Time Changes Everything
Mia was talking to Steve on the phone when a black SUV came out of nowhere and blocked their path. Mia at first thought it was just an accident but then she saw the men dressed in black fully armed come out of the SUV. Mia realized this wasn’t an accident and they were here for her when the driver was shot in the head and killed instantly.
“Get out of the car, now! Don’t try anything stupid or I will kill you.”
Mia got out with her hands in the air afraid they might hurt her or the baby. “What’s going on? What do you want from me?” she cried terrified even though she had been trained for situations like this. She was terrified not for her self but for her child.
“Shut up and walk. Get in there,” he commanded once they reached the SUV. When she was inside someone put a mask over her head and then she felt the car moving to an unknown destination.
When Steve and the team arrived with HPD backup Steve knew something was very wrong. He got out of the Camaro barely shutting off the engine and saw the driver dead on the wheel but no sign of Mia. He looked in the backseat and saw her purse and cell phone on the seat. Steve kicked the car in frustration and cursed.
“We’re going to find her Steve,” Danny said as he placed a hand on his shoulder and gave it a squeeze.
Steve shook off his partner’s hand and began walking to the car. “We better and when I find whoever did this I will personally kill that person with my own hands. Kono I want you to go through all the street cameras, fine something anything.”
Kono nodded and went straight to work worried about Mia. She turned to Chin and they exchanged a sympathetic look both equally worried for Mia and Steve, hoping to find her soon.
Mia didn’t know where these men were taking her. All she knew there were about four, the two that got out to get her, the one driving, and the one in the passenger seat with only one thing in common, they were all dressed in black. As soon as she had gotten into the black SUV someone covered her face with a mask and all she could do was stay still. She didn’t understand why they didn’t tie up her hands and feet knowing she could easy put up a fight but then it occurred to her that they had one thing on their side, her baby. They knew she wouldn’t try anything stupid if she wanted to keep her unborn child safe.
The vehicle moved for a long time, she wasn’t sure how long, until it came to a complete stop and doors were being opened and closed. She was pulled out of the car almost stumbling on her feet.
“Careful, remember we don’t want anything to happen to the child,” one of the voices said.
What did they want with my baby, Mia thought. Instinctively she wrapped her hands around her stomach protecting it from these men. At least she had a bit of information and it had to do with her unborn child. Mia would do anything to protect her child from whoever was doing this.
Even though her face was covered she could still hear and feel. She figured they were in an isolated place due to the long drive, maybe the jungle, since she could feel the dirt crawling into her sandals as she walked and the heavy humidity. They walked into a building and she was escorted up a long staircase and then into a room. As soon as she was in the room one of the men removed the cover from her face. She blinked a few times trying to adjust to the light and took in her surroundings.
Mia was in a large bedroom with two doors to her left adjacent to the wall containing the entrance to the room. She assumed they might lead to a bathroom and a closet. Right across from her were two large windows.
As if reading her thoughts, the man right behind her spoke. “Don’t get any ideas,” he said. “No one can hear you if you try yelling for help and there’s no way out of this room but through the door we just came in.”
Mia turned to look at the man but he was gone and when she went to try the doorknob, it had been locked. Mia slammed a hand on the thick door and then ran a hand through her hair as she walked to the windows. Sure enough, the windows were too thick and sealed. Then she hurried into the adjoining bathroom but it was a waste of time. Who ever did this to her had probably been planning this stunt for a while now because everything every thing was secured to prevent her from escaping. She checked the room thoroughly and there was everything she might need, from toothpaste, shampoo, to maternity clothes and clothes that looked to be the size she was before being pregnant. Someone obviously planned on keeping her here for a long time.
“Dammit,” she mumbled. She felt the burning in her eyes and took a deep breath. “I am not going to let them win. Steve and the team will find me. I just have to be patient and take care of myself and my child.” She continued this mantra until she gave into exhaustion falling asleep in the large bed, the long trip and stress catching up to her.
“What have we got?” Steve asked when he walked out of the office two hours after last hearing from Mia.
“We have surveillance video of Mia walking out of the airport and getting into the cab and then traffic cameras caught the moment Mia was taken,” Kono said.
“Pull them up,” Steve ordered standing with his arms crossed in front of him at the end of the table looking at the screen.
“Steve-” Chin began.
