(May 1960)

When Stars Begin to Fall
By Peg Keeley

onenerveleft59@hotmail.com

Part 1

"What do I think?" Jonathan Kaye shook his head. "I think it's political suicide."

Paul Jameson gave a tolerant grin that more resembled a grimace. "He is the best choice."

"I brought you dossiers on three candidates and you didn't go for any of them. The state department endorses these people." For emphasis, Kaye picked up one folder and waved it.

"Jonathan, you are from an old wealthy Island family. We have moved from the status of a protectorate to a state. Now the everyday people make the choices," Jameson reminded him.

"What the hell kind of a crack is that? I've always represented all the people of Hawaii fairly."

"Of course you have," Paul hastened to agree. "But things are different now. Crime has always been a problem in Honolulu. For the most part, officials have just looked the other way. No more. We are going to invest the resources to deal with some of the issues. We need a man who will take on the international criminal and the mainland gangster effectively. I don't see any of your people satisfying that demand."

Kaye flipped open his top folder. "This one. Gregory Reynolds. He's a tough cop, was top in his class at the academy, scored well on his lieutenant's test. A veteran officer -- and his wife is an Islander."

"No international experience," Jameson replied. Before Kaye could continue down the list, Paul pulled out the file from the bottom. "This one."

"I've looked at your dark horse. Too much military, he's not even an Islander. There will be hell to pay not only with HPD but also with the voters. November is just six months away, Paul. They'll be deciding whether or not they want you as more than a provisional leader."

"The voters again," Jameson grumbled.

"Where did you come up with him anyway?"

Jameson smiled. "God, I was hoping you'd ask. The Attorney General, Walter Stuart. They served together. And then there is the comment from your lead choice -- Chin Ho Kelley."

"What about Kelley? He's an excellent officer; Asian background doesn't hurt either. Fluent in English, Mandarin, Pidgin, and Hawaiian."

"He turned me down."

"What?" Kaye's face fell.

"I said, 'He turned me down.'" Jameson let the fact sink in. "He recommended my dark horse. I presented Kelley with the scope of the job. He told me he was very anxious to work on the task force, but not to head it up. He told me he knew about Commander McGarrett and said to follow up on Stuart's suggestion to check him out. I have. McGarrett has an excellent military record, but he has to make a choice about re-upping within the next week. He's stationed right here in Hawaii and has been for two years. He knows the Islands pretty well. He understands the mainland mindset as well. And he's been doing international law enforcing through the Naval Intelligence for over ten years. Thirty-six years old, single, knows Cold War and hot war politics and military strategy. We must have people at all levels of government that understand the military significance of this state. He does."

"He's an arrogant son of a bitch," Kaye interjected. "He makes enemies like most of us make coffee. His temper is unbelievable, you'll never get anyone to work with him."

"Kelley will."

"Well, God bless Chin Ho Kelley," Kaye remarked. "As I said before, Paul, this idea of Five-0 is a good one, but I think you'll rue the day you hired Steve McGarrett."

------------------------------------------------

The hired movers left. It had not taken very long to get the used and battered furniture out of the police storage room into the office. The single office was cramped with three desks crammed into the space where one should have been. Tom Paumala, chief of HPD, had grudgingly surrendered one office in the back of the first floor next to the janitor's closet to the new department of Five-0 until better facilities could be found. One phone had been put in for the three officers, and a card board box served as file cabinet.

"Well, nothing like starting with a large budget, huh?" Steve McGarrett commented to Chin Ho Kelley as he looked around at the Spartan walls.

Kono Kalahaua, twenty-six, six foot tall and close to three hundred twenty pounds, gave an uncertain glance at the small, feeble desk chair by his desk. "I don't think this is going to work."

"Well, the Governor promises it is only temporary, so let's make the best of it," Steve offered hopefully. He placed his brief case on top of one desk. "Gentlemen, time to go to work."

Kono and Chin stood there looking at him. "What do we do?" Kono finally asked with hesitation.

"For starters, look at these." Steve pulled out a file from his attaché and handed it to him. "Both of you learn these faces. They are Chinese operatives who are known to be somewhere in the Islands. Learn their faces, their names, their MOs."

"I'll go take the morning report with HPD," Chin offered. "I'll let you know what's going on." He left.

"Good idea," Steve agreed. Very good idea since local law does not seem very enthusiastic to support Jameson's new program. Why do people always resist change, even good change? I wish Paulama and his people could understand that we are all here as a team. Last week Kelley was in their detective department and Kono was on the SWAT team, but now they are viewed like I am -- some kind of invasion. He sat down at the desk, and pulled out the set of briefs Jameson had given to him earlier.

The phone rang.

McGarrett and Kono looked at each other. Kono hesitantly reached out and picked up the receiver. "Hello...Hawaii Five-0," he announced, giving the last half somewhat belatedly. "Where?" He looked for a piece of paper unsuccessfully, then scratched the message onto the side of the cardboard box. He hung up the phone. "We need some kind of note pads in this place." He sat down on the desk chair. It promptly cracked and collapsed beneath him, landing his large frame on the floor with a crash.

McGarrett jumped up. "Are you all right?"

Kono scrambled back to his feet. "Yeah. Guess we need another chair, too." He dusted off his suit.

"The phone call?" Steve reminded him.

"Oh, yeah. Dispatcher says there's a dead body on Hotel Street behind a strip joint. She guesses it's our case now."

Is it? I thought we were doing espionage and major racketeering stuff. "Let's go check it out," Steve replied.

As they headed out the door Kono added, "While we're making the shopping list, we need a coffee pot."

--------------------------------------------

There were two uniformed officers standing in the alley when Kono and Steve arrived. They'd placed a tarp over the corpse and shooed away two snoopy kids. Their looks tried to be friendly but betrayed suspicion as they saw McGarrett for the first time.

"Trash guy found her when he came through this morning," one reported to Kono. "No identification."

Steve crouched down and lifted the corner of the yellow tarp. O God, she was so young. The teenage girl lay curled on her right side as if she had gone to sleep on the hard concrete of the filthy alley. Her pallid white skin seemed stark next to the trash around her, her very short bleached blonde hair was stained brown in one place by the blood from the head wound. Her blue eyes were open, staring into eternity.

Steve heard a car pull slowly into the alley and stop. There is something in her hand, what is it? He carefully pried the cold fingers with the end of his pen. A button, a 1/2" metal button. He carefully slid the button into a tiny paper envelope he'd pulled from his pocket.

"Good morning," spoke a voice.

He looked up. The short, stocky man standing over him extended a hand with formal smile on his face. It was first friendly act Steve had experienced that day and the moment was not lost. He was grateful. "Good morning."

"Leonard Bergman, forensic pathologist," the doctor offered. "And you must be Steve McGarrett."

"Must be," he agreed, rising from the body.

Bergman gave a quick look at the dead girl. "Shame."

"What do you think?"

He gave a single half laugh. "I think I see too many of these. She's 18, maybe younger. Most likely a run away. Killed sometime within the last six hours, but greater than two hours. Since she is naked, my guess is she was assaulted."

Steve held out the envelope with the button. "She had a button in her hand."

"You keep that. I do the body parts, not the physical evidence."

"Oh."

"We don't have a forensic chemist. Would be nice. We have to send most of our serious stuff out to the main land."

Steve stared at him. "That can't possibility work."

"Tell me about it. Welcome to paradise lost, McGarrett."

Bergman's assistant placed paper bags around the hands and feet of the victim. The photographer completed his job. At last the coroner collected the remains of this unfortunate child and the gaggle of police began to thin out.

Steve turned to Kono. "I want finger print analysis right away. We need to find out who she was. When we locate a family, we'll need to talk to them. If she's a run away, there is a record somewhere." He looked at Chin. "See what we can find out about this button." He handed him the envelope.

Chin looked into the envelope. "Button?"

"Yeah, it must have come from her attacker. I'll check with Dr. Bergman later to see what her autopsy reveals." McGarrett turned away from the scene hoping their first case would not also wind up as their first unsolved mystery.

-----------------------------------------------------

Steve had been back in his office less than thirty minutes when Chin Ho arrived, a young man in tow and announced, "We have an identification on our dead woman."

Steve looked up. "Well?"

Chin murmured quietly. "Her name was Natalie Hastings."

"Who identified her?"

Chin motioned towards a young man with him. "Family friend."

Steve was shocked by just how young the boy looked. He doesn't look any older than the girl! "I am very sorry about the death of Miss Hastings," Steve started. "Steve McGarrett of Hawaii Five-0."

His blue eyes were full anger, but it wasn't clear towards whom. "So you're the new super cop group. You think you can find her killer?"

Steve blinked. "We are a special cases police unit, not a super cop group. And, yes, I hope to bring the person who murdered Miss Hastings to justice. You could help by telling me everything you can about her -- starting with your name."

Chin spoke up for the guest. "Dan Williams, friend of her older brother. He's been house-sitting for her parents."

Steve sized up the young man, wondering why Chin had spoken for him, but decided it wasn't worth finding out. "Have a seat, Williams." He motioned to the only other intact chair in the office leaving Chin to sit on one of the desks. "How well did you know Miss Hastings, Mr. Williams?"

"Well enough. She was a good kid, a little wild maybe, but nothing...nothing that should get her killed," Williams offered. "Her folks are off the Island on business."

"Know anyone who would want to kill her?"

"Of course not. She graduated high school last Spring, was working at a clothing boutique." He scowled at the floor in sorrow. "She wanted to play all grown up, got an apartment with two of her friends last month."

"Do you know their names?"

He shook his head. "Just their first names, but I can give you the address. You should be able to locate them easily enough."

"So her parents went away and asked you to watch the house instead of her. Why is that?" Steve asked examining the reactions carefully. Will he get angry? Indignant? Defensive? These emotions always say something.

But he seemed unconcerned about the question. "They did ask her. She wouldn't do it. I don't get along real well with my roommate at school, so..." he shrugged. "Free food for a couple days and a nice pool just for feeding the dog. Why not?"

Why not? He seems honest enough, but... "What is your relationship with Miss Hastings?"

The reaction that came seemed as much from Chin as from Williams. Chin's head snapped up, fire in his dark eyes.

"My--" anger reddened Williams' face and he stopped speaking for a minute, trying to collect his words. "Her brother and I played ball together. He's in the Air Force now stationed in New Jersey. I'm a friend with her folks. Natalie and I did not have a personal relationship."

Steve paused to contemplate the information and weigh the truth. And why did Chin react? It was like I insulted one of his ancestors "All right, Williams. Do you have the name of her employer and that apartment address?"

He scribbled it down on a page of his notepad and handed it over.

Steve sighed. "We need to talk to her parents. Do you now how I can reach them?"

"I know where her father works. I can take care if it," he replied.

This kid has guts. Informing parents thousands of miles away that their daughter is dead is not an easy task.

There was the rap of a knuckle on the open wooden office door and Doc Bergman stuck his head in. He noticed that McGarrett had company. "Shall I come back later?"

"No, come on in," Steve invited. "Mr. Williams, thank you for your assistance. I assume Officer Kelley knows where to find you."

"Sure, Chin knows my number in the dorm and at the Hastings," he replied.

Aha, this boy is on a first name basis with Kelley. That may account for Chin's reaction before. "Oh, and one more thing," Steve called to him as Williams started to leave. "Don't leave the Island."

An uncertain frown settled on the young face as Williams turned away.

Bergman watched Williams leave then turned his attention back to the new chief of Five-0. "Steve, I have a preliminary on the young woman."

"Natalie Hastings," Steve told him.

"What?" Bergman looked back at him.

"Her name is Natalie Hastings....was," Steve corrected himself a little slowly.

"Oh. Well, on examination, there were no pavement abrasions on her hands or knees, no skin cells under her fingernails. She did not fight her attacker. Death was by a double tap to the head with a .38. She was killed somewhere else and dumped in the alley. She'd had intercourse within twelve hours of her death, but I doubt it was forced."

Steve scowled. "Double tap, a professional hit."

Bergman nodded. "Real pro."

"And although she wasn't raped, she is found nude. Why?"

"Somebody wanting to make us think she was?" Chin guessed.

"Then whoever killed her knew she had had relations recently," Steve observed.

"Maybe her lover?" Chin guessed again.

"Our killer had sex with her, killed her by shooting her twice in the head, then dumped her naked body in an alley behind a strip joint," Steve summed up the clues again.

"Maybe he wanted us to think she was a stripper who messed with the wrong john," Bergman offered. "We also retrieved hair samples that were not hers from the body. Light brown, hers were bleached blonde. There are carpet fibers under her finger nails and embedded in the skin of her knees."

"Her knees?"

"Looks like she attempted to crawl across a carpet."

Steve tapped his index finger on the desktop. " Chin, get me samples of the carpet from every place we know of that she was -- including her parents' home. Doc, get those samples analyzed. I want to know everything down to the manufacturer and who sells that carpet in the Islands."

"That analysis will take a week, Steve," Bergman offered gently. "I have to send them to Los Angeles. We aren't one of their high priorities."

McGarrett was shocked. "A week! Okay, get the samples and the evidence to me, I'll get NIS to do it." And how often will NIS let me come running back with forensic evidence to test? I need a forensic chemist on staff. McGarrett turned a level gaze on Chin as he considered the options. "We need to get the parents back here. Chin, follow up with your young friend, Williams. Make sure he reaches them."

Bergman turned to leave. In the doorway he looked around at the walls and commented, to Chin, "Isn't this the office they condemned last month because of termites?"

Chin tried to hide his grimace. "Yeah," he managed to mutter.

"They condemned our office?" Steve asked.

Chin shrugged and Bergman gave a chuckle, then left, closing the door behind him.

"Chin," Steve said quietly. "You apparently know Dan Williams."

He nodded. "All his life. His mother's father did my wedding. I still see Danny a lot. He's done some baby-sitting for us."

"Chin, you have seven children."

He nodded, "Almost eight."

"And you have a college boy watch all seven at once by himself?"

"He's a pretty good kid," Chin commented calmly.

"Apparently." Steve shook his head. "How old is that 'pretty good kid' anyway? He doesn't look a day over 16."

"He's 22. Did three years in the Marines right after high school. At the University now."

"Well, he looks sixteen." Steve tapped his pencil against the desk in thought. "Right now he is the only real lead we have."

Chin did not reply. Does he mean lead or suspect? I do not know this man. I liked him when Walter introduced us. I believe he is honest and of good character, but he is impatient. I cannot allow his impatience for a quickly solved crime to endanger Danny. If McGarrett thinks that boy is involved he is sadly mistaken, and I may have been mistaken to put faith in McGarrett.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Steve gave Roger and Lynette Hastings time to adjust on their unexpected return home -- he gave them three hours. The investigation into the death of Natalie was already thirty-six hours old and every minute would make it harder to solve.

Roger's opening remark upon meeting McGarrett and Chin at the front door of the Hastings home was: "Have you found my daughter's killer yet?"

It was an appropriate enough request. "We are working on it, Mr. Hastings," Steve said respectfully. "Allow me to express my condolences."

Hastings stepped back to give them admittance. "I just can't believe it," he said, his sorrow plain. "Natalie never hurt a fly. She was a good girl. Never any trouble."

McGarrett recalled Williams' brief description "A little wild maybe..." "I understand that she was no longer living at home. She'd taken an apartment with some friends."

"Yes," Hastings confirmed. "She was so anxious to start her life. And she wasn't far away. I believe it's good for young people to learn to live on their own." He sounded like he was defending himself.

Lynette spoke up. "Natalie was working in a boutique selling women's dresses. I didn't like her living out there. Young women should stay in their parents' homes where they can be cared for until they marry and their husbands take on that role."

Disagreement between the parents, but it didn't get her killed. It may be just enough to destroy their marriage though. Pity. "What can you tell me about Natalie's boyfriends?"

"She was seeing one boy regular -- Tim Ottman. Nothing serious. She wasn't interested in settling down," Lynette offered.

So far, this is what the roommates said -- except the relationship was a whole lot more than 'pretty regular.' "Did you know Tim Ottman?" Steve asked.

"He was a little older than she was. Maybe a college student," Roger supplied. "I never met him."

"I have an officer looking for him," Steve supplied. "One of her roommates mentioned his name. She never brought him home?"

"Well she did," Lynette corrected. "Just not when Roger was here."

Her husband looked at her in surprise.

"Was there a reason for that, Mrs. Hastings?" Steve pursued fearlessly.

She glanced uncomfortably at her spouse. "Roger did not like either of the children bringing their friends home."

"It's not that," Roger interjected. "I work a lot, McGarrett. When I am home, I want to rest -- peace and quiet. I don't want loud parties and music. I get a lot of headaches and I have a right to my privacy when I am home."

"Mr. Hastings, what do you do for a living?" Steve seemed to change direction.

He hesitated. "I work for a local book publisher. We publish elementary school text books."

"How long have you been there?"

"Going on six years."

"Do you have any enemies?"

Roger issued a forced grin. "Enemies? How would a book editor make enemies?"

"You tell me, Mr. Hastings," Steve replied with a shrug.

Roger was obviously uncomfortable. "Really, I haven't a soul in my life who'd hate me -- let alone kill my daughter."

"Thank you, Mr. Hastings. We'll keep you posted on the developments."

As Chin and Steve headed for the car, Chin spoke. "That man has something to hide."

"He sure does, Chin. I want you to start digging. Financial, education, professional, personal I want the works. That girl may have had a lover her folks didn't know about, but she was killed in a professional hit. She was a message to somebody. Have Kono check out her employer and the boyfriend."

----------------------------------------------

The phone was ringing as Steve arrived back in the office. He half-hopped over a chair to reach it. "Five-0, McGarrett," he announced into the receiver.

"Steve, I've been trying to get you for about an hour," Jameson complained gently.

"Well, Governor, along with a few other things, we could use a secretary."

"I need you here at two o'clock for a meeting with Commander Richard Garrison."

"Garrison?" My old buddy from NIS?

"He requested I not discuss the issue over an open line. Be here."

"Yes, sir."

------------------------------------------

"Naval Intelligence intercepted a communiqué this morning at about 9:30 directed to an agent somewhere in Honolulu," Garrison told Steve in Jameson's office. He passed over a report consisting of one sentence.

"'Arriving tomorrow as planned, the Dragon.'" Steve read. He glanced at Garrison. "Our old friend."

"Afraid so, Steve." Garrison gave a smile. "Maybe he heard you'd retired from NIS and thinks it's safe to come out now."

"He's in for a big surprise," Steve muttered.

Jameson sat patiently by, not minding that he was being ignored in the conversation. He was already feeling good about his selection of Five-0 chief. Less than three days and I'm already glad about the choice.

"Anything going on in testing that would be of interest to him?" Steve asked.

Garrison chuckled. "Everything interests Wo Fat, Steve. The eggheads are busting butts in this missile race with the Russians. Let's face it, the only deterrent to the Communists is outgun them. 'Duck and cover' isn't going to work anywhere but in somebody's dreams. Sometimes I think everybody's expending to much panic towards the Russians, they don't have any fear left for the Chinese."

I wonder if the Russians and Chinese are as afraid of us as we are of them? McGarrett allowed himself to dwell on the thought for a moment. Mao's Great Leap Forward has fallen flat; Russia is refusing to send advisors to assist in her nuclear development. Is it any wonder that WO Fat has been sent to see what he can steal?

"So far as we know, China may have some Russian AS-1 Kennels. They aren't serious long-range missiles. With the failure of relations between the two countries, it is not likely that Russia is supplying them with anything like the R-7 Semyorka," Garrison continued.

Moderately amused with the monologue, Steve wondered if the lecture was for Jameson's sake. Garrison was well aware that Steve was familiar with all this. "Commander, I meant what are we doing that would interest the Chinese," Steve reminded him gently.

Garrison looked less comfortable. "There have been tests scheduled with a new sub launched antisubmarine missile." He flipped the combination on his brief case, opened the cover and passed Steve a folder marker TOP SECRET.

Steve grinned inwardly. The fastest way to get anyone to read something is to label it top secret. His smile faded as he scanned the contents. "Don't we already have enough stuff to kill ourselves with?" he finally grumbled.

"The UUM-44 is a special project," Garrison declared. "It packs a nuclear warhead and has a range of 55k. Quite a punch for sub to sub. We think WO Fat is going to try to spy on the tests."

"I would say that is a fair bet," Steve remarked. "How did he learn about them?"

"We are working on that end," Garrison answered. "I need you and your team to find WO Fat."

