10,000 Trekkies

by Teresa L. Conaway and Karen Rhodes

Visit The Hawaii Five-0 Fan Club at http://www.hawaiifive0.org

"Good work," Steve McGarrett said to Dan Williams as he closed the file on the serial murders the Five-O team had been working on for two months. "Good work all around." He nodded approvingly at Danny, Chin Ho, and Ben. "Now maybe we can--"

The door to the inner sanctum swung open and Jenny stuck her head in. "Duke's on line one, boss. He says its important."

McGarrett picked up the phone. "Yeah, Duke," he barked. "What is it?" The noise on the other end was so loud he had to jerk the phone away from his ear. His face showed the concentration it was taking to listen to Duke.

"Yeah. Yeah...okay. Can't HPD handle it?" He waved to Danny, Chin, and Ben to sit. "Ten thousand what? Spell that for me." He picked up a pen and scribbled on a note pad. "Hold on a mimute, Duke."

McGarrett picked up the paper he had just written on and studied it. He looked at Williams. "Danno, what's a... 'Trekkie'?"

"A 'Trekkie'?" Danny echoed.

"T-R-E-K-K-I-E,' McGarrett offered.

Danny shrugged.

Chin cleared his throat. "It's a Star Trek fan, Steve," he said, looking just a little embarassed.

McGarrett furrowed his brow and waited for Chin to continue.

"Star Trek," Chin repeated. "You know -- a TV show. Science fiction." McGarrett still looked blank. "It went off the air seven years ago, in '69. It's in reruns. Syndicated. KGMB carries it in the afternoons. My kids watch it after school."

McGarrett shook his head. He turned on the speaker phone. "Duke? Yeah, Duke, and you think this Kelley guy is the most likely suspect."

"Sure seems like it, Steve," Duke boomed, trying to be heard above all the noise. It sounded like he was surrounded by a group of people all trying to talk to him at once. McGarrett could hear him argue for a moment with another man. "He was the last one seen going into the office, Steve, and now he's missing."

"Suspect hell!" another voice boomed. "He's been kidnapped and you'd damned well better--"

"Kidnapped?" McGarrett said. "Who was that, Duke?"

For nearly a minute the Five-O team sat bewildered, listening to Duke try to calm what sounded like a mob. Finally, Duke shouted into the phone, "Steve, this place is a powder keg. I think you'd better get down here."

McGarrett knew that if Duke called a situation a powder keg, it must be serious. "Okay, Duke," he said. "Hold the fort. We're on our way." Here's Saturday morning shot to hell, he thought as he headed out the door.

* * *

Ten minutes later McGarrett pulled his black sedan into the Honolulu Convention Center's unloading zone. He and Williams jumped out and jogged to the front door with Chin and Ben only a few steps behind. Three steps inside the door McGarrett stopped abruptly. Williams and the others barely avoided colliding into their boss and looking like the Keystone Kops.

"My God!" McGarrett exclaimed. The lobby was packed with more people than he'd ever seen at an off-season convention. Or were they people? Directly in front of McGarrett stood a group of four blue-skinned creatures with what looked like white antennae protruding from their heads. To his left were two men dressed in black pants and blue tunics, with haircuts that reminded McGarrett of Moe of the Three Stooges, and, most astonishingly, pointed ears.

"Steve! Steve!"

McGarrett looked in the direction of the voice calling him and saw Duke waving his arms frantically.

"Over here, Steve!"

McGarrett plunged into the surging crowd of people, shoving them aside to create a scene that looked like Moses parting the Red Sea. Dan, Chin, and Ben followed closely behind, hoping they could get through before the sea closed upon them.

Duke stood just outside the convention center box office surrounded by a crowd, all shouting at once. One tall, slender man at Duke's elbow gesticulated wildly, his mouth working rapidly as words poured out of him. His impeccable business suit contrasted sharply with the clothing of the two people who stood behind him. One, a short, balding young man with thick-lensed glasses, wore a bright orange tee-shirt emblazoned with a message McGarrett did not understand: 'Tribble breeding is a hairy experience.' At his side, a tall, almost emaciated wraith stood silently. McGarrett studied the person, unsure of its gender. The soft hands looked feminine, but the figure in its unbroken straightness suggested the male. The face was obscured by the person's long hair.

McGarrett shook his head.

Against the wall, to Duke's right, stood a man of medium height and build. A barely-visible seam along the man's pate indicated to McGarrett that the man wore a toupee. An expensive and well-made one, to be sure. But it was still a rug. "What the hell are you going to do, officer? De's been kidnapped!"

McGarrett cocked his head, listening to the man's voice. He it was who had hollered 'Suspect, hell!' behind Duke during their phone conversation earlier. Hothead, McGarrett thought.

Arrayed almost in a line along the wall stood five more apparently intensely involved people. One particularly dour-looking gentleman watched, being as silent as the shorter man was voluble. His dark eyes seemed to take in the entire scene and analyze it. What conclusions this man may have drawn remained unrevealed. Three other men -- an Oriental and two whites -- and a black woman looked on. McGarrett scanned them briefly, then turned his attention to the beleagured Duke Lukela.

"All right," McGarrett said authoritatively as he stepped in between Duke and the crowd. "One at a time." He held up a hand as the tall, well-dressed man blabbered on. The man finally fell silent and McGarrett was able to say, "Okay, Duke, what've we got?"

"Looks like a robbery, Steve. Big take," Duke said, looking relieved that the cavalry had finally arrived. "Maybe four hundred grand to half a million."

Dan Williams let out a low whistle. "Wow."

The crowd of oddly-dressed individuals pressed closer, and McGarrett had had enough. "Danno, Chin, Ben. Clear this corridor. I want all these characters in one of the ballrooms. Weed 'em out and hold for questioning those who saw something, or even think they saw something."

As his three associates left the area, McGarrett walked into the box office. Duke shepherded the convention center manager, the two strangely-dressed young persons, and the six who stood along the wall into the box office behind Steve.

McGarrett pivoted to face the witnesses. "Don't touch anything," he instructed. He looked a question at Duke.

"Lab team's been called; they're on the way."

McGarrett nodded, then demanded, "Now, who's who here?" He felt like asking for a scorecard. A case with too many players never went smoothly, and McGarrett knew he faced a long day.

