By: Creedo (Formerly Starskysgal) and Jan in VA
Feedback: Of course we want it, we need it, we crave it…
Author’s Notes: This one is a collaboration between Jan in VA and myself, hope you all
enjoy this one, it is a little dark at times, but I think the ride will be worth it.
Dedication: To Jan in VA for being so patient with me as I work with Brook on other projects.
started like any other, a stop by the taco shop for Starsky’s breakfast, a burrito with heavy onions, then a drive through
the neighbor hood streets, looking for wanted criminals. Hutch had already had his breakfast, one wheat germ, kelp and goat’s
milk shake. They both embraced each other’s differences as much as their similarities. One calm and light, the other
hot tempered and dark, one a Methodist, the other Jewish, they were the ying and yang, polar opposites that fit together like
two pieces of a puzzle.
currently working on a tip provided by their good friend and extremely reliable source, Huggy Bear, about a new drug cartel
from the east coast, trying to set up shop on their side of the country. Their activities ranged from drug running to weapons
dealing, all up and down the west coast, but the base of their operations was stationed right in the heart of Bay City.
Both Starsky and Hutch had planned on making sure they didn’t visit for long. Along with putting the word out on the
street that they were planning on shutting down their operations, they also made sure to harass their potential customers
or ‘Big Tony’, as he liked to be called, was well known for his bullying tactics and terrified most of the small
time dealers and runners in the city. The local riff raff was torn between a one-way ticket to jail, compliments of the dynamic
duo, or certain pain and/or death, compliments of ‘Big Tony’. They found themselves in quite a pickle to say the
least. Several of them actually went into hiding until the war between good and evil was over, not to mention the fact that
Big Tony was putting their previous employers out of business. Word was spreading across the city quickly, everyone knew that
there was a fight brewing, and no one was laying any bets.
was that Big Tony was getting angry that Starsky and Hutch seemed to be everywhere he was trying to set up shop, they seemed
to be one short step ahead of the gangster. The small seeds of sin that Tony was able to plant, were quickly uprooted by the
came over the radio, “Zebra 3, this is dispatch, come in Zebra 3…” Mildred’s familiar voice resonated
over the airwaves.
for the hand piece, looking over at his partner, “Dispatch, this is Zebra 3, go ahead.”
3, please hold for Captain Dobey.”
a distinct click over the radio, and then Dobey’s bellowing voice spoke, “Hutchinson, Starsky?”
Hutch here Cap, what’s up?”
got a call about five minutes ago, asking for you two in particular. They said they have info about Tony Rogers, but the caller
wouldn’t identify himself. Wants you two to meet him at the docks, Pier 5…”
again, locking eyes with Starsky. “When?” He asked, speaking into the radio.
minutes…I don’t like it, but it’s your call. How do you two want to handle this?”
think?” Hutch asked the brunet on his left.
say we meet. Can’t hurt…But tell Dobey to have back up ready, just in case. I don’t want them far away.”
back into the mic, Hutch continued, “Cap’n, Starsk an’ I are gonna take this one, but do us a favor, have
back up ready in case we need it, hold them back a few blocks, we don’t want to scare this guy off, in case he’s
on the level.”
do, Hutch. You and that partner of yours had better be careful, stay alert, watch each others backs. Call in immediately at
any sign of trouble, you read me?” Dobey ordered.
the radio from the blonds’ hand and smiled as he spoke into you. “We will Dad, we promise…over.” He
said as he returned the hand piece to its cradle on his dashboard. He looked over to see his friends’ smiling face.
for yourself,” Hutch joked. “Let’s roll,” he said as he slapped the Mars light on top of the roof.
The docks were clear across town and would take at least thirty minutes, traffic permitting. The lights and sirens definitely
expedited this journey, making it possible to make the trip in fifteen. Starsky threw the car into low and hit the gas as
the monstrous engine roared at the command.
arrived at the docks, they slowly rolled the car down the narrow street, both being extra cautious, extra alert. Looking around
for any signs of trouble or set up. They made their way to Pier 5 as warmth of the day cast over the red Torino.
looked at his watch, “We’re five minutes early.” He noted.
this snitch can tell time?” Hutch asked.
had better hope so.”
your watch is slow.” Hutch said, knowing that his comment would get a reaction.
have you know that this watch is…”
yeah, yeah I know, accurate to some millisecond, with some depth perception, yada yada yada.” Hutch cut him off expecting
this response from a man that was clearly obsessed with watches and time. If Starsky’s watch was slow, then that would
mean that NASA’s space clocks were also slow. That somehow, time around the world was off by that five minutes. Hutch
laughed knowing that it was nearly impossible for Starsky’s watch to be slow. Starsky just shook his head in disgust.
up into an empty parking stall at Pier 5, that pier was abandoned; there was no activity, with the exception of a private
charter docked on the opposite side. Starsky threw the car into park and killed the engine after revving the motor one final
now what?” He asked as he stretched back in the seat trying to get more comfortable.
wait.” Hutch answered.
have to wait long before a man crept out from behind the dumpster on the far side of the pier, looking nervously from side
must be him,” Starsky noted as he pulled his door handle, and swung the heavy metal outward with his foot.
watch, you talk.” Hutch stated, which meant Starsky was to make contact with t he informant, while Hutch lay back keeping
a close eye on his partner’s back.
made his way to the skittish man, as the brunet detective dug in his jacket pocket, retrieving a stick of double mint gum.
He looked to his left and to his right, also trying to watch his own back as best he could. He removed the foil wrapper from
the gum and shoved the whole stick in his mouth, crumbling up the remains and tossing it aside.
outside of the car, leaning against the right front fender, staying ever vigilant and alert, both arms folded across his chest.
up at the frail shell of a man in front of him, and help one hand out, pointing to the wall behind the fink. “Back up,
up against the wall.” He instructed the man in a no nonsense tone, keeping plenty of distance between them.
s...sir.” He stuttered more due to nerves than a speech impediment.
lookin’ for us?” Starsky asked him as he hooked his thumb in Hutch’s direction, then back at himself.
you the cops after Big Tony?” The man asked as he placed his back firmly against the wall.
if we were?”
I guess, I’d be lookin’ for ya.” He answered in a manner that made Starsky’s previous comment seem
got for us?” Starsky got right to the point.
heard you an’ your partner tend to pay for information, is that true?” The man was a good three inches shorter
than Starsky and at least seventy pounds lighter. His thin black hair weighed heavily on his head with the residue of dirt
and grime. He smelt of booze, but not just his breath, it literally flowed through his pores. His five o’clock shadow
appeared to have a two to three day build up.
that ‘pends on whatcha got to tell us.” Starsky answered him. “I mean what if it’s somethin’
we already knew? That wouldn’t be worth much, now would it?”
it.” Starsky said leaving no room for argument.
word has it that Big Tony’s really got it out for you an’ your partner. He plans on making an’ example of
how’s that?” Starsky continued to move his eyes around the area, making sure there were no sudden movements and
checking to make sure Hutch was still standing watch.
‘xactly know. They aren’t the type that are runnin’ a front page ad ya’ know.” The weasel quipped.
a shot rang out from somewhere behind Starsky, he ducked as he saw the informant grab at his chest and fall forward to the
ground. He snagged his weapon from its holster as he dove behind the dumpster. Breathing heavily, he planted his back firmly
against the cold steel of the trash receptacle.
there for a moment with his Beretta held firmly in both hands, pointed straight for the sky. The perspiration quickly beading
up on his face, he let out a few fast puffs of air through his cheeks. He heard the pop of several more rounds going off.
The brunet attempted to lean over and look past the dumpster to see if he could get a fix on his partner and the shooter.
Just as his head rounded the corner, a bullet hit the edge of his metal shelter, sending sparks flying near the detectives
face. He retreated immediately, keeping his body behind the rust colored bin.
He yelled out between shots, checking to see if his partner was still among the breathing, non-bleeding population.
a heavy sigh of relief as he heard his partners’ response, “Here! I’m here. You okay?” Hutch shouted
from his position behind the driver side of the Torino.
were fired and the sound of breaking glass followed. “Fine!” Starsky answered. “Tell me that wasn’t
the sound of my car getting’ hit?” He prayed.
windshield had shattered in millions of pieces. “ ‘Fraid so Buddy.” Hutch winced as he stayed well hidden.
his eyes, thinking about the cost of repairing the damage he had just incurred. He then looked down at the informants’
lifeless body lying on the cold ground. He needed to try to pull him to safety, if he wasn’t already dead, then it was
his job to try and save him.
me!” Starsky shouted as he waited for Hutch’s response.
three,” The tall blond replied as they both took a deep breath and prepared themselves for the battle. “One…Two…”
forward, ready to lunge at the lifeless form on the ground.
from behind the car directing his fire toward roof of the warehouse, where the previous shots were fired from. He fired three
rounds into the general vicinity before dropping back down behind the Torino.
reached the injured man and grabbed him by the arms, dragging him back to safety, behind the dumpster. Hutch rose, firing
two more round…He received no return fire.
dropped behind the car again, quickly digging into his jacket pocket and retrieving more ammunition. Loading his Magnum, he
called out to his friend.
okay?” Hutch patiently waited for a response. Nothing. “Starsk? You alright?” Silence.
his eyes upward taking in a deep breath, vivid thoughts of his partner lying on the docks with a bullet wound to his chest
or head, his warm blood flowing out over the ground, raced through Hutch’s mind. He closed his eyes tightly, trying
to shove those images the dark corners of his psyche.
it Starsk, answer me!” Hutch cursed as he closed his eyes tightly, praying for some response.
rose up over the hood of the Torino, his eyes darting back and forth, waiting for someone
to take a shot at his bright blond head. He looked over towards the dumpster he last saw the brunet at and was shocked to
see the informant, now up on his knees hovering over his partners’ unconscious body, holding a gun at the brunets’
temple, staring at the light haired detective.
you want to see what his brains look like, I suggest you drop your gun, Detective.” The slime ball hissed.
no time pointing his Magnum at the perp, “You drop it...”
like we have a predicament…see you shoot me I shoot him, you don’t drop your weapon, I shoot him…You drop
your weapon, I let him live, for now…”
his choices, he had none. “What the hell did you do to him?” Hutch asked, his brow furrowing.
man that had his friend on the ground, held up an electrical charged gun and said, “That is what a modified stun gun
can do to a person. He’ll live, but he’ll be out for at least an hour.” The dark haired man smiled at Hutch
as he pressed the barrel of his gun harder into Starsky’s temple, “Now drop it, asshole!” The man demanded
as he pulled back and hit Starsky in the side of his head with the butt of his weapon.
okay. I’m putting it down.” Hutch said as he slowly lowered his weapon. “Just don’t hurt him, please,
don’t hurt him.”
3, come in, Zebra 3…” The call came over the radio.
his gun on the warm hood of the Torino as he raised both of his hands up to show his compliance.
a boy…” His captor commented.
3, Captain Dobey request emergency patch through, come in Zebra 3.”
know, there gonna send someone looking for us, if I don’t answer that.” Hutch tried to convince the sinister man
into letting him take the radio call. He saw a streak of blood trickling down from Starsky’s temple.
wouldn’t worry about that,” he spat, “we’ll be long gone before they can get here.”
Hutch felt a sharp pain to the back of his head as his knees buckled and the world faded from his vision. He fell over the
bright red hood of his partners’ car.
his head pounding, every thump in unison with his heart beat. His head felt like it could literally fall off and roll to the
ground. In a way, he wished it would. He opened his eyes slowly, just to squeeze them shut again. For a brief moment, he thought
his eyes were going to leap out of their sockets. He tried to lift his head, just to have it lop backwards. His arms were
stretched around something behind him, something sharp digging into his wrists. He swallowed hard trying to fight the nausea
rising in his throat, burning a path upwards to his mouth. It burned just as much as he pushed the bile back into his stomach,
trying to keep it at bay.
you could join us, Detective.” He heard a voice say from behind the chair he was sitting in.
man blinked quickly, trying to focus on the world around him.
are you? What do you want?” Hutch whispered. His throat was dry, it was difficult to swallow, his tongue stuck to the
roof of his mouth.
will soon find out.” The mysterious voice spoke.
was able to hold his eyes open without them trying leap from his skull. Raising his head and looking around, he held his breath
as things began to come into focus. He scanned the walls of his small room; he felt the ground swaying beneath him. The walls
of the room were papered with pictures, hundreds, thousands. Each one telling a story, each one either of Detective Dave Starsky,
or Detective Ken Hutchinson. Some of the pictures of the guys solo, some of them together. Leaving their apartments, coming
home, at the Pits, entering the station, at dinner, at breakfast, both of them going to Hutch’s church on Easter Sunday,
both of them entering Starsky’s synagogue for a special service. They were being watched, and from the look of things,
they were being watched for quite some time. A chill ran through Hutch’s body, they were cops, yet they didn’t
even suspect or detect that they themselves were under surveillance.
my partner?” Hutch asked. “What have you done with him?”
safe for now, but it will be up to you to keep him that way.” The voice from behind Hutch spoke. Hutch tried to turn
his head to see who was speaking, but the man managed to stay out of his line of vision. “All you have to do is answer
a few questions; it’s as simple as that, then neither one of you gets hurt.”
a handful of his hair being grabbed roughly as his head was snapped back, straining his neck. He clenched his teeth to refrain
from shouting out.
buddy is right down the hall, and he’ll stay there until we finish with you.”
door to his room opened and a large man entered, he had to turn sideways to fit through the porthole. Hutch immediately recognized
the man, Anthony Rogers, aka ‘Big Tony’, the malevolent felon that they had been tracking and trying to gather
enough evidence on to shut down his west coast operations permanently, and throw him behind bars for at least a decade or
Tony…” Hutch hissed, his mouth feeling more like sandpaper, then soft tissue.
Hutchinson, glad to have you aboard…” Big Tony greeted the officer with a devastating punch to the left side of
his jaw, causing the deep black abyss of unconsciousness to envelop him once again.
wake his partner.” Tony ordered two of his men, as the hurried out of the room and down the small corridor.
already awake and sitting on the floor, with his back up against the wall. His left hand was nursing the flesh burn under
his arm on his side, caused by the stun gun. The right hand held his temple that had connected with the butt of the ‘informants’
gun. He was still trying to piece together the events that occurred in his mind. He would get to the part of Hutch covering
him as he went to check on the injured man, and from there his mind went blank. He wasn’t sure what happened, how he
got here or who brought him. The door to his room opened as Starskys’ body immediately tensed with the entrance of his
dummy snitch that they met at the docks, and another larger man. The brunets’ fists clenched.
Detective Hutchinson?” Starsky demanded an immediate response.
that sweet? That is the same question he asked about you.” The small fink seethed.
Where is he? Is he okay?” Starsky stammered quickly as he rose to his knees, preparing to find the answers himself if
man pulled the stun gun from his pocket and held it out towards the defiant brunet. “Sit back down, or we will sit you
down.” He ordered as he moved towards Starsky brandishing the electric weapon as if he held a powerful pistol.
leaning back on his heels, dropping back onto his rear. “Reese, take this.” The bigger assailant handed the small
man the stun gun as he retrieved a set of handcuffs from his back pocket. Smiling he moved towards Starsky. “Put your
hands behind you, asshole.”
you, where’s Hutch?” Starsky spat out before thinking about the position he was in and that it was probably not
a good idea to antagonize a huge Neanderthal type man, whose friend had a modified stun gun, and enjoyed using it.
approached the temperamental brunet, one each side. Reese, the smaller of the two tormentors, turned the dial on the stun
gun down. He didn’t want to shock the detective into unconsciousness, just into submission. He placed the metal probes
against Starskys’ forearm as he smiled into the man’s indigo eyes. Starsky’s left hand reached for the weapon
as he pulled the trigger.
body jerked violently as he shouted out in agony, slamming his back against the wall behind him.
of a bitch!” Starsky spat.
your hands behind your back Detective.” The large man commanded once again.
laid on his stomach on the floor as he place both arms behind him. The big aggressor quickly secured the cuffs tightly around
his wrists as Starsky winced in pain when the steel pinched into his wrists.
up and knelt at the dark haired mans face bringing the weapon in his hand up and placing it against Starskys’ right
cheek, pressing it hard against his sweaty skin.
don’t.” Starsky pled, his eyes shut tight in preparation for the surge of voltage to shoot through his entire
Reese looked up to see Big Tony standing in the doorway. “We don’t want to kill him yet.”
the weapon away from Starskys’ face as he failed to hide his disappointment. “We’ll play later.” He
whispered to the brunet.
forward to it.” Starsky retorted.
the curly haired detective up, his back against the wall, “Where is my partner?” Starsky demanded an answer.
just down the hall, Detective,” Big Tony answered. “And if he plays his cards right neither he, nor his Jew friend
here, will have to suffer too much.” Tony directed his answer more toward Reese. He walked towards Starsky as he smiled
down on him, “I just wanted to take this opportunity to welcome you aboard my little boat, and let you know, that if
you need anything, don’t hesitate to ask.” He let out a laugh as he drew back his right leg, launching it forward
into the brunets’ side.
forward, heaving and gasping as saliva strung from his mouth, hitting the floor. He spat the remnants out from between his
lips as he straightened back up, letting his head fall back against the wall as he tried to control his breathing.
on Valdez, let’s go question the blond, see if we can get him to break.” Tony instructed the large man in the
room, as he moved past Starsky.
Just as Tony
Rogers stepped over the detectives legs, heading for the door, Starsky raised his leg slightly, catching the tip of Big Tonys’
foot, causing him to stumble. “Asshole,” Starsky coughed and mumbled it under his breath.
then caught his footing as he looked back at the defiant prisoner. His eyes wide with anger as he looked at Reese, who still
had the stun gun in his possession. One simple nod of the head brought a wide grin to Reese’s face as he clenched the
weapon tightly in his hand and approached his target. Tony and Valdez left the room, closing the door behind them. They were
a mere few yards down the corridor when they heard they strong man scream out in agony. Tony smiled with a deep sense of disturbing
a flurry of activity on the docks. Dobey had the entrance completely sealed off and there were at least a half a dozen vehicles
roaming the area. Dobey was looking through the Torino, he saw the shattered front window, along with a few scattered bullet
holes in the front end of the car. Over by the dumpster, the crime team found some evidence of fresh blood on the ground.
