<--Previous Chapter Next Chapter-->
Chapter 1 – Cold War

Steve McGarrett sat at his kitchen table in pajamas drinking coffee and contemplating the day ahead without enthusiasm. It was a Sunday morning, and technically his day off, but his partner Danny Williams was on the mainland arranging the extradition of a prisoner. An unforeseen legal snag had come up, and this was the fourth day Steve had woken up alone, missing Danny’s sleepy blue-eyed smile. For the last three days he had worked long hours, eating at his desk, since there seemed no point in going home to an empty condo. Now, he had the day free to do whatever he wanted, provided he wanted to do it without Danny.

You spent ten years alone, and now it hasn’t even been a week and you’re moping? You’re pathetic, Steve berated himself. What did I do on my days off before?

McGarrett sat at his desk at Five-O headquarters, catching up on paperwork.

“Good morning, Steve. I thought you were off today?” Chin Ho Kelly strode across the expanse of pale carpet, carrying a lab report. He set the file on the desk.

McGarrett looked up. “Hi, Chin. I wanted to get these reports squared away.”

“Don’t worry, they’ll get things straightened out in San Francisco. Danny will be back before you know it,” the portly detective said with a knowing smile.

Steve glared at him. Am I that obvious?

On Monday, McGarrett once again sat at his desk, looking through the morning mail.

The telephone rang.


“Hi, Steve. Things are wrapped up here, so I’ll fly back tonight on the redeye. I’m scheduled for tomorrow off, so that’s no problem,” said Danny, at the other end.

“That’s great, Danno. If you’re awake enough after the flight, want to head out for some fishing?” Steve asked, pausing in his task, an envelope in his hand.

“I didn’t think you were free tomorrow,” Danny said.

“There didn’t seem to be much point in taking off on Sunday, so....”

“I’m afraid I already made plans with Kono last week that if I were back in time we’d go surfing, since I haven’t been out for a while.”

“Oh.” Steve’s face fell.

“Why don’t you come with us?”

“No one wants to socialize with the boss on his day off. Besides, surfing isn’t really my thing.” He glanced at the letter he was holding, tossed it into the “not urgent” pile.

“I’ll reschedule with Kono.”

“No, you go and have fun.”

“If you’re sure....”

“We don’t have to be together all the time, after all,” Steve said, trying to keep his voice light.

“See you soon, Steve.”

“Aloha, Danny.”

McGarrett carefully set the receiver back onto the hook and glared at the phone, then knocked it flying off the edge of the desk. It landed on the carpet with a thump and a jangle of protest. Just pathetic.... he thought, as he bent down to retrieve it.

Danny stood in front of the door to Steve’s condo the next evening, carrying a bag containing cartons of takeout Chinese food. He thought back to what Steve had said on their first date. “Most of your friends don’t know you’re a couple.” I enjoyed surfing, but I’d rather have been with Steve.

He rang the doorbell.

McGarrett answered the door, opening it halfway and standing in the doorway. Danny was startled to hear conversation from the room behind him, as well as to smell the odors of beer and cigarette smoke, not usually present in Steve’s vicinity.

“Detective Williams,” Steve said, his voice formal.

“Er...before I went off duty I...I just wanted to report on that stakeout,” Danny said, trying to hide the bag of food behind his back. Looking around Steve, he could see several military-looking men sitting around the coffee table, apparently playing cards. “Nothing...nothing of significance happened.”

“Hey, have him come and join the game!” called someone from inside.

“I’m not having you lot take money from one of my staff,” Steve said, looking back over his shoulder and smiling familiarly at the speaker, a tall man with salt-and-pepper hair.

He turned back. “I’ll see you at Five-O tomorrow morning,” he told Danny, stepping back and shutting the door.

I’m such an idiot, Danny thought, as he rode the elevator down. What did I think, that he’d be at home alone just waiting for me to show up? He dumped the takeout in the lobby trash can on his way past. Tonight, I don’t want to eat by myself, he thought, heading for a neighborhood bar.

Having seen the last of his guests off, Steve dialed Danny’s number. No answer. Why should I be surprised? I pushed him away, so he went. Now I have my pride, but I’ll be sleeping alone when I could have been welcoming Danny home. Pathetic, and an idiot....

The next morning Danny arrived at work with a slight headache. As usual, he stopped by McGarrett’s office to start the day. Steve was sitting behind his desk, frowning as he sorted through a stack of papers. “Good morning, Steve,” Danny said, standing in front of the desk, less at ease than usual in his friend’s presence.

“Hi, Danny,” McGarrett said, looking up briefly, expression unreadable.

“I’m sorry I interrupted your poker night.”

“It was no problem. They didn’t suspect anything. Just a few old friends from the Navy....” Steve said dismissively, returning to his task.

Yeah, that’s what I thought. He didn’t need me, after all.... Danny thought, turning to leave.

