The Right Stuff
The protest march had begun peacefully enough, but as the protesters began to gather around the King Kamehameha statue the mood was starting to change.
"What's going on?" Steve McGarrett demanded of the many officers who were policing the event. The Governor had agreed to come out and accept the petition again higher tuition fees at the university, but as the mood turned ugly, Steve was less and less keen to allow the appearance. The Governor's safety was his responsibility.
"I'm not sure what's going on, Steve," responded Chin Ho Kelly, one of Steve's Five-O detectives. "The chanting. Wait! Steve – I just saw Kimi Kokomo."
"Are you sure, Chin?" Steve gasped. Kimi Kokomo was really bad news. Constantly in trouble since his early teens, Kimi was currently on the run after escaping from custody during his trial for attempted murder. "Where is he?"
"I've lost him," Chin reported, disgusted clear in his voice. "I'm at South King Street and Punchbowl Street junction. There's a lot of people here, boss, but he was heading towards the statue."
"Keep looking for him!" Steve ordered. "I'll stop the Governor coming out." Kimi's attempted murder victim was Governor Jameson himself.
Glancing around, Steve spotted his second in command, Robert Conners, standing nearby. The other man was a few years older than Steve and despite his name, was of Hawaiian/Samoan descent. Initially, they had got along very well, but lately Steve had found himself growing impatient with the other man. Conners' attention had suddenly turned to the possibility of retirement and he wasn't giving his all to Five-O anymore. He was far more cautious. At the moment, he was leaning against a wall, lazily surveying the crowd.
"Rob!" Steve beckoned imperiously to the older man, who slowly straightened and ambled over. "Chin just spotted Kimi."
"Oh?" There was no mistaking the indifference in his second's voice.
The furious glare Steve released bounced harmlessly off Conners' indifference. "I need you to get over there and stop the Governor coming out!" Steve ordered. "Stay with him!"
"Sure," Conners agreed, but as he headed off, there was no urgency to his movements.
Lifting a radio to his lips, Steve barked, "All units be on alert. Kimi Kokomo is in the crowd!"
"Spotted him!" shouted an unidentified voice. "He's heading towards the Governor's offices. In pursuit."
It was all going horribly wrong. Steve thought as he pushed his way through the crowds. The happy-go-lucky holiday mood of the protesters was rapidly turning ugly and Steve would take oath that Kimi was at the back of it. As he turned away from the crowd to enter the building where the Governor's office was, the crowd suddenly packed together and moments later a nasty fight broke out. From all sides, blue-clad officers converged, intent on restoring order. Steve hesitated only fractionally, his desire to be in control giving way to his duty to protect the Governor.
There was a dearth of uniformed men in foyer. Alarm prickled along Steve's nerves. This was wrong! There should be a lot of people on duty in this building. There wasn't time to find out what had happened. Steve ran on, heading for the Governor's office. As he scurried up the steps, a shout echoed from above. "Police! Stop or I'll shoot."
The only reply was an exchange of gunfire. The shots overlapped, but Steve was certain there were three guns involved. He made the last turn in the stairs and looked in horror at the scene in front of him.
On the landing outside the Governor's office, his second in command was sprawled on his back, a growing bloodstain on his stomach. A few feet away was the hulking Kimi, bleeding from a wound on his upper arm. He had a choke-hold on a young HPD patrolman. The young cop still had control of his gun, but Kimi's large hand was inexorably squeezing the much shorter and slighter cop's hand and even as Steve levelled his weapon, there was an audible crack as the cop's hand yielded to the pressure. A strangled cry broke from the young man's throat.
"Police!" Steve shouted, then ducked as Kimi swung the cop's gun, still in the young man's hand, towards Steve and fired.
Acutely aware of the young patrolman, Steve hesitated to fire back. It was all too easy to kill the young officer while trying to take Kimi down. Still, he had to try, for he couldn't allow Kimi to get to the Governor and he was only feet away from the door of the office.
