Take it back

By Gina Mae Callen

Mystery / Drama

Chapter 14

Tim sat in interrogation with Balboa sitting across the desk from him.

He knew that this time he was not the suspect but felt guilty as both Shane and Tom McGee were family, ok so it turned out they were not really but he had grown up with Tom as his uncle and the Admiral as his father.

"Ok Tim, where do you want to start?" Balboa asked him.

Tim wondered where to start and decided the best way was just to tell him everything.

"In the 80's at MIT I was a Hacker known as Phoenix and founded a small group of hackers called Phoenix Fire. We did small things nothing ever really damaging although we did hack the CIA, FBI and the Pentagon a few times," He admitted with a small smile.

"And how did Shane McGee and Tom McGee get involved in this?" Balboa prodded.

"The Admiral…Shane McGee was my father….or so I was led to believe at the time. He was for want of a better word an abusive man when it came to me, a tough but fair Admiral to his crew and a doting father to his daughter Sarah. He was thrilled when I left home to go to MIT, he was finally rid of me. I had a good relationship, or so I thought with my Uncle Tom." Tim took a deep breath.

"It turned out my fa….The Admiral, had asked Tom to befriend me, he had heard about my hacking through a conversation I had with Sarah, my half sister. He thought it could be used to make money for him."

"You had said in a past interview that Tom McGee and Shane McGee started blackmailing you…when was that?" Balboa asked.

"When I joined FLETC. They wanted me to hack more government databases for them, I wouldn't but they made me show Tom how to do it." Tim admitted.

"Made you?" Balboa asked.

"Every weekend we were off rotation I would visit my mother and Sarah. The Admiral left me instructions to teach Uncle Tom about computers. I thought I was making the Admiral proud of me." Tims' voice dropped, as he felt ashamed to admit that.

"I tried to stop when I found out what they were doing." Tim said. "They were using the Admiral's clearance to hack into the naval systems database using my old hacking pass codes. Leaving my electronic footprints for others to find."

"Did you try and stop them at any point?" Balboa asked.

"Yes. Two weeks after I joined Agent Gibbs' team, I discovered what they were up to. I had been ordered back I thought because my mother was sick. The Admiral had sent her and Sarah away on a cruise for Sarah's birthday. He hired a lock up. I am not sure where it was. He had me book a week off work, H.R records can confirm this."

Tim took a sip of water. He did not want to tell them the next part.

"I….I need to know there is no one from my team watching." Tim said suddenly.

Balboa nodded towards the glass and the Tech next door switched on the light. The room was empty, save for the technician.

Tim sighed. "Sorry, it's just… This is hard for me, I don't want to lose their respect." He admitted.

"The Admiral had played me. He had not talked to me in seven years at this point, which was how I liked it; He had started blackmailing me at FLETC they took $1000 a month from me to ensure they would not tell anyone about me being Phoenix. I had stopped that but Tom had planted a trail that meant if I double-crossed them, I would go down for their crimes. When my book was published they took all the royalties but since then I haven't had enough money to pay them." He admitted.

He paused and took another sip of water.

"So your Mother was sick, or so you thought and the Admiral and Tom McGee lured you home..."

"I had run out of money to pay them, and Tom had a great idea that if they hacked the Naval database they could sell secrets, but I had already gone in and added extra firewalls to the routes I knew they would use. The Admiral and Tom got mad and they took me to the lock up where Tom kept his computers and tried to force me to clear my firewalls out of the way."

"Did you?" Balboa asked.

"No, I am a Federal Agent and won't put my job or my principles at risk," Tim stated.

"I take it they didn't like that." Balboa said

Tim smiled a sad smile, "I never could please the Admiral, and I don't know why he expected me to this time. So I didn't and he, as usual, punished me."

"As usual?"

Tim took his jacket off and lifted his shirt to show hundreds of white lines, "His favorite way was the belt although he would hit me as well as long as other people didn't see," Tim laughed sourly "Oh and his best weapon was his mouth."

Balboa waited.

"The Admiral can be very creative in the amount of ways he lets me know I shouldn't be allowed to live. How I was a complete waste of space and how NCIS would function a lot better without me. He kept telling me my own father had worked with me for years and hadn't told me because I was a useless excuse for a son."

Balboa hurt for his friend, Tim had always been there to support anyone who needed it and yet he was so hurt and had never hurt anyone himself.

"I know that any secrets they had managed to get would be useless to anyone else, I managed to install a program in their computers, they could see the information but the second they downloaded it the information would be corrupted so they couldn't use it. I didn't want them to be caught selling secrets."

"But if they had, they would have gone to prison, why didn't you let anyone know."

"It would have hurt my mother and Sarah… and …. He was my father." Tim said feeling ashamed.

"Thank you Tim," Balboa said shaking his friends' hand, "This will help a lot."



Tim nodded and walked out of interrogation. As he turned the corner, he heard a familiar voice.

"You ran crying to daddy then, you sniveling little whelp!" the voice yelled at him.

Tim flinched in terror and turned to see Admiral Shane McGee being physically restrained by two NCIS Agents.

"I….." Tim's voice failed him.

Shane McGee knocked the two guards holding him down and barreled headfirst into Tim. "You ruined my career boy, you still telling them lies….DO THEY KNOW WHAT YOU ARE!"

Tim slid down the wall and let out a whimper.

"No more." He said quietly.

"What d'ya say to me boy!" McGee said squaring up to Tim

Tim pushed himself back up the wall. "I said No more! You are NOT my father, you do not have the right to treat me like that anymore and YOU just assaulted a Federal Agent, which you will now have added to your charges." He squared up to the Admiral and looked him in the eye. "Oh, and you were a lousy excuse for a father too!" Then Tim smiled a feral smile "And Admiral, yes they do know what I am … I am a Gibbs."

Watching all the color drain from Admiral McGee's face Tim nodded to the two agents who regained their hold of him and took him away.

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