Brain Teasers
(November 1978)
By Peg Keeley

Part 5


The sailor made another small grease pencil mark on the plastic coated map. The boat had moved northward through the Luzon Strait. By nine o'clock it had become obvious that the ship would make port in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Garrison picked up a phone and punched in a number. "Do we have coverage in South Taiwan?...Who is there?....We don't have time for diplomacy with government officials. I need someone in southern Taiwan." He was silent for several minutes. At one point he glanced at Strickland.

Strickland picked up another phone and made a call. "I need satellite placement."

Duke because to fear that in spite of all Garrison's reassurance before, they might lose Downer.

Strickland glanced at Garrison. "No good, Richard. The satellite won't be in position for another two hours."

Garrison seemed to be on hold. He nodded. "I have a contact in American intelligence." He gave his attention back to the phone. "Yes. I'll wait to hear from you."

There was nothing more to do but watch the little dot move towards Taiwan. Duke was, by nature a patient person, but right now, the wait seemed like a lifetime. He sat down by the pot of old coffee, tired emotionally and physically, needing to rest his eyes for just a moment....

....."Lukela," Garrison shook his shoulder.

He awoke with a start.

"Come on, we're on our way to Japan. There's a military jet on the runway waiting for us."

Duke jumped up, embarrassed that he had fallen asleep at such a critical time, a bit fuzzy about what was happening. Garrison threw out an explanation as they ran across the tarmac to the jet. "CIA reports Downer rented a private jet in Kaohsiung and continued north. He has just entered Japanese airspace. Japanese military has picked him up and is tracking him. They have military units standing by to assist."


Downer traveled light, just the single duffel. He was comfortable when in the air and slept soundly during his flight to Japan. If there had been anyone in pursuit he felt confident they had been left behind in Manila. He checked his watch. It was early afternoon. He was making good time. His plan was to land in Niigata by five. It would be just a short chopper flight to the Citadel from there. He was an experienced helicopter pilot, but he did not like flying out to sea at night over waters he did not know.

The chopper was sitting on the pad, payment having already been arranged. Downer did a quick instrument check, and satisfied that all was in order, then was skyward towards the small island of the Citadel. All was going remarkably well. He looked forward to returning to Europe tomorrow.


Cathi slipped into the master bedroom and opened the closed window-blinds permitting the mid afternoon sun to bathe the room in warmth. "Paul," she lay down on the bed beside him, "wake up, Darling, you are sleeping the day away."

He woke up slowly, and smiled at her face close to his. "Hello, lovely lady." He planted a simple kiss on the tip of her nose. "I remember you."

She gave a gentle smile. "It's like I said -- it is going to be like it used to be." She placed her arm around his neck and pulled him closer. "Do you remember our passionate love?" she whispered into his ear.

His look masked the sadness. Must I admit once again to something I cannot recall?

"It doesn't matter," she replied. "We can make some new ones." She slipped her hand around his waist.

A small frown crossed his face. "Cathi...I love you."

She sensed his hesitation. "I love you, too, Paul."

Paul? It still seems so unfamiliar. I am Paul. Steve is the enemy. What is his name? Is Steve his name? "Cathi, I need to clear my head." He suddenly rolled over and got up from the bed.

Hiding her frustration, Cathi followed. "Sweetheart, don't be upset. I thought -- I thought we could just--"

"I'm not upset," he reassured her. "It's just that, there are still so many things I don't understand."

She forced a smile. "How hard is it to understand my love for you?" She reached up touching his lips with an open-mouthed kiss. "Come back to bed with me," she whispered softly.

There was a faint whopping motor sound. He suddenly felt himself slip into a protective mode. "What is that?" he demanded, any thoughts of romantic interlude cut short.

"Hummm," Cathi scowled. "I don't know -- perhaps it is Dr. Sakar. Yes, I'm sure it is. He keeps a helicopter on the pad, don't you remember that? He must have been called out on an emergency." She struggled to keep his attention on the atmosphere she was trying to create.

He blinked, trying to accept the simple reasoning. "But Dr. Sakar said there was an assassin headed for here." He pulled away from her embrace and went to the window where he pulled back the drape and looked up towards the sky. There was nothing there and the sound had faded away.

Cathi watched him silently, jaw set. How can I seduce this guy when Ming keeps flying aircraft over the place?


Ming stormed from the cellblock out behind to the small field that served as the helipad. Fury was on his face as he recognized the chopper he had purchased to transport Downer. "What is the meaning of this?" he demanded as the engine of the helicopter was silenced. The rotor slowly stopped spinning.

Downer opened the door. "I came to finish my job."

"You are a day early!" Ming snapped.

"No sweat, I can hang round here if you'd like." He stepped down from the craft, then reached back in to retrieve his duffel.

"You may have been followed."

