Original Air Date: 23/09/2003
Scene opens to a shot of Air Force One preparing for take-off. The President - who both looks and sounds a lot like George W. Bush -- waves as he enters the plane. The flight crew stands at attention the moment he's on board.
PRESIDENT: Bobby, did those babybacks from PapaJoe's make the flight?
BOBBY: Yes, sir, Mr. President. They were flown in from San Antonio ten minutes ago, sir.
PRESIDENT: Good. Let's have an early lunch.
BOBBY: Yes, sir, Mr. President.
The President turns away, putting an arm around the shoulders of the man, presumably Secret Service, behind him. Kate Todd precedes them.
PRESIDENT (to man): I love the babybacks from PapaJoe's.
MAN: I know, Mr. President.
PRESIDENT (to Kate): Wasn't Major Kerry supposed to be handling the Football on this one?
KATE: He came down with the flu, Mr. President.
The man raises his arm to indicate the new Football carrier.
MAN: This is Commander Ray Trapp, Mr. President. He's new on the detail.
Cmdr. Trapp, dressed in Navy whites, stands at attention before the President.
PRESIDENT: Have we met before, Commander?
TRAPP: (shakes hands with the President) Yes, sir. On the Abraham Lincoln, Mr. President.
PRESIDENT: (smirks) Ah, the Lincoln. (turns to Secret Service man) You know, the trip to the Lincoln was the best day I've had on this job. (turns back to Cmdr. Trapp and waggles a finger at him) Why don't you join me for lunch?
TRAPP: Be my pleasure, Mr. President.
PRESIDENT: Good, I'll look forward to it.
The President and the Secret Service man walk away. Kate lingers to speak with Cmdr. Trapp, who finally relaxes once the President is out of sight.
KATE: Lunch with the boss on your first day. You're destined for stars on those shoulders, Commander.
Kate leaves, going a different direction than the President did. Cmdr. Trapp sits down, looks off where the President disappeared to, and smiles. Then he reaches over to the side of his chair where a large black briefcase is unobtrusively tucked away and puts his hand on top of it.
Air Force One takes off.
A flight attendant carries a tray of food down an aisle and sets it down on a table between two people. The crewman from before, Bobby, walks past her to speak with the Secret Service agents.
BOBBY: Agent Baer, Agent Todd, would either of you like anything to eat?
BAER: (doesn't even bother looking up) No, thank you.
KATE: (smiles politely) I'm fine, thanks.
BOBBY: Very well.
Bobby leaves. Baer gets up.
BAER: I'll be in the Comm. getting an update from Bowman. Keep an eye on things down here.
KATE: You expecting a problem, sir?
BAER: (turns back to face her) Expect problems, Agent Todd. And with a little luck, you'll never loose the President.
Baer jogs up a flight of stairs to the next deck. Kate looks down and smiles ruefully. Moments later, Cmdr. Trapp enters the room with the Football in hand. He moves slowly, almost shuffling. He stumbles, dropping the briefcase. Kate looks at him in concern. Cmdr. Trapp stares at his hand, flexing his fingers. He turns and flashes a grin at Kate.
TRAPP: I fumbled in my first Army-Navy game, but (picks up briefcase) I recovered the ball.
Cmdr. Trapp carefully places the Football beside a chair while Kate looks on, then turns to offer her his hand.
TRAPP: Ray Trapp.
KATE: (shakes hands) Kate Todd.
TRAPP: (face flushed red, sweating) Eating with the President was... (swallows) a bigger sweat than... (starts wandering in circles) making a ni-night [trap??].
Cmdr. Trapp collapses into his seat.
KATE: (concerned) Are you ill, Commander?
Cmdr. Trapp starts going into convulsions, falling to the floor. Kate gets up to help him, issuing orders through her wrist comm.
KATE (via comm.): Slammer Rose for a medical emergency, section one.
While Kate tries to stabilize Cmdr. Trapp's head, Agent Baer rushes back down the stairs.
BAER: What's wrong?
KATE: I don't know.
Three medics come running down the aisle. Kate stands back to give them room.
DOCTOR: What've you got?
FEMALE MEDIC: He's not breathing.
DOCTOR: No pulse.
FEMALE MEDIC: Give me the bag.
The doctor gets up to grab the medical bag, when Kate suddenly realises something.
KATE: Doctor! He just had lunch with the President.
DOCTOR: Oh my god!
BAER: Let's go. (to Kate) You stay with the Football.
As the doctor and Agent Baer run off to check on the President, Kate reaches over and takes the briefcase back over to her seat out of the way. The other two medics are still working on Cmdr. Trapp. One medic is straddling his body doing CPR, the other rhythmically squeezing an air bag over his mouth.
FEMALE MEDIC: Halt compressions, let's check his pulse.
The female medic removes the air bag to check his pulse. Kate looks on worriedly, and when we look back at Cmdr. Trapp we see he's started foaming at the mouth.
FEMALE MEDIC: There's no pulse. Let's get his shirt off.
She starts cutting his shirt off with scissors. Kate watches anxiously.
Gibbs is working on his boat in his basement, diligently planing the wood smooth. The television is playing quietly in the background when the phone rings. He walks around the skeleton frame of his boat to the phone mounted on the side wall and answers it.
GIBBS: Yeah. Gibbs.
It's Tony on the other end, calling from the NCIS office headquarters. He appears to be the only one currently at work.
TONY (to Gibbs, over the phone): A Navy commander carrying the Football on Air Force One just carked in the air.
GIBBS: (checks his watch) Where'd they land?
TONY: Wichita, Kansas. (types at his computer) The President's transferring to the backup bird. (reading from computer screen) I booked us on a 15: 00 United flight out of Reagan, stops in Dallas before going on to Wichita.
GIBBS: That the best you can do?
TONY: It's Saturday, Gibbs. (puts on coat) You know, if we had our own jet...
GIBBS: We don't. Ducky's buds with coroners across the country. See if you can't get one of them to hold the body until we can get there.
Gibbs hangs up. As he goes to leave the basement, he passes the television and we see it's currently showing a news report.
NEWS ANCHOR (on TV): I'm Doris McMillon, with a CBS news update. We have just learned that Air Force One has made an unscheduled stop at Wichita's mid-continent airport. Details are sketchy-
Gibbs flicks the power off once he gets upstairs, and the TV goes black instantly.
