This story was written for my muse Brook, who wanted to hurt the curly one! But I couldn't resist damaging them both - sick huh? WARNING - the subject matter may upset some. If you are sensitive, please dont read!

As usual. feedback is craved, and appreciated - but remember its only a hobby!

Disclaimer - I don't own them but I sometimes play with them a little

Chapter 1

The dark, curly haired man prowled the perimeter of the room, his bare feet leaving no sound on the slightly cushioned floor. He’d been walking around in that fashion now for the past….how long had it been? He couldn’t remember. Time seemed to have no meaning in that room. He couldn’t remember how long he’d been there, or how he’d actually gotten himself into this mess, but he was sure as hell certain that he had no idea how to get out of it.

His head ached. Not a thundering headache, but it was there, in the background; enough that he was constantly aware of it and he rubbed absently at his temples as he brought himself to a ragged halt and the ache increased. Finding that standing still increased his anxiety, he commenced to prowling again, back and forth across the back wall of his prison, like a wild cat in a zoo and with the same predatory grace. Needing to be somewhere and do something, but with no way to attain his goals. He kicked out at the wall in temper, achieving nothing but a sore foot, but the pain felt good. Somehow it had a comforting effect; at least he was doing something – anything. He replaced his foot with his fists and punched again and again at the dumb wall until his knuckles bled and left red smudges on its smooth surface. He stopped himself from further damaging himself and stood with his forehead against the cool wall, panting and sweating as he got himself back under control.

The room was white. It had white walls, a white ceiling; white floor. But no furniture. There were no paintings on the walls and the only colour in the vicinity was his blood, bright against the white wall like some Kandinski or Warhole modern art piece. There were no comforts of any description, and more ominously, the whole of one wall was a large window, the enormous pane of reinforced glass like an evil eye out onto the world outside. Not that he could see anything from the window. Just a white corridor. Bu he felt like an insect in a glass case, or an animal in a zoo. He was there for inspection for anyone who walked along the corridor to look at him – the prize exhibit in this crazy place.

He looked down at himself again, wondering again if there was anything about him that could lend a clue as to who he was or where he’d come from. Not many clues to be gleaned from his clothes. He wore only white drawstring pants with no marks or pattern on them. Idly he thought that if this was some sort of hospital, the pants would have the name of Memorial stamped on them.

Memorial? Where the hell did that name come from? Was it something from his past? He had to have had a past! He couldn’t have been here all the time, could he? And how the hell did he know that much about hospitals anyway? He shook his head and the drops of sweat from the ends of his ebony curls flew in all directions.

His bare chest was covered in dark brown, curly hair, dense enough to disguise the dark nipples which peeped out. The chest was muscular and the abdomen flat, the muscles there defined and toned. Hard. His arms were similarly furred to the elbow and the upper arms again were well muscled although not overly so. He stared at the wide silver coloured bracelet circling his right wrist. It was perhaps 2 inches wide and fit snugly against his skin, although there was no hint of a clasp or hinge. It seemed to be permanent and there was a pale red welt at both the top and bottom of the bracelet, showing that it had been there long enough to abrade the skin.

It was plain silver, but it contained the only decoration to be found in the room. It proclaimed two things.

Designation – Blue 1

Wins - 4

Just what the words meant, the man had no idea, although they sent shivers down his spine each time he looked at them and read them.

He continued his methodical search of his own body, desperate to try to pierce the impenetrable fog which bound his mind to the here and now. He ran his hands over his torso, wincing again at the huge bruise marring his otherwise unmarked frame. Fingers searching, he found again the small area of dimpled skin above his left upper chest. He knew it was a scar from a bullet wound, but how did he know that? And when did he get it? Fingers searching further, he crested the rise of his shoulder and searched the top of his back, feeling a larger scar mirroring the one on his front. So, the bullet entered there and the front wound was a surgical scar. Curious!

Any more marks, he wondered? His arms were free of blemishes, although there seemed to be a slight indentation around his left little finger. Had he worn a ring? Where was it now? Did it symbolise something?

Too many questions.

The man gave up his pointless pacing as he got to the corner and turning his back to the wall he slid himself down and onto the floor, knees up and arms draped over the top. His head hung down in exhaustion. He felt like that a lot now. Always tired. Except for the other times. The times when he felt elated and powerful. But those times scared him because with the power came pain. He massaged the blue/black bruise over his right ribs and snorted hysterically. He couldn’t even remember how he’d gotten the bruise in the first place.

Was it during one of the “not tired” times? It must have been, although try as he might he couldn’t seem to remember when. All he knew was that he’d been locked up in this white room for as long as he could remember and that once in a while men would come. Then he’d be some place else. There would be noise and smells again instead of the quiet and the ionised air of his room. But with the noise and the smells would come the exertion and the power…..and the pain.

The man shook his head and for the millionth time tried to remember what this was all about. Wearily he closed his eyes and tried to relax back against the hard wall. What he wouldn’t give for a bed. Any bed But most of all he wanted his own bed – the one with the…the….He cried out in pain and held his head in his hands.

Shit! Thinking hurt. But he needed to remember. There was something else. Something before the white, there had to be.

He slowed down his breathing and cleared his mind. There had to be something, if he could just get past the pain. He let his mind go blank, staring through closed eyelids at the blackness inside his head. Slowly he descended into it, not thinking, just following the progression of the patterns his mind threw up into his consciousness.


Blue shirt.

Blue jeans.

Blue eyes


He cried out despite himself at the lancing pain in his head that threatened to plunge him into a more permanent blackness if he didn’t stop thinking. Clutching his hands to the sides of his head with fingers that had turned to claws, he concentrated through the pain on that one name.

Was it a name?

It began with H.

Hut….the pain increased

Hutc….Oh my god, make it stop…make it stop…too much. Need to remember.

HUTCH, he yelled at the four walls as the pain took him and shook him and his sweat wet, limp and unconscious body slipped sideways onto the floor.


‘Increase the dosage’

‘He’s almost at maximum now’

‘I know, but these two new ones are really quite resistant. Just increase it by another mil and we’ll observe the results’.

Hands manipulated the equipment, drawing up some blue liquid into the barrel of a syringe which looked more like a gun. The man advanced on the bound body on the examination table.

The brunette looked back at his captors, his indigo blue eyes defiant as they approached.

‘NOOOO’ he yelled at them and tried to struggle against the medical restraints holding his wrists down to the sides of the cold metal table. His ankles were similarly bound and there was a broad leather band across his hips. The cold of the metal robbed his almost naked body of the little warmth he felt and the hard surface dug at he bones of his spine.

‘For Gods sake, I can’t treat him like that! Secure him!’ the unknown voice said.

Blue 1 continued to struggle, more so now that he caught sight of the two orderlies approaching him. As one held his head in a vicelike grip, the other threaded a tough leather strap across the brunette’s throat and another on his forehead, stepping back to admire his handiwork.

The bound man had come to the end of his human reactions. He was lost, bewildered, hurt and alone. Not only did he not have the comfortable touch of a human companion to ease his fears, he had no memories to fall back on. His mind was an empty void, filled only with dark and pain and any effort to try to penetrate the darkness ending in a pain which felt as though his eyeballs were being sucked out of his head through his ears.

He felt the sharp prick of the needle in the crook of his arm and tears of forlornness came unbidden to his eyes. He squeezed them closed. He wouldn’t give these suckers the satisfaction of seeing just how hurt and sacred he was.

He was a man, not an animal ripe for experimentation.

The drug was beginning to take effect and he could feel the fire coursing through his veins. The more he tried to think, the worse the burning became and he struggled again against his bonds, writhing on the table as the neck strap threatened to cut off his breathing.

He was a man.

He was an individual.

He was no number.

He was….

He knew he was….

As he opened stormy indigo eyes and stared defiantly at his captors, one word came unbidden to his lips. He licked them, gathering his strength through the fast acting drug and yelled at the familiar face of the doctor bending over him taking notes.


‘Really?’ the doctor made a written comment on the chart he held, holding a cold metal stethoscope to the heaving chest.

‘But for how much longer huh?’ he said calmly as he walked away, leaving the body on the table shaking, panting and sweating.

Chapter 2

The corridor down which he was prodded was narrow and dark. Only occasional lamps burned in the ceiling, casting their dismal and terrifying cold light through metal cages, so that anyone in the corridor wouldn’t be able to break the lightbulbs. The cages reminded Blue 1 of something, but he couldn’t remember what it was. He couldn’t remember anything. Couldn’t think past the fire that was coursing through his veins.

The last injection he’d been given had hiked up his emotional responses to the full and he was ready to rip the head off anyone who crossed him. Almost a maximum dose, they’d said. Whatever the size of the dose, it always made him feel this way; made him feel as though he could fight with himself if there was no-one else around. He hated the feeling and he loved it. Hated it because he knew deep down in his subconscious that that wasn’t the man he was meant to be. But he loved the feeling too, because for a brief time in this featureless place he could actually feel something, even if the feeling was angry and raw.

The men who were with him knew that that was how he would be feeling too. They’d seen the process a few times now and it never failed to amaze them how the single injection could turn even the most cowardly of men into a mean machine. But with this one, this bundle of anger and fury, and the other one that had been brought in at the same time, they took extra precautions.

The men in the white room had watched with satisfaction the transformation of the man from controlled, but hurting prisoner to this hellion. When Blue 1 was ready to be let up from the table, they’d taken extra precautions and had attached strong chains from his wrist restraints to a sturdy leather belt buckled around his waist, similar to the belts that inmates in state penal institutions wore. . But this had an extra piece to it – another chain from the waistband leading upwards through the fur on his chest, to a leather collar buckled securely around the olive toned throat. Another chain attached his wrists to the back of the belt so that he was effectively restrained. The collar was the main controlling device, and Blue 1 remembered the first time he’d tried to make a break for freedom.

The collar had seemed to tighten around his neck, threatening to cut off his oxygen as the electric shock from the wires entwined in the leather and sent uncontrollable tremors through his body. He ended in a heap on the floor, clawing at the terrible instrument surrounding his neck as the shock ceased and he twitched pitifully on the ground as the guards watched in amusement.

So now, the curly haired man walked slowly, with measured steps down the corridor, but didn’t try to run. Why should he? There was nowhere to run to any way. He tried to calm the breathing that rasped from his throat as the cattle prod at his back signalled for him to turn to the left into a small examination room. As he turned he saw another row of cells, just like his own further down the corridor. In the closest one, he saw a struggle taking place between two guards and a tall lithe blond man. He paused for a second, watching the guards beat the blond to the ground with wooden sticks and then shrugged his shoulders. He had enough problems of his own to deal with. What was one more inmate’s problem to him?

Blue 1 stopped at the doorway of the small room. Like his cell, this room was white, but unlike the cell, it held a single piece of furniture. It was a metal chair, very like a dentists chair and it was to this item of furniture that he was now prodded.

He hated the cattle prod and hated the men who wielded it without pause. He stopped in his tracks. No way would he make it easy for these suckers to secure him to that chair. If they wanted a fight, he was ready. Hell he was more than ready, he was spoiling for a fight and as he felt one of the guards come up behind him, Blue 1 turned on his foot and kicked out in a perfect Judo roundhouse kick, sending the man cannoning back against the wall.

With a battle yell he launched himself at the other guard, again using his feet because his hands were chained to the belt around his waist. He jumped up, kicking with both feet against the man, but he was ready and took a step back, meaning that the curly haired captive hit nothing and fell to the floor with a bone crunching, teeth rattling crash. As he lay panting and shaking his head slowly from side to side like a wounded animal, the second guard reached for the control device on his belt and pushed the red button.

Immediately, Blue 1 curled into a ball, trying to get his hands up to his neck to claw at the fearsome pain now encircling his neck. It was on fire, sending tendrils of white lightening down his chest, back and arms. He clamped his lips closed, desperate not to let the guards see how much the miserable device hurt, but the current remained live so long that eventually he could hold out no longer. He threw his head back, his lips peeling back from his teeth in a rictus of pain and a guttural shriek escaped his spasming throat.

The satisfying sound was what the guard had been waiting for and he took his thumb from the button, leering at the body twitching on the ground in front of him. Normally he would have taken pleasure in kicking the recalcitrant captive, but with this one he knew better. With Blue, it was always prudent to stay a safe distance away, even with the safety of the collar and the chains.

The man lay panting on the floor, red sparkles still flashing in front of his eyes as he tried to calm the tortured muscles that were still randomly firing throughout his body.

Where are you Hutch? Where are you buddy, I need ya. Oh shit! Was that Hutch in the other cell? Why didn’t I know before? The pain! The pain makes me think clearer? Sweet Jesus, that’s special. What? The only way to remember is to fry your brain? Cool, real cool Starsky. Just try n’ get to Hu…try to get to….who? Who were you thinking of? Thinking without the pain….thinking….

The memory faded with the pain until Blue lay panting and spent on the floor, his mind once again a black and empty pit.

‘Get up’ the guard’s voice commanded and it didn’t occur to the man to disobey. He tried to stand, but it was difficult with his hands bound to his waist and he scrabbled about on the floor as he saw the cattle prod approaching.

‘Ungh….fuck it!’ he yelled as the wicked instrument caught him on the flank and he twisted away. ‘I’m gonna kill you. Ya hear? Don’t ever relax, coz I’ll be there, behind ya, ready’ he ground out as he struggled to his feet, staring at the guard from knitted brows.

‘Not while I have this’ the guard goaded him, indicating the control device. ‘Now shuddup an’ sit down’.

Slowly, and without taking his eyes from the sadistic guard, the brunette lowered himself into the chair. The second guard; the one that he’d kicked, had recovered and now bore down on him, licking his lips in anticipation. As his comrade stood by with the controller, he set to connecting Blue’s wrists and ankles to the rests on the cold metal chair. Blue tugged experimentally at them, but the guard had left no play in the restraints and all dug into his flesh uncomfortably. Staring deep into the indigo blue eyes, the man took hold of a handful of the curly hair and pushed Blue’s head back against the headrest, securing it there with a supple metal band, then stood back, satisfied that the angry brunette was going nowhere. With a final look at his captive, he drew back his fist and plunged it into the hard abs, making the breath whistle from between the clenched teeth.

‘That was cute’ he said. ‘But remember, we have the keys. Don’t try it again’.

The stormy blue, tearing eyes stared back at him in defiance, but the brunette was sensible enough not to utter the retort that sprang to his lips. Instead he tried to relax into the chair, waiting for whatever came next.

He didn’t need to wait long as the doctor came bustling into the room, a clipboard under his arm. He took a moment to nod at the guards, exchanging pleasantries with them, ignoring the man bound to the chair completely.

Blue thought he’d seen the doctor before, but he couldn’t remember where. Shit, he couldn’t remember who he was so there was no hope for putting a name to a stranger’s face. But the fact gnawed at him. Why did he know the doctor? Where from? Why was he here now? And most importantly, what was he going to do?

The doctor was talking into a recording device in his hand.

‘Subject Blue 1. Male 30 years old. Time of captivity 13 days. Test commences’. He put the recorder down on the floor next to the wooden chair he’d drawn up and took the cattle prod from the guard. Adjusting the setting to medium, he held the device up and looked at his subject as if examining an animal spread out for him on a dissection slab.

‘Tell me your name’ he said coolly.

‘Go to hell’.

The doctor put the prod against Blue’s stomach and pulled the trigger. The man’s body jerked away from the painful stimuli and he gritted his teeth at the pain. It stopped and he opened his eyes, panting heavily and staring back at his tormentor.

‘Tell me your name’.

‘I dunno my name - Blue’.

Again the prod and again the body tied to the chair jangled against its bonds, sagging when the instrument was removed.

Blue 1 was feeling pain, but something else too. The pain was sharpening his mind and he was beginning to remember. He almost longed for the pain to bring him more clarity and again his captor asked.

‘Tell me your name’.

He starred into the wide face with its eyes glistening behind his glasses and licked his dry lips.

‘David Starsky, - who’s askin’?’.

The doctor picked up his recorder. ‘90 dosage and the subject still has memories after painful stimuli. Quite amazing’. He replaced it.

‘What is your job?’

The brunette knitted his eyebrows. Job….I have a job,,,,I’m a ..a…

‘Dunno’ he braced himself as the stick came back to shock him and embraced the pain, his mind becoming clearer by the minute as the doctor’s glasses glistened in the bright light of the room

‘Cop’ he panted, trying to shake his head to try to get his thoughts in order.

‘Hmm’ The doctor looked up and signalled the guard.

‘Bring him in’.

The guard left, leaving the Doctor looking at his “patient”, studying the reaction and the light of understanding in the stormy eyes. Starsky stared back at the medic, wondering just what this was all about. He remembered things now. A crowd, cheering, another man. Pain again and more cheering……

The door to the small room opened , interrupting his thoughts and two more guards brought in a battered and bruised form. As the tall blond lifted his weary head, showing bruised face and black eyes, Starsky stiffened.


The blond tried to grin through cut and bruised lips.

‘Hiya partner. Has Matwick been treating you well?’

Chapter 3

Starsky stared at the blond who was being held upright by the two guards. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d seen Hutch look so bad, including the horrendous time they’d had while he was coming down from the heroin. Had he been a junkie? Where had that memory come from? Blue/black bruises stood out lividly over the lightly tanned torso, and bruises cuts and grazes marred the handsome face. Whatever had been done to him, Hutch hadn’t taken it without a fight. He stood, swaying between the two guards, his breath whistling through his teeth as he looked despondently at his partner tied to the chair again, scared at what he would find this time.

‘Hutch?’ Starsky/Blue said again a little less hesitantly. He knew that he knew the man, although he couldn’t quite recollect why he knew him. Was he a relative? Was he a friend? Something nagged at his mind, telling him there was a longstanding relationship with the tall, flaxen haired man, but he was damned if he could remember. He’d told the doctor he was a cop. Was that right? He had no recollection of being a cop, although he thought he remembered a red car. Was that part of his past?

His heart hammered in his chest as he fought the fear caused by the absence of memories. It was as if he was looking out at the world from a big pit, surrounded by cloying blackness and he longed to feel; he longed to have any sort of emotion, even the angry, painful ones.

The blond man had called him by his name and had called the doctor a name too. Matwell?….no, Matwick. Starsky/Blue thought he should know that name also, but his mind was still partially fogged and in his desperation to remember he almost wished the doctor would put the electric prod against him again, so that the pain would bring more clarity. Shit, with the band around his head, holding it in place, he couldn’t even shake it! The name coursed through his head. He should know why it was important, why couldn’t he remember.

Hutch…Hutch…Hutch. Remember…try to remember….shit, hurts…..It hurts Hutch, Oh God it hurts!

‘Starsky, ya gotta fight this! Fight the drug Starsk. You don’t want to do this’ Hutch pleaded. ‘Don’t give in. You aren’t Blue. You’re a person, not a machine. Starsk? Gordo? Remember! For me huh? For Hutch?’ His voice tailed off into hopelessness as he saw the light leaving the familiar eyes and he knew then that he’d lost his partner, maybe for ever.

This was the twelfth day he’d been brought into this room to witness his partner’s descent into oblivion. At the beginning, on the first day Starsky had fought with every ounce of his being to get out of the chair and back to Hutch’s side. On that first day, there had been more guards because both men fought with every sinew they had to get free of the mad doctor’s clutches. They’d both been injured in the process. Not seriously; never seriously – just bruises. The doctor and his associates still needed them in decent shape for their purposes. Broken bones were something they wouldn’t tolerate. To the men, the important thing was that they’d fought together. Shoulder to shoulder, as they always had. A team. Starsky and Hutch. They’d watched each other’s backs, but they’d been beaten into submission by the well-equipped guards, and then, as Hutch had been held back, they’d taken Starsky and bound him to that freaking chair and started their mad experiments.

With every progressive day since he’d been forced to watch Matwick inject more of his serum into the bound, muscle corded arm and more and more of the man he knew as David Starsky disappeared with the depressing of the plunger. His friend and partner was disappearing before his eyes and Hutch didn’t know what was worse – the fact the Starsky’s mind was being eroded away, or the fact that he was helpless to resist.

The change in the brunette after the administration of the drug was dramatic and almost immediate. The first day, Hutch had watched in horror as Starsky had been bound to that damned examination chair and Matwick had pushed the syringe against his partner’s immobile arm and depressed the plunger. Starsky had been icily calm after the initial fight, staring belligerently at the evil doctor and refusing to meet Hutch’s eyes. He knew his partner hated needles – not just a fear, but a pathological dread of them – and there was no way he wanted to see the fear and horror in those ice blue eyes.

But Hutch had watched as the needle came away and his partner’s eyes turned glassy and unfocussed. At first the blond had hoped that the drug was maybe a tranquilliser or sedative and fairly harmless, but within minutes the changes had started to happen. Starsky started to struggle in the chair tugging at the bonds until he was in danger of ripping the flesh around his wrists and ankles. His breathing was ragged as if he’s run a five mile race and his eyes stared about him wildly. He looked angry – the most angry and disturbed that Hutch had ever seen him and even when he looked at the blond, there was no hint of recognition in the eyes. It was that that had chilled the blond to the bone. No more shoulder to shoulder. No more team of two. No more Me and Thee. If he read the look on the handsome tanned face correctly, Starsky would much prefer to beat him unconscious rather that pull him into his familiar bear hug of an embrace.

And then Matwick, sitting calmly in his chair, pen and pad in hand had started to ask him the questions. Simple questions. The sort a five year old child could answer without another thought. But for the drugged brunette they were a test of his mind control and how much of David Starsky remained once the dreaded injections had claimed him.

‘Tell me your name’.

Starsky had stopped his struggling at the sound of the voice and looked at the doctor as if seeing him for the first time. He opened his mouth to answer, and his lips worked at forming the words, but instead a confused look came over his face.

‘St…S….Da…..My name? I don’t know. Shit, I don’t know’ he’d said with rising panic in his voice and had started to struggle again. ‘What the hell have you done to me? I’m St….St…fuck!’ He’d looked in mute appeal at the blond, fear sparkling in the indigo depths and Hutch had met his gaze and locked his eyes on Starsky’s, willing him to know the answer. Willing him to be strong and retain his identity.

Matwick had noted something on the chart he carried and had sat back and waited, watching in satisfaction as the bound man struggled with his emotions and tried to regain his memories. Hutch had tried frantically to talk to his partner, but that was never part of the experiment and at a nod from the mad doctor, the guards had set about silencing him with their fists. What unnerved the blond even more was that when he looked back at his bound partner, Starsky was watching the beating in rapt attention, a small smile on his face, his lips parted in anticipation of the next blow. He was enjoying the show!

Eventually Hutch had calmed himself, and the guards reluctantly stopped their attack, watching the panting sweating blond form at their feet. They were hungry for more, knowing that now, while the blond was still free of the drug, they could take advantage of him. Maybe later, they’d have to take as many precautions as they had to do with the curly haired hellion in the chair.

Ten minutes passed, Matwick again tried the same question.

‘Tell me your name’

Starsky’s eyes had been closed. He’d felt dizzy and sick as the drug washed over him and felt like he had the mother of all hangovers. He thought he’d been made to watch a movie – a violent one at that – but when he opened his eyes and saw his blond partner’s body, cut and bleeding, he realised with horror that he’d witnessed Hutch being brutalised and it was no sick film. He stared back at the doctor.

‘Why? You know my name! Leave him alone. If you want a piece of me, fine. But let him go’.

Matwick smiled and said nothing. Instead he wrote on the chart:

Dosage 10 - duration 10 minutes.

He signalled the guards and they picked Hutch’s body up, supporting the semi conscious blond between them. Painfully he lifted bruised eyes to his partner.

‘Be careful’ Hutch wheezed.

‘Hutch? Watch your back, partner’. Starsky turned his defiant gaze on the doctor. ‘You no good piece of low life shit. I’m gonna kill you, soon as I can, ya hear. You leave him alone. I swear, if you lay one more hand on him I’ll….’ His tirade tailed off as the two men propelled Hutch out of the room and Matwick pushed another syringe against his arm.

And it had been that way every day since. The brunette had slowly lost his identity as the drug that Matwick administered with ever increasing doses slowly robbed him of his memories. And always there for the doctor to check on whether the strong-minded cop was faking it, was the blond partner. Matwick understood well the bond between the two men – that the brunette would not sit idly by while his partner was beaten. He’d seen with satisfaction the blood lust in those deep, indigo eyes while he’d watched the savage attacks on the blond, and he’d reported back that the drug was becoming a success.

With the increasing dosages the only thing that allowed Starsky to remember that he was David Starsky, Sergeant and Detective in the Metropolitan Police, Bay City Division was the pain. And Matwick knew he needed to eradicate that last little bit of free will too. Otherwise his syndicate would not be happy with their new purchases.

Now, Matwick pushed the plunger against the bared arm again, the crease of the arm at the elbow marred by the tiny needle wounds, and wrote on the chart.

Dosage 100

He sat back and waited. Blue 1 had already had a 90 dose earlier that day and the results had been encouraging. Now he wanted to use the final 10 dosage to see if he could eradicate the last vestiges of the brunette’s persona and change him once and for all into the machine he needed to be.

Starsky’s body trembled in the chair. The fire which had course through his veins earlier now turned to molton lava, forcing its way through his body and cleansing him of any thoughts save the feelings of anger and rage. He wanted to fight. He wanted to sink his fists into soft flesh and hear the grunts of pain…..he wanted to kill.

He stared back with wild eyes at the doctor and as Matwick came forward to lift the eyelids and shine his penlight into the stormy orbs, Blue 1’s body jerked against the bonds, trying frantically to punch at the white coated man.

Matwick stepped away in alarm and then a satisfied leer crossed his features. Calmly he sat back down in his chair and picked up his chart and pen.

‘Tell me your name’.

‘Who the hell cares?’

‘Tell me your name’.

‘Blue 1’ the man in the chair snarled, struggling still against the restraints.

‘And what do you do?’

A rough smile crossed the features as he stared back, panting at the doctor, but he said nothing. Matwick pressed him further.

‘What do you do?’

The one word answer was spat out with such venom that it took the doctor by surprise.


