Pele's Child
By Peg Keeley

Part 3

Lonnie stood with his hand on the phone, receiver to his ear until it gave a loud disconnect buzz. Very slowly, he hung it up. He sank down on the edge of the couch where he sat for several minutes. Call back, Dad, please call back. Say everything is all right. But the phone did not ring. The small cottage suddenly seemed very large and frightening. I wish I had a dog. Who do I call? He recalled what he'd been told over and over at school. Picking up the receiver, he punched in 9-1-1.

The dispatcher picked up almost immediately. "911 Dispatch. May I have the nature of your emergency?"

"My name is Lonnie Williams." He suddenly felt very small.

Her voice softened as she realized she had a frightened child on the line. "What's the matter, Lonnie?"

"It's my Dad. He's in trouble."

"Is he there?"

"No. He called me. I know he's in trouble. He needs me to call for help."

"Where is he?"

"I don't know." He was suddenly overwhelmed by panic and felt like he would cry. "I-I think he's at work."

"Where does he work?"

"The University."

"Lonnie, is there another adult with you?"


"How old are you, Son?"

"Seven. I'm okay -- it's my dad."

"Lonnie, can you tell me where you are?"

"824 Sea Breeze Court. But it's my dad who needs the help," he insisted, becoming frustrated that the lady did not seem to understand what he said.

"Okay, Lonnie. I want you to wait there. Keep the door locked. I am going to have a police officer come out to your house and help you. The officer can help your dad." As she spoke, she punched a report into her computer: Unattended child.

He hesitated. "Well, okay." Is that right? How can the officer come here and help Dad? What did Dad tell me to do?

"I want you to stay on the line with me until the police arrive."

I'm supposed to call Mr. Conner. Dad said to call Mr. Conner. It was like a secret code. I should tell Mr. Conner not to come here!
"I was supposed to call Mr. Conner," he blurted.

"Who is Mr. Conner?" she asked.

"I need to hang up and call Mr. Conner."

"Lonnie, stay on line with me," she repeated.

"But -- look, I know the police are coming and my door is already locked. I gotta call Mr. Conner. Please don't be mad, okay? I've gotta go now." He hung up before she could respond. He pulled open the small drawer by the phone and snatched out the small leather directory, trying to scan as quickly as his second grade reading level would allow for Max's name. I hope the lady isn't mad at me. Will she put me in jail? Unable to find Max's name, he punched in the one number he knew by heart, Steve's private Five-0 line.

"Five-0," announced a masculine voice on the phone.

Lonnie hesitated not recognizing the sound. "Is -- is Steve McGarrett there?"

Gary Newman was surprised first of all that a child was calling the private line and second that he had asked for Steve. "No, he's not here right now. Who is this?"

"Lonnie Williams. Is, um, Mr. Conner there?"

"No," Gary stuck a French fry into his mouth. "Did you say Lonnie Williams? Danny's boy?"

Lonnie was uncertain how to proceed. "I need Mr. Conner," he repeated.

"This is Gary Newman. Can I help?"

"I was supposed to give Mr. Conner a message," he mumbled.

Gary, with four children of his own had learned the value of patience. "Lonnie, is the message from your Dad?"

"Yes." He suddenly felt close to tears again. "He said to tell Mr. Conner they couldn't meet tonight. He said he'd run into an old friend. I -- I know something was wrong." The tears now did start to fall. "I think he was in trouble. Please, can you help him?"

The sun was setting as Clint Myer and Dan Williams walked across the University campus. "Remember," Myer said softly as they walked, "do anything--anything at all--and I'll go out taking some innocent people with me."

Danny's mind raced to come up with a way to address Myer. "I know this is your last point," he remarked. "Then what?"

Myer did not answer, just looked straight ahead.

"Do you plan to die tonight, Clint?"

"Nothing personal, Prof. I don't want to discuss this."

"Oh no? Why not? Perhaps you aren't that certain of your convictions. Are you afraid I might talk you out of it? He challenged.

