Storm Ravaged

Chapter 2

MONDAY, JUNE 17TH

On Monday, June 17th, a cyclone descended upon the American Samoan territory creating mud-slides, washing out towns, entire villages and destroying once pristine beaches. The count of missing people and casualties grew as the hours ticked by and reports slowly came out of the ravaged islands. However, it was understandable that the extreme weather event wasn't particularly on Five-0's personal radar as they searched for their missing friend.

Almost by osmosis, the team only knew of the tragic event because it was so highly sensationalized in virtually every news report. Another frightening but lesser tropical storm warning had been issued for later in the week for the same already hard-hit area. That news also eked into the teams' subconscious as they focused their energy on finding Danny.

What had happened was far away, it would not directly impact the Hawaiian Islands and so, they continued in their search with their noses to the ground.


Regardless of new dangers, teams of international volunteers continued to rally to travel to the devastated Samoan area to offer aid to those struggling to survive. The teams included various health professionals across diverse medical professions who had agreed to work under the direction of the International Red Cross and as part of a very large humanitarian effort.

By Wednesday, June 19th, a team had been assembled under the benevolent direction of Doctor Alphonse 'Ponch' Ramirez to also participate in the mass medical emergency and assist in the cleanup. Their five and half hour flight was coordinated in conjunction with the military presence at Hickham and Tripler Army Medical Center. Their twelve-person strong team had arrived by the early afternoon of that same day to join with their international medical peers.

Their professional expertise and the antibiotics, bandages, malaria medications and all other means and modes of health care supplies that they brought along from TAMC stores were added to the cadre of so many others. Additional military also remained to help the local police monitor order and control looters. With the threat of the new tropical storm looming, the transports were evacuated back to their origin and volunteers hunkered down as they worked on day and night.

Ponch and his wife Ellen Ramirez, a highly qualified trauma nurse, set their temporary personal tent up on a raised wooden platform well off to the side of the larger tent 'city', but near the primary M.A.S.H. like hospital unit. Their space was private considering the chaos and activity, but still afforded them easy access to the critical medical area as they cared for the local injured that were being rushed in every few minutes from the countryside and from nearby towns. On their heels now though, was an added stream of other citizens frightened by reports of the pending latest tropical storm.

As friends of Five-0, the doctor and his wife knew of Danny's abduction back in Oahu - though not necessarily of its details.

It was a similar worrisome situation that was equivalent to what Five-0 knew of the ravages of the cyclone on Samoa.

They knew, they certainly cared .. however, they were powerless to help, so they focused on what they knew best.


THURSDAY, JUNE 20TH

After the abduction, there had been nothing until the almost bland reminder that demanded Steve's participation in maintaining his silence. It arrived mysteriously at his home again when he wasn't there. This time however, the small brown envelope included one time-stamped photograph.

It could have been doctored, but Steve instinctively knew that it wasn't. It immediately trumped how they'd discovered the Camaro stained with Danny's blood across the driver's side bucket seat. The picture was time-stamped from the prior afternoon of Wednesday, June 19th. Behind Danny was a plain, gray concrete wall. He was held immobile to a very heavy ladder-backed chair. Steve could see no hints or clues to indicate where his partner might be held captive.

In the photograph, Steve could only see the individual thick straps that buckled Danny's arms, legs and chest in place. The strap around his chest was at least five inches wide and virtually holding up his slumped and weakened body which had been abused by beatings, drugs or both. In nearly a week's time, it was clear that he had not been cared for at all; in fact, he had been treated far less than kindly.

But he was alive. At least, for the moment.

"God, Danny." Morbidly, Steve absorbed every detail in the picture. Even in the frozen frame, Steve could tell that Danny was in misery based on the badly stressed, glassy eyes that were locked blearily on the photographer.

Dried blood covered the left side of his head and face. It caked his hair and stiffened what remained of his shirt. It seemed older and the likely first blow that incapacitated him from the onset of the kidnapping. In the long week, the injury had remained uncared for and more had only been added. Steve heaved in a shuddering breath as he continued to absorb every terrible detail.

He saw Danny's hands and how they were tightly fisted in anger or defiance and the sweat which had or was pouring down his dirt-stained and badly bruised face. His shirt was nearly destroyed as it hung ripped and torn to shreds revealing purpling bruises across half his chest. What was left of each sleeve had been rolled up and a rubber, yellow band encircled his left upper arm which proved the use of drugs to keep their captive compliant and controlled.

Steve's shocked eyes settled on Danny's own and he memorized the achingly weary but still obstinate expression. He almost took some comfort in that before carefully bagging the new evidence and making his own enraged promise. He would be at the trial and he would pledge to tell the truth in all its gory details. Allen "Darry" Darien would be sorely mistaken to think anything less of Steve McGarrett.

But until he was required to appear, Steve had things to do because it was obvious that Danny would never survive his captors. Darien's people were toying with him and they would never release Danny alive. Of course Steve had known that already; the picture only clarified it now.

"I'll find you, Danno." Setting his jaw determinedly, he grabbed his truck keys to take the latest evidence directly to Charlie Fong, himself.

Moody, upset and dangerously angry, Steve made that one promise over and over as he punched the steering wheel. "I'll find you and once I do ... they're all going to pay for this."


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