Chapter 4

The two goons holding his arms dragged Hutch back to his glass-fronted cell and pushed him roughly inside. He overbalanced and fell against the wall, knocking the breath from his body. One of the guards threw a pair of white cotton drawstring pants at him, identical to the ones Starsky had been wearing.

‘Strip and put those on’ he ordered in a voice that brooked no argument.

‘And if I don’t?’ the angry blond spat out.

‘There is no alternative. Either you do as we say voluntarily, or we make you, and have a little more fun on the way’.

Seeing the force of the argument, Hutch braced himself against the wall and levered himself into an almost upright position. As the guards stood watching, he unbuttoned the tattered and torn, blood covered shirt he’d been wearing since the two partners had been taken, almost two weeks previously.

‘….and then I said to her “is hanging a suspended sentence?” and she doubled up. Thought it was hilarious’.

Starsky chuckled at his own humour, ignoring the rolling ice blue eyes next to him. He’d been full of news of his new girlfriend all morning and the descriptions he gave of Helen’s hair and Helen’s eyes and the way Helen kissed were beginning to wear a little at Hutch’s nerves. When they gotten to the part of “Helen likes the tight pale blue jeans I’ve got. She says she can….” he’d held his hand up in defeat.

Enough! I’ve been “Helened” all morning Gordo. I’m glad you got a new lady. Honest I am, but do I have to know what she had for breakfast and how she giggles when ya blow in her ear?’

The brunette looked offended. ‘Well she does! It’s one of those girly giggles that…’

See, there ya go again! Get your mind out of your trousers and back on the job huh?’

They were driving down Ocean Boulevard, past the entrance to the docks, on their way to questioning one of their snitches on the waterfront when they first saw it. Starsky had finally shut up about his Helen and was now keeping his mouth clamped closed in an effort to show the blond that he was annoyed and upset. He hadn’t had a girl in a while and he was excited at the prospect of nights out and more importantly nights in.

Without warning, the brunette swung the big Torino in a wide arc and set off up Mandaley Avenue towards the garment district of the town. Hutch was more than used to his partner’s erratic and unconventional driving and as soon as he’d felt the powerful car sideslip on the dirt he’d grabbed for the dashboard, bracing himself against further daredevil antics.

What the….Starsk, what the hell are ya doin’?’

He saw the devilish light in the indigo eyes. ‘Dark green Lincoln 3 cars back. Get the impression they want to get to know us a little better’.

A tail? Did ya see the driver?’ Hutch asked craning his neck around to try and get a look. The car swung another sharp right and he fell against the door with a grunt.


Well how long have they been following?’


But you’re sure they’re following us?’


Hutch knew better than to question his partner’s instincts. He’d trusted them enough times in the past to be happy trusting his life to the brunette, so he got himself braced into the passenger seat and tried to enjoy the ride. And what a ride it was!

From the avenue, Starsky threw the striped tomato up the bends of the canyon road, leaving the city behind them. As the cars behind tailed off, taking their own routes, it soon became apparent that the curly haired cop’s instincts had been right and the Lincoln followed as though there was an invisible rope from fender to fender. The speedo touched 80 as the brunette skilfully threw the monster machine around the curves of the road, the tyres kicking up dust on the tight bends and still the Lincoln followed, if anything, gaining on the Torino.

Who the hell’s driving that thing? Pedro Rodriguez? Starsky yelled as his hands worked feverishly over the wheel. ‘I can’t shake ‘em. Can you see who they are yet?’

Hutch took another look in the wing mirror, seeing dark eyes and dark hair, but nothing distinguishable in the reflection. ‘Can’t tell. Who did we piss off lately?’

Ya want the definitive list, or a rough guess’ the brunette grunted.

Well, whoever it is, they’re getting closer. Can ya step on it?’ Hutch said as he cast another look in the mirror.

Starsky pushed harder on the gas pedal, the toes of his sneaker now hitting the floor of the car. ‘C’mon baby, ya can do it’ he wheedled, as if talking to his pet would increase the engine output. Another turn came up, almost too quickly. If the detective hadn’t have known the road so well, there would have been an accident, but he nursed the car round the almost hairpin bend and heaved a sigh of relief, just as he saw the juggernaut bearing down on them on the wrong side of the road.

Starsky hit the break pedal full force and sheered the wheel to the side as the enormous vehicle passed by with mere inches to spare. But the damage had been done and he was fighting the understeer on the tomato now as he wrestled the wheel going into the next bend.

As the corner came up, Hutch knew they’d never make it. As Starsky threw the car round the left hand bend, the blond put his arms up to protect his face as the big red car careened off the road and came to a juddering halt with the nose buried in a large and thorny bush. The blond was thrown forward and hit his head on the black dashboard and Starsky found himself trapped behind the wheel, his feet wedged beneath the pedals. Steam rose from the buckled nose of the car and there was silence as both men tried to recover their senses.

As the brunette put his hand on the door handle, he felt the door wrenched open. The driver and passenger of the Lincoln were at the sides of the Torino now, pulling its passengers out onto the road, and in their stunned state, neither Hutch nor Starsky were in a position to fight back.

Both men felt cotton rags being forced over their mouths and nose and had the familiar acrid smell of chloroform. Starsky’s deep blue eyes met for the last time with his partner’s ice blue ones before they fell into a drug induced and painful sleep, waking up, God knows where, God knows how long later.

Hutch had found himself in the small white cell, fully clothed and with the mother of all headaches, but without his curly haired friend. The big glass window gave him a clear view of the corridor, and four times now, during his captivity, in between the trips to the room to watch the soul being ripped from his partner, he’d seen Starsky’s half naked body being paraded in chains down the small space. Perhaps half an hour later, he’d seen the same partner coming back, bruised, bloody and weary and he’d wondered what the hell was going on.

Now it looked as though he may be about to find out.

Hutch shrugged out of his filthy shirt and dumped it on the ground, stalling for time. He looked from one man to the other and then at the door, realising that he had no prospect of escape that way. He also realised that he needed to keep himself in as good shape as he could if he was going to have any chance of getting them both out of the hellhole and so it was pointless to pick a fight with these suckers. They stood watching, looking as though they meant business. Reluctantly, he unzipped his jeans and stepped out of them. The guards had waited for that moment and descended on the naked man, pushing him backwards onto the floor. Roughly they turned Hutch until he was kneeling in front of them.

‘Well, Blondie. You don’t have to be anywhere for a few minutes. More ‘n’ enough time for some enjoyment!’ The guards unzipped his pants and walked towards the defiant blond...

Eventually Hutch was allowed up and he stood braced against the wall, shaking before taking the proffered garment and stepping into the plain, thin cotton pants. Thus attired, bare chested and bare foot he followed the guards quietly as they paraded him back to the sickeningly familiar room with the chair at it’s centre. He felt sick to the stomach at his debasement and longed for retribution, but the assault had left him feeling dirty, vulnerable and defenceless and for the moment, the fight had flown from him.

This time, his partner was not there and the two men at his side motioned for him to take up position in the chair. Hutch stopped in his tracks. There was no way he would willingly submit to the same treatment he’d seen meted out to his partner. He stood stock-still staring defiantly back at his two captors and braced himself as he felt the firm grips of the guards on either side of him. He pulled back, although he had no idea where he was going to run to if he’d gotten away and tried to twist out of their grip. It was pointless to kick out at them with his bare feet and he had no way to punch at them with them anchoring his arms. He gave up the unequal fight and the guards dragged him towards the dreaded chair and forced him into it, swiftly immobilising his arms and legs as he kicked out at them, making it as difficult as possible for them to complete their task.

As they finished, the door opened again and Matwick came into the room and sat down on his small wooden chair, opposite the bound and panting blond. He had his clipboard in his hand and a pen in the top pocket of his white coat and he took a moment to make himself comfortable before looking at the shining ice blue eyes.

‘Detective Hutchinson. Or is it Mr Hansen? Who know? Perhaps after the drug it won’t matter’. He chuckled at his own joke. ‘Have you figured out yet what’s going on?’ he asked conversationally.

‘I’ve figured that you’re as mad as you ever were Matwick. Does that count? Hutch ground out, determined not to let his fear get the better of him. The thought of the needle left him cold. The thought of the needle’s contents and their effects left him even colder and he swallowed hard.

‘But I told you about the drug when we had the cosy little chat at the hospital’ the doctor was continuing, obviously happy at the sound of his own voice. ‘The adrenaline derivative? It seems that others got wind of my little experiments and decided that the drug could be adapted and used in a different way and to their own advantage. It’s lining their pockets quite well now’.

‘You’re sick, you know that?’ Hutch said, pulling ineffectually at his bonds. His mind went back to that time at Cabrillo. The sight of his partner trussed up and sweating on Matwick’s operating table had stayed with him a long time. And in his nightmares he was still standing at the bottom of the small metal framed bed in the cold room, having just enveloped the smaller man in straight jacket and pushed a gag into his mouth.

‘I may be sick, but I’m rich, and you’re the one who’s sitting immobilised in that chair. My syndicate wanted to know how powerful my drug was and asked me to give it rigorous testing. My first subjects were fairly tame individuals. Low life who’s basic instinct was to fight in any event. I needed more powerful, intellectual minds and I thought of you two!’

‘I’m flattered’ Hutch grunted, eyeing the guard who was coming towards him with a silver bracelet type object.

‘You should be. Your partner has provided me with reams of useful data about dosages and effectiveness, and now it’s your turn. Two such determined individuals! I wonder if the final test will prove too much even for you?’ Matwick nodded at the guards and they descended on Hitch’s sweating body, clamping his right wrist to the armrest as they unfastened the restraint. They lifted his arm and fitted the bracelet around his wrist, squeezing it shut. The hinge and fastening were hard to detect, making it seem seamless and as they stood by him, Matwick stood over him, with the dreaded syringe.

Hutch’s body started to tremble as the needle hovered above his arm and he closed his eyes to stop himself from pleading with the doctor. No way on earth would he stoop to that level.

With a cold feeling of dread, he felt the pinch of the needle as it entered his arm. And then there was a period of nothing, followed by a sea of red-hot fluid coursing through his veins. The blood thundered in his ears as he felt raw rage consume him. With his arms and legs immobilised he had nowhere to spend his pent up emotion and he yelled out at the surrounding men.

Matwick stepped forward and shone his light again into the ice blue, wild eyes and then sat down on his chair.

‘Show him’ he said, and the guard lifted Hutch’s right wrist up into his line of vision. Inscribed on the shiny white metal were three words and two numbers

Designation - Green 1

Wins - 0

‘Tell me your name’ Matwick began.

Chapter 5

‘Hey my man. What they hell you got there?’

The small black man cleaned the oil and grease from his hands onto a rag he took from his pocket and walked over to the low loader truck which had just drawn into the garage forecourt. He watched as two black youths in their very early twenties jumped down from the cab and met him, hands outstretched. The garage owner grasped their hands, slipping his fingers to the end of theirs, then clinching them in a grasp, finishing with his hand wrapped around theirs.

Pleasantries over, Merle tried to keep the amazement off of his face as he looked at the candy apple red Torino with the broad white stripe that was sitting on the back of the tow truck. Sensibly he said nothing and let the youths do the talking, but his mind was working overtime and his heart was in his mouth.

‘I hear you’re the best damned fixer upper in town’ youth #1 said, a broad white smile on his boyish features. He looked back at the red car in appreciation.

‘Yeah? An’ whose askin’?’ Merle said cautiously

‘Your customers is who’s askin’. Now are ya Merle the Earle or aint’cha?’

‘Yeah, I’m the Earle and ma minds in a whirl. Where’d’ya get that heap o’ shit?’ he asked, nodding his head at the car as though he was disgusted to have it in his garage.

Youth #2 grinned. ‘We found it an’ claimed salvage’ he proclaimed proudly.

‘Found? You sure it was lost boy? An’ I thought salvage was in the sea. Ain’t no ocean that I can see around here’

The grin faded. ‘Well ain’t nobody been back to it in two weeks. If’n they ain’t claimin’, then it’s down to us, as two solid citizens of this 'ere town to tidy the place up!’

Merle shrugged. He couldn’t fault the logic, but he knew the rightful owner of the car and there were cold shivers going down his spine as he talked to the two boys. They seemed genuine. They didn’t seem to be hiding anything. If anything they were over the moon at having found what they thought was a derelict, and as he watched, youth #1 took a wad of bills from his back pocket and proceeded to peel off a goodly number, waving them at the mechanic.

‘How much to fix her up?’ he asked.

Merle walked as casually as he could over to the damaged and familiar car and started to asses the damage, careful not to touch the metalwork. If his suspicions were right, BCPD were going to want to dust this baby real quick. He gritted his teeth as he surveyed the damage. The hood was crumpled and refused to lie flat on its catches and the windshield was cracked as though something had been hit against it. Standing on tiptoe, he looked inside quickly at the agonisingly familiar black leather upholstery. There were no signs of a fight or a struggle and there was definitely no blood that he could see. So where the hell was Starsky and how come these two boys had gotten hold of the brunette’s pride and joy? Something had gone down and Merle knew he needed to get rid of the prospective owners as soon as he could so that he could call up the right people and get to the bottom of this mystery.

He stepped back from the truck and wiped his hands again, pretending to consider the damage.

‘Whoever had this monster first sure did a number on her. She’s gonna need the Earl’s magic to bring her back to her former glory. Can I interest you in any…erm…refinements? A Merle’s special fur interior maybe?’

The boys looked at each other, considering the tempting offer, but they were obviously purists. ‘Just iron her out an’ tune her up’ Youth #2 said grinning. ‘When will she be ready?’

Merle made a show of looking at his watch. ‘Can’t do nothin’ before Tuesday week’ he said, trying to sound apologetic.

‘Oh man! We were hopin’ ta go cruisin’ this weekend. Maybe we should try elsewhere’.

Merle put his hand up, desperate to stop them taking the motor away. ‘For a brother in need, I’ll turn up the speed. How’s about Friday?’

The youth nodded and shook the mechanic’s hand to seal the deal. He jogged over to the truck and within minutes had backed the Torino off of the tailgate and left it, glancing backwards until they were out of view. Quick as a flash, Merle ducked inside the garage and dialled the telephone.

‘Yeah, get me Bay City police, Captain Dobey please’ he asked the operator and stood tapping his toe while he was connected. A minute later the familiar gruff voice came onto the line.


Merle cleared his throat. ‘Captain Dobey, this is Merle the Earl. I got somethin’ I think you’re gonna want to see’.

‘Merle, I got a car I like! You’re vehicles aren’t exactly my style ya know and I haven’t time for this. I’m up to my neck in missing detect…’

‘I got Starsky’s car’ Merle interrupted.

The line went silent for a moment and then Dobey’s questions started to flow.

‘When did you get it? Is it at the garage? Who brought it in? Is it damaged? How bad is it? Are there any clues at to where they are?’

When Dobey stopped for breath, Merle answered.

‘In order there Captain, five minutes ago; yes; two young guys; yes; badly and no’.

‘Ok, don’t touch it. I’m sending Samuels and Taylor down now with forensics….and Merle? Thanks, you did good’.

Merle put the phone down and stood looking at the car he’d cared for for the past few years. It was Starsky’s baby. He cared almost as much for that car as he did for that blond friend with the crap taste in automobiles. Merle couldn’t think of any way that the curly haired cop would abandon his prize possession unless he was hurt…or worse.

And how many times had he heard about the two detectives getting themselves into one kind of scrape or another. He shook his head. Lucky was not their middle name! He sighed as he thought of the time the blond one had been coerced into bringing his car in for a tune up. And more importantly the gaunt, haunted look in the brunette’s indigo eyes, when, a few days later, they come back to pick it up. He never did find out what had happened to Starsky, but the false cheerfulness of the curly haired detective couldn’t disguise the raw red skin he’d spotted on the olive toned wrists or the painfully obvious burn under the right eye. No. Whatever the two detectives got up to, it was never what he would call a safe job. He rested his head back against his wall and waited, haring the wail of sirens indicating that his garage was about to be overrun with cops. Not cool! And certainly not good for business. He only hoped the car would yield some clue as to the duo’s whereabouts. He had a soft spot for the dark haired guy and his blond friend.


‘There was nothing Cap. No blood; no clue as to what had gone on inside the car. Merle said that from the damage to the car it looked like it had hit something fairly hard, like a tree, at a reasonable speed. The windshield was cracked, but there was no blood on it. Forensic are dusting it now, but they’re not hopeful. The two guys who found it have been all over it, so any prints there might have been have been smudged away by now.

Dobey ran his hands through his rapidly greying hair. ‘Two weeks! Two weeks and nothin’. Where the hell have they got to? Two grown men can’t just disappear from the face of the earth. Someone’s gotta know somethin’. His voice got louder as his anxiety rose.

He’d known nothing about the detective’s disappearance until he’d had a call patched through to his office two weeks ago. The trembling voice put him on high alert immediately.

‘Is that Captain Dobey?’ the female voice sounded close to tears and he softened his voice.


‘Um…you don’t know me. My name is Helen. Helen Browning and I’m Dave Starsky’s girlfriend. Um…I don’t know….erm…he’s missing’ she blurted out.

‘What do you mean, missing?’ Dobey had questioned gently.

The girl took a deep breath. ‘We were due to spend the weekend together. He was supposed to pick me up on Saturday morning. I waited in all day for him and I kept ringing his apartment, but there was no answer. At first I thought he was avoiding me maybe, so I rang Hutch, and he wasn’t there either. So I went around to his apartment and asked the neighbours. No-one has seen Dave or Ken since Friday lunchtime. They’ve gone’.

‘Slow down love’ Dobey said, a cold fear gripping his heart. He knew both Hutch and his partner were due to go to their friend Lisa’s birthday party on the Saturday and neither of them would have missed the blond haired girl’s celebration for anything. She meant a lot to them and they’d become increasingly close to the challenged teenager.

‘Just when did you last see Star…Dave?’

‘Friday morning. I..erm… slept over at his house and then he went to call around for Ken for work. I was supposed to meet him on Saturday. Today’s Monday and I haven’t heard from him all weekend. I’m really worried’.

Dobey was too, but he’d told the girl thank you and he’d keep her informed. Putting the phone down, his head had gone into overdrive, running scenarios of what could have happened. He’d tried to keep his cool police captain’s front, directing operations and co-ordinating the search, but deep down he was panicking. Too many times in the past one or other of the partners had gotten themselves into some life threatening situation or another. And too many times he’d found himself, flowers and candies in hand, as he visited one or both in the hospital.

That was 13 days ago and during that time, he’d put out APBs on both officers and had had R&I run searches on as many of the duo’s previous jobs as they could muster. They’d been checking the whereabouts of the various flakes, goons and whippos that Starsky and Hutch had put away. But still there were no clues, and the trail had looked to be going exceedingly cold as Dobey took to staying overnight at the office. Edith, once again, was bringing food in for her husband, understanding as she did the fondness the gruff black man had for the two detectives. But he was getting progressively more despondent as the days wore on without a clue as to where the men were.


A world away, Blue awoke on some kind of operating table just in time to see a doctor, or maybe he was an orderly in a white coat taping up the cuts that had appeared on his knuckles.

Blue tried to sit up, but as seemed to be usual now, his movements were restricted by the thick leather restraints that bound him to the cold metal. He closed his eyes again and sighed. His head hurt, his back felt as though he’d been used as a pile driver and his chest hurt each time he breathed. He had no recollection of how his knuckles had been hurt and as he tried to think back, another lightening pain lanced through his head, making him wince and duck sideways to try to escape the pain. He was tired again. One of those tired times that meant he wanted to curl up and die, but he couldn’t remember why.

Sinking down into the blackness, he thought he had a recollection of shouting. Yes, there were bright lights and a circular room. Was it a room? He had an impression it was more like an arena. And he was in the centre of it, looking up at faces. So many faces now and they were all looking at him and shouting. And another man in the arena with him. Someone he’d never seen before. A complete stranger. And then the voices had got louder and louder, but he couldn’t remember why!

Silently he shivered, scared by the partial memory and what it could mean. He opened his eyes again as a second orderly unfastened his right arm and made adjustments to the bright silver metal bracelet surrounding his wrist. In passing he saw the inscription had been amended. Now it read

Blue 1

Wins – 5

He whimpered to himself and allowed sleep to claim him again.

Chapter 6

‘Your turn’

The guard stood in the doorway as Hutch stared malevolently back at him. The first injection that Matwick had given him had lasted only a short time, and thankfully he could still remember who he was and what he was doing there, in that bleak white room. He could also remember exactly what had been done to his brunette partner and the sight of Starsky reduced to the equivalent of a lab rat made his blood boil without the need of one of the doctor’s adrenaline stoked injections.

What had the mad professor said? The injection was an adrenaline derivative. But instead of the original purpose, to work with the patient’s fight or flight response and calm the individual, this little concoction did just the opposite. The drug injected into the curly haired cop’s veins had enhanced the fight response to such an extent that the once fair minded and happy man had been transformed into a well muscled and well trained fighting machine.

And now it seemed that it was the blonde’s turn to face whatever it was at the bottom of the corridor. The guards walked towards him and Hutch backed himself up until he felt the walls at his back and he could back no further. The guards advanced upon him and he felt panic rising in his chest as he saw the needle gun in their hands. As one guard pushed him back against the wall, his hand across the blond throat, the other placed hard metal cuffs around his wrists and fastened them together behind his back, affixing a length of chain from them to a broad leather collar buckled around his neck. Thus immobilised Hutch stood panting as the guard continued to use his body’s weight to pin him against the wall.

The other guard pushed the needle against Hutch’s bare arm and the blond detective closed his eyes and shuddered at the horror of it.

Ken Hutchinson, I’m Ken Hutchinson, not a...He leaned forward trying to ease the white hot pain lancing through his head and gasped as the guards chuckled at him.

‘Thinkin’ hurts, don’t it, punk?’

The blond turned wild eyes on his tormentor. ‘Shut it, or I’ll shut it for ya’ he spat out with a vengeance which startled even him. The guards backed off a step, amazed at the speed of the drug and the ferocity it had evoked in the formerly placid blond. Leering at each other, they descended on Hutch, and then took hold of his arms and propelled him towards the door and out into the corridor.

‘Where are you taking me? Take your hands off of me. I’ll fuckin’ kill the lot of ya’. The red hot lava flowed through his veins, burning away the panic and replacing it by need. He needed to run; he needed to shout at the world; he needed to…to…to fight.

‘Somewhere you’ll be able to do what ya need to do’ the guard said with feeling as they proceeded down the corridor.

Hutch didn’t want to wait to fight, he wanted to do it now and he struggled against the two men holding him, making it hard for then to steer their ward towards the ever growing noise at the end of the corridor. The blond heard it to, and the still lucid part of his mind wondered what the hell was happening.

At the end of the corridor was a door and as they got to it, one of the guards started to unbuckle the collar from round Hutch’s neck, loosening the chains. The collar was replaced by a strong hand, the fingers wrapped around the back of his neck and squeezing mercilessly until he put his head forward and ground his teeth against the pain. A small Hutch-like voice in his head snorted. Great Hu..Ke…shit, whoever. You got yourself a Spock wannabe!

As the guard continued to hold him, the other released his wrists from their metal bracelets and as he stopped to massage them, the door opened and he was pushed inside.

After the dim light of the corridor, the bright lights of the arena dazzled him and he put his hand up to his eyes to shield them from the glare. Squinting against the arc lights illuminating the theatre, Green gazed at the bank upon bank of faces staring back at him. The noise was deafening as the crowd cheered and clapped their new fighter.

Green stood by the side of the arena, back pressed against the wooden boards lining the fighting pit as he tried to acclimatise to the noises after the quiet of his cell. As he waited, words started to break through the background noise and he caught phrases and parts of sentences.

‘Good chest…..’

‘…..not as well muscled as red’.

‘twenty against…..’

As he waited, an announcer suddenly took hold of a microphone at the edge of the arena.

‘Ladies and gentlemen! Good evening and welcome to another action packed evening of bare fist fighting for your enjoyment! Tonight we have 3 fights lined up for your delectation. Later, we’ll have your old favourites, Red 4 –v- Blue 3 and Yellow 1 –v- Black 5. But first, a new contender to the stable! For the first time in the fight club, we introduce Green 1.

Weighing in at 170lbs and standing 6’1” tonight he’s matched against our old friend White 1. It’s a knock out fight and bets are now being taken. Ladies and gentlemen, now is your chance. Green here is a prime male and spoiling for a fight, so, without further ado, lets welcome back to the ring my favourite, your favourite….Whiiiiiiite 1

The crowd erupted into cheers and claps as another door opened and a large, muscular man walked through. He had a tangle of long blond hair and a beard and moustache. His eyes glared out of an angry face and Green had the impression that if he’s been a bull he would have been pawing at the ground as he waited. Ordinarily, the blond would have backed away from a fight. It was his nature to talk his way from a situation, and had always despised those men who talked with their fists. Not that he was a coward, far from it. But words saved a lot of pain and suffering, and words were easier.

But now he stood panting, the fury ripping through his being. Who the hell do they think they’re talking about? “Prime male”. I’m no exhibit I’m a…a…I’m a…fuck! C’mon….remember! The pain in his head intensified and through the red mist he tried to decide what he should do. Fight. Yes. He needed to fight. Now, he didn’t see a man looking back at him; he saw an adversary to be taken down and beaten into a pulp on the sandy floor of the arena. It was this man’s fault that he had the pains in his head. If he could take him out, the pains would go and he’d be able to remember. He took another look at the crowd around him. They’d quietened now and were watching expectantly to see what the new fighter would do and how he would fair against White. They didn’t have to wait long to find out.

With a roar of rage, White launched himself across the arena towards Green using his immense form as a pile driver. Head down, he aimed for Green’s stomach and at the last moment and with lightening speed, Green side stepped. White caught Green on the side and ricocheted of the blond body and against the wooden boards. Shaking his head, his glared at the sweating cop and leered.