*cut to Airport*
Gibbs and Tony are just coming off an escalator behind a couple of flight attendants. Tony is weighed down with several bags, Gibbs just has one small bag and his ever-present cup of coffee.
TONY: FBI, CIA, DEA, ATF, even NYPD have private jets.
GIBBS: At 36 cents a mile. You wanna drive?
TONY: It's humiliating.
They arrive at a Security check-point. Tony puts his bags down on the ground, Gibbs lays his single one on the conveyor belt.
GIBBS (to Security Guard): We're LEOs.
SECURITY GUARD: (smiling) Capricorn.
TONY: LEO, short for Law Enforcement Officer.
Tony hands the Security Guard the paperwork for their weapons, while Gibbs shows him his badge.
GIBBS: You new at this, (leans over to read Security Guard's nametag) Dennis?
DENNIS: (nods) First week. (Gibbs chuffs a laugh while Dennis checks out the badge) N.C.I.S.... never heard of it.
GIBBS (leaning over to speak quietly to Tony): That's embarrassing.
DENNIS: NCIS? Anything like "CSI"?
TONY: (sarcastically) Only if you're dyslexic.
DENNIS: Okay. You can go ahead and go around the, uh, metal detector, but your bags have got to go through the scanner.
GIBBS: Wait a minute, you're letting us take weapons aboard but you want to scan our bags?
DENNIS: Well, you've got permits for the weapons but you don't for the bags.
Tony starts piling the bags onto the conveyor belt.
TONY (to Gibbs): We really need our own jet.
DUCKY (calls out from other side of security gate): Dennis! Those bags are mine.
DENNIS: Ohh! (to Gibbs and Tony) Why didn't you tell me you were subbing for the Doc? (smiles) You've got a bag permit.
DUCKY (to Gibbs and Tony): Move it, men.
Tony and Gibbs exchange looks as they gather the bags to follow Ducky. Ducky turns and starts walking away.
DUCKY: We don't want to miss our flight. (smirks)
*cut to Air Force One, night*
Air Force One is currently surrounded by emergency vehicles, lit up on the tarmac only by the various flashing lights of the vehicles. Inside is an assortment of official personnel, from Secret Service to FBI to State Troopers to Airport Security to the County Coroner's office. A Kansas local with a "CORONER" jacket on is stalling the proceedings.
CORONER: If J. Edgar Hoover was alive, I'd tell him what I'm telling you. This body is in Wichita County, and as County Coroner I have jurisdiction. No one moves it until the M.E. says they can.
FORNELL: Your jurisdiction doesn't supersede the FBI on Air Force One.
KATE (interrupting from her seat, hidden behind everyone else): It's not Air Force One, Agent Fornell. (the men move to clear a path for her) When the President departed on the backup plane, it became Air Force One. This is now Alpha Foxtrot 2900.
FORNELL: Don't get into this pissing contest, Agent Todd. As you pointed out, the President's gone - it's no longer a Secret Service problem.
KATE: Look. This could be a natural death, or it could be a botched attempt to murder the President. Until I know which, it's my problem.
CORONER: Uh, I don't give a damn which one of you is boss. You ain't moving this body until the M.E. says you can.
Ducky enters, followed by Tony and Gibbs.
DUCKY: You talking about me, Elmo?
ELMO: Ducky! How'd you like those steaks I air-expressed you?
DUCKY: Ah, delicious!
FORNELL (leaning over to speak quietly with Kate): He "air-expressed" him steaks?
KATE: (shrugging) It's a big state. Look how long it took him to get here.
ELMO: (points out the players) Uh, Agent Fornell here is FBI. Agent Todd, Secret Service. Ducky, they've been fighting over this body like two hounds over a t-bone.
DUCKY: Well, it's our t-bone for the moment.
GIBBS: All these LEOs are contaminating the potential crime scene.
DUCKY: Oh yes, my assistant's right. Everyone who boarded in Wichita will have to evacuate the plane.
FORNELL: I'm not going anywhere.
KATE: I flew in on it.
DUCKY: Very well, you two can stay. But everyone else must deplane.
ELMO: Alright, you heard the M.E., let's move it boys. Ducky, what do you think?
DUCKY (examining body): No outward sign of trauma.
KATE: He was stricken after having lunch with the President.
TONY: Yeah, how is the President?
KATE: He's fine. His physician cleared him to fly on to L.A.
GIBBS: What happened?
Both Kate and Fornell look askance at Gibbs's softly-voiced question, but Gibbs just stares placidly at them. After a moment, Kate answers.
KATE: When the Commander returned from lunch, he had an equilibrium problem and his grip was too weak to hold his briefcase.
DUCKY: Did he gradually become ill, or was it sudden?
KATE: Sudden. He started to convulse and collapsed. The President's physician believed that the Commander had a stroke.
TONY (taking notes): Kinda young for a brain fart.
DUCKY: Looks like a natural death to me, Elmo. They can leave with the body as long as they sign releases.
FORNELL (to Elmo): Why the hell didn't you say that?
ELMO: Couldn't. Like I said, it's the M.E.'s decision. Release forms are in my car.
FORNELL (to Kate): Let's go. We can work out jurisdiction for Washington on the flight to Dallas.
Kate glances at Gibbs before leaving. The look on her face is inscrutable.
ELMO: Ah, Ducky... about those soft-shell crabs?
Kate pauses behind Ducky and Elmo at this exchange, throwing another odd look Ducky's way. You can tell she's figuring out that things aren't exactly as they seem. She exits the plane behind Fornell.
DUCKY: Ah, you'll have them by the weekend.
ELMO: Ten-four, partner. (leaves)
Once alone, Ducky sighs in relief and Gibbs takes over command of the crime scene. Quietly.
GIBBS: Tony, go hot. Show the pilot your credentials, get us the hell out of here.
Tony starts down an aisle, but Gibbs calls him back.
GIBBS: Hey! (points upwards) Cockpit's on the top deck.
TONY: (cluelessly) I knew that.
Gibbs smirks as Tony climbs the stairs.
GIBBS (crouching beside body): Enjoy playing my boss?
DUCKY: (nods) I did, rather.
GIBBS: What do you think happened, Duck?
DUCKY: Good God, Gibbs, I barely met the deceased.
GIBBS: I think DiNozzo's right. Naval aviator, stroking at his age?
