Goats and Chickens
She pulled her head off the library table with a yelp.
"You were asleep," Lonnie judged.
"It's my study hall," she muttered. "And I'm tired."
"You need to get more sleep."
She yawned. "Can you come over after school?"
"I've got baseball practice. I missed it Tuesday," he replied.
A look of disappointment crossed her face. "I have a surprise for you."
"Yeah?" he replied, open curiosity on his face.
"Yeah, but it's at my house." Her pleased expression hid her fear. What if he doesn't come? What if he does?
He felt torn between his responsibility to his team and his desire to find out what Ronny's secret was. "What is it?"
She smiled. "It should be a secret, but I'll tell you. I thought we'd talk to your mother."
He thought for a moment he might faint. Scorn crossed his face. "Get real."
"Honest," she said quickly. "I know how it's done. People pay real money to talk with the dead. My housekeeper, Fahn, she knows the way it's done and showed me how. Come on. Don't you want to talk to her? You've never even known her."
"That stuff isn't real," he replied, disappointed that Ronny would buy into such silliness.
"Have it your way, but if you don't try it, you'll never know," she said tossing her hair. She spun around to him and drew very close. "Please, Lonnie, what could it hurt? It'll be fun."
Looking into her pretty dark eyes, he knew he'd give in.
Two days after the men had begun searching the fields of Mr. Phauna, they found the decomposed remains of Chuck Yakamura.
Danny arrived after Uri's call. The coroner's wagon pulled in just after he did. "Well?" he muttered to Kono.
He sighed. "Dead a while. Month, maybe more. He was buried about three feet down. Throat was slit, heart cut out."
"Good God," Danny whispered.
"Autopsy for more," Kono murmured. "Danno, this is getting pretty awful."
"Yeah," he agreed. "We need to make some major progress before tomorrow night."
"Tomorrow?" Kono asked. "I'm still not sure what we're after. This all started over Cooper's shooting."
"No it didn't. Yakamura was dead weeks before Cooper's death. I'm not even sure the two events are related, but I hope so."
Kono gave a quizzical look.
"If not we've got more than one of these Satan groups. We need to find these people and stop them before tomorrow night or this is going to happen again," Danny told him. "Go back to Cooper's place and talk to his widow again - -try to do it without his daughter around. I'm going to find this boy Toby and lean on him."
"Chuck was sort of a loner," Toby explained quietly. He was seated in the office in Five-O headquarters, having been tacked down through the school D.A.R.E. officer who had remembered him.
Danny and Steve sat listening to him.
"He didn't really know much about girls and when Connie started giving him attention, he was real excited. I thought it was stupid and told him so. The girl was pregnant -- I mean who starts seeing a girl who's knocked up -- you know?"
"Did you know Connie?" Steve asked.
"Who was the father of her baby?"
He shifted uncomfortably. "Don't really know. Nobody in school. Somebody said it was one of those voodoo things, you know? She was in this church coven thing, you know? Anyway, Chuck started seeing her -- a lot. Her house everyday. He said they did things to call up spirits, spoke to his dead father. He said it was real cool. There was this guy who could do all kinds of weird things. Chuck really thought it was fascinating."
"Did Chuck ever mention his name?" Danny asked.
He thought and slowly shook his head.
"Did he ever bring you or anyone else to see this guy?"
"No, man, it was a secret pact type of thing. Chuck made me swear I'd never tell a soul. Said I'd be cursed."
"You're talking to us though," Steve commented.
"Yeah," he almost whispered, eyes widening. "Am I cursed?"
Steve managed a small smile. "There's no such thing as a curse Toby. And we will protect you from anyone wanting to harm you. That's a promise."
"Chuck said there was this other pregnant lady there. He said that the lady was giving her baby to the group -- something like that. I don't know what that meant. Seemed kind of strange, because Chuck said she was scared and he wanted to help her. But Chuck never said what she was scared of. He said she wanted to go back to her husband, so he helped her. Maybe that's why they killed him."
There was silence a moment. "What makes you think this group -- this coven -- killed him?" Danny asked.
"They are really freaky people."
"But you told me you never saw them.
Toby nervously tapped bounced his leg. "Didn't have to. I can't explain it -- I could just feel it -- like something crawling up on my neck -- you know?" He rubbed his neck.
Danny did not respond, but knew exactly what Toby was describing.
Steve wrinkled his brow. "You didn't do anything to help him?"