"And do what, Commander?" Steve asked coolly. "I can't arrest him. He hasn't done anything."

"Make it hot. Hot enough that he gives up."

Steve glanced at Jameson sitting placidly by. "That's all, huh?" Steve was being sarcastic. How can I tell Jameson that this first international case is an impossible one? Where am I supposed to find the manpower to collect and process the evidence in the Hastings murder and track the actions of a Communist Chinese agent who is one of the slipperiest spies in the world? I have only two cases, but one is as impossible as the other.

---------------------------

Steve mounted the stone steps to the public library two at a time. The department was three days old and already was spread thin with Chin trying to find a handful of HPD people who could be discreet enough to track an international spy while Kono continued collecting the pieces in the Hastings murder. But right now Steve needed to do as Chin had recommended, take one afternoon a week to begin to understand the Hawaii that Naval Intelligence and the evening paper could not teach. There was an entire section of the Honolulu Library devoted to Hawaiian culture. He scanned the shelves of the section glancing through volumes, with old faded golden lettering on their spines. Most of them contained the same one name title: Hawaii and all were written by white settlers, missionaries, or businessmen. He pulled out three volumes, wondering how helpful they would be. Surprisingly, books that explored the Hawaiian view of the culture were not that plentiful. Only in the last few years had any serious effort been made to attempt a written history of the Hawaiian people. Three quarters of a proud nation was dragged into statehood against their will without the right to vote and now believe the haoles are trying to exterminate their culture from their land. It is not like this has never happened before. Ask the Sioux, Arapaho, or Comanche.

There was just one table in the cramped corner and as he turned towards it, he discovered a young woman sitting there, deep in study. Her shoulder length brown hair draped across her shoulders, one side falling forward towards what she read. He started to turn away.

"There is plenty of room here," she commented, sliding her books to one side. "Please, come share the space."

He smiled. "Thank you, Miss."

"Diane."

"Diane," he repeated with a nod. "Steve."

She noticed the titles of his books. "You are looking for Hawaiian history, Steve?"

"It was recommended that I find out more about the place I work," he said with a smile.

She grinned. "Me, too. Only there is more to be found in tonight's paper than there is in all these books put together. I'm trying to get certified to teach elementary school. The Kamehameha School wants me to learn Hawaiian history before they'll let me teach. Most of it is pretty sad stuff."

He listened, wishing he knew enough history to agree or disagree. "I guess that is what I am here to learn."

"For instance," she whispered towards him. "Did you know that Hawaii would never have been accepted as a state if it had not been for Alaska? They talk military and Communist risk, but Alaska was admitted as a democratic state and Congress needed another to balance it -- so Hawaii was admitted as a Republican state. Except now that the Hawaiians can vote it is Democratic. Funny, huh?"

"Perhaps," he replied noticing the deep green of her eyes.

"Those books will tell you some stuff, but the history of the Hawaiian people is an oral history. It's not written down."

"How did you learn so much then?"

"There's a girl I met at a club," she said with a grin. "Her family genealogy song talks about the life of the people. She's really neat."

"How accurate is that?" he replied a little suspiciously.

She shrugged. "Probably as good as those books. I could introduce you. I hope I'm not being too forward."

"Not at all," he said with a genuine smile. Taking Diane out for dinner doesn't sound like a bad idea at all. He was a little surprised at himself for his quick friendship with Diane. I've agreed to go out with her, and don't even know her last name! "I'd be honored to invite you to dinner and meet your friend who sings the history."

She burst into a happy grin. "In the meantime -- go to the bestsellers. There's a new book by a guy named Michener. That may help you."

"What's the title?"

"Hawaii of course!"

------------------------------------

The there was a millisecond of silence that always followed the crack of sound as the wooden bat connected with the baseball, sending it hurtling towards the center field fence, then the crowded ballpark burst into cheering amongst the visiting fans.

"Saddler is dropping back...back...to the fence and it is---gone!" the radio announcer exclaimed. "Grand slam for the Pepperdine Waves as Sanchez takes his victory lap!"

"And Coach Baker and his catcher are headed for mound, Chuck," the co-announcer described for the radio audience. "They do not look happy."

"You are so right, Hal," Chuck chimed in. "Baker's Golden Boy doesn't seem to be on his stuff today. This may cost the Rainbow Warriors their chance at the playoffs."

Dan Williams jammed his glove under his right arm and waited glumly as Baker and the catcher approached. Maybe I deserve this. I've given up five runs in this inning with only one out. I've had better days.

"What the hell are you doing out here!" Baker exploded. "You're not even watching my signs!"

Danny squeezed the rosin bag silently, and chewed violently on a wad of gum.

"Look, it's Gerber up next," the catcher, Ken Anderson, offered. "We can't afford another run. Walk him, okay?"

Danny glared at him. "I never walk anyone."

"Well, you will this time!" Baker shouted in his face. "Cause I don't think you've got the balls to strike him out today."

"I've waited all season to make this blow-bag strike out," Danny argued. "It's what the fans are waiting for."

"Maybe so," Baker barked, "but not today."

Ken squinted in sun. "Danny, your mind isn't on your game. Take the easy way out. Walk him."

"I don't take easy ways," he snapped back, glancing towards Gerber who was calmly tapping dirt out of his cleats with the bat, aware that he was the subject of the conversation.

Baker jabbed a finger into Danny's chest. "Your ass is mine on this field, you got that, Williams, mine! You do what I say or you'll be in the showers." He spun on his heel and walked back towards the dugout.

Ken pulled the catcher's mask back down over his face. "Sorry, Danny."

"Sorry nothing," he muttered. "Get ready to strike out Gerber."

----------------------------------------------

The parking lot was nearly empty when Danny left the locker room for the long walk across campus back to the dorm. The post-game briefing had been longer than usual, made up largely of Coach Baker's verbal abuse directed towards Danny. Days like this made him wonder why he'd returned to baseball after the military. Take a look at the tuition bill and the scholarship line, he reminded himself, and figure what you'd have to pay off without baseball.

"Danny! Danny! Wait up!"

He turned to see a three young people streaking towards him in a red 1954 Nash Rambler convertible, waving wildly. The Hawaiian girl who'd called his name was standing in the back seat. "Mali!" he called back trying to sound pleased, but really wanting to be left alone.

"We saw you strike out Gerber! That was so cool, man!" Kato Akia shouted from the back seat. "Everybody thought it was great!"

"Everyone but Coach," Danny remarked. "He sent me to the showers."

"Ah, who cares about the coaches! Everyone is talking about it!" Mali squealed.

"We lost the game," Danny reminded her, "and our playoff chance."

"Here, to drown your sorrows!" She handed him a beer.

He gave a small grin. "Thanks, Mali." He popped the top and was immediately drenched in the spray that shot out as most of the foamy contents showered over him.

There were peals of laughter from the car. "Mali, you are so bad!" the girl in the back giggled.

Danny stood there in silent fury as the brew dripped from his clothing and hair. Dammit, I always fall for her tricks. Why today? Why does she always make a fool of me?

"Come on, be cool, man," Kato advised through his chuckling. "It's just a joke, man."

"Oh, he knows, don't you, Danny!" Mali laughed. "Good fun, right, Danno?"

He tried to conceal his anger and embarrassment. Why do I have to endure Baker's tirades and this, too?

"Come on, Danno, get in," Mali said, patting the back seat next to her.

"I've got studying to do," he replied. "Besides, Kato doesn't want the car soaked with beer."

Kato grinned. "Good cause, Danny. Those seats don't mind."

"No thanks," he insisted. "I need the walk."

Mali giggled again. "Sore head. You need to learn how to take a joke. You coming to the House of Flowers tonight? I'm singing. There's going to be a big mainland agent there scouting me out."

"I don't know, Mali. I'll try."

"Try! You've got to come. You are my inspiration!" She tossed her long black hair. She suddenly jumped out of the car and ran over to embrace him, ignoring the dripping clothes. "You wouldn't disappoint me, would you?" She planted a kiss on his lips and tickled her fingers up his back to his neck.

There were catcalls from the car.

"Mali," he whispered, cheeks crimson. How does she do this to me? She embarrasses the hell out of me, then turns around and .... I don't know whether to hate her or love her.

"Come on, I'll give you a ride back to your room." Her fingernail brushed playfully against his left ear.

Angry with himself for giving in, he slid into the car. Mali jumped in beside him, Kato floored the gas and the tires squealed as they shot away from the parking lot.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Steve, Chin, and Kono squeezed into the tiny office for a late afternoon meeting. Kono had stolen a sturdy chair from somewhere in HPD, but it took up almost all of the last available space. Steve handed out small cardboard containers of Chinese take-out. "What do we have, gentlemen?" he asked, a legal pad on the desk before him. There was the heading of Natalie Hastings, with a black and white 3x5 of her body, partially covered by the tarp, taped to his desk. Beside it were hand-scribbled scraps of paper with titles 'Roger Hastings', 'Lynette Hastings', 'Tim Ottman', 'Dan Williams', 'Ballistics', 'Carpet', 'Button,' and 'Hair' also taped to the wood grain. "Kono?"

Kono glanced down at the desk covered with the first of what would be McGarrett's famous organizational charts. "Ottman has been in Utah for a week because of his mother's illness. It was confirmed by Salt Lake City police. He's out of the picture. So, it looks like our girl had another man on the side."

Steve scratched 'Out of State' on Ottman's paper.

"Roger Hastings works for Island Publishing. Been there for six years. Before that is a mystery."

"How's that?" Steve asked.

"Employer didn't have record of his previous employment," Kono said with a shrug.

"Someone must. What about driving history? House purchase? Medial records? Records on the mainland?" Steve fired off.

"I'll check on it," he muttered, with a look of chagrin. McGarrett will want it all, everytime. All the details.

"Chin?" Steve scooped up some bean sprouts with the chopsticks. Some escaped back into the container.

Chin was amused by his superior's childlike attempt with chopsticks, but did not dare to joke. "Ballistics has provided us with a report on the bullets from the girl." He handed Steve the two pictures of flattened lead slugs. Snub-nosed .38 with silencer. I've been chasing down off-duty men to work the spy case most of the day."

Steve nodded. Yes, my other problem. "Bergman gave us a report on the hair sample. Light brown, probably young person. No color treatments. It was short, so it may be a man. But that is about it unless we come up with a match. They are working on the carpet fibers. On quick exam, it looks like the living room carpet from the parents' home. If so, we need a team out there to scour the place."

"But the girl wasn't living at home," Chin said in surprise.

"I know. But someone was who just happens to be a young man with light brown hair."

Chin's eye blazed with anger. "Steve, I don't like this."

"I didn't ask you to," he fired back. "This Hastings murder has certain tags consistent with a spook killing: The snub-nose, the double-tap to the head, the possible red herrings. And we may have a parent with a mysterious past who materialized from nowhere in the Islands six years ago. Someone in this case is not what he or she appears to be. I don't think there is a connection here to our friend, WO Fat, but I will not assume there is not. Everyone is suspect, Chin Ho, everyone. Even family friends. And I will follow the case to its absolute conclusion through every lead until we find the answer, is that clear?"

---------------------------------------------------------

Steve entered the House of Flowers and spotted Diane instantly. Her long hair was up in a twist in the back, leaving just one tress that gracefully curled around the left side of her neck. Her soft pink dress was both conservative and eye-catching. She noticed him and gave a beautiful smile and slight wave.

He took the chair at right angle to her, facing the stage. "Have you been waiting long?"

"No, I just arrived." A waitress delivered two margaritas. "I took the liberty to order drinks for us."

"That was thoughtful," he said gently, "but I don't drink."

"Oh." She blushed. "I am so sorry."

"It's quite all right." He hastened to ease her embarrassment.

"Well, perhaps I can do better when a recommendation from the menu," she offered with a smile.

"Fine." He gazed at her simple beauty. I can't recall the last time I fell so quickly for a lady. I've got to keep control on this one. "You know, we don't even know each other's last names."

She gave a soft laugh. "Well, that isn't necessarily true. Your picture was in tonight's paper -- Steve McGarrett."

He blinked in surprise.

"I never would have noticed it if we hadn't met. I've never gone to dinner with a celebrity before."

"Celebrity, huh?" he said through a chuckle. Some celebrity, I have a desk that predates World War I and an office that would collapse if the termites stopped holding hands.

"My last name is Rodman. I'm afraid I haven't been in the local paper yet," she said with a grin.

"I'll forgive you."

"Oh." She gave a slight gesture towards a table on the far side of the room. "There she is; the girl I told you about. She's the one in the blue top."

Steve watched the table with three young people and noticed right away that the girl Diane had indicated was angry.

Mali pouted as she poked her drink. "Kato, where is he? He's not here."

Kato shrugged and patted Mali's hand. "Danny didn't promise Mali. He was kind of mad about the ball game and all. He has some kind of psychology test tomorrow or something."

"He knew this was important to me. How could he do this to me?"

"Well, you didn't want Mr. Gloom-and-Doom here when you want to sing happy anyway, did you?" Kato's date asked. "You gonna sing pretty for us and that agent man. You gonna make it big, girl."

Mali took another sip of her drink. "You're right." Her face blossomed into a smile. "This is my night, it is just for me! It's gonna be everything!"

Diane rose and came across to the table. "Mali, I came to hear you tonight."

Mali looked up with surprise. "Diane. I remember you! We talked last week."

"I have a friend who'd like to hear about the genealogy song, too. Would you have a few minutes to visit with us?" Diane gestured towards the table where Steve waited.

Mali looked skeptical. "I dunno, Diane. Who is he? Some mainlander?"

"No, he needs to learn about the people so he can think Hawaiian."

Mali snorted. "He doesn't look like he wants to think Hawaiian. He looks like a cop."

Diane giggled. "Well, he is -- but nobody's in trouble. And besides, if you are nice to him -- well, you never know when you might need a friend in the police, huh?"

Mali considered that. "Okay. Kato, Leah, I'll be back in a second." She rose and followed Diane back to the table.

Diane gestured her to a seat. "Mali Kanea, Steve McGarrett."

"Thank you for joining us, Miss Kanea," Steve said formally. "Diane has told me that the history of the Hawaiian people is largely unwritten, passed on by word of mouth from generation to generation in chants and song. She says that you know some of these."

She eyed him quietly. "Why would you want to know these things? Haoles just want to make big money by stealing our land, making slaves of Hawaiians. We work and you get the money."

"Miss Kanea," Steve said sincerely, "I have a job to serve the people of Hawaii -- all of the people. To best do that, I need to understand what is important to the people. Will you help me?"

Mali sat for a moment, inwardly enjoying the wait, knowing that he was anticipating her response. "I tell you some. It you stay and listen to me sing, you will hear more." She licked her lips, then started to sing a chant quietly in Hawaiian. Several other patrons turned in their seats to listen.

When she had finished, Steve smiled. "That was lovely. Is there a translation?"

"That is my genealogy song. It sings of my father, Norman Kanea, son of Herman Kanea, whose mother was Niianu Pulakana, who was dressmaker to Queen Liliuokalani. And her father, Pulakana Nui was head of all servants to King Lunalilo. To Hawaiians, the blood heritage is part of who we are, our family is us. You Haole forget your family, you come to our islands to run away, not to come home. Hawaiian blood is thick and we will never let the haole divide us."

Diane is right. This is valuable stuff. If I must run a police force here, I must remember that the family ties will supersede law. Hawaiian people will be loyal to family and cover for them when necessary. And there is a feeling that the white population is unworthy of the place. Maybe they are right.

Leah came to the table. "Mali, they lookin' for you girl. It's time to sing."

She jumped up. "I've gotta go."

"Thank you for your time, Miss Kanea. Perhaps we can talk again sometime," Steve said cordially. He touched Diane's soft hand that lay on the table. "Shall we order?"

-------------------------------------------------

Mali slipped in the door to the University library and down the stairway to the lower level. It was nearly midnight, the library would be closing shortly. She was not a student and never came to the library to read, but knew exactly where to go to find what she wanted. Danny always sat in the far back corner, and would study till the building closed on a regular basis. He was just where she'd thought, two books stacked to the left, one open before him as he scribbled notes in a ring binder. She came up from behind and clapped her hands over his eyes. "Peak-a-boo! Guess who!"

He pulled her hands away. "Mali, what are you doing here?" he whispered.

"Looking for you, what did you think?" She stood behind him, arms around his neck. "I should be mad, you missed my big moment tonight. The agent was there."

"How did you do?" he asked, putting aside his work.

She giggled. "Fantastic! Oh Danny, he liked me!" She nearly jumped up and down. "I'm gonna be a star! Me! Mali Kanea!"

"Ssssh," he implored, "this is a library."

She laughed. "Let them all hear! I'm gonna be a big star! And you gonna come with me, right?"

"What?"

"We gonna go to LA and make records! Maybe Nashville, too!"

"We?" He shook his head. "Mali, that's your dream, not mine."

She sat down on his lap. "And what is your dream, Danno?" she whispered, running her fingers through his hair. She gently kissed him, brushing her fingertips across the back of his neck, then down his back. "Am I in your dreams?"

He gave a gentle smile without answering and returned her kiss.

She kissed him again, this time deeply, as he embraced her. "Wanna come home with me tonight?" she whispered into his ear and ran her fingers up the inside of his leg.

He jumped . Geeze, do I? I'd like to throw her on the table and do it right here. "Mali, you always know just how to get to me," he whispered, but it wasn't complaining.

"Of course I do," she whispered back. "Nobody knows you like I do, bruddah. We aikane for life you and me." She wiggled closer to him. "We could be daring and make it right here," she suggested.

"Are you crazy?" he whispered urgently, getting to his feet and standing her before him. "You'd get me thrown out of school." He started to collect his books.

"Good," she giggled. "We gonna go to the mainland and make it big anyway, you and me." She quickly reached out and pinched his butt.

"Mali!"

She turned, giggling with pleasure and raced for the stairway, Danny close behind her. He caught up with her half way up the stairwell, grabbed her arm, and kept the half-run momentum towards the exit. As they left, he noticed the old librarian glaring at them over the top of her black rimmed glasses. Golly, what if they have a camera down there! He kept going.

-------------------------------------------

McGarrett reported to Governor Jameson the next morning as the arrangement had been. "How goes it, Steve?" the Governor asked in friendly fashion.

"We are off to a running start, Sir," he replied with patience.

"Anything you need?"

Steve hesitated. Does he really want to hear it? Assuming he did, he started: "We need a bigger office with solid furniture. A secretary. We need to get a forensic chemist hired in HPD. I need to hire one or two more people or get a better understanding in HPD." He paused. "And we need a coffee pot."

Jameson grinned. "Is that all?"

Steve waited, not certain what the response meant.

"Well, I can give you some good news anyway. I have made space for you in the Iolani Palace. A great suite of offices. I can take you to see it later today. We'll order furniture and have you moved in by the end of the month. What else did you say? A secretary? You can go ahead, right up a job, and look for one. We'll start her had the beginning salary for secretaries in HPD."

Steve frowned with skepticism. "Excuse me, Governor, but this seems like a radical change from four days ago. Then we couldn't even get three chairs and a steno pad. Now we can hang the moon. What is this?"

"We have received federal underwriting for the task force," Paul explained with joy.

His frown deepened. "Federal money? Just like that? Why?"

"Why?"

"Yes, why?"

"I don't understand what you mean," Jameson admitted.

"If we accept federal funds to operate Five-0, does the department go from being a state run department to a federally run one? If we sell ourselves to the bureaucrats when will they ask us to pay back? Governor, I'm not sure why there is money being thrown our direction, but I think it is to tie our hands."

Jameson looked uncomfortable. "One of the issues of statehood is federal support."

"Five-0 does not want federal funds," Steve declared. "We'll stay where we are, as we are."

"That won't be necessary, Steve," Jameson replied. "We'll find a way."

"I am curious about why the attention right now," Steve repeated. "We have only two cases. I doubt the feds are interested in the WO Fat issue; we are collaborating with the Navy on that one. That only leaves the Hastings murder." That killing had the earmarks of a spook action; the dad has a mysterious past. Just what is going on in that family? What else does Island Publishing do?

The intercom box on Jameson's desk beeped. "Phone call for Mr. McGarrett," the secretary announced.

Steve accepted Jameson's phone. "McGarrett."

"Better get out to the Pali Highway near the tunnel," Chin's voice announced. "We have three dead people -- one them is Commodore Reg Palmer, the director of the missile testing."

