Matter of Trust
McGarrett hated to conduct this line of questioning via the phone, but time was urgent. All his manpower was here on the Big Island and he did not want to waste over an hour sending someone back to Oahu to interview Paul Hathaway. He sat in a six year old squad car in the hot parking lot of the marina, patched through a static-filled line to Honolulu and the tycoon, who, without a doubt was in much greater comfort. Steve could hear the ice clinking in the man's glass as they spoke.
"Really, McGarrett," Hathaway's voice steeping in sarcasm crackled back through the receiver. "I don't understand your attitude towards Jan Schroeder."
McGarrett ground his teeth silently, picturing Hathaway, his rolling private golf and tennis courts, and trade winds whispering through the palms. Danno is dying and this guy acts like we're at a cocktail party. He tried to keep on the issue at hand. "It isn't the average employer who loans his forty foot yacht to his gardener," he replied.
"Oh, I didn't loan it. I guess you'd call it a little friendly piracy-you know a boyish prank to impress a girl friend," Hathaway replied with a chuckle. "No harm done to be sure. You say the boat is in Kawakia Bay? It is fine with me. Just tell Jan I'll see him in a few days."
"Hathaway," Steve said in haste. "You are missing the point here. I don't give a damn about your boat. And Schroeder's boyish prank includes espionage, kidnapping, murder-"
"Really, McGarrett -"
"We have two witnesses who saw a fugitive leaving your yacht. In that yacht are blood stains that match those of a kidnapped Five-0 officer. Now, your employee is in this up to his neck. And unless you start cooperating, I'll have you arrested as an accomplice."
"There must be another explanation," Hathaway sputtered, clearly more concerned than he had been moments before.
"How did you meet Schroeder?"
"Germany, six years ago. He could do marvelous things with greenery. He wanted to come to Hawaii -- horticultural studies -- so I sponsored him, gave him a job. It is all on the books in immigration."
"The photos I faxed to you -- have you ever seen any of those men?" Steve demanded. He had established control of the conversation and intended on keeping it.
Hathaway looked over the shiny fax sheets of Gorek, Drosnins and Kachan. "No, I don't think so."
"Hathaway, do you own an RV? A motor home?"
"Yes, I do. It's housed right there at the marina. Camping is great out there-" He stopped, figuring the line of questioning. He yanked open the desk drawer in the study. "McGarrett," he reported, "the key is gone."
little more friendly piracy?" Steve commented sarcastically. "I
need the make, model and tag number on that rig."
Gorek's patience was growing thin. Danny's stubborn refusal had seemed past human endurance. In the purest sense, Gorek admired that in a man, but just now it was inconvenient.
As time went by, Drosnins became more impatient. He grumbled about the delay as Kachan paused in his efforts. Danny had passed out for the third time. "Make an end," Drosnins hissed at Gorek. "Kachan has put him into a coma."
Kachan sneered. "He is not in a coma. He is merely non-responsive."
"Right," Drosnins remarked. "Non-responsive. Hey, Doc," he called to Mason, "how do you describe a coma?"
Kachan took time out for a cigarette. He exhaled a stream of smoke. "I can get him to respond."
"Yeah, but can you get him to talk?" Drosnins hooted. "Not likely."
Kachan, taking that as a personal challenge snuffed out the smoke. He was aware that Danny's drifting in and out of consciousness was probably due to shock, but he suspected Mason had given him a narcotic as well. He wanted to wait for the drug to wear off, but this challenge by Drosnins annoyed him. He glared at Mason. "What did you give him, Mason? Did you drug him so he would not talk?"
Mason spread his hands. "You ask me to keep him alive. I keep him alive, Andrei."
Kachan patted Danny's face. "Hey, there, sleeping beauty. We need you awake now."
Danny did not respond.
"Come now, wake up, wake up."
"Wilhelm, I will get his attention for you," Andrei commented. He pulled up the leaf of the small Formica table next to the couch. It snapped into place with a small metallic click. Andrei pulled out his Tokarev and placed Danny's left hand palm side down on the table. "Eh, Williams, it would be a good idea for you to talk now."