‘Clever. Very clever Blondie, but not quick enough’. He pulled back his fist and launched a surprise attack against Green. Green put his hands up, protecting his face and swung at White, catching him on the cheek, leaving a bloody bruise there and skinning his own knuckles in the process. White hardly stopped. Grunting with exertion, his fists rained down on Green, accurately and with force.

The treatment Green/Hutch had taken in the past two weeks was telling on him now. Bruises from the guard’s beatings stood out livid and dark across his abdomen, chest, sides and back and each movement hurt, and White was targeting each and every one of them, using the old injuries to inflict as much pain as possible. Green/Hutch was weaker than White and he staggered back against the edge of the fighting pit, fighting to control his breathing as the blows continued to connect. He felt a large cut open above his right eye, and blinked awkwardly as the blood, mingled with his sweat started to flow, threatening to blind his eye. But the pain was welcome. It allowed Green to clear his mind, thinking through the effects of the drug. What had White called him? Blondie. Another, more familiar voice sounded in his head.

Hey Blondie. Earth to the Blond Blintz.

He ducked away as he saw the fist coming back towards him and slammed his own fist into the hard belly in front of him. The force jarred his arm and sent pains shooting through his wrist, but with the pains came more clarity.

Hutchinson…Ken….Hutch. you’re a cop, for Gods sake act like one. Think! Don’t hurt him, just think. Hutch….Starsky. Oh my God, Starsk! Is this what you’ve been doing for two weeks? Shit!

Hutch shook his head to clear it just as White was coming back at him for another attack. Swiftly he grasped the passing arm and swung the big body against the wooden boards of the arena. White let out a roar of anger as he saw the solid wood come up to meet him. He’d had too much momentum behind him to be able to put his own brakes on and as the hard wood met his head, he saw stars.

As he looked up, Hutch saw a massive, bloody wound across almost the whole of White’s forehead. The big fighter stood swaying dazedly and the last vestiges of the drug in Green/Hutch’s system kicked in. With an explosive yell, the blond took two swift steps forwards, jumping up and landing a two-footed kick at his antagonist. White fell back against the arena wall, his eyes rolling up into his head as Hutch landed on his back on the sandy floor, the breath knocked from his body. As he lay panting, clarity returned and he looked at the unconscious man opposite him.

Hutch crawled over to the other fighter and started to check that the man was still breathing as the crowd’s cheers turned to gasps and boos. They wanted fighting and action. They paid to see ruthlessness and the sight of one fighter tenderly checking another wasn’t something that entertained them.

Swiftly guards piled into the arena. Hutch was hauled to his feet and pulled away from White. As he struggled against the strong arms holding him, he felt the manacles being clipped around his wrists and then secured by the chain to the collar around his neck that the hands buckled. He stared defiantly back at the crowd as he was pushed from the arena and back up the small corridor. Instead of turning left into his cell, he was walked further along and pushed into a room, which looked almost like an ER. His bonds were once again removed and the two big men pushed him back against a cold metal examination table, arms once again across his throat. His wrists and ankles were held down and immobilised with leather restraints as a male nurse started to tend to the myriad of cuts and bruises on his hands and body.

He felt, rather than saw one of the men do something to the bracelet on his right wrist. As the medic finished working on him and he was let up, weariness overtook him and he stumbled along back to his cell with the two familiar and silent guards. As they pushed him inside, he leaned weakly against the wall, feeling more tired than he’d ever done. Curiously, he raised his hand to his eyes, reading the inscription on the white metal bracelet. Slowly, and feeling sick to his stomach at what he’d been forced to do, he slipped slowly down the wall and rested his head in his hands, the words burned into his consciousness.

Designation Green 1

Wins - 1

Chapter 7


As the first fight had come to an end, the small curly haired woman had hugged closer to her new boyfriend and wondered. She was almost certain she’d seen the fighter who’d been introduced as Green 1 before, but she couldn’t quite place the face. That body she’d remember if she’d ever seen it before. Her eyes had widened as big as soup plates as she’d contemplated the smooth tanned torso and the flat plane of Green’s stomach. No. She wouldn’t have forgotten a body like that in a hurry. But as the blond fighter had lifted his eyes up to the audience, almost in bewilderment, she’d seen something familiar about him.


The noise of the arena was terrifying to her and she couldn’t imagine what it would feel like to be down there in that fighting pit waiting for an opponent to appear. The blond had seemed ill at ease and almost as though he was unsure what he was meant to do. The atmosphere in the room was smoky and she viewed the proceedings through a blue, cloying haze as the men leaned forwards to get a better look at who they would be betting on.


As the announcer introduced the next fight, she mulled over the handsome blond face in her mind. The fighting frightened her. She’d only agreed to come to the club because her new boyfriend, Adam, was always finding new and ever more cunning ways to gamble. He’d told her that the club was a private affair, run by a couple of syndicate bosses new to the area. They’d moved in months ago and had set about recruiting men to administer the facility and to train the fighters.


Adam told her that he’d had a back room tour of the place when it had first opened and the syndicate were looking for investors and advertising their entertainment. He said it was high tech. and it was run almost along the lines of the old Roman gladiatorial schools and that all the fighters had the best accommodation, food and entertainment. He described private bedrooms, a quality medical facility and training areas that used weights and a large swimming pool. He was adamant that the fighters chose to be there and that they earning big bucks in the process.


He’d been excited about the prospect of a night’s entertainment when he’d asked her to come with him, saying that she’s enjoy the spectacle, but as she’d arrived and started to understand exactly what the entertainment was, she’d shuddered in revulsion. Wrestling she could cope with. Boxing was fairly civilised, but the sight of two grown men beating seven shades of stuffing out of each other with their fists, left her cold, and for most of the first contest, she’d kept her eyes closed. There seemed to be no rules. This was certainly no Marquis of Queensbury set up. So far as she could figure, the men fought until one was unconscious, or dead.


Adam had won big on the first contest, betting heavily against White who he’d seen fight before, and was happily fingering the wad of bills he’d just brought back from the betting office. She tugged at his sleeve. He’d never seen the new Green fight before, but he was always one to live on the edge and had bet his money on the newcomer without a second thought.


The woman made her decision. ‘Adam, I don’t like it here. Can we go? Please?’ she asked, tugging at his sleeve. ‘Its too dark and too violent. It upsets me’.


He smiled down at her. ‘Aw, c’mon! The nights only just beginning. We can’t go home yet, I’m on a winning streak, look’ he showed her the pile of $100 bills and laughed delightedly.


The woman smiled tightly back and followed her man back to the arena where the next contest was about to begin. As she watched the next two men attempt to batter each other into submission, her mind went back to the blond she’s seen earlier. He didn’t seem like the rest of the fighters. They were just out and out violent, whereas he had seemed, towards the end, as though he genuinely cared for the other man. Sure he’d fought like a lion, but somehow, the sight of that body covered in bruises, cuts and blood made her sad and as she thought more about it, she felt as though she would cry. What made men do that? She shook her head. She’d never know. Even her cards wouldn’t tell her that.


By the end of the night, Adam had won over $1500 and was exceedingly pleased with himself. As he bundled her into his sports car and she rested back against the new leather upholstery and soaked up the feeling of being rich, she wondered if dated this man was worth having to endure nights like that one. She closed her eyes as he drove her home, and, ever the gentleman, as they reached her front door, he kissed her and ran his hand tenderly down her face.


‘Same time tomorrow love?’


Mary smiled at him. ‘Where are we going then?’ she asked.


‘Back to the club. Don’t ya just love it?’


She nodded slightly, unable to tell him that she hated the barbaric place and would happily die rather than go back – but. There was still the chance she’d see that blond again. As she closed the door behind her and started to make herself a cup of tea, the vision of his bruised battered but unbowed body haunted her.


Slowly she went to the bureau and took out the black velvet parcel. She hadn’t used the tarot cards for months now and she felt odd as she went to the table and sat herself down. Others had thought she was a fraud, but she knew the cards had never lied to her before and she swiftly laid them out while concentrating on the blig blond Green 1.


She turned the cards over in the true Celtic Cross pattern, gasping as they revealed their truth.


Strength – the blond had fortitude


Justice – was he a law man?


The hanged man – he would sacrifice himself for someone


The Devil – temper and fights


She sighed as she read them. Green 1 would not have an easy time and it brought her no closer to finding out why she knew him…or did it?




Blue was also feeling bruised and battered. Early the next morning, his guards had come for him to take him to the exercise room. He’d been cooped up in his cell for more than 24 hours now as he recuperated from his last fight, although for a large part of that time he’d slept. The drug made him sleepy when he wasn’t….wasn’t. God if he could only remember what he’d been doing when he wasn’t in the cell.


He’d given up fighting his guards a while ago, learning early on in his captivity that struggling only meant more pain and other things, and so now, as they opened the door, he struggled to his feet and followed docilely behind them as they walked down the corridor. He shivered slightly at being out of his room. Clad only in the white drawstring pants, the cool air conditioned air felt icy on his bare back and chest and he longed for the comfortable feeling of clothes. A vision of blue jeans and a red top swam into his head, but as he tried to catch at it, the pain threatened to make its re-appearance and he stopped.


As he got level with the next bank of cells he was stopped in his tracks as two guards opened the door and a tall blond man was led out. The two parties past in the corridor and Blue looked up at the other fighter, noting the fresh cuts and bruises, similar to his own partially healed ones. As he got opposite the blond, their eyes met.


Ice blue stared into the indigo depths as both men paused. There was a connection, although neither man could remember exactly what that connection was. Had they fought? Had they met here in this hell hole? Or was it elsewhere? Blue stopped in his tracks and looked harder at the big blond man. Green stopped to. He’d had less exposure to the drug that Blue and his mind was not quite so fogged. And as yet he wasn’t programmed to stop thinking.


He opened his mouth to say something and another pain lanced through his head, making him bend over and gasp in pain. But he’d remembered his partner. He remembered the soft blue eyes and as he bit back another gasp, he straightened and locked eyes again.


‘Starsk’ he gasped.


Blue looked at him as the guards started to drag him away. He struggled out of their grasp and took a step back.


‘What did you say?’


‘Starsky. Are you ok buddy?’ Hutch pleaded with the man who was looking at him as though he was a stranger.


‘Do I……ungh….’ The pain threatened to rob him of his consciousness and the guards who’d seen the beginnings of the interaction took hold of his arms again. The brunette fought back with all his strength, whipping his arms from their grasp and taking hold of the chains around the blonde’s wrists, pulling the slightly bigger man to him.


He stared with pleading, cloudy eyes into ice blues.


‘Do you know me?’


He saw Hutch nod.


‘Who am I?’ he said softly.


Hutch didn’t have time to respond, although his heart bled for his partner. The guards who’d been with Blue set upon him, pulling his arms cruelly back behind him and securing them there with manacles. As Hutch started to protest and try to protect his partner, one of the big men punched Blue in the stomach, bending him over as he gasped.


‘No talking’ he shouted as Blue gasped in pain, saliva stringing in silver beads from his open mouth. They punched him again, and he fell to his knees, doubled over on the floor as the guards kicked viciously at his side. Blue fell over onto his side and stayed there, gasping and looking up at the blond above him.


Hutch was struggling too and his guards took a firmer hold and started to march him away. He looked back over his shoulder at the brunette lying on the ground behind him and struggled to get back to him. He so wanted to touch the brunette, to tell him that he was there. Not going anywhere. But deep down he knew that the days of Me and Thee may well be numbered. The guards pushed him forcefully forward. As he started to turn a corner in the corridor he heard a pained gasp from the injured man.


Deep stormy blue eyes lifted in pain and Blue groaned ‘Hu..tch’.


Chapter 8


‘What the hell did you do to him?’ The angry doctor looked up at the two guards who’d brought Blue’s semi conscious body into the small treatment room. ‘He’s scheduled to fight tonight and I can’t withdraw him. Look at his side! D’ya think I have nothing better to do that patch up your mistakes?’ Matwick tutted as the limp form was placed on the medical table and the ubiquitous straps were fastened in place.


Blue cracked open his eyes as the cold of the table sapped the residual warmth from his naked back. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d been able to lie down comfortably without being restrained in some way and the thought of actually being able to curl up on his side on a bed and pull bed sheets and blankets over him was sheer luxury. He sighed and the breath brought flashes of pain through his side. He raised his head and looked down his body, seeing the new blue/black bruise decorating his left ribs. Seeing it brought more pain and as Matwick started his non-too-gentle examination he groaned, closed his eyes and felt the sweat prickle over his forehead and bridge of his nose.


He’d submit this time, because to do anything else hurt. But there would come a time when he’d rip this man’s head from his shoulders just for the satisfaction of giving the doctor as much fear and pain as he’d given Blue. The drug had more or less taken over his system now, so that he no longer sought to think past the pain. Only extreme pain gave him sufficient clarity to try to remember what lay outside the white walls. That, and the memory of those ice blue eyes looking at him in the corridor.


What had the guy said? A name? St…Stark?…..no, Starsky! That was it – Starsky. The name meant something to him, but he felt so damned sore just at that moment that he didn’t want to think; didn’t want to try to remember, because the pain in his head would push him over the edge.


So Blue lay on the table as the doctor pushed and prodded. Matwick mumbled to himself as he worked, although he ignored Blue completely, treating him more as a piece of meat rather than a living breathing human being.


‘Good for nothing guards! Don’t they know how valuable this job is? Jeez! Look at the bruise. Needs an x-ray but I don’t think anything’s broken’.


He wheeled a portable x-ray machine over to the table and wedged a cold metal plate under Blue’s back, finally acknowledging his presence.


‘Hold your breath’ he commanded and clicked a switch, taking the plate away a moment later and fiddling with the processing machine. Minutes later, he held the shiny black and white image up to the lightbox on the wall and tutted over the results.


‘Damn! Cracked a rib. Shame, he was doing so well’.


He signalled for an orderly. ‘Get him cleaned up and then bind his ribs up. Hot water will do him good. No exercise today, let him rest, he’s fighting tonight’. Without a backwards glance at Blue, the doctor left the room.


The orderly called for backup and before they released the injured man from his restraints, they placed the heavy leather collar around his neck and buckled it securely. Blue felt the collar rub against his skin each time he breathed or swallowed and as the restraints were released from his wrists and ankles, he felt the tug on the chain attached to the collar and levered himself up with a groan. His side hurt with a vengeance and his head felt light and spacey as he recovered from the assault in the corridor. With no fight left in him, he wearily followed the two orderlies to the shower room.


At a nod from the man holding his chain, Blue undid the cord of his pants and stepped out of them, feeling vulnerable in his nakedness. He shivered involuntarily as he saw the two men’s eyes look him over and they leered at him as he instinctively put his cupped hands down to protect his genitals from their gaze.


‘OK pretty boy, not just yet’ one of them said roughly, implying that in future Blue may need to do more than shower in the small bathroom. He shivered again.


They pulled him over to a shower stall and handed him a tablet of soap, fastening the chain of his collar to an eyelet in the tile wall and padlocking it in place.


‘You’ve got 15 minutes’.


Tired almost beyond belief, Blue turned the faucet and stood under the cascade of hot water, letting it beat down on his shoulders and back. He leaned his outstretched hands wearily against the white tile wall and closed his eyes, soothed by the heat and the water and enjoying the small luxury of the shower. He felt pathetically grateful for the chance to feel comfortable and warm and even the smell of the soap made him happy as he started to methodically soap his bruised body. The lather stung at the myriad of small cuts across his torso and hands, but the small pains felt good, reminding him that he was alive and still a part of the human race. He soaped his hands and rubbed at his curly hair, ducking his head under the water stream again and holding his breath for as long as he could. For a moment he could forget he was a captive; forget he was a fighting machine and that with each injection the fire burned through his veins; could forget that he had no idea who he was or where he’d come from. The water soothed his mind as well as his body and for a few calming moments he enjoyed being pleasantly numb. Later he would worry about who he was and the future. For now he was just Blue 1, Wins 4


Too soon, the luxury ended as the orderly stepped forward and switched off the water, handing Blue a rough white towel. He rubbed away the water droplets shining in silver beads on the fur of his chest and roughly combed his fingers through his wet curly hair before towelling the rest of his body with a towel soon covered in smudges of blood. He handed it back to the orderly who handed him a clean pair of white pants and gratefully he put them on, feeling at once less vulnerable and alone. He stood stock still with his hands raised above his head as the man took several wide white bandages and started to wind them around his cracked ribs in a 10” loop of white hell. Between the tightness of the bandage and the confines of the collar, Blue felt as though he could hardly breath and a sudden wave of claustrophobia swept over him, leaving him pale and shaking. If the orderly noticed, he chose to ignore the discomfort of his patient and carried on with his task, enjoying the soft groans coming for the injured man.


Spinning his captive around one more time Guard #1 leered into the smoky, partially glazed eyes again.


‘God, you look good enough to eat’ he muttered, unhappy that his hands had no more chance to wander over the toned tanned body. Or had they?


‘Check the door’ he grunted at Guard #2. The man complied quickly with an appreciative grin on his face. – Great – more sport. He bolted the door and sauntered back to the semi naked man. Blue shivered at their approach and his frightened glance cast from one man to the next.


‘What’re ya doin?’ he asked carefully. The chain connecting his bound arms to the collar around his neck clanked dismally as he shook and backed up against the tiled wall.


Additions to Chapter 8


Guard #1 reached for him and took hold of his shoulder, forcing the shivering man to his knees, the pain of the shoulder lock being too much for Blue to fight against. He knelt in front of the guards, his eyes focussed on the ground in front of him and the man’s incredibly shiny boots.


In the silence in the bathroom, Blue heard the Guard open the button of his waistband and the small sound of the zipper being lowered. As he looked up he saw the guard’s cock bursting from his pants and pointing directly at him. He smelled the acrid scent of sex as the purple organ bobbed in front of his face and he looked away, sick understanding in his troubled eyes.


Guard #1 laughed. ‘What’s the matter pretty boy? Don’t ya like the look of it? Want a closer look?’ he swung his hips and the phallus smacked against Blue’s cheek as he pulled away. But Guard #2 was behind him, and his head had nowhere to duck away to. He kept his head facing sideways as Blue felt hands on either side of his head, grasping handfuls of his curly hair and yanking his head around until

the huge cock was almost touching his nose.


‘You know what to do. Gimme a good show’ the standing man commanded pushing himself at Blues tightly closed lips. Blue pushed back as far as he could, the smell of the man making him sick to his stomach. The wiry pubic hairs tickled his nose and he refused to open his eyes. To do so would make the nightmare real – too much to bear.


‘Open wide’ Guard #2 mocked behind him. ‘Aw…he don’t wanna play!’ he bent over and dug his fingers into the cracked bruised ribs on Blue’s side. The effect was instantaneous and Blue let out a blood curdling scream in response to the agonising pain flooding his body. It was the moment Guard #1 needed and he stuffed his cock into Blue’s open mouth, cutting off the sound. Blue gagged on the huge piece of meat now wedged in his mouth and for a moment thought of biting down on it, but the fear of the pain in his side stopped him and he closed his tearing eyes again in despair.


‘C’mon boy…..suck that cock like the little pro you are’ he pushed against Blue’s head, the hands clamped in his hair pulling the phallus further into his mouth.


Blue felt as though he’d never have air again. The huge organ filled his mouth and touched the back of his throat making him gag again and again as the guard set up his rhythm pushing further and deeper with every stroke. Blue had no option but to try to accommodate the rape of his mouth, the saliva pooling beneath his tongue. He swallowed convulsively and the guard groaned above him.


‘Oh yeah…oh yeah….do that again pretty boy’.


Blue’s jaws ached from the invasion and his head pounded with the lack of oxygen. The guard’s balls slapped against his chin and the wiry pubic hairs mashed into his nose as the rhythm became more frantic until Blue felt the tightening of the sac and the rod invading his mouth transformed into purple marble. As the guard started to tremble, Blue felt the oily, salty fluid hit the back of his throat in a molten wave and he swallowed again and again to try to clear enough airway to breath, but the cock in his mouth seemed to get bigger rather than smaller and as the orgasm ended, Blue’s world faded from red to grey and then to black as his air starved brain told his body that enough was enough.


The guards laughed as the bound man collapsed sideways onto the floor, cum trickling down his chin and from the sides of his mouth. Guard #1 zipped himself back up, looking hot and drained.


‘Goddamn, he’s the best cocksucker I’ve had for an age. Jeez! Your turn now?’


The second guard who’d been getting increasingly turned on by the show leered. ‘Gonna nail that perfect little ass right now!’


Both men took a hold of Blue’s body as the smaller man returned to consciousness. The sat him on his knees and untied the drawstring to his pants, pulling them down as Blue struggled weakly between them.


Fuck off’ he growled. ‘Get the fuck away from me’.


He was ignored as the guards set him back on his knees and forced his head down until his cheek was touching the cold tile floor. Guard #1 held him there by the simple mechanism of putting his booted foot on the chain leading from his collar as Guard #2 kicked Blue’s knees further apart, lasciviously running his hands over the dangling balls and cock. His fingers wandered over the upturned ass and rimmed the puckered opening as Blue gasped and stiffened.


‘Keep your fuckin’ hands to yourself’ he growled, trying to keep his voice level and calm. He felt anything but calm in that lewd and vulnerable position and had no way to stop the fingers from dipping ever so slightly into his ass. He grunted and tried to close his mind to the invasion, willing himself to just get through it and think of retribution later.


‘I’m gonna nail that virgin ass of yours an’ you’re gonna beg me to do it’ the guard was saying as he knelt behind Blue. The bound and terrified man felt the head of the guard’s cock pushing at the entrance of his body and he growled.


‘Not gonna happen. I’ll never aaargh’. His brave words were cut off as the man punched at his cracked ribs again.


‘Beg me to fuck ya, or I’ll keep that up until you’re just a puddle of sweat’.


Blue tried to think past the pain in his side, panting hard. ‘Go to h….ungh….shit noooooo’.


The man behind him hit again at his side and the yell of pain turned to a strangled cry.


‘Beg me. I know ya want it bitch!’.


Blue knew he had to try to find some way to survive this. He’d get even eventually, even if it killed him. He swallowed down the bile in his throat and rode the pain.


‘Fuck me’ he said quietly and tried to relax.


‘What boy? Didn’t hear ya. Did ya say somethin’?’ the guard laughed.

‘Say it again, louder, so we can all hear’.


His hand hovered over the ribs again and Blue knew he’d been beaten this time.


‘FUCK ME’ he yelled miserably, as he felt the head of the guard’s cock start to push itself into his ass. The man pushed brutally against the small opening, realising that he’d never be able to enter without at least a minimum of preparation. He spat on his hand and slapped the moisture against Blue’s hole, ramming his thumb inside in one movement


Blue groaned out loud at the cruel invasion and gritted his teeth against the pain as the one thumb was joined by its partner a moment later. The guard pulled his thumbs apart, brutally enlarging the opening as Blue sweated and squeezed his eyes shut. He felt as though a red hot poker had been pushed into his anus and as the guard continued to finger bang him, his body started to shudder in revulsion and pain.


With a grunt, the man removed his thumbs looking at the newly raped and gaping entrance, pushing his still hard organ once again into it. He rammed into Blue’s body like a pile driver as Blue screamed time and time again, the rhythm becoming faster until his cries were silenced by the first guard taking advantage of the open mouth once again and pushing his rapidly hardening organ back in.


Blue was pierced from both ends now feeling as though there was a red hot rod of meat running right through his tortured body. The guards set up their own pace, co-ordinating their thrusts as they reamed Blues holes together. Finally in concert, they came to their shuddering climaxes and as they both withdrew, panting and satiated, Blue gave a final shuddering groan and collapsed insensate to the ground.




The guards both fastened their zips and chuckled at each other and then gazed at the semi conscious man on the round. Roughly they slapped his face until the breathing deepened and the pain filled and terrified eyes opened. They pulled Blue to his feet as he flinched from their touch. With another tug on the chain, at the end of the “treatment”, Blue followed the two orderlies back to his cell and as they removed the leather collar and manacles, he walked willing into the small white room, feeling safe, as though the impersonal space was now home. He hugged the secure feeling to him. In here he’d be left alone; he’d be safe. Exhausted from the attack, the “treatment” and the shower, he lay down on the bare floor, curled himself into as much of a ball as he could without hurting his ribs, and with the trickles of blood staining the seat of his pants, he drifted off into a dark sleep. Dreams of big blond men and shorter, fat black men chased themselves through his subconscious and in his sleep, Blue’s face cracked into a small smile, whimpering in his sleep at the comforting memories.




The doorbell rang and Mary checked herself in the mirror, tweaking a stray curl and running her finger over eyebrows. She took a deep breath and opened the door, smiling broadly at Adam.


‘You look gorgeous honey’ he said, standing back to take a proper look at his lady.


She blushed, still unused to his gentlemanly ways and twirled so that he got the full effect of her long, flowing skirt and peasant style white blouse. ‘Well thank you kind sir’ she smiled as he led her down to his deep maroon sports car. He opened the door and she sank into the luscious interior. Hesitantly she cleared her throat.


‘Adam, do we have to go back to that place again tonight?’


His smile faded a little. ‘Mary, we talked about this last night. I like it, and I won a lot of money. Just tonight huh? Just this once. Tomorrow we’ll go to the movies’. He started the engine as thought the statement was final and Mary leaned back in her seat with a sigh.


All the previous night and all that day she’d been haunted by the memories of that big blond man in the arena and still she couldn’t figure out where she’d seen him or how she knew him. Maybe all the coke from her “beautiful people” days had killed off too many brain cells. It niggled at her, but she was still uncertain about going back to the fighting club. She’d argued with herself all day about it. On the one hand she desperately wanted this relationship with Adam to work. She felt fate owed her a little good luck. But on the other hand she hated the thought of watching the fighters again. She was a thoroughly gentle woman and the sight of the blood and bruises was the biggest turn off she could imagine. Finally, and angrily, she’d concluded that she was a selfish little witch and that she wanted to see Adam. And if that meant more fighting, she’d have to bite the bullet.


She watched the bright lights of the down town buildings flash past as Adam whisked her towards the club, excitedly telling her about how much he was going to win and what beautiful things he was going to buy her with his money. She smiled and nodded, although her mind was not really on her boyfriend, it was still trying to remember the blond.