They busied themselves taking samples and collecting evidence.
that they had been taken, but where. He sealed off the area the moment he had any sign that they may be in trouble. He moved
all of his men in quickly, surrounding pier 5. The large Captain had a sickening feeling washing over him, he knew his boys
were in danger, and he knew it was his job to protect them. He let them down, his heart was heavy with guilt and worry.
One of the
junior detectives made his way to the Captain and began giving his oral report on the situation.
is what we got, Cap’n, Several rounds from at least three to four different types of weapons have been fired, no immediate
casualties have been found. Coast Guard is dragging the nearby waters for possible bodies. There was blood found over by the
dumpster, some of it is smeared, and there are some streak marks from the soles of tennis shoes, that indicate that some one
was dragged away from the immediate area. The evidence then disappears. It seems that whoever the injured party was either
walked away, or some person, or persons carried him away.”
the young detective away as he finished his report. He took a white handkerchief from his breast pocket and wiped the sweat
from his brow and the back of his neck. He had a bad feeling about this, and at this moment, he wished he had listened to
his instincts and never let Starsky and Hutch take this call. Truth was, he cared for those two boys like they were his own
sons, more so than any other team in his department, and right now, he felt like he failed them, he let them down. He sighed
as a fist grabbed and squeezed his heart. They were gone…
his eyes, his head pounding again, the bright sunlight filtering into the room, causing his vision to blur. He looked around
the room, trying to focus on the wide array of photos taped to the walls surrounding him. There were so many of them, that
Hutch couldn’t recall where all of them had taken place, they were familiar yet he didn’t recognize some of them.
that these men probably had more information on the two detectives than he would want to admit. There was no telling how long
this surveillance had been going on, or how much information they were willing to extract through their own investigations,
but one thing was for sure, this was not a good sign.
to his room opened and Hutch was soon aware that he would be confronted with a man, or several of them, that really wanted
him and his partner dead. He held his head up, trying to support it and the heavy rocks that it felt like someone had deposited
awake.” Tony noted.
must be the brains of this operation, wanna know how I can tell?” Hutch taunted. “Your keen sense to details.”
his eyes as the back of Tony’s hand struck him across the face.
about as bright as your partner. But wanna know something…? He screams louder.” The corners of Tony’s lips
curled up into a wicked smile as Hutch felt a hole in the pit of his stomach.
did you do to him?” Hutch asked his icy blue eyes locking with Rogers’, testing his boundaries, realizing that
he was securely tied to a wooden chair, his arms stretched behind him. He wanted nothing more than to free himself and reach
the abusive man in front of him.
he didn’t ask for.” Tony replied as he reached up, grabbing a handful of his blond locks and once again snapped
his head back. “Now, let’s go over the rules of this game…”
up on your feet, it’s time.” One of the three men left to guard the detective said as they pulled him to his feet.
for what, scum?” Starsky questioned.
The man backhanded
him knocking Starsky back to the floor again.
guy, huh? We’ll see how tough you are at your trial. If your friend refuses to talk to Big Tony, you had better be prepared
never talk.” Starsky retorted, pursing his lips. He felt a knee to his side when he protested too adamantly. They stood
the defiant brunet up as the walked him out of the cabin.
Once up on
deck, Starsky squinted trying to block out the bright sun. He moved his head around, the only thing in sight was water, the
deep blue sea. There was no telling where they were, what direction they had headed out from on the dock, how far they had
gone. Starsky was led over to one of the large masts in the center of the deck, his cuffs unlocked, his arms wrapped around
the pole and refastened quickly.
my partner?” Starsky asked he felt the cold steel of the post on his back. “So help me God, if you hurt him…”
we haven’t touched him.” Big Tony interrupted the curly haired hostage.
the familiar voice of his partner coming from the corridor to his right. Hutch was protesting vehemently as he was carried,
chair and all, to the deck.
do this, you can’t do this. I swear, I’ll take each and everyone of you down.” Hutch spat out quickly, his
body twisting and turning in the chair, trying to break free.
The two goons
on either side of him, carried him to the center of the deck and set the chair down. Hutch looked up and saw his friend staring
at him, he appeared to be alright, despite the nasty lump on the side of his head from the butt of the informants’ gun
on the docks.
okay?” Hutch asked his counterpart.
except for this splitting headache, I feel t’riffic.” He smiled at the blond who winked in return. “You?”
better.” He answered.
walked to the center of the deck carrying a cat o’ nine tails, with wire barbs on the ends, in one hand. The leather
whip fit perfectly in his hand and the two feet of splayed tails extended from the handle. He walked proudly, swinging the
weapon harshly across the air, causing it to whistle as it sliced across his path.
up to Hutch, “I sure hope you’re gonna answer some questions for us, ‘cause you see, killing one more pig
won’t bother me a bit.” Hutch swallowed hard.
touch him!” Starsky shouted out as Tony snorted in laughter, then returned his attention to the blond strapped to the
told you about our little operation?” Tony bent down staring Hutch in the face as he asked him.
straight ahead, into his partners eyes, knowing that Starsky didn’t expect him to respond to any the questions being
asked. They could never give up an informant, especially Huggy.
much about us do you know?” Tony hissed.
many of your pig friends know about us?” Tony asked as he stood straight up again.
if that’s the way you want to play this.” Tony said as he turned and walked towards Starsky. “See, I figured
you’d be stupid enough to keep your mouth shut when it came to your own ass, but let’s just see how willing you
are to keep quiet when your buddy here is screaming, begging for you to talk.”
handcuffs were opened and his arms were moved around to the front of him. The brunet saw his opening and went for it, shoving
one of the large captors into another, watching them fall like dominos. He laid out another man with a vicious left hook to
the jaw. In seconds three more men were on the brunet detective.
Tony shouted as they group of men looked back to see their leader holding a gun to the blonde’s head, pulling back the
hammer. “Move, and I blow his fucking head off!”
at his friend, blinking quickly, then letting go of the scrawny slime ball in his grip, giving him one final shove to the
wooden floor of the boat. Several men rushed the dark haired man, cuffing his hands once again in front of him and threading
a thick rope between his hands. They shoved Starsky back to the mast as one of the men climbed the net ladder to the top.
Tony released Hutch and walked towards Starsky, grabbing the rope from his subordinate. He tossed the rope up to the man at
the top of the pole.
him up.” He ordered as he turned and walked back to the helpless blond in the chair. “Do you read the bible, Hutchinson?”
Tony whispered in his ear.
his brow, looking at the sick felon standing before him.
I do, I read the Bible, and I just find it so ironic that your Jewish partner is about to pay for your sins. Don’t you
find that ironic?”
do this.” Hutch pled, his icy blue eyes searching for some scrap of decency in the large evil man.
gonna answer my questions?” Tony asked loudly.
can’t.” Hutch said, his heart seizing in fear for his friend.
around Tony to see what they were doing to him, and to his horror, they we’re using the rope like a pulley, hoisting
Starsky up the mast, like a flag on a flag pole. There must have been at least 15 men on the deck of the boat, all carrying
out Tony’s commands and wishes. Hutch squeezed his eyes shut tight as Tony back handed him.
is your only warning, one of the rules is, you must watch what happens to your friend, if, at any time, you look away, his
punishment increases.” Tony was actually smiling as he explained the rules.
tell him shit!” Starsky shouted as his arms were stretched over his head, his shoulders straining as he was lifted off
Tony started as he moved towards Starsky, swinging the cat o’ nine tails in the air as all that were near him flinched.
“If I recall correctly, I asked you three questions…all of which you refused to answer.” He looked at Starsky,
the sweat beading up on the brunet’s face. “That means, you get three lashes.”
hard, shoving his fear down deep inside his soul.
you!” Starsky said defiantly as the first strike slashed across his mid section, ripping into his blue shirt, biting
into the flesh beneath. It sent unbelievably searing pain through his entire body.
were barely touching the top of the deck, as his body swayed back and forth. The red stains immediately rose to the surface
as the blood began to seep through the shredded shirt from the slicing wounds. Tony didn’t give the detective a chance
to catch his breath before delivering the next strike across his side as his body twisted and turned in mid air.
Each of the
wire barbs dug deeply into his skin and ripped holes causing those areas to bleed, slowly tearing the shirt and the helpless
man underneath to shreds.
Dammit!” Starsky cursed as Tony laughed out loud.
it! For God’s sake, stop it!” Hutch pled, watching Starsky bite his bottom lip, grunting to keep from screaming
at Hutch sneering, enjoying the pain he was causing both of his nemeses. Starskys’ body swayed back, facing Tony as
the large man drew back the whip, raising it high over his head and bringing it down harshly across his stomach, causing more
damage to the original wounds. Starsky breathed heavily, puffing the oxygen in and out of his lungs quickly to avoid passing
out. A single tear dislodge from his eye and ran down his cheek. He didn’t scream…
to Hutch’s side, “How’d you like that pig? Pretty cool, huh? Now let’s try this again…”
Hutch said, but his voice trailed off. He watched as Starsky’s tense body stopped moving back and forth. The wounds
were deep, they were bleeding, his eyes were closed as he willed the pain away. He was tough, there was no doubt about that,
he’d have to be…
want names and locations of who told you about my extra curricular activities.” Tony demanded of the blond who simply
lowered his head.
and where do your pig friends plan on takin’ down my boys?” Tony bent to look Hutch in the eyes.
do it Blintz.” Starsky instructed his friend when he saw how he was struggling.
looked up, he now knew that his silence was costing his friend dearly, and there was nothing he could do about it.
can we call them off?” Tony spat at Hutch’s feet.
can’t.” Hutch whispered.
answer.” He rose and moved back to the bleeding form on the mast.
at the man as he walked toward him. “Looks like your friend couldn’t give a shit about you, Curly.” Tony
least I got a friend…” Starsky stammered as he tried his best to prepare himself for the onslaught of pain that
was about to surround him.
no time in raising the crop, bringing it down across the top of his shoulder and over his upper chest. “Nooooooo!”
Slipped out of his mouth as he clenched his teeth, grimacing as the wave of pain shot through him. “Son of a bitch!
You mother fucker!” The brunet knew that nothing he said was going to hurt or help his situation, so why not let the
profanity fly. Hutch started to close his eyes until he remembered Tony’s warning about him watching. His heart was
slowly being torn from his chest as he watched his best friend, the man he cared for like a brother, being tortured, because
motioned to one of his men with a flip of his head. “Turn him around.”
The man quickly
ran over to the prisoner and easily flipped him over so that his bleeding chest and stomach were against the pole.
you’re at it, pull off those rags he has on, I want his so called friend to see what he is doing to his partner without
any distractions.” Tony directed.
was hanging there clad only in his boxers that were stained from his own blood.
pulled back the medieval weapon in his left hand, up over his right shoulder. With one fluid movement he backhanded the cat
o’ nine tails across Starskys’ back and then followed through immediately with another strike from the other direction.
Starskys’ body jerked violently as he groaned and grunted, but he didn’t speak, he didn’t scream out. Hutch
couldn’t tell if his friend was still conscious.
I’m sorry.” Hutch said to himself.
skipped back to Hutch. “Next question.”
Hutch protested on deaf ears.
was the first time you heard about me and my…shall we say, business?” Tony was back at Hutch’s side.
up one finger…
I wanna know if anyone from my side of the organization was helping you two boys out?” Tony posed.
finger was held high in the air.
long you been watchin’ me?”
enough.” Was all Hutch could answer.
Tony’s smile widened.
don’t do this to him, beat me instead. He didn’t do anything.” Hutch begged.
him…I’m fine…come on…asshole…” Starsky barely had the strength to say.
and turned to face the man strung to the pole. “You’re tough, I’ll give you that.” He said as he headed
over to him.
from his wounds was beginning to leave a trail from his torso, down over his boxers, and down his legs.
had enough.” Hutch protested.
back at the blond sitting in the chair, begging for his friend’s life, “We’ve only begun our little game
here Detective Hutchinson.” His eyes narrowed and darkened.
approached the subject’s splayed body. He could see the strain on Starsky’s back, his ribs stretched, his muscles
taught. Carefully, he mapped his target as he drew his arm back, throwing it forward again, slicing into the brunets’
flesh. Starskys’ body jerked violently as the strong man let out a pathetic whimper. It was almost a cry, but he managed
to hold it back.
weapon whipped sharply through the air as it whistled before coming into contact with the back of Starsky’s upper legs.
The dark haired detective threw his head back in agony as he pulled feverishly against his cuffs, the cold steel cutting into
the flesh of his wrists.
on as he watched his friend writhe in pain, attempting to free himself and being helpless to assist him in any way. He prayed
for unconsciousness to consume Starsky, taking him away from the suffering his body was being forced to endure. Hutch swallowed
hard as he fought his own tears, his own demons.
lash struck him hard across the upper left shoulder. He threw his head forward again, panting heavily, knowing that he would
have a few minutes to recover. That was the final strike in this series and Starsky was keeping score. He watched as the saliva
strung from his lips. He spat to remove the built up fluid inside his mouth. The fluid was pink and he became aware that he
had bit his tongue at some point during the beating.
to Hutch’s side…
asshole,” Tony addressed the blond. “Question number ten…”
up to lock eyes with Big Tony, viewing him with pure hatred.
you.” Hutch spat as Starsky turned his head to look at his friend, allowing the corner of his lip to curl up in appreciation
for Hutch’s defiance.
head snapped to the side as Tony backhanded him across the right cheek for his insubordination.
time, I hit him.” Tony informed Hutch as he pointed towards Starsky.
him…again…an’ ya’ better…kill me, asshole…” Starsky stuttered, the pain taking its
toll on the detective.
can be arranged.” Big Tony retorted.
heart pained to see his buddy still trying to protect him in the condition he was in. The compromising position that he was
being forced to accept.
question ten…” Tony continued. “Where can we find all the evidence you have on us, an’ how can we
get rid of it?”
can’t.” Hutch lowered his head.
all in the department, besides your Captain, knows about our dealings and business?” Tony wasted now time getting to
the last two questions.
me Hutchinson, how much pain do you think you can stand before you lose your mind?” Tony asked as Starsky’s head
rose. He trained his ears on Tony, the mere question alone led him to believe that his partner was in imminent danger of being
physically harmed. He strained to hear Hutch’s response.
much as you think you’re able to give.” Hutch said sarcastically, staring the large criminal in the eyes, daring
him to look away. The determination on Hutch’s face was unwavering. He thought he may actually be able to take some
of this pain away from his partner, and that is what he intended to do.
thirteen, how much pain do you think your partner over there can take before he dies?”
words caused a chill to run up Hutch’s spine as the man ran to Starsky’s strained form and delivered four continuous
strikes across the brunets back, one right after another, giving him no time to even breathe in between.
Starsky cried out seconds before losing consciousness and allowing the dark world to take him into its protective custody.
in horror as they untied Starskys’ motionless body from the mast, allowing it to fall limply onto the deck of the boat.
A seemingly involuntary moan escaped his partners’ lips as two of Tony’s goons lifted him. One took a hold of
him under his arms, and the other by his legs. They both grimaced at the sight of the beaten man as the roughly carried him
detective let his chin drop to his chest in silent prayer for his friend as Tony approached him.
we’re gonna take a little break, but I want you to think about what your friend is goin’ through right now, and
tell me if it is worth it. All you have to do is answer a few questions and you can make his pain go away.”
him isn’t gonna do you any good.” Hutch looked up at Tony. “Don’t you get it, I can’t talk,
even if I wanted to…I can’t.”
Two of Tony’s
larger men took Hutch, one on each side, and carried him downstairs, below deck. They made their way carefully through the
narrow corridors and into a small room. Placing him in the center of the room, they removed the thick ropes that bound him
to the chair.
my partner?” Hutch asked as a third man entered the room, placing a water jug and bread on the nearby table.
recovering.” The man carrying the food answered.
Hutch asked again.
you worry ‘bout him none, we’ll make sure he’s ready for the next session.”
caused Hutch to shudder, they weren’t finished with them and he worried for his friend’s well-being. For a brief
moment, he contemplated telling Big Tony everything he wanted to know, answering every questioned asked of him, to spare his
partner the torture he was going to experience.
men quickly left the tiny room leaving Hutch, unbound, in the confines that surrounded him. He heard a heavy metal bar being
lowered and secured on the other side of the door; he could make out the sounds of chains and a lock being secured. There
was a small porthole on the left hand wall that was far too small for him to fit through. He stood and stretched his legs,
walking around the room. The only furniture in the space was the chair he was just freed from, the table that held his water
and bread, and a small cot against the right side wall. There was the door in front of him that his captors just exited through,
and a door on the opposite wall, that he was pretty sure led to another room. He moved to the second door, jiggling the handle,
not surprised to find it locked too.
wandered back to moments earlier, seeing Starsky, hung from the mast, his body badly beaten, as he stayed strong. Hutch’s
stomach contents began the long journey, rising up to his throat as he fought to push it back down. There was a painful hollow
feeling in the pit of his stomach as he recalled the final lashings, and heard Starsky calling out for him. His eyes looked
upward, searching for some type of divine guidance or reassurance, but only finding the cabins’ ceiling.
the table, reaching out and grabbing the black porcelain water jug, taking a small sip. He quickly noticed what he thought
was water turned out to be red wine, and a cheep brand at that. He grimaced as he swallowed the bitter tasting fluid. Hutch’s
eyes widened as the realization struck. He recalled Big Tony asking him if he read the Bible, referring to Starsky as his
‘Jewish friend paying for his sins’. ‘The bread of his body, the wine of his blood,’ Hutch thought
recalling his somewhat religious upbringing. They were symbolizing Starskys’ flesh and blood with the offerings they
made to Hutch. The tall blond became nauseous.
and his men were sick, there was no doubt about that, he had to figure out a way to get him and his partner off the boat and
to safety. He heard the handle of the door to the back of the room jiggle slightly. There was a thud against the metal door
as he listened to what sounded like something hitting the floor just on the other side.
to the door, placing his ear gently against it, listening carefully. He heard a deep groan and soft whimper. “Help me.”
is that you?” Hutch raised his voice as he bent down towards the bottom part of the door, placing his right hand flat
on its surface.
