by Peg Keeley
having just witnessed the car bomb explosion below, stared in shock at
have been you," Lu said in awe. "Someone planted a bomb. Batona."
never so foolishly anger McGarrett of Five-0 like this!" Sing demanded.
"It was done
on your land, Sing," Watanabe commented. "McGarrett may think it was you.
I should not think that your big worry though."
"And why not?"
Sing nearly shouted with fear and rage.
is whom you should fear. And he missed; they did the wrong car. They were
trying to kill you," Lu insisted. "You should reconsider, Old One. Let
me call Watanabe."
been in a top secret meeting with military brass at the governor's office.
It was nearly two hours before he was informed of the car bomb. He blew
in through the emergency room, Gary at his heels, the picture of concern
and controlled rage.
up at Steve from where he was sitting on the side of a hospital gurney.
His head ached, his ears were ringing. "I'm okay, just ruptured an ear
drum," he said quietly before McGarrett could ask.
And what happened? What was he doing there?" Steve fired question after
at the sound of McGarrett's voice. Boy, my head hurts. "Duke's
been admitted to ICU. He hit his head pretty hard, but they say it's just
a precaution. He's going to be all right. Mary is up there with him. Doc
said something about a concussion."
"I'm fine. I'm just supposed to take it easy."
visibly relieved. Knowing Duke was stable, in good hands, and going to
be all right helped him focus on the other issue. "What the hell happened?
What was Duke doing there?" he asked again of Kono, his anger beginning
to swell. "You and Danno were supposed to question Sing? Where is Danno?"
a sigh. "Danno had some personal business he had to check out. Duke offered
to fill in."
"I don't assign
you to investigations to be carried out whenever you feel like it. You
should not have gone along with this. Duke shouldn't have covered for
him." Steve turned. "Gary, go find Danno. I want him here--now. I'll be
with Mary Lukela."
Kono and Gary
exchanged raised eyebrows and Gary hurried to obey.
house had not been easy. Located along one of the back dirt roads that
seemed to be at war with the jungle and losing, it was a small, dirty
affair. No heat, no air conditioning. There were large holes in the screens,
two of them were missing completely. The house used to be white -- maybe.
It hadn't been painted in years. The salty air had taken its toll on the
wood siding. Weeds had grown up around the house; there were old discarded
dishes and car parts scattered around the yard.
in the car looking at the dwelling for several minutes. It was hard to
believe the Mali he'd known, who'd sacrificed everyone she'd known in
the name of money and power, would be reduced to a place like this.
slept all night. His mind had created vision upon vision of what his child
might look like. Most often it was a boy and he would see him playing
baseball and swimming in the surf. He had never had much contact with
little girls and he wondered how he could relate to a girl. They liked
stuffed teddies and dolls, kittens and bows. He wondered if she would
have ringlets of curly hair like he'd seen in his mother's baby pictures.
he got out of the car and walked towards the door. He had to know the
truth. He had steeled himself to accept the fact that Mali had given birth
to his child. In the few steps it took to reach the sagging porch, he
determined that no child of his would grow up in a place like this. I
should be able to get joint custody -- maybe total custody. No child should
be subjected to Mali for a mother. I can give the best schools, a stable
home, a future. Even in the last moments as he prepared himself to
knock on the door, his thoughts were running away with him. I am about
to meet the only child I will probably ever father. Gritting his teeth,
he knocked on the door loudly.
I'm coming," called a sleepy, female voice.
it instantly. Mali: childhood playmate, high school lover, attempted
He was not
prepared for what he saw. His mouth dropped open. Mali had aged tragically.
Her hair was uncombed and stringy around her twisted, squinting face.
There were hard circles of yesterday's unwashed makeup under her eyes
that now glared at him with total contempt.
the door wider, eyeing him without pleasure. "So," she said coldly. "I
knew you'd come someday. Took longer than I thought." She leaned against
the door frame. "Don't like what you see? What did you expect?"
sure, but asking her how she was doing didn't seem appropriate.
say, huh?" She shook her head. "You destroyed my future. Look at me. Who'd
want to see me now? If I try to get a singing job in the night club, I
other kinds of work," he said quietly. He decided not to argue the point
of who'd ruined her life. "You'll be off parole in another month."