Danny gave no response or indication he was conscious.
Kachan picked up the gun by the barrel and pounded the butt against the second joint of Danny's fifth finger.
His scream caused Mason to jump to his feet. "For godssakes, Gorek!" Mason blurted.
Gorek rose to face the physician. "Stay out of this," he growled.
"You want me to keep Williams alive! Then you and this -- animal-" he waved at Kachan, "-put him into shock!"
Andrei grinned broadly. "If you had not given him drugs, I would not have to work so hard," he snapped back.
"Sit down, doctor," Gorek muttered coldly, "or you will have your services cut short."
Kachan turned back to Danny and, with a sudden vengeance, yanked him up by the shirt. "I am not playing games with you anymore! No time for that!" he shouted into the swollen, bruised face, shaking him violently. "Now, you talk or you have nine more fingers to go. Then I can start punching out your teeth one by one. Now talk!"
Danny gave a slow weak shake of the head.
Andrei let go of the shirt and let him drop back. "It's your funeral." The gun butt smashed into the next finger.
"Laser," Danny whispered with a moan. "…underground vault…" He fainted.
Gorek leapt forward. "Wake him up! Wake him up!" he roared.
Kachan shook Danny again, noting the complete limpness of the muscles. "Mason."
"Butchers," Mason muttered, squeezing past Andrei.
"Just get him alert," Gorek demanded.
Mason peered at Danny, making a quick assessment. "Not now. Maybe not ever. I don't know what kept him going anyway."
Kachan pressed a finger against Danny's carotid and could feel the pulse. "He's not dead, Mason."
"He might as well be," Mason answered. "Deep shock."
Drosnins rose from his seat. "Finish it, Kachan."
Andrei glanced at Gorek, who stood silent, flexing his jaw muscles. "Wilhelm?"
Gorek, in disgust threw a hand towel at Andrei. "Don't make a big mess."
Mason gulped once, but remained silent.
Andrei dropped the towel over Danny's head, then cocked the pistol and placed a barrel against the cloth-covered forehead. Just as he was about to squeeze off the shot, the motorhome suddenly started to slow.
"Hold it," Gorek said suddenly, headed for the front of the vehicle. "What is happening?"
"Police roadblock ahead," Schroeder reported. "They are stopping all the campers."
"There." Wilhelm pointed into the scenic overlook that led off to the right. "We will go back around the other way."
"It is McGarrett," Mason said calmly and knowingly. "He will tighten the noose."
Gorek fired a glare at him. "So, how can I outwit this McGarrett?"
Mason paused purely for theatrics. "I told you -- he is unbeatable."
"Drosnins slammed a fist on the table. "Shoot Williams and let's get out here. If McGarrett finds his dead officer, he will get preoccupied."
"No -" Mason stopped himself.
Gorek eyed him coolly. "Go on, doctor."
Mason licked his lips. "Give him Williams back -- alive. Just leave him right here on the roadside. It may buy you some time."
"Buy us-" Gorek muttered.
Kachan wasn't happy with that. "Wilhelm, we don't even know this McGarrett except by Mason's word. What of Camp? This could be his doing."
Gorek stared through the windshield in silence for a moment. "We keep Williams alive a bit longer. He may prove valuable after all."
Ben had been the first on the scene of the small tavern that nestled back in the jungle about a half-mile down the road from the National Park. Chin Ho and Steve arrived moments later, the car kicking up clouds of dust as it spun into the parking lot.
"Che is coming," Chin announced to Ben who nodded.
"Where's the RV?" Steve demanded.
"Behind the building," Ben replied and led them around back to where the Winnebago sat guarded by two uniformed officers.
Steve gave a passing glance at the license plate. Using a handkerchief, he opened the door of the motorhome. It was dark, hot and stank of blood. It had been sitting here for a while. Inside, Steve paused to permit his eyes to get accustomed to the semi-light. Shattered cabinets betrayed still another fight. There was blood on the counter, on the carpet, on the couch in the back. Three empty liquor bottles lay scattered on the floor. Under the table were more bloody bandages.
