Friends in High Places
by Peg Keeley

Part 6

Danny very slowly allowed himself to relax one muscle at a time. It is over, yet I feel so hollow, so empty. There should have been a sense of victory when we got Rego, but there isn't. I guess Chin was right. Vengeance is never a cure.

"You acted so foolishly," Chin snapped. "You know better than this. You are better than this."
Danny, feeling ashamed, rubbed the sore knuckles of his right hand. "I couldn't help myself, Chin. You can't imagine…."
"Oh, I can't?" he snapped back, eyes wide. "You think I haven't lived this long not to know what it is like to lose one I love? Please, don't make excuses. That just makes it worse."
Danny stared at the floor, the memory of Pete King's astonished battered face before him. Pete King's innocent face. Innocent.
"You know better than this." Chin's eyes flashed in anger.
Danny gripped his painful hands before him. Please don't say I knew better one more time. Of course I knew better, but it didn't matter. I thought he was Jane's killer, I thought he was calling her a slut -- I thought…no I did not think. I took matters into my own hands. I lost control.
Chin came down face to face with the younger office. "Remember this, Danny. Vengeance never, never will take the pain away. It only brings more pain and regret."

At least I wasn't the one who beat Rego to a pulp, but only because Steve beat me to it. He picked up his beer and walked out onto the lanai of his apartment to feel the gentle breeze blow across his face. So what now? I have no reason to go back to the Kelleys, at least not right now. Lara's graduation isn't for three weeks. I'll go to that unless Tim asks me not to come -- and he won't. Susie is right, I am not of their world any longer. The whole matter of her past doesn't mean anything. Maybe nothing means anything. Steve told me to take tomorrow off and just relax. What will I do with myself? He gazed back into the dining area of the apartment at the stack of mail that had accumulated unopened over the last several days. I could pay my bills. Now there's a joyful thought. He walked to the mound and glanced through the return addresses. Some were junk that he put aside for the trash. Three was obviously bills. Two more were less clear. He opened the first -- it invited him to consider their life insurance. The second was not a business envelop, but more suggestive of personal correspondence. The address had been handwritten by a very meticulous and neat person. The return address was to the Diamond Head Preservation Society. What in blazes is that? Curiosity piqued, he opened the letter and pulled out an official-looking embossed invitation. It was a thank you that could not be expressed to Aunt Clara -- she had recommended they allow her nephew to accept it in her place. Just like Aunt Clara, she is forever getting me mixed up in her society stuff. The invitation explained that the board would like to have him to formal lunch and explain some of what the endowment Mrs. Williams' so generously had bestowed would be applied to. He just needed to call the office and set up a time.

Just how much did she give these people anyway? I hope they are legitimate. He yawned. Maybe I can call them in the morning and see if noon tomorrow is too short a notice. It will give me something to do. Something other than remember all I have lost.

Harry took a deep breath and completed his exercise by lowering his arms to his side at stiff attention. He bowed slightly towards his younger brother who faced him and did likewise. "You are becoming stronger," Harry said approvingly, then relaxed and stepped backward off the mat in the university gym.

Thomas also stepped back and then picked up a towel to wipe the sweat from his skin. He had spent most of his childhood learning different components of martial arts from formal classes his mother had taken him to, but it wasn't until Harry had encountered a master of Taijiquan that he felt he had begun to really understand the flow and energy that created the meaning behind this combination self-defense and art form. "What do we do now?" he finally asked of Harry.

Harry crossed his arms. "It doesn't change anything. You don't think that guy Rego is all there was to it, do you?"

Thomas did not reply right away. He did not want to admit he had. "I saw Rego, Harry. He seemed like such a weak person. Not anything like I imagined. Almost crying. Steve had really did a number on him -- his face was all bruised up. I always thought those guys would be so strong -- so smart. He wasn't either. Why do we need to go on with Mano? What will I be looking for?"

Harry snapped. "We follow him until we find out who supplies him -- and follow that guy till we find the next -- until we get to the head guy. You keep bringing them good tips sooner or later you will meet the big guy. There is someone above Rego. You said yourself he wasn't so smart."

"Will we know who that is?" Thomas asked, being practical.

"We will," Harry promised. "And we will know what to do. Remember: When one can destroy a thing, one controls a thing."

Thomas raised his eyebrows without comment. The master had often reminded them that Taijiquan while having great potential for violence was intended as a deterrent for violence.

Harry glanced at his watch and picked up his jacket. "Let's go meet for that drop and tell him anything you heard from hanging out around HPD."

