Comments about this story can be sent to email@example.com
Procrastinated Vengeance - Part Two
Dr. Anderson was amazed as he examined the patient. The night came and went and the detective was still alive. The IV had been able to bring his body fluids close to normal. That was no small feat in itself. He was concerned that the heart may stop again after receiving such a massive shock, it hadn't. Interesting, Anderson mused, "takes a licking and keeps on ticking"
He may be able to assure Connors that this man would be alive to see the few days he had demanded. He couldn't, however, say whether or not Hutchinson would be coherent, or ever even regain consciousness.
"Ok Doc, time to give me the latest report on your patient", Connors voice rang out over the speakers.
Anderson had momentarily forgotten about the monitors, He was growing very tired of Connors' dictatorship attitude. He was glad this assignment was nearly over. He left the cell and made his way to Connors.
"As you saw on your trusty TV there" Anderson began, "He's still alive, I'm not sure how or why, but he is still alive"
"Good Job, Doctor, so you see no problem with me being able to carry out the third and final stage of my plan", Connors asked eagerly
"Well, lets not get ahead of ourselves" cautioned Anderson.
"You just said he was doing ok, didn't you?"
"Oh please", Anderson replied angrily "That man is far from being ok. Stop putting words in my mouth. What I said was that he was alive. I'm optimistic he'll staying that way for at least a few days..."
"Well, that's all I needed to hear"
"No, I don't think so, you also need to hear that I have no way of knowing whether or not he will regain consciousness in that time, or ever"
"HE HAS TO!" Connors demanded, "HE MIGHT AS WELL BE DEAD! There MUST be something you can pull out of your hat. Some kind of shot that will make him wake up"?
"You watch to much X-files Mr. Connors. If that were true, there would be no comatose patients anywhere in the world. Now there's no sense in worrying about it yet, he's resting as well as can be expected, and his body is reacting positively to the medication, it's just a wait and see situation"
"Fine, Have it your way Doctor..."
"It's not my way Connors, it's just the way it is. Now I'll stay in his cell for the next day or so to be able to tend to him when needed. That's where you can find me. Oh, and I sure hope you have my payment ready. This thing is giving me the creeps I'm outta here the minute you finish your sick twisted business"
"I'm paying you well for your services, you have no business complaining, now get outta here, and you see to it that I have an attentive subject to work with when the time comes." The Doctor walked out, realizing all he said had fallen on deaf ears.
"Cap'n, you need to put out an APB right away on this Vincent Connors. We've got to find where he's hiding out. I think we're gonna go connect with Huggy. I've had him digging around some too, you radio me the minute you hear anything."
"You have to ask? I called the APB in before you two even got here, and you know you'll hear from me when I know something. And Starsky, need I remind you, you just got out of the hospital? You take it easy"
"10-4 Cap, I'll watch myself, but finding Hutch will be the best medicine I could ask for!"
"So Casey, you coming?"
"I don't know what it is you expect out of me, but considering you just got out of the hospital, I suppose I can go just in case you have a relapse or something"
"Oh, don't you worry, there will be no relapse! Come on, I'll let you drive me to my car"
"You think you're up to driving so soon?"
"Are you kiddin me? The only way I'll stop driving is when they pry my cold dead hands off the steering wheel. Now lets go"
"Geez Starsky" Jon replied "A bit morbid I'd say. Fine have your way, lets go"
The two men had stopped off at Hutch's to pick up the car. He had taken it in after all, Starsky grinned at the thought. They drove up to THE PIT where Huggy had been waiting for them. Jon was amused at the how Starsky was outta the car practically before it had even come to a complete stop.
"Huggy, what's the word, did you come up with anything on this Connors?"
"Hey there Starsky, you're not looking so good"
"It's nice to see you to Huggy, now what do you have for me?"
"Don't be rude Starsky, who do we have here? A new partner already?"
It didn't take the devastated look on Starsky face to make him wish he could take the words back, he regretted them as soon as they left his mouth.
"Me and my big mouth, I didn't mean anything by it, you know I didn't Starsky, I just hadn't met this guy, ya know? I don't know what's wrong with me sometimes, my mouth just opens and I never know what's gonna fall out. I..."
"Forget it Huggy", Starsky said. "I know you didn't mean anything, This is Jon Casey. He's been helping me with this case."
"Pleasure, Mr. Casey "
"Nice to meet you, uh, er...Huggy?"
"Ok, already" Starsky quipped "Enough with the niceties, what do you know Huggy"
"Word is there was a fella by the name of Vincent Connors was soliciting for certain help for some project of his. What kinda help I'm not sure. And what project, I don't know. Also, he recently had the word out for a doctor for hire. I haven't been able to get a fix on his location yet. That isn't much, but I'll keep diggin"
"Yeah, you keep your eyes and ears open and let me know the minute you hear ANYTHING!"
"You got it Starsky, Good luck. Oh, and sorry about the partner bit. Take care of yourself"
"No harm done Huggy, and I will."
Starsky and Casey had followed up on a few more leads, but had to finally call it a night. Starsky had talked Jon into staying at his place so that they could mull over what they had learned.
Starsky hated the idea of calling it quits for the day, knowing Hutch was out there somewhere. But he wasn't back to full strength yet, and he tired easily. He decided to take a pain pill and just try to go over everything mentally instead of physically.
Jon was ready to call it a day as well. This day in the life of a cop had wore him out as well.
"Grab a beer outta the fridge if you want," offered Starsky.
"Oh," Jon Replied, "I want! Can I get you one?"
"Actually I'd love one, but I just took something for this nagging pain, so I better not, I don't wanna be out of it tomorrow"
"You're probably right. Just as well, leaves more for me", he joked.
"Hey, they're all yours, you earned your keep today. So, what did you think of your first day as a cop anyway? Plan on making any career changes any time soon? I'd be happy to put in a good word for you"
"I'll sure keep that in mind, however I think the nice slow pace of a computer engineer is more my speed. How do you go at this pace day in and day out?"
"We'll to be honest, we have our boring days too, this case is just extremely close to home, it's not always this crazed"
"You two are really close, uh?"
Starsky's expression changed.
"Sorry, didn't mean to bring up a sore subject"
"No, it's ok. Yeah, we are close. It hadn't started out that way though. We meet at the academy, and didn't care for each other at all. But when you're forced into as many sticky situations as we have been, you develop a unique alliance."
"Yeah, I guess you kind of learn to count on each other"
"You have no idea. Sometimes when he's not around, it takes me awhile to click, He had always been the right hand to my left"
"So, what about your personal life, ever been married?"
"Sheesh," replied Starsky, "You writing a book?
"Sorry" Jon replied, "I guess it's the beer, I'm not usually this nosey"
"It's ok, it's helping to pass time. No, I came close a time or two. Came real close once. It just couldn't work out, it's tough being a cop, and I don't mean to sound like a martyr. No one forced this job on me. I've learn to accept everything that goes along with it, good and bad"
"How bout yourself Jon, I remember you told me at the hospital that you broke it off with your fiancée. That had to have been hard"
"Hardest thing I've ever done. Annie and I are soul mates. I know that's a corny expression, but I really believe it. We were meant to be together. I hope to get in touch with her after you've caught the bad guy.
I was pretty brutal though. I don't know if she'll ever even give me the chance to explain. It broke her heart, mine too. I just couldn't let anything happen to her. I was ashamed at getting caught up in this mess. I've always been an independent, take charge kinda guy. To admit I wasn't in control of our lives... It was just to much"
"This Connors has been a real piece of work, it'll make a lot of people happy when he's put away. I hope the story has a happy ending for all of us"
"I second that emotion. You know, you talked me into staying because we were gonna kick some ideas around. I don't think we got much accomplished in that area"
"Well Casey, I think we've learned a lesson here, there's more to life than business. Let's get some shut-eye, what do you say?"
"I'm with you Starsky, you know what they say, Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your life. Here hoping it's a happy life"
"Here here", Starsky agreed "see you in the morning"
"Not if I see you first"
Another night passed and Hutchinson was still alive. How fortunate his "patient" had been so strong. Anderson wasn't sure how Connors would have reacted if Hutchinson had died.
He hadn't come to, but the Doctor wasn't worried yet. That could be a good sign that the mind and body were healing as one. At one point Anderson thought Hutchinson was coming to but realized it was just more slight involuntary tremors brought on by the electric shock. Anderson knew that the detective was very close to death. What was keeping this man alive? The Doctor hadn't a clue. All he cared about was that he stay that way till he could collect his fee.
Still, Anderson couldn't help thinking, It's a shame really... The detective is fighting so hard to stay alive, only to have his life stolen from him in the end. He couldn't believe the irony of the futile fight going on inside this man lying in front of him.
"Just live long enough for us to kill you" Anderson told the unconscious man. "Ain't life grand?"
As Anderson sat in the cell Babysitting, as he referred to his current duties. Something Connors had said kept nagging at him. "Some kind of shot that will make him wake up" Yes, that had sounded far-fetched when Connors had said it. But it got him thinking. Thinking of a time when he used to work for the government.
There had been project he had worked on with a man. This man had been working on developing a drug that could nearly do just that. He'd talk with Connors about looking the guy up. This should bring me a nice bonus, Anderson thought.
Connors was reading from the journal when he heard a knock on his door.
"Yeah, what do you want?"
