LIVE FROM HAWAII  - Take Two:

The Fortune Cookie

 

Presented in CHINESE BUFFET FORMAT

(Read on and you’ll see what we mean!)

By gm and BH

 

 

 

Egg Flower Soup

 

   

February 1974

 

Tuesday afternoons were nothing special around Five-0. Just another day at the office. The recent kidnapping of Walter Sands, the developer, was the hot new case. The sensational crime had kept the whole staff hopping for days, and the four detectives eating, sleeping and investigating for all hours of the day and night.

 

So, when Dan Williams turned into the grounds of Iolani Palace, he was surprised to see trucks, trailers, television equipment and a limousine surrounding the stately historic building. The visitors obstructed his usual parking place, so he swung around by the banyan tree in the back and trotted up to enter via the back stairs, wondering about all the commotion.

 

Documentaries and even some films had been shot at their offices, but usually there was advanced warning, and specific instructions about not interfering with Five-0 business. He hadn’t spotted Steve’s car around, so maybe this was a surprise attack and the boss didn’t know about it? Jogging up the inner staircase, he smirked at that thought. Steve would sure have a thing or two to say to the unsuspecting Hollywood types who came and invaded his territory without sanction. Especially with the Sands case consuming all of them.

 

The main office of the police unit was chaos. Cables, cameras, lights strewn around the big room in a melee of activity. Chin was in his cubicle debating with a young man dressed in shorts and aloha shirt, who was holding a clapboard. Jenny was standing beside her desk arguing with someone about the camera blocking her file cabinet. About to take control of the comical situation, Dan glanced into his own cubicle and stopped cold.

 

Looking in a mirror, touching up her eye shadow, was the girl of his dreams. In appearance, she was short and petite, attired in a bright dress accentuating the tawny hair that flowed down her back all the way to her waist. When she turned to face him, his heart skipped a beat, her almond eyes slashing across his whole being like a comet. Adorned in a tight Island-style dress dominantly displaying red hibiscus in a daring pattern that was off the shoulder and very short, Kiki Chee was the luscious fantasy of every man in the country.

 

Hardly able to remember who he was and his position here in the office of the state police, Dan could only smile at her. And, wonderfully, she smiled back.

 

“We’re on a commercial break right now. Would you stand more to the right, I think that would make a better shot.”

 

One of the stage hands obligingly pushed Williams to the appropriate mark.

 

“Whaaaat?” he stuttered, still focused on the alluring Chee.

 

Then suddenly it was time someone behind him announced.  The clapboard clicked and she gave a bright smile into the camera.

 

“Aloha, America. E komo mai to LIVE FROM HAWAII, back from our commercial. If you’ve been tuning in so far, today we have a rare treat for everyone with an insider’s look into the state police unit of Hawaii Five-0.” She moved over to link her arm with Dan’s. “With me on this guided tour is Detective Danny Williams.”

 

Her voice was as melodious and enchanting as one would expect of a perfect dream. No need to introduce herself. Everyone alive must know the newest and most sensational celebrity on television.

 

-- LIVE FROM HAWAII – was the hottest thing in broadcasting. A real-time, weekly TV broadcast from Hawaii every week, it became an instant sensation around the country.  The twist on a daytime talk-show theme: the unique episodic show, hosted by this former Miss Hawaii, who was very cute and personable, would "drop in" on some spot in the Islands and run impromptu interviews to air noteworthy, colorful pieces. Spontaneity and the charming host made it a big hit around the country and especially in Hawaii. It was carried live through most of the US as a great ratings gimmick, fully utilizing Chee’s charm and beauty. Every week she showed up somewhere unannounced and shot the episode there. Every business, or rising star in Hawaii, begged to be part of her show.

 

Williams was delighted -- ecstatic -- Miss Chee was here!  He was unquestionably infatuated with Kiki. That she was standing with him now, at Five-0, filled him with astonished delight.

 

“Hello, I’m Kiki Chee. Hi, Danny.” She held out her hand for a shake and Dan eagerly responded. He kept the hold for a bit longer than etiquette demanded, and her smile widened, her own grip tightened. “You’re the second-in-command of Hawaii Five-0. You’re much younger looking than your pictures in the newspaper.”

 

She knew who he was!  She’d seen his pictures in the paper! 

 

Releasing her hand, she leaned closer. “Of course, newspapers can be so

tactless, can’t they?”

 

He caught his breath. “Uh, yeah. They -- uh -- they certainly don’t do you justice.”

 

Laughing, she took his arm and squeezed it. “Oh, you are so flattering, Detective Williams. Can I call you Danny?”

