Pele's Child
By Peg Keeley

Part 2

McGarrett gazed across the horizon towards the sun setting on the ocean and let the breeze relax his face. The gently curling surf and sand massaged his shoeless feet. He strolled the beach in solitude trying to free his mind from the pressing case of Pele's Child. He needed to be on the case, but he needed this more. He was tired. More than tired, he was exhausted. There was a time when we would have taken that guy down, wrestled him to the ground. Our team was good, it was the best. Chin, Kono, Danno, Ben, Duke. The best there was. The younger men are good cops, but it isn't the same. It will never be the same. I will not be the same. Maybe I am getting too old for this kind of work. Maybe I really should get out of the way.

There was a sudden shout and a young Hawaiian boy tackled him. With a laugh of pleased surprise, he returned the bear hug. "Lonnie!" he laughed, "How are you doing?"

"I was afraid you wouldn't wait," the seven year old replied.

"Of course I'd wait. I keep you waiting often enough. Where's your dad?"

"Up at the house." He gestured up the beach. "You should have seen my soccer game! We were awesome!" He danced back and forth reenacting his soccer game play by play as they started up the beach towards the house. "You got to come to the next game, Uncle Steve."

"I'll try, Lonnie."

"I think you work too hard," the boy said in a sudden adult like fashion.

Steve laughed lightly. "You think so?"

Lonnie's dark eyes that sparkled with delight grew serious. "You don't laugh like you should. Are you sad?"

"Just tired, Lonnie," Steve answered, caught for the millionth time at the way Danny's seven-year-old child could slip between the world of childhood and adulthood so easily. There are times when he is so innocent and times when he seems like an old sage.

"You know what you need? You need a woman."


"You need a lady," Lonnie declared. "Then she could make your meals and wash your clothes for you. And when I couldn't come, she would play chess with you. And you wouldn't be sad anymore."

McGarrett smiled to himself. "Where do you think I could find one?"

He scowled and scratched his head. "I think you could find one at the mall. I think they like to stay there." He looked up, spotted a sandpiper as it strutted down the beach. "Hey!" he ran ahead towards the bird and it flapped into the sky.

Steve observed wistfully that although Lonnie was at home on the beach, as one would expect any Hawaiian child, he never went near the water.

Lonnie came running back down the beach. "That pesky old bird is trying to get the crabs again. I don't want him to."

"That is his natural way, Lonnie. They are what he eats," Steve explained.

"Well, he needs to eat something else," Lonnie muttered. "Cause those crabs gotta live too, right?"

They climbed the steps of the beach house. Danny was inside chopping greens for salads. "Sorry, Steve," he commented, "the game ran late."

"Sounds like it was worth it. The star goalie here kept the other team pointless." Steve shot Lonnie another proud smile.

Lonnie beamed ear to ear, ran to the shelf and pulled down the chess set. "Can we play chess. Uncle Steve?"

Danny gave a comical grin. "Go wash up, Lonnie."

"We're gonna play chess, right?" Lonnie persisted.

"After supper," Danny declared. "Go wash."

He darted off.

Their meal was the usual lighthearted affair, filled with jokes, riddles, stories of Lonnie's day, and few old police tales thrown in. As soon as Danny rose to start clearing away the food, Lonnie leapt up and dashed to the shelf where the chess set was kept, brought the game back, and set it up on the table.

Danny scraped the plates and slid them into the dishwasher. "Lonnie, Uncle Steve might not want to play."

Lonnie turned a pathetic puppy dog look on the top official of the state police. "You wanna play, right?"

Steve grinned. I can never say no to this kid. "I'll give it one half hour, then you'd better get ready for bed."

Lonnie finishing setting up the pieces, then knelt on the chair, hovering over the board as the play began.