----------------------------------------------------------------------

There were several police cars, the coroner's wagon, an ambulance, and three navy staff cars present in addition to Chin's car when Steve arrived at the rural hillside where the right shoulder was rock mountain and the left a steep drop off of about sixty feet. He was met by both Chin and Garrison.

"Richard," Steve nodded to him.

"Didn't think we'd meet again quite so soon," Garrison commented as Steve walked to the edge of the road and looked over. Two thirds of the way down the steep rocky bank was an overturned car, badly crushed with several officers moving carefully around collecting photographic evidence. There was a white sheet over a body that was outside of the car.

Steve noticed Che Fong directing the people below and was glad. I am going to find a way to hire him away from the Naval lab. He is a civilian employee and is more needed by his state than his federal government.

"The dead are Commodore Reg Palmer, his wife Marsha, and his driver Lieutenant Don Miller. According to initial evidence, the accident happening at 10:48 last night," Garrison stated.

"Oh? That's some evidence," Steve remarked quietly.

"Palmer's watch was broken in the accident. It stopped at that time," Garrison added. "Other than that, nothing yet. I'm seeing to it that no word of this is disclosed to the public until we get this sorted out. I am looking at this as a potential threat to national security."

"National security?" McGarrett frowned. And when does Garrison get around to telling me what the hell is going on around here? "Rick, it sounds like there is more I need to know. Is there a connection between this and Hastings?"

"I didn't say that," Garrison replied, pokerfaced. "It would be a pretty long reach, wouldn't it?"

McGarrett gave a small tight smile. "Yes, it would." Stranger things have happened and Garrison is as nervous as the proverbial cat. Steve looked at the road and noticed the long black skid marks from the right lane over into the left, then through the barrier fence. "Anyone measure these yet?" he called.

"Yes," Chin spoke up. "And photos."

He nodded, then began his long climb down to the crime scene. Che Fong spotted him coming and walked towards him. "The only good news is we have lots of evidence," the scientist reported. "Marks on the points of impact and the tire marks indicate they were run off the road. The other car was traveling at a high rate of speed -- wrong lane. The driver swerved, the oncoming car struck them here --" he pointed to a long tear in the metal side of the passenger side, "-- and deflected them over them edge."

"Intentional?"

Che smiled. "Evidence won't tell you that, Steve. Could have been, or could have been a drunk driver. When I can tell you is that the car that struck them was red; see the paint here?"

"Red?" Steve wondered how many red cars there were in Honolulu.

"It gets better. The axle wheel ratio seems rather distinct, so I may be able to narrow it down to just one manufacturer and it won't be General Motors. Also, the front right tire was a retread and had a nail in it. It was a slow leak, so the driver didn't know it. You might want to look for someone getting a flat fixed today. May I drop by your office later today? I may have the make by then and I have some information on that button you left with me."

"Sure, Che. I'll be there at 1 o'clock," he said, hoping he would be. And it will be a great opportunity to see if I can bring Che on board for fair state of Hawaii. He spotted Bergman rising from under the car. "Morning, Doc."

He gave a grunt of a response. "I can give you more after I examine the bodies. Right now, all I can tell you is that Palmer died instantly. Crushed skull from impact on the windshield. Miller died pretty quickly too, impaled on the steering column." He gestured towards the body outside of the car. "Marsha Palmer is a bit sadder. She wasn't thrown out, she crawled out. She bled to death. If the other driver had not left the scene, she probably would have survived." He sighed.

"Thanks, Doc. Give me the details when you have them." He turned to Chin. "Well, I know Garrison is worried about some sort of spy detail pulling this off. We can put him at ease anyway." Maybe.

"How so?" Chin asked.

"A professional would have made sure they were all dead. Marsha Palmer did not die from the accident. She died from neglect. We also will be charging someone with murder one, not manslaughter."

----------------------------------------------

Steve tried to catch up on his notes in the office as he awaited Che's arrival. The unopened Michener novel sat on one corner of his desk and he wondered when he'd find the time to even crack the cover. It did permit his mind to take a fifteen second vacation to think about Diane.

"Nice place you have here, Steve," Che said with a grin and he squeezed into the office.

"Yeah, thanks," he replied. "I hope you have some help for me."

"I think I do," he said. Che was never hurried, never angry, always gentle. If he had judgments about things, he rarely disclosed them. "What would you like to start with?"

He sighed. "The accident, I guess."

"You are looking for a red 1954 Nash Rambler. As I said before, the right front tire may be low if it hasn't been already fixed. There will be damage on the front passenger side corner. Probably pretty substantial, yet obviously still drive-able. I did you a favor and checked DMV. There are seventeen of those cars on Oahu, but they don't track colors, so --" he handed him a list. "--registrations on all of them. As for the Hastings case, the carpet is, without question, from the living room."

"Che, how can you be so certain?" Steve asked. It seemed too good.

"The carpet had been shampooed in the last couple of weeks. There was soap residue in the fibers. That and the bits of soil and plant spores match exactly. This will hold up in court."

Steve tapped the files that Chin had collected on the people with whom Natalie had been in contact. "Anything else?"

"The button you asked me to check out," Che commented. "It is a brass button manufactured in Italy. This particular style was used exclusively two years ago by London Fog just for men's dress jackets."

"And only by them?"

"The design on the front of the button was specific," he explained. "Only them."

So, I have the killer in her parents' house, perhaps as her lover, definitely wearing a London Fog jacket. After killing her in spook style with a .38, she is dumped in an alley like a dead tramp. Why didn't he get rid of her in any of several ways that would be secret? He wanted this public. It was a message to someone, but whom?

He began to read the background files. When Chin arrived half an hour later, Steve was deep in thought. "Chin," Steve murmured. "We need to go out to the Hastings home again."

He nodded. "Sure."

"Is Williams still living there?"

"No. He's back at the dorm."

"I want him there, too. Will you pick him up?"

Chin scowled. "What are you thinking, Steve?"

Steve rose from behind the cramped desk. He could think better when he could move and this office did not support that habit. "I know you like this boy. He seems to have had all the right breaks in life. 4.0 average in High School; Salutatorian, captain of the baseball team, broke a record in cross-country, even was first string in basketball. Most likely to succeed anything he wanted. Three years in the marines and he comes out a sharp shooter, weapons expert, with demolition training. Now he's riding a 3.9 average as a psychology major at the University. He's had easy street all the way. He bothers me, Chin. He's had it all too simple. The kind that think the law isn't for them."

Chin Ho took the time to light his pipe. He puffed twice as the aromatic tobacco scent permeated the air. "Maybe you better look again Steve. Try the line that says he's pulled social security since December 7, 1941, when his daddy went down on the Arizona. Or the place that says he was raised by a maiden aunt after his mother died in an influenza epidemic. He's done good, but he did it on his own. And if you think he killed that girl, you are wrong."

Steve nodded. "Your opinion is noted, Chin. Now, get him out to the Hastings'."

-------------------------------------------------

"I cannot imagine what you are looking for," Lynette stated nervously as Steve and Kono entered her home.

"We are looking for information that will lead us to your daughter's killer," Steve said quietly.

"But here?"

"We have evidence that she was killed right here in your home."

She gasped.

"We would appreciate your permission to look around the house."

She barely managed a nod.

Kono began to take some careful dustings of fingerprints around door jams, windowsills, table tops.

"Has the floor been vacuumed since Natalie's death?" Steve asked.

"Of course. The girl did it today," Lynette offered.

"I need the dust bag from the machine," he stated.

The door opened and Chin entered, Dan Williams in tow. "What is this about?" Williams blurted immediately.

Ah, yes, the best defense is a good offense, Steve thought, recognizing the tactic. "Thank you for coming, Williams. Were you here in this house between 11 PM and 5 AM on the night of Natalie Hastings' murder?"

"Yes I was," he replied.

"And where were you in the house? Show it to me, if you would," Steve asked quietly.

He led the way through the house to the guestroom off the kitchen. "Right here."

Steve glanced at the spotless room with pink rose wallpaper, lace curtains, and wicker furniture. The window opened onto the back patio. "And you never heard anything that night."

"No."

"What time did you go to bed?"

"I don't remember," Danny replied, pausing to think. "About midnight."

"Was it midnight, or don't you remember?" Steve said a bit hardly.

"I remember now, it was about midnight. The dog was barking and I went out to shut him up just before I turned out the light."

"What was the dog barking at?"

He shrugged. "I don't know. He barks at everything. I just tied him up."

"You tied up the dog?"

"Yes."

"Where?"

He was becoming flustered. "By his dog house! In the yard!"

"Did he bark after that?"

"Only for a minute or two. Then he stopped."

"You heard nothing else?"

"No. Nothing."

"And you went to bed."

"Yes, I was really tired."

"Nothing else."

"I already said that," Williams retorted. "You have it all."

"No, Mr. Williams, I do not have it all," Steve said hotly. "Miss Hastings was killed right here in this house sometime between midnight and 4 AM. You were the only one in the house."

Danny's mouth dropped open and the color drained from his face. "My God, you think -- but I -- Chin, he has it all wrong."

Chin looked miserable. "We're just looking at the evidence, Danny. We have to check everything."

Kono had walked by them to the kitchen area to dust and the dog began to bark at him from outside. "Nice dog," Kono remarked sarcastically to Lynette.

"He barks at everything, even us," she offered.

"Sorry about the dust, ma'am. Some degreaser stuff will remove it," Kono offered.

Steve, Chin and Danny began to reenact Danny's steps on the night of Natalie's death, but it was clear than the student was terrified that any move he made might be implicating him further. Steve gazed out of the kitchen door at the small dog barking wildly at them.

Following his tracks, Danny walked out, took hold of the dog's collar, walked him to the doghouse and tied him up. Danny straightened. "Oh, I fed him," he recalled.

"Dog food?"

"No, leftovers from the fridge. There was some pot roast I had just warmed up for dinner. Mrs. Hastings had left it for me, but I didn't eat it all, so I gave the last of it to the dog."

"Chin," Steve said quietly. "I want the dog poop tested."

"You want what?" Chin stared at him.

"Get an HPD officer out here to collect all the dog droppings he can find and get them to Che Fong."

Chin gulped wondering how he'd get an officer to agree to this kind of a job.

Steve turned his granite expression on Williams. "Will you submit to a blood test? I can get a warrant if I need to, or you can do this voluntarily."

Danny frowned. "What are you looking for?"

"Your innocence."

Kono approached them. "Steve, I need to show you something." He led McGarrett to the master bedroom and gestured to the recent repair to the dry wall.

Steve estimated that the new drywall patch was about 18" x 12". The repair had been made quickly -- and recently. The new paint did not quite match. He noticed Mrs. Hastings spying on them from around the corner. "Mrs. Hastings, do you know anything about this?"

"Certainly," she said quietly, her eyes diverting downward. "It was an accident. Roger put his hand through the wall."

"How did he come to do that?"

"He, um, was impatient." She wrung her hands. "We have been under a lot of stress, Mr. McGarrett. Our daughter has been murdered! Tempers flare. He got angry, so he punched the wall."

"What was he angry about?"

"Things. Nothing. Everything."

I need to talk with Roger Hastings. It's time I paid a visit to the publisher.

-------------------------------------------------------

Kono had marked six of the Nash Ramblers off his list. Considering how wild the day had been, he felt pretty good about that. Five of them had been colors other than red. The one red one he had seen had been up on blocks awaiting parts from the mainland for two weeks. He now stood on the front step of a small yellow clapboard home knocking on the screened door.

The middle-aged Hawaiian woman who answered greeted him in Hawaiian. Replying in the same he stated that he needed to see the car. She waddled around to the yard out back and pointed to a rusty Chevy station wagon. He asked about the Nash and she gave a toothy grin, claiming it belonged to her son, Kato and she did not know where he was.

Disappointed, Kono was just turning away with the convertible red Nash Rambler streaked up before the house, Kato at the wheel. The carefree smile melted away from his face revealing apprehension as he, accurately determined Kono to be a police officer.

"You Kato Akia?"

He frowned. "You a cop?"

"Yup. This your car?"

"Yeah," he replied, hands on hips.

Kono walked around the passenger side. "What happened here?" he asked gesturing to the damage.

"I don't know. Came out from the bar and it was like that. Somebody just hit it, you know? Made me mad, too. This is a nice car."

"Uh-huh." Kono eyed the damaged right front quarter panel, trying to decide if there was evidence to prove out the boy's story. "Did you report it?"

"Report it?" He scoffed. "Hey, man, who's gonna care, huh? A kanaka loco's car gets banged. No big deal. I got no insurance."

"Too bad," Kono commented. "Cause I'm gonna have to impound your vehicle."

----------------------------------------------------

Steve scanned all he could as he was led through the front office of Island Publishers. The secretary was conservative, professional, and neat to a fault. There wasn't a scrap of paper on her desk.

"This way, please." She led him down the corridor to the office of Roger Hastings.

Hastings' office was actually a cubicle. There were stacks of manuscripts on the desk. There was a cutup copy of a picture book entitled Brother Rabbit Wins the Prize spread out on the desk. Roger put down a red pencil and turned to face Steve. "Good afternoon. My wife said you'd be by."

"I have just a few questions," Steve replied, watching the back of the secretary as she retreated. "Is there somewhere private we can talk?"

Roger led him to the conference room. "Is this better?"

Steve got right to his point. "I am told you and your wife were off the Island when Natalie died. Where were you?"

Without hesitate Roger answered, "Booksellers Convention, Chicago. They have a big one every Spring."

"You have lived in the Islands for six years."

"Yes," Roger agreed.

"And before that?"

"Arizona."

"Where in Arizona?"

"Flagstaff, why?"

"Hastings, there are no records of you, your wife, your children anywhere before six years ago, why is that?"

Hastings shrugged with a little laugh. "Who should have a record? We're pretty normal people."

"Your fingerprints are not in file on the mainland."

"McGarrett, what are you getting at?"

"Is it like your whole family appeared out of nowhere. Why is that?"

Hastings face flushed red. "McGarrett, just what are you implying?"

"I'm not implying anything," he retorted, "I'm asking. Now how can a family of four appear in the Islands with two half grown children no history of address, business, schools, drivers licenses, birth certificates -- nothing?"

Hastings color was gradually progressing to purple. "You're the smart cop, McGarrett, you figure it out. No one could just appear like that without help -- or a reason. We were transplanted here by the federal government, that is all you need to know."

That is no surprise, but it does open the door wide to past enemies. "So much for the innocent book editor, huh?" Steve remarked. "May I ask again about people who would be trying to injure you are your family?"

"You can ask," Hastings snapped, "but I won't answer. I can't answer."

"Not even to help us capture your daughter's killer!" Steve demanded, clenching a fist.

"Especially not to help you capture her killer. Don't take this personally, McGarrett, but if someone out there is looking for me, you won't be able to stop it. And anyone I can think of would not have been interested in Natalie, they would have gone for me for Lynette."

Lynette? Am I dealing with the Federal Witness Program or an All-in-the-Family spook team? I have heard of husband-wife agents, but never quite believed it. And didn't Mrs. Hastings play the role. They are willing to sacrifice their daughter for this -- whatever it is.

"Look, McGarrett, the little charade is over, okay?" Hastings said quietly. "I cannot bring back Natalie. I would give anything if I could. I want her killer to pay, but I was in the business too long. You won't solve your crime."

"Was? Have you retired?"

"Of course," he said with a blink. "That was why we relocated to Hawaii. I thought I had made my last sacrifice in the service of our country. I guess I was wrong."

Steve started to turn towards the door then paused. "Oh, one more thing. There was a wall repair in your bedroom."

He smiled calmly. "I am certain Lynette told you that I lost my temper, didn't she?"

"Did she? I guess she did," he replied with a smile. As Steve left the office, he gave a final glance around. I'd bet the ranch that this guy is anything but retired. And the publishing office was too neat, too clean. The book he was editing did not have one red mark. I was just in a CIA front office.

-------------------------------------------------

Kato found Mali as she headed up the walk to her mother's modest home, an armload of shopping bags in her arms. Mali!" he called in relief. "I've been looking all over for you!"

She grinned. "I been shopping, Bruddah! Pay day and I needed new threads for that agent man. He's gonna make a real tape of my singing and get me a big record deal in California. He gonna call me tonight and we're gonna make plans! Mama is so proud!"

He barely listened to her. "Mali, I need your help."

"Are you proud of me, Kato?" She said, ignorant of the urgency in his voice.

"What?" His face squinted.

"Me and Danno gonna go to the mainland and make it rich!" She giggled. She dropped the bags. "Wait, let me show you what I got."

"Mali!" Kato implored, grabbing her arms. "Please, be quiet. Listen to me!"

His anxiety finally registered and she mellowed. "Okay, Kato," she said more slowly, concern showing, "what is it?"

"A cop came to my mama's place lookin' for the Nash."

She scowled. "So?"

"I know he knows, Mali. He asked questions and stuff."

"What kind of questions?"

"Where I was and stuff. I told him that somebody hit the car in a parking lot."

"Did he believe you?"

"I don't know." He licked his lips. "They impounded my car to look at it. Mali, we were just having fun. I didn't mean nothing, you know that. We didn't mean to wreck that car. I'm worried."

"There's nothing to worry about, Kato. We just stick to what we said. We left the club, drove over to the University to see Danno. That's it."

He was not so easily calmed. "But, Mali, if he asks Danny, Danny will tell 'em that he didn't see you till nearly midnight. And he didn't see me at all."

She giggled. "We looked for him, right? That took a while. Don't worry, Kato. It's cool. Danny will say what I tell him. It will be okay, trust me."

--------------------------------------------------

Mali planned her strategy well. She picked her clothing with care to be provocative. She checked her tight shorts and the thin shirt she'd selected to wear braless. Whoever said 'The way to a man's heart is through his stomach' was about 12 inches too high. Her next step was to buy several bottles of wine, cut up some fruit, crackers and cheese. The blanket also had special meaning; she and Danny laid on it the first time they'd made love. Their small hideaway of a beach cove seemed to be theirs alone. They had never encountered another soul in all their visits. At last she had him by the hand and was leading the way to their little cove as the stars began to come out.

Danny poured the wine as the half-moon rose over the ocean.

"We should build a house here someday," Mali whispered accepting the glass.

He chuckled. "I thought you were headed for the mainland."

"You'll wait for me, won't you?" she replied. The breeze caught her hair, lifting it away from her shoulders for a moment.

He stopped himself from promising to wait for her forever. How could I promise that? There is something bewitching about this place. The perfume she always wore filled his mind.

Mali popped a cracker into Danny's mouth. "I love you, Danny." She draped her body across him, her breasts easily visible through the thin linen.

Danny could feel the passion exploding within him. "I love you, too," he replied. Do I? I wish I knew. Sometimes she makes me so angry, then there are minutes like this when I'd give her anything. And I usually do.

Mali calculated her timing well. Waiting until a better part of the second bottle of wine had been consumed and until she knew she had Danny in a frame of mind where he'd agree to anything. She desired his touch, his caress and adoration. But tonight she wanted even more. As they lay entwined together on the soft blanket in the hollow of sand she whispered, "You do love me, right?"

"Yes, Mali, you know that," he whispered back, kissing her neck.

"You'd help me, right?"

"Help you do what?" He thought she would ask him to move to LA again. Every time she asks, it's harder to say no. Right this minute I could stay with her forever.

"You remember the other night when I met you in the library, right?"

He grinned. "And you tried to seduce me in the psych section? How could I forget?"

"Kato just needs you to tell a cop that."

Danny would never have imagined a romantic mood could be shattered so quickly. "What?" He sat up. His own present police problems rushed to mind. "What do you mean?"

She hastened to pacify him. "Nothing, Danno, it's nothing. Just tell them we were there. Wasn't it about 10:30? Yes, I'm sure it was 10:30."

He frowned. "It nearly midnight and it was just you. What's all this about?" She brought me down here, did all this, as a trick.

"Kato needs somebody to give him an alibi. He didn't do anything wrong, but he just needs you take say he was with us."

Danny's anger bubbled. "God, Mali, you thought you could offer me sex and I'd just jump for whatever you wanted?"

"Kato's my second cousin. He needs my help."

"So you're trying to buy my help with sex? Selling yourself like a common whore!"

"Jeeze, Danny. It isn't like we never got it on before. I just thought you might be helpful if you were in a better mood first."

"Better mood! You want me to lie for you!"

"Yes, I do!" She shouted back. "Kato is my friend. He just needs us to account for him!"