A smile washed
over the blonds’ face as his eyes filled with tears, He turned to sit on his rear with his back against the wall, “Yeah,
it’s me Buddy.” He sighed in relief.
God Hutch, it hurts…”
his eyes tightly as he fought back the tears, “I know it does, I’m sorry. What can I do?”
will, I’m not goin’ nowhere.”
down on the floor and saw a bloody finger appear under the narrow crack of the door. He reached down and gently stroked his
friends’ skin with his thumb. “I’m here.”
a loud exhale from beyond the door as he felt his partner trying to breathe through a wave of pain.
partner?” Hutch turned to face the door.
me to thank Dobey…for this…assignment…would ya’?”
thing Buddy.” Hutch smiled at the sign of a sense of humor coming from Starsky as he rested his forehead against the
doorway, trying to will his way into the other room. “I’ll do that.”
did the right thing out there…”
wish I felt the same way.”
do this Hutch, you know…you couldn’t say nothin’…stop second guessing…yourself…if it was
me…I’d do the same…”
hide his pain, “You sure about that?”
need to sleep, you gonna be okay?”
be fine you big lug,” Hutch snorted, “you get some rest, ‘kay? I’ll be here when you wake up.”
that Starsky was slipping off into unconsciousness once again as the blond turned back around, placing his back up against
the wall, sighing heavily. His breathing was uneven as his tears began to flow. He puffed through his cheeks trying to regain
his composure, blinking rapidly and pinching the bridge of his nose.
scanning the docks; there was a flurry of activity. At least a dozen vehicles, ranging from crime labs, to police cruisers,
to unmarked vehicles jammed the area. Yellow crime scene taped outlined the vicinity. The red Torino was being inspected by
several men and women. There were boats in the harbor, dragging the waters for bodies as helicopters flew over head. Dobey
stood in the middle of the organized chaos, pulling a white handkerchief from his pocket and wiping his brow.
One of the
investigators ran up to the large Captain, anxious to report his findings.
got?” Dobey commanded answers.
have several shots apparently fired from the roof of that warehouse over there,” The young red head pointed to the top
of a building in plain view of Pier 5, “based on the entrance angle into Detective Starsky’s car. The small amount
of blood found on the hood of his vehicle and over there by the dumpster, are not indicative of gun shot wounds. It’s
my guess that neither one of them were hit by gunfire.”
where the hell are they?” Dobeys’ decreasing patience was getting the better of him.
as we can tell, they didn’t leave the area the same way they came in.” The young man continued.
they couldn’t have vanished into thin air.” Dobey snapped.
think they were taken out by boat, Captain. I suggest we contact the coast guard for their assistance.”
don’t just stand there Johnson, make yourself useful and make that call!” The large man yelled as the younger,
thin man fled the area.
stood there by himself, he remembered his last words to Starsky and Hutch, how he had a bad feeling about the call and was
uneasy about his two best detectives handling this one on their own. He should know by now to trust his gut, after all that
was what he had been trained to do. He swore never to let this happen again, EVER.
his men sat around a large table eating and drinking. Everyone was surprisingly relaxed given the gravity of their situation.
They had two police officers below deck; the punishment for kidnapping and killing a law enforcement officer, was the death
penalty, yet everyone around seemed to be celebrating triumphantly.
you see the look on the blonds’ face when we stripped his friends’ clothes off?” One of the men laughed
I thought for sure, he’d shit his pants right there.” Another chimed in.
think that boy is gonna break before the next session, there’s no way he’s gonna wanna go through that again,
either one of them.” The first man reiterated.
be so sure ‘bout that.” Tony added as everyone fell quiet, listening to every word he spoke. “These guys
aren’t your typical pigs. I read their files, an’ they don’t go down easy. I just want all of you to be
prepared to go the distance. There’s gonna only be one way to stop this, and I wanna make sure that all of you are going
to follow through to the end, got that?”
All of his
men either nodded their heads or agreed verbally to Tony’s request. “Let’s get prepared for the next session.”
He instructed as the men finished eating and took their drinks upstairs to prepare the deck.
of hours had passed before Hutch could hear Starsky starting to moan on the other side of the door. “…utch, you
still there?” He asked weakly.
Hutch bent down, placing his
mouth against the door. “Yeah Buddy, I’m here. You doin’ okay?”
“Couldn’t be better…”
He said before being consumed with a fit of coughing.
Hutch winced in pain for his
partner as he heard Starsky groan, trying to ride the wave of pain until it flowed back out and away from his body.
“Jesus Starsk, what can
I do?” Hutch asked, feeling the need to do something to ease his friends suffering.
“Promise me something…”
“Don’t tell them
Hutch rested his forehead on
the door before, closing his eyes briefly. Truthfully, Hutch wasn’t sure if he could hold out from telling them, not
if they were going to continue to do this to his best friend.
“I’ll do my best…”
Was the only answer he could give.
“Then so will I.”
Starsky took in a deep breath as Hutch could hear him moving around, probably trying to get more comfortable.
They door opened swiftly as Hutch’s
head swung around to face Big Tony’s men. Both Reese and Valdez
entered the room smiling.
“Time for round two, Detective.”
Reese seethed. “I sure hope you answer more of the questions correctly this time, for your friends’ sake.”
“In the chair!” Valdez ordered pointing the gun in his hand at Hutch’s temple.
The tall detective reluctantly
sat in the chair as they both secured his restraints once again, even tighter this time.
Hutch held his breath as he heard
someone entering Starskys’ room, he could hear his partner yell in protest, use a few choice words, then fall quite.
Hutch once again found himself
in the middle of the large boat’s deck. He looked at the large mast in front of him, knowing or dreading what was surely
about to come. Starsky’s blood had been cleaned up off the pole and the deck. Hutch looked around as several people
ran around, obviously on a mission of great importance. His stomach knotted as he saw two men threading the rope through the
eyelet of the tallest mast on the boat. He knew they were preparing for his partner.
Big Tony came up the stairs and
approached the blond who was, once again, strapped helplessly to the chair.
“You ready for round two?”
He asked grimly.
“Don’t do this.”
Hutch said, “You won’t get away with this. And when my friends find you, they will show you the same mercy that
you are showing us, mark my words. I’ll see to it that you pay, and pay dearly for what you are doing.”
Hutch turned his head towards
the stairwell as he heard a commotion coming from the porthole. He heard a familiar voice arguing and struggling.
“You sons of bitches, I
swear I’ll kill all of you!” Starsky shouted out as two men pushed and pulled the brunet onto the deck.
Hutch gasped as he caught site
of his friend. His body was covered with slices, dried blood, and bruises. A few of the wounds were still oozing fluid as
he passed in front of Hutch. The blond pulled against his restraints, struggling to free himself, to get to his partner, to
ease his pain. “Don’t do this! Please…Take me instead…For God’s sake, leave him alone!”
Hutch yelled out.
Big Tony smiled at the pain he
was causing the blond, the agony he was going through without physically touching this man. He realized that Hutch’s
pain was probably more severe than what the brunet was going through. The mental anguish was weighing heavily on Hutch’s
“You can stop his pain.”
Tony told Hutch. “You can make this all go away.”
“No he can’t!”
Starsky stated, pursing his lips together.
Tony turned away from Hutch and
walked towards Starsky as his cohorts secured his arms behind the pole. “You’re a real tough guy, aren’t
you?” Tony questioned.
“Fuck you!” Starsky
“We’ll see how tough
you are when I’m done with you!”
Tony’s fellow captor, Valdez, walked up to him, handing him the cat o’ nine tails that
he had used earlier.
“We’ll also see how
your friend over there feels knowing that he might as well have beaten you himself…I want you and him to visualize him
striking you, giving you every lash, that has torn into your body…The scars you will carry for the rest of your life
from this, are the scars that he has given you, not me.” Tony orated.
Starsky stared into Tony’s
dark brown eyes, never blinking. “Don’t listen to him Hutch, none of this your fault!” He never took his
eyes off the evil man. “You hear me Hutch, none of this!”
The man standing in front of
the defiant brunet and raised his left arm over his right shoulder, bringing his hand back across Starsky’s cheek, the
large ring that he wore, immediately slicing his face. Starskys’ head flew to his right, but then he snapped back, once
again glaring into Tony’s eyes.
Hutch briefly closed his eyes
bowing his head, just to have a handful of his golden locks grabbed, snapping his head upright. He looked into Reese’s
eyes. “Did you forget the rules, Blondie?” He seethed, his face so close to Hutch’s that the detective could
smell his decaying teeth and diseased gums. Hutch’s stomach turned as he tried to pull his face away from his. “You
watch, or he gets it even worse…” He let go of the blonds’ hair and held a gun to Hutch’s temple,
looking back at Tony.
Hutch returned his gaze to his
partner. Tony nodded to the two men standing on either side of the curly haired detective. Both them sprang into action as
they understood Tony’s unspoken instructions.
They released Starsky’s
hands from around the back of the pole, quickly moving them to the front and re-cuffing them. Starsky thought briefly of fighting
back, but could see the gun at his partner’s head out of the corner of his eyes. He knew this would be as hard on Hutch,
as it was going to be on him, if not harder.
“Remember your promise,
Hutch!” Starsky shouted at him while still staring down Big Tony.
Hutch took in a deep breath,
he promised his friend he would do his best to keep from giving these criminals any information, anything they wanted, no
matter what the cost. He only hoped he could pay the price that was being asked of him.
The rope was threaded through
the cuffs once again as Starsky was hoisted up the mast. His shoulders once again strained against the weight of his body
being hung from its wrists. His feet were bare this time, as the tips of his toes scraped against the decks’ surface.
He took in several deep breaths as the older wounds were stretched causing some of them to begin bleeding once again.
Tony approached Hutch swinging
the whip across the air causing it to whistle threateningly.
“Now, let’s try this
again, Detective.” Tony began. “Who ratted me out?”
Hutch locked eyes with his partner,
they spoke in silent communication. Starsky begged for Hutch’s silence and Hutch begged Starsky’s forgiveness.
Tony looked back and forth between the two, then back at the man in the chair.
“How much do your boys
know about me?” Tony asked slowly, bending over, talking into Hutch’s ear, while the blonds’ eyes remained
focused on his partner.
“Who else in the department
knows?” He whispered. “Where can I find the motherfucker that told you about my operations?”
“Go to hell…”
Hutch spoke gravely as he swallowed hard.
Tony stood and looked at Starsky,
then back at Hutch, pointing to the man hanging on the mast. “Him first.” He said as he walked towards Starsky.
He raised the whip high into
the air, using his entire body to swing it at the man in front of him. Tony’s first strike caught the dark haired detective
high across the right side of his neck, the barbs digging in deeply to, ripping out chunks of skin. The slash extended down
his chest to his breast bone. Starsky finally broke eye contact with Hutch as he squeezed his eyes shut tightly, clenching
his jaw to keep from screaming. He didn’t want to make this any harder on Hutch that it already was. He kept talking
to himself as the pain shot through him, telling himself to stay quiet for Blondies’ sake, Don’t let him hear
you scream. Don’t let him see you cry…Do it for him…Come on, Starsky…you can do it for him…
The second lash struck him horizontally
across his abdomen. His body jerked violently. Silently, he screamed out in his own mind… Noooooo! Stay quiet, breathe,
dammit…come on, two more…you can do this, Don’t look at him…stay quiet…Breathe…
He blinked back the moisture
that threatened to free itself, panting heavily. The next one hitting him across the left chest, one barb embedding itself
deeply, then literally, being ripped from his skin, causing a significant amount of blood to flow from the round wound.
“Fuck!” He shouted
out, regretting his outburst immediately. He looked at Hutch, whose eyes were filled with pain, the deep crease in his forehead
growing even deeper.
I’m sorry…Hutch mouthed
to Starsky as the brunet’s body swayed from side to side.
The fourth and final strike in
the series caught Starsky around the upper thighs, hitting both legs at once. Fortunately, the barbs missed his flesh, causing
this strike to be less painful then the first few. Starsky bit his bottom lip, but was able to keep from calling out.
Tony seemed disappointed in his
last hit, but turned and walked away from Starsky as he approached Hutch once again.
“Now then, what other actions,
are you aware of, that the police are taking against me and my boys?” Tony asked, standing in front of the blond, blocking
his view of his partner, locking eyes with the detective.
“Please, stop this. You’re
gonna kill him.” Hutch pled with the cartel leader.
Tony simply smiled and continued
his questioning. “What can I do to stop the police?”
Hutch lowered his head, looking
at his lap. Tony started to walk slowly back to Starsky, looking back at Hutch. The defeated blond looked back up at his friend,
hanging there, the life slowly being drained from his body. He prayed silently.
“Are any of the men that
you see before you today, responsible for the information that was given to your department?”
“Starsk, I can’t
let them do this.” Hutch spoke loud enough for his partner to hear him.
“Dammit Hutch, yes you
can!” Starsky cursed.
Sensing that the blond was beginning
to crack, Tony went in for the kill, “How long have you been watching me?” Tony shouted at Hutch.
Hutch’s eyes remained locked
with his partner, drawing on his strength, his loyalty, his courage. He said nothing…
Tony took two large steps towards
Starsky as he reached out for him, grabbing his arm, pulling him forward away from the pole and flipping him, exposing his
“I just don’t understand
why you continue to make me do this.” He hissed as he delivered his first strike across Starsky’s left shoulder
The brunet’s head fell
backwards as he looked to the sky, fighting the urge to scream. He drew in three deep, raspy breaths as he allowed his head
to fall forward again. He groaned loudly as he fought back his own tears. I’m okay, I’m okay, I’m okay…hang
in there Hutch, we can do this, together, we can do this…Starsky’s own mind kept racing.
The next lash was placed opposite
from the last. Hutch could see the fresh strikes forming several perfect ‘Xs’ over his back. “You both must
really enjoy pain…” Tony seethed, breathing heavily as his physical actions were tiring him.
Starskys’ boxers were covered
in dried, caked on blood. Tony struck him across the thin fabric, as Hutch immediately saw the brighter red fluid begin to
stain them. They became moist, clinging to his skin as Tony gave the final blow to the back of his legs. Starsky’s head
remained bowed forward as he moaned loudly. Hutch was pretty sure that his friend had either lost consciousness, or was about
Tony grabbed a fistful of dark
curls, snapping his head backwards; Starsky’s eyes were rolled upwards, not responding to Tony’s presence.
“Let’s wait a few
minutes, give him a chance to rest.” Tony said to Valdez
as he grinned evilly. “I want him fully awake for the rest of this session.”
Hutch felt his heart stop beating
momentarily as he fought back the nausea flowing over him.
The two men let up on the rope
that was holding him hoisted to the mast allowing him to lie at the foot of the pole. Hutch watched his crumpled body lie
there, twitching slightly, like it was still enduring Tony’s lashings.
About fifteen minutes had passed
and most of the ships’ crew were bustling about the deck, or had joined Big Tony below for more drinks. Hutch sat there
staring at his partner’s tortured body as the brunet lay there. He heard low deep moans coming from the injured man.
His mind wandered back to just hours before, how Hutch had given Starsky such a hard time about his breakfast burrito, what
that kind of damage that type food would eventually do to his body, his arteries. How he really needed to take better care
Hutch sighed as he thought about
how he himself was neglecting his partner, he wasn’t giving Tony the answers he wanted, and it was costing Starsky his
life. He realized how he was causing his best friend’s body far more damage then that damn burrito. That’s it!
He decided that he was going to tell Tony what he wanted to know, he was going to stop this. He wasn’t going to let
Starsky endure one more strike of the whip because of him.
“Pssst. You okay, Buddy?”
He heard Starsky’s voice speaking to him.
Up until then, he hadn’t
even noticed that he was crying, visibly sobbing out loud, this whole ordeal taking its toll on the strong blond. Hutch looked
up searching for Starsky’s indigo eyes, locking on them the second he made that contact.
“Starsk?” Hutch said
weakly. “I’m sorry…I can’t do this…look at you…” Hutch cried.
“Listen to me, you’re
doin’ t’riffic…” Starsky paused, closing his eyes and biting his bottom lip as the pain ebbed. “You
can’t let ‘em win…”
“I can’t let you
die!” Hutch snapped.
“Don’t do this for
yourself…” Starsky pled as he raised his head to be able to see Hutch more clearly. “Do it for me…we’ve
never given in…don’t start now…”
“Oh God,” Hutch looked
to the sky, then back to the man on lying on the deck, his life in the blonds’ hands. “Don’t ask me to do
“I’m not askin’…”
Starsky inhaled sharply as he fought to stay conscious. “I’m tellin’ you, you have to hang in there…for
me. No matter…what happens…do it for me…Promise…me…” He whispered as he let his head fall
back against the deck in exhaustion. “Promise?” He gasped.
Hutch vowed as Big Tony appeared once again from the stairwell.
shall we!” Tony commanded as the deck burst into a flurry of activity, and Starsky’s body was raised up the mast
Hutch couldn’t believe
what was happening, right before his eyes! They were going to continue with this!
‘I’ve got to do something!’
Looking at the men that were
guarding him, Hutch screamed, “You know you are all going to go down for this! All of you! I’ll see to it if no
one else does. Your leader here is signing your death warrants, if my partner dies. For God’s sake…he is dying,
can’t you see that?”
