When The Song Dies

by Peg Keeley

Part 5


Firetrucks, ambulances, and broken automobiles were scattered all over a fifty yard stretch of highway. Night in this small world had been turned to day by spot lights and headlamps. The fire chief went to meet Steve on his arrival. Kimo's black car pulled up, blue light flashing.

The fire chief pointed to the head of the scene. "Steve, the van of dope's back this way." "Kimo, check it out," he ordered and Kimo started away.

"The Jag is over here. The driver is one of your officers," the chief explained. "Right there." He pointed to a cluster of paramedics, then moved off towards a fireman waiting for him with a report.

"Two minor injuries, one major, one fatality," Steve heard the man say.

He made his way to the group of medics around a stetcher the chief had indicated.

Danny spotted him from where he lay. "Steve," he gasped. "We got them."

"McGarrett, Five-O." Steve showed his badge to the men. Previous experience had shown him that EMTs were rarely impressed with credentials. He could make his own assessment. Danny was breathing unnaturally rapidly, sweating heavily. Steve bent close to the stretcher. "Danno?"

"Steve?" His eyes opened. The pupils were so dilated they nearly obscured the blue iris. "Steve." A tremor twitched through his extremities.

"Hold still, man," the paramedic told him. "Ease up here."

"Gotta get up," he murmured.

"Danno." Steve placed a hand on his shoulder. "What happened?"

"Steve." He tried to get up again, but McGarrett pushed him back.

"Danno, hold it together. Tell me what happened?"

He was breathing harder. One paramedic put a oxygen mask over Danny's face. "Slow your breathing, pal. It's okay. Could he have a head injury?" he asked his partner.

"This looks like overdose symptoms."

"It is an overdose," McGarrett stated. "A murder attempt with a deliberate OD."

"Nice friends. If the accident doesn't get him, the OD will." He looked up at Steve for the first time. "Well, we'd better get him downtown or he'll go into cardiovascular collapse right here."

"Just let me have a minute," Steve insisted. "Danno, what can you tell me?"

Dan looked towards McGarrett, eyes wide. "Help me," he mumbled.

"Danno, who's responsible? Higgens and Georgson?"

"Mali," he uttered, gasping for breath.

"Danno," he gripped his shoulder, "what about Mali?"

His gaze was becoming stuporous, the sweat soaking his clothing, running down his face. "Her deal," he finally murmured.

Steve sat back on his heels. Of course, it had to be. "Are you sure?"

He didn't respond as the paramedics moved back in with the oxygen. "I need to get him moving now or he's gonna crash," the medic stated firmly.

McGarrett stepped back as they lifted the stretcher into the ambulance.

Kimo came over, picking his way through broken glass and chrome. Together, they headed towards the van. "Well?" he asked.

Steve squinted at the van that still lay on its side in the center lane. The cocaine was spilled about like snow; two shotgun armed officers standing guard. Shelby's body could be seen crushed up against the windshield. "Danno said Mali's in on the drug deal, but we're going to need more than that. Our case on Higgens and Georgson is weak. We need iron-clad proof tying them to the dope -- and tying her to them. Right now all we've got is Danno's word."

"The word of a guy half-stoned out of his mind won't go far," Kimo agreed, seeing the situation.

McGarrett paused in thought. "Duke's processing the two managers. Go back and keep an eye on Mali. When the concert is over, bring her in. But nothing flashy, okay? Stay away from the press."


Kimo stood patiently in the wings as Mali whipped her audience into a frenzy during the last song. She was basking in the roar of the crowd, sweat glistened on her brow from the lights and the hot night. She threw kisses to them. "I love you all!" she laughed into the microphone as they applauded again. She gave a wave of victory and exited the stage, her cheeks flushed with the thrill.

As she came by, Kimo took her arm. "Miss Kanae?"

"Who are you?" she snapped angrily. "Give me a break, huh? I'm working, fellah."

"I am too. James Carew, Five-O."

There was a flashing moment of fear on her face quickly exchanged for non-emotion. She looked away back towards the crowd, then to Kimo.

"Come with me, please." He led her to the car.


Steve paced the small confines of the interrogation room as Kono stood silently at the door. Seated at the table, in obvious distress was Alf Georgson. Higgens had been useless. A seasoned small-time crook who thought he knew it all, he'd managed to maneuver his way into a murder charge for the Houston cop-killing.

"I never wanted any of this to happen," Alf said, trying to feel his way through the situation. "I watched her start as a nothing and grow into a great star. She just couldn't handle it. It wasn't enough -- she wanted more. No matter how much she had, she still wanted more. It was never enough. I love her, McGarrett, I really do. I'll confess to anything, but I won't hurt her."

"She used you."

"Don't you think I know that?!" he wailed. "It doesn't matter. Nothing matters. She's strung me along for ten years while she picked up short-time love affairs time after time. But she always comes back to me. I'm her protection from herself. I won't hurt her."

"What about those she's hurt, Georgson? Don't they count, too? What about that Houston cop?"