“Pull them up Kono,” Steve ordered once more ignoring Chin.
Kono nodded and pulled up the videos.
Everyone stood in silence as Steve watched the video of Mia walking out of the airport and getting into the cab wearing a long yellow summer dress accentuating her seven month baby bump. She looked happy, if the big smile on her face was any indication and relaxed. Then the video of the SUV coming out of nowhere and blocking the path of the cab came next. There were two men dressed in black, one in front of the cab taking a shot at the driver, enough to kill him. Then came the hardest part of the scene watching Mia be pulled out of the car at gun point and pushed into the back seat of the black SUV with no license plates. Then the SUV sped away leaving no trace behind but the cab driver dead.
“There was not enough to run a facial recognition, not even a partial or at least a look at their eyes,” Kono said.
“Whoever did this knew what they were doing,” Chin said. “There’s no sign of the SUV following them from the airport.”
Danny just watched his partner in silence the whole time. Steve had turned off every emotion and wasn’t letting anyone see how much this was affecting him. But Danny and the team knew better. If they didn’t find Mia soon, Steve would explode. He was a ticking bomb waiting to go off at any moment.
“Did you go through all the traffic cameras?” he asked.
“Yeah, we lose track about two miles from where they took Mia,” Kono said.
“How can you lose track of the black SUV?” Steve demanded pounding his fist on the table. He turned to Kono and said in a serious tone, “Go through it again and find me something, anything.”
“Steve, they already checked twice,” Danny said.
“I didn’t ask how many times,” Steve snapped. “When you find something give me a call. I’m going to check with Charlie if he has anything.”
The remaining three team members exchanged a worried look before Danny followed behind Steve.
“If we don’t find Mia soon I’m afraid it’s not going to be very pretty around here,” Chin told Kono as they resumed going through the cameras once again.
“Who would do this to Mia?” Kono asked her voice laced with worry and sadness. “She’s barely been back in Hawaii and Steve just got her back. It’s just not fair.”
“When we’re in a job like this, cuz, we create enemies left and right. There are many possibilities as to who could have done this,” Chin said. “Hell, how do we even know it isn’t someone from New York? Or if it’s even someone trying to get back at the team or Steve? Right now we have to take whatever we have and start eliminating suspects.”
“You’re right. I just hope Mia and the baby are both fine,” Kono said.
Danny and Steve walked in silence downstairs to the crime lab. Danny wasn’t sure what to say to Steve in a situation like this. He knew Steve was trying to keep all his emotions inside even though it was killing him not to know what or who wanted to hurt Mia. Knowing Steve, Danny knew Steve was probably already blaming himself for what happened.
They arrived at the crime lab but unfortunately Charlie was no help. The sequesters obviously knew what they were doing and had done a clean job. That bullet that was used to kill the driver was very common and would be harder to track but Steve would do whatever it took to find Mia.
He had to be strong and not let the fear and pain he was feeling block his mind from doing his job. Steve would do whatever it took to find Mia and their unborn child even if it was the last thing he did.
Back in headquarters, Chin and Kono were making a list of possible suspects but no one stood out except for two that might have a special interest in Mia, Peter Summers and Derek West.
Peter Summers had many motives to want to kidnap Mia. Mia wanted nothing to do with him and had requested to be transferred to Hawaii. Peter was Mia’s biological father and wanted to fix things with his daughter now that Mia had found out the truth.
Then there was Derek West, hot-shot lawyer who dated Mia for about five years before breaking-up. According to Mia the decision had been mutual but it still didn’t mean Derek may have resented her for that. Maybe Derek was bitter now that Mia was married and pregnant with someone else’s child.
Chin and Kono were studying both case scenarios when Steve and Danny walked in.
“Why are Peter and Derek’s profile’s up?” Steve asked staring at the screen.
Kono and Chin turned to look at Danny and then at Steve.
“There was nothing else on the videos so we went ahead and created a list on possible suspects that might have something against Mia. No one stood out, not even Brian’s brother. We checked him out and he’s still locked up with no evidence of contacting someone outside to possibly get this done. The only exceptions were Peter Summers and Derek West,” Kono said, referring to the brother of an earlier case they had that was tied to Mia’s past.
“Why them?” Danny asked looking at the screen with his hands in his pockets.
