The Lion &
Dawn was creeping in the window. Deidre rose from the chair she had occupied all night keeping watch over Shamus' patient. She went to the sink and ran warm water into an old enamel basin and took it with a wash cloth and towel to the bedside. He was still in deep sleep as she gently reached out to wash away the dried sweat from his skin. A few drops of warm water dripped from the cloth onto his chest and he shivered slightly, goose bumps popping up on his flesh. She carefully began to wipe the warm wet cloth over his skin feeling the firm muscle under her touch. She could feel each breath he took; count the firm regular heartbeat. A fine looking man - he looks honest, gentle and kind. She rinsed the cloth and carefully wiped it over his flesh again. She could feel him relaxing beneath her touch. A small smile creased her lips. She could not completely explain the attraction to this complete stranger. Perhaps it was because he needed her. And it gave her focus in a time when Shamus would not let her remain with her suffering father.
She again rinsed the cloth and then used it to clean his face examining each inch, each pore, his nose, his eyes closed in sleep, his soft lips. Beard stubble was three days old and the fine lines around his mouth told of strain, but also kindness. His slightly parted lips looked soft, sincere - she leaned over and carefully placed a kiss on his lips. They moved slightly, like a child in dream.
She sat up and his eyes were open. He was looking at her. She flushed. "Good morning to you."
A slight puzzlement flashed across his face. Danny quickly analyzed his surroundings, remembering the room from the night before. His tongue was swollen and painful on one side. But the pain in his chest was eased. "What time is it?"
"Nearly dawn - about six o'clock," Deidre told him.
Camp has a fourteen hour head start. And what was he planning to do? "I need to get out of here," Danny muttered.
"I don't think you need to be going anywhere," she answered.
He struggled to sit up. "I have to go." The pain in his chest warned him about activity, but he forced himself to sitting anyway. Dizziness washed over him.
"I know who you really are," Deidre suddenly blurted.
"Daniel. Your name is Daniel and you come from Hawaii."
He froze. So I finally broke last night. I don't remember. "Okay. I have to go."
"Let Ian help you," Deidre advised quickly trying to find a way to keep him still.
"Ian, he's your boyfriend from last night?"
"My cousin," she corrected.
He started to get out of the bed, only to realize he had no clothes. "My clothes?"
"My father says to trust you," she declared.
"Okay. I trust me," he commented bluntly.
"You can't do this alone," she insisted. "We have to work together."
"Together? It was your father and his Leon agus Uain that started this! Now you want me to trust you?" He shook his head slightly. "Sorry, sister."
The door opened and Ian stepped in to the room. "I thought I heard voices," he commented. "If you can move about, Uain would see you."
Danny felt the throbbing of his wound remind him that he was not completely himself. He glanced at Deidre. "Uain is your father?" She nodded and Danny detected irritation in Ian's tight look.
Ian opened a drawer and tossed Danny his washed and dried clothes. "Where was the American agent going?"
"What agent?" he asked. His whole body seemed to complain as he pulled the clothes over his skin. He had a hard time getting his shirt on. It was blood stained although it had been washed - a small hole matched where the dressing now covered his left shoulder. Damn Camp. What is going here anyway?
Ian made no attempt to continue the line of questioning. He told Danny to follow him and headed down the narrow wood stairway to the main level of the small narrow home.
Deidre followed close behind until Ian ordered her to make some breakfast. She reluctantly left them.
"She is a bit flighty," Ian grumbled as he slid open the pocket door into a study.
Danny recalled Uain instantly. The man seemed to have aged dramatically in a day. Propped amongst pillows and thin blankets, his countenance was drawn, pale, and he seemed feeble.
"Uain," Danny uttered, gently easing himself into a chair because he was concerned he might not have the strength to remain standing. The trip downstairs had taxed him.
Uain nodded. "We must pool our knowledge to stop this."
Pool? Just what am I supposed to know? He did not reply.
Uain took a pained breath. "I most believe Camp has killed me. The doctor says that the burns are third degree. Perhaps that helps - many of the nerve endings have been destroyed." He paused.
Danny found himself looking at the hideous blackened burns on either side of Uain's face and imaging the severity of the damage Uain had experienced that was not on display. God dammit, Camp. I have no answers for Uain. No answers for why. No answers for what happened to me. No answers - well, no answers that fit. I cannot see Camp ever selling out his country, yet that seems the most obvious answer. Except with Camp, nothing is ever obvious. Why?
