My Kind of Town

by Don Chapman

Monday, April 2, 2001

The law of gravity

>>Cartwright Field

Jumping from his new BMW superbike, HPD Officer Quinn Ah Sun tried each of the four doors of the yellow Town Car that lay on its roof halfway down the first base line. Each was either locked or jammed. He keyed his helmet microphone again: "Solo 27. It's the senator's car. Yes, of course, the yellow one! No, I can't tell if he's inside or not. It's got those freakin' tinted windows. Get the Amkus tool over here, fast."

Meaning the giant can-opener popularly known as the "Jaws of Life."

It was a sign of the car owner's influence, not to mention the gravity of his last name, that led almost everyone to call him simply "the senator."

Remarkably, the windows hadn't shattered. Bullet-proof glass, Quinn knew, but that was a heck of a fall. As a solo bike officer, he'd escorted the governor, the Japanese prime minister, the king of Tonga, even the president's motorcade on his last visit, and he knew the specifications of their cars. He expected to be assigned to a high-level motorcade when the president visited again next week. For security reasons, the Secret Service insisted that HPD make those assignments at the last minute. Unlike the president's last trip, this would be all business, a summit with Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the new president of the Philippines.

But state senators, even powerful ones like Sen. Donovan Matsuda-Yee-Dela Cruz-Bishop-Kamaka, did not receive police escorts on most days, and certainly not on this one.

>>Honolulu Soap Co.

At the loading dock across the lot, Lily Ah Sun saw another truck full of Ola products going off to make the world a better-smelling place. And again she was so lost in thought that she did not notice the gray sedan pulling into the parking lot behind her, or the black SUV lingering behind the sedan.

Lily didn't know if she should tell her father about her reunion with her cousin Quinn. Probably not. Any break in the Ah Sun clan's cold war would probably be considered treason, punishable by... well, she didn't want to think about that.

>>Democrat Street

In the SUV, Tai was the first to spot it. "Eh, check it out!"

Tai knew why they were tailing this guy Mickey. He'd scammed Tai's niece Kimmee out of $500 in a drug deal in which the drugs never appeared. The gray sedan's tinted windows had all been up, then suddenly the driver's window went down, releasing a billow of smoke, then went up again. Thirty seconds later, same thing: window down, billowing smoke, window up. "Cuz, the dude is smoking your $500."

Don Chapman is editor of MidWeek.
His serialized novel runs daily in the Star-Bulletin.
He can be emailed at

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