Duke took over the introductions. To the group he said, "This is Steve McGarrett; he's the head of Hawaii Five-0, the state police." He pointed to the manager. "Steve, this is Avery Estes. He's the convention center's manager." Next he brought forward the two youngsters. Indicating the young man, he said, "Harold Bluestein. And this is J. C."

"Just J.C.?" McGarrett thought if the case got any weirder he might as well call in a psychic.

The indeterminate individual nodded slowly. Grave grey eyes peered out from under rusty red bangs as if regarding the world from a distance. The rest of the face remained nearly hidden by silky straight tresses falling down on either side. The tunic which adorned the slender androgynous body bore numerous metal buttons bearing strange slogans. 'Happiness is a warm Gorn.' McGarrett wondered, what the Hell?

"Harold and J.C. are the co-chairmen of the convention."

"Convention?" Feeling totally at sea, McGarrett sighed. "Let's start at the beginning, shall we?"

"I can explain, Mr. McGarrett," Harold Bluestein said with a voice that reeked of Andover and Harvard. "This is PacifiTrek. We're celebrating the tenth anniversary of the TV show Star Trek. Nearly ten thousand people have come from all over the world to see the first ever reunion of the entire cast." He swept his hand broadly toward the five men and the woman to Duke's right, including the man with the rug.

"Ten thousand people...for a TV show?" McGarrett said almost in a whisper. He couldn't believe it.

"Yes, ten thousand people. Trekkies. Star Trek fans call themselves 'Trekkies.'"

J.C. tugged frantically at Harold's shirt sleeve.

"Okay, J.C." Harold said, patting J.C.'s hand reassuringly. "Some of us want to be called 'Trekkers,' not 'Trekkies,' Mr. McGarrett."

"Okay," McGarrett said. He took a deep breath. At least, he thought, we're starting to get somewhere. "What happened?"

Estes stepped forward. "I was in the box office about nine a.m. I needed to, uh, step out for a few minutes. Mr. Kelley came in--"

"Kelley?" McGarrett asked, recognizing the name Duke had mentioned over the phone. "Who's he?"

"DeForest Kelley," the toupeed man said as he stepped forward. "One of us."

"Us? And who are you?" McGarrett wished again, fervently, for a scorecard.

"My name," the man said deliberately as if barely containing a rapidly-expanding anger, "is William Shatner." He spoke as if McGarrett should recognize his name, but the Five-O chief gave no sign that he did. After a strained minute's silence, Shatner made a sweeping gesture toward the others who had been identified vaguely by Bluestein as 'cast members.' "We're the guests of honor here. This is Leonard Nimoy, Jimmy Doohan, George Takei, Walter Koenig, and Nichelle Nichols."

McGarrett nodded in the general direction of the six, who now were identifiable at least as a crew of actors. Actors, McGarrett thought sourly. "What was Kelley doing in here?" He directed the question to Estes.

"He came in to get away from some obnoxious fans."

McGarrett snorted. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see J.C. glance heavenward. Another of its -- he had decided that was the pronoun to use -- buttons attracted his eye. 'He's dead, Jim.'

He decided not to waste time attempting to figure out the esoteric sayings. "And you wanted to, as you said, step out," he said to Estes.

The convention center manager nodded affirmation. "Just for a minute or two; not long. I certainly felt I could trust Mr. Kelley to keep an eye on things for that long. He was agreeable to the idea." Estes' voice and manner indicated he knew his neck was on the chopping block yet he was unwilling to implicate Kelley directly.

Usually, a guy in Estes' position isn't going to hesitate to pass the buck, especially with this much dough at stake. Not to mention his own hide. So maybe this isn't as clear-cut as it looks. "Of course," McGarrett said. "If he had plans to rob the box office, he'd be agreeable."

"Just a goddam minute!" Bill Shatner strode forward to stand toe-to-toe with McGarrett, his fist raised with his index finger extended under McGarrett's nose.

McGarrett's hand came up and grasped Shatner's, pulling it aside. "Don't ever do that again, mister," he growled. "I'll conduct this investigation my way." He turned to Estes, giving Shatner a definite unspoken message. "All right, Mr. Estes," he continued. "Then what?"

"Well, when I came back, Mr. Kelley was gone, and so was the previous day's receipts."

"How much? Do you have an exact figure?"

Estes shrugged. "I have a partial accounting. I was in the process of tallying when I had to, uh, leave the room."

"Okay, then. Give me an estimate."

"Approximately half a million, including the concessions."

"The take from the hucksters' room," Bluestein chimed in.

"Hucksters' room? What's going on here?" McGarrett felt his spirits lag as he imagined felony compounded by felony in this strange case.

"That's just fan slang. Sorry." Bluestein shrugged. "The dealers' room, where vendors sell their wares -- photographs, books, magazines, toys, memorabilia."

McGarrett cleared his throat. For that much money, the guy could already be off the Island. "Okay. Duke, get on the horn to HPD, FAA, and the Coast Guard. I don't want any planes or ships leaving without being thoroughly checked. Get a description of this Kelley--"

"I can do better than that, Mr. McGarrett," Estes said. He took a step over to his desk and picked up a digest-sized brochure. He opened it to a photograph and mini-biography of DeForest Kelley. He handed it to McGarrett.

The Five-O chief examined the photo briefly. Doesn't look like a criminal, he thought. But then, what does a criminal look like? He'd learned long ago not to make assumptions based purely on appearances.

McGarrett handed the program guide to Duke. "Get copies of that photo out to all units. And get a background on this guy." He paused, then turned to Estes. "You got another one of those?" There's my scorecard, he told himself. Estes produced another program book. McGarrett slipped it into an inside coat pocket. "Was anyone else around at that hour?"

Harold Bluestein shook his head. "Probably not. Trekfen don't get up very early, because they're usually up late at night. Room parties, late panels, club meetings, fizzbin games. Things like that go on all night."

"What games?" McGarrett thought he had heard more new words in this brief hour than in any one month since his days at the Naval Academy.

"Fizzbin," Bluestein said with a smile. "It's a card game." He began to describe the rules. J.C. tugged at his sleeve and shook its head slowly.

"Well, never mind." Bluestein shrugged. "It would take too long to explain."