Toby looked uncomfortable. "I didn't believe it, you know? Like you said -- there really aren't things like curses. I didn't think anybody was really going to hurt him -- or kill him. Then after it happened -- well, I was kind of freaked out. I didn't know if they knew Chuck had talked to me -- but I sure didn't want them around me or coming after me. I guess I thought I should just mind my own business."
"Toby, there is a difference between a curse and cold-blooded murder," Steve pointed out. "A curse didn't kill your friend -- a person did."
"Yes, sir," he murmured, but did not sound convinced.
"What can you tell us about the pregnant woman?" Danny asked. "Did Chuck ever mention her name?"
Toby scowled. "Kami maybe."
Danny flipped through the pad of notes. The name was familiar. "Bingo, Kami LaFebre."
It was well after dinner by the time Danny arrived home to the apartment. Gideon had kept his dinner warm, Audrey was watching television.
"A good day, Mister Dan?" Gideon asked.
Danny nodded a response. He wondered if the old valet had any idea of what he did. How could he possibly have a good day? He sat down at the table and gazed at the TV in the other room. Old reruns of BeWitched were playing. "Turn it off, Audrey," he muttered, not finding much amusing about witches right now.
"It's Nickelodeon!" she argued.
"I said turn it off."
She did so and stamped off in a huff.
"Where's Lonnie?" he asked.
Gideon gave a wink. "With his new girl, I suppose. He called and said he'd be in after awhile."
"Didn't he go to practice?"
Gideon smiled. "When young love calls, even sports take a back seat."
"Gideon, he was supposed to be a practice."
Just then the door opened and Lonnie appeared.
"Where have you been!" Danny demanded without bothering with formalities.
"Well, I guess you had a bad day," Lonnie remarked.
"Don't start with me," Danny snapped back. "You missed practice."
"Yes, I did," he agreed. "So what?"
"So what! You need to get back in form. You're already nearly three weeks behind the rest of the team. Coach is holding your place-"
"Coach will always hold my place. But I don't care," Lonnie announced. "It's just a stupid ball game is all. Maybe I've outgrown baseball."
Danny sat there at a loss for words for a moment. "You love baseball."
"No, you love baseball," Lonnie said. "That's your thing, not mine. You were the baseball star in high school, not me. I'm the kid who gets picked on because he sings in the choir, remember."
"I thought that was why you went out for baseball," Danny reminded him.
"Well, you know what? I've decided I'll just sing cause that's me." He felt pleased with himself.
Danny, stunned, watched his son leave the room. He wondered if somehow he really had misjudged his son and forced him into ball. He didn't think so. Lonnie had always seemed a natural for the sport. This sudden new vengeance for singing was a surprise. He wondered if the new girl friend fit into this somewhere. "Gideon, what's the name of this new girl?"
"I'm sure glad it's Friday," Ronny announced as she and Lonnie parked their bikes by her front door. "No school tomorrow."
"Yeah," he agreed.
As they entered the house, Fahn appeared from the parlor. "Good afternoon, Ronny," she called. "Would you both like a drink?'
Lonnie thought he detected hesitation or fear cross Ronny's face and it surprised him, but she quickly recovered. "Oh, yes, Fahn. Thank you, it was a hot ride over. I'm sure you'd like some, right Lonnie?"
"Yes, thanks," he said with a nod.
"Come on." Ronny led him into the parlor and again closed the curtains. She began lighting black candles until it seemed the room was completely covered with little tongues of flame. "What did you want to talk about with your mother today?' she asked as she got out the 0uiji board.
Lonnie knelt down by the coffee table. "I thought about it last night. I never knew she wanted me to be a singer. Maybe there's something else, too." Yesterday had been tantalizing and exciting. He wondered intellectually if they had just made the little pointer slide back and forth. It couldn't really move by itself. Maybe Ronny was making it happen. But there was something mystifying about it. He wanted to ask it something only he would know the answer to as a test.
"Here you go," Fahn brought in two glasses of lemonade and handed one to Ronny, the other to Lonnie.
Ronny moved over to a little brass pot of herbs and, using one of the candles, lit the herbs. Thin trails of blue smoke began to fill the air.
"That smells, what is it?' Lonnie muttered.
"A scent which is pleasing to the spirits and encourages them to appear," Ronny replied.
He took a sip of his lemonade. "This tastes funny," he remarked. "Not enough sugar maybe."
Ronny's eyes got a little wider. "Shall I have Fahn get more?"
"No don't bother," he said. "It's okay. I'm pretty thirsty. I'll just drink this." He downed the glass quickly. "There." He almost immediately wished he hadn't. His stomach suddenly seemed to twist in discomfort. He tried to ignore it and sat back down by the coffee table. A wave of drowsiness washed over him and he blinked his eyes a few times. "Ronny," he murmured thickly, "I don't feel so well."