DUCKY: He could have been born with an aneurysm. They're timebombs in the body. I remember this young promising basso-perfundo in London. He was only 27 when he keeled over, in the middle on an Notaro aria-
Kate storms back onto the plane, her hand on her holstered weapon at her hip.
KATE: Who the hell are you people? (to Gibbs) You're no M.E. assistant (to Ducky) and there's no soft-shell crab within a thousand miles.
DUCKY (to Gibbs): Sorry.
GIBBS (showing his badge): NCIS. We flew down here from Washington to take over the investigation.
KATE (drops her hand from her weapon, exasperated): First the FBI tries to muscle in, and now NCIS.
GIBBS: Yeah, well, I do believe this is a dead naval officer.
KATE: Who died on Air Force One, after having lunch with the President it's my job to protect.
GIBBS: Okay, we can share jurisdiction. You can be on my team.
KATE: Your team? Why should you head the investigation?
GIBBS: You ever worked a crime scene, Agent Todd?
KATE: I am a Secret Service agent.
GIBBS: (smirks) I thought not.
KATE: Well don't dismiss me like that! Okay, I earned my jock-strap.
GIBBS: Yeah, does it ever give you that empty feeling?
GIBBS: Your jock-strap.
KATE: No. Like some species of frogs, I grow what I need. (smiles brightly)
Gibbs smirks back, obviously impressed and enjoying the exchange. Then Tony interrupts, scrambling down the stairs.
DUCKY: Gibbs! Pilot won't take off until the Secret Service chick gives us the (sees Kate, pauses a beat) thumbs up.
KATE: (smirks at Gibbs) I think that just made it my team.
GIBBS: No. It means we'll just have to hijack Air Force One. Tony, escort Agent Todd off this aircraft and close the hatch.
KATE (incredulous): You're not serious. Wait! (chases after Gibbs up the stairs) Okay, okay! Your team, but only because I don't want to delay us further by having to shoot you.
Kate offers her hand to seal the deal, and she and Gibbs shake on it.
Outside the plane, Fornell is running up the steps to the hatch when Tony suddenly appears in front of him.
FORNELL: Damnit, Agent Todd, let's get this show on the road!
TONY: Oh gosh, I'm sorry. We, uh, overbooked the flight. (closes hatch)
FORNELL: What the hell are you doing?
As the plane starts to taxi away, Tony looks out a window and waves at the thwarted FBI agents. Fornell yells at the people on the ground.
FORNELL: What's going on? Stop!
Fornell and the two agents behind him run back down the now abandoned staircase to confront Elmo, the County Coroner guy.
FORNELL: Alright, do you know what the hell's going on?
ELMO: Guess Ducky decided to take the body to Washington.
FORNELL: Why did your Medical Examiner take the body to Washington?
ELMO: (slyly) I never said he was my Medical Examiner.
Then the jets kick in to high gear, and everyone flinches from the blast of air.
FORNELL: Then who the hell's Medical Examiner is he?!
ELMO: Ducky? He works for NCIS.
Fornell watches the plane take off.
In the air, Gibbs is in the Comm. speaking with the NCIS Director, Tom Morrow, over videoconference.
DIRECTOR (on comm.): Did you have to literally slam the door in the FBI's face?
GIBBS: There were more of them than us.
DIRECTOR (at MTAC): (wryly) There's always more of them than us. You ever hear of interagency cooperation?
GIBBS: Yes, sir. I got the Secret Service Agent-in-Charge at Wichita to agree to share the investigation.
DIRECTOR: (surprised) Willingly?
GIBBS: (ruefully) Well, we could use a little backup when we land at Andrews.
DIRECTOR: Eh, that's what I thought. We're spread a bit thin, we've got no agents.
GIBBS: If the FBI gets this body, we won't see an autopsy report until after they leak it to the Washington Post.
DIRECTOR: Then make sure they don't get it. (Gibbs nods) Will this Secret Service agent stand up to the FBI?
GIBBS: I don't know. She's got balls.
The Director laughs, then the scene changes back to the crime scene. Kate is sitting in a nearby chair watching Ducky insert a thermometer into the body's liver.
KATE: (incredulously) Are you starting the autopsy?
DUCKY: Goodness, no. I'm just taking his liver temperature to corroborate the time of death.
KATE (consults her PDA): The President's physician declared him dead at 20: 32 Zulu.
DUCKY: It never hurts to double check. (thermometer beeps)
Tony steps up beside her, pen and paper in hand.
TONY (to Kate): Excuse me, you'll need to stand clear so I can take measurements for my crime scene sketches, thanks.
KATE: Sketches? You've taken a dozen photos.
TONY (picks up a magazine, "Exotic Resorts", with a bikini-clad model on the cover): Tell me her measurements.
KATE: Your pathetic.
TONY: No, I'm serious. Can you tell if she's (looks at magazine) 5'4" in a 35-C, or 5'7" in a 36-D? You can't, not from a photo. That's why we do sketches, take measurements. (pushes her back out of the way) Thanks.
DUCKY: I've got 19: 50 Zulu, that's nearly an hour earlier.
KATE: Well, then you miscalculated.
Gibbs comes jogging down the stairs.
GIBBS: What's the problem?
DUCKY: There's apparently a discrepancy between my time of death and the President's physician's.
GIBBS: Log yours. (Ducky bends to do so) Enough sketches, Tony. Agent Todd's gonna give you a floor plan.
KATE: Oh, no, she won't.
Kate walks off to follow Gibbs. Ducky moves over to speak with Tony.
DUCKY: I thought your photo analysis was brilliant, Tony. But wasn't 36-D a bit of wishful thinking?
TONY (looking at magazine again): You think?
Gibbs and Kate are meanwhile walking down an aisle, arguing. Well, Kate is.
GIBBS: What can you tell me about Commander Trapp?
KATE: I can't give him Air Force One floor plans, they're top secret.
GIBBS: Come on, I saw this in a Harrison Ford movie.
KATE: Well that's Hollywood speculation, you're asking for the real thing.
GIBBS: Isn't the President's head down here someplace?
GIBBS: Now this was in the movie! (looks around the conference room he just walked into, indicates the chair at the head of the table) Yeah! Harrison was sitting right here.
KATE: I can't risk those plans getting out on the Internet.