He laughed. "Not bloody likely." He looped his duffel over his shoulder and walked off towards the cellblock. "Hope you got a beer around here."

Ming took him to his office. "What happened in Manila?" he demanded harshly.

Downer dropped onto the soft couch and picked up one of Ming's thin cigars. "Well, another Hawaiian bloke showed up and was stewin' 'round with Strickland and Sanchez. Had a real party going over that plane." He chuckled. "Got that little stewardess all churned up. I did her without a problem."

"You have always been good at tidying up the place," Ming remarked. "I trust you will be as efficient here as well." He tempered his anger at Downer's plan change. I can still handle Downer.

"Can't say I'm excited about giving your subjects loaded weapons," Downer remarked, smelling the cigar.

"They will do just as I say."

He shrugged. "You and your mind blowin' games."

"Research," Ming corrected. "Valuable information gathering techniques. When one cracks McGarrett, he has cracked the best."

Downer turned his attention away from the tobacco and looked at Ming. "Did you?"

He burst into a proud smile.

"Ming! You old dog, you!" Downer slapped his knee.

"Have I ever been wrong?" Ming challenged him.

"Nawh, don't think you have," he replied.

Ming paced his office. "I am not comfortable with the possibility that you may be followed here. It would be better to conclude this business tonight."

He shrugged. "Fine with me."

Ming handed him a sheet of paper. "These are your instructions. Follow them exactly."

He glanced over the sheet. "This is what you really want?" he asked suspiciously.

"Meaning?" Ming asked in a challenging fashion.

He shrugged. "It's just that -- well removing the help isn't usually done."

Ming looked at him without emotion. "It is necessary. They are expendable."

"Expendable? And am I expendable, too?" he demanded. "You have me whack them, who whacks me?"

"Don't be so paranoid. You are more sure of your talents than that, aren't you?" Ming replied. "Simple mathematics, Downer. There is one sum of money. The more ways it is divided, the smaller that reward becomes. We can split seven million dollars two ways or -- four ways. Which do you choose?"


Duke, Strickland, and Garrison already had the word on Downer's final destination as they hurried from the small jet. Downer was less than 45 minutes off the west coast of Japan on the tiny island of Oki Shinkia that, although Japanese, had been held under Russian treaty since World War II. They had also received the clear message from Japanese authorities that they were not going to send aircraft to the island no matter what.

"We know exactly where Downer is -- maybe where McGarrett and Williams are and we can do nothing?" Strickland spurted in anger at the Japanese captain who relayed the message.

"We suggest you discuss the issue with The Soviets," he replied tersely.

"That will take days!" Duke answered.

"Weeks," Strickland corrected.

A young American sailor entered the room. "Sir," he addressed Garrison with a salute that Garrison returned and handed the senior officer an envelope.

"Satellite photos of the area," Garrison muttered pulling out the photos.

A cluster of small buildings on the island was easily seen in the photo. "Old POW holding area," Strickland commented.

"It's occupied," Garrison added, noting that there were tire tracks on the dusty ground leading from the shore towards the buildings. "I don't think it's enough to gain Russian co-operation, but it can get us a small Special Forces unit."

"American Special Forces?" Duke asked.

Garrison nodded. "Six man team should do it. DSS has a team over on Okinawa. They can have them here in a hour." He led Duke out of the OPS room into the corridor. A balding, middle-aged man waited for them. Duke could detect nothing remarkable about him, and perhaps the ability to blend in was what had always been one of Marten Camp's strong areas. Garrison gestured. "Duke Lukela, Marten Camp."

Camp extended a hand. "Good to meet you, Lukela. Garrison has already filled me in on the details of this incident."

Pretty hard considering I thought we just learned them now, Duke thought, but did not voice. He accepted Camp's handshake. "Are you with NIS?"

There was a glint of humor in Camp's eye, as though NIS would have been beneath him. "I work for the US government in sensitive issues. I've known McGarrett since the Cold War was hot and Williams for -- well a long time. Let's say that my involvement here is not just business. I'll be taking a team to get them back."

Duke hid his surprise. This guy looks like he should be selling life insurance or teaching high school math. He looks nothing like a Special Forces expert.

Camp continued. "Garrison says you both will come with us. That's fine, but it is at your own risk -- and I still call the shots. If you agree with that, you're in."

Duke glanced at Garrison and nodded. What am I getting in to?

"Good." Camp walked away. "Garrison, get him outfitted. We go active at 1800 hours."

"Who is that guy?" Duke muttered quietly to Garrison.

"Who? Him?" Garrison gave a chuckle. "Not much to look at, is he. I think he'll work out okay, though. He's Chief of Pacific Operations of the CIA." He clapped Duke's shoulder taking a brief second to enjoy Duke's surprise.