Thomas followed, but reluctantly had to acknowledge to himself that he was no longer clear where this was leading, nor how it would end.

Steve allowed himself the privilege of arriving at the office late - 7:30am. It felt good to have the sun on his face as he took his time crossing the parking lot to the palace. There are some days when things are at peace. Rego will pay for what he did. That doesn't bring Chin back, but it provides justice. That is all we can ask. And Susie has managed to restore a relationship with Alia. Lara and the others will come in time.

He unlocked his office after greeting May who gave him a welcoming, gentle smile. Yes, May, in time we will all smile again. He walked past Danny's empty office. I need to find a way to reconnect him. This has been brutal on him. When he lost Jane, Kono was still here. They were true blood brothers and he had Chin. Now I sense he is somehow adrift. I wish Kono had come. But then I wish my relationship with Kono was different. Not willing to allow anything to intrude on this rare moment of peace, he closed down the thought and entered his office, headed for the coffee pot.

"Steve, John Manicote is on his way over here," May announced.

He nodded. "That's fine." I cannot wait to hear what his plans are for Rego.

Ten minutes later, John blew in, jaw set and hands gripped tightly around his brief case. "Good morning, Steve," he greeted, coming through, then closing the door.

"Good morning, John." But Steve could already notice that John's expression was not that of a good morning. "What's up?"

"Jimmy Rego," John said flatly.

"What about him?" Steve took a seat while gesturing John to do the same.

John paced. "He is bringing changes against the department and suing you personally."

Steve forced a grin. "Over what?"

"You hit him."

"He resisted arrest."

"Seven times."

"John," Steve spread his hands. "He resisted arrest, he fired at us -- he's lucky I did not have our guys shoot to kill."

John sighed and ran his hand across his forehead. "Maybe it would have been better if you had."

Steve gave a cautious smile. "Then how would I be able to use him to get my grip on Pahoa?"

"Pahoa? You mean the outstanding citizen who got you the lead on Rego?"

"Outstanding-" Steve started to fire back.

"That's the word on the street, Steve."

McGarrett shook his head with a wry grin. "So, Jimmy is uncomfortable. John we have had things like this before. It isn't a big deal."

"Trust me, Steve -- this is a big deal," John retorted. "According to police officers' testimony Rego was disarmed when you struck him with a closed fist seven times and then threatened him with a gun. And then there is the matter of Rego's gun."

"What about it?"

"How did you get it?"

"A concerned citizen brought it to us."

John rolled his eyes. "Concerned citizen? Where did that citizen get it?"


"Steve, it was Susie Kelley, wasn't it? She wasn't living at the place. She got in without his permission. There was no warrant. She stole his property, which, by the way was registered. We should be arresting her for B&E and gun theft! We've got more to hold on her than Rego!"

"John, what are you doing? I can't believe you are selling us out on this. Rego is Chin's killer!"

"Steve, the gun was obtained illegally! It is not admissible as evidence even if it is the murder weapon. Without the gun there is no case! We have a man who is arrested illegally then assaulted by the chief of Five-0. What am I supposed to do with that!" John's face had gradually flushed and the veins popped out on his neck as he reached the climax of his short speech. He forced himself to calm down. "What do you expect me to do, Steve?"

McGarrett turned to gaze out of the window, expression set like granite. How could this have happened. What was I thinking? We can't let Rego walk. "We still have his two henchmen."

"Liu and Napoli?"

"Yeah. If we can convince them it would be in their best interests to give us Jimmy we can still take him down."

"Maybe but meanwhile we've got to get him go."

"You aren't letting him out!" My God, he will disappear. We'll never get him back. He'll be off this island in a flash and we will never get our hands on him again.

"Do we have any choice? The Grand Jury will be deciding if you should be indicted later today! As for Susie Kelley -- I just don't know."

Danny had not expected such a quick response, nor had he really anticipated a lunch date that would coincide with his day off, but he got both. Upon hanging up the phone after speaking with the secretary of the organization around mid-morning, he immediately questioned himself on why he had chosen to do this at all. This is Aunt Clara's thing. I could have just taken the day and gone down to the beach and vegged out. I could have, but I would have spent the whole day just reliving what is no longer here. He instantly felt the pain of the vacuum in his soul that the loss of Chin had left. I know it gets better, I have told countless others that over time it improves, but now I wonder if the grieving don't just get numb to the pain instead. He thought about dropping over to the Kelley home before going to the meeting, then thought better of it. There is nothing there for me. Tim asked me to carry the weight for him -- but Susie and Alia aren't going to permit that. It's only Tilda and Tim that even care. Then he remembered the call from school the day before that Thomas had skipped class. Confronting Thomas about absenteeism wasn't going to rank high in popularity either. I should tell Tim or Alia about that and let them handle it. If Alia wants the job, she'd better want the whole job.