That evening, Steve resolved to get things back to normal. It’s easy. Just say it. “Danno, want to come by for dinner tonight?” It’s not like you’ll have to beg.

As he sat at his desk, twilight gathering outside the windows, twice he moved to buzz May and ask her to send Danny in, then picked up a report instead.

The third time, he decided to just go in person. He strode across the outer office, only to find Danny’s cubicle dark and empty.

Kono, walking past with a cup of coffee, saw the direction of his gaze. “Danny went home for the day,” he said.

I guess that solves that one....

The next morning, Steve and Danny greeted each other on the surface as usual, neither making reference to the coolness between them.

Later that morning as Danny came into Steve’s office with a report, the telephone rang.

The entire Five-O crew turned out to investigate the murder. The victim was Richard Han, university student and communist spy. Also, their only link to a spy ring that had cost more than a month’s intensive work to uncover.

Han had been shot, his body found in the university’s swimming pool. Five-O found spilled face powder beside the pool, and a library card in the water, in the name of Karen Adamson, a fellow student of Han’s.

McGarrett, Danny, Chin, and Kono gathered in Steve’s office to discuss the case.

The tall lead detective stood behind his desk in his shirt sleeves. “Karen Adamson, 20 years old, Caucasian, psychology major with excellent grades. Cheerleader, sorority queen... came to the islands three years ago with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Harold Adamson of Detroit, Michigan,” he summed up.

“Perfect professional assassin for a spy ring,” Danny said, standing to one side of the desk with his arms crossed and a skeptical look on his face.

“Could be the best kind,” offered Chin. He and Kono faced their boss across his desk. “We have a saying. They that shows no evil, will be suspected of none.”

“Not so far as Five-O is concerned,” Steve said, smiling, and everyone laughed. He turned and walked to look out the glass lanai door, considering. “You know, I find it hard to believe that a pro, even a lady pro, would drop her bag at the scene and leave us such convenient clues,” he said.

“But why else would she kill Han?” Chin asked.

“Maybe she found out what he was, and didn’t like it?” Kono asked.

“Or maybe she was in love with him, and he didn’t like her?” Chin suggested.

“Sure. Typical American girl. She falls in love with a brilliant, young Maoist Chinese radical who’s involved in a Commie spy ring, then she shoots him out of unrequited love. That’s reaching pretty far,” Danny said.

“I agree. You’ve got to give me something better.” Steve leaned over, resting his hands on the desk. “Talk to her teachers, fellow students, friends, put together a complete dossier! If she’s a pro, we don’t want to blow it, and if she’s not, it won’t hurt to hold off.”

Danny came into McGarrett’s office to report, coming around to Steve’s side of the desk and perching on the edge next to where Steve sat in his desk chair.

“Two kids saw Karen Adamson near the pool that morning,” he said.

Steve found himself distracted from what Danny was saying. Those pants...is he even wearing anything under them? I could just reach out...damn it, it’s been too long. Did he sit this close to me on purpose? I don’t care how hot he looks, I refuse to beg.

Danny continued. “One saw her come out in a big hurry just about the estimated time of death.”

Focus, Steve. And not there.... He hastily looked up as Kono came in with a lab report.

“The face powder from Karen Adamson’s locker matches the stuff we found at the pool.” He handed Steve a folder.

Steve opened it, glanced quickly at the report. “Let’s go, Danno.”

They strode from the office, watched by Kono.

On the drive to Karen’s apartment, both men were silent. Now’s your chance to talk to him. To try to make things right, Steve thought. I don’t see why I should apologize, though. I’m sure he’ll come around, sooner or later, and it’s not like I can’t wait, right? Keep telling yourself that....

Karen’s building was a modest white-painted walk-up with arched hallways open to the outside giving access to the front apartment doors.

McGarrett and Danny climbed the stairs to her apartment. Steve knocked at the door. There was no answer. He knocked again. In the apartment, a woman screamed. McGarrett and Danny drew their guns and kicked the door down, running into the apartment only to find that it had a back door, and she’d run out.

They ran after her down four flights of stairs and into the street, pausing to look around to see which way she had gone. They caught sight of her running into the intersection ahead, her neat blue skirt swinging, a gun clutched in one hand, and raced to follow, but before they could reach her, a big, white delivery truck bore down on her with a screech of brakes, then a sickening thud.

McGarrett crouched in the back of the ambulance, watching the young Asian doctor work on Karen Adams on the way to the hospital. She was bloody and only semi-conscious, weakly mumbling disconnected phrases.

“Mama...Mama...oh, no, no, oh, why did you have to die? No, please don’t. Don’t let him hit me. Paul!” She was moving her head back and forth in obvious agitation. “I hate him...I...hate him. Paul, no, please stop him Paul, stop. He’s not my daddy. He’s not. He’s not. Paul, Dr. Farrar. Oh, God, why you? Mama. Mama....”

She was suddenly still.

