By Peg Keeley
Alika had always been a careful man--a very careful man. It was uncanny
that he should have met his end in the way he did. The car bomb had left
little of Alika or his valet/body guard, Billy Swan, except charred skeletons
contracted grotesquely over the steering wheel and in the back seat. Danny
Williams carefully picked his way through the debris of the shattered
car accompanied by Steve McGarrett's newest recruit, Gary Newman.
Newman stated the obvious.
from where he was squatting in front of the point of impact where the
grill had struck an electrical pole. He paced the distance back down the
road to a molten spot on the tarmac one hundred feet behind the vehicle.
"The bomb went off here," he told Gary. "The car was moving, but not fast.
We can estimate from the impact damage to the car from the pole and the
tire marks, probably about thirty miles an hour."
then asked. "So what?"
him a flat look. "So nothing. It is information."
"How could it matter if it was traveling at thirty miles an hour or forty
know if it will matter, so we note everything, Newman." It was difficult
to imagine Newman working out as a Five-0 officer for very long. The only
thing Danny could see in the young man's favor was that he was second
cousin to Duke's wife. Newman lacked the eye for detail that was so sought
after in potential Five-0 members and seemed to miss the innovative imagination
that was the trademark of the department. Steve had, surprisingly, justified
Gary's lack of attentiveness. "He's been married just over a year,
has a brand new baby at home, and we've offered him the job of a lifetime.
It will take him awhile to fit in."
As the forensics
team picked over the car inch by inch, Danny looked for the pattern of
the blast across the vehicle by the nature of the charring of the interior.
his head. "Whoever it was used enough explosives for a city block," he
commented, counting broken windows in the nearby businesses.
made sure they got him," Danny replied.
Che Fong picked
through the ashes with a pair of tweezers, scooping bits into little specimen
bags. "C4," he reported.
the well known black Lincoln pulled up and Steve McGarrett stepped out,
Duke Lukela behind him. Steve quickly surveyed the scene with a practiced
eye, noted the onlookers for anyone suspicious, and gave a casual glance
at the carnage. "Well, gentlemen?"
moved to the car and draped a yellow plastic sheet over the interior.
The four Five-0
members closed into a tight huddle. "No question, somebody thought it
was time to replace Alika. The question is who?" Danny reported.
is did us a favor," Gary remarked.
"I don't know
that the injured flower vendor would second that," Steve commented. "Any
news on him?"
with embarrassment. "They took him to the hospital. They said he was going
to be okay."
for that," Steve said.
and gave his report in his usual cryptic way. He had a love for knick-knacks
that made him a natural for his work. "The incendiary had a timing device
attached to the odometer. When it clocked five miles, it set off the bomb--made
of C4 compound."
McGarrett confirmed, seeing a mental image of the five square miles around
their location. "It was set within a five mile radius of the explosion."
lot of places inside there, including Alika's residence and all of Chinatown,"
"I think we
can discount his residence--for now at least. The security measures he
had were too tight for that. We need to take a careful look at the possibility
of a Chinatown connection, or one from inside the Kumu itself. Who stands
most likely to move up within the Kumu?" Steve asked.
Duke answered. "He's been pretty outspoken, even challenged Tony briefly
-- and lived through it."
"Yeah, I remember that, too. Duke, touch base with your contacts around
the docks and the wharf, see if anyone has heard anything. Danno, is Jimmy
Lee still out of trouble?"
"He was two
weeks ago," he replied.
happening in Chinatown. See if Jimmy will keep his eyes open."
"We should just send him to the police academy."
"What for? He can make more money as your snitch."
at Gary. "Let's you and I go visit Joey Mannaku and pay our respects."
lived in a modest, but immaculate house. He could afford a gardener, but
usually did the work himself. He kept only one body guard. He was unmarried,
a dark-skinned, full-blood Hawaiian, about thirty years of age. He greeted
McGarrett and Newman without surprise. "Tony's body isn't even cold yet
and you are at my door, McGarrett."
much of Tony's body left to get cold," Steve replied.