"Three weeks and counting. What did you really come for, Danny? It wasn't
to stand around and stare at me."
some stories around while you were in prison."
She gave a smile. "Check the prison records, if you haven't already. You
want to know about your baby?"
He stood rooted
to the front porch. "Yes," he said through tight lips.
into a full malevolent smile. "Did you think you'd come in here and become
papa to a little bastard tot? Well, Danny, I've waited almost two years
for this moment. Your baby is dead." Her smile widened as she anticipated,
accurately, his shock. "I waited till I made parole, using your unborn
child, then when I got tired of the whole pregnancy thing, I had it aborted.
He floundered in
his feelings. Never in his wildest thoughts would he have considered this.
Until yesterday, there'd been just himself. In twenty-four brief hours
he'd built an entire life for a child; fishing, birthdays, baseball, college.
Now, just as fast as it had come, it was gone.
in the doorway, relishing his pain with glee. She'd waited for this moment
and it was the height of her vengeance.
Back on the
road, the radio in Danny's car called his name. He turned away towards
is Gary," the voice called again.
Mali cackled with laughter.
he muttered into the speaker.
get down here wiki-wiki. Big trouble, Bruddah."
as his car hurried away down the dirt road. As the dust slowly settled
again on the leaves of the underbrush, she turned back into her shack.
She shook her head and giggled again.
stepped into the front room from the back. "Was that all you'd hoped for?"
she said enthusiastically. "You cannot imagine."
"Well, he'll be back, Mali. Next time won't be so easy."
taken his licking."
"Let me take
you away from here, Mali. He'll come back. When he does, you'd better
not be here. I've got a nice place, I could buy you pretty things." He
ran a hand gently through her soiled hair. "Remember how it used to be
when everyone loved you?"
her eyes recalling the adoring crowd.
"I can give
you that again if you just trust me."
her eyes and squinted at him. "Why should I trust you, Lewis?"
need you, right?" he answered. "If I need you, I will give you whatever
I can. I want you to sing for me. The people of Hawaii want to hear you
again. You can make my little radio station number one. All perfectly
legal. It's all just waiting for you." The phone rang interrupting his
it up. "Aloha." She handed it to Lewis. "A Charlie Lu."
he said into the receiver, then waited for a moment. "Very good. You have
done good work convincing your old master. A better thank you is being
wired to your bank. The Dragons will one day know you are their best hope."
He hung up the phone and, smiling, rubbed his hands together. "What will
it be, Mali? I can give you everything you ever wanted--or find someone
She bit her
lip. "I have to think-"
girl. This is a simple task. Your life, or not."
Aunt Sarah to help. You have a right to live again." He could tell from
her face he had won. It is all coming together so nicely.
Gary met Danny
at the hospital and during the elevator ride up to the fourth floor quickly
filled him in on the events of the morning.
one time I get Duke to fill in," Danny muttered. "You're sure he's okay?"
I may not
be when Steve gets done. They rounded the corner to the waiting room
where Steve sat with Mary Lukela.
up as they entered and rose. "Mary, I'll be right back."
Gary sat down
at Mary's side.
it to the empty snack area around the corner before his anger leaked out.
"Where the hell have you been?" he demanded. "Since when do you just decide
when you will and will not show up for work? You had no business asking
Duke to handle your investigation."
wait. Duke knew that. He offered," Danny bit off his words. I know
I deserve this, but right now, I cannot take much more.
The scowl lingered on Steve's face, but there was an element of injury.
"You told Duke what was so important, but you didn't tell me?" It's
been four months. Four short months and what is he hiding now. Has he
tell you because I knew you'd think exactly what you are thinking right
this minute," Danny replied defensively.
I can see it on your face."
speaking. He's right. I am judging him. "Okay. Sit down and tell
me what this is all about."
a stonely silence as Danny stood there subbornly.
sat down on the plastic couch. More quietly he said, "Sit down--please."
tensely onto the edge of the couch.
When he did
not speak, Steve said, "Talk to me, Danno. As a friend, talk to me."
looked at Steve. He has always been there for me, even when I did not
deserve it. "Mali Kanea."
"What about her?"
"Did you know
she's been out on parole seventeen months?"