Myer glanced at him with a chuckle. "Nice try. I've been in your lectures, remember? I know the routine. Forget it."

"Causes die when their leaders do, Myer. If you really want to see this cause of yours go on, you can't die now."

"You don't understand anything!" Myer declared hotly. "It's not the cause -- it's the sacrifice; to sacrifice what we hold dear."

"Is your life dear?"

Myer snapped around, displaying the gun. "You listen up. I will succeed with or without you. You make me kill you here, I'll find somebody in there. No more talking."

Danny continued with Myer in silence. He tried to focus on what Myer planned and how to warn those they were about to encounter. Myer had always targeted bars and restaurants. There wasn't anything on campus that would classify as that. Eventually, Danny realized they were headed for the convention center. There was a huge banner strung between two pillars welcoming the American Association of Neurologists to their annual four-day seminar on recent advances. Tonight they were having a banquet in the convention hall.

Myer and Danny came through the double doors and Danny immediately started glancing around for a way to warn someone. There were a lot of people milling about, chatting, and waving half-finished drinks from the open bar. There were about forty tables, each with four place settings, scattered in the main ballroom with gleaming flatware and china on brilliant white table clothes. Many of the members were already in their seats. Most of the rest were on their way.

"Right on time," Myer remarked.

Danny didn't replay. He tried unsuccessfully to catch the eye of the maitre d'. He knew that the university, although it fell inside the area Myer's map indicated, had not fit the criteria and had not been alerted. Five-0 and HPD would be concentrating on public places. Myer had been able to outfox them again -- maybe. I cannot expect support. I need to do this one alone.

Myer strode through the crowd like he belonged there. Keeping one hand around Danny's left elbow, the gun pressed to Danny's back through the jacket, Myer headed for the podium at the front. He acted like he should be doing what he was and no one stopped or questioned him. Crossing to the microphone he spoke calmly into it. "May I have your attention please."

The chatter gradually died away and people gave curious looks.

"Please, it's time everyone. Everyone, please, take your seats." Most of the guests complied, moving to the tables, sitting and looking at him expectantly.

The man who obviously should have been in charge started forward. "See here, who are you?"

"Sit down!" Myer shouted at him. "I'm providing your pre-dinner entertainment." He pulled out the magnum pistol. The lights danced off its chrome surface.

There were gasps of shock and horror around the room.

"Now, do as you are told and no one gets hurt." He turned to Danny. "Take off your tie."

He obeyed, never taking his eyes off Myer.

Myer set his gaze on a young blonde woman in a silver evening gown. "You. Come here."

She glanced at her male companion, who was frozen in fear.

"Now!" Myer shouted.

She slowly rose and came up on the platform.

"Tie his hands behind him."

She gingerly took the tie from Danny's hands. Their eyes met just a moment before she dropped hers.

"Hurry up!" Myer screamed.

She hastened to do as she was told, a small whimper escaping her lips.

"Now." Myer pulled a cloth bag from his pocket. "Take this from table to table." The young woman stumbled off the stage, the bag in hand as she timidly moved towards the first table. "Cash only folks." Myer instructed. "Keep your checks and jewels. Pele demands only pure gifts of sacrifice. It's the rich whites who had pillaged our islands and destroyed the heritage. They must pay proper homage to Pele."

Towards the middle of the room, a doctor carefully pressed the on button to the cellular phone on his hip and slipping it off its clip gently pressed 9-1-1 as he, unnoticed, lay it on the table.

Max and Steve left the small grease-burger shop and headed for the car. "Well, that's the last of them." Max consulted his list.

Steve sighed. "I hope it isn't too long to wait. If a week or more goes by, we'll have to come round to all these restaurants a second time to keep their owners on their toes."

"Giving all these police overtime will get the Governor's office screaming in no time, too," Max added.

"Central to McGarrett," crackled the car phone. "Central to McGarrett."

"McGarrett," he responded into the transmitter.

"We received a 911 call. No one is speaking to the operator but there's a lot of background noise. Sounds like your Pele's Child giving his speech," the dispatch person reported.