"She didn't do that," he said quickly. "She knew nothing about it till it was over. She thought he was a drifter. Randall called--"he stopped. "Damn." He shook his head. "I must not be very good at this. I'm falling into all the traps, huh?"

McGarrett was silent.

Alf heaved a deep breath. "Look, I'll give you what you want on Randall, on Sanders -- I'll plead guilty to attempting Williams' murder and killing that Ranger. Just leave Mali alone."

Steve eyed him closely. "Cop killing is a capital crime in Texas. You'd risk death by lethal injection just to protect a girl who doesn't even care about you?"

"She does care. You'll see. She really does." Alf was distraught.

"Can't you see that protecting her is the worst thing you can possibly do? Leaving addicts alone, hoping they'll cure themselves, denying the problem--that's what kills them. Mali's only hope is the truth."

He wrung his hands, shaking his head. "No, man. I won't hurt her."


It was well after midnight when McGarrett arrived back at his office. He knew Kimo would have been waiting with Mali quite awhile. The hospital report had been good. Hopefully, in a day Danno would be able to give a clear-headed account. As he entered the room he noticed the uniformed policewoman standing near the door. Kimo had thought of everything. He could tell by Mali's posture that she was tense and hostile. In her face he could see how emotionally draining the last day had been. As he took a chair facing her, she hunched forward on the edge of her seat. "Miss Kanae," he said quietly.

"Isn't there a law against keeping me here against my will?" she blurted, angrily.

"Not for forty eight hours."

"Then you have 46 hours and 22 minutes left," she remarked, glancing at her watch.

"Hum," he said quietly. "Have you heard that your managers have been arrested for misuse of a controlled substance and attempted murder?"

"You won't make it stick."

"Oh no? How did Alf come to have four million dollars in cash?"

"I don't know. I was onstage--remember? In front of six thousand witnesses. You're probably one of them."

"Where you were and what you arranged for can be quite different. I know that a deal was made with Sanders to smuggle cocaine into the islands. I know that you had the same arrangement in San Francisco and Houston. I know that your men killed an officer in Houston and how. And I know that you arranged for this whole fiasco. What I don't know is why. You had it all, why did you throw it away on something like this?"

"What would you know," she said icily. "You don't really have anything on me or you wouldn't be talking to me in the middle of the night, right?"

"How about the drugs in your dressing room?" He looked at her closely.

She looked away. "Maybe somebody planted them there."

"Like somebody planted them on Williams?"

"That wasn't my idea! Alf didn't ask-" she shut her mouth.

"But he did ask tonight -- didn't he?"

She turned her head angrily away.

"Didn't he!"

"Danno betrayed me!" she shouted. "He didn't give me any choice! He tricked me and used our old friendship to destroy me! There wasn't any choice!"

"Oh, you had a choice, okay," he answered, hotly. "You could have chosen to stay clean and develop a career, but you sold it all for a cheap fix." She didn't say a word. He added, "Alf doesn't have much stomach for this kind of thing. Or Sanders."

"Sanders," she muttered. "Alf snitched on Sanders?"

He didn't answer.

"Alf is a jerk."

"He cares very much for you," McGarrett answered quietly. "Too much. He and Higgens will be going to Texas to stand trial for murder. But you'll stay here."

She glanced away towards the wall, an oath on her lips. "Oh what? Drug possession? I'm a star, I'll do my time in one of those fancy drug clinics. Real tough time. Hey, McGarrett, everybody's got a drug habit."

"Everyone doesn't contract a murder."

She paled slightly. "I don't know anything about a murder."

"You didn't tell Randall and Alf to get rid of Williams? They overdosed Danny on your cocaine tonight, then left him to die in your dressing room."

The color drained from her face.

"You didn't even know what they did with him, did you? And you didn't care."

She stammered, trying to find something to say. She wanted to call McGarrett a liar, continue the fight, but she was drained of energy. "You're making this up," she said weakly.

"We've got the drugs, the finger prints."

"Damn Randall," she murmured. "He said nobody'd get hurt." She wiped a hair from her face, fighting to compose herself. She stared dumbfounded, then sank into a chair and began to weep. "I just wanted to make it really big. I needed the money." She looked back up at him, makeup smeared. "I've lost it all, haven't I?"

"Don't expect me to pity you," he replied. "You had more than most ever dream of, and you threw it and everyone who ever cared about you away like dirt."

She shifted, uneasily.

"Let me tell you what happens now," he said quietly. "I'm going to hold you for drug possession, drug trafficking, and accessory after the fact in a murder, for openers. There will be more. Higgens will decide to save his skin, so I'm sure there will be more."

"Alf will never let him testify against me. And my lawyer isn't here. I can recant everything I've said."

"You can." He paused. "I'll let Williams fill in the details."


"Yeah." It was his turn to smile. "He's going to be all right."

She covered her face with her hands. Internally torn between relief and grief. Ever so slowly, her emotions and future crumbled and she began to sob.


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