Part two of



* * * * *


Fanatic part one:

A series of bombings and knifing attacks against civilians has Hawaii in the grips of panic.  Five-0 tracks down and arrests the perpetrator.  Then the threats escalate to include the Five-0 ohana.





Before heading to the office, Williams drove to his apartment so he could clean up and appear fit to represent his office.  Dismayed, he looked as bad as he felt and that wasn’t so hot.  He had not exactly lied to Steve that he was entirely well.  But he had not completely disclosed the truth in the park when asked if he was all right. The brief running and fighting had popped some stitches and reopened his side wound.  At Steve’s, he had cleaned up and borrowed a shirt from McGarrett that was way too big, but effectively covered the homemade bandage he had slapped onto his side to get through the tough ohana meeting.


Once home he raced through a quick shower and homemade patch-up job, then drove to the Palace, where he knew McGarrett would be.  Stepping into the empty, quiet office dusky with shadows and a dim glow of sunset from the open lanai doors, he joined his friend out in the open air.




“All pau.  They’re all on their way.”


“Mahalo.  I couldn’t face it.”


“I know.”


Meeting with the officers and families connected with Five-0 had been an emotional strain for all of them, but nothing close to the burdens McGarrett shouldered now.  It tore him up to know he could do nothing to effectively protect his ohana from random attacks – specific violence targeting his own elite corp.  It was a moment unique in the history of the unit and to McGarrett.  He was taking it personally.  There was no choice but to send them into protective custody.  There had never been a question that McGarrett would take his own advice – or that Williams would, either.


While both were tense and disturbed, there was a serene comfort in this moment on the quiet lanai shaded by palm fronds brushing in the tropical breeze.  Moments exactly like this were an oft-shared intimacy enjoyed many times in the years they had worked together.  Others in the staff came out here to deal with the boss, but only the second-in-command spent long hours of the day, far into the night, and sometimes the morning, out here; talking, arguing, trading confidences.  The moment settled in his mind, finally, that they would get through this, as they always did, together.


“Mahalo, my friend,” Steve quietly surrendered, feeling particularly emotional and needing to vent some of it to the brother who understood him best.  “I – uh –“ he cleared his throat, offering a nervous laugh.  It was so hard to verbalize the tough truth.  He could just remain silent – Danno would understand.  This time he couldn’t.  He had to connect with the one person who knew him best, who understood what he meant and what he was going through.  They were playing a dangerous game and one of them might not make it out of this.  HE had to say what needed to be said now, no matter how hard it was.  “I – uh -- need you more than ever now.  Please, be careful.  This is going to be rough and dangerous, and I don’t want you to be a casualty in this war.”


“Same to you,” was Williams’ somber reply.


“Okay,” he breathed in a deep sigh.  “I want you to go home and finish getting some rest, aikane.  We’ll take this up in the morning, if you feel up to it.”


“I’ll be here.  You’re going home, too, aren’t you?”


“Yeah.  I just have one more stop to make.”



* * * * *


In the small lounge at the far side of Honolulu airport, the Kelly family stood in a semicircle around the vending machines.  Chin and Mai had emptied their pockets of change and the youngest of the group were stuffing themselves with all the treats and soda they could buy.  David and Suzy helped corral the kids who were making small crumb piles and chocolate smears on the plastic furniture.  Alia and Tim cornered their parents in a united effort to change the inevitable.


“We don’t want to go!” the teenage girl whined.  “This will ruin everything!”


“Your safety comes first,” her father sternly reminded.


Tim was still mutinous.  “I have friends –“


“And you will still have them when we return,” Mai snapped back at him.  “Don’t make this more difficult on your father than it is already!  How do you think he feels leaving Steve and Danny behind to handle these thugs?”  She didn’t wait for the rebellious teens to supply an inappropriate response to the rhetorical reprimand.  “You’re going to stay with the family and do what you are told.  You have no idea how scary it has been for all of us today.”  Then she turned to the girl.  “I know this is hard, but you have no choice.  Be mature and support the family, not give us problems.”


The two teens sulked away, muttering to themselves, to go stand apart, staring out the window of the airport.  A small twin engine prop plane taxied up to the building and an attendant at the desk waved at them.  Two patrolmen stepped over to let the Kellys know the plane taking them to the Big Island was ready.


Chin Ho stared out and considered the craft, knowing it was the way to safety for his family, but finding this one of the hardest things he had ever been asked to do.  Protect his family, but in doing so, leaving his duty and friends behind to do his job for him.  It wasn’t right.  Steve should not have ordered them to leave, but the boss could not be swayed.  And Danny, of course, supported him completely.  He owed the lives of his children to Danny and Steve’s prompt actions today.  It was unjust for him to go to a place and hide, and leave those two honorable men to face Troc’s vengeance.



* * * * *



He knew it was a waste of time, but McGarrett felt compelled to go to the hospital anyway.  It had always been a need of his to know his enemy by facing off with the fiend in a personal confrontation.  He found it was a tremendous way to vent his anger and frustration, to fine-tune his focus and determined mind set.  Sometimes, best of all, it was the element of surprise needed to knock the perpetrator off balance and into a hasty, stupid mistake.


Tonight, it was mostly his need to vent that brought him here to Queen’s Hospital lock up wing.  On the drive over, he had raged, pounding the steering wheel and muttering vile threats.  By the time he was stalking through the corridors, he knew he could not blast into Troc’s room and level the man with verbal or physical violence.  For one, it would ruin their case, even though the man had been caught red handed.  It would diminish his ability to fight crime and put the rest of the gang away.  Worse, it would show the ringleader of the terrorists that the ploys had worked all too well against them – that the terror had succeeded on all levels – emotional, physical, psychological.  No, this time he had to switch his strategy. 


The HPD guards saluted and stepped aside from the locked door.  One of them used a key on his belt to open the grated entry.  Down the hall, in a private room, Troc was handcuffed to the rail of his bed.  He looked up from what might have been a sleep. He sneered with superiority.


“Come to torture me, McGarrett?” he spat in thick English.  “You have crippled me and now you hope to torture me to give you names and locations of my associates – my fellow patriots?”


The head of Fove-0 forced cool disdain to be his mantle.  Face, body language and ramrod posture reflected only condescension.  Stepping back into the open doorway, he ordered the interior officer and a nurse who had been in the hall to enter the room with him.


“I want you all to witness that I am not approaching Mister Troc and have not, and will not, come into physical contact with him.”  He looked at the criminal with undisguised hatred while he delivered the lines, but to the audience he was dispassionate and controlled.  “He believes I am here to torture him.”  To the criminal, he resisted a sneer.  “I am here to deliver notification.”


The words surprised the prisoner, who narrowed his eyes at the policeman.


“I don’t need a confession from you, Troc.  You were arrested with multiple eyewitnesses hearing your confession and seeing your bombing attempt first hand.  You are continuing to confess and relate the whereabouts of your associates even as we speak.  I don’t need word one from you.”


The Asian’s face twitched with concern.


“All the clothes, the dirt and residue under the fingernails, the muck in the soles of the shoes of you and your confederates, are all evidence!  From your dead soldiers, I should say.”


Troc elicited a low gasp, and McGarrett felt a malicious thrill of triumph.  YES!  He had not only caught this animal off guard, he had hurt him.  It felt good to inflict some pain on the wretch.


“You had a handful of North Vietnamese soldiers who infiltrated this country with you.  Two of them were women.  Three of them are under arrest and will be standing trial for murder along with you.  Two of them are dead.  Shot trying to hurt innocent civilians.  That leaves two of your original seven at large; one woman, one man.  As I said, the forensic evidence we have in hand, the public cooperation about Vietnamese strangers, it will lead us to the last two very quickly.  You tried to hurt us, Troc, but you have told the tale on your own people better than an outright confession.  I just wanted you to know the army is almost gone and your cause is as dead as you are.”


“That still leaves two loyal soldiers left to kill you, McGarrett!”


“They are marked,” he smirked back.  “Unlike sabotage in your country, this is America.  Specifically, Hawaii.  We have streets and homes filled with various races, but you can’t hide who you are.  We will find the last two and they will be joining you for lifetime sentences here.”


“They will die for their cause and take as many of you with them as possible!”


“Are you confessing that this was a suicide mission ordered by the North Vietnamese government?”


He drew in a shocked breath.  “I said nothing.”


McGarrett glanced at the cold expressions of his colleagues.  “That’s not what they heard.”


“You are all soft!” Troc spat.  “We will win.”


Without bothering to reply, Steve spun around, exited, and slammed the door behind him.  Down the corridor he ordered the HPD guards to stay vigilant.  With two gang members left at large, they could not be too careful.  He asked the officers if they had heard about the attacks on the Five-0 and HPD dependents.  They admitted the coconut wireless had leaked something of the sort and asked him if it was true.


“Yes, they were attacked, but they’re all right.  It just shows how desperate these terrorists are to hurt us.  Don’t let anyone get in here.  Every hospital personnel must have proper ID and if anyone shady or suspicious comes along you have complete sanction to use your weapons.  Don’t take chances.  We’re going to increase security here, give you more manpower.”


“Whatever it takes, sir, just let us know.  They’re not gonna get away with hurting ohana.”


“Good man,” McGarrett saluted and left, feeling much better than he had when he’d come in.


When McGarrett emerged from the HPD hospital section, he was surprised to find two additional patrolmen led by Nick Kamekona, in the hall.  When they fell into place beside him as he strode to the elevator, he gave the senior sergeant a quizzical look.


“Danny’s orders.  Extra security.”


“Should have guessed,” he muttered unhappily as he stabbed the button to travel down to street level.  “Who went home with him?”


“He’s still at the office,” Nick told him with some surprise.  “I thought he was going to stay.”


“Not for long.”


The officers traveled in a patrol car behind him all the way to the Palace.  Slamming into the main office, Steve was struck at how big and quiet it seemed.  Stopping by Jenny’s desk, he was surprised to see there was no one in Danno’s cubicle.  Were there two of them here?  The old place was eerily still.  Nervous, he unhooked the safety on his holster and moved toward his office with his hand on the revolver grip, knowing he was reacting to the recent events, to the nerves that rarely showed themselves, but were now surfacing along with fatigue and concern. 


With his toe he gently nudged the partially open door to swing wide, giving him a full view of his private domain.  He sighed with relief and chagrin as he spotted his friend, head on the long table, sound asleep amid the strewn papers.


Blowing out a sigh of relief, he quietly crossed the room and observed his friend for a moment.  It always seemed to come down to this – the two of them putting in the late nights and long hours,  enduring the major stress of the cases.  That was how it should be:  senior officers shouldering the burden, not expecting any more of the men under their command than they were willing to do themselves.  Taking the brunt of anything that came their way.  Pure military strategy.  Except here, within his little kingdom of Five-0, he did not travel that leadership road alone.  He hadn’t for a long time.  It had started out that way, but not many years ago it had mutated into something collective. A partnership. That the old cliché of shared burdens being lighter was a living principle.


It had been a long, tedious, wearing day for all of them.  Anger at the bodyguards – Nick and the others who had not refused Williams’ arrival at the office (as if they could) -- now dissipated, McGarrett and sat on the arm of one of the chairs as he tenderly juggled Danno’s arm.


“Danno, time to go home.”


“Huh?”  The officer’s eyes blearily blinked open.  Then they grew wide.  “Steve!”


“Hi.  Guess what time it is?” he asked with amusement.


“Late?” came the quiet, wry reply.


“Right on the dot.  Guess where you’re going.”




“Right again.”


Stretching carefully, Williams scanned the table.  “I didn’t finish –“


“And you won’t tonight, either.  We’ve got plenty of work for tomorrow.  The prelim is going to be Monday morning and we need to be ready for it.  Manicote is going to come in tomorrow and make sure we’re covered.  No one wants Troc slipping out on a technicality.”


Williams gathered the papers into neat stacks and slowly moved around to sort everything into manageable piles while McGarrett did the same at his desk.  Within a few minutes, they were both set to leave.


“By the way,” McGarrett stated neutrally as he locked up the desk.  “Your two watchdogs are in the other office.”


Williams leaned on the doorknob.  “Good.”


McGarrett joined him.  “So where are yours?”


“We’re sharing.”


That confused him, and before he could sort it out, his friend supplied the answer.


“I’m going to pick up a few things at home, then invite myself over to your place for the duration.  Safety in numbers.”


“At least that way I can keep an eye on you.”


He exited before McGarrett could continue, although there was little else the chief could really say about the plan.  He had ordered everybody to stick together and anyone working with Five-0 should not be unguarded or alone.  That had to apply to the detectives at the top, he realized, and had not factored that into his command.  Naturally Danno had thought of that detail, and while he never appreciated the feeling of being hemmed in by anyone – necessary protection or even well meaning friends – he accepted the logic and circumstances.  If anyone was going to watch his back, he would want it to be his second.


