Looking at them, they seem so harmless. Detective Danny Williams is laying in the hospital bed, bruises still visible, leg still in a cast, but all in all looking much better already. His daughter is cuddled into his right side, a big cuddly seal toy on his other side. Commander Steve McGarrett is sitting at the foot of the bed, using two Barbie dolls dressed in pink clothes to play out a fairy tale he’s telling, to the amusement of all in the room. Detective Chin Ho Kelly is sitting in a chair, watching the scene and ‘correcting’ McGarrett’s story, making it even more ridiculous than it already is. Officer Kono Kalakaua is eating shave fruit – grape, to be exact – and checking the color of her tongue in her compact mirror every few bites. It’s getting more blue, but apparently it’s not quite the shade she’s going for yet, as she keeps eating and checking. Taken all together like that, you’d be hard pressed to believe they are feared by friends and enemies alike. We certainly didn’t think them dangerous. We know better now.
There’s one fundamental thing you need to know about the Firm: we work in the shadows. That has a lot of consequences, among which is that nobody is safe. Officially we are not allowed to work on US soil, but everybody knows it happens. Working in the shadows give us power, and power makes might. And the mighty? Well, they don’t like to be crossed. Williams had already proven that he was just fine with sticking his nose into CIA business, so we kidnapped him, to get him out of the game. Only, he escaped – and crossed the Firm by doing it. So we…expressed our displeasure – as punishment and a warning should he get any ideas in the future. That was what placed him in this hospital bed. That part of the plan went as it always goes.
What nobody at the Firm had expected, though, was that Williams would actually tell his team about our warning. “Don’t mess with the Firm ever again.” Such a simple warning, with a nice, implied death threat there. Never any threats against family – especially not someone’s children – because people tend to be difficult to predict when their loved ones are in danger. But when they are in danger themselves and the edict to keeping them alive is simple, well, people usually back off. Just from the fact that Detective Williams had never before in our dealing with him done as we’d expected, we should have anticipated that his reaction would be a bit outside of the norm. But even then, we couldn’t have expected what happened.
I am still unsure as to how to describe it. A rampage might be best, actually. McGarrett’s reaction was fairly predictable, although not less dangerous for it. He was a SEAL, after all, and they were highly trained for all sorts of situations. Still, the viciousness of the attack on the local office had been a surprise. McGarrett had singlehandedly put fifteen agents in the hospital, broken into several high-level offices, and stolen enough damning information that he could guarantee no-one at the Firm would ever go after someone McGarrett cared about again. If only that had been the end of it.
But no, someone else had broken into our computers and deleted every file that even mentioned any of the team or their loved ones. And on top of that, scrambled a lot of files, including all the personnel data that HR needed to pay us. Nothing that would endanger operations or operatives out in the field, though. I had to give them that. We knew it wasn’t McGarrett – he’d been under covert surveillance since the break-in and he hadn’t been anywhere near a computer at the time of the digital break-in. Our money was on Kelly – he had both the expertise and the experience to pull something like this off. Kalakaua, well, she was on our list at first as well, but then she did her own thing. So we figured it hadn’t been her.
You know, out of every one of them, I think I’d want Kalakaua as my enemy least of all. The other two, they attacked directly – either by force or electronically – and while their hits hurt, they didn’t hit us anywhere but at a professional level. We all know the risks when we sign on. But Kalakaua, man, that girl fights dirty. And coming from someone working for the Firm, that’s saying something. She was sneaky, very sneaky. Somehow she managed to get dirt on everyone involved in the attack on Williams, from the guy who ordered it to the poor inter-office post guy that delivered the orders to the strike-team. Now, I’m not talking about the hush-hush covert ops dirt we all have clinging to us. No, I’m talking about those private little secrets – the ones we thought we could hide from everyone since the government trained us to hide things. But she dug them all up – the affairs, the porn-movies people starred in way back when, the tax evasion, everything - and then she actually paid for five whole pages of ads in the largest newspaper on the island and published each and every one of those dirty little secrets for the world to see. Yes, she’s one scary lady.
In the hospital room, there is a lull in activity. Kalakaua’s shave ice is gone and she’s putting her compact mirror away. Kelly is helping McGarrett put the dolls away – apparently there is a right and a wrong way to do this and they are quietly arguing about it – and little Grace Williams is sound asleep, cuddled up to her father. And Williams looks up, straight at me. A jolt of fear goes through me at the lack of surprise in his eyes. How long has he known I’ve been watching? It doesn’t really matter, all that matters is that he did know. And now I’m wondering what he’ll do to me. Maybe you think I’m paranoid, but really, I’m not. Because I see the silent promise in his eyes – the promise to destroy anyone who gets in the way of his ohana – his family. I tried to tell my boss that Williams is the most dangerous one of all, but he didn’t listen. They see McGarrett’s SEAL skills, Kelly’s computer skills and street smarts, Kalakaua’s vindictiveness, toughness and potential. But they don’t seem to understand that Williams controls them all. He’s the head of their little make-shift family and what he says goes. And right now, we’ve made ourselves the enemy and he’s giving them free reign. In the eyes of the bosses it’s not even a mistake, but I know that until Williams receives an apology and a promise to be left alone, he’ll keep bringing down anyone who so much as even looks at his family sideways.
Yes, Danny Williams is the most dangerous of them all, and I for one am smart enough to know this. So I lock eyes with him, then bow my head. I’m out of this game. The slight smirk on his face says he knows it. I turn and leave. It’s time for me to go and give my resignation to the boss, then move far, far away from Hawaii. I might be brave, but I’m not stupid. As long as Danny Williams is on the warpath, I will not reside in the same state as him. Maybe I’ll even look at emigration – I hear Canada’s nice this time of year.