Lonnie had heard voices, sirens and commotion overhead. There were lights flashing out in front of the ranch and he wondered if it was safe to come out. He recalled Steve's apprehension at the cottage the night before and realized that even though the police were there it might not be safe. He slid his way through the grime and dirt to the edge of the porch and peeked between the slats of the latticework just as he heard the thundering diesel engine of the ambulance rev up. The big tires rolled past the porch, blocking his view then, as the siren rose to a scream, it raced down the gravel drive towards town.
Who's hurt? He peeked out again and saw the TV news truck and Carrie standing before the house, holding a microphone loosely in her hand. Carrie! I know I can trust her! He prepared to kick out a slat when he heard a voice. He looked up to see Reggie Zito exit the house.
"Can you give us a statement, Officer Zito?" Carrie was asking, but she seemed less authoritative than usual.
He gave a grunt. "We had an incident. McGarrett has been shot," he said bluntly.
"But what happened?" she asked with genuine concern.
He spat out his well-chewed gum. "We've got what looks like a break-in. One unidentified guy dead in there."
Steve is shot! Someone is dead! Lonnie's heart began racing in dread.
"We got nothing more to say right now," Zito remarked.
"Can I do a short interview live with you?" she asked, wishing she was nowhere near this man. She could not forget the exchange back in her house.
He hesitated. "Live?"
She gave a quick nod.
"At 2:30 in the morning? Who watches TV at 2:30am?" He gave a chuckle. "Sure, why not."
She motioned the cameraman who brought up the tungsten lamps. Just as he did so, another news team pulled into the drive. "Hurry, Marty."
"Go, we're live," Marty commented.
"This is Carrie Donagon coming live from the TwoB Ranch outside of Honolulu, residence of ex-Five-0 chief Steve McGarrett. In an apparent foiled robbery Chief McGarrett was shot tonight. I have Officer Zito from Five-0 with me. Officer Zito, can you tell us anything about McGarrett's condition?"
Zito tried to look pleasant for the camera. "He was still alive when they left here a moment ago." He almost sounded disappointed.
"Can you tell us anything else about this incident?"
"It looks like there was an argument of some kind. Shooting resulted from that."
"Argument?" Carrie was shocked. He didn't say this a second ago. "What kind of argument?"
"We've had an investigation going on for awhile. It is likely this is connected to the Quinn killing from yesterday."
Carrie stared. Why is he saying all this on live TV? A minute ago he was so closed mouthed. Trying to come up with a quick question she asked: "Do you have any suspects?"
"As a matter of fact, we do," Zito blurted. "We have the gun that was used on McGarrett, we have the motive. The suspect was seen running from the residence. There isn't too much doubt but that it is Dan Williams."
Carrie nearly dropped the microphone in astonishment. I have just been used!!
Lonnie gasped in shock.
"That's all for now," Zito added, delighted at the shock on Carrie's face. He patted her shoulder. "We'll keep you informed of any updates." He walked away with a chuckle.
Carrie attempted to recover. "There you … have it. Back to the studio." She gave a cutthroat gesture and Marty cut the lights.
"Jeeze, Carrie," Marty muttered. "We were live."
She threw the microphone in the window of the van and it clattered to the back. "Like he said - who watches TV at 2:30am? We can keep it from running again at six."
Marty jumped into the driver's side. "Can we do that?"
She slammed the door. "We're gonna try."
Lonnie, under the house, watched in astonishment as the TV van flinging pebbles everywhere spun away before he'd ever had the chance to get help from Carrie. After Carrie left, it was quiet outside again. The police were mostly inside and around the back of the house. With the van moved, Lonnie could now see Kono's old black Mercury parked near the house. Carefully, he kicked out two slats of the lattice work and pulled himself out from under the house with his good arm. He crept to the car, opened the back door, and hid himself on the floor of the back seat.
Kono glanced at his watch. It would soon be dawn and Zito was still storming around the ranch watching officers like a hawk as they meticulously took apart every room. No file of evidence appeared. Kono had evaluated the body of Mitch. He knew the forensics team would pick a bullet out of his head and wondered it if would match the pistol they'd found. Upon rolling the dead man over, they'd found another gun - a cheap Saturday night special. Someone might have shot him in self-defense. There had been some kind of scuffle, that was obvious. Kono recalled the massive bruises on Steve's face and looked around at the destroyed house with all the signs of intentional vandalism. And there was the dog. Doc's body was near the kitchen. He would remind the coroner that they needed the bullet from the dog as well. No doubt Doc had died trying to protect his family.
What had the slain man been here after that would have made him willing to take on a watchdog? Had he been hired by Zito to find the evidence? Had he been hired to kill Steve? But he had not done the job - he'd been dead long before Steve was shot, so who had shot Steve? Kono paced the floor again and noticed something he'd missed before. Making sure Zito's attention was elsewhere, he rubbed his finger across the edge of the wallpaper in the corner of the hall where he'd seen the small hole. There was a bullet lodged in it. He picked the slug out and tucked it away into his pocket. He plotted a course back towards where Mitch had fallen and began to examine the carpet. About half way between Mitch and the entrance to the hallway, he noticed the stain, bent down and cut off a few fibers of the carpet that he slipped into the little bag with the bullet.