Chin went on to explain his and Kono’s reasons to believe they might be behind Mia’s kidnapping. Although there was no evidence to signal they were responsible, they should still be brought in for questioning.
“Bring them in,” Steve ordered before turning around and walking towards his office slamming the door behind him.
“How is he handling everything?” Chin asked Danny.
Danny sighed and leaned a hand on the table. “Not too well. He has practically shut down and is handling this like another Navy Seal mission but I know inside he’s falling apart.”
Inside Steve’s office, Steve was trying to come up with his own list of suspects and so far he only had one name written down, WoFat.
Steve knew WoFat would not stop at anything to seek revenge. The most logical idea was to target Mia and his unborn child, hitting Steve in his weakest spot.
Steve was interrupted from his thoughts by a knock on the door. He looked up to find Danny poking his head in.
“We have Derek in the interrogation room,” Danny said. “Want me to handle it?”
“No I got it,” Steve said standing up and walking to the door.
“Look Steve, maybe you should sit this one down,” Danny suggested.
“I’m fine Danny, I can handle it,” Steve said.
Danny shook his head and followed Steve to the interrogation room. As soon as they walked in Derek looked up clearly confused.
“What’s going on Steve? What am I doing here?” Derek asked right away.
Steve stood in front of Derek with an intense look, his hands on his hips, trying to see something, anything that might show recognition. Steve came up empty. “Where were you today? Start from the moment you woke up,” he ordered in a serious voice.
“What? What is this about?” Derek asked looking from Steve to Danny and back to Steve.
“Stick to answering the questions,” Steve ordered once more.
“Am I in trouble? Do I need a lawyer?”
Steve chuckled humorlessly and then turned serious as he suddenly grabbed Derek from the collar of his jacket and brought him to his feet slamming him against the wall. “Where were you all day Derek? Answer the damn question.”
“Hey Steve, man, come on there’s no need for that,” Danny said placing a hand on Steve’s arm.
“Look I’m not answering any questions until I know what exactly I am being accused of,” Derek said.
“No one is accusing you of anything,” Danny said. “Unless you feel like you did something wrong, we just want to know what your schedule consisted of.”
Derek turned to look at Steve who still had him against the wall. “What is this about? Why are you so interested in knowing what I was up to?”
Steve pushed Derek back onto his chair and walked to the furthest wall from him. “Mia was kidnapped earlier today on her way from the airport to our home,” he said in a toneless voice.
“What? When, where? Why?” Derek asked at once, shocked at the news, looking from Danny to Steve.
“Exactly what you heard, the why is still debatable, but then you might be able to help us out on that one,” Danny said. Either the man seriously didn’t have a clue as to what was going on or he was one hell of a damn good actor.
Derek turned to look at Danny. “What do you mean? Why would I be able to help you?”
“You’re the lawyer here, West, figure it out,” Steve said coming out of the shadow. “You dated Mia for well over five years. Although she claimed the break-up was a mutual decision and you two remained friends you still had every reason to be bitter about the break-up, especially after finding out she was getting married and having another man’s child.”
Derek was confused by the implications. “Are you trying to say I had something to do with Mia’s kidnapping?” he asked in confusion and outrage. “That’s absurd! I would never do such thing to Mia or anyone else for that matter. Yes I loved Mia and I thought we might one day get married and start a family but I knew she didn’t feel the same way so I let her go. We got along much better after we ended things but that’s it. I did not kidnap Mia and I can prove it to you. Call my brother or the shrimp truck Mia’s friend owns at the beach. I was there for almost three hours eating and hanging out with my brother. I haven’t even seen or heard from Mia since the day before the wedding.”
This was news to Steve. He didn’t know Mia had contacted Derek the day before the wedding. Steve was clearly surprised but he didn’t let it show.
“What time?” Danny asked.
“Around nine ’til like noon, before that I was just home. I’m usually not supposed to be in the office until nine but I took the morning off to be with my brother. He hasn’t been living in Hawaii for long and doesn’t know anyone but me and my cousin.”
“Alright, what about after that, where did you go?” Danny asked.
“I went to work and I was there until the officer brought me in here,” Derek said. “Look I had nothing to do with what happened to Mia and I’m sorry.” Derek looked at Steve. “If there’s anything I can do to help, just name it and I will.”
“You’re still not off the hook Derek,” Steve said. “I will be looking closely so you better watch your back and pray that I don’t find anything on you because if I do, you better run before I can put my hands on you.” With that Steve walked out of the interrogation room.