Drawing up in the parking lot, he trotted around to her side of the car and let her out, holding out his hand to help her up and solicitously he led her into the dimly lit club, waving a friendly hand at the doorman in passing.


Once again Mary found herself in the blue smoky room with its seats arranged in a tiered circle around the sandy-floored fighting pit. The room was filling up slowly, mostly with rich looking men, but with some women too, here for the spectacle of scantily clad and muscular men.


Adam showed her to a ringside seat and she sat and waited, sipping at her Bacardi and Coke and watching the seats around fill up. Adam had gotten them a programme and he handed it to her as he set off to place his bets for the evening. She read the details of the three fights scheduled.


Red 3 –v- Black 1


White 3 –v- Blue 1


Purple 1 –v- Black 2


Chapter 9

Mary put the programme to one side as the lights dimmed and Adam returned just as the announcer announced the first fight. Mary closed her eyes and waited, hearing the crowd around her whistling and cheering at the spectacle. She couldn’t close out the grunts, cries and sounds of punching coming from the arena and as she opened her eyes a crack she was sickened at the sight of two women with blood lust in their eyes, leaning over the wooden boards of the arena walls to try and touch the fighters.

Guards pushed them bodily back and within 5 minutes the first fight had ended sickeningly with Black’s arm dangling limply from his side, broken, as he stood over the dead body of Red, panting and swaying.

The crowd went wild as men rushed into the arena to lead Black away and remove the loser’s corpse from view, and Adam cheered along with the rest as he calculated how much he’d won on the first game. He put his arm around Mary and pulled her to him in a deep kiss.

‘We’re gonna be rich honey’ he chuckled as Mary smiled wanly and wondered how she was going to get through the next two fights.

Adam went to the betting office to collect his winnings and Mary sat staring at the arena where a man had just lost his life in the name of “sport”. She shuddered. Was a new boyfriend worth all this? Adam returned with another drink for her, and she took a deep pull at it as the announcer bounced back into the ring.

‘Ladies and Gentlemen. Our next round features two fighters you’ve seen here before. Matched against each other for the first time tonight we have White 3. With 7 wins to his credit, White is an old favourite, so give him a big hand here’ he held out his arm as though welcoming a friend and an enormous mountain of a man walked calmly into the arena. Mary estimated he stood at about 6’6” and must have weighed over 230lbs. He glared at the audience from big brown eyes and stood casually, waiting as the muscles on his chest and arms rippled beneath his pale skin.

‘And matched against White, we have a relative newcomer. Blue has had 4 wins to his credit and is hoping to make it 5 tonight. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Blue 1’.

Mary was about to close her eyes in preparation for the fight, but instead, they flew open in disbelief. Blue had been almost pushed into the arena and was now standing with much the same bewildered look in his deep blue eyes as the blond had had last tonight. As the handsome face looked around the crowd, Mary suddenly and clearly remembered where she’d seen the blond fighter.

Her mind went back to a sunny afternoon in her old front room. A table, a crystal ball and two cops. One blond and tanned, the other olive toned and ruggedly handsome. She’d been captivated by his cheeky charm, his beautiful eyes and his abundant ebony curls and she’d held onto his hand long after he’d wanted it back.

Now she looked down at the man in the fighting pit in amazement. It was the same man, but changed somehow. The light had gone from his eyes but he looked alert and angry, but frightened in some way, the stark white bandage around his middle contrasting sharply with his tanned skin.

He swayed and watched Black approaching him with resignation in his eyes as he prepared to fight for his life.

Making her apologies to Adam, Mary got up and went out into the foyer, her heart hammering in her chest as she tried to come to terms with what she’d seen. Starsky! That was his name and his partner was Hutch. What were they doing here? Neither man looked as though they belonged. Were they undercover? She’d heard of that before, but somehow that didn’t ring true either. They looked as though they’d been forced.

Mary ducked into the ladies bathroom and bolted the door behind her with shaking hands, needing some peace and quiet to get her thoughts in order. What was she going to do now?

Mary made her quiet way back into the main auditorium, startled by the ferocity of the cheering and screaming from the audience and she braced herself for the sight. As she sat quietly back down in her seat next to Adam, she glanced down at the two men in the arena.

Black was standing over the body of Blue who was lying on his back. Both men were sweat soaked and panting heavily and Black had a large red bruise appearing over his right ribs and the beginnings of a black eye. Blue had a dazed look in his eyes as he stared back up at his opponent. He was gasping for breath and clutching a protective arm around his middle, cradling the injury with his right hand, while his left arm propped him up. There was a bleeding cut above his right eye and another on his right cheek, as though he’d taken several blows to his face and Mary looked away as Black bore down on the much smaller man once again.

She took hold of Adam’s sleeve and wove her fingers into the material as she buried her face in the shoulder of his jacket, not wanting to see the end of the brave cop. But as she braced herself she heard a concerted gasp from the audience and then cheers resounding around the room again as a whistle blew and the announcer came back onto the microphone.

Blue had stared defiantly at Black as the enormous man stood above him and as he saw the big foot take a swing back to connect for the final time with his head, Blue had swung his legs round on the ground in a roundhouse kick to Black’s remaining leg. The big man had plunged to the floor, taken off balance by the unexpected move and had hit his head hard on the floor, knocking him out instantly. The crowd went wild, obviously routing for the smaller, much more handsome fighter and the commentator had a hard job to make himself heard above the noise of the cheering

‘Ladies and gentlemen, Blue 1 wins his fifth fight in succession. Let’s hear it now for Blue!’

The crowd erupted into another round of applause, but Blue wasn’t in a fit state to enjoy it in his collapsed and exhausted state and Mary closed her eyes in sympathy as men dressed in black tee shirts and pants came into the arena. Two headed for the unconscious Black and dragged his body away, his bare feet leaving tracks in the sandy floor. Two more men descended on the man she knew as Starsky and he cried out in pain as they took hold of him under his arms, stretching his cracked ribs and pulling at the various other cuts and bruises marring his handsome body. She watched with tears in her eyes as they pulled the victor roughly from the arena, Blue’s legs hardly having the strength to support himself and throughout the next and final fight, her mind worked overtime, thinking what she could do.

If Starsky and his partner were undercover, and God help them if they were, she knew she would be in trouble and would maybe jeopardise their lives if she telephoned the wrong people. But if they weren’t, and they were somehow here against their will, she knew she’d never forgive herself if she didn’t try to do something to help.

By the end of the last bout of fighting, when Adam had collected his substantial winnings from the betting office, Mary had formulated a plan. She forced herself to laugh and joke with her boyfriend on the way back to her house. It wasn’t his fault after all. He was just another punter out to have a good time and firmly of the belief that the fighters were all well paid and cosseted volunteers. And if that was the case, well, she’d look a fool, but no-one would be hurt. But if her suspicions were right, then maybe more than the two cop’s lives would be saved.

At her door, Adam bent and kissed her.

‘Are you going to invite me in for coffee?’ he asked with a twinkle in his eye.

Mary smiled at him. ‘I’m sorry love. I have a terrible headache. Must be all the smoke and the shouting at the club. Do you mind if we just say goodnight? I just need to turn in and go to sleep’.

Adam put his hand on her shoulder, concern showing in his eyes. ‘Whatever you say honey. I’ll ring you tomorrow and check on you, ok? We’ll do something quieter tomorrow night, promise’. He kissed her again and Mary waved as he got into the car and drove away. Quickly closing the door, she reached once again for her Tarot cards, trusting in them to give her the assurance to do what she knew she had to do.

With shaking hands, she walked to her table and sat down, calming herself as she unwrapped the black velvet package again. She started to lay the cards out, preparing herself for a full reading.

Card 1 - this card representing the theme of the problem. She laid the Magician down - taking charge. That’s what she must do.

Card 2 - These are the obstacles in the way – the Devil: Anger, violence, jealousy, greed, deceit. All things she’d suspected. Not good!

Card 3 - representing the conscious plans and intentions - The High Priestess- Intuition, wisdom, mysteries, secrets, tenacity.

Card 4 -The card indicating Mary’s inner feelings, and state of mind - The Emperor: Willpower, stability, benefactor. Did that mean she would win?

Card 5 -Influences that are passing away - The Hermit - a lonely spiritual quest, caution, inertia – were the cards telling her she must act?

Card 6 – (she braced herself for this one) The Priestess representing the immediate future events – strength, fortitude, courage, success. She breathed a sigh of relief – the best card to draw!

Card 7 - this signifying Mary’s attitude. The card surprised her- The Hierophant - Marriage, good advice, the higher self, mercy. She smiled excitedly

Card 8 - Signifying other’s attitude to Mary – The Empress -Mother, health, kindliness.- were the cards saying she would be Starsky and Hutch’s saviour? She hoped so, and her cards had never lied before.

Card 9 - Influenced by card three – conscious plans and intentions, showing how hopes and fears influence Mary’s intended goals -. The Hanged Man: Wisdom in difficulties, self-sacrifice, intuition, initiation, prophesy. Oh how she hoped she had the wisdom to deal with this situation!

Mary’s hand trembled as she turned over the 10th and most important card, showing the outcome, or the potential outcome of the events. She plucked it from the pack and held her breath before she turned it over, laying it down at the bottom of the cross she’d formed on the table. Opening her eyes, she studied the card intently, her breath exiting in a sigh of contentment.

Death: Transformation, events beyond your control, ending corruption, a new but difficult start, inevitable major changes.Other than The Last Judgement, this was the card she would most have wanted to see, and she breathed a sigh of relief, putting her head in her hands as she gazed at her cards one last time. With their reading ingrained in her mind, she knew now what she had to do.


Chapter 10

Starsky had been carried back to his cell and left on the floor. After the last injection, which had now worn off he felt too weary even to stand and he crawled a little way further into the cell and collapsed on his back, staring up at the white ceiling feeling as though his entire body was on fire. With the last vestiges of the drug, his mind once again became a tabula rasa; a blank and empty canvass. The past hour or so, after the suckers had come at him with the needle gun again had been a blank and he couldn’t remember how he’d gotten blood down the white bandages around his middle – couldn’t even remember why he was bandaged, although he knew his side hurt and as he sat back on the ground, another pain lanced up through the very core of his body making him gasp softly. What was that all about?.

Very slowly and painfully he dragged himself to the front of the cell and looked at his reflection in the big glass window, the almost stranger staring back at him like a ghostly presence in another world. He groaned, touching with growing horror the gaping wound on his forehead and the equally painful and bloody one on his cheek. He had no recollection of getting them and no idea how he could have gotten into a position to hurt himself so badly.

Blue closed his eyes and groaned again softly, the sound of his own voice startling him. The terrified man curled himself into a ball on the floor and cushioned the pain free side of his head on his arm as weariness overtook him and the lids drooped over his rapidly glazing indigo eyes, the eyelashes becoming dark smudges against his flushed cheeks.

Maybe when he woke up things would begin to make sense. Maybe he’d stop hurting and maybe his head would stop hurting long enough for him to remember who he was and what he was supposed to be doing.


Mary, too had had a sleepless night and was up at the crack of dawn. Carefully she dressed. Not her usual flamboyant skirt and blouse. No, today she wanted to be take seriously and she found a plain black skirt and a red blouse. She added black stockings and her only pair of dressy high heeled shoes. Checking herself in the mirror, she added her good black jacket. She smiled at the reflection, seeing a strange grown up type of Mary looking back at her. Picking up her purse, she closed the front door behind her nad hailed a passing cab.

The cabbie looked at her and smiled. ‘Yeah?’

‘Bay City Police Department please’ she said as she got in. She closed the door and the cab set off.

‘Ya goin’ for an interview love?’ the driver asked, making polite conversation.

Mary would have giggled if the situation had not been so grave. ‘What? Um…no….no, just some erm…business I need to deal with’ she said thoughtfully.

‘You look like a lawyer’ he continued taking in the suit and stockings. ‘You a DA or somethin?’

That brought a smile to her face. ‘Nah, just a law abiding citizen’ she mumbled and turned her head to look out of the car window, watching the passing traffic and signalling she didn’t want to talk. The driver shrugged his shoulders and concentrated on the morning traffic. Some wanted to talk, some didn’t. No skin off his nose!

Finally he pulled up outside the big stone building and turned for his fare. $1.30 he said, holding out his hand for the money. Mary rummaged in her purse and handed him $2.

‘Keep the change’.

The driver stared at the two notes in disgust. ‘Yeah, right’ he said adding under his breath ‘Last of the big spenders!’

Mary got out of the taxi and looked up at the building. Was she doing the right thing? Would she get into trouble? Worse, would she get the cops into trouble?

She heaved a calming breath. She’d know soon enough. Last night she’d remembered the name of Starsky’s boss and now she made her way into the reception area, heading for the lady on the front desk.

Trying to keep the trembling from her voice, she cleared her throat.

‘I’d like to see Captain Dobey please?’

Mary paced the small reception area, her heart hammering in her chest as she waited for Captain Dobey to appear. She’d never met the man. Hell, her only other involvement with the police in her entire life had been being moved on at a peace rally in down town LA and then the time she’d met the handsome curly headed cop and his blond counterpart in her front room those two summers ago. She felt vaguely ill at ease about being actually in the police building and the sight of all the uniforms and the men and women casually walking around with chunks of heavy weight metal casually slung under their arms were unnerving to say the least.

A voice startled her from her thoughts and she jumped, looking around with a nervous laugh.

‘Ms Armstrong?’ the woman in the black uniform said. Mary nodded. ‘Come with me please. I’ll take you to Captain Dobey’s office’.

Mary followed behind and up the two flights of steps, her high heels sounding too loud as they clicked along on the floor of the long corridor. She suddenly longed for her flowing skirt and comfortable flat sandals. Tight suits and stilettos were not her at all. She felt conspicuous and ill at ease. The woman stopped outside a wooden door, knocked and at the gruff ‘Come in’ opened the door and showed Mary into a small office. The large black man behind the desk got up and leaned forward to shake her hand indicating a chair for her to use. He looked enormous and would have been intimidating had it not been for the inviting smile from an albeit tired and almost haggard looking face.

‘How can I help?’ he asked with a deep voice.

‘Yes, I think. Um….I don’t know where to start’ Mary stammered, her mouth dry and her lips sticking to her teeth. ‘I…um…I met two of your officers two years ago when they were investigating a disappearance. One of them…..Detective Starsky he was called….he um. Well….I wouldn’t have forgotten him’ she blushed and dipped her eyes, suddenly very embarrassed to admitting she had a teenage crush on a man.

‘Is this a complaint? Have you got information on them?’ Dobey asked, wondering where exactly this conversation was going. He was so worried about his missing officers and the chance to get any information about them was imperative.

‘Well yes, I have. It’s just that I think I saw them last night and the night before. They….’

‘Where were they?’ Dobey interrupted, desperate for information. His reaction startled Mary and she shrank back in her seat.

‘Are they in trouble?’ she asked, already knowing the answer.

Dobey ran his hand through his short wiry hair. ‘They’ve been missing for two weeks. If you have information on their whereabouts, I need it now. Are they ok? Where did ya see them? When?’.

‘They were at a fight club’ she said, uncomfortable at admitting that she’d been to such a place.

‘Fight club? What fight club? There are no fight clubs in Bay City’.

‘Um…yes there are, and your two detectives are there. I saw Detective Hutchinson the night before last, and Detective Starsky last night’.

Dobey stared at her open mouthed. ‘What were they doing?’ he asked, scared of the answer.

Mary looked down at her fingernails, unable to meet the piercing brown gaze. ‘They were fighting’ she said quietly.

She watched as Dobey reached for the phone, his large hand shaking. ‘Williams, can I see you in my office?’ he asked, waited and then put down the telephone. A moment later an equally large man appeared at the door, came in and sat down.

‘Ms Armstrong, this is Captain Williams, my counterpart on fraud. Henry, I need your help with this one. You know that Starsky and Hutchinson have been missing for two weeks. Ms Armstrong here says she saw them at a fight club for the past two nights. They were fighting! I have no idea what’s goin’ on, but I intend to find out. There’s no way my men would willingly participate in something like this. And I have a horrible suspicion that this may be tied in to those three bodies we’ve found in the past weeks. You know, the ones that were beaten to a pulp but with no ID and no witnesses. If I’m putting two and two together and not making five, I don’t think its not too far a leap to think that the three men were all ex fight club’.

Williams steepled his fingers and stared at the big desk.

‘So, what do you want to do Harold? We can get a warrant and bust their asses and get your men out’.

Dobey was shaking his head. ‘We go in there with a load of black and whites and shouting “Police come out with your hands up” the bosses are gonna be gone before we know it. If this is a syndicate, the top honchos won’t be there anyway. They’ll just disappear into the ether and set up somewhere else’.

‘My boyfriend said he went to look around the facility to look around’ Mary said. ‘He said that it was like a hotel with training facilities and that the men were all volunteers. Its just that when I saw your men fight, they looked….dunno….kinda spaced out, like they didn’t know where they were’.

Williams sat up straighter looking intensely at Dobey. ‘Drugs? Hypnosis?’ He turned back to Mary. ‘Did your boyfriend give any names?’

Mary shook her head. ‘No, none. I’m sorry’.

‘You did well to come to us with this’ Dobey said kindly. He looked at his colleague. ‘We need someone to go in undercover’.

Williams shrugged his shoulders. ‘If they’re as canny as we think they are, they’ll know most of our officers. It’s no use giving them a heads up. What do you want to do? Someone from out of town?’

‘No, that won’t work either, but I think there might be a guy we can use. He isn’t BCPD, but he’s worked with us before and he knows Starsky and Hutchinson. They’ve been through a lot together over the years’.

‘If he isn’t a cop, can you trust him?’

Dobey chuckled. ‘If we were in a fight I’d want him on my side for sure’. He reached for the telephone again and made a call, sitting back at the end of it.

‘He’s on his way. I spoke to his CO and they can release him for a while. Now, so long as he’ll do this – and I have no reason to think he won’t – how are we gonna play it?’They settled down to review their methods.

Chapter 11

‘Dose of 100 percent given on fourteenth day’ Matwick said into his tape recorder as he watched the struggling form in the chair opposite.

Hutch/Green’s usually pale flaxen hair was a darker golden now as the sweat trickled down the sides of his face. His injuries from the last fight had been dealt with and he’d been left alone in his glass fronted cell for a whole day to recover, but now Matwick was anxious for his experiment to draw to its logical conclusion. The syndicate were happy with the progress of the drug and Matwick was pleased on two levels – the drug worked on even strong minds like his last two subjects, and he’d had a wonderful, God given chance to repay the Detective duo for the time he’d spent in prison. Matwick was one happy little bunny.

‘Don’t give me that’ Hutch ground out as he saw Matwick loading the syringe gun with the drug. ‘Don’t do it… I’m a …I’m a…a…don’t….ungh’ the pain lanced through his head again, leaving him pale and shaking as he fought to keep from vomiting on the floor. He was dizzy and as tired as he’d ever felt in his life and all he really wanted to do was curl up and sleep. Hutch didn’t know what was worse, the pain in his head prohibiting from thinking, or the inability to remember his identity. His last lucid thought, so far as his memory would allow was seeing the dark haired man in the corridor. He’d known instinctively that he knew him and his name had come unbidden to his lips. He was St..Sta. The pain hit again and he felt the bile rising in his throat once more. He gave up struggling and tried to relax in his chair, closing his eyes against the incredible fatigue and despair he felt.

‘Tell me your name’ Matwick started the familiar litany.

Hutch glared at him and said nothing. If he didn’t reply the question, he wouldn’t get the crippling pain in his head whilst thinking about the answer.

‘Tell me your name’ the doctor said again, seeing the defiance. ‘If you resist, your friend will pay’.

The blond continued to stare back and almost joyously Matwick summoned the orderlies. ‘Go get Blue and bring him back here’.

They waited in silence. Hutch tried to calm his heart rate and try not to think about anything. But visions of a lop sided smile and deep blue eyes kept swimming into his consciousness and when he thought about their owner, the pains returned.

Moments later, the orderlies re-appeared dragging the damaged brunette between them. Blue was having difficulty standing and there was blood both on the bandages around his middle and on his white cotton pants. Matwick noticed it and made a note to himself to ask questions later. But right now, the conclusion of his experiment was priority

Hutch looked at the injured man swaying in front of him and his heart lurched. Oh God Stars…. The pain redoubled its efforts but Hutch fought it, wanting to follow his natural instincts and go to his partner and comfort him. He pulled against the restraints around his wrists and ankles ignoring the doctor as he struggled to rise.

‘Tell me your name, or you can watch as he takes on a fight of a whole different nature’ Matwick smiled.

‘Don’t you dare lay a finger on him’ Hutch spat out. He watched in horror as the orderlies arranged themselves so that one held the dazed brunette by his arms while the other stood in front, ready to punch. Although most of his memories were now blocked by the drug, the past 6 years working with his partner would not be erased so easily and on a fundamental level, Hutch ‘s mind urged him to protect the brunette and ease his suffering.

From Starsky’s point of view, he was just glad that someone was trying to stop the vicious guards from using him once again as a punchbag, or worse.

‘If you want them to stop, tell me your name’ Matwick pressed, almost hoping that he’d have the opportunity of meting out further punishment to one or other of the detectives if not both.

‘Hutchins…Hutc…Hutchi’ he tried to form the words to stop the men from hurting Blue, but the pain was indescribable and Matwick noted down on the sheet, grinning at the effectiveness of his concoction as he saw the desperate struggles.

‘Take him back’ he ordered, motioning to Blue.

They took the smaller man by the arms again, and as they dragged him from the room, he looked back over his shoulder at the blond in the chair. Why did the man struggle? Why did he try to stop them from hurting him? Did he know him? Why did he look familiar? Blue’s head hung down as exhausted thoughts ran through his mind. Maybe tomorrow, if he got a chance to rest, he’d remember then.

Hutch closed his eyes against the horror as he saw Matwick take up the syringe. He took a deep breath as he felt it pushed against his damp arm. I will remember. I will remember I’m Hutchin…Hut…Oh shit, who am I?

Matwick noted the immediate effects.

The baby blue eyes glazed and the compassion that he’d seen in them a moment ago fled, to be replaced by…what? He looked for a moment, considering. Yes, that was it. The word he’d been looking for. The word that would describe the look in those previously kind eyes perfectly



The tall, curly haired man walked purposefully up the stairs and along the long corridor to Captain Dobey’s office. He’d been to the precinct a sufficient number of times to know his way around and needed no introductions as he stopped outside the familiar office and knocked on the door.

From the back, a casual observer would be forgiven for thinking that this man was Detective David Starsky. He had the same mahogany curls and was 5’11” tall weighing in at a trim 165 lbs. There was the same ruggedly handsome face and only the startling green eyes and the army uniform showed that this was not the detective. This was Lieutenant colonel Thomas (Traff) Trafford of the bomb disposal unit, an old time army friend of Starsky’s from their Vietnam days and a more recent friend to Hutch.

He stood tall and straight as he waited for the invitation to enter the room and at the gruff ‘Come in’ he pushed the door open and went in, standing at ease in front of the desk, feet a regulation 12” apart and hands clasped in the small of his back. Traff was army through and through, but the army hadn’t moulded him. He had moulded the army to fit around his wacky sense of humour and easy way with people. He looked straight ahead until Dobey signalled for him to sit down.

‘Thanks for coming Traff. We could use an outsider on this. Someone who isn’t known to the regular goons in Bay City’ Dobey explained.

‘No problem Captain’ Traff answered in his deep, slightly husky voice. ‘There’s no way I could let this one go. So what have the dynamic duo gotten themselves into this time?’ he asked with a twinkle in his eyes.

‘They went missing two weeks ago’.

Traff sat up even straighter in the chair.

‘Do you know where? Have you heard anything. My CO was vague on details’.

Dobey nodded. We’ve had APBs out on both of ‘em for the whole time, but today we had an interview with a young lady who claims to have been taken to a nightclub by her boyfriend. This nightclub specialises in fighting. It’s a bare fist fight club and for some unknown reason, she says she saw Hutchinson and Starsky out there in the arena’.

‘No! Not Curly, or Hutch. They’d never do anything like that ….unless they were coerced’ Traff said decisively.

‘I know that. That’s why we need to go in and find out what’s happening. I’d love to just go in there with a warrant and retrieve them, and we will get them back out, beleive me, but we also want to bust this syndicate. According to Mary, the two were ok. Not in the best shape, but ok so far, although we need to get this underway now’.

‘So you want me to what? Go in as an investor maybe?’ Traff asked.

‘Yeah, we want you to go in throwing your money around and letting the syndicate know you’re a big investor and you want to see the facility. If you’re ready, you can go in tonight. We’ll fit you up with funds and the like. Just to case the joint and find out what’s happening. Then we can work on busting it down and getting them out’.

Traff pursed his lips. ‘I would’a preferred to get ‘em out tonight. I hate the thought of either of them being made to fight like some kind of circus show. What’s making them do it? Do you know?’

Dobey shrugged his shoulders. ‘What ever it is, it’s powerful. Drugs maybe? Who knows, but that’s something you’ll have to find out. And Major? Be careful huh?’

‘Hey, you know me Captain. I’ll watch my back. Now. Lead me to the money and lets get this show on the road’.


Four hours later Traff was almost unrecognisable as the army Major who’d walked into the precinct. He’d gone home and changed out of his uniform and into casual black pants, a white open necked shirt and an expensive looking pale cream jacket. His shoes were shiny slip ons and his wallet bulged with the $20 bills the precinct had furnished him with. He looked the epitome of a rich playboy and he had the good looks to reinforce his cover.

‘Are you sure you’re ok with this. You don’t have to. You aren’t police’ Dobey said uncertainly.

‘Don’t ya trust me?’ the twinkling green eyes turned on him. ‘A guy could get a complex ya know’.

Dobey’s face softened. ‘Ya had to ask? I’m just concerned that you know what you’re letting yourself in for’.