Just as Kono was rising, Zito turned. "Find something?"
Kono shook his head. "I'm going to check with the hospital about Steve."
Zito pulled him aside. "You don't say anything about McGarrett to anybody, you got me? Not about the scene, findings, nothing." He paused for a moment. "It's murder now. Jackson just called me on the radio. McGarrett died before they got him to the hospital. Anybody hears anything about anything we find here and it'll be your skin. You got that?"
Kono turned on his heel and headed out of the ranch house. He knew he was numb, unthinking and in a state of shock. Steve dead. It was incomprehensible. He could vividly recall how McGarrett had appeared and how desperate he felt. Should it be surprising that a man in that condition had died? Kono wished it had come from someone other than Reggie Zito. He sighed as he started the car engine. What do I do now? To whom can I go? If what I have in my pocket reveals anything, who can I tell? He was exhausted, unrested, completely demoralized and needed to go back to Ken. As the car left the gravel road, turning onto the asphalt he heard a sound. "That you, Danno?" he asked quietly. How will I tell Danno that Steve is dead and he is the prime suspect?
"No," Lonnie whispered to Kono's surprise. "It's me. My arm really hurts."
The sun had been up almost an hour, the yellow buttercups nodded in the gentle breeze and honeybees danced from bloom to bloom collecting nectar.
Danny gave a start, opening his eyes to see the large, moist nostril of a cow, inches from his face. She chewed unconcernedly on the sweet grass, nudged him a bit as if wanting him to get off her breakfast. It took a moment to recall why he was sleeping behind a Spanish bayonet plant at the edge of the pasture. As he stretched his aching muscles, his side twinged, reminding him of his injury. He checked the wound and was relieved to see that it did not seem terribly serious. Aside from the pinkening edges that warned of early infection, the bleeding had stopped. There were both entrance and exit holes in his right side. The manila folder he'd had stuffed inside his shirt had bloodstains on it by the small hole in one corner - quiet testimony to the significance to what he carried. He shifted it back inside his shirt and struggled to his feet as he could hear a truck approaching.
Gary Newman did not like having to drive clear around to the north shore in the midst of everything that was happening, but the tone of Kono's voice telling him he needed a package delivered had left no room for questions or disagreement. As he now drove northward, Lonnie dozing in the back seat, it was obvious that the boy was in need of medical attention. A local doctor could not be trusted. Gary's cousin's wife's brother was a veterinarian up along the coast, maybe he would help. Kono had remained behind to run interference for Gary's absence and to await Ken's latest reports.
The animal hospital was clean and smelled fresh - but then it was only eight-thirty in the morning when Gary arrived. Leaving Lonnie in the car, he went inside. A lady with her cat gave him a critical eye as he approached the counter.
"Excuse me," he said to the secretary, "has Dr. Kauki come in yet?"
She gave a sweet smile. "He's with a patient."
A patient? They are just stupid animals and I have a child in desperate trouble outside. But he said, "Can you ask him if his sister, Fran, talked with him this morning? She was to tell him I was coming."
She looked puzzled, but walked away from the desk. In a few minutes, she was back. "He says to go around the back door. He'll meet you there." She clearly thought he was a large animal owner. "Your horse trailed should be able to make the turn back there okay."
He just nodded and tried not to run out the door. Back in the car he said to Lonnie, "Help's coming, buddy. It's almost over."
Lonnie just nodded through white lips. He was exhausted, frightened and confused. All he could think about was what Zito had told Carrie. Uncle Steve is dead and they are trying to hurt my dad. They are supposed to be the good guys.
Dr. Kauki opened the door and ushered them into his back surgery. Gary was surprised how much it resembled a real human operating room. "Well, young man, I hear you've had a little accident."
Lonnie just stared at him.
The doctor knew right away that the boy was in shock. "Can you tell me your name?"
"Moki," Gary said quickly.
Kauki turned back to Lonnie. "Does your arm hurt, Moki?"
Lonnie looked down at his arm and back at Kauki wordlessly.
"Let's see." Kauki gently took hold of the swollen, bruised arm and examined the injury. His look hardened as he turned back to Gary. "Is he your boy?"
Gary hesitated. "My friend's son. He's away and I was watching him. Did Yvonne talk to you?"
"Yes, she talked to me. She said you all need to keep this quiet, that there was a custody case going on. I shouldn't be doing this, you know. I could get into a lot of trouble. Now, how did this injury happen?"
"Wrestling with another kid," Gary supplied the answer Kono had given him.
"Look, you'd better come clean with me. No kid did this. This is first-rate child abuse. If you weren't family, Gary, there'd be not way I would have come this far. Now, I want to know what happened to this kid."