The house seemed quiet and empty when he arrived -- quite different from the recent hub of activity that had gone on. The rest of the world has gone back to their routine -- life goes on. He got out of the car, stopping to pick up the newspaper still laying on the drive. Using his key, he entered the front door. "Anyone here?" The front room and kitchen were both dark. He placed the paper on the kitchen table and turned to go.

Harry, rumpled from sleep suddenly appeared in the kitchen doorway. "Sorry, Danny. I didn't hear you." He scratched his disheveled head of black hair and yawned. "Late night last night."

Danny nodded. "Where is everyone?"

He shrugged. "Don't know. I just woke up."

"Well, I just dropped by to check on Thomas. See how everyone was doing."

"Thomas?" He was more alert now.

"Yeah, the school said he skipped yesterday afternoon."

"Oh," Harry shuffled to the fridge and pulled out the half gallon of milk that had only a few swallows left in the bottom. He drank from the spout.

"Your mother would have shot you for that," Danny remarked.

He wiped his mouth on his sleeve with a gentle grin. "Yeah, she would have." He closed the refrigerator door.

"Not much in there," Danny commented.

"Well, church people keep bringing stuff -- we haven't had to go shopping." He poured a pile of Cheerios into a coffee mug and began to eat them dry. "Want something to eat?"

Danny shook his head. "Harry, I am concerned for how you all are going to do. Have you older ones made any plans?"

"Plans for what?" he asked.

"Harry! You aren't that thick!" Danny snapped in frustration. "Lara, Faith, Thomas and Tilda need some kind of parenting. The state isn't going to just let you all live on your own."

Harry scowled. "Well, I've got to focus on college, Danny, finals are in three days. What am I supposed to do?"

"You all need to talk about it," Danny repeated. "Did your dad ever talk to you about this?"

Harry smirked. "Did he ever talk to you about it?"

Actually, he did, but not in specifics. 'Danny, if something happens to me, keep them safe.' Danny blushed. "Harry, I am not blood family. I may be -- involved -- here, but I am not of this family."

"You are whether you like it or not. Some things are thicker than blood. Dad worshipped your grandfather -- he was father to him. Damn, I got stuck with the guy's name! Your own mother didn't do that to you!" He paused, but Danny could tell there was no serious anger here. "I know Alia and Thomas are off on a tear here. They will come around, you'll see. Alia will go back to Hilo in a few days, Tim to China and Susie to the mainlind. That will just leave us." He stopped and stretched. "Lara goes to college in CoLarado in the fall. That just leaves Thomas, Faith and Tilda. Not so bad. I'll help you all I can. Promise. We both know Dad would have expected this."

Do we? Only in my nightmares. "Harry, what makes sense to you may not be so simple. Susie and Alia have both expressed that they don't feel I should be around, that I need to allow you all to work this out. I need to honor that."

Harry dropped the now empty milk carton into the trash. "Cute -- they will both leave. Maybe this needs to be decided by you and me who are left to pick up the pieces. It is more important that you honor what my father's wishes would have been."

If I only knew what they would have been. As Danny drove downtown towards Regal's, one of the most expensive and elegant eateries in Honolulu he found himself wondering whether he did not know what Chin would have expected, or if he knew but did not want to acknowledge the reality. The valet stepped to the driver's door and opened it. He dropped the keys into the man's hand, then paused to straighten his tie before crossing the smooth marble entry into the restaurant. Regel's faced the ocean, with a large outdoor lanai in the rear that was cooled by trade winds. Danny was mildly disappointed when the hostess indicated that his contact was inside the air-conditioned dining portion with a table that viewed the ocean, but kept away from the pleasant natural surrounding out on the lanai. It seemed a little odd for a cultural organization, but he brushed it off. As she led him towards the table, his gaze fixed on the back of the heavyset man he was about to meet and he realized the profile was familiar.

Less than five steps from the table, Cappy Pahoa turned and greeted him with an outstretched hand and a smile. "Please, Mr. Williams, join me."

Danny froze in his tracks.

