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08 September 2012 @ 10:10 am
Hawaii Five-0 Big Bang: 5:59:59 part 2  
“Whoa. Slow down,” Danny said, shifting the tray to hold up one hand.

“Slow down? Slow down,” Steve repeated as though he was tasting the words and not finding them to his liking.




“These aren’t for me,” Danny told him, taking a step closer so Steve couldn’t miss his intent. He kept his voice calm but made sure it was firm. His free hand lay on Steve’s hard chest, trying to convey his message through touch where words were ineffective.

“Then why get them?” Steve asked firmly, staring down at him.

“That would be for me,” Toast said as he allowed the glass doors to close behind him.

“Toast?” Steve said, frowning over at him.

“Commander McSEAL,” Toast returned. “Jersey. Chin Ho,” Toast said, fist bumping Chin when he came out of his office.

“The malasadas are for Toast,” Danny said evenly. “I asked him to come to trace the phone call and the video feed.”

Steve looked to Danny and then to Toast, then to Chin who nodded once. “I see.”

“So if you are finished snarling all over me, I’ll take Toast into my office and let him get to work,” Danny said, moving his free hand to wrap around Steve’s forearm. The warmth of the touch finally got through to Steve in a way Danny’s words did not.

Steve nodded, looking over Danny’s head at Toast. “Thank you.”

“Jersey called. Here I am. Figured it was important.”

“Alvaro Rendon Naranjo has abducted Kono. He wants his brother released in exchange,” Danny explained, turning to face Toast, his hand still on Steve’s arm.

“Why would Five-0 know anything about a Columbian drug lord’s brother?” Toast asked.

“Super SEAL,” Danny said, indicating Steve with a nod of his head.

“Ah. Roger that,” Toast said. “I can set up in your office?”

“Yeah,” Danny agreed, releasing his grip Steve’s arm to go with Toast to his office, giving him the coffee and the malasadas.

“Steve going to hold it together?” Toast asked quietly around a malasada.

“We all will,” Danny assured him, clearing the few items off his desk so Toast could have the entire space. “What do you need?”

“The recording of the call and the video. Chin Ho if he’s available.”

“He can help. He’s not focused enough to do it himself,” Danny explained to Toast’s nods.

“Gotcha,” Toast said, setting up his computer while eating another malasada and sipping the coffee. “No smoking rule still in effect?”

“Yes. But if you absolutely have to, open the window and lock the door,” Danny instructed.

“Right,” Toast agreed absently as he began typing into his computer. Danny knew he was no longer in Toast’s focus and left.

“I’m waiting for a call back from Rear Admiral Ponds,” Steve was saying to Chin.

“He’s over Joint Pearl Harbor-Hickam?” Danny asked when he was back in the bullpen.

“He is,” Steve agreed.

“But he doesn’t have the authority to release his brother,” Danny said.

“No he does not. But I can’t go directly to the Secretary of the Navy. I have to follow the chain of command,” Steve said, his voice and posture that of the Lieutenant Commander. Danny was not especially fond of that version of Steve. It was rarely on display with Five-0 when it was just them. He liked his version of Steve much better.

“That guy on the TV show calls the Sec-Nav all the time,” Danny said.

“First, this isn’t a TV show. And second, that guy works for Sec-Nav. We do not,” Steve pointed out.

“Don’t you kinda work for him?” Danny asked.

“Just stop,” Steve requested.

“Ask the Governor to call him,” Chin suggested, a tiny note of pleading in his tone.

“If I don’t hear from the Rear Admiral in the next half an hour, I will,” Steve assured him. “I did talk to the Governor after I finished with the base commander. Denning said he’ll be on stand-by if we need him for anything.”

“That’s good to know,” Chin said with a nod.

“Toast have everything he needs?” Steve asked.

“Yeah. He asked me if you can help,” Danny said to Chin.

“Of course,” Chin agreed, retreating into Danny’s office.

Steve was staring down at Danny with a displeased expression etched on his face.

“What? What’s with the pre-aneurysm-face?” Danny asked, waving his hand at the length of Steve.

“You don’t have any idea how the military operates,” Steve said in a steely voice.

“Why in God’s name would I? I didn’t grow up in the Navy. Why do you think I would have the first clue about that protocol or whatever?”

“Protocol or whatever?” Steve repeated, his mask of anger starting to crack.

“Drink some coffee, please. You need to chill. Dial it back several notches,” Danny said, handing Steve the coffee.

“Coffee won’t make me chill. It will heat me up,” Steve said as he sipped it.

“Not as much as I do,” Danny reminded him, looking at the video feed in case they’d missed anything.