"So I heard.
I suppose the first question you have is: Did I kill Tony?" he remarked,
leading them into his study. He posed behind his large oak desk, artistically
framed in the picture window that displayed his flower gardens and the
was steady. "All right, did you?"
He laughed. "Why should I? I liked Tony."
"You and he
went to war four months ago," Gary reminded him.
at Gary in distaste. "You know, McGarrett, you really should check background
on your new people a bit better. This one's got a record for a bad temper.
Ever heard that lady who claimed he beat up her boy just cause he was
a Gook?" He shook his head in mock displeasure. "Not good for the team
spirit, you know."
muscles bristled, but he silently held his temper. Joey's reputation of
baiting his enemies into making mistakes was well known.
you and Alika?" Steve came back to the point. "You're obviously going
to claim you didn't do it. Why should I believe you?"
again. "Yeah, we had it out awhile back, but we came to a good understanding.
I had nothing to gain by killing him."
I see it, you have everything to gain."
He smiled and shook his head. "I liked Tony; I'll miss him, but he was
a dying man. He had terminal stomach cancer. Two months to live on the
scowled. "Stomach cancer?"
coroner will confirm it--if there's enough left. If there isn't, I can
give you his doctor's phone number. I was going to have the business in
two months or less, McGarrett. Why would I blow him away?"
"Who knew his medical condition?"
around the spacious office. "In that case, Joey, I'd watch my back if
I were you and beef up security."
caved in a little, realizing that McGarrett was warning him he might be
next. "Yeah, yeah, McGarrett, maybe I'll do just that."
Gary walked out of the house, into the warm pacific sunshine. "So what
do you think, Gary?" Steve asked him.
he's makin' it up, he's a good actor. But he didn't sound too sad that
Tony was gone either."
Just as they
opened the car doors, there was the sound of squealing rubber on pavement
from the far side of the house and the sound of rapid gunfire, following
by another burst of gunfire back. Weapons drawn, Gary and Steve raced
back, Steve bursting back inside through the door, Gary hurrying around
the side of the house, careful to shelter himself at the corner.
through the house, back into the office, aware that he'd encountered no
bodyguard along the way. The large picture window behind Mannaku's desk
was now shattered in thousands of pieces that were scattered across the
desk and the room. Mannaku lay face down amongst the shards.
no trace of the assassin. Steve, gun still in hand walked to the broken
window and observed Gary on his knees on the drive scooping up spent gun
cartridges into a specimen bag. "Mannaku is dead," Steve told him.
up. "I thought you said this guy had a body guard."
Just where was the body guard? So this is an inside job.
most of the day making discrete contact with several "friends" through
Chinatown. Most of them were originally snitches of Chin Ho Kelly and
had come to trust Danny as Chin's adopted family member. They still treated
him with respect in honor of Chin's memory. Jimmy Lee was not one of those.
He was an ex-gang member who'd danced both sides of the law so often,
it was hard to know where he'd turn up next. He was not easy to find.
It was nearly
four in the afternoon, when Gary Newman met up with Danny, telling of
the experience at Mannaku's. Danny was less than happy with Gary's arrival,
for with it, the atmosphere around them changed. Gary was not liked in
Chinatown. There was speculation that had never been proven that the young
Hawaiian officer had beaten a Vietnamese teenager nearly to death for
sexually assaulting a Hawaiian girl. There was never a question that the
teenager had committed the crime, but there was some room for doubt about
who had placed the rapist in the hospital with multiple fractures. Reasonable
doubt or no, the community of Chinatown had reached its own verdict. The
fact that the cop in question now served with Five-0 created a new credibility
gap for Five-0. Danny wondered again at Steve's selection.
It was not
long after Gary's arrival they came upon Jimmy Lee, leaning against a
newspaper box, picking his teeth with a toothpick.