Steve knew that the discipline of chess was an excellent mind developer. He'd moved Lonnie from checkers to chess by the time he was five and was pleased to observe that for his tender age, Lonnie had a highly developed abstract reasoning ability. Steve often threw the game, but was gradually making it harder and harder -- even once in a while letting Lonnie lose. He was as disappointed as Lonnie when the half-hour was up.

"Get bathed Lonnie," Danny announced.

"But I want to play some more," he fussed.

Danny hauled him off towards the bathroom amid protests. Within minutes, there was running water, splashes and giggles. Danny reappeared, towel around his shoulders, wiping water off his face. "Well, that'll hold him for a while."

Steve smiled. I love coming here. It is the only real peace I know. When I am here, I understand why Danny changed careers, why he left the city to come back to the cottage, and why he guards so carefully things that would keep him from his son. He picked up the white queen and played with the piece in his hands. "His chess is improving."

Danny grinned. "He does great at what he wants to. The teacher says he needs to apply himself better to things like math and science. Lonnie would rather draw pictures in the margins and hide out in the music room. The music teacher loves him."

Steve cocked an eyebrow. "That bothers you, doesn't it?"

"What?" Danny was defensive. "That he has perfect pitch and sings like a bird? No, that doesn't bother me at all. That he feels like he must have an audience for it -- that bothers me a lot."

Steve gave a sympathetic smile and set the chess piece aside. "Well, he may have his mother's gift of music, but he has his father's sensitivity to people."

Danny's ears reddened slightly. "I looked over that material on Pele's Child." He pulled the envelope out of his brief case. "All the markings of a compulsive disorder."

Steve glanced back towards the bath. "Shall this wait till later?"

"He'll be soaking for a while," Danny replied. He and Steve walked out onto the porch that faced the water and sat down on the padded chairs to enjoy the cool evening breeze off the ocean. "Pele's Child is quite a complicated guy."

"That's an understatement," McGarrett answered. "He's smart enough to disguise himself, always gives the same Pele speech."

"That's a bit bizarre, too," Danny interjected. "According to your reports he claims Pele will have revenge at the same time he's saying she needs help. He definitely doesn't know a lot of folklore. What do you make of his gun-in-the-mouth routine?"

Steve shook his head. "It's probably his true calling card, not the propaganda."

"Well, if respect or authority is what he's after, a nine millimeter chrome plated magnum will definitely be an asset. He is a guy who wants to be important -- Mr. Big. He's probably always been a loser, maybe ignored by others. He'd be uncomfortable around women. He's latched onto this Pele thing. He thinks he's serious, but it's the excuse. He's probably a Dirty Harry fan. The washing of the bills--well, again he's trying to purify the offering to Pele. But if he knew his stuff he'd know that Pele's offerings were live human sacrifice: virgins."

"How do we find him? Any clues about his time table?"

Danny shook his head. "I don't know. And I've no idea why he picks certain places. Maybe he throws a dart at the map." He stood up and stretched. "How's our illustrious Governor taking it?"

Steve rolled his eyes and shook his head. "Like everybody else. He wants it solved yesterday. He says its affecting tourism and in turn the island economy." He stopped. He didn't add that Masakasi had also told McGarrett he was too old for the work. He had called him an old man.


They both turned in surprise. Lonnie stood in the doorway to the porch clad in underwear. He had taken the map marked with Pele's Child's hits from the envelope and had it opened out in his hands.

"Lonnie, that isn't yours to take," Danny scolded. "Why did you leave the bath?"

"Cause my fingers looked like raisins," he complained. "Who did the dot to dot on the map?"

Steve gently took it from him. "It's just something that I was showing your dad, Lonnie."

"Well, I was wondering why you made a dot-to-dot volcano on it," Lonnie persisted.

They both look anew at the map.

"See?" Lonnie pointed to Steve's dots with numbers one through six beside them. "Connect the dots and they make a volcano--almost."

"My God." Steve leaped to his feet. They ran back inside to the kitchen table, spread out the document and drew a pencil line between the dots. The only missing point was where the lines would intersect at the cone.