"No, but I'm
"She was free
before her two men even went to trial!"
his chin in his hands, elbows on his knees. "The charges were decreased
to drug trafficking and misuse of a controlled substance. You knew the
DA was afraid she'd walk completely if he couldn't make the attempted
murder charge stick."
"She, um, made parole early because she was pregnant. She spread it around
that it was mine. I guess she knew I'd come looking for her when I heard.
Then she aborted it." His voice was choked with emotion.
Danno." I put him into that undercover over his objections and Duke's
warning that the undercover was going stale. How do I tell him we really
dropped the charges because the defense threatened entrapment because
of Danny's sexual relationship with Mali?
thought I knew Mali as well as anyone could, but I never--I cannot imagining
her killing her own unborn child," Danny whispered. "I've never cared
too much about abortion and all. But now -- damn it, Steve, it was my
baby that was killed. I never knew, I never had a voice in the fate of
my own child." He struggled to keep his emotions in check. "How could
anyone -- how could she? She killed her own child just to hurt me."
a gentle arm on Danny's shoulder.
on medical leave, Steve did not push Danny to take time off and he did
not ask for it, but Steve did decide to keep him close in the office following
up the paper trail in the SUBCOMPAC leak.
Kono and Gary
were jubilant when they showed up with photos from their surveillance
of Batona and Sing two days later.
Kono said slapping a 3x5 onto the board. "Sing and his advisor, Lu. Don't
know who this other dude is in the background, but look here." He put
up a photo of Batona at lunch on the wharf. "Batona ate two lunches with
the same guy in the last couple of days and Batona picked up the check
at the stranger in both photos. "Who is he?"
yet. Working on it," Gary supplied. "I followed him from the second lunch
yesterday." He offered a photo of Watanabe going up the church steps.
"Went to confession. Then..." he put up another shot, "...to this apartment
an eyebrow. "Expensive place. Check his name on the lease?"
was just leased out two days ago--the same day as Duke's bombing--to a
Malama Kanae. This chick." He popped up another shot of Watanabe and Mali
outside of a departmtent store.
surprised. He punched the button on his intercom. "Danno, get in here."
how to spend dough," Kono supplied. "She bought close to $2000 of clothes
and Steve motioned him to the photos on the board.
of stuff?" Steve asked.
chick stuff. Perfumes, make up, bath stuff." Kono shrugged.
to Danny. "Thought you said Mali was broke."
He made a
wry expression. "Well, that's what she told me."
"I want a
name, gentlemen," Steve announced. "What does our mystery man have in
common with Sing, Batona, and Miss Kanae."
As the three
detectives cleared Steve's office, Gary motioned to Danny and they walked
over to Gary's small cubicle. "You know how you're always tellin' me to
look for the stuff that doesn't seem important."
replied, but his mind was not on Gary's words, but the photo of Gary's
three week old daughter framed on the desk. He noticed the little puffy
newborn cheeks, the tuft of black hair that someone hard lovingly fixed
into a curl at the top of her head and tied with a tiny pink bow.
said to get his attention.
back at him. "Sorry." Would my child have looked like that? Would she
have looked Hawaiian or white? Would his hair have been jet black like
"Well, I got
a copy of the sales slip from the store Miss Kanae visited. Thought you
might want to see it." He handed Danny the receipt.
read down the list. Half way down, hidden amongst slacks, blouses, and
lingerie was an entry for a teddy bear and a child's outfit in size toddler
"Why you think
she'd be buying little kid clothes?" Gary asked already suspecting the
up hoping his conclusion was not going to lead to another disappointment.
help if I told you that I have a cousin who works in Vital Statistics,"
Gary whispered. "She could probably be convinced to let you take a look
at the records for a nice dinner."
Father, for I have sinned."
Lewis' unseen listener sounded mildly impatient. "Time is short. My superiors
expect us to keep our word."
the unhappy tone. "I will be ready," he promised. "When will I receive
"It will be
delivered to a post office box in three days." A key slid through the
curtain towards Lewis who accepted it and put it into his pocket. "You
will have four days more."
Lewis acknowledged, then hesitated. "What will this message be?"
you have done well. Do not concern yourself with unnecessary details.
Just be certain the girl will cooperate."
That you can be sure of. Advise those who need to know that they should
listen at 7:00 one week from tonight."