"It's Anderson. I have something to talk to you about."
"Come in" Connors replied. "Why aren't you down there with your patient?"
"I just remembered something I thought perhaps you might be interested in. Besides, we can see him on your monitor. He hasn't moved since I left there."
"Well what is it?"
"I've been thinking about what you said earlier, about just giving him something to wake him up"
"Yeah and you said I was crazy, so what is there to talk about?"
"Well, if you'd just listen. I'll tell you. Years ago I used to work with someone on a project. I can't tell you a lot about it, but he was working on a drug that would do something to the affect you were asking about."
"Don't tease me, Doctor!"
"I don't have time for games Connors, and by the look of that man over there, neither do you. Now, do you want me to go talk to this man?"
"Sounds risky, What if something happens while your gone?"
"That is the chance you take. I shouldn't be gone more than a couple of hours. And I don't foresee any problems. But he is in bad shape. So you decide. Wait and see if he comes around for you to exact your revenge, or let me see if I can't hurry things along a bit."
"Fine, you go. This sounds too tempting to pass up. But you remember we're here waiting on you. Don't get side tracked"
"I'll do a final examine on the patient, then I'll go pay a visit to my long lost friend"
Hutch was dazed as he attempted to wake up from his deep sleep. He felt an underlying pain, it was as if it were fuzzy, numb in someway. What had happened? The last thing his very disordered mind could recall was being held down... His mind searched, what had happened... The pain! He remembered feeling a pain he could never have had imagined.
"If I live to be 1 million years old, (I'd settle for 30) I could never describe the pain. It shot threw my entire body like fire"
Those had been Jimmy's words. But now they were his. His thoughts shot around his brain at random, like sparks he couldn't control. These thoughts hadn't lasted long, as quickly as he had awaken, he was once again "asleep"
"Casey, wake up! It's nearly 10:00 already," Starsky was still wiping the sleep out of his eyes as he shouted. "Come on Casey, we have work to do"
Jon woke to Starsky's wake up yell. It wasn't like him to sleep in, but these days haven't exactly been normal.
In less than 20 minutes they were out of the house and racing down the road. They had to find something soon. Starsky just felt it. There was some urgency. He couldn't put his finger on it, but he knew there was no time to waste.
Connors was very nervous with Anderson gone. He didn't even want to look at the monitors. If something were to happen, He wouldn't know what to do. Had he been too greedy? If anything were to go wrong now it would be his fault. He should never have let Anderson leave.
At last, after four and a half-hours, Anderson returned.
"Come in Doctor"
"So how did it go? Any emergencies?"
"Well if there had been it wouldn't matter now, would it?" Connors had to let out some of his frustration at waiting."
"Hey, it was you're choice, and if he's still alive I believe you made a good choice. How is he?"
"He's been kinda twitching a lot, but he never looked to be awake. I guess he's still ok"
"In that case, let me tell you the good news. I met with this man, and was able to acquire a small amount of this drug I had told you about."
"Excellent!! Tell me what about it"
"We put a little of this into an IV drip, then bingo! He will do anything you ask of him. And if my source is correct, it doesn't matter what physical state Hutchinson is in."
Connors couldn't believe what he was hearing!
"Anderson, You're a genius! This is Perfect. This goes beyond my wildest dreams! You see doc... My brother died on death row, but not on his execution date, and not by the executioner. He was sentence to die from a lethal injection. Turns out he died by hanging. Depending on what story you want to believe, he couldn't cope with the abuse any longer, so he took his own life"
"I'm sorry," Anderson started...
"No need, just listen. Originally the plan was for us to go in and hang Hutchinson ourselves. But now, with this stuff you've come up with, I'm thinking, this is our chance to have him off himself, just as my little brother had. So you think this drug intervention will actually allow this man hang himself?"
"Still sounds like x-files but I have little doubt it will work. I'm going to go ahead and start the IV drip, it'll take a little while to get his mind good and ready. Barring death itself, nothing should go wrong with your plan now."
"Yeah, but death isn't far from reality here, let's just hurry things along, Oh, and let me know when the time looks right, I wanna have time to pop the popcorn"
"You'll be the second to know", Anderson replied as he headed back up to the patient.
"Zebra three, Zebra three, meet with a Huggy bear at an establishment called the pits"
"Zebra three, Starsky responded, "Roger, We're on our way"
"Wonder what Huggy dug up" Jon said
"With Huggy, you never know," replied Starsky
Starsky tried his "outta the car before it stops routine" But it was evident that the stress combined with his still healing injuries, were getting the best of him.
"Huggy, you rang?"
"Hey Starsky, You're still not looking good. You ok?"
"I've been better, what have you got for me?"
"Well, I know it's like in the AM and all, but I promised you any and everything I heard about this Connors dude"
"What have you got Huggy?" Starsky asked anxiously.
"It's nothing really, I'm probably should have waited till I had more."
"Huggy!!" Starsky insisted, "what, what do you have?"
"Ok, word is, that while back, a certain Connors was looking to remodel some run down location. That's all I could find out. That's why I say it's not much. I have no what's or where's. But you Cops have a knack for making something out of nothing, in more ways than one, if you know what I mean"
"Always the wit. Thanks Huggy, and don't worry about it being nothing... You're right, you never know what a little bit of nothing can turn into. Keep in touch"
Starsky climbed back in the car and shared the info with Casey.
"Does that mean anything to you Starsky?" Jon asked.
"Not yet, let's grab something to eat and let it all process"
"Sounds good to me", Jon agreed. "I've been having a hard time hearing you over the growls"
"Well, well, look who decided to join the living" Anderson said to his fragile patient..
"How do you feel? You've been through quite a bit, you know"
"Yeah, I know", hutch whispered. "Who are you?"
"I'm your Doctor, I've been looking after you these past few days, It's been my job to keep you alive. Glad you made it"
"I'm not sure I have. You're working for him?"
"Never mind Detective Hutchinson, you need your rest, I'll return soon to see if I can't help you out of this situation"
"I won't count on it"
"Oh," replied Anderson, "I really think I can!!" I'll help you outta the pan and into the fire he thought to himself.
Starsky decided on his favorite burger joint. He and hutch had been here many times, the burger was always served up with "these greasy burgers will be the death of you Starsk" lecture.
As if haunted by Hutch's burger lecturing ghost, he couldn't eat, he had no appetite. He replayed everything they had learn up to this point. He had to have missed something. He was sure of it....
Jon had just finished the huge burger, when Starsky had a revelation that floored both men.
"Jon, listen and humor me... didn't Dobey say something about Jimmy Connors hanging himself at Hayes Prison. And didn't he say that the prison had closed down...."
Jon nodded, not sure where Starsky was headed with this....
"Yeah, it was closed down because of complaints of cruelty to inmates by the guards," Starsky continued.
"And didn't Huggy say something about this Vincent Connors remodeling somewhere? Some place that was run down? Hutch as been missing, Connors was hell bent on revenge, and he had been looking for a Doctor for hire. Now this may be thin Casey, but I think we should check out the old abandoned Prison... Whataya say?"
Jon was in awe. Just another difference between a computer engineer and a cop. If he had all year with these clues, he didn't think they would have connected the way that had for Starsky.
" Very impressive Starsky, I'm with you."
"I think we may be just about there, get your popcorn ready, informed Anderson."
Anderson could swear that Connors was actually salivating over the news.
"Already? I thought it would take awhile for him to physically be ready to carry out his own execution"
"As I stated before, his physical condition doesn't matter. Besides, I'm not sure he'd ever recover physically or mentally, we need to act now. You need to go ahead with the preparations. The drug I've put into his IV will see to it that he doesn't feel anything as far as physical pain. The pain alone would keep him from even lifting a finger, let alone his entire body. This drug totally separates mind from body as far as pain is concerned. He will only hear our commands. And he'll have no choice. His free thinking will be gone."
"And you were giving me hell about x-files? That's just freakin' diabolical. You missed your calling, the likes of Hitler would have appreciated your talents"
"Oh cut the crap Connors, I'm just ready to get on with my life as I knew it, this gig is getting old"
"I'd have to disagree, I've enjoyed every second of it, I hate to see it end"
"Well that's just too bad, because it is ending, and soon!"
"Very well, all good things must come to an end, as they say So when do you suggest us setting the scene?"
"We're gonna just set the rope with him lying right there?"
"He won't know the difference"
"There is something I need to take care of first, when he does wake up, is he coherent?"
"What do you mean? What did you have in mind?"
"What I have in mind is my business, isn't it,. I didn't hire you so that I'd have someone to get permission from every time I wanted to do something"
"No, you hired me as a consulting physician, and I think I've done a very good job. That man would have been dead a long time ago had I not been here,. But if you wanna start taking it upon yourself to decide what he can handle and what he can't, then go right away, matter of fact, give me my cut now and I'm outta here"
"Oh just calm down, man! You sure have a short fuse. We're this close to finishing, lets just get the job done and we can all get on with our lives. And what I had in mind was to read a little something to Hutchinson. I have one more journal passage to read him before it's all said and done."
"You just have to turned the screws on this guy, don't you"
"Every chance I get, now do you think he'll grasp what I tell him?"