Just how long this would be necessary he could not guess.  Until the threat was over.  That thought brought a chill to his blood.  They had come so close today to terrible massacres to his ohana.  Luck, skill and timing had prevented crisis and saved lives.  Were his measures extreme?  Yes.  Would he do anything to protect those he loved?  Yes.  They were fighting fanatics with no morals or conscience and it was like clashing with barbarians.  The cops had to live by society’s rules, the savages did not.  The tactics instilled in him a terrible, trembling, marrow-deep fear on such an elemental level he could not even define it all.  What he knew was that the most precious people in his life were at risk from merciless fanatics and he had to see beyond the spooked nerves and work around the terror to take care of his ohana.  The deep horror was so profound and personal he would never admit it aloud – not even to Danno.  Then, he didn’t have to, did he?  Danno knew and understood what he could not bring himself to voice – they shared those commitments.



* * * * *


Sunday was subdued, McGarrett and Williams in the near empty office with Nick and a few temps from HPD to fill in.  Breakfast had been picked up on the way, and only the strong coffee was a hold over from traditional Five-0 mornings.  Poignantly missing were the sweets from Jenny, or the jokes from Chin, or the corny stories from Ben. Progress was slow with the top two detectives guiding the temps through investigative work and Five-0 procedure. 


Candid, grainy, Interpol shots of the suspected terrorists that had slipped free were little help.  One of the woman who followed McGarrett yesterday, and one of an unknown male seen in Troc’s company were too low quality to help much.  The pictures had been circulated to HPD and friendlies in Little Saigon, but no hits so far. 


Searching suspected hide-outs had taken up the morning, with little result.  Troc’s digs were a one-room apartment at the edge of Chinatown.  Cleared of any personal effects, it had been printed and gone over by the lab boys, but no promising evidence so far.  No more bomb paraphernalia, so that was good, but no artifacts, clothing or weapons to trace to the two outstanding terrorists.


Bombs were Troc’s MO.  Knives, hand-to-hand combat, terrorizing civilians with strike-and-run tactics were apparently the specialty of the infiltrated troops.  Finding nearly faceless soldiers in the crowds of Vietnamese refugees was proving extremely difficult. 


On the positive side, the meeting with Manicote went well.  The Five-0 case against Troc was solid and they felt confident of getting several concurrent life sentences stacked up for the creep.  The bombing deaths were to be prosecuted by individual, so there were almost two dozen chances for Troc to go down for murder.  The lack of capital punishment in Hawaii was already being criticized in the papers and McGarrett agreed this time.  If ever anyone deserved to die for his heinous crimes, it was Troc. 


The surviving terrorist soldiers would be tried separately, on separate counts, diminishing the ability for the guilty to grandstand and bond together.  Also to maximize the prosecution angle, with no possibility of any technicality problems springing up.


Late night brought another evening of take out food delivered by Chip Malone and Marty Cobb, the evening sentries.  Looking across the desk at his second, McGarrett felt both a grimace and a smile flit across his lips.  Both of them were worn out, but Williams was dragging.  They had prepped all they could, they had not yet found the fugitives, but they were well protected.  The ohana families were all well and safe, still, according to his HPD guards, so they had done all they could for now.


“Come on, Danno.  We’ve got to get some sleep.  I want to be fresh for the prelim in the morning.”


“Right,” the younger man yawned and started clearing his corner of the desk.


Steve gave him a twitch of a grin.  “You really are worn out, Danno.  I think I might cancel jogging in the morning; let you sleep in.”


“That sounds good.”


Emerging to the outer office, they were startled to see Chip had brought his older dog, Moe.  The shepherd met them with a wagging tail and friendly sniffs.


“Thought it wouldn’t hurt to have some added protection,” Malone explained.


Dan gave him a nod, but Steve shrugged, scratched the dog’s head, and chose not to comment.  It was overkill to a situation he still found intolerable, but did not countermand Danno’s authority in front of the HPD officers. 


They drove in caravan away from downtown.  The streets were quiet, as expected, for a Sunday night.  Approaching Ala Moana and Waikiki the streets clogged with traffic and people.  Driving, McGarrett noted Chip Malone kept his HPD squad car close on the bumper of the Mercury.  Maybe Chip noticed Danno-riding-shotgun was asleep on the passenger side.


Once inside the condo that overlooked the Ala Wai, McGarrett opened up the curtains and lanai door to bring in the fresh breeze and the night view of the mountains.  Williams had already moved to do the same for the Diamond Head side view, and the boss stepped out on that lanai to observe the city lights and the looming backdrop of the extinct volcano.


“Not that I mind the company, Danno, but don’t you think this is overkill?”


“What, you don’t want a dog?”


“That’s not what I meant.”


“Rooming, or Moe volunteering as an extra sentry?” he responded lightly as they leaned on the lanai rail.


Chip called a farewell to them, informing he and Moe were taking a patrol of the exterior of the condo.


“I object to both,” he told his second unequivocally.


He didn’t know why he complained, except possibly citing the belief he could protect himself.  It rubbed against his independent and leadership natures to depend on others.  He had no death wish, despite Danno’s teasings sometimes of his legendary risks.  And he actually DID like the company.  Being a solitary figure by nature, he was surprised at how easy it was to share an apartment – if only for a few days – with his friend.  Although why this should be any different from practically living with his second-in-command, as usual, he did not know.  This was, he imagined, what it might have been like to grow up with a kid brother instead of a kid sister.  Danno knew he needed space, but also knew how to draw him out when the morose pressure was too great, when the stillness and silence turned to brooding.  It was an instinctive bond on various levels that continued to strengthen with each incident of peril, with each anxiety, with each triumph, with every passing day.


“If it saves your life –“


Yeah, kaikaina -- always watching his back.  “Or yours,” McGarrett conceded, “then it’s worth it,” he gave a curt nod.


“Afraid it’s ruining your macho image?”


“Macho image,” the boss muttered, unable to hide the grin as he returned inside.  “Come on, I’ll fix you a McGarrett special,” he invited.  “I’ll show you macho image.”


“A what?”


Amid the danger and stress, perhaps because of the strained threats to the ohana and the edge of violence constantly in the backs of their minds, this was a good idea for Danno to be here with him.  He never thought of himself as lonely, just solitary, independent, and not needing others.  Not until he had adopted a little brother did he realize the key to happiness was not in surrendering to depend on others, but allowing them inside and accepting them as someone to share with – good, bad, indifferent times.


The kind neighbor next door, Mrs. Kenau, had brought over supplies as soon as she knew Danno was to be a temporary guest in McGarrett’s spare bedroom.  As was her generous and mothering nature, she had prepared some easy to heat entrees, plus a grocery bag of fresh fruits and vegetables ensured to give the detectives some balanced meals.


McGarrett proceeded to empty out all the juice in his fridge, adding to the counter a can of cherries, a ripe mango and a fresh pineapple.  Placing the cutting board, blender and two frosted glasses from the freezer on the counter, he asked if Danno thought he was capable of handling some knife work.  Intrigued, the younger officer pulled a hefty carving knife from the wall bracket magnetically holding the cutlery, and announced himself prepared.


Ordering his friend to get to work chopping pineapple, the boss poured various levels of pineapple, lilikoi, cranberry, guava and mango juices into the blender.  Revving it into a frenzy, he tossed in random slices of the fresh fruit.  While the chunky liquid was swirling at high speed in the glass container, he asked for ice in the glasses, which Williams fetched.  When it seemed well mixed, he stopped the machine and poured equal portions into the cold glasses.  He topped the cocktail with two cherries and sprigs of mint for presentation.


“A McGarrett special.”


“Everything but the kitchen sink?” Dan ribbed, taking an overly careful sip.


The boss sipped at his own, satisfied with the blend, but was waiting for a reaction from his guest. The response was instant and encouraging when Dan “mmmmed”, taking a long drink.  When finished, he smacked his lips. 


“That is great!” he complimented, taking another long drink.


Seizing the blender and his glass, McGarrett led the way to the table and chairs set up on the mauka lanai.  It was too dark to see much of the reflection of the canal, or the detail in the Koolau Mountains behind the city, but the affect was all that he hoped for.  Some lights were visible beyond the golf course.  The hint of flowers wafted in the breezy air.  The mist of fresh rain made the atmosphere thick and humid, heavy with a damp and pleasant scent.


At a moment like this it was hard to imagine there was mortal peril just beyond their comfortable and secure fortress.  In the darkness, assassins lurked to inflict mayhem and murder.  In the shadows, anywhere, the next bomb or blade could strike out against them.  It made the interlude sweeter, the rest from their long, hard day more comfortable, the trusted companionship more treasured.


“What if we don’t catch them, Steve?” 


Obviously, his friend’s mind was not far from his own thoughts.  How could it be?  They were too much alike so often.  Now, they were both focused on an overwhelming and mutual goal – find and subdue the remaining terrorists.  Then bring the ohana back home so the unit could be complete and live in what passed for Five-0’s routine craziness again.


“We will.”


Williams nodded, accepting the flat oath with blind faith typical of his loyalty.  “We better do it soon.  Chin, Duke and Ben are not going to put up with retirement for long.”


“I know,” he sighed, considering, for the first time, the amazing loyalty and commitment of his unit to be a liability – for their own safety – rather than an asset.  He had seen that two-sided comfort/threat with Danno – felt it now as he required his second to be with him now, but hated placing his friend in the path of danger.  “I’m hoping we can wrap this up quickly.  Did someone notify the airport and ship yards?”


“Nick took care of that in the remote chance Troc’s followers aren’t as dedicated as he is.  Somehow I don’t think they hightailed it back to Vietnam.”


The statement proved Williams was on target with his instincts.  He had not been to Troc’s hospital cell to hear the threat and the suicide fanaticism.  As an experienced officer he knew what kind of animals they were facing already.  “No, I don’t think so either.”  Their adversaries were in this for the completion of their twisted mission and only death on one side or the other would stop the course of their actions.


They finished the drinks and returned inside to clean up.  As McGarrett paused at the lanai door, he studied the night, knowing it was time to surrender to time and bring the day to a close.  There was so much left undone.  At least it had ended on an extremely pleasant and relaxing note.


“I’m going to shower and go to bed.  I’ll see you in the morning.”


“I’ll lock up,” the younger officer yawned.  “And remember, you promised no jogging in the morning.”


“I remember.” 


McGarrett stopped in the doorway to the hall before he stepped to his bedroom.  Watching his friend return to the Diamond Head lanai, he wanted to say something else.  A word, a statement, to convey how much this meant to him; the fealty, the dedication that his friend offered.  The companionship.  Friendship.  A rare treasure.  And just yesterday a gift almost taken from him, he reminded himself of Danno’s stabbing.  He took a step forward, then stopped, wondering what he would say that would express what he felt without embarrassing himself.  Danno knew what he felt, anyway, he was certain, stepping back to retreat to his room.  He was ohana.  Kaikaina.  That covered all the big and little things that Steve could never say.


Williams remained on the lanai for a while, staring at the multi-colored lights, wondering what he had not done that could have advanced their case.  He was nervous about the fugitives, feeling, like a cloak on his back, the danger lurking in the shadows for McGarrett.  Troc promised to kill Steve, and Dan was certain that threat would be attempted by the remaining soldiers. 


Yawning, he tiredly rubbed at his face, knowing he was too wiped out to think of anything productive tonight.  Tomorrow, he promised, he would make a difference in this case so their friends could come home and the nightmare would be over.


Locking up the side lanai, he closed the curtains and moved to the mauka glass door.  Stepping out into the night, his hand resting on the handle, he saw a shadow in the corner of the lanai move.  Reaction only allowed him the time to tense and go for his revolver before something flew at him.  Firing his weapon at the same instant the knife struck him in the left arm, he fired again at the blackness as a human form tumbled over the lanai.  Retreating toward the open door, slamming it closed, then locking it, he watched for a second attacker.  Stumbling back, he pressed his untucked white shirt around his bleeding arm. 


Pounding and shouting at the front door signaled troops ready to help, and he backed up, keeping his revolver trained on the glass door.  Unlocking the knob and safety chain, he stepped away as the dog jumped in, Chip and Marty on his tail, Moe stridently barking. 


Tersely explaining what had happened, he rushed across the room, opening the glass door and allowing his friends to scour the lanai.  Only then did he panic, realizing Steve was alone in the bedroom.  There was no lanai there, but there was a window and maybe these assassin-monkeys could climb in anywhere!


Before he reached the hall, McGarrett dashed out, incongruous in pajamas while armed with his .38.  He gave a quick inspection of Williams, then turned to the activity on the lanai.  Marty was out there, talking into his remote talkie, Moe sniffing and barking on the perimeter.


“We’re calling in extra units to check the neighborhood,” Chip explained.  “Description?”


“Never saw anyone,” Dan snarled, disgusted with himself.  All the high minded thinking he had sworn, all the vows he made to himself to catch these guys, and the next opportunity, he falls back to the safety of the living room!


Chip picked up the knife on the floor.  “We’ll get this over to the lab.”


McGarrett checked the wrapping of the formerly white shirt now traced with red.  “We’ll need to get you to the doctor.”


“It’s just a scratch.”  Irritated at the cliché, he checked under the dress shirt he had swathed over the wound, the cloth now blotching red.  “Really, I’m fine” he assured, embarrassed and angry.  “I should have had them!”


“Two?” the boss questioned as he led his friend over to the table.