“Can’t argue with that,” Steve agreed, shoulder bumping him, all forgiven. Which Danny took for granted because Steve might want to stay angry but he really was incapable. At least with his ohana. “Where are they holding her?”

“It looks to me like some kind of pool,” Danny said, pointing at the smooth joints of the walls that were visible. “But there’s no way to tell how big it is.”

“Look at the shadow over the entire floor,” Steve said. “It must be completely covered.”

“But none of that is helpful,” Danny said. “There must be thousands of pools on Oahu alone.”

“If she’s still on Oahu,” Steve said.

“Toast will hopefully be able to figure that out,” Danny reminded him. “We need to see if Rendon recently purchased any real estate.”

“Find all of his real estate holdings,” Steve said, typing into the computer.

“Problem is any of the properties could be held by shell corporations,” Danny said, looking at the feed of Rendon as he made his demands. “How did they get her out of her house? She didn’t make a call to Jiffy Kwik or any other take-out place.”

“It had to be someone she knew, someone she trusted,” Steve said, looking up at the screen that held the image of Kono. “One of her friends under duress?”

“I don’t know,” Danny said, shaking his head. “We need HPD to canvas her street. Go door to door to see if anyone saw anything.”

“Yeah, we can do that,” Steve agreed, dialing Duke on the computer. He explained what he needed, Duke agreeing to send out four officers to knock on every door in her neighborhood. “Thanks,” Steve said when the arrangements were made.

“Why did they take her car? Why not just leave it at her house?” Danny asked the screen, not looking over at Steve.

“It was obviously a decoy.”

“But for what purpose? She was already gone. We couldn’t have tracked her,” Danny said, shaking his head. “Why can’t the criminals ever make it easy on us?”

“Because then we wouldn’t have a job,” Steve pointed out. “Did Chin call her mom?”

“He took care of it,” Danny agreed. “We didn’t inform Adam. What if he decides to take his own revenge?”

“We need to tell him,” Steve said. “You promised him we would.”

Danny nodded, taking out his cell phone and calling Adam.

“Any news?” Adam asked immediately.

“We heard from the people who have her,” Danny said.

“Who is it?” Adam asked in a deadly quiet voice.

“We’re taking care of it. It doesn’t have anything to do with you or your connections. And you can’t exact your brand of justice.”

“I can help put pressure on them even if it’s not about me,” Adam said.

“That won’t do us any good,” Danny said in what he hoped was a soothing tone. “We are trying to see if there is a way we can fulfill the terms of her release. Until then, there’s nothing we can do but investigate. And wait.”

“If it’s money, I can get it for you,” Adam told him.

“It’s not,” Danny said. “We can’t discuss the terms of their demands with you. I’m sorry. But there’s nothing you can do.”

“There’s got to be something,” Adam said.

“There’s nothing right now. If there is anything you can do that will help us recover her, I’ll call you. Until then, you have to be as patient as you can and let us do our jobs.”

There was a lengthy pause on the other end of the phone until Adam released the breath he’d been holding. “I understand.”

“All right. We’ll call when we know anything else,” Danny promised.

“Thank you, Detective,” Adam said, hanging up.

“You don’t think he’ll do anything stupid, do you?” Steve asked, frowning over at Danny.

“How could he? He doesn’t know who has her or where she is. He offered to put up the ransom if that was an issue.”

“I wish it was that easy,” Steve said, frowning at the image of Kono.

“Hey, Super SEAL. This isn’t your fault. You know that, right?” Danny said, a warm hand on Steve’s chest, right over his heart.

“It is my fault. My past was bound to catch up with me. I never expected it to hurt any of you.”

“You were doing your job. Rendon is scum of the earth. Why isn’t he in jail with his brother?” Danny asked.

“He wasn’t involved in the drug trade. At least not as far as we could tell. He took it over when we took out Diego. Rendon was a lawyer. Supposedly straight arrow. I always doubted it,” Steve said.

“Hard to believe he wasn’t involved,” Danny agreed. “At least you didn’t kill Diego.”

“I would have preferred it. But Ops wanted to see if he would give up the rest of the organization.”

“Didn’t work, did it?” Danny asked, already knowing the answer.

“No,” Steve agreed, taking out his ringing phone. “Admiral. Thank you for returning my call.”

“I was told it was of the utmost urgency, Commander,” the Admiral replied.

Steve explained what had happened, listening to the silence on the other end of his phone.

“The United States does not negotiate with terrorists,” the Admiral predictably told him after the nearly endless pause.

“I understand that, sir. I had hoped that perhaps we could make it look as though Diego was being released but not actually let him out of custody.”

“Alvaro is extremely smart, Commander,” Admiral Ponds said in a considering tone. “I am certain he would not be fooled by a bait and switch.”