I gotta get outta here, McGarrett thought. Another of J.C.'s buttons caught his attention: 'I'm a doctor, not a bricklayer.' Whatever. "Okay, Duke," he said as he headed for the door. "Wrap it up. Tell Danno to let me know if he comes up with anything."

"Just a minute, McGarrett," Shatner said. "You're not really thinking of charging De with theft, are you?"

McGarrett stopped in the doorway, his hand on the door jamb. "All right," he said. "All right, Shatner. Here's how we'll play it. We'll find him first. If we find the money on him, he's in a helluva lot of trouble. If he has, indeed, been kidnapped, then he's in the clear. Either way, we'll find him. You'd just better hope you're right."

McGarrett turned to leave. Down the corridor came a group of the weirdly-dressed fans, singing. He stopped, identifying the tune as "Waltzing Matilda," but the words weren't right.

Freaking the mundanes,

Freaking the mundanes,

We'll go a-freaking the mundanes today...

He looked back at Bluestein, who had become his authority on the new language he was hearing in this oddball setting. "What the hell is a mundane?"

The tall, ascetic man who had been introduced to him as Leonard Nimoy regarded him with a slight smile. Impishness bloomed in his eyes momentarily as he said to McGarrett in his rich baritone voice, "You are." Then he turned to Shatner, giving a short nod in McGarrett's direction. "Herbert," he said under his breath. Shatner snickered; Bluestein and J.C. giggled.

McGarrett headed out to the parking lot, wondering what the hell he had got himself into.

* * *

He tried to stretch his legs, but when he did, it hurt. His arms too. Then he realized what was wrong. His hands and feet were tied with a coarse rope. He was stiff from lying on his side; he struggled to sit up.

He looked around the small room, not much larger than his wife's sewing room at their home in Sherman Oaks. The twin-sized bed on which he sat more than half filled the room. A bookcase, small dresser, and window filled the wall facing him, leaving very little floor space. He focused on the books on the shelf: The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, Winnie the Pooh. It was a child's room. DeForest Kelley had no children, but he loved children's books. The books made him feel safe.

He was far from safe. Earlier -- he wasn't sure how long he had been asleep -- he had been taken, forcibly, from the box office at the Honolulu Convention Center. That nice Mr. Estes had asked him to stand guard for a minute while he -- how had he put it? -- "visited the necessary." Just moments after Estes had left the room, Kelley found himself staring at the dangerous end of a .38 revolver.

"Dammit, Harriet," one of the thieves had cursed when he saw Kelley, "I thought you said no one else was in here."

The other thief, a small woman with mousey brown hair and eyes to match, wimpered a little and muttered, "I didn't think there was. I'm sorry, Frank."

While Frank held the gun on Kelley, Harriet quickly emptied the cash drawer into a yellow University of Hawaii duffle bag. Kelley could see that it was quite a haul.

"What are we gonna do with him, Frank?" Harriet asked.

"Geez," Frank said, the stress of committing a felony and being faced with an unexpected witness wearing on his nerves. "We'll have to take him with us."

At that, Kelley had felt his blood freeze. My God, I'm going to be kidnapped. The two youngsters -- for they couldn't have been much more than twenty-five -- lacked the hard edge of seasoned criminals. No, Kelley told himself. And they're nervous as lost dogs, too. He decided to keep his mouth shut until he figured out the situation.

They had ordered him, at gunpoint, to go with them to their van, a beat-up old Volkswagen bus. The man, Frank, told him to behave as if they were friends going out for breakfast. While he sat on the floor where the middle seat should have been, his captors whispered back and forth regarding his fate.

"We'll have to put him out," he heard Frank say. A few minutes later, the van stopped. Frank got out while Harriet kept the gun pointed at Kelley, who sat still.

"I'm not about to make any threatening moves," he said to the obviously frightened girl. "But why are you doing this? You seem like nice kids--"

"Please don't," Harriet said, her voice quavering. She raised a finger to her lips in a 'shhh' gesture. The driver's door opened and Frank got in, carrying a small brown paper bag bearing the logo of a drugstore. He opened the bag and pulled out a brown plastic bottle, then drew a folded handkerchief from the back pocket of his blue jeans. He poured pungent clear liquid onto the handkerchief and handed it to Kelley. "Put this to your face and breathe deeply."

Kelley stared at him. "What is that?"

Frank threw the handkerchief in Kelley's lap, then grabbed the gun from Harriet, aiming at the actor's head. "Do it!"

Between the Devil and the deep blue sea, Kelley thought fatalistically. He placed the square of fabric over his nose and mouth and inhaled the chloroform. Everything went black.

Now here he was in a child's bedroom, hogtied. This isn't in my contract.

* * *

The afternoon Honolulu Star-Bulletin carried a strident if sketchy account of the Convention Center box office robbery and the missing Star Trek actor. Harriet Kerlin read the story intently, glancing up at her husband. Finally, she said, "Frank, you know who we've got? Do you know who we've got?"

Frank looked up from the stacks of money on the scratched and pitted tabletop in the cramped, plain kitchen. "What are you talking about?"

"Look," Harriet said, shoving the newspaper over to him. "It's Dr. McCoy from Star Trek, that's who."

Frank looked at the photo in the paper, then his eyes widened. "You're right. I've been so nervous over the whole thing -- we actually did it! I didn't recognize him." He thought a moment. "Do you know what this means?"

Harriet nodded slowly. "We can really get out from under; pay all the medical bills, all the doctors. Maybe take Joey to a specialist on the Mainland. Do you think maybe--"

"I don't know, honey," Frank whispered. "But we have a chance. We just have to take real good care of our guest." He picked up the telephone. "Operator," he said into the instrument, "I want the number of Paramount studios in Los Angeles."

* * *

Dan Williams and Duke Lukela strode into Steve McGarrett's office. McGarrett looked up from the book he was studying: The Making of Star Trek, by David Gerrold. The PacifiTrek program guide lay on his desk blotter. "What've you got?"

Dan sank into one of the two chairs facing McGarrett's desk. "Not much, but one of the people--" He stopped, scratching his left temple. "At least, I think some of them were people," he said with a grin.

McGarrett and Duke chuckled. Then Dan continued, "One of 'em said he saw Kelley leaving the building with a man and a woman. They got into a junker of a VW bus and drove off."

