Epilogue to THE JINN WHO CLEARS THE WAY

BLACK MAGIC

by G M


So blinded by rage, Steve McGarrett barely realized he had swept his desktop clear in a fit of wrath. Not until his fist stung from repeated strikes to the wall did his mind slowly comprehend the violence, the white-hot fury overwhelming his usually controlled temper. In a last wave of wrath he kicked the French doors open, sending one crashing against the outside wall, glass splintering onto the lanai. Pressing his right palm flat against the cool wall of his office, McGarrett leaned his forehead against the plaster and breathed. The anguished wave surfaced again and his fist balled again, once more pounding the inanimate wall.

"Steve."

The voice of reason. Like a cool wind on a fevered brow, Williams' call broke through the pained raving and McGarrett closed his eyes, hands running through his hair.

"Steve . . . "

There was really nothing else to say -- what words could possibly be uttered at this low ebb? Nothing but obvious concern, comprehensible outrage, visible frustration. Nonetheless, as always, Williams stood by prepared to help -- sharing in the defeat without invitation.

"Too bad Wo Fat didn't stick around to substitute for the wall."

During his checkered careers McGarrett had experienced some crushing low points. Few were as bitter and complete as this failure. Still, Danno managed to bring a grudging, fleeting near-grin to him. Turning to lean his back on the wall he studied his colleague who prudently remained on the other side of the desk.

Steve shook his head, still unable to speak.

Williams slowly approached, standing next to the lanai doors. "I couldn't believe it when I saw Jonathan walk out with Wo Fat."

After a deep breath. "Yeah. Unbelievable."

Dan was appropriately subdued. "So, I guess there was some good reason State sprung Wo Fat."

Desperately in need of fresh air, Steve slammed open the one unbroken door and walked out to the lanai. The warm October sun filtered through patchy, drifting clouds, dappling the lanai with shadow and light. Hands on the rail, McGarrett leaned his head down, breathing, eyes closed against the brightness, blind to the beauty surrounding him.

"Right here, Danno -- he was right here in my office!" Steve looked up, staring out at the grounds without seeing the sights, blinded by the shadow looming in his mind's eye. "He's like an evil jinn, isn't he? Always a trick up his sleeve -- always an escape route I haven't thought of."

"This time he had help." Dan's bitterness reflected Steve's passionate emotions. "Jonathan's a real politician to do this." The tone was not flattering.

With difficulty, in a cracked voice, McGarrett slowly explained the details. A downed American pilot; the fat Chinese spy. Bigger minds than his instigated a trade offer. Somewhere in one of the fifty states an air force officer would return to his family and Wo Fat would return to his evil machinations on the other side of the Red Curtain. Who was a cop to argue that equity? Who was McGarrett to say it was more important to satisfy justice than have a man returned from cruel imprisonment?

"I wish we could just kill him."

The ghost of a smile played on McGarrett's lips. His friend voiced his own heart-felt wishes. Williams, and he, were too moral -- too noble to just pull out a gun and shoot Wo Fat right between his big, smug eyes. Steve had to admit he'd been tempted, but would probably never succumb to the vengeance.

"What do I tell Chin?" Steve moved to lean on one of the white pillars and glanced back at his colleague. "I feel cheated. I'm so angry at the betrayal and the failure to get Wo Fat. Again. But I can't even imagine how Chin will feel over this. The murderer of his uncle and cousin just walked out of this office with a State Department escort!"

The plot had been an intricate masterpiece of Machiavellian proportions. Something only Wo Fat could devise. Smuggle a ballistic missile device back to Red China from Hawaii through levels of deceptions, lies and deaths. It all centered on Tom Wong, Chin's cousin, and a communist sympathizer. After the death of Chin's uncle Wong and the oldest male cousin, Tom was left to return the old man's remains to mainland China. With an added little package courtesy of Wo Fat. As in several capers in the past, McGarrett proved sharp enough to figure out the incredible plot, just not clever enough to hold onto the slippery spy.

"It's as if he's surrounded by black magic, Danno. When we close in to tighten our grip, he slips away in a puff of smoke."

"I hope someday we'll figure out a way to counter his magic spells." Williams sighed. "You want me to go tell Chin?"

"No, no thanks, that's my job. I'll do it."

Dan nodded. With a sigh he glanced around the lanai, desultorily kicking glass from their path. A rueful offer came quietly as he surveyed the storm-path inside the office. "I'll help you clean up first, then I'll go get him."

*****

Psychologically escaping, McGarrett retreated to the solace of the lanai. Detective Kelly met him there.

"Bad news, boss?"

Steve nodded grimly. "Jonathan Kaye took Wo Fat away, Chin."

"To Washington? We got him here for murder."

"No. He's going back to China. In trade for a captured US pilot."

Slowly McGarrett explained the convoluted political machinations allowing their nemesis to go free. For a moment the stocky officer was silent. Then he slowly shook his head, staring down at his feet.

"Ancestors have taught my people to be patient. A wall takes several dynasties to complete. An invader is repulsed for three decades. An ox takes a day to journey to another field. We are a people of patience." Chin turned and stared at McGarrett. "Now I understand your impatience, Steve, your passion to finish off Wo Fat. He is an evil man." He took a deep breath. "Someday his evil will destroy him." He gave a slight nod, as if stating the justice of karma Wo Fat was already a marked man. "My family will take this hard, but we will deal with it. We'll be okay, because we have each other to lean on. I know things will work out."

Head bowed, Kelly walked through the office, closing the door behind him.

Still seething with anger and loathing for the fat Chinese spy, McGarrett returned to the solace of the lanai. He was surprised his animosity slightly diminished with the shared commitment spoken by his detective. It took a lot to ruffle the calm, implacable Kelly, and Wo Fat had managed to make a formidable enemy this time. Chin Ho might have fought against Wo because he was an enemy to Steve, to America. Now the Chinese spy was an enemy to the assorted Wong/Kelly clans. This betrayal would not be forgotten.

"He'll be okay."

McGarrett almost smiled. At the blackest times in his career at Five-0, Williams always managed to be there for Steve.

"Yeah, I think so. He's got a good family to support him." He turned and leaned against the white railing, studying his friend. "I do, too."

Dan joined him at the rail, leaning his hands on the iron, staring out at the Palace grounds. "We'll get him, Steve. One of these days, you'll make him pay for all of this misery."

"I hope so, Danno." He wanted to believe the optimism, wanted desperately to think his will; his tenacity would win out beyond Wo Fat's black magic and cunning. "I hope so."

"You will." Dan gave a vague gesture. "This is Hawaii. Here the good guys always win, remember?"

The remark was meant to be uplifting, even through the corny cliché. Sometimes it was Williams' corny humor and optimism that were the only rays of hope in otherwise bleak cases. Through the frustration and anger, Steve felt a sense of calm knowing he had such fierce allies. Like Chin, somehow Steve would get through this because he had incredible family and friends to lean on. Yes, Wo Fat's magic would one day be overpowered by Steve's sheer will for justice and right to prevail. His friends believed that, so would he.


PAU