"Yeah? Where was he really, Mali?"

"I know where he was. He was driving home! He just side-swiped a car and he was a little drunk."

"And my guess is he left the scene," Danny added.

She nodded. "He said someone whacked the car and that he was with you. How can he defend himself if you won't agree?"

He jumped to his feet, collecting his clothing. "I don't know, Mali. But I can't lie for him."

Mali scrambled to her feet. "Where are you going?"

He picked up his shirt and shoes. "Home. I'm walking home."

"Danno! You told me you loved me!"

He pulled the shirt over his head and stuck the shoes under his arm. "I won't do this."

"If you loved me, you'd help us!"

He turned his back to walk away.

"It isn't just Kato! It's me and Leah, too! You're hurting us all! How can you be so evil!"

He turned back to face her. "It's not me, Mali. Kato did this. You can't blame me because he hit a car. I've got problems enough right now. I don't need any more."

"But Kato already told them! Please, Danno. It isn't such a big thing. He was scared Danny, scared of the police!"

I know well enough how that feels.
There was a fleeting hesitation in his expression.

Mali did not miss the reconsideration. "Please, Danno," she repeated, coming towards him. "Do it for me?"

His brows knit as he glared at the ground. "I'm sorry, Mali. I just can't."

She wondered if she might still get him to change his mind if she let the subject drop for a few minutes. "Okay," she said quietly and placed her arms around his neck again. "We still have the night."

He gently broke her grip. "I need to get back," he mumbled and turned away in the dark.

"Danny!"

This time, he did not glance back, but kept walking.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

On another beach, on the west side of the Island, Steve strolled with Diane through the gentle low tide waves that lapped the shoreline.

"Do you ever miss the mainland?" she asked him.

"Not often," he replied. "There isn't anything for me back there. This is where I'm needed."

She gave a gentle laugh. "Spoken like a man of dedication. No family, no past, just the present and the goals of the future." She gazed into his eyes. "Have you always lived such a lonely life?"

McGarrett was not comfortable discussing personal issues with others. Diane was no exception, regardless of how attracted to her he found himself. "Tell me about your interview at Kamehameha School. Will they hire you?"

"Aha," she whispered, "changing the subject -- but delicately. That's okay. Yes, the interview went well. No, I haven't heard if I get the job or not. I think I will though." She swung the shoes she carried in her left hand. "I would so much like to stay here forever!"

He smiled. "I should take you sailing soon," he promised. "The Islands have a very special beauty when seen from the water."

"I would love to! When?"

He lifted an eyebrow. "I guess I'll need to see when I can get a day away." I've only had this job for five days and I'm looking forward to a vacation! "Do you know the constellations?" Enveloping her in his arms, he pointed towards the heavenly bodies flickering in the night sky. "Orion's belt. And there are the Pleiades, Bellatrix, and Rigels. According to the Greeks, Orion was a mighty hunter. One day while hunting, he was stung by a scorpion and died. The gods felt sorry for him so they lifted him up to the heavens; hence, the constellation of Orion. And they also placed his two dogs, Canis Major and Canis Minor, Taurus the bull, and Lepus the rabbit for him to hunt." He pointed out each cluster of stars. "But they made sure that Scorpius was on the far side of the heavens so that Orion would never be stung again."

She rested her head back against his chest, relaxed and at peace.

It was a natural thing to simply drop his head and place the kiss on her lips. They gazed into each other's eyes for a moment, each seeking the thoughts and feelings of the other. Then they kissed again with intention and commitment. She is so marvelous, beautiful, gentle, but I cannot afford a relationship right now. There are too many pressing matters. But could I let her go? Would she go? I would be a fool. I only met her yesterday but I feel as though I have known her all my life, waited for her all my life. And now she is here. And here I shall stay.

------------------------------------------------------------

Chin arrived at 6:15 AM, stole a cup of coffee from the report room of the station and at 6:30 sat through the morning briefing of the day shift. The night before had been unusually quiet for a Friday, so everyone was in a good mood this morning. As he left, the City Desk officer handed him an envelope.

"You in Five-0 right, Kelley? This for you guys."

Noting the postmark from Utah and the air mail special delivery, Chin opened the envelope on route to the office. By the time he was coming through the door, he already understood the new wrinkle in the Hastings case. He stuck the photo towards Steve. "New trouble, Steve."

McGarrett examined the driver's photo of Tim Ottman. Only, it was not the face of Tim Ottman that Natalie's roommates had given him. "Our Tim Ottman is a fake."

Chin nodded. "Looks like it, Steve."

"How could he get away with that?" Kono asked. "He told the girl, her mother, the roommates who he was."

"How many girls you know ask for an ID when you pick them up?" Steve asked.

Kono grinned. "They're too dazzled by my good looks."

Chin issued a chuckle. "You date nearsighted girls?"

McGarrett gazed again at the real face of Tim Ottman. "Well, he must have left fingerprints registered somewhere. Kono, see where the report is."

"They have lots of prints to go through, Steve," Kono reminded gently.

McGarrett's expression revealed his impatience. "Get the results, Kono." He pulled the 3x5 picture of Natalie and her boyfriend the roommate had given him. The now nameless boyfriend wore a baseball cap and sunglasses, so an identity would be more difficult. "Get back to the two roommates. Take them through the mug files. Include federal and Interpol."

"That will take forever!" Kono blurted. "I thought I was tracking down those Ramblers."

"Assign it to HPD."

Yeah, just like that, huh? "Do I have that authority?" he asked timidly.

Steve glared at him. "I do. Do it."

Kono decided it was time to leave without further question. He passed Chin Ho in the hall. "Stormy weather in dere, bruddah," he murmured.

Chin merely smiled. In spite of his placid demeanor, he was rarely intimidated and almost always one step ahead of every boss he'd ever had. He accurately deduced McGarrett's frustration was not related to his team, but to a lack of progress. I'm going to help some there. "Got your collaborative effort of Bergman and Fong here," he said handing over the two pages of lab readouts.

Steve accepted them commenting, "I thought you all said this would take a week."

Chin grinned. "Good lab people always take the outside estimate and add two days. Makes them look better."

"I'll have to remember that one," Steve mumbled, but his attention was on the information. "Jackpot time, huh?"

Chin agreed. "Che says it's amazing the dog didn't die. Enough barbiturate in there to knock out an elephant. Someone wanted to make sure Williams slept through something."

"Yeah, Chin, but who?" He tapped a finger on the edge of the desk. "Williams' blood test was almost clean. What kind of drug will take some down someone down that fast but clear through the kidneys in just four days

"Che supposed it was a compound that the CIA was working on last year. They got good results with it."

CIA again. This whole thing smacks of CIA. McGarrett picked up the phone receiver and dialed a number. "Put me through to the Field Director of the CIA," he snapped to the person at the other end.

That impressed Chin whose eyes widened. Is there a Field Director in Hawaii? I suppose so, but do they put the phone number in the white pages?

"Marten this is Steve," McGarrett said into the phone.

Chin blinked again. He's on a first name basis with him to boot. We may really have the right man in McGarrett.

"How's your slice?" Steve asked in a pseudo-friendly manner. "We'll have to do a few holes soon. Listen, I have a small matter I need to discuss with you...Okay, that will be fine." He hung up and picked up his suit jacket from the back of the chair. "Chin, I'm going over to NIS to see Che Fong. I need you to go back to the Hastings again."

"And do what?"

"Go through that place again. There has to be something more there. See if you can find out who repaired the wall."

----------------------------------------------------

Che had three aides crawling around, under and through the red Nash Rambler when Steve arrived at the NIS lab. "You are keeping me pretty busy here lately," Che kidded. "Uncle Sam is going to ask you to pay for me at this rate."

Steve smiled without voicing his thought, I wish I was. "Chin told me about the drugs."

He nodded. "No question but that both the boy and the dog were drugged pretty heavily."

"How long would that drug have stayed potent in the food?"

He shrugged. "If I recall from the notes it was pot roast with gravy. The drug might have started to break down once the food was heated, but it got eaten then, so -- I don't think I could say that it had to have been added just before it was eaten or anything, but someone with access to the kitchen added it."

"How good are your boys at fingerprints?"

He gave a small smirk. "I heard you are creating a mountain of stuff for the guys in HPD."

"Getting anything off the Rambler?"

"Well I can tell you that this was the vehicle and the evidence will stand up in court. Paint is right, the flat tire is in the trunk. Damage is appropriate. We're processing the prints for you. As you'd expect, there are a ton."

"I owe you on this one, Che."

"Well, since you say that..." Che hesitated, "there is something."

"Name it," Steve replied, interest piqued.

Che seemed mildly embarrassed. "Oh, that's okay. Never mind."

"No, really. What is it?" Steve insisted.

"Would you have enough influence to get me a position with the State?"

Steve stared at him. "What?"

"The civilian jobs are being phased out," Che explained. "There aren't too many jobs for criminologists in Hawaii."

"Well, I can try. We could maybe squeeze you in somewhere," Steve said seriously. I cannot believe this! Just when I thought I'd have to sweet talk him away from NIS! What a stroke of luck!

"Mr. McGarrett, you have a phone call," reported an aide, waving the receiver.

"McGarrett," he said into the receiver, taking it from the young man's hand.

"This is Kono. I've got a positive ID on the guy Natalie's friend says is Ottman. He's got an outstanding federal warrant for smuggling arms to the Middle East. Real name is Bart Polski."

"Put out an APB."

"Already have."

Good, you are thinking ahead, Kono. "Then pick up Kato Akia. I'd like to talk to him."

"Will do, Steve."

----------------------------

Steve used the services of an interrogation room of HPD to address Kato. The room would be intimidating, cold, and might make the boy come clean right off the bat. He was surprised to recognize him as one of the young people who had been with Mali Kanea at the House of Flowers. "Akia, have you been advised of your rights?"

Kato was sitting straight up in the chair, trying to look like an honest, clean citizen. "Yes, sir," he answered a little too quickly. "I told the officer yesterday. Someone hit my car. I don't know what this is about."

"Where were you this past Monday night?" Steve asked glancing at Kono who stood quietly by at the doorway.

"I took some friends to the House of Flowers. Mali, my friend, she was singing."

"And what time did you leave there?"

Kato shuffled his feet. "About 10 o'clock, I think. Yeah, Mali wanted to go give her boyfriend the good news about the mainland agent. She was real excited."

Steve had already known when they left. So far, the boy was telling the truth. "Where did you go?"

"The University. We were looking for Danno, that's her boyfriend."

"You left the club and drove to the University. You were there how long?"

"We were there till just after midnight. College guys have a 1 AM curfew."

"And then?"

"I took Mali and Leah home. Leah had to work the next day. You can ask Mali and Leah."

"I will," he assured Kato.

"And Leah's parents, they'll tell you what time I brought her home."

"Aika, the time I am most interested in was around 10:45. Where were you then?"

He stammered slightly. "We were at the University looking for Danno."

"I imagine we can talk to him, too?"

"Well," he hesitated, "yeah, sure. Dan Williams, he's a student there."

Williams again? That kid keeps turning up. "And he will verify you were on campus?" Steve repeated.

"Yeah," Kato nodded.

"Akia, I want you to know that there is no doubt that your vehicle was involved in a road accident that occurred on Pali Highway Monday evening at 10:48 PM. No doubt. The car was there. How do you explain that?"

He looked mystified and shrugged, raised his hands. "I don't know."

"Three people died in that accident."

Kato's eyes grew round and he paled. "What?"

"And naval officer, his wife, and driver were killed. This isn't a simple drunk driving issue. We are talking about hit and run. Death by auto. Murder charges."

"Murder!" Kato was suddenly filled with dread.

"Confess right now and it will go easier."

Is he fooling me? Can this be a bluff? He doesn't look like the kind to bluff. If I confess, it's over forever. I didn't mean to hit that car. I didn't know. I thought I just bumped it. I guess I'd been drinking a lot. I can't even remember what happened. They won't care. They'll put me in jail for life. If I keep saying I didn't do it and can get Danno to agree, I don't think they can touch me. "I wasn't there, Mr. McGarrett. Really, you gotta believe me."

Steve turned away, glancing towards Kono. "Book him. Hit and run, death by auto, three counts of murder in the first degree."

Kono nodded and tapped Kato's shoulder. "Come on, kid."

"No! Wait!" he pleaded. "It's a mistake. I didn't do anything! Maybe someone took my car!"

"How could that be? You claimed you were in that car on campus at 10:45," Steve replied.

Kato waved his hands over his head in confusion. "I don't know!"

Steve sighed calmly. "Son, do you want to change your story? Now is the time."

Kato gulped once, trying to think of a way out. "Please, you gotta believe me."

Have to hand it to him, he is persistent anyway. Caught red handed and he holds to the lie. "Okay, Kono, book him." Steve shook his head as Kono and Kato left the room. What a waste. Well, at least we can tie up one of our cases. If I can put the boy in the car, Che can put the car at the scene. He stepped out of the room, headed towards the exit when the city desk officer waved a home.

"McGarrett, phone call."

He again accepted the receiver. "McGarrett."

It was Chin, standing in the vacant house that had once housed the Hastings. "Steve, you'd better come out here..."

----------------------------------------------------

It was hard to believe that someone could have cleared out so quickly. Furniture, clothing, dishes, even the dog had vanished from the Hastings home. Steve walked through the empty house, stopping to run his finger along a windowsill. They had even taken the time to dust.

"They are professionals at getting out in a hurry," he remarked.

Chin nodded. "Professional. No local mover was hired -- I checked."

Che stepped inside the door, a thin metal rod in his hand with a spent casing on it. "Found this in the front yard. .38. We're collecting foliage samples. Looks like the girl was shot outside the house." He slipped the brass casing into a small paper envelope.

Steve ground his teeth as he walked through the empty house again. "Why did they clear out? What spooked them?" He glared at the repaired wall in the bedroom. What secret does that hold? Was it a fit of rage, or was something hidden in there that was removed? What was it? "Chin, I have an appointment to keep with Marten Camp. Find this Bart Polski. We know what he looks like. We have an address. Get a warrant to check out his place. Be careful, he is not to know we're on to him and I don't want him picked up. When you find him, just tail him. And be careful about it. My guess is he's in the spy business, too."

------------------------------------------------------------

The golf course seemed like a nice public place to meet Marten Camp, but it was Saturday and the public course was crammed with players. Steve and Camp moved off towards the clubhouse instead which was fine with Steve. He didn't think he could concentrate on his game anyway.

"Been along time, Steve," Camp said as they shook hands. "Let's see. Was it Guam six -- no seven years ago."

"That long already?" Steve commented, tolerating the small talk.

"Those were the days, huh? We were brilliant. You did a fine job identifying the German rocket man. We slipped him out right under the Russians noses." He chuckled. "I'll never forget the look on Vlademer's face." He slipped his ice water. Like Steve, Marten did not drink. He glanced at Steve. "So, what is it? I know you want something."

"Roger Hastings."

"Who?" Camp blinked in mock innocence.

"Please, Marten, do me the honor of cutting the games. Hastings' daughter was murdered. It's my duty to find out by whom."

Marten ran a finger around the edge of his glass. "It is unfortunate that the state of Hawaii decided to start it's special unit right now -- and that they picked you of all people to run it. I'd have never guessed you to bail out of the Navy."

Steve waited silently, not allowing the subject to change.

"I read about the girl's murder. I never knew her of course. Sad thing, a sad thing." Marten straightened and looked Steve in the eye. "What does this have to do with me?"

"Hastings is your man."

"I have no Hastings."

So we're going to play games. "Fine, her father is your man. What is he into that could get her killed?"

Marten's expression tightened. "I don't have a Hastings."

Steve anger was starting to build. "I've been to the publisher, I've been to the house. I know that signs of your people when I see them." He threw the picture of Bart Polski on the table. "And this guy's in it, too."

Camp eyed the photo.

He did not know that. He knew the rest, but not about Polski.

"Steve, I know you need to make an impression -- just starting out and all. Remember, your purpose is to see justice served. It shall be."

He's telling me that I'm right. But he's also saying that now they have the face, the CIA will take care of this. Do I want it that way?

Camp rose from the table. "Sorry I could not be more help, Steve." He forced a smile. "Stay in touch, okay?"

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Danny walked into the locker room to collect his things. The locker room had the perpetual odor of unwashed clothing and sweat. It was kind of sad to think of the ball season as over. A week ago the team had been discussing their playoff possibilities. Can't win them all. He opened his locker and took out his cleats and glove. Slipping the glove over his left hand, he tapped the pocket with his right fist a few times. There's always next year. The door opened and he turned, expecting to see coach.

It wasn't. Two Hawaiian youths, both in their early twenties came into the locker room.

Danny recognized them right away. Paki Onia and Ted Karakeona were small time bullies for hire. "What do you want?" Danny demanded, hands on hips not showing any of his inward apprehension.

The bigger one, Paki, grinned. "I was lookin' for you. I was told you might be here."

"Well," he shrugged. "Here I am."

"Kato Akia," he explained. "I was told you might need some convincing to talk up for him."

Danny frowned. "I haven't been questioned about this by the police."

"You will be. You need to say Kato was with you Monday night, you got that?"

"I don't know where Kato was or what Kato did. I didn't see him." He scowled. I can't see Kato hiring these guys, that just isn't like him. "Who put you up to this, it wasn't Kato."

Paki stepped closer. "He didn't have to. He's cousin to me. Kato says you like a bruddah. Mali says you are aikane to her. You gonna turn your back on your friends?"

"I'm not turning my back, but I can't say I know what I don't know either."

Ted pushed him backward with one hand. "You like all dem other haoles. Mali say dere Hawaiian blood in you. But you gonna sell out your own." He picked up one of the cleats. "You wanna think about this again?"

Danny frowned. "Look, don't start something here. I can't offer Kato much help cause I wasn't there."

Ted suddenly slammed Danny in the right side of the face with the shoe.

Danny stumbled one step backward, but straightened, keeping eye contact on the bullies. Three of the metal cleats in the sole of the shoe had cut him leaving three small lacerations; one horizontal just above his eyebrow, two vertical on the right cheek. Bruises began to puff around them immediately.

Paki had picked up a baseball bat and held it lightly in one hand, tapping it gently against the palm of the other. "Kato ain't goin' to jail, haole. You gonna spring him out. You gonna talk to dem cops and tell 'em he was with you. You got that?"

"They can prove he wasn't with me! I was in the library and there were people who saw me down there. They'll know he wasn't there," Danny tried to explain as Paki advanced.

Paki rammed the head of the bat into Danny's stomach with all his might. Unable to conceal this pain, Danny fell to his knees, doubled over, gasping. Arms wrapped protectively around his torso, he slowly bowed over, forehead touching the cool tile flooring.

Paki bent over him, leaning on the bat like a cane, face close to Danny's. "You listen good, little haole. You gonna do just as I say or next time I come back I'll shove this bat so far up your ass, you'll use it for a toothpick. You got that?"

Still gasping in pain, Danny glanced sideways towards the bat. In a sudden act of rage, his left hand grabbed hold of the bat and yanked it out from under Paki. Trying to regain his footing, Paki stumbled. "So you wanna play ball, huh?" Danny snarled, now controlling the bat and slammed it upward against Paki's groin. The Hawaiian gave a howl of pain grabbing his privates and fell to the floor. Ted jumped forward, but Danny rolled away under a bench for cover, then, ignoring his own pain, jumped to his feet taking a wild swing at Ted. The bat crashed against the locker doors, bending metal. Ted, his partner still moaning on the floor, now retreated at the sudden shift of events, but against the lockers, had nowhere to go. Danny jabbed the end of the bat into Ted's face with controlled force calculated to inflict injury but not maim. Blood gushed from Ted's nose. The next blow of the bat caught Ted in the ribs and, cursing, he bent in response. As he did, Danny hit him in the right kneecap with the bat. Now pleading for mercy, Ted staggered backward, tripped over Paki and fell against the bench, banging his head. Paki made an effort to rise and Danny kicked him in the chest, crashing him back to the floor. Turning his attention back towards Ted, Danny struck the bench beside the Hawaiian's head with such force that the impact splinted the bat, sending pieces scattering across the room.

"Now, you listen to me," Danny uttered hotly, the broken point just inches from the would-be assailant's face. "Don't you ever threaten me again -- ever, you got that? And next time you come in here trying to muscle me, you'd better be ready to kill me. Take this piece of crap," he kicked Paki's leg, "and get the hell out of here."