"I don't suppose this public-spirited citizen got the license number," Steve said.

Dan shook his head. "He said the bus was green, and probably about ten years old. We're running it through motor vehicles right now; Ben's on it."

"Okay." McGarrett knew that could take days. The little German car, beetle and bus, was one of the most popular vehicles in the Islands. "Duke?"

"Lab boys found nothing useful; the robbers must've worn gloves. I got the rundown on DeForest Kelley. He's been an actor for about thirty years, did a lot of B westerns, had a brief TV series of his own, then got famous with Star Trek. He's from Atlanta, Georgia, a Baptist preacher's son. Absolutely spotless, Steve. Lives modestly, at least by Hollywood standards. He's semi-retired, married. Income mainly from residuals from his movies."

"But not from Star Trek," McGarrett said. "I've been doing some homework. I talked to a guy in the business office at Paramount, the studio that owns the property. He told me that's the way the TV business was in those days; no royalties from reruns. Now the union rules have changed, but that doesn't do these guys any good. Maybe the movie royalties weren't enough. By the way," McGarrett added, "this guy also told me they're thinking of reviving the show; working on scripts right now, in fact. I just wonder if maybe there's more beneath the surface -- debts, that sort of thing."

Duke sat in the other chair next to Dan. He shook his head, his bronzed face serious. "I think you're barking up the wrong tree, Steve. I talked to a lot of the fans, including the woman who runs Kelley's fan club, and to the other cast members. Some of those actors hate each other's guts, it seems -- at least from some of the remarks they made privately to me -- but none of them had anything but good to say about Kelley. A real Southern gentleman and not a larcenous or greedy bone in his body."

McGarrett leaned back in his chair, sighing heavily. He nodded. "He comes off that way in this book, too," he said, tapping the Gerrold book's cover. He gazed at his desktop, not seeing it. "Okay," he finally said. "Suppose he was in there when the robbers -- maybe this man and woman he was seen leaving with -- came in. They can't leave him there, he's seen 'em. They can't shoot him there, someone would hear the shot. So they take him with them."

Dan leaned forward, his face set in a grave expression. "I don't like that, Steve. It doesn't sound good for his chances of survival."

McGarrett nodded. "That's what I'm afraid of, too, Danno."

Chin walked into the room, his notepad in his hand. "I got some information on those two weirdos," he said.

McGarrett broke into a wide grin. "Which two, Chin? There are thousands of weirdos in that place."

Dan and Duke chuckled as Chin continued, "Bluestein and the girl who calls herself J.C."

"Girl? That's a girl?"

Chin nodded. "Bluestein's a lawyer from New York, no record, highly thought of by his colleagues, works for the Securities and Exchange Commission. Harvard graduate." He flipped a page in his notes. "The girl's name is Andrea Turner. Vassar graduate. And get this -- she's a political speechwriter and public relations person."

"You're kidding! She didn't say one word this morning, not one word. Kept tugging at Bluestein's sleeve, and he spoke for her. I thought she was mute."

"Uh-uh," Chin said. "And she's clean, Steve."

"How did you find all this out?" McGarrett never ceased to marvel at Chin Ho Kelly's ability to ferret out information, the skill which made him so valuable a police officer.

"Estes told me. The two had to post a surety bond before they could use the convention center and hotel facilities. They came up with the bread; they ain't poor." Chin laughed, his face that of a happy Buddha.

"Why are they holding this convention here, anyway?" Steve threw the question out not really expecting an answer but wondering if it might have some bearing on the case.

"Estes knew that, too. Bluestein told him. William Shatner wanted a Hawaiian vacation." Chin grinned. "Well, he said that kind of as a joke. What they were really after was to attract the Japanese fans and the Australians, make it a really international convention."

McGarrett's intercom buzzed. He pushed the button. "Yes, Jenny."

"Someone to see you, Steve. J.C.-somebody."

"All right," he said, grinning as he thought Jenny must be having as much trouble figuring out this individual's gender as he had. He looked up at the three detectives, nodding toward the door as a sign for them to leave him to interview the young lady privately. She entered as the three of them filed out.

McGarrett stood and walked around to the front of his desk. He indicated one of the two chairs. "Please sit down, Miss Turner."

Andrea Turner brushed her hair back from her face. "I see you've been checking up on me." Her voice was throaty and cultivated, with that acquired non-accent of the media. She didn't seem rattled by the fact that McGarrett knew her true identity. Her manner of dress had changed; she wore a conservative suit with a beige blouse.

"Yes, just routine," McGarrett said as he sat on the corner of his desk. He nonchalantly reached over and took a pencil out of the holder on his desk, twirling it in his hands. "What does J.C. stand for?"

Turner smiled. "'Justifiably Curious.'" She laughed. "It's a fan name, to protect my mundane identity."


"It wouldn't look good for my boss if it became generally known that I'm one of those weirdo sci-fi Star Trek fans. I'm afraid in my line of work, image is everything, or darn near."

"And who is your boss?"

"May I have your promise of confidentiality?"

McGarrett nodded gallantly. "Okay, Miss Turner. It's our secret." He smiled.

She returned the smile, and Steve found himself thinking that she looked very different from this morning. Where she had first appeared to be ethereal and disconnected from reality -- and rather strange with all the buttons on her tunic -- now she seemed confident, outgoing, and capable.

"I'm the press secretary and senior speechwriter for the governor of New York."

McGarrett pursed his lips and nodded. "Why did you come to see me? Do you have something to add to the investigation?"

"Not directly. I'm here to plead a case for DeForest Kelley. I know you suspect him, but he couldn't have done any robbery."

McGarrett held the pencil up in a stopping gesture. "I'm finding that out." Before he could elaborate, his telephone rang. "McGarrett," he answered into the mouthpiece. "Yes, sir. What? How much? Who? When? Yes, sir, I'll send someone to the airport." He paused, listening to a lengthy instruction, scribbling on his legal pad. "Yes, sir, it's top priority."

He hung up the phone, aware that Andrea Turner peered at him with an expression that lived up to her 'fan name.' "That was my boss, the governor of Hawaii." He smiled. "It looks like you and William Shatner are right; Kelley was kidnapped. The robbers have found out who he is and are taking advantage of it."