"When he had been awake, it's only been for a few minutes, we did communicate a time or two, he seemed able to respond to my comments. But it depends on how much of his own mind he has left. And be fast, he fades quick"
Connors made his way to the cell, the cell that at one time had housed his brother, and now his brother's killer. He carried the journal with him, this was the icing on the cake, The Detective had to have some idea that he was never going to leave this place alive. But, thought Connors, I bet he never thought he'd be the one to do the killing.
He walked over to the bunk. This guy looks like death warmed over, but any sympathy he might have had, was lost on the thought that this was what his brother must have looked like in the end.
He sat and he waited for any signs of Hutch waking up. He would have to summarize which he hated, but at least he'd get the message across.
Connors grew impatient, Luckily the detective was showing signs of waking up, but the Doctor warned him of the tremors. He wanted to be sure that wasn't the case.
"Hutchinson, Starsky wants a word with you"
Hutch's eyes slowly opened. Not much life left in there, that's for sure, Connors thought. The deception worked. It wouldn't take long for him to notice there was no Starsky, he began to quickly read. He hated to edit, but it was obvious Hutchinson wasn't gonna stay tuned for long!
...July 4th Independence Day, could there be a more perfect time to carry this out? I can't, won't stand any more torture. I'm gonna get my own independence. I've decided to make like a picture, and hang. By the time the sun comes up, I'll be dead....
By the time Connors looked back over at Hutchinson, his eyes were once again closed. He couldn't be sure how much he had heard. It made him feel better to believe that he had heard it all.
"So it begins", Connors said out loud.
Starsky hadn't realized just how far out Hayes prison had been. It was a quiet drive, both men thinking their own thoughts. Could this be what they've been searching for, could this nightmare really be coming to an end? Only time would tell.
Casey broke the silence "Starsky, I have one question... well, I have a million questions, but let me ask just one."
"What's on your mind?"
"We don't know what we're about to find. I don't know how I'm going to react once this thing goes down. I have no training for this...."
Starsky himself was nervous, He couldn't imagine what must be going through the mind of a computer engineers mind.
"I know you must be nervous, but don't sell yourself short, I think you're a natural. Whatever we may or may not find, you can handle it. As a matter of fact, here, you might need this..."
Starsky reached under the seat, and pulled out a pistol.
"Oh no, I know I'm not ready for that"
"Have you ever used one of these?"
"Well yeah, but on a shooting range, not in real life"
"Don't sweat it, I'm sure you won't even need it, but if we do find something, or someone out here, won't you feel better having a little protection"
"Well, since you put it that way, but I don't like it"
"Don't worry, when you see the bad guys coming at you, you'll feel a lot better about it, that's not to say we're gonna find any bad guys... but, well, you get the picture"
"Yeah Starsky, I'm afraid I do"
Anderson checked in on his patient one last time... The detective was ready. His eyes were open. But his mind not registering what he saw. He had a vague look of awareness about him.
"Hutchinson, can you hear me, This is Dr. Anderson."
Nothing. What were the words to that song? the lights are on but no ones home? That summed it up. The IV drip had done its job. The time had come.
Anderson looked up at the cameras, "Come back down Connors, we need to get on with it"
Moments later, Connors was standing in the doorway.
"So what's the plan Connors, you watching from the box seats, or the first row?"
Connors' attention was locked on the man lying on the bunk. He appeared to be awake. His eyes open. But he had the look of a man long gone.
"I think I'll stay courtside for this game, I've waited along time for this. So how does it work."
"Watch", Anderson instructed Connors.
"Hutchinson, raise your right arm"
Nothing. Anderson walked over and stood next to Hutch, and spoke louder. "HUTCHINSON, I WANT YOU TO RAISE YOUR RIGHT ARM"
Connors found himself worrying already that his well thought out plan wouldn't take place. He glanced over at the Doctor, then back to the detective.
Finally the seemingly awake man lifted his right arm into the air. And apparently was awaiting further instructions.
"Hutchinson, Lower your arm."
The man's arm went down. I could really have fun with this stuff, Connors thought.
"You ready Connors?", Anderson asked,
Starsky and Casey had parked the car away from the complex and continued on foot. They were able to make it into the main building with no resistance. Starsky was surprised by the lack of security. Could he have been wrong? If something were happening here, surely there would be security of some kind.
Jon couldn't have been happier about the lack of resistance. He felt like a kid playing Cops and Robbers, but this was for real. what the hell was he doing here?
With pistols drawn, both men stormed the room labeled "Warden's office"
"No one home here either" Casey said anxiously.
It was easy to see that someone had taken up residence here. There was trash, food, and clothes. They were just about to continue on their search, when Starsky noticed the monitors lined up on the desk at the far end of the room...
"Casey, over here"
Starsky saw someone lying on a bunk, One man next to the bunk, and another sitting a few feet away. Checking out one of the other camera angles, he saw 2 guard at the door.
"Hutchinson, stand up."
The speakers had been left on, The shock of hearing his long lost partners name, was nearly too much for Starsky.
The man on the bunk was getting up.
"Hutch, it's hutch!!" Starsky shouted
"Where are they", Starsky yelled "there are over 1000 cells in this prison, where are they?!!"
They continued to watch and listen in horror...
"Hutchinson, walk over to the corner of the room"
Hutch proceeded to do as he was instructed.
"What's wrong with him, he's acting like a puppet, Look at him, he looks like hell," Starsky cried
Starsky was loosing it, all the training and experience he had encountered over the years, proved to be useless right now.
"What room are they in Jon, how are we gonna find them"
"Take it easy Starsky, we'll find him"
The voice on the monitor continued. "Hutchinson, step up on chair"
Starsky and Casey both saw the rope at the same time.
They're gonna hang him...
"HUTCH", Starsky yelled... the speakers were set to one-way
Jon saw the switchboard and studied it. There was only one light on, and the light was above the number 850.
"Starsky, look! I think they're in room 850"
Starsky checked the fire escape map and found where room 850 was located, "Come on, he's upstairs let's go"
The two men ran outta the warden's office in search of the stairs.
"Hutchinson, I want you to put the rope around your neck"
Connors couldn't stand the excitement. Isn't Modern medicine wonderful, this guy is on deaths doors, to weak to move, yet here he is, walking, following orders.
Starsky and Casey made their way up to the 800 wing.
800...802...804...What room were there looking for, 850? We'll never make it in time, Starsky worried......
"Hutchinson I want you to ...
"WAIT, yelled Connors,"
Hutchinson ,this is Vincent Connors, ...
"What are you doing," insisted Anderson, "we don't have time for this crap"
"Shut up, it means nothing if I can't say this"
"Hutchinson, this is for the death of James S. Connors, Justice is served"
"Hutchinson, I want you to step off the chair"
Connors' joy had suddenly turned to outrage as he heard gun shots ring out. He turned to see his two men lying in the doorway. Connors had spent every waking moment consumed with revenge. He ate, drank, and slept revenge. Could all this be stolen from him in the 11th hour?
Hutchinson stepped off the chair.
Connors hadn't even been given the perverse pleasure of watching the detective take the big step. He pulled his pistol, but didn't get a shot off before being shot himself and knocked to the ground.
Casey lunged at the Doctor, as Starsky seemingly flew through the air to hold Hutch up enough to release the tension of the rope.
"It's ok Buddy, I'm here, you're going to be fine"
"I'd be careful if I were you", Starsky heard the stranger say.
"Who said you could talk? Did I say you could talk?", Casey told the Doctor as he held him down. That's it, he thought. no more late night cop shows for me.
"Ok" The man answered, it's his funeral"
"What are you talking about", insisted Casey .
"There is something you should know about Hutchinson's condition. Of course that means you put in a good word for me, right? .
"It means we don't put a hole in you right now!" Yep, definitely one too many movies!
"Ok, Ok, we'll go over the details later" conceited Anderson.... "Your detective, he's in rather delicate way, and I don't mean with child, if you catch my drift"
"SHUT UP ANDERSON, WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING", Howled Connors
"I know when to hold 'em and I know when to fold 'em, and it's definitely time to fold. Its called negotiating, Mr. Connors. It can mean the difference between jail time and the death sentence"
A wounded but determined Connors made it to his feet. Time had run out, he knew this was his last chance to kill this cop once and for all, he would run and tackle the two detectives, the impact alone would be enough to cause the damage Anderson had warned about. It wasn't a hanging, but he'd be dead just the same.
A shot rang out, Connors fell inches from where Starsky was holding Hutch.
Starsky looked over and saw Jon with his gun drawn...
"Good work, Casey"
Casey couldn't remember when he had been so scared, His hands were shaking so badly, he had no idea how he hit his target. But he was thankful he had.
Starsky took the rope from around Hutch's neck... and stood there holding him, afraid to move.
"Finish!!, What's wrong with him?" demanded Starsky.
"Can we save time and just say what isn't wrong?"
Casey turned and lowered the pistol right between the good doctor's eyes.
"Ok ok, You just need to be careful how you handle him, his ribs are that close to going right through his heart. To be frank, I've never seen a man closer to death..."
"Now you remember that cop", Anderson pointed out," if I hadn't told you this, Your buddy would never have survived your rescue"
Jon couldn't stand the Doctors sniveling any longer, he decided to give the doctor a little something, a right cross that he wouldn't soon forget.
Starsky remained standing, still holding the weight of Hutch. He didn't want to move. Casey walked over to the two men.