“My men are loyal to me,
detective,” Big Tony stated calmly as Starskys’ involuntary grunt sounded as others of Tony’s gang of thugs
secured him into place. “They knew what they were getting into when they joined my little group.” Tony said as
he moved towards Hutch with the cat o’ 9 tails moving through his fingers. “I wonder if your partner over there
knew what he was getting into when he made the mistake of being partnered with you.”
Hutch held his breath as he watched
his partner’s badly ravaged body be hung by the cuffs on his wrists.
“Make sure he’s awake.”
Tony instructed one of his men.
The man then walked to the side
of the boat pulling on a rope. As he continued pulling hand over hand, a second man joined him, reaching over and retrieving
the object that they were striving to obtain. A large heavy bucket appeared, as both of them carried it toward Starsky. Swinging
the container back, then forward again, the salt water that filled it flew through the air, hitting the brunet as he yelled
out. Every inch of his body stung as the ocean water seeped into each of his exposed wounds, a significant amount hitting
him in the face, burning his eyes, as he blinked rapidly.
“Now where were we, Hutchinson?” Big Tony asked smiling. “Let’s see…”
he said as he replayed the questions in his mind. He bent over bringing his face close enough for Hutch to smell the stale
alcohol that radiated from the evil man. “That’s right, question number ten.”
“I can’t do this…”
Hutch whispered to Starsky as he stared into Tony’s eyes, fighting his own demons.
He broke his gaze momentarily
to look at Starsky. The brunet’s sunken, tired eyes pled with his.
You CAN do this Blintz…Starsky
spoke in silent communication with his other half.
“Where can we find all
the evidence you and you friends have against me?” Tony asked as Hutch continued to lock his eyes with Starsky’s.
“Besides you and your dying
friend over there, who else knows about my business?” The barbaric man continued with his questioning.
Hutch’s eyes pled with
his partners’, this was tearing him apart from the inside out just as surely as Starsky was being torn apart from the
outside in. At that moment Starsky realized, that no matter how much pain he was in, no matter how much he bled, this was
far easier on him that it was on Hutch. If they survived this, the physical scars and agony would heal, he wasn’t so
sure about the scars that Hutch would carry with him. He knew that he couldn’t leave Hutch behind to live with this
for the rest of his life. He had to fight to survive, not for himself, but for Hutch.
Tony continued questioning, “How
many times can you watch me strike your friend, before you lose your mind?” He asked as he stood and headed towards
the curly haired detective.
Hutch swallowed hard, the moisture
in his eyes welling up once again, “No…” He mouthed.
Starsky didn’t break his
gaze from Hutch…The brunets’ eyes trying to reassure his partner, that no matter what, he would be okay, this
had nothing to do with him anymore, this was purely the actions of one human being against another. Nothing Hutch could’ve
said or done would’ve prevented this. Starsky was sure about that, but he knew Hutch had his doubts.
“How much more pain can
your best friend take, before he dies…? Because of YOU!” Tony asked, not giving Hutch a chance to answer before
raising the whip against Starskys’ hung form.
Tony violently struck Starskys’
helpless body. One, grunting with the force of the blow. Two, without even pausing to catch his own breath. Three, Starskys’
eyes rolled into the back of his head as Hutch began to panic. Four, the brunets’ body began to shake uncontrollably.
Tony dropped the weapon at Starskys’
feet as he walked over to the blond detective, panting and exhausted from the amount of strength it took to deliver those
strikes with such force. Hutch watched as the brunets’ body continued to convulse. A large pool of blood was beginning
to form on the deck below Starsky.
“Help him! Can’t
you see, he’s dying!” Hutch screamed out as the veins in his neck bulged. “Let me go! I need to help him!
Let me go!” Hutch pulled against the restraints as he fought to free himself. He felt the chair tip to the side as he
over compensated, trying to keep upright, but crashing, onto his side, against the deck. “Jesus, Starsk! I’m here,
can you hear me, I’m here Buddy!”
“Cut him down!” Tony
commanded as Reese cut the rope and Starsky fell roughly to the wooden floor. His body continued to twitch and writhe as Hutch
watched in horror.
“I’m sorry, I’m
so sorry…” Hutch cried as he sobbed uncontrollably. “It’s all my fault, I’m sorry Starsk, forgive
The blond let his temple rest
against the deck as he stopped struggling. He felt himself being grabbed by the elbow and lifted up. Someone grabbed his other
arm, lifting both him, and the chair off the boats’ deck.
“Take him below!”
Tony ordered as Hutch gasped. Reese and Valdez quickly did
as they were ordered.
Hutch began to struggle anew,
“No! I need to be with him, let me stay with him, please!”
Hutch fought as best he could
against the two men that were carrying him below deck, twisting and turning his body, trying to wrench free. It felt like
the chair had now become a part of him. A couple of times his actions caused the men to lose their grip on the wooden seat,
almost dropping it to the deck.
As Hutch cursed and spewed his
rage on the two, he looked over his shoulder, watching Starsky’s squirming form move helplessly against the boat’s
deck. Several men stood over him laughing as they watched the life flowing from the brunet’s tattered body.
“Please, help him. Let
me stay with him, he needs me.” Hutch pled. “You don’t understand, he can’t die alone…”
His begging fell on deaf ears
as the two men continued their path. Soon Hutch could no longer see his partner; he said his own goodbyes in his heart, knowing
that he would probably never see him alive again.
Hutch’s heart ached like
it had never ached before. His head fell back as he watched the overhead lights on the ceiling pass one by one. He fell into
a fog, his mind clouded; the only thing he could focus on was Starsky’s agonizing screams of pain. He was angry with
himself for listening to the stubborn brunet, keeping his mouth shut. How could he of let Starsky talk him into this? Tony
was right, this was his fault, he caused every lash his partner endured. He had the power to stop it and he did nothing…nothing
to save his partners’ life. Hutch knew that Starsky forgave him, but he wasn’t sure if he would ever be able to
Tears streamed down the blonds’
dirty face as he tried to blink his eyes to clear his vision. His mind was racing, struggling to shut out the visions he had
just witnessed. He was taken back into his room, the chair being placed in the middle of the floor. Valdez held a gun, Starsky’s gun, at Hutch’s head from across the room as Reese
untied the defeated blond. Hutch’s anger and anguish exploded as the last rope hit the floor as he hurled Reese across
“I’m going to my
partner right now, and not you or anyone else is gonna stop me!” Hutch cried out. At that moment he felt like he could
take on Big Tony and his whole gang. He had to get to Starsky NOW! A shot suddenly embedded itself in the wall beside Hutch’s
“You know Hutchinson,
it’s a good thing that bullets only go where I want them to go, and Tony still wants you alive and well,” Valdez said with chilling calmness in his tone. “…but I
wouldn’t try that particular display again if I were you.”
With that Valdez told him to eat heartily as he and Reese backed out of the room.
Hutch rubbed his aching wrists,
trying to improve the circulation before dropping his head in the palms of his hands.
“Oh God, Starsk…What
have I done…” He sobbed quietly as he dropped to is knees.
After collecting his thoughts,
he stood and turned around. On the table in front of him was a meal, no not a meal, a feast. Hutch was confused at the sight
before him. A lavish meal set out just for the blond to feed on. How could they even imagine he would want to eat with his
partner dying on the deck above him?
Back up on deck, Valdez rushed to Tony’s side. “I think he’s cracking, Boss.” He informed
his leader, thinking this would please him. “He’s gonna tell us anything we ask, just you wait and see.”
“Well, it’s a little
too late for that, don’t you think?” Tony grumbled, his mind already set to finish this off as soon as possible.
“Where’s the crossbeam?”
Valdez seemed to get a little nervous
at the question posed to him. “Reese was supposed…to…bring it.” He stuttered.
“I didn’t ask who
brought it, dummy. I asked where it was.” Big Tony snapped, obviously irritated with Valdez’ answer.
“Well Tony, word has it,
that he forgot it on the dock. It never got loaded.” Valdez
cringed as he informed his boss of Reese’s mistake, knowing what he was capable of.
Tony’s body began to shake,
“Bring him to me.” Tony commanded as Valdez ran
The big man paced the boats’
deck, back and forth in anger, cursing the inept man. He walked over to Starsky’s form, still huddled on the wooden
surface of the floor. Although his body had stopped convulsing, it still held an occasional twitch, as he moaned in pain,
or just in fear. Big Tony knelt beside the semi-conscious man, reaching down grabbing a handful of the brunets’ hair,
snapping his head back.
“Looks like we’ll
just have to figure out something else, now wont we detective?” He hissed evilly.
Starsky moaned weakly.
He released Starsky’s head,
throwing it roughly against the boat’s floor as he heard footsteps coming up from behind him. As he rose, he took the
gun from the back of his waistband, turning and cocking it in the same motion. Reese barely had time to show the fear on his
face before Tony fired, striking him in the chest and sending his body tumbling over the rail, into the ocean.
“Now,” Tony announced
loudly, “is there anything else that anyone has forgotten to do?” An eerie silence fell over the ship, no one
moved, no one spoke. The only sound was the oceans waves hitting the boat, causing it to sway back and forth and a wayward
seagull flying over head. “Good! That’s what I thought!” Tony shouted angrily as he replaced the weapon
back into his waistband.
The sinister man looked back
to Valdez, “Go see if his friend is finished his meal.
I wouldn’t want him to miss this.” Tony smiled.
Valdez snapped to attention, nodded in
understanding, pointed two other men, signaling them to follow him, and ran off, below deck.
Hutch heard the locks on his
door being released, his heart racing in anticipation of what was coming. The door flew open as the three men rushed the room,
Valdez holding his gun out in front of him, quickly training
it on the blond.
He looked at the untouched food
on the table. “What’s a matter? Not hungry?” He laughed at his blond prisoner.
Hutch asked, pleading for answers. “I heard shots…”
“Don’t you worry
about that, just a little disciplinary action needed to be taken.” Valdez
informed the detective before him. “You know, you really shoulda eaten something, never know, that coulda been your
last supper.” The gun toting man roared with laughter as the other two roughly shoved him back into the chair, securing
his hands and wrists even tighter than before.
“Where’s my partner?”
Hutch swallowed hard, “Is
he still alive?” he asked, choking in his own words.
“For now.” Was the
only answer he would receive before the chair was lifted and carried out of the room.
“Let Tony know I’ll
tell him anything he wants to know, just don’t hurt him anymore.” Hutch begged.
“I think it’s a little
late for that Detective.” Valdez said as Hutch was taken
Once on deck, Hutch’s chair
was placed in the exact same place as it had been the previous two times. The blond looked over to see his partner lying at
the foot of the mast. His battered body bruised and bloody as everyone walked past him, seemingly ignorant to his suffering.
A vice squeezed Hutch’s
heart causing it to tighten in sadness, skipping several beats. He heard Starskys’ low throaty groan as the brunet attempted
to roll to his side. Hutch saw his partners’ eyes open, but glazed over. He heard Starsky’s whisper… ‘…elp…’
“Oh, dear God, Starsk…”
Hutch whined as Valdez stepped over the injured mass, kicking
his legs aside.
“Can’t we get rid
of the trash on this boat?” Valdez spouted.
Tony approached the restrained
blond. Hutch’s eyes were wide with fear. “I’ll tell you anything, anything you ask, just leave him alone.
Get him some help…Please?” Hutch pled, his eyes filling with tears just waiting to be released.
“You’re a little
too late for that Detective.” Tony sneered as he looked over to the men standing around Starsky, nodding in silent command
They bent down and grabbed the
man as Starsky let out several uncontrollable grunts.
are you doing? I said I’ll tell you anything…leave him alone. Dear God, leave him alone!” Hutch cried out,
his voice becoming hoarse as he wept uncontrollably. “Starsk, I’m here…I’m here Starsk, hang on…”
The men roughly drug the man
to a semi-standing position as the brunet lifted his head, ever so slightly, to look at his blond partner.
Starsky gasped as his head fell forward again.
“Crucify him!” Tony
shouted as Starsky’s cuffs were removed and he was prepared to be raised up the mast one final time…
What had Tony said? Hutch thought
to himself. Crucify him? No, he couldn’t have meant that…Hutch’s eyes grew wide in terror. His mind raced…
“I told you, I’d
tell you anything you wanted to know! You can’t punish him anymore, he can’t take it. I can’t let him die
because of me!” Hutch spewed quickly, ranting as his heart seized like an iron vice. “He didn’t do anything,
this is all my fault!” He shouted, then lowered his voice to a mere whisper. “It’s all my fault!”
Big Tony turned towards Hutch
as he heard the blonds’ confession, “You’re right Officer Hutchinson, this is your fault. Because of your
inability to answer a few simple questions, your friend here has to die! He is going to pay the ultimate price for your sins.”
Tony smiled in irony. “This is just so biblical, don’t you think?” He growled a throaty laugh as he turned
away from the blond tied to the chair.
Hutch tried to call out to his
partner, “Starsk,” but the brunet gave no indication that he heard him. His motionless body was being held up
by Tony’s men as the cuffs he wore from the beginning, were removed, his shoulders slumped forward, his chin against
his chest. The raw, bloodied stripes from the cruel whip were painfully evident over his entire body, the eye contact that
had sustained the two was gone, Starsky’s eyes were closed, he didn’t have the strength to open them. His head
bobbed ever so slightly as he tried to talk, his mouth moving but no sound was made.
“Starsk, I’m so sorry…”
Hutch sobbed as his stomach knotted and the lump in his throat choked him.
Starsky mumbled in a mere whisper that Hutch could barely make out.
Tony moved closer to the strong
willed brunet, tilting his head. “What’s that hot shot? Did you say something? Couldn’t hear you, you might
need to speak up…” Tony taunted.
Starsky took in a deep slow breath,
with all his strength he muttered, “…uck you…”
Tony grabbed a handful of Starsky’s
hair, snapping his head back. His eyes opened briefly, before rolling into the back of his head.
“Stop this! Please! I’ll
do anything, give you anything I got, please just stop this!” Hutch’s eyes grew even wider, as he stuttered in
panic. “Oh G…God Starsk, th…they’re gonna kill you, because of what I did…” Hutch closed
his eyes tightly as the vivid images of earlier passed through his mind.
Tony released his hold of the
curly locks as he let Starsky’s head bounce forward. Looking at Valdez Tony ordered the man, “Take his shit off
him, he won’t be needing it where he’s going. Give it to me, I want his watch, the necklace, and those stupid
pinky rings of his!”
Valdez hurried to carry out his instructions,
as Tony moved back to the shaking blond detective. The short goon of Tony’s ripped the brunets’ roped, I-ching
necklace from around his throat, while another man retrieved the watch. The rings were going to prove to be a little more
difficult, Valdez tugged firmly on them, but because the beaten
man had been hanging from his wrists, both hands were swollen, making it nearly impossible to remove the rings. He looked
back at his leader and shrugged in defeat as he continued to try to persuade the objects loose. It was as if the stubborn
man was trying to hold on to them.
“Cut off his finger!”
Tony said coldly, just as the pinky chose to release the metal objects and Valdez
was able to get them passed his swollen knuckle.
“Please, let him keep the
rings…one was a gift from his father when he was just a kid, the other belonged to his old man…don’t take
them away from him…” Hutch pled.
Tony took the belongings from
Valdez’ hands, then stopped the man, holding all four
items in his palms. “Pick one.” He offered to his right hand man.
Valdez smiled at his leader for the gesture
as he reached up and took the watch. He then moved in front of Starsky’s form and announced to the crew. “This
necklace will go to the highest bidder,” then he looked directly at the miserable blond man as he clasped his hand around
the rings, “but the rings,” he smiled, “they’re mine!” He exclaimed as he shoved them on the
pinky of his right hand. One of the bands was silver; his father had given him that one when he was just a child. The other
one was light gold, which belonged to his father. His father wore it in his pinky every day until the day he died. Starsky’s
mother had given that to him and the brunet rarely removed it.
Hutch’s mouth drew down
as the man’s blue eyes released the tears freely, “Why are you doing this? I told you I would tell you anything,
please let him live…”
“You remember question
number 12, Detective? How much is it gonna take before you lose your freakin’ mind, huh? You almost there yet?”
Hutch didn’t speak, he
only nodded to the psychotic man before him.
“Yeah, well what about
question 13? Remember that one? How long do you think it is gonna take your partner here to die after he’s been crucified?
See, the Romans used this as a form of punishment, the worst, most humiliating, and most painful way to die…Now my original
idea was the crossbeam technique, but you see, Reese made a terrible, lethal mistake.” Hutch looked around and realized
that the large man was nowhere in sight. “So now I’ve had to modify the crucifixion, now we are going to use the
strappado form. Not my first choice, but effective nonetheless. Let me just explain what your partner over there can expect...”
Hutch watched Tony as the man
paced back and forth in front of him like he was giving a speech on a stage. Behind him, Starsky’s cuffs were being
removed as his tattered body was laid back on the deck of the boat. Ropes were fastened to his ankles and wrists.
“…Once he is in place,
his ribcage won’t expand easily, making breathing difficult, and taking a certain amount of work to accomplish, he’s
tired, I don’t know how long he’ll be able to pull his whole body weight up just to take a breath, maybe his last
breath. Then, weights will be attached to his ankles, most likely causing both his shoulders and possibly his hips to dislocate…If
that doesn’t do him in, then we are sure his dehydration, and exhaustion will finish him off in no time at all…after
all, I don’t torture him because I want to, I do it because, you have forced me to with your lies, your sins…so
if I were you, I would stop praying for him to live, and start praying to GOD that he dies! If you care about him and what
he is feeling at all, that is exactly what you should do. Soon he won’t even know that you are here for him, suffering
for him. He won’t know anything except the pain he is feeling, the pain you inflicted on him, then he’ll die.”