"What do you mean?"

"They called Paramount Studios, talked to a--" He picked up his notepad where he'd written the name. "--Gene Roddenberry."

"The Great Bird!"

McGarrett looked up, puzzled. "Another fan name?"

Andrea smiled self-consciously. "Trek fans call Gene Roddenberry 'The Great Bird of the Galaxy.' It's something from one of the episodes. He's the creator of Star Trek, the man who had the vision."


"What Star Trek is all about, Mr. McGarrett. A possible future where people respect and delight in diversity, where poverty is no more and people reach out with understanding and optimism. The show made us feel it's really possible. For some fans it gave them a direction to their lives. Many have gone into medicine or engineering or the space program because of Captain Kirk and Dr. McCoy and Scotty and Spock. It's a source of hope and idealism, and it came along at a time when we needed both desperately." She smiled again and gave a gentle shrug. "Sure, we dress funny and act weird, but that's part of the fun. We have a chance to feel we belong to something greater than the workaday world where we see so much that disappoints and frustrates us. But deep down, it's the values of the show and of the idea that attracts us. Science fiction in general gives us a different way of looking at people and at problems. Seeing things from a different perspective broadens one's outlook and possibilities. Many of us aren't just Trekfen; we read, too, in what you might call the classics of science fiction."

"Asimov, Pohl, Bradbury, Clarke." McGarrett flashed a broad smile when Andrea registered surprise as he rattled off the names. "I'm not as 'mundane' as you think. I like to read, a variety of fiction and non-fiction. And I agree with you; it's a worthy vision."

"You have to find De Kelley, Mr. McGarrett."

McGarrett nodded. He summoned Chin, instructing him to go to the airport to meet Mr. Roddenberry. "I have to warn you, and the others, that once kidnappers receive their ransom, they generally dispose of their victims."

"Oh, God," Andrea whispered. "How much are they asking for?"

* * *

"FIVE MILLION?" William Shatner sputtered the figure. "Are you kidding?"

"I don't joke where felony is involved," McGarrett said quietly.

"They asked Paramount for five million? Sorry, McGarrett, but that is a joke. Those tightwads won't let go of a dime if they can help it. They wouldn't pony up that kind of dough even for me, and I'm the star."

Standing behind Shatner during this conversation were two of the other actors, the man named Doohan and the woman, Nichols. McGarrett looked up in time to see Doohan roll his eyes upward when Shatner referred to himself as the star; the Nichols woman clamped a dainty hand over her mouth and appeared to stifle a giggle. This is a strange bunch, McGarrett thought. A strange bunch.

"Whatever you say, Mr. Shatner," he said, bringing his eyes back to meet the eyes of the feisty, be-rugged actor. "My men are following some leads right now, and--"

"Leads? What leads?"

"That's police business, Mr. Shatner," McGarrett said. "I suggest you and the rest of the actors go about your business at the convention and leave the sleuthing to me." He turned on his heels and strode out quickly, before he could lose his temper.

"Pompous jackass," Shatner blurted as soon as the door to his suite closed behind McGarrett. "Who the hell does he think he is?"

Jimmy Doohan couldn't resist. "The man in charge, Bill," he said wryly, not about to miss a chance to yank Shatner's chain. "He thinks he's the man in charge."

Shatner took a deep breath and walked to the balcony, out into another gorgeous Hawaiian morning. He wasn't going to let Jimmy ruin it by baiting him into losing his cool. He turned to face the cast, assembled in his living room. Everyone was there except Nimoy.

"Where's Leonard?" he demanded.

Before anyone could answer, the door swung open and Leonard Nimoy -- looking decidedly un-Spocklike in his green shorts, loud Aloha shirt, and fuchsia beach shoes -- entered the suite.

"I have something," he said, with an air of confidence and disdain. He sat next to Walter Koenig on the sofa. Koenig, a night owl, was barely awake. He had stayed up till 4:00 a.m. with a group of Chekov fans, trying to drink Honolulu dry. Now he clutched a mug of hot coffee precariously in one hand. "Puskatch poyl vuh glaza," he said under his breath. Nimoy laughed heartily. Koenig had just called him a "show off" in Russian.

Shatner shot them both a dirty look. "If you're through fooling around, Leonard, tell us what you found."

"The president of my fan club is here," he began, "and she's been checking around for me. Seems one of the fen saw De get into an old green VW bus with a man and a woman yesterday, just about the time of the robbery."

"Did she get the tag number?" George Takei asked from his seat on the floor next the television where he was trying to watch Bugs Bunny cartoons while the 'Captain' held his staff meeting.

"No such luck," Nimoy said. "But I've been prowling around the neighborhood. A couple blocks south there's a pharmacy. Nice old Japanese man owns it. A Spock fan. He spilled his guts for an autograph."

Takei tore himself away from the cartoons again. "So much for race loyalty. Does he want my autograph?"

"Sorry, George. I didn't ask." Shatner shot Nimoy an aggrieved look. Nimoy ignored him. "An old, green VW bus pulled up in a hurry yesterday about the time of the theft. A young guy ran in and bought a bottle of chloroform. He had on a U.H. tee-shirt."

"Do the cops know this yet?" Shatner asked.

"I don't think so," Nimoy said. "He said I was the first one to ask him about it."

Shatner's eyes sparkled. There was nothing he would like better than to find De before McGarrett. Show that sonofabitch I'm not just some stupid actor, he thought. The group waited while a plan formed in Shatner's mind.

"Okay," he said after a moment. "It's not much but its something. I say we start looking for an old, green VW bus in the university district. Maybe the theives are students. Maybe they live near campus."

"Bill, half the town probably wears U.H. tee-shirts," Nichelle Nichols said, speaking up for the first time, "whether they attend the university or not."

"I know that," Shatner spat, "but we have to start somewhere. Nichelle," he continued, "call Hertz and get us a car. Here's my credit card." He got his wallet out of his back pocket, fished out his yellow Hertz credit card and handed it to Nichols.

Nichols took the card and silently shook her head. Leave it to Bill to want to go where no cop has gone before, she thought. She would call Hertz from the bedroom, and while she was at it, she'd call McGarrett too, to let him know what Nimoy had learned. She'd humor Shatner's need to do something, but she was damned if she'd risk De Kelley's life just to massage Bill's ego.