Ted pulled Paki to his feet and they scrambled back out of the door.

Danny, alone at last, allowed himself the luxury of sinking down onto the bench and giving in to the pain. He let the broken bat clatter to the floor as he leaned forward, arms around himself waiting for the pain to ease.

-----------------------------------------------------------

Steve burst through the door into HPD to be met at the door by Chin. He'd had trouble finding a parking place and eventually had abandoned the car in a no parking zone. "Well?"

"I left him in the interrogation room," Chin said, his professional face masking his feelings.

"I should have had you pick him up earlier," Steve commented regretfully as he strode down the hallway, Chin almost at a run behind him. "Is he all right?"

Chin nodded.

"Did he say anything?"

He shook his head.

As Steve opened the door, Dan Williams looked up from where he sat near the table. The small lacerations, each contained three small knots of stitches that had been carefully sewn and the blackening bruises were obvious. "What happened to you?" Steve demanded.

"I fell down," he said wryly, looking away.

"Quite a fall." Steve took a chair on the other side of the table, and Chin one closer to Danny. "Your coach says someone wrecked up the locker room. You know anything about that?"

He stared at the table. "I don't remember."

"Do you remember getting cleated?"

"Lots of people get cleated in baseball. Pretty common accident," Danny muttered.

"Amongst second and third basemen," Steve remarked. "Aren't you a pitcher?" Tense silence settled over the room as Steve waited, hoping Williams would say something. "Who was it?"

"A couple of punks," he replied, still not looking at McGarrett.

"What did they want?"

This time he looked up. "My autograph."

McGarrett bent close. "Look, I'm not here so you can play cute with me. Now whoever this was just beat the crap out of you. Next time you may not be so lucky."

"You should see the other guys. And they won't be back," Danny replied with conviction. "At least I know what they wanted. What do you want?"

McGarrett leveled an icy steel gaze on him. He's got guts. "I can tell you the lab results have shown us that there is no way you could have killed Natalie Hastings."

He's telling me what I already knew. Yet, it is a relief. Which fear is worse? The fear of being guilty and found out or the fear of being innocent and convicted? How many times have I seen the faces of victims and criminals in the news and never considered their experience. What a horrific responsibility to determine who is at fault. How does a law enforcer live with being wrong? He was aware that McGarrett had said something he'd missed. Danny looked up at him, cheeks flushing. "What?"

"I said your troubles aren't over," Steve said quietly. "Do you know Kato Akia?"

"Yes."

"Did you see him Monday night?"

Here it is. Yes or no. Kato is my friend, Mali begged me. Mali! Kato! "I can't remember," he mumbled.

McGarrett sighed. "You can't really expect to get away with that for an answer." He turned to his brief case and pulled out a few black and white 8 x 10 glossies. He slid one across the table. "Lieutenant Don Miller. Age 24. Single. Served as aide to Commodore Reg Palmer, age 56." He slid the second. "Palmer was married. Three children, five grandchildren."

Danny glanced at the grizzly photos of the two dead men.

"Miller died when the steering wheel sheered off and the steering column impaled his chest. Palmer's skull was crushed, as you can see. They both died almost instantly. They probably had a few seconds to contemplate their fate, eternity, God, whatever they believed in as the car left the road and became airborne." McGarrett slid over the picture of Marsha Palmer. "Marsha Palmer, age 54, wife to Commodore Palmer."

The dead woman in the photo was not tactfully covered by the sheet as she had been when McGarrett was at the scene. She lay on her stomach, head to one side, mouth open, dead fingers dripping the loose earth of the embankment, dead eyes staring right into the camera. The color left Williams' face.

"She lived a while," Steve explained. "There was time, maybe as long as an hour, for her to lie on the ground in agony, claw her way out of the car and attempt to find help. What did she think about, Williams? What did she pray? Did she see her husband crushed beside her? Did she feel the life slipping away from her? Did she know that if the person who hit their car had stayed she would have lived?" He stopped talking, allowing silence to do its work. At last he added. "Are you ready to tell me what you can about Monday night now?"

Danny slowly lowered his head, one hand to his face.

--------------------------------------------------

Kono knocked once on the apartment door; there was no response. He had not expected one. Polski had been identified and was now being loosely tailed by an HPD detective. Hopefully, there would be no surprises. He motioned the manager and the elderly man unlocked the door. Kono with three uniformed officers announced their presence again, then entered. The apartment was modest, neat, and recently occupied. There was a half-empty coffee cup in the sink. The refrigerator still contained leftovers. It took only seconds for an officer to return with a navy blue London Fog jacket -- missing a button. Just as the officer brought it out, Kono examined the note pad beside the telephone. Picking it up, he held to at an angle to the light.

This is an old trick, but it still works, he decided placing the pad down and gently scratching back and forth with a pencil. An officer looked over his shoulder as the writing became visible. "A phone number," he commented.

Kono glanced back at him. "Yeah." He copied it into his pad and placed the pencil-covered sheet carefully into an evidence box. "Get down to the phone company and trace this number."

Without argument, the officer left to do as instructed.

Kono continued his examination of the apartment. Eventually, his search took him to the bath. He looked in the obvious closets, in the toilet tank, then noticed several tiles were loose behind the tub. Using his penknife to carefully pry away the loose mortar, he lifted out two porcelain tiles. He stopped and stared, uncertain of what he was seeing. The small metal box seemed innocent, but there was no telling what was inside. It appeared to be about the size of a stick over butter. There was no exterior wires so he doubted it could be a bomb. It had been hidden here intentionally. He remembered the recently repaired wall at the Hastings'.

Within ten minutes, McGarrett stood in the bath with Kono peering into the small hole examining the box.

"You want the bomb squad, Boss?" Kono asked.

He shook his head. "Do we know where Polski is? I don't want him showing up in the middle of the investigation."

"He was spotted going into a movie house," Kono replied. "Seems to be still there."

McGarrett frowned, knowing that movie theaters were favorite spots of spies to meet, being both dark and public, and they often offered several exits. "Get Che on the phone. Then set about closing this up. Leave the place just as you found it." If Polski is anything but a novice, he's going to know someone was here, but he doesn't have to know who. Moments later, he was connected by phone to Che Fong. "Che, I need you create a strip of microfilm about two inches long with a set of dummy, though convincing, missile plans on it.I need it right now."

------------------------------------------------------

WO Fat strolled thoughtfully back and forth along the lanai of the large estate. In one hand he held two small iron balls that were about the size of golf balls. As he rotated the Health Balls repeatedly between his fingers they issued an almost inaudible musical jangle. These are a small piece of the ancient ways of China. They bring peace to me. Most certainly not all of the old ways were wrong. Such heresy could be dangerous! Yet, I keep the balls as a memento of a more peaceful age, an age I hardly recall any longer. He forced himself to return his thoughts to the issues and the man before him. These arrogant westerners believe the world is theirs for the taking. They assume too much of themselves and underestimate their opponents. This is to our benefit. At last he turned to face the man known as Roger Hastings.

Roger was trying to conceal his fear. He knew the power and reputation of the man who stood before him. Outgunned, outnumbered, and apparently with no cards to pay, Hastings knew he would have to think quickly to survive this day. He paused to rub the splinter of wood out of his hand from the redwood lawn chair on which he sat.

"Well, Mr. Hastings, what shall we do?" WO asked bluntly. "You failed to meet my terms. It is unforgivable that you placed your child -- your daughter in such a situation."

"Natalie was never part of this," Hastings snapped. "Your business was with me and my wife, never her. I did not bring her in."

WO sighed and rolled the jingling balls between his fingers. "Your dear wife proved to be -- unreliable. I had faith you would be a man of integrity."

"I am a man of integrity," he snapped through his teeth. "And I will never sell out my country on the story of the likes of you."

"Man of integrity -- and of honor." He gave a nod. "Admirable, but inconvenient." A glimmer of tolerant anger kindled in Wo's dark eyes. " You knew what I wanted, I had been very clear, yet instead of doing as I requested, you took your wife and fled."

"We did not flee."

"You left the Island."

"But we did not flee," Roger insisted. "I needed time alone with her to sort out all of this."

"Come, Mr. Hastings - or shall I say - Mr. Franks, you did not take your wife on holiday. You went to a facility operated by American Intelligence."

"I needed to find out who had done this to her!" he nearly shouted.

"That is not of importance to me. The microfilm is all that matters. I gave you specific orders that I wanted it. You knew the danger of failure."

"Danger! It was my cooperation you wanted! Would you believe me without proof? I was trying to find out who had brainwashed my wife. You murdered my daughter!" Hastings nearly leapt from the chair with rage.

"Did I?" WO said quietly lifting his eyebrows. "I provided merely an opportunity. Your deadline passed. I needed the missile plans. I needed to resort to - other methods. Certainly you were aware of Mr. Polski's reputation."

"I never saw him. The little bastard never came around when I was there."

"Had you heeded my word that would not have mattered," WO snapped. "He would merely have drifted into, then out of your lovely child's life as just another boy friend. He was my insurance and you made him become necessary."

"Well this is all academic. You've got what you wanted, so what now?"

WO Fat scowled. "I cannot afford not to make an example of a person who spurns me. And I do not know when you might decide to --" he paused looking for the term, "--spill the beans to your superiors."

Roger licked his lips nervously. "How could I possibly do that without it sounding like treason?"

WO Fat brought his hands together, an open calm expression on his face that masked the deep mind that never rested from strategy. "Ah, but the Americans have an odd tradition of amnesty. One never knows when they may choose to employ it. You are a loose end that must be tied up."

Hastings gave a nervous grin. "Then what's your angle, WO Fat. If that's true, why are we sitting here talking about it? Why haven't you just killed me?"

"Because, Sir," WO said in a gentle way, "you are already dead."

Hastings smile froze on his face in an uncertain way. Is this some kind of a joke?

"You pricked your hand on the chair a moment ago, did you not?"

Hastings stared at his hand.

WO glanced at his watch. "Have no fear. It is painless. And I will express my condolences to your dear wife when I see her."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Steve glanced at his watch as he entered the Five-0 office. Nearly six o'clock. I was supposed to meet Diane for dinner. No way I'll be gone from here any time soon. Regretfully, he picked up the telephone receiver. She answered on the second ring. The disappointment was obvious in her voice, but she was graceful about the cancellation. She was too good a person for me anyway. I will never commit to a woman because if I do, I will be less than committed to my responsibility. He gazed at the telephone wondering why it needed to be that way. Maybe I should just leave, call her back. It is Saturday, after all. Everyone is deserving of some time off. When this is over, then I'll consider it.

Chin came to the doorway. "Steve, the kids are over in the conference room."

He nodded and rose, his mind once again filled by the urgency of the moment.

---------------------------------------------

The door to the conference room burst open and Mali blew in followed by Kato, then Leah. Mali spotted Danny sitting near the table instantly and raced towards him. "My God, Danno! I'm glad you're here! I can't believe it! This cop came and said they want to talk to us. You told 'em right?" She stopped short, seeing the bruises and stitches. "My God, what happened?"

He glanced at Kato with a look that said, Do you really want me to tell her? "Nothing," he replied solemnly.

Kato glanced quickly around the conference room. Satisfied that there were no two way mirrors and that this was a meeting room, not an interrogation room that might be bugged, he gained confidence and his anger grew. "They already accusing me of that car thing. You didn't tell 'em I was with you, did you. "

"I couldn't," he answered. "It would be too easy for them to prove otherwise. Look, Kato, just tell the truth. They know your car was there."

"It's all circumstantial, Danny, I asked a guy who knows a lawyer."

"A guy who knows a lawyer?" Danny gave a smirk and shook his head.

Mali put a hand on her hip, her momentary concern over Danny already replaced by her own interests. "It's not too late, Danny. You've gotta do something."

"I do? What should I do, Mali?" he asked flatly.

"Tell them you saw Kato."

"I don't know where he was."

"We were driving," she blurted. "Just driving."

"And were you drunk?" Danny demanded of Kato.

He threw his hands up. "I'd had a few beers. I was fine. You gonna take Mali and Leah down, Danny? You gonna save us or no?"

"Do you even remember where you were? Or were you so drunk you don't have any idea what happened?" he challenged.

"We were at the House of Flowers. Mali got done singing -- by the way you never showed up. You didn't even come to support her. There was a big scout there that night. You let her down; you're letting me down. You're just like all them other haoles. Ready to get us out of your way and plow under our homeland for your big skyscrapers!" Kato shouted.

"Oh, spare me," Danny remarked, rising from the chair and coming close to Kato. He said more quietly, "Changing the subject won't change the facts."

"You're right," Kato agreed more quietly. "The fact is you're gonna screw me and Mali and Leah. We're all going to jail. You wanna live with that on your conscience?"

"Conscience?" he murmured. "What right do you have to talk about conscience? Do you have any idea what happened to those people in that car?"

Kato licked his lips nervously. "I can't bring 'em back, Danno. If I could, I would."

"What's he talkin' about, Kato?" Leah asked. "What people?"

Danny and Kato glared at each other in silence before Kato looked away.

"Kato?" Leah insisted. "Danny?"

Without taking his gaze off of Kato Danny said softly, "A man, his wife, and driver all died."

Leah uttered a little gasp and there was total silence in the room for several minutes. "Did you know this, Kato?" she finally asked.

"Not until today," he replied. "It was all a big mistake, Leah. I thought I just bumped 'em, you know? I just wanted to get away before they found out I didn't have insurance. I didn't even know what happened to the car. I didn't mean for all this. You know me! I'd never just leave somebody if I knew they were hurt!" He was looking at Leah now who turned away from him, tears in her eyes.

"Now look what you've done, Danno," Mali snapped, undaunted by the new facts. "You've made Leah cry!"

He opened his mouth, then shut it in fury and frustration.

The door to the room opened and Steve entered, flanked by Chin. "Mr. Akia, Miss Kanea, Miss Oaluma, you are to go with the officers in the hall. There will a public defender to take statements and provide counsel within the hour."

"There isn't any statements cause we have nothing to say," Kato snapped, regaining some of his arrogance.

"That is up to you," Steve replied calmly, unconcerned by Kato's proclamation. He gestured them towards the door.

Kato suddenly turned, realizing that McGarrett must already have what he wanted and remembered the brief conversation just moments before. He lunged forward, grabbed Danny's shirt and ripped it open, sending buttons scattering. Kato froze, staring at the wired device, then at Danny. "You bastard." Kato's right hand began to come up a in fist but made it less than half way before McGarrett grabbed both of his arms, pinning them back. Kato struggled. "You bastard! I'll get you for this! Nowhere you can go but I'll find you! My blood will find you! They gonna get you, haole!"

"Officer Lukela!" Steve shouted, "get him out of here!"

Police officer, Duke Lukela, who had been at the door, took hold of Kato, pulling him towards the door.

"I'll make you pay!" Kato continued to scream as he was dragged away.

Mali stood staring at Danny, disbelief on her face. "Danno, I know you all my life. I thought you were aikane. You tricked us." Her voice began to rise and gain momentum. "You tricked us! You traitor! Judas! You monster!" Mali flew at him, fingers extended to scratch his face, but Danny easily caught her by each wrist and held her fast. She tried to pull away. "You ungrateful monster! I hate you! I hate you!" She stepped backward and he released her. "Ahahana!"(You're gonna get it!) She threatened. "You be sorry, you think you my onipo!(lover) Lupawale!(Stupid!) 'Oe ma'i pokole pau. Ko hoi pili ino mau!"(Your screwing is finished. Your short little prick was so bad.)

McGarrett had a passing moment of frustration at being unable to interpret the raging Hawaiian dialect, but the glance at Williams told him the message was not lost on the college student.

Lukela stuck his head in the door. "Lawa! Kulikuli! KO hilahila Hawai'i."(Stop that! Enough! You bring shame on Hawaii)

Mali gave him a smug look of satisfaction. "He mea iki." She looked at Steve and with a sly smile repeated in English: "Ain't no big ting."

"Uoki,"(shut up) Duke ordered, not so gently taking hold of Mali's elbow. She allowed herself to be steered towards the door. As she left, she gave a final glance of utter contempt over her shoulder towards Danny. "You just like the rest of these damned impotent haoles." She gave a snort and remarked. "Pauloa haoles maika'i ino a 'a'ohe mahi moe."(Weak whites are all so bad in bed)

Tight-lipped, Lukela completed their exit.

Leah still stood there, compliant and weeping. McGarrett turned to Kelley and said somewhat wearily, "Book 'em, Chin."

Chin guided Leah out of the room.

Steve glanced back at Williams, standing like a statue of stone beside the conference table. "You all right?"

Danny blinked once and took a deep breath. He looked at Steve in silence, no emotion showing, but amazed with himself that Mali's words could hurt so badly . At least she granted me the courtesy of slandering my manhood in a language some of the police department did not understand. Why do I feel like the one who should apologize? Why does it matter that she understand? She will never understand. Never. I've just betrayed my best friends in the name of justice, how should I be? It may be right, but that doesn't make it feel right. "If you're done with me, I'll be going."

Steve did not feel good about turning him loose. "Akia made threats against you. His friends have already tried to attack you once."

"They won't be a problem," he said flatly. I've got finals Monday morning that I haven't even begun to study for."

"You, uh, care to interpret what she said?" Steve probed gently.

He paused in his journey towards the exit. "No, I don't think I do."

Steve gave a nod, willing to honor the refusal. "Thank you."

"It wasn't for you, McGarrett, any more than it was against Mali. I did what was right because it was right." He walked out of the room.

------------------------------------------

Providing an explanation of Mali's verbal attack was not something Lukela wanted to do and took a direct order before he reluctantly provided McGarrett with loose transliteration. The tall, muscular Hawaiian who looked like he would be able to handle just about anything had been very timid as he quietly offered: "She was telling him that he lacked in --uh--the--um--manhood department," he started, his face flushing. "And that sexually he was less than adequate. She went on to include all --um--haoles--non-Hawaiians as --um--unable to perform--if you take my meaning---Sir."

"Thank you, Lukela."

Uncertain what kind of response to give, surely 'you're welcome' seemed inappropriate, Duke escaped back to the squad room.

Steve was exhausted emotionally and physically. There were several hours of paperwork ahead of him. He also wanted to check in on Kono who was watching Polski. By now Polski must have come back to his apartment. He must have realized that the police had been there. He opened the door to the small office and stopped in disbelief.

The room was lit by dim candlelight from a single taper set into a gleaming silver candlestick on the desk covered by a white linen tablecloth. Service was two was laid out and a bud vase containing a single hibiscus flower served as a centerpiece. As this initial visual image registered, his olfactory senses reported the mouthwatering aroma of meat and gravy.

Diane turned towards him wearing a smile and a pale yellow chiffon evening gown. "You couldn't come to dinner, so dinner came to you," she explained. "Hungry?"

The tired face melted into a warm smile. "Starved." He squeezed into the office. "How did you do all this?"

"It was nothing," she said as she spooned the meat and juice onto his plate. "I just couldn't let our evening be spoiled. You look so tired." She planted a gentle kiss on his forehead.

He reached up, hand caressing the back of her neck, and gently pulled her downward where he returned a more passionate demonstration on her lips. "You are a beautiful lady," he whispered quietly to her.

She blushed. "Do you say that to all the girls?"

He gave a half smile. "Most assuredly, no." Somehow the cramped space didn't seem so dank and second hand. Maybe it was the candlelight, then again, maybe it was Diane. Steve watched the smooth curve of her neck as she finished serving the meal onto the plates. In this light, her skin seemed to give off a porcelain sheen. I love her, as amazing at that may seem. I feel as though I would give anything for her. He slipped a hand around her waist and gently pulled her close and down onto his lap.

She smiled quietly and kissed him.

He brushed her stray strand of hair away from her face and studied her features, her chin cupped in his hand, while time seemed to catch its breath. Do I dare to open my life to this angel and bring her into all this? Can I hope to have a life devoted to her as well as to my duty? And if I should have to choose? He closed off the voice of reason that too often controlled his actions. We are together now and that is enough. His lips again met hers.

--------------------------------------------------

Kono had a perfect seat for the view of Polski's apartment. The apartment cattycorner to Polski's was vacant and not only provided a view of the hallway to the apartment, but from the window, he could see into the apartment as well. It was nearly nine o'clock and he had lost at solitaire for the twenty-third time. A half-empty carton of chow-mien sat with chop sticks poking out of the top. He had begun to wonder if Polski would return at all. Maybe he'd been tipped off.

