TUESDAY, JUNE 25TH - HAWAII (EARLY MORNING HOURS)
Christina Hahn woke with a gasp to find herself firmly tied to a hard-backed chair. The very fact that it was the same chair that Detective Danny Williams had once also sat in, was something she wouldn't know. However, her kidnapper knew it quite well and it pleased him immensely.
He watched her come awake and grinned from where he crouched about five feet directly in front of her. He had positioned her in the sliver of moonlight that was coming through the decrepit and broken windows. Though it was completely unnecessary, he watched her from just outside the band of light in the half-shadows. The hood still covered her face and he watched intrigued as her fingers spasmed first and then her head jolted off her chest. Turning left and the right, she tried to dislodge what covered her face in a frenetic, frightened manner when she found that she couldn't see.
McNamara watched her chest heave when she realized that rope ran across her ribcage and also fastened each ankle independently to each chair leg. Within seconds, she knew that she wasn't going anywhere and was at his whim. Her mewled cry almost surprised him as he continued in his silence and watched her struggle increase until it finally ceased.
Under the hood, her bruise from what had happened in the hospital with Channing had purpled and was undoubtedly painful. The left side of her chin now nearly matched where Mac's one solid blow had effectively snapped her head back on her neck to leave her unconscious for the hour that he had needed to drive to the remote and abandoned apartment building. If she had a headache before, Mac was sure that Mrs. Christina Hahn of 20 Halawa Place now had one of monstrous proportions made worse by pain, stress and escalating fear.
He had considered the few questions he would ask her long and hard. He had limited time to find out what he was dealing with. Still in his black muscle t-shirt and looking every bit as if he'd just walked out of a gym, McNamara was now in lawyer-mode. His cross-examination of the nurse would be quick and particularly specific.
Rising silently from his crouched position, Mac simply got to the point and she shuddered in fear as his voice boomed suddenly to break the silence.
"You'll answer yes or no unless I demand otherwise. Do you understand?"
At first Christina couldn't reply for her blind terror until he shouted at her to break her frozen brain. Clapping his hands together twice, Mac repeated himself loudly.
"Hey! Pay attention!" She burst into tears immediately but managed a ragged yes. "Good. If you refuse to answer at any time, I know it's cliche, but you will not live to regret it. Do you understand?"
He clapped his hands again when she took too long to respond. "Yes. Okay, yes."
"McGarrett and HPD are providing security to people associated to the Allen Darien trial." Hahn nodded and then quickly remembered to voice her yes before he could ask a second time.
"Do you know the name Madison? Frank Madison."
Christina sniffled and then shook her head after a short pause. "No."
"Do you know the name Channing?" Her pause was slightly longer before her head jerked and she nodded.
"Yes. I know his name."
"Is he the reason you came looking for McGarrett in the cafeteria?" Again, she nodded before speaking and heaved in a shattered tearful breath. She barely registered that the man had to be the one the Commander had warned her about and she drew blood as she bit her own lip.
"Good." He stared at her with narrowed eyes and then made himself clear. "The next question requires that you provide me with precise details. Why were you looking for McGarrett as it pertains to Channing?"
Her chest was heaving again as she fought tears and panic. Her fingers were scrabbling at the arms of the chair while she tried to find the words in her numb mind. "He .. he tried to escape .. and he fell badly. Officer Paleo and I were obligated to inform Commander McGarrett that he'd been taken in for emergency surgery."
"What's wrong with Pete Channing?"
Beneath the hood, Christina's eyes were vainly searching against the darkness from left to right. "He came in with a dislocated knee and when he tried to escape, he fell in the stairwell. The ortho said he dislocated it again and damaged the supporting tendons. He also has a severe concussion."
"Came in when ... and how exactly?" Even though he couldn't see her face, he knew she was petrified under the hood. The fabric around her nose and mouth was sucked in and out as she panicked and shook her head as if she didn't know what he demanded.
"I don't know. Sometime this weekend. Maybe Saturday," Christina moaned in fear because she didn't know anything more to tell the man. "Doctor Ramirez is in charge of his case."
McNamara was a master of deceitful questioning and often laced his questioning routine with fabrication. He was going to use that tactic now as his tone changed and he offered her a slight reprieve. "Alright, Christina. I believe you and you're doing a good job."