"We need to share all we know," Uain murmured. "I will go first if you like. We are a group that desires disarmament. We became aware of a foolish lack of security at a British university working on military projects. It seemed in the world's best interest that we take advantage of that before a less scrupulous organization did. The courier was to create a path to the Middle East - knowing that Mi6 and the CIA would be led to believe a terrorist cell was involved. The material was supposed to have been delivered to the US where those in our cause were to create a nuclear powered device we would then detonate on a remote previously used military test site. We hoped the fear would make the world powers understand just how fragile and foolish our military escalation is ." He paused in pain to gather strength. "Something went wrong."
Danny felt dizzy from sitting. I need to do better than this. He deduced that Uain was waiting for him to supply something. What? Danny paused. Do I trust these people or do I trust Camp? He must have had a reason for what happened. Did he have a reason for shooting me? "I need to get to the American embassy."
Ian slammed a hand down on the desktop. "Is that all you can say?"
Danny turned to him, feeling sweat running down his back. "I don't know what's going on, okay?"
Uain sighed. "Just tell me the truth. What was a Hawaiian policeman doing in France and how long have you been associated with Marten Camp?"
Danny felt a lump in his throat. Who do I trust? "I told you - I don't know the guy. But I think I know where he went. If I can get to the embassy, I can track him - and maybe find the stolen plutonium. How I see it, this is the only bet right now. You have to let me go."
Ian looked displeased. "You can't be serious."
"If your goal was to save the world from self destruction this is the only card left - the bad guys have the way to make a nuclear bomb and I have to stop them!" His exertion left him out of breath. "Just get me to the US Embassy."
Uain gazed at him for several moments. "Ian, leave us."
With a grunt the younger man rose and left the room, sliding the door shut behind him.
Uain seemed like a man who was struggling to find his peace. "You believe we were fools - and perhaps this fiasco supports your belief." He paused. "But I can tell that you are as betrayed and as abandoned as we are. You did not get so deeply mired into this event by being on vacation huh? You were a companion of Camp's for a time anyway. Maybe longer than just a little time. I saw the look on your face when he first pointed his weapon at you. Total disbelief and betrayal. It is difficult for one to be betrayed by someone in whom there is no trust. And we do not trust those we do not know. You trusted Marten Camp. My question to you is: Do you still trust him?"
He did not answer.
"Ah, enough said. When you locate Marten Camp ." He stopped, as thought looking for the words. "you you will pass on my regards."
He gave an assuring nod. "Count on it."
"I will see to it Ian delivers you to the embassy in safety."
Danny sat on the uncomfortable stuffed chair trying to focus more on the blank glare of the dress-blues marine in front of him than on the dizzying pattern of the oriental rug under foot. He'd been waiting nearly ten minutes which by embassy standards was a mere instant. He'd given every name he could think of to the secretary from Jonathan Kaye to the white house trying to make an impression on the urgency of his mission. The man still had not been impressed. A grandfather's clock in the hallway chimed the half hour.
He had begun to reconstruct the details of the last few days and concluded that somehow the plutonium had to still be in Lebanon. He knew that all the obvious people were dead. Moneir, Abjar, Haidad, Farah. All of them had been in contact with Camp shortly before their deaths. That could not be a co-incidence. Marten was a killer, no question about that, but he was usually careful. On this case he had repeatedly taken out key players before getting information. That could only mean he already knew what they would say and this was a matter of shutting them up. But why? The answer had to be back in Lebanon. Even though Camp had told me he was headed for Libya, there had to be something back there. He told me that just before shooting me. And he did not plan kill me or he would have. So what is this about?
A heavy wooden door down the hallway opened and the secretary stuck his head out. "Mr. Williams, the director will have a word with you."
Danny rose, a sudden rush of adrenalin assisting him. At last I may get some answers. He followed the secretary back to the office of Lawrence Parker, or so the door proclaimed.
"Mr. Parker?" Danny gingerly extended his right hand.
Parker gripped it in a firm grasp and shook hard. "Mr. Williams."
Danny thought he would either faint or vomit from the pain.
Parker must have noticed how pale he was. "Would you care for a seat? Some coffee."
He made it into the chair before the desk. "Water, please."
Parker sat down professionally behind the desk. "I know why you are here."
Good, maybe he can tell me. "I need to get back to Lebanon. I need help from the state department."
Parker pulled out a single fax sheet and laid it on his desk. With one finger he slid it towards Danny. "We seem to have a small problem, Mr. Williams. The state department has reported your death."
"What?" He glanced at the copy of his open passport that displayed the picture he hated nearly as much as he hated his driver's license shot. Beneath the copy of the passport, stamped with a CIA signature seal in bold black letters: DECEASED
"Officially, you are dead."