Kevin Reuter stood before McGarrett, realizing that he was about to do the very thing everyone had counseled him to avoid -- take control away from the chief of Five-0.

"Good morning, Reuter," Steve said, but there was a weariness in his voice. He gestured the FBI agent to a chair. "Can I be of service?"

He must know why I am here. "The FBI has waited for your response to the syndicate activities here."

"We are making progress," McGarrett replied "As an officer of the law you know that cases do not always keep a time table."

Reuter gave a slight nod. "Can you share your progress? I need to file a report to my superior?" There I can make it look like someone is pulling my string and maybe he'll be less defensive.

He doesn't have the backbone to make his own call? Disappointing. "We arrested Jimmy Rego, one of Cappy Pahoa's top lieutenants yesterday and two hit men Rego brought from the mainland. One or all of them will get us to Cappy. I am also following up on leads regarding who supplies money to Pahoa.

"Really?" Reuter remarked. "I understood it that Liu and Napoli hadn't given up anything of value."

"Not yet," Steve interjected, "but they will."

"Hum," Reuter said, glancing at his notepad. "And Rego -- I've heard the rumor that his arrest was illegal -- he's going to walk."

Dammit, the coconut wireless is quick today.

"Care to comment on what went wrong with his arrest?" asked Reuter smugly.

"No, I would not. A technicality we will clear up."

"Illegal seizure and excessive force hardly seem like technicalities," Reuter remarked. "In fact I'm surprised there isn't a warrant out for your arrest."

The pleasant aromas and gentle background music were lost on Danny as he sat rigidly before Pahoa trying to find his way through this unexpected event.

"Please do not feel you have been entrapped," Cappy commented amiably. "There is no intent here to represent things other than what they are. Mrs. Clara Williams created a rather generous endowment for the Diamond Head Preservation Society, as have other major contributors. This is our customary method for expressing how those funds will be utilized." Nonchalantly, he reached into his brief case and retrieved a portfolio of papers. "Ah, I forget myself. Let us order our meal first." He waved for the waitress who had been standing attentively to one side.

Danny glanced quickly around wondering who else might be standing nearby photographing these events to use in blackmail. How can I keep clean in this? Steve mentioned Pahoa flaunting his 'friends in high places' but I never expected something like this.

"The Konbu Maki here is very good," Pahoa recommended as though he was ignorant of Williams' thoughts.

Danny picked up the menu, but the words jumbled together. "That's fine," he uttered.

Pahoa placed orders, then glanced at Danny. "You on duty? No? Then let me order the wine as well."

As the waitress moved off Danny murmured hotly. "Pahoa, you can put on this show, but we both know exactly who and what you are. I don't know how you managed to get Clara into your scheme, but as soon as I fill her in, you may consider her part cancelled."

"Mr. Williams, I believe you, like Mr. McGarrett, have a great misconception in regards to my involvement with crime in Hawaii. I love this land. My people are of this land. I am developing resources to help them."

"And yourself."

"There is no law against profit -- legally made. Here," he held up the portfolio, "it is all here. Take it to McGarrett, -- to a legal expert -- to the IRS. I have done nothing wrong."

People dining on the lanai suddenly looked up from their meals. One or two of them rose. A woman screamed. The large window by Cappy's table suddenly shattered as the first burst of gunfire exploded.

McGarrett had attempted to be patient with Reuter. After all, wasn't it my temper that John was claiming had marred my judgment with Rego? Erupting on this FBI agent will not improve things. "Mr. Reuter, I completely understand that your office has you on orders to perform. But the feds would not have the contacts we do, they would not be able to get inside like we can…"

"You mean how Chin Ho Kelley could?" Rueter interrupted.

Steve ground his teeth. "Chin died to stop the Kumu -- that isn't the end, it is just the beginning. We are tracking down every false front Pahoa is throwing up and every one of his contributors until we get him in so tight he won't be able to breathe. We've shut down most of his major suppliers so right now his drug trafficking is at a loss. He needs more money, Reuter, he will get careless. This situation with Rego has him scared. He knows Rego can finger him."

"From what I can see Rego looks pretty safe at this point. He is about to sue the state for christsake," Reuter countered.

Duke burst in the door, ignoring Reuter. "Steve! Regel's -- a shootout involving Kumu - civilians down - shooter down." By the time he had completed the brief statement, Steve, Kevin and he were already out of the office and headed down the stairway.

