"Lost Brother: Part I"

This morning's run along the Virginia coastline reminds Magnum of his last, long run along Waimanalo Beach almost 20 years ago. As he closes his eyes his attention turns toward the unusually warm May morning and the sun beating down on his shoulders, the smell of saltwater and the sound of frolicking sea birds scanning the ocean for a tasty fish treat. Lost in his rhythmic gait on the hard sand he catches a whiff of coconut suntan oil and figures there is a Haole tourist nearby. Instantly he stops in his tracks. Haole tourist? He had forgotten where he was for a moment and realizes that Hawaii is more than four thousand miles away.

Magnum had left Oahu when Lily Catherine came to live with him. He wanted her to grow up around family in Virginia and he needed his mom's help to raise her. Sadly, his mom had passed away a year earlier after a long battle with cancer but not before watching Lilly Catherine grow into a lovely young woman with a solid marriage and a flourishing career as a graphic designer in New York City. Magnum hadn't done badly himself. A successful security firm, an occasional case to keep the private investigator juices flowing and a beautiful beach front home in an exclusive Virginia Beach neighborhood. He had never found love but enjoyed the company of a few ladies that frequented the area during the summer tourist season. Some things never change.

Although twenty years had passed, Magnum retained a strong physique with regular runs along the beach, frequent surf ski outings and the occasional squash game at the local health club. A little grayer at the temples, with a few flecks in his mustache and an extra 10 pounds around the middle, Magnum was still a strong, handsome guy, even pushing sixty. With his mom gone and Lilly Catherine living in NYC he had been feeling isolated and lonely. The summer tourist season was over a month away and although he had made some casual friends in the area, he longed for the close friendships like he had with Rick and T.C. Those types of friends though could only be forged in distant battlefields in far-off places where the horror of war united friends into brothers and human atrocity became collective nightmare memories.

Magnum turned and jogged three miles back to his home where he showered, ate a quick breakfast and called to check on operations at T.S.M. Security Systems. Trevor, the acting manager, answered and relayed that everything was running smoothly and that nine new accounts had been opened since they spoke yesterday. Magnum had long since stopped running the day to day operations when Trevor came to work there. He was an ambitious young man with an 8 year background in Army intelligence and a marketing degree from Virginia Tech. The business had grown exponentially with Trevor's ability to bring in customers through internet marketing and social media exposure.

Magnum went to the kitchen to grab an early afternoon beer when the phone rang. He recognized Robin Masters' number immediately.

"Hello Robin."

"Greetings Magnum. I hope you are well. I'm sorry we haven't been in touch recently but I have a job for you. A very important job."

"It has been a long time Robin but it's great to hear from you. So, what about this job? Need some extra security detail at Robin's Nest for a large gala or extra muscle to protect a famous friend?" Magnum's mood lightened as that large, boyish grin swept across his face. He was happy to reconnect with Robin and take on a job to fill up his empty life. In the past, Robin had called on Magnum for some interesting security matters including guarding priceless art, watching over heirloom jewels, protecting heads of state and safeguarding unpublished novels. Magnum was anxious to hear the details.

"I have some very sad news Magnum." Robin's mood had shifted as his voice broke like thin ice under pressure. There was a long pause and Magnum could hear Robin's stifled sobs.

"Robin, what's going on? What's happened?" His lightened mood was quickly changing to deep concern, his boyish grin to a soldier's serious glare. In all the years Magnum had known Robin he had never heard such grief and anguish in the famous writer's voice.

"Higgins is dead Magnum. "

In the same quivering voice Robin finally managed to utter "Higgins was murdered and I want you to find his killer."

All Magnum could hear was his little voice screaming.