Jimmy called. "Heard you were lookin' for me."
about all day," he complained.
broadly, pleased. "I know. I watched you for a while. Decided you needed
your exercise. Getting' a little soft." He poked Danny's side. "Need to
do some runnin' or something."
it go by, but could see Gary's temper flare. "What's the talk about Alika?"
at Newman. He had also noticed that his kidding had irritated the new
recruit. "I don't like him," he announced to Danny.
like me either," Danny retorted, "but I've kept your butt out of the slammer
enough times, so talk."
another look towards Gary, then motioned Danny into the nearby alley.
"It's not the Dragons," Jimmy told him quietly. "Everybody real scared.
They think the Kumu will start a gang war and come after them on a witch
hunt. They all getting arms up. Lai Sing making calls to Mannaku for a
treaty. Really bad time, Danno."
doesn't even know Mannaku is dead, Danny thought. "What kind of treaty?"
he shrugged. "Like the old days. Alika and Sing always rubbed each other's
backs, you know. Vending machine by Kumu, linens and dishes by Dragons.
Everybody had peace in their own land. But it's all changing now. No one
knows who to trust."
"But you don't
think the Dragons killed Tony?"
I know the Dragons wanted Tony around. There was understanding. And he
could keep out the off island people."
what they think? They think it was Tony who kept out the mob like Caputo?
No wonder he was never challenged seriously. Danny reached into his
pocket. "Let me know what else you hear, understood, Jimmy?"
I always, Danno?" He broke into a wide smile. He glanced at the fifty
dollar bill Danny offered. "Um, I'm starting to go to school, Danno. I'm
getting out of the nightclub circuit. Need to raise tuition."
his head in disbelief and fished out another bill. "You're getting too
expensive for my blood, Jimmy. What are you going to study, anyway?"
was genuinely surprised.
as my witness. Someday you'll maybe be callin' me Judge Lee, awesome,
ain't it?" He laughed and started away, then turned back. "Oh, Danno,
almost forgot. Remember Bali--that fat lady sells the leis on Kamahamaha
searching his memory.
you put her up for growing poppies?"
His face brightened.
"Yeah. Crazy old lady."
no, when she heard you were 'round today, she tell me to have you come
see her. Said she had something real important to tell you."
I find her?"
"Her old spot,
Kamahamaha Street. And--this one's on the house! No charge."
did not ask why the sudden trip away from the ghettos of Chinatown towards
the glitter of the tourist center. Danny had only mentioned something
about an old lady who might know something.
As they walked
up Kamahamaha Street, she found them first. "Aihh!" A shrill voice rang
out. The large muumuu garbed polynesian woman leapt out of her lei stand
with joy. "Danny! I cannot believe it! It long ago since I spahk ya! Ya
lookin' sexy as ever!" She gave him a huge hug, startling him.
said, trying to regain some dignity. "Jimmy Lee--"
loudly, attracting no small amount of attention from passers by. "I thought
you long gone--pau. You no here no more. Dat bad beef you get shot most
dead long back. I still hear in the big house, you know? Big talk story.
You come to da mainland."
"I never went
to the mainland," he replied quietly, wondering how this could relate
to Alika's murder.
stopped and glared at Gary. "Hey, bambooze, you no give me da stink eye.
to respond angrily.
right." Danny raised a hand. "Hey, Gary, just give me a minute here, okay?"
He moved off to the side with Bali. "This had better be one hell of a
talk story," he mumbled.
talk story, Danno," she said growing serious. "You come two years ago?"
so intent, he went along. "Right here, Bali. I was right here. What is
de God," she whispered, eyes growing round, hand to her lips. "Maybe it
real. I gonna make parole and de wahine, she come talk big story. I say
she do no more nothing and no act, savvy? She say she like make parole.
I tell her no can do, way too soon. She make act herself like somebody.
She say she was like da kine nui. Big shot. She say she sing all over
da world. She say you put her away da drugs."
a knot starting to tighten in his stomach. "I put a lot of people away
for drugs, Bali. I put you away for drugs."
