The Father’s Son

Lieutenant David Chan, off-duty now and having narrowly escaped being killed just a few hours earlier, sat sipping Jack Daniel’s and staring out over a growing downtown. The moon was new, so the Honolulu City lights showed brightly against the wide and dark Pacific Ocean.

There were certainly better, smoother whiskies, but Jack Daniel’s had been his wife’s favorite. For cooking, not for drinking. Elaine never drank. But Chan did drink it to honor his wife’s memory, and also that of his slain partner, Sergeant Victor Yamamoto.

It had been more than a year now since Yamamoto had fallen victim, Chan knew, to the Korean syndicate. It might have been hard to prove in court that Byung Yu and his son, Jason, were the ones, either in person or by proxy, who had killed Yamamoto and, in the same evening, Chan’s dear daughter, Sarah. Chan had never known rage, and the degree of that rage had both propelled him and frightened him. But it was all in the cause of justice, he told himself after everything was settled.

Chan poured a third glass. Yes. Hard for him to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. But Yamamoto and Chan had each taken care of that little hurdle. They’d jumped it, cleared it, and landed on the other side. Yamamoto in an ‘other side’ somewhere unknowable, somewhere out there, up there, some heaven, some spirit, some kind of energetic force.
And Sarah was out there, too. Chan tried to picture her sitting under a tree, side by side with her mother and Victor Yamamoto, Victor watching out for her. And where was David Chan’s father? Chan couldn’t seem to picture him there with the other two. Wherever ‘there’ might be.

Now, Chan wondered, who would be wanting him dead? True, someone had tried to blow him up in his car in the garage just over a year ago, but Chan had, truly miraculously, escaped with only minor injuries. Chan had suspicions about who might be involved, but he was fairly sure that Byung Yu’s surviving daughter, Gi Yu, who now ran the Yu business, asserting a shift of the enterprise into the world of legitimate commerce, was not the person behind this. She might dislike Chan, probably as much as he did her, but he couldn’t see how she would ever authorize his death.

Chan sipped deeply. Turning his glass on the tabletop, he pictured his father’s car, how it had been found abandoned at the end of the road out on the west side of O‘ahu. His father’s disappearance had changed Chan’s life. Instantly. From an English teacher to an officer with HPD in a flash. And now he was the next Lieutenant David Chan, here to fill his father’s shoes and prove the Yus were responsible for eliminating his father.

Ka‘ena Point, Chan thought, what a lonely place to die. This, Chan knew with 100% certainty, was the work of the Yus. In particular, it was the work of the godfather of the Korean syndicate, Kang Yu. And Kang Yu was now virtually untouchable, living in his fortress, surrounded by his private army, way over in Wanhei, South Korea.

Kang Yu would never, of course, do the killing himself. So who had carried out Kang Yu’s order to murder Chan’s father?  

Chan poured a fourth drink, drained half of it, and closed his eyes.

After how many moments passed, Chan was unsure, he came out of his doze in a daze. His breath caught and he sat up straight.

A vision of Victor Yamamoto, one Chan knew he’d seen before, sat across the table from him.

“Aren’t you going to offer me a drink?” asked Yamamoto,, smiling.

Chan closed his eyes, shook his head to clear it, then looked again.

“A drink, David. Come on, offer me one.”

Chan managed to ask, “You want some JD? Or should I get you a beer?”

“Just pass me your glass.”

Chan watched his hand slide the glass toward his dead partner.

Yamamoto looked at the half-full glass and smiled. “I had to give up drinking, boss. I can’t pick up anything anymore. It’s hard when you’re dead, brah, let me tell you. You cannot do almost anything like before, David, I kid you not.”

Chan, almost believing this vision to be real, had to laugh a little at this comment.

“Vic, so what can you still do when you’re dead?”

“Watch, talk, think,” said Yamamoto. “Stuff like that.”

Chan closed his eyes again. “Vic,” he said, “why are you here this time?”

“You know why, boss. It’s because we have to figure out who’s after you. We always thought and fought better as a team, David, yeah?”

His eyes still closed, Chan nodded. “Yeah, Vic, I miss you. I got Bobby Stillman as my partner now, but he’s young, raw, not cooked up right around the edges yet. But he’s got heart, and he’s smart, but I . . .”

“You don’t trust him, isn’t that right?” said the ghost of Victor Yamamoto.

Chan opened his eyes. There was no one there. The phone rang.

Who would be calling at this time of night? Chan stood to go inside, but all that Jack put him back in his seat.

Screw the call and the caller, Chan thought.

“Get up and answer it, boss,” Chan heard Yamamoto say.

Looking around but seeing no Victor Yamamoto, Chan boosted himself out of his seat again and steered as straight a course as possible into the living room and over to the phone.

“Hello?” said Chan.

“Boss, it’s me,” said Bobby Stillman. “I think I know who tried to kill you tonight.”

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