My Kind of Town

by Don Chapman

Thursday, April 19, 2001

The Mask

>> The Queen's Medical Center

"No ID," paramedic Rock Nagasawa said as he and partner Jake Lipman turned over responsibility for the unconscious young woman they'd pulled from the senator's car to the emergency room staff. No identification meant they didn't know her name, if she had medical insurance, if she was a minor, or how to contact next of kin. So she was assigned an eight-digit number, 46-225909. "And she's probably got alcohol and drugs in her."

Dr. Laurie Tang allowed the thought to run one more time through her consciousness before she tweezered it out: This one was injured in the senator's car? The same car I was in not long ago?

ER Charge Nurse Van Truong was glad to see Dr. Laurie's mask go up. A surgical mask keeps both germs and emotions from spreading. You can't hide entirely behind a little poly-fiber mask, but you can hide a lot, especially if you train your eyes to focus only on doing your job, and your mind on medicine and not humanity. Her mask made Laurie a better doctor. Today she would need all the help she could get.

>> Cartwright Field

HPD solo bike Officer Quinn Ah Sun needed relief in the worst way when the Traffic Accident Investigation Section crew finally showed up. For the past hour he'd needed to use the lua, but couldn't because as the only officer HPD could spare, it was his responsibility alone to maintain the integrity of the accident scene and keep the crowd back.

"Man, am I glad to see you," he said jogging past Sgt. Olga Pimentel. "I'll be right back."

>> H-1, kokohead

Usually, Mickey took his showers at Ala Moana beach park. And he needed a shower. But he could wait until he got to the babe in the teal Beamer's place. So he kept the faded gray sedan in the fast lane. The black SUV lagged six cars behind and in the right lane. Tai was protecting his ability to make an exit at any time if the creep Mickey made a sudden dash across three lanes. He didn't think Mickey knew he was being followed. But just in case.

>> Honolulu International Airport

Once he'd checked into his hotel, the first thing Lt. Col. Chuck Ryan liked to do after a long flight was work out, get the blood flowing again, and maybe make some new friends.

The Hawaiian Air DC-10 from San Francisco touched down a couple of minutes early so Ryan would be working out a couple of minutes early. And that would make all the difference.

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

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