"Please, TC, I promise - I'll take you to lunch, or dinner, anyplace. You pick."
"I pick, huh? You must want something BIG this time!" TC shook his head, dropping his wrench into his toolbox and slamming the lid shut with his foot. He closed the bright orange engine cover and latched it, while Magnum continued to hover, hands on his hips.
"Just one little ride - zip, zip, we'll be back before you know it."
"Uh-uh, boy, I got some PAYING CLIENTS who're gonna be here in about twenty minutes... And you are NOT gonna scare them away."
'We'll see about that,' Magnum thought, but he kept up his pleading, innocent look. "It's just Maui!"
"Just Maui, yeah, and about fifty bucks gas money. Besides, I just got the tank filled and this chopper is in primo condition, because these customers are paying BIG for their three hour tour."
"A three hour tour?" Magnum echoed, grinning ear to ear.
"A three hour, three hundred dollar tour," TC elaborated. He stowed his toolbox under the pilot's seat in the chopper.
"TC, please! I bet we could be back in twenty minutes."
TC rolled his eyes. "TM, did you know that your bets and promises - and bribes - get stupider every time?"
"Well, maybe you'd be a LITTLE late," Magnum conceded, "But at least you'd be helping a friend."
"I'd rather earn $300 than help you out for free - again."
Magnum hung his head, trying to look pitiful and needy. TC just laughed as he climbed into the pilot's chair. "Bye bye, Thomas," He said, grinning at Magnum as he started up the rotors. Magnum scurried away from the whirling blades, stooping to avoid getting an unhealthily short haircut.
lifted off, waving to Magnum, who yelled up at him, "How am I
supposed to get to Maui?!"
TC didn't reply, instead, he soared off towards the far side of the island, where his tourist clients were waiting - 300 dollars got you lots of extras, especially from TC, who was far too used to doing everything seemingly for nothing.
Magnum watched until the Island Hoppers helicopter was just a barely visible dot against the distant grey clouds, which were the only imperfection visible in an otherwise brilliantly blue sky. Magnum sighed. Paradise was a wonderful place to be - except when you had to get from one island to the next, and you didn't have a ride.
TC almost felt like whistling. He had finally done it, had finally held up under Magnum's begging and pleading. He had finally said "no" and meant it, and boy, did it feel good. His eyes played over the breathtaking scene out the Plexiglas windshield. It was three in the afternoon, the sun was casting shadows, but there wasn't a hint of sunset visible yet. If they stuck to schedule, his 300-hundred-dollar clients would see their fair share of beachside resorts, palm trees, vegetation-covered cliffs, crashing surf, and uninhabited islets and they'd touch back down on Oahu just as the sun started going down.
Magnum sighed as Rick sat doing some sort of paperwork.
Rick wagged his pen at Magnum. "No."
"No? Why not? C'mon, I just need to get over to Maui!"
"Go rent your own yacht. The King Kamehameha II is reserved for members only."
"So? I'm a guest of a member - right?"
"Whose? Not mine," Rick said. He ignored Magnum, who was just leaning against the counter.
Magnum hadn't even ordered a beer to be put on his legendary tab; he was trying hard to get on Rick's good side. He needed a ride to Maui, and lacking TC and his chopper, had decided that maybe Rick was up for a spin in the club's boat.
No such luck.
He watched Rick scribble with the pen for a few seconds, then signaled a waitress, who came over. "I think I will have a drink - nothing fancy, just some ice water with some ice cubes, please," he said to the young lady, who departed and returned with the drink in what Magnum figured was less than a minute. Magnum sat on the barstool next to Rick's, and set his glass down.
"Can you put the charter on my tab?" He asked. It was a ridiculous question, and Rick treated it as such by laughing.
Rick shook his head. "You just don't take 'no' for an answer, do you? Maybe when I'm finished with these invoices. MAYBE," He repeated, just so that Magnum understood.
Magnum nodded. "Absolutely. Whenever you're ready to go."
Ever so casually, Magnum raised the glass of ice water and took a sip, then, as he set it down, "accidentally" knocked it over. The glass tipped toward Rick and his papers, sending a sudden wave of ice water across the countertop, catching the invoices before Rick could snatch them up from the bar.
