He had been in positions in his life where he had been scared. Many in his childhood at the hands of his father, having to shoot his father at eleven and dealing with the aftermath. Almost losing Kensi before they could be married, but this… this was terrifying.
It was midday in Los Angeles, he knew this because the watch on his wrist glowed in the unnatural darkness. It should not be this dark. He would have understood if he had been in a basement or locked in a room, but he was not. He was alone… but at the same time, not alone.
It had, it seemed to him, been days since he had gone to meet a contact, who had insisted on meeting him here. They had made him as a cop, someone in the Los Angeles police department had mentioned to the members of the Varrio Nuevo Estrada, that the blonde surfer they had accepted into their ranks was actually a cop.
Wary of killing a cop and bringing down more interest than they needed on their current project, they had offered Marty an ‘in’ on their latest deal, insisting it took place in the abandoned Linda Vista Hospital in the center of their district.
Once there, they had made their deal and Marty had been jumped, beaten and shot up with a drug. He had not known what they had shot him up with, but it had made him very susceptible to suggestion. That much he knew; when they told him that it was always night and there was no way out of the building for him, he believed it. Every time he looked out of the windows or pounded on the glass, he could see nothing of the outside world. If that hadn’t been scary enough, the voices had started.
“Leave him, let him rot. The bruja has a surprise planned for him.” The leader of the gang of men said as he turned and left Deeks curled up on the floor.
It had been small things at first, Marty had just assumed it was the drug, he had tried to calm himself, then the touching… the door slamming… and a woman. She had just stood there, blood dripping down her face, then she had opened her mouth and screamed.
He had tried to move forward and help her, as her eyes looked into his with fear and horror on her face, then a slow twisted smile graced her features. She vanished. He screamed.
He did not care if anyone heard him. He had never been this scared in his life, not even when he had thought he was going to lose Kensi… Kensi, the love of his life, she was the anchor he clung to. She was alive, he was alive, this was not real.
It was the drug… it was the drug, wasn’t it?
He wandered the lonely corridors, noises, making him jump. He wished he had his phone, he made it to the main doors of the building, but they were sealed. Pulling with all his might he could not open them, he beat on the door with his fists until they were sore and bloody, someone outside must be able to hear him.
One final hope, Versey… Versey was his handler; he should know by now that something was wrong, after all it had been two days, according to the date on his watch since he had set foot in the building for the meet. He reached for his phone; it was dead.
He could not understand how it could be dead; it had been fully charged when he had walked into the building and he had switched it off until he needed it. Now he needed it and it was dead!
Then he heard it, a voice more terrifying than anything else he had heard so far, and worse than anything else, the voice was familiar, one he had never wanted to hear again.
"Maaaaaaarrrrttttttyyyyyy…” the disembodied voice laughed at him in the darkness. ”You’re mine now boy….”
The footsteps and the breathing followed him as he ran down a corridor banging on the glass on the windows, trying to break one and escape from what seemed to him to be a never-ending nightmare.
Deeks flinched as he felt hands, he could not see, grabbing his shoulders.
He slid down the wall, a feeling of despair washing over him, “Kensi…” He sighed, dropping his head to his knees and pulling himself into a fetal position.
“What do you mean he’s missing?” Kensi yelled down the phone in the main bullpen at the Mission.
Callen and Sam stopped doing their paperwork, Callen turning his chair to face her, Sam stood up and walked over to her desk.
Callen cocked an eyebrow questioningly at her as she stood up and started pacing.
‘Call Eric.’ She mouthed as she paced. “Where was he when you last heard from him?” she asked.
She waited as the person on the other end replied.
“It’s not good enough; you were his handler… for God’s sake Versey, you should have called me earlier… no… look let me see what I can do from this end. I know… I’ll call you back.” Kensi all but threw her phone onto her desk.
“What’s wrong?” Callen asked as Eric and Hetty moved over to join them.