“Sir, I cannot stand by and allow my officer to die because of something I did,” Steve said, his heart in his voice. “I know official policy is not to negotiate. But Officer Kalakaua cannot be yet another victim of their cartel. They have taken enough innocent lives.”

The Admiral did not answer right away and Steve did everything he could to wait patiently. “You have proof he has her?”

“Yes sir. He sent us a video of her being held hostage. In some sort of pool it looks like. He gave us six hours or he’ll drown her.”

“I see,” Admiral Ponds said. “Let me call the higher-ups, Commander. What time did he contact you?”

“At 8 a.m. sir.”

“I’ll call you back as soon as I have news,” the Admiral said, disconnecting.

“Well?” Danny asked as soon as Steve had hung up.

“I don’t know,” Steve said. “He didn’t say no. He said he’d call up the chain.”

“That’s got to be good, right?” Danny asked.

“Better than a no,” Steve agreed. They looked over at Toast as he and Chin left Danny’s office.

“Any news?” Danny asked, trying not to be hopeful.

“Yes and no,” Toast said, standing over the tech table. He typed in a few commands until a screen of script appeared. “I traced the IP address from the video feed. It’s here,” he said, pointing to the numbers and symbols on the screen. “It’s registered to a company called DRN Empresas.”

“Diego Rendon Naranjo Enterprises,” Steve said.

“That’s what we figure,” Chin agreed.

“It’s the same IP that the phone call originated from,” Toast said, pointing to a second screen of code.

“That can’t be right,” Danny said. “Rendon is in Columbia.”

“Not so much,” Toast said. “According to this, he is in approximately the same locale as SurferGirl.”

“Do you know where they are?” Steve asked, tension in every line of his body.

“No. They bounced their signal a dozen times. I’m pretty sure they are in Hawaii but I can’t narrow it down any more than that,” Toast said, an apologetic tone in his voice Danny had never heard before.

“We’re working on a court order to find the address behind the IP,” Chin said. “I already called the Governor’s office. They are putting it in motion.”

“Good,” Steve said with a nod.

“That won’t necessarily lead us to Kono,” Danny pointed out.

“But it will give us a place to start. If we can find their offices, we may find where she’s being held,” Steve said.

“All right,” Danny said, looking at the countdown clock they had put on one of the screens. It said they had 79 more minutes before Rendon called in. “You don’t know where Diego is, do you?”

“No idea,” Steve said. “None of us were allowed to know. For our safety.”

“Fat lot of good it did,” Danny said.

“There are approximately 56 maximum security prisons on the mainland,” Chin said. “He could be in any one of them.”

“I can find him,” Toast offered.

“No,” Steve, Danny, and Chin said all at the same time.

Toast held up both hands in surrender. “Fine. Just offering.”

“It wouldn’t matter anyway,” Danny pointed out. “It’s not like we can go break him out even if he knew where he was.” He glanced over at Steve and frowned. “Oh no. No. No. NO. We are not going to a maximum security prison and breaking anyone out. No.”

“I wasn’t even thinking that,” Steve claimed, fooling no one.

“Don’t lie to me,” Danny said, shaking his head. “I can always tell.”

“Thanks, brah,” Chin broke in before Danny’s rant could go full steam. “But there’s not time.”

“I know,” Steve said with a shrug. “We could do it though.”

“No doubt,” Danny said, shaking his head.

“Where does that leave us?” Chin asked, studying the screens. Some of his anxiety was showing through, a state they almost never saw him in.

“Duke is having Kono’s street canvassed. I’m waiting for a call back from Admiral Ponds. He’s calling up the chain. Denning is on stand-by,” Steve said, ticking off the information for Chin and Toast.

“I told Adam that we’d been contacted,” Danny said.

“I’m right here,” Toast said, turning from his scrutiny of the screen to remind Danny.

“Not you,” Danny said, waving a hand at Toast.

“Oh,” Toast said, returning to his study.

“What did he say?” Chin asked.

“He wanted to help. I declined his offer,” Danny said. “How’s Kono’s mom?”

“Holding on. Malia is making sure she doesn’t get overwhelmed. As much as she can,” Chin said.

“What now?” Danny said, wishing there was something concrete they could do. Maybe breaking Rendon’s brother out of prison wasn’t such a bad idea. At least then they would be doing something besides worrying themselves sick over Kono.

“We wait,” Steve admitted.

“How long before we can find the IP address?” Danny asked Chin.

“It shouldn’t be much longer. Denning’s office said they would contact the judge right away. I would think they’d be calling back any minute.”

“Might not help,” Toast said.

“But it might tell us where the call originated from,” Danny replied.

“We’ll find out where the computer is. That doesn’t tell us where SurferGirl is,” Toast said. “Computer is probably in one of his legitimate businesses.”

