Matter of Trust
McGarrett fingered his chalk and looked around the group of men sitting around the board. Most held cups of coffee, Chin's was tea. Kono had brought some mahi-mahi with him that was shared amongst the team. The original list of Danny's greatest enemies was still scrawled in Steve's tired handwriting on the left-hand side of the board.
Kono began his report first. "Spoke to ten people who were awakened by the accident -- the rest of the neighborhood woke up at the explosion. Only one person saw anything, Lily Wotang, 84 years old. She doesn't sleep very well. She sits at her window a lot at night. Said she was watching the rain. Saw the Mustang hit the pole. Then a dark car skidded and hit Danny's. Says two men got out of the second car, pulled Danny out and put him in their car. Then one guy put a different man into the Mustang. As they pulled away, the car went up. Too rainy and too dark for her to make any kind of ID."
"Height? Weight? Ages?" Steve asked.
He shrugged. "Nothing. I looked from the angle of her window -- it would be hard even if she didn't have 84-year-old eyes. Said they dragged Danny, he wasn't walking or fighting or anything."
Steve turned his attention to his next detective. "Ben?"
"Valet at Max's is Jackie Qu." Ben handed Steve a mug shot. "Out on parole for B&E for four months. Stayed clean. He wasn't happy to be talking to me."
"And?" Steve was unimpressed.
Ben gave a small smirk. "He quickly got helpful when I asked the name of his parole officer. Said he saw Danno last night with a girl. It took some serious convincing, but he gave a name. Andrei Kachan. Said he didn't know the guy, never heard of him, but this Kachan came to him two days ago -- somebody told him he knew Danny. Claims he didn't rat, but last night spotted Kachan on Danny's tail and told Danny when he parked the car. Said Danny reacted like he'd been stuck with a poker."
"Took him to the police artist." Ben held out the sketch.
Steve studied the rendering with care. There was nothing familiar in it. "Andrei Kachan," he murmured and wrote the name under the list of Danno's enemies. He circled the name. That isn't a name that showed up in Danny's records. Who is this guy? Who does he work for? How does this fit with the facts? "Get copies of this to every cop."
"Already done," Ben assured him.
"Chin, what about our missing persons?" Steve asked.
"Marty Shang, 56 years, retired plumber," Chin started. "He's the one who burned last night; disappeared the 13th. Alan Walker, 34, electrician. Alcohol problem. Was missing three days before his wife reported him on the 14th. Actual disappearance was the 11th. Charles Yamanko, 38,consultant for Carrier Air Conditioning; taken the 8th. Mike Edwards, 48, carpenter, missing the 6rd. Kani Kaula, 40, interior decorator, 4nd. Garrison Beck, 30, painter, missing the 2nd. Ben Lu, 52, architect missing the 1st."
Steve wrote each name on the board as Chin read them off. At the bottom he added, Dan Williams taken 20th. He stepped back and quietly reviewed the list. "What have we got?"
"Looks like somebody was building a house," Ben commented with a grin. "But, what's Danny got to do with these people?"
"They were all taken several days apart," Chin added, puffing on his pipe. "Where are they now?"
"A whole week between Shang and Danny," Kono commented. "Looks like they weren't in a hurry."
"Or they couldn't get him easily," Ben suggested.
"Shang died yesterday," Steve reminded them, "the same day Danny is kidnapped."
"Maybe the others are dead?" Chin asked.
"Probably," Steve replied with a sigh. "Get some HPD teams together. We need to go looking for some bodies."
Steve watched his men file out the office, the slowly returned to his desk, opened the middle drawer and took out the file folder. Placing it carefully into his brief case, he locked the case, then left the office.
Steve was relieved that his dealings with ONI and the CIA had been limited over the years. While he still enjoyed the occasional golf game with Richard Garrison of Naval Intelligence, he detested Marten Camp of Central Intelligence and was quite content to have not heard from him in almost ten years. Both men were now waiting for Steve when he arrived in Garrison's office. They exchanged handshakes.