Lonnie bit his lip, a tear slipped out of one eye. "Mr. Newman didn't hurt me," he whispered. "Won't you please help?"
Kauki came close. "Who hurt you?"
Lonnie looked at Gary. Gary cleared his throat. "I promise you, Alex, nothing bad will happen to you - and nothing more will happen to Lon - Moki. We need the arm treated and that is all."
Kauki rubbed his chin. "I'll help you, Moki - if that really is your name. Don't worry about that. I'd like to give you something to take away the pain." He walked over to the drug cabinet and took out a vial and syringe. "It's going to mean a shot."
Lonnie voiced no objection. The dose of morphine took effect quickly and the drug combined with his exhaustion had him asleep in less than five minutes. Kauki proceeded to manipulate the misplaced joint much as he would have on a dog, but he could feel something was not right. On taking an x-ray the twisted fracture in the ulna was plain to see. He carefully set the fracture with external manipulation, rechecked it with a new x-ray. With Gary's assistance, he applied the cast.
"Haven't done all that on a human since premed," Kauki remarked as he washed the plaster off his hands. "Now, you are going to tell me the real truth." He shut off the water and walked over to look at his sleeping patient. "Even up here we know that there's trouble afoot in Five-0. A cop was killed a couple of days ago. It's all over the radio that McGarrett was gunned down by an ex-officer last night."
Gary raised his eyebrows. "I tell you, Bruddah, the less you know, the better it is for you. This is Danny Williams' boy."
"They're looking for this boy!"
"Yeah, and probably because he can prove his Dad didn't do it. There are people out there who'd like to see this kid's next accident be a fatal one."
Kauki exhaled slowly and shook his head. "Then hide him well, Gary. I'll give you some antibiotics for him. Take the x-rays with you. When the heat's off, get him to an orthopedic, okay?"
"Yeah." Gary scooped the slumbering Lonnie up into his arms. "Thank, Bro."
Danny dozed in the hot morning sun, nestled amongst the melons as the old truck lumbered slowly towards Honolulu. It took real effort to keep from dropping into a sound sleep. He was hungry, tired and thirsty. Just outside of Pearl City, the truck pulled to a halt at the traffic light.
Danny sat up, tapped on the cab and waved to the driver. "Thanks, Bruddah!" He climbed out of the back, hopping down to the pavement. His left leg gave a complaint. He cursed himself for his procrastination. How many times had Carrie reminded him that he needed to make the time to have the pin removed? Now, with all the strenuous exercise, he knew it was twisting away from the partially healed bones, taking the bone with it. He went to the payphone under a palm tree. Giving a quick glance around and noticing a patrol car, he turned his face to the phone and dug out his pocket change. This is all I have. My wallet is on the dresser back in Steve's guest room. The coin gave a melodic chime as he dropped it into the phone and dialed. He knew Carrie would be under surveillance, but he hoped her phone at the news desk would not be tapped.
She answered her private line on the first ring. "Hello?" Her voice was filled with apprehension and tension.
Carrie, I am so sorry that you have ended up in this. He hesitated, considering hanging up. Is there any other choice? He could not think of one.
"Hello?" She repeated.
"Oh my God! Danny!" She gasped into the receiver. "Where are you? Are you all right?" Her words tumbled out as she fought her emotions. "What's going on?"
"Stay calm," he commented.
Mild indignation set in. Of course he's right. Swallow the feeling, be professional. "Are you all right?"
"I'm fine. Where's Lonnie?"
"No one knows," she imparted regretfully. "Danny, Steve is dead."
He gripped the receiver, trying to contain the shock. Zito had nothing to gain by keeping Steve alive after I escaped. I should have stayed. No, we'd all be dead now. What has Zito done with Lonnie? Is my son dead, too? I need to keep my head. I have to bring justice to this. They will not get away with this. He gripped the envelope under his shirt.
"Danny? Are you there.?"
"Yes," he managed to say. "I need your help."
She glanced around the newsroom. "Okay."
"I have some things I need to finish .I need you to go get Audrey's medicine for me."
Carrie scowled. Audrey? She's in New York! He means something -- what is it? "Okay," she agreed a little slowly.
"Do remember when she broke the bottle of perfume?"
Carrie quickly tried to piece the information together. She could recall the perfume incident. Audrey had dropped a small bottle of children's cheap toilet water in a drug store. It broke and spattered all over Lonnie. He had been outraged. Is he telling me about Lonnie or the drug store?
"Audrey's prescription should be ready. Will you get it?"
He wants me to go to the drug store in Pearl City. "I'll go now."
"Good. If you have to wait for it, just leave the car unlocked."
"Danny, I love you," she said anxiously.
"Love you, too." He hung up the phone.
Carrie snatched up her purse and keys. It would be a twenty-minute drive to Pearl City. If the line was tapped, seconds would count and she would probably be followed. She hoped Danny anticipated that.
End Part 7