Hutch stared straight ahead at
them working on his partner, his mind was jumbled, he couldn’t think, he stopped crying. His body was numb, he couldn’t
think about any one thing in particular. He couldn’t speak, the words he was thinking wouldn’t release themselves
from his mouth. This was all a dream, a terrible nightmare that his alarm clock would save him from at any second, none of
this was real, it couldn’t be. He remembered the happy, fun times that him and this brunet in front of him shared, a
smile washed over his face. Tony watched Hutch, pleased with what he had accomplished; he managed to break the Mighty White
“Your partner there was
definitely a worthy adversary, I’ll give him that. Not many men could have lived through what he has.” Tony praised
the condemned man.
Hutch watched as Valdez took a long piece of fresh rope and bound Starsky’s wrists together. The brunet
mumbled incoherently under his breath as his head wagged from side to side slowly. Tony continued to explain his idealistic
views to the blond, whether he was listening or not…
“You two will be my prime
examples, my masterpieces. Once my competitors, and the citizens of Bay City, not to mention your precious BCPD, sees what
I have done to you, what I am capable of, no one will dare cross me or my organization ever again! Me and my men will be leaving
you both soon enough. Once we have finished with the vertical crucifixion, we will go into hiding for a time, but not before
notifying KBCC television about you and your dead friend…I think I am going to enjoy watching the coverage myself…”
Tony clicked his tongue against his teeth. “Gotta love the media, this horrific scene will be splash across every station
just in time for the evening edition…Think we can get his Mom a copy of her very own? If you want I can call her myself
and give her the news…”
Hutch closed his eyes as he thought
about Mrs. Starsky and what this was going to do to her. She was a strong woman, but Hutch doubted that she would be strong
enough for this. He had always promised her that he would do everything in his power to watch over her son, now he might as
well of killed him himself.
Tony continued, “By the
time they find you, your partner over there will be dead, and from the looks of it, you will be about as worthless as a three
dollar bill. I want you to know that I am making sacrifices too, Detective…this isn’t easy on me either…I
am going to miss this boat, but it is for the greater good. I just think you need to pray to God to take your partner quickly…he’s
about to experience a pain he hasn’t so far…”
Tony straddled Hutch’s
legs, bending down, pulling the blonds’ chin up to meet his. Looking him straight in his eyes Tony gave Hutch his final
instructions… “I want you to remember everything that has happened here, every lash that struck your so called
friend, every scream he couldn’t hold back, every drop of blood that hit the wood deck. ALL because of you! When he
dies, I want that moment to haunt you the rest of your disgusting life!”
Hutch nodded obediently, trying
to shut the mans’ words out as he was lost in his own mind. The blond felt himself being swept away, body and soul into
a long downward spiral as he came to terms with their fates. There was nothing he could do now, it was too late, he had his
chance to save his partner’s life and he blew it. Starsky was going to die, and Hutch was going to watch it. He would
help his friend take his final journey, then Hutch could rest, once and for all, they could both rest at last…
Valdez finished securing Starskys’
wrists, as another man bound his ankles. The brunet was then raised up, two men grabbing him under the arms and lifting him.
His legs were weak, as they stayed bent against the deck as he was drug towards the mast. A third man threw the end of the
rope to a man at the top of the pole. It was quickly threaded threw the eyelet, the slack being drawn out of it. Starskys
arms were once again raised above his head as his back was placed against the cold steel pole. They let the semi conscious
man fall to his knees, as his arms extended upward. His head lobbed forward as he groaned.
Hutch looked at his partner and
one single tear broke free from his left eye and rolled slowly at first, picking up speed, down his cheek. “I’m
gonna miss you Buddy!” He sobbed quietly as the brunets body began being drawn back up the mast like a flag on a flagpole,
with two men pulling the rope from behind drawing the brunet into a fully erect position. As his body was fully stretched,
he threw his head back; his eyes squeezed shut tightly...
He called out to his other half.
The brunet was raised up the
mast until his feet were about five feet from the boats’ deck. He inhaled and exhaled quickly trying to slow his breathing
as his body adjusted to the excruciating pain. Once in position, Valdez
approached the detective holding two heavy sandbags, tied together with a rope. Another man helped Valdez as they wrapped the sandbags around Starskys’ ankles.
Hutch watched helplessly, as
he looked to his friends’ face, seeking a sense of peace and acceptance, but finding a wretched expression on pain and
agony. He closed his eyes again as he silently prayed for a swift end for his partners’ suffering.
finished tying the heavy weights around Starsky’s legs, the other man held up the bags for Valdez to take. Smiling, he took the objects from the man, then looked back at Big Tony for
approval. With a subtle nod of Tony’s head, Valdez turned back to the hung form on the mast and threw both of the weights
up in the air slightly, letting them snap cruelly down, jerking his body taught. The scream that escaped the brave man’s
throat was something that Hutch had never heard before. It was an inexplicable howl of pain and terror. Starsky immediately
felt his right shoulder dislocate, as the strain on his other shoulder and hips intensified beyond comprehension.
His breathing became shallow
as he fought to inhale and exhale, his body trying to pull itself up on the mast, just to expand his lungs.
Two men grabbed Hutch’s
chair, moving it closer to his dying partner. Tony approached the defeated blond as Hutch kept his head bowed in misery. He
had never felt such a deep sense of loss and emptiness as he felt now, he had lost all hope, even his faith was disappearing
“Looks like the time has
come my friend, I am afraid I am going to have to leave you now…but never fear, I won’t be far away. I will be
ever present in your mind, every time you think about the loss of your partner, you’ll see me…my face…”
Tony orated as several men prepared a smaller motorboat for their departure. “You’ll never be rid of me, I’ll
always be lurking in the back of your mind, and may God have mercy on your soul for what you have done to your friend…”Tony
leaned forward, his face right in front of his prisoner… “May you never be able to forgive yourself…”
He smiled broadly at Hutch as the exhausted, tormented mans’ eyes stared back, eerily empty of any expression.
“Let’s move out!”
He shouted to the other men that were boarding the escape vessel. Tony moved towards the small boat, then turned back to take
one final look at Hutch. He wanted to remember this moment for the rest of his life. His chest puffed out in pride, pleased
with what he was able to accomplish here on this boat. Tony held up his right pinky finger adorned with Starskys’ prized
rings, “Don’t you worry none, I’ll take good care of them.” He laughed as he boarded the motor boat.
Valdez and the rest of the men wasted
no time passing around a bottle of whisky, patting each other on the back, congratulatory for a job well done. They whooped
and hollered as Hutch heard the small boats’ motor sputter as it left the area.
Then a sudden, gravely silence
fell over the boat, Hutch heard a raspy wheezing noise, methodically paced. He looked beside him to see Starskys’ crucified
form, struggling with each breath. His torso rising and falling in sequence with the wheeze, he blinked to clear his eyes.
Briefly, he heard a low throaty moan come from his partner. He looked up as the afternoon sun beat down against his face.
He thought about a happier time that he and his partner shared… “Remember that time, Starsk?”
The day they both graduated from
the academy, they both had illusions of grandeur to be the best officers the force had ever seen. To their surprise they were
both kept relatively close in their duty assignments, and one day they were actually partnered together as detectives for
the BCPD… “Remember that day Buddy? You went out and bought that stupid car to celebrate…you had no idea
how you were gonna make the payments, but that didn’t matter, did it? That car meant everything to you…I still
remember the look on your face when they handed you the keys…I’ll never forget it…”
Starsky groaned again…
“What about the time I
thought I had lost you for good, when Vic Bellemy poisoned you, just to get back at both of us…you couldn’t fight
then either, you were willing to give your life to save mine, and now here we are, and I didn’t do shit to help you…”
Hutch looked up at the sky, closing
his eyes he pled to God to end his pain, both his and Starskys’.
mumbled as Hutchs’ eyes snapped, locking on his friend.
“What’d you say,
Starsk?” Hutch asked, the crease in his forehead deepening, as he gasped to breathe.
Starsky mumbled incoherently
again as Hutch strained to make out the words…
He gasped. “No…not…now…about…utch…”
The blond could only make out
about every other word as he listened intently; his heart realizing that this was his friend was nearing the end…
“Hey Starsk, what about
the time I was trapped under my car in the canyon…? You remember that? Do you have any idea how many times I wanted
to give up…? I thought you’d never find me…but you did…”
go…” Starsky whimpered, his chin against his chest.
Hutch knew Starskys’ loved
ones were coming for him, they were there to help him, take him on his last trip…
“It’s okay Buddy,
go ahead and go…I’ll be okay…” Hutch lowered his head in prayer, begging for God’s compassion
in taking his friend quickly. ‘His work here is done Lord, have mercy on him, take him now, end his suffering…’
Hutch said silently in his mind.
The methodical wheezing of Starskys’
breathing continued…as Hutch waited for it to stop…
Dobey and his team were still
busy collecting all the evidence on the dock, as Starsky’s car was towed back to the station for further analysis. The
Coast Guard was now conducting a search and rescue mission out at sea. They had both the use of a helicopter as well as three
speed boats that were out scouring the areas. The boats were stopping any and all vehicles that were out on the waters. Requesting
to come aboard and search the vessels.
Dobey’s radio cracked as
he heard Mildred’s familiar voice requesting his audience.
“Captain Dobey, this is
dispatch, come in…Come in, Captain Dobey.”
The pudgy black man reached in
his front seat retrieving the hand piece, speaking slow and deliberate into it.
“This is Dobey, go ahead
“Captain, we have just
gotten a call from KBCC television station, stating that they have received an anonymous tip about two of our officers. They
are off shore about five miles, southeast…”
“Notify the Coast Guard
immediately, Mildred…” Dobey bellowed, knowing full well that this may be a hoax, but he had hope.
“What is it Mildred…?”
Dobey listened intently for further information.
“The caller said that one
of the officers is already…”
“Already what? Come on,
spit it out…” Dobey yelled.
“Already dead, Sir…”
The anguish in the faceless woman’s voice was very apparent. The static crackled across the radio as silence took over…All
the officers that were near their radios heard the announcement, they were not on a secure frequency…Dobey had to shove
the thought to the back of his mind, he had a job to do, and by God, he was going to do just that.
“Get me an air ambulance
in route and notify the Coast Guard of their potential whereabouts…” Dobey commanded as he took his handkerchief
and mopped his brow.
“Yes Sir!” Mildred’s
Dobey waited on the docks for
word…any word…one way or the other…
“Hey Buddy, what about
that time you were under cover, an’ we were supposed to be fighting, remember Knight and Williams, the vigilante cops…”
Hutch snorted “You sure have a wicked left hook, that’s for sure…”
“You still here Buddy…?
Come on, let me hear your voice…just one more time…” Hutch pled as he looked over at the lifeless form hanging
from the mast.
Starsky’s injuries were
massive, his body literally ripped to shreds. The coloring of his skin was a disturbing grayish-blue. The only movement was
the slight rise and fall of the brunets’ scarred chest. He wasn’t struggling anymore, he wasn’t fighting
to breathe…Hutch knew that just a few more minutes remained for his friend, he desperately needed one last contact,
a voice, a touch, anything…
“Starsk? I’m here,
don’t be afraid…I’m here…” Hutch sobbed violently as he tried to say goodbye. “Please
forgive me…I’m so sorry…I let you down this time…I didn’t have your back…you died because…of
me…God forgive me…I don’t want you to go without me…I’m gonna miss you, Buddy…”
Hutch dropped his chin to his
chest as he cried, letting the tears fall freely from his face. He could hear Starskys’ breathing becoming more labored
and slower…He could hear the ‘death rattle’ begin as Starskys’ body began to twist and turn on the
mast, convulsing again. Hutch knew that his partner was crossing to the other side, passing from life to death, as he struggled
to stay alive.
Hutch looked up as he heard the
sputtering of a motorboat, for a split second he thought they were coming back, coming back to finish him and Starsky off,
then he heard the distinct sound of a helicopter, closing in, getting closer. He heard a bellowing voice over the loud speaker
of the chopper…
“You down there, stand
down and prepared to be boarded!” He looked up to see a man leaning out of the door of the whirlybird, with an automatic
rifle trained on the deck of the boat.
Several armed men appeared as
they climbed over the railing, positioning themselves to prepare for an attack.
Three armed men rushed below
deck as four more rushed to Starsky’s aide, grabbing his legs and lifting him up quickly, trying to relieve the strain.
Another man moved swiftly to Hutch’s side.
“Are you okay? Have you
been hurt?” He asked the tired blond in front of him.
Hutch just looked dazed and confused,
he mumbled as the man continued to ask if he was alright. “I killed him, I killed my best friend…he’s dead…I
“Sir, are you injured?”
The young Coast Guard officer repeated his question.
God…what did I do…?” Hutch rambled, his eyes haunted by something only he could see.
Starsky’s body was cut
loose from the mast and gently laid on the deck, his seizing calming. A second helicopter appeared, hovering over the boat,
a rectangular basket being lowered to the deck. Two more men boarded the boat from the side, each carrying tackle boxes filled
with medical supplies. They rushed to Starsky’s side as Hutch was freed from the chair that bound him, his blond hair
whipping from the wind being created by the helicopters. He stood weakly as he moved towards his partners’ side, still
muttering, wrapping his arms around his chest, hugging himself…
The two medics that arrived started
calling out big words and numbers that made no sense to the traumatized blond.
“60 over 40…weak
and thready…non responsive…respiratory arrest…”
After those last two words, the
men threw it into high gear. One grabbing an ambu bag and placing the plastic mask over Starsky’s mouth creating an
effective seal, tilting his forehead back to clear the air way, then gently squeezing the bulbous end, forcing air into the
The second man grabbed a laryngoscope
and an endotracheal tube, preparing the patient for intubation. The first medic remove the bag, taking the medical supplies
from his partner, he tilted Starsky’s head back farther as he forced his jaw open, placing the silver laryngoscope in
his mouth, holding his tongue down, leaving him a clear path. His partner handed him the endotracheal tube as he carefully
threaded into Starsky’s mouth and down his throat. Once in place the bulbous part of the ambu bag was attached to the
small hose as he continued to squeeze it rhythmically. The other medic started an IV in Starsky’s left arm, and started
immediately introducing fluids to the dehydrated man.
Hutch tried to get closer to
his partner, just to be held back by two officers. “Let me say goodbye, he’s my best friend…please…”
“You need to let them do
their job…” One of the officers holding him back explained. “Just what the hell happened here?”
“I killed him, can’t
you see that?” Hutch answered, his face expressionless, his eyes vacant.
Captain Dobey waited patiently
on the docks as he saw the Coast Guards’ boat heading into port. He paced back and forth as the officers unloaded two
stretchers, heading towards awaiting ambulances. The first stretcher that was rushed by him carried a small framed man, appearing
to have a gun shot wound to his shoulder. Dobey would later find out that the man was Reese and he had been involved in the
events, which he had already suspected. His face was covered with an oxygen mask as another man ran along side the gurney,
holding the IV bottle high in the air.
The second stretcher held a familiar
face; the tall Nordic detective was being carried to a second waiting ambulance. The large black Captain rushed to his side
to check on him. His eyes remained fixed on the sky above him, he was mumbling something incoherently as Dobey reached him.
“Hutchinson, you alright?” Dobey asked, gravely concerned. He had already been informed
that Starsky had been taken to Memorial Hospital
by Air Ambulance, and that his condition was very critical. Hutch didn’t seem to hear his Captain’s words. “Answer
me Hutchinson, are you okay?”
Hutch’s gaze stayed fixed
as he stammered, “I killed him, Cap’, he’s gone an’ it’s my fault.”
Dobey looked up at the medic,
the concern written all over his worried face. “What the hell happened to him out there?” He asked the man at
the head of his detective’s gurney.
“I wish we knew, sir. He
seems to be suffering from some type of shock. There are no visible physical injuries except the superficial marks, bruising
on his wrists and a bump on his head. We’re going to take him to Memorial, just to have him checked out, as a precaution.”
The young man relayed his findings.
“I’ll be right behind
you.” Dobey vowed as he headed to his car.
Once at the hospital, Dobey took
his vigil to a small waiting room just off to the side of the emergency room. It was a more private room, for more critical
patients, and right now Starsky fell into that category. He had been brought in by helicopter several minutes earlier. From
what the large black man understood, they had taken him straight to the OR after a brief time in triage. He had a dislocated
shoulder that was going to require an open reduction surgery to repair the injury. They were also concerned about possible
ligament or nerve damage due to the severity of the dislocation.
body was also covered in multiple lash type wound requiring numerous stitches and possible staples in some areas after debridement
of the surrounding tissues. He suffered from severe blood loss and dehydration, which he of course, was also receiving treatment
for. The only thing left for the Captain to do, was to sit and wait for word, and then the hard part, start making the appropriate
calls to the immediate family members.
He knew that
Hutch had been taken into an examination room in the central part of the Emergency Room.
take long for word to spread through out the department about both detectives. Soon Dobey had a steady flow of concerned officers
flowing through the private room, offering prayers and support on behalf of their injured comrades. As Dobey thanked each
of his fellow officers he was shocked to see that he was acting more like Starsky and Hutch’s family than their Captain.
He realized that he had become more than the injured officer’s superior, he was their friend, indeed a part of their
family, and they were a part of his. His wife Edith had shown up carrying home cooked food for her husband. She knew from
experience that he wasn’t going to leave until he knew both of his men would be alright.
couple of hours he had gotten word on Hutch. No apparent physical injuries, but he was still in distress. The doctor in charge
of his care had explained to the Captain that he believed Hutch was suffering from Post-traumatic stress disorder. Whatever
had happened on that boat had affected the blond man with as much of an impact as Starsky’s physical injuries. It was
his suggestion that Detective Hutchinson be transferred to Cabrillo State Mental Hospital for a full psychological evaluation. At first Dobey protested the recommendations,
insisting on seeing the man for himself.
opened the door to the dimly lit room, the hinges creaking as the door reached its limits. Doctor Stevenson had accompanied
the captain, to explain the progress and the care that his officer was receiving. As Dobey approached the blonds’ bedside,
he was surprised to see that Hutch’s wrists had been restrained to the guard rails of the bed.
shaky finger he questioned, “Is that really necessary?”
afraid so…we had to sedate him. He became quite combative with my staff…It’s for his safety as well as ours.”