“Deeks is missing.” Kensi said, her face full of concern for her partner. “Versey was his handler, he was going to meet with Deeks when his car was T-boned at an intersection, he’s just got out of the E.R and he found out that no one took over the meet. He’s called around but no one has heard from Deeks in 2 days.”
Callen frowned, “He hasn’t even called you?” He asked.
Kensi shook her head, “No, but I hadn’t expected him to. He’s been under as Max for a month. We were going to meet at a bar this weekend, he was gonna pick me up and we were going to….” She trailed off and looked away.
“Did he tell you anything about the assignment?” Sam asked.
Kensi shook her head, “Nothing… Hetty?” She asked as the smaller woman walked into the bullpen.
“I was informed that Mr. Deeks had infiltrated the Varrio Nuevo Estrada. The VNE have been selling arms and trafficking in the area of Boyle Heights. Mr. Deeks under the alias of Max Gentry had an in through a contact. A number of young women have gone missing and he volunteered to use his contact to help bring the head of the gang to justice. As Max he was due to meet with Detective Versey a few days ago, however, as you now know Detective Versey was in a car accident. Unfortunately, Detective Versey has Mr. Deeks down as his next of kin so until Detective Versey was able to tell us about his meeting no one knew he was missing.” Hetty told them.
“So what do we know?” Sam asked as the group walked into the operations center to face Hetty, Eric and Nell.
“We know that Detective Deeks had found a supply line of a group selling arms and drugs to the NVE, I have talked to Detective Versey and he was unable to tell anyone else about the meeting as he was involved in an accident, he had expected a call from Detective Deeks, but there has been nothing. Word had filtered down that the NVE knew there was a police officer in their ranks.” Hetty looked to her team leader gravely as what she said filtered in.
“Deeks has been made.” Callen surmised.
Hetty nodded grimly, “I assume so.”
Kensi paled as she gripped the table for support, “He’s ….” She was unable to put words to the thought that gripped her heart.
“We don’t know.” Hetty said, looking at the junior agent with sympathy.
“Eric?” Kensi asked as the technical operator started tapping buttons.
His phone was last active in Boyle Heights, I have him on camera going into the abandoned Linda Vista Hospital, but he didn’t come out with the others. Eric told them as he and Nell ran through footage and Nell gasped.
“He’s alive….” She stopped as a crease crossed her forehead. She leaned forward.
“Miss Jones?” Hetty’s voice cut through her concentration.
“Look!” Nell moved what she had been looking at, to the large monitor.
Deeks’ face appeared at a window. There was no glass in the window, but he was frantically trying to open it, placing his face where, had there been glass in the window, it would have pressed against the glass. He cupped his hands around his eyes as if trying to see, but it was daylight.
A few moments later, he was at a door, the door had opened onto a deserted parking lot in the rear. Deeks had stood at the threshold, not moving, his hands pummeling on fresh air, but blood started to appear on his hands.
Suddenly, he had turned back into the building and run out of sight.
The three agents stared at the screen in shock; Deeks had looked terrified.
“We need to get to him.” Sam voiced what they had all been thinking.
“Why did he go back inside; he was there… at the door… why did he bang his fists on the air?” Callen asked.
“We need to go now, Hetty.” Kensi said, waiting for the go ahead from their boss.
“You’re going in there?!” Eric sounded worried, as the Agents had turned and headed for the door.
Kensi whirled back, “What do you know Eric?” She asked
“Linda Vista Hospital… it’s haunted.”
Sam rolled his eyes, “There’s no such things as ghosts Eric.” He sighed.
Callen laughed as he turned to follow Sam, “If we find any, we’ll say hi from you!” he called out.
Eric looked worried as the team filed out.
Nell looked over at him, “Ghosts? Really Eric!”
“You don’t believe in them?” Eric asked, awed.
“Until they can be proved scientifically I don’t, but I do believe there is something out there.” She capitulated with a small understanding smile.
Eric stared at the still frame that sat on the monitor in ops, and the look of fear on the face of the NCIS Liaison officer.