“It could just be a relay station,” Chin said.

“Yeah,” Toast agreed. “You could theoretically trace it back from that computer but you’d have to have access to it.”

“Can you hack into it?” Danny asked.

“Sure if I know its IP address. Which is different from the phone call.”

“Can’t you use that IP address to backtrace it to the originating computer?” Chin asked.

“In theory. But they bounced it so many times, I can’t find the first relay. Once you find the physical location of the computer, I can narrow down the search.”

“And we have to wait for the judge to okay that search,” Danny said.

“Then we’re going to go wherever that computer is and force them to talk,” Steve said.

“No we aren’t,” Danny said. “Rendon hears what we are doing, he kills Kono. We have to be subtle about this. A word not in your vocabulary.”

“I can do subtle,” Steve claimed, frowning down at Danny.

“Subtle and stealth are not the same,” Danny informed him.

“He’s right, brah,” Chin said.

“All right,” Steve conceded, relaxing a fraction. He was still on high alert, all of his muscles bunched and coiled for action. Danny thought he was going to wear himself out at this rate but maybe that wasn’t such a bad thing.

“Dudes,” Toast said over his shoulder. He was standing right in front of the monitor that was playing the video of Rendon on a continual loop.

“Yeah,” Danny said, rounding the tech table to stand next to him.

“You see something?” Chin asked, standing on the other side of Toast.

“Look at this,” he said, pointing to the left of Rendon. “What does that look like?”

The guys studied the video, seeing a sliver of the office where Rendon was sitting. He was behind a wooden desk, not as huge or imposing as they might have expected. The area where Toast was pointing seemed to be a window with an ocean view.

“A window overlooking the ocean,” Danny finally said, frowning. They were on an island. Of course the office where he made the phone call had an ocean view.

“No, Jersey,” Toast said, shaking his head. “Can you enlarge his section, Chin Ho?”

Chin did it, returning to stand next to Toast.

“See. Right here. The horizon’s off,” Toast said.

“You’re right,” Steve said, leaning forward. “They are on a boat.”

“That’s my guess,” Toast said. “SurferGirl may be in a holding tank.”

“Wait. Wait,” Danny said, looking again at the video. “What do you mean – the horizon’s off?”

“It’s too high,” Steve said, pointing at the image of the window. “It should be further down.”

“How does that not mean he’s right next to the beach? Isn’t that how the horizon looks from our kitchen window?” Danny said, staring at the screen.

“Our window?” Toast mouthed to Chin.

“Yeah. They are shacking up,” Chin said quietly.

“Oh,” Toast said, nothing else that he could add.

“They are both a lot less tense. Now,” Chin whispered.

“I bet,” Toast agreed.

“There’s no distance between the window and the ocean,” Steve was saying. “He’s on the ocean.”

“Or at a dock,” Chin said.

“Most likely he’d be out to sea. Harder to get a lock on him,” Steve said. “It’s…” His explanation was interrupted by a call that said it was coming from the Governor’s office. Chin brought it up on the video, Gov. Denning looking concerned.

“Governor,” Steve said.

“Commander,” Denning replied, nodding to the others. “I have the judge’s approval to determine the owners of the IP address. You can handle that from there?”

“We can,” Chin agreed.

“Very good,” Denning said with a nod. “I’ll forward you the approval and you can trace the address.”

“Good,” Chin said with a nod.

“I also heard from Admiral Ponds,” the Governor said. “He is still trying to reach the Secretary of the Navy. Secretary Mabus is in a top-level meeting. If we don’t hear back within the next hour, I’ll contact Secretary Panetta. That’s as high as I can go right now. I don’t have direct access to the President. But if it comes to it, I will find a way.”

“Thank you, Governor,” Steve said. “We’re hoping it won’t come to that. We think Kono is being held on a boat.”

“Then I’ll leave it to you to contact the Coast Guard,” the Governor said.

“Of course, sir,” Steve agreed. With that, they said their good-byes and disconnected. Chin and Toast retreated to Danny’s office to put to use the permission they had just received. “At least Denning’s doing everything he can.”

“You knew he would,” Danny said. “He doesn’t want Kono to die.”

“I know,” Steve sighed, looking down at Danny, his heart practically in his eyes. “I’m sorry.”

“Babe. I told you already. You aren’t to blame. The scum of the earth is scum.”

“Yeah,” Steve said, pulling Danny in for a quick hug, reassured by his solid warmth and certain presence.

“Contact the Coast Guard,” Danny said, patting Steve on the chest. “Put them on stand-by.”

“Right,” Steve agreed, going into his office to make that call.

Danny was still studying the screen when it indicated an incoming call from the crime lab. He activated the video, Charlie Fong on the other end. “Charlie.”