‘I know I want to help my friends’ Traff said softly, seeing the deep concern in Dobey’s brown eyes. ‘I’ll do whatever it tales and’ I’ll report back tonight. It’ll be later. Where do you want me to contact you?’

The black man sighed deeply and rubbed his hand over his exhausted face. ‘I’ll be here. Till they’re found I’ll be here’ he said with feeling.

The soldier patted the big man on the shoulder. ‘Don’t worry, they’ll be ok. They’re big boys, they can stick up for themselves’. He turned and walked out of the small interview room they’d been using, walking down the steps and out into the early evening sunshine.

Traff got into his deep blue sports car, closing the door with a dull click and sat for a moment contemplating what he’d been told and what he was about to do. How was it that of all the cops in the Bay City, when anything bad went down, it was always his two friends that were on the receiving end? He shook his head in disbelief. If it wasn’t psychos wiring the curly cop up with explosives it was flakes trying to kill the blond one and torturing the other. He put the key in the ignition and pulled out into the light evening traffic, making his slow and determined way down to the club and getting himself into the rich, playboy character he had to be.

Half an hour later he pulled up outside the discrete entrance to the club. He got out of the car and threw his keys to the Parking lot attendant. ‘Be careful with her, she’s new’ he said loudly, then put his hands in his pocket and made his way into the club. The receptionist, a buxom blond with a pronounced Chicago accent asked if she could help.

‘I’d like to see the owner’.

‘May I ask what its about Sir?’ she asked. ‘Mr Padaleki doesn’t usually see visitors without an appointment’.

‘I heard he was looking for investors. There’s a possibility I might be interested in making a little deposit’ Traff said casually, flashing his eyes and a brilliant smile before turning his back on the woman and leaning against the reception desk.

‘I’ll see if he’s in’ she dimpled and went into an office behind the desk. Traff heard her punch buttons on the telephone and a quiet, one sided conversation. A moment later, she arrived back, smiling.

‘I’ll show you up to Mr Padeleki’s office’.

The soldier followed behind her, enjoying the view in the tight skirt as the receptionist’s hips swung from side to side. She stepped out onto a corridor close carpeted in deep maroon deep pile carpet and stopped outside a huge carved oak door. She knocked and let Traff into the wood panelled room. It was moodily lit with table lamps and the maroon carpet continued in there, the heavy oak furniture spread around the room emphasising the decadence of the place. Traff smelled cigar smoke and saw the man sitting on the cream leather couch beside an ornate fireplace.

Chapter 12

‘Mr Padaleki?’ Traff asked, walking forward with an outstretched hand. The man stood, removing his cigar from his mouth and squinted through the blue smoke. He returned the handshake and motioned for the soldier to sit on the couch opposite. He was a small rotund man with a ruddy, flushed face surrounded by a fringe of bushy black hair, a bald spot showing on the crown of his head. He had beady dark brown eyes and wore an expensive dark blue smoking jacket in brocade, a cream cravat visible at the neck of his shirt. The hand that shook Traff’s was limp, cold and damp and Traff was reminded of handling the fish he used to catch when he went fishing with his brother. He repressed the urge to wipe his own hand down the sides of his trousers when Padaleki had finished with it.

‘What can I do for you, Mr….?’

‘Rushton. Thomas Rushton. Please, call me Tom’. Traff smiled at him, his eyes dancing around the room and taking in the sumptuous surroundings.

‘Well….Tom. What can I do for you?’ Padaleki appraised the tall dark haired man. He looked rich and influential – just the sort of money his syndicate were interested in. He made a conscious decision to treat this one with kid gloves and give him the gold standard treatment.

‘A friend of mine told me about this place. He said you were looking for investors? I have a little extra capital I wouldn’t mind throwing your way, for the right return’ Traff winked.

‘And which friend would this be? What has he told you?’

Traff sighed inwardly. He’d never been a great one for small talk and he was itching to get down to basics and try to find his friends, to make sure they were ok and to try to break them out, if indeed they were here. But he played along with Padaleki, acting his part as the rich investor and biding his time.

‘The friend isn’t important; he’d prefer to…erm….remain anonymous. But he told me you have some interesting entertainment going on. It sounds like something I might consider, but I’d like to know a little more before I jeopardize my kid’s inheritance on my little whim. Are you interested in investors? Or is this just a wild goose chase?’

Padaleki threw his arms up in mock horror. ‘We’re always open to the right sort of investor. May I ask what sum we’d be thinking about?’

Traff shrugged casually. ‘$2 million, give or take’ he said with as much disdain as he could muster.

Padaleki’s eyebrows raised slightly, but he retained his outward show of calm. ‘And what would you like to know, Mr Rushton?’

‘Tom….please. Call me Tom’ Traff smiled. ‘Wouldn’t mind a little look around the facilities before I put my money where my mouth is. I know one should speculate to accumulate, but I’m no newbie to this kind of thing. And I don’t just want the corporate blurb. I want to see everything, not just the fancy stuff you show to most visitors’. Traff’s face turned steely.

Padaleki was unphazed. He walked towards the door without a backwards look. As he put his hand on the door he looked over his shoulder. ‘Very well, shall we begin?’

Traff followed the man out of the room and down the corridor to an expensive Otis lift at the far end. They entered and Padaleki pushed the button down to the ground floor. He seemed very relaxed and it crossed Traff’s mind whether the information Dobey had received was right. Surely if Padaleki was involved in something shady, he’d want more time to prepare; to hide away anything he didn’t want a stranger to see. His skin crawled. What id he was just wasting his time and his friends had never been here? The lift stopped and they got out.

‘This is the arena’ Padaleki said, escorting Traff into the large round room. ‘It has a capacity of 250 on a good night and of course, its licensed. The fighters enter through those two doors and everyone has a good view. We usually play to capacity, so the money flow is no problem. Our investors are currently receiving a 7.5 percent dividend at the end of each quarter’.

The soldier looked around no longer having to feign interest. This was a neat set up and he was impressed, if not by the subject of the entertainment then by the way the business was handled. The seats were arranged around the central arena, each red velvet seat having an unobstructed view of the entertainment, and surrounding the whole thing was a wrap around bar which must have measured 50’.Idly, Traff wondered how many bartenders they’d have to employ to keep up with demand. He dragged his mind back to the job in hand.

‘Where do you get your fighters from?’ he asked

‘All over the country. They’re all volunteers who come to us because they can get a good rate of pay for doing what they do best.’ Padaleki said. ‘I’ll take you down to the quarters now and you can see and maybe meet one or two of the boys’.

They went out of the arena room and down more stairs into a lower floor. Here, they turned to the left, a large white door blocking their way to the right. Traff looked in on a long row of rooms, which resembled good quality motel rooms, all well furnished and decorated and with en suite facilities, before Padaleki took him to see a fully equipped gym. Traff looked enviously at the treadmills, the weights machines and the barbells. It was as well equipped, if not better, than the army gym and he knew it would be easy to get in shape in a place like this. He walked through another door and the chlorine smell and heat of the large heated swimming pool took him by surprise. There were two large, well built men powering up an down the marked lanes with purposeful crawl strokes and a third climbing up to the diving board. Apart from one or two bruises which Traff would have expected if they were fighters, the men looked happy and well cared for.

Lastly, they went into a fully equipped hospital room. It resembled every ER that Traff had ever had the misfortune to visit and once again left the dark haired man with the impression that this was definitely no ”two bit” organisation. Rows of white cabinets with glass doors revealed tidy stacks of packets and bottle for drugs, bandages and the like and there was a shiny metal autoclave in the corner standing next to a microscope and other machinery that Traff had no idea of the use of. A shiny metal operating table stood in the middle of the room and over it was a diffused light. There were a couple of white uniformed male nurses and in the background Traff caught sight of a portly, grey haired and bespectacled doctor. So far he had seen no signs of coercion of any of the men, and also, depressingly, no signs of his friends.

‘And so that’s our little facility’ Padaleki said, ushering Traff back out into the corridor. As they were turning to leave, the doctor came out of the back room.

‘Mr Padaleki? Could I have a brief word please?’ he seemed deferential and almost scared of speaking to Padaleki and wrung his hands together as he smiled at Padaleki’s consent.

Padaleki turned to Traff with an apologetic smile.

‘Would you excuse me? I need to speak with the doctor. Please, look around. Go and talk to the boys’ he indicated expansively and headed off into the back room.

Traff walked out of the hospital room, looking back up the corridor, taking the chance of being on his own to try and find anything else out about the place. He’d seen just about everything, and the few men he’d seen seemed happy and well cared for. So what was going on here? Was it a wild goose chase? Was the girl who’d spoken to Dobey wrong? He saw the big white door at the end of the passageway. The only place he hadn’t so far seen. It was now or never. Checking that the club owner was still engaged with the doctor, Traff set off quietly towards the door. He pushed against it, half expecting it to be locked, and was surprised when it gave at his touch. He pushed the heavy door open and stepped into a completely different world.

The plush carpet and ornate furnishings of the previous corridor were gone and in their place was a white, sterile world. Even the air felt different some way and Traff was staggered by the silence on this side of the door. The corridor continued in cold stark whiteness for maybe 50 yards and was lined on one side by glass fronted rooms. He started to walk along the line of them, peering through the enormous glass windows. All were empty and in darkness although he wondered at their use. They were so different form the hotel room style quarters he’d seen previously, his blood running colder by the moment. This was a completely different place to the club he’d just seen. This environment smacked of cold and pain and looked almost like a science fiction programme. He checked all of the cells continuing down to the end and taking a detour to look into another ER type room, this one equipped with what looked like some kind of a dentist’s chair. Ominously, medical restraints hung from the arm and foot rests. This room too was lined with white cabinets, although these sported large padlocks on their doors

Traff suppressed a shudder and walked out of the room, continuing down the rest of the corridor. He got to the last two cells of the row and looked in through the window. His breath steamed against the glass as he peered inside the room, which, in contrast to the others was dimly lit by a single red bulb. He let out an involuntary gasp. On the floor of the white room, a body lay huddled on the floor. It had dark brown curly hair and was dressed only in white cotton pants, bruises and cuts showing livid across the body, showing almost black in the ruby light. There was a broad, blood stained white bandage around its middle and there were blood stains on the seat of the pants. Starsky! Rushing to the next cell he saw a blond man, equally damaged and seemingly asleep, propped in a corner.

Whatever had happened to them, neither Starsky nor Hutch looked as if they were there of their own volition. They looked as though they’d taken at least one real good beating and the soldier realised that the woman’s description of them fighting correlated to the injuries he saw on their bodies. Traff was about to bang on the window of the cell, but he froze when he heard the big white door open. Quickly, he ducked back inside the medical room and hid behind a cabinet as he heard Padaleki’s voice.

‘Mr Rushton?’

Chapter 13

‘Mr Rushton?’

Padaleki’s voice sounded again down the corridor. Traff pushed himself further back against the cabinet. Shit! He thought he might have had enough time to get into the white rooms and try to question Starsky and the blond. What was he supposed to do now? He could either hide, hope the man wouldn’t find him and then try to make his way back upstairs, or he could bluff his way out. He decided on the latter and suddenly burst out of the room, rushing up the corridor towards the owner.

‘Mr Padaleki! Thank goodness. I was…um….needing to….um….drain the main vein , so to speak and I think I took a wrong turning. Ended up down here’. He feigned discomfort. ‘Can you point me in the right direction? It’s getting a little urgent!’ he smiled a wan smile.

Padaleki’s eyes narrowed but he said nothing and took hold of Traff’s arm. ‘Certainly, yes. It’s understandable. It is a bit of a rabbit warren down here. Wouldn’t want a prospective investor to be watering his shies huh?’

They backed up through the big white door and Padaleki showed Traff to a sumptuous navy blue and white tiled bathroom. Traff went inside and shut himself inside a cubicle, waiting for a while before emerging and washing his hands, His mind was working overtime. Did he have enough now to tell Dobey? What evidence would the big black Captain need to be able to close this club down? He’d see the facilities and he’d been told about the fighting, but it wasn’t illegal if the fighters were all volunteers. And the men he’d spoken to had seemed happy enough. Damn! He needed to see a fight and he needed to see why his two friends were there, hurt and segregated from the rest.

He adjusted his cuffs and straightened his collar in the mirror, his green eyes staring back at him in mockery. Great undercover work Tommy! For Gods sake get something concrete back to Dobey and get Curly and Blondie out of here NOW!

Traff went out of the bathroom, meeting up with Padaleki again. He smiled in mock relief. ‘Thanks. I needed that! Too many G&Ts before I came out’.

He followed quietly as the owner took him back up to the ground floor.

‘Do you want to watch a match before you make up your mind?’

Traff nodded. ‘Sure. Is there something on tonight?’

‘No, we close on Mondays. It gives the boys time to rest up between bouts. It isn’t much of a show if they’re too tired. And the crowd won’t pay if the fighting isn’t first class. Maybe you could come back tomorrow. We have a good schedule then. We have three fights, but the stars of the night will be two men who’ve never fought together in the arena before. They’re quite new and very well matched’.

‘Yeah? What’re their names?’ Traff asked with a sudden feeling of dread.

‘Oh, we don’t go by names here. Most of the boys quite like the anonymity. We have colours and numbers instead. The two guys tomorrow – the ones I was telling you about. They’ll make quite a show. We’ve got heavy forward bets on them already. They’ll be real money makers, those two’. Padalei smiled appreciatively.

‘OK, so what do I look out for then? Which numbers?’

The owner leaned forward conspiratorially. ‘I don’t usually pass on tips. But, hey, for new money! These two fight like tigers. And not just with their fists. They really think about their next moves. Brings another dimension to the fight, you know. We got them both at the same time and they’re pretty equally matched, but the blond stands just a little taller and he’s a bit heavier. I’d put my money on him, although the dark haired one is like a terrier dog. All fire and brimstone. He won’t go down easy’.

Traff’s stomach turned, hearing his two friends described like animals and his mind went back to the betting that had taken place in ‘Nam when bears were held on chains and encouraged to rip each other to shreds. He plastered a bland look onto his face. ‘And their numbers?’.

We’ve designated them as Blue 1 and Green 1. Green is the blond. I’d go all out on him’.

They’d reached the front door now and Padaleki held out his limp cold hand again, happy that this new prospective investor seemed interested enough to come back tomorrow.

‘Mention my name at reception and I’ll have complimentary tickets for you and a guest. Best seats in the house!’

Traff shook the slimy hand. ‘Well, till tomorrow then. Um….just one thing, Mr Padaleki. The white corridor I found by accident. What are the rooms for?’

A shadow fell across the owner’s face, but it was a fleeting look and the small man forced himself to smile. ‘Isolation wing. Sometimes, when the men get colds and the like, we ask them to spend some time in there. Saves infecting the rest of the boys. There’s no-one there at the moment. They’re all A1 – as you’ll see tomorrow’. The owner suddenly seemed too anxious to get Traff out of the place and the soldier obliged, wanted to rid himself of the small slimy man and the evil place. He tipped a smile back at the owner, and left without a backwards glance.


‘It’s a good clean operation for the most part – till you get through that door, then its more like a prison wing’ Traff told Dobey an hour later. It was almost midnight and the police captain looked absolutely drained. If it was possible for him to look pale, then he did and the huge black circles under his eyes made hi m resemble a panda. His eyes drooped and he ran his fingers through his short, wiry hair.

‘And you saw them?’

Traff nodded. ‘Yeah. I’ve seen ‘em in better shape, but other than cuts and bruises, they just seemed exhausted. They were both asleep, or drugged. I was gonna try an’ get into the rooms, but then Padaleki came back and I had to scarper quick’.

At that moment a uniformed officer knocked on the door and came in. He smiled at Traff, handed a large manila folder to Dobey and left without a word. Dobey opened the file and started to read, a furrow appearing between his upraised eyebrows.

‘Joseph Padaleki. Born Poland. Raised in New Jersey. Various misdemeanours as a youth. Spent some time in custody at age 16 for arranging cock fights. Then he disappeared off the scene until about 5 years ago. We have a report from police in Seattle. Padaleki was involved in setting up a club for bare fist fighting. The police closed it down after there were allegations of coercion and then two deaths. He was later…..Shit!’

‘It would appear our friend Padaleki is keen on using experimental substances to enhance performance’. The big brown eyes looked into startling green ones. ‘Maybe to force men to fight? What d’ya think? Is that one step too far?’

Traff blew out his cheeks. ‘Dunno. They seemed well out of it, but like I said, I couldn’t get to talk to ‘em because he found me. He seemed to buy the investor thing though. I guess I need to go back tomorrow night to watch the show huh? he was talking about a blond called Green and another fighter who ‘Came in’ at the same time – Blue. I thinks that’s Curly an’ Hutch. We need to get ‘em out of there tonight’.

Dobey sat back in his chair. ‘We have 18 hours, give or take. I want to get more men in there as back up, with you as a front ok? Can you handle it?’

The dark haired soldier nodded. ‘No problem. How many men are we talking about? We need to find a balance to make sure we aren’t too conspicuous’.

‘I’m thinking four men, and maybe we can get a woman to go as your “date” for the night. Leave it with me. Go home and get some sleep. Can you be back here for, say, 6:00pm tomorrow?’

Traff nodded and got up slowly. ‘We need to get ‘em out of there, Cap. If they are using some kind of drug, it’ll get bloody’.


‘Get them ready. We have a big investor coming tonight and I’ve promised him a good show. I want those two ready to fight’.

Padaleki stood in his wood panelled office next morning, cigar smoke curling around his head looking like a satanic halo.

Matwick wrung his hands and bobbed his balding head. ‘they’ve both got severe bruising, Sir. Um….they would provide a better show next week maybe. I need to make the final test on the drug. I need to be sure that it’s powerful enough to overcome even a bond like they share. If it doesn’t they….’ He tailed off as Padaleki fixed him with a stare.

‘Are you telling me that your wonder drug might be flawed?’ he asked angrily.

‘No, no. It’ll be fine!’ Matwick gabbled. ‘It’s just with those two…..They’re very strong minded you know. With others it will definitely work’.

‘But that’s why we took them for you’ the owner ground out. ‘You said they were the most strong willed guys you could think of. Are you telling me now that all our hard work won’t pay off?’

Matwick almost bent double as he grovelled in front of his boss. ‘It’ll be fine. They’ll have no choice. I’ll increase the dosage past maximum. You’ll have a good show Sir’.

‘I will have a good show’ Padaleki said icily. ‘You wouldn’t like to be on the receiving end of some of your experiments, would you?’ he threatened. Make it worth my while and I’ll give you a bonus. Fail, and, well….’

The doctor visibly paled as he backed out of the room, trickles of nervous sweat coursing down the side of his florid face. He closed the door behind him and hurried back down the corridor.


‘Get up’ the guard nudged the bond with the toe of his boot. Green opened his eyes with a soft groan, pushing himself up into something like a sitting position.

‘What’re ya gonna do?’ he asked quietly.

‘We’re going for a little walk. You’ll like it. You’ve got a big night ahead of ya’ the big an leered as he saw the fear flash across Green’s face. The blond couldn’t remember why, but each time he saw the white uniformed orderlies, a deep throb of pain set up in his body and he felt a feeling of dread.

Green pushed himself to his feet and submitted quietly to having the cuffs and collar buckled around him, his hands being pulled behind him and secured there with a chain that fed back up to the collar. Without another word, the orderly pushed him forward and he walked tiredly up the white corridor and into a shower room. He felt a sudden feeling of dread, but quietly, the two guards unclipped his wrists and watched as he stepped out of his pants. As they secured the chain from his collar to the eyelet in the tiled wall and handed him a tablet of soap, they stood back.

Green enjoyed the feeling of the shower. It went a little way to reviving him and the hot water eased the tension in his bruised muscles. He soaped his body and winced at the various small hurts The guard turned off the water and handed him a towel, watching in a bored manner as he dried himself and handed him another towel to wrap around his hips. Taking hold of his arms, the guards pushed him through another door and into a room he’d never seen before.

It was curtained off into small cubicles, each with a table at its centre as he was pushed towards the closest. As he entered, he caught sight of an olive toned, tanned and muscular body on a table in the next cubicle. It lay on its back and a masseuse was working his hands up the brown furred chest. At the movement of the curtains, indigo eyes opened and looked directly at green, making him feel both ill at ease and at the same time, oddly comforted.

His guard pushed him towards the table and as he lay down, they fastened the chain from his collar to the metalwork. Moments later, a large muscular man entered curtained off area and Green closed his eyes as an intense, but soothing massage began.

Chapter 14

Traff stood in Dobey’s room surrounded by gun toting, anxious detectives. Dobey had hand picked four men to go to the club that night and had also designated a new, blond woman from narcotics to be Traff’s “girlfriend”. Carole Marsh was a diminutive individual. She stood no taller than Traff’s shoulders and gazed at the world through smoky blue eyes. She had an easy laugh and an endearing habit of flinging her long golden blond hair over her shoulders as she spoke. And she spoke with a soft Carolina drawl which left most men weak at the knees and working on their next chat up line.

As the four other officers, Campbell, Chang, Fernandez and Amsden checked their weapons and hid them away discretely, Marsh linked arms with Traff and smiled up at him.

‘When Dobey said undercover, I didn’t realise my “beau” would be quite so cute and um…..’ she squeezed the muscular arm ‘well built. If it wasn’t for the occasion, I think I might just like this assignment’.

Traff enveloped her in deep green eyes. ‘Don’t let this stern exterior fool ya honey. The feeling’s mutual. I am pleased to see you and that aint no gun!’ he wiggled his eyebrows and his hip provocatively and she giggled.

‘Why kind Sir, you’ll have a lady blushin’ where she stands!’ and there was just the hint of more colour in the pretty face as she looked away.

‘OK Listen up everyone’ Dobey’s voice rose above the low murmur in the room. ‘You’ve all met Traff and you all know what you’re doing tonight. If the information we have is right, Starsky and Hutchinson may well have been drugged, but we don’t know what with. They’re apparently due to fight tonight. We have no idea what mental state they’ll be in. But you know them. You know what they’re capable of when they’re on the street, so be careful. Watch your backs. Watch your partner’s back, and get them out’.

‘Any questions?’ his big brown gaze took in each member of the team in turn, searching their faces. He wanted this done and he wanted it done right. No mistakes and there was no margin for error.

‘Depending on their condition, where do we take them when we get them out?’ Chang asked, the others nodding behind him.

‘Once I get a message from one of you to say that you’ve got your opportunity, I’ll have the black and whites move in. If they’re too injured, you take ‘em to County General, that’s the closest. If they’re walkin’ and talkin’ and lucid, you bring ‘em back here for debriefing’.

‘Have you all got your receivers?’ Dobey checked that each man and Marsh had a two way transmitter hidden on them so that they could stay in touch with each other and with Dobey. ‘Anything else?’

There was a round of shaking heads and a general checking of transmitters and a last minute pat at guns hidden beneath jackets or strapped around legs. There was a palpable tension in the room and Dobey knew when enough pep talk was enough,

‘OK. Go people, and be careful’ Dobey said, watching as the crowd departed. He sighed heavily and sat down in the small easy chair in his office, head in his hands. All he could do now was to pray that his two officers and the rescue party would be successful and no-one would be hurt. Getting to his feet, he walked slowly down to the parking lot and got into his car. With the master receiver on the seat next to him, he set off to the club on the outskirts of town.


Blue sat quietly in his cell. He couldn’t process properly what had happened to him today. From what he could remember of the past weeks, he knew there had been a recurrence of pain, although the details were very fuzzy. At every opportunity someone, either in a white coat or dressed as an orderly had hurt him. And when they weren’t hurting him, they weren’t tending to his hurts, leaving him to suffer in the quiet of his cell.

But today, he’d looked up in surprise and fear as the two guards had once again come for him. He’d been given a shower and had time to enjoy the hot water and then afterwards, he’d been taken for a full body massage. Although he’d have preferred a cute little Japanese girl with long black bangs and a petite figure to have done the rubbing and stretching, even the big man’s hands pummelling and kneading his tired and sore muscles had felt good and he could almost forget the ever present collar around his neck, chaining him to the massage table. He’d submitted quietly to the ministrations pathetically grateful that someone was treating him humanely, even though the guards were ever present and no-one spoke to him. At the end of the 90 minute treatment, he felt relaxed and boneless and he had walked docilely behind the guards back to his cell, the fear of the past hours having been massaged from his body. He‘d been allowed to sleep for a while, because he still had the bone crushing weariness, but then he’d been given a steak and vegetables for a meal and a large cup of water. The protein rich food felt good and he’d savoured each mouthful as though it had been his last, so that eventually feeling clean, relaxed and satiated he’d dropped off into the first deep and peaceful sleep he could remember having for weeks.

Now he still felt the tiredness that overtook his body when he wasn’t feeling the effects of Matwick’s needle, but his body felt relaxed, toned and cosseted. He was reminded of dogs in pens waiting for the show ring as though he was a prize animal about to enter an important competition. A cosseted and valuable commodity, but still a captive. It was just that today, the tide had turned and his prison was feeling as though it was mink lined. He sighed. Thinking hurt more and more these days and he’d learned to switch off his mind. But occasionally thoughts would take him unawares and now he thought of the voice he’d heard while he’d been under the masseur’s hands in that cubicle. Someone was in the next curtained area and he’d heard voices low and indistinct. But the timbre of one of them sent tingles known his spine. What was the saying? ‘Blast from the past?’ This felt like a blast from his past, although he was unwilling to jeopardise the feeling of wellbeing by trying to remember and having that red and gold pain envelop him again. Instead, he pushed the thought away. Maybe tomorrow he’d try to remember. But now, he felt too good to want to do anything but savour the comfortable moment and concentrated on feeling warm and …..if not “loved” then at least cared for…… for the first time in however long.

The door to his cell opened, making him jump nervously and his two, familiar guards came in. One held the ubiquitous collar and chain, the other a piece of material. He threw it at Blue.

‘Tie that round your waist then stand and face the wall. You know the score’.