There were footfalls on the stairway.

Kono abandoned the cards and stepped closer to the door.

Shuffling feet had reached the top of the landing and started down the hallway. They stopped.

From his place behind the door, Kono could see Polski had stopped in the corridor halfway to the apartment. He was looking at the doorway.

He had a system of some kind. He knows someone was there. Kono recalled Steve saying Polski would know. Their plan counted on him knowing.

Polski had a small caliber pistol in his left hand now as he carefully examined the frame of the door. With a sudden quick kick, he burst through the door, gun hand first.

Kono waited, mentally seeing the image of Polski carefully pacing the apartment, looking for signs of the intruders and determining they were no longer present. He has to go to the hiding place. He has to.

But the spy was cool. Kono moved to the window view and could see him slowly circle the living room, disappear into the kitchen, and then come back into view again. Kono ducked as Polski came over to the window, then pulled the blinds.

Polski crossed back to the other side of the room, then entered the bath. He moved to the secret tiles, and examined them. Nothing here looked touched. Maybe it was not found. He gingerly used a penknife to remove the two tiles and gave an audible sigh as the light reflected on the surface of the small metal box. Deciding to take no further chances, he lifted the container from its hiding place, slid it inside his jacket pocket then hurried out of the his apartment.

Kono watched Polski hurry down the stairs, then ran to the car to maintain the pursuit. "Kalakua to dispatch," he said into the radio. "Give me McGarrett."

----------------------------------------

Steve was astonished when the phone rang. The peaceful, romantic atmosphere was suddenly shattered. It rang again.

Diane rose from his lap as he grabbed for the receiver. "McGarrett."

"Polski came back. Now he's on the move. My bet is he has the box with him, boss," Kono reported.

"Stay on him. I'll get you backup. Where are you."

"Just turning left onto Pali Highway."

Steve disconnected and called the dispatch. "I need two unmarked cars to co-ordinate with unit two in following a suspect in the Hastings case." This isn't fair. We should have had the evening. Will a life of my own be possible in this job? He gazed at Diane. "I-I'm sorry."

She gave a smile and a shrug. "It's all right. We got our dinner, didn't we? This is what you have to do. Maybe we can get together tomorrow?"

"Yes," he agreed. "I'd like that. I promised you a sailing venture. How about I'll come by your place around twelve o'clock?"

"Twelve it is," she agreed with a smile. "And if we are out in the harbor maybe your friends won't find you."

Steve hurried out of the office, feeling a little guilty at leaving Diane to clean up the dinner and make her way home alone. This was not how I thought the evening might wind up.

--------------------------------------------

The night away from the busy lights of Honolulu was dark. There was a half moon in the sky, but it did not offer much illumination. Kono parked his car and began to make his way down the crushed shell road he'd seen Polski turn down. The breeze off the ocean was tainted with salt and the waves could be heard rolling up on the beach below the cliffs. He knew there was an old fisherman's cabin out this way. It had to be where Polski was headed. Kono found the small hut without difficulty and carefully crept into the thick undergrowth of bayonet and Kawai close to a window to listen

---------------------------------------------

"You should not have come here," Ling Tu snapped at Polski. "You were to wait for instructions."

"Things changed," the young man replied. "Someone was at my place. Cleaned up pretty good, but they tossed it. They did not find the microfilm. I decided not to let them have a second chance."

"So who is on to you?" Tu demanded. "CIA? Police?"

Polski frowned. "I'll deal with whoever it is later. I just need to get this off my hands."

"It may not be that easy," Ling growled, "They detected you. They may have followed you here."

"Nobody followed me," he answered. "Now I want my pay and I'm gone."

His brows knit together. "You were to do this quietly."

"Murder is never a quiet affair, Tu. Nobody knows about your boss and that's how he wants it. I did my job good enough for you. I want my pay."

"Where are the plans?"

"First the money," he replied.

Ling looked apprehensive. He picked up the phone and dialed a number. He spoke in hushed Mandarin, listened, then hung up. "Very well. Those of us in this -- profession -- must be honorable." He opened the drawer of a small dressed and took out a black attaché. "Your fee."

Polski gave a nod and handed the metal box over to Ling.

Ling reverently opened the seal and carefully lifted the sliver of microfilm to the light, then returned it to the small container...

-----------------------------------------

.Kono jumped as the brush before him parted. He was staring into the face of a stern looking white man who held a small caliber gun aimed towards the officer.

"Out here, slow like," the man ordered quietly.

Where did this guy come from? I know there were only three guys here; Polski, Ling, and the bodyguard on the door. Who the hell is this guy? Kono slowly stepped out onto the walkway.

"Out here," the man whispered intently.

Hands raised, Kono moved a few steps farther from the hut, glancing back to attempt to keep an eye on what was happening inside.

Another man stepped out, and quickly frisked Kono finding the officer's .38.

"Who are you?" the first man demanded in a fierce whisper.

Whoever they are, they aren't with Ling or they'd already be yelling. "Who are you?" Kono asked instead.

The man's expression of control intensified. "Don't get cute with me, coconut boy. Who do you work for?"

Indignant, Kono stood his ground. "Who you think you talkin' to?" he said a little more loudly than he should.

"You'd better talk, boy, you're not the one in control here," the man snapped.

"Want to guess again?" came a voice as Frank Kamana stepped from the darkness, his weapon drawn on the two men.

One of them cursed under his breath.

"Guns on the ground," Frank ordered as Kono relaxed. "Now."

The first one bent down to place his gun on the ground. The second began to oblige, then spun and fired at Frank who avoided the shot and returned fire, hitting the man in the upper leg.

Inside the hut, the three men scattered.

Kono raced for the side of the small cottage, but was too late as Ling and associates vanished into the night. He turned back towards Frank and the two men, one of whom lay on the ground clutching his leg.

"Better go call McGarrett," Frank muttered showing the first man's ID in a flashlight beam. "I just shot a CIA agent."

--------------------------------------------

"I told you to leave this to me," Marten Camp snarled at McGarrett. "I thought you'd get the idea."

"I got your idea all right," Steve replied. "But it did not impress me much." Anger blazed in his eyes. "Now I have an investigation that is being conducted by the State of Hawaii and you are in the way. I will haul your butt in for obstruction of justice just as quick as any other civilian. You got that?"

Camp's eyes narrowed. "You are a little fish in the big pond, McGarrett. State Police do not matter squat next to Feds. CIA takes charge and you back out or I'll make it official through the people upstairs, you got that?"

McGarrett never wavered. "Then you'd better make it official -- if you can. You have a covert group here, Camp, and it is compromised. You know that, I know that, WO Fat knows that. I'm not certain there isn't anyone who doesn't know it. What is Hastings? Double agent?"

Camp glared at him, flexing jaw muscles. He had just put one of his men into an ambulance. It was a major embarrassment to have one of his agents outwitted by these local amateur cops. Washington would not be happy. Heads were already going to roll because of this Hastings mess and things were getting worse by the minute. Kaye seemed to have been unable to leash this new Island cop.

McGarrett glanced around in the dark. There were five HPD people talking with Frank and the other CIA agent. Kono's statement had been taken first and McGarrett had already sent him off to try and pick up the trail of Polski. "Marten," he referred to Camp by his first name in effort to put aside the power struggle. I guess I can afford to do that since I possess the power and we both know it, "if we'd pooled our efforts from the beginning, we'd be better off right now. You can either work with me or I'll work alone. My guess is that we are already ahead of you on this one."

He sniffed. "Not likely. All you have in conjecture."

Steve raised an eyebrow and moved even farther away from the cluster of people. "Join me in my car." He slid into old blue Ford and shut the door.

Camp glanced around at his surroundings, then got in the passenger side and shut the door. "Okay, McGarrett. Tell me what you know."

Why? Because I know more than he does? So he can deny it? He is not likely to suddenly fill in all the holes for me. He decided to give a small piece and see how Camp responded. "Hastings is one of your people. Chances are, he was living a new name the past few years. The publishing house he works for is a front for your CIA post in Honolulu."

Camp stared out of the windshield in silence.

At least he did not deny it. "My guess is he turned double agent and was going to turn something over to the Chinese for a price."

Camp now looked at him. "His real name was John Franks. We trained together. I don't know what went wrong with his cover here, but I know he would never have sold out his country. Never. "

Steve gave no response.

"They threatened him, must have."

"And Lynette?" Steve asked.

He nodded. "They came to the Islands because they needed to come in from the cold. Until six years ago, they'd been working with a team in Europe to smuggle out German rocket scientists. They'd retrieved three of them from the Russians. In 1954 Lynette was captured, tortured---John came apart as you might imagine. We got her back but---" he sighed, "--well, they needed out -- she needed out. We relocated them here, retired her. She didn't even know John was still with the agency." He stopped talking.

"So what happened?" Steve asked.

Camp shook his head slightly. "I don't know. Honestly, Steve, I don't know. When Natalie was killed, I thought it was a local thing -- until" he stopped again.

"until the missile plans turned up missing at the same time?" Steve finally put in.

Camp scowled at him.

"Yeah, we know it was the reason she was killed," he supplied. "Hidden in the wall in the bedroom."

Camp gave a slow exhale.

Steve waited. "So, why, Marten?"

"Why?" He turned to face Steve. "Why what?"

"Why this whole thing. We could have brought in Polski, his contact, the whole thing. Instead we all look like saps going after each other."

Not as much as I do for letting locals get the better of trained agents. "You were in NIS, you know there are things we can't just blurt out to anyone."

"Where were Hastings - Franks - when their daughter was killed?"

"Off the Island."

"Where?"

He lifted his eyebrows. "Book sellers convention in Cleveland, I think."

"So where did you whisk the Hastings away to now? I still have questions for them."

Camp gave a little shake of his head. "We removed Lynette during the night last night. You won't be asking anything of her."

"And the man I knew as Roger?"

"He did not meet his contact."

"What?"

Camp pursed his lips. "He failed to meet his contact."

"This is the guy you said would never sell out his country?"

"Look, it was Lynette, okay. The Russians did something to her mind. They triggered something in her with a phone call. Dammit, I even have the stinking call recorded and it isn't much. All they said was 'When The Stars Begin to Fall.' She used her top security clearance, stole the prototype and hid it. John did not know. He was gone a lot. I won't go into it, but he was working with Intelligence on a little affair starting to heat up in Southeast Asia. He figured it out when he was approached by a Chinese agent who demanded the plans. Of course, he refused -- at first. Polski was involved and Natalie was dead before John realized what was happening."

McGarrett glanced towards Camp. "So Polski wooed Natalie to get her to steal the plans?"

"Maybe. Or maybe just to get into the house where it was. Clever twist to drug the boy at the house so he'd take the fall. Nice piece of police lab work there. We were hoping Polski and Ling would take us to the top Chinese operative."

"WO Fat?"

"Probably, but that isn't confirmed. Garrison's people found Ling Tu for us and we were following him -- until tonight."

"And the Russians?"

"Front man is dead. I'm sure there is another on his way, or maybe here, but we haven't picked up on him yet. Too bad the Chinese have the plans, it would have been nice to pit the Ruskies against the Chinese."

Steve said nothing for several minutes. "We'll find Polski, Camp."

He snorted. "You never should have left NIS, Steve. These Hawaiians won't ever appreciate your talents."

"Perhaps," he replied.

"It's Ling to follow now," Camp remarked. "He's the one with the plans."

"Polski has committed a murder here. I want him for that," Steve replied. And I know that Ling doesn't have the plans. It won't be long before Ling knows that and he'll go after Polski wherever he is. No, Camp, Polski is the player to watch -- but I don't think I'll tell you that.

------------------------------------------------------------------

Steve went back to his second floor apartment, but in spite of his exhaustion and the emotional drain of Saturday that was now well into the early hours of Sunday, sleep did not come easily. He had the nagging sense that there was something he was forgetting -- something that might make a difference. Over and over he played the pieces of the Hastings case, but could not remember what it was. He at last fell into a light sleep shortly past three a.m.

The phone rang at 4:30 and he lifted his head from the dazed slumber and fumbled with the receiver. "McGarrett," he muttered into it.

"Kono," came the painfully alert voice. "I found Polski."

Steve sat up, alert, tingling. "Good work, Kono."

"He's boarding a plane for Hilo. You want me to take him off?"

"No, get on the plane, too."

"What?" Kono asked.

"Get on the plane."

"I -- you want me to follow him to Hilo?"

"Yes, Kono. Get on the plane. The state will pay for it."

"I -- um -- I don't like flying, boss."

"That's too bad, Kono. Get on the plane." Upon saying it, Steve tried to ease up. Kono had been up all night and the day before, too. "Just stay with him. I'll have Chin come after you later this morning and you can come back and get some rest."

"Okay, Boss." He glanced a little fearfully at the gateway out to the small prop plane that sat on the runway. He walked over to the stewardess and flashed his badge. "Room for one more?"

-------------------------------------------------

After the short conversation with Kono, Steve lay awake again, pondering Polski. He's running. From whom? Us? CIA? The Chinese? Probably everyone. Why Hilo? Maybe no reason, maybe just to put distance between himself and everything. Maybe not. Hilo is a bit remote, hard to supervise, but strangers stick out there. His weariness won out again close to 5:30 and, just as the sun was cracking the horizon, he drifted back to sleep.

The phone rang at 8:00. Steve had a headache. It rang a second time as he picked up the receiver and again murmured a hello.

"Steve," came Jameson's enthusiastic voice, "I've got to show you this! I got some people to put their heads together and -- well, I think you'll be pleased."

His joyful excitement was painful to McGarrett's ears. It's too early for this, whatever it is.

"Will you meet me at the Iolani Palace?" The Governor sounded like a school child with a secret.

"Hum, yes, sir. When, sir?"

"Nine o'clock."

"I'll be there." Steve rolled out of bed, aching all over and wishing he was asleep. Before stumbling to the shower, he called Chin Ho to ruin his Sunday, too. He told him to catch the next plane to Hilo.

------------------------------------------------------

Jameson led Steve up the flight of mahogany stairs, chattering excitedly all the way. "I cannot tell you what a wonderful impression you have made on the city council with the way you handled the Palmer incident. Even HPD is lining up behind you!"

Steve did not give an immediate response. It was just another day's work. A lot of people were in pain and it did not seem right for him to celebrate and profit from the tragedy.

Jameson unlocked the heavy wooden door to an office suite. "We'll get the office logo on the door right away," he promised.

"What?" Steve felt unusually dull. Lack of sleep, no doubt.

"The new offices for Five-0," Jameson proclaimed like he was showing off a new baby.

The outer office was large enough to contain two secretaries' desks and still place a row of chairs for those waiting and a large file cabinet. To the left were three cubical offices and straight ahead another thick mahogany door with "Steve McGarrett" stenciled in gold lettering. He paused, looking at it.

Jameson gave him a nod and a smile, then opened the second door.

The office was nearly as large as the rest of the suite combined. A large walnut desk with several chairs facing it dominated the room. A credenza was off to one side. The large, tall windows looked out on a lanai. Steve noticed at there were four phone lines, a large bulletin board and, sitting in a place of honor on a small side table was a coffeepot with a red bow on it.

"I want to you to interview Jenny Sherman tomorrow," Jameson added. "I stole her from the DA's office. Marvelous secretary. She's handled six lawyers over there for the better part of three years, I'm sure she can be den mother to you three with no trouble."

Steve looked round, recalling the dinner by candlelight in "termite haven" last night. Just when I'd found a reason to like the place. "Governor, I don't know what to say, this is really nice."

"Well, it does come at a price."

He turned in sudden concern.

Jameson smiled and pointed to a stack of files laying on the desk. "The President is coming in two months. I need you to coordinate with Secret Service. There is also an update on the Kumu from HPD. Maui has evidence of a gun running operation. The University would like you to be guest speaker at their Trustee's banquet." He stopped and smiled. "We have plenty to keep you busy."

Steve carefully sat down behind the desk that would become to hub of Five-0 for years to come and picked up one file.

---------------------------------------------

At just past 11 am, two enormous tectonic plates of earth crust along the fault off the coast of Chili shifted causing an earthquake close to 8.5 on the Richter scale. The shift resulted in a large surge of oceanic activity that started a wall of water rushing northwestward towards the Hawaiian Islands at nearly four hundred miles per hour.

----------------------------------------------

Steve met Diane at the dot of noon and carried the picnic basket down to the marina where he had rented a sailboat for the day. Someday I will own one and I will bring her sailing as often as she likes. Diane had never seen the Island from the harbor, or been in the harbor, so he spent a fair part of their afternoon showing her the sites.

As he maneuvered carefully around the buoys and red marker flags and warned seamen away from where the rusting hulls of sunken ships still rested after nineteen years Diane sighed, her smile fading a little.

"It is so sad," she whispered.

"What is?" he replied.

"All those men who died. Their bodies just stayed down there. It must be terrible for the people who lived here and know that their bones are just down there below the surface." She shivered.

"Actually, money is being raised for a memorial," he explained. "Right over there." He gestured towards the resting-place of the USS Arizona along Battleship Row. "Construction is to start next month."

"It is so hard to believe," she commented. "It is so beautiful here. It must have been terrible. I barely remember it at all. I lived in Michigan and I did not even know where Hawaii was on the map. I was only 10 at the time. I remember my mother crying. My oldest brother came home and declared he was joining the army. It was all so confusing to me."

"I guess Pearl Harbor is one of those events that you can always remember where you were and what you were doing when you learned of it." Steve recalled his own experience. I was seventeen, almost eighteen, standing in my mother's kitchen in Norfolk, Virginia. She dropped a bowl and it broke. He could remember the anger of youth, the righteous rage of wanting to make the world right. I was going to do that -- make the world right. What ever happened to that boy anyway? His mind wandered to the young people who'd been in the conference room the night before and to Williams. "I didn't do it for you...I did it because it was right." He was startled by the splash of cold salty water on his face.

Diane giggled from where she leaned over the gunwale and splashed him again. "You look so serious!"

He smiled, feeling that heavy shroud of responsibility drop away from his back. It's hard to think of anything but her when she is around. And she is joy to my soul. Maybe this is just what I need in my life -- someone to help me gain the perspective that life is more than duty and responsibility. He pulled on the tiller and turned the boat out towards the point. The view was breathtaking out that way.

Diane scooted over in the sailboat until she sat on the deck between his legs, her back against his chest, her head on his shoulder. "I am so glad I came to Hawaii," she whispered. "It is so pretty here, but it would be nothing without you."

He leaned down to give her a gentle kiss, breathing in the floral scent of her dark hair, the softness of her skin, feeling the beating of her heart against him. "Diane, I love you."

------------------------------------

Ling Tu stood remorseful and silent, watching as WO Fat contemplated the choices. Will I die for this? Certainly I had no way of knowing that Polski would take such a foolish risk with his life -- and mine.

At last WO raised an eyebrow and turned towards him. "Where is our unfortunate Mr. Polski now, Tu?"

"Reportedly he took a flight to Hilo," he replied.

"And from there?"

"I do not know. I have sent Kwong Chou to find him, but I believe there are Americans after him as well." He gestured to the photos on the table. "We --"

"Yes, yes," WO said quietly, "I am aware of them." He scowled at the fuzzy night photo of McGarrett standing beside the car with Camp. It is with pleasure that I encounter a dangerous enemy whom I already know. McGarrett is predictable. He will be seeking Polski, too. He may already possess the missile plans. Polski may not even know he delivered us a fake. Certainly he has always been reliable in the past and he is aware of the consequences for betrayal. I should hear from Kwong Chou shortly. I will know then how best to discuss this event with McGarrett.

Ling could see that his superior was disturbed and contemplating the next move as effectively as one would a chess match. And is that not what this is: an elaborate game of strategy where the winner takes all?

WO turned with a placid smile towards his subordinate. "You are to be commended for your resourcefulness, Tu. Recommendation will be spoken for you in this affair. Your information about McGarrett and Polski may have saved our mission after all. Now, go back to China and await our next call."

Ling bowed once, then back out of the doorway.

---------------------------------------------------------

Kono met Chin's plane shortly past 4:00 PM. Compared to the hustle-bustle of Honolulu, Hilo was very quiet and rural. Even the airport had an atmosphere that said time was not measured too closely here and if you took your shoes off and walked through downtown no one would even notice.

"How you doin', Bruddah?" Chin asked noting how exhausted Kono appeared. He has probably been awake nearly three days. He needs to sleep. "No flight back until morning. Do you have a place to sleep?"