"Steve, the tone of your message sounded urgent. My assumption is that this has something to do with the morning headlines." Richard started diplomatically.
"It does," Steve answered quietly, unlocking the case. He removed the file and handed it to Garrison, deliberately bypassing Camp.
Garrison scowled over contents. "This isn't us," he remarked. "Marten?" With a lift of the eyebrow, he passed the folder to Camp.
Camp barely glanced past the first page. "What do you want, McGarrett?" he demanded.
"What the hell is this?" Steve demanded.
Camp closed the file. "Where did you get this?"
"That is besides the point," Steve snapped back.
"That is precisely the point!" Camp countered back. "This is not Five-0 business."
"It has everything to do with Five-0. Williams is not dead -- he was taken by someone named Andrei Kachan. Seven other people are also missing -- some of them appear in that file." Steve tried to stop himself from telling Camp more than he needed to.
Camp, an expert poker player, revealed only the slightest glint of the eye at Kachan's name. He allowed a few seconds to slow the volley of conversation. "Well, it's good to hear Danny is alive," he said calmly.
McGarrett struggled to maintain his cool. Don't give this control over to Camp. "I need to know what Project 467 was about. What did they build?"
Camp shrugged. "It wasn't anything. If it had been important we would have used in house people. The single building is just a minimum-security storage facility out near Diamond Head. I cannot imagine the Russians being interested --"
"Russians? Kachan is a Russian agent?"
Camp nodded. "Low guy though. doesn't operate alone. His duties are extraction of information."
"Extraction-" Steve paused recalling the body of Marty Shang.
Garrison spoke for the first time. "Is this that project that was scrubbed in '72?"
"No," Camp said quickly. He glanced at McGarrett. "Look, Garrison, McGarrett doesn't have the clearance-"
"As far as ONI is concerned he does," Garrison answered. "That project was cancelled as too risky, Marten." He gave his attention to Steve. "In 1972 special ops wanted to build a secure storage facility out behind Diamond Head near the existing classified depot. It was decided that the location was too risky and that proper security could not be put in place. It was scrubbed."
"This is not that plan, Richard," Camp fired back. "This is merely a minimal security building for the storage of simple documents, nothing of national security."
Garrison was looking through the file. "You used local contractors instead of our people? Why?"
"I told you -- this is not a strategic facility."
"And so no one knew about it," Garrison completed.
"NSA does," Camp snapped.
Garrison was also well acquainted with Camp's abilities to do as he chose in spite of orders to the contrary. "Shall I call them and make sure?" he asked quietly.
Steve ground his teeth. "You got axed on a secure storage facility, so you did it anyway, bypassing security precautions so the service wouldn't know about it?"
"I told you, McGarrett, minimal security," Camp repeated, color rising in his face. The veins on his neck bulged.
"But you used Ben Lu, a former Secret Service operative. Why did you involve Williams?"
Camp glared at the desk surface for a moment. "He was available."
"He'd been retired for over eight years."
"Don't be naïve McGarrett; none of us ever retires from special ops," Camp retorted. "You still work for ONI and Richard every time they whistle. Should Williams be any different?"
Steve tapped the file. "Okay, so what is so vital about this minimal security facility that a Russian torture expert has taken seven people? What is there he could be after?"
Camp rested back in his chair silent for a moment. "I'll find you Kachan -- and whomever he's working with. Give me a few hours."
Gorek was waiting in the front room for Keaver when he returned with Ben Lu. "Good day, Mr. Lu," Gorek said cordially to the tall, slender, oriental man.
Ben Lu was exhausted. His clothing was badly rumpled, his hair uncombed. After nearly two weeks of captivity, he was nearly to the end of his emotional resources. Every time he was retrieved from his small cell-room and brought here, someone eventually died brutally.