The Doctor explained.
he was sedated, Captain Dobey could see the strained look on his detectives face. Although he was resting, the experience
that he and his partner went through was haunting him, his face contorting on and off in a silent torment that only he was
with his officer for nearly an hour, watching him struggle, inside and out, and listening to him occasionally mumble something
about him being responsible for his partner’s death, Dobey reluctantly agreed to Doctor Stevenson’s recommendations
to send the blond to Cabrillo for a full evaluation. Maybe their staff could help the blond come to terms with whatever it
was that happened out a sea, something that Dobey felt he may never be able to understand or comprehend.
By the time
the weary Captain made it back to the private waiting room, several officers were there, most of them with their families.
He was a little surprised to see Huggy among the visitors as he hadn’t made the dreaded calls to family and friends
yet. Huggy immediately approached the man as he entered.
how’s Hutch doin’?” The tall thin man asked, his eyes filled with both pain and guilt.
he’s fine, Huggy.” Dobey answered tiredly.
Starsky?” Huggy asked afraid of the possible answers that he may receive. He swallowed hard as he waited…
in surgery Huggy, I haven’t heard nothin’ ‘cept he lost a lot of blood and is in critical condition.”
Dobey placed his hand on Huggy’s shoulder as he saw the man’s head drop to look at the floor. Edith joined her
husband, standing beside him, reaching out and taking one of Huggy’s hands in hers.
heard ‘bout it on the news…I knew it was them…Cap?” Huggy’s eyes locked with Dobey’s,
“it was Big Tony, wasn’t it?”
it was Dobey’s gaze that dropped to the floor, “I’m afraid so Hug.”
this is all my fault…if only…”
him off quickly, “Look! This isn’t your fault, it’s not Hutch’s fault, it’s not my fault, for
letting them take that damn call alone! Dammit, it is Anthony Rogers’ fault. He’s the animal that did this to
them, and he’s the one that is gonna pay! You got that? Now I don’t want to hear one more person take responsibility
for this unless it is Big Tony himself, you hear me?”
that the Captain was also just trying to fight off his own demons of guilt. He puffed a large amount of air from his lungs,
reluctantly resigning himself to the inevitable, “I had better go make that call to Mrs. Starsky, there’s a good
chance this story may go national, an’ I’d just hate for her to hear about it on the evening news…”
a supportive squeeze to her husbands arm as he left the room to call the brunets’ mother.
a seat by the door and settled in for the long haul. Mrs. Dobey played hostess to all the visitors, making sure everyone had
something to eat and plenty of warm coffee to drink.
surgery took about a total of five and a half hours to complete. The doctor tending him, Doctor Taylor, went into the entire
details of the detectives treatment.
damage to the ligaments and tendons in his shoulder required some extra attention. After the debridement of the badly damaged
tissues around his multiple lash wounds across his entire body, a plastic surgeon was called in to consult with the suturing
and restorative process to try to achieve minimal scaring. In all, Detective Starsky received over 1,000 stitches, and nearly
30 staples. He required a complete blood transfusion due to the massive blood loss and shock on his system causing the red
cell producing mechanisms to fail. He is still in critical condition, but was responding well to our method of treatment.”
you Doctor.” Dobey reached out his chubby hand squeezing the doctor’s hand firmly. “I appreciate everything
you and your staff have done for my men.” He said with exhausted exasperation.
next five days, Starsky remained in the ICU, his body fighting to regain the strength that had been beaten from it. The doctors
kept him in a drug induced coma to try to prevent him from moving and tearing any of the massive sutures that covered his
body, as well as to keep him as comfortable as possible.
been seen, evaluated and released from Cabrillo, being treated on an out-patient basis. His therapist was treating him officially,
for post-traumatic stress disorder, and had him on a mixture of anti-anxiety medications and sedatives to help him sleep at
night. Even with the meds, he was continuously plagued with what can only be described as ‘night terrors’, his
mind cruelly forcing him to relive the ten horrible hours that they were held captive on the boat.
He had been
up to the hospital only once to see his partner, but never managed to get up enough nerve to enter his ICU room. When he saw
Starsky lying there, in the bed, tubes and machines attached to him, he couldn’t help but feel that it was him that
put him there, causing the onset of a terrible panic attack that made it difficult to breathe or even function. He left the
hospital quickly, rushing home, taking his medication and climbing back into his bed until the feeling passed.
always made sure that someone was with the brunet, either himself, Edith, Huggy or another officer.
had planned on flying out to be with her son, but the day before she had left, she had taken a fall injuring her hip, and
her doctor had advised her against making the trip. And of course, she had no idea where her other son, Nicky, was or how
to get in touch with him.
On the sixth
day the doctors took Starsky off of all the sedatives, and slowly began to bring him out of his coma. Dobey made sure that
he had cleared his schedule and made plans to be there for the entire day. He called Hutch to see if he would come to wait
with him, but the blond couldn’t bring himself to the hospital, and that worried Dobey, more than Starsky’s current
condition. He knew the brunet was strong and would physically fight his way back; he wasn’t so sure about the blonds’
ability to fight his own demons that were haunting his every move.
and Huggy were in his room, he had just been moved from the ICU to the seventh floor. They sat at a corner table by the window
playing a game of cards, when the brunet moaned, and began to stir.
He groaned as his head rolled from one side to the other.
his position on the left hand side of the bed, while Huggy took the right…Starskys’ head again rolled to the side
as he inhaled sharply, “Stop…utch…” He moaned.
a hand on the curly haired detectives shoulder as Huggy looked on wide-eyed. “Dave it’s me, Harold.” Dobey
eyes opened briefly and then closed quickly again.
Starsk? You with us?” Huggy encouraged the man to join them in the world of the conscious.
He said, his dry mouth causing his lips to stick to his teeth like sandpaper. “S’that you Hutch?” His eyes
opened, blinking hard, as his eyes rolled up and then back down trying to focus on the figures before him. He made out the
pudgy face of his superior, “Cap? Where’s Hutch?”
up at Huggy who was shaking his head, then back down to his detective, “He couldn’t be here, son.” They
both knew that the brunet needed the blond, probably more than he needed the doctors at this point.
okay? They didn’t…” He took in a slow breath, “hurt ‘im did they?” Starsky fought through
a wave of pain that flowed across his chest.
he’s not hurt, at least physically, he’s fine.” Dobey explained.
at least… physically?” Starsky moaned as he blinked, trying to keep the man in focus.
afraid he’s taking a leave of absence…he’s under the care of the department psychologist…” Dobey
started to explain.
messed him up man! That’s what it did, he just ain’t been the same…” Huggy interrupted, finding it
best to just throw everything out there on the table like a Thanksgiving dinner.
need…you need to…go get…him, bring him here to me…’kay? I need to…see him.” Starsky
pled with the tall thin man.
tried to get him here, he won’t do it.” Huggy answered.
can’t do it, you mean.” Dobey corrected him.
knew that if Hutch wasn’t there, with him, in the hospital, then something was terribly wrong, something he wasn’t
sure he could fix, but he was damn sure gonna try.
his left index finger, motioning Huggy closer to him. The black man leaned over the brunets’ bed as he Starsky whispered
in his ear. “Tell him…it’s for me, Hug…I need him…” Starsky’s hand fell back down
at his side as he withdrew back into the silent, painless slumber he had awoken from.
in his dimly lit hospital room, his eyes taking their time to adjust fully to his surroundings. He quickly scanned his small
room and saw a figure’s silhouette sitting in the chair by the window. The persons’ shoulders were hunched forward
and he could tell from a distance that they carried the weight of the world, alone on his two shoulders.
you doin’?” Starsky whispered weakly as he recognized his partner.
up startled at first, his eyes wide. “You’re awake…” He stated the obvious as he rose and walked towards
Starsky’s bedside. His friends’ right arm was wrapped tightly to his chest as the bandages wove their way in a
figure eight fashion around his right arm and shoulder. Some lash marks were visible on his neck, the rest were hidden by
bandages and his thin hospital gown that was draped over his left shoulder.
noticed Hutch’s pale complexion and the deep, dark bags under the blonds’ eyes as he neared him. “You look
like shit!” Starsky too stated the obvious, thinking that he hadn’t seen Hutch in this bad of shape since the
time he was hooked on heroin and Starsky had to lock him in a room to help him kick it. Even though that was tough, the patient
lying in the bed figured that Hutch’s road to recovery was going to be even rougher this time. He saw it in the blond’s
Well you don’t look so good yourself…” Hutch snorted in fake laughter.
silence fell over the room as Hutch looked at the floor, fidgeting and shoving his hands deep inside his pockets.
did ya’ expect?” Starsky joked as he inhaled sharply through his teeth riding a small cresting wave of pain, then
releasing the air by blowing through his cheeks. “Huggy an’ Dobey tell me you’re not doin’ so well.”
He blurted out.
what do they know? I think they just need to mind their own business, an’ stop tryin’ to help me, that’s
what I think.” Hutch retorted sharply as he quickly walked over to the window staring out into the night’s sky.
to me Hutch, what’s really botherin’ you?” Starsky pressed.
now drop it. Huggy said you needed to see me, why?” Hutch asked trying to change the subject.
you weren’t here. Why?”
what?” Hutch asked furrowing his brow.
weren’t you here? That’s not like you. Something is up, and don’t tell me nothing!” Starsky demanded,
raising his voice enough to cause a faint pounding in his head.
the hell do you think is up? Huh, Buddy? I almost got you killed …actually for several days, I thought that I did get
you killed. I let you down, I hurt you!” Hutch started to shout. “Honestly, I don’t want to be anywhere
near you! I want nothing to do with you. I can’t go through it again!”
won’t have to!” Starsky shouted back, the pounding in his head and the pain through out his body increasing.
well how do you know that? It could happen. I won’t do it!” Hutch began to pace back and forth nervously, then
he turned and stared at Starsky with the most pain filled eyes the brunet had ever seen, his voice cracking as he spoke. “Do
you know that at one point, I prayed to God that you would die out there? What kind of friend am I? Tell me that would you,
you did what I asked you to do…” Starsky tried to explain but was cut off.
well this time, you asked too much.” With that Hutch stormed out of the room and down the hall.
Starsky yelled after him as the door slowly closed. He closed his eyes as the excruciating pain that flashed through him took
over, he hit the call button for the nurse, but she was already on her way in hearing the commotion coming from his room.
“Jesus, help me…it hurts…” He said right before passing out.
down the hallway, pushing the button frantically for the elevator. He looked back to see the nurse and doctor enter his partner’s
room, ‘See Gordo, I hurt you again, I think it’s best if I just stay away…’ He thought to himself
as he again pushed the button, feeling like the more he pushed it, the faster it would arrive.
of the bell sounded, indicating the arrival of the elevator car. As the doors opened, Hutch was a little surprised to see
two uniformed officers escorting a patient on a gurney out of the elevator. He moved back out of their way to allow them to
exit, looking at the man on the bed, then at the officer, he quickly snapped his head back to the man laying down.
son of a bitch!” Hutch spat as he recognized the man as Reese. One of Big Tony’s right hand men, the one he figured
for dead when he heard Tony talk about Reese’s ‘lethal mistake’ and found him nowhere on the boat. Hutch
approached the criminal grabbing his hospital gown by the collar with both of his hands and jerking the man forward. “I
thought Tony had killed you.”
get him off me, you gotta protect me, that’s your job, ain’t it?” Reese scrambled his eyes wide in fear
as the blond detective glared at the bed bound criminal.
him go, you’re gonna rip his sutures!” One of the orderlies shouted at Hutch as the blond was pulled off him,
and Reese rested back against his pillow.
little to no recollection of the boat ride to shore. Part of what the doctor’s explained as one of the side effects
from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which is what they had ‘officially’ diagnosed Hutch as suffering from. His
memories of the events were splotchy at best.
the hell is he doing here?” Hutch asked one of the officers accompanying him as the blond flashed his badge.
transferring him to his new room.” Officer Smith answered Hutch.
on this floor your not!” Hutch demanded as the other officers and the orderlies looked at him with puzzled expressions.
sorry Detective, I don’t understand…we will have him under tight security.” Officer Smith asked him.
partner, the man that he tried to kill, is in a room right down the hall…If you think I’m gonna let this asshole
anywhere near him, you’re all crazy!” Hutch spewed, his anger rising as his face flushed. “If I were you,”
he spoke to the small framed orderly in front of him, looking down at him, “I would get on the phone and contact his
doctor, you find another room, on another floor! Better yet, another hospital would do nicely, unless, of course, you want
to be looking for your own personal physician.” The blond threatened.
officer flipped his head at the orderlies, motioning them back into the elevator. Hutch stared at the group of men as the
doors closed; making sure that his last eye contact was with Reese himself. Once the doors had sealed, Hutch gasped, his breathing
rapid pants. He reached in his jacket pocket, pulled out a prescription bottle and opened it, popping two pills in his mouth
and swallowed hard. He placed his back up against the wall as he placed his hands on his knees, slightly bent over, trying
to slow his breathing like his doctor had taught him to.
Once he gained
control, he headed back down the hallway towards Starsky’s room. He waited outside briefly trying to build up his nerve.
He paced back and forth in front of the doorway just before reaching for the handle. An orderly that was just exiting Starsky’s
room was just coming out. The red haired hospital employee lifted his hand to Hutch’s chest, stopping him from entering
okay?” Hutch whispered.
is now, but I think you need to wait outside.” He informed the confused blond.
Just as Hutch
was about to protest the orderlies instructions, Doctor Taylor
appeared, glaring at the detective.
fine. He pulled out his IV, trying to get up out of bed, we needed to sedate him and give him something for the pain, but
he’s fine. His road to recovery is going to take some time, we just can’t have him getting all worked up like
that…you do understand, don’t you? I don’t want to have to have you banned from visiting him, especially
since he asked for you personally.”
sir, I’m sorry. Can I just sit with him for awhile?” Hutch pled.
and orderly exchanged glances. “Sure, but keep in mind, he’s gonna be out for quite awhile. He won’t be
able to talk with you until later.” Doctor Taylor explained.
fine, he doesn’t need to talk, I do.” Hutch said as he walked past the doctor, through the door, to his bedside,
and pulled up the plastic chair, moving it from by the window, over to the left side of Starsky’s bed.
it around, straddling it as he rested his arms on the back of it. Looking back at the doctor and nurse he said, “You
can go now, I’ll call you if he wakes up.”
looked at each other as the nurse shook her head and left the room, following the orderly. Doctor Taylor looked back at Hutch,
“Remember what I said, Detective. We need to make sure he stays calm, one way or the other.” He said looking over
the rim of his black framed glasses. He quickly turned on his heels and left, allowing the door to slowly close behind him.
was still dimly lit causing a calming effect to blanket the space. The overhead light above Starsky’s bed was on. Hutch
stared at his partner sleeping peacefully and smiled.
tried Starsk, I tried to leave…I tried not to care what happens to you…I didn’t even make it off this floor…I
couldn’t do it…I can’t help it…” Hutch reached over taking Starsky’s heavy hand in his,
squeezing it firmly. “See, like it or not, you are a part of me…protecting you comes second nature…I don’t
think I can ever stop doing that, as much as I want to.” The blond rested his heavy head on his forearm across the bed.
“I think that is why it is killing me thinking about what I did to you…What I let someone else do to you…something
I could have tried to stop…and I’m mad…mad as hell…I’m angry at you for making me do this…”
A tear broke free and rolled down his cheek. “Why’d you do this to me…? I don’t think I’m ever
gonna get over this Buddy, an’ it scares the shit outta me!”
from the chair, released Starsky’s hand and paced the room, “You know, I go to sleep at night with the help of
Doctor Sigmund Freud’s sleeping aides, and I still wake up shaking, sweating seeing it all over again in my mind. It
follows me everywhere, awake, asleep, it doesn’t matter. Sometimes, in my dreams…I actually see myself beating
the crap out of you…the other night I woke up after that dream, an’ I had actually thrown up in my sleep…thrown
up, can you believe that? The dreams…the dreams Starsk, they’re so real…” Tears began to flow freely
down his face. “How the hell am I supposed to help anyone? I’m a cop damn it! Look at me! Do you really want me
watching your back?” He pulled the pill bottle out of his jacket and shook them at the sleeping brunet, “I can’t
make it half a day without popping a few of these beauties…How the hell am I gonna ever make it, make it back on the
streets? What’s gonna happen to me the next time you need me? Or the next time someone else needs me?”
He sat down
in the yellow vinyl padded chair on the far wall of the room, resting his head on the back, staring up at the ceiling. “Jesus
Starsk…I’m fucked up, all because of what I let them do to you. What I did to you! How can I fix this?”
Hutch said softly.
gonna let me help you…” Starsky’s quiet voice spoke in a mere hiss.
remained in the hospital for nearly a month. Big Tony and his gang had pretty much dropped off the face of the earth. No one
had spotted or seen him in weeks. Word on the streets was that the police were looking for, and had actually placed, a reward
for information leading to the arrest of the notorious man. Unfortunately, nothing had turned up.
recovery was moving along slowly, much slower than Starsky’s. Physically, the brunet was healing faster than the blond
was mentally. But they were both healing, together, with each others help. Hutch’s therapist had even gone as far as
to hold some of his sessions in the hospital room with Starsky. They seemed to feed off of each other’s strengths as
well as weaknesses. Hutch was just beginning to believe that what had happened to Starsky on that fateful day wasn’t
his fault, at least not entirely. And Starsky never blamed him, nor held him responsible in any way. Hutch just needed to
come to terms with the fact that this was entirely Big Tony’s doing.
Starsky home, to his place. He helped him get upstairs and settled in his own comfortable bed. He made sure his partner had
fresh water and juice on his nightstand. It felt good to be helping him, helping him heal.
gonna be okay for an hour or so?” Hutch asked as he stood at the foot of his partner’s bed.