"Come on Starsky, let me help you lay him down, you can't hold him forever. I'll called for help."
Starsky hadn't spoken, but allowed Jon to help with Hutch. They carefully laid the badly injured man down on the bunk. Starsky saw that Hutch's eyes were still open.
"It's as if he still waiting, waiting for his next command" Starsky observed.
"Give him one Starsky "
"Hutch, close your eyes buddy, you need to relax, help is on the way"
Starsky remembered how the orders were given before.
"Hutchinson, I want you to close your eyes and relax"
Hutch's eyes slowly closed.
Jon waited outside for the help to arrive. He wanted to allow the two men some private time. He only hoped they weren't too late. He wasn't a doctor, but he knew that Starsky's Partner didn't look good, didn't look good at all...
Starsky looked at the man lying in front of him. He held only a vague resemblance to the man he had called his partner and best friend. What had they done to him. Had he found him only to lose him again?
"Hey Hutch, you hang on, you hear me? The bad guys are gone buddy, everything is ok, you just hang in there." Starsky pleaded as he pictured Hutch falling down the black hole, calling out to him.
Help had finally arrived. Casey escorted everyone back to cell 850.
Starsky stopped the paramedics as they walked over to Hutch.
"Listen to me" Starsky looked at the name tag "Chad Lavery, Listen good. This is Detective Hutchinson. One of LAPD's finest, and the best friend a guy could have. He's in a very bad way. We've been told any wrong movement will send his ribs straight through his heart. Do you get the picture? No sudden movements. You got it?!!"
"Don't worry" Chad assured him. "we'll handle with care" .
"I wanna ride with him", Starsky insisted, as they headed for the ambulance.
"I don't think that's a good idea." replied the second emt, "we need to start working on him as quick as possible. There are immediate medical concerns here, we don't have time to help him, and worry about you at the same time"
"I'm going!, I won't be in the way...but I'm going"
Lavery knew there was no point in arguing, he waved off his partner and they proceeded in carrying Hutch to the waiting ambulance, with Starsky in tow.
"You're keys, Starsky, I'll follow behind." Casey said, not sure if he was even heard, until he saw the keys heading in his direction. He ran to the car and was quickly right behind the ambulance
The drive to the hospital was taking an eternity. The slow speed was making Starsky a wreck. But he realized that it was imperative to take things nice and slow. Rushing could have deadly results.
It was hard watching them work on his partner. Knowing that all he could do now was to sit and observe. Hutch looked so pale, so defeated. They had been through some bad times before. There had even been times that they had almost lost Hutch. But nothing like this. He couldn't remember a time that Hutch looked this close to death.
His thoughts were interrupted by the alarm on the portable monitor.
"What's that?!!" Starsky demanded. "What's wrong... WHAT'S WRONG?!!"
He received no response.
The EMT's already frantic pace was even more urgent now. Starsky's heart was in his throat, he couldn't move, couldn't talk. He didn't need an answer, he realized all on his own what had happened, Hutch had stopped breathing.
He heard Lavery talking to the hospital.
"Negative, unable to defib. roger, administering now"
Starsky watched as the longest needle that he had ever seen was injected into Hutch. Which seem to have little or no affect from what he could tell. This had to be a bad dream, Please let this be a bad dream.
He hadn't noticed the ambulance coming to a stop. Was only vaguely aware of the doors opening. He watched as they got out of the ambulance. Watched as they continued to work on his seemingly lifeless partner. He looked on as they left the ambulance, but he couldn't move. He felt paralyzed, frozen with fear.
Starsky watched helplessly, as they wheeled his friend away.
"Starsky? Are you ok?... David?" Casey asked as he came around to that back of the ambulance.
Starsky looked up from his blank stare. His eyes meet Jon's.
"Come on Starsky, Let's go inside"
"I can't" Starsky replied.
Jon could see Starsky's glassed over blue eyes no longer able to bravely hold back the tears. "What's wrong Starsk? What happened?"
"I can't go in, if I stay out here, then I won't have to hear the words"
Jon was becoming worried, Starsky was loosing it. "Starsky, what words, what are you talking about?"
Starsky looked at Casey. Jon could see the pain in his friend's eyes.
Starsky couldn't bring himself to say the words, none-the-less, they were echoing around his head... he was terrified of hearing what they tell everyone at a time like this. sorry, we did everything we could.
Jon could see that something traumatic must have happened on the ride over. He saw one of the EMT's walking back to where they were. Jon waited for them to walk over to where he and Starsky stood.
"Chad, was it?" Jon said with his hand extended.
Lavery shook the mans hand as he answered. "Yes sir, and you are?"
"Jon, Jon Casey. I'm a friend of Detective Starsky here. I was wondering if you can give us an update on detective Hutchinson."
"Hey there Detective, how are you holding up?"
Chad could see the man searching for words... it was obvious to him what this man was thinking.
"Listen Detective, Sorry you had to go through that, but you need to know that we were able to get your partner's heart back. I won't kid you, he's in very bad shape, but he pulled through this last ordeal. We don't wanna count him out yet"
Starsky had to sit down.
Chad was happy he could put this mans fear to rest if even just for the moment. There have been too many times he hadn't been able to deliver the same good news. He put his hand on Starsky shoulder. "you hang in there guy" Then turned and shook Jon's hand again before sitting back in the ambulance to finish the paperwork.
Starsky looked up at Jon. "How could I have been so willing to think the worst? How could I allow myself to give up on him like that?"
"Oh come on Starsky, don't be so hard on yourself, I don't know anyone that wouldn't have reacted the same way. Now quit beating yourself up over this, and let's get in there and wait for some news, what do you say?"
Starsky took Casey's outstretched hand and allowed him to help him up. Without another word, both men walked in and found the trauma center waiting room and began waiting for the long to come word on Hutch.
After 1 hour became 2, Jon walked to where Starsky was pacing. "It's gonna be some time before we know anything. How bout lets go on down to the cafeteria and get some coffee. It's gonna be a long night"
"No!, I'm not leaving" Starsky shouted, "I'm not going anywhere till I know how he is."
"Ok, Starsky, I understand, we'll sit here and wait."
Another hour passed. Starsky looked over at Casey, He tried to imagine what was going in his mind... He had to be wondering what he was even doing here. What happened to his once normal life. Connors! He's never hated anyone so much in his life. The one thing he regretted was that he wasn't the one that had the privilege of sending him back where he came from!
Starsky walked over to Casey, and asked him if the offer for coffee was still good.
Jon couldn't help but show relief. "I thought you'd never ask"
The two men sat and drank coffee..
"You handled yourself very well out there today Casey"
"Thanks, I had a good teacher"
"I have to say though" said Starsky listening to you talk to Anderson, "I thought I was in the middle of a bad cop show"
Jon had to laugh, "I know, no more late night Adam 12's for me!"
"You still think you'll be content typing away on a computer behind a desk somewhere?"
"Are you kidding me Starsky?! Look at this," pointing to his head, "do you see all these Gray hairs? They were brown this morning! I don't think I was cut out for this. At least not full time. Perhaps you could just call me in on the really tough cases that you and Hutch can't figure out!"
Starsky appreciated Jon's including Hutch in his comment. It was a nice gesture.
"Well, just have your "bat phone" ready at all times"
"Same bat time, same bat channel"
The two men laughed. It felt good, but Starsky wondered how odd it was to be able to laugh when all you wanted to do was scream.
Time seemed to go by so slowly. Starsky realized it wasn't the time that was creeping by, it had already been 10 and 1/2 hours since they had arrived. It was just the word on Hutch's condition that was slow in coming. They hadn't heard anything. He had dozed off a few times during that time, but most of it was spent worrying. His own aches and pains were beginning to settle back in, but he didn't dare take his pills, he had to be sharp for Hutch.
Casey had helped pass the time. Starsky tried insisting he go home. But luckily he refused. The thought of waiting through this alone seemed too much to handle right now.
"Yeah, that's me"
"Detective, Doctor Simon would like to speak to you, will you follow me?"
"Hang on, I'll be right with you"
Starsky ran over to where Jon had fallen asleep... "Jon wake up... The doctor has some news"
Jon jumped up as if he hadn't been sleeping at all, although his tired eyes proved otherwise.
"I'm right behind you Starsky"
The nurse led the two men to a conference room at the end of the hall. They stepped inside, and sat down.
"So we meet again, Come in, Detective Starsky, and" ...the doctor was looking at Jon.....
"Oh, this is Detective Casey." Starsky said as he gave Jon a wink "Casey, this was my doctor while I was here"
"I can't say that you're looking much better than when you left, detective."
"I can't say I feel much better, Doc. Now please... how's my partner, How's Hutch"
The doctor began. "I understand that you've been made aware of at least some of Detective Hutchinson's injuries?"
"Not much of anything...Broken ribs is all we've heard."
"well, It's been very slow going. We've had to be very careful with the extensive testing that was necessary. Let me just tell you some of what we found, and then we'll go from there"
Starsky didn't like the sound of this. Why hadn't the doctor just come out and say he's alright?
"Ok, let's see." the doctor pulled out a chart on the patient. "the list is long. Detective Hutchinson has many injuries, any one of them could be considered life threatening. He has suffered what must have been several beatings. I think we found one rib that was left in tact. He has a collapsed lung. His right shoulder had been dislocated. The cat scan concluded several fractures to the skull."