Derek turned to look at Danny. “Can I go now?”
Danny nodded. “And Derek,” Danny said before Derek walked out the door, “If I were you, I would listen to McGarret. You don’t want to be anywhere near this island if we find out you had anything to do with Mia’s disappearance.”
Derek just looked Danny in the eye without revealing anything and then walked out the door.
It was close to midnight and the team still didn’t have any leads on Mia’s disappearance. The team was beginning to notice Steve’s frustration coming to surface and no one could blame him. His wife and unborn child were missing. They had vanished into thin air and no one saw or heard anything, well except for the traffic cameras but even that wasn’t enough.
Danny walked into Steve’s office to find him on his computer typing away furiously. “Hey Steve, how about we call it a night and go home to get some rest. Maybe tomorrow once we’re all rested we can see something we might have missed.”
“You go on right ahead. I’m still going to be here a while,” Steve said not taking his eyes away from the computer.
“Come on Steve, you can’t drown yourself in this. You need to have a clear head and overworking yourself will not help Mia. She wouldn’t want to see you like this,” Danny said, but apparently it was the wrong thing to say because Steve flew off the chair tipping it over in the process.
“Mia also wouldn’t have wanted to be kidnapped but she did and now I have to find her even if it’s the last thing I do,” Steve deadpanned.
“I understand Steve but -”
“You understand?” Steve interrupted incredulous. “How can you understand something you’ve never experienced? Your wife, your pregnant wife has never been kidnapped so don’t tell me you understand when you don’t!” Steve exploded.
“Okay, so maybe my wife was never kidnapped, but do you remember Grace? Yes Steve, Grace, my daughter, was kidnapped and it was one of the worst experiences ever. It was something I would never wish on anyone not even my worse enemy.”
“I’m sorry Danny, I just, I have to find Mia,” Steve said running a hand over his face. “I can’t lose her Danny.”
“You won’t, we will find her Steve,” Danny said.
Steve nodded at his partner and then turned to shut down the computer before walking out with him.
When Steve got home after midnight, he was exhausted and feeling like someone had ripped the life out of him. He knew letting Mia go to New York alone had been a bad idea, he had felt it from the beginning but he allowed her to convince him otherwise. If he would have listen to his gut none of this would have happened, Mia would be home safe and in his arms waiting for the arrival of their child. Now Steve sat in the armchair in the darkness of the night and his home trying to think of something, anything, which might lead him to Mia.
Steve was startled for a moment, having forgotten his mother was home. He turned slightly on the chair and saw his mother descending the stairs. “Mom?” he croaked.
“I heard what happened,” Doris said sitting on the coffee table right in front of Steve and taking his hands in hers. “I’m sorry honey.”
“Mia is gone, mom,” Steve said choking on his words not being able to hold back his emotions.
Doris’ heart broke for Steve and Mia. She went to sit on the arm of the chair and wrapped Steve in her arms trying to comfort him even though no hug was enough to take away the pain of having your wife or unborn child kidnapped. “We’re going to find here, Steve, I promise,” Doris said gently already making plans to use her contacts.
“What if we don’t,” he said pulling away from his mother to stand up, wiping his tears in the process. “What if something happens to Mia or the baby and I never see them again?”
“That’s not going to happen, Steve. I will use all the resources and contacts I have to help in any way I can but you need to be strong for Mia and your child,” Doris said gently but firmly. “Do you have any idea who might have done this?”
Steve turned to look at his mother and uttered one name, “WoFat.”
Doris blinked. “WoFat?” she repeated.
“That’s the only logical explanation mom. The team thinks we should look into her ex or her biological father but honestly this has WoFat written all over it.”
“Maybe your teammates are right and it’s her ex or her father. From what I’ve heard and what Mia has told me they might have motive,” Doris said standing up in front of her son.
“No mom, the only person that hates me and will stop and nothing for revenge is WoFat.”
“I think you should keep your options open,” Doris suggested.
“Why are you defending him?” and incredulous Steve asked.
“I’m not defending him Steve. I’m just trying to see this from a different perspective. You’re judgment is obviously affected due to how personal this is but you need to have a clear mind before making any assumptions that might make you do something you’ll later regret,” Doris explained.