“No,” the officer paused.  “One.  One dark form seemed like it separated itself from the shadow of the wall.  I shot it – him – I think I hit him.”


“You think?” Chip wondered.


Williams snapped back, “Yeah, I got him.  He jerked then went over the wall.”


“He fell,” Marty clarified and dashed out the still open door, barking commands on his walkie-talkie. 


Moe was still barking in canine fashion, big front paws leaning on the lanai railing as his strident yelps echoed in the night.


McGarrett pushed his detective into a chair and stepped to the pantry cupboard, then returned with towels and a first aid kit.  Sitting next to Williams, he instructed, “We’re going to check this out and if it’s any deeper than a scratch you are going to the ER.”


Wanting to protest, he knew the tone and look of determination well enough to keep silent.  He was relieved he had been right, when the shirt peeled off and the long gash was only slightly bleeding and obviously only a surface wound.  Patching the cut with less finesse than a nurse, the boss was tight lipped, his mouth a thin line of disapproval, his entire demeanor rigidly livid. 


As soon as the most basic aid was administered, McGarrett moved to the lanai to investigate with the officers, including the four-legged one. Williams joined the group crowding the lanai.  No obvious evidence was left behind except a torn scrap of cloth snagged at the corner of the railing.  Looking a lot like the black, rough clothing found at the last bombing scene, Williams felt both justified and terrified.  The terrorists had found Steve’s home and attacked here with near success.  If he had been a few minutes slower getting to the lanai . . . If they had still been sitting out there relaxing – not the least on guard . . .  These monsters were dedicated professional killers.  They knew where to strike their visible, high-profile targets.  While the targets couldn’t see the invisible terrorists until they emerged for a strike.  He knew all along this was not going to be easy, but the ruthless foray tonight brought home how difficult protecting Steve would be.  There was no margin for error.  One mistake could be fatal to his friend.  He had to do better than this.


Inside again, the HPD officers coordinated increased security and a search of the building while McGarrett paced, waiting for the lab team.  No body was found at the street level so the cops were going apartment by apartment above, around and below McGarrett’s to see if the would-be assassin slipped into someone else’s abode.


Che Fong himself and two of his men arrived, thoroughly checking not just the lanai, but the ground floor.  It was early morning before they determined the perpetrator, singular, broke into the apartment next door.  Mrs. Kenau, the neighbor, was thankfully out for the evening and had not been in during the invasion.  HPD had redirected her when she arrived home, and sent her to stay with relatives until things were back to normal.


It was late when everyone left except their new roommate Moe, who took up his guard duty on the longest, most comfortable sofa in the living room.  Shaken, angry, McGarrett paced the room for a time, not bothering to suggest a towel to place under the neutrally colored furniture to minimize the dark fur already visible from the Shepherd.  Nor did he issue more orders than he had already shouted to Malone and Cobb and Fong, who had all received a measure of his wrath.  It was not their fault, he knew they knew that, but they were the recipients of his frustrated rage at the terrorists, at himself, at Williams.


Finally focusing some of the disturbance at an available target, he spun to level his friend with justified recriminations.  The shirtless detective, sitting next to Moe, head leaning back on the sofa, seemed to be snoozing already.  McGarrett considered allowing his exhausted colleague to remain there and rest, but he knew the few hours left of the morning would best be spent in a decent bed.  Besides, he could not contain at least a portion of his irritation at his friend.


The shirt being sacrificed for a bandage had revealed Williams’ initial stab wound, which had obviously suffered in the actions of the last few days.  The stitches were torn at one end and the younger officer had patched it with a covering nowhere as neat as the Bergmans would offer.


Approaching the sofa caused the vigilant Moe to open his eyes and lift his ears in anticipation of a command or a pet.  Giving the animal a swift pat on the head, he sat on the arm of the couch nearest the slumbering detective and reached out to shake his shoulder.  Thinking better of it, he withdrew his hand and studied his friend.  Irritated at him, yes, he understood the reasons he had not mentioned the problem with his injury.  There had been so much going on, certainly, in Danno’s mind, it overshadowed personal consideration.  A flaw in the personality that McGarrett was constantly reminded about; in the endless hours, the sacrificing of time and effort by the younger detective.  How did he chastise his friend for too much dedication and concern?  He would, but he thought he could manage it with a little more tact than usual.  They were in this together, and he wanted his friend to know how much he appreciated that.


“Danno?” he quietly called, shaking the man’s arm.


Williams’ eyes popped open immediately, and he blinked, finally settling on McGarrett.  “Morning.”


The boss grinned.  “Yeah, but we still have a few hours before dawn.  Why don’t you try the bed in your room.”


“Bed.  Yeah.  I hear they can be kinda comfortable,” he groggily yawned and slowly sat up straight.


“And later in the morning, Danno, I want you to drop by and let a doc check out your arm.  And your side.”


Opening his mouth to respond, Williams checked his side, covered it with a hand, then realized the futility of the action and sighed.  “I’m okay.”


“I want to make sure.”  The tone was an ultimatum.  McGarrett stood, waiting for his friend to follow his suggestion. 


Williams stood but did not move.  Instead, he looked up to make eye contact, his face somber.  “I know the answer to this before I ask, so I’m stating it in the form of a comment, not a question.  Something for you to think about, Steve, and I mean seriously.  These fanatics want to scare us.  And so far they’re dong a great job at it.”


“Yeah,” he whispered.


Williams stared at him for a moment.  “If I could convince you to go, I would suggest you take off somewhere safe until we can track down these animals.  I know you wouldn’t want to go, but – “ he shook his head.  “You know what I mean.  They want to kill you, Steve, and preventing that would be a lot easier if you weren’t an available target.”


“And allow you to step in the line of fire instead?  You’ve already done that!” he scoffed, about to lash out with bitter sarcasm or anger, but stayed his impulsive response.  He understood well where his friend was coming from and there was no need to blast out at his closest ally.  “I know what you mean,” he admitted, mellowed.  “And I could ask the same of you, but I already know the answer.”


Williams nodded his agreement. 


“I’m calling the guards protecting our ohana and letting them know to increase security.”  He stabbed a finger toward Williams’ chest.  “Go no where alone.”


“You either.”


“Me either.  We start fresh – as fresh as we can later this morning.  We’ll go to the prelim and put Troc and the others away.  Then we’ll get rid of these crumbs as fast as we can.” 




Patting his friend on the shoulder, Steve led him to the hall.  Once in his room, Danny reclined on the bed for a time, looking out the window at the dark shapes of the mountains underneath the stars dotting the night sky.  He fell into a light sleep plotting revenge on the shadowy threats that crowded his subconscious just beyond his sight and sound.







Blessed, or cursed, with the inability to sleep more than a few hours at night – or the need to get more than about four or five hours of sleep at a stretch – McGarrett woke early around his usual pre-dawn time.  Deciding that his knotted nerves required a good jog, he dressed for a rigorous work out.  As usual, the morning was cool with the lingering hint of mist clinging to the high rises and mountains edging Waikiki. 


Donning shorts, running shoes and a sweatshirt, he paused at the door to the guest room, hesitating only a moment to hear if his guest was stirring.  The faint sounds of snoring brought a smile to his face.  Danno was sound asleep and would cut a lucky break and be allowed to remain in restful slumber for another hour.  The humor was wiped away when McGarrett thought of the attack last night, revealing that his second had not been taking decent care of himself.  The torn stitches and the laceration from the knife-wielding, lanai thug – they had to get Danno to a doctor this morning.  If Bergman was here – that led him down another mental trail of irritation at the whole unsatisfactory mess with the assassins and the current state of tilted affairs.


Emerging to the living room in a foul mood, he gave Moe a scratch on the head, distracted by the desperate thoughts of justice and vengeance warring within.  He stretched, then stepping out to the corridor, he told Malone he was going for a jog.


The tired sergeant nodded and came to his feet from the chair he had brought out the night before.  “Pete and Frank are downstairs waiting, they’ll be your escorts for the day.  You want Moe to go with you?”


“No, let him stay with Danno.”


“Danny not up for a morning jog?”


“Not today.”


Chip smirked.  “Nice of you to let him get his beauty rest.”




McGarrett grimaced as he strode down the hall to the elevator, grimly remembering the danger and injuries collected over the last few days.  After this was over, he promised the rest of the staff could come back to work and Danno was getting a week off.  Time off for good behavior, was his bitter clichéd thought as he entered the elevator and started his stretching routine.


Mind sorting through the first duties of the day, prioritizing his time and Danno’s, he functioned on automatic when the doors opened and stepped out, set to start his run immediately.  Keyed up with anger and tension, he desperately needed this work out.  Turning the corner to head for the nearby steps leading to the sidewalk on the nearest side street, he felt the pain at the back of his head at almost the same instant the gray of dawn closed in like a tight-fitting cloak, to blackness, as the concrete of the garage came up to meet his face. 





He bolted upright, breathing hard, disoriented and confused as he tried to catch some air in his tight lungs. Belatedly reacting to the pain the abrupt movement elicited, he pressed down on his side to ease the ache, then applied similar pressure to the covered cut from last night.   It took a moment for Danny Williams to get his bearings, remember he was staying at Steve’s condo for the duration of the crisis at Five-0.  Milliseconds of memory spilled end over end in his mind as he replayed the crises plaguing his ohana, the attack last night.  Why had he awoken so abruptly in such a panic?


Glancing at the clock on the side table he saw it was just after FiveAM.  Steve was not going jogging this morning – why was he so panicked that something had happened to his friend?  A dream?  He remembered nothing from last night except dead sleep.  What was wrong with him?  The pressing fear that something was wrong pervaded, and he climbed out of bed, leaving his room and glancing down the hall.  The door to McGarrett’s room was open.  He must be fixing breakfast, though detected no telltale scent of coffee.  With the prelim this morning, anticipating dramatics from Troc and possibly more danger from the terrorists, not to mention the attack last night, Steve would be wound up tighter than a spring.  No telling if he got any sleep last nght.


Moving into the living room, he patted Moe, who was vying for attention.  Searching, confused that the place was in darkness and empty of his human room mate, Williams sighed. “Where’d the big boss go so early, huh, Moe,” he wondered quietly as he crossed to part the curtains leading to the lanai.  Suspicion  thrilled along the base of his neck as he stared at the softly defined shadows of the wall, the railing, the furniture.  No dark figure separated itself from the dark corners as it had last night, and he took a breath, stepping back to survey the room. 


“Steve?” he called out, wondering. “Jogging!”  Sighing out an exasperated groan, he shook his head, striding toward the door, ruffling the attentive Moe’s fur as he passed the sofa.  “He went jogging!” he incredulously snapped.  “Steve!” he cursed, irritated at the typical behavior . . . . the vexation mutated to concern, and by the time his hand touched the cool metal of the front door knob, his stomach was knotted with anxiety.


Moe, sensing the import of the rising stress level, whined, preceding him to the door, and was the first one out when Danny came face to face with Chip Malone.


“Where’s Steve?” he shot out.  “Jogging?”


“Yeah, he left a few minutes ago.  He wanted to let you sleep.  I told him to take Moe –“


“Who’s with him?”


“Pete and Frank –“


“Get them on the radio!”


He knew he must seem mad even to a friend who had witnessed extreme behavior from Five-0 officers before.  Fortunately, no neighbors were up this early to witness a disturbed officer, wearing only pajama bottoms, shouting demands before Five-thirty in the morning.  Flexing his right fist, dissipating nervous tension, he resisted the urge to scratch at the itchy bandages on his side and forearm.


“Bravo Seven-seven, what’s your location?”


Static the only response, Danny stared at Chip, willing the talkie in the officer’s hand to crackle to life.  When the ominous silence stretched to several seconds, Chip tried again.  It was enough for Williams, who pivoted on his bare feet, back into the condo.  Racing to his room, he snatched up his revolver and dashed back, running to the elevator and desperately punching the button until seconds later, the doors opened. 


“Still nothing?”




Fortunately, there was little traffic at this early hour in the building, but the ride was still intolerably slow for the keyed up officer.  Chip tried continuously to reach Bravo Seven-seven, or any other unit, but there was no reception inside the elevator.


They killed him.  He went out for his stupid jog and they were waiting for him.  ‘You said you weren’t going out this morning, Steve!  Why risk it?  Because your nerves wouldn’t allow you to stay confined in a closed room where the pacing and the thinning of the carpet wouldn’t give your light-sped thoughts any release!’


They were committed to carrying out Troc’s revenge on the cop who had captured him.  ‘Why didn’t you take me, Steve!  I would have been there to protect you!  I would have tried to talk you out of it, but wouldn’t have been able to, but I would have been with you!  Why didn’t you let me help!  You can’t save the world on your own!’  Startled he had slipped into past-tense, he stopped the mental recriminations cold.  ‘Don’t be dead, just don’t be dead.  I’m coming for you, Steve.  Don’t be dead.’


As the car neared he garage level, Dan tensed, ready for anything, weapon gripped in both of his hands and prepared for battle the second the doors opened.  Chip and Moe, who had joined him, were tensed, Malone’s weapon in hand, Moe attentively stiff, ready to spring into action.