Regel's was less than two blocks from the Palace and many state officials ate there often. As they ran on foot, Steve was already contemplating what trick this was of the Kumu to give them a new distraction. How many state employees were in the expensive steakhouse? He glanced at his watch: 12:20pm. The place must have been packed.

There were police vehicles and ambulances all over the street along with the enormous crowd of gawkers. As Steve approached, the HPD chief, Travis Elliott, spotted him. "Lone shooter came over the lanai fired into the dining room through the glass. We have eleven casualties. The shooter and one civilian are dead."

"One of your guys get him?" Steve asked. They were now through the front doors and headed towards the dining room. Broken glass, abandoned purses and brief cases, shattered china and cutlery were scattered across the floor. EMTs were treating several victims.

"No, a civilian. Him." He motioned towards where an EMT was wrapping a bandage around the left arm of a wounded African American man.

Steve stopped short. "Billy Swan."

Billy met his gaze without wavering.

The chief remarked. "Saved a lot of people."

"He's no hero," Steve snapped, never taking his gaze off of Swan. "He's the bodyguard for the Kumu kingpin. What were you doing here, Swan?"

Billy Swan frowned. "My job."

"Your -" Steve glanced quickly around.

"Cappy Pahoa is dead," Elliott supplied.

"Dead?" Steve repeated. "I guess you didn't do your job so well then, Swan." He and Reuter followed Travis a few steps away to where Pahoa lay sprawled next to a broken overturned table, Multiple head and chest wounds still seeped dark blood although Cappy's heart no longer pumped. "Someone thought it was time to make an upward move," Steve murmured examining the body and wondered if Jimmy Rego had already been released. "An ID on the shooter?" he asked gesturing to the second sprawled corpse in the lanai doorway.

"Working on it," a HPD detective offered an showed Steve the man's driver's license. "Says here he Len Derrick." He shrugged. "Running it now."

Steve scowled at the dead man. He could neither recall the face or the name. Someone was trying to muscle in on Pahoa. In addition to the six holes he could easily count in Pahoa there were at least ten in the table surface beside him. He moved to the dead shooter. The police photographer was flashing his pictures. Steve glanced at the weapon still under the man's right arm. AK-47. Russian made, but this is no international incident. They can be bought through gun catalogs. Billy's single shot had blown away half the man's forehead, but what remained of the face was that of a stranger. His skin was too pale to have been someone who'd be in the islands for long. Who are you and who hired you? He glanced again back at Billy Swan. Pretty quick action -- yet too late. How much more does Billy Swan know about this? I intend to find out, but not in the presence of the press.

Duke gestured Steve towards an elderly woman who sat, visibly shaken before a team of three dark-suited FBI, yet seemed to be answering questions. "She can give a fairly good description of what happened."

Steve, not pleased that this was going into FBI notepads first, pushed his way into the cluster of suits and, applying his best gentle expression, took over the conversation. "Ma'am, my name is McGarrett, Five-0. Can you tell us what you saw?"

She glanced from the agents to Steve, then around the room. Without comment, she patiently restarted her account. "We were getting ready to leave. One instant the waiter was picking up my husband's credit card, then suddenly people were screaming. A man with a weapon like a machine gun was standing out on the patio and he started shooting through the glass. It broke, everyone was panicking and running. They were getting shot." Her eyes misted momentarily. "That young black man grabbed the table right there," she motioned towards the broken table by Cappy. He flipped it like a shield for the man at the table after he was shot. It looked like he was shielding him. Then he fired just once and the gunman fell."

Steve glanced at the scene once again. "So, Billy Swan was trying to protect Pahoa unsuccessfully."

"Oh," she shook her head. "Not the dead man. The other man."

"What other man?" Steve said sharply.

"He shielded the other man at the table," she explained patiently.

Steve looked back at the table and noticed the edge of fingertips beneath the rumpled tablecloth.

Reuter moved to the broken bullet-riddled table and lifted it back. "O God," he muttered.

In what seemed like a single step Steve was beside Danny. The blood-stained tablecloth half covered him as he lay in strikingly similar pose as Chin had when tossed from the car. "We need a medic!" Steve shouted. No, this cannot happen. Not again. Steve dropped to his knees, ignoring the broken glass and china that cut into his legs. His hand was shaking so badly he could not find Danny's pulse. There were two wounds to Danny's upper left chest. Steve realized Danny was breathing just as two EMTs descended on them. He is alive!

One felt a carotid, gave a nod, then completed a lightning fast assessment, and called for another squad that apparently was outside since a wheeled stretcher seemed to arrive nearly instantaneously.