GIBBS: NCIS does not leak. These plans get out, you can shoot DiNozzo.
KATE: (unamused) No, I think I'm destined to shoot you.
GIBBS: What about Commander Trapp?
KATE: Only met him this morning. He just received his Yankee White clearance and was Major Kerry's backup. The major has the flu.
GIBBS (walking away, still exploring): We'll have to get a Navy doc to verify that.
KATE: He's got it. (waves her hands in frustration) But go ahead, and waste a doctor's time double-checking like your... Ducky.
Gibbs stops in front of cabinet, with a keypad lock on it.
GIBBS: This is where the terrorists got their weapons in the movie. (starts playing with keypad)
KATE: Oh, that is as ridiculous as the President's "escape capsule".
GIBBS: Anybody switch planes with the President?
KATE: The President was put on a separate plane. Everyone else boarded the backup excepts three stewards who were put in the Press cabin.
GIBBS: What'd you keep them for? (opens curtains to Press cabin, waves at stewards) Make coffee?
KATE: I may not know the finer points of investigating like sticking needles in liver or measuring swimsuit models, but I do know enough to hold the stewards who prepared and served the President's lunch.
GIBBS: Hmm, okay.
KATE: You want to question--?
GIBBS: No, they're not going anywhere. We've got a crime scene to investigate. Rule number one, never let suspects stay together.
KATE: Well I didn't consider them suspects.
GIBBS: Why'd you hold them? (passes her some latex gloves) Put these on.
KATE: My fingerprints are all over this aircraft.
GIBBS: Rule number two, always wear gloves at a crime scene.
By this point, Gibbs has managed to steer them back to the crime scene area. Ducky is kneeling beside the body when they approach.
DUCKY: I believe I know why there's a discrepancy in the time of death. Now since the Commander had lunch with the President, I'm sure the President's physician rushed to evaluate his condition. He also called Trapp's time of death.
KATE: Yes, once he was sure the President wasn't in medical danger, he returned and... (realising) He was gone nearly an hour.
DUCKY: Yes. I'm sure the autopsy will show that Commander Trapp expired almost immediately.
KATE: I owe you an apology, Doctor.
DUCKY: Oh, please, it's Ducky to my associates. I'm just relieved we straightened it out. It's inconsistencies like this to lead to conspiracy theories. It reminds me of a case once in New Orleans. A jealous husband shot his wife off a Mardi Gras float, right out of the clock at the corner of Bourbon Street.
GIBBS: Ah, doc, give it a rest. She's got work to do.
Kate smiles at Ducky and gets up to follow Gibbs.
DUCKY (to Kate, as she leaves): I'll tell you the rest later!
GIBBS: Rule number three, don't believe what you're told. Double-check.
KATE: Should I write these rules in my Palm Pilot, or crochet them on pillows?
They walk into another room. Tony is seated behind the desk, twisting the phone around in his hands. A television is playing in the background.
KATE (indicating Tony): Oh no, I draw the line at him sitting in the President's chair.
TONY (to Gibbs): He's not using it.
GIBBS (to Tony): If you're finished taking pictures, start bagging and tagging.
TONY: Just waiting for you, boss. (gets up)
KATE: Bagging and tagging what?
GIBBS: Well, to start with (indicates lunch) ... everything. (points at chair Tony just left) President was sitting there?
KATE: Pretty good bet, since it is his desk.
Tony passes Gibbs an evidence bag. Gibbs starts instructing Kate on proper investigative technique.
GIBBS: Okay, to maintain the chain of custody, take the item - in this case, Commander Trapp's lunch - place it in the evidence bag. (he does so, seals it, the folds it over to write on the label) Seal it, record all pertinent information, initial across the seal.
Gibbs then passes the filled evidence bag to Tony with a "Keep it cold" order. Tony hands him a new evidence bag. Gibbs turns to Kate with it.
GIBBS: Okay, why don't you try it?
Kate gets queasy, throws a hand up over her mouth, and runs out of the room. Gibbs follows with the evidence bag.
GIBBS: Oh, wait a minute! Hey, wait! Wait a minute! Whoa! Stop! (he corners her against the bathroom door, turns her around, and shoves the open evidence bag in her face) In here, in here...
Kate vomits into the evidence bag. Gibbs seals and labels it.
KATE: Can I rinse now that you've got your evidence?
GIBBS: Yeah, sure.
Kate gives him a disgruntled look, opens the door to the bathroom and disappears inside. Gibbs finishes labelling the evidence bag then hands it to Tony.
GIBBS: Log it. Go find Ducky.
TONY: You think she's got whatever killed the commander?
Gibbs just shakes his head, having no answer. Tony leaves, Gibbs sits down and looks out a window at the clouds passing by.
*cut to Presidential rally*
ANNOUNCER: Please join me in welcoming President George W. Bush. (crowd cheers)
AGENT BAER (in voice over): Don't threaten me, Tom. I'm not in your food chain.
Fornell is on a smaller corporate plane, calling the Secret Service agent patrolling the Presidential rally.
FORNELL: If NCIS does the autopsy, they'll control the investigation. You want that?
BAER: Commander Trapp was a Naval officer, they have every right to do the autopsy.
FORNELL: Damnit Bill, they're bush league. We have assets those cowboys can only salivate over.
BAER: Don't underestimate NCIS.
FORNELL: Oh they're good, at making drug busts and catching sailors who've jumped ship. But an attack on the President?
BAER: The President's doctor thought that Commander Trapp had a stroke.
FORNELL: Maybe he did, but if he was poisoned... You want to put the man's life in the hands of retread cops and ex-MPs?
BAER: If you withhold so much as a comma out of the report...
FORNELL: You'll get copies of everything before the ink dries.
BAER: I'll order Agent Todd to turn the body over to the FBI at Andrews, but I can't control NCIS.
FORNELL: With us joined at the hip, all they can do is watch. And bitch. (hangs up) We're back in the ballgame.
*cut back to Air Force One*
Ducky is examining Kate, who is lying stretched out on a couch.
DUCKY: Low temperature. I think it's a stomach virus.
KATE: I know it is. Did you use that thermometer on cadavers?
DUCKY: (laughs) Would you rather I use the liver probe?
GIBBS: Why you so sure it was the flu?
KATE: (sighs) It's the same symptoms Major Kerry had.
DUCKY: Did you work together recently?
