09x08 - Engaged (Part I)

Mayday! Mayday!

Declare an emergency!

Partial engine failure!


We're going down!

NCIS Season 9 Episode 08 Engaged 1/2

Looks like morning happened again.

What's the plan today?

I'm thinking hardware store.

You mean they invented a tool you don't have in that basement of yours?

I need supplies.

Now, that's what I like to hear.

I love it when you start something new.

What do you have in mind?

I'm hong the wood will tell me.

I hope the wood says, "roll-top desk".

I changed my mind.

I'm thinking bed, all day, with you.

The hardware store will be there tomorrow.

How are you going to get what you need if you don't let me go?

Gibbs, multiple Marine fatalities. Get in here.

I'll be there.


Plane was a Marine C-130.

Five crew, six deceased in transfer cases en route from Kandahar to Dover Air Force Base.

Went down in a field just short of their destination.

Any survivors?

They're still looking.

I have never experienced a crash like this.

I'll need to know how to proceed.

Air Force is handling the site.

Any sign of criminal activity, we're there to pick up the investigation.

They were carrying six dead Marines home.

Why blow up a flying hearse?

They're sending a message.

Got the message, boss.

Loud and clear.

The sole survivor.

One more than I expected.

There's pieces of the wreckage everywhere.

A lot of land to cover.

Where do we start?

Right here.

Something's on your mind.

I can see your wheels churning.

Butter churns, David. Wheels turn.

The witnesses on the ground are telling the same story:

There was an explosion, then the plane began an immediate descent.

What's with him?

He's thinking.

This isn't the case du jour, you know.

This is life calling collect, saying,


"I'm short. Appreciate me."

That one should be DAFB-128.

Is that what you got?

Dover Air Force Base, Doctor?

Where these Marines were headed for final DNA identification before being returned to their loved ones.

Let us take heart that some of these cases are, for lack of a better phrase, cut-and-dried.

Not exactly dry.

In fact, some of these are downright moist.

Looks like these bags burst open during the crash.

They sure packed these guys in a lot ice when they sent them home.

Standard procedure.

Yes, these Marines made the ultimate sacrifice.

The Corps takes great pride in the way that they tend to their fallen.

So will we Duck.

Confirmation of these remains is going to be a lengthy process, Jethro.

We have to match the DNA of every fragment of collected tissue.

Mr. Palmer, Ms. Sciuto and I have a great deal of work ahead of us.

Call when you need us.

I shall and I will.

This little light of mine.

I'm gonna let it shine.

Could you please shine in tune, Mr. Palmer?

You're putting a minor third where none was intended.

I'm sorry, Doctor.

It's the only thing keeping me awake at this point.

Perhaps it's time we took a little rest.

We will rest when we are dead.

Until then, consider John Paul Jones.

The Led Zeppelin bassist?

No, the naval hero of the American Revolution.

He was almost forgotten when he was buried in Paris in 1792.

Over a century later, President Theodore Roosevelt went to great lengths to locate Jones, exhume his body, and bring him back to America.



Yeah, we take great solace in knowing where our heroes are buried.

I can assure you, Mr. Palmer, for every moment that we rest, the families of these fallen Marines do not.

I apologize.

Don't apologize to me.

Apologize to them.

All right, what's the number?

Sometimes I think it's a miracle we're still here.

What, here in the squad room?

No. On this earth.

We hitch rides on those transports all the time.

Could've been us on that plane.

But we weren't.

I'm just saying, when your number's up, it's up.

Do you know that phrase may have biblical origins dating back to the Book of Daniel?

I'll take "Pointless Biblical Trivia" for $200, Alex.

What do you think this is, Sunday school?

Sunday school sounds good to me.


You look troubled.

Don't worry, he always looks like that.

This is an omen, isn't it?

You were sent to talk to me.

By whom?

The man upstairs.

No. I'm here to see Agent Gibbs.

I'd pay to hear that confession.

What am I confessing to?

Nothing, Boss.

You're damn right about that.

This is Lieutenant Commander Chaplain lady...