“She just died, didn’t she, doc?” said McGarrett grimly.

“Yes,” the doctor told him.

Steve looked at her unmoving form, his chin resting on his hand.

Later that afternoon, McGarrett stood facing Danny across his desk.

“Steve, why send Joyce undercover and not me?” Danny demanded, leaning forward with his hands on the desk and a stubborn expression on his face.

McGarrett turned away to look out the lanai door. “You’re too old to be a student.”

“We could say I just got out of the Army. Don’t you trust me to do the job? I minored in psych, I could pull it off,” he said persuasively, standing up.

Steve walked around to Danny’s side of the desk and sat on the edge. “It’s not that, Danno,” he explained, looking up at his young second-in-command. “Last time he used a girl. It will be easier for Joyce to get close to him. I don’t think you’re his type.” And if you are, I definitely don’t want you anywhere near him.... He looked away, not wanting Danny to pick up on that thought.

“We don’t know he had any sort of romantic involvement with Karen Adamson. Kono said Farrar claimed not to even know about her personal life.”

“If he’s involved, he must have gotten close to her somehow, Danno, and a romantic relationship seems like the easiest way.”

“Not necessarily. He could have offered her help on the assignments, or extra reading, or something.” He ticked off the possibilities on his hand, walking back and forth in front of where his boss was perched.

Steve stood. “I know you want to solve this one, Danno, but it will be easier for Joyce,” he said gently, resting his hand on Danny’s shoulder for a moment.

“Steve....” Danny began. He looked squarely up at the taller man. “Steve, you wouldn’t refuse to send me into something because you think it will be dangerous, would you? You know we both have to be able to do what we need to, regardless!” he said, gesturing angrily.

“What would make you think anything like that?” Steve snapped, turning away, and walking back around the desk. “I’m not so wrapped up in you that I can’t do my job!” He spun around, leaning across the desk to face his subordinate. “Joyce is the best person to go undercover, so I’m sending her, and that’s that!” He slammed his fist on the desk.

An expression of hurt crossed Danny’s face before he quickly turned way. “Fine, Steve,” he said angrily, walking across the office and banging the door on his way out.

McGarrett slumped back into his desk chair, rubbing his temples to try to ease his sudden headache. That’s not how I meant for that to go...can’t he listen to logic?

McGarrett paced his office, brightly lit in contrast to the darkness outside the windows. Chin and Danny stood to one side, watching the proceedings.

“OK. Once more, from the top,” he snapped.

“With feeling?” asked Joyce Bennett, the pretty, dark-haired policewoman McGarrett had chosen for the undercover job. She sat in one of the white chairs in front of McGarrett’s desk, calm and collected despite Steve’s grilling.

McGarrett perched on the edge of his desk, quizzing her once again about the details of her role. I know I’m being hard on her, but I can’t shake this feeling. I don’t like this one at all. And am I sure that Danny was wrong about my motives in sending her? I promised myself that if I ever start thinking that way.... Maybe it’s for the best that I don’t see him outside work for a while.

Joyce had picked up on his unease. “What is it, Steve? You worried about me?” she smiled a little mockingly. “Look. I’m a policewoman.”

“I know. I know. But I just saw a girl die. Yeah, I’m worried. I admit it.” Steve stood up, walked behind his desk.

“You won’t find anyone better equipped for the job. I majored in psych.”

McGarrett looked out the lanai door at the tossing palms, silhouetted in the darkness. He turned back to look at her. “I know. I’m not worried about you, honey, I’m worried about what I’m sending you into.”

“All I’ve got to do is find out is if Farrar was involved, and, if so, how. What’s so complicated about that?” Joyce asked.

“What do you think, Danno?” McGarrett asked, glancing over.

“As far as I can see, Karen shot Han out of jealousy or rejection. His involvement with the spy ring was probably just coincidence. She didn’t know anything about it.”

“Danny could be right,” said Chin, standing behind one of the white chairs, gripping the top with his hands.

“That depends on how complicated Farrar is,” McGarrett said. “He was a professor of oriental psychology in Europe before he joined the U.N. forces in the Korean action. Captured by North Korea, spent three years–three years as a POW.”

“What does that mean?” Danny asked.

McGarrett took a breath, looked down with a shrug. “Well....”

Joyce chimed in, “You don’t like it Steve, but I do. I’m fascinated by the idea of going back to school.”

“OK.” McGarrett looked down at his clasped hands. “OK, on one condition,” he said, emphasizing his point with a finger. “That you take absolutely no chances.” If anything happens to her, I’m responsible.

Chin saw Joyce out.

“It’s late, Steve. I think I’m going to call it a night,” Danny said.

“OK, see you tomorrow, Danno.”

Steve watched Danny leave the office, then sighed and walked to the window, looking out through the white venetian blinds into the tropical night.

<--Previous Chapter Next Chapter-->

Return to The Telephone Rang