Bankers Hours
by Peg Keeley

Part 3

"I'm tougher than he thinks," he replied. Oh, Mary, how many times we have tried to keep short accounts knowing this day could come. I never missed a day of kissing you good-bye, always wondering if it would be the last. How did you handle it all these years? And now that day is upon us. My sweet Mary. Sam is nearly old enough to be the man. He will care for his mother. And Ella, she will look after her younger sister, Aliana. If only we saw more of Mariah and the baby. Kiko reminds me of Mariah. They are about the same age...He drifted out of consciousness.

Kiko wondered if he had died in front of her, but could see he was still breathing. "Duke?" she whispered.

Justin stuck his head around the corner from the boxes. "Get her away from there, Mike."

Mike stepped over to Kiko and tapped her shoulder. "Come on, Florence Nightingale."

She looked up at him. "I'm just trying to help." She obediently got to her feet, noticing the blood on her hands.

Mike took her by both arms and pulled her back to the corner of the small room where she had been before. Pressing her against it he brought his face close to her. "I could show you how you could really help a guy."

She turned her face away and tried to pull free. "No."

He embraced her fiercely, clutching her close, kissing her neck roughly. "I love it when they fight."

Sam gave a small hoot of encouragement. "Same a piece for me, Mike."

Kiko began to scream and battle with all her might. A seam in her shirt tore. Sam, his attention of the spectacle before him, made the mistake of backing within Danny's reach. With the ferocity of a chained attack dog, Danny slammed the length of distance the cuff would allow and got his uncuffed left arm around Sam's neck, fingernails digging into Sam's throat.

Sam managed on guttural cry as his air was cut off.

Mike snapped around at the sound. "Hey!"

The yells and crashing caught Justin's attention. He turned back, away from the deposit box he'd just pulled and set on the counter. Nancy grabbed it up and smashed it over Justin's head, it contents scattering across the floor. He staggered to his knees, momentarily dazed, and Nancy was running. In a flash, she was out of the vault headed straight for the front door. "Mike!" Justin screamed, trying to rise and slipping on the paper from the box.

Mike dodged after Nancy, abandoning Sam to free himself, and tackled Nancy within ten feet of the door. She continued to try and break free even after he had her on the floor and a scuffle ensued before Mike punched her in the face, almost knocking her out.

Sam, having the use of two hands, had managed to disengage himself from Danny's grip. The bank robber spun free, bringing up his right elbow and punched it into Danny's face, snapping the latter's head back into the barred wall with a crash.

Kiko remembered Danny's instructions and began a run towards the door. She made it less than four feet before Justin yanked her back by the hair. "Going somewhere, dear?" he asked angrily.


The armored car lumbered slowly into the bank's parking lot a short distance away from the fleet of police vehicles and well apart from the reporters who were roped off by yellow caution tape. McGarrett watched its arrival and noted the time on his watch. 11:02. What's going on inside? What is happening to Duke? How is he?

Kono approached, a roll of blueprints in his hand. They both walked over to the air-conditioned FBI van where they spread the prints out with Lawson. Kono gestured to the air ducts. "They have locked filter grates on them. No good entry through the roof vents either."

Lawson sighed. "Banks are designed to keep people out, not in. Good for Kirkwood, bad for us."

There were booted stomping footfalls as someone came up the metal steps. "You called me, McGarrett?" demanded the HPD SWAT lieutenant loudly as he bit down on a cigarette in his teeth.

"Lieutenant Marion Felder, Agent Mark Lawson," McGarrett gave abbreviated introductions. "Felder, your team will work under the direction of the FBI."

"Sure thing, Steve," Felder replied. He was a small broad-shouldered man with a short beard, dark skin and blazing eyes.

Although Mark wondered how the man had fared in life with the name Marion, he could tell that Felder was not the kind of man you could kid about it. "Good to have you, Lieutenant. How would you take this bank? There are three felons with weaponry holding five hostages in there." He jammed a pencil at the square of the vault room. "We know one hostage is seriously wounded."

Marion studied the blueprint as the smoke from his cigarette hung over his head. Under any other circumstances, Steve would have demanded the smoke be put out, but not now and not with Felder. "Golly, boys, we've got a tough one. My first choice would be to jump them when they make their escape."

"And where would that be?" Lawson asked.

"Right there, of course." Felder pointed to the four-foot drainpipe that ran past the mechanical room. "Just got to kick out a piece of concrete and they're on their way."

Kono scowled. "Four foot diameter pipe ain't very big."

Marion grunted. "How far would you crawl for a million bucks or so?"