I just transferred to the chapel here on the Navy Yard.

Orders are to help reach out to the accident victims' families, however I can.

I'm glad to meet you.

I'm sorry it has to be under these circumstances.

I get that a lot.

That was the Navy Safety Center.

Black box is pointing to a bird strike.

Flock of geese took out all four engines.

Another Sully Sullenberger situation.

Just not as fortunate.

Verify before we lose jurisdiction. I.D.'s?

Abby has positives on almost all the crew and deceased in the manifest.


A man in the conference room.

He thinks his daughter's body was on the plane.

That's my cue.

You're up, Chaplain.


Corps said my girl was in an attack.

At some sort of school.

People were killed.

Bodies were so bad, there was nothing left.

Marines collected remains in Afghanistan.

Still waiting for DNA to be confirmed here.

No. You people are waiting for it.

I know.

Know what?

Her body was on that plane.

A father knows. Don't tell me I don't.

No one's arguing with you, Mr. Flores.

We know what happened over there.

They found their dog tags.

I through waiting for you to get your paperwork in order.

I need to bury my girl.

What's her name?

First Lieutenant Gabriela Flores.

Remember that.


I want you to...

Her mom left when she was a kid.

All I ever did was mess up.

All Gabriela ever did was forgive me.

Even after she got her own place, every Sunday night, she would come to my house and sit in that chair and watch my shows with me.

A beautiful girl.

Chaplin, I'm not showing you what she looked like.

I'm telling you who she was.

She put herself through college. She became a Marine officer.

She was helping children in Afghanistan.

And still she found time to come... sit with me.

Good kid.

The best.

You know, I bet that Agent Gibbs has what he needs, but I wouldn't mind hearing more about those Sundays... if you don't mind.

A daughter's a precious thing.

Can it wait?


Agent Gibbs, you heard nobody's at fault.

I guess you caught a break.

What is that supposed to mean?

One less thing to worry about, Mr. Secretary, that's all.

The sooner we get this plane off the evening news the better.

If there's nobody to blame, people lose interest.

I need the confirmed I.D's of the Marines who were transported.

Names are easy.

I's not over till the DNA matches.

We're working on that, too.

Work faster.

Use the A.I.U. team, the forensic lab in Dover.

The Chairman and SECDEF want closure.

We all want closure, sir.

NCIS has 24 hours to release the bodies.

I understand, Mr. Secretary. We'll make it happen.

Fact is, we've got ten bodies, no crime to investigate and families anxious to bury their dead.

Let's close this, Gibbs, and move on.

"What do you got?"

Check. We need to fast forward, we need to get to the good stuff.

Good stuff?

Yeah, like the answers and details.

Gibbs, I'm going on no sleep and all Caf-POW!s.

Abbs, take a rest for a few minutes.

I can't, Gibbs, 'cause the families are waiting.

Luckily I developed an equation using outside stimuli and my own accelerated metabolism to predict how long I can go without closing my eyes before I turn into Zabby or Zombie Abby and, according to my calculations, I have, like, five minutes before I completely melt down.

How big?

Like Chernobyl big.

Then go. Don't wait for me.

You asked me aboutGabriela Flores, and I thought it was going to be an easy answer.

It isn't.

This is the record of Search and Recovery report.

They have Flores listed as a possible K.I.A.

But that's pending positive DNA identification out of Dover.

Which is a delicate way of saying...

We don't know.

Flores is believed to be one of three Marines that were hit head-on by Rpgs at a school in Afghanistan.

None of the bodies were recovered intact, and what was recovered was burnt beyond recognition.

Flores was tentatively I.D.'d by her dog tags, which were found unattached, but near the bomb site.

That's why her unit in Afghanistan is still looking for her.

Until we tell them otherwise.

Yeah, but this is where it gets really nuts.

Seriously, Gibbs, I am like a ticking time bomb right now.

Just nutshell it.

Kaboom. Plane crash.

Six transfer cases were loaded onto that plane.

Only three contained remains from the attack that killed Lieutenant Flores.