Rick jumped up before the liquid ran off the counter and onto his lap, whirling on Magnum in fury.
"What's the hell's the matter with you?" He demanded, waving frantically for the nearest waiter to bring napkins.
Magnum put on an impish look. "Gee, Rick, I'm sorry - it was an accident."
sorry your papers are all wet... I guess you won't be able to work on
them for awhile."
With an angry shake of his head, Rick slammed some decorative fabric napkins - delivered by the helpful waiter - down on the puddle of icewater, shoving aside Magnum's arm as he tried to mop up the mess without tearing the soaked paperwork.
Magnum swung himself off of his own barstool. "It's gonna be hours before those dry. How about a little spin in the yacht? That'll settle you down."
"No, what would settle me down is you leaving."
"But I have nowhere to go. Except Maui."
"I'll make a deal with you - I bring you over to Maui, and you don't show your face in this club for the rest of the week."
"Can I use the beach?"
"No. No dining room, no bar, no beach. Stay outta my way until I get caught up on all of my paperwork."
"Deal." I'll bother Higgins and TC instead.
"Deal?" Rick didn't sound like he believed it.
"Yes, it's a deal," Magnum said. He shook Rick's hand to make it more official. "No bar, no beach, no dining room."
"Okay. Let me go sign the boat out."
"Thanks, Rick, this means a lot to me."
"Don't get used to it."
Magnum shrugged as Rick headed to the office to sign the King Kamehameha II out, and went out the door to fetch his gear from the Ferrari.
The trip to Maui was pretty much uneventful. It was the arriving part that got interesting - the two guys Magnum had been tailing all over the islands (suspected drug dealers) had decided to send a little welcome committee to the boat dock when Magnum and Rick pulled in. After a few minutes of fistfighting, the deck of the boat was a shambles, and some of the gauges and instruments on the bridge had been smashed.
Rick and Magnum sat in chairs on the back of the boat, Rick looking extremely angry. He had his arms folded, and was trying his best not to speak to Magnum, who was apologizing over and over. Sort of.
"C'mon, Rick, how was I supposed to know that the guy I was tracking had gotten on to me?"
"That's not what I'm mad about and you know it," Rick growled. He listened to the sirens fade as the two thugs were taken downtown in a PD cruiser.
"It's the damages to the boat - I'm sorry. I'll have them fixed, as soon as we get back to Oahu."
"You don't seem to get it. We can't get home with the boat in this condition. They smashed some VERY important navigation features, in case you failed to notice."
can't get back?" Magnum asked uneasily. That was news to him. He
hadn't seen the gorilla guys put their behemoth fists through more
than two or three instrument panels...
"No, we can't. And now I'm going to catch it from Higgins, big-time."
"I'll take care of Higgins. I'll tell him it's my fault, don't worry about it."
"Don't do me any favors, please."
"Maybe TC can pick us up?" Magnum wondered, mostly thinking aloud.
"I thought you said he had a tour group till six," Rick reminded Magnum.
The response was a shrug. "Well, till then... buy you dinner?"
"Can I pick the place?"
Rick grinned. He now had Magnum's wallet at his mercy, and he intended to make full use of it.
"Man, I can't believe you let Magnum sucker you into taking him over to Maui," TC exclaimed, as Rick climbed into the back of his chopper.
He had taken pity on Rick, who always did whatever Magnum wanted, and had come to pick them up.
Magnum climbed into the front passenger seat, and slipped on the headphones. "Thanks for picking us up, TC," He said.
"I should have had him tossed out of the club," Rick spoke up, his voice coming through the microphone that linked their headsets.
"Remember that for next time," TC told him, as the engine roared to life.
Magnum sat back in the seat and surveyed the sky around them. The sun was indeed setting, in fact, it was low and red, just an upper crust of its radiant circumference visible over the storm clouds that still hugged the horizon.
His jaw was aching from where he'd caught a right hook, but he had to admit that he had faired pretty well in today's fight. Despite the fact that Rick was furious with him, and that TC had once again proven that it was much more beneficial to walk away when Magnum came around looking for favors, Magnum felt good about himself. He was sleepy, too, and was beginning to drift off...