 

“Please. Yes.”

 

“And you can call me Kiki. So you know what this is all about, right? Live From Hawaii is here to film Five-0 at work today. Maybe you can find Mister McGarrett for me. Your secretary said he’s not available. He wouldn’t be ducking me, would he?”

 

He didn’t know which question to answer first, or what to say to the exciting news that Steve was not here and HE would have to handle this with Kiki. Right now, Steve McGarrett appearing in the middle of this lovely opportunity was the single sour, dark cloud on his bright and shimmering horizon. Suddenly, on this brilliant Tuesday afternoon he had come to a first name basis with the girl of his dreams. Knowing McGarrett would neither approve of the filming nor of Kiki’s interfering

methods, Dan shoved the negatives far from his thoughts.

 

“Steve is  out on important business right now. We don’t work on a rigid schedule around here,” he assured smoothly, more assertive and confident than he felt inside. “Allow me to help you with whatever you need.”

 

Before he had a chance to protest, a small microphone was attached to his lapel and the lights were moved to shine in his face. Aware of the irritated scowls shot at him by Chin and Jenny, he asked Chee if the filming could take place outside and allow Five-0 to carry on with business.

 

She brushed off the complaints and insisted everyone loved being a little part of show business for the afternoon.

 

“Danny will be showing us around right now because his boss, the controversial head of Five-0, Steve McGarrett, is out on a dangerous case right now. Can you give us a hint of what Mister McGarrett is doing now?”

 

No stranger to being interviewed by the press, or having TV camera’s thrust into his face, Williams still balked at the bald confrontation. It wasn’t supposed to start like this. Rarely had he seen an actual episode of Live From Hawaii. He worked when it was being filmed and broadcast, of course. And when they did a replay of it on Tuesday evenings, he was usually still working, or too tired to watch TV.

Experiencing his infatuation with Kiki from articles or flash news reports on TV, or local magazine covers, he didn’t think of her as an investigative reporter at all. She was a celebrity. A star. A gorgeous idol he never expected to meet in person.

 

With a flash of embarrassment, he realized he was star struck!  When he looked into her eyes -- those dark pools of enticing charm -- he wanted to confess everything and say anything to please her. Like a teenager with a first crush. Fortunately, he was a lot more experienced than an infatuated youth. Recognizing her for what she was -- a TV actress looking for a sensational scoop at the expensive of his organization, his colleagues, and himself -- he sobered. The stars in his eyes were dimmed enough to jolt him back to reality. To a real world, where, when the klieg lights snapped off and the cameras were still, the glittering actress silent, Steve McGarrett would require an accounting of the behavior of his second-in-command.

 

“Mister McGarrett has many demands on his time,” he apologized. “There are other duties to conduct besides chasing criminals. Some of our work at Five-0 is pretty mundane sometimes.”

 

“You’re the state police. You tackle the violent crimes. There must be an exciting case you’re working on now. Is that where Steve McGarrett is right now?  Pursuing important leads in a desperate case?”

 

It was a little irksome that she addressed the camera more than him.  “I can’t comment about on-going investigations, Kiki.”  But when she turned those amazing almond eyes on him – wow. He took a breath.  “Maybe I can show you around?”

 

Obviously thwarted, her lower lip accentuated her pout. “Certainly you can offer our wide viewership something more interesting than a tourist package tour of Five-0.”

 

He was hoping there was an acceptable middle ground; keep Five-0 secrets safe for Steve, give Kiki something juicy to film, make her happy enough to go on a date with him after the show . . . .

 

Rising to the challenge, he promised a view of Five-0 that no television crew had ever seen. This piqued her interested and smugly, he started there at the main office. He accentuated the personal angle, straying away from any charts or papers concerning current cases. Chin, a late arriving Ben, Jenny and the rest of the staff, caught on quickly. Sensitive items were hidden, or covered up as the camera and actress gained insight into the daily life at Five-0 and followed Williams as they hoped she would.

 

A short circuit through Steve’s private office revealed nothing important, to Kiki’s disappointment. Valiantly, Dan ignored her obsession with his boss and tried to make up for that with enthusiasm. They tramped through interrogation rooms, labs and holding areas. She had done her homework and knew a few of the more sensational cases made famous by the police unit. During the sightseeing he pointed out staff members who had contributed vital talents to cases. Or cells where notorious criminals had been held.

 

Dan walked her through a few historic points in the former royal Palace. In the basement, he showed off the locked up chamberlain’s rooms used during the reign of Kalakaua and Liliu’okalani, Kiki marveled at the seldom seen old kitchens with the koa cabinets, shelves, and the impressive, still functional, dumbwaiter.