After he left
the confessional booth, Lewis heaved a sigh of relief. This was a tremendous
risk but the money had been irriesistable. It was that money he had used
to buy the bomber who'd launched his campaign to take over the Islands.
Batona is too stupid to get out of his own way. I can easily control
him; it's the Chinaman I have to be concerned about. I've bought Lu and
as long as the money flows, he is mine. After this business of the message
transfer is concluded I'll see to it Sing joins his ancestors.
Steve a small plastic zip-bag with the fried remains of melted metal and
a glimmer of copper wire. "That's all that was left, Steve. The bomb in
Duke's car was real hot -- C4 again. My guess would be the same bomber
that did Alika. There wasn't enough left to determine much, but I think
it had been set right there at Sing's triggered by closing the door. And
that wire is the same type used on Alika's car."
"How did someone
place a bomb in the car in front of Sing's with his security?" Steve asked.
Che gave a
gentle smile. "That's your area, Steve."
He gave a
nod. Someone in Sing's organization is on the take. But that person
would have known the correct car to bomb. So it was intentional that it
was Duke's car. Why? A scare tactic against Sing. Alika and Joey were
removed because they were too smart. Batona is not going to be a problem
because he is pretty dumb. Sing, on the other hand, is a wise old man.
But he is old. Why not kill him, too? He paced the office. He gazed
at the picture of the young Asian in the three photos. Who are you
and whom to do you work for?
The door opened
and Kono entered. "Word on the street is there is peace between the Dragons
Kumu lost their king pin and his second in command leaving an idiot in
charge. Sing had what he thinks is an attempt on his life in front of
his own office. Two days ago they were terrified of each other and building
up their defenses. What stopped it?"
"Just peace, Boss. Nobody saying why."
He gave a
thoughtful look. "What do you think?"
"Batona's not smart enough to come to a reasonable peace -- and he's racist;
hates the Chinese. Somebody else is calling the Kumu's shots."
thought as well." Steve tapped the photo of Lewis. "Find this guy. Tail
him. Get some prints and let's see who he is. I'll get the photo sent
to the FBI and see what we can shake up." He gazed at the picture of Lewis
and Mali. "I wonder what his interest is in her."
a smile. "Pretty lady. He's spending a lot of money on her."
set in thought. "No question that she's a pretty lady -- and talented.
I can't see our friend here falling for skirts. To him, everything has
a purpose, and so has she. Have Gary tail her."
later, Steve pulled the fax report off the machine and scanned it. Rising
from his desk, he turned out the light. The clock said it was just past
8:30 in the evening and the falling darkness outside confirmed it. He
left the office, knowing where he would find Danny.
two flights of stairs in the state house to the basement. He rapped on
the glass door of the Bureau of Vital Statistics. A moment later, Danny
came, unlocked the door and admitted Steve.
know I was here?" Danny asked.
"I'm a good
cop," Steve kidded. "Gary told me about the sales slip."
"Well, at least there is a hope. I'd rather believe Mali is a liar than
a child killer."
"How did you
ever get them to let you go through these files? They are confidential."
"I took the clerk out to dinner."
his head and handed Danny the fax. "Wanted to show you this."
out a deep breath. "So, we have a name. Lewis Watanabe. No criminal history."
nodded. "Once we had a name, I put a trace on records here. He owns a
small radio station, KHON. Station made a change in format over the last
month or so. Went from rock to Hawaiian folk music. Features local Hawaiian
"So where's all his money coming from?"
to find that out tomorrow."
explain his interest in Mali. Maybe he sees a potential investment in
helping her come back," Danny guessed.
not reply right away. It would be nice if that was the limit, but something
told him that Lewis Watanabe was only interested in what profited himself.
A long range investment in Mali's comback trail didn't fit that image.
He gestured to the stack of blue 4x6 cards on the table. "Got a stack
and shoved over a pile. "Guessing February or March of last year. We had
a heck of a lot of kids born at that time."
a small chuckle and prayed they'd find this needle in the haystack.
