When an artificial intelligence scientist is found dead in the prototype of a self-guided Humvee she had been developing, it appears she simply committed suicide. But when Abby conducts her search of the vehicle back at the NCIS lab, she inadvertently triggers a trap that pulls the safety belt tight to restrain the passenger, as exhaust is pumped in to the car. Confident now that it was a murder, the team investigates who at the A.I. lab would have the motive to kill the victim. Their main suspect is Torsten Engler, a bitter colleague who felt the victim was overshadowing his work. But, when more evidence is discovered Gibbs and the team are forced to refocus on someone closer to the victim.