"Well, I say
it all act, no mind. I thinks ya in da mainland. She making loco. Den
she say she hapai, gonna like get out for her baby. Lots of wahine like
come knocked up. Dey do abortion kine or they do the time. Big talk about
cops babies so guards treat dem good. But I never hear one say which cop.
She say this pepe yours."
at her, trying not to faint.
him, seeing his expression of shock. "Oh, Danny, by the grave of your
auntie, I not know lidat. I think just big talk."
He made an
attempt to recover. "You remember her name?"
girls you make utu utu time? You no know her name?"
from nowhere. "Danny, we're wanted back at the office." They turned away
from the lei stand towards the car. "You'd better let me drive," Gary
did you hear?" Danny murmured.
nothing about Bali's strange information. They rode back to the Iolani
Palace in silence. The evening briefing dwelt mostly on the deaths of
Alika and Mannaku and what the possible consequences were going to be
to the underworld of Honolulu. Danny contributed only what he had to and
was otherwise withdrawn from the meeting. Afterward, he escaped to his
office to place a few phone calls. It took time, mostly due to the late
hour, but he did, at last, discover that Malama Kanae had been released
on probation seventeen months before, having served a total time of seven
reverently genuflected as he entered the Cathedral, then proceeded respectfully
towards the confessional booths. He slipped into the third one and knelt
before the dark curtain.
Father, for I have sinned," he whispered.
silence for a moment. "You have had a busy day, my son," the quiet accented
voice replied. "Such a day is taxing on the spirit and the soul."
purse, the young man thought.
done as you were instructed in penance for your past?" the voice asked.
he replied. "All is done as you requested. " He shoved a small photo through
the bottom of the curtain.
"This is the
woman who will help you?"
"She is looking
for a new chance on stage. My radio station will help her."
"I see. That
is a very noble effort, my son. And is she pure?"
"Some trouble, but it is all in the past. I need to complete the mission
I began today."
more help?" the voice was ended with displeasure.
"I will be
able to assist you so much more in the spreading of your message if you
can just give me a little more resources," Watanabe said hurriedly. "She
needs some -- reassurance."
man fingered the picture of Malama Kanea. "Very well. You had better be
certain that she will do well."
Early in the
morning, Cal Cooper, moderately overweight, cup of coffee still in hand,
grunted as he pulled himself out of is aging Honda Civic in front of his
office. He brushed the last few crumbs of a donut from his black mustache
and scratched his close cut afro hair. Yawning, he kicked a few empty
beer bottles away from the door of his parole office and unlocked it.
Entering, he turned off the burglar alarm and walked to the rear to make
fresh coffee. He dumped out yesterday's coffee and grounds from the pot.
As he was about to turn on the water, he heard the front door open. He
did not have a parolee arriving until nine and it was barely eight; he
looked out into the hallway. "Back here!" He began to pour water into
the Mr. Coffee.
He turned to see the younger man, dressed in a business suit standing
in the kitchenette doorway. Detective, Cal judged.
he introduced himself, flashing his badge. "Five-0."
It's gonna be a bad day. "Who did what to whom last night?"
"I need information
on Malama Kanae."
surprised. "She get into trouble?"
back to his desk. "I like her -- better'n most of them. Course most of
them aren't pretty girls." He glanced at Williams who did not smile back.
Cooper shrugged and pulled Mali's file. "Been reporting like clockwork.
On parole almost seventeen months. Due to be done her time in another
"Got an address?"
He paused. "Look, I gotta ask. Did she get into some kind of trouble?"
I know of."
a moment. "What's her medical condition been like?"
of her reasons for early release was her pregnancy. When did she give
the file. "I don't know. I guess I didn't really pay attention. I'm just
supposed to make sure they stay clean."
"She was pregnant
one week and not the next and you didn't notice?" Danny found that hard
know this girl. I know she got busted for drugs, a lot of them do. But
she seems ike she's really trying. Makes brownies and bring 'em down here
once a month. Been shopping with my secretary a time or two."