Max and Steve both looked around at the peaceful block, then each other. "Well, where is it originating from?" Steve demanded.

"Whoever called is apparently using a cellular phone. We can't trace it to a source."

"That's just great," Max moaned.

"But we know where they're not," Steve replied. "Dispatch activate Pele Code One. Have uniformed officers sweep every eatery in the plotted sector immediately. Tell them Pele's Child is striking at an unknown location. Get me Gary Newman."

Moments later: "Newman."

"Gary, where are you?"

"Just entering the staff parking lot at the University." He had, in fact, just pulled up outside the Science building. "I'm following up on a peculiar call from Lonnie Williams about Dan Williams being in some kind of trouble."

"What trouble?"

"He didn't know. Something about needing to miss a scheduled appointment with Max and running into an old friend. He did manage to convey to the kid that he was in trouble."

Old friend? What did he mean? Did the boy get it right? Old friend? "Did you have a meeting planned with Danno?"

Max looked puzzled. "No, we hadn't even talked since this morning."

"He was trying to tell us something. Old friend -- Max, he's found Pele's Child!" Steve was already throwing the map across the hood of the car. The west end of the university campus lay within the boxed area of the Pele strike. One of the two buildings was the convention center. "Gary, what's at the convention center?"

"I don't know."

"Whatever it is, I'll bet Pele's Child is there. Get over there--and keep your head down."

"On my way."

"McGarrett to all units. Converge at the University of Hawaii convention center parking lot. Pele Code Red, Code Red!"

As Max leapt into the passenger side of the car he remarked. "What if we're wrong?"

McGarrett raised an eyebrow. "We'd better not be."

Myer stood screaming his propaganda against the volcanic thermal harnessing project while he kept his eye on the woman nervously passing the bag between the tables and his gun rammed against Danny's upper palate.

Danny could think of several plans of action, but all would increase the risk to the convention goers. He could not speak to attempt to talk Myer out of his actions. His fingers were picking away at the tie wound round his wrists. Thankfully, the woman had not tied it tightly and Myer hadn't checked. How much time is left? One minute? Two minutes?

Myer shook his left fist at accent a remark and the gun barrel grated against the roof of Danny's mouth. "Hurry up!" Myer shouted at the woman. "You've less than a minute to go."

There was an unexpected motion to the left of the room and Gary Newman barged through the fire door, crouched and gun drawn.

"Drop it, Mister!" he yelled at Myer.

Clint seemed not dismayed, but actually pleased. "Well," he responded calmly. "I expected you sooner."

Newman, if he was surprised at the response, did not soften his stance. "Put the weapon down."

"I don't intend to," Myer replied quietly. "Do you think I can pull this trigger before your bullet can strike me? Shall we find out?"

The knot in the tie came free and Danny knew he could move his hands if he needed to. With Gary present, the odds were better--for the civilians anyway. The woman with the bag now stood still in the center of the room, the moneybag dangling from her hands.

"Bring the bag!" Myer shouted.

She started to move.

"Hold still!" Gary barked, his gaze not leaving Myer. Sweat stood out on his brow. "I'll shoot if I need to. Don't make me need to."

Danny could hear the mechanism within the magnum tightening. His own heart pounded in fear. He tried to swallow his panic as he realized that there was no way out. Death was moments away. Is there anything left I can try to do? Any options at all?

There was noise and commotion back towards the double doors and bulletproof vested officers were pouring through the back. He spotted Steve and Max amongst them.

Myer gave a sigh. "The ultimate sacrifice for Pele is that of ourselves," he murmured quietly to Danny.

Danny suddenly brought up his free hands, grabbing Myer's arms.

There was an explosive blast as the magnum discharged. People dove towards the floor. As Danny collapsed, Gary's shot hit Myer in the shoulder, knocking him backward. Myer, in the process of stumbling fired again, hitting Gary in the abdomen, throwing him to top of a doctor on the floor. There was a sudden hail of response as every officer in the hall fired on Myer.

End Part 3

What Happens Next? You choose

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