Ben appeared in the doorway with Che. "Danny leaves a pretty clear trail," Che commented, seeing the mess.
"Yeah, but a little belated." Steve gazed around the camper trying to get a feel for what had happened here. "Che, can you get me something quickly?"
"The field kit can analyze a sample and tell me if I have a match to samples from earlier," he replied. "I just need about five minutes."
"You've got it." Steve walked back out into the hot sun. He glanced at Chin. "Gorek got out of here somehow. Ask around."
Kono came out of the bar, a very drunk, middle-aged man in a loud flowered shirt in tow. "I've got the means," Kono announced.
"My car, my car," the man mumbled drunkenly as he wandered around cocking his head from side to side as if to spot his missing vehicle from a different angle.
"His car was stolen," Kono interpreted to Steve.
Steven looked with distaste on the inebriated man and tried to control his impatience that the next clue in this scavenger hunt lie with him. "Sir," he commented, although internally he had little respect for the car owner, "could I have your name please?"
"Huh?" The drunk turned. "Where's the p-police? I wanna report a th-theft." His breath reeked of alcohol.
"Joe Langley," Kono put in.
"Joe, I am the police," Steve advised him with a calmness he did not feel. "Can you describe your car?"
"Yes, I know that." Steve ground his teeth.
"Where is it?" the man issued a deep belch.
Steve's knuckles were white, fists tight at his sides. "If you describe your car for me maybe we can find it. I'd like to help you find it." I am desperate to find it!
"Hum…." The man appeared in deep thought for a moment. "It has a dent on the right side."
Dear God, why at a time like this? "Joe, can you tell me what the make is of your car?"
Joe looked at him blankly.
"What kind of car is it?" Steve rephrased, the anger and frustration just about at the flash point.
"A Falcon. A Ford."
I am going to have to beg him for every piece. Resigned to the fate, Steve asked. "What year?"
Joe squinted again. "Uh….65? Maybe a 64…I don't remember. Maybe---yeah, I think it is a 65." He paused. "I just drive it, you know. I don't never have to get it repaired. It's a good car. You think you can get it back?"
"I am certain we'll get it back," Steve promised. "What color is your car?"
"Blue, of course."
"Of course," Steve remarked wistfully.
"An' it's missing a hub cab. You know, you police ought to be in my neighborhood more. Those little hoodlums…"
"Joe," Steve interrupted. "Do you know your car's license number?" Internally, he cringed. If he didn't know the make or year, will he know the tag number?
Joe grinned. "My wife's initials. KEL314 - or maybe 413 - I get numbers mixed up sometimes."
McGarrett turned back to the borrowed police cruiser and snatched up the radio microphone as Kono steered Joe away.
"You did fine, Joe," Kono told him.
Joe began to again describe the details of the dent in his car.
On the far side of the parking lot, Ben spotted something in the trash and pulled a shoe out with his handkerchief. Scored in the bottom of the sole by something sharp were four x's. "Steve…"
The missing blue Falcon slowly pulled into Upolu Airport parking lot on the north side of Hawaii. The passengers were impatient and uncomfortable. Five grown men crammed into the car without air-conditioning for the better part of an hour had not improved anyone's humor. The unconscious Williams kept sagging against the others in the back seat making the trip even more uncomfortable.
Gravel crunched under the tires of the car as it came to a slow stop. All was silent. The small airport was barely capable of being called an airport. The single runway was empty and except for a single Cessna tied down on the east end, was completely devoid of life or aircraft.
Gorek stepped from the vehicle, still pausing to look around as the wind caught his light hair and lifted it playfully. He motioned to Kachan and the Russian waved for Schroeder to assist him as he headed for the plane. Gorek glanced back at Drosnins and Mason. "Bring him," he ordered, meaning the unconscious Danny.
"Leave him! Shoot him and let them find him. He is slowing us down,' Drosnins argued as Mason took Williams under the arms to pull him from the vehicle.
"The plane will not fly slower for his weight," Gorek shot back hotly. "He may be our ticket out of here. Even you should see that."