The dinner had been quiet, but somehow uncomfortable. The only sound had been of silver clinking against china.

He wondered if Cathi was disappointed in his slow recall. I know she wants everything to be as she remembers, but I don't know what that is. Will it ever all return? I had hoped the hypnosis would answer all my questions. I feel more like I have a purpose, a sense of who I am, but I still do not have my past back.

"Are you upset with me?" He finally asked of Cathi.

She glanced up. "Of course not," she hastened to assure. "I'm afraid I just -- well it is hard for me, too!"

He placed a gentle hand on hers. How could I cause her such pain? I am a fool. I don't understand all this. I don't know the answers, but I know I love her. He gave a soft smile. "May I have a rain-check for later this evening?"

Her cheeks flushed. "Anything for you, my love." Her look suddenly brightened. "I know just the thing. We can walk the greenhouse."


"The floral collection there. You can see if you recall the botanical names. You used to know them all. Maybe that will jog something!"

He smiled. "Sounds like just the thing!" I don't even recall there being a greenhouse, but right now I will do anything that makes her happy -- especially such a small thing. And you never know. It just might prove the key.


Danny had laid on the cell floor several hours, with no awareness of the passage of time. Occasionally he had attempted to draw his consciousness together and failed. As the afternoon waned, he was able to rally himself enough to know he was alone in the cell. A steady, cold breeze was blowing in the small window accented by an occasional snow flake.

Where is Perez? What have they done to him? Danny was shivering with chills, yet kept having feverish waves of heat wash over him. He coughed, feeling the congestion in his chest. I'm sick. He could see the quart of water where it had been placed earlier by the guards but lacked both of energy and will to attempt to get it. And so he just lay where he was without thinking, feeling, or planning. It had taken the last of his reserves to fake his emotional collapse to Frier. The small circular burn on his shoulder still flamed like fire. But he knew that his act could buy him time. Did I fool Frier?

There was the scrape of the key in the door and the hinges squeaked. Perez stumbled into the room followed by a guard.

"I tell you, I did not do anything," Perez was pleading. "I just here, like always. Please do not hurt us."

The guard shoved Perez towards the far corner then approached Danny where he lay, back to them.

Danny heard the footsteps stop behind him. He prepared himself emotionally to endure whatever pounding the man was about to deliver. No matter what he does, I will give no response. I must do nothing…no reaction. A hand touched his shoulder.

The guard squatted down and put a hand on Danny's shivering shoulder gently rubbing Danny's upper back and neck. "I am here to help you."

Danny felt the elated wash of hope that he just as quickly struggled to suppress. Not likely. It is a trick. They are trying to see if I will respond. No response -- no matter what.

"You gonna be okay now. It be better for you. I take good care of you." The guard slowly pulled Danny off his side onto his back.

Look at nothing. Make no eye contact. See nothing…but Danny's gaze fixed on the long jagged scar that ran from the guard's ear to his chin and recalled Frier's comments. "The big one with the scar, you know the one I mean? He has asked for you."

The guard gave a broad smile brushing his left hand across Danny's chest.

His right hand is on the rifle on the floor. Do nothing! Wait for him to move his hand. Danny screamed at himself, feeling the goose bumps cropping up on his skin.

The guard's left hand had moved downward towards Danny's waist.

Move the right hand, you bastard.

The guard glanced at Danny's expressionless features. "Too bad you not here to enjoy this," he whispered with a little childlike giggle. He fingered the string on Danny's waistband.

Danny's heart pounded in his ears with fear and rage. He wondered if his face was starting to redden.

The guard lifted his right hand, leaving the rifle on the floor.

Overwhelmed by a focus for his rage and horror, Danny suddenly sprang up and forward, snatching up the rifle and attacking the guard with a surprising force. Danny struck the soldier twice in the chest with the butt, knocking him backward, then slammed the soldier in the back of the head, knocking him out cold.

Danny, rifle in hand turned towards Perez who cowered, hands over his face. "You with me?" he panted from exertion. He struggled to his feet.

Perez stared between his fingers. "You breaking out?"

He bent down and found the key to the cell on the unconscious guard's belt. "It may be the only chance. I have to find my friend. You know the place here. Help me."

Perez still hesitated. "This is an island. How you gonna get off?"

"I'll figure it out as I go along." He unlocked the door, already feeling the weakness of his condition.

"I come," Perez concluded.


The Chinook Workhorse helicopter whopped across the ocean towards Oki Shinkia . Inside, sitting in silence and the twilight, six team members stared at nothing, chewed their gum wads, their faces beneath the dark helmets frighteningly young.

Duke, clothed in camouflage like the rest had the time to contemplate not just the youth of Camp's team, but his own age. It seems like yesterday I was in college, star running back, somehow never being drafted into Korea. I was relieved, but also felt guilty as that non-war impacted those around me. I was probably younger than these kids, but it seems like yesterday. And now these children are coming to the rescue of my closest friends.