“Danny,” Charlie said. “We finished processing Kono’s car. We didn’t find any evidence in her car itself. But we did find a 5 second feed on her in-dash video. We think they accidentally activated it and then didn’t know how to erase it. They tried smashing it and put it back in the dash. But the video card wasn’t damaged.”

“Did you find anything of use on it?”

“It caught a few seconds of one of the guys that took her. Here,” Charlie said, activating the video on his end.

“This is the guy?” Danny said, watching the very dark, very blurry shape move in and out of the headlights.

“Yeah. You can’t see his face. But this frame right here,” Charlie said, stopping the feed. “You can see his tattoo.”

“Tongan,” Danny said, studying the shape of the symbols.

“Looks that way to me,” Charlie agreed.

“Thanks. We’ll have a chat with Saloni,” Danny assured him.

“Right,” Charlie said.

“Alert us if you find anything else,” Danny reminded him.

“You know we will,” Charlie agreed before terminating the connection.

Danny went over to Steve’s door, opening it just as Steve was hanging up.

“Coast Guard is on stand-by,” Steve said. “They will provide whatever resources we need.”

“Good. I think Charlie may have found something,” Danny said, leading Steve over to the video. “This was recorded by Kono’s in-dash video.”

“Tongan,” Steve said when he saw the distinctive tattoos.

“That’s what Charlie and I thought,” Danny said with a nod. “You want to pay Saloni a visit?”

“I think we should,” Steve agreed. He glanced over at the timer, nodding to it. “We need to wait until he calls at 10.”

“Yeah,” Danny agreed. “Maybe I’ll give Saloni a call. See if he’ll come or tell me what he knows.”

“He may not talk to you,” Steve said hesitantly.

“Oh Lord. Not the haole thing again,” Danny said. “I thought we’d moved past that.”

“Well,” Steve said.

“All right. After we talk to the blood-sucking scumbag, we’ll call on Saloni.”

“Right,” Steve said. “Are Toast and Chin ready to trace the call?”

“As ready as they ever will be,” Danny said. “You’ll talk to him as long as possible.”

“He knows what we’re doing,” Steve said.

“Yeah,” Danny had to agree. “We can’t tell him we know he’s in Hawaii.”

“Maybe I’ll threaten to come down to Columbia to have a face-to-face,” Steve suggested.

“Not a bad idea all around,” Danny said. “I’ll go get Chin.” The clock said 9:58 and they all needed to be there so Rendon would not suspect anything out of the ordinary was going on.

Chin, Steve, and Danny were standing by the tech table when the call came. Rendon’s awful smiling face appeared on the screen when Chin connected. “Gentlemen.”

“We’re working on having your brother released,” Steve said. “I am waiting for a call back from the Secretary of the Navy.”

“Good progress,” Rendon said with a nod.

“We need to see Kono,” Chin demanded. He was okay if it sounded like an order.

Rendon nodded, the screen fading and reappearing with Kono still handcuffed to the chair. The water was lapping at her thighs, her face tired more than scared. They might have seen some resignation reflected there but they were refusing to acknowledge it even to themselves. She disappeared and Rendon was back.

“As you see, she is still alive. Quite secure,” Rendon said.

“Kono doesn’t have anything to do with us,” Steve said in a hard tone, his body stiff. “Release her and take me instead.”

Rendon gave a humorless laugh. “Nice try, Commander.”

“She isn’t involved in our concerns,” Steve said. “It’s between the two of us.”

“She will be collateral damage if my brother is not on a secure transport in the next three hours and fifty five minutes.”

“I’m doing everything that I can to fulfill your demands,” Steve told him. “I expect to hear from Sec-Nav any time.”

“I hope you do. For the sake of your officer,” Rendon said. “I will contact you again at noon your time.”

“Maybe I’ll come down to Columbia and ‘contact’ you directly,” Steve said.

Rendon shook his head. “Threats are pointless. As you know. You will not reach me. And your officer will still be dead.”

Steve stared at him silently, Rendon smiling a tight, ugly smile before disconnecting.

“I hope that was enough time,” Chin said.

“So do I,” Steve agreed with a nod. He and Danny filled in Chin on what they had learned from Charlie about the Tongans. “We’re going to go see Saloni.”

“I should go with,” Chin said, some of his frustration showing in his tense expression. He looked ready to hit something. Or someone.

Steve shook his head, a light hand on Chin’s shoulder. “I know you want to talk to him. But Danny and I can do that. We can’t trace the IP address. That’s more important.”

“Toast can handle it,” Chin argued, his body coiled to fight. His instinct to do everything possible to protect Kono was urging him to put all of those emotions into action. Kono was missing. He had to do something.