As the twin metal panels slid aside, Williams leaped out, scanning, his .38 swiveling with his eyes as he fleetingly whipped a quick visual of the open garage that overlooked the dark ribbon of the Ala Wai.  Hearing nothing untoward, he edged cautiously forward.   An object on the concrete just beyond the lobby alerted him, and he warily approached.  A few feet away, he recognized it as a dark blue sun visor.  Steve’s.


Heart in his throat, fear spiking with each step, he scanned the shadows clinging to the walls and cars as misty illumination gradually brightened with the advent of dawn-over-Diamond Head.  Rotating around the corner, he expected to find the dead body of his friend.  When there was only empty cement, he breathed again.  Crouching to quickly retrieve the visor, he grimaced at the telltale, tacky dampness.  Without sniffing or visually checking for a crimson stain on his hand, he knew what his tactile senses detected was blood.


Malone and Moe had fanned out behind him, the dog sniffing, obviously following a trail.  Heart pounding wildly, Williams felt his temperature drop, certain, at any moment, the dog would find the body of McGarrett.  There were some blood drops on the pavement here, leading to the makai walkway from the garage  -- no – the dog was heading toward the mauka steps leading toward the Ala Wai, in the opposite direction.  The meager trail of blood ended at a parking slot next to the ramp sloping down to the boulevard.  What?  That didn’t make sense.  He studied the area, fanning out in an ever widening circle, but there were no more blood spots.




Moe was whining and Williams, his eyes already burning with grief, lungs clogged with despair, raced over to join Malone, sure, now, that he was about to come face to face with his murdered friend.  When he spotted the two HPD officer crumpled in the bushes, one with his throat obviously slashed, he inhaled a moan.


“Pau,” Malone creaked out.


The wail of sirens echoed in the still morning air.  Light traffic zoomed by on the nearby highway.  Heart back to a normal rhythm, Williams spun around and jogged across the parking lot.  “Moe!  Come here!”  Urging the dog to sniff the visor, then the pavement, the Shepherd whined and snarled as he spun around, searching for more evidence of McGarrett.


“Why – uh . . . .” Malone’s voice stopped as he stood still, watching Williams following the frustrated canine.  “Danny, they left Pete and Frank’s bodies.  I – uh – Danny!”


“He’s not dead,” the younger officer shouted, barely throwing a glance at the colleague who was pale with shock and grief.  He ignored the natural reaction of a colleague mourning for fallen brothers. He could not indulge in the emotions now.  He was too desperate to save the life of his friend.


Two HPD patrol cars barreled up to the parking lot from Ala Wai Boulevard.  Two more screeched up to the side street.  As the patrolmen joined him, Danny was aware enough of the situation to read their startled faces.  Seeing the second-in-command of Hawaii Five-0 standing half-naked in a parking lot, a revolver in hand, was not an expected or understood sight.  He had no time to indulge in explanations other than the most critical.


“Steve McGarrett has been kidnapped.  Probably by the Vietnamese terrorists we’ve been hunting.  He’s still alive.  They could have murdered him right here, but the nabbed him instead.”  His voice ground to a hoarse, regretful scrape.  “I’m sorry –“  He took a gulp of clean morning air.  “I’m sorry to say Officer’s Pete Kalamana, and Frank Wellington died protecting McGarrett.  We are looking for their murderers.  Scan the area.”  He motioned to the area where Moe was circling the bloodstains.  “He was slightly injured; his kidnappers were parked here.” 


As the rising light advanced over the high rise building, it cast brightness to the scene.  For the first time, he noted black skid marks on the concrete.   So the kidnappers left a trail after all.  Thin, perhaps meaningless, but it was something.


There was no time to lose.  Every second was critical. Williams barked out instructions for the men to carefully cover the area.  They were searching for evidence that would save Steve’s life.  While he believed his friend was still alive, he knew that would not last.  Troc’s soldiers wanted the head of Five-0 for now, but his value could not be expected to last for long.  Motives, however, were a luxury he did not have time to evaluate on this crisp, bright morning at the back of Waikiki.


He ordered the men to start questioning neighbors, joggers, anyone who might have seen anything this morning just before dawn.  He demanded Malone call Che Fong and get the lab teams rolling.  The canvassing of the area might bring something to light, but  statistically, that did not yield much fruit.  This would require hard work, fast connections of clues.  A team effort, he almost choked on the thought.  The unit of Five-0 was scattered across the state, with their leader in jeopardy of losing his life, and the single member of the force running around in his PJs, more of a spectacle than an authority figure.


“Get whatever manpower it takes and get me some clues!” he snapped at Malone, then headed back to the lobby.


On the ride back to the apartment, he leaned his sweating back against the cold of the car.  It helped him focus, brought the stark, tangible feel of a tactile force up against his rampant emotionalism charging him.  Steve was counting on him to find him.  Okay, so he did not have the support of his closest and most trusted and skilled associates.  He was still going to find Steve.  Nothing would stop him from that.  Not Troc, or an entire army of terrorists.  When the elevator stopped he dashed back to the condo he had left open in his rush to find Steve.


After a fast shower he dressed in record time, rushing downstairs to check on the progress of the teams.  He was pleased to see the lab crew was there and Che Fong himself was supervising the meticulous garnering of evidence.  HPD men were visible interviewing residents of the apartment building as they came down to their cars for the morning drive to work.  There were even officers across the street, talking to joggers, walkers and tourists coursing the picturesque canal; the overall scene sparkling with the glittering reflection of the sun’s first rays as they exploded over Diamond Head and the concrete canyons of Waikiki.


Assured everything here was on track, he left Malone in charge and headed for the Palace.  There would be a lot to do this morning, all of it a heavy load with McGarrett snatched and his fate resting entirely on Williams’ shoulders.  Troc and peripheral matters had already receded into the background.  Top priority was finding Steve, next was nailing the enemies for this stupid act of violence that was far more traumatic for him personally than anything that had come before.






A single patrolman strolling by the steps was the only sign of detraction from the usual routine of the police headquarters.  As Williams gave the man a nod and jogged up the steps, he wondered if he would increase the guards for those consigned to duty here.  He hated to waste manpower in any direction but retrieving Steve, but it would be unfair to ask anyone assisting Five-0 to be unprotected.


Resolved to call in more help from HPD by the time he reached the Five-0 wing, he paused at the door, knowing bomb sniffing dogs had routinely patrolled here overnight.  Doing a fast visual check of the frame and handle, he unlocked the lock, breathing a little easier when there was no adverse reaction. 


Barreling in, he took in the office at a glance, his heart tugging at the empty office at the end of the room, a shadowy fear surfacing that if he did not handle this right that big space would be empty forever.  Swallowing the apprehension with a gulp of resolve, he searched McGarrett’s desk for the latest notes on the search for Troc. 


As he shuffled memos and notes, he picked up the phone and punched in Manicote’s home number.  When the DA answered, Williams gave a terse review of the morning’s tragic event.  Without allowing the man on the other end to react, he charged ahead that Troc should be sequestered with more guards.


“The judge will have to be notified,” the DA reminded after several stuttering condolences. 


A long-time friend, Manicote was shocked, and Dan had to remind himself most of Hawaii was just waking up to this horrible news.  “Whatever you need to do, do it, John, but do it fast.  I need to get in to see Troc as soon as I can.”


“I can’t let you do that, Danny –“


“What do you mean?”


“If there was some legitimate reason –“


“Steve’s kidnapping –“


“There is no proof Troc had anything to do with it and in your state –“


“My state –“


“Danny, you’re emotional and rightly so.  Steve is your friend.  I can’t let you go in there and jeopardize –“


“You think I can’t handle myself –“


“No!  I don’t, Danny.  Listen to you –“


“I need to find Steve and Troc is the key –“


“And you can’t prove that, Officer Williams.  If you go in there and browbeat this thug, we could lose him!  Is that what you want?  Is that what Steve would want?  What the people of Hawaii, whom you serve, would want?  I have a responsibility to this state, Danny, and I am going to my duty even when you can’t!”


Williams tried to break in, but his angry shouts were countered by Manicote’s stern implacability, and he finished with a final reprimand.  “I’m sorry, but you need to hear this.  Help Steve however you can, Danny, but stay away from Troc!”


The click sounded loud and surprising.  John had hung up on him!  Was he out of control?  They were talking about Steve’s life!  What did John think he was going to do, go in there and beat up Troc?  Okay, maybe he would.  He would do anything to find out where Steve was being held.


Sorting papers into several stacks, he looked up when the front door opened.  Glancing to the main foyer, he gave a nod of recognition to Sergeants Nephi Hilton and Nick Kamekona.


“Thought you could use some help this morning,” Nephi told him as his broad frame passed the doorway with little leeway on any side.


“We heard what happened to Steve,” Nick clarified.  “What can we do to help?”


“Mahalo, guys,” the second-in-command nodded.  “Troc’s men nabbed Steve.  I expect they’ll want an exchange.  We can’t do that, of course,” he brushed by quickly, not allowing himself to think about another alternative.  As far as he was concerned, he had only one option.  “So we have to find Steve on our own.  And fast.  Once they know we won’t deal, he’s dead,” he choked out hastily, forcing himself to face and verbalize the grim reality of the moment.  This was on his shoulders.  He had to save Steve.  Fast.  “Start checking the places we suspected Troc of hanging out.  Allies, sympathizers.  We took out a lot of his people.  He has to have some more, but they have to be thinning.”


“Unless he got reinforcements from back home,” Nick pointed out.


“That’s possible,” he agreed, “but I hope not.  We’ve been eliminating them quickly, so they might not have had time to get more home grown terrorists.”


“You think guys he recruited here?”


“Maybe.  That was something we were working on before we arrested Troc.  That he had to have some local help.  Students or people who were here in Hawaii, like an advance recon team.”


Grateful for the assistance, Danny found his desperation was working on his nerves, sapping his patience.  When he snapped at making a mistake on the paperwork, Nick teasingly called him McGarrett-like.  Understanding it was not a compliment, he had a sympathetic kinship with his boss just then – an understanding of why Steve was so uptight when others could not work fast enough.  Reminded of the open joke among colleagues that he was transforming into a junior McGarrett, he considered it an asset now.   Iron resolve was what would see him through this and get Steve back where he belonged.


So consumed with the search for clues, he was surprised at the time when he glanced at the clock.  He had only ten minutes to get to the courthouse.  Straightening his tie as he rushed through the common office area, he asked Officer Olena, who was in the nearest cubicle, if there was any progress.  There was not.


Ordering his men to keep working, he dashed out, aware of the total alienation of the atmosphere as he passed the temporary help filling the outer office, feeling the aloneness of the situation.  It was an illusion.  He had scores of officers working with Five-0.  His extended ohana was out there thinking about him, praying for Steve, lending an invisible emotional support.  Yet, he felt so vulnerable and solitary without the solid presence of McGarrett at his back, holding down the fort in as the head of this universe.  More than ever before he believed that old saying that no man is an island, no one stands alone.  He had never felt so isolated, knowing his ohana was far away and saving his closest friend’s life depended so much on him.





Charging down the main steps of the Palace, Williams ground to a complete stop as he was confronted with the sight outside the stained glass of the front double doors.  Beyond the two patrolmen guarding the gates of the kingdom, were a herd of reporters with cameras, mics and lights.  Annoyingly, several news vans were parked at various angles to the gray steps fronting the old building. 


Annoyed at the inevitable descent of media-locust, he spun and jogged through the highly polished koa wood lobby, to the back stairs, holding his side to minimize the pain.  His injuries were aching but were easily ignored when there were so many graver thoughts assailing him.


Disturbed he might be late for the hearing, he ran to the nearest patrol car, hastily ordering the young officer to get him across to the courthouse at top speed.  He didn’t bother with consulting his watch on the drive, knowing there was nothing he could do to make this run at a quicker pace.  Realizing now there would be more media interference at the courthouse, he had the officer drop him off in the back where most of the employees parked.  It was a longer hike inside, but it would mean fewer obstructions with the press.  How had they learned about the abduction? He wondered.  That wasn’t important now, though.  He didn’t even know why he was wasting his time with appearing – no – he knew.  Steve and he had planned on seeing the first figurative nail in Troc’s coffin be hammered in this morning, and that was not going to change even if only one of them was here.


At the door to the courtroom, he nodded to Officer Kanaka, pausing a moment to catch his breath and remove the hand supporting his aching side.  A few deep breaths – closing his eyes, briefly – evoking the power of Steve’s confidence and inscrutable countenance – he stepped inside.


The judge was already seated, as was Troc, who was sitting in a wheelchair next to the defense table.  Taking a seat behind John Manicote he gave his colleague a nod of understanding, whispering he was fine, responding to the DA’s concerned expression.  Manicote turned around, and the detective settled back on the bench where he had a clear view of Troc. 


The man was distantly staring at the floor, but the movement Williams made must have caught in his peripheral vision and he turned to stare at the detective.  A slow, skin-crawling smile gradually stretched across his face, punctuating the dark, arctic eyes glaring at him with triumph and humor.