"Under a tree will do me just fine," Kono said with a grin. "I think Polski is lookin' for a deep hole somewhere. He ain't found it yet. He was drinkin' a beer on Kekuanaoa Street about fifteen minutes ago. And we ain't the only ones lookin' for him either. There's an Aisin guy I've spotted in the area no less that five times today."

"Must be one of the China agents," Chin commented. "Dangerous to him -- and to us. Why don't you go find that piece of grass under the tree, I'll follow Polski and get back to you later."

Kono offered no argument . He walked away into the nearby park, sat down under a palm, and reclined against its trunk.

Chin, feeling satisfied that he had given his partner a much needed break, went in search of Polski. He was surprised to find him just where Kono had indicated. For a trained spy he isn't very smart -- unless he's waiting for someone here. Who would that be? Maybe he is expecting a contact to get him out of here. And who is that guy Kono saw? By now WO and his people know the missile plan is a fake. The CIA did not think Polski was important. Chin gave an audible sigh.

Polski left the bar, glancing around himself to see if the same face was showing up. He'd been nervous about a large Hawaiian man whom he'd seen several times throughout the day, but now he was gone. Maybe it wasn't the same guy; maybe they just all look alike. He grinned inwardly at his little joke. I need to find Masters and get his boat to get me out of here. He was supposed to be at the bar, but didn't show. He wandered down towards the waterfront where Masters' boat was tied up, but Masters was nowhere to be seen. He questioned a few people, most seemed to know who Masters was, but none knew where he had gone. Not far without his boat. It was six o'clock, certainly the man would show soon. Polski hung around the dock for a while, then noticed a tall oriental man he remembered from earlier in the day. Carefully dropping behind a cart hauling melons, he used it for cover to move away from the wharf. The maneuver was so effective, it almost lost Chin. Needing to choose whether to confront the other follower, or stay with Polski, he chose to stay with Polski. He would have Kono corner the other guy later and uncover his identity.

The sun was now slowly dropping towards the sea as the time was approaching seven PM.

A police car went by Chin with its siren blaring, headed for the beach. Then the civil defense siren sounded. A few people stopped in alarm. Such sirens were always paid heed to here.

Another police car went by more slowly. "Attention. Attention. This is a tsunami warning. Please tune to your radio station for instructions. This is not a drill. Please to not run, there is no need to panic. Gather your important papers and move to high ground. There will be civil defense personnel to assist you...." The car moved off down the street.

Immediately, some people began to run for their families. Others began to argue about the need to do anything. A few clustered around the TV in the shop window of an appliance store. There was an anchorman on the screen in black and white describing the events and Chin stopped to listen.

"....has confirmed that there is a possibility of a tsunami on the shores of Hilo. Civil defense is advising everyone to collect their important papers and move their families to the high ground areas inland that have been set up as centers. There are civil defense officers to assist people in finding these locations. The areas are also listed inside your phone books. The Red Cross will be there to help anyone who needs bedding or supplies. Please remember to take all necessary medications, infant formula, and diapers. It may be as long as two days before you can return to your homes. Do not, repeat, do not go down to the beach area. The tsunami is expected to strike land around midnight. There is time, but do not delay. Move quietly and quickly."

Chin turned away from the store and went to find Kono, abandoning his surveillance of Polski. Kono was still sleeping soundly under the tree in the park. Out on the street, cars weighed down with belongings were beginning to clog the way out of Hilo. "Kono," Chin roused him.

"Hey, Chin." He sat up and yawned. "That little nap did me a world of good."

"It may have to do for a while," Chin said, some anxiety in his voice. "We have to get to high ground. Tsunami."

"You're kidding," Kono muttered, noticing the activity on the street.

Two men were out of cars, shouting at each other and waving fists.

"Where's Polski?" Kono asked.

"He'll be headed for the high ground," Chin commented wisely. "We can find him later."

"The boats will all be putting to sea. He may go out on one of them and not come back," Kono replied. "We may have to catch him at the dock."

Chin, remembering where Polski had waited before, nodded. "Come on then."

They made their way against the flow of people back towards the wharf. A middle-aged Hawaiian man in a white helmet with a blue triangle and red letters "CD" in the center stopped them. "Can't go down there," the man stated.

They showed their badges. "Police business," Kono commented.

He nodded and let them pass.

"Say, you turning back everyone?" Kono asked the man.

"Only let through people I knows has boats to move," he replied.

"Seen this man?" Chin flashed a picture of Polski.

He shook his head no.

"Okay, thanks."

The marina was a bustle of activity. Boats were pulling out of port as quickly as they could. As the sun set, the green and red deck lights flickered across the water like fireflies in the darkness. The ship Polski had been watching before was still tied up, no sign of its captain. Polski was pacing to and fro in the open without concern about being seen. As darkness deepened, he stopped an old man to ask about the ship's captain.

"'e no comin'," the man replied. "'e in de slammer. Dis ship gonna be all pau when de big water she come."

"I've got to get out of here," Polski snapped.

The man shrugged. "You best go der." He pointed inland. "Or go 'der." He gestured towards Waiakea Peninsula. "Big water in '46. Make hepa mess of Hilo, but no harm de finger land. Ever'body do okay dere. I goin' back dere meself. I too old to go hikin' up dem hills. I stay out here. I do okay."

Polski glanced at the peninsula, then at the steady stream of people headed up towards the hills. He decided to go for the high ground and blend into the crowd of displaced humanity leaving their homes before the dreaded wall of water.

-------------------------------------------

Steve had dropped Diane at her apartment about nine o'clock, then gone back to his own. It had been a wonderfully restful day. It had renewed his spirit and he felt ready to go back and tangle with Camp and his bunch tomorrow morning. He wondered if Chin and Kono had found out anything, but there were no messages with the service. Tomorrow will tell. As he emptied his pockets he discovered the he had Diane's necklace she had asked him to hold. Pleased, because it gave him a reason to talk to her, he called her home, but there was no answer. Realizing she was either in the shower or had gone to bed, he placed the necklace by the phone. I can call her first thing in the morning.

-------------------------------------------



For Kono and Chin it was a stroke of luck that Polski chose to abandon the waterfront. It was past ten by this time and the officials themselves were now headed away from the scene. Kono glanced back towards the docks and noticed that the water level had started to fall. Like low tide -- only more.

Polski was about twenty-five feet ahead of them in the crowd when he suddenly stopped. Before him stood the Chinese man he'd seen too many times earlier today. Their eyes met and Polski knew the man was after him. Polski bolted through the crowd, turning back against the tide of humanity, the Chinese man after him.

"Come on!" Kono turned to follow.

"No, let them go," Chin advised.

But Kono was already fighting his way back through the crowd in chase of the two men. This is the moment! We can get Polski and this agent. There is still time. I'll make it back. I'm not going to let that guy get away with murdering that girl.

It was like swimming though Jell-O as Polski struggled in the opposite direction from the river of people moving up towards the hills. But as he pushed his way down, the resistance lessened as the crowd began to thin out. He looked over his shoulder, and the Chinese man was still there. Back in the town, he dodged down a now deserted street and through allies at top speed.

At one point, the Chinese agent stopped, leveled his pistol and fired one round at Polski that missed.

Much further behind, Kono pulled his .38. Dammit, they want to have a shoot out in a disaster alert!

Polski ran zigzag fashion through streets, headed towards the waterfront. There were no longer any officials to stop him. He jumped down onto the soggy sand and kept running.

Kono stopped to notice that the ocean was gone. The bare beach stretched out into the darkness, a strange rounded wall glimmering in the moonlight half a mile out. My god, that's the reef! The water is gone clear past the reef! The dread of where he was began to register. He turned back. At full panic speed, he began to run the two miles back towards the hillsides past Hilo. This is not worth my life. Let God deal with Polski.

Polski had remembered what the old man told him and headed up towards the peninsula. He lost his pursuer briefly, but the man found him again as he headed out onto the beach of the peninsula. There were other people out there, some with picnic baskets and lawn chairs, ready to witness the tsunami as it passed by on its way to Hilo. Polski looked back to see his tracker starting towards him from fifty yards away. Then he heard the sound. At first it seemed quite far away like rushing water, like the sea when it boils in a storm. Then it seemed to grow louder and stronger. He turned to gasp in horror as in the last instant, the 37-foot wall of the first wave washed down upon him.

-------------------------------------------

Kono had reached the high ground and found Chin to assure him he was fine. Just as he started to tell Chin that Polski had headed for the peninsula, they could hear the growing roar of the approaching wave. The crowd grew silent as they watch the electric street lamps suddenly blink out in Hilo below as the water slammed into the town washing more than a mile inland.

"Stay here! Stay here!" shouted a man with a megaphone. "There will be more waves! Do not leave until we tell you to. Folks, it's going to be a long night, so get comfortable."

A small girl stood next to Chin, clutching a doll in her arms and staring down into the darkness of what used to be her home. "All pau," she whispered.

-----------------------------------------------------------

Steve's alarm clock went off at 5:30 am and he got up, alert and rested. The other night I tossed and turned, but last night was the best rest I've had in years. His gaze rested on Diane's necklace. It will be great to hear her voice this morning. He allowed himself to think about how wonderful it would be to wake up to her each morning.

He started coffee, then turned on the radio as he shaved.

"....1:00 am the largest tsunami since 1946 struck Hilo. Alert authorities had removed most of the inhabitants from Hilo, but this morning, as the sun rises, the devastation to downtown Hilo is only just beginning to be counted. At least 60 people are known to be dead. A number of these were on the peninsula even though they had been warned by police to vacate that area."

Steve was staring at the radio in shock.

"The destruction is massive. There are cars and boats tossed through downtown like toys. Houses and businesses are obliterated. It looks like over 75% of the city is destroyed completed. Governor Jameson says he will view the damage later this morning. Red Cross units are already in the area and clean up crews will be dispatched as soon as the area is determined to be safe. So far, eight waves have struck the city and authorities are awaiting the all clear to allow people to go back and begin rebuilding their lives."

McGarrett already had the phone at his ear, the other end ringing. It was answered by one of Jameson's aids. "Tell the Governor I want to be on that plane."

"Sir, I don't know that--"

"I'm head of the State's police and I expect to be on it," he announced in a way that stated this was not a matter for discussion.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

McGarrett sat beside Paul Jameson through the two-hour flight to Hilo. Most of the time there was small talk through the cabin amongst the press agents and the two staff aids, but Paul and Steve had said little. As the plane began its approach and the vast expanse of destruction became a cold reality, the last of the chatter dwindled away into total silence.

Two city officials were on hand to meet the Governor, both in rumpled yesterday's clothing that was wet with sweat and stained from heavy work.

Steve stared out at the twisted ruined remains of downtown buildings. There was a car upside down lodged in a tree. Two firemen were placing barricades around it in vain hopes of keeping children away from the vehicle that most certainly would fall later. People with lost, vacant stares wandering through wreckage, picking out a pot here, a broken picture there. Where do I begin to look for my team? He had hoped that Kono and Chin would be waiting for him and now it began to occur to him that they might be dead.

"Are you Steve McGarrett?" asked a uniformed police officer.

"Yes," he replied.

"Mr. Kelley said you'd be on this plane." He gave a forced smile. "He must know you pretty well."

Really? He's only known me a week.

"Your people are helping over on Keawe Street." The officer led Steve through the maze of destruction, passing the paradox of an old man weeping before his crushed home and two children laughing as they played side-and-seek between two piles of bricks. "Kids," the officer shook his head, "pretty resilient little guys, huh?"

Steve managed a nod. The vast devastation was numbing, like a nightmare one will awaken from momentarily. It was difficult to remember the Hilo Steve had seen just a month ago, filled with people, shops, every day life. It looked like scenes he could remember from war -- worse because somewhere in war there was always a reason. But this was so totally without purpose. Nature at one of her worst moments. Little wonder why it is tempting to put a context of something living 'mother nature' to this kind of event. And not surprising that primitive people would attempt sacrifice of the things they held most precious to pacify such an entity. He musings were cut short by a shout.

"Steve!" It was Kono. He was coming towards them, a tired smile on his face.

Steve grabbed him in a bear hug in spite of the grime and sweat covering Kono. "Good to see you!"

Kono was impressed by the display of affection by a haole he'd known only a week as was his boss. I think this McGarrett's gonna be okay. "Chin is down a block interpreting for this Chinese couple and their insurance agent." He led the way.

Chin stood with an elderly couple before a mound of wood, shingle, and broken glass and a young man with a jacket labeled "All State" on the back. They seemed to be concluding their conversation. Although the woman was still weeping softly, there seemed to be a satisfied look of understanding between the men. They all bowed towards each other and Chin came over to Steve and Kono. "Hi, Steve," he said simply.

McGarrett gave him the same bear-hug greeting he'd given Kono.

Chin, a more restrained individual, seemed slightly flustered, but accepted the gesture. "Their agent getting them a good deal," he said to cover his embarrassment.

"He got here pretty quick," McGarrett commented.

He smiled and pointed to a different mound of debris. "That one's the agent's house."

They made their way up the hillside to where a makeshift morgue had been assigned in the shade of trees. The military was bringing in refrigerated trucks from the other side of the island that should arrive any time. Here, there were weeping people hugging each other, clusters of families standing close by fearfully awaiting the arrival of the next recovered body. Blankets, sheets, cardboard, just about anything was being used to cover the bodies that had been found. Chin knew right where to go and led them to a body covered with a gray muddy blanket. As he lifted the blanket, Steve recognized the ashen gray face of Bart Polski immediately.

"He got his eternal reward," Chin remarked.

Steve nodded, moderately surprised as such a western statement coming from a oriental man until he reminded himself that Chin was Lutheran.

"There was a Chinese guy chasing him," Kono explained. "Haven't seen him, living or dead. I'm pretty sure I'd recognize the guy."

"We know there were some people swept out to sea," Chin said. "Maybe he was one of them. People on the Peninsula took it bad. I guess they stayed because the wave of '46 didn't go there." He shook his head.

There was a woman's scream and the three men turned as one.

A woman was embracing a mud-covered child wailing for joy. Before her stood a young rescue worker with a smile on his face. The moment of reunion brought tears to Steve's eyes.

-----------------------------------------------

With Polski dead, that should conclude the Hastings case, at least that's the official statement, Steve thought as he slowly walked up the wooden stairway to his new office. It was late; the sun was setting. He and his entire team were exhausted. Tomorrow morning they would need to look at the new cases the Governor had left for them to work on. As tired at he was, Steve wanted to look at the files just once before going home to sleep for at least six hours. He also knew that the case was not closed. There was still the issue of the missing missile plans. Will WO Fat conclude that the microfilm died with Polski? I wouldn't. No one has actually seen WO Fat here, maybe he never came. In his heart, Steve knew better. WO has been here, and probably still is.

He opened the door to his office. There was an orange cast to the room as the rays of the setting sun shone through the wooden blinds of the window on the lanai and played across the walls. The office seemed remarkably peaceful and serene. He walked towards the desk when a quiet sound made him spin in alarm, reaching for his gun.

"It would be better for you to leave your gun where it is," WO Fat said quietly.

Steve stared at the Chinese agent sitting calmly in the white leather chair in the far corner of the room. WO Fat's aide stood behind the chair, his gun in hand resting on the top of the chair's back. How did he get in here? But Steve knew better than to voice the question. Never let WO Fat think he has the advantage. Always appear in control. "Good evening, WO Fat. I hope I have not kept you waiting long."

A hint of a smile creased WO Fat's face. "Imagine my surprise to discover you have abandoned the Naval Intelligence Corp to serve as a mere chief of police. The Navy must be missing you so. But then, Hawaii is the richer."

Steve gave a slight nod to acknowledge the compliment. "May I conclude you are still in the Intelligence service of People's Republic of China?"

WO Fat did not answer the question. "I enjoy these visits to Hawaii. I find America a very naive, however pleasant experience. I so enjoy watching television."

"Television?" Steve frowned. What is your meaning in this WO? You never put two words together but that they are not for a purpose.

"Yes. Television. Do you ever watch I Love Lucy?"

Steve found it difficult to imagine WO Fat sitting with his feet propped up in a recliner, iced tea in hand, watching Lucy and Desi Arnez.

WO gave a little chuckle. "American stories have morals. Good always triumphs. Simplistic, but virtuous none the less."

"Good? What good are we speaking of, WO Fat?"

"You, McGarrett. You are good. You always seem to do what is right -- at least in your eyes."

He cocked an eyebrow. WO Fat is really fishing here. For what?

WO Fat raised a hand and placed something into the hand of his aid. The man approached Steve, and dropped the small bracelet onto Steve's palm.

Steve stared in a shock he could not hide at the bracelet of Diane's that matched the necklace at his apartment.

"I believe I may have found something of great value to you," WO said ominously.

Fury exploding, McGarrett abandoned grace and diplomacy and lunged at WO, to be intercepted by the large aide. "What have you done to her!"

WO Fat's expression never changed from his calm exterior. "I have done nothing, I assure you. I would like very much for it to remain so. You see, I have concluded that you also possess something of great value to me."

Steve tried to keep his rage in check. The missile plans! He wants the missile plans!

"I know the poor, late Bart Polski did not have them. And since the CIA is spending all its efforts following Mr. Tu, whom I have sent back to China, they do not have the microfilm. So, who does?"

Silence reigned for several moments.

"Simple deduction." WO Fat folded his hands together. "A simple exchange."

"No deals," Steve snapped, horror struck at his own words. I am talking about Diane here, my Diane! I must not give him what he wants or it will be her death for certain. My strength is keeping that film safe. "I do not have the film."

"Come, come, you jest," WO scoffed. "Beware of what you think is your strength, it could be your weakness. 'Weakest, when I strongest seem, fall'n alas I am thro' pride.'"

"Confucius?" Steve remarked.

WO broke into full smile. "John Wesley, Methodist theologian of the 1700s. I am a student of western thought, McGarrett. Very well, I shall be forthright with you, then you decide. My country is struggling to survive amongst the riches of Russia and the United States. Our rocket program is -- lacking many of the scientific minds that your two super powers took possession of at the close of World War II."

"If Mao hadn't killed off all your trained teachers and scientists you might be better off," Steve pointed out, wishing he had his hands around Wo's fat neck instead of trying to be civil. What can I pull out of him that will help me save her?

WO did not argue the point, but continued. "We do, however, have a certain degree of genius. Our scientific researchers have delivered to us a defensive missile, humble, but effective. It is the only missile that is truly our own. A copy of the plan for that missile was stolen by American agents. This is matter of most urgent security for China. I am not here to steal American secrets. I want returned what is rightfully ours before it falls into the hands of American military."

Steve scowled. This is his usual trick, but it is a good one.

WO Fat rose. "Very well, McGarrett. You will hear from me again. I trust you will have what I require at that time. I would be most happy to exchange what we both treasure -- intact." He left.

Steve stared after him. He slowly sat down on the edge of the desk, looking at the delicate bracelet in his hand. Dear God, Diane! Think, I've got to think! What do I know to be true? Is anyone truthful? Garrison and Camp certainly didn't tell me anything until I found it first. Can WO be telling the truth?

He picked up the phone, knowing that Chin must be exhausted, maybe already asleep, but it could not be helped. "Chin? I need you down here right now."

-----------------------------------------

Steve had pinned a map of Oahu to the wall and another larger one of Honolulu below it. Chin and Kono had marked in red pencil all the areas that had been scoured for WO Fat earlier. There were others places Steve knew the agent would not be because they were too difficult to escape from. A few more were eliminated because they would not be a good place to hold a hostage. Even with this accomplished there was a lot of territory left.

"Would take a month, Boss," Kono said with a sigh.

Steve pulled out the photo of Wo's aide from the top secret file Garrison had given him. "I know this guy's here. Now, they have to be eating, so perhaps someone went to the grocery, or bought gas -- something."

"We're on it," Chin declared. He did not mention the hour -- it was approaching 9:00 PM and he knew it would not matter. Chin and Kono left together.

Steve picked up another copy of the photo, deciding he would also start hunting street by street for WO Fat himself. If only I had the manpower I could turn this rock over. Someday I will. But I need it for Diane now. Diane. How foolish I was to allow a relationship. I endangered her. If she dies, it is because of me. No matter what, consider the trauma she is facing. I am to blame.

McGarrett ran down the stairway, headed his car. He opened the door to get in when a brown sedan pulled up next to him.