 

When they returned upstairs the film crew set up headquarters in the outer office and Kiki started pressing him for information on the most sensational case on the books at the moment -- the kidnapping of the multi-millionaire developer Walter Sands.

 

Tactfully steering her away from that issue, Williams wondered how he was going to keep her far from that media magnet case, plus other sensitive investigations. In the back of his mind he mused on the possibility that her arrival today – just a few days after Sands’ kidnapping went public – was a well plotted ploy on her part. Maybe the pretty Kiki Chee was hoping for ratings and more than mere national popularity. Maybe she wanted to step up from live afternoon novelty show to a job as a prestigious mainland news anchor? However, he was too much of a gentleman to question her about such motives. Or maybe he was still hopeful of a date?

 

The entire mood of the circus changed when Steve McGarrett swept into the room like a hurricane. His face and demeanor exuded the irritation clearly displayed in every sharp move and critical stare as he assessed the interlopers invading his office. The glance toward Williams was like a laser beam, and Dan knew Steve must have heard about the onslaught and was not pleased. Perhaps, he even blamed him for not keeping the hoard at bay?

 

“Oh – oh – Mister McGarrett, my name is Kiki Chee. And you are Live from Hawaii!” she shouted, running up to the much taller head of Five-0, double checking with the camera to make sure she was sharing the frame with the imposing leader of the unit.

 

Compared to her bright and cheery countenance, his demeanor next to the slight young woman was remarkable. His dark mood translated clearly to his disapproving glare that swept over everyone in the room like a storm cloud, and came to rest on the actress.

 

“Miss Chee, this is a police unit –”

 

“You are on live television, Mister McGarrett. This is being broadcast around the country. What do you have to say to the viewers who may not know about you?”

 

“The same thing I’ll say to you. We have police work to do. Please leave –”

 

“Governor Jameson has given us permission, Mister McGarrett,” she chided with a wink to the camera. Apparently she was used to being rebuffed by her surprised guests. Most would be too intimidated by the camera and the threat of nationwide embarrassment to refuse her.  Another point that she had done her research on her latest targets – McGarrett would never cave in to a journalist for anyone but the governor.  “And you wouldn’t want to deprive my audience of a chance to see the workings of one of the highest rated police stations in the US, right?”

 

The glib description of his life’s work trivialized for television brought a growl from deep within the lead detective’s throat. It nearly escaped with the twitch of a sneer at the side of his lip. Mindful of the camera just inches from his face (he flicked an annoyed glance at it, then back to her), McGarrett snapped a lid of control on his irritation and reminded himself this was part of being a public figure. One of the bad parts. Like many other moments in his career, he could not afford to be openly rude or impulsively blunt. Though patience was thin from the lack of sleep and the stress already mounting with pressure over the Sands case, he neatly stepped aside of the woman and marched toward his office.

 

“We’re working. Please get with my secretary for a tour.” He strode quickly through his doorway and slammed the heavy koa door behind him.

 

The abrupt action nearly caught the camera lens and door in a collision, and the cameraman jumped back in surprise. Kiki was speechless for a moment, then with a huff started to open McGarrett’s door. Williams deftly slid in between her and her target.

For the first time since taking command of this office, Steve wished he had a lock on the door to his private domain. He had been the target of assassins, spies, murderers and countless other criminals. Never a TV host!  As he crossed to his desk, the phone rang. Musing on calling maintenance about locks, he snatched up the receiver.

 

“McGarrett.”

 

“Steve, Chin. I think I have a line on Walter Sands’ houseboy.”

 

“Great, Chin!” McGarrett nearly shouted. The houseboy had been missing since Sands’ abduction from his lavish Black Point estate. The prevailing theory was that both men had been kidnapped, but that confused McGarrett.  There was no profit in snatching a houseboy.  If Chin had found the young man, then that corroborated their second theory that he had run away in panic after the abduction.  It would cancel out the secondary speculation, that the houseboy was dead to keep things quiet.  “Where is he?”

 

“Got him at the Fresh Poi Café, boss. He don’t really want to talk, but I promised him a deal if he cooperates. He wants promises straight from you. And he’s too scared to come in to the office.”

 

Fresh Poi Café. That brought back some vague, unpleasant memories he could not quite seize onto. No matter. Scared to come in.  That might mean he was in cahoots with the kidnappers.  Or, that he could identify them and that lead them back to the first theory that he had fled in fear.  “Will he come back to the scene of the crime with us?”