My God, Starsky thought! How much more could there be?
"There were a few broken fingers. We didn't bother counting all of the bruises. We found burned marks on his chest, which is apparently effect from some sort of electrocution. We're not sure what other effects can be attributed to that yet. He has been malnourished and severally dehydrated"
"Come on Doctor, that's ridiculous, how could anyone suffering from all that still be alive," Jon asked.
"There's more. Oddly enough we found traces of morphine in the blood stream."
"Morphine?" Starsky interrupted. "What, they wanted to make him as comfortable as possible while they tortured him?"
The Doctor continued... "The one, and most peculiar find, was some kind of mystery drug also found also in the blood stream. It was a substantial amount, We're analyzing now."
"Doc, I don't wanna be rude here, but can we cut to the chase? What are you doing for him? How is he?"
"Not rude at all Detective... just wanted to give you an idea what we're up against. Needless to say we have him listed as critical. We're having trouble stabilizing him. His heartbeat is very erratic, probably caused by the combination of drugs in his system, and the electric shock he incurred. We've lost his heartbeat a few times, but have been able to pull him back. He's prepped for surgery, as soon as he's stable, we're going to try to repair the damage to the lung. That's a priority, it got to be done before he drowns in his own fluids. We'll also be setting the shoulder and securing the rib cage."
"All this time and you haven't done any of that yet? What have you been doing in there."
"I know you're upset Det. Starsky. We had to be very delicate in our examination, we have treated some of his injuries, but it's to life threatening to do surgery before he is stable. He'd never survive."
"So what you're telling me is that you don't know if he's going to make it?" Starsky challenged
"I'm sorry Detective, I know that's not what you want to hear, but I believe in being honest. I don't want there to be any false hopes. We're doing everything that can be done, please know that"
"I do, Doc...I'm just afraid that might not be enough., Can I see him?"
"I really don't think it's a good idea...." Replied Dr. Simon,
"Please Doctor," Starsky pleaded, "I'll just stay for a minute, the last time I saw him he was "dead". I just need to see for myself, just let him know someone's here"
"Well I suppose if you're just in and out it'll be ok. As you can imagine, he's not conscious right now, so don't expect much when you go in."
Starsky told Jon he'd be right back, and followed Dr. Simon to Hutch's room.
"Remember Detective, in and out"
Starsky looked at Hutch. He was set aback by all the tubes and monitors that were devouring his friend. It did bring him relief to see Hutch's chest rise and fall. Even though he saw that his breathing was assisted, at least he was breathing. Starsky was still ashamed for allowing himself to think that the worst. It wasn't like either of them to give up on each other. Time and events and taken their toll.
"Hutch, it's me, Starsky, I want you to be strong. You're safe now the bad guys are gone. We're all waiting on you to come back to us."
The nurse poked her head in the room..."sorry" was all she said.
Starsky watched Hutch take several more breaths, then walked out.
"I'll be waiting for word Doctor, when you know anything...
"I know where to find you" replied Dr. Simon.
Starsky went back to the waiting room to rejoin Jon.
"Hey Casey, you still here?"
"I'm afraid so, how did it go?"
"I don't think they could have fit another piece of medical equipment in there if they tried"
"Well, just thank God we have the equipment!"
"I was just happy to see him drawing breath. He's got to get through this."
"Starsky, It wasn't that long ago that you were laid up in here, you know. Why don't you take something and have the nurses find you a room? When Hutch wakes up, he's not going to be happy to find you napping".
"I don't see how I could sleep now, but you're right. I should try. But first, I need to call Dobey, let him know what's happened."
Starsky hung up the phone and walked over to Jon.
"Well, he's on the way up. If you don't mind, I think I will see about finding somewhere to crash. Would you mind waiting on Dobey and filling him in?"
"Don't mind at all, Happy Napping Starsky. Remember, it's going to be a good while before we hear anything, so try to relax."
Starsky laid staring at the ceiling. How ridiculous of Casey to think he would actually be able to get any rest. And that had been his last thought before falling fast asleep.
While waiting for Captain Dobey to arrive, Casey was joined by the nurse.
"I know Detective Starsky is resting, I didn't wanna bother him, but I did want to update him concerning his partners condition."
"Is it something he should be woken up for," asked Jon
"Well, Let me update you, and then you can make that decision."
"We've finally been able to stabilize him enough to get him into surgery. We were worried that we might lose him before getting that chance. He's still in surgery, but that he's lasted this long threw a long difficult surgery in such a weakened state, is something to be optimistic about"
"Is there anyway of knowing how long he might be in there?"
"I'm afraid not, they don't know the extent of damage till they get in there. But we'll let you know something as soon as we get word"
"Thanks, Jon looked at the tag...Catherine."
"You're welcome, and don't forget we have coffee and donuts at the nurses station, you're welcome to them."
"Thanks again Catherine, we just might do that later"
Jon went back to the room and sat down. Should he wake Starsky up? He knew he'd get in trouble for letting him sleep. But there was nothing for him to do but worry. And there wouldn't be much sleep to be had after surgery. He decided to let Starsky's sleep.
It wasn't much later that Jon saw Captain Dobey walk off the elevator. He walked over to meet him.
"Hello Jon. Where's Starsky?"
"He decided to get some much needed sleep, He was really beginning to look much worse for the wear"
"He must be feeling bad if he's asleep with Hutch here, What's the word on Hutch?"
Jon spent the next 20 minutes bringing the Captain up to date.
"These guys have been in some tight spots before, this sounds like it could be one of the tightest.." Dobey stopped talking at seeing Starsky walking towards them.
"Hey Cap, you made it."
Before letting him reply Starsky turned to Jon. "Any word?"
"It's been awhile now, but the nurse came in to let you know that they had taken Hutch into surgery, but no one's been back since."
"They came out here, and you didn't wake me up?" demanded Starsky.
"I'm sorry Starsky, but she was sure it was going to be quite awhile before there would be any news. I just thought you'd benefit from the rest."
"That wasn't your decision, was it. You should have woke me up," insisted Starsky. "I want to know everything. Do you understand?"
"Understood", Jon answered.
Starsky left the room to track down the nurse.
"Well that's not good enough", Starsky shot back.
"Sorry detective, we know how hard this is on you. But we just don't know anything more." Starsky was just about to let loose when he saw Dr. Simon walking down the hall.
Starsky tried to read his face...nope, he had been doing this to long. He'd have to wait to hear what the Doctor had to say.
"Well," the Doctor began, "Detective Hutchinson made it threw the surgery"
Starsky's relief was obvious.
"How bout we find Casey, that way we'll only have to run thru this once."
The two men walked into the waiting room where Jon and Dobey were talking.
"He's out?" ask Dobey.
"The Doctor is here to fill us in. Hutch is out of surgery. Go on Doc, what's the news."
"Yes, he did survive surgery which was no small feat. But you have to understand, he is in no way out of the woods", the doctor cautioned, "the next 24 to 48 hours will tell the tale. We were able to repair the lung. But his breathing is still assisted by the respirator. The splintered ribs didn't damage his heart. That's the good news, the bad news is that his heart is still in a very weakened state. Mostly brought on by the electrocution he received. We're hoping that will not prove to be permanent damage."
"I can't wait to get a hold of that Dr Anderson to find out exactly what went on at that abandoned prison." Starsky replied, "How all these injuries were inflicted, I mean electrocution? What is that all about?"
"I'd be interested in finding that out myself," agreed Dr. Simon. "I'd be especially interested in the mystery drug. It's a very powerful drug to be in his system this long, and still to be at such high levels. We're still not sure what affect it's having on Detective Hutchinson. I'm still awaiting further lab work on the drug. And really, that's about all there is to report. I'll let you know of any changes. When he gets out of recovery we'll see about letting you in there to see him."
"Thanks Doc. I'll try to stay away until you've given the ok"
"See that you do Detective"
The Doctor left the room.
"Starsky, I think I'm going to take this time to head on home. The good captain is here to help keep you inline. I think I need a breather, These clothes are smelling a bit ripe"
"I didn't chase you off, did I Casey? I'm sorry about biting your head off back there. I'm just not myself"
"Just tired, that's all. I need off this roller coaster you call life!" Jon joked.
"Ok, I can understand that... one day I'll thank you properly for all your help today. Now go, do you want my car?"
"Nah, I'll cab it this time. Night Starsky, Night Captain."
Jon found it strange to be back home again. It was like waking up from one crazy dream. Being home brought him back to his reality. After taking a long hot shower, Jon grabbed a beer and sat down with his thoughts. How drastically his life had changed in the recent months. It was if he had lived two different lives. He had to admit that he had enjoyed the wild pace of Starsky's life. But he knew he wouldn't trade it for the life he had before... before having ever heard the name Connors.
His first love was Annie, and when it's all said and done, that's what he longed for. If she'd ever have him. Ever give him another chance. Annie filled his dreams that night.
Filled his dreams so much that he felt suddenly empty when the phone woke him. He looked at the clock while answering. Could he really have slept for 12 hours? Dreaming or not, he decided it was the happiest 12 hours in months! "Hello?"
"I woke you up, didn't I?"
"Thank goodness you did! I think I was on my way to being the next Rip Van Winkle!. So what's up Starsky?"
"We just heard back from the Doctor, the results of the mystery drug is on its way down. Thought maybe you'd like to hear what they found out."