"Walter," Shatner said to Koenig, "go down to the concierge and get us a good map of Honolulu."

Twenty minutes later, the entire cast of Star Trek, minus De Kelley, piled into a Chevrolet van.

"George," Shatner ordered, "you drive. Walter, you've had time to study the map, you navigate."

"Aye, aye, Keptin," Koenig said under his breath as he climbed into the passenger's seat in front. Shatner and Nimoy took the middle seat. Doohan and Nichols, trying to make the best of things, climbed into the back.

"Which way, Walter?" George asked.

Koenig studied the map for a minute. He had never been very good at reading maps. Finally he looked at Takei, waved his hand in what he thought was the direction of the University of Hawaii, and said, "Thataway."

* * *

The door to the tiny bedroom opened slowly. De Kelley sat stiffly. His shoulders ached from being stretched back; he wished he could get his captors to untie his hands. He heard a clinking of glass and watched as Harriet Kerlin carried in a tray of food.

"I thought you'd like something to eat," she said softly. Her eyes did not meet his. Her hands trembled as she set the tray down; the glass clinked against the plate. "I'll feed you."

"Well, ma'am, if it's all the same to you, I'd like to get my hands from in back of me. My shoulders are aching something awful." He smiled gently, trying to ease her nervousness. The less nervous she was, he figured, the better off he would be.

She looked fearfully at him, then glanced away. "I don't think I should do that."

"How 'bout if I give you my solemn promise as a gentleman that I won't take advantage of the situation." He smiled again. "It really hurts."

Harriet looked back at the door as if checking to make sure Frank wasn't watching her. Then she turned back to face Kelley. "I just can't do that. I'm sorry."

She seemed genuinely regretful. Kelley wondered briefly if she weren't afraid of her husband. But Frank hadn't really seemed to him like a bad sort. He wondered what had driven these two people to such a desperate act.

"Well, then, do you have any aspirin?"

She nodded. "I'll bring you some, later." She picked up the fork, speared a piece of pancake, and began to feed her prisoner.

As he chewed his food, he looked around the room again. "You have a child?"

Tears sprang to Harriet's eyes. She nodded. Her head bowed, she began to sob.

"I didn't mean to make you cry. If you'd like to talk about it, I'm a pretty doggone good listener."

She shook her head, spearing another piece of meat and timidly bringing it to Kelley's lips.

He submitted to his situation with as much good grace as he could muster. After several minutes of silence, he fixed his most kindly Dr. McCoy gaze upon her and studied her. Whatever this is about is tearing her apart, and it's got to have something to do with the child. "I meant what I said. What happened?"

Harriet burst into tears, covering her face with her hands. Kelley reflexively jerked his hands against the rope that bound them, wishing he could get free so he could comfort the tormented young lady. "Tell me about it," he said softly.

"Joey's sick," she sobbed. "He's in the hospital."

"What's wrong?"

"It's his kidneys. He has to have dia-- dia--"


Harriet nodded. She wiped her eyes with the backs of her hands and slowly looked up at Kelley. "And we don't have the money to pay the doctors and the hospitals, and the treatment costs a thousand dollars every time. What else could we do?"

"You don't have any insurance, do you?"

Harriet shook her head. "Frank's a construction worker, unskilled labor. I had to quit my job to take care of Joey, take him to treatments, to doctor appointments."

Kelley shook his head slowly. Why can't this society take care of its members? He had, over the years, found himself embracing Gene Roddenberry's vision of a possible future and had begun to get impatient that nothing seemed to be happening to hasten its advent. "There has to be something else that you can do, instead of resorting to crime. You have to know the police are looking for you and your husband." And for me, I hope and pray.

"We just have to get Joey taken care of."

"Haven't you thought of what's going to happen to him when -- and I do mean when, not if -- you and your husband are caught? What's going to become of the boy while you are in jail?"

Harriet stood abruptly and rushed from the room.

Dammit, Kelley thought. I'm an actor, not a diplomat.

* * *

"Wait a minute," McGarrett said into his telephone in response to Nichelle Nichols's sultry voice. He grabbed a pencil and his legal pad. "Okay, honey, where's this pharmacy?" He scribbled. "The guy bought what-- Chloroform? Okay." The line went dead. "Damn," McGarrett muttered as he hung up the phone. He punched the intercom. "Danno, you and Duke get over to the convention hotel where those actors are staying. A couple blocks south of there is a pharmacy owned by an elderly Japanese. Some guy in a green VW bus bought chloroform there yesterday morning. Get a description; find out of the guy's ever been in there before. Maybe they have a record of prescriptions."

* * *

On a side street just a few blocks off the University of Hawaii campus, Shatner and his band of merry actors were stranded. They had stopped in this neighborhood two hours earlier and fanned out on foot to look for the VW bus. When they returned to their vehicle, it wouldn't start. Shatner was fuming.

"What's wrong with it, Jimmy?" he asked for the tenth time.

Jimmy Doohan withdrew his torso from under the van's hood and glared at Shatner. "Do I look like a mechanic to you, Bill?"

"Dammit, Jimmy," Shatner said, his voice beginning to show the strain of worry over Kelley. "You were the hot shot pilot during World War II; you must have learned something about engines."

Doohan sighed and dived back under the hood. "In case you haven't noticed, this isn't a Spitfire," he mumbled beneath his breath. After a moment, he stood again. "I think the battery might be dead. But, if we're lucky, all that was needed was cleaning the terminals and clamps." He slammed the hood and looked at Takei who was sitting behind the wheel reading a MAD magazine. "Crank it up, George," he hollered.

Takei dropped the comic and did as told. The van started on the second crank. Shatner cheered and patted Doohan on the back. "Good job, Jimmy," he said. He herded the rest of his search team into the van.

They drove to the north end of the University and parked again. This time Shatner told Nichols and Doohan to stay in the

van. He, Nimoy, Takei, and Koenig would canvas the neighborhood.

Ten minutes later, Shatner had covered about three blocks. He turned into an alley behind some housing that only a college student could love. The buildings were old; some of them were probably there when the Japanese flew overhead on their way to Schofield Barracks on December 7, 1941. The foliage was thick too, making it difficult for him to get a good look at all the parked vehicles.