Camp moved back from the small flight camp, clinging to the metal bar in the center of the body of the craft. "Be alert. Pick your targets. The hostages are in unknown condition down there. If possible I want no casualties on either side." He held out a small coffee can. "All ID's in here. This action did not happen."

Duke stared at the can as the six sets of metal tags clinked into it. Until this moment, he had not paused to consider that this was an illegal entry into Soviet territory. If it went wrong, no one would come to save them. Any soldier killed in this action would not his family provided for. Duke swallowed once and fingered the rifle he'd been issued.

Camp paused before him, coffee can in hand.

Duke pulled out his wallet and police ID and dropped them in.

Without a word, Camp moved off. "ETA six minutes."


Cathi handed him a light jacket. "It's chilly outside," she commented, pausing to glance at her watch. Tony will be in the courtyard in just four minutes. Acting unhurried and casual, she pulled on her own jacket. "One more thing." She opened a small locked closet and pulled out a .45 automatic.

He frowned. "What is that for?"

"You may need it."

He gave a smile. "We're just taking a simple walk, Darling."

"Dr. Sakar says we can't be too careful."

He accepted the weapon. "It isn't mine."

She nodded. "I know."

"And I usually wear a shoulder holster."

She gave a small grin. "We'll get you another. See? We haven't even left yet and our walk is doing you good." She opened the door and the cold breeze and light snow whipped around them.

He slid the heavy gun into his jacket pocket. It felt clumsy there, but he would have to make do. He strained his eyes for his first glimpse of the out of doors in several days. The late afternoon light was yielding to twilight. He was surprised at the terrain outside the warm, comfortable house looked like a compound with high walls. Across the courtyard was what might have been a barracks. He stopped and looked around.

"Paul?" she asked.

"I thought it would be a garden," he commented slowly. This looks like a military fort."

She laughed. "The greenhouse is around that way." She pointed to the left. "You really don't remember helping develop the security here with your father? You two spent years planning this for both the comfort of a home and the protection of a fortress."


Camp called back to the team. "Prepare!"

The soldiers dressed in camouflage rose and moved quietly towards the large doorway, weapons slung over their shoulders. Their young eyes were deep with serious focus on what they were about to do. Duke wondered if they were old enough to realize how brief and fragile life could be. Camp slid back door and they could see the water rushing under the belly of the craft. There was a sudden change of terrain as the beachhead passed and then a short stretch of dunes. By now the craft was close to the ground. The pilot swung it abruptly to one side, and throttled back to hover for just a moment. The six men leapt from the doorway without hesitation, dropping ten feet to the ground where they immediately started for the barrack building.

Camp glanced back at the pilot. "Rock their teeth," he ordered

"Aye, Sir!" The pilot gave a broad grin of anticipation as Duke and Camp jumped down to the soft earth.

The wind, shockingly cold, bit at Duke's face and ate through his outer coat as they raced, weapons ready towards the compound. The noisy helicopter would provide only a brief distraction. The front men had already cut away the barbed wire fence with wire cutters by the time Camp and Duke joined them. Camp motioned his team into several different directions and they splintered into the darkness.

The chopper swung up and away with dizzying speed as a spot light chased after it He buzzed over the compound of Ming's Citadel seeming to just barely clear the high wall topped with barbed wire.

The roar of the helicopter as it passed over the courtyard shocked Cathi who turned in genuine surprise.

"What's happening!" Steve shouted, pulling the gun out, grabbing her arm and starting back for the doorway, some ten yards away. I have to keep Cathi safe! We are under attack!

There was the slam of a door and two men dressed in what looked to be prison shorts hurried out into the compound from the barrack-like building across the yard. The noise from the helicopter was almost deafening as it dropped lower outside the walls.

Duke and Camp entered the barracks behind a two man team that were searching in a hurried methodical earnestness --always gun muzzle first.

"What is this place?" Duke muttered as they passed the narrow, bleak cells.

"Prisoner detainment. Kept POWs here in World War Two," Camp replied.

A soldier turned. "Sir! We have a prisoner."

Camp pushed up the hallway to see the unconscious form of the scarred guard still on the floor of the cell that had housed Danny. "Secure him. I want no fatalities."

In the courtyard confusion reigned, two guards on the rooftop were shouting and firing their weapons towards the unseen craft.

Perez grabbed Danny's arm and pointed in the direction of the man and woman across the way.

Danny's face lit up, unable to believe his good luck. "Steve!" He's all right! We can get out of here! There's a chopper outside somewhere. We can take it over and…

Perez shouted. "He's the one who sold you out!"

"No!" Danny shouted back. "I know him, it's okay." He noticed the woman behind Steve. She was in that video. Who is she? What's going on here? Steve will have an explanation.