"He's given us where his last hit will be!" Danny exclaimed.

"Almost." Steve examined the map closely. "It's going to be somewhere in this two block area. How many restaurants and bars are there in that area."

"Probably at least ten. That's a pretty heavy tourist area," Danny replied. "But we can beef up security, get the department together and develop a plan to catch him."

Steve glanced at him. Danny showed a spark, a flame he hadn't seen in years. This is why I stay, Steve told himself. The thrill of the chase, of solving the puzzle. "I wonder if Pele's Child doesn't intend us to figure this out."

Danny sobered a bit. "I don't know. One thing is certain. His last job will finish his picture. It will probably be a big job. He'll want this to be real public. Somebody's going to get hurt on this one."

It was nearly ten in the evening when Max Conner returned to his office. He should have gone home, but he didn't want to face his wife, Nina. He could think of no where else to go except the office. He needed time to process his meeting with Governor Masakasi...

"Conner," the Governor said, "I need to take an action. I can endure this no longer."

"Exactly what, Sir?" he remarked, knowing the answer already. There was only one reason the Governor would have called for him instead of McGarrett.

"This Pele's Child thing is going too slowly, much too slowly. People are afraid. Business revenue is down. I need something we can use to make people see we're doing something."

"We are doing something! With all due respect, Sir, every lead has been followed and refollowed. Steve-"

"McGarrett is incompetent. In his day he was the greatest detective in the nation, maybe the world and we were privileged to have him with our acclaimed Five-0 team. But those days are over. He should have had the good sense to retire."

"McGarrett is Five-0. He made that department."

Masakasi looked closely at Conner. "If you truly feel that the department will not survive without him, then I have seriously misjudged you. I want you to become chief of Five-0 effective immediately, but not if you will allow your loyalty to McGarrett color your ability to do your job."

Max was silent. "You know Steve wants me to succeed him. You yourself have said I'll be the best man for the job. But I don't want it this way, not in the middle of the night and not behind his back. If you want a chief who'll behave that way, you don't want me."

Now it was the Governor's turn to be silent. "Maximillian, you are a man of high ethics. All right. As far as I am concerned, you are now chief of Five-0. If you want to delay a day or two telling McGarrett it is not of concern to me. But it will be done."

Max took a deep breath. "Okay, when do you want to tell him?"

"That is your first assignment."...

Max now stood in the empty hallway of the department staring at the gold lettering on McGarrett's office door. He felt like a Judas. The Governor was using Steve as an excuse to buy time. And then what? He walked into his office and slumped down into his chair. I should be home with Nina sharing his with her, but she has been so distant lately. How will she handle this? She complains about my job now. She hates law enforcement. She says she worries about my safety, but I know it is the hours. What could be more demanding than to be chief of Five-0? It may be the end of our marriage, but maybe it is over anyway.

He jumped as the door opened at the end of the hall. There were excited voices. He could hear Steve.

"Max!" Steve was surprised to see him. "Glad you're here. We've finally gotten the break we needed!"

Max stared at him, dumbfounded, then followed Steve and Danny into the office.

"The map." Steve showed the connected dots to Max. "We have a good idea where the next robbery will be."

"That's amazing," Max uttered, staring at it.

"It took a seven year old to think of it," Danny remarked. He was already thumbing through the business directory, jotting addresses down.

"Get Gary and Loui in here and call HPD. We need to develop a plan immediately and get it out to the bars and restaurants in that area. We may not know when our guy is going to act but we have a rough idea of where. It has been four days, so it'll be soon. When he strikes we need a network to put into effect that can contain him within three minutes."

"I wouldn't want to be his last hostage," Max reminded them.

"We need a complete action plan. Do it tonight, Max, this guy could act tomorrow."

Max contemplated the response Nina would give when he called to tell her he was putting yet another all-nighter at Five-0.

Oblivious of Max's concerns, Steve turned to Danny. "Using his psychological profile can we come up with a most likely way to talk him out of this?"