Magnum's head was pounding as he opened his eyes. He blinked, trying to focus, raising a hand to wipe away the blood that had run into his eyes.
He stared at the hand for a moment, the dark red splash on his hand. He didn't remember getting hurt... Magnum rolled his head to the right, and found himself staring at foliage and a mangled orange doorframe. This gave him a point of reference, and a sense of urgency, as his mind started putting the last hour or so back in sequence. He looked to his left, seeing the empty pilot's seat of TC's chopper. The pilot's side looked pretty much okay, Magnum's side having taken most of the damage when they had hit the trees. Where was TC? Where would he go? Magnum didn't think TC would just leave him.
Although his memory was very sketchy, he recalled almost falling asleep as TC few them back to Oahu, sitting next to TC in the front, while Rick was in the back. And then... he didn't recall much else besides a sort of muffled explosion, and the engine going out... the rest was a painful blur; a frightened shout from Rick, and a few curses - at least - from TC, and the ground approaching sickeningly fast.
Magnum pushed himself into a more vertical position. The seat he was strapped to had come loose from it's mount, and was tilted back and against the doorframe, so that if Magnum let go and folded his body, he'd fall almost straight down, out the door.
"TC?" He called.
There was some rustling in the bushes. "Thomas, you're awake. It's about time."
"Yeah... Give me a second to get out of here."
"Okay... are you all right?"
Magnum contemplated a moment, then answer, "Yeah, I'm just fine."
face appeared in the driver's side door. "C'mon out, I need some
help with Rick."
Magnum quickly found his seatbelt clip and unfastened it, hanging onto the dented doorframe so as not to fall unceremoniously out of the helicopter, and swung his legs to the ground below. It was an easy task given his height, but his leg hurt like hell, and he could see some blood leaking through a rip in the material of his jeans. He grimaced and let go of the chopper's mangled form. Magnum's legs gave out and he collapsed to the moss covered ground. He pushed himself up on an elbow. The bloody leg seemed all right, probably just a cut, but now Magnum was dizzy. A concussion, maybe... but right now he had more important things to worry about. TC, at seeing him fall, rushed over to help haul him to his feet, letting Magnum grab his arm for support.
turned to view the back seat of the helicopter. The passenger side
was crumpled against a tree, which was probably what had finally
stopped their descent and momentum. The tree was almost squarely over
the back passenger doorframe, a sight that made Magnum grimace. He
felt sick to his stomach, wondering what kind of shape Rick might be
Magnum half dragged, half limped himself around the chopper with TC, and peeked into the back seat, almost afraid to look.
In the dim interior, Rick was still belted in, blood running down his head and staining the collar of his shirt. Magnum could make out that his chest was moving up and down, which meant he was alive and breathing.
"Rick," Magnum said loudly, hoping to wake him up. Rick had seemingly gotten the worst of the crash. It was a miracle he was still alive, if what the outside of the chopper looked like was any indication. Jesus.
"I think he's okay, just pretty bruised and banged up," TC said quietly.
TM looked at him doubtfully. "I'll check it out."
TC stepped back, and watched as Magnum crawled into the interior. The single roof light was flickering badly, but it cast some illumination. As he settled onto the seat, his weight caused the hopelessly damaged aircraft to shift, and it evened out, tilting away from the tree, slamming down on both runners.
Outside, TC jumped back from the falling aircraft, then leaned in next to Magnum. "Will you be careful?"
body shifted with it like dead weight, his head falling to the side.
Magnum moved closer, his hands working almost numbly to undo the seatbelt clasp, slipping the straps gently from his friend's shoulders.
"Rick, c'mon, wake up." It was spoken like an order, but anybody who knew Magnum could hear the clear plea.
Thomas debated about not moving Rick until he was more sure of his injuries, but finally decided to go for it when TC tapped him on the shoulder and pointed to the smoke curling out from what remained of the engine section. Magnum didn't know how much fuel was left, but smoke usually meant fire, and gasoline had the tendency to catch fire, if not go boom.