"Kono, get the city street map and find out where that pipe opens out," McGarrett ordered. "Felder, get your men assembled, but nobody goes anywhere yet, you got that." He glanced at Gary. "You're with him."

"Sure thing," Gary replied.

"And Bruddah," Steve called Gary back. "Be careful, all right? You're the Daddy of two now. We don't need anyone else hurt."

"I'll do fine, Boss."

Just and Felder and Gary exited the steps a young man in a business suit came running across the lot. "McGarrett!" he shouted.

Steve thought he recognized the man from the evening news. "Reporters back there!" he snapped.

"No! Wait!" He was out of breath. "You've got to see this." He held out videotape. "My camera man as an infrared scope. He was trying to get an angle in to the bank."


"He did. You've got to look at that tape."

McGarrett handed the tape to Ted Scates who slapped it into the van's VCR without comment. There was static a moment, then a brief part of the scuffle of Mike and Nancy could be seen. "Someone made an escape attempt," Ted remarked the obvious.

Without responding, Lawson hit the replay and ran it again in slow motion. "Must be the vice-president. Fits her description." He froze the action with a full view of Mike's face, but the image was too far away and distorted by the lens and the infrared to make out enough features for an ID. "Scates, get this tape to the office. See if they can enhance it enough to make a positive ID."

Steve noticed the newsman was still standing there. "What news team?"

"KOAH," he replied.

"You get the exclusive with it's over," Steve promised.

That pleased the reporter and he was gone.

Steve raised an eyebrow. "Wonder what that will cost them."

Lawson shook his head. "Plenty. Damned shame it didn't work."


Everyone was silent in the vault for several minutes taking stock of various injuries. Finally, it was Kirkwood who spoke. "Well, Madam Vice-President, we now know where your loyalties lie. You were going to abandon your employees to save your skin."

She moved her hand away from the swollen cheek. Her hair was now scattered all over her face and before she spoke, she took a brief moment to attempt to control it. "You don't believe that anymore than I do. What employees? Kiko's the only one left. You're going to kill all of us anyway. Besides -- I have the key." She held the master aloft. "I escape with the key and you would have had only one option -- negotiate with the cops using Kiko. She would have been better off. What happens to the cops isn't my responsibility."

He considered her reasoning with a nod as he dabbed the small cut on his head with a handkerchief. He wrenched the key from her hand. He strolled slowly over to Danny. "And you?"

Danny slowly shook his head and looked away. "I'm not going to play your games, Kirkwood."

"My games? You're not going to play?" he said as if being challenged. "We'll see about that." He stepped towards Kiko who cowered against the wall. "He told you to run, didn't he?"

She shivered and stared at the floor.

"Did he tell you to run for your life and not to worry about anything else?" Kirkwood asked in a soothing tone.

She glanced up at him, then back at the floor.

He looked back over his shoulder at Danny. "You attempted a nearly futile attack on Sam to what end? A diversion so she could escape."

Danny did not reply, but attempted to look bored.

"Why?" Kirkwood asked. "I'll tell you why: to offer yourself in her place. Serve and protect, right? How gallant." He chuckled. "And how fitting that she should now pay for your action."

"You coward," Danny uttered through tight lips, his face reddening with rage.

Kirkwood laughed outright. "Ah, so I can get to you. That is the game!" He clapped his hands. "Sam, put her hands on the wall." Kirkwood chose the silenced .22 again and stepped to where Sam held Kiko by the wrists, hands overlapped, against the wall. Kirkwood placed the gun about three inches away and fired.

Kiko gave a cry of agony and collapsed to the floor crying, cradling her injured hands. The bullet had passed through both and was now embedded in the wall.

Justin watched Danny's expression of fury with a smile, then tisked. "And you said you didn't want to play. I can see your anger. You want to tear me apart? Want to tell me that your buddies out there will hunt me down? I'll never get away with this?" He laughed again. "I am getting away with it. I have before and you know what? I will again. Ain't that a piss now? You are a problem. Damn your buddy messing it up cause I knew you'd be trouble. Grandpa there had to play the hero, so now I gotta keep you alive a little longer. Well, that doesn't mean I can't slow you down." He paused. He waved the .32.

Danny had only a split moment to wonder how Justin planned to shoot him before Kirkwood struck him across the face with the gun, smashing him against the bars. Kirkwood struck him again on the other side of the face and Danny stumbled as if he would fall. Determined not to give Kirkwood that pleasure, Danny managed to grab hold of the bars and pull himself upright.