He was about to return to the van when he caught a glimpse of a green vehicle. Quietly, he got closer. It was a VW bus! He could feel his heart start to beat faster, like the first time he ever went on stage. He hoped he wouldn't hyperventilate this time.

The VW was parked behind a small, white, single-story building that had seen better days. The back wall contained a single window and a screen door. He sidled up to the door and listened. He could hear voices, a man and a woman. Taking care not to step on any twigs or bang his feet on anything, Shatner crept up to the window and peeked in. It was the kitchen. A young man and a woman sat around the table. He thought he saw piles of cash on the table. An old movie, White Commanche, was playing on the TV on the counter.

Shatner crept around the corner of the building. There was another window. Cautiously he peeked in. There was a twin bed on the far side of the room; a man lay with his face toward the wall. The man's feet were tied together and his hands were tied behind his back.

Bingo! Shatner thought. It had to be De. Quietly he went to the front of the building and got the address. He ran back to the van, exultant that not only had he found De alive, but that he had found him before McGarrett.

The others had already returned to the van and were waiting for Shatner.

"I found him!" he said, excitedly when he climbed into the van. "I found him!"

The others looked at him wide-eyed, not sure whether to believe Shatner. He had been notorious for his practical jokes back on the the set.

"George," he said, breathlessly, "move the van up three blocks and park."

"You betcha, Bill," Takei said, taken up by Shatner's excitement. He pulled the van into the traffic and moved slowly down the street.

"Nichelle," Shatner said, "when we park, go to a pay phone and call McGarrett. Tell him the kidnappers are at 601 Papale Street, just across the street from the North End Dry Cleaners. They've got De tied up in one of the bedrooms." He handed Nichols some change.

"The rest of you stay here," Shatner commanded as he opened the door and jumped out of the van. "I'm going back in to get De."

"Bill, wait!" Nimoy said frantically in a whispered shout. He knew Shatner should wait for McGarrett to get there, not go rushing in like...like....like Captain Kirk would. Nimoy shook his head. Sometimes Bill had trouble separating reality from fantasy; sometimes he thought he really was the dashing hero type.

Shatner heard Nimoy but ignored him. He was going to get his friend out of that house and out of danger. If the cops in Hawaii were anything like the cops in Los Angeles, it could be two hours before they arrived. In two hours De Kelley could be dead. Shatner knew he couldn't live with himself if that happened and he hadn't tried to help.

When he got to the house the first thing he did was make sure nothing had changed. He peeked in the kitchen window again. The man and woman were still there.

Quietly he picked up a bucket that was sitting at a spigot by the back door. He took it to the bedroom window, turned it upside down, and placed it on the ground below the window. The window wasn't very high, but he wanted to get up above the bottom section of the window. He wanted to see whether the window was locked.

It was. Damn, he said to himself. If he broke the window there wouldn't be time to get in, untie De, and escape before the kidnappers would get to the room. Then they'd have two hostages. He had to get De's attention and get him to unlock the window somehow.

He tapped gently on the window, hoping Kelley wasn't asleep. He saw Kelley raise his head slightly, as though listening, but then put it back on the pillow. He tapped again. This time Kelley turned.

"Bill!" Kelley said out loud, his face and voice showing his surprise.

Shatner put his finger to his lips and silently shhhed his friend. He signalled to him what he wanted him to do. He pointed at the latch on the window and waved Kelley over.

Kelley carefully pulled himself up to his feet and slid his feet, one at a time, an inch at a time, in the direction of the window. When he got there he used his chin to push at the latch. On the fifth try it moved.

Shatner raised the window using a broken place in the wood as a grip. There was a little noise, but he doubted the kipnappers could hear over the television they had going in the kitchen. When it was open fully he climbed in.

* * *

This wasn't Los Angeles and it didn't take Hawaii Five-0 two hours to arrive at the scene. While Shatner was climbing into the bedroom window, Steve McGarrett was gliding his sedan into a parking spot behind the actors' van.

Nimoy stepped out of the van to meet him. "Bill's gone to get De, Mr. McGarrett," he said quietly. He pointed to the third house from the van. "It's that one."

"He's what?" McGarrett exclaimed. "Those kidnappers could be armed. He could get himself--and Kelley--killed."

"You and I know that, Mr. McGarrett," Nichelle Nichols said softly, "but all Bill knows is that his friend needs him."

"Damn," McGarrett muttered under his breath.

Two more Five-0 sedans pulled up. Danny and Ben jumped out of one and joined McGarrett and the actors. The other sedan was Chin's; McGarrett had sent him to the airport to pick up Roddenberry.

"The great bird is here," McGarrett said, not surprised that all the actors seemed to know who he meant. The doors to the sedan opened. Chin stepped out of the driver's side. From the front passenger door emerged a big, burly man with thinning hair and a grim expression of concern. From the back passenger door emerged a tall, auburn-haired woman. Chin brought them forward to introduce.

"Steve," Chin said, "this is Gene Roddenberry."

Roddenberry shook McGarrett's hand firmly. He turned to introduce the woman. "Mr. McGarrett, this is my wife, Majel Barrett. She was also an actress on the series."

McGarrett wasted no time. "They tell me you're the great bird."

Roddenberry smiled sheepishly. "They call me that."

"Does that mean these actors will do what you tell them?"

"Not necessarily. I was executive producer of the show, but the show is long gone. I'm not even sure some of them would have obeyed me even then."

"Let me guess," McGarrett said, "Shatner."

"He can be a little stubborn."

"That's an understatement." McGarrett looked toward the building Nimoy had pointed out. "Let me bring you up to speed. When I called you we still didn't know where DeForest Kelley was. Actually, I still don't know for sure. Apparently, Mr. Shatner thinks he is in that building over there with the kidnappers and has gone in to get him."

"That sounds like something Bill would do," Majel Barrett said. McGarrett looked at her questioningly. "You see, Mr. McGarrett," she continued, "On Star Trek, Bill's character was the leader, the commanding officer. Whenever these people get together, he tends to fall back into character. He ruffles some feathers sometimes," she looked purposely over to where Jimmy Doohan stood talking to Koenig and Takei, "but he doesn't mean anything by it. He's really a very warm, caring person."