“Chin,” Danny said quietly. “We can’t trace the call. You can. We’ll talk to Saloni about his pirates. You don’t need to go. Finding where the call originated from is even more important than finding the guys who took her.”

Chin took a deep breath and stared into Danny’s blue, worried eyes. He could see the truth in them. He just didn’t want to. “Okay,” he finally said in a hushed voice. “You’ll let me know?”

“The second we know anything,” Danny promised. “Once we find them, we’ll bring them back here so you can talk to them.”

“Good,” Chin agreed, reluctantly turning to go back to Danny’s office.

“Thanks,” Steve said in a low voice as they went down the steps to the Camaro. “I didn’t think he was going to listen.”

“You fuel his testosterone. Nobody would accuse me of that,” Danny said with a dismissive wave of his hand.

“What? You’re talking nonsense.”

“Nonsense, he says. Like he’s not some sort of superhero,” Danny said.

“I’m not a superhero,” Steve said as they entered the car. “Stop being stupid.”

“You and Chin are the he-men of this outfit. I’m the Jimmy Olsen,” Danny told him.

“Stop. Just stop. You aren’t Jimmy Olsen. And if you were a comic book character, it’d be Lois Lane since we’re dating,” Steve said, trying not to look smug.

“Yeah, that helps. Thanks,” Danny grumped, looking out his window.

“Where does that leave Kono in your comic book scenario? Because she will kick your ass six ways to Sunday if you say she’s the damsel in distress.”

“I would never. She’s Wonder Woman. Everybody knows that,” Danny said.

“I think you’re way more like Batman. Unassuming on the outside. Fearless crime-fighter on the inside.”

“Oh great. First I was Lois Lane. Now I’m unassuming,” Danny said, frowning over at Steve.

“Oops. I’m never getting laid again.”

“Not by me,” Danny confirmed frowning out his window.

“You’ll give into my super-powers of persuasion,” Steve told him. Danny just shook his head and concentrated on thinking about nothing so his fear for Kono could not overwhelm him.

They had very little else to say as they went to Saloni’s house which served as the Tongan hang-out. It wasn’t in the best part of town but everyone knew better than to tangle with the Tongans. There were five motorcycles in the driveway and on the yard, three muscle cars, and a gigantic blue pick-up.

“Is that Kawika’s truck?” Danny asked, looking up at it.

“They aren’t friends,” Steve said, going up to the front porch and knocking. A teen-aged girl of about 17 opened it, sweeping Steve and Danny with her brown eyes.

“Saloni. Cops here to see you,” she yelled to the inside the house. As her footsteps retreated, they heard another coming closer.

“Commander. Detective,” Saloni said when he was on the front steps with them. “I was just about to give you a call.”

“That so?” Steve asked in a steely tone, his arms crossed over his chest.

“So you know two of your guys took Kono?” Danny asked in a milder tone.

“Kawika told me.”

“We didn’t know Tongans and Kapu were aligned,” Danny said.

“Not usually. But we both know not to get on the bad side of Five-0,” Saloni said. “We got respects for you. You done right by us. And Kono is one of our own.”

“Who took her?” Steve demanded as he practically loomed over Saloni.

“Kiau'u and Meilo. Hot heads. Surfers. Bragging about getting $25,000. Kawika’s guys heard. He called me,” Saloni said.

“Do you know where we might find them so that we can have a friendly little chat?” Danny asked.

“Meilo works out of a surf shop on Sunset Beach. Kiau’u lives up by the edge of the rainforest.”

“We need more than that to go on,” Steve told him.

“My best guess is that they are probably looking to buy a boat with the money. Been thinking of breaking out on their own,” Saloni said, a look of disapproval apparent.

“Okay, okay,” Danny said impatiently. “If pirates wanted to purchase a boat, where would they go?”

“Alleged pirates,” Saloni corrected.

“Right,” Danny said.

“There’s a place in Waipahu. A marina owned by an old guy - Owomeme. There may be a history of boats being purchased there for less than legitimate purposes,” Saloni said.

“All right,” Steve said with a nod. “I know where that is. If we find out you warned them, it will not go well for you.”

“I got no plans to tell nobody nothing. You tell me when you have them and I’ll make sure they tell you the truth.”

Steve nodded at that, still not happy. But at least they had a place to look. “What do these knuckleheads look like?”

“Kiau’u is taller than you,” Saloni said, looking up at Steve. “More tats. Meilo’s only a little taller than the haole, his skin all inked. Kiau’u wears his hair long, braided. Meilo’s is short, nearly as short at yours.”

“If you hear from either of them, or from Owomeme, call us,” Steve said as they left Saloni’s front stoop.