His voice slightly softened when he used her name because she was cooperating and he wanted her to know that he believed her so far. All of which was part of the ploy to get more information because as a lawyer, there were certain things he could readily assume about process. He also knew Pete Channing well enough to know the younger man had no backbone. He would put words in her mouth and then see if she back-pedaled or panicked when pushed harder.
"Channing now won't be moved to jail as planned. Though he's been read his rights, there will be a delay with his sentencing until he's healthy enough for transit. Is that right?"
Christina was nodding in agreement to each comment and now Mac narrowed his eyes understanding entirely that the nurse might actually not know the answer to his next question. "His plea bargain for a lesser sentence for kidnapping and attempted murder of an officer of the law will implicate Allen Darien and other members of his group."
He stressed the word "attempted" and then raised his eyebrows when she continued to nod. So Channing had flipped and Williams was indeed, alive. "So Channing has agreed to some sort of plea bargain to lessen his sentence?"
"Yes. I think so," Christina was trembling as she her kidnapper's questions became even more pointed. Afraid of making a mistake, tears were streaming down her face.
"At least, that's what the rumor is .,. he's going to do something like that. I'm just a nurse! I don't know things like that! The police were talking in the hall and I think I heard them say something ... that he was going to give a full statement."
"Hey!" He ignored her teary outburst and she shivered in fear when he clapped his hands together sharply to bring her focus back to the questions. Her breath came in short shattered gasps as a pang of fear settled in her chest.
"Enough! Listen to me and answer this next question!" There was nothing in the empty lobby of the rundown apartment building except the sounds of her ragged, hiccupped crying. It echoed and seemed louder than it really was.
"What are Detective Danny Williams' injuries?" Mac's voice was dangerously low as he prodded her with a very important question.
"He's not on my floor." The nurse was crying again but she had just confirmed what Brian McNamara needed to know. He was so angry that he couldn't find a way to be pleased with his success at pulling the information out of the terrified woman.
"Williams is alive," his growled statement had her trembling even more and she jerked reactively against the tight ropes. "How badly is he injured?"
"He ... I think ... he has a broken wrist. Something about a head injury," she sobbed brokenly as she struggled to remember anything she had heard about the ailing detective.
"I'm sorry, I don't know exactly."
McNamara muttered angrily under his breath. In custody, Channing would now prove to be his most dangerous relationship; his and Allen Darien in collaboration for the kidnapping and the attempted murder of the Five-0 detective. Mac knew the younger man would talk without reservation to save his own skin. It would be a short-term survival tactic. Once Darien found out, any number of life-ending 'accidents' could and would be arranged once Channing hit whatever jail he would be incarcerated in.
And he, Brian McNamara, would be next so that Allen Darien could prove his own justifiable point regarding the epic failure.
He paced briefly, half aware now that dawn was beginning to rise on the horizon. The chair that the nurse sat tied to was almost free of the moon beam but the entire space was brightening and he had no trouble seeing her tremble.
"Do you know Brian McNamara?" This final question was loaded and he measured her physical reaction before she even opened her mouth.
"Yes, I know his name." His expression darkened dangerously and he flexed his fingers into fists. He glowered at her when she added what else she knew with a whimper. "But only from television."
"What does that mean? Explain." He pushed one final time to be sure and then was satisfied with her answer.
"I only heard his name ... on the news reports ... he's one of the trial lawyers," Christina sniffled and then shook her head as fear mounted again. "That's all. Just the name about the trial."
McNamara paced in a complete circle around the trapped nurse. He knew everything that he needed to be aware of; his own question was a simple "now what". He hadn't been arrested and that was confusing, but he didn't doubt for a minute that it was soon to happen. They were building a case against him and collecting evidence.
The space became eerily quiet again as Mac stared out the broken windows. It was getting lighter outside too and time was becoming his most critical issue. He needed to make a decision and act on it before all his avenues of escape were slammed shut. He was still free and that was a critical fact. He stared back at the nurse who was still sobbing softly and once again moving about in her bonds.
He didn't need her anymore and her only value now would be as a live hostage. He smiled to himself because she didn't actually need to physically be with him in order to be touted as one. No one had found the detective and no one would find the nurse without his express directions. Because of the remote location, it was an interesting truth.
No more words were said to the frightened woman as Mac turned and left her sitting exactly where she was. He got in his car and drove back to his apartment to change and pack a small bag. He never heard her screaming about being left alone in the musty building. He never heard her broken screams for help which only echoed back to her in the cavernous ruin.