KHON was located
just west of Pearl City. A modest little white stucco building with a
cleache parking, it consisted of a sound room, a small sound proof studio,
a snack room and an office. The second day of operations, Mac had shown
up on Lewis' step. He was a qualified sound man, but there was no doubt
in Lewis' mind that he was the link to his unseen superior. Mac always
appeared very casual, he played tapes and records, ran a request hour
on Friday nights and never once had displayed muscle, but Lewis was aware
that his progress was reported regularly by Mac. At first Lewis had been
surprised by what he'd found in the post office box, then realized that
it made perfect sense. The sheet music was original composition of several
Hawaiian tunes. Such things were becoming common place around KHON. No
one would know they were any different. How better to pass information
than over the open airwaves by musical notes. No doubt the listening ear
would interpret the code right away.
He took the
pages of sheet music to Mali who was practicing in the studio.
she muttered scowling at the material.
"I told you
we do original stuff."
whose? I don't know this composer," she complained.
have to. You just have to sing." He left it with her and returned to his
In less than
fifteen minutes, she was a the door. "This sucks," she complained. "It's
not good music or lyrics."
what it is."
"No," he declared.
"It goes just the way it is."
She put her hands on her hips. "I won't do it."
it had never occurred to him she might refuse. To Lewis all music was
the same. "Mali, this is from the guy who's underwriting us, okay? We
got to make him happy."
happier if we make it sound like something."
He rose from
his chair and put an arm around Mali's shoulder. "Hey, girl, I know you.
You can make anything sound good. Try it just the way it is and we'll
the moment, she turned back to the sound room.
"She's gonna be trouble?"
his head. "She just wants to be appeased. It'll be okay." He watched through
the glass as she picked her way through the piece one more time. Satisfied,
he returned to the office.
Mac sat quietly
watching Mali, then picked up the phone and dialed number. "It's me. We
need a little of the insurance we discussed."
his team over pizza that had been delivered to the office. Note pads,
photos, and other scraps of paper were pushed around as they compared
notes. They were also grateful for the return of Duke to their midst.
On his first full day back, Steve hoped the seasoned officer's insight
would offer a new angle of this case.
graduated from UCLA two years ago, a degree in political science. Fair
to middling grades," Danny reported. "No big money in his past. Still
owes on college loans. No bank account here in the Islands. There is an
account with Citibank in Los Angeles--no activity in or out in about three
months. Has a little over two thousand in savings. No checking account."
is his money coming from?" Steve asked.
"I don't know.
Nobody is wiring him money, he isn't using an ATM. Someone is giving him
cash." Danny scooped up another slice of pizza.
"I don't know."
turned to him.
making a lot of noise on the docks about how everything is cool. Wire
tap got a brief conversation between him and Watanabe today. Watanabe
told him to agree to Sing's terms."
McGarrett commented. "We knew someone was advising Batona. Now we know
who. The next question is: Why?"
him for his services?" Kono guessed.
have that kind of ready cash?"
I don't think
about Miss Kanae?" interjected Duke.
with Watanabe for sure. She's either in his apartment or at the radio
station. Never goes anywhere without him. They're eatin' good." Gary tossed
out a photo of Mali and Lewis at the Pearl Club. "Hard to say if they're
romantic. He comes on to her just a little--maybe more for show. She keeps
bouncing around in her attitude. During that lunch she was sweet as a
kitten, then without warning was screaming at him." He shook his head.
not comment. He remembered all too well Mali's maniacal mood swings.
Gary was passing
around several other photos he had of Watanabe with Mali. "No other trips,
just the restaurant, store and the station. I asked around a bit, showed
Watanabe's picture. Got a lead that he goes to church a lot."
Steve asked, lifting an eyebrow.
his pad. "St. Paul's. Been there six times in two weeks."
got a lot to confess," Kono kidded.
the same confessional booth," Gary added.
Gary," Steve praised him.
church won't let us bug the confessional, so we won't be able to catch
him there," Gary reported.
"We may not
have to." Steve punched the button on his intercom. "Jenny, get me Father
Riley on the phone." He then dialed another number. "Che, get your fingerprint
kit, I'm about to convert you to Catholicism."
Mali as she paced the floor of the studio, furious. "We have only one
more day. Are you ready?" he asked.
"No, and I
won't ever be. This stuff is awful! You've got four of these songs. Each
one's worse than the one before it. They don't even make sense. I'll be
the laughing stock of the Island. I have my career to think of!" She shouted
and threw the sheet music across the room.
and closed the door between them and Mac. "You see Mac out there?" he
"If you don't
stop this nonsense we are both cooked, you got that?"