"With an ego the size of Montana," McGarrett said. He drew in a deep breath and let it out in a sigh. "All right. Danno," he waved Williams over. "You and Chin cover the front; Ben and I will go around back--"

Before he could finish the sentence, he stopped, staring, as William Shatner and DeForest Kelley emerged from the back yard of the house, smiling like a couple boys who had just pulled off a wonderful prank. McGarrett put his fists on his hips and continued to stare. He shook his head slowly. I'll be damned!

Shatner and Kelley approached, trying not to laugh out loud. After all, the kidnappers were still inside. McGarrett asked, "Are you all right?"

Kelley grinned, rubbing his shoulder. "I'm a little sore, but they took pretty good care of me."

"Are they armed?"

"Well, they've got a pistol, if that's what you mean--"

"Danno," McGarrett barked, waving Williams and Chin Ho forward. He drew his pistol and started toward the back of the house.

"Wait a minute!" Kelley called.

McGarrett pivoted, raising his pistol to port arms. "Now what?" He made no effort to keep his impatience out of his voice.

"Why don't you let me go in there and talk to them?"

McGarrett gave Kelley an unmistakable 'are you crazy' look. "You just told me they're armed. You can't go in there--"

Kelley stepped forward, his grin fading as he took on an earnest look. "Mr. McGarrett, that's a couple of scared kids in there. They've got a little one who is seriously ill and not a particle of substance with which to pay the medical bills. They owe thousands, tens of thousands, and have no prospect of paying it off. They want to pay it off."

"Yeah, they want to pay it off," McGarrett shot back sarcastically. "So they rob a convention center of half a million bucks and kidnap you into the bargain!"

"Now, just listen," Kelley said in his softest Southern style, hoping to soothe the excitable Yankee, McGarrett. "They were, and are desperate--"

"Which is exactly why I can't let you go in there! If they're desperate, they're likely to use that gun!" McGarrett emphasized his words with a stab of his right forefinger. "You stay here and let us handle this!"

Kelley shook his head and started toward the front door of the house. When McGarrett caught up to him and grabbed his arm, he firmly disengaged the cop's grip. "I really think I ought to go in there and talk to them. I think I can bring them out."

McGarrett stood staring at this remarkable man. No wonder everyone says such terrific things about this guy, he thought. "You're something, you know that?"

Kelley grinned. "So what do you say? You gonna let me go in there?"

"Okay," McGarrett said, holstering his pistol but keeping his coat unbuttoned so he could draw quickly if he had to. "But not alone. Deal?"

Kelley extended a hand, still grinning. "Deal!"

Together they walked to the front door. Kelley rang the doorbell, his eyes twinkling. When Frank Kerlin came to the door, McGarrett stood ready if he had to go for his gun.

Kerlin stared at Kelley. He stared at McGarrett. "Harriet!" he hollered.

"Hi, Frank," Kelley said affably. "This is my friend, Steve McGarrett. I think you and your wife need to talk to him."

* * *

Steve McGarrett sat at his desk, still not believing the events of the past two days. A crowd filled his office: Avery Estes from the convention center, the entire cast and the executive producer of Star Trek, Andrea Turner -- J.C., that is -- and Harold Bluestein, District Attorney John Manicote, and the unfortunate Kerlins. DeForest Kelley sat on McGarrett's office couch with the Kerlins.

"Now let me get this straight," McGarrett said to Kelley. "You're not going to press charges? Don't you know kidnapping is a federal rap?"

Kelley grinned smugly and drawled, "I don't see no federal agents." Then, sobering, he said, "Look, Mr. McGarrett, these kids have a hard enough time with their little one being so sick. They need help, not punishment. Isn't it punishment enough that they can't pay those terrible medical bills? They need a chance, not a sentence."

"That's very eloquent, but they still face armed robbery, and that's a serious charge."

Avery Estes cleared his throat. He looked at Kelley, then stepped forward. "But all the money has been recovered, Mr. McGarrett. I see no reason to pursue this further."

"So you're not going to cooperate, either."

Estes glanced at Kelley again, then said, "No."

McGarrett looked up at Manicote, who shrugged and said, "What are you gonna do, Steve?" He smiled.

"So the state just eats the cost of the time and effort we spent--"

"Oh, come on, McGarrett! We did all the work!" Shatner made a gesture including himself and the Star Trek cast.

McGarrett glanced sidelong at Dan Williams, wincing. All we need is for these characters to go blabbing to the press that Five-O dropped the ball and they had to bail our tails out. He turned to the Kerlins and said quietly, "Where does this leave you? You still have those medical bills to pay."

Frank Kerlin stared at the floor. Harriet clung to his arm, rubbing his back and whispering softly to him.

Andrea Turner walked up to McGarrett's desk and leaned across. "We have a plan," she said, indicating Harold Bluestein with a wave of her hand. "Why don't you join me for dinner tonight and come over to the convention, and you'll see." She winked. Her hair was pulled back in a loose ponytail, leaving her grey eyes completely visible. She winked.

McGarrett winked back. "Okay," he said. "Okay, J.C.." He kept his promise not to reveal her name or identity.

* * *

McGarrett and J.C. stood in the back of the ballroom watching the charity auction she and Harold Bluestein had organized to help raise money for the Kerlin child's medical bills. De Kelley had already announced that he had arranged for his personal physician to coordinate medical care by specialists on the mainland, and that the Star Trek cast would fly the child and his parents to the UCLA Medical Center for treatment.

Kelley stood at the front of the ballroom, serving as auctioneer.

McGarrett shook his head. "A thousand bucks for a three-foot piece of rope?" He looked at J.C. in disbelief.

"But, Steve," she said coyly, "that was the rope that bound DeForest Kelley's hands."

"I don't get it," Steve said. "I suppose they'll get another thousand for the one that tied his feet?"

"Now you get it," J.C. replied with a smile. "And by the time they auction off the bucket Bill stood on to climb in the window, autographed copies of the police report, the keys to the van the crew rented and Hertz agreed to donate, and a few dozen other items, they'll have made a good dent in those medical bills."

"Well, I guess it's worth it, to help those kids out." He took J.C.'s hand. "Now, what am I bid for a walk on the beach?"

"That's negotiable," J.C. answered as she and McGarrett left the ballroom and walked out into the cool Hawaii night.