I will. What’s up, you got a hot date or somethin’?” Starsky joked as he grabbed his right arm that was
still in a sling to keep him from over using it, and pulled it across him.
that’s it, a hot date with the pharmacist, getting your prescriptions filled.” Hutch smiled as he headed for the
door. He looked back at Starsky, “I’ll be back as soon as I can, ‘kay?”
worry, I’ll be here, ain’t goin’ nowhere.” Starsky winked as he laid his head back and closed his
eyes. He still got very tired, very quickly. The doctor’s expected it to take a while for him to gain his strength back.
The brunet hated having to rely on someone else to take care of him. He was very independent, and despised having to give
that up, even temporarily.
and headed straight for the drug store, wanting to get back as soon as possible. One of the things that Hutch was trying to
deal with, was being able to leave Starsky’s side without feeling like something was going to happen to him, like he
would be hurt if he was out of Hutch’s sight.
behind the wheel of his LTD and headed for the drug store down the street. Starsky was still taking some milder pain medications
and an occasional sleeping pill when necessary. When he got there, he gave the prescriptions to the pharmacist and was informed
that it would take about an hour to get them filled. He thought about going back to Starsky’s place and waiting there,
then coming back to pick them up. Making two trips didn’t appeal to him, so he decided to go to the grocery store next
door, and do some shopping. They were going to need to eat, and by the looks of Starsky’s empty fridge, it would take
him at least and hour to shop for all the groceries they would need. He also picked up a first aide kit and other items to
assist him in tending to his injured partner.
and turned as the returning nightmare continued to haunt him. He saw Tony standing before him, the cat o’ nine tails
in his hand as he paced back and forth in front on the brunet. Instead of being hung by his wrists, in his nightmare, the
brunet was literally crucified on a cross as Tony spoke about God and Faith. Speaking like a Priest giving a Sunday sermon.
Occasionally the evil man would turn, bringing the whip across Starsky’s stomach, causing him to arch his back. In his
dream, he never really felt the pain, but the agony was real. He couldn’t explain it, he just knew how real it seemed,
and how unreal it felt. He tossed his head from side to side as he called out for Hutch, frantically at first, then quieting
to a mere whisper as his breathing increased.
opened wide as he shot up in bed, “Hutch!” He found himself screaming out, panting heavily. The sweat was pouring
of his face. His shirt was drenched with perspiration. He shook his head gently trying to free himself from the images that
haunted his sleep.
He felt like
a child, afraid of sleeping, afraid of being awake, alone. He looked around the room. Slowly he lay across the bed and picked
up his phone, dialing before even putting the receiver up to his ear. A woman’s voice responded on the other end.
unable to speak.
Who is this?”
it’s me…” He said as he took a deep breath.
Can’t a boy call his Mother without her thinkin’ something is wrong?” He rolled his eyes staring at the
ceiling of his room.
can hear it in your voice, what’s the matter? You had another dream, didn’t you?” She said, more as a matter
of fact than a question.
won’t go away, they feel so real.” He said, looking for her words to comfort him.
his head back on his pillow as he rested his forearm across his forehead.
these dreams will pass in time, I remember when your father died, I had dreams for months…they became less frequent…until
finally they almost stopped completely.”
Starsky had to ask.
still get them every once in a while. Listen, I’m comin’ out next week, you think you’ll be okay until then?
If not, I’ll come out sooner.” She offered.
I’m fine. I’ll see you next week…and Ma’…I love you, thanks for everything.” He said as
he blew her a kiss into the mouthpiece on the phone and then hung it up.
back the corner of his comforter as he swung his legs around and sat up in bed. He sighed heavily as an uneasy feeling washed
over him. Supporting his weight with both his hands, he slowly stood up, pushing himself off the bed.
for his living room, planning on going to the kitchen to get a glass of Ovaltine, something to coat his stomach and make the
sick feeling subside.
Just as he
was about half way to the kitchen he stop, dead in his tracks. He looked up to see both Big Tony, and Valdez sitting calmly
at his dining room table each enjoying a beer, several of them, by the looks of the empties littering the table.
up, his beer in his right hand, as he turned and faced the shocked detective. “So how’s Mom doing?” He asked
as he watched the color drain from the brunet’s face.
up slowly, a half a step at a time. He felt his knees buckle as he struggled to stay upright.
the hell…?” Starsky stammered.
a photo in a frame, off the table as he walked towards the shocked man. “This your old man, David?” He asked as
he took a swig from his beer. Starsky saw the light glimmering off the rings on Tony’s pinky. “You know, you look
a lot like him…”
moving, unable to back up any further, frozen in his present position, as Tony approached him, smiling…
back to his car carrying a bag of groceries in one hand and a white bag holding Starsky’s prescriptions in the other.
He opened the car door as he bent over placing the larger brown bag in the middle of the front seat. The car radio beeped
as it summoned the detective.
Three, this is dispatch, come in Zebra Three…’
for the radio, and brought the hand piece to his mouth. “This is Zebra Three, go ahead.”
we have a personal call requesting to be patched through, from Mrs. Starsky.’
it through Mildred.” Hutch insisted as he furrowed his brow, wondering why she would be calling him, requesting a patch
through. This was definitely not like her, his heart skipped a beat. “Mrs. Starsky, this is Ken.”
so sorry to bother you Ken.’ She started.
no bother, what can I do for you?” He insisted.
just got a call from Davey.”
something wrong?” Hutch asked, his heart rate increasing.
that he was willing to say, but I just have a feeling…a mother’s instinct if you will. Something’s wrong
with him Ken, will you go check on him for me?’
just left him, but I am on my way back there now. I should be there in about 10 minutes. I’ll call you from there.”
Hutch assured her.
Ken…I’m sorry to be such a worry wart, but you know, until I get out there and see him for myself, I am just not
gonna feel right about this.’
know, it’s okay, I’m on my way.”
the mic to the hook on the dash as he started his car. He pulled out of the parking lot and headed back towards Starsky’s
apartment. Something was gnawing at him, something he couldn’t quite place. He felt the panic inside him starting to
grow. Reaching in his pocket he pulled out his own prescription bottle. Stopping at a traffic light, his thumb ran across
the front of the small white container. He had taken so many of these pills since coming off of that damn boat, he had lost
count. Sighing he shoved the bottle roughly back into his pocket, refusing to give into the need for artificial calmness.
up his radio again, “Dispatch, this is Zebra Three, patch me through to Detective Starsky’s home number.”
as he heard the pulse tone of the numbers being dialed. There was a brief pause before the ringing of the phone claimed the
passing ring, Hutch felt his chest tighten and his stomach jump higher in his throat…
Three, Detective Starsky isn’t answering.’ Mildred painfully stated the obvious. ‘Is everything okay, Hutch?’
hope so…” Hutch threw down the mic and hit the gas as his car sped towards his partners place.
immediately panic, he knew that if Starsky was in the bathroom there was no way he could get to the phone in time to answer,
not with how slow he was moving. Also, if his partner was sleeping soundly, there was a chance that he didn’t even acknowledge
the fact the telephone was ringing off the hook. Both of these were perfectly reasonable explanations for why Starsky didn’t
answer, Hutch thought as he tried to keep himself from thinking the worst. He again contemplated the bottle of pills that
were tucked deeply in his jacket pocket, then pushing the idea out of his mind.
mind was scrambling for solutions. He looked over at the front door, knowing that he would never make it there before they
did. His eyes shifted nervously behind him, looking to his bedroom. There was a slight chance that he could make it there,
close the door and lock it before he or Valdez reached him,
but that was very slight, in his current condition. He had taken the sling off his arm, but still kept it bent and close to
his stomach. It hurt to move it, and he knew he couldn’t fight them fist to fist. Not if he wanted to win. He swallowed
hard as he looked at the lamp to his left, thinking about hurdling at the evil man, then running towards his room, that could
by him an extra second or two.
wouldn’t do that if I were you!” Tony stated, reading his mind.
back up at the evil man, the terror washing over him as his face paled. Valdez
rose from his seat, grabbed the chair and headed towards the curly haired brunet, a sinister laugh escaping from both of his
had better sit down, before you fall down, Detective.” Valdez
directed the terrified man before him, offering him the chair. “Did you miss us?” He asked.
remember the man himself, but he found something distinctly familiar in his voice. The chair was placed behind him as he fell
back onto it. Valdez walked behind him as he pulled out a
piece of nylon rope from his jacket. Reaching around the front of him, Valdez
roughly grabbed Starsky’s right forearm, bending it back around the chair. Starsky hissed in pain when his right shoulder
was stretched beyond its range and his left arm was brought back to join his right, the rope being tied and wrapped securely
around both wrists. His mind traveled back to the day on the boat, the original time they had trussed him up. He opened his
mouth to speak, but could form no words, a slight gasp escaped as he again swallowed hard.
say that I am shocked to see you still alive would be an understatement Detective. I truly thought I had seen the last of
you, and your partner!” Big Tony reached in his back pocket and pulled out a folded newspaper as he threw it onto Starsky’s
lap. “Imagine my surprise to read about your miraculous recovery.” Starsky looked down at the paper and saw a
picture of he and Hutch leaving the hospital, staring back at him.
photo in large, bold letters, it read:
Heads Home After Long Hospital
with a full page story of Hutch and his ordeal and the announcement of his homecoming.
the matter David? You were so talkative, so cocky back on the boat. Cat’s got you tongue?” Tony taunted the man.
back up at him and weakly asked, “What do you want from me?”
back his hand and launched it forward again, slapping Starsky sharply across the left cheek, snapping his head to the side.
want you to die!” He answered as he lifted the revolver in his right hand and pointed it at Starsky’s head.
door opened and Hutch entered the room. “What the hell is going on here?” Hutch fumed as he reached for his gun
only to be stopped by Valdez.
brought both of his hands up into the air in front of him as he studied his partners’ face. He could see the fear and
terror in Starsky’s eyes as they looked at each other, blue locked on blue. Valdez
reached in and retrieved Hutch’s Magnum from its holster as he took it and placed it in his own waistband.
okay?” Hutch asked in a surprisingly calm voice.
Tony’s gun still pointed at his temple as the evil man stood at his side.
s’okay, Starsk. Just try and relax. I’m not goin’ anywhere this time.” Hutch assured his partner.
Hutch felt his voice crack once, but only once, as he struggled to remain in control of his own fears.
me for not jumpin’ for joy,” Starsky quipped.
over and grabbed the brunet’s hair, snapping his head back as Starsky winced in pain, clenching his teeth and swallowing
to see you could join us, I would hate for you to have missed all the fun.” Tony sneered as he looked at Hutch. “See,
I am the type that finishes what he starts.” Tony said as he released Starsky’s hair, tossing his head forward.
eyes widened as Tony began to undo his belt, pulling the leather through the metal buckle and pulling it from his belt loops
and off of his waist. The leather strap hung in front of Starsky as Tony cracked it across the air making it snap wickedly.
eyes welled with tears up as he straightened in the chair. He was frightened, his mind wandering back to a month ago on that
God forsaken boat.
Valdez laughed watching
Starsky’s reaction, “You remember that sound, dontcha? Did you miss it? Do you remember what it felt like?”
do this to him.” Hutch spoke for his partner who seemed speechless.
Tony questioned. “And waste the whole purpose of my trip? To finish what I started…”
Starsky’s demeanor change, his body stiffened, his face stayed focused straight ahead, never moving. He found a spot
on the wall to concentrate on, and he didn’t waiver from that spot. It broke Hutch’s heart to watch his partner
prepare himself to be tortured all over again.
you think you’re so tough Tony, why don’t you untie him an’ see how tough you are then?” Hutch said
as Valdez was roughly shoving Hutch towards the kitchen. “You’re
Nothing!” Hutch spat as he slammed up against the kitchen counter.
both of his hands and ripped open Starsky’s pajama shirt, sending the buttons flying. Starsky closed his eyes slowly
as Tony examined his chest.
hand it to them docs, they did a fine job puttin’ you back together…too bad it was a waste of time!” He
fumed as he raised the belt high in the air.
wouldn’t do that if I were you!” Hutch shot quickly, “Not if you know what’s good for you!”
intently at the sick man as Tony stopped in mid swing, Hutch grabbing his attention. Tony turned and started walking towards
lay one hand on him, and so help me God, there won’t be a shrink left in Bay
City that will stop me from killing you!” Hutch threatened, pursing his lips together as he spewed
at Tony. “I mean it, let him go Tony. I’ve got half of BCPD on their way here now. It’s over.” Hutch
coaxed the deranged man.
why would you have done that, you had no idea we were here.” Tony chuckled at the fact that Hutch was trying to trick
him with such a stupid, moronic attempt.
where you are wrong, see I got a call from Mrs. Starsky.” Hutch locked eyes once again with his brunet partner. “She
said that she had just spoken to her son here, and something seemed to be wrong. She didn’t know what it was, I think
she called it mother’s intuition, or something like that.”
making this up.” Valdez spewed.
I? See I learned a long time ago, never to mess with a gut feeling, especially a mother’s gut feeling.” Hutch
added, still looking at Starsky.
headed Detective tried hard to read his partner’s face, he couldn’t tell if Hutch really was making this up, or
if he actually had back up on the way.
I immediately called here and got no answer, then I contacted our Captain, told him to have back up meet me here, just in
case. See, I too had a gut feeling. Call it ‘partner’s intuition’.”
Valdez began to fidget
nervously as his eyes darted to Tony and then back to the blond detective. Tony smiled at Hutch, calling his bluff, he hoped.
“So tell me Hutchinson, where is this so called ‘back-up’?
I have a hard time believing that you would enter this apartment, alone, if you truly believed that your partner here was
in trouble.” Tony responded.
Valdez felt a little
bit stronger, smiling in agreement.
see, I think there is one thing you didn’t count on with us, you may have torn him apart physically, nearly destroyed
me mentally, but the one thing you completely failed at was to rip us apart from each other!” Hutch said, laying a heavy
emphasis on the last word as he nodded at Starsky in silent communication. “Now!” He shouted.
him perfectly as he leaned forward, chair and all, and threw himself into Tony’s back, knocking him off balance and
onto the floor. Valdez was shocked as Hutch reached out with
a right hook across the kidnapper’s jaw, sending him hurdling to the ground in a heavy lump.
lying on the ground, still tied to the chair as Tony tried to regain his momentum, bringing his gun in front of him and pointing
it at the brunet. Starsky closed his eyes as he heard the loud bang of gunfire and he waited for the familiar burn, indicating
he’d been hit. It never came.
his right eye first, afraid of what he would see, but was pleasantly surprised to see Hutch, on his stomach, a smoking gun
wrapped tightly in both hands as it was pointed at the evil leader. Starsky found the courage to open both eyes, looking over
at ‘Big Tony’ Rogers, as the man writhed in pain,
cursing the blond detective with every word in his pathetic vocabulary. Starsky could see the blood pooling around Tony’s
back as the villain laid on his back and stared at the ceiling.
the man moan slightly as Tony struggled to move. Starsky looked over at Hutch as the blond was handcuffing and securing Valdez, who was still unconscious.
me…” Tony begged as Hutch looked to Starsky.
okay, Buddy?” Hutch asked as he rushed to his partner’s side.
am now, thanks to you.” Starsky acknowledged Hutch’s bravery with a crooked smile as the blond detective started
to untie his partner.
need help.” Tony whined.
Well, I guess you’ll just have to wait your turn.” Hutch answered as he finished untying Starsky and checked him
over to make sure there were no new wounds that needed his immediate attention.
question…” Starsky said as he sat up slowly.
that?” Hutch helped prop him up against the couch.
you get the other gun?”
glove box of my car, I tucked it in my pant leg before coming up here, I thought we might need help.” Hutch patted him
on the shoulder, then moved towards Tony.
you really call for backup?” Starsky asked as his head rested against the back of his sofa, sighing heavily.
do you think?” Hutch smiled as he knelt next to Tony.
can’t move my legs…” Tony said in a weak, frightened voice.
at his partner, shook his head, and then rose off the ground to call for an ambulance.
had called for an ambulance and called Dobey to inform him of the situation, he returned to Big Tony’s side. Tony’s
hand was flailing about, looking for something to hold.
God, help me, I can’t feel my legs…” He said in a purely panicked voice.
out and took Tony’s hand squeezing firmly…
You don’t say…” He said seemingly sympathetic. “Just try and stay still.”
He then turned
Tony’s hand over in his, grasping the two rings that were on his pinky, his twisted and pulled roughly until they were
freed from his pudgy finger.
believe these,” he said holding them up so Tony could see what he was losing, “belong to my friend over there.”
He said flipping his head towards Starsky.
Tony’s hand, letting it slap hard against the ground, as he crawled over to Starsky, who was still breathing heavily.
He held out his fist, palm up, and offered it to Starsky. “I think I have something that belongs to you.” He said
as he opened his hand, showing both rings, one lying on top of the other.
a tear forming in his eye, as he reached for them, reclaiming them and so much more. “They belong to us…”
Starsky said as he looked into his partner’s eyes. “They belong to us.” He repeated as Hutch smiled, snorting
a laugh, reaching out and grabbing Starsky behind the neck, pulling him forward so their foreheads touched.
both of us.” He agreed.
his father’s ring to his pinky as he held the one his father had given him out to Hutch. “I want you to have this
one.” Starsky said.
couldn’t Starsk, your Dad gave that to you when you were just a kid.”
know that, and I want you to have it…take it Hutch.” He insisted as he locked eyes with the blond. “For
eyes filled with moisture as he reached out and took the silver band from his friend. It signified a unity between them, a
bond that no one would ever break, no matter how hard they tried. They were partners, friends, family. Hutch felt the healing
start, the pain began to ease. He felt strong again, for the first time in a month, he felt like he could help.
don’t you go getting any ideas,” Starsky joked. “You still have to sleep on the couch.” They both
broke out into a fit of laughter realizing what this would look like to an outsider.
the ring on his pinky as he then raised his hand to his partners shoulder, squeezing it in support.
gonna be okay, Buddy…” He almost choked on his words. “You and me, Me and Thee…we’re gonna make
it.” He said as their foreheads touched again and they sighed in relief, feeling that they were finally one their way.