"They laughed at you!" Perez insisted. "Why did he not rescue us? I come with you -- only me. He is the traitor!"

"Steve will have an explanation!" Danny shouted back. Who is that woman? Confusion and indecision crossed his face and was not missed by his cell mate.

"He's got a gun!" Perez shouted. "He will kill us!"

"No!" Danny shouted over the sounds of aircraft and gunfire a short distance away.

Perez gave a sudden grunt and collapsed in the dirt.

Danny turned back to see the blood from the bullet wound pouring out of Perez' chest.

Perez, sprawled on his back, looked up towards the roof and spotted Downer with his sniper rifle. That bastard, Ming, sold me out!

Danny had bent down, protectively over Perez. "Perez!"

"Kill him," Perez managed to utter through the blood in his throat as he died.

Steve crouched against Cathi, trying to keep her low and protected by his body. "Get out of here!" he urged her, pushing her towards the door behind them.

"Paul! Paul! He's here!" She shouted pointing in Danny's direction. "He wants to kill us!"

He looked towards Danny who was rising from Perez' dead body. Danny turned in their direction. "Cathi! Get inside!"

A helicopter suddenly passed over them, low to the yard kicking up wind, snow and dust. Cathi stumbled, was slammed into the door behind him and collapsed to the concrete walk. Steve turned in a scream of horror. "Cathi!" He grabbed the dying woman in his arms. "Cathi! Don't leave me!"

The noise from the chopper had muffled the sound of the shot. She'd been hit just once in the upper back, but it had been enough. She was already dead.

Danny, seeing Steve's female companion fall, accurately glanced up at the roof, plotting the angle and spotted Downer who had fearlessly risen from his position. Danny lined up on him with the stolen rifle and fired one shot.

Downer was hit in the right shoulder, not a lethal blow. He staggered back from the impact and, attempting to regain his footing, stepped the wrong way off the edge of the roof. He plunged head first thirty feet, breaking his neck when he landed.

Steve huddled in the doorway, overcome by the death of Cathi. This happened before. I remember this! I couldn't stop it this time either! The sound of Danny's shot at Downer broke through Steve's stunned shock. Clutching Cathi's body to him, he turned, as Danny lowered the rifle. He shot Cathi! He killed her just as she was afraid he would! He killed Chuck! Chuck was my lifelong friend! Who is this man? Who is this deadly enemy? Who is he? Kill him.

Danny started towards Steve, glancing around through the confusion of gunfire and shouts that were raging outside the compound. "Steve!" he shouted. "Steve! Is she alive?"

Steve rose, the gun in his hand, hostility and distrust on his features. Steve -- he called me Steve! This is the one who tried to twist my mind! He stole my past and has murdered my future! "I know what you did!" He shouted. "You tried to poison my mind!"

Danny had been approaching and now stopped about ten yards away from his partner and closest friend. "Steve?" Confusion, exhaustion, and a growing fear showed on his face. "Steve, come on, we can get out of here!"

Rising from Cathi's body, Steve leveled the .45 on Danny. "What is your name?" he snarled.

Danny staggered back as though he had been struck. He really did sell me out! He is with them! Why? How could he? Piercing strobe lights and savage laughter echoed through his mind. He squeezed his eyes shut trying to control the imagery as his expression melted into fear, frustration, rage.

For an instant, both men stood there, each locked in his own mental battle for a grasp on reality and finding nothing but each other, and each other the enemy.

"What is your name?" Steve shouted again, shaking with fury. I have to know this! I have to learn his name! This killer of all that I love! I cannot stand the pain!

Danny struggled to control his rage. "Why did you do this to me! Why? What have you done?!" Gripping the rifle tightly in his hands he continued his approach. "You talk to me!"

"What is you name?!" Steve screamed, face twisted in pain and hatred.

Danny exploded in fury, swinging the rifle like a baseball bat towards Steve who dodged it and fired one shot in return. The bullet just grazed Danny's left arm.

I have to learn his name before I kill him! Steve tried to plot a second shot that would stop this vicious foe without killing him -- yet.

He shot me! He's trying to kill me! I can't believe it. Why? Why? All this has been his doing?! Danny swung the rifle butt back into Steve's abdomen.

The pistol popped from Steve's hand and skidded across the cold pavement. McGarrett bent over double, trying to catch his breath. In a quick defensive move, he grabbed hold of the rifle, trying to twist it from Danny's hands. He managed a kick to the side of Danny's knee, knocking the latter off his feet.

Danny, although off balance maintained his death grip on the rifle, in numb shocked horror that McGarrett was actually trying to kill him.

Steve twisted the rifle up with all his strength, finally pulling it out of Danny's grasp. He jabbed the rifle butt against the side of Danny's head, sending him sprawling across the dirty ground and through a ice covered puddle.