"You have been well-treated, yes?" Gorek asked of Lu. "You ate today I hope. Would you like some coffee?"
Lu made no response and did not lift his gaze from the floor.
Gorek gave a thin smile. "I have arranged another small reunion for you."
Lu stiffened in fear. Who will he kill this time? He allowed Gorek to lead him back to the bedroom, Keaver bringing up the rear.
Danny and Lu knew each other right away.
"Aha," Gorek said with a smile. "I can see you have met."
"Please," Lu whispered. "I don't know anymore -- he doesn't know anything -- I don't know what you want from us!"
"Of course you know. And just to show what a generous man I am, I am going to allow you and Mr. Williams a few minutes here to reminisce old times." Gorek turned and walked out of the room, leaving Kachan behind.
Lu stood next to where Danny lay tied to the bed. "Williams," he murmured, "I am so sorry, I - I don't know what to do."
"What do they want?" Danny murmured back.
"The special ops security building on Diamond Head, project 467. They want something there. Don't know what. They keep pumping people for access information. Dammit, the people they've paraded through here know so little -- so little. For two weeks he has tortured them, demanded of me, of them -- killed them." He wrung his hands.
"He's never tried truth serum on you?" Danny whispered. Memories of the construction project were flooding his mind. He had Lu were the only two services people on the project. It was my vacation time. I had to do this. God, I wish I had not. At the time...
"I am allergic to the drug," Lu whispered. "They gave it to me and I nearly died. Gorek called in Kachan then."
Danny sighed, taking time to get a grip on the pain in his leg. "McGarrett will be looking for me. He will piece this together. Given enough time, he can get you out. Tell Gorek what he wants and you are dead."
"If I say nothing, he will kill you," Lu replied.
"He'll do that anyway. I don't know as much as you and I'm injured. Buy yourself time, Lu, okay?"
Lu looked like a man defeated. Before he could reply, Gorek came back.
"Well? Have you decided to help us?" Gorek asked with a broad smile.
Kachan shook his head. "Full of silly hopes," he murmured in Russian. "Thinks this McGarrett will rescue them."
"McGarrett?" Gorek looked at Danny. "The Hawaiian policeman? I hear he is a worthy adversary, but we just do not have the time for him right now." He stepped close to Lu. "Now, I shall make you the same offer I have so many times before. You have the opportunity to save your life and that of your friend Mr. Williams here. Just provide us with a few quick drawings and some numbers and it will all be over. You will be able to go free."
Lu did not look up. "Like the others?"
Gorek sighed. "Does this mean you shall continue this foolish resistance? You weary me so." He rubbed his large hands together and pulled a Luger from a shoulder holster. "Say good-bye to Mr. Williams." He leveled the weapon on Danny's head and squeezed the trigger. It gave a soft click. Danny and Lu both jumped. Gorek burst into a roar of laughter. "Nervous, Danno?"
Danny glared silently at him, regretting his gut response but could tell the little display had had a tremendous impact on Lu.
"I can't do this anymore," Lu whispered.
"Will you give me what I want!" Gorek screamed at him.
He silently shook his head.
"Kachan." Gorek stepped back towards the door, taking Lu's elbow.
Kachan, a smile of anticipation on his face rose from the chair and approached Danny. "Do you remember me?"
Although the face had been a little familiar, Danny had been unable to place Kachan.
"My name is Andrei Kachan. Do you know my name?" He gave a smirk. "I thought not." He drew close to Danny's face. "You maimed me and you do not even remember me? Do you remember Istanbul, 1959? Wintertime. It was cold. Do you remember Urikov and physicist? You were stealing him from my people."
The memory of the bitter night, the snow, and the old man that Danny and his team were smuggling out of the soviet bloc flashed before him. There had been a young Russian sentry, no older than Danny himself. They had startled each other, Danny had the upper hand and instead of killing the guard, he had shot the youth in the foot, choosing to spare his life. Danny had been cursed out by his team leader for not killing the soldier. At the time Danny had never killed a man…at the time.