DUCKY: Well if you didn't work with him, then how...? Ah!
KATE: Did you think I was a virgin?
DUCKY: (embarrassed) I'd... hoped not.
Ducky leaves and Kate chuckles. Gibbs just sits there watching her. She gets comfortable, staring back at him.
KATE: You gonna lecture me about sleeping with people you work with?
Kate nods slowly. Gibbs keeps looking at her. Before anyone can say anything else, someone calls for Agent Todd over the intercom system.
COMM: Agent Todd, Agent Baer's on a secure line for you.
Kate sighs and slowly, possibly painfully, sits up.
GIBBS: You want me to take that call for you?
KATE: I'd have to be dead.
She leaves and Gibbs nods to himself, laughing.
Meanwhile, Tony is sitting in an empty office using the desk to interview the flight crew.
TONY: And how long have you been on Air Force One?
CREWMAN: Five years, sir. Two with President Clinton, three with President Bush.
Gibbs walks in and heads straight for the bathroom, pulling his zipper down on the way. Tony wraps the interview up.
TONY: Alright. Well, thank you very much, Chief Steward.
CREWMAN: Yes, sir.
The steward leaves and Gibbs questions Tony from the bathroom.
GIBBS: What'd you get?
TONY: Ah, food security's very tight. Incognito purchases, randomly selected stores. No one knows their buying for Air Force One.
While Tony is talking and Gibbs is peeing, Ducky enters the room. Tony motions for him to be quiet, pointing at the bathroom, and grabs a camera. Ducky quickly snaps a picture of Tony sitting behind the desk, then they switch places so Tony can do the same for Ducky. Tony is giving Gibbs a verbal report the whole time. Once done, they both retake their places and act as if nothing at all happened.
TONY: Stewards usually prepare all the food, but today the President had ribs and coleslaw flown in from a smokehouse in San Antonio. So they only reheated them and served them.
GIBBS: Anybody else have ribs?
DUCKY: Gibbs, if the ribs were poisoned, then how come the President wasn't affected.
GIBBS: Maybe he's used to PapaJoe's barbecue. (flushes) If you two are through taking pictures of each other, maybe we can move that body out.
Gibbs leaves and Tony and Ducky look at each other, caught.
*cut to Comm.*
Kate talking with her boss on the phone in the Comm. The Secret Service is preparing a motorcade for the President.
KATE (on phone): I made a deal with NCIS to share the investigation, sir.
BAER: You're not senior enough to make deals, Agent Todd. We're working this with the FBI.
KATE: Sir, these NCIS agents are not just going to turn the body and the evidence over to the FBI.
BAER (to driver): Let's go. (to Kate) NCIS had no right to use a local coroner to delay your departure.
KATE: You have to see it from there side.
BAER: Agent Todd, shut up and listen. I'm giving you a direct order. That's our aircraft, everything living and dead on board is under Secret Service control. Turn the body over to the FBI at Andrews, or the only presidential detail you'll get will be walking Spotty.
Agent Baer hangs up on her. She forcefully puts the phone down, releasing a huff of frustration. The motorcade pulls away. Kate walks back downstairs to the crime scene, but the only one there is Gibbs. Not even the corpse.
KATE: Where's the body?
GIBBS: (innocently) I don't know.
They both laugh, knowing he's lying through his teeth.
KATE: (smirks) You move it to the off-ramp for a fast getaway?
Gibbs just grins and drinks his coffee. Kate puts on her coat and takes her own seat as the plane is coming in for a landing.
KATE: It won't work, Gibbs. I've been ordered to turn the body over to the FBI at Andrews.
GIBBS: You could stall them until we get off.
KATE: No, I can't. I won't defy a direct order. I'm sorry, Gibbs.
GIBBS: Never say you're sorry. (laughingly) Ah, you don't have to crochet that one.
Kate smiles, but is obviously not happy with the situation. Then the Captain's voice comes over the comm.
CAPTAIN: Folks, please fasten your seatbelts, we're beginning our descent into Andrews at this time.
Gibbs and Kate both buckle up and the plane lands.
*cut to highway, black FBI SUV driving down the road*
FBI AGENT/DRIVER: Why'd you let NCIS have the evidence they bagged on the plane?
FORNELL: Since we have the body we control the investigation. If a few ribs and coleslaw saves some face, what's it hurt? If the food was poisoned the President would-
A cell phone rings. Both FBI agents look around. The driver checks his cell to be sure.
DRIVER: Not mine, sir.
The phone rings again. Fornell checks his cell as well.
FORNELL: Not mine, either.
Both agents look back at the body bag where the voice came from. Tony is inside it, with his cell phone pressed to his ear.
GIBBS (voice on cell): We're in the clear, you can get out of the body bag.
The FBI SUV slams to halt in the middle of the road, forcing a driver behind them to serve. Car horns honk.
TONY: I never thought I'd say this, but I'm not sure I want to.
A white van is driving down another road somewhere else. Gibbs and Ducky are in the back with the real body of Cmdr. Trapp.
GIBBS: Fine. You've got to search Commander Trapp's apartment tonight.
TONY: Oh, Gibbs, come on! It's 1: 00am.
GIBBS: Agent [Axle Rod??] is trailing you to pick up the body bag when the FBI tosses it.
TONY: That's funny, Gibbs, real funny. Especially since- Aaahhh!
Tony trails off as the body bag containing him is dumped out onto the road. Gibbs just calmly hangs up and turns back to look at Ducky.
GIBBS: I guess they found him. (smirk)
*cut to MTAC*
The NCIS Director is videoconferencing with the Secret Service and FBI Directors.
NCIS DIRECTOR: Special Agent Gibbs has been operating under my direct orders.
SECRET SERVICE DIRECTOR: Agent Todd was also acting under orders.
FBI DIRECTOR: As was Agent Fornell.
NCIS DIRECTOR: Then the problem seems to be that my man succeeded where your two... didn't.
SECRET SERVICE DIRECTOR: Tom, this is no time for turf wars. Not after 9/11. And especially when the President's life may be at risk.
NCIS DIRECTOR: I'd like to think this is not about turf, Mark. Rather that we all believe we have the right people for the job. We shouldn't be agency directors if we didn't.
SECRET SERVICE DIRECTOR: You're offering a shared investigation?
NCIS DIRECTOR: I am.
FBI DIRECTOR: Who leads? Your man?