Kachan had released the tie downs on the plane and climbed into the pilot's seat. The single prop plane whined to life.
There was sudden motion to the left of the runway and Gorek spun to see Camp in camouflage facing him, gun in hand. It was a moment of sincere surprise for Wilhelm.
"Priceless," Camp said with a grin. "Just to see your look of astonishment makes it all worthwhile."
Gorek quickly assessed the distance between him and the plane. Camp was about forty feet away -- a lot could happen in forty feet. "I am flattered that you remember me," he said, his mind working on his dilemma.
"Don't be. It wasn't you that brought me," Marten sneered. "You never were a very good agent, Wilhelm. The East Germans still use you for the low end work, huh?"
Wilhelm remained unmoved. "Aha, then you have an -- shall I say -- attachment to Williams here? Odd, I would not have considered you a sensitive man. How sensitive are you, Marten? It would be a shame to have come so far just to have him die now."
Marten grinned once again. "Risks of war." He motioned towards the plane. "Tell him to shut it off and get out."
Gorek glanced towards Kachan who was watching them through the plane's windshield. "Well, I could tell him -- but he might not listen. He is KGB you know and doesn't answer to Stasi."
Marten lifted the pistol higher, aiming it at Gorek. "Mason," he called to the doctor, "bring Williams over here."
Mason did not move, realizing that Drosnins was in the back seat, his weapon leveled on Camp. "Do it," Drosnins murmured to him.
Mason, arms under Danny's arms, hands clasped across Danny's chest, pulled him from the car.
Gorek looked past Camp, spotting the blinking of lights of three police vehicles that were making their way up the dirt road towards the airport, kicking up a plume of dust and dirt behind them.
Camp grinned. "We've got you, Gorek. Can't say it was much of a challenge. So predictable. Just like the old days, remember?" He turned his focus back to Kachan in the plane. "Shut it off now!" he shouted, changing his aim to the windshield of the small plane.
Drosnins fired at Camp. He was struck in the right upper arm, the impact knocking him off his feet, but he never lost his weapon. In a smooth motion, Camp shifted from his now almost useless right to his left hand and targeted Drosnins with a single headshot before the agent could respond.
Gorek was already moving as Kachan pressed forward on the throttle and the plane rolled towards him.
Camp, pain and fury on his face, pointed his gun towards Gorek, but Schroeder from behind the plane was quicker. The agent fired on Camp, hitting him in the chest. This time the CIA agent dropped back unconscious.
Gorek froze just a moment. Could destroying my greatest enemy have been so simple? It was almost disappointing. He longed to cross the runway and make certain by a well-placed bullet in Camp's head, but the police cars were now spinning into the soft grass around the airport, officers and Five-0 agents leaping from them. He turned and ran towards Mason.
Schroeder ran forward firing as Kachan brought the plane close. Gorek and Mason were tossing Danny aboard like a sack of flour. The officers were returning fire. Schroeder collapsed. Kachan gunned the engine as Gorek pulled the door shut and the small craft charged down the runway. Moments later it was airborne and a rapidly vanishing spec in the sky.
Kono ran towards Schroeder, putting his gun away as he went. "He's alive!" he shouted towards the others, but it seemed unlikely that would be true much longer.
Ben stood over Camp, amazed that in spite of the bullet hole in the center of his shirt, he was still breathing. In curiosity, Ben noted there was no blood.
Steve stepped past Kono and knelt over Schroeder. "Where were they going?" he demanded hotly, grabbing him.
Schroeder gasped in pain and lack of breath. He could feel his lungs filling with blood. He coughed and spit up blood.
"Answer me!" Steve shouted, shaking him.
He gave a weak grin. "Turned tables…huh?" He coughed again. "They gone. Gegangen. Gorek want to know from Williams. You want to know from me…" Color was rapidly draining from the dying agent's face. "We both dead men." He went limp.
"Schroeder! Schroeder!" Steve shook him again.
"Steve," Kono pulled McGarrett's arm. "Steve, he'd dead."
