blackmail." He said desperate to exonerate his son.
"NO!" Tim stood up, "You're not supposed to know about that, who told?" he said.
Gibbs looked at Vance who moved and let him into the room.
"Tim, Abby told me, she doesn't want you to go to jail. Please Tim, who is blackmailing you?"
Tim looked at his feet and sank back into the chair defeated, "There's nothing you can do, and I can't stop him." He said quietly.
Gibbs crouched down and looked Tim in the eye, "Who is it Tim, who's blackmailing you."
" My Da...Shane McGee. He knew about Phoenix from when I was in MIT, he and Uncle Tom decided to blackmail me when I joined NCIS." Tim blinked back a tear he hoped no one saw. "When my book came out Uncle Tom figured out it was me that wrote it and they took the last twenty thousand. They said if I ever…" Tim broke off trying to get his fear and breathing under control.
"And they have been taking money from your wages?" Vance asked.
"$1000 a month. It leaves me with just enough for bus fares and my apartment. Sometimes food." He admitted.
"And yet you still help out your neighbor?" Gibbs asked amazed after hearing that of his son's generosity.
"They need it," He said simply. "So now you know I couldn't have killed the lieutenant on the 28th as that is Shane's regular payday and then he beats me and I go home and ice up before work the next day." He said in a matter of fact voice.
"Although..." he trailed off thinking hard.
"Although?" Vance prompted.
"Uncle Tom taught me all I knew about computers; he is as good as I am and could easily have pretended to be me online." Tim offered.
"Yes, fine…." Jarvis snapped feeling this interview starting to shift in a direction where Tim was not guilty and he was not liking it at all. "But what about the recent Hacking and moving of information on a secure Navy server. Only you had access to that." He accused Tim.
"Actually anyone with Navy clearance and half a brain can hack into that." Tim snapped tiredly.
"Yes maybe but according to our cybercrimes unit it was your unique signature." Jarvis argued.
"Tom..." Tim said realizing what had happened and feeling sicker by the minute.
"Uncle Tom used my fathers' clearance. They are identical twins and can quite easily pass for each other."
"So?" Jarvis baited.
"So, My father is Admiral McGee, he has clearance to any part of any ship in port." Tim said.
"We need to pick them up." Gibbs said and breathed a small sigh of relief as Vance agreed with him. "I need Tim to help." He said.
"He is NOT going anywhere." Jarvis stated, "He is still under arrest for the hacking of the pentagon in the '80's." He was determined now he had found his quarry he was not letting him get away.
"If Tom McGee is as good as you seem to think he his I need Tim to make sure no serious damage has been done and I will need him to track him." Gibbs argued.
"Fine! However, he will be accompanied at all times by two field Agent Keating and Agent Brown from Cyber-crimes. He will NOT be allowed access to his weapon." Jarvis demanded.
Vance looked at Gibbs in a silent, 'He is SecNav, be grateful he allowed that' look.
Gibbs nodded once, "Tim!" he called and Tim followed him.
As they entered the bullpen, Agents strained to look at Tim. Most fell back with a glare from Gibbs. Nevertheless, they would look as soon as his head was turned at one of their own being allowed access to the computers but still flanked by three other Agents.
"Tim, is Tom McGee online now?" Gibbs asked.
Tim sat at his computer and pulled up a file.
"What's this?" Russ asked.
"It's a RAT." Tim said, He was tired and even though he understood, the necessity of what SecNav had ordered it irked him.
"Why would you have rodents on your computer?" Ziva asked.
"RAT, Ziva it's a Remote Activation Tool, It gives me backdoor access to any computer I want. It means I can see what Tom is doing on his com….SHIT!" Tim swore and turned to Russ, "He has sniffers, I forgot about those, he's tweaked them. Russ, can you help?"
Russ nodded and sat at Tony's computer.
The pair of them worked in silence for twenty minutes.
"I'm in, Thanks." Tim said.
"That was a tough programme to crack." Russ said awed at its sophistication.
Tim smiled, "I know I designed it." He admitted.
"Tim, I….we in cybercrimes know you're a good guy and didn't do this….also Phoenix was one of my hero's growing up, if we don't get to work with each other again….it's been a thrill." Russ grinned as he sat back and enjoyed watching one of his childhood heroes at work.
"Ok…Da…..Boss, Tom's online right now, he's trying to plant some more bogus evidence." Tim winced at what he had nearly called Gibbs and hoped he had not noticed. He wrote an address down on a piece of paper and passed it to him.
"You're coming with us Tim, You deserve to be there." Gibbs said
Tim nodded and followed flanked by his two bodyguards.