NCIS DIRECTOR: We do have the body.
SECRET SERVICE DIRECTOR: (sarcastically) Huh.
*cut to Autopsy*
GERALD: I found Abby, she's on the way in.
GIBBS: Yeah, did you wake her up?
GERALD: No, I called her on her cell. Sounded like one phat party.
Gerald leaves, carrying the Commander's uniform wrapped in plastic. Gibbs just blinks in confusion at the terminology.
GIBBS: Find anything Ducky?
DUCKY: Nope, and I won't for hours. (lifts an arm, uses a magnifying glass to peer at it) I've just begun examining the body for needle marks.
GIBBS: You think somebody stuck him?
DUCKY: I don't know.
GIBBS: Anything on the uniform.
DUCKY: Not that I could see. I've sent it up to Abby.
GIBBS: (spots something) What's this?
DUCKY: (checks) A mole. Gibbs, go home. Get some sleep. I would if I could, this is gonna take all night. What's left of it.
Gibbs wanders over to the side counter and picks up a roll of paper towel. He lays it down like a pillow on an autopsy bed beside the corpse's and stretches out with a groan of relief. He rolls over onto his side and closes his eyes for a nap.
GIBBS: Ducky, why would Abby go to a "fat" party?
DUCKY: Jethro, (turns off overhead lights) get some sleep.
Ducky goes back to work under the sole light of the spot lamp over the body. Meanwhile, Abby is in her lab examining Cmdr. Trapp's uniform under UV light.
TONY (carrying a box of evidence): Find anything on his uniform?
ABBY: Not yet.
TONY: Well, I think I found how he was poisoned.
Tony takes the box of evidence bags and starts laying them out on the countertop. Abby follows.
TONY: This guy had enough vitamins, herbs, and organic food to open his own health market. If he was poisoned, I think you'll find it laced into one of these.
ABBY (signs label on evidence bag to keep chain of custody): So what are you gonna do while I'm finding poison in a health snack?
TONY: (yawns) I'll wait.
ABBY: There's a futon, by the cabinet over there.
TONY: (clasps hands in benediction) Oh, bless you.
ABBY: (chuckles) What are you, my priest?
TONY: (pause) Curse you?
Abby laughs. Tony lays down for a nap under a desk with the futon mattress. Abby goes back to work.
*cut to NCIS headquarters. It's obviously a few hours later, the next day.*
Ducky points out a yellow spot highlighted on the brain scan of the corpse, which is being displayed on the widescreen television. Everyone is there, including Agents Kate Todd and Fornell.
DUCKY: My neural pathology exam indicates that our victim succumbed to a cerebral embolism. Here, in the parietal lobe. I also found a number of clots, most of them centred in the renal artery.
KATE: Isn't that unusual?
DUCKY: Oh, not at all. In most cases of arterial thrombosis, clots will develop over a period of minutes or hours, spread to the rest of the body.
GIBBS: But what caused them to develop in a healthy young aviator?
DUCKY: Abby? (turns the floor over to her)
ABBY: Well I did a fibrinogen test. The procoagulate numbers were high, but they weren't off the charts.
FORNELL: Any drugs that might induce the clotting?
ABBY: Well yeah, but none of those popped up. I only iso'ed the epinephrine that was injected when he got jolted and juiced on the plane.
TONY: No vitamins? Herbals?
ABBY: The guy was an organic freak. I mean, he probably whizzed green. But none of that'll cottage cheese your blood.
KATE: Did you test the food that ingested on Air Force One?
ABBY: Everything that was bagged and tagged. Ribs, coleslaw, barby sauce... it was all negative for toxins. I mean, that stuff will kill ya, but it'll take, like, thirty years. Do you dudes in the Secret Service ever think about throwing yourselves in front of the President's diet?
Gibbs chuckles, Kate smiles ruefully.
FORNELL: So, you're both saying he wasn't murdered?
DUCKY: However freakish and tragic, it apparently was a natural death.
FORNELL: I want my people to check your results.
DUCKY: Of course. You and Agent Todd will be receiving copies of all our tests.
FORNELL: Does it for me. (looks at Tony) How's your butt?
TONY: Still bouncing on the beltway.
Fornell leaves. Kate goes to follow, but Gibbs calls her back with a stick of gum.
GIBBS: Kate. (she takes gum) When's the President returning?
KATE: Uh, tomorrow. Noon. I'm flying back tonight to rejoin the detail.
GIBBS: Mind if I tag along?
GIBBS: (childishly) Please?
KATE: (smiling smugly) You can. Your Sig Sauer can't. We have a rule: no weapons on Air Force One unless they're Secret Service.
Kate pops the gum in her mouth. Gibbs shrugs and takes off his sidearm, tucking it away in a drawer. He puts on his coat and follows Kate out.
GIBBS (to Ducky and Abby as he passes): Keep looking.
ABBY: (amused) Wow. Gibbs said "please".
*cut to bar*
Kate is having a drink with Major Kerry.
KERRY (proposing toast with his beer): To Commander Trapp. (he and Kate clink glasses, drink) To come all the way through the war without a scratch and then die in a stroke... He was in the thick of it on the push to Baghdad.
KATE: You never told me that you knew him.
KERRY: We had a drink when he reported to the Whitehouse. He wanted to know what tips I could give him.
KATE: About the Football detail?
KERRY: Yeah. Where he could find a good gym. Dry cleaners. Grocery mart. Local watering hole.
KATE: Did you tell him about this place?
KERRY: No. He might have run into us and that wouldn't have been good, would it? (takes her hand)
KATE: (looks at their hands) No, it wouldn't. (slides her hand out from under his)
KERRY: Huh. He wouldn't have run into us after tonight though, would he?
KATE: (whispering) No.
KERRY: Worried about losing your job?
KATE: Worried about losing the President. When we work together my focus just wouldn't be a hundred percent. I'm sorry, Tim. That's the way it's gotta be and you know it.
Major Kerry helps Kate out into her car and watches as she drives away. He goes to his own car, and as he gets in we see he has started to sweat profusely. He tugs at his collar but quickly starts convulsing and falls over, white foam dripping from his mouth. He's obviously dead.
*cut to Air Force One*
The President reboards the plane.
PRESIDENT: Good to see you again, Major. (pats the new Football carrier on the arm) Always good to see ya. (to Agent Baer) Folks, that was a job well done.