Danny raised his eyebrows. "We have an awful lot of holes. I'll do that best I can."

Steve turned back to Max who was still standing there in deep thought. "What is it, Max?"

He snapped to. "Nothing, Steve." He moved for the door. "I'll find Gary."

Danny had worked with Steve through most of the night as all of Five-0 and a large portion of HPD had come in to work until dawn. On very little sleep, he'd collected Lonnie from the Lukelas, gotten him ready for school and gone down to the University for classes. It felt good to be back at Five-0 again. He remembered all he'd left behind. I'm like an old fire horse who hears the bell, he thought to himself as he collected his notes.

Danny taught three classes on Friday and spent most of his time between in his office feverishly trying to compile the psychological ammunition necessary to stop Pele's Child. The police computer sketch haunted him. It was very vague, a common face that still looked somehow familiar.

After finishing up his last lecture at five o'clock, he returned to the office to collect his notes. He was in a hurry to get his profile delivered to Steve and to get home to Lonnie. Friday was the only day that Lonnie came home from school to the house. As usual, he had called Danny's office to report his safe arrival at 4:30 and Danny had promised to be there by six. As he began to load his brief case there came a rap at his door.

"Come," he called out.

Clint Myer entered. "Mr. Williams, " he said nervously, "I'm Clint Myer, one of your students, wonder if I could have a moment of your time." His gaze drifted to the stack of paperwork--and the police sketch.

"Sure." He barely looked up from dropping the papers into his bag. "How can I help you?"

"Well, I'm in your Criminal Justice 101 course. You've spent a lot of time on the concept of getting inside the criminal's mind to figure him out."

He turned to face him. "Yeah." Hurry up, Myer, I want to get home.

Myer still looked uncomfortable. "Well, why should we assume that anyone deferring from the set norm is psychologically unbalanced?"

I really don't want to discuss this right now. Can I put him off until next week?
"I don't think I've implied that. There's a lot of just plain nasty, selfish people out there who don't give a rip about their fellow man but will still respond in a predictable fashion."

He swallowed. "But--but you implied this guy--Pele's Child--he's crazy."

Danny was perplexed by the questions. "Where are you going with this, Myer? I need to get home," he declared impatiently, glancing at his watch.

"Well, I just think it could be wrong to look at everybody who happens to think differently or holds to a different religious belief as a danger to society and a crazy."

"This country's made up of two hundred million people who all hold different beliefs," Danny answered. "Thinking differently doesn't make one crazy, or abnormal."

"Exactly." Myer clapped his hands. "Jesus was a rebel of his time--his government killed him. Ghandi was tortured. Pele's Child isn't a criminal, he's a zealot."

"Jesus and Ghandi didn't blow people's heads off with a 9mm magnum. It might be better to compare Pele's Child to -- the Simbianese Liberation Army." Danny was taking more interest in the content of Myer's statements. Just where is this guy going with this? And why is he asking? In his mind, a little warning light switched to the yellow caution mode.

"But the meek aren't listened to," Myer responded. "Nothing was happening; even the media was ignoring the plight of Pele's desecration. Action is the only way to gain attention and make them stop. Strike them in their complacency."

Danny glanced at the computer sketch, then at Myer. Is it possible? He tried to dismiss it, there was no strong resemblance, but he felt his pulse quicken. He tried to grin. "And they still haven't stopped. Change isn't accomplished by terrorism, but by legal methods. Myer, you sound like you've spent some time trying to get inside Pele's Child. You know, one of the risks we haven't discussed in class yet is the risk of beginning to identity with the criminal you hunt."

Myer just stood there.

"Have you been researching on this Pele's Child thing, too?"

He shrugged and pointed towards Danny's work. "You have. You think you know all the answers. You think he's crazy, but he's not."

"I'm not sure I'd use the word 'crazy.' Perhaps misguided."

