“So what does everyone have planned for the holidays, the vacation,” one nosey Special Agent enquired of the team.
“I am going skiing with some of my friends from the Secret Service,” Kate smiled sweetly.
“Where to?” Tony now asked, leering suggestively.
“Wouldn’t be secret, if I told you,” as she stuck her tongue out at Tony.
“But skiing… not much fun there, it’s cold,” as he shivered, “But then again, the apres ski, my dad always liked St Moritz. Did I ever tell you he met Brigitte Bardot there?” as Kate nodded, “I prefer somewhere a little warmer and…”
“Tony’s idea of FUN is food, fast cars and forn….” Tim began to say not looking up from his computer screen.
“Aww nice, you think of me DiNozzo,” as a voice spoke from beside Kate, “Morning Agent Todd, how’s working with the cowboys?” as he saw Kate smile sweetly.
“Was thinking more…” Tim tried to reply, now looking up at the figure standing at Gibbs desk.
“Don’t go there McGee,” Gibbs shouted from the bottom of the stairs, “Good to see you Tobias, want to come to MTAC, and I’ll explain what the Director said about the body,” as he turned and double stepped back up.
“Catch you guys later, and yes Agent Todd, I think I would prefer the heat, to snow.”
“Oh I do like Shenandoah National Park in the winter,” Tony began to say sarcastically as they walked through the woods shivering.
“Well I prefer this weather, no hay-fever and Jimmy sneezing, but remember it is the hunting season, don’t make any strange noises, or you could end up dead,” Tim ventured.
“The Park is only open 8am -5pm,” Kate replied looking about. “Tony, how many times have I got to say, don’t do that?” as she watched Tony adjust his trousers.
“What Kate, I’m just rearranging my…”
“I don’t want to know, all I know is that you really have the habits of a gorilla, no I take that back, a gorilla probably has better manners. You are so Neanderthal.”
“They became extinct some 40,000 years ago,” Tim commented.
“Did you know that their average cranial capacity of 1600 cm3, was notably larger than the 1250 to 1400 cm3 average for modern humans,” Ducky added now walking up to the group.
“So you see, big brained,” Tony laughed touching his head and looking at Kate.
“Researchers have reported evidence, that Neanderthals practiced burial behaviour and intentionally buried their dead,” Jimmy now added joining the conversation, and looking into the shallow grave.
“Somehow Mr Palmer, I don’t think we have one here, they were basically Euroasian and lived during the Pleistocene Epoch. Neanderthals’ appearance was similar to ours, however,” now looking at Tony, “Though they were shorter and stockier with angled cheekbones,” pointing to his own, “Prominent brow ridges, and wide noses. Though sometimes thought of as dumb brutes, scientists have discovered that they used tools; they did, as you say bury their dead and controlled fire, among other intelligent behaviours. It is theorized that for a time, Neanderthals, humans and probably other Homo species shared the Earth.”
“Bit like Gibbs team then,” Kate sarcastically replied.
“Oy, can I bring you all back to the 21st century,” Gibbs now ordered, “Dr Mallard what do you see?”
“Well, a body or the remains of a body,” Ducky began to say.
“True but can you tell what he died from?”
“Jethro, until I get our guest home, I am unable to determine accurately, but I think looking at the skull, he was hit with an extremely heavy blunt instrument, and so at the moment, blunt force trauma.”
“Is that it?” Gibbs continued.
“Yes. But as this is winter, and bears are not uncommon at this time of the year, I suspect that there may be some gnawing of the bones, but Jethro who found the deceased?”
“A walker and her dog,” Gibbs replied.
“Thought as much, as you can see the grave had been disturbed by an animal scraping the ground, and if I am not mistaken it looks like the left ulna has been removed.”
“That Dr Mallard is what the dog brought back; the walker thought it was a stick at first until she noticed the shapes of the bone.”
“And where is the bone now?” Ducky asked looking about.
“It was given to the warden, who asked a 1st aider, who confirmed it was in-fact a forearm bone,” Tony answered on Gibbs behalf.
“Wonderful,” as Ducky now looked again at the remains. “So now, not only have I a missing bone, I have someone who has desecrated my crime scene,” looking at how the body had been uncovered.
“Ducky, the warden, called in the local LEOs who carefully uncovered, it was then that the uniform, or what was left of it, was unearthed, and that we were called,” Gibbs replied.
“My crime scene has still been messed with, and where is my ulna now?” Dr Mallard demanded.
“Bagged and tagged Ducky,” Kate added now lifting up an evidence bag and waving at Ducky.
“Mr Palmer, looking at the bone, you know it was an ulna don’t you? If you could just reiterate for us, please.”
“Of course, Dr Mallard, because of the shape of the elbow end of the bone,” pointing through the polythene bag, “It is definitely the ulna. If you look carefully you will see at that end of the bone, it is hook-shaped.”
“Very good Mr Palmer.”
“Name on dog-tags DiNozzo?” Gibbs now requested, pointing to the glint of metal protruding from the soil.
“Petty Officer John Dough,” Tony answered peering at the rusting metal. As he rubbed some dirt from the metal with his latex gloves, he added “Nope make that John Doughty, sorry the dirt was masking the last two letters,” as he now bagged the tags and wrote on the plastic. “Suppose you could say they are now tagged in a bag,” smiling at the group.
“Quite,” as Ducky looked at the body again, “Petty Officer John Doughty, I wonder if you were named after the John Doughty, 1st Senior Officer of the United States Army1784.”
“Well Dr Mallard, John is a very common name and…” as Jimmy began to see only now seeing the look in everyone’s eyes.
“Can we get on please,” Gibbs now asked politely, as he now watched Tony and Jimmy gently lift the body into a body bag and Ducky zip up.
“See you back at the Navy Yard then,” Ducky replied waving to the group, as Kate, McGee and Gibbs looked on, as Tony and Jimmy carried the bag to the waiting van.
When a body is found in Shenandoah National Park, it opens a cold case. Set season 2 with Kate.
Categories: General, General > Case File
Genre: Action, Case Fic
Series: Secret Santa/WEE
Written for the 2016 SESA on NFA.