And then, after separating all those itty-bitty little fragments, we have a piece of our puzzle missing.

I only found two DNA strands in the fragments sent from the Flores' attack.

There were only two Marines in those three cases.

And Flores wasn't one of them.

If Flores' dog tags were at the school and her body wasn't, we have a humongous problem.

Where is Flores?

Oh, come on, Tony, a bucket list?

No snooping, McSteve Austin.

My life is none of your business you and your little bionic eyeballs.

You're writing about buckets?

It's a bucket list, Ziva.

A list of things I'd like to accomplish before the end of the fourth quarter.

Life is short.

I've got to start making it count.

"Discover the meaning of life"?


"Ride a Ferris wheel naked"?

I've already done that. I should cross that off. Do you have a pen?

Thank you, boss.

First Lieutenant Gabriela Flores.

Reported possible "killed in action" just off base in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan.

Dog tags were at the scene, body wasn't.

Graduated University of Maryland with a degree in journalism.

Completed O.C.S. at the age of 23.

Dug this up from Marines magazine she wrote for them, as well.

It's a photograph of her with the commandant of the Marine Corps.

General Chuck Ellison.

Lieutenant Flores was a public affairs officer at Marine Barracks Washington.

What was her assignment overseas?


Flores volunteered for the Female Engagement Team last year.

Quite a fetching FET.

Culture forbids outside men from interacting with Afghan women.

Fets bridge the gap by attaching to male infantry units.

Put herself in the line of fire.

C.O. says Flores was blindsided in an attack on a girls' school she was helping rebuild.

Insurgent RPGs.

This backwards belief girls shouldn't be educated, I have seen it consume people.

I am sure the attack on this school was just brutal.

McGee, get me satellite footage of the attack.

On the phone to the DoD, boss.

DiNozzo, Ziva, MTAC now.

Let's go talk to Flores' C.O.

Processing of the remains was clean.

Mortuary Affairs gridded the area, documented site flight.

Everything we had, we shipped back, along with her personal effects.

Could it be that none of Flores' remains made it through the RPG?


Her tags survived, and those guys are trained not to miss a thing.

Last thing we want is turn a KIA into an MIA.


Nighttime ambush.

Never saw it coming.

There was nothing questionable about Lieutenant Flores' actions.

Just did what she was trained to do, maybe better.

You're sure she was in the area when the RPGs were fired?

I saw her myself on the comm.

I knew they were taking heavy fire at the school so I ordered her to evac back to base. Five minutes later, we lost contact.

She never made it.

You ordered her back because women are barred from combat?

I have three FET Marines attached to my unit.

And technically, women are excluded from direct combat.

But out here, the lines can get blurry.

Any of your men have a problem with Flores being outside the wire?

The opposite. They called her Public Affairs.

But the idea of her just sitting behind a desk was laughable.

She held her own.

And leading up to the incident, she displayed no unusual behavior?

No, ma'am.

Flores lived for the Corps.

She was so proud, so dedicated.

I used to say I wish I had 20 of her.

Now I wish I still had one.

Until you guarantee she's not, I'm out here looking for a live Marine.

My Marine.

Semper Fi, Captain.

Gabriela Flores.

Freelance article info, continued.

A few days ago, we had a group of young girls show up.

Found out through an interpreter their families had been killed by insurgents and, well, they started sleeping here.

So our little project has become a de facto boarding school for girls.

If you can hear that it's some of the locals helping us build an addition to the school.

Here's Mina, one of our boarders.

My Pashtu is horrible but, let's see if I can get her to show us what she learned yesterday.


Matteson, is that right?


Heard about you.

You beat some of the guys' times on this thing, you know that?

Yeah, Robertson for sure.

So is this your secret?

Practicing during liberty?

Yes, this is my secret.

As long as some chatty, got-it-so-easy fella doesn't come along and mess up my time, you know, works out pretty well.

Pretty soon, I'll be beating your time, too!

You must not know what my time is.

Jethro Gibbs. Look it up!

Yeah, right.

She's so good.