Starsky back to the hospital for quick examination, just to make sure that nothing had been pulled or ripped out, and giving
their statements to the police, they returned to Hutch’s apartment. Dobey had informed Hutch that Big Tony had come
out of surgery, he was alive, however he would remain paralyzed due to the injury to his spinal cord. The blond felt a brief
moment of sadness as he was given the news, but then felt content; he felt it was a suitable punishment for the heinous crime
the man had been accused of. He couldn’t help but feel a little vindicated, even though he felt guilty for that emotion.
mob leader recovered enough, he would surely stand trial for the crimes he had committed against them. Starsky felt the same
way, he held a lot of anger for what Big Tony had put him and his partner through, he couldn’t find the strength in
his heart to let his pain go. They would both need some help with this one.
couple of months proved to be the hardest months in these two detectives’ lives. Starsky had to once again, heal and
prove himself physically, which he had done so many times before, he was just waiting for the one time his body protested
adamantly and just stopped. Stopped healing, stopped walking, stopped functioning. One of these days his body would definitely
turn against him if he continued to abuse it the way he had been. He was just grateful that this wasn’t the time, at
least not yet. He recovered from Gunther’s bullets, and now he found the recovery from these most recent wounds taking
a lot more time than normal to heal. In its own way, his body was protesting, it was slowing down, fighting the healing process
that he had come to know so well. He’d be patient with his body, give it the time it needed, and nurture it slowly back
from its ravaged condition. He was just glad that it was coming back, no matter how slowly.
recovery was another story; he had spent weeks talking with the department psychologists, trying to rid himself of the guilt
he felt as he watched his partner try to recover. This time from wounds, he felt he had inflicted, or at least had a part
in. He had been placed on anti-depressant medications and anti-anxiety drugs to help him cope with his everyday demons. Sometimes
they would visit him during the light of day, other times in the dark shadows of night. He never knew when they would attempt
to sneak back into his mind, just that they would try again. He was in counseling for months, sometimes one on one, and sometimes
Starsky would go with him, depending on the particular evil they were fighting at that particular moment. The medication he
took frequently at first, but lately had been tapering off; he wasn’t able to rid himself completely of them; not yet.
In his dreams he would see his partner crucified, hanging on the mast, only thing was, in his dreams, many times, he never
survived. Coming to terms with the horrors that he witnessed, that were lodged in the dark recesses of his mind, and would
usually return to him at the most inopportune moments, was one of the things he had the hardest time recuperating from. Sometimes
he would just go over to Starsky’s and sit and stare at him for hours, watching the brunet do everyday simple tasks,
letting his mind see, and his soul know that his friend was still alive.
that in this situation, he truly was the one that had gotten off easy. His body would heal eventually; God had graced him
with the blessing of almost total amnesia of the events that happened on that boat. He remembered the first couple of strikes
that Tony had inflicted on him, but from then on, nothing…at one point there was a doubt that Hutch’s mind ever
would recover sufficiently to re-qualify as a police detective. He was making progress though and as long as they were moving
forward, he had hope, they had hope.
struggled mercilessly with their feelings of hatred and anger towards Big Tony and his men. Every time they watched the other
one have a tough day physically or mentally, they felt the anger start to bubble and rise with in them until it became a full
boar boiling emotion. If Tony wasn’t safely behind bars, there was a good chance he never would have made it to trial.
Not with the anger and pure, unadulterated hatred those two men felt towards him. Strange thing was, neither of them was as
angry with what had happened to them themselves, but what had happened to the other.
had made sufficient progress in therapy, his Doctor had recommended visiting the object of his anger, fear, nightmares. As
for Tony Rogers, he remained as defiant and self righteous as ever, even so, part of Hutch’s recovery was to go face
the man responsible for causing the damage to himself as well as his partner. His doctor recommended this course of action
to hopefully go and place blame where it deserved to be placed, and then to forgive himself and come to terms with the fact
that he didn’t inflict the wounds on his partner, anymore than Starsky had inflicted them on himself. As was expected,
Starsky was there, right by his partner’s side for the visitation.
itself was cold and gray. The concrete floors, gray walls and metal bars all blending together in a huge dismal mass. The
ambiance sure didn’t do much for a persons’ mood, but Starsky and Hutch were both sure it wasn’t supposed
to. People here were supposed to regret their actions, and reflect on their own remorse and guilt. The guard led them into
one large conference room. They had requested a meeting with Big Tony Rogers, and their request was granted. Hutch shoved
his hand inside his pocket, feeling for the pill bottle of anti-anxiety drugs, just to make sure they were near. He fought
the urge to take a couple as he left the bottle in his pocket and withdrew his hand. He felt like a child learning to ride
a bike, as long as the training wheels were there, they’d do fine, once you removed them, you’d fall down. He
shook his head as he pushed memories that were trying to flood their way back into his mind, away.
almost to the conference room when Hutch began to lose it.
Hutch spat as he lunged for the door, jerking it open and rushed down the hallway and out of the prison. Starsky was right
on his heels.
within eyesight as he watched the blond run, his puppy dog of a partner, making chase. Even from the confines of his wheelchair,
it gave him reason to smile satisfactorily. He felt like he had accomplished at least half of his goal. The guard turned him
around sharply, escorting him back to his cell.
By the time
they got to the Torino, Hutch was nearly out of breath, taking the bottle of pills, dumping three into the palm of his shaking
hand, popping them into his mouth and swallowing them dry. He replaced the cap and put the bottle back in his jacket pocket,
keeping his hand over it, his thumb stroking the smooth surface, waiting for its calming effect to take place.
get you outta here.” Starsky said quickly as they both climbed into the car and pulled away from the ominous prison,
its cold fences lined with barbed wire sending a chill up Hutch’s spine as he closed his eyes and tried to allow himself
to be lulled by the gentle motion and humming of the car.
jerked awake suddenly by the sound of Starsky’s door closing. He blinked rapidly trying to adjust to his surroundings;
he recognized the distinct sounds of seagulls cawing and the salt air hit him in the face with a sudden swiftness. His eyes
focused slowly on Starsky’s stretching form in front of the car, arms reaching for the sky as he arched his back, working
out the kinks, once he brought his arms down in front of him, the brunet cupped his right shoulder with his left hand and
moved his arm in circular motions. Hutch knew he was stiff and sore, from the drive and his still healing injuries. The blond
opened the passenger door and stepped out of the car slowly, joining his partner.
are we?” Hutch asked, his throat felt dry and in desperate need of cool fluids his eyes blinked involuntarily trying
to shield themselves from the bright sunlight. He looked out over a cliff to the ocean ahead of him, the white foaming waves
crashing forcefully against the craggy rocks below.
Starsky replied as his tired body drank in the gorgeous view before him. “It’s something else, ain’t it?”
are we doing here?” Hutch asked as he nodded in agreement.
once you feel asleep, I didn’t have the heart to wake you, and I knew if I stopped the car, you’d wake up, so
I just kept driving.” He waved his hand out in front of him, “This, my friend, is where we wound up.” He
took in a deep breath, slapping his chest as it expanded.
against the hood of the car, “Oh, I see…”
Something in the sound of Starsky’s voice gave Hutch comfort; he looked up, locking eyes with his partner as the brunet
continued, “we need to get you past this, I need to know how I can help.”
away quickly, “I wish I knew…every time I think about…I mean…when I…” Hutch paused as
Starsky reached out and placed his hand on the blonde’s shoulder, squeezing it supportively. “…you have
no idea…what goes through my mind.” He swallowed hard, choking on his own emotions.
me…” Starsky prompted Hutch to talk about it.
can’t…I don’t want to…” Hutch looked back at his friend, “you have no idea how lucky you
are that you don’t remember it.”
that what you want, for me to remember, so I would know what you went through?” Starsky asked sharply.
God, no…I wouldn’t want that. Jeez Starsk…” He drug his hand down the entire length of his weary face.
“It was horrible…I don’t ever want you to remember it.”
sky blues eyes pled with Starsky’s soul, he wanted, needed to get past this, he just wasn’t sure how. “I
know…” Starsky pulled his friend into a tight embrace, slapping him on the back hard, “I know, Buddy…”
weeks went by before Hutch again felt strong enough to attempt to face Big Tony, to fight his inner demons, to face his fears.
Starsky and Hutch pulled up, once again in front of the prison as the brunet instantly sensed the tension in his partner increase,
Hutch’s right hand instantly digging into his jacket, feeling for his safety net, the pills.
the engine, giving the motor one final roar, as he looked over at Hutch, “You okay?”
heavily, closing his eyes tightly, trying to clear his mind. He nodded. “I just need a minute.” He answered as
he slowed his breathing; bring it to a methodical pace, using some of the meditation techniques that his doctor had taught
to use in this situation.
all the time you need…” Starsky said soothingly.
It took the
blond about five minutes to calm himself enough to enter the cold building. After signing in at the front desk, showing their
badges and checking their weapons in with the clerk, they were escorted back to the same, small conference room.
nervously as they waited for Tony to be brought to them…
Blondie, breathe…” Starsky coaxed his friend as he saw his anxiety level rising to a dangerous level. “You
can do this, you’re stronger than this Hutch, just try would ya?”
around taking his tension out on his partner, “What in the hell do you think I’m trying to do here, now just get
off my back would ya?” Hutch snapped, immediately regretting his words.
off immediately knowing that Hutch needed his space, he needed to conquer this his own way; the brunet wasn’t going
to be able to do it for him.
I’m sorry…” Hutch said, his shoulders dropping in disappointment in himself. “But I am trying…”
know you are…I know you are.” Starsky said softly as he approached his partner and reached out grabbing his forearm.
“Just hang in there, okay? We need to get you through this…”
know, but I don’t think I can do this.” Hutch’s pained eyes searched the brunet’s.
Tony Rogers’ trial starts in less than a week, we’ve put this off as long as we can, if you can’t face him
here, now, how in the hell do you expect to face him in the court room?” Starsky furrowed his brow at the blond trying
desperately to get his message across, firmly yet compassionately. “His lawyer is going to tear your testimony apart,
and if you can’t hold it together, then there is a good chance he’s gonna walk! Is that what you want?”
know that’s not what I want, I can’t let him get away with what he did to you…”
us!” Starsky cut him off. “Then dammit, you have to do this, you don’t have a choice anymore, there’ll
be no running this time, you hear me?” Starsky spat as Hutch resigned himself to the fact that this was going to happen,
one way or the other.
don’t go anywhere, ‘kay?” His eyes showed a sense of pleading and fear at the same time.
here, Buddy, I’m here.” Starsky responded, placing his hand on the blonds’ shoulder, squeezing it.
swung around as they heard the door slowly creak open and Big Tony was wheeled into the small confines of the room.
a gasp escape his partner, unexpectedly as he felt Hutch’s whole body tense up. “Easy, Blintz.” Starsky
whispered soothingly to Hutch.
Hutch inhale a deep breath, letting it exhale slowly as Tony spewed arrogantly.
look who we have here. To what do I owe this honor? You two miss me?” He said repulsively as he looked up from the confines
of his wheelchair.
the bile in his throat rise to a nauseating level. He swallowed hard, trying to push it back down.
that’s it, we missed you alright.” Starsky spoke first in a strong, steady voice. “Both me and my partner
here wanted to look into the face of the man responsible for inflicting both of us with pain and misery.” Starsky looked
at Hutch as the two guards backed out of the room. “Ain’t that right Hutch?”
that’s right.” He responded, his voice trembling slightly.
we now realize that everything that we have been through, all the suffering we’ve endured over the last few months,
was because of you…and now…” Starsky’s thought was cut off by Hutch’s voice.
I know that I didn’t hurt my partner, you did.” The blond moved closer to the man in the wheelchair, bending slightly
to look in his eyes, as Starsky’s gaze followed him. “You and your men, tore him apart…not because of what
I did or didn’t do, but because you animals had something to prove. Something that had nothing to do with me,”
Hutch’s lips pursed together tighter. “And now, I am here to let you know that you lost, you failed to destroy
either of us. We survived your torture, and are even stronger because of it.”
up at the angry blond, “You sure about that Hutchinson?
You sure you’re stronger now than you were?” He spewed viciously. “ ‘Cause if you ask me, I don’t
think you’re strong at all…See, I can still see the fear in your eyes, the doubt in your mind…every time
you get a call, you’re gonna wonder if either one of you is coming back from that call…you may have put me in
this chair, but you haven’t put me in the ground, and mark my words…one of these days, I’ll be back to finish
what I have started, what was planned for both of you, only next time, I won’t show any mercy like I did this time.”
body shook as he fought the urge to grab the evil man by his throat and choke the life right out of him, he could see himself
look into the man’s eyes as his life escaped him. He raised his hands in front of Tony only to be stopped by a reassuring
grip on his right forearm. He looked up into Starsky’s eyes.
not why we came here, ‘member?” Starsky dipped his head slightly at his friend. “Do what you gotta do, an’
let’s get the hell outta here, ‘kay?”
his eyes briefly, sighing heavily; he opened them again slowly as he looked at Tony with a new outlook, with pity instead
of hatred. “I know you will probably try again, but I just want you to know, that I will be ready for you this time,
if you ever do get out of prison, and I am not yet in a nursing home, mark my words, I’ll be ready…” Hutch
said as he stood back up straight, his voice became eerily calm and soothing, “and just so you know, I don’t hate
you, I’m letting go of that feeling here and now, what I feel now for you, is pity. You’re a sorry excuse for
a human being Mr. Rogers, and so help me God, I forgive you for everything you have done…so help me God!” Hutch
spat as Starsky headed towards the locked door of the room to call the guards to escort the prisoner back to his cell.
Starsky yelled through the thick door as he heard the keys jingling on the other side.
face flushed in anger as he fought back his own emotions, “Just what in the hell makes you think you’re so holier
than thou? That I need or want your pity or your forgiveness? Huh? What the fuck makes you any better than I am?” Tony
shouted at the blond as the guards entered the room.
him outta here!” Starsky ordered as one of the men started pulling his wheelchair out of the small conference room,
and the brunet returned to his partner’s side, where he belonged.
to yell as he was taken away, “I’ll be there Detective, in your dreams, your nightmares…you’ll never
be rid of me…” He was almost out of Hutch’s sight, spewing his venom down the hallway, “you hear me?
at his partner as Hutch watched the man be wheeled all the way down the hallway, hearing the clanking of metal bars being
secured behind the prisoner. He could still hear Tony yelling something, but couldn’t make out the words; he felt a
hand on his chest, bringing him back to reality.
okay?” Starsky concerned voice filled the room.
am now.” Hutch stared out the door, unable to break his gaze. “…I am now…”
his arm around Hutch’s shoulder and led him out of the small room and down the hall. Hutch reached in his pocket and
retrieved the small bottle of pills, tossing them in a metal trash can as they passed by.
his partner a congratulatory slap on the back as they headed to Huggy’s for a celebratory drink. It was time for the
duo to get on with the trial and persecution of Big Tony Rogers, and for them to get on with their lives…
came sooner than either of them had expected. It had been six months since they were both forced to endure their own tortures
at the hands of Big Tony. It was the day that both detectives feared and embraced at the same time. It had been a rough road
for the two, but one they both survived.
As they prepared
to head to the courthouse on that Monday morning, Starsky had gone to Hutch’s apartment to pick him up. The brunet knew
that this was going to be extremely hard on his friend, harder on him than even Hutch himself wanted to admit. Starsky was
determined to stay close to Hutch’s side; he would be a fixture in and out of the courtroom. He was almost thankful
that his memory hadn’t returned, this way the prosecution had decided not to put the curly haired detective on the stand.
He couldn’t testify to something he couldn’t remember and the doctors would be there to corroborate Hutch’s
testimony as to Starsky’s injuries. It would be up to Hutch to convince the jury just how he received those wounds and
the tall blond knew that his partner was counting on him to see this through and bring Big Tony to justice, once and for all.
gotten past the feeling of being responsible for the horrors that his friend had gone through for those ten excruciating hours
on the boat, but now he couldn’t help but feel the weight of the world on his shoulders once again, to see to it that
the man that was responsible paid for his actions.
As they strolled
down the long corridor of the courthouse, Hutch was relieved to see his Captain walking towards him, accompanied by District
Attorney Dowtry. Right now, he needed the assurance that those two were there to offer.
ready for this Ken?” Dowtry asked as he placed a reassuring hand on the blonde’s shoulder.
tell me.” Hutch remarked with a certain doubt hidden in the tone of his voice.
gonna do fine, you’ve been over this a hundred times.” Starsky locked eyes with his partner knowing that a lot
was riding on Hutch’s testimony today.
hope you’re right.” The blond said staring deeply into the brunet’s gaze, speaking volumes without saying
anything. Don’t you dare go anywhere, I need you today Gordo, more than I’ve ever needed you before.
worry, I’ll be in the front row…” Starsky answered causing Dobey to sigh, as he watched them communicate
as only they could do.
go on inside, shall we?” Dobey urged, opening the large swinging door, and holding it for the other three.
took their seats, DA Dowtry, at the table on the right hand side of the room, and the other three sitting behind the waist
high barricade, in the benches reserved for spectators as they prepared for the trial to begin. Starsky felt a stab of guilt
as he watched Hutch’s body stiffen under the stress and weight of what was being asked of him. Once again, Hutch felt
like he would either win or lose this case for the prosecution and he would be responsible for the outcome of this case.
statements were made yesterday, and today the testimony would begin. Both lawyers arguing for their sides in a valiant effort
to persuade the jury in their favor, Dowtry had stuck to facts and information, stating that the evidence would clearly show
beyond the shadow of a doubt, that Anthony Rogers, aka Big Tony, had kidnapped, tortured and attempted to kill Detective Starsky,
while