Tears brimmed her eyes. "Lonnie," she whispered, "I'm sorry."
He slumped over to the floor in a drugged sleep.
"I don't know anything which can help you," Kami LaFebre said coldly to Danny and Uri as they met her in the solarium near the obstetrical ward.
"Your husband is in jail for killing a man supposed to be a witch," Danny commented. "How did you know he was a witch?"
"He stood out in my lawn in that black habit didn't he?"
"Did you know him before then?"
"He was strange."
"Why did he want to curse your child"" Uri asked.
"I don't know," she replied through tight lips.
"Look, I know everybody's scared about all this," Danny declared bluntly,. "but if we can't find out who's behind this and where this coven is meeting, I believe somebody is going to die tonight. I have reason to believe they have killed before and that they will again. I also think your husband believed they would kill your child. I think you know something that can help us. Now, will you help us?'
She rubbed her hands together. "You don't understand what they can do."
"I want to stop them."
She almost laughed. "You? Stop them? You really don't understand."
He and Uri exchanged looks. "We have to try," Uri supplied. "We don't want to see someone else killed. Your husband risked everything to protect you from them. All we need is information."
"Information? That's all? You really don't understand." She shook her head slowly.
"Kami," Danny said quietly, "your baby is safe down the hall. If what I understand is correct, someone else's baby may not be so fortunate. And you may be the only one that can change that. I know you are frightened and that you have good reason to be." He paused. "Kami, if we don't stop them -- they may come after you again."
She sat twisting a strand of hair between her fingers, considering all he had said, wondering if it was possible that those she feared could come after her again -- and realizing it was true. "It was all so innocent at first," she whispered, "I was nervous. Worried all the time; this being my first baby and all. I had real bad morning sickness at first. Willow came over. She helped me clean, helped with the meals. She started teaching me these relaxation techniques. She told me to completely empty my mind, and let it be filled. We did that for a long time. Then I guess something else took over."
"Something else?" Uri asked quietly.
She shook a little. "I can't explain it. Something else was there, I could feel it, trying to get me to do things--. Willow kept asking me to give the baby to her to dedicate after it was born and I made a blood promise to her. Michael realized something was going on. I've never been much on church and God and all, but he is. And he started to pray. It hurt me -- physically hurt me -- when he did. We didn't know what was happening. But he kept praying. Then one night I prayed too. I prayed for God to have me. I thought I would die. It was like something was being ripped out of me. I couldn't breathe. Michael was terrified and called his pastor. They came and prayed over me and commanded Satan and his demons like they were right there before me. For a few moments it was like I was being torn apart. Then there was a peace and warmth like I've never experienced."
"Are you talking about exorcism?" Danny asked.
Kami scowled. "Maybe I am. I don't know. I just know what I experienced. I'm not making it up. It really happened."
Danny glanced at Uri. This woman nearly had a nervous breakdown last weekend. It's hard to know whether she is coherent or not. Is anything she tells us going to be worth it?
"When Willow found out what Michael had done, she was furious and cursed and screamed. That's when she got her father."
"And he attempted to put a curse on the baby," Uri supplied.
Danny remembered Goethals' prayer back at the church. He could feel the same sense of uneasiness creeping over him. "Do you know where the coven meets?"
"They have several places, but I don't know where they are," Kami replied.
Danny looked closely at her. "This is very important. Did they were threaten you in any way?"
She wrung her hands. "Willow kept telling me I had agreed to a blood promise that was binding and blood would be spilt. When I told her I was covered by the blood of Christ, she just about came unglued."
"If she threatened blood would be spilled, isn't that enough?' Uri asked Danny.
He sighed. "Maybe. I want to bring Willow in for questioning, that's for sure. But I want it in the office -- female officer present." He glanced out of the picture window. It was approaching sunset. "I'm not sure how much time we have. Catch up with Kono, he's been keeping an eye on the Cooper residence. I'll have Gary try to get a writ in a hurry for questioning. You stay on them. If they make a move, let me know."
Kono was grateful for the company as Uri slid into the passenger seat. They both glanced towards the Coopers' home. "We're supposed to wait for Gary to get the writ, then bring that girl -- Willow -- in for questioning." Uri noted the deepening shadows. "Sundown soon."
"Not much going on," he told Uri
"If Danny's right, that may all change," Ur replied. "He thinks they are going to do a black mass tonight.'
