AN: Thanks to all who have been reading this story so far and to those who had time to review. Special thanks goes to "KMW1968" for your constructive feedback and for taking the time to PM me.
Mahalo goes to my beta!
(*Edited by "Book 'em Again")
The tension in the cubicle grew unbearable with every passing second, as the toxicologist exchanged nervous glances between the two detectives. Finally his eyes came to rest on his brief case. Slowly, he placed it on the desk. With unsteady fingers he unlocked the latch then slowly turned it so that it sat facing Dan Williams.
The detective visually scanned the contents within the case. His keen eyes observed the row of glass vials filled with a clear liquid strapped into the inside of the case. Below them was a rolled up document, similar to what a floor plan to a building would look like, also secured in place. Dan noticed that the vials were unlabelled. He looked up and asked the scientist what the vials contained. Dr. Lee clamped his mouth shut and looked down at the table. Seeing no answer was forthcoming, Dan sighed heavily and turned to his colleague by the door.
"Kono, take Dr. Lee to booking –" Dan's instructions were cut short by Lee's strangled cry of protest.
"No! Wait, please!"
"What do these vials contain?" Dan questioned once again. His tone was serious and left no room for compromise. He needed answers and time was too precious to waste playing waiting games.
"P-Poison. St-Stoss is planning to sabotage the water supply. He provided my lab with funds to work on a new biochemical formula with the potential to contaminate Hawaii's most precious resource. I had no choice, Mr. Williams. If I didn't do what he said, my sister and my niece will die!. Please, you must understand!" Dr. Lee leaned across the desk, grasping the edges of the briefcase and pleaded for Dan's sympathy.
"What makes you think that Stoss will spare you and your family the same fate he plans to bestow on these islands? Don't you see, doctor? He will not hesitate to dispose of your sister and niece once you helped him fulfill his mission of terrorism! Has any of this poison been released into the water supply?"
Lee tightened his grip on the briefcase and began to tug it back toward him. His face blanched and his lips were unmoving.
"Let go of the briefcase and answer my question!" Dan ordered, loudly. The light left his striking blue eyes as darkness befell them. His heart began to beat rapidly as he waited for Dr. Lee to respond. His patience had run its course and every nerve in his being was prepared to hear of the terror that could destroy all their lives. So rapt was his attention on Lee that he didn't notice Kono edging away from his stance by the door and move towards them, ready to restrain the scientist if needs be.
The thin man loosened his hold on the case and recoiled from Dan's fiery glare. He shook his head then opened his mouth and uttered a one worded answer, "No."
"Where were you told to release the chemical and when?" Dan continued to apply pressure on the suspect.
"The first place was here, the Iolani Palace. I was told that-that phase one was to send a message to the Governor by ridding Hawaii of its elite force and setting an example to Steve McGarrett," Dr. Lee reluctantly answered.
"He, Stoss, told me that once Hawaii was on their knees begging for mercy, he would demand a ransom payout from the Governor and free passage to any country of his choosing. That's all I know! Please, no more questions. I can't answer anymore."
"One more question and then you are going to help us stop Stoss before it's too late to save your family. Do you know the location of detective Steve McGarrett?"
"He's...he's...Stoss has him."
"Where? Is he alive?"
"Yes. Stoss won't kill him until he hears the news of Five-O's demise and the Governor begging for the terror to end."
"Where are they?" Dan pronounced each syllable with deliberate enunciation.
"In a cabin in the Kuliouou Forest," Lee replied, sinking back into his seat, feeling defeated and repentant for his involvement. He buried his face in his hands and sobbed.
Dan pulled down the lid of the case in front of him and carefully snapped it shut. He looked up at the broken man before him. "Dr. Lee, where are your sister and niece now?"
"At their home. One of Stoss's men is with them," Lee's reply sounded muffled as he continued to cover his face with his hands.
"Look at me! I know you're afraid but your family needs you to pull yourself together."
Lee slowly took his hands away from his face and looked into Dan's unwavering gaze.
"First thing I need is their address," Dan continued. The young man's usual boyish charm was replaced by that of one forced to bear a responsibility so great that it threatened to crush his shoulders. Not only did Steve's life and the lives of Lee's family members depend on his next course of action, the fate of the entire state of Hawaii lay in his hands. He silently prayed that what he was about to do would stop Stoss in his tracks and release Hawaii from the unseen terror he threatened to unleash. In his heart he hoped that his plan did not come at a high price, for he could never forgive himself if it was going to cost the lives of any of the three innocent hostages he was determined to save.