"Nice to hear
you're such a chummy group. I don't suppose you would have noticed if
she brought along her baby."
"What is all
this about a pregnancy and baby? No, she never mentioned having any dependants
at all." Cal began to feel defensive of his parolee. "Look she-"
interrupted sarcastically. "She's a perfect citizen. Did you ever read
the fine print on her file? She was originally charged with attempted
murder of a police officer."
He waved a
hand. "Nawh, that wasn't her. She was with some bad dudes. They did that.
She wasn't even there. Those charges were dropped. Now, before I tell
you anymore, for the record, I want to know what you want all this for."
"I'm the officer
she tried to kill."
Kono and Duke
had paid a visit to Lai Sing. Not surprisingly, the security around his
dry cleaning industry in Chinatown was very obvious. They were escorted
into the old man's chamber by two armed and very serious guards.
as they entered. "My friends," he said in his whisperly old voice, hands
spread in a gesture of friendship, "it is good that you come."
what that meant. He wants all the protection he can get. And if Five-0
is in the office, the office is that much safer. "It is my understanding
that the Dragons and Kumu may go to war," Duke stated.
his eighty year old hands together and shook his head. "It would be a
Tony Alika and Joey Mannaku?" Kono asked.
"I do not
know. If I did, that man would by now have paid for his action. Dragons
do not wish the expense and sadness of war. Alika saw that, we thought
the same. There was understanding. I fear this new man -- Batona -- he
must listen to us."
"And if he
He shook his
gray head. "We will need to gain his attention through other means."
softly. "There are many ways to gain the support of others. Most seek
alliances when it is to their best interest. I would persuade Mr. Batona
that peace is in his own interest."
Duke again attempted to get specific.
a gentle smile. "Mr. Lukela, Iam aware that Five-0 has much invested in
keeping peace. We are brothers on this. Yes?"
Duke did not
his head. "I have no knowledge of who commited this act against Tony Alika
and against the Kumu. You may have my word that I shall personally deliver
this information to you, should it fall into my hands."
giving up gaining anything worthwhile from Sing, Duke and Kono were escorted
back to their car
them from the window on the third floor of his old office. The door opened
and Charlie Lu nodded in respect to Sing. "Charlie," Sing said quietly,
"the police seek information. The same I seek."
"It is like I've told you, Old One, time is changing and too many old
friends cannot be trusted. Someone within the Kumu has planned this and
will make all fingers point towards you."
"And you believe
Watanabe can stop this?"
choosing his words with care. "He has influence, Sing. He can make Batona
listen, where I can only try. But there is risk and and his help comes
at a high price."
still watching the two officers below in the parking lot. "I must not
be hasty in acceptance of Watanbe. Let me give this time of consideration.
I must speak to Batona myself as two men of honor."
"What do you
think about Sing?" Kono asked Duke as they approached the car.
seen so much effort to not point at anyone in my life. A real Dragons
love Kumu party if you ask me," Duke replied opening the car door.
"Like two little keike. Kiss when mama's lookin' then bash each other's
brains out when she looks away."
"Makes me wonder whose brains are next."
Kono pointed to the small restaurant down the street. "Let's get a bite
over there. I'm starved."
starved," Duke complained. He turned to follow Kono, slamming the car
door shut as he stepped away.
explosion shook houses, shattered windows and threw glass and metal parts
of the car through the air. The resulting concussion blew both Kono and
Duke off their feet, slamming Duke, who'd been closer, head first into
shouting in fear and running. Before the last piece of debris had even
hit the ground, Kono and scrambling through the fragments of car and twisted
metal to Duke's side.
Duke was unconscious,
a large bloody wound on his forehead.
"Get a doctor!"
Kono ordered at a man who approached. "Duke!" He shook his partner's shoulder.
his eyes momentarily, then went limp.
"Get a doctor!"
Kono pleaded again.
end Part 1
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