As his skin danced with revulsion and sizzling dread, he knew –KNEW – that Troc had engineered Steve’s kidnapping!  The impulse to jump up and strangle the criminal was in his muscles and he tensed to vault over the low barrier, throw himself across a table and three people, to justifiably, and easily, beat Troc to a pulp until he confessed the whereabouts of McGarrett.  Instead of giving in to that drive, he instantly froze. 


Maybe the mantle of Steve McGarrett WAS with him, because a cold, calculating aura covered him.  Okay, Troc had arranged to kidnap the head of Five-0.  Troc was taunting him with the silent, sinister message.  In that instant he understood why.  There would be only one reason.  In case the general of their terrorist faction was captured, they needed a back-up plan to get him released.  The fanatics said they wanted to die for their cause, but plainly that did not apply to the fearless leader.  Obviously a man of ironclad principles to the cause. 


Yeah, right.  He could show this slug a thing or two about fanaticism.  Just one minute with this creep . . . A soft scoff gruffed under his breath, attracting the attention of Manicote, the judge, and Troc.  Okay, so it was a game of nerves, then.  Poker.  Don’t show your hand, keep a poker face, conceal the ace up the sleeve until the other player thinks he’s won.  All right, he could play that game.  He could play any game required to get Steve back.


Suddenly feeling he DID hold the mantle of Steve, he now felt such righteous superiority – morally and tactically.  He was going to save Steve!


The others turned back to attentively listen to the judge.  All except Troc, who stared at him, the smile now uncertain.  Eliciting a little smile of his own, he clearly mouthed the words:  I WILL GET YOU FOR THIS.


Troc’s smile disappeared, replaced by a faltering uncertainty.  Dan rose from his seat and left, not looking back.  In the corridor, he leaned against the nearest wall, deflated and spent form the emotional ordeal.  Troc HAD taken Steve.  Trembling with doubts and grief that threatened to overwhelm his surge of courage and resolve, he reassured himself with the image of his friend.  When Steve had returned from his interview with Troc, he had related how he got to the criminal.  By assuring the man that Five-0 would find the evidence through meticulous investigation.  That same credo held true for finding the head of the unit.  Dogged police work and tireless determination would reunite him with Steve.  Taking a deep breath, he pushed away from the wall.  When these bombings had started, they had vowed to do whatever it took to get those responsible.  That promise had not changed, but intensified.





The ascent to consciousness was gradual; his mind aware of his condition as slowly he emerged from the blackness of insensibility.  Analyzing the ongoing process was agonizing as every element presented an angle of pain and terror as memory and constriction clarified with conscious recognition.  Processed at the speed of thought, all the elements converged to be sorted in the blink of an eye.


Pain.  Head aching.  Could not move to cradle his head . . .  Panic catapulted him to complete consciousness as his conclusions solidified into understanding.  Sightlessness brought his muscles into play as he struggled to react, but his hands and arms were trapped.  Shifting, horror flooding like a surge of flowing lava from Kilauea, he struggled against the unseen bonds until he was covered in sweat and breathless.  The gag on his mouth constricted a free flow of air and momentarily he felt dizzy and faint with the heat, the emotional spike, and the constricted breath.  Leaning on something solid and cool, he forced himself to calm down, settling to measured, easy breathing. 


He remembered exiting the building to go jogging.  HPD men – he had never seen any of them.  His head was slammed with resounding pain – several times – and he remembered hitting the ground.  Focusing now on memory, he recognized pain in his knees from an injury.  When he went down on the pavement no doubt.  Head hurt abominably, but he couldn’t detect any other obvious injuries.   


Reason – reason – reason became his mantra.  You were captured.  Troc’s men captured you instead of killing you.  Why?  A trade?  They had to know that would not happen.  Why keep him bound and gagged and blindfolded?  His wrists and face itching, he tried to rub at them and could not reach the itches with his shoulder.  Anger swept over him and he had to work again at calming down.  Breathe, breathe, breathe. 


They were going to trade him.  Or they thought they were.  Danno would never go for the deal.  Danno.  Danno was out there looking for him.  A true calm settled over his nerves.  Danno would be sifting through earth, hell and heaven to get him back.  Okay, no reason for panic.  Anger – that had not settled down to even a simmer, yet, but he knew anger could help him as long as he kept a handle on it. 


Think – think -- no shoes or socks, tied, gagged – all designed to make him feel just what he did – vulnerable and alone.  He was better than this, he did not have to fear this.  He was up against thugs.  Dangerous-yes, but this was not Korea.  He was not far behind enemy lines, he was in his city, close to his men.  They were looking for him.  Danno was looking for him.


The bang of a metal bolt flying back caused him to jump.  Sweat popped out of his pores and he felt he shook from the impending dread.  Get a grip! He willed himself.  Yeah, the newfound bravery gone, alone, helpless at the mercy of those who will probably kill him.  The panic was so close to the surface while he was blind and vulnerable.  All the bluster of counting on Danno was an empty show of desperate defense against black alarm.


Danno.  Could it be his friend?  He tried to kill the hope that surged like a lighthouse beacon to his desperate, dreading soul.  A cool, fresh blast of air swept into what had to be a small room, but that was just a fleeting impression amid the overwhelming waves of panic.  The best he could hope for was to stop the shaking, and he didn’t know if he managed to do that before rough hands grabbed him and threw him against the wall amid screaming, shouts in an Oriental language, and punches to his arms and kicks to his legs and back.






Rushing into the office, Williams turned toward his office before his brain caught up with his vision.  Backtracking, he went to Chin’s cubicle to confirm what he had seen.  While his heart filled with warmth at the sight of his friends, his mind flinched at the danger they had brought upon themselves and their families. 


“You guys,” he choked out around the knot of emotion in his throat.  He patted Kelly, Kokua on the backs, and gripped onto Lukela’s arm.  He sniffed.  “You know this won’t get you any overtime.”


“Gonna have to do it for salary then,” Ben responded with a grim smile.  “We couldn’t stay away when you needed us, Danny.”


Williams shook his head, unable to find the words.  What could he say that would even come close to the emotions bubbling inside?  They had been sent away to protect their lives and their families.  They returned to help find their leader, his brother.  They were looking to him to lead the way, and he felt a shiver of inadequacy chill him.  How could he take care of them and save Steve?  It was a big job and an awesome responsibility.  He just had to do it somehow, because he could not accept the alternative.


“What’s the plan, Danny?”


Meeting Kelly’s stalwart brown eyes, he settled into the groove of leadership that was necessary, that Steve would expect of him.  “We’re going to find Troc’s accomplices.  That means covering the same ground we’ve already been tracking.  He brought a whole gang with him or he had local help.  If it’s the latter, we have some good ideas where to look.  Let’s get started.”


He moved to McGarrett’s office, the other detectives following.  Without further comment, they settled into a routine that was second nature and came together to solve a case.  That it was the most important work they would ever accomplish – the life of their leader in the balance.



“Got a lead on someone who sold that wiring.”  Kokua waved a paper in his hand.  “Maybe the terrorists were running out of supplies.  I’m going to check it out.”


“Another bomb?”


“That’s what it looks like.”


Hesitant to allow the excursion, Williams knew the only way to get Steve back was to act like detectives and investigate.  It would be faster if he allowed his staff to do their jobs.  But the risk was high for all of them.  Besides, this dire news made it imperative to find the bad guys.  If they were making more bombs, it was not just Steve’s life at stake. “Take back up and be careful,” he admonished.


Kokua nodded to an HPD officer and they trotted out the door.


Stepping over to Chin and Duke, he was handed a list of names - most of them Asian. 


“We never got a chance to cover the university protesters as much as I’d like,” Chin explained what he and Lukela had been doing.  “We have a few leads I like.”


Nodding, Williams gave his approval.  “All right, but you guys take plenty of fire power and wear vests, please.  Every precaution.”  He couldn’t imagine the consequences if anything happened to these men.  “And don’t go to your homes tonight”


Kelly gave an almost amused look to Lukela.  “We’ll stay at the office, no reason to go home,” Chin assured.  “We’ll work till we get them all.”


Touched, Williams nodded.  “Mahalo.”


Running down to the lab, Williams hoped for more leads on the forensic side of the investigation.  Maybe something had come up from the apartment grounds.  And he needed to call HPD and find out what Chip Malone and Nephi Hilton had discovered, eye witness accounts, if any.  It was going to be a long night – a long trial, however long it took – until they found his friend.  If the rest of the world thought Steve was obsessed and a workaholic about the job, wait till they saw what he was capable of doing until he found Steve.











The credo of every military officer and most enlisted men.  The mantra was drilled into the minds of anyone who faced a combat situation or a possibility of capture.  In his Academy days it had seemed just one more technical necessity to stuff into his brain to reach his goal of career service.  Right along with the history of Waterloo and the social significance of ballroom dance, he had relegated the POW ethics to a memorized echo; to be summoned in the remote event he would need such specialized knowledge. 


It was not until Korea, when he awoke in a bamboo cage, his body aching and his mind terrified, that he recollected the doctrine of prisoners of war.  It had helped, or course, and ultimately, his preparedness, both mentally and physically, put him in place to escape and survive. 


Upon regaining consciousness moments ago, he found a disturbing change.  After his beating, his hands and arms had been retied.  His hands were now tied in front of him, his arms loose.  The ankles were still bound, and he was blindfolded, but the slightly increased mobility was good.  He carefully felt his face, able to feel the cloth blindfold and gag.  He could pull them off, and did slip the blindfold down. 


A closet.  A nearly black, very small closet.


A thrill of terror coursed along his spine at the memories invoked easily, closely, inevitably, because of this imprisonment.  They caught him off guard.  The enemy was playing on fears they had no idea he harbored, and thus, so far, had all advantages over him- physical, psychological, emotional.  The helplessness, the blindness, the claustrophobia, the vulnerability were all playing to his deepest fears.  Climbing from the pit of his despair, he fought back, denying that they had any advantage.  They did not.  They did not know his fear, and that was his first edge.  Hiding that from them could make the difference between life and death.  The other ace up his sleeve was his secret weapon in all things.  The unexpected surprise that no criminal expected until it was too late.  He had a tenacious bulldog of a friend out there looking for him right now.  And he would bet Danno against anyone, anytime.


The door rattled again and he willed courage to fill his cold veins with bluster and bluff. Quickly he replaced the blindfold. By the time he felt the rush of fresh, cool air, his anger surfaced again.  Tensed for another beating, he was surprised when he was roughly brought to his feet and his ankles freed.  The hands were left bound as he was pushed along.  His bare feet defined the surface as hardwood floor, and his imagination judged the path to be a corridor that he hit several times with his shoulders, his hands reaching out to instinctively shield his sore and battered body.


Sounds.  He could hear the soft lull of traffic, and the muted tickle of voices – children’s voices – drifting to his ears.  Vietnamese was thrown at him again and he had no understanding of what they were saying. 


Smells.  The subtle scent of the ocean was close.  Flowers, some kind of ever-blooming Hawaiian flora was nearby.  Cooking, yes, he just passed an open space with the amazingly wonderful, tantalizing scents of chicken and rice.  His stomach grumbled, giving him an indication of passage of time.  It had to be hours since he was captured.


He was halted, then turned and pushed into a room.  Sensing he was alone, he pulled the blindfold down and was amazed he was standing in a small bathroom.  It was old, wood, with the kind of white porcelain fixtures that were consistent with styles in the pre-WWII era.  A claw-footed tub and basin sink went with the old boards and peeling linoleum tile.  He turned to glance, but one of the guards shouted, turning his head back to the far wall.  So, he could see as long as he did not look at them.  Staring around at his surroundings, he took it all in while his mind worked out the puzzle.  There was no medicine cabinet, and the window was boarded up from the outside, so there was no chance of escape with his captors with him.  Light seeping through the cracks of the planks suggested the bright tropical sun was in full tone, reinforcing the idea he had been captured some time ago.


A shove at his shoulder and snapped commands brought him back to analyze the immediate guesswork with his captors.  They wanted him to use the facilities?  They underscored that impression by partially closing the door.  As he washed his hands he considered the strangely humane and unexpected treatment.  When the blindfold was pushed up again and he was taken to the kitchen, sat at a table and given a bowl of rice and chicken, and a glass of water, he was astounded.


The meal was not completely finished when he was again taken away, down the hall again.  When the familiar creak of his closet door sounded, he balked.  Not back in there – the double shove was strong enough to throw him inside.  Pulling the blindfold down, he turned to fight against the imprisonment. But the door was already closed.  Kicking it, slamming it with his fists, he soon recognized the futility of his actions and leaned against the wall, fists balled in tight resistance of the demons dancing on his nerves.


Fight the darkness; fight the imprisonment.  It was a closet.  Inside a house.  Somewhere near civilization – so close he could hear it and feel it.  Working it out, he told himself to reason, to chew on the problem and find the solution, not dwell on the things that allowed terror into his senses.


Okay, what did he know?  The two captors – and he sensed only two – wanted to keep their anonymity.  They allowed him civilized privileges – so they were not crude or trying to make a point with sadism.  They wanted him alive.  So they intended to release him.  A trade – it had to be – him for Troc!  He counted his blessings that they were probably American Maoists.  They gave him clean water and rice and bathroom privileges and nothing like a POW or a true North Vietnamese would do to an enemy.  Lucky for him they did not know how it terrorized him to be in the small confinement. 