He would leave and if they tried to stop him, the life and safety of one Mrs. Christina Hahn would be the bounty.
He was taking a long vacation without cell phones, radios or televisions. A full seven-days unplugged from every means, modes and mechanical methods where he might be torn away from a true peace. Steve swore that he would once this whole affair had been put to bed. He was running on fumes and there were simply too many things intertwined and dependent upon another. They would be meeting with Denning in about three hours time and he knew that he simply could not afford to stand idle when it came to McNamara.
After Christina Hahn left the hospital early, Steve's call rang through once and was picked up on the beginning of the second ring. "Chin. Sorry buddy, but I need you personally on something right now."
He explained his interaction with Brian McNamara and then sent Chin to locate and tail the man relentlessly. It was directly against what Denning had cautioned but at that point, it absolutely needed to be done. Just the day before, Steve had argued with the Governor about surveillance. They had compromised on notifying the federal authorities and airlines so that Brian McNamara would be automatically detained should he attempt to leave the Hawaiian islands. Now, Chin and Kono would be planted in the man's back pocket.
"I'm sure he suspects something, but go directly to his apartment first."
Steve needed to get ready for the meeting with Denning too. Rather than the elevator, he took the stairs to Danny's floor to get the rest of his things and to leave word with the officers on duty as well as the nurse's station. He had downed half the bottle of juice but nearly dropped what was left when he entered Danny's hospital room. What he didn't expect to find was his partner perched on the side of the bed with yet another nurse softly arguing with him. She had a hand placed firmly on each of his shoulders as he leaned forward awkwardly with his left foot painfully arched on the floor.
"I need to get out of here," Danny had hauled himself to a sitting position while maneuvering his legs off the bed. His feet were bandaged and his face flushed with fever. His broken wrist sat on his lap but that would be as far as he could possibly get, he had a plan though as he demanded a wheelchair. "I need air or ... something. Why won't you help me?"
"Danny, it's barely dawn," Steve strode into the room to change places with the nurse. The leads to the heart monitor were on the floor and he noticed that the machine was now off. The oxygen mask had also been tossed aside.
"It's the fever," the nurse whispered. "The doctor on duty is on his way. But Detective Williams won't lay back down."
"Steve?" Danny's right hand grappled for Steve's shirt as he tried to pull himself up and winced at the pain caused by the broken rib. He was immediately frustrated when Steve refused to let him get off the bed and was too weak to fend for himself.
"You're not going to help either?"
"Always, Danno. You can count on that," he corrected Danny firmly while leveraging more of his body on the mattress which allowed the nurse to untangle blankets and bedding. Getting in his face next, Steve insisted that Danny try to relax.
"But you need to sleep right now. It's dark out and not the time for a walk. What happened anyway? Is something wrong?"
Danny's face fell through a series of emotions and then his mouth slammed shut. He let go of Steve's shirt to rub his forehead. He had half-woken dazed and confused by the shadows in the room because he was sure that someone was there with him. His eyes were still unfocused as he looked at Steve. No one had helped him yet but at least Steve would believe him. However, he didn't know what to say or how to explain what had happened.
His loss of words and silence at first worried Steve and he found himself giving Danny a small shake. He seemed to be retreating again and sinking away from what was happening around him.
"Hey, no ... don't go there." It took a few more stressful minutes for him to look at Steve. Then he seemed to take note of the two HPD officers, nurse and where he was in general. "Danny, do you remember where you are? Can you tell me what's wrong?"
"Hospital. Tripler with Ramirez." There was a short pause as Danny nodded and his eyes sharpened slightly. "Mac was here."
The color drained completely from Steve's face at the three words and he drilled his fingers almost painfully into Danny's shoulders. It was his turn to be at an utter loss of words as he stared hard into his partner's eyes.
"You believe me, right? He was here. I saw him," Danny frowned as rubbed his forehead even harder. He didn't feel well and now that he was waking more, the remnants of the feeling and the dream were both fading. "Maybe. I think he was, anyway."
"What! He couldn't have been!" Steve hissed under his breath as Danny shook his head and then shrugged in doubt.
"Maybe ... maybe a dream."
But almost fearfully, Steve glanced over his shoulder to the two officers in the hallway. "Was anyone in here? Other than hospital staff?"
They each shook their heads and the nurse confirmed it. "No, there's been no one on the floor or in this room without reason to be here."