“You call me when you have them,” Saloni returned.

“Right,” Steve agreed. He glanced over at Danny as they went the short distance across the grass to the Camaro. “What?”

“You believe him?” Danny asked as they got into the car.

“I have no reason not to. Why would he lie?” Steve asked.

“Seems awfully easy,” Danny said.

“Easy is if we find the Tongans at the Marina.”

“Call HPD to cover it,” Danny said.

“No. We’re going to find them. Make them tell us the truth.”

“Naturally,” Danny said. “Once we find Kono’s location, I don’t know how we’re going to get close to their boat without them harming her at the first sign of our approach.”

“I may have to swim over to it,” Steve said.

“How far can you realistically swim? True facts?”

“Four or five miles,” Steve said in a semi-considering tone as though he wasn’t entirely sure.

“And how long would that take?” Danny asked, pinning him with his gaze, one Steve could not escape.

“I can swim a mile in about 25 minutes, depending variables,” Steve said, glancing over at him.

“Okay,” Danny said, making some calculations in his head. “Let’s say you swam a mile and half. Would you be able to defend yourself and protect Kono once you boarded the boat?”

“Depends on the number of hostiles,” Steve said as he drove well over the speed limit toward Waipahu, lights warning the traffic to yield the right-away.

“Yeah. I don’t think you swimming over is a good scenario. I don’t want to risk losing you both.”

“If it comes down to it, we may not have any other option,” Steve said. “She’s in harm’s way because of me.”

“Again. You did not cause this. The scum caused it. You are as much a victim as Kono.”

“I don’t like that word,” Steve announced.

“I know that. But in this case it’s true,” Danny said, watching the scenery whiz by. “What if they aren’t at the marina?”

“We call Saloni and he finds them,” Steve said.

“We may need his help to search for Kono. We know for sure they have boats,” Danny said.

“There is that. I’m betting Kawika will help too. The Kapu have eyes and ears everywhere.”

“Yeah,” Danny agreed, calling Chin to update him. “We are going after the Tongans who we think took Kono. Saloni told us where we might find them.”

“Good work,” Chin said.

“Luck. Kawika heard them bragging and told Saloni,” Danny said.

“Breaks should come our way,” Chin said.

“I take that to mean you haven’t found her,” Danny said. His concern for Kono was weighing down his words, making him wish he could say other ones.

“Not yet. Toast said it’s definitely the North Shore. That’s still a whole lot of water. Still no good news from the Governor about the Secretary of the Navy. He’s giving Sec-Nav another fifteen minutes then he’s calling Secretary Panetta.”

“All right. We’ll keep you posted on what we find at the water,” Danny said before hanging up. “I’m going to call Kamekona. He may be able to find us out something.”

“Can’t hurt,” Steve agreed, glancing over at Danny as he dialed his phone.

“Shamu,” Danny said in greeting, putting him on speaker.

Haole,” Kamekona replied. “In what way may I assist you today?”

Danny explained about Kono being taken and what they knew so far. “If you hear anything that might help,” Danny was saying.

“You know I’ll be on the horn,” Kamekona assured him. “I can call some of my less than savory associates if you think that would be advantageous to your proceedings.”

“It wouldn’t hurt,” Danny said. “He had to have gotten his boat from somewhere. Even if they are at sea now, they needed fuel, supplies. He could have brought a boat from Columbia but it makes more sense to acquire one here.”

“True dat,” Kamekona said. “I’ll reach out to some of my North Shore associates.”

“Keep us informed,” Danny said before hanging up. “How much further?”

“Five minutes,” Steve said, taking a sharp left, tires squealing in protest. Ordinarily Danny would be complaining about his suspension and tire pressure and Steve’s general recklessness but none of that was of any importance compared to finding Kono.

Steve slowed as the street became narrower, lined on both sides with buildings tall and wide enough to house boats, the smaller structures for dealing with the business of the boats. The boat housings were old, many rusted under the fading paint, the offices rundown with weeds sprouting at the edges of the buildings.

“It should be the next one,” Steve said, nodding his head at the next dock with several more boat buildings. They parked the Camaro, a few curious glances coming from the handful of men working on or near the boats. No one spoke, their Five-0 badges making it clear they were not in the market for a boat at this time.

“Here,” Danny said, pointing to a sign that barely read Owomeme – Boats Traded, sold, bought. Steve nodded at the sign, going toward the huge boat housing that was open on both ends, one lone boat drifting in the gloom next to the worn dock, the rope barely holding it to the planks. On the opposite side of the boat housing was a small metallic building, big enough only to contain one room. There were two filthy windows on the end facing the boat housing, the door in-between standing part-way open.