Kirkwood raised an eyebrow. "Need a little more?" He took the .38 special from Mike. "Nice weapon," he commented. "Police like these, don't they?" He pressed the barrel against Danny's forehead. "I pull the trigger now and it's over instantly for you. You wouldn't feel a bit of pain, wouldn't even hear the shot." He changed the angle towards the left. "This way it takes two minutes to die and you feel it. Just ten little degree difference. Want to choose?"

Danny didn't answer recalling that only minutes before Kirkwood had claimed to need him alive. This is all just hype. I just have to keep my cool here. He could feel the bruise on the left side of his face throbbing and tried to concentrate on that.

Justin gave a smirk and pulled the gun back. "You think I'm bluffing. I'm not."

The explosive blast vibrated through the vault and Kiko wailed in fear as Danny collapsed, senseless against the bars, cuffed right arm above him at the cross piece. The bullet had grazed the right side of his head.

Kirkwood patted the weeping Kiko on the head. "Relax, honey. I'd already said I need him alive -- for now."


The police radio in the van squawked. "A shot fired from inside."

Lawson rubbed a hand across his brow. "We've got to roust him out of there somehow."

Felder's voice crackled on the speaker. "I've got a team on the roof, team with Gary Newan at the south wall near the front door. We've got a backhoe digging out that pipe a block away from the bank. They'll have it secure in less than five minutes. We can storm the building and take them. Guaranteed."

"Thanks, Felder," Steve replied into the microphone. "But can you guarantee the hostages safety, too?"

"Sir, are we keeping them safe this way?" Felder retorted.

"Damn business, isn't it?" Lawson commented gazing out off the door across the hot, sunny lot. "We sit tight we'll be criticized for inaction. I let the SWAT team loose and we'll be blasted for lethal force. No win."

McGarrett gave a slow shake of his head. "Welcome to the ranks, Lawson."

"Yeah," he muttered. "In the mean time we have people dying." He tapped the sheet of paper taped to the wall that contained the names of the hostages. There was a star beside Duke's name. "By now there's got to be someone else injured -- or worse." He waved towards Scates. "Ring up Kirkwood."

McGarrett frowned, recalling the disastrous results the last contact had been. "You sure that's wise?"

Lawson gave a cautious nod. "I thought he'd like to know his transportation is here."


Kirkwood checked Danny's jacket pocket, found the wallet and ID together, and pulled them out. He flipped through the wallet in mild curiosity before dropping it to the floor and putting the ID into the pocket of his jeans. He crouched down before Danny who remained senseless, lifted the officer's head, then let it drop down. "Well, Officer Williams, I think I can say we slowed you down considerably. Thanks for the souvenir. Never know when I might need a cop's ID."

"Hey, Justin," Sam called, "that phone line's blinking. Somebody's calling us."

"No doubt," Justin replied, rising and approaching the phone. He lifted the receiver. "Are my terms being met?"

"The armored car is outside," Lawson announced. "No deal if there are any more injuries inside."

Justin banged the receiver against the wall and few times. "What's that you said, Lawson?" he asked. "I couldn't quite hear you. I want to talk to Five-0's boss."

Lawson stuck the phone out towards Steve. "He wants you."

The rage that boiled inside, washed over Steve's expression. "This is McGarrett."

"Aha," Justin said calmly. "A new voice -- hopefully a more intelligent one. I have your two officers in here, McGarrett. Duke Lukela and Dan Williams. Anyway, you probably care a little more about seeing them again than Lawson does. I thought we might chat about their welfare."

"I'm listening," Steve replied, icily. Just give me one shred of something I can use to take you down you little bastard. Talk away.

"Lukela here isn't lookin' too good. You are watching the time I hope."

"I am aware that you shot an unarmed officer who came at your request to negotiate."

"He's a grandfather, McGarrett. You usually send grandpas into this kind of work?"

"What do you want, Kirkwood?"

"Lawson doesn't have much at stake in here. He doesn't mind trading lives just to save a few dollars for a bank that doesn't need it anyway. It is insured, nobody loses."

"Nobody loses!" McGarrett exploded, unable to believe his ears. "This isn't about money or insurance. It's about the two men you've already killed, and those who you are terrorizing now. If we let you walk away, who would it be next time? How many more bank guards gunned down? No sir," he emphasized, "No deals. I promise you -- you will not get off this Island. Never! Surrender now."

Kirkwood slammed the phone down. He stared at it, hands on hips. "We'll see about that."