"Sure, I'm on my way. Thanks for the call"
"Well unlike you, I know when to wake someone up with important news!"
"Oh, good one" Jon mused. "I'll be right there."
Jon arrived just as the Doctor was sitting down with Starsky.
"Sit Jon, the Doctor was just explaining what they found out about the mystery drug... continue Doctor"
"Well, as I was saying. This type of drug is along the lines of a mind controlling substance."
"Like a form of brain washing Doctor?" Jon asked
"Well it can be put in the same category, but much more sophisticated, this drug works to totally separate mind from body. That would explain what you saw. Hutchinson was too weak and injured to open his eyes, let-alone do what you claimed to have seen. The drugs allow the brain to act separating, not feeling any responses from the body. It would have done anything it was instructed until the body itself had been mortally damaged."
"Why would anyone have use for something like this?"
"The only known drug like this was a government secret," the doctor continued. "Not many know about it. Imagine having an army that can't be stopped by mere gunshots and the like. They would keep right on fighting unaffected by any wounds they incurred"
"Incredible," responded Starsky, "that just incredible"
"Indeed, and for this so called Doctor to get a hold of it, does he have that good of a connection, or is this stuff just that easy to get a hold of?!"
"Well thanks Doc, you'll let me know when I can see Hutch?" Starsky added.
"Will do Detective"
"So" Jon went on. "This is what made Hutch put a noose around his own neck??
"Apparently so" said Starsky. "We've got to find out more. We've got to find out what happened in the prison!" "I was thinking, Starsky," Jon replied. "I was thinking about making the offer to go down and talk to Anderson while you stay here with Hutch. But we both know I'm not legit".
"Well, if you'd be willing to do that, Ill put a call into Dobey, see if we just can't somehow make you legit! Be right back, Oh, and thanks for the offer."
Jon waited for Starsky's return, His day dreaming about his night dreaming was interrupted by a very voicetrous Starsky.
"Captain Dobey is going to meet you downtown to talk to Anderson, you know where it is... it's the same place you went down to id me as a murderer"
"Ouch! That was a low blow there Starsky, you don't let anything go, do you? But I suppose the truth hurts, and yes, I do know where it's at."
"Sorry, just couldn't resist that one... and as far as Anderson is concerned, I'd really love to do it myself, I just don't wanna leave here just yet. Are you sure the offer is still good?"
"Sure I'm on my way, but you do know..."
"I Know, I know, you're not trained for this stuff, tell it to someone who'll believe it. Now just go on down and squeeze that turnip till you get blood."
Jon laughed, "Will do, I'll come back here when I'm finished, I 'm assuming this is where you'll be?"
"That would be a safe bet, now get going, Oh and, I know you're new to this and all, so unless you have a recorder on you, take a pen and paper, we wouldn't want you to leave out any of the good stuff."
"Pen and Paper, gotcha"
Jon left, and Starsky went back to pace the floor. If the Doctor didn't come soon, he was going to insist on seeing hutch. He didn't even need to be in the room, he just wanted to see him, see that he's still among the living.
"Hey Captain, thanks for meeting me down here"
"Glad to help," replied Dobey, "I'm sure you've never interrogated anyone before, Casey. Do you have a question about anything?"
"Like why I'm being allowed to do this? Got any words of wisdom?"
"This is highly irregular and I'm sure my job as well as Starsky's would be history if this got out. But Starsky thought it would help if Anderson saw someone he already had dealings with. Someone who had already heard part of his ramblings. As for as words of wisdom... just don't let him know that you've never interrogated anyone before... Good luck, Oh, and one more thing, never refuse to make a deal, but never to agree to one either," Dobey added.
"This should prove to be interesting", Jon told the captain as he headed down the hall
The Guard escorted "Det. Casey" to the cell holding Dr. Anderson.
"Evening Dr. Anderson, do you remember me? The names Casey"
"Yeah, seems I do remember you, let take a close look at your fist and I'll let you know for sure," Anderson said sarcastically. "So, what brings you to my humble abode, Det. Casey?"
"I've come to see just how much you're willing to work with us on the Hutchinson case"
"Ah yes, Hutchinson....is that poor slob still alive?"
"Just answer the question"
"What do you mean by help out", asked Anderson.
"We want details. Details of what happened, why it happened, and how it happened... You were spilling your guts the other day, thought you wanted to get things off your chest." answered Casey
"Are we talking a deal here Detective?"
"We never talk deal until we know if there's anything to talk about." Jon felt exhilarated yet uneasy at the same time.
"so if I tell you a little story about what, why and how, you might be able to do a little something for me, is that right?"
"you're not really in any position to bargain, but you work with us, and we'll work with you" Jon was quite amused with this game of cat and mouse. It's like Dobey had said. don't refuse a deal, but don't make a deal... fine line!
"Ok, Det. Casey, what do you wanna know?"
"Lets start with the whys, doctor."
"That's easy enough", said Anderson... "the why is because Connors was a crazed lunatic that held Hutchinson responsible for his brother's arrest, and later death at Hayes prison."
"What about the whys of Detective David Starsky being set up", Jon asked.
"Simple," Anderson continued, "Connors needed him out of the way. Even though both men answered the call that night, he had always held Hutchinson personally responsible for what happened to his brother."
"Ok, one more why.... why were you brought in?"
"Connors needed a physician to monitor Hutchinson's condition. He wanted to be able to abuse the Detective, but not to the point of death, not until Connors was ready. So he needed me to tell him when to back off"
"Lets go to the what's, instructed Jon..... what exactly was the plan?"
"The plan was to have Hutchinson read a journal entry that his brother had made concerning his mistreatment and abuse. Then he would inflict the same abuse on Hutchinson."
"Go on "
"Connors loved the drama, first of course, he had to toy with Hutchinson. He had seen to it that Hutchinson didn't know where he was or why he was there. That lasted quite awhile. Then when Connors was ready for him to know, he added a drug to the detective's food. It caused him to be somewhat paralyzed, only able to listen, and nothing more.
Finally when he had toyed with Hutchinson long enough, It began, First was a series of beatings, he was also holding back food and water. Next had been the electrocution. Apparently his brother had been electrocuted while in the prison. Connors wanted Hutchinson to have the same experience. But he was too weak, so Connors had a plan B, a more portable way of carrying out the electrocution was brought in. And again, that's why he needed me. He knew that as soon as the detective was hit with the electricity, his heart would more than likely stop. And he needed someone there to make sure it started back up again, because he wasn't through with Hutchinson"
"And you just went along with this", Jon said disgustingly. "What kind of animal does that make you?"
"Sticks and Stones, Det. Casey, I was just doing a job, and if you think about it, I'm actually the hero here. If not for me, Hutchinson would have been dead along time ago"
The sick part, Jon thought, his guy really believes that!
"All right, let's' skip to the how's"
"The how's were easy too" Anderson bragged.
"How can you talk about all this being simple, and easy? And you called Connors a lunatic?"
"As a Doctor you learn to not get personal about life and death, may sound cold to you, but I'm just telling you like it is" continued Anderson.... "I just advised Connors when the abuse was to much... Connors wanted to make sure they got to stage 3... the hanging"
"Stage 3, huh? He really had this mapped out, didn't he?", Jon asked.
"Oh yes, he was obsessed to say the least. Everything had to go according to plan. If Hutchinson wouldn't read the journal entry, he was refused anything to eat or drink till he complied. Connors wouldn't take no for an answer".
"The only time the plan wavered was when Hutchinson had been very close to death, and I advised Connors to lay off for awhile. Otherwise Hutchinson would have been to dead to attend his hanging. So he had no choice but to hold back. And it was that little break in action that allowed us to revise the ending to stage 3"
"What do you mean revise?"
"Originally Connors was going to have his thugs handle the hanging, but he decided that his Brother took his own life, Hutchinson would do the same.
And that's when I told him about a certain drug that just might do the trick. It was ingenious actually... What we needed was something that would somehow allow a man, that was knocking on deaths door, to be able to pick himself up, and actually commit suicide by hanging. That's when I remembered something...
There was a Doctor I had once worked with had told me about this experimental drug that was being tested on unsuspecting people. What it did was take away a persons own thinking ability. They were like machines waiting to take orders, no matter what physical condition he was in, and that was just what Connors had wanted.
I got in contact with this man, and was able to get a small amount of the drug to use on Hutchinson..... I added the drug to his IV, and before you knew it, he was taking orders. I don't think there was anything he wouldn't have done... But Connors requests were simple.... Put the rope around your neck, and step off."
Jon couldn't believe the coldness this man used to describe the story.. "Who was this man that you got the drug from?"
"That's for me to know you and to find out. at least until I know what kinda of deal we're talking about. I don't mind telling a story, but naming names is a whole nother ball game!"
"So whoever you got the drug from is someone to worry about, eh?" Jon suggested.
"Well it's true that this guy is bad news, but right now it's not him I'm worried about, it's myself I'm concerned with"
"Yeah, that's how guys like you usually think. Well, I'm outta here, I'll relay your story, but one thing to keep in mind while your playing your little game of secrets, I don't think prison guards take to well to a prisoner on their watch being a cop killer... think about that" it's always good to add a little fear factor, Jon figured. "Have a good evening"
Captain Dobey was waiting for him outside. "So how'd you do on your first interrogation attempt?"
