Crash and Burn - Chapter 18: 'Oia'i'o hapalua

“He’s gone to ground and the only way to get him out of hiding is to provide something he wants.”

The Five-0s stood around the comp table, staring at the screens, where Sabrina had compiled all the data relevant to the case. Though Steve only listened with one ear, distracted on one side by Sabrina and her detached, almost cold, behavior toward him this morning, and on the other by the revelations in the transcript of the video.

His father had actually been in league with governor Jameson and Wo Fat. According to the file, they had been planning on obtaining a classified prototype developed by CSS. Wo Fat had had connections in the agency, governor Jameson had had the expendable work-force in the form of dismissed cops still secretly on her private payroll, and his father...Steve had no idea where his father had figured into everything, but there was no denying the fact he had.

What he’d started by sending him and Mary away after their mother’s murder, he had finished with this last betrayal. He had destroyed their family.

“And what do you plan on offering that he wants?” Danny asked, snapping Steve back into the present and the conversation around the comp table.

Reena nodded toward the files in front of each of them. “The prototype mentioned in the video.”

“What is it?”

“A program for launching or disabling the missiles of whatever country its operator is in. It’s linked to the geographical position and it can’t be hacked.”

Chin scoffed. “Impossible.”

Reena flashed them a chilling smile. “You’d be surprised what unlimited funding can do.”

“How do you know about it?”

“A friend of mine developed it a few years back for the DoD. But the news leaked and suddenly every terrorist cell worth its salt wanted it.” She clenched her fists, had to cleared her throat before continuing. “Not to mention private corporations and governments that weren’t exactly ‘simpatico’ with the US. There were attempts of bribery, but my friend couldn’t be bought. All they had left was a weakness.”

“And they found it.”

Reena smiled sadly at Kono. “They always do.”

“Family?” Danny asked.

She nodded. “My friend was willing to do anything to save a loved one, even if it meant handing over a lethal weapon.”

“What was the catch?” Steve asked, surprising her.

“What makes you think there was one?”

He shrugged. “There’s always a catch. I mean, if bribery didn’t work just shows he wasn’t in it for profit. And everyone in potentially dangerous professions have back-up plans for such situations.”

Their gazes met. Held.

Even SEALs? her eyes questioned.

Yes, I had a back-up plan if something happened to you, his responded.

Reena looked away, her heart thudding in her chest. “The catch was that only my friend could work the program. No one, but a few close colleagues knew that. So when the program changed hands, my friend and a small task force followed it across the globe, wiping out the key players in the ploy, retrieved the program, and destroyed it.”

It sounded easy, but it had taken months. And three amazing people had died.

“So how do you plan on catching Wo Fat’s attention, if the program’s destroyed?” Danny asked.

“He doesn’t know that. Only one other person outside this room knows the truth.”

“Your friend.”

Reena went on as if Kono hadn’t spoken. “One word and I can have this spread on every network. Then it’s just a matter of days until it reaches Wo Fat. Hours, if he isn’t as holed up as we thought.”

The other three turned to their leader, the one man they trusted without question. But Steve remained silent, his gaze unfocused.

“Steve?” Reena cocked her head. “It’s a good plan.”

“I know it is. It’s not that.”

“What is then? Come on, Steve, we’re a team. You can talk to us,” Chin said softly.

“I can step outside,” Reena said.

“No,” he snapped. “No,” he repeated in a gentler voice. “It’s just...My father was in on this. He was ready to sell out his country, the country he’d helped defend. He was willing to use someone’s life to get what he wanted—”

“No,” Reena interrupted. “He wasn’t in on this, Steve. This was all a ruse to get more info on the governor and her dealings with the Yakuza and Wo Fat.”

He flashed her a humorless smile. “You saw the video. You read the transcript. How can you doubt it?”

She shook her head vehemently, circled the table, and placed her hand on his arm. “Call it female intuition, call it sixth sense, call it gut instinct, I don’t care. But trust me. Your father was innocent.”

Hope flickered in his eyes. “How can you know?”

“Think about it,” Chin answered instead of her. “You father planted that camera in the governor’s office. Why would he then leave any incriminating evidence for anyone, especially you, to find. Garbled audio or not. He could not have forgotten about the camera. So it’s obvious he was just acting for their benefit, to get near them, to get more dirt on them.”

Sabrina nodded. Chin was right, but there was something more. John McGarrett hadn't been in on the ploy. Because he would never have risked his son’s life.

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