My Kind of Town

by Don Chapman

Exit strategies

>> 2002 Wilder

The business portion of his visit officially ended when HPD Detective Sherlock Gomes slipped his notepad back into the pocket of his loose-fitting silk aloha shirt. He'd heard enough from Dr. Laurie Tang to know she had no idea about Sen. Donovan Matsuda-Yee-Dela Cruz-Bishop-Kamaka's double life of drug use. And he knew that their relationship had been a passionless partnership, both working toward the goal of Donovan becoming Hawaii's next governor.

"That was fine with me. I didn't need to be swept off my feet or get all giddy like some people," she said. "Or so I thought."

"What made you change your mind?"

"This morning. At Ala Moana." With you, her eyes told him.

"Which reminds me," he said, shifting the subject. "You're such a great swimmer. Would you give me a few pointers sometime?"

"I thought you were training for a triathlon."

"To be honest, running, biking, not too bad. Swimming, I sink."

"There's a pool upstairs. If you don't mind eating late."

Gomes remembered how good Laurie looked in a swimsuit when he met her at the beach this morning.


>> Manoa

In the maintenance shed at the bottom of the stairs from his loft, Paul Omandam paused to steal a machete from his soon to be former employer, the widow Mrs. Rayna Chang. Stepping outside, he ducked between the shed and the mock orange hedge, out of the glow of lights coming from the widow's house, and went over his emergency exit strategy options again.

It had been so easy to get into the U.S. -- Muhammed Resurreccion's employment agency in the Philippines found him work as a yardman in Hawaii -- and to move around once he was here. Even after Americans were alerted to the presence of terrorists in their land on Sept. 11 and started clamping down on Muslim men of Arabic descent, Paul had no problem procuring a supply of plastique explosive or getting it to Rey Orlando. The same plastique used today at Pearl Harbor. The FBI wasn't looking for Filipinos with Christian names.

Paul wasn't his real name, of course. He was Achmed al-Hazir, a native of Mindanao who had been trained in the use of explosives by Infitada Inc., which had funded Muhammed's ill-fated plan to blow up the Arizona Memorial. Moments ago he'd seen Muhammed on TV being led away in handcuffs. He'd also seen Muhammed's driver, Wilhemina Orlando, who'd been on the shuttle boat that nearly exploded, also being escorted away. And her cousin Rey was not answering his phone. The clamps were about to come down. If Plans A and B didn't work, he was wearing the ultimate exit strategy around his waist. He would not go quietly or alone.

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

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