"Not bad", replied Jon "But I didn't find out what I went in there for, he wouldn't say where he got the drug without guarantees of a deal, and believe me that's the last thing this guy deserves"
"Unfortunately that's usually the way it goes, let me talk to the higher ups, though, and see what they think about the case. You going back to the hospital?"
"Yeah, I figure that's where Starsky's still calling home"
"Ok, well tell Starsky to call me when there's news, and by the way Casey, good job, more volunteers like yourself, and we can save the tax payers a lot of money."
"Don't sweat it Captain, the bill is in the mail as we speak"
"I knew it was too good to be true"
"Thanks for your help Captain, I'll have Starsky call you."
Jon drove back to the hospital, all the while contemplating whether or not he should share all that he had learned. He wasn't sure if Starsky could take it right now, at least not till he knew if Hutchinson was going to make it. He'd just worry about it when the time comes, he decided.
Jon got off the elevator, and headed towards the waiting room. He looked in and saw Starsky asleep on the couch.
He decided to check with the nurse's station about any news. "Hi Catherine. I just got in and was wondering if there's anything new to report?"
"Sorry, there isn't much to tell, Det Hutchinson has not yet regained consciousness. He isn't breathing on his own yet. Basically, he's shown no signs of improvement, but at least we do not have to report him being any worse. Which is really saying a lot, considering his condition.. His vitals are still very low, and he is still listed as critical.
"Has he been in to see Hutch yet"
"We didn't have a choice, actually... He insisted. I'm not sure it helped ease his mind much. Although he was able to at least see that his partner was still among the living. He sat in with him for about 15 min, then I ran him out. And that's about it, consider yourself updated"
"Thanks Catherine, I appreciate your time"
"Wish I could do more, but we will at least keep you all updated'
"I'm sure you all are doing everything you can, thanks"
Jon went into the waiting room and sat on the couch, he would wait for Starsky to wake up. He hadn't learned his lesson, once again he didn't have the heart to wake him. Finally without realizing, he too had fallen asleep.
Starsky woke up, to find Jon asleep. He didn't want to wake him, but he was anxious to hear what he had found out. As he got up to wake Jon, he saw a mini-recorder lying next to him. He should have known that Casey would be to high tech for paper and pen.
Starsky saw no point in waking Jon up, he would just listen to the tape, and find out for himself...
After hearing the tape, after hearing the way Anderson talked about how easy, and how simple it had all been, he felt a side of him emerging. A side of himself that he neither liked, nor trusted. The side of him that just a few short days allowed him to break the law he had worked so hard to uphold.
Anderson wasn't going to plead his way out of this one. No, Starsky decided. He would "easily and simply" make him pay.
Starsky got up and made his way to the elevator, his mind was focused. He was going down to the county jail and have a little word with Anderson.
Just as the elevator door opened, He heard his name.
"Starsky, hey where you headed?" asked Jon.
"I've got an errand I need to take care of, I'll be back soon enough," Starsky replied. He walked onto the elevator before Jon had a chance to say anything else.
Jon wasn't sure what that was all about, but he knew he didn't like the look in Starsky's eye as he got on the elevator. Had he gotten some kind of word on Hutch? He'd check with the Doctor, something was definitely not right .
Jon walked over to the Nurses station. "Hi Catherine, sorry to bother you again. I was wondering if I could get you to page Dr. Simon for me."
"Oh Sorry, Det Casey, Dr. Simon isn't here right now, he won't be in till this evening. Is there anything I can help you with?"
"Well, I was just wondering if anyone has talked with Starsky about his partner's condition."
"Not that I'm aware of. There hasn't been any change in his condition"
"Ok, thanks Catherine. Guess he just got a wild hair", he mumbled to himself
"What was that , Det. Casey?"
"Oh nothing, thanks again"
Jon tried to think where Starsky would have run off to in such a huff. The Recorder! Jon looked everywhere, it was gone. Starsky must have listened to the tape. That's where he's gone.
Jon ran down the stairs not wanting to be at the mercy of the elevators, he was out the hospital door in no time flat, but no sign of Starsky,. He got too much of a head start. He was glad he brought his car this time. He knew Starsky would be out of his mind. There was no time to waste.
Starsky didn't worry about a parking space. He stopped his car in the middle of the road, and the entered the county jail.
The fire was still burning, he was still focused. Still determined to show Anderson just how easily and simply Starsky could make him sorry for what he had done.
"Afternoon Sgt. Slater, I'm here to talk to a Dr. Anderson"
"Sorry Det. Starsky, he's in with his lawyer."
"Oh is he, well that's good, he has his rights you know. The right to torture, the right to kill. We wouldn't want anyone to take his rights away, would we."
"Are you ok Detective?"
"Who me? I'm just fine, or at least I will be after I meet with Anderson"
"Take a seat if you'd like, I'll call you when he's ready to see you"
"Yeah ok, just whenever it's convenient to Dr. Anderson. We don't wanna be bothering him, do we"
Starsky paced for a few minutes then decided he wasn't going to wait any longer. He headed down the hallway that would take him to the jail cells.
"Look Detective, you can't just barge in here", warned the duty Sgt.
Starsky hadn't acknowledged the officer at all...he just kept walking .
Sgt Slater knew he'd better to call for assistance He ran back down to the desk where he was met by someone looking for the out of control detective.
"Hello," Jon said, "I'm looking for a Det. Starsky, have you seen him?"
"Have I seen him?!" the officer exclaimed, "I'm about to have to arrest him, he's down that way, if you think you can stop him, you'd better make it quick before he does something he's going to regret"
Jon had made it half way down the hall before the Sgt. finished talking.
"Starsky!" Jon shouted
Jon came up on Starsky just as he was trying to manhandle the keys away from the guard, Jon looked over at Anderson. He was sure he'd never seen eyes that big in his life. "Come on Starsky, what are you doing? Jon tried to get Starsky's attention focused on him.
"What am I doing? Well, Detective Casey, it was Detective, wasn't it," Starsky was talking out of his head. "I heard the nice little conversation you shared with this piece of trash."
"Yeah I thought that's why you took off on me"
"If you know that's why I'm here, why ask me what I'm doing. I think it would be obvious to such a fine detective as yourself."
"Starsky listen to me, I know it was hard to hear. I wanted to punch the guy out myself. I admit I know very little about the law, but I knew enough to know that punching him would only get me thrown in here with him."
"Spare me the rhetoric, Casey. This low life has to pay for what he did, nobody has the right to do what he did."
"Do you hear anyone disagreeing with you Starsky? Of course he's gonna pay. But I don't have to tell you that there's a right way and a wrong way. If you do this, if you take your revenge on this man, what would separate you from him, or Connors? That's what started all this you know. One man wanted revenge against another. We need to end it Starsky." Jon could sense that he was getting through.
"And what happens to your partner? The poor fella is fighting for the right to live, and when he wins that fight, where will you be? Come on Starsky, let's strike this up to sleep deprivation, and get back to the hospital, what do you say"
Starsky turned and glared at Anderson, "This is your lucky day, I wouldn't count on many more!"
Jon was thinking as they walked away, that if looks could kill, Anderson would be 6 ft under right now.
As the rage subsided, Starsky wasn't sure what had come over him. It was as watching through someone else's eyes. What would he really have done had he been able to get in that cell? What was happening to him?
Starsky attempted to apologize, the two officers had made it easy for him. Everyone had heard about what he was going through. They were just glad it came to a peaceful end.
"Don't worry about it Detective. We all have our moments, good luck with your partner"
"Thanks guys." He shook hands and walked out the door.
The two men got back into Starsky's car. They both sat there not knowing what to say. Jon didn't want to make Starsky feel any worse than he did. And Starsky didn't know what to say to Jon to explain what had happened.
Finally Starsky spoke.
"That was one hell of a closing argument, Atty. Casey. Just how many hats do you wear at one time anyway?" Starsky felt like he had to joke his way outta this one, what else was there to say.
"Oh it was nothing. Got that speech from a rerun of The Rookies. TV really seems to come in handy when I'm with you."
"Well all kidding aside Jon, I don't know what got into me, I..."
"I do," interrupted Jon, "It's an age old recipe. You start with several weeks worth of no sleep, add in a whole lot of fear. Mix in a tremendous about of anger. And don't forget the endless days and countless nights of worry. And there you have it. Really, Starsky, Don't worry about it, like the man said. We all have our moments. The important thing is, nothing happened. Now let's just forget the whole thing ever happened "
"You're right, but I'd still like break that guys face. Maybe the opportunity will present itself later, but for now I can't get myself in anymore trouble. Not with all the work that still needs to be done."
"By the way Starsky...I loved your Detective line... "Well Detective Casey, it was Detective, wasn't it?" , mocked Casey. "that was classic."
"Yeah that was a good one, wasn't it." Starsky couldn't help but agree.
"And did you catch the look on Anderson's face when you were trying to get the keys?, "It was hilarious. The guy's eyes were buggin', man. They were popping right out of their sockets. I think you gave him a coronary. Don't be surprised if we're passed up any minute by an ambulance!"
Both men had a good old fashion laugh, it felt good!.