That seemed to make Myer uncomfortable. "But, it's real. We are polluting this earth at a terrific rate. The waters are poisoned, the animals die, we contaminate the air we breathe, even the rain that falls is already poisoned. Nothing will make them stop. It's not the money, you know. It's the sacrifice."

"What sacrifice?"

"The sacrifice is blessed by Pele. It is cleansed and used to better the earth. Pele's power is awesome, but she will let us dwell a little longer if the sacrifice is made."

"What is the sacrifice, Clint? The money?"

"The money?" He made a sneer. "That is just a token."

Any doubts Danny had had were now gone. He knew he was face to face with Pele's Child. It figures. A criminal justice student, someone attempting to have power over others through the law--around the law. Dirty Harry. "Myer, the Defense Fund didn't use your money, they turned it over to the police. Pele doesn't need your sacrifice."

"They did what?" He looked at Danny in surprise.

"They turned it over as evidence."

"The money was clean money, I did all I could to purify the gift!"

"Myer, if the thermal plant is stopped it will be through the conventional methods of litigation and petition -- not through terrorism. What has happened--the six robberies, three murders, needs to be answered for. Society cannot condone this activity. These innocent people have nothing to do with your convictions. I will go downtown with you and talk with Steve McGarrett. I'm sure we can arrange an opportunity for you to speak with Gene West if you'd like, but you're in some deep trouble here."

Myer looked unconcerned. "Well, I would really like to talk to Gene West. I could tell him so many things he needs to do, but I can't just now. It's time."

"Time for wh-"

Clint drew the pistol and aimed it at Danny. "We need to keep my appointment across campus."

Danny regretted bitterly that he no longer kept a weapon on his person. He took a deep breath to remain calm. I need to warn Steve, how can I do that? "It's nearly six, I need to call my son."


"He expects me. I promised him I'd be home at six. If I am late, he will worry. He's got no mother. I need to call him."


Danny picked up the phone anyway and began to punch in the number, noticing that his hands were shaking. I've got to talk Myer out of this. I need to gain his trust and get him focused on a different course. How the hell do I do that?

Myer snatched the phone from his hand and listened as it rang three times. There was a child's voice. Myer shoved the phone towards Danny.

"Lonnie," he said quietly, thinking quickly. The next few minutes will probably be my only opportunity to alert the police. Oh, Lonnie, I am so sorry to place this burden on you. I hope you can understand what to do. "It's me."

"Hi, Dad." He sounded joyful.

"I'm going to be a bit late." His voice was tense, in spite of his effort to sound calm. "We need to change our plans. Can you make a sandwich for your supper?" he asked, stalling to complete his idea.

Lonnie was a bit surprised. "Why, yeah--but why can't I wait for you?" There was a touch of anxiety in the young voice.

He knows something is wrong. I need to reassure him, but give him instructions.
"I need you to do something really important for me."

"Okay," he said more slowly, aware of the anxiety in his father's voice.

"You need to call Mr. Conner for me and tell him we can't meet for our regular Friday night out tonight." Please understand!


"Mr. Conner. Call Mr. Conner for me." Come on, Lonnie, this is riding on you.

Lonnie scowled, confused at the odd message. "But-"

"I think he's still at his office. Do you remember where he works?" Danny could feel the sweat on his palms. I am so sorry, my son, to do this to you.

"Why--well, yeah." Lonnie frowned. "Dad, are you in trouble?"

He glanced at Myer who was out of range of hearing Lonnie's voice. "Yes, Lonnie, that's right. After supper take your bath."

Lonnie was quiet a moment, his pulse racing in fear. "Dad--"

"Don't forget to call Mr. Conner for me. Tell him I'll be stuck at the office for awhile. I've run into an old friend."

"Dad, I'm scared."

Me, too.
Danny sighed; praying Lonnie could follow directions. "It's okay, Lonnie. I'll just be a little late. I love you, Son."

Myer reached out and hung up the phone. "Let's take a walk."

End Part 2

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