Even as the thought crossed his mind, Kimi retreated, still holding the patrolman hostage. The cop struggled, but he was eight or more inches shorter than the criminal and outweighed by a good deal more than 100 pounds. A part of Steve's mind was impressed that the slight man thought he had a chance against the powerfully built would-be murderer. The cop's cap was knocked off in the struggle, revealing sandy-coloured curls which made the patrolman look even younger and elusively familiar. Steve knew most of the HPD officers by sight, if not by name, but he couldn't think where he knew this officer from.
There was no time to think about this further. Kimi used his full weight to crash into the Governor's office door and the wood gave under the pressure. Steve followed cautiously and saw that the Governor was standing behind his desk with nowhere to run. Kimi gave Steve a big smile and turned the young officer's gun on the Governor.
"Not so clever, are you, McGarrett?" he taunted. "I'm gonna blow Jameson's brains out, then yours and kill this kid." He shook the helpless officer by the throat and the young man choked. "I'm gonna be a legend!"
"I don't think so," Steve replied coolly. He levelled his gun. He had no option now; he had to take Kimi down and protect the Governor. He just hoped that the young officer would not be hurt too badly.
Plucking the gun from the cop's hand, Kimi suddenly spun the young man around and raised the weapon to hit him on the head. Simultaneously, the cop brought his knee up in a swift movement and viciously kneed Kimi in the groin.
It was a brave, mad act. It was also successful. Kimi's hand continued its downward trajectory and hit a glancing blow off the young cop's exposed head, but his other hand dropped to clutch at his injured body parts as he slowly crumpled, stunned as much by the action as by the pain. The cop dropped limply to the floor and Steve took the opportunity presented to him and fired. His bullet took Kimi in the leg and the big man dropped to the floor, narrowly missing squashing the slight cop who already lay there. Steve dashed over, kicked the gun from Kimi's reach and clicked the cuffs around the big man's wrists. They were a tight fit, but Steve didn't care.
"Are you all right, Sir?" he asked the Governor, who looked rather shaken.
"Fine, fine," Jameson nodded. He was singularly unconvincing, but there was no blood to be seen, so Steve took him at his word.
Nodding back, Steve whirled and went back out of the office. Other uniformed officers were coming up the stairs and Chin and Kono were with them. "Kimi's in there. We'll need a few ambulances," he ordered and knelt by Conners' side.
It was too late. Steve knew that even as he felt for a pulse. He had seen death often enough to recognise it. Sinking back onto one heel, Steve slowly closed Conners' eyes. It was a sad end to a distinguished career. Feeling like the weight of the world was on his shoulders, Steve got to his feet. "Someone get the ME out, too," he sighed and returned to the Governor's office.
Chin and Kono had managed to get Kimi to his feet, but it was clear the big Hawaiian was not going anywhere under his own steam. "Get him out of here," he ordered. " Book him - attempted murder, assault and murder one. Oh and don't forget escaping from custody and make sure that can't happen again."
"Murder one?" Jameson gasped. "Who…?"
"Rob Conners," Steve replied heavily and saw both Kono and Chin react. They were none too gentle as they hustled Kimi away to wait for the ambulance outside the office.
"I'm sorry about Rob," Jameson offered. He glanced over to where Duke Lukela had assisted the young cop to a sitting position. The young man was alternatively cradling his head and his hand. There was a bleeding scrape down the officer's cheek and his right hand was swollen. There were also red marks on his throat. Steve followed Jameson's gaze and after a moment went over to crouch by the officer.
"That was a brave thing to do, son," he offered, "but you could have been killed." He tilted the other man's head to look at the scrape.
"He was going… to kill me… anyway," the officer croaked in reply. He swallowed gingerly. "What did… I have to lose?" He gave a painful cough. "Sir," he added belatedly.
"You'd think you would have learned last time, Danny," Lukela scolded.
"Last time?" Steve queried, glancing at the sergeant.
"Don't you remember, Steve? A few months ago – six months? – Danny caught that Waikiki burglar." Duke knew that McGarrett had been told about the rookie who had stopped the most notorious burglar the island had seen in quite a while. "He was a big guy, too and Danny broke his wrist arresting him."
"I do remember that," Steve admitted and looked more closely at the young officer. "Looks like you've broken something again, Officer Williams."
Sighing, Danny nodded. "Different hand this time," he whispered hoarsely.