The Last Gasp

In terms of activity level for all the piers in Honolulu Harbor, Pier 31 was a dead one. No local ships moored here. This was a rest stop for the longline fishing ships that came in from all over the world. This was R&R time for crews that had been fishing for weeks and were taking a day or two to gear up for the long journey home, wherever that might be. At this time of morning, the crews would be all over town doing a lot of the same things most tourists would do.

David Chan drove slowly through the chain-link fence gate opening. On the lookout for Snuffy Apana’s black Buick sedan, he was a bit surprised that it didn’t stick out immediately. There were no other cars visible.

Coming to a stop, Chan got out of his car and headed for the open door of the first warehouse. It was dark, but he could make out Apana’s car.

“Snuffy?” Chan called out.

There was no response.

Suddenly uneasy, Chan drew his revolver and stopped, crouched, and waited for his eyes to adjust to the low light. Scanning from left to right, he saw nothing but crates and Apana’s car.

Moving swiftly and hunched slightly, Chan ran to the car and squatted by the driver’s side door. Very slowly he raised himself so he could see inside the vehicle.

What he saw, shocked him. His partner sat slumped against the steering wheel. Chan, after making a quick survey of his surroundings again, slowly eased the car door open. Apana didn’t appear to be breathing, but it was too dark to be sure.

“Snuffy,” hissed Chan, pushing at his partner’s arm. There was no response. “Suffy!” he said again. This time he reached for Apana’s neck. Just as he touched Apana to check his pulse, Chan felt a blow to the back of his head, and the last was darkness.

“Bring my car around,” said the tall man who’d knocked Chan out.

The other man jogged to the warehouse entrance and disappeared.

Sung-min Wang could see enough of Chan’s face to know that the blow would keep him out for quite a while. It had not been lethal. That was coming.

Wang watched as his car came through the doorway and pulled up alongside him.

“Help me get him in,” said Wang.

The two men tossed Chan into the trunk.

“How about him?” the other man said, pointing toward Snuffy Apana.”

“Don’t worry about him,” said Wang. “Chan’s the only one I’m interested in. Drive Chan’s car out to the end of the road on the West Side and leave it there. Get your gloves on now. I don’t want you screwing this up by leaving any prints.”

The man put on his gloves and then got into David Chan’s car. How will I get back to town?” he asked.

“How the hell should I know,” said Wang. “Use your imagination.”

The man said nothing. He started the engine and drove off.

Before he slammed the trunk closed, Wang pulled out a paper bag. He tossed it through the door of Snuffy Apana’s car, then got into his car and gunned it to life. As he drove out of the pier entrance and then turned left on Nimitz Highway, Wang thought about drowning. This would be the way. He’d never drowned someone before, so this would be an interesting experiment.

Only an idiot, Wang thought, would be stupid enough to bury a body on O‘ahu. This was an island, for God’s sake, surrounded by water. The only logical choice for disposing of someone is the ocean. Once you’ve dumped it in the water, weighted down to be sure, no one would ever find the body.

Wang turned into Pier 49. He’d hired a fishing boat the day before and had spent the night on it. Parking his car, he surveyed the area to make sure there were no witnesses about he’d also have to take care of.

The place was dead. Wang opened the trunk and hoisted the still unconscious Chan onto his right shoulder. Closing the trunk with his left hand, he walked effortlessly to the hired boat, carried Chan aboard, and dropped him unceremoniously on the deck floor.

Swiftly, Wang tied Chan’s arms together and then his legs. He gagged him, even though he was quite sure Chan would be out could until Wang revived him for the final show when they were far enough out to sea.

Once Chan was secured, Wang chained three concrete blocks to his legs. Then he started up the engine and eased the boat away from the dock toward the small marina’s entrance.

As Sung-min Wang moved out into the open ocean, a vision of Chan struggling to breathe as he went to the bottom of the Pacific brought a smile to the killer’s face. He watched Chan’s final breath, the last of the air expelled from his lungs in one desperate heave. To breathe water like air. What an odd sensation that must be. And a terrifying one, thought Wang, a laugh erupting from him.

And that would be the way it all ended for Lieutenant David Chan.

Wang had to laugh. No matter all of HPD would be out to find the killer. David Chan would be dead and Wang would soon be safely hidden away in Kang Yu’s impenetrable fortress overseas.

Wang laughed again, the sea breeze whipping at his face.

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