It's Gibbs.

Special Agent Gibbs General Ellison would like to see you at 0700.


You'll be expected.

0700. I'll be there.

Thank you, sir.

Good morning, General.

Beautiful fall morning. Makes me want to go for a little run.

Remember a few of those, sir. More like a marathon.

Character builders, Gibbs.

Either trying to build us up or break us down, sir?

Maybe a little of both.

How are the boys?

They're in high school now.

You got any Marines?

Give it time.

Gibbs, SECNAV called me.

He has his concerns.

I've heard them, sir.

I have some concerns of my own.

You know Lieutenant Flores?

Well, I know she was public affairs in this barracks I know she's a Marine and I know we will do whatever it takes to find her and bring her home, no matter what.

No Marine is ever left behind.

No, sir.

Gibbs, I don't care if it's you, us or those jokers at the Agency.

You need answers.

Whether she's alive or dead I will move mountains to find Lieutenant Flores and bring her home.

We'll do whatever it takes.

Can I hold you to that, General?

You've got my word.

Yes, sir.

Got this for you.



How'd you know that?

Well, my old man used to say that a Marine fixes his coffee to fit his personality.

What's that say about me?

Bold, complex.

Strong enough to stop a freight train.

Sounds like I'd like your old man.

He spent most of his life living in the V.A. but he had his moments.

So, I went to see Joseph Flores.

I wish we had some answers for him.

Guy's been through enough.

I get men like Joseph.

Fathers who want to protect their daughters from the evil in the world.

Want to keep them safe.


Well, little girls grow into women who end up being just as stubborn as their fathers.

I didn't know Flores, but I will bet you that there was a lot of him in her.

Personal check from Justin Fanniker?

Friend of Gabriela's.

She sent it from Afghanistan one week before the attack but Mr. Flores didn't feel right about cashing it.

He held onto it because look what she wrote in the memo.

"Love you, Dad."

He gave this to you?

He signed it over to the chapel in Gabriela's honor.

He said that Justin, her friend would appreciate the gesture.

Who is this guy?

Justin Fanniker, 27, is an American contractor working in Afghanistan.

Fanniker? As in Fanniker Construction?

Daddy put up half the drywall in D.C. for the last ten years.

And not just Washington.

Fanniker Construction did not hesitate to profit from the war as well.

Bid on a job in Afghanistan bank three times as much 'cause of the hazardous working conditions.

I'd say Daddy sent junior to cash in.


Lieutenant Flores had a few personal accounts, one of them very well hidden.

Tracked it through Fanniker's. Dozens of messages there.

"I dreamt I was back home showing you the sky as I remember it."

Pretty syrupy. She fell for that?

Sincerity works sometimes, Agent DiNozzo.

You should try it.

They met at Kandahar Airfield three months ago.

Day before the attack, he tells he loves her, but he's worried for her safety.

Offers to give her father whatever he needs if she leaves Afghanistan.

What did she say?

Never responded.

You think she went?

Find Fanniker.

Maybe she agreed.

They could be anywhere by now.

Not anywhere.

Flight record says Fanniker Construction leased a plane from Kandahar to Virginia day after the attack.

Anybody on that plane besides Fanniker and the crew?

I can't access the travel data yet.

But I've been trying to track his cell, and he just placed a call.

Give me location.

Middle of nowhere.

George Washington National Forest near Roanoke, Virginia.

Send me coordinates.

I hike there in the summer.

You mind if I come along?

I can be helpful, Gibbs.

I can try to talk to him when mumbled words emanating from a gray-haired grizzly bear seem much less persuasive.

It's gonna take us a while to get there. You know, we can chitchat.

About what?

Oh, you know, about things.

I can tell you why I embraced the clergy and became a chaplain.

I kind of like the quiet.

Two tours in Afghanistan later and I was even more convinced I was doing what God had intended for me helping others find inner peace.

Peace sounds good.

Little quiet, too, maybe.

You're being sarcastic.

No, I'm not. I'm being honest.

I talked too much?

I didn't say I minded, padre.