McGarrett was quickly squeezed out of the scene as the paramedics sought to determine the urgency of the newest casualty. He stood back, watching helplessly, the rest of the events shoved for the moment from his attention.

"Pupils equal and reactive," one medic reported to the other having peered under Danny's eyelids with a pen light.

"Pulse 110, regular, BP 90 over 54," the second replied as he pulled the blood pressure cuff back off.

Steve clung to the back of a chair in order to stay upright, emotionally shattered. This cannot happen again. What was Danny doing with Cappy Pahoa? McGarrett struggled to get his mind around the sight before him blending with the horror of just a few days ago. What does this all mean? What is happening here?

Kevin stood by, also stunned. My God, nothing is under control here. Why was Danny here? This doesn't make sense. He bent down and picked up the scattered bloodied portfolio. He held them out to Steve. "What is the Diamond Head Preservation Society? Clara Williams' name is on these forms."

Steve gripped the paper, fighting to bring the events into focus. He glanced over at Billy Swam, still sitting calmly with the EMT. He has the answer. Billy Swan the silent listener to all of Cappy's goings on. He will want retribution for Cappy - maybe. Who will profit from this? Steve walked back to Billy, the papers still in hand. "What happened here, Billy Swan?"

"What it looks like, McGarrett," Billy's quiet baritone voice sounded more gentle than his vocation should have permitted. "Man showed up shooting. I took him down."

"But you didn't save Cappy."

He looked remorseful. "No. Cappy took one to the head at the first. He was gone. There was nothing I could do for him."

"So you risked your life for Williams instead?"

Billy looked him in the eye soberly. "It was all I could do. Are you going to thank me?"

Steve held back the thoughts of fury he would rather express towards Swan. Did he really save Danny? Should I have some kind of gratitude here? "Who was the shooter?"

"I don't know."

"Who knew Cappy would be here?"

Billy lifted an eyebrow. "Williams did. He called this morning to set up a meeting."

McGarrett squinted. "He what?"

Swan nodded calmly. "You can check with the girl on the desk at Diamond Head. Williams called Cappy."

"Why did he want to meet?"

Billy gave a gentle shrug. "I stay alive by not knowing too much, McGarrett."

There were voices across the room as reporters broke through the police line and headed towards the group. One spotted Swan. "There he is! He's the one that saved all these people."

Billy glanced at McGarrett, then at the approaching gaggle of press. "Excuse me, McGarrett." There was a slight smile on his face.

Steve looked back at the cluster of paramedics. They had Danny on a stretcher, IV running wide open. "How is he?"

One glanced over at him. "Getting him out of here. Pretty sure he'll make it. You'd better get the word from the doc at the hospital." He pushed past with his team headed for the door.

Steve paced the corridor outside of the ER attempting to run his office remotely. Duke had already come back once with information: Danny had indeed called the Diamond Head Preservation Society just past 10:00 and scheduled a meeting with Pahoa. It was frightening to learn that Jimmy Rego had been released from jail at 9:30. Steve arranged for a guard on Danny once he was out of surgery.

Tim Kelley had arrived and stayed for nearly an hour without saying more than two words the entire time standing at the window staring at nothing. Once the nurse for ER told them Danny had been taken to surgery, Tim left never having said hello or goodbye. That was not the chatty friendly firstborn of Chin Ho that Steve recalled. This is hell on all of them. First Chin, now Danny.

It was nearly five o'clock when John Manicote arrived in the waiting room. "Any news?"

Steve shook his head. "Shouldn't be too much longer." He drummed his fingers on the edge of the window sill. "It doesn't make any sense, John. Why did Danny call him? What was going on?"

John did not give a reply, certainly this was rhetorical. Finally he gave what he had come to say: "Steve, I'm sorry. I know this is an awful time -- the grand jury made their decision."

The grand jury? My God, what else could happen? By the look on John's face this is not going to be good news.

"They indicted you on excessive use of force, assault and conspiracy in the theft of the evidence from Jimmy's apartment. They will probably also find a few more civil rights violations to toss in there. And Jimmy's attorney has filed a suite against the state, five-0, you, Danny, the two officers who were on the beach."

"The full deal."

John nodded. "You -- um -- are suspended effective immediately."

"John -- you can't. That leaves just Duke! No one can run the office alone!"

He nodded, "I know. Duke has already contacted Ben Kokoa and Kono Kalakua to keep things going. The FBI will be investigating the murder of Pahoa and -- your charges."

Part 7

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