Danny saw the .pistol and made a frog leap for it, rolling over, the .45 clutched in his hand. "God forgive me, Steve!" he screamed, tears of terror in his face. With a perfect head-shot, he squeezed the trigger. The gun gave an empty click. Danny's mouth dropped open in both relief and shock. He threw the gun at Steve, trying to escape the man he'd been trying to rescue only a short time before.

Steve kicked at Danny again, and Danny grabbed hold of Steve's foot, pulling him off balance. They were both now on the ground rolling in a life and death struggle over something neither of them could understand. Steve with his size and height gained the quick advantage, pressing Williams to the ground, hands around his neck, pressing his thumbs against Danny's throat.

Gasping for breath, Danny struggled uselessly to fight off his attacker. "Why?" he managed to utter.

"What is your name?" Steve shouted at him again, slamming his head against the pavement.

Danny felt consciousness slipping. Why? What's going on? Why is this happening? This is Steve. "Steve, help me," he whispered.

McGarrett pounded his head against the ground one more time and Danny was unconscious. Panting and sweating from shock and horror, Steve looked around, found the rifle.. Cathi I love you! I could not protect you! I let this monster kill you! He jumped to h is feet, snatched up the rifle and aimed it at the unconscious man.

"Steve!" came a voice from the other end of the yard.

There are more of them! They must have overpowered the guards! Where is Dr. Sakar! Steve swung the rifle towards to two men dressed in combat clothing who were running towards him flanked by two more than seemed much more cautious about their surroundings by waving their weapons back and forth to the sides.

Camp grabbed Lukela's shoulder, bringing them to a stop. "Hang on a second here, Lukela."

Duke gaped in surprise. "But that's Steve." He called out. "Steve, it's all right."

Camp shook his head. "It may not be all right at all."

"What is your name?!" Steve yelled. His voice had a plaintiff plea to it.

Duke opened his mouth. He doesn't recognize me in this get-up.

"Don't answer him," Camp snapped. "It could be a trigger phrase."

Duke gave him a quizzical look. "What? He's just confused. We've got to help him."

"And what if McGarrett has had his entire reality rearranged for him by Ming?" Camp asked.

"Barracks contained," a little voice crackled in the ear-piece Camp was wearing.

"Understood," Camp commented back in the throat microphone.

"Jeeze, sir, you've gotta see this," the voice added. "Some kind of -- torture chamber."

"Understood, do you have containment?"

"Aye, sir."

"Team Two?"

"We have taken three prisoners, Sir," the new voice reported. "Perimeter is contained."

"Mother Goose, this is Pie Man"

"Aye," came the pilot's voice.

"Nest on south side. We need the video."

"Aye, sir."

Moments later, the helicopter could be heard on a new approach.

Steve turned towards the sound, looking upward, then back at the men who stood a short distance from him. They have overrun us! Where is Dr. Sakar! Cathi is dead! Does anything else matter? She was all the past that I had! She was everything. I should make them kill me. He re-aimed the rifle towards Camp and Duke.

"We've got to do something," Duke commented. He called out. "What happened here?"

Steve did not budge. "He killed her! I won't let you capture me again!"

Duke raised an eyebrow. Could it be possible the Danny had killed this woman? As difficult as it is, that may be possible. Just as Steve is standing here ready to shoot us. "Let me help. I am on your side!"

"Where is Dr. Sakar!"

Camp spoke up. "I can take you to him."

He shook his head. "No, you stay right there. Cathi knew, she knew this would happen!"

"Cathi," Duke whispered. "Cathi Ryan?"

"Mean something?" Camp asked.

He nodded. "She was real close with him. She was killed two years ago." He looked up at Steve. "Cathi died, Steve. She died a long time ago. This is not Cathi. Think about it. Can't you remember her?"

I remember. This is Cathi! He is trying to confuse me. I may doubt everything else, but this is Cathi.

Camp pressed his throat mic. "Simple Simon this is Pie Man, do you read?"

"Five by Five, Pie Man," crackled the response in his ear.

"We need to put the gift into the box."

"Copy, Pie Man."

"What does that mean?" Duke demanded with sudden suspicion.

Camp glanced from him towards McGarrett. "We need to control this, Lukela. I am going to do that in the way I see fit."

"What--" Duke stopped as he spotted the sharp shooter on the roof. "No! Wait!" Dear God, I can't let them shoot Steve! We came to save them not shoot them! He extended his arms away from his rifle which dangled from his shoulder. "Steve! It's me! It's Duke!" He took a few steps towards McGarrett.

Steve maintained his aim on Duke, desperate and confused. Who is this man? He is not going for his gun. Do I know him? Who is he?