Who are you?

Just here to talk.

Is she inside, Justin?

Is Gabriela with you?


Her father's looking for her, too. Put down the rifle.

Gabriela's dead.

Don't you know that?

I went there.

I saw what was left the school.

Marines wouldn't tell me anything.

There was a girl one of her students just standing there crying.

I couldn't understand everything, but I got enough.

I saw more than enough.

You asked her to leave with you?

She said no.

She would never abandon her unit.

Where she was, I knew something like this would happen but she wouldn't go.

You leave three open projects in Afghanistan and you rush out to a place like this, seems you're running from something.

I'm just trying to keep it together.

I met Gabriela, and my whole life changed.

I loved her, and now she's gone.

You still here, McGee?

What are we looking at?

Satellite footage.

Just released by the Joint Staff.


The structure in the middle is the school, and based on witness accounts, Lieutenant Flores could be in any one of these clusters.

There's RPG one.

How long until the second RPG hit?

RPG two made contact a few minutes later.

Can you sharpen this?

This is... It's like a low-res feed from a satellite output that came to me via e-mail.

I can try to get a cleaner copy in the morning, but that's if they'll give me access.

Tell them the commandant of the Marine Corps needs access.

And if that doesn't work?

It'll work.

We spoke to the lieutenant's C.O., They have been searching round the clock.

Coming up empty-handed, boss, but not for lack of trying.

No remains, nothing to go on but a set of dog tags and some ripped clothing.

There has to be something here.

Just got to look harder.


Go home. Get some sleep.

What about you?

You going to work all night? 'Cause if you stay, we stay.

Let's not get carried away, Ziva. You heard the man.

Special Agent David, you did not just do that.

I did, and I would do it again.

You will not.

Stand down, DiNozzo. I appreciate the offer.

We can all use the rest...

... distance.

Might help us think.

Tired, boss? Need a ride?


Need to do one more thing.

Thought you went home.

Making final arrangements for the departure of our guests tomorrow.

They need to be with their families.

It's a primal desire, that affects the living more so than the dead.

I hear there's still one Marine to be accounted for.

First Lieutenant Gabriela Flores.

I doubt that my friends here, can tell you details of her whereabouts, but feel free to ask.

I don't know what to ask.

Then it may be that you are talking to the wrong people.

The dead have always been kind to me.

Provided answers I have required.

But if there is a possibility, that First Lieutenant Flores is still alive, then perhaps these, are not the ones to whom you should turn.

This is Chaplain Burke.


Marines who understand these schools... do you know any?

I left teaching to join the Marines.

Left the Marines to go back to teaching.

Emily was in the first FET to go to Afghanistan.

You knew Flores?

Can't say that I did.

Can say I probably understand some of what she was going through over there.

Seeing them laugh like that, part of me feels so happy, but it makes me think of the kids I left behind.

Wasn't like this for them. Especially the girls.

Tell him about the notes.

We tried to set up some sort of informal education for girls.

Our two potential teachers dropped out, thanks to "night letters."

Death threats?

That wasn't the worst of it.

A little girl was carrying a workbook we gave her.

Insurgents threw aci in her face.

Everybody thinks of insurgents as disorganized bands in the wilderness.

They are fully, capable of advanced strategy when they have a clear target.

That's what a girl school is to them.

It's a clear target.

Abbs, play this.

What is it?

A picture of what was going on around Flores.

It's an audio recording. There is no picture.

Gabriela Flores.

Freelance article info, continued.

Now go forward.

Few days ago...


So, our little project has become a defactor boarding school for grows.

If you can hear that...

There. Isolate the background.

... it's some of the locals helping us build an addition to the school.

What is that- Farsi?

It's Pashtu.

Number nine on the David language list.

Our very own Beauty of Berlitz.

I think of Pashtu more as number seven, actually.


Can you go back?

Can you enhance this?

Talk to us.

He said "next time, they'll think twice about building a school."

"The plan has no weakness."

They are discussing the destruction of the school.

It was the people she was working with?

They're hiding in plain sight.