"Hey Jon, are you hungry? I thought we might drive through and pick up a burger on the way back to the hospital"
"Sounds good to me", agreed Casey
They stepped off the elevator and made their way to what had become Starsky's second home. It seemed like ages since they had anything other than a do nut, even though tensions were high, the Detectives were able to enjoy the meal.
They were cleaning up their mess when the doctor came in.
"Glad to see you two made it back, I've been wanting to have a word with you", said Dr. Simon.
"Some news about Hutch, Doctor?" Starsky asked
"Just thought an update was in order. There hasn't been any major change. His vitals aren't to where they should be. But sometimes that happens with a comatose patient. On the up side, His wounds have begun the healing process. He's regaining more function in the damaged lung. As a matter of fact, we should be able to remove the respirator soon. I'm afraid his heart is still very weak," the doctor continued. "Again, we feel this could be temporary. Time will tell.
"Whoa, let's back up the bus for a minute. Comatose,? Are you telling me Hutch is in a coma?"
"Yes he is. But I don't think that at this stage of the game it's necessarily a bad thing. Being in a coma can be the minds way of not allowing the body to feel pain. His injuries are very extensive.. If he were conscious right now, he would be in great pain. This would lead to more pain medication, which would just slow down the recovery time."
"There is one thing however." Dr Simon continued...
"Time for the other shoe to drop" Starsky remarked.
"We just don't know what to make of the mystery drug we spoke of earlier.."
"What about it, doctor?" Casey asked.
"We did routine blood work this morning, and there are still high levels of this stuff in the blood. It's highly irregular to have any type of drug stay in the blood stream this long"
"Do you think it's having any effect on Hutch's condition," Starsky asked.
"Well again, we don't know much about it. So could it be affecting Det. Hutchinson, Of course it could. But is it affecting him, we don't know."
"I can't emphasize this enough.... He IS improving everyday. Even though his mind is on standby, his body is healing. We just need to prepare ourselves for what could be a long recovery."
"I can handle that", said Starsky, "just as long as I know there's going to be a recovery."
"Baring any complications, I do think its just a matter of when, not if. But I'm not ready to carve that in stone just yet"
"Can I see him?"
"That shouldn't be a problem now that he's stabilized. As long as you're not planning any wild parties in his room, I think it would be ok to go on in without advanced permission, we'll let you know if that changes. And on last thing, as I said earlier... This could be a very long recovery time. So you need to get on with your life. You can't live here indefinitely"
"OK, well thanks for your time, Dr. Simon. Casey and I will see what if anything we can find out about that drug. We'll keep you posted."
"Do that, you never know what little tidbit might just be what we need to help speed up Hutchinson's recovery"
As the Doctor walked away, Starsky turned to Casey, "You know he's right. We need to find out all we can about this stuff. What did Captain Dobey say about Anderson?"
"Just that he'd have to talk to his superiors and see what the best course of action would be.", answered Casey.
"I don't think that's gonna be good enough, We need information, and Anderson is the only one we can get it from. I just hope I didn't ruin any chance of him talking!"
"Canaries always sing Starsky. The question is, what would you be willing to sacrifice in order to find out more from Anderson? I have no doubt that this would be happy to sing if the price were right. That price could mean anything from a reduced sentence to time served. How do you feel about that?"
"Good question, Jon. If I knew the information would help Hutch, I wouldn't hesitate."
"Well then, what are we waiting for, lets give your Captain a call and see what we can come up with"
"Sounds good, How bout you calling the Captain and ask him to meet us here. I'm gonna go check on Hutch"
"I'll do that Starsky, but remember what the Doctor said. You're gonna have to face the fact that life is gonna require you leaving this place from time to time".
"Duly noted, now go make your call"
Starsky walked into Hutch's room, and took a seat by the bed. He didn't think he could ever get used to seeing Hutch hooked up to all the machines.
"I'll sure be glad when you quit messing around, and get the hell out of this place, Hutch. What are you waiting for?"
There was no reply. Starsky hadn't expected one.
"I want you to listen to me, Hutch. I came in here to tell you that vacation is over. It's time to get outta this resort and get back to work. Here's the plan. I what you to focus on getting better. Meanwhile I'll be doing a little old fashion gumshoeing to see what we can dig up on this lowlife Anderson. How does that sound? Doctor says your coming along nicely, you just need to rest up some. So, you take care of that for me, will you?"
Starsky thought about the tape, and about what he had seen. He wondered how strong the drug still was.
"Hutch, open you eyes"
"Hutchinson, I want you to open your eyes"
A stunned Starsky watched as almost immediately Hutch's eyes opened.
"Hutch? Hutch can you hear me? It's me, Starsky. It's been along time since I've seen those baby blues Hutch, I just wish I could see you in them. Don't worry buddy. I'm gonna have you back here in no time. Just take care in there"
Jon peaked his head inside the door and motioned to Starsky.
"Well partner, I have to go catch the bad guys, so you hang in there, and I'll be back to visit later, ok? Meanwhile.... Hutchinson, Close you eyes"
Immediately Hutch's eyes were once again closed.
"Sorry to interrupt, Captain Dobey wants you to meet him at his office. I asked him about coming here. He thought it better that you go there."
"Yeah, he's just that way. Oh, and by the way, I just tried out the mystery drug... it's still working..."
"What do you mean?"
"I gave Hutch a command and he carried it out, I asked him to open his eyes and he did."
"That's amazing. He's in a coma, but still followed your instructions. This is some strong stuff we're talking about here!"
"Yeah, we need to find where this drug came from. you coming?"
"I got the feeling Dobey just wanted to meet with you. I'm sure it's a bit confusing having me around. He's not sure what authority he has over a civilian volunteer"
"You're right, he just wants someone he can boss around. Can I give you a lift somewhere?"
"Home, James, Unless you'd feel better with me staying here, just in case", Jon added.
"No, that's ok, I had a little talk with Hutch, he knows I'm gonna be coming and going."
"Ok, then it's to the bat cave"
Starsky dropped Jon off, and headed for the precinct. It's funny, he thought as he drove off. Casey couldn't be more of a detective if he really were one. He sure was in the wrong line of work. It was wasted talent as far as Starsky was concern. There are a lot of cops that really shouldn't be. And this was a case of just the opposite.
He'd have to talk to him about that later.
Starsky found Dobey in his office, as usually. He and Hutch had laughed about that once. No one ever saw the Captain come or go, he was just always sitting behind that desk of his.
"Hey Cap'n, I hope you dragged me down here for a good reason"
"It was you guys that called me, as I recall, Starsky."
"True enough, What have you found out about the Anderson case?"
"We've been given the green light to offer a deal. There's just one problem"
"Of course, why should things start getting easy now? What's the problem?"
"It's Anderson, he only wants to tell his story to Casey"
"Yeah, so where's the problem, I think Casey makes a better cop than most cops around here. "
"True or not, he's not one and the department feels like we would be opening ourselves up to all kinds of lawsuits by having Casey go in there under the guise of being a detective."
"Who's gonna know the difference?"
"Maybe no one ever would Starsky, but the department doesn't want to risk counting on maybes.
"Ok, so we tell Anderson that Casey is a cop in training"
"That's the problem Starsky, Anderson has got a big time lawyer, and Casey has already been dealing with Anderson as if he were on the force, We could already be in trouble as it is"
"Ok, so we're just gonna have to convince Anderson to talk to me"
"Oh sure. I heard what you did, Starsky... The guy already wants to have you cited for threatening his life, you think he's really gonna just forget that and open up to you?"
"I see your point Captain, but maybe it just depends on how bad he's willing to make a deal. Maybe we can just make it clear that we won't be alone, there will be other officers there to make sure nobody gets outta line."
"We can try, he's gonna wanna know why he can't talk to Casey though."
"Casey is off on assignment, undercover even, WAY undercover, we couldn't reach him if we wanted to. How do you think that would fly?"
"Guess it'll have to do. Let me see how he takes this news, where can I find you later Starsky?"
"What do you mean later Captain, how bout now"
"You know how it works Starsky, I talk to Anderson, he talks to his lawyer, his lawyer talks to us.... it'll be awhile before we know anything. So, where will you be?"
"You know what Cap, I think I'm actually gonna go on home. I've haven't seen that place in quite awhile. So call me there as soon as you hear anything."
"Your place. Got you Starsky. Now get outta here and let me get to work. By the way Starsky. What's the latest on Hutch?"
"Not good, and not bad Cap... He's in a coma. But they say that might actually be a good thing considering all his injuries. Casey told you about the mystery drug?"
"Yeah, when he called. He said that part of Hutchinson's problem could be caused by this drug, and that's why you two wanted me to set the wheels in motion to deal"
"That's right, the doctor says there are high levels of this stuff in Hutch's blood. That may be why he's not coming out of this comatose state. So, you see why we're anxious to get this guy to talk"
"Ok Starsky, I get the picture. You go on home, and I'll call you as soon as there's something to report."
"Thanks Captain, Hutch is counting on us"
Starsky left the office feeling cautiously optimistic. The fact that Anderson only wanted to talk to Casey, could be a problem. But at the same time, the "doctor" was very anxious to cop a plea.
Starsky decided to go home and really try to relax. It had been awhile since he had been afforded that luxury. Every fiber in his being wanted to go check on Hutch. But he was still not quite up to par. He should rest up for the second half of this ordeal. He was certain that should there be any change, he'd hear right away. And that would have to be good enough for now.