"Okay." Steve turned his attention back to Danny who wobbled tiredly under his hands. His face was pinched and extremely confused as he sighed and shook his head once more.
"I was sure he was here." The whisper was soft and riddled with doubt. He would never willingly relax until his over-active mind was put at ease. Somehow though, Steve believed that Danny had sensed the man's presence in the building and so he nodded while firmly lifting Danny's legs and pushing him back into the pillows. The nurse was quick to assist by propping his feet on the pillows and fixing the bedding.
"He was," Danny whispered as he searched Steve's face and saw the stern expression. He was an odd combination of rattled, ill-tempered and darkly serious which gave Danny a startling answer.
"Mac was here?" His own eyes cleared a bit at his success when Steve again nodded and then provided him with just enough information.
"Downstairs in the Emergency Room. But not here ... not on the floor or in this room. In fact, he doesn't know you're here at all, Danno. He got into a fight with a couple of locals on the street and he needed a few stitches."
"I knew it." Danny was blinking his eyes rapidly as the nurse raised the bed and shoved pillows more comfortably under his neck and shoulders. Steve sucked in a lungful of air as the nurse re-attached the heart monitor and then the oxygen mask. Danny was exhausted and fighting sleep now; so he gave him a few more encouraging words to push him over that edge.
"He's left the property but Chin and Kono are in his back pocket. Literally." A small ghost of a smile crossed Danny's features as he melted into the bed. His eyes were closed but his finger came up warningly and Steve grinned at the demand before answering.
"Yes, they both know to be careful and in a few hours we'll bring McNamara in. We're just waiting on Denning's say-so."
The nurse firmly pulled all the side rails up on the bed and then smiled her thanks as her patient completely relaxed after she administered pain medication into his IV line. Before he left, Steve put his hand on Danny's shoulder to give him his own warning.
"Stay in bed, Danno. Get some sleep and we'll all be back soon. There is no way he's getting in here. Trust me on that." There was another twitch under the oxygen mask which he took as full agreement. Danny was sleeping by the time Steve turned to leave. Only now, he come face to face with the doctor on duty who was smiling his approval. He had witnessed more than half the exchange and was pleased by the final outcome.
"We'll call you if anything changes, but he should sleep for the rest of the morning."
"Thanks, Doc." Exhausted by the ongoing conflicts, Steve made his way out the door and felt obligated to remind his two HPD officers of their job. "Neither of you are to leave this room for any reason."
The sky was brightening outside and he had just a few short hours to get ready for Denning's meeting. His intent was to just get home, shower and change into something more presentable. Then he would triple-check his gear with great joy. The thought sparked his adrenalin because they'd finally be in the clear to arrest the lawyer.
Ten feet down the hallway and about to thumb the elevator, his phone vibrated and he groaned to himself.
"Paleo. What did you find out?"
He listened in silence as Paleo shared the information provided by two moke locals who admitted to antagonizing an out of place haole at a bar near a gym downtown. The tides had turned on the two men unexpectedly and after a nasty alley fight, one man was at Queens with a fractured jaw, damage to his spleen and three broken ribs. The haole had left before the police arrived to investigate and break up the fight. However, their description of the white middle-aged male matched that of the t-shirted muscle-bound Brian McNamara down to the expensive name-brand sneakers on his feet.
"This guy's friend said that he'd never seen anybody hit the way this white guy did. The locals called the cops because even after their man was down and begging for mercy - he continued to beat on him. They said he was lolo, pupule and laughing the entire time."
"McNamara," Steve breathed out under his breath. "Good work, Paleo. Stick close to Channing; no one in or out." By the time he got to his truck, his phone was ringing again and this time he punched his steering wheel in an all out anger as his adrenalin kicked back in with a vengeance. Chin was at the apartment building and there was no sign of the lawyer.
"He's not there? Are you sure?"
"I'm sitting here, Steve. He should have pulled in before us," Chin was at McNamara's apartment complex. He had left his motorcycle on the street and then walked through the darkest corners to take a position where he could see the street and main entrance. Kono was parked no more than one block away in her own vehicle and monitoring the lawyer's banking and online activity with no luck.
"His car is definitely not here. Kono's had a program running usage on his debit and credit card. Nothing there yet either."
Chin had already instructed HPD to be on the look-out for McNamara or his leased Mercedes. They were not to approach the man nor his vehicle but to contact Five-0 immediately upon sight. With nothing to do until they located him, at that point they could only wait and watch.