Trade.  So there was a possibility of getting out of this.  No, there was not that way.  Danno would never trade that inhuman monster – not even for him.  A flash of doubt seared into his mind, cracking the irrefutability of his certainty.  Danno.  His hero/salvation/sanity.  His brother and friend.  Would he not do anything to get him back safely?  Anything but go against what they both believed in.  Danno would not be able to make the trade.  It would kill him to deny the only ransom to save his mentor, but he would do it. 


That meant McGarrett would have to find his own way out.






Knowing there was a thin line between harassment and interrogation, Williams spent some of his spare time talking to Troc.  As much as he wanted to go into the jail cell and throttle the terrorist, he remained on the outside of the bars.  The Vietnamese would not answer any questions and ignored the detective until Dan was ready to explode.  Stalking away from the cell, he met with Ben in the squad room.


“I want you to arrange some of the guys to keep up the pressure on Troc.”


“Like what?”


“Around the clock, I want guys in there asking him questions, dropping in to annoy him, anything they can think of.  I don’t want him getting rest; I don’t want him feeling safe.”


The Samoan hesitated and that irked the shorter officer.  “What?  You think we’re going to play dirty doing that?  It’s not against the strict statutes of the law.  No one will lay a finger on him –“


“Danny, it’s not right –“


“You want to talk to me about rights!” he hissed and pulled the taller man over by a coffee machine.  “Steve has a right to be alive!  To be doing his job instead of captured by these pigs!”  By the widened eyes of his colleague, he knew he was pushing too hard and on the verge of ruining their case if he was not careful.  He could not back down, though.  Five-0 and HPD were not getting any rest or comfort out of this, neither was Steve, he was certain.  They were not going to be humane and concerned about the animal who was causing all the pain.  “Troc has pushed us and we’re shoving back, Ben.  Just make sure it happens.  If you don’t get the guys to cooperate, I will.”


The dark eyes stared at him for a measured moment.  “I want you to think, Danny.  Don’t let hate turn you into a beast like that guy in there.  Hate and fear are keeping you on your feet now.  They’re tempting you to bend the rules.  Is that what Steve would want?”


Ignoring the wisdom, he glared at his colleague.  “Steve would want to be alive.  Just do it, Ben!” 






Six in the morning, he blinked as he looked at the digital clock on McGarrett’s desk.  Been was slumped down on the couch, Duke at the other end.  Chin was propped in two chairs.  Various support HPD personnel were in the outer office, probably all asleep.  Every few minutes, he noted a guard on the outside lanai pace past.  It was as if the world stood still.  He could nearly hear the seconds and minutes tick by in the empty echo of results.  No leads.  No trace of Steve.  Nowhere to go.  This was not good enough.


Rubbing the fatigue from his face, feeling the gritty stubble of a day’s growth of beard, he rose from the chair and grabbed the tie he had thrown on the side of the desk.  No one woke at his movements, and he decided to let them sleep.


Officer Rick Thompson was in the front office and Dan told him he was going back to Steve’s apartment.  The young officer asked if he should go along and, out of logic, the Five-0 detective reluctantly agreed.  He could move faster alone, but caution dictated he have back up.  Besides, Rick could help with the questioning.


As he drove out to Waikiki, he formed a plan and ordered some HPD patrol cars to meet him on Ala Wai beside Steve’s condo.  When he arrived, he ordered the men to set up a roadblock on the very busy thoroughfare next to the canal.  The squad car men would question people in cars; Thompson and he would stop joggers and walkers along the scenic street to find witnesses to yesterday’s abduction.  It was almost the same time as the crime and this was the only way to get some of the same people who would have been here.


There was no progress, and the traffic was backing up for blocks, when Kelly, Lukela and Kokua arrived.  Their displeasure was obvious, and Chin looked about to say something. But Williams forestalled him, issuing orders for them to join in the work. They fanned out. 


Ben lingered behind for a moment.  “Steve wouldn’t want you to drag yourself down, Danny –“


“He would want to be found!” he snapped back, then took a breath and apologized.  “Sorry.  After this, we’ll go get some coffee and real food, okay.  We’ll all feel better.  Right now time is critical.”


Nearly seven-thirty, he glanced at his watch.  When he spotted Lukela waving at him, he jogged down the street to a tourist in a loud Aloha shirt who had a camera in her hand. 


Excited, the sergeant introduced her as Mrs. Marks from Utah.  She had been snapping pictures here yesterday morning and got a few of a VW van parked on the curb.  “It had a very pretty paint job.  Some kind of Oriental dragon or some such.  My son back home has a van very much like it, so I took the picture.”


Excited, Dan asked if she had the film developed.


“Not yet, I’m just using up the last of it now.”


“Can we please develop it for you?  This officer will give you a receipt and we will return your pictures later today.”


“Yes, of course.”


“Thank you so much.”


Dan grabbed the camera and jogged over to Thompson and sent him to the lab to get prints.  He joined up with Chip Malone and Moe at the corner.  They had found one lady who lived in Steve’s condo building. She had seen two young Asian men lurking near the entrance when she came back from walking her dog yesterday morning.  Descriptions to be detailed by the police artist who would be here soon.


Gathering in the lobby of McGarrett’s apartment, Williams summarized the findings.  “We have two young males hanging out here at about the right time.  And a VW van with custom art.  Sounds like it could belong to some young people.  Not anything I’ve noticed around this neighborhood.”


“College students,” Chin suggested.


“Yeah.  Why don’t we run a DMV check on VW vans and double check it with the list of political agitators?” Duke suggested.


“Sounds good.  Remember, you and Chin stick together.  Ben, I’ll go with you up to the University if you find any hits.  Right now I’m going to shower and change. While I’m doing that, somebody send Chip out to get us some food at Ono’s.  Have Tim put it on the tab.”


When he returned from the quick visit up to Steve’s condo, Williams dug into the excellent barbeque food with only half-hearted enthusiasm as he fielded reports from the teams on the street.  No leads yet.  Determined to keep working at some angle of the investigation, he went to the Palace.  He spent most of his time on the radio checking in with his men, or rereading reports, combing already gathered information for something new that might clue them in to McGarrett’s location.  The most positive breakthrough so far was the pictures taken by the tourist on the Ala Wai.  From blowing up the negatives, Che Fong was able to get a license plate number and Kokua and Kelly were sent to check out the address of the owner.


When a call came in from Kokua at the University, Williams was nearly drifting off to sleep, his body giving in to the long hours of tension, worry and sleeplessness.  “Yeah, Ben?


“I tracked down the van.  Looks good as a suspect.  Belongs to a local Cambodian kid named Dong Son.  Nobody’s seen him or his closest buddy, who goes by the name of Tran, since yesterday.  Got some kids at the University from Saigon.  They’ve given us a lead that sounds good.  They’ve never thought much of Tran and Son and are willing to help us find them.”


“I’ll be there as soon as I can.”  Scribbling down directions, ignoring the soreness of his injured arm, he jogged out of the office.






Arriving on silent approach, the Five-0 LTD was parked on a sloping street half a block away from the address given him.  Williams jogged to meet Kokua and the HPD support officers who gathered around him for instructions.  Getting a quick lay out of the house and nearby structures, the officer quickly made a plan and the personnel fanned out to surround the building.  Stealthily coming up on the front, Williams knocked, backed away from the door, and waited.  No gunshots through the wood.  No sounds.  Glancing at Kokua, beside him, he gave a nod and the larger, stronger officer swung around to give two solid kicks to the door.  The planks splintered away from the lock and swung in, the police sweeping in with the next instant.


The small living room was stuffed with mismatched furnishings and messed with clothes on the floor, dirty plates on the sofas and trash collected on a coffee table.  The interior smelled musty, as if the place had been closed up for several days.  Kokua went through to the kitchen and opened the back door for the other officers.  Williams trotted upstairs, impatient to find their targets.  Support still at his back, he swept through every room, finding no students, but discovering proof that they had found the right place.  Cardboard boxes formerly housing dime store clocks, snippets of wires and other accoutrements for bomb making were in evidence throughout the secondary bedroom.


“This is what we were looking for,” Ben commented quietly as he checked out the trash can.


“It’s not enough!” Williams shouted, kicking over an end table by a small sofa.  “We need them in our hands!” he shouted, again kicking the furniture in a fit of frustrated rage.  “So close!”  He had hoped that this would be the link they needed.  Time was running out for Steve and it was up to him to find his friend alive.


“Danny, we’ll find him,” came the soft encouragement from beside him. 


Of course his colleague knew why he was so upset, it was obvious to everyone around him that his frayed nerves and short fuse was all bout recovering Steve alive.  Williams ignored the attempt at calm and reason.  He did not want to be reasonable.  He needed to be effective.  He leaned on the wall, glancing out the window, trying to clear his thoughts.  He held his breath as he realized that a young Asian man was jumping the fence in the backyard.


“Where’s Duke?” he whispered, standing completely still.  “One of our marks is about to come in the back door.”


“I think he’s on the other street –“


“Have him close in now!” he hissed.  “Come on,” he slapped the arm of an HPD man.


They ran downstairs, hardly touching the steps.  By the time they entered the kitchen, the door was just opening.  Revolver in hand, he called the Asian to halt.  Hesitating in the doorway, the youth’s eyes grew wide with fear. 


“Raise your hands and kneel on the floor.  Don’t make me shoot you.”  It was a sincere warning.  He did not want to kill the only link to Steve.  “Raise your hands!  Do it!” he barked.


The young man spun around and dashed out.  Growling, Williams peeled after him, tearing through the backyard and leaping onto the Asian as the suspect tried to vault over the fence.  Both hunter and prey tumbled over the wood and into the plumeria bushes in the next yard.  The kid attempted to sprint away, but Williams tackled him, slamming his face into the grass and grabbing onto his hair.  Pounding his face into the ground, Williams fought back when his colleagues pulled him away.  Lukela took charge of the suspect and protectively cuffed him, keeping him separated from the out of control Five-0 officer.  Kokua kept a hold of Williams until the second-in-command settled down and made no further attempt to attack the suspect.


The hold on both Williams’ arms was secure until Lukela had the suspect in a patrol car.  “Don’t take him to the Palace yet!” he ordered the sergeant.  “I need to talk to him!” The grip relaxed and miffed, Williams shrugged away.  “I’m all right.”  Angry, he hurried away toward the car.


“I don’t think you are,” Ben countered as he followed.


“Make sure the evidence is gathered and taken to the Palace.”  He drew in a breath when Ben bodily blocked his path.  “Hey –“


“You are going to blow this whole case,” the huge Samoan warned, giving a gentle push to his shorter colleague’s chest.  “Cool down, Danny.  It’s not going to help Steve if –“


“That creep has the answers, Ben and I don’t care if I blow the case or not.  The case is not important.  Finding Steve is all that matters!”


“What about the other bomb, Danny?  If they blow up a theater or another bus or a school, are you going to feel like it was a good idea to pound on a suspect to free Steve?”


“We find Steve we find the bombers!” He adamantly countered, hating that his friend was trying to dilute his focus and deter him from getting the necessary information about McGarrett.


“Don’t let this destroy you, Danny,” the tall detective warned as Williams pushed past him.  “There are all kinds of fanatics.”


Steve and he had discussed just such a subject not long ago.  Had he turned into a fanatic about rescuing Steve?  Taking a breath, knowing he should temper himself, but finding it nearly impossible, Williams leaned into the police car.  The bloody, scraped suspect was cuffed in the backseat.  Lukela was on one side of the man and the other officers were out of sight.  They had arranged this for him, he realized.  To make it easy to bend a few rules and rough up this slime so he could get his answers.  Momentarily, he felt a little sick that it would be so easy.  When he had this dirt bag at his mercy, he could have happily killed the wretch.  Now, knowing anything he did from now on was premeditated brutality, he took another breath and stared at the youth who would not look at him.


“Did you give him his rights?”


“In three languages,” Lukela confirmed.  “ID confirms he’s Dong Son.”


Williams stared at the kid who had to be no more than about twenty years old.  “We know you’re involved in supporting Troc.  We know you kidnapped Steve McGarrett.  We know you have another bomb you’re building.  Tell us where McGarrett is right now and we can help you.”


The youth met his eyes for a moment, shook his head, and then stared down again.


Feeling his anger rising, he clutched onto the kid’s collar and shook him.  “You tell me where you have McGarrett!”




Williams released the shirt and ignored Lukela’s huff of indignation.  “Take him to the Palace.  Top security.  I don’t want him booked; I don’t want anyone to know we have him.  He’s got to stay under the radar.”


Lukela moved to the front seat and brought another officer over to drive with him back to the Palace.  Williams crossed to his car, ignoring the disapproving shadow of Kokua at his heels.


“You won’t be able to keep him there –“


“I can keep a suspect for forty-eight hours without booking him if he is being questioned.  I can lose his request for an attorney if he makes one. But his lip looked a little swollen didn’t it? So I don’t think he’ll be making too many requests.  And when he talks –“ Before he could open the door, Ben’s hand was on the metal and he halted the sarcasm as he looked up at the scowling officer.