To do anything else was painful and so the captive complied slowly, the fear retuning now as he contemplated the two men. Wrapping the broad strip of blue material around his hips above the waistband of his white pants, he tied it securely and then, with one more look of defiance and hate, turned to face the wall, clasping his hands in the small of his back. Blue felt the stiff leather cuffs being buckled around his wrist and then the claustrophobic leather collar being fastened tightly around his neck, the chain connecting hands to collar. Thus immobilised, the guards spun him around.

‘Feeling good are ya?’

Blue ignored him and tensed his flat abdominals for the blow he anticipated. This was how most meetings with these goons started, so far as he could remember. But none came and his eyes flew open in surprise. That was new! Usually they took any chance to beat the crap out of him, especially was he was so tightly bound that he couldn’t retaliate. He wondered what was going on, but followed obediently as they guards took him to the by now familiar medical room. He was pushed towards the centre of the room and was held forcibly by his two companions as Matwick picked up the syringe gun, filling the chamber with a large dose of the blue fluid. His anxiety levels hit maximum and his breath whistled through his teeth as he watched the approach. He wanted to run, or to back himself int a corner to hide, but the ingrained Starsky persona wouldn’t let him take a cowards was out and the defiance shone through, especially when he saw the cattle prod dangling from the belt of Matwick’s trousers.

Fear entered the indigo eyes, and despite himself, Blue flinched as the doctor pushed the needle against an arm bearing small puncture wounds and tiny bruises up its muscular length. As the plunger depressed, Blue closed his eyes feeling the fiery trail through his blood as the drug coursed through his body, igniting his emotions and turning him from a docile captive into a mean and bloody fighting machine. Matwick stood back. This part of the process always impressed him, knowing he had this ultimate control over a man who’d ruined his cosy and comfortable life back at the mental hospital. The doctor had waited a long time for his revenge, but to be able to take his revenge so completely and be paid big bucks to do it, was beyond his wildest dreams.

Blue trembled, shock waves coursing through his body, feeling the incredible rush as the adrenaline derivative suffused his blood. This felt different somehow to the other tmes that he could vaguely remember. The ferocity of the drug had never burned away at him like this before and as the sweat started to bead on his brow, the guards took an even firmer hold and dragged him towards the door.

He struggled with them, making their job difficult. They’d had instructions that this was to be an important fight and that they were not to injure the two fighters in any way. Matwick had added with a grin that Blue and Green would hurt themselves enough in any event. But despite his struggles, he was outnumbered and they were strong. Blue felt his legs shake as he walked, his mind focussed on just one thing – fighting -and as he started to stumble down the corridor, he saw two more guards were propelling a blond man towards Matwick’s needle.

In his blaze of drug induced paranoia, Blue struggled to get at the other blond man as he passed, no thought in his head but that he wanted to sink his fists into another body, neither rhyme nor reason to his need. It was brutal, fundamental and raw emotion. He needed to fight and he didn’t care who was on the receiving end. But he knew that the harder they fought back, the better he’d like it.

As they reached the door through to the arena, he felt the men at his back push him firmly, almost brutally against the wall while they unfastened his cuffs and collar. He stood panting, hearing the muffled roar of the crowd.

‘Let me at ‘em’ he growled at the two guards, trying to wrench his arms free of their hold. They held on more firmly, adding finger shaped bruises to the puncture wounds on Blue’s arm.

The fighter continued to struggle, his heart hammering in his chest as his head became filled with blood lust and thoughts of battle. He wanted to hit, the punch, to kick out at another hard body and to be rid of the army of fire ants marching through his veins, making him itchy and irritable. His breath was ragged as though he’d already run a race and sweat trickled down the sides of his face, making the brown curls there cling to his damp features.

As the feelings continued to swamp him he felt a movement at his side and looked around, seeing a big blond man. Green too was sweating, a flush on his lightly tanned skin and as Blue tried to take a good look at his adversary, the door into the arena opened and both men were thrust into the noise and lights of the fighting pit.

Chapter 15

‘This had better be a good show Matwick. There’s a lot riding on this one. Are you sure they’ll co-operate? There’s a big audience out there tonight’ Padaleki paced his office nervously, the usual cigar smoke trailing him as he wore a grove into the close carpet of the wood panelled room. Usually calm, cool and collected, his mind went back over the $2million promise made by Rushton earlier the previous evening and he salivated at the idea of the huge injection cash into his organisation.

Matwick looked equally nervous and wrung his hands together as he followed his rich boss with his eyes, his glasses gleaming dimly in the mood lit room. ‘I’ve made sure of it Sir. I’ve taken the precaution of giving them both massive doses. They won’t have any option but to fight with the amount of drug in their system. They’ll be on overload’.

‘Can you be sure of the effectiveness? They were very close, I’m lead to believe’

The grey haired doctor swallowed once. ‘Of course. I’ve given them 110 percent dosages – they just won’t be able to resist’.

‘Won’t be able to resist huh? Well done Matwick. You may have just earned yourself a bonus!’

Both men grinned wickedly. ‘Lets get this show on the road then’ Padaleki strode purposefully towards the door.


The four male detectives had entered the club singly, paying their $50 cover charge at the door and taking up positions around the perimeter of the fighting arena. They’d driven to the club in unmarked cars, dressed as ordinary men out for a good night out, maybe with the prospect of picking up a little of the local talent along the way. Now there were BCPD detectives north, south, east and west of the arena, all sitting casually back in their red velvet seats and looking around – just four men wanting a good night out.

Traff and Carole Marsh arrived five minutes later in his long, low, sleek dark blue sports car and playing his part of the rich gentleman to the hilt, the soldier trotted around to the passenger side of the car and opened it to help the woman out. Her long legs snaked out of the vehicle and she walked slinkily on her stiletto heels towards the open door of the club, linking arms with Traff and leaning into his solid body, the picture of a woman in love.

Around the corner, Dobey pulled up in his ordinary unmarked car. From his position he could see the detective and the soldier entering the club and he ran his hand through his short hair, trying to drive away the feeling of impending doom.

He reached for the transmitter on the seat next to him and depressed the switch on the side of the small black box.

‘Dobey to Chang. Click if you hear me’. He waited and heard a metallic click of confirmation. He repeated the process for all his operatives until he was sure they were ready and in contact, feeling better now that he was actually on the move and doing something to retrieve his men.

He let out a calming breath. The stage was set and all that was required now was the entrance of the main players in the drama.


The guards were having difficulty keeping their charges under control. Green had never felt such power flowing through him before. He felt elated, scared, strong and anxious all at the same time. His mouth was dry as a bone and his heart hammered in his chest as though it was trying to force its way out. Cold sweat had broken out over his body and in the dim light of the corridor it gleamed in a slick patina against his lightly tanned skin. His lips were slightly parted and there was a rapt look on his face as though he was listening to an inner voice. He wanted to be in that arena. No. He needed to be there. He needed to rid himself of these feelings of anger and fright that pervaded his being. He wanted to run, to fight. Anything so that he could stop feeling this way. It both empowered him and scared him that he had these feeling deep within him.

He looked sideways again at the man who was destined to be his opponent in the arena.

Blue too was struggling to get away from his guards and he saw the big man next to him glancing his way.

‘What’s with you Blondie?’ he spat out. ‘Like what ya see, do ya?’

‘Just imagining slamming you against the wall and burying my fist into that pretty face’ Green grunted back.

Blue tried to pry his arm away from the guards. ‘Never happen, you son of a bitch! You’ll never get within striking distance’ he snorted derisively.

‘Yeah? Try saying that with a mouthful of fist!’

Blue’s face creased into a smirk. ‘You kiss your Mother with a mouth like that?. Terrific!’ he turned to his guard. ‘Just get me in there NOW. I need to tear that sucker limb from limb’

But Green had stopped struggling for a moment. What had the curly haired man said? Terrific? Why did that word hold such a meaning or him? It forced a memory to the surface, but it was dim and hazy, crowded out by the fire in his veins. A memory of a time long gone. A memory of a friend…..no….more than that! He shook his head to try to clear it, but at that moment the doors into the arena opened and the guards pushed the two men forward.

The noise was staggering after the quiet of the back rooms and both men’s senses were assaulted by the clamber of voices, the bright spotlights focussing n their entrance and the smoky atmosphere. They stood for a moment, acclimatising to their surroundings as the announcer did his part, telling the audience that these newcomers were well matched and neither had ever lost a fight.

As the doors had opened, the five detectives and Traff had sat forward in their seats, expectantly, looking just like big gamblers appraising the fighters. All five men’s eyes flew wide open as they saw their two normally quiet comrades in this alien environment and as the rest watched, Chang got up and made his way into the bathrooms. Checking no-one was around, he spoke into the microphone hidden under his lapel.

‘Cap, this is Chang. Mary’s story checked out. They’re here and they’re about to fight – each other. We need to get ‘em out now. How long before the back up gets here?’

‘It’ll take about five minutes to get everyone into position and into the club. I’ll call ‘em now’.

The mic. went dead and Chang made his way quickly back into the arena room. The two fighters were circling each other warily, prowling around the perimeter of the sandy floor like graceful predators; two tigers fighting for their lives. Their eyes were glowering, fixed on the other man, as if a mere look would win them the battle and as Chang watched, Hutch made his move and came at Starsky with a blood curdling roar.

Blue was ready for the attack and despite the residual pain in his ribs, he sidestepped the charging blond and watched with satisfaction as the big tanned body catapulted into the wooden sides of the fighting pit, making them shake. The blow sent the wind from the blonde’s body and he shook himself. As Green tried to regain his momentum, Blue kicked out at green’s legs, aiming for a crippling blow to the knee. Green saw the kick coming and danced sideways, but was a fraction too slow. The hard kick landed on his right outer thigh and he grunted in pain, feeling the numbness creep down to his foot. Just what he needed – a dead leg!

Blue was off balance by the preparation and delivery of the kick and tried to right himself as Green launched himself bodily through the air towards the slightly smaller man.

Blue’s heart was hammering now, the beats resounding through his body. His mouth was dry and the blood sounded loud in his ears, thundering through his veins as he tried to avoid the glistening blond torpedo .

Both men landed on the ground, scrabbling for the upper hand and finally Green managed to straddle Blue’s struggling body. He too was feeling the full effects of the drug now and the sound of the crowd cheering them on was dimmed by the roar of the blood cascading trough his ears. He felt a tightening in his chest, but the blood lust was upon him full force and ice blue eyes started down at the olive toned man beneath him.

With a grunt of exertion, he drove his fist into Blue’s face, delighting in the feel of the bristles brushing his knuckles. Blue’s head snapped sideways and he let out a gasp of pain as Green followed up the blow with another to the opposite side of the face, the punches leaving bloody and bruised welts on either cheek. Blue’s left eye was beginning to swell closed and he struggled harder to wriggle from beneath the big blond body. With a grunt, he levered himself off the ground, unseating the body anchoring him to the floor and quick as a flash had rolled Green onto his belly, sitting on the rounded buttocks and he pulled the head back by a handful of golden hair. He pushed the head forward, smacking it into the sandy ground and Green’s teeth rattled in his head as stars sparkled around the periphery of his vision.

Both men were matched for strength and endurance, but Blue has been subject to the cruel regime of drugs and fights for longer than Green and he was tiring now. As he reached again to grasp a handful of hair, Green rolled sideways and knocked the brunette’s body away, locking a powerful forearm around Blue’s throat. He started to squeeze and Blue felt the breath whistling through his rapidly collapsing airways. He strove to breathe, using his elbows to try to drive them backwards into his attacker’s body, but Green was strong and was working on his advantage. Blues vision was greying now and he desperately tried to worm his way from the strong hold, but his lungs were screaming for breath and the fight was gone from his body.

Green felt his captive’s body sag against him and held on a moment longer, in case Blue was faking it. When there were no more struggles, he reluctantly let go of the tanned muscled body and it collapsed sideways, bonelessly and lifelessly to the ground, a blue tinge around the lips and eyes. As Green started to stand he felt an enormous weight building in his chest.

Green clutched his arms around himself, squeezing his eyes shut as the crushing weight turned into a pain which radiated from his left chest up his neck, into his jaw and down his left arm. Sweat bloomed afresh across his body as he groaned at the excruciating pains wrapped him in a red cocoon. His whole world was a bloom of red and he looked around one last time at the crowd, who had gone from a shouting roaring mass to being as quiet as mice as they watched the death of one man and the imminent demise of the other. His eyes turned pleadingly to them for help, before he too collapsed sideways onto the sandy floor and the world winked out.

Chapter 16

Carole buried her face in Traff’s shoulder, unable to watch the brutal display below her. The two men she knew to be some of the kindest, most honest and gentle on the Bay City police department were publicly fighting each other with a ferocity that she’d never thought possible. As she hid in the prickly fabric of Traff’s jacket she could still hear the gasps and grunts of pain coming from the arena accompanying the slaps and soft thuds as fists connected with softer tissue. The sounds sickened her and she wished she could stuff her fingers into her ears to blot out the sounds, but she knew she couldn’t draw that sort of attention to herself, so instead she gritted her teeth and pretended to be nuzzling the soldier’s ear.

The crowd had become quiet, subdued by the spectacle below them. They’d been used to spirited fighting as performed by some of the other men but these two were fighting as though their lives depended on it and it seemed as though this would be the ultimate - a fight to the death.

Carole could feel that Traff’s body was tense as he watched the sickening show, waiting like a coiled spring for the moment when he could dash to his friends’ aid, although he had to admit that in their current fighting fury, he was just a little afraid of how he would tackle them. His friends were lost in their blood lust and he suspected that anyone who came within range of those fists would be treated as fair game. He’d seen Chang leave the arena and watched now as the small Asian man walked back to his seat he saw the small nod, indicating that the black and whites had been called for.

His attention was drawn back to his friends in the pit. Hutch had straddled Starsky and punched his head time and again, but the brunette had managed to wriggle out from under the big blond and had managed to get the upper hand for a moment. Now, Traff’s heart was in his mouth as he saw Hutch take the advantage and lock his strong forearm around his partner’s neck, squeezing the life from his friend. He wanted to jump into the arena there and then, and he gripped the arms of his seat until his knuckles showed white to stop himself from pre-empting the strike and ruining the bust. The sight of the two men who loved each other like brothers now trying to kill each other brought a lump to the soldier’s throat and he blinked hard to stop the tears from forming in his eyes. He knew then that whoever had done this to his two friends would suffer, and he’d be the one to make them suffer. He balled his hands into fists, the nails digging into the soft flesh of his palms and waited out the interminable time till back up arrived

When Starsky’s body slid limply to the floor, the crowd had dissolved into complete silence, the quiet uncanny and alarming after the cheers and screams of the past few minutes. As the blond started to stand, he clutched at his chest, the agony etched in his sweat slick face and at that moment the doors around the room burst open, a dozen or more uniformed officers with weapons pointing at the crowd rushing into the room.

‘Freeze, police’ two of the officers yelled as the crowd looked around in alarm. Several of the women screamed and clutched at their partners and some of the men came immediately to their feet, but were quickly silenced and subdued by the battery of police issue Colts trained on them. As the uniformed patrolmen started to usher the crowd form the room, Traff, Marsh and the four other detectives leapt down into the arena.

Both Starsky and Hutch lay lifeless in the middle of the sandy floor, yards apart from each other and as Chang and Fernandez rushed towards Hutch, Traff and Marsh skidded to a halt by the side of the brunette. All the detectives had field first aid training and Traff, because he worked in bomb disposal and it was a pre-requisite had more than a working knowledge of medical matters. He reached calm fingers towards his curly haired friends’ neck, searching for the pulse. He pushed hard into the flesh, but found nothing. He leaned over to feel for any last vestiges of breath against his cheek, but his friend had no signs of life.

Almost roughly he tugged the limp body around so that Starsky lay on his back and Traff could clearly see the grey/blue tinge to the skin around his mouth and eyes.

‘Oh shit Starsk, don’t do this. CURLY!’

‘CPR’ he said to Marsh as she knelt by his side. As Traff delivered his pre cordial strike just to the left of the bared sternum, Marsh stretched the neck back, tipping Starsky’s head back to open his airways. She watched as Traff delivered 15 pumps with his cupped fisted hand and she bent down and blew two breaths into the open mouth. They repeated the process through four cycles and then stopped while Traff checked for signs of life.

The noises of the crowd around them and the shouts of the other detectives as they worked over the body of the blond detective receded into the background as the two worked over the lifeless body. Traff was beside himself as he worked calmly but determinedly over the furred chest. He was worried about the livid dark bruise across the brunette’s throat and as March delivered two more breaths he put his ear against Starsky’s chest to make sure that the airways were still open. He heard breath sounds and continued his exhausting work.

‘C’mon buddy, work with me here’ he grunted as he continued to massage the chest. ‘Don’t you give up on me, ya stubborn bastard’. He stopped again and he checked once more, his fingers probing deep into the stretched neck to discover any signs of life. He grunted.

‘One more time’ he told Marsh and set to another cycle of 15 massages to two breaths. Marsh was beside herself as she knelt at the curly haired detective’s head. Blood and bruises marred his usually handsome face, large cuts bleeding on both cheek bones and around his left, swollen eye. His lips were also cut and she grimaced at the thought of giving the detective more pain as she breathed her life giving breath into his body.

Traff stopped for the fifth time and Marsh was about to bend to breathe again when there was a weak, almost inaudible cough. Quickly, Traff pushed his fingers into Starsky’s neck again, and there, at the end of his finger tips he felt those first sweet beatings of his friend’s heart, like the fluttering of a tiny bird caught in his hand. He straightened and pulled Marsh back.

‘He’s back. We got him back’ he said tiredly. The adrenaline that had flowed through his veins was dissipating now, as he felt life returning to his injured friend. He sat back on his heels and wiped the sweat from his brow as he smiled elatedly. ‘God, it takes a lot to kill him off. He’s one tough son of a bitch, thank God. Help me turn him on his side’.

Marsh and Traff turned the body onto its side, crooking the leg up and cushioning the damaged face on Starsky’s own arm, in the classic recovery position. As Marsh sat by his side, Traff ran his fingers gently through the damp curls and rested his hand on the bare shoulder, shuddering.

‘I nearly lost you again pal’ he murmured as he looked at the sleeping form. ‘Too many times Curly. Too many times. I’m gonna be grey before my time with you pulling stunts like this. Just wake up for me and tell me what’s going on huh?’

Chang and Fernandez were working over the blond body yards away. Hutch had all the signs of a cardiac arrest and they were treating him as such. His heart had stopped too, when they’d gotten to him and they’d taken the same approach as Traff and Marsh, administering CPR in the same way. Chang had yelled at the flaxen haired cop to keep breathing, but there had been no response and he and Fernandez had fought hard to bring Hutch back from the brink, delivering a precordial strike before commencing compressions. Once they’d seen the first signs of life flowing back into his body, they’d sat back on their heels, exhausted. Now, in an attempt to make things easier for him, they had him propped up against Fernandez’s chest in a semi sitting position, his head lolling forwards onto his sweat slick chest as they all waited for the paramedics.

For all of the rescuers, the scene was too close to home. They had all, at some time in their police lives, had had to administer the life saving technique, but when it was one of their own, it had seemed harder and the possibility of failure was just too hard to contemplate. Now, with the two detectives at east breathing on their own own, they had chance to calm down their own rapidly beating hearts and take stock.

All around them, the noise and confusion continued and as Fernandez looked up, he saw the familiar bulk of their captain at the door, directing proceedings. Dobey kept glancing back at the arena and the men there, but was too much of a professional to stop the proceedings, knowing that his to star detectives were being cared for. But it didn’t stop him worrying about them nonetheless.

The ambulances arrived and as the paramedics came into the room, he directed them to the fighting pit, telling them briefly hat he knew about the scenario.

‘I think they’ve been drugged, although I don’t know what with. They were de….’ He couldn’t bring himself to say the word and his voice faltered. ‘they weren’t breathing when we got to them, but it looks as though my men took care of that’.

He looked at the two fallen bodies. ‘They’re inseparable’ he said simply. ‘Keep ‘em together if you can huh?’

The paramedics nodded and went to their patients as Dobey looked around him. The crowd had mostly been taken care of. Names and addresses of all those at the club had been taken and uniformed officers were directing people to attend the metro the next day to make statements, but there was something missing! They had the crowd, but where was the management? Dobey hadn’t seen anyone who looked in the least like someone who owned the place and he suspected that they’d be making their getaway out back. He’d had officers paced at all the entrances he could find and so now, colt in hand, he pushed his way through the last of the crowd in the foyer and opened a heavy door into a long corridor.

With senses on high alert, he prowled down the carpeted space looking left and right at the open doors off. Finally he came to a door at the end of the corridor and pushed it open, finding two more uniformed officers reading the Miranda to a small rotund balding man and another man in a white coat. The doctor had his back to Dobey and as he turned, watching who was coming into the room, Dobey’s breath caught in his throat. He blinked in surprise then let out a harsh gasp.


Chapter 17

The voices where whispering annoyingly in the background and he wanted to shut them out. He’d never felt so tired in his whole life and the elephant that was sitting on his chest was beginning to annoy him intensely because it was stopping him breathing properly and it was also emitting high pitched bleeps every second or so. He tried to lift his arm to swat it away, but the arm was leaden heavy and he hadn’t the strength to do it. His body felt disassociated and sore and he wanted it to stop. If the voices would only just let him sleep, he might feel better, but he had the impression they were there to stay.

Hutch tried to swat the elephant away again and a warm, strong hand took hold of his arm and laid it gently down on the side of the bed.

‘Hey there pal’ a familiar voice said softly.

Deciding that now was probably a good time to make his entrance back into the world of the living, the blond smiled.

‘Starsk’ he mumbled through dry lips. Much as he hurt, if he had to wake up in an ER he always liked to wake to those indigo blues looking down fondly at him. Starsky always new what made him feel good and could take away his pain with one blaze of his lop sided smile. He opened his eyes a crack, but was startled. The eyes that should have been the colour of Sri Lankan sapphires were Colombian emeralds instead. It woke him up fully and he opened his eyes wider.

‘Wrong buddy, buddy’ Traff smiled back at him. ‘How d’ya feel?’

Hutch rested his head back on the pillow feeling oddly exhausted and very sore. ‘Confused! Where’s Starsk? Is he OK? Where is he?’ He tried to sit up and look around him, but Traff’s strong arm across his chest held him down.

‘You aint goin’ anywhere chief’ he said gently. ‘Curly’s gonna be ok. They still have him in ER, but they’ll bring him up here later, promise. Just lay back and relax huh? You need to rest’

‘What’s the matter with him? Is he ok? Why is he in the ER? And where the hell am I?’ the questions came thick and fast, and Traff could see the beginnings of panic in the ice blue eyes. He laid his hand on the bed by Hutch’s hand and wondered how the hell he was going to be able to explain what had gone n.

That subject had troubled the soldier since he’d made it back to Memorial with his two friends. How was he going to explain to the two detectives that they’d been drugged and schooled to beat the crap out of each other? He’d thought about it long and hard and had finally decided on quiet with a leaning towards silence, unless he was asked specifically. Somehow, though, now that the blond had woken up, he didn’t think plan A would work and was now busily formulating plan B. Just exactly what that would entail would be as much of a surprise to Traff as it would be the Hutch and Starsky.

‘Take it easy buddy. You really need to rest. It was a close call there. How much do you remember? Of the past two weeks?’

‘What do you mean, what do I remember? I was…I…Shit! I can’t remember! There’s nothing there! No memories. What the fuck’s happening here? And what do you mean close call?’

He took a minute to take in his surroundings. He was laid in a double hospital room, propped up slightly in the bed. His bare chest had leads from small adhesive pads affixed to his chest and side attached to a heart monitor at the side of the bed and large livid bruises showed across his ribs and abdomen. His left arm was engulfed in a large black BP cuff. His other arm was pierced half way down its length by a cannula attached to a bag of normal saline hanging from a drip stand on the right hand side of the bed, but ominously, his right wrist was attached to the metal cot sides by a single metal handcuff – police issue.

The monitor bleeped annoyingly with every beat of his heart and he thought it was going remarkably quickly as he tried to piece together the past fortnight. He turned pleading eyes on the soldier.

‘Ya gonna tell me what this is all about? he said softly, jangling the cuff against the bed frame. His heart was in his mouth, dry tongue rasping over dry lips as his mind jumped through hoops trying to piece together why he should be chained to the bed like a criminal. The beeps became more frequent on the monitor and Traff pushed the nurse call button as he saw the sweat break out, beading on Hutch’s cheeks and brow.

‘Try to stay calm buddy. You need to take it easy. Just try to concentrate on breathing and I’ll get the doctor to tell you everything’.

Hutch heaved a deep breath and fixed his eyes on his friend. Traff was a calming influence, but nothing could come close to the calm his partner poured over him at times like this. He needed Starsky and he longed for the mellow voice telling him that he’d be fine and not to be a baby.

A nurse came bustling into the room. She put her hand on the blonde’s forehead, checking the large fresh gash there that peeked out from below a large white dressing and checked his blood pressure and temperature.

‘How are your feeling Ken?’ she asked as she shone her penlight into his eyes. At her approach he flinched backwards, visions of people in uniforms swimming up through his consciousness, and he threw his left arm up as if to fend her off, a strangled cry being forced from his throat, although he didn’t know why he should feel like that. She was a nurse, right?

The nurse continued her examination more slowly, talking low and calm under her breath as if quietening a child or a skittish horse, and finding that there was no pain involved, Hutch relaxed back and let her finish. Just as she was bundling up the tubing from the BP monitor, a tall, black doctor walked into the room and nodded at Traff. The nurse smiled and left and the doctor pulled up a chair and sat at the side of the bed as Traff moved around to the other side.

‘I’m Doctor M’Benga. I’ll be your doctor while you’re here. I know you will have a lot of questions and I’ll try and answer as many as I can. Can you remember anything of what has happened to you?’

Hutch shook his head, panic mounting in a fluttery tide in his stomach. ‘Why don’t you tell me?’ he said slowly, bracing himself. With the cuff in place and the leads on his chest, and the single silver manacle on the other wrist he knew it couldn’t be good. Oh my God! Had he killed someone?