"But I am sitting right here," he exclaimed. "You can see that I am most definitely breathing and talking."
Parker nodded, pressing his fingertips together. "However, I am afraid this will take a little time to clean up. Until then - I cannot get you anywhere. Even back to the states."
Danny tried to contain his frustration. "Look, you don't understand -"
"You are mistaken. I understand quite well." Parker stared him down without flinching. He slid the fax sheet back into his desk drawer. "And until this matter is cleared up, I am afraid you will have to be patient."
"I need authorization to complete my assignment. I want to talk to the CIA regional director."
Parker merely shrugged. "I wish I could be of more help-"
"Do you have any idea how serious this is?" he demanded, color rising in his face.
"This should only take say two or three days at the most. Until then - I suggest you remain here on the embassy property."
He rose and stormed from the office, his rage far outweighing his pain. How did Camp manage this? He knew I would still be alive. He's tried to cut me off, but not kill me. I suppose that should be reassuring. But it does not answer why. Is he trying to keep me out because he's a mole? Camp? A mole? Impossible. Standing outside the building on the front step of the embassy, but inside the iron fencing he contemplated his next step.
Then he saw Ian standing across the street, leaning on his small car, hands in his pockets. He crossed the street. "You are still here."
Ian nodded and snuffed out his cigarette. "Arthur said you might still need a ride."
"I do." He admitted.
"Hop in," Ian remarked. "Where to?"
"How about Lebanon?"
The detailed seach of their baggage had taken a remarkably long time considering no one had more than one bag. Steve had left no stone unturned. Aerosol deodorants, shaving cream, perfumes, papers, folders, books. Everything had been thoroughly inspected. Each crew member had a bit meekly scooped belongings back into defaced suitcases that had had the linings shredded and removed.
Steve had intentionally left Bob's for last - paying close attention as her nervousness had increased. By the time he made her pop the locks he was sure he was going to find the missing data tapes. Half way to the bottom, he pulled out a novel that was rubber-banded shut. He turned it over in his hands, noticing the sweat that suddenly broke out on Bob's brow. "Anything to confess before I open this? You can still negotiate if I haven't found anything. After that - it all goes away."
She licked her lips and looked at the volume.
Slowly he pulled off the rubber band that came free with a snap. "Last chance."
She bit her lip.
He began to open the book, noticing already that the last half of the pages had been glued together.
"McGarrett!" She blurted. "Let's talk."
With a look of fake surprise, he lay the book down, unopened, on the table beside him.
"The truth okay." She then sat silent for so long that Steve wondered if she wasn't developing some new story. At last she sighed. "The truth." She rose from the chair and began to pace the floor. "The truth is that we live in a very dangerous world. We live but fractions of a moment away from total annihilation at the hands of our enemies or ourselves. Did you realize that the Russians own enough missiles totally destroy the world 12 times? But - hey not to worry because the US has enough to wipe everyone out 22 times. How insane is that?" She stopped pacing the floor for a moment. "Where does it stop?" She whispered. "They wouldn't listen. No one will listen. We were just trying to get someone to listen."
"We?" Steve asked.
"The people. Remember, this country was founded by the people, for the people, of the people?" She shook her head. "The people don't know. The people did not choose this! What right do we have to destroy the whole world anyway?"
Steve waited for her to continue then asked. "Who is 'we'?"
"Some of us. A growing group of internationals who wanted to make a difference. Not nuts, not extremists - not terrorists. Individuals with a conscience. If we could get the attention of governments - of the UN - then just maybe ."
"And how were you going to get their attention?"
She placed a hand to her cheek and shook her head. "They play around the arms limitations talks - SALT - but it is all a front. The US will never agree - never."
"What were you going to do?"
She gave a small smile. "A weakness in the British was uncovered. It was supposed to make the US authorities think the IRA had stolen nuclear material. That and the breech of security at TI - they could draw their own conclusions. And they did."
"How does Frank Beltan fit into this?"
"He was vulnerable. All he was supposed to do was run. A red herring. The trail was to bring the missile codes and the plutonium together and then when the world leaders ran to intercept they would have to hear us -they would see this awful game and how fragile we all are."
"Beltan didn't just run, did he?"
She gave a small grunt. "I guess you didn't make chief of Five-0 for nothing. You know what they say: Everyone's got a price. Somewhere in all that he was approached by an extremist group. They promised him money - a lot of money I guess. He contacted us when he left Ellsworth, threatened to expose us. Claimed that he wanted money or he was really going to give our plan to this group. Playing both sides against the middle - but he was an amateur. We managed to get ahead of him in Kansas. I needed to keep it that way. Death by firing squad for treason. I just shortened the trial."