McGarrett stomped out of the van, furious with Kirkwood, and frightened of how strong his response had been. Outside, on the far side of the unit away from the peeping lenses of the press, he leaned against the hood of the vehicle, head in his arms. God, what if it's too late? Who else has he already shot? There are two women in there. Duke. Dear God, there is only an hour left. We have to get him out. I know Danno would never just sit still for this. Who was injured or killed by that last shot? Danno? I have to solve this for Mary Lukela and Lonnie Williams if no one else. And what of the innocent bank employees? They have families, too. Would it be better to rush the bank? God, I wish I knew.

Lawson came around the side of the van. "You okay, McGarrett?"

He nodded. "It never gets any easier, Lawson."

"Yeah." He squinted in the bright sun. "I've been told that before. When Felder has the pipe cleared I want his tunnel team to plant charges at the drain and blow out that wall of the bank. According to the specs, it'll set off alarms all over. Should create enough havoc to allow our guys to charge from all directions."

Steve considered the plan. "We cannot possibly get to the hostages in time."

"I know, but maybe we'll save some of them. I just don't have any other answers."


"Mike." Kirkwood motioned him. "You come in here with me. We're getting low on time. We need to get through the rest of these boxes. Sam, watch those two, okay? Especially madam bank president here." He gestured towards Nancy. "She's gonna take a ride with us, so I'd like to keep her in one piece."

Kiko still huddled on the floor, her wounded hands held close to her chest. The initial shock was past and she now found the pain easier to handle. She looked at Nancy, hoping her superior would have a word of hope or reassurance.

Nancy felt a twinge of pity for Kiko, but did not let it show. I will survive this only through being the strongest, not by showing pity. How old is Kiko anyway? Twenty-one? Twenty-two? Her entire life should be ahead of her, not impending death. And those that died? Greg had a family -- two kids and a wife. Vince had a wife and a father who needs constant medical attention. Smith never hurt anybody; just a sweet old guy with a college aged daughter. His wife died last year. I never even sent flowers.

Kiko straightened. "I'm going to check on Duke."

"Just stay still," Nancy hissed back.

Kiko ignored her. "He may need something." Sam watched, but made no comment and Kiko slid on her knees the several feet across the floor to where Duke lay. The seeping blood had pooled on the floor beside him and he was ashen gray. In spite of her injuries, she reached out and tried to press the scarf over the chest wound a bit more.

Duke opened his eyes and saw her.

"How do you feel?" she whispered.

He made no response. He felt cold, terribly cold, and it felt like the walls were closing in, slowly cutting off his air. He feared that once he closed his eyes again, he would never reopen them in this world.

"I wish I could do more," Kiko said. "I've never seen so much blood. Please don't die."

Die? It doesn't matter if I die. Mary will know. It has been a good life. Strange, the thought of dying isn't as frightening as I once thought. It seems so natural now, just like going to sleep. This is better for Mary than being alive as an invalid.
For the first time, he glanced past Kiko and saw Danny limp against the barred door. The calm expression melted into concern. "Danny," he managed to whisper.

Kiko looked at Nancy. "The other officer, how is he?"

Nancy glanced over at him. "How should I know?"

"Is he alive?" Kiko implored.

Nancy looked irritated. "He's unconscious."

Kiko pleaded. "Is he all right? Please, Duke wants to know."

Nancy knelt down in front of Danny in spite of her own desire to remain detached. She noticed the wallet where Kirkwood had dropped it laying open revealing a photo of Danny hugging Lonnie beside a fountain. Who is that boy? His child? She felt a stab of remorse. Gingerly, she placed a hand on Danny's chest. "He's alive. He's breathing. I think the bullet just grazed him."

Kiko smiled back a Duke. "He's okay."

Sam stepped over, standing above Nancy and gave a quiet laugh. "Of course he's alive. Doc only kills 'em when he means to. You know you really need to get to know me better. We're gonna travel together." He rubbed a hand over his bruised scratched neck. "Anyway, I wouldn't worry about him too much. He's gonna die in a couple of minutes anyway."

"We have the explosives set," announced Felder's voice. He moved away from the concrete pipe where the charges had been drilled into the side of the wall. The rest of the team was about twenty yards back up the pipe on hands and knees. All had inserted earplugs, but in the low cramped spot, the blast would still be powerful. "I need coordination with the units on top."

"You'll have it," Steve promised. "Unit two."

"Ready," came the one word answer from the team on the roof.

"Unit three."

"Standing by," Gary reported from the wall by the front door where he was waiting with four other SWAT members.