Flores knew them, and they knew her.

She had no idea who she was dealing with.

Insurgents were on the inside, Captain.

In the school.

Not surprised.

Well, we were.

Were you planning to tell anybody?

Locals play both sides to survive, Agent Gibbs.

Always have. Just comes with the territory.


Usually more for them than us.

This is a well-timed strike. Planned perfectly.

The school, they kept records?


There are two teachers, one male, one female.

And a group of laborers made a habit of wandering in and out of the area.

What's the status?


Haven't been able to locate anyone since the attack.

None of the locals feel like talking.

Yeah. That sounds about right.

Tell me what you need, and I'll do it.

But if your people, Dover and A.I.U. are all saying Lieutenant Flores's DNA wasn't in those remains, Pardon my French, but where is she?

Keep looking, Captain.

We'll find something.

We have to.

I understand next of kin has been contacted.

What are you gonna tell them now?


Is this how you spend liberty?

You like birds?

It's for my dad.

So you like your dad.

Like the work.

Makes me feel like my head's on straight.

Look at you.

That's the same reason I run so much.

Beating your times is just an added bonus.

You haven't beaten my times.

So you've been checking.

Might make a difference.

My father can be difficult, too.

I never said h was difficult.

I know.

But you love him, right?

Well, it's just... You know...

Dads can't help it.

There's no use holding it against them.

Well, Gibbs.

Good luck keeping that head of yours on straight.

Good luck trying toeat my times.

I will.

Hello, Mr. Flores.

I've been spending some time ere.

Trying to get used to it.

I was right, wasn't I?

Her body was on that plane.

What do you mean?

Where is she?

Dog tags were found at the scene...

Gabriela wasn't.

We don't have her body.

You telling me she's alive?

I'm telling you we're still looking for answers.

You gotta find her.

Agent Gibbs, you gotta put every... everything you've got into finding her.

We already are.

No, no. Here.

She sent me this.

That's Gabriela and the teacher and one of their students.

You see?

All she cared about was giving these girls a place to learn!

If anybody on this earth deserves your help, it's Gabriela.

An Americana...

Excuse me.

Wait, Gibbs, I just ordered.

Come on.

That's the teacher. What do you see?

What do you mean?

Anyone who worked at that school could be in on this.

Look at her hand.

Looks like there's a tattoo under her ring.

You ever see anything like that in your two tours over there, Commander?

The design is very intricate.

It's beautiful... until we discovered something else.

Discovered what?

Something not very beautiful.

This guy was arrested for having an I.E.D. factory in his kitchen. He has the same tattoo, and it looks like this would-be female suicide bomber out of Helmand has one, also.

Any ties?

They are both linked to the Jaysh El-Mo'mineen insurgent group.

Translation: "Army of Believers."

Does it say anything about the design?

Intel suggests that it symbolizes entrance into martyrdom.

Thank you.

Start talking.

Jaysh El-Mo'mineen. Small but growing.

Specialties are I.E.D.'s, direct assaults and employing females to advance attacks undetected.

Chief mission is to get rid of anything apple pie or NATO.

They are known to hide and move their headquarters in the remote areas of the Chagai Hills.

Bring up the satellite.

Okay, but I've got nothing new to show you, boss.

I'm still waiting on a better copy. I've tried to sharpen it.

Not sharper, McGee. Wider. South.

Chagai Hills are just south of the attack point.

It's nothing but desert.

Wider, McGee. More than two kilometers. Go.

Boss, what are we looking for?

Zoom in. Closer.

That's gotta be her.

Are those children?

Two of them.

She didn't die in the attack.

No. She was trying to save them... and she got caught.

What do we know about the vehicle?

It's not one of ours.

My analysts say the truck is Russian-made, 10 to 12 years old at least.

And the kids?

Likely boarders at the school.

Girls. Orphans.

No one to report them missing.

Chagai Hills?

Days ago.

Difficult to track after all this time.

You say something about moving mountains?

Plane leaves at 0500, Gibbs.

My people will get started.

Don't come back without her.