Steve rose to his feet, noting Chin's shake of the head from the car. Drosnins was also dead. Three officers were milling about the car a bit uselessly. Steve glanced towards the sky into which the Cessna had vanished, then slammed an angry fist against the car hood. "Find that plane," he commanded his team. "I want radar, I want everything we have in the sky looking. Call the FAA and FBI."
Camp's eyes opened and he uttered. "Now who's reciting the alphabet?"
Steve glanced over towards Camp and Ben, then walked over. "Too mean to die, Marten?"
The CIA man smiled in spite of the wound to his right arm. "There are benefits to working for the right people, McGarrett. Kevlar -- part of a program testing a new bullet proof vest idea."
Ben had opened Camp's camouflage shirt in disbelief and touched the thin, non-bulky vest, thinking about the heavy, hot and not very effective vests the Five-0 team wore on occasion. "Wow," he murmured. Just who in blazes does this guy work for? He's obviously no PI.
"Enough," Steve muttered impatiently. "Camp, you know this Gorek. What will he do next?"
Camp, leaning on one elbow shook his head. "I can tell you he won't give up. And he'll go where you least expect."
McGarrett scowled. "I'm not here to play games, Camp. Give it straight. That plane's too small to make it very far."
Camp got to his feet, cradling his wounded right arm. He gazed towards the empty sky as if communing with the distant Gorek "Where's the last place you'd look for him? Back on Oahu."
Steve had to admit, that certainly did not seem like a good place for Gorek to flee to. "Right in our own backyard?" He muttered. "Why? Why take us on this rat race at all?"
"To buy time," Camp explained. He gave a smirk. "Time is what it's all about."
The noise of the engine reduced conversation aboard the Cessna as Kachan piloted the small plane northward. Gorek passed him the coordinates, which he followed without question.
Kachan knows how to follow orders, Gorek mused. The only question is at what point will he no longer follow mine and follow those of a higher command. He had no doubt that Kachan's orders from Moscow would include that the technical plans were to be delivered to the Kremlin instead of Berlin, but doubted that Kachan would act before they had received the information to get into the security compound. He glanced over to the rear seat where Mason tended to Williams. If Williams dies, we will need to go home empty handed. That is unthinkable, but at least I will have had a personal victory. He replayed the moment of Camp's collapse in his mind, experiencing the momentary exhilaration he had felt at that moment. Unfortunate that it was Schroeder's act. It should have been my opportunity. It would have been better to kill him slowly, savoring the torture -- too bad it wasn't Camp we were using here instead of Williams. But Camp would never have cracked. Will Williams?
Mason could tell they were headed north, which wasn't very surprising since nearly everything lay north of Hawaii. Not a very good navigator, he had a poor concept of the islands they passed over during the next hour. Gorek never spoke to him, but Mason knew it could not have missed the spy's attention that the agent had called him by name. He didn't know the man, but Gorek and the man who had nearly stopped them had known each other and that was enough for Mason to conclude that what ever small trust Gorek had once granted him had evaporated.
At last, the plane made a slow broad circle and Mason could spot ground and greenery and rocky cliffs below. "Where are we?" he ventured to ask.
"Does it matter?" Gorek replied with a thin grin. "All that concerns you is that the journey nears its end."
Mason wondered if the statement was metaphorical. He broke the eye contact with Gorek.
Gorek turned his attention back to Kachan and plane's destination. He pointed through the windshield and Kachan uttered a one-word acknowledgement in Russian or German, Mason did not know which for he understood neither. But whatever he had said, it was some kind of agreement.
Moments later, Kachan had turned the plane into a fairly steep descent and accomplished a hard, bouncy landing, kicking up clouds of dust. Kachan cut the engine immediately and the noise died away. The silence washed over the plane cabin for a moment.
Gorek popped his seatbelt and looked over his shoulder towards Mason. "Is Williams alive?"
Mason nodded as he tried to keep from searching for landmarks that would place his location. The plane had landed on the edge of an empty cane field. The sun was low on the horizon opposite the ocean, so they were on the northeast side of some island. The view of the ocean was impressive from the bluff they stood on with a cliff that dropped almost three hundred feet to the shoreline. Fifty yards away stood a small one-room grass shack encircled by brush and shaded by a single palm.