“Do you think this is the way Steve would want it to go down?”


“He can fire me if he wants to after this.  All I care about is that he gets back here alive and well.”


Weighing the benefits of interrogating the recalcitrant prisoner himself, or searching the house for first hand clues, he decided to stay and run through the rooms for a quick once over, then leave them to the lab boys to thoroughly examine.  Little was found that was encouraging.  Sifting through trashcans, checking drawers, scanning letters or notes, turned up very little at a glance.  What he did find convinced him there was at least one more bomb that had been assembled and it was not here. 


As he finished a sweep of the house he jogged down the steps and was surprised to see Chin had arrived.  The Oriental officer and Kokua stood by the front door giving him looks that he did not appreciate.  They seemed silently condemning and he felt defensive of his earlier actions, like the kid brother who had stepped over the line and the older siblings were going to come down on him before there was any parental judgment.


Before they had a chance to comment on his irrational behavior, he issued orders.  “Did you find the van?” he asked Kokua.


“Not yet.”


“Put out an APB but I want it locate only, do not approach.  IF Dong Son didn’t come here in the van, then he had to have walked or taken the bus.  Or stolen a car.  Or he’s using someone else’s car, like an accomplices.  Have officers canvas the neighborhood for anyone who’s seen him walking or driving or for any unaccounted for vehicles.”


“You going back to the office?” Kelly wondered mildly.


“Yeah.  What I found here convinces me there is at least one more bomb out there.  Dong‘s buddy has to have it with him.  The city is still at risk until we find him.”


“I’ll go with you,” Kelly volunteered.


Williams smirked.  “I’m okay, Chin.  I don’t need a watch dog.”


The older man gravely studied him.  “You not gonna do yourself or Steve any good turning into a fanatic to fight fanatics, Danny.”


“I know.  I lost my cool, okay.  It won’t happen again.”  He slipped away before they could say anything else.  He congratulated himself that he sounded so calm and rational.  Hopefully he could carry that through the interrogation.  Losing his cool was not going to help Steve any more than turning into a fanatic as bad as the bad guys they were pursuing. 


The Vietnamese suspect was kept in a seldom-used holding cell next to an interrogation room in the basement of the Palace.  It would buy them a little time to keep him concealed, but not much.  Lawyers would pry him free if they knew how much Williams was bending the law now.  Pacing the small cell, Lukela sitting in a chair next to the prisoner, Williams pummeled the man with question after question after accusation.  Coldly detached, hate filling his eyes, the youth did not say anything.  No complaints of pain from his broken nose, no diatribes of political causes, no asking for a lawyer.  Neither did he divulge anything that would help find Steve.


Acutely aware of the passage of time – time that was working against him – Williams decided it was time to turn the tide on the silent captive.  Jogging upstairs, he phoned the safe house where Bergman was waiting out the drama of the current case.  When the physician answered, the officer plunged into his insane request.


“Doc, it’s Danny.”


“Danny, I hope you’re calling with good news.”


The younger man licked his lips.  “Not exactly, Doc.  We’ve got someone here who’s in a little bit of pain,” he started in couched caution.  “I need you to authorize your assistant to give me some sodium pentathol.”


Knowing his mad conversation could get him fired right now, he had to play it through.  The prisoner would not talk.  Duke would not let him lay a finger on the man.  There was no question in his mind he would resort to violence if he had the chance – he would bend or break any and all the rules to get Steve back.  Unauthorized drugs, coercion, his career, his life – all things he was willing to sacrifice to save Steve’s life.


“Do you know what you’re asking, Danny?” came the solemn inquiry after a moment.


“I’m asking you to help save Steve’s life.”


“You don’t want to do this.”


“Yes, I do.”


“I won’t help you, Danny.  And we’re not going to say anything more about this.  Good luck finding Steve.  I know you can, but not this way, Danny.  Don’t let the panic take control.  Use your judgment!  Think of how you would handle this if Steve was looking over your shoulder --”


“This slug is a murderer of women and children and innocent civilians!  His men have Steve!  It is our duty to do everything we can to get Steve to safety!” 


It was a rhetoric he repeated to anyone who opposed him.  The cry for justice for the innocent and the crusading head cop of Five-0.  All of it was a sham.  Williams was doing this for himself.  To assuage his guilt at losing McGarrett.  To reach his friend before the terrorists who had taken him murdered him.  There was no altruism to his actions or motivations, and he knew that was wrong on every level: instinct, morals, ethics, legalities.  How far was he willing to go to get Steve back?  His heart said anything – as much as it would take.  His intellect countered that there might be a moment of truth ahead where he would have to sell his soul/ideals for Steve’s life.  He didn’t want to have to choose, but he was afraid of the selection he might make at that moment.


There was a deep sigh at the other end of the line.  “Danny, I know you are suffering.  What they have done is torture to you, but you can’t fight on their level.”


“I will do anything I have to do to get Steve.”


“You don’t know what you’re saying.  Danny, you don’t know what happened on the other side of the equation when you were shot and held hostage at Castle Hospital a few years ago.”


Why was Doc talking about that painful incident years ago?  It was a grim piece of history that no one liked to remember.  He had been unconscious and in pain for most of it.  Steve had been a madman, he heard, trying to save him.  What did that have to do with this crisis? {episode – King of the Hill}


“Everyone there saw a transformed McGarrett.  He was insane with worry and frantic that he could not save your life.  You are just as fanatical now.  These savages have pushed you into a corner.  You are dying inside because of what they might do to Steve.  Don’t turn into one of them, Danny.  You are better than they are.”


“I need more than your platitudes, Doc!  I need action!”


“Danny,” he breathed out quietly.  “Can you hear yourself?  Step back a minute and think.  This could ruin you –“


“I’m trying to save Steve and countless others!”


“And is this how Steve would want you to do that?  If I had any sense, I would go to the governor and have you released from duty on medical grounds, Danny, but I won’t go that far.  I trust that you will turn this around on your own.  Steve trusts you, Danny.  I know you won’t let him down.”


“Thanks a lot, Doc!” he yelled back and slammed down the phone. Throwing a fist onto the desk, he jumped up and paced away.  If he thought he could get away with it, he would go downstairs and throttle that prisoner.  Okay, no one was going to let him stray off the straight path.  Okay, then he had to do this the right way.  No throwing away the rulebook.  Was he the only one that saw playing it right might not cut it?  Steve was running out of time.


There was no time for him to drive up to the North Shore with the top down and the speeding wind raking his hair.  Steve was not here to yell at him or direct him, push him back when he was self-destructing.  Jogging down stairs and out the back of the Palace, he paced out to the huge banyan tree spreading it’s limbs across the parking lot.  Walking, hands in pockets, staring at the ground as he coursed around and through the branches spread into the cracked asphalt, he combed his thoughts and imagination.  Steve was not here to guide him, to whisper over his shoulder about what needed to be done.  He was in charge.  The spirit of McGarrett, though, was alive in his mind as he considered options, pondering what his mentor would do in this instance.  How would the boss crack the fanatics in their hands?





On the way back from the kitchen, the thin, scruffy Asian chattered to his prisoner. McGarrett was shoved hard, then the man released his grip and dropped back.  Steve managed to keep the corner of his blindfold up so he could observe the rooms he passed in the hall.  As he walked past the last door, he saw a table arrayed with wires and dynamite.  Shoved into the closet again, he released a moan of fear.  They were going to bomb something else.  He had to stop them! 


What was their target?  The TV news had been on as he passed the living room.  He had paid no attention, but it had to be why the man was uptight.  When released from his closet this time he had tensed with anxiety when he sensed there was only one guard.  The sharp knifepoint at the back of his neck dissuaded him form making a hasty move, but now, he regretted his caution.  He and the scruffy guard were the only one’s here, he could sense it.  Where was the second accomplice?  Pressing an ear against the wood, he listened. 


News.  Report on the preliminary trial of Troc.  Trial in the morning.  What made his captor so upset?  He could hear the man chattering like a myna bird.  No one was responding.  What happened to the second man?  A raucous laugh from the jailer chilled him.  He heard movement of furniture, or an object being pushed, something like that.  The news was talking about security for the trial.  What was so funny . . . .


Were they thinking about attacking the trial?  With a bomb? No – not bomb the trial – no – he could not be thinking of bombing the courthouse!  It would kill Troc along with everyone else!  Would that matter to fanatics?  They would stop at nothing to strike terror and death to their enemies.  No – he was trapped in here and innocent people – officers he knew – Danno – killed – NO!


Frantically, he worked at his bonds.  Removing the blindfold, he had enough light from the door cracks to test the door.  Pushing revealed no weakness.  Quietly turning the knob proved it was locked. 


A door slammed opened, slammed again a few times, then a car door slammed shut.  Was his captor leaving?  He would not be left alone.  Footsteps approaching, then standing still before the closet door.  The jailer was coming to kill him.  Then he would go to the courthouse and deliver a bomb.


Crouching down into the farthest corner of the closet, he curled into as small a ball as he could near the door.  Hardly another breath was taken before gunshots peeled into the small space.  One clipped his forearm and he yelped, then screamed in a dramatic crescendo of a dying scream.  With a final gasp he held his breath in tense silence.  If the man opened to door to check on him, he would lunge.  No matter the odds or the danger against a weapon, he had to take the chance – it would be his only one.


Another shot ploughed through the wood, this time down low toward the floor.  A superior comment was flung out, then the footsteps receded.  A door slammed, then a car engine started, with the sound of tires peeling off of dirt.  Silence.  Alone? 


Backing against the farthest corner he slammed his foot against the door, now weakened from the bullets.  He couldn’t loosen the metal bolt, or reach for it with his bound hands, so he continued to kick at the door.  There was very little room in here, and the lack of leverage impeded his efforts, but slowly, laboriously, the wood gave way.  After far too long and too much energy, the door splintered enough for him to angle through. 


Wrenching his back, scraping his arms on the jagged wood and stepping on numerous splinters, limped down the hallway with bare feet, arm bleeding.  The house was small and he raced through the rooms searching for a phone.  No such luck.  Stopping at a back door, he saw his jail was a small cabin set against a mountain.  No other houses or buildings in sight. 


Stopping at the kitchen, he found a knife in a drawer and, after some finagling, managed to slice through the ropes at his wrist.  He found a towel in another drawer and tied it around his aching arm.  Head now swimming from more activity than he had worked through in a while, feeling the affects of his head injury, he slowed down.  Grabbing a chair, he picked out the splinters in his feet and found tossed on another chair his socks and shoes. Dressing, he worked through a plan.  He had to find out where he was and get help – get word to Danno.


Wishing he could jog instead of walk carefully, he was out the door as soon as he finished tying his laces.  The front of the house faced a small rise and he hiked over it to see dry hills stretching down to the sea.  He looked to be on the Makaha coast.  There were no telephone poles or paved highways in sight!  He would have to hike to civilization!  He didn’t even know which direction!  This was going to take too long!  There was no choice, and he allowed his instincts to guide him over the first rise and down toward the sea.






Grandstanding was not his style, definitely more in McGarrett’s vein, but Williams was a good study.  When he returned to the office and received John Manicote’s triumphant call that Troc had asked for a special meeting with the attorneys to work out a plea, Williams knew there was something wrong.  His ace up the sleeve was holding Troc’s accomplice, and he felt now was the time to play the big hand.


Late afternoon, HPD was crowded with officers coming and going at the shift change for late afternoon.  Williams, Kokua and Kelly brought the prisoner through a back entrance.  The latter pair remained in an anteroom with the Dong Son, while Lukela and Williams entered a private office attached to the interview chambers, where Manicote waited.


“Danny!  Can you believe he’s folded?”


The assumption startled the detective.  “Folded?  You think he’s going for a plea bargain?”


“What else would this be?”


Williams shrugged.  ”I don’t know,” the younger man replied sharply.  He had checked with HPD and was certain the guards were doubled and the building was locked down as tight as possible.  “I think he’s up to something.”


Manicote was clearly skeptical.  “We’ll see soon enough.”


The duty officer entered the room and unlocked an adjoining door from the back. Troc, in cuffs, bordered by two HPD men, followed by his attorney, entered. Manicote went forward and cordially greeted the opposition lawyer. 


Williams used his walkie-talkie to alert his men.  Seconds later, behind him, the door opened and he knew his colleagues were bringing in Son.  He did not turn around to watch the entrance, but rather, studied the reaction of Troc.  He was rewarded by the little Asian’s eyes widening in surprise, then squinting in anger.  Then the cold eyes stabbed him with a hate-filled glare. His victory was only momentary when he noted the features of his foe turn to smug satisfaction again.  Why?  He was back to anxiety about this whole set up.  This was a staged event.  Set in motion by his enemy.  Why?


Troc sat down at a table next to his attorney.  When the Oriental defense council stepped over to speak with Manicote, Troc helpfully picked up a paper the lawyer had dropped.  The paper was placed atop the attorney’s briefcase.


It all happened so fast, if Williams hadn’t been so on edge, watching his enemy so closely, he would have missed it.  Troc grabbed the briefcase, using it as a weapon to smack Manicote.  With the DA dazed, Troc swung him around to use as a shield.