‘You are lucky that you had good men around you back there’ M’Benga started. ‘Ken, you’ve been held captive for two weeks. During that time, from what we can deduce from blood tests, you’ve been given ever increasing doses of an adrenaline derivative. It seems to have been designed to work on your fight response, making you want and indeed need to fight whatever, or whoever you are directed to. You were found in a fight club by your colleagues and it would appear that you have had several fights recently. I take it you don’t remember any of them?

Hutch shook his head, too stunned at the information laid at his door to actually speak. He found it incredible that he could lose two whole weeks of his life.

‘I think, once the drugs are completely out of your system, there is a good chance that your memories will all return. There seems to have been some element of brainwashing involved. Maybe you were not allowed to remember and were, shall we say “discouraged” by painful stimuli’.

‘Tonight you seem to have been given a massive dose of the drug and it overloaded your system. You had an irregular heartbeat, your heart was beating way too fast and stopped for a brief time, although we’ve dealt with it in time and you should be fine if you can rest over the next few days’.

Hutch stared incredulously. ‘A heart problem! My heart stopped? Jeez Doc! And you’re telling me I’ve been made to fight? What? Bare fist fighting? Gun fighting? What? Shit!...I can’t remember anything! And what about my partner? Was he…..was he there?’

The doctor nodded. ‘Please, try to keep calm. When you were found, you were at the end of a rather dangerous fight.’.

‘Fuck!...Is he ok?’ the blond asked softly.

‘He will be. He has some injuries which we still have to deal with, but he’ll be up shortly’.

‘What injuries? Did he have to fight? Who did he fight? Did they hurt him?’ Hutch was getting anxious again and the doctor stood, preparing to give his patient a shot of a sedative.

‘Yes he had to fight. He’d been strangled and had stopped breathing. If it wasn’t for your friend there’ he paused and pointed at Traff who looked away in embarrassment ‘he’d be dead’.

There was a pause as Hutch processed the information and Traff could see the flaxen haired cop putting two and two together and coming up with a big, fat and unpalatable answer.

‘Doc. The guy that strangled my partner……the one who “killed” him….it was me?’ the voice was small and lost as Hutch tried to come to terms with the hellish existence he’d endured for the past two weeks.

M’Benga nodded again and as Hutch’s face crumpled and he hid it behind his left hand, the doctor injected the powerful sedative into the port in the IV.

‘He’ll sleep for a while now. It may be good for him if you stayed for a while’ he told Traff, checked again on the trembling patient and left.

Traff crossed back to the bed and held the devastated blond, pulling the big body to him and rubbing comforting circles on the broad back.

‘I killed him…..I killed Starsky’ the voice mumbled low and intense as the ice blue eyes stared unfocussed at the bed.

‘You didn’t kill him. He’s gonna be fine. He’s gonna be just fine. Just relax big guy. Just rest, it’ll be ok’ Traff murmured as he continued rubbing his hand down the back.

Hutch pulled away from him, staring into Traff’s eyes with so much pain that the soldier thought his heart would break. ‘How can it be OK? I fought with my partner. I wasn’t strong enough to fight the drug and I hurt Starsky. Just get me out of here. I can’t see him. He won’t want to see me, I hurt him! I need to get out of this room, now’.

The eyes were beginning to droop as Hutch kept up his fevered ramblings. Traff laid the body back gently on the pillows, smoothing the damp golden hair away from the sweat slick forehead.

‘Blondie, you can’t blame yourself. Hell you couldn’t even remember who you were, let alone what you were doing. You were drugged. Starsky won’t blame you, he fought too ya know. Don’t shut him out, you need him and he needs you!’

Hutch was fighting the effects of the sedative, trapped in his own hellish nightmare, and couldn’t let go of the fact that he’d fought and hurt his partner. As his eyes drooped closed he gasped one last time.

‘Starsk….so sorry Starsky…..sorry’.

Chapter 18

They brought Starsky back up to the small room about four hours later, while Hutch was dozing in a fitful restless way. With the absence of the drug in his system he was experiencing withdrawal from it and felt anxious and at the same time bone crushingly tired. His body refused to let him rest however and when he closed his eyes he was beginning to have flash back memories of men in white coats and a small white room.

The noise of the gurney on the tiled floor and the murmur of voices in his room shook him awake and for a moment he couldn’t remember where he was. He lay in a cold sweat while the infernal bleeping of the machine next to him began to slow down from its staccato rhythm.

Hutch looked sideways at his partner’s body as the nurses lay it on the bed and started to attach various leads and tubes to the machinery that had accompanied him. Starsky too had a black BP cuff around his arm and had an IV flowing into the back of his left hand. Ominously there was also a respirator in the room and Hutch closed his eyes and shuddered. Starsky had once woken up with one of those infernal tubes down his throat and had panicked so much that he’d had to be sedated all over again. But now, as he looked, he realised it wasn’t hooked up to anything, and he relaxed back on the bed, burying his head in the pillows as the feelings of contrition and blame washed over him in a black tide. His anger started to boil however, when the uniformed officer who had accompanied the retinue came forward and snapped a cuff onto the limp left wrist, attaching the brunette to the bed.

The smaller man was still unconscious and once the nurses had done their job and settled their patient into his room, they left the two men alone. In the quiet of that small room, Hutch steeled himself and took another look at the man he referred to as brother, and the man that he had, to all intents and purposes “killed”. He felt sick to his stomach as he peeped around the corner of the pillow and took his first good look at Starsky.

He looked pale, of course. There was a fresh white bandage around his ribs and below it, Hutch could see bruises, large and purple, spreading across his flat abdomen. There were white taped dressings over the brunette’s knuckles and fresh cuts on his forearms. But it was the usually handsome face, which seemed to have taken the brunt of the beating. Large cuts bloomed across both cheeks, making the unconscious man look as though he was wearing Indian war paint. There was another, equally big gash over his left eye and that eye was swollen shut, stained with a port wine coloured bruise, bisected by a white butterfly strip closing another smaller cut.

But the bruise that stood out most of all was the purple, blue and black bruise that cut across the curly haired cop’s neck enhanced by grazed and abraded skin.

Hutch rattled quietly at the metal handcuff still on his right wrist.

You bastard Hutchinson! They should lock you up for good and throw away the key!

He ran his left hand through his tousled hair and angrily wiped at the tears that were prickling in his eyes.

Who are you sorry for, you sick son of a bitch? For him because you did that to him, or for yourself?

With the bitter thoughts still racing through his head, he turned away from the body in the other bed and closed his eyes against the world, wishing he could plunge back into the oblivion the drug had allowed him. But his mind refused to close down and instead he tossed and turned on his bed, memories of another bed; a cold and hard metal bed beginning to surface. Men’s faces hovered above him and he felt the needles jammed against his arm time after time as they pumped the adrenaline into his veins.

And then there was a loud noise. He heard the crowd again and the bright lights of the arena temporarily blinded his eyes. There was another person in the fighting pit with him. Another man that he knew, but at the same time didn’t know and the memory of sinking his fists into the hard flesh of that man left him shaking and whimpering on his cot. He flexed the fingers of his left hand, feeling the confining strictures of the white oxide tape around them and the open grazes on his knuckles, the memory of the punches he delivered living on in the fist he made. He swallowed down the bile burning in his throat and almost wished the heart issues he’d suffered had finished him off. He had just tried to beat to death the very man he’d sworn always to protect.

He jumped as he felt a hand on his bare shoulder and thought it was still in his dream. In his fuddled thoughts, Hutch tried to bat it away, but his wrist was still firmly anchored to the side of the bed and he cried out in frustration and helplessness, plunging his head once more into the depths of his pillow. The doctor’s hand remained where it was, a comforting and heavy weight, anchoring Hutch back to the present, and slowly, the dreams fell away and he turned over onto his back and looked at the tall black man.

‘Memories returning?’ M’Benga asked gently.

The blond sighed shakily. ‘Gimme something to block ‘em’ he mumbled through dry lips. ‘I can’t do this. I don’t wanna do this’.

The doctor sat down at his bedside. ‘Can’t do what? What do you remember?’

The lids closed down over the ice blue eyes. ‘….remember hitting him’ he said in a strangled voice. ‘I remember trying to kill him….and I don’t want…..shit…..just gimme something, please? Hurts…..hurts too much to remember’.

M’Benga regarded the suffering man, knowing how much it cost him to have to go through not only the withdrawal, but the return of the memories, and he wondered just how much would come flooding back today, and how much he would still need to be told. Hopefully, he thought, the very painful memories may lay dormant until both men were well enough to help each other through.

‘Your memories will continue to come back over the next weeks, Ken. And you must always remember that what you did, you were made to do. Perhaps, if the tables were turned you friend would be having these same feelings of recrimination now’.

The blond stole another sideways glance at the figure in the bed opposite. ‘How bad is he?’ Hutch asked in a small voice.

‘He’s been subject, I think, to more trauma than you. It seems he was made to fight more times’.

The blonde’s eyes flew open. ‘How do you know that?’

‘We found wrist bands on you both. They gave an indication of what had happened. Yours said….’

‘Designation Green 1. Wins 1’ the flaxen haired cop’s eyes were closed and he was visualising the wicked sliver bracelet surrounding his right wrist, the words indelibly burned into his brain. He opened them and looked at the ring of slightly paler skin now partially covered by the metal handcuff. ‘I remember the bracelet, but I don’t remember how I got it. What did his say?’

‘Designation Blue 1. Wins 5. It would appear he was on his sixth fight’.

‘Yeah, and it might have been his last’ Hutch said softly. ‘Doc, tell me how this thing worked. I need to understand. Why can’t I remember?’

‘It will come back in time. For now you need to rest and allow nature to take its course. Its as though your body has been on the highest anxiety levels for over two weeks, and it needs time and sleep to help you recover from your physical and mental injuries’.

‘And what about these?’ Hutch rattled the handcuff gently. ‘I can understand why I need ‘em, but not him. Look at him! He’s not goin’ anywhere. Can’t you take ‘em off him?’ he pleaded.

‘I’ll instruct the guard to remove them from both of you. We allowed them as a precautionary measure. We didn’t know how you would be when you woke up. It’s as much for your own protection as anything. We couldn’t have you trying to get out of bed in your current condition. But it would appear that the heart abnormality was as a direct result of the drug, so I’ll also ask the nurse to get rid of the annoying machine there too’ he smiled encouragingly. ‘Take your time Ken. Rest and try not to beat yourself up about what happened. No-one could have fought that effects of that drug…no-one!’

‘How’s my pa….how’s Starsky?’ Hutch couldn’t bring himself to use the word partner. Would the brunette ever trust him again?

‘He’s resting. As I said he has more extensive injuries than your own, probably as a result of the previous fights. Amongst others, he has three cracked ribs to deal with. The strangulation injury across his neck….’

Hutch paled visibly at the mention, but M’Benga pressed on regardless. 'Could have been much worse. His larynx has been severely bruised, but nothing is broken. The cricoid is in tact, so as long as there is no more swelling over the next 24 hours, he should escape with nothing more serious than a husky voice for a while. We scoped him to make sure, and the respirator is there just as a precaution, but at the moment, he seems to be breathing fairly easily. He’ll need your support when his memories start to return. You’ll both need to support each other’. The doctor gave a sad smile and walked towards the door.

‘Just a minute Doc. What’s that supposed to mean? What aren’t you telling me?’ Hutch shouted, sitting more upright in his bed.

M’Benga paused at the door. ‘Later, Ken. Its much too early for this yet. Just rest; sleep and see how many of the memories return on their own. And talk to your partner’ he emphasised the last word, and closed the door behind him.

Hutch’s mind was a whirlwind of confusion. What was all that about? Of course he’d support his partner if Starsky could bear to have him around. But why would they both want support? He closed his eyes and tried to concentrate as the nurse came into the room, along with Baker, the young uniformed officer the blond knew from the precinct. The young man fumbled with a bunch of keys and apologetically unlocked the cuff from around the broad wrist.

‘I’m sorry Hutch. They made me’ he looked up shyly as the blond massaged his right wrist.

‘S’OK, you were only following orders. Just make sure Starsky’s ok huh?’

Baker unlocked those cuffs as well and stuffed both pairs into his pocket as if trying to get them out of sight as quickly as possible. He smiled again and went quickly from the room.

Great Hutchie. Even he can’t bear being in the same room as ya. Just go and jump off the ledge huh? Do everyone a favour’.

Hutch submitted quietly as the pretty young nurse disconnected the leads from his chest, apologising as the adhesive pads pulled at the fine hairs over his skin. Hutch ignored her, consumed by his own world of self-loathing and almost wishing for any sort of deep cleansing pain. He needed it; he deserved it. He felt her checking his pulse and BP again and then she left, leaving a deathly quiet behind her.

Without the steady bleep of the monitor, Hutch had nothing else to listen to but the slightly wheezing breaths of the man in the other bed. He’d become so attuned over the years to knowing Starsky’s every breath; every nuance of his body. And now, he knew that the brunette was beginning to wake up.

With a feeling of dread, but knowing that he needed to be there, just to witness the reaction, he slowly dragged his tired body out of his bed and padded quietly over to his partner, pulling his drip stand with him. He drew a chair to the side of the bed where he could see the first signs of consciousness and waited, his hand hovering over the limp hand on the bed, unsure whether his friend would want him to touch him, or whether the curly haired cop would recoil from Hutch's presence.

Slowly the wheezing deepened and the eyes below the eyelids started to move. Hutch felt the hand beside him twitch and reflexively, he reached for it, holding it and rubbing a soothing thumb over the back as his friend regained consciousness. The right eye, the one that was not bruised and swollen shut, blinked open and looked straight ahead as Starsky tried to assimilate the feelings his body was shouting at him to understand. The first sight of the indigo blue was both a joy and a burden to the blond and he stole himself for any reaction. He levered himself to his feet and perched on the side of the bed as the single eye focussed and homed in on him.

‘Starsky?’ Hutch asked softly, bracing himself for the hatred he felt sure must follow.

The dry lips worked and a dry tongue peeped out and swilled across them.

Starsky looked up into the face of his friend, the confusion of the past weeks suddenly dissipating in the warmth of the ice blue eyes, and he locked onto them, feeding of the familiarity as he managed to rasp out two painful words.


Chapter 19

Starsky’s head was a whirlwind of emotions as he came out of his drug induced sleep. He had no recollection of where he was or how he'd gotten there and the bright lights above his head hurt his eye, although the clean sheets over his naked chest felt oddly comforting and he wanted to snuggle down into them and hide. As his eye opened he got a distorted view of the man sat above him and for a mere second, he wanted to flinch away from the big blond, although he didn’t know why. There was some vague memory of men hurting him, his bare knees on a cold tile floor as they stood over him, but it was too much effort to try to remember and instead, his eyes focussed on the one familiar thing in the room – the face of his partner. If he looked at Hutch it wouldn’t hurt. If he looked at Hutch he could blot out the rest of the world and no-one would hurt him.

With an effort, he tried to make words, but his throat was on fire and someone appeared to have stuffed it full of sharp and blazing hot razor blades. As he swallowed he felt as though they were cutting into the soft tissues of his throat and he tried to cough them away. Finding that to be entirely too painful a procedure, he concentrated instead on breathing and locking his eye…..eye? What was the matter with the other one? on the blond presence. He tried to reach up, but his flaxen haired partner had his hand in his grasp. He’d worry later. For some inexplicable reason he thought Hutch might have been dead, and seeing the comforting presence at his bedside, he relaxed marginally back against his pillow, desperately trying to communicate his relief to his partner.

‘Thank….God’ he rasped with a whisper that sounded like a match striking over sandpaper.

He saw the eyebrows rise on the blond face and couldn’t understand why, but he was happy just to have his partner’s presence in the room and very slowly he drifted off into an intense and painful sleep.

In his dreams, Starsky was back in his white cell, cowering in a corner. Half formed shadows danced around him as he tried to swat them away with hands that were still anchored down immobile. He let out a frightened whimper and Hutch soothed his forehead as he snuggled against the comforting hand. The dreams returned and he could feel hands upon him. He was held down although he fought to escape with every fibre of his being. There was a loud noise and lights and pain as he fought for his life and a lancing pain through his head as he tried to reason why he was fighting.

And then he was in a white bathroom and the white floor was cold and the water was hot. There were men around him; men in white uniforms with cold hands, touching his body and making him shudder. They were forcing him to his knees and making him…making….Oh my God! He forced himself awake, unable to process that last small bit of information and lay quietly, his panting rasping through his sore and swollen throat as the sweat trickled annoyingly down the sides of his face, tickling at the bristles of his unshaved skin.

He looked around for Hutch and saw him laying on his bed.

‘Utch?’ he tried to say, but nothing came out. He tried again. ‘Utch?’ a little better but still no more than a cough and a wheeze. It was enough to get the blondes’ attention though and the flaxen haired man sat himself up and padded over to the bed, still disbelieving that Starsky could forgive him for his actions.

Maybe that’s what he wants to tell you Hutchinson. Maybe he wants to tell you to fuck off out of his life.

He bent down over the still trembling body on the bed and was surprised at how agitated his partner was. He braced himself for the inevitable.

‘What can I get ya buddy?’ the words sounded hollow and meaningless and he hated himself for saying them.

Starsky’s lips were working, but no sound came from the tortured throat and Hutch leaned his ear close to his friend’s mouth.

‘Remembering……hurts’ he rasped. His hand grabbed for Hutch’s arm and held it in a surprisingly tight grasp.

The blonde’s world fell to pieces. ‘I’m sorry Starsk. I’m so sorry…you have every right to hate me. Shit, I hate myself! I should just get the hell away…I’m sorry’.

He tried to get up to leave, but the furred arm was still there, hanging onto his and he looked down in confusion. Another eye was looking back at him also in confusion and the silent lips were working again.

‘Why sorry?’ Starsky whispered, his eyebrows tenting in an effort to understand.

‘Because I did that to ya’. Hutch pointed an accusing hand at the bruise around the olive toned throat.

‘Yeah…..remember that…..better you…..than someone else….’ The rasp ended in a painful, hacking cough and Starsky curled into a ball, trying to take the pressure off his damaged ribs and raw throat. Hutch rubbed his back and then handed him an ice chip from the Styrofoam cup on the nightstand, placing it on the brunette’s tongue as Starsky sucked at the piece of melting heaven. He had no voice to speak with, but he still needed to communicate somehow with the man at his bedside. He knew Hutch well enough to see that he was hurting and he wanted to comfort him and to let him know that whatever had happened to him, there was no way on God’s green earth that he could blame his best friend.

He took a deep breath and tried to force the words through his swollen larynx.

‘I remember the drugs, an’ I remember ‘em waling on you when we were in that room. You….’another fit of hacking took him and shook him and Hutch paused, poised on a knife edge until Starsky was once again lying back on the pillow gasping and sweating. He handed him another ice chip and the brunette closed his eyes in bliss.

‘Don’t try ‘n talk Gordo. Just lie quiet huh?’ the blond tried to pursuade his friend to relax, but Starsky had the bit between his teeth.

‘Hurts too much to talk….shut the fuck up an’ listen’ the whisper was sounding more painful by the minute and Hutch did as he was told, sitting back and waiting.

‘I don’t remember everything, but I do remember the fight. An’ I was as bad as you. I felt that need to fight an’ I probably would’ve tried to throttle you too. Just let it be Blintz. Not your fault’. he saw his partner look away and grabbed for the big square hand.

‘Are ya listening to me?’

Slowly Hutch nodded, love and amazement at his partner brimming over.

‘I just needed to say I was sorry’ he said quietly.

Starsky nodded, the pain in his throat exacerbated by the whispered conversation. He wanted to sleep, but there was too much to say to the big man; too much to share. ‘I think I’m gonna need you to be you, Blintz……to help me?’

Hutch’s eyes travelled up his partner’s body, fixing on the battered, bruised face. ‘I’m always here for ya. You need to ask? What’re ya tryin’ to tell me buddy?’

The curly haired man looked away, thick black lashes veiling his stormy eyes. ‘Dunno exactly. Dreams…..hope they aren’t real’.

‘Do you wanna tell me?’

The dark head on the pillow shook wearily. ‘Too tired now….need t’sleep. Stay?’

Ice locked on indigo and Hutch smiled, more relieved than he cared to admit to his friend. Although his body craved rest just as much as Starsky’s did, he sat back on the hard plastic chair and nodded, watching as the brunette’s body closed down and his breaths acquired the quiet regularity of sleep.


The tall dark haired soldier walked into the hospital that afternoon and made his way up to the reception desk on the third floor. He smiled at the pretty young nurse and flashed his bright green eyes at her as she melted behind her desk.

‘I’m looking for two friends. They were brought in early this morning. Dave Starsky and Ken Hutchinson?’

‘Are you family?’ she asked, seeing the similarity between the soldier and the dark haired cop.

‘No, just a friend. But a very close one’ he winked at her and she giggled.

‘Could you hold on a moment, Sir? I think Doctor M’Benga wanted to see any visitors before they went in. I’ll page him’.

Traff waited by the desk, idly drumming his fingers on the formica top as the nurse muttered into the telephone and within minutes, a tall black doctor bustled onto the ward, his white coat hanging open as he walked. He held out his hand to Traff and directed him into a small visitors’ room. They sat down on the small spongy chairs.

‘I’m Doctor M’Benga. I’ve been looking after your friends, Mr….?’

‘Trafford. Tom Trafford, but please, call me Traff’ Traff liked the straight forward approach of the doctor and warmed to him instantly.

M’Benga was continuing.

‘Are you a close friend of Mr Starsky and Mr Hutchinson?’

The soldier nodded.

‘Traff, I’ve seen some rough treatment of men in my time, but I’m afraid your friends have been through quite a lot in the past two weeks’.

Traff’s eyebrows knitted together in concern. ‘I know they were drugged and I know they were experimented on and made to fight. Hell, I had to watch ‘em going at each other before we could rescue ‘em. Is there something else, Doc?’

M’Benga nodded sadly. ‘When they were brought in, they were still unconscious, as you know. We did a thorough examination of them when they were admitted to the ER. Erm…what do you know of their….erm….sexual preferences?’

The question took Traff by surprise and he paused. ‘Two more red blooded heterosexual men I’ve never met’ he said, wondering with dread where this line of questioning was going. ‘Why?’

‘Their memories are already beginning to return. They can already remember the last fight and the fact that they were drugged. Fortunately, in that respect, the drug’s effects are short lived. The only reason they were as docile as they were when they were in captivity is because they were given the drug each day. But I’m afraid when we examined them, we found signs of abuse’. The doctor paused, letting the statement sit in the air between them.

The soldier nodded. ‘Yeah, I know. They had to fight, so of course there’d be signs of abuse’ he saw the look on the black man’s face and the colour drained from his own.

‘What are you saying here….that they….they were abused in another way? They were….’ He couldn’t bring himself to utter the accusation, the words sticking in his throat as his eyes searched M’Benga’s for clarification.

The doctor nodded sadly. ‘I’m afraid there is evidence that they were both sexually abused….maybe even raped’ he said gently.

Traff got up and paced the small room, his blood boiling at what his friends had had to endure. Finally he turned back to the doctor. ‘Do they know?’

‘As I said. Their memories will return in full. How they will deal with this depends on how they remember it…… how they are told about it?’ M’Benga’s face looked enquiringly up at the soldier.

‘And you think you should tell ‘em?’ Traff asked quietly.

‘No, I think it would be best to come from a friend…..someone they trust and with whom they can let their true feelings out’.

The curly haired man let out a deep breath, understanding the enorminty of what M’Benga was asking. ‘Shit, Doc. I only came to see how they were….I dunno…..dunno if I can do this. They’’ll…fuck….how do you tell a guy he’s been…..ya know…….and that sooner or later he’s gonna remember?’ He sat down heavily and put his head in his hands.

The doctor rested a reassuring hand on his shoulder. ‘You said you were a good friend. You would be doing them both a great favour’ he said gently, and proceeded to tell Traff the details of their injuries.

Chapter 20

Starsky was whimpering in his sleep, his head rolling from side to side on the white pillow as Traff stood at the door to the small hospital room and heaved a deep steadying sigh. Hutch was collapsed against the side of his partner’s bed, his forehead resting on the mattress where sleep had overtaken him and he’d not had the strength to get himself back to his own bed. Bruises stood out lividly over his bare back and the parts of the arms Traff could see, and the drip line was still attached to his right arm. It was a picture he’d seen before. The two men injured and seeking to comfort each other. If they’d been dying they’d have found some way to be together, and Traff was grateful now that they had such a strong bond. They would certainly need it to get through their recovery and to deal with the memories he was about to explain. Traff admired their friendship. As close as he was to certain guys on the base, he’d never seen two men closer than these two. Traff had his own friends at the army base but nothing compared to the bond between Starsky and Hutch and he was just happy that the guy he’d dragged out of the jungle in ‘Nam and had helped nurse back to health had got himself someone as close as the blond man.

The soldier took a moment to gather his thoughts. How do you tell two virile, handsome and overtly sexy men that they’d suffered the worst possible type of abuse? What would their reaction be? How would he cope if he was told? Difficult as his task was, he had to agree with M’Benga. If they had to find out, it was better coming from a friend rather than them wake in a cold sweat one night, alone and trying to piece together their fractured memories. He walked quietly into the room and pulled up a chair at the other side of the brunette’s bed, sitting and waiting patiently till both men woke up.

In the quiet of the room, Traff’s blood boiled at the thought of the treatment his two friends had endured.

As he and Marsh, Chang and Fernandez had worked over the two bodies in the arena, Dobey had directed the operation of arresting, transporting and delivering witnesses and suspects to the Metro. He’d looked at the fierce determination on the black man’s face and had thanked his lucky stars that Dobey was on their side. He looked mighty pissed and Traff would not have liked to have gotten on the wrong side of him at that particular moment.