Kachan opened the door and reached in, grabbing hold of Danny's legs roughly, and pulled him out, dropping him roughly on the ground. "Get him, Mason," he ordered.
Gorek hopped down out of the plane, then turned back and pulled a rather impressive looking sawed-off shotgun from under the pilot seat. Shouldering it, he approached Kachan and waved a small electronic device with a tiny blinking light in his other hand. "I have summoned the submarine." He gazed out towards the western horizon, ocean at his back. "It will be dark in about three hours."
"So we take Williams with us?" Kachan asked without pleasure.
"Unless you can accomplish what we need in three hours," Gorek snapped. "For now we need to destroy the plane. They will be looking for it."
Kachan did not appear happy about giving up their only transportation, but held his tongue. He and Gorek each took to a side of the plane and began to slowly push it towards the precipice.
Mason watched them for a moment, then knelt down next to Danny attempting to arouse him. There was no cover for a hundred yards except for the cane field, but it remained their one chance. "Williams! Williams!" he shook Danny. "Come on, your moment is here."
Danny remained limp and unresponsive.
Mason shook him again, knowing plenty of time had gone by for the narcotic to have worn off. "Come on, Danny," he pleaded again, resisting the urge to abandon Danny and disappear into the foliage by himself. He tried to pull Danny up, but Mason was a small man and Danny was dead weight.
At last there was a flicker across Danny's face and his eyes opened. His first conscious moment was one of pain -- tormenting, unrelenting pain. He was discouraged to be alive.
Mason read his look. "Your big chance if we can make it into the cane field. Let's move."
Over at the cliff, the Cessna plunged to the sea, struck the rocks and broke apart, but not as completely as Gorek would have wished. He scowled at the piece of red fuselage poking up through the surf. "We need to hope the incoming tide will do the rest."
Kachan turned back in time to see Mason struggling to help Danny move. "STOY!" he shouted running back across the field.
Mason whirled, realizing the moment lost. "Too late, Danno. So sorry." Danny was so weak Mason doubted they would have made the escape good anyway. "Need to get him out of the sun," Mason fabricated to Kachan, inclining his head towards the hut.
Kachan clearly doubted the doctor's word. Gorek was already headed for the small shack without comment to any of them. "Bring him then," Kachan ordered watching without assisting Mason as he staggered towards the hut under the burden of Danny.
As they reached the shack, Gorek opened the door as though he had been there before, but stopped in surprise.
"Someone is living here!" Kachan exclaimed. "You said no one knew of this place!"
Gorek was gazing at the bedrolls, piles of clothing and a few dirty dishes that were scattered around. "We shall not be here long." He noticed the food on one plate was not old.
Outside, there was suddenly heard the unmistakable whop-whop of helicopter rotors.
Kachan gasped in alarm. "We going to be trapped here!" he exclaimed in Russian.
Gorek grabbed his arm. "Use your head," he barked, also in Russian. "They may not have seen the plane and even if they did -" he pointed towards Danny and completed in English, "-we still have our ticket out."
Mason lowered Danny to the floor by the sidewall. Mason rose and turned to face Gorek. "You told me to advise you about McGarrett. He does not make deals. He will not let you out."
Gorek gave Mason a cool look. "Tell me, Mason, how did Marten Camp theCIA agent know your name?"
Mason, fear plain in his features told the truth. "I do not know."
"You don't know, huh?" Gorek rubbed his chin. "Could it be that you are also a spy? That you are sending secret messages to my enemy?"
"I do not know any agents. You came for me, I did not come to you," he pointed out.
Gorek nearly snarled at him. "We shall see, Mason. You make sure Williams stays conscious."
"I wouldn't miss this for the world," Danny said, trying to sound forceful, but failing.
Kachan laughed outright and squatted down next to Williams. "Welcome back. I am encouraged to see you feel like talking. I would like you to talk to me now."