Kono shivered. "I keep telling myself this is all in my mind, but I've never felt so scared."
Uri grinned. "Superstitious?"
"Not really. Childhood folklore. It's real hard to put away all the stories you were told as a little one by the people you trusted most. Kapu is still kapu."
Uri smiled. "I guess I'm safe then. None of this supernatural stuff for me. I watch the X-Files as a comedy."
Kono gave him a sideways glance. "Then maybe what you don't know can hurt you."
"Naw." He popped a piece of gum into his mouth and chewed loudly on it. "Hey," he pointed towards the house.
There was activity around the garage. Within moments, the car was pulling down the drive and making a turn onto the street.
"Kono to Williams," Kono said into the radio.
There was no response.
"Kono to Central." Again silence. He tapped the radio. "Great."
"We'd better follow," Uri cautioned. "Get to a different location and maybe the radio with work."
Danny decided to make a pass by his place after sending Gary off to Judge Seymour for the writ for Willow Cooper. He spotted Jay tossing a baseball and catching it. "Jay, how's it going."
He shrugged catching the ball. "Okay."
He tucked the baseball and mitt under his arm. "With Ronny I guess."
"Ronny? Ronny who?"
He gave a sheepish smile. "He hasn't shown up to practice since he got over his broke arm. He spends all his time with his girl."
"Ronny is a girl?" Danny asked.
"Yeah," Jay said matter-of-factly. "She's been helping him talk to his dead mom."
Danny felt his legs get weak. "They what?" He felt that crawling sensation on his neck again.
Jay detected immediately that Danny was upset and tried to stop the conversation before he got his friend into trouble. "Oh, it's nothing, Mr. Williams, just something to do."
"This Ronny. Do you know her?"
"A little. She's really okay," he tried to sound reassuring.
"Do you know her last name?"
Panic squeezing his throat, Danny grabbed Jay by both arms. "Jay, this is life and death. Where does she live!"
Jay was obviously frightened by now. "Dently Street. Big old brick place."
He turned back at a run for his car. Just as he reached it, McGarrett pulled up. "Come on!" he yelled, giving no other explanation.
Accurately perceiving the anxiety, Steve quickly jumped in the other side of Danny's car.
"The Moonys, I know where they are. They've got a kid named Ronny. She's been seeing Lonnie and he's with her."
"Danny, don't jump to conclusions," Steve advised trying to sound calm as Danny floored the accelerator.
"Jump -- Steve, Jay said he and this girl were conjuring up Mali's spirit. That explains a lot. He's been difficult, not wanting to play ball -- it's been all about singing all of a sudden."
"And that explains what? That he's twelve years old starting to look for his own identity in this world?"
Danny had stopped at the traffic light, and was trying to slow his breathing. "I know what you are trying to say, Steve. I know that two weeks ago this would have been nothing - but it isn't two weeks ago."
It took only a few minutes to get to the address and, with his heart thundering in fear, Danny pounded on the front door. There was no response. He pounded again loudly. "They're not here, Steve. And they must have Lonnie with them."
"Or perhaps he is on his way home," Steve replied.
Danny gave a look for disbelief.
"Okay," Steve said trying to help Danny remain in control, "let's check around back."
As they walked around to the rear of the house, cats seemed to come from everywhere -- some meowing loudly in protest, others hissing and running, a few coming close and rubbing against their legs. Nothing remarkable seemed present on the patio or visible in the windows. The house was empty.
Steve walked back out to the car and attempted to radio Kono. Static was his response. Danny came towards him, his walk stiff, hands clenched at his sides.
Steve shook his head. "Static. Look, if the Moonys and the Coopers are connected we could go by the Coopers. Maybe you should call Gideon first and see if Lonnie has arrived home."
"What are we gonna do?" Kono asked. "We gotta get a back up. I'm not going to confront these people alone."
Uri tried to shove a wire back under the dashboard. "We can do this, Kono. It's no different from other jobs, just tell yourself that."
"I keep tellin' myself, but myself ain't believin'," Kono muttered.
It was dusk and light was failing quickly. "Hold it!" Uri suddenly called out and Kono brought the car to a halt. Uri jumped from the auto and ran over to inspect the car he'd noticed hidden in the bushes. "This is it," he announced. "They are on foot."
"There's a gas station back half a mile. Let's go call for help."
"You go," Uri replied. "I'm going try to follow."
"Uri, you're crazy."
"I'll be fine. I'll keep low."
Kono pulled away,
sending up a shower of gravel with the tires as he turned back down
the road towards the phone booth.