 

“Hold on.” In the background was a conversation in an unintelligible Chinese dialect, then, “Yeah, boss, he’s agreed. As long as we protect him.”

 

“Good work. I’ll get Ben to back us up. I’ll be there in fifteen minutes.”

 

This was going to progress the case, he was certain of it. A gut instinct told him the missing houseboy was a key to the snatching of the super wealthy land developer/hotel owner Walter Sands. There had been few clues at the Black Point mansion, and no ransom demand to the sister, who lived with him, who was his only relation.  Right now the police were focused on a list they were still trying to sort through.

 

After he hung up he stood there thinking over his options. Noise from the outer office filtered in and he was sourly reminded of the film crew awaiting him just outside. Sharks after live bait. A grin slowly spread as an evil laugh dribbled from his throat. Bait. Yeah. Sorry, Danno.

 

With a deep breath, promising in his heart to make it up to his second-in-command at some future date, he strode to the door. With a sweep of energy he bounded into the other room, and in typical stride nearly ran into the cameraman again.

 

“Danno, we’ve got the case breaking wide open –” he stopped short, gasping, as if he had just revealed something he did not want to disclose.

 

“Is that on the Walter Sands kidnapping?” Kiki sped over, actually slammed into his broad chest, and managed to shove her microphone into his jaw. “Is there a lead?”

 

“Uh –” He looked helplessly at Williams, who seemed momentarily confused.

 

“This is live television, Mister McGarrett,” she reminded with a sudden and unexpected edge to her tone. “What have you discovered?”

 

“One of – uh – Detective Williams’ informants has something…”  He gave Danno a stare and hoped it conveyed all he wanted to say in their silent and sometimes telepathic form of communication. “I – uh – can’t say the name on television. It would endanger his anonymity. But, he’s asked Danny Williams for a meet –”

 

“Oh, we can go!” Kiki nearly jumped with glee. She turned and patted Williams’ arm. “We can be discrete. And quiet!  You’ll never know we’re there— I promise!”

 

Williams glared at the boss with a resignation that was clear. Kiki might’ve read it to mean that the younger detective was upset about endangering an informant. Steve clearly meant it to convey the fact to Dan that he was the scapegoat – the bait to the hungry, if beautiful, shark. And like the trooper that he was, he accepted his fate with duty-bound resignation.

 

“Excuse us just a minute,” Williams sighed.

 

He slipped into his office, tugging at McGarrett’s sleeve for him to join him. Through the glass windows the camera was still rolling on the two detectives, so they turned their backs and whispered.

 

“Is this what I think it is?”

 

“Sorry, Danno, I’ll owe you one. I’m meeting Chin at Sands’ place. He’s found the houseboy. You take this film crew and Miss Chee for a wild ride around Oahu for awhile.”

 

“While I miss all the action.”

 

“To hang out with a pretty girl! Isn’t she the one you keep telling me about? Now’s your chance.”

 

“Not exactly what I had in mind. What do I do?”

 

“Take her downtown and have her meet one of your sleazy informants who wouldn’t mind the publicity. In the end, it will be a loose end that never panned out. She’ll have her footage of the seamy side of Hawaii. You’ll spend the day with the star of your dreams. Hopefully I’ll come home with Sands’ and his kidnappers.”

 

“Thanks,” he sighed, visibly weighing the options and tilting his head as if considering all alternatives.  “At least this will give me a chance to ask her out…” he stared at the boss.  “If I have any free time tonight.”

 

“You will if we wrap up this Sands nabbing,” McGarrett nodded.  “Your devotion and sacrifice will not be forgotten,” McGarrett laughed, then quickly sobered as he patted Williams on the back. After a deep breath, and a shared, conspiratorial look with his friend, he turned and theatrically announced for the camera and all of America, “Good luck, Danno. And be careful. You never know when those informants can turn on you.”

 

“Right,” the younger officer saluted. With a sober expression, he marched out of the office, the film crew and Kiki Chee on his heels.  “Now, Kiki, remember we’re going to a rough part of town…” his voice trailed off when the door closed.

 

McGarrett’s amusement faded quickly.  He informed Jenny that he was heading to the Sands estate in Black Point, then called Kokua out of his office.  Quickly explaining the situation to his detective.  Then he led the way out the side door that would wind them through a back corridor of the palace and in the opposite direction of Chee and her crew.

 

 

May the management now humbly offer

a choice of appetizers -

Each will lead you to a diverse

and delicious wealth of entrees

(AND a different plot and ending!)!

 

 

  Crab Rangoon                  Steamed Dumplings