"Ah, so you do remember me," Kachan whispered. "You took away three of my toes. You disgraced me. I walk forever with a limp."
"I didn't kill you," Danny whispered.
"You hurt me," Kachan replied and slammed a closed right fist into Danny's face. Kachan rained blow after blow on him, the springs of the sagging bed jumping and with each one. The motion caused fiery stabs of pain from Danny's leg and he tried to keep silent, but a few grunts of pain escaped.
"It is interesting," Gorek commented quietly to Lu, "the level of pain each of your friends can stand."
Kachan turned towards them, rubbing his knuckles against his pants leg.
Blood trickled out of Danny's nose and mouth. Bruises were already swelling under both eyes.
Gorek shook his head. "It is all in your hands, Mr. Lu."
With a grin, Kachan punched Danny in the bloody leg wound. Unable to contain this, Danny let out a yell of pain.
"All right! All right!" Lu begged. "Please, no more, no more. I will do as you say!"
"Lu!" Danny panted in frustration
Gorek gripped Lu's shoulder and directed him back to the front room and a pad of paper. "Write quickly, Mr. Lu. Your freedom is at hand."
Kachan slumped back into his chair in the bedroom and picked up a bottle of cheap gin from under the chair. He took a short drink. "You are weak, Williams."
Keaver shook his head and laughed. "Ain't so tough, cop. I've seen lots of guys take a lot more than that. Come to think of it, you're pretty soft, ain't you?"
Danny did not dignify the remark with an answer.
"Hey, you answer me!" Keaver insisted.
"I don't beat up on a person who can't defend himself," Danny remarked.
"You got a lot of lip for a guy in your position," Keaver snapped.
"Enough," Kachan interjected. "Leave him alone or I'll blow your head off." He drew the Tokarev from his belt.
Keaver stepped away, cursing. "You'd protect this cop?!"
"This is not your silly cops and robbers," Kachan declared stiffly. "You are as foolish as Gorek claimed. Go get us some food. Get out of my sight."
jammed his hands into his pockets and stormed out of the apartment, seriously
considering if he should ever return.
Steve had taken the luxury of a catnap in his office. The buzzer of the intercom roused him after thirty minutes of rest. "Yes, May."
"Chin Ho's here," her voice announced.
"Okay." By the time he'd said it, Chin was through the door and into the office.
The senior detective was expert at restraining his feelings, but this afternoon, the pain seemed to leak out across his features. "Three bodies, Steve," he murmured. "Dogs found one under a trailer used for classes at the university." He pointed to the spot on the map.
Steve marked it with a stickpin.
"Walker. He'd been dead at least a week."
"Don't those people have noses?" Steve grumbled.
"He was wrapped up in a plastic bag like one of those stay-fresh sandwiches," Chin put a mark on the chalkboard by Walker's name. "Kulana was found in the trunk of a car left at the mall. Dead less than three days."
"Tracing the car?"
He nodded. "It won't lead anywhere though. Yamanko was found out near the Pearl City bypass. All the victims were shot once in the head at close range. Retrieved a bullet from only one. The others, the slug went right on through. Sent that to Che. Looks like a Tokarev 7.62x25mm load."
Steve lifted an eyebrow. "I'm surprised we even got one bullet."
"Bodies showed evidence of torture," Chin added slowly. "Broken fingers, burns, stab wounds -- some pretty nasty stuff."
Steve glared at the chalk written name Andrei Kachan. "Chin, I know you know just about as much about Danno as I do -- maybe more. There is no question but that this is a piece of his past. Did he ever mention this Kachan to you?"
Chin's look deepened. "Danno never said anything about his time in the service to me. It was better that way. All I knew was that he served out of uniform."
Steve gave a nod and circled his desk. We are going to have to rely on the help of someone the likes of Marten Camp whether I like it or not. We have a Russian spy, Russian weapon and a CIA target. "Chin, let's not share this piece with the others for now. Let's not place anyone else at risk."