"McGarrett," Camp's voice called to him, "get in."

He hesitated. If Camp has come to the same conclusion as WO Fat, I am no safer with him than with WO Fat -- and maybe less. "What do you want, Marten?"

"Get in," he repeated.

Steve glanced around, then got into Camp's car. "What is it?"

"What did WO Fat want?"

"He made me an offer," Steve replied.

"Oh?" Camp lit a cigarette.

"Mind putting that thing out," Steve requested.

Camp embarrassed, did so. "Sorry, I forgot. How did you ever survive 10 years in NIS and not drink or smoke? Must have nerves of steel."

I sure hope so.

"So," Camp turned to face him. "What was Fat's deal?"

Steve considered the truth. "He has kidnapped a young lady I am fond of. He would like me to see that certain information is -- returned to him."

Camp grunted. "What information?"

"Certain missile plans you claim Lynette Hastings stole from us to give to the Russians."

"Then he doesn't have them," Camp said with a deep breath.

"His story is a little different than yours."

"Is that surprising to you? This is WO Fat we're talking about. He's the slipperiest deceitful son of a bitch I've ever met."

Steve looked through the windshield at nothing.

"What are you going to do, Steve?"

"Do your people know where he is?"

"I have someone on him now. We can storm where he's holed up, retrieve the girl, and arrest him for kidnapping. No diplomatic immunity on that one, Steve," Camp sounded pleased with himself.

"Do you know where he is?" Steve repeated.

Camp rubbed his forehead. "We thought Tu Ling had the plans, but I guess not. Polski must not have had them. I don't have them. Who do you think has the plans?" He gave Steve an odd look.

Steve shrugged. "I'm not in espionage any longer, Marten. I'm just a simple cop now."

"My ass."

"Are you going to tell me where WO Fat is or do I just go find him for myself?"

"Nothing is free, McGarrett," Camp muttered.

Steve's expression settled into a combination of anger and shock. "What?"

"The plans, McGarrett. The location for the plans."

"I haven't got the plans, Marten. If I did, I wouldn't give them to you. I'd turn them over to the NIS. American military missile plans are not the jurisdiction of the CIA. That is, if we are discussing American missile plans."

"Are you going to believe the yellow chink?" Marten snapped, veins bulging on his neck.

"I don't know," Steve answered coolly. "What do you think he told me?"

Camp muttered a curse under his breath. "You wanted to play, Steve. I warned you this was the big game. We play by hard rules. Are you willing to let your lady friend pay the price for losing?"

Steve narrowed his eyes silently.

"I thought not. We both know you've got that microfilm. The only way you get to your lady is if you give me the plans."

"Oh, I could just wait for WO Fat to call and give them to him."

"And if WO Fat doesn't kill you, you'd go away for treason. Besides, if you don't cooperate, I'll get you flown off this island tonight under a federal warrant and you won't ever meet WO Fat or the girl."

Steve flexed his jaw muscles in fury. "All right, Camp, you win. We get Diane, then I'll give you the film."

"First the film," Camp insisted.

"It is in a safe place," Steve assured him. "Diane first."

Camp hesitated, then decided he could trust McGarrett. He turned the key to start the engine.

---------------------------------------

McGarrett sat tightlipped and silent through the ride. Never had he been more ashamed to be associated with an American operation. The drive lasted less than fifteen minutes before Camp pulled off to the side of the road in the shrubs beside the drive of a large estate set back from the road. The iron gate was shut.

"In there," Camp claimed. "We've had them under surveillance for two days. There are four or five men and the one girl there. Best approach is from the beach side. He's probably got a patrol, but we can take the guy."

"Let's go." Steve checked his .38 to be certain it was fully loaded, bent over unnoticed and took Camp's cigarette lighter from the ash tray, then opened the car door.

Up the road, two men got out of a van and came towards Camp. He introduced them as his task people. The two men disappeared into the undergrowth. Camp waved for Steve to follow him around towards the shoreline.

They carefully made their way towards the property and within minutes, found one of WO Fat's guards sprawled lifeless in the moonlight. Camp's two men had already been through.

They left the beach, crossing the thick grassy lawn towards the back patio of the house, meeting no more guards.

The large French doors stood open, allowing the evening breeze to blow through the parlor. Camp and Steve slipped inside, guns drawn. Steve glanced quickly around and chose the corridor leading towards the staircase.

"That will be far enough," came WO Fat's voice.

A light was turned on and in the full illumination, the room had four Chinese agents, each one armed with an automatic pointed towards Steve and Marten.

Diane was held fast by WO Fat's aide, a gun against her right temple.

"Diane!" Steve said in alarm.

The expression of horror and dread in her eyes was unbearable.

"You are most disappointing," WO Fat declared. "I had thought there could be an agreement."

"Agreement with a commie?" Camp snarled. "That's no agreement at all."

WO Fat kept his attention of Steve. "Is that your opinion also, Mr. McGarrett?"

Steve glanced from Camp to WO Fat. "No," he said quietly, "it is not."

WO Fat's expression never changed, but Steve detected an understanding. "You have one last opportunity to save Miss Rodman. Will you make use of it?"

Steve hesitated.

There was a bustle of activity in the doorway as Camp's men suddenly burst into the room, guns extended. They pointed both weapons at WO Fat.

"Well," Camp said with a grin. "Seems that we may have a slight change in the situation here, WO Fat."

"Really? I see none, Mr. Camp. The focus of this issue remains Miss Rodman."

"I give the word and they blow your brains out, WO Fat!" Camp shouted.

"Perhaps. But there are six other representatives of my nation in this room, Mr. Camp. If every armed person in this room was to shoot, one of them would most assuredly survive, retrieve the missile plans from Mr. McGarrett's dead body and return them to Peking. Do you wish to force an outcome like that, Mr. Camp?" WO asked threateningly.

Camp said nothing, but did not yield his stance.

Steve took a step away from Camp. "All right, WO Fat, Camp. Let's decide this now." He slowly reached out and unbuckled his belt. He slid the belt off, then forced his finger into the small knife slit on the inside. He carefully pulled out three thin strips of microfilm. "Here it is." He held it up. "Now, to whom does it rightfully belong, huh? Camp? WO Fat?"

They both stared at him in silence.

He pulled out the cigarette lighter, flicked the flint. As the small tongue of flame sprang up, he stuck the microfilm into it. In a sizzling hiss, the film warped, then melted into a little blob on the carpet as he let it go.

"McGarrett!" Camp screamed in fury.

Steve glanced at WO Fat whose expression was one of satisfaction.

The Chinese agent gave a quiet nod and released Diane's arms. "This matter is finished." WO motioned his men back.

"No! It most certainly is not!" Camp jumped forward and as he did, so did his two men.

The six Chinese guards swung their weapons back around

"Camp, stop this!" Steve shouted, attempting to protect Diane. Are we about to die at the hands of our own people?

Unflustered by Marten's display, WO Fat commented emphatically. "Mr. Camp, do you understand the critical nature of this action? This residence is under temporary assignment to the Chinese consulate. You are conducting an act of war."

"Marten!" Steve called to him.

The front door of the house suddenly burst open, and half a dozen men in black camouflage flooded into the room armed with M16 machine guns.

"Drop your weapons! Everyone! Now! Orders of the Secret Service!" shouted a voice.

Steve turned, open-mouthed and in shock to be looking Dan Williams in the face. Good Lord, I thought he was a college kid!

Camp and his team lowered their weapons. "What the hell is this?"

"Disengage," Williams told him sternly. "By orders of President Eisenhower."

Camp glanced at his men and they quickly fell back and without a word, vanished through the back door.

As quickly as they had arrived, the six black garbed agents filed out the front door leaving Steve, Danny, Diane, and WO Fat face to face.

"Please accept apologies on the behalf of the President of the United States," Danny said to WO Fat, then without waiting for response, also turned towards the door.

WO Fat raised an eyebrow towards Steve. "Until next time, McGarrett." He gave a slight bow.

McGarrett returned the bow. Taking Diane's arm, he also headed out the front door. It was a bit mind boggling how quickly this incident had escalated, then just as quickly disappeared.

"I don't understand," Diane was saying, "what happened?"

"I'm not sure," he replied hoping to get something from Williams, but when they got outside, he and Diane were alone. Steve hurried them down the long flagstone walkway towards the street, hoping to catch a glimpse of Camp or Williams, but there was no one in sight. As Steve and Diane approached the large metal gateway, it swung open as if on its own accord. Electric eye somewhere, no doubt, Steve surmised. As they exited, it clicked closed behind them.

Diane shivered slightly in spite of the warm tropic night.

Steve took off his jacket and placed it around her shoulders. "Are you all right?"

She looked back towards WO Fat's compound. "I -- yes. No one hurt me," she stammered. "It is all so hard to understand. What happened? What did those men want?"

He shook his head. "They wanted something that had been taken from them. They knew I could get it, so they used you." He set his jaw as he began what promised to be a long slow walk back to Honolulu, arm still protectively around Diane. I love her, but I cannot risk her like this. She is a beautiful woman who needs to have a life of joy, beauty, peace, and security. I cannot offer any of those to her.

She nestled closer to him. "Thank you, Steve."

"What for? It was because of me you were placed in danger."

"That doesn't matter."

"Yes, it does, but we will talk about this later."

A car appeared on the road ahead of them, it's headlights illuminating the roadway before them. It slowed, coming to a stop and Steve already had his gun in his hand before he recognized the vehicle.

Chin Ho stuck his head out of the driver's window. "Thought you might be able to use a ride back to town."

"Chin! How did you know--" He paused in his questioning as they got into the car. "I need some answers, Bruddah."

He glanced at them in the back seat through the rear view mirror. Answers I probably cannot give.

"Did you know about the Secret Service?"

"The what?"

"Chin, that college kid of yours led a Secret Service raid on WO Fat's hideout and disarmed the CIA. What do you know about this?"

"Danny? Secret Service?" He gave a laugh.

Steve's eyes narrowed. What's so funny?

"I did what you asked, Steve. I put the word out in a big way for WO Fat's man. Came back with this address. When I could not find you, I came here. I figured you had already found out."

"And you didn't tell Williams?"

He shrugged. "He's in the loop, so to speak, Steve. People know I'm lookin' for something, somebody might tell him."

Steve was uncomfortable with the evasiveness of his employee. "Chin, I need straight answers."

"Those are all the answers I got, Steve."

---------------------------------------------

Steve decided to sleep in until 6:30 AM and arrived at the office just past eight. He climbed the stairway to the new Five-0 office. It still felt unfamiliar as he stepped to the hallway door now bearing the newly painted golden lettering that spelled "Five-0." As he opened the door, Jenny looked up from her desk where she was putting file folders into her new desk.

"Good morning, Boss," she said cheerfully.

"Please, it's Steve," he replied realizing that although this was Jenny's second day, he' d barely exchanged more than ten words with her.

She handed him a message slip of paper. It was from Richard Garrison and requested he come to Kapiolani Park immediately.

Garrison was seated on a park bench feeding the sea gulls that flocked around him as Steve came over and sat down. "Morning, Steve."

"Morning, Richard. What do you want?"

"I want to give you an explanation. We owe that to you."

You owe me a hell of a lot more than that, he thought hotly. "Go ahead."

"This is classified. You may not discuss this, or divulge-"

"Yeah, yeah, Richard," Steve interrupted, waving a hand. "I know the routine. Stop stalling."

Richard paused. "You are just as difficult as ever. Does Hawaii know what it is in for?"

He grinned. "Right now the state of Hawaii is not the issue."

"Off the record NIS is thankful for your support in this matter. We were not -- completely informed regarding the Stars operation."

"Stars?"

"Code name Stars."

"As in: 'When the Stars Begin to Fall'?"

"You know that much, huh?"

"I know that it was a trigger phrase induced by hypnosis or something into an agent to make him-- her?--perform -- a service."

"Hum," Richard remarked.

"There are lots of holes in there," Steve added.

"Lucile Franks was a spook for CIA and IMF. She and her team were to sneak a well-known rocket scientist out of Russia in 1953 by way of Korea. The Russian contact was a double agent, Lucile was captured, tortured. I never liked using women for this kind of work anyway. Well, it looked like she never cracked. But emotionally she was such a shambles, John wanted her out. She needed intensive debriefing when we got her back."

"Debriefing? You mean brainwashing?" Steve corrected coldly.

"Not exactly." Garrison crossed his arms. "Apparently, in the process the agency discovered the Russians had placed a hypnotic suggestion into Lucile."

"And instead of curing her, they took advantage of it."

He hunched his shoulders. "After a fashion. They modified it."

"She did not know."

"Correct."

"Her husband know?"

"No. Hell, Steve I didn't know this until last night. It was a real hush-hush CIA classified thing. The first Chinese intelligence report said John had taken the plan. They went after him, threatened him. He put two and two together and figured that Lucile had been used. He just didn't know by whom. He tried to get her some help."

"Is that where they were when Natalie was killed?"

He hesitated. "I think they'd gone on vacation to Connecticut then."

How much else in this story may be a lie? "The 'Stars' project was designed to take advantage of Lynette's hypnosis. So when the time was right they just -- pushed the button," Steve supplied.

Garrison nodded. "The Chinese were developing their own missile system. We needed to check it out. So, she was used to retrieve a copy of the plans. Almost worked except the Chinese found out and sent WO Fat to get the copy back."

"So the CIA dropped the story that the Chinese were trying to steal our technology to tighten security," Steve guessed.

He nodded. "But they didn't plan on the Reds using Bart Polski to try to get the daughter to steal the plans. He must have known the plans were at the house, but couldn't find them. The girl went in on it, they drugged the kid at the house, got the plans out of the wall, then Polski killed her to cover his tracks."

Steve shook his head. "Hard to know the good guys from the bad guys."

"It was a matter of national security, Steve. And because of you, we lost the opportunity. Technically it isn't treason, but there are people screaming. It's a good thing you left NIS cause you'd be shot for this there. As it is, you are a local lawman doing what he thought was right."

"The Secret Service supported the decision."

"Who?"

"The Secret Service," Steve repeated. "They pulled the plug on Camp last night."

Garrison shook his head. "There is no Secret Service unit in Hawaii. Camp did not mention them in his report."

"But" Steve stopped. I guess there will always be a hole or two in this story. I should be glad that Garrison told me all he has.

Garrison rose and extended a hand. "I wish you all the best here, Steve. Hope Hawaii appreciates what a good man they have."

"Thank you," he said shaking Richard's hand. "And good luck to you, too."

------------------------------------------

Steve returned to his office, still thinking about the confusing tragedy that had claimed the life of Natalie Hastings-Frank. It most likely had cost her father his life as well since the man had not been found by either NIS or CIA. To disappear without a trace was not uncommon in this dangerous line of work. He reflected on the future for Lynette-Lucile and hoped, where ever she was there would be someone waiting for her with her true best interests at heart. His line of thought was interrupted as he entered the office.

"There is a Diane Rodman waiting in your office for you," Jenny informed him.

He hurried through the door to see Diane coincidentally occupying the same chair that WO Fat had the day before. He hurried to her side. "Diane, how are you doing?" He was well aware that she had had no more sleep than he had.

She forced a smile. "I wish I could say fine, Steve." She smiled bravely, but it was transparent she was not at all in good spirits. "I-I can't get it all out of my head. I couldn't sleep, it kept all coming back to me. Those men, the fear"

"I wish you had not insisted on returning to your apartment," he said gently.

"I know, you told me not to, but." She shivered. "Steve, I want my life back. My nice, simple, normal, quiet, schoolteacher life." Her voice shook. She attempted to speak again, but struggled to clear her throat.

Steve put an arm around her. "It's all right, Diane," he said gently.

"No," she managed, "it's not all right and it's not fair." One tear slipped out of her left eye. "Oh, I wasn't going to do this. I was going to be so brave!" More tears fell. "I love you, Steve! This hasn't changed that! I want to be with you."

He did not give a response. She is going to leave. I know it is coming. Let her go; do the truly loving thing and encourage her to leave. His heart was breaking as he swallowed once, steeling his feelings, his thoughts. "I understand, Diane."

She started to brush away the tears as they fell. He handed her his handkerchief. "Steve, I talked with my father. He says I should come home for a little while."

Steve managed a nod, denying the pain that enveloped him.

"Just for a little while," she whispered. "They live in Montana. There is no ocean, but the mountains and the open sky are so clear and clean and..you need to come there."

"I would like to," he managed to say around the lump growing in his own throat. "When do you leave?"

"I have a flight out in just over two hours. I need to get to the airport."

He was a bit surprised that she'd gotten a flight so quickly, but maybe it was just as well. They would not have to endure the inexorable moment for a day or two. It will be over quickly and maybe the pain will not last too long. Maybe it will last forever. "May I take you to the airport?"

Her face brightened. "I had hoped you would."

He nodded. It is the least I can do. I will cherish every second between now and the time the plane leaves the ground.

-----------------------------

Steve stood rooted to the large window until the spec of the large jet had vanished into the midmorning sky. I told her I would come to Montana, but I know it will not happen. She promised to return to Hawaii, but that shall not happen either. Reality is a bitter companion the makes me understand the world for what it is. Diane was a bright star in the vast night sky of my life. He forced a small smile at himself. I do not usually think in such romantic terms. Perhaps she was my star that fell. There was a hollow spot that ached for her loss already although it had been merely a few minutes of time. Does time help this pain? I think not. There will always be a Diane shaped emptiness within me. At last he turned away from the window, consciously making the decision to close the door to this chapter and move on.

He started for the other end of the airport then stopped. Seated in a gate waiting area less than twenty feet away from him was Dan Williams looking at a paperback novel. A piece of Steve wanted to pretend he had not seen and permit himself one more minute to dwell on Diane, but his curiosity won out. He walked over to Williams and said, "Hello. Are you meeting someone?"

Danny looked up. "Hello, McGarrett. No, I'm not meeting someone, I'm leaving."

"That sounds a bit permanent," Steve said.

Danny looked up. "Yep."

"Any special reason why?"

He shrugged. "Nothing to keep me here anymore. Did you hear that Mali's charges were dropped in the hit-and-run? Record contract people had a big name lawyer." He gave a smirk. "Justice, huh?"

"Are you going to join her?" Steve asked.

"Are you kidding? Hope I never see her again." He closed the book. "If you must know, I am transferring to Berkeley because University of Hawaii doesn't offer a Police Science major. I figure I might be able to land a summer job to handle of the loss of the baseball scholarship."

"Police Science?"

"I don't think I'm quite cut out to be a shrink."

"Or a spook either, huh?"

He grinned.

Steve sat down beside him. "You never gave me an opportunity to thank you the other night."

"Looked like your guy Camp was about to push us into World War III."

"He wasn't my guy." Steve gave a quiet smile. "So, do you care to fill in some of these holes for me now?"

"What holes?"

"Secret Service?"

He laughed. "Chin was looking for that WO Fat guy. All his cousins and stuff were beatin' the brush. His nephew told me when they found the address. We started out to spring Diane, but ended up breaking up Camp instead."

"The we is whom?"

"What? Oh, that, no. Those guys weren't real Secret Service. We took the props from the drama department at the University."

"You did what?" Steve stared at him.

"It was a trick. It worked."

"You pretended to be the Secret Service?" Steve shook his head. "Unbelievable." Inwardly he cringed at the thought of the astronomical risks. "Well, Dan Williams, you are certainly a bit unorthodox. When you get your degree, would you give me a call? I'll have a position waiting for you." They shook hands and Steve rose.

"This is first call for flight 4960 to San Francisco boarding gate 9A. Ticketed passengers, please prepare to board."

Danny headed for the doorway down to the plane.

Steve turned to him. "Hey, one more question?"

Danny glanced back, but did not stop walking. "What?"

"You knew where to find the Hastings when Natalie died. How is that?"

"I told you, I was house sitting."

"Where were they?"

He was at the doorway. He flashed a quick grin. "Good-bye, Mr. McGarrett."

Reality Check (What is factual and what is not in this story)

The first election of a four year governor in Hawaii was held in November of 1960

The tension regarding the missile race was real as were the missiles named in the discussion

James Michener wrote the historical novel "Hawaii" that was copyrighted in 1960

The University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors do play the Pepperdine Wolverines in baseball

The constellation of Orion and and the myth story both exist

The USS Arizona Memorial was constructed and dedicated over the battleship Arizona in 1962.

There was a tsunami that struck Hilo May 23, 1960, killed 61 people and destroyed most of Hilo.