Williams’ weapon held a steady bead on Troc’s head.  Son struggled to break free, but one of the HPD men quickly thrust him down to the ground.  Chin and Ben’s weapons were already out, trained on Troc.  The Vietnamese consul’s appointed solicitor, he noticed, had managed to flee through the exit door leading into the corridor.


The second-in-command of Five-0 barely breathed.  His aim was tight on his taret’s face.  “You don’t have a prayer, Troc.  Give it up.” 


In moments more HPD support would be coming behind Troc.  All he had to do was stall and one of his colleagues would take out the terrorist. 


“Surrender and tell me where you have McGarrett!”


“McGarrett is dead.  You have Son.  If you arrested him, then he has already killed your policeman!”


The pronouncement sent a ripple of anguish through his body, but Williams could not believe the bragging criminal.  Steve was not dead.  He could not be dead.


“Surrender!  Now!  Or you are dead.”  For dramatic measure he pulled back the hammer on the .38 without wavering.


Troc swung the lawyer’s briefcase onto the top of the table.  One set of snaps was flicked open with one hand while still holding the DA in a chokehold.  It was the expression on the terrorist’s face that solidified all the elements together in Williams’ mind.  This was a set up!  The plea bargain, the special meeting in the stronghold of the law enforcement contingent of Honolulu. It was all a trap!


Why?  Why was Troc fiddling around with the briefcase?  There was a bomb inside the briefcase!  Troc’s MO. 


Troc lifted the lid on the case.  Williams fired.  The terrorist flew back to the door taking the DA with him.  Rushing forward, the detective yanked Manicote out of the tangle of limbs and threw him toward Chin, who was just behind them.  Troc was dead; there was no doubt.  The portion of the missing skull, the vacant stare of the eyes, confirmed the assessment.


Williams breathed out a huge sigh, stepping over to check for a pulse just to assure there was no mistake.  He paused in mid-stride.  Ticking.  He looked at the briefcase on the table.  Ticking.  Troc had lifted the lid – it had triggered the bomb!


“Everybody clear out!” Williams warned the others and holstered his weapon.  Manicote was grabbed by the HPD men.  “Get back!  Call for the bomb squad!”  From the corner of his eye, he noted his men had exited the room with their other prisoner. The clicking stopped.  He leaped out of the room and hit the deck as the ceiling and walls came down around him.






Just around the bend in the old, pitted asphalt road, McGarrett was startled enough to come to a complete stop.  There was a little country store on the edge of the beach road.  Several old cars were parked in front and two horses tied to a post on the side of the bar/store.  Jogging ahead, renewed with energy, he sighted a pay phone booth at the end of the building.  He was almost there before he realized he had no change.  Spinning to the new direction of the store, he came to another stop when he spotted the paper bin near the door.  His picture took up most of the front page!


‘Steve McGarrett kidnapped!’ read the headline.


Before he opened the tattered screen door, he could smell the smoke and beer from inside.  A TV over the bar was blaring out local news.


“This is Mandi Stephensen reporting from downtown!  As you can see behind me, there has been another probable bombing!” the thin, blond news reporter declared.   Flames spouted from the police station in the background.  Several other news cameras and various reporters crowded into her shot.  She struggled to stay front and center for her audience. “Inside sources say the suspected terrorist Huong Troc was inside at a special hearing called by his lawyer, who was appointed by the Vietnamese government.  Reports are coming in that DA Manicote and several Five-0 officers were inside at the time!”  Ambulances and fire trucks streaked through the shot.  The arm of an HPD officer came into frame as he pushed the reporter aside.  The camera went black; the reporter in the studio came on.


HPD bombed!  The center of law enforcement in Hawaii attacked!  Troc and others, including Manicote and five-0 officers were believed among the victims! 


No! He was too late!


He collapsed in the dirt repressing sobs of grief and despair.  He had escaped.  His men, his friends, had not.  The rescuer he kept hoping for, the brother he was convinced would save him – through the torture of solitary confinement and cruelty -- was not coming.  Danno had perished along with how many others?  The wicked irony was too bitter and he knelt there in the soft earth allowing the smoke and grieving to engulf him.





According to the clock behind the bar, the HPD squad car pulled up outside the Wailua Bar just ten minutes after McGarrett had placed his urgent call for pick up.  Pacing, watching the news report of the explosion at HPD, the time had dragged for what seemed like an eternity.  As soon as the blue and white was spotted through the filmy window, McGarrett raced outside and leaped into the passenger seat. 


Feeling conspicuous in his jogging togs after his escape, he no longer cared what he looked like.  The only important matter was to reach HPD as quickly as possible, and find out who was alive and who was not.


“Get to HPD!” he barked as he snagged the mic.  “This is McGarrett!  Get me whoever is in charge!”


“Yes, sir,” came the clipped response from the radio.


The squad car sped onto the freeway as McGarrett received disjointed reports from the senior officer on the scene.  Sergeant Ono gave what information he could, but the scene was still chaotic.  Fire and rescue personnel were still dousing flames and checking for survivors.  Had the Five-0 officers been inside the building?  Yes.  Any word on detectives from his unit?  No.  Kelly, Williams and Kokua were still unaccounted for, as well as Duke Lukela.


Kelly?  Lukela?  Kokua?  They were supposed to be in protective custody with their families!  After just a moment of thought he realized after his kidnapping nothing would have restrained them from helping Danno catch the terrorists.  Troc.  Was he at the courthouse when his colleague blew the building?  Was this an attempt to free Troc?


He should have stopped that terrorist who held him captive!  He should have done more!  How could he know the next target would be his own men!  Chin, father to eight kids!  Duke – three sons and a wife.  Ben – a new father – the newest detective in his first few months in the unit.  Danno.  He sniffed back a choked moan.  Danno.  If Danno was dead, then so was a huge part of him. 


He bit his knuckle, suppressing the anguish growing inside.  The closer they sped toward the courthouse, he could see trails of black smoke feathering up into the sky.  The nearer to downtown the more clogged the streets became; cluttered with emergency vehicles, squad cars, fire engines, ambulances and a heavy assortment of the curious.


When the patrolman could navigate the streets no more, McGarrett leaped out of the car before it stopped moving.  He jogged the rest of the block to the police station. Pushing his way through the emergency personnel, the flash of a memory returning to him.  So much like the crisis they had faced days ago – the aftermath of the bus bombing.  As horrible as that was, this was infinitely worse.  Cops he knew.  John Manicote. 


Sergeant Hilton was directing efforts at the entrance of the building.  McGarrett didn’t pause as he grabbed the hefty officer by the arm and kept moving.  “What’s the word?”


“Steve!  I didn’t know you were back!”


“Where are my men?  Have you seen any of them?”


Hilton, taller and broader than the Five-0 chief came to a halt and held onto McGarrett’s shoulder.  “We got Chin, Ben and Duke over there by that ambulance,” he supplied, pointing to an emergency vehicle in the parking lot.


From here, McGarrett could see the familiar figures.  They were sitting down, breathing from oxygen masks, but all three seemed all right.  The words he wanted to ask next caught in his throat.  There was hope – if three had survived maybe Danno had, too.   Before he could ask a chorus of shouts echoed from the blocked entrance.  A limp man in a dark suit was being carried out by four firemen.  His heart leaped to embrace reality with faith, but the optimism stumbled when he noted the body was John Manicote. 


When the men placed the DA on the sidewalk, medical attendants rushed to his side.  Kelly, Lukela and Kokua hurried over to Manicote, and McGarrett jogged over to join them.


“Boss!” Kelly cried out when he spotted the leader.


They gathered around to pat him on the back in a rare display of outward affection and relief.  All of them were talking at once, wondering where he came from and how he escaped the terrorists.  Too choked up to speak, he could not ask the question they did not offer answers for.  There was still a missing detective.  He had to find out.  There was no real need for him to speak the name, but he did because none of them could admit the worst without his prompting.




Another tumultuous chorus erupted from the entrance.  Firemen were carrying another body from the headquarters.  He trotted over without seeing whom it was, blindly hoping for a positive materialization of his prayers.  Beyond the yellow coats he saw the curly, sandy hair that was unmistakable.  Shoving a rescuer aside, he almost laughed, and cried, when he heard Williams moan as he was placed on the sidewalk.


McGarrett knelt down and gripped a bloody wrist.  Dust, scrapes and clothing rips attested to damage.  Danno, though, was alive.  Refusing to leave, he called to his friend as the emergency personnel prepped the younger detective for a stretcher.  He was rewarded when Williams’ eyelids opened a slit.


“Steve?” he whispered.


“Right here, Danno.”


The eyes blinked, fighting to stay open.  “Are we dead?”


The grim chuckle was bittersweet.  “No, my friend, we are alive.”  Not well, but they had both survived.


Williams nodded, his head drooping, his eyes closing as he slipped to unconsciousness.  The attendants finished securing him to the gurney and they all moved out to the nearest ambulance.  A man in loose, dark clothing dodged around the HPD barricade and raced toward them.  Two shots rang out and the man flew back, slamming to the asphalt.  Ben, his revolver still trained on the recumbent figure, came into McGarrett’s view, followed by Lukela and Kelly and numerous other officers.  Weapons trained on the man, Kokua was the one to check for a pulse. He shook his head solemnly.  The attacker’s flimsy shirt had opened, and the gentle trade winds blew the dark material away from the bomb that was strapped to his chest. 


HPD moved the crowd father back.  McGarrett entered the ambulance behind Williams.  Let the others take care of the aftermath this time, he decided easily.  His place was beside his friend.  He could well imagine what Danno had been through since the kidnapping.  Whatever it was, it was over now.







The day could not have been more perfect.  A frequent observation in Hawaii.  Today, it penetrated to all strata of definitions.  The mild temperature was warm, tempered by the on-shore trade winds lilting off the ocean.  The sky, as always a perfect blue, was dotted with patchy white clouds and the green of the tall palms above rustling in the breeze, keeping the sun’s rays intermittent and balmy.  The lawn stretching out to the bay was wide enough to accommodate all the ohana of the Five-0 extended family, including an imu in the sand where Ben, the Lukela boys, and Kelly kids supervised the uncovering of the kalua pig. 


The women, with Dora Bergman as field marshal in charge (since this idyllic piece of paradise was her weekend cottage hugging the shore of Mamala Bay), directed the filling of long tables with more food than this crowd could eat all weekend.  Well, maybe not, McGarrett reconsidered as he watched the Kelly keiki darting along the edges snagging snacks when the adults weren’t watching. 


This was paradise all right, but more than the post card, it was the gathering of the people he loved.  The coming together again after the pain, after the separation, after the fear.  Glancing over at the beach chair dug into the sand next to him, he smiled, knowing he was not the only one basking in the euphoria of the perfection.


From under a lopsided straw hat woven just for him by the Kelly girls, Danny Williams observed the preparations with relaxed amusement.  He had already been offered three plates of food – as had McGarrett, of course, though his were not quite as stuffed as the younger detective’s.  While Danno’s appetite was not quite up to normal, he did a good job of picking through the macaroni salad and lau lau.


Three weeks after the bombing at HPD, the chief was told by his staff, particularly Jenny Sherman, that it was time to celebrate.  The ohana had been split apart by the terrorists, now they had to have some kind of commemoration of coming together.  Oahu.  Gathering place.  Recognizing that need in the others more than himself, McGarrett gave in to the ohana luau celebrating graduation and summer and anything else they wanted to celebrate on this day. 


The recovery process had been completed personally, he thought, when had had seen his friends had survived the bomb blast.  Danno was injured, but not seriously, and time, medication and rest had healed his wounds from the explosion, and before.  Life had returned to normal in the business of Five-0, but Jenny, Kelly and Lukela had drawn to his attention that the rest of the group needed closure.


Finishing his slices of fish, he put his plate aside and watched Williams pick at his lomi lomi.  After a moment, the younger detective glanced his way.




“Just thinking what a great day this is.”


“Yeah,” Williams sighed, watching the kids eating, running, fishing, playing.  “Hard to imagine a month ago it was all so different.”


“We lived through things we couldn’t have imagined.  Fanatics,” he shook his head in disgust.


Williams put aside his plate and turned to face him more squarely, moving stiffly from still repairing injuries.  “Steve, I think my ohana were too kind to me.”


After all they had been through, including Williams’ injuries and running Five-0 after the kidnapping, he didn’t think it was possible to be too kind to any of the affected members of their family.  “What do you mean?”


“You were right.  There is more than one kind of fanatic.  I’m pretty sure I qualified for a while.”


“You?  I don’t believe it.”


Williams’ smirk was grim.  “You don’t know what I was like after you were kidnapped.”


Recalling his own desperation – what he was willing to do to gain his freedom – he understood.  What he felt when he thought his detectives – Danno – had been the latest casualties in the HPD bombing.  He had been there before – driven beyond reason and sanity to a place where fear and obsession blinded him.  At such desperate times he had been fanatical himself, pushed into unexpected, dark places.


“I think I do, Danno.  I think we walked on the fanatical side a time or two.  But we came back.  To this,” he swept his arm to include the picturesque setting, the happy children, the contented adults. 


They came back.  All of them.  Together.  That was all that mattered.