Chin gave a single nod. He turned to leave the room, just as Marten Camp entered the outer office. He glanced back at Steve, recognizing the CIA field director, but Steve motioned Chin to leave.
Camp entered Steve's office and shut the door. "I said I'd get something today."
Steve glanced at the clock on his desk. It had been barely four hours. I've got to hand it to him, Camp does know his business.
"You need to turn this over to us," Camp declared.
"Like hell. Just tell me what you've got."
Camp remained as immovable as stone. "Not this time, McGarrett. You want what I've got, you let me in."
"You bastard," Steve snarled, rage swelling. It isn't enough to be worried sick about Danno, knowing I have a mass murderer out there preying on the innocent, I have to have this prima dona in my office. But I need his info. Can I afford my pride at Williams' expense?
Quietly waiting for Steve's more civilized comment, Camp fingered the edge of his soft brief case in a tempting fashion.
Steve did not miss the action. "Why do you want in, Marten?"
"There's a man in this I have history with -- you will want my knowledge and help with him."
"Hum," Steve murmured, and walked out onto the lanai. He listened to the breeze for a minute, then turned back and faced Camp. The agent seemed unaffected by the delay of response by the Five-0 chief. "Only you then. My team, I call the shots. No CIA, FBI, ATF, ONI or any other damned letters of the alphabet, is that clear?"
Camp bit the inside of his cheek. "I don't answer to you, McGarrett."
"Then have a nice day. There's the door."
"You'll never see Williams alive, McGarrett."
"Do you care?"
Camp paused and squinted. He said quietly. "Yes, McGarrett, as a matter of fact, I do care. I recruited him as an eighteen-year-old kid. And I know the son of a bitch who has him."
"Sounds a little like vengeance," Steve commented. "You answer to me or you'll never get your chance at your son of a bitch. And you and I can both make weekly confessions at mass for the rest of our lives in attempts to relieve the guilt we'll share for letting Danno die."
It was Camp's turn to ponder. He suddenly sat down in the chair opposite the desk and zipped open his case. "I'm an atheist."
"I'm not surprised." Taking the cue, Steve sat down in his chair.
Camp passed him a photo. "Andrei Kachan. Russian agent. Scuttlebutt says he has a very bad attitude. Walks with a limp from an injury he received as a soldier in 1959. He is skilled at extracting information by torture by the old school."
"Brutality. Newer tactics suggest mind games and drugs for extracting information. Kachan still prefers torture. The usual stuff like burns, electric shock, broken fingers. Sometimes a little more creative. Kachan has been seen in Honolulu several times over the last few weeks. There was an alert out in the office." He passed another photo. "Jan Schroeder. A brainiac sort. Has an advanced degree in engineering. Was seen just once a week ago -- in Kachan's company." Camp pulled the third photo out like it was a prized possession. "Wilhelm Gorek."
Just the way Camp said the name alerted Steve this was Camp's quest.
"Gorek is East German. They don't get any meaner than this guy. He's not the smartest spy in the game, but what he may lack in finesse, he makes up for by being a brute. Picture is about three years old. I didn't even know if he was still alive until today. One of our operatives tailing Kachan spotted him this morning."
"Where were they seen?" Steve demanded.
"McGarrett, this guy has a big history. He was captured by the CIA in 1964, escaped in 65 and has been hunting down agents ever since when opportunity presents itself."
"Captured? Held by the CIA for a year?" Steve glared at Camp. "I'm sure that was no Holiday Inn experience for him."
Camp did not reply.
"What did you do to him, Camp?"
"That doesn't matter right now," Marten replied. "If he finds out I am on the team, he will come for me -- I guarantee it."
Steve's eyes narrowed. "Let me get this straight. Are you offering yourself as bait?"
did not blink. "I guarantee it."
end Part 2