Duke took another step closer. He could read the uncertainty on Steve's face. "Are you having trouble remembering? I'm Duke. We are on the same team."

Steve scowled. I can’t let him get any closer. Cathi! What do I do about Cathi! He stole a glance at Williams, unconscious at his feet. He killed her!

"Steve!" Duke called, trying to get his attention.

Camp was muttering something into his throat mic that Duke could not hear. The man on the roof of the house moved to a new position.

Duke glanced at the soldier, then back at Steve. Will Camp really have him shot? CIA only cares about containing the situation and maintaining security, not the people. Why did Garrison turn this over this them? Cause they were the ones with the power to get this far. He answered his own question. He risked another couple of steps closer. He was near enough to not have to yell any more. He was also close enough that if Steve decided to shoot, there would be no escape. "Steve, what happened to Danno?"

Steve scowled. "What is his name?" he asked.

"He is Dan Williams. Danno. Your friend -- my friend. Think hard, remember?"

"Danno?" He stared down. I remember thoughts about a friend Danno, someone I would die for, I could trust to the death. Cathi said he wasn't real. This man cannot be Danno. He is the enemy. What do I know? What did I do? He felt as though he was drowning in the confusion. Who am I? Paul. My name is Paul. Sister -- yes! "What is my sister's name?" he demanded suddenly.

"Mary Ann," Duke called back without hesitation.

He blinked. Mary Ann is real! He lowered the rifle, features starting the calm a little. "Sailing? Do I sail?"

Duke beamed. "Like a religion. You sail Pearl Harbor nearly every Sunday. Can you remember now?"

Like a dam breaking, memories and images flooded over Steve in a confusing jumble of people and places. "Cathi?" he whispered, turning to look at the dead woman.

Duke stepped forward and slowly took the rifle from Steve's hand.

"This Pie Man. Stand down. Repeat: Stand down. The situation is contained," Camp called.

No thanks to you, Duke thought with a snort.

Steve squatted down next to the woman's body, brushing a hand over her long hair that blew in the stiff cold breeze. "Cathi."

Duke touched his shoulder. "Cathi died, Steve. She died over almost two years ago. This is not your Cathi. Don't you remember? She was strangled."

He looked up at Duke, tears in his eyes. Can that be right? Was she strangled? Yes, up in the beach house. But she isn't strangled. The phone was ripped out. They tampered with my radio. Danno found the radio--Danno. He was exhausted emotionally. What do I believe? I want to believe this man -- but Cathi. He felt the hair slipping through his fingers. "God, Cathi," he uttered through a sob in his throat.

Duke glanced back at Camp who was issuing orders for his team to collect evidence and prisoners. He dared to pay attention enough to Danny to take his pulse. Duke could tell that the fight with Steve was not the only beating the younger officer had sustained in the recent past.

Steve noticed Duke's action "He killed her," he almost snarled in a suddenly attitude change.

"No, Steve. This is Danno. He is your friend. There has been a mistake somehow," Duke said quietly.

Steve's look was one of hopeless confusion. "Cathi!" he sobbed, engulfed in despair.

Duke put a warm arm around him. "It will be all right.," he promised in a tone he would have used for his young children. His extended his other around around McGarrett encircling him in a tight hug as the icy wind whipped around them.


The gentle trade wind carried the scent of sandalwood and flowers into the office through the open door to the lanai.

Steve brushed a hand across the glass of the picture of Cathi -- the real Cathi that he now kept in the top drawer of his desk. My Cathi, the real Cathi. Even a month after the incident, the face of the imposter still returned to him and blotted out the image of the woman he had loved. The photo did more than refresh his memory, it had become something of a talisman that he kept ever close at hand. It took Ming less than a week to destroy the memories of a lifetime and all the individuals associated with those memories. And, although we have labored for weeks to reconstruct it all, there are still moments of real confusion. But I am, perhaps, still the one better off. Most of my experience is clouded in a fog of drug induced amnesia, subtle subconscious twists and hypnotic suggestions. Danno recalls it all: The brutal physical and emotional attacks, the fear and pain. Steve gave an audible sigh and glanced again at the report that lay before him. Camp, as ever, has been thorough and given a completely different report from Strickland or Garrison. Their reports mentioned how with six dead, Camp wanted to shoot the three prisoners. Maybe this time he was right. Ming got away disguised as a mute and deaf custodian that the guards took pity on while the young technician, Ishi, as the only surviving technical person had borne the majority of the blame and punishment. The other prisoner was a guard with an unusual scar who kept raving that he was not what the Americans thought, but was only following orders. These two had been a bit of an embarrassment to deal with. Neither Hong Kong nor the United States could accept them. To do so was to admit they had trespassed on Russian territory. Japan refused to charge them since Japanese law had not been violated. It was little wonder Camp had wanted to just shoot them. It was a contact Camp had through the KGB who eventually accepted the two. What became of them is anyone's guess.