"You were trying to cover your ass."
She gave a smirk, "That, too."
Steve felt the adrenaline that had been sustaining him for days beginning to drain. The crisis was over. An awful manipulation by a handful of well-intended nuts. Well, let the judicial system deal with her now. When the weather breaks I'll take her back to Dallas and turn her over to the Feds. He gazed down at the book under his hand, then at the pilot still sitting in stunned silence. "When can we get the hell out of this place?" Minnesota in the winter is like a slow death.
"Looks like around daybreak," he managed to reply.
"Ms. Archer is under arrest. One of us will accompany her at all times. Understood?"
A federal employee himself, the pilot managed a nod, not totally certain an ex-navy civilian policeman could be over-riding a federal field agent.
Bob turned her chair to face the large window and with arms wrapped tightly about herself, fixed her gaze on what could be seen of the airport through the dim snow-filled air.
Steve watched her thinking about the majority of what he had seen in her record. How does a decorated, talented and brilliant mind become so enmeshed in a folly like this? And how many other brilliant minds have been duped into this as well? He glanced at his watch. And now we can do nothing but wait - once again.
There was movement by the door that led to the runways and the co-pilot of their aircraft entered and stamped snow from his shoes. "Commander McGarrett, I have an urgent message for you."
Steve until now had not been aware the co-pilot had been in the aircraft monitoring the airwaves all night, but did not register surprise. He rose, glancing back at Bob and telling the pilot to watch her, then followed the co-pilot out to the craft.
The cockpit was warm and snug. There was the faint aroma of coffee from the thermos. The officer flipped a switch. "Go ahead, Sir." He handed him a headset and stepped out of the small area.
"This is McGarrett."
"Steve." It was Garrison. "I need you to get to Middletown, Pennsylvania immediately."
"Sir, we have been rather detained by the weather."
"I don't care. Get there. We need you and Archer to evaluate a potential melt down at a reactor plant."
"A what?" Steve asked in astonishment.
"Three Mile Island - there's been a reactor accident. We need Archer's experience there immediately."
"Sir, she is compromised. She's committed treason."
Garrison was quiet for just a moment. "Then this will be a chance for her to redeem herself. Get there - now."
"This is a cold world and a dark business we practice," Uain uttered to Danny who stood opposite him in the same room as earlier. "It is time for you to decide what is important; your allegiance to a service, or the future of the world as we know it."
Danny leaned against the wall, arms crossed, refusing to make eye contact with Uain. Is that a little extreme? Maybe not. If the CIA is compromised, where do I go? I can not longer use the known resources of my country. If I let Camp follow through, what will happen? How did I get into this? Over 20 years out of the field, then dragged back in to this - this labyrinth of chaos. I have to decide this without anything but a gut instinct.
"This is a hard decision," Uain added quietly. "It goes against all you have ever been taught, all you ever knew and believed to be right. To save the world, you must sell out your loyalty. I am sorry for this moment. There seems to be no other choice."
He remained silent.
"I have no one with the kind of knowledge and ability that you possess. And you - have no resources and no country. We unite forces or we all die," Uain concluded.
"What do you want me to do?" Danny asked numbly, not believing he was saying the words that were coming out of his mouth.
Uain sighed visibly and attempted to adjust his position. He winced in pain. "Ian will return shortly with your new credentials. Once you locate the plutonium, it needs to be delivered to a contact at Newark International Airport." He gestured to the top desk drawer. "There - a key was delivered to me."
Danny opened the drawer and took out the small brass key. "And then?"
"Our responsibility is done," Uain concluded.
"Then you expect me to drop radioactive isotopes off in a locker at the airport in New Jersey and walk away?" he asked in astonishment. "You know I can't do that."
"Then we are all doomed. Our lofty goal has been hijacked by others. You must fulfill their demands and hope to find a way to stop this"
He rubbed a hand across his forehead. I suppose I could just get the plutonium and then go start to the NRC with it. What's to stop that?
"Failure to deliver the material would be terrible."
"I thought this was all about saving the world," Danny retorted. "Now you are telling me that this same bunch is going to - what - blow it up?"
Uain slowly shook his head. "Things have gone amiss. The last word was from a terrorist cell that insisted we turn over the isotope. If we fail to obey, something worse will result."
"A terror cell? What terror cell?" Danny demanded.
Uain very slowly exhaled. He whispered. "So much has been lost." His eyes slowly closed and he became limp.
Danny gripped the key tightly in his pocket. So this is how one becomes a double agent. Must I sacrifice the good to prevent a worse evil?
End part 7