“Where’d he come from?” asked Stillman, bending down to see what if any damage had been done when he dropped the beer.
Chan, sitting there staring at the corpse, shook his head. “I don’t know. He was waiting for me when I opened the door. I managed to ask who he was when I had him on the floor. He said he was someone I should kill because he wouldn’t give up trying to kill me first.”
Stillman holstered his gun. “Well,” he said, “Glad I could help him get killed first.”
Chan managed a smile and Stillman helped him up. “Thank goodness you came early,” said Chan. “I had my hands full with this guy.”
“Well, from the looks of it, you were an odds-on favorite,” said Stillman.
Two more men came through the front door.
“What the hell?” said Walter Kauhane, Chief of Detectives. “What a mess, David. What happened?”
“He was waiting for me when I came in the door, Walt. I got one chance to ask him who he was, but he didn’t tell me.”
The other man, Detective Chin Ho Kelly, said, “It’s gonna be really hard to get any answers out of him now.”
“Yeah, I’m sorry about that,” said Stillman. “I didn’t think about any of that. I just wanted to stop him.”
“I know, I know,” said Chan. “Water under the bridge.” He knelt by the body and started going through his pants pockets. “Nothing,” said Chan.
“No poker tonight, guys,” said Chan. “I’m going to have to clean this mess up.”
“I’ll help,” said Stillman.
“We’ll all help,” said Kauhane.
And with that, the four members of the elite HPD unit, Hawai’i Four-9, made like cleaners and went about trying to get rid of all the bloody mess Wang had left behind him.
“You never know,” said Kauhane, liberally sprinkling bleach on the floor, “maybe we will have some mug shots or prints on file.”
“Yeah,” said Chan, wringing a mop, “maybe. But I got a feeling this guy isn’t on file. Probably not anywhere on earth. It feels like he’s been hired. Not local talent that I know of. You guys?”
None had recognized him, what they could see of him.
Kelly said, “You’re the only one who got a good look at him when he was still in one piece. We sure won’t be able to put his picture in the paper, the way that bullet blew half his face off.”
“David, who would be hiring talent to take you out?” said Kauhane. “I can’t believe it’s Gi Yu.”
Chan shook his head. “No, this isn’t her style. At least I’ve had no notion that she’d be as hungry for my blood as her brother and father would have been.”
Stillman laughed. “Unless they’re like zombies who’ve come back from the dead.”
Kauhane looked at Stillman. Shook his head. “Seriously, Bobby? You might be a target, too. Who knows? Maybe one of the cases we’re all working on is prompting this.”
Kelly said, “Could it be the grandfather?”
Kang Yu had long ago escaped to his fortress in Korea. Some believed he was capable of calling the shots back in Honolulu, but the desire of his daughter to “legitimize” the Korean syndicate seemed to be proceeding.
“Of course, it’s always possible,” said Chan, taking off the yellow rubber gloves and dropping them into a trash can. “He casts a long shadow from over there, and you know there are many of his old friends who are doing parts of his business the old way. But I just don’t see it.”
The four stood silently contemplating possibilities.
“Well, I’ll call for the meat wagon,” said Kauhane. “David, you should see yourself, man. You are one bloody mess.”
“I’m going to take a quick shower,” said Chan, heading for the bathroom.”
By the time he reemerged, Hank Lee, the Chief Medical Examiner, had arrived. “So no poker tonight, I hear,
Chan shook his head. “Sorry, Hank, I’m beat.”
The others had cracked open cans of beer and were nibbling on chips and nuts.
Kauhane said, “I’ve told Hank what we know and what we need to know. He’s going to run the prints for us, but as you say, David, they probably aren’t on file anywhere.”
Hank Lee sipped his beer. “Hey, David, since this isn’t the first time someone’s tried to take you out, you think the two times are related?”
They all recalled the time, almost one year ago, when Chan had survived a bomb that went off in his car. Chan had seen it as a miracle, given that the explosion had totaled the car and taken out half his garage. But Gi Yu and the others had denied taking any part in that, had been surprised by it, and Chan believed them when he saw their reaction to finding out about it. Whoever it was who’d wanted him dead, that person or persons had never tried again.
“Until now, maybe,” said Kauhane. “What do you remember about that whole incident, David?”