The second part of the report consisted of a published article from a Chinese top secret journal that had been delivered to Strickland. It was accompanied by an English translation. The opening paragraph contained the phrase:

In most cases of interrogation, much is lost through the mis-concept that time is always of the essence. In attempts to retrieve information, much of it is lost through the hash tactics that serve more to toughen the subject than to attain the desired goal..."

The report continued through several highly technical pages to cover all of Ming's experiment from beginning to end. To Steve, the calculated horror of it was appauling. Ming was talking about lives here -- real lives -- our lives!

"In conclusion, although the use of C6B89 was able within about the same amount of time to achieve far better results than traditional methods. Its use produced the data from a subject that would have resisted traditional methods to the death. In addition, C6B89 preserves the subject intact for further retrieval as necessary."

Steve paused to consider that statement. The idea of being permanently in the clutches of a man like Ming, muttling his mind until any connection with reality was completely snarled was chilling.

"In contrast, the study of the control using traditional mind-washing and morale shattering tactics did also achieve a goal. The subject was convinced that the individual closest to him was a threat to the point where he did, in fact, pull the trigger and would have killed Subject A. This value cannot be under-estimated. As outlined in the data to follow, there was some suggestion that Subject B may have received some trained in mind-altering resistance tactics. This makes the study all the more credible.

"C6B89 will not replace these methods completely, but should be considered as a new valuable tool available to the trained administrator."

Steve looked away from the final sentence and back to the photo of Cathi. As he did there was a gentle rap on the closed door. "Come!" he called.

Danny stepped into the office. "You wanted me, Steve?"

McGarrett closed the drawer containing the photo. "Have you read Strickland's report?"

Danny had noticed the photo as Steve closed the drawer. "Yes." What would he like me to say? Yes, I did try to kill him. Had I picked up the rifle instead of the gun, McGarrett's brains would have become part of the icy pavement? Can I forget that? Ever? Does it matter that I had been subjected to brain washing? Perhaps, but I still knew what I was doing.

"As usual Camp managed to avoid informing his superiors of his foul-ups by never addressing the disposition of Ming," Steve commented with a sigh.

"Do you know what became of Ming?" Danny asked, well aware that Steve often had inside sources of information.

Steve lifted an eyebrow. "We don't know."

"The report says that an Asian custodian was released -- Ming no doubt," Danny commented internally pleased that this conversation seemed to be falling along professional rather than personal issues.

Steve nodded again, leaning back in his chair. "Well, Camp is a pretty sly guy himself. It is entirely possible that our custodial friend is in the clutches of the CIA." I want to know how you are, Danno. Will you allow us to go there? We need to talk.

"Couldn't happen to a nicer guy," Danny remarked with a quick grin. There was an embarrassing moment of silence. "Well -- I guess I've got a lot of work to do." He turned to go.



"Are you doing okay?"

He gave a quick grin of bravado. "Coming along. You okay?"

Steve was aware that the subject had been subtly changed and refocused. He nodded. "I will be."

"She was nothing like the real Cathi, you know," Danny suddenly added softly.

Ah, he saw the photo. Nothing wrong with his powers of observation -- or his sensitive heart. "I know," Steve agreed with a small smile. "But I still keep reminding myself of it. Neither of us was able to makes the choices we wanted."

So, we can avoid this no longer. What do you want to hear, Steve? Do I have to spill my guts about the pain, the fear, the guilt? Why am I angry at him? He should be mad at me. I guess I owe him this talk. Danny frowned. "I can't help it, Steve. I remember it -- I remember pulling that trigger. I knew the choice I was making." His shoulders sagged. "I wish I could take it back. I wish I could find some way to say how sorry...."

"There's nothing to say 'sorry' for. If it hadn't been for Duke, we wouldn't be having this conversation, Danno. I was about to kill you too, you know. I guess it would have been easier if we had possessed some kind of internal super power that enabled us to resist Ming. Danno, we are just men; ordinary men with the same strengths and weaknesses as everyone else. The issue is not what happened. The issue is how we choose to go on from here."

Danny stood silent before the desk, staring down at the carpet. Going on? Is that all there is to it? Get up, brush of f the dirt and go on? Like it never happened?

McGarrett slowly opened the drawer and lifted the framed photo. "I don't need a framed picture to remind me of who you are, Danno." He rose and extended his hand for a shake towards his closest friend.

Danny lifted his gaze to McGarrett's face. Maybe we really do just go on. Not like it never happened, but because it happened. "Maybe we should be flattered."


"Ming singled us out because we were the hardest nuts to crack. And we're still here."

"Hey, Danno," Steve smiled. "We're still here."

They shook hands.

 The End

Back to Part 4
Back to list
contact author