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My Kind of Town

by Don Chapman

Sunday, June 2, 2002


The Honolulu Soap Co.:
Sunday digest

>> Queen's Medical Center

Quinn Ah Sun was tiring quickly on this first foray out of his hospital bed. Off-duty nurse Nina Ramones, who was pushing his wheelchair, could see it even from behind. Quinn slumped a bit, his voice sounded weary. "Time to get you back," she said.

Nina had just wheeled him out into the ER parking lot when they heard the screech of brakes. Looking up, Quinn saw a faded blue taxi squeal into the lot tight on the tail of teal BMW. His cousin Lily's car. Quinn's cop instincts kicked in.

"Faster, Nina! Over there!"

But cop instincts are 180 degrees from nurse instincts. While he was ready to leap into the fray, Nina froze. The BMW skidded to a stop in front of three people chatting beside an ambulance - HPD Detective Sherlock Gomes and EMS crew Vic Lipman and Yvonne Morales. The taxi purposefully plowed into the BMW with an awful sound of crumpling metal, and it lurched forward, forcing Gomes and the EMS pair to scramble out of the way.

In an instant a big Samoan was out of the taxi and running toward the BMW. In the same instant Quinn was grabbing the rails of the chair's wheels, propelling himself forward.

>> Arizona Memorial

Standing outside the Visitor Center, meditating on the white structure across the water, Muhammed Resurreccion heard an announcement over the loudspeaker: everyone with ticket No. 19, the yellow ones, should form a line outside Theater Two. Smiling, he waved at the three females out on the lawn to join him. Then he caressed the radio-control device in his pocket.

As his driver Wilhemina, his late cousin's widow Rosalita and her little daughter Elizabeth made their way across the lawn, Muhammed glanced at his yellow ticket. It said that the "Entire program (film, boat, Memorial) lasts 75 minutes."

In 75 minutes, his radio-control device would send a signal to the bouquet of flowers that Rosalita now carried. Muhammed smiled, so close to fulfilling his mission. The happiest terrorist in the world.

>> Queen's Medical Center

Suddenly the cabbie was reaching inside the BMW, grabbing the driver by the throat.

Lily Ah Sun tried to scream, but could only make gagging sounds. She clawed at him, but he was huge. She was helpless.

"Stop, police!" Gomes yelled. To no avail.

The guy now had the woman's shoulders out of the window. Gomes realized that his gun was in his car and was reaching for his keys when a woman yelled: "Quinn, stop!"

Turning to see who she was, Gomes glimpsed the damndest thing. A guy in a wheelchair, his right leg elevated, an IV drip bag dangling above, sped silently from toward the cabbie.

>> Arizona Memorial

Once Muhammed retrieved the colorful flower bouquet from his van, Commander Chuck Ryan noted, he didn't touch it again.

Ryan had never before wanted to sniff a bouquet of flowers as much as he did this one. The Navy intelligence officer wanted to get close enough to look into the bouquet and see what might be in there.

>> Queen's Medical Center

Lily saw the cabbie draw his hand back and ball it up into a fist the size of a toaster oven. She was going to die. Over one little Finger.

As if through a mist, beyond her throttled screams and the curses of the cabbie, Lily thought she heard a woman scream "Quinn, stop!"

That's when the cabbie screamed in pain and she felt his grip loosen.

>> Arizona Memorial

Ryan entered the theater. People went in two directions, either straight ahead down the stairs on the right side or along the back of the theater and then down the stairs on the left. Muhammed seemed to know exactly where he wanted to sit - an aisle seat on the right. He found one seven rows down, motioned for the ladies to take seats to the inside.

Ryan saw open seats behind them and moved in.

>> Queen's Medical Center

The guy speeding in the wheelchair, Gomes suddenly realized, was Quinn Ah Sun. The solo bike officer was at Queen's after being shot in the thigh. But what was he doing here?

In a heartbeat Gomes knew, and that with his Glock in his car trunk the best he could do was distract the cabbie.

"Police!" Gomes screamed.

The cabbie, his left leg locked behind him for leverage against the woman, glanced up at Gomes an instant before Quinn plowed into the cabbie's left knee. Gomes heard an ugly pop, the cabbie began to scream in pain as he went down.

Lying on the pavement, the cabbie howled. Quinn kicked with his good leg at the cabbie's head. But he saw it coming, rolled toward the chair, and the chair toppled over.

>> Arizona Memorial

In the sixth row from the theater entrance, Ryan eyed seats directly behind Muhammed. He wanted to sit close enough that he could comment in a neighborly way on the beautiful bouquet of flowers that Rosalita carried and ask if he could smell their sweet island aroma.

But before he could get there, a teenager ran down the row from the other side and claimed the five seats for his family.

>> Queen's Medical Center

Nina and Lily were screaming, neither aware of the other, as they focused on Quinn and the cabbie trading punches.

With his good leg Quinn kneed the cabbie in the chest hard, a blow that would have taken the air from most men. The cabbie just grunted, with his good leg tried to stand. But Quinn leg-whipped him and, with no ligaments intact in his left knee, the cabbie toppled.

Quinn was unaware the bandage on his thigh was turning crimson, the wound where he'd been shot reopened. But he felt his strength waning. Now it was all he could do to block the cabbie's next punch.

But it never came. From somewhere out of the scuffle a shiny black loafer shot kicked the cabbie in the head, knocking him unconscious.

"Nice shoes," Quinn said between gasps.

That's when Nina and Lily realized she was not the only woman calling Quinn and running to him.




Don Chapman is editor of MidWeek.
His serialized novel runs daily in the Star-Bulletin
with weekly summaries on Sunday.
He can be emailed at dchapman@midweek.com



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