BAER: Thank you, sir.
PRESIDENT: What do you say we head home?
PRESIDENT: Alright. I agree.
KATE (to Baer): Sir? I'm surprised that you didn't object to Agent Gibbs riding with us?
BAER: He's here because his gut is still churning, isn't it?
KATE: Yes, sir. I suppose you could put it that way.
BAER: Well so is mine.
Kate nods, equally as concerned, as she watches Baer walk off after the President. Air Force One takes off, once more.
*cut to NCIS Headquarters*
ABBY: Ducky, I have tested everything. Mineral acids, organic acids, alkaloids, bacterial poisons...
DUCKY: You know, Abby, nature always proves to be a far more elusive and powerful killer than man.
Ducky leaves. Abby looks thoughtful.
*cut to Air Force One*
The new Football carrier is currently being served lunch. Gibbs watches him eat.
KATE (to Gibbs): Expect him to drop?
GIBBS: (goes over to Kate) I see you're over the flu. (sits)
KATE: Twenty-four hour bug. Tim got over it yesterday. Tim is Major Kerry.
GIBBS: Yeah. I kinda figured that.
KATE: (defensively) I met him for a drink yesterday. I told him we had to stop seeing each other. I mean, we hadn't been dating long. I mean, we knew each other on the detail for a couple of months before we started... dating. You know, when you're on the job 24/7, how else do you get to know someone?
*cut to Abby's lab*
She's looking at natural toxins produced by animals, such as the Puffer fish. The test comes up negative. She sighs and goes back to try another.
*cut back to Air Force One*
BAER: The President's ready to see you.
Annie follows Baer out of the Press cabin, past where Gibbs and Kate are seated. Gibbs gets up to watch them curiously.
GIBBS: Where they going?
KATE: The President promised ten minutes to each member of the Press on board. Since we kicked them off at Wichita, he's playing catch up.
GIBBS: Three years before 9/11, Clancy wrote a book where a terrorist hijacked a commercial jetliner and crashed it into the Capital. (looks into Press cabin) In the Harrison Ford movie, the terrorists were reporters.
KATE: Gibbs, everyone on board has been vetted by us for years. Except you.
GIBBS: In the film, the terrorists got they're credentials from a Secret Service turncoat.
Gibbs walks away. Kate sighs. A man from the Press cabin walks up beside her and watches Gibbs leave.
MAN: Loosening up your dress code, Kate?
KATE: He's not one of us.
MAN: We all gonna get our fifteen minutes of fame?
KATE (shuffling him back to his seat): It's ten, Leonard, and the President's doing his best.
*cut to Abby's lab*
She's spinning a pair of scissors around her finger while she waits for her machine to beep. The test for Poison Arrow Frog is also negative.
*cut to street outside the bar where Kate broke up with Major Kerry*
The police have found a body. Tony drives up to investigate.
TONY (to cop): Agent DiNozzo, NCIS. What do you got?
COP: One dead Marine officer. No signs of trauma. (indicates wallet) Doesn't appear to be a robbery, there's still cash and credit cards in his wallet. (passes wallet to Tony) I've got two shooting already this morning. Since this guy's one of yours, I hoped you might take it.
Tony flips open the wallet and sees the ID. It's Major Timothy Kerry.
TONY: Yeah. We'll take him.
*cut to Abby's lab*
She's finally gotten a positive test result. The toxin is identified as "taipan1". Abby jumps up and down in exaltation.
*cut to Air Force One*
Gibbs is wandering around exploring the plane again.
GIBBS: There's something different about this plane than Air Force One.
KATE: This is Air Force One.
GIBBS: You know what I mean.
In the background, Agent Baer brings Annie back and calls for Leonard. It's his turn with the President now. He lingers putting on his sport coat as he leaves, overhearing Kate talk with Gibbs.
KATE: There's some minor differences. 2900 is newer, has some minor updates.
GIBBS: Like what?
KATE: Rear loading hatch is bigger on the 2900. Extra lavatory forward. Locks are digital on 29, and keyed on this.
Man on intercom interrupts them.
COMM: Special Agent Gibbs, you have a teleconference call in Comm.
GIBBS: (gets up to leave) Kate, I want to know every difference on this plane, no matter how small you think it is.
KATE (calling after him as he walks away): Please?
Gibbs takes the teleconference call. It's Tony at MTAC.
GIBBS: What's up?
TONY: Major Kerry is dead. D.C. cops found the body in his car on a street in Georgetown. Ducky and Abby'll update you.
Tony switches the teleconference over to open up windows into Ducky's autopsy and Abby's lab so they can contribute as well.
GIBBS: Another stroke, Duck?
DUCKY: I'm afraid so, Gibbs. But this time there are multiple embolic infarctions. The Major must have received a heavier dose than the Commander.
GIBBS: Dose of what, Abby?
ABBY: It's venom, from a coastal taipan. It's a highly toxic Aussie snake. Well this junk zaps the nervous system and it clots the blood. You convulse, and then you stroke.
DUCKY: The toxin is almost impossible to detect.
TONY: Well, the truth is, Abby would have detected it if I hadn't interrupted her while she was ALSing the uniform.
GIBBS: The venom was in the uniform?
ABBY: Yeah. I found traces of DMSO in the collars and the cuffs. I think it was mixed with the venom to make it absorbed through the skin.
TONY: Major Kerry was the intended target. When he came down with the flu, he didn't put his uniform on until yesterday.
GIBBS: How did the terrorist get the poison into the uniforms?
ABBY: Well, they both have tags from Dry Doc Cleaners on 19th Street.
GIBBS: DiNozzo, why are you sitting there on your ass? Get a team and go hit that dry cleaners.
Tony looks behind him at Director Morrow. The Director sits down in Tony's seat.
DIRECTOR: I've passed that baton on to the FBI. This has all the earmarks of Al-Qaeda; unexpected, well planned, brilliantly executed. But to what end?
TONY: Wouldn't surprise me to hear Bin Laden on Al-Jazeera bragging about how he iced the President's Ball carriers.
DIRECTOR: I don't think that's what he wants to brag about.
GIBBS: Eh, neither do I.
Gibbs signs off and leans back in his chair, thinking. Then he runs down the stairs to the new Football carrier, who leaps to his feet when he sees Gibbs.