But then he’d looked up again and Dobey wasn’t there any more, although Traff had very little time to assimilate the fact. He was busy trying to get life back into the broken brunette body. It wasn’t until the paramedics had arrived and taken charge of the two unconscious men that Traff had managed to stand stiffly and look around him at the general scene of ordered confusion. He and Marsh and the four other detectives who’d been under cover that night had waited until the bodies were loaded onto stretchers and carried away before wondering what to do next. The walls of the fighting pit were high. They’d jumped down from the seats in their desperation to get to the two detectives, but there was no prospect of them climbing out of it again. They looked around the perimeter of the arena and made their way through the door at the side. They’d found themselves in a dim corridor that lead to another hallway full of white, glass fronted and empty cells. As they continued down it, they’d caught a glimpse of a rapidly retreating back, encased in a white coat and Fernandez had given chase, pulling his weapon and shouting for the medic to freeze.

The grey haired doctor had done as he was told and had stood stock still as the detectives had cuffed him and taken him roughly to one of the patrol cars, as he mumbled curses and excuses. The other patrol cars were being filled with six white uniformed orderlies and another, richly dressed and supremely confident looking man who was demanding that someone call his lawyer. In the thick of it was Dobey and as Traff and his party appeared with the doctor in tow, the police captain looked at him with a look of pure hatred.

‘Matwick! How the hell did you get mixed up in all this?’ he ground out.

‘D’ya know him Captain?’ Traff asked as he stood by the black man’s side.

‘Know him? Yeah, Starsky and Hutchinson put him away three years ago for experimenting on mental patients at Cabrillo. It was in all the papers. I thought they’d locked him up and thrown away the key. Obviously not! With him on the scene, it’s all beginning to make sense’. Dobey walked towards the doctor and Traff turned away, incensed at what he’d been witness to that night and deeply shaken by having to watch two of his closest friend try to kill each other.

Traff shook himself from his memories as the brunette in the bed trembled himself awake with a hoarse and painful croak. Starsky’s one opened eye looked around the room and finally focussed on the blond at his side, not realising for the moment that Traff was there as the soldier sat on his temporarily blinded side. The soldier watched as Starsky reached out a hand and ruffled the golden hair, shaking his partner awake. Hutch looked up, bleary eyed and saw Traff. He smiled at his two friends and the curly haired cop turned his head to see what his partner was looking at.

‘Well don’t you two look a picture?’ Traff chuckled as he looked at the two bruised and bloody men. ‘How’re ya doin’?’

Starsky put his thumb up and grinned, it being too painful to talk and Hutch smiled gently at him and then at Traff.

‘I think he means thanks’ the blond said simply.

‘Aw shucks! I’d say it was nothing, but to be honest, the sight of you two in that arena – well…..’ He saw the look of pain flash across Hutch’s handsome face and hurriedly changed the subject.

‘Dobey says he’ll be in later. He’s still busy booking and interviewing. I phoned Huggy and he’s baking the cake with the file in it to spring you both soon’.

Starsky put his thumb up again in an emphatic “I’m out of here” gesture and the soldier laughed. ‘Jeez, somethin’ that finally shut him up huh?’ His face fell as he remembered his mission.

‘I saw your doctor earlier’ he said cautiously.

‘Yeah, he seems like a good man’ Hutch said.

‘He…erm….he said your memories would all start coming back…like, you’d remember everything that went on eventually’.

The blond dry wiped his face. ‘Peachy…then I get to relive how I nearly killed my partner over and over again in crystal clarity’ he said dryly.

Starsky reached up and swatted the blonde’s arm, rolling his eyes and making it quite clear that Hutch should drop that particular subject once and for all. But there was something else on the injured man’s mind and he tried to get his voice to sound the words.

‘Somethin’ else’ he rasped, his eyes searching Traff’s face, a look of alarm crossing his own. His dreams had been painful and, he realised belatedly, too detailed to be just dreams.

Traff looked down at his hands. ‘Yeah there was something else. There’s something I need to tell ya, and it’ll be hard for ya to hear. But shit…you’re gonna end up remembering anyway’.

Hutch stiffened. ‘Why do I get the feeling I’m not gonna be over the moon?’ he said softly.

The soldier gave a crooked smile. ‘Coz that’s about the size of it Pal. The Doctor asked me to talk to you about other things that happened at that club. Stuff they discovered whilst you were being examined in the ER. Um….guys…..you were…um…..sexually assaulted’. He said slowly, so that there could be no confusion in the meaning of the words.

There was such a silence in the room that they could have heard a pin drop. Both Starsky and Hutch stared back at the soldier as if he’d just grown two heads. Slowly the blond started to shake his head, his hand trembling as he played with the edge of Starsky’s sheet.

‘No…..no, that can’t be! I’d remember somethin’ like that surely. They wouldn’t….they….’ but memories were beginning to surface. Memories of two big men and a locked door, and he closed his eyes, trying to block them out. He put his head in his hands, his elbows propped on the edge of the bed.

‘The bastards’ he whispered. ‘Those fuckin’ bastards. Shit…I remember….I tried to stop ‘em, but they kept on at me and they were too strong. Oh my God!….they…..’ the blond closed down into his own black world as a tentative hand reached out and stroked the back of his head. He lifted his head wearily and looked into his partner’s face, seeing the pain there. ‘Oh shit Starsk, not you too?’

The brunette nodded sadly. He’d had a heads up on his treatment, the memories of the painful and degrading violation insinuating themselves into his nightmares. Memories of hands on his body; touching and probing; hands that were rough and hurt him. Invasions into the very core of his being.

Together the two friends tried to assimilate the information, exploring their shattered memories for the painful detail. Confront it. That’s what they knew they had to do. But how do you confront something like that? How do you get over something so mind blowingly disturbing?


The word rasped out accompanied by a hacking cough that left the brunette curled up again as he nursed his aching ribs.

‘What? Thanks for breaking the devastating news that you were both raped! Jeez Curly!’ Traff spat, bitterly.

‘No, he means thanks for having the courage to tell us’ Hutch said carefully. ‘I couldn’t have heard it from anyone else’. A look of alarm passed over his face. ‘Does anyone else know? Does Dobey? Oh fuck – do the rest of the guys?’ Hutch’s stomach fluttered in panic as he thought of the faces, the platitudes and the comments behind raised hands as he walked through the squad room. That was even worse than the violation. Memories he knew he’d have to cope with. But to have to face the men he worked with day in and day out; watching the horror and sympathy in their eyes! He shuddered.

‘No, there’s only me knows’ Traff assured them both. ‘Doc M’Benga said he wouldn’t tell anyone else without your permission. There’s only him and one other nurse knows and he even went so far as to say he'd omit it from his report if that what you wanted. He’s a good guy. Seems to understand a lot’.

‘Need to talk to Utch’ Starsky croaked painfully. ‘Sorry Traff….private?’

Wearily, the soldier got up and walked to the door. ‘Yeah I know. Take your time guys, I’ll be outside. Take your time huh? And remember, if needs be, the secret is safe with me’. He left, the two detectives sitting in silence for a while as each man tried to work through the maelstrom of images assailing their minds.

Chapter 21

Eventually Hutch heaved a deep sigh, raising his head from his hands he looked at his partner. ‘I can’t tell anyone. I couldn’t face the looks. Hell, I can’t bear to think about it myself. Now I know how those poor women feel when we sit there an’ tell ‘em to make a statement an’ everything will be fine and dandy. I wanna keep it quiet, like it never happened’. He looked at his partner for confirmation.

Starsky nodded, levering himself up into a sitting position on the bed, his neck feeling as though it was barely capable of keeping his head on his shoulders.

‘But it did happen’ he croaked, swallowing painfully and reaching for the ice chips again. ‘How are we gonna deal with it Utch? Memories are….bad. Keep dreamin’……hurts’.

A sad look crossed his partner’s face. He looked at the damage he’d inflicted on the smaller man; the cuts; the grazes; the livid bruise which had almost cost the brunette his life. Nothing mattered so much as having Starsky still alive. He could live with painful memories if he had to. He could live with the thought of what those men did to him and he could live with the memories of hurting Starsky. But he still had his partner. Starsky was still living and breathing in the bed there. A little bruised, tattered and torn around the edges, but still the same partner.

‘What’re ya sayin’ here? That we come clean an’ tell? That we press charges? Can you imagine what it’d be like to give evidence? The field day the courts would have with it, let alone the press! Shit, I can’t do this’. He got up, winced and sat down again, empty, looking for simple answers to complicated issues.

‘Can ya live with the memory?’ the scratchy voice asked, bringing the question down to basics.

‘I know I can’t live with the thought of other people knowin’. When Traff told me just now, it took me all my time not to throw up. And now he’s said it, the memories are there, kind blurry in the background, like I watched somethin’ ages ago on TV, but they’re there an’ this is real. Starsk, I can’t do this. I don’t wanna do this. Its too much…….help me?’

The brunette placed a bandaged hand on his partners, then reached up and pulled the big blond body to him, wrapping his arms around and ignoring the pain from his damaged ribs. He held on as Hutch sobbed against him, finally letting out all the pent up emotion and grief he’d held in, starting the process of coming to terms with his violation.

Eventually the shuddering sobs ceased, and Hutch pushed himself away from the comfort of his friend. He heaved a shaky breath.

‘M’sorry. First of all I nearly beat you to death, then I try an’ drown ya!’ he said in embarrassment. ‘How’re you with all this?’

‘Not good…….but got you’ Starsky croaked painfully. His dreams had shaken him with their clarity and ferocity and now he could feel the guard’s hands on his body again and the sickening memory that they forced him to beg for his violation. Hutch was right. If he wasn’t ready to face the memories himself, he sure as hell wasn’t ready to tell them to someone else. And who would that someone else be? Would it be easier to tell a stranger, or a friend? Could he cope with the sympathetic looks and the whispered conversations behind his back? He shook his head on the pillow. ‘Need time……to remember ...an’ deal’.

‘Yeah, me too buddy. Me too. So here’s the plan. We’re gonna deal with it like we deal with everything else. Me and Thee against the world; against the memories an’ against the fuckin’ perverts that did this to us. An' every day we’re gonna remind ourselves that we suffered and we came through an’ we survived. Starsk, I thought I’d killed you. I thought my life had ended when I remembered your body on the ground and the bruises I’d put round your neck. Somehow, this….distant memory….pales into insignificance compared to that. At least it does at the moment. Ask me again when it shakes me awake in the middle of the night huh? If you can deal with it, privately and together, so can I. What d’ya say, huh?’

‘Hey, I did my share of fightin’ buddy’ the curly haired man rasped. ‘An’ you’re right. We made it this far…..’

‘So, we tell Traff it never happened?’

‘Agreed. But then we go out and we find the suckers and we nail ‘em’.


Traff made his way down the corridor of the Metro. He’d spent some time with Dobey, giving his statement and getting the story from the captain on what Matwick had been like the first time around in Cabrillo. Dobey had even kept the newspaper clippings of what Matwick had done to his patients at the other institutions he’d worked at and he showed them to the solder as Traff’s blood boiled.

They’d then had the analysis of the drug Matwick had used this time. And the lab, while terming the concoction barbaric, were nonetheless impressed by its effectiveness. Traff was not so impressed however, and after hearing how the mad doctor had used his friend and the mental patients the first time around, was more than angry that he’d been allowed out of jail on a technicality.

Dobey had assured him that this time, Matwick would be locked up for a very long time and with those words ringing in his ears he was on his way back to the hospital to visit with his two slightly recovered and staunchly tight lipped friends.

As he strode around the corner of the corridor, shouldering back into his jacket, he literally cannoned into a party of three coming the other way.

Chang and Marsh grinned at the soldier as he stumbled back, but Traff’s eyes were on their prisoner.

The doctor’s glasses glinted dully as he looked at the tall man who was stunningly reminiscent of the curly haired cop. He cowered back as Traff loomed over him.

‘So you’re the mad Doctor Matwick’ Traff said calmly. ‘You’re the guy who used my two friends as lab rats, not once, but repeatedly. Do you know what my friends would like to do to you Doc?’

Matwick shrunk back, trying to hide behind Chang, but the detective pushed the trembling man forward again.

Traff was continuing. ‘My friends would like to take another dose of your wonder drug and stand in that bloody arena with you. See how you’d fair. Unfortunately, they’re cops and they aren’t allowed to use indiscriminate violence on their suspects. So I guess from that point of view you’re lucky’ he looked at Chang and started to walk away, then changed his mind.

‘On the other hand. While Detectives aren’t allowed to punch their witnesses, guys from the 8th Battalion can do exactly what they fucking well want’ he grinned, pulling his right fist back and slamming it into Matwick’s stomach.

The doctor bent double wheezing and clutching his stomach as the tears formed in his eyes. He panted through clenched teeth.

‘That’s assault’ he grunted, looking up at Chang and Marsh at his side. ‘You saw that, he hit me. I want to press charges’.

Marsh looked at Traff and then at her partner. ‘Hit? Did you see anyone being hit?’ she asked innocently.

Chang shook his head. ‘Aw…no. I didn’t see nothin’ either. Maybe you imagined it. Ya want an injection to make you feel better?’ he said pushing the doctor up the corridor. Before they turned the corner, he looked back over his shoulder and winked at the soldier.

Traff grinned back, the pain in his fist reminding him just how good it had felt to get one in on his friends' torturer. He put his jacket on properly and walked briskly out to the car park.


Two days later the detectives were released from the hospital. While Hutch was now classed as walking wounded and had no other physical side effects other than the bruises and wounds inflicted during his fights, Starsky was a little less firm on his feet. Both men were pushed to the door of the hospital in wheelchairs, but while Hutch managed to limp to Traff’s waiting car, Starsky had to be helped from the chair and supported to the waiting back seat. His throat had swollen almost to the point of closure during his first night in hospital and it had taken all his willpower to keep breathing, the thoughts of a respirator keeping his iron will working. That, and the fact that when he went to sleep, his dreams were painful, terrifying and all on the same dirty subject.

And so he was weak, his voice was gone completely, but he was happy to be going home. Traff had offered to stay on to look after them for a couple of days and they both felt happy having the soldier around – he being the only one of their friends who knew of the full details of their ordeal.

One week later, they were back at work. Hutch had felt confined in the house, the memories having returned in their full sickening glory. He had no idea which he found worse – the memories of his hands round the brunette’s throat, or the hands of the guards invading his own body. Either way, he needed some release for his emotions, and work seemed the answer for both of them.

Starsky’s voice was slowly returning, although it seemed to have lowered an octave and was husky and weak. But he too itched to get back to some semblance of normality, hoping that work would allow his mind to concentrate on something other than the freakish captivity he’d endured. Each time he closed his eyes he saw the guards leering over him and heard his own voice asking them to violate him, and each time he remembered, the bile rose in his throat and the blood boiled in his veins.

Their first morning back at the metro had been strained. The other guys were used to one or other of their number coming back to work after an injury, but each comment or each brief touch made Hutch or the brunette jump, wondering if their story had leaked out. Did that comment mean someone knew what had happened to them? Did this touch have a hidden meaning? By lunchtime on that first morning they were ready to explode and both decided to hit the streets, hoping familiarity and the car would calm their emotions.

‘I need to get out’ Hutch growled, shouldering into his jacket and pushing the chair back with such force it bounced off the desk. Starsky followed a pace behind, but such was the blonde’s need for air he couldn’t catch his partner up until they were outside and in the car.

‘Hey Blintz, slow down huh?’ the brunette got into the car and sat behind the wheel. ‘Hutch we can’t go on like this. One of us is gonna explode at this rate. We need to do somethin’ or say somethin’ but I ain’t gonna go around with my head in the sand any more. I can’t. This is eatin’ me up and its getting you all bent up too. We either need to ignore it, or talk to someone, an’ I don’t think I can do the first option’.

Hutch shook his head. ‘Well I’m not ready for plan B either. I just feel like my heads gonna blow up. I don’t sleep, I don’t function properly when I’m awake. I thought coming back to work would make it easier, but I’m jumpier than a cricket’.

‘So what? Whatcha wanna do? Coz we sure can’t carry on as we are’.

The blond ran his finger over his lip. ‘Dunno. Drive an’ we’ll think of somethin’

Chapter 22

They drove in silence for a while, each lost in their own thoughts. At the hospital it had all seemed so easy. They would keep quiet and say nothing and everything would dim with time so that it became a distant and blurry memory of a violation that had happened almost to someone else. When they'd gotten back home, they’d gravitated towards Starsky’s pad, neither admitting to the other that they would prefer not to be alone, and it had been a natural progression for them to go back to work together. Even in the privacy of their home, it had been almost easy to try to pretend that their experiences had never happened – that they belonged to some other sicko’s past.

But now, back in the cold hard real world, with no door between them and reality, every word, every look and every nuance held different meaning for them, always suspicious that someone knew their guilty secret. As though they’d asked for the violation and as though they were the ones who brought it on themselves. Of course they knew logically that that wasn’t the case, but psychologically they had been badly damaged and they would have to spend long hours, days and even years before the memories would sit more comfortably in their heads. and the most painful truth was that they would never, ever go fully away.

Their mental perambulations were interrupted by the voice from the dash board

‘Zebra three, zebra three, come in please’

Hutch jumped then snickered self consciously. He reached for the microphone. ‘Zebra three. What d’ya want Minnie honey?’

‘Reports of a disturbance at 1887 West Handley. Please be advised shots fired. Be careful guys’.

‘Zebra three we are responding. Out’. Hutch tugged the mars light from its place under his seat and slammed it onto the roof of the car as Starsky executed a wheel screaming U turn in the road, accompanied by the honking of horns from other road users who'd swerved to avoid them. Gunning the big V8 engine and pushing his foot to the metal, they set off for the destination, arriving scant minutes later.

As they approached the address, they heard another shot ring out from the first floor window of the two storey building. The sign above the door read PORTNEY PRIVATE CLINIC. The brunette pulled the car to a stop and both detectives pulled their weapons from holsters, checking the ammo and clicking off the safeties. this was a world they understood - a world of perps and guns, not personal rape and angry memories. For the moment they could focus on something else other than their own damaged minds. With guns in hand, they got out of the car, using the doors as shield until they could better establish what was going on.

‘One shot, window to the upper left’ Hutch reported through the open body of the car.

‘Gotcha. Some guys just come running out of the side door. Cover me’ Starsky said, waiting for the curt nod before setting of in a low, crouching run towards the corner of the building. As he got there, he heard a scream from the upstairs window and watched as the blond scurried over to join him.

‘How long before the black and whites get here?’ he panted, looking around for cover and other signs of life.

Starsky wrinkled his nose. ‘Too long. Sounds like a pitch battle in there. D’we go in?’

‘Ya need to ask?’ Hutch replied wryly. He’d never known his partner yet shy away from confrontation. ‘On three? One, two, three’.

Both men headed for the open front door of the building and Hutch ducked across the opening as Starsky leaned his back against the lintel. At a nod, Hutch aimed high into the reception hall, the brunette crouching and covering the lower portion of the space. There was no-one in sight and cautiously they entered, senses questing back and forth as they tried to get a measure of the space.

There was silence for a while as the detectives systematically searched the lower rooms before taking the steps up to the first floor. Turning to the left they set off along the long white corridor past treatment rooms and clinical rooms. The sight of them made Starsky shiver, the shudders running down his spine as he saw the medial tables, the dentist type chairs and the rows of gleaming instruments. He swallowed hard and hauled his mind back to the job in hand.

There was another shot and a scream and Hutch, who was a little ahead of his partner froze, his hand up, elbow bent and fist closed in the universal sign of “hold on”. Slowly he edged forward and ducked his head quickly round an open doorway, ducking back equally quickly. Starsky joined him and they hunkered down.

‘Two guys, three women’ the blond hissed. Both guys dressed in orderlies uniforms. One guy has the women covered with a gun, looks like a .22. The other guys doesn’t look armed, but I didn’t get a good enough look’.

Starsky rolled his eyes. ‘I hate sloppy workmanship. Lemme see’ he swapped places with the big blond and quickly peeped around the door, pulling his curly head back and leaning it back against the wall, his eyes closed. Hutch watched as the jaw worked, the muscles contracting and relaxing as the brunet tried to get some semblance of control. The stormy indigo eyes opened.

‘D’ya see who they are, the guys?’he asked his blond partner.

‘No, didn’t get chance. I just clocked the gun. Why?’

‘Well, I could be mistaken, but I don’t usually forget the guy who fucked me’ Starsky said wryly.

‘You mean……those guys are…..and they’re…..fuck!’

‘Ya wanna use a different expression there Blintz?’ Starsky snorted.

‘So what? We storm in there? How’d they get here? What’re they….never mind, I’ll ask ‘em after we’ve arrested ‘em’.

'Right, well, we go on three then?’

‘Uh huh. One, two……’

‘Hang on hang on. On three? Or like one, two three and then go?’

Hutch glared. ‘Starsk, how many years have we been partners?’


‘And how many times do I have to tell ya?’

The brunet snickered. ‘Every single time Blondie. One, two, THREEEEEEE’.

The detectives charged in, guns drawn as the two white uniformed men looked up. The three women screamed and dived for cover as the four men faced each other off. Uniform #1 pointed his gun at Starsky who ducked for cover behind the bed as uniform #2 shot at Hutch. The shot went wild and gave the blond the time he needed to loose a shot of his own, hitting the man in the upper thigh. He went down with a scream, clutching his leg and panting as his friend set off another shot at the curly head poking above the bed. Starsky ducked down again as Hutch’s canon spat into life once more.

A bloody, red rimmed hole appeared in Uniform #2’s forehead and he slumped lifelessly to the ground as the two detectives surged forward to the survivor. As Hutch went to comfort the three women who were still whimpering and huddled together at one side of the room, Starsky walked forward and looked down at the man on the ground. The uniform looked up, recognition in his eyes.


‘Oh yeah. Blue’s back. ‘N’ Blue aint got the drug in his system now. Ain’t got the cuffs ‘n’ the collar ‘n’ the easy access to what you sick puppies wanted. And hey, look, Green’s here too. A matching set. What say we have a little game of our own huh? Ain’t no-one around, and you don't have the cattle prod with ya’

Starsky knelt down by the uniformed man and lowered his voice. ‘We can get rid of the ladies, then it’ll be equal won’t it? Just me an’ Hutch an’ you. Just like old times, ‘cept this time you’d be on the receiving end. How’s about that huh? Special or what?’

‘Starsk, you’re frightening the poor man’ Hutch said mildly as he ushered the three women out of the room with instructions to go downstairs and wait for the black and whites to arrive.

Starsky straightened and turned to his partner.

‘Aint dat a shame’ he drawled. ‘We wouldn’t want ta….’ He ducked as a shot rang out through the room and looked quickly back over his shoulder.

The detectives' rapist had taken the law very much into his own hands. In the split second it had taken the brunette to stand and turn, he’d made a mad grab for his gun, put it beneath his chin, and pulled the trigger.

The remains of the man’s head, his blood and brain matter along with fragments of bone were now splattered like modern art around the room and the headless body lay splayed on the ground.

Starsky staggered back in disbelief.

‘Oh my God!’ he muttered as Hutch came to stand at his side.

The blond looked stunned. ‘I remembered their faces. It just came to me when I saw them. They were the ones who had me in my cell’.

‘Yup, they’re the fuckers who….well….who did it’ the brunette agreed in hushed tones. Although he’d fantasised about killing his rapists, he’d never for one moment thought he’d have to put his fantasies into practice. Thetwo stared down at what was left of their attacker, trying to assimilate the situation.

‘You know, I feel kinda empty. Like it’s a hollow sort of victory’ Hutch said wonderingly and in a hushed tone.

‘How d’ya mean?’

‘Well, usually when we catch a perp, there’s a trial and a sentence for them. It kinda puts the whole thing at an end for the vic, ya know?’

‘And now they won’t be having a trial’ Starsky agreed, looking at the carnage around him. ‘Well, not in this world anyhow’ he added with a wry smile. ‘I know what you mean. There needed to be an end to it. Like a period, so as we can get on with our lives’.

The blond nodded and whisted softly. ‘Yeah, well, thats some conclusion’ He looked around the room again and snorted as he saw the blood and bodies. He blew his cheeks out in a deep sigh.

‘Ya know Starsk. The psychologists have a name for this. And I think in this case its fitting. Its called closure’ he said quietly.

'Uh huh! I'd say that was one pretty damned big closure. D'ya feel any better?' Starsky asked.

'Not as you'd notice, but I sure as hell am happy we know where those two guys are. At least I feel now that I can begin to get my head back in order. I wouldn't have killed 'em out of choice, but I'm not sure I could ever have forgiven them either'.

'Well, we don't have to make that choice any more, do we? And the secret, as they say, goes to the grave!' Starsky gave one last look at the two corpses and then sighed as he and his partner turned their backs and walked out of the room, closed the door on their memories and set out to continue their lives.


‘No, please don’t….no…no…..no more’ the voice moaned, low and pitiful into the pillow as the blond sweat soaked head lobbed from side to side. ‘No, ya fuckers, I’ll kill ya I’ll…..NOOOOO’

The shout woke him up and Hutch lay on his bed, shaking and panting as the nightmare receded back into his memory. Without thinking he reached for the phone and almost subconsciously punched in the familiar numbers.

‘Lo’ a sleepy voice at the other end answered.

‘Starsk? Sorry buddy……didn’t mean to….ya know…..’

At the other end of the phone, the brunette opened his eyes and rolled over onto his back, the receiver wedged against his ear.

‘Ya had another one buddy?’

‘M’sorry Gordo. Go back t’sleep ok?’

‘Blintz, ya need me t’come over huh?’

‘Nah, so’k ….just pissed off that every time I close my eyes I remember…..you know’.

Starsky swung his feet over the bed and rubbed his fingers through his hair. ‘I’m comin’ over. Not sleepin’ much either. Break out the beer an’ set up the board. Monopoly calls’ he mumbled stifling a yawn.

‘So’k Starsk you don’t have to…..oh shit what’m I sayin. Yeah, I just need……forget it. I just wanted to hear……’ the sentence ended in a sigh.

‘Hey, I’m glad to hear you too partner’ Starsky said easing himself back into bed and lying down. ‘Just talk for a while huh?’ he said as he closed his eyes and listened to his partner’s silly voice.

And that was how it was for months after. Falling asleep to the sound of their voices in their ears. Comfort. Friendship. And a knowledge that they were safe together again.