Lawson picked up the phone. "I'm going to phone in and get Kirkwood into a discussion about terms for the plane. We know he'll be standing here." He pointed to the phone on the wall of the vault. "When I motion it, have Felder blow the hole."

Steve nodded.


The phone began to blink.

Justin and Mike were tossing deposit boxes with much less care than earlier. Justin gave a cheer as he uncovered a large quantity of cash in one box.

Sam was standing back to the phone on the far side of the small ten by six room telling Nancy how he was looking forward to getting to know her.

Kiko watched the blinking line for a moment. No one else seemed to notice. She carefully rose and lifted the receiver from its cradle. It was hard work with her injured hands, but she finally had it braced off the hook against the wall.

"This is Lawson," a faint voice came at the other end.

She looked quickly towards Sam. He had not heard. She crouched back down next to Duke.


"McGarrett, hang on," Lawson commented. "I have an open line." He flipped the phone to the speaker. There were some background noises and a faint voice in the background talking about South America.


Kirkwood hollered at Mike to bag up a coin collection he'd found then came out to where Sam and the hostages were.

"How much longer is this going to take?" Nancy complained to cut short Sam's advances.

"Oh, I don't know," Justin replied. "Soon." He flipped open a box and stopped. A smile crept across his face. "At last." He carefully took the short stack of stock certificates from the drawer. Six hundred shares of IBM stock.

Kiko looked up from Duke. He did not respond when she touched him, his color was pallid. "He's almost dead," she announced fairly loudly.

Sam glanced at his watch. "Does that surprise you? Doc said he'd only last about two hours."

"Sam, get her away from him anyway," Justin growled. "Keep her there." He pointed to the wall across from Danny. "Keep those women together, keep them quiet and your dick in your pants, you got that?"

Sam nodded.

Nancy looked over and noticed the phone off the hook. She immediately realized who had to be at the other end. She wasn't certain how Kiko had achieved this, but she hoped they would both live long enough to reward her. "How do you plan to get out of here anyway?" she demanded. "Those cops out there aren't likely to just let you waltz away."

Justin tossed the bag containing the valuables into the corner. It landed with a metallic clink.
"Look, everybody in here is either dead or wounded," Nancy shouted at Justin.

He just walked away.

Sam smiled. "I wouldn't worry about the details," he advised her. "You're gonna be the one who lives. That's all you need to know."

Kiko gave a little gasp.

Nancy for the first time really felt the grip of horror for someone else. "You're not going to just..."

He cocked his head with a quiet smile. "What do you care anyway? She's just a teller. She doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things." He touched her cheek and said softly. "Play your cards right and I'll let you stay with me and help spend some of this prize. Hum?"

Her lips curled in disgust. "Stay away from me."

Justin turned away with a smirk. "We'll see." He walked back to the stacks of safety deposit boxes.

Movement caught Nancy's eye and she turned to see Danny in the process of regaining consciousness. He struggled to get to a more comfortable sitting position. In spite of herself, Nancy crossed to him, exchanging hostile looks with Sam on her way. She knelt before Danny and assisted him into a sitting position.

He looked a little confused, mostly that she had stooped to help. His head hurt with throbbing pain. He touched the laceration on the right side of his head with his left hand, noticed the blood, but said nothing.

"Are you all right?" Nancy asked.

The sincerity also surprised him. "Fine," he muttered.


"What's the hold up?" Felder radioed.

"We have telephone contact with the hostages," Steve replied. "They have several injuries. There is a chance all of them are injured."

"All of them?" Felder repeated.

"That's their report. Maintain your position for the moment." He changed frequency. "Gary."

"Yeah, Steve," he replied from beside the window of the bank.

"Your team ready?"


"Hold your position. We are trying to get more information from inside. There's an open phone line. There are injuries inside besides Duke, but he is apparently still alive."

Gary heaved a sigh. Duke's my cousin's husband, but he always seemed more of a father to me. His earliest recollection was of Duke rough-necking it in football with the kids while most men his age were sitting in the shade chugging beer. He's always taken the time for kids, his own and other people's. I'm going to save him no matter what. He played with a snap on the front of his SWAT vest nervously, thinking of his two children, his wife, and Duke. I hope I get to be the one to kill that creepy Kirkwood. Let it be me.


"Yes, Steve," he answered, realizing he had not been paying attention.

"When I give the word, your group will reach the hostages first. Take care of yourself, Bruddah."

"Right, Steve."

Steve released the button on the radio, gazing at the bank, listening to the soft sounds on the telephone. He exchanged looks with Lawson, both men understanding that when they issued the order to storm the bank, hostages might die.


End Part 3

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