GIBBS: Where'd you get your uniform dry-cleaned?
MARINE: Base cleaner at Quantico, sir.
Gibbs walks back down the aisle, encountering Kate on the way. She's got her laptop open in her arms.
KATE: I've accessed everything I could on the differences.
GIBBS: We need to talk. (goes to open a door to an office)
KATE: (stopping him) What are you doing? There's a campaign conference going on in there.
GIBBS: I need to talk to you in private.
KATE: Well, there's no other private meeting room. You could ask the President to give up his office, but it might be a little weird.
Gibbs grabs her laptop and throws it down on a seat. While she protests, Gibbs pushes her into a bathroom and squeezes in with her.
GIBBS: (taking her weapon) Sit down.
KATE: What are you doing?!
GIBBS: (holding her own weapon pointed at her) Commander Trapp was poisoned. Australian snake venom. Hard to detect, mimics a natural death.
KATE: What? You think I did it?
GIBBS: Well, sweetpea, you were with him when he was poisoned.
KATE: Yeah, so was the President. You gonna accuse him?
GIBBS: No. He wasn't with Major Kerry yesterday.
GIBBS: Yeah. Stroked, on a Georgetown street.
Kate looks upset.
GIBBS: You know, I bet it wasn't far from the bar where you two kissed and said bye-bye.
Kate starts hitting him, crying, very upset. She calls him an "asshole", then buries her face in his shoulder while he holds her.
GIBBS (explaining): I gave it to you cold, wanted to see your reaction. Liars can't bail on cue. (hands her back her weapon while she gets ahold of herself) Come on.
KATE: (takes weapon back) You're still a b*st*rd.
Gibbs doesn't argue.
KATE: How were they poisoned?
GIBBS: Dry cleaner laced their uniforms with poison. Must be an Al-Qaeda sleeper.
KATE: Tim must have recommended his dry cleaners, he...
KATE: (crying again) Yesterday, Tim told me that they had a drink and he gave Commander Trapp tips like that.
GIBBS: Well they've got to be after the President, but what would killing the Ball carrier give them?
KATE: Nothing. Another aide steps in.
GIBBS: (realising) And another plane. This plane. They forced the President to fly his backup.
KATE: Security's exactly the same.
GIBBS: But the plane isn't. And I'll bet Security isn't either until the President's on board. Al-Qaeda has to have planted something on this plane.
KATE: It can't be a bomb, they would have detonated it by now.
*cut to Press cabin*
A journalist starts going into convulsions and drops to the floor. Secret Service agents rush to his side.
SECRET SERVICE: Medical emergency, Press cabin.
Agent Baer leaves from escorting Leonard to race to the Press cabin. Leonard ambles along behind him. The same three medics from before come running.
BAER: Captain, is this the same thing Trapp had?
DOCTOR: It appears to be.
FEMALE MEDIC: (checks respiration) He's not breathing.
DOCTOR: Start CPR.
BAER: Do something!
Leonard, meanwhile, walks over to the cabinet Gibbs had remarked on before when comparing the plane with the movie. He has a key to unlock the cabinet. Inside are weapons, and he arms himself with an automatic.
*cut to bathroom*
GIBBS: You said the locks were different.
KATE: 29 has digital ones, this one has keys.
GIBBS: Armoury, the armoury. They have keys to the armoury. They copied the movie. They've vetted a reporter.
KATE: That would take years. (puts her earwig back in)
GIBBS: So did setting up 9/11.
As they exit the washroom, Leonard sees them and ducks down side corridor before they can see him.
KATE (listening to comm. chatter): There's a medical emergency in the Press cabin.
GIBBS: It's a diversion. Cover the President.
They split up. Gibbs back toward the Press cabin, Kate to the President. She draws her weapon as she approaches.
KATE (to Ball carrier): Nobody gets past you.
The Marine Football carrier plants himself in the middle of the aisle, a determined blockade.
Leonard waits until Gibbs has passed by before going back out into the aisle. Gibbs makes his way to the armoury and grabs a handgun. Leonard approaches the Marine guarding the hall, who moves to intercept him.
MARINE: Sir, stop right there. Stop right there, sir!
LEONARD: What's happened?
Gibbs is now behind Leonard, pointing his gun at him. Leonard halts.
GIBBS: Get your hands in the air.
LEONARD: (slowly turning around) Sure. Someone yelled for a doctor.
As Leonard turns, he starts firing the automatic on an arc toward Gibbs. Gibbs does not flinch, but fires once into Leonard's chest. Leonard falls onto his butt, alive and no longer firing, but still with his finger on the trigger of the automatic. Gibbs shoots him twice more in the chest and head. Leonard keels over, dead.
Kate and everyone else shows up to see what happened. Gibbs walks passed the body up to Kate and hands her his appropriated weapon with a smirk.
*cut to Air Force One, once again parked on the tarmac surrounded by emergency vehicles.*
BAER: I'm gonna be doing paperwork for a week.
GIBBS: Oh yeah, me too.
BAER: Agent Todd told me about her and Major Kerry when she tendered her resignation.
GIBBS: Are you accepting?
BAER: Of course, she broke the rules. (offers his hand) Well, thank you, Special Agent Gibbs.
GIBBS: (shakes hand) No sir, thank you.
Gibbs deplanes smiling. Kate is then seen walking despondently away from the scene. Gibbs comes running up to her.
GIBBS: I heard you quit, Agent Todd.
KATE: Happy news gets around fast. Yes, I resigned. It was the right thing to do.
GIBBS: Yup. Pull that crap at NCIS, I won't give you a chance to resign.
KATE: (surprised) Is that a job offer?
Gibbs doesn't respond, but gets picked up by his mysterious redheaded lady friend with the convertible. Kate looks on in bewilderment.
*cut to Gibbs's basement*
The TV flicks on in the middle of a news report. Agent Fornell is giving a press conference on site at Air Force One.
FORNELL (on TV): Federal agents working in unison with the Secret Service were able to foil a terrorist attempt to assassinate the President while he was on board Air Force One. The body of the terrorist is being delivered to the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, where FBI forensics experts will endeavour to identify him.
REPORTER (on TV): Was it Al-Qaeda?
FORNELL: That's all we know at this time.
The television sounds fade into the background as the camera focuses on Gibbs, once again diligently sanding his boat's frame to smoothness.