Steve looked at his mother like she was a stranger and shook his head before leaving her alone and walking upstairs to his room to try to get some sleep although sleep would not come easily.
The next morning Steve walked into the office earlier than usual after giving up on sleep around four in the morning. He went for his morning run but since that didn’t help he tried swimming and even that was a fail. Before seven, he was walking into the office and turning on all the computers. The first thing he did was bring up the traffic videos that Kono had saved to see if he succeeded in finding something not that he didn’t trust Kono. He did, he trusted his teammate but he wanted to see with his own eyes that there wasn’t anything useful on the videos.
When Derek was brought in yesterday, Steve had really hoped to find something in him that might point to Mia but there was nothing. His story checked out and Kono said she would track his foot steps in the last couple of weeks to see if anything stood out.
Then there was Peter Summers. Danny had called the New York Police Department and they had brought Peter in for questioning but when NYPD reported back late last night Peter’s whereabouts checked out. He had not seen Mia since her visit Thursday morning.
A little after eight the team slowly starting making their way in and they found Steve on the computer table going through the same videos probably for the hundredth time.
“Please tell me you got some sleep,” Danny said standing across from Steve.
“Don’t worry about it Danny,” Steve said not bothering to look away the screen.
“Steve, come on, don’t torture yourself by looking through those videos again,” Danny said.
“Hey boss,” Kono interrupted. “Before coming into the office Chin and I drove around the scene and took a look at security cameras after the two miles in which the SUV disappeared. We caught a few glimpses of it heading west towards H1 but we weren’t able to catch whether or not they actually got on it.” Kono connected the USB containing the footage and played it for the rest.
Steve had no idea his teammates had been out early trying to find clues to Mia’s kidnapping and it touched him deeply. He really appreciated what they were all doing to help find Mia and when all this was over he would make sure they knew how much he appreciated all their help.
“Okay, so we’ll check traffic cameras around that time and check if they ever made it into H1,” Danny said to which Steve nodded.
Before anyone could go on their way to do something a commotion was heard from the entrance and soon Peter Summers was standing in front of the team. “Where is my daughter?” he demanded to know.
“I’m sorry Commander but he wouldn’t wait to be announced,” the HPD officer said.
“It’s okay I got it from here,” Steve said dismissing the officer. “What are you doing here?”
“I came to find my daughter. How could you think I had something to do with her disappearance?” Peter asked outraged and hurt for anyone thinking he would stoop so low.
“Oh I don’t know Peter. Your actions leave little to be desired and at this point anyone is a suspect,” Steve retorted.
“Does that include you?” Peter sneered back. “Let’s not forget your track record isn’t too god either.”
Steve balled his hands in fists but before he could do something Danny interceded.
“Okay gentlemen, arguing is not going to help us find Mia. Why don’t we all calm down and try to talk peacefully,” Danny suggested.
Steve knew Danny was right and as much as he hated to admit, Peter could help them out. The team went on to inform Peter on everything they knew and who they suspected when Steve remembered something. “Add WoFat,” he said.
Everyone turned to look at him.
“He has a personal vendetta against my family and it’s only obvious he would use Mia to get to me,” he explained.
The team nodded and continued searching.
Somewhere on the other side of the island Mia was growing restless. She still didn’t know who had her locked in this room and the only time someone would walk into the room it was to bring her food. Other than that, she was left alone. It had been a week since she had been brought to this place. She knew she was in the middle of nowhere because when she looked outside the windows all she saw were trees. Mia was held captive in a big house hidden in the middle of nowhere. The room she was in was facing the back of the house so she didn’t know who came and went. All she knew besides being surrounded by trees was that there were guards everywhere.
The sun was beginning to set when one of the masked men came into the room with another armed man behind him. “Let’s go,” he ordered motioning to the door with his head.
“Where are we going?” she asked.
“The less questions you ask the better,” his deep voice said.
Mia hesitated but then moved when the armed man pointed the gun at her when she wouldn’t move. She walked behind the man who spoke to her while the armed man walked right behind her. They led her downstairs and into what she assumed was a study. It was very open with high ceilings and windows going from the floor to ceiling. There was a sitting area close to a fireplace and a desk on the opposite side of the room. She turned and found a woman standing behind the desk facing her.
“Hello Mia, it’s been a while,” the woman said giving Mia a cynical smile.