Her eyes narrowed.
about your career; you wouldn't have a career if I hadn't poured a lot
of money into you and you know it. You went bankrupt, honey, remember
that? You've got no credit that isn't bad, no job except mine, and no
future without me. You understand that now?" His voice was deadly.
"Who the hell
do you think you are?" She snapped. "I can do just fine without you."
so, huh?" he muttered. He pulled a polariod snapshot from his jacket pocket
and showed it to her.
Mali. As long as you are a good girl everything will be just fine. You
screw up and I can't promise much of a future for any of us. You got me
now?" He turned his back on her. "I tried to do this nice, girl, now we
just do it."
after him, her mouth still hanging open and for once, she was speechless.
as he handed over the fingerprint report in Steve's office. "We have a
real winner here. Pat Ginko, a known Chinese agent."
at the report and handed it off to Danny who stood by him. "Watanabe has
been meeting a Chinese agent?"
seem so," Che nodded.
"We may have
found his money source," Danny suggested.
nodded and looked over at the board. "Watanabe wants to run the docks.
He isn't satisfied with just the Kumu, he wants the Dragons as well. But
to accomplish that he needs money and lots of it. He needs a firebug,
he probably has paid off a few members of each organization. But at the
same time he probably convinced both Sing and Batona to pay him a retainer.
Cute, huh? He bought KHON. That was a nice piece of change as well, not
to mention the spending habits of Mali. And how is she tied up in this?"
advertised her singing in a special appearance at 7:00 tomorrow night,"
confirmed a compromise of the missile call back codes a week ago. Sounds
like a job tailor made for Pat Ginko. But he is well known by us and the
feds, so he needs to keep a low profile. How is he going to get the stolen
codes out of here?"
about it. "Watanabe somehow."
his little radio station."
a knock and Jenny stuck her head in the door. "Excuse me, Steve. I have
a Sarah Lulia here."
turned, recognizing the name.
middle-aged Hawaiian woman stood behind Jenny. "I need to talk to you,"
she said around Jenny. "It is about Mali."
to her. "By all means, Mrs. Lulia," he said politely. "What do you know
with the quick introduction. "Sarah Lulia, Steve McGarrett. She is auntie
to Mali Kanae," he added for Steve's benefit.
staring at the bulletin board with the fuzzy pictures of Lewis. "He's
the man!" she announced pointing to the photo.
"Do you know
this man?" Steve asked, his interest captured.
"He been trying
to make time with Mali. I told her he was bad stuff. No good. Then he
came and took Lonnie. He said Mali wanted him, but I know she did not
know. She called me secret-like today. She said not to come to police,
but I had to."
have a seat," Steve motioned. "I think you'd better start at the beginning.
Who is Lonnie?"
from Steve to Danny. "I tell her she was bad from the beginning," she
started. "Danno, I'm sorry, she hurt you so bad. Maybe I should have come
to you before now, but I was a coward. She would not tell the truth. Lonnie
is her son, your baby."
floods of relief, joy, anger, fear all at once. He struggled to absorb
it all. Remarkably, in spite of the intense internal roar of feeling,
externally nothing showed. Quietly he asked, "Do you have his picture?"
through her large purse. "Of course." She handed him the snapshot. "Mali
left Lonnie with me when she went off with that big shot. That Lewis guy
was bad, I told her anyone who would make a mother leave her child is
no good. But she could only think of singing again."
still staring at the picture of the year old toddler who smiled a toothless
grin at the camera. He looked totally Hawaiian. Any Caucasian blood in
him would be hard to detect. Danny tried to follow Sarah's story, but
his focus was on the small boy in the photo.
"Mali asked me to keep Lonnie. I love Lonnie so it was fine by me. He's
a good boy, no trouble. But I know she loves him so. Yesterday that Lewis
man came and said he was taking Lonnie to Mali, she missed him too much.
So, I pack his things." Her face was deepening in sadness and fear. "And
he take him." The last statement was almost a whisper. "Mali call me today
real quiet like on the phone, like she was afraid somebody overhear. She
asked if Lonnie was with me. I get scared and told her that Lewis had
him. I know that she was afraid. She said not to do anything, she would
see to it. But I had to. Mali makes bad guesses sometimes, you know?"
I know, Danny thought.
end part 2
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