Steve and Danny approached the office cautiously, guns at the ready. They crouched beneath the windows, Steve stretching up just enough to see inside. “Nothing,” he whispered.

“Why’s the door open?” Danny asked quietly.

“No idea,” Steve said. “Cover me.”

Danny nodded, standing half way up as Steve slipped inside, Danny following immediately. The tiny building held a desk with papers that ruffled in the artificial breeze barely created by an ancient oscillating fan that was working hard to provide relief from the stifling air. The chair behind the desk was overturned, the papers in disarray. But from the state of the office in general, it was hard to tell if the papers had been disturbed or if they always looked like that.

“This is pointless,” Danny finally said, holstering his gun. “They aren’t here any longer.”

“Apparently not,” Steve said, pulling on his gloves as he approached the desk.

“What are you doing?” Danny said, staring at him. “You can’t go through his desk.”

“I can if I think there is evidence here,” Steve countered, stilling and tilting his head.

“You hear that?” Danny said, approaching the desk. “What is that?”

The thumping was a little louder where he was standing, coming from his right. Only then did they notice a door obscured by an antique file cabinet. They traded a look before Steve tried the doorknob, not surprised it was locked.

“Are you hurt?” Steve called through the door. There was no response except for louder thumping. “Okay. I’m going to force open the door. Move away from it if you can.” He waited, hearing a quiet shuffling sound. When it stopped, he kicked the door open to reveal a miniscule bathroom, an older man sitting jammed between the surprisingly clean toilet and the wall.

“Hey,” Danny said down to the man with wide eyes, a handkerchief tied around his mouth. His hands were tied together with rigging line secured to his feet also tied with rigging. Danny removed the handkerchief, the man dry swallowing. “You’re okay. We’re Five-0.” The man nodded in confirmation, looking up at Steve.

“Let’s get you out of here,” Steve said, pulling out his huge knife and cutting through the ropes. With Danny’s assistance, the man limped out of the bathroom. Steve righted his chair so Danny could help him sit in it.

“You Owomeme?” Danny asked as Steve got a coffee cup from the top of the file cabinet and after making sure it was empty of insects or leaves from the dead plant next to it, filled it with water. The man accepted with shaking hands, nodding to Danny’s question.

“What happened?” Steve asked in a softer-than-usual voice. Owomeme was at least 70 years old, maybe even older. He had grey hair, wrinkles from a life of hard work in the hot sun, his jeans and shirt tattered but mostly clean. From Steve’s cursory look, Owomeme didn’t appear to be harmed.

“Two punks,” Owomeme finally said, the words thick. “Wanted to buy a boat.”

Steve nodded, squatting in front of the older man. “Did they hurt you?”

“Only my pride,” Owomeme assured him.

“Where are they now? Do you know?” Danny asked gently.

“Took one of my boats,” Owomeme said. “They left this. Said it was a down payment.” He reached under the desk and brought out a gleaming black briefcase. When he slid the locking mechanisms aside, the lid popped open to reveal tidy stacks of $20, looking like a cliché from every gangster movie ever.

“How much is this?” Danny asked although he was pretty sure he knew.

“They said $25,000. I didn’t count it. I told them I couldn’t accept that much cash. What would I do with it? FBI be here before you could sneeze if I tried to deposit it,” Owomeme said.

“You’re right about that,” Steve agreed. “That when they tied you up?”

“Yeah. Punks,” Owomeme said in disgust.

“What did these two guys look like?”

“Tongans,” Owomeme said almost in confirmation. “Names are Kiau'u and Meilo. Saloni says they are bad blood.”

“All right,” Steve said, standing up and glancing over at Danny. “Do you need an ambulance?”

“No, Commander. Thank you.”

“How long ago did they leave?” Danny asked, helping Owomeme to stand.

“Ten minutes. Maybe 20. Time stands still when you’re tied up,” Owomeme said.

“Do you have a boat we can borrow?” Steve asked.

“Of course. And I can give you the coordinates of the one they took,” Owomeme said, pulling a tablet out of the drawer of the desk.

“The coordinates,” Danny said with a half-smile.

“I tag all the boats until they’re sold. Too easy for them to be taken, Detective,” Owomeme said. “We look out of step. But we know the score.”

“I see that you do,” Danny agreed. “You can send us that information?”

“Give me your phone number,” Owomeme said, transmitting the coordinates once he had it. That done, he put the tablet on top of his desk, pulling open the second drawer of the file cabinet with an unholy sound of the drawer complaining about being disturbed. “Here you are,” he said, giving Steve a key on a floater chain. “Go down to the second dock on the right. Third slip. Blue and white. Name’s Ilio-holo-i-ka-uaua.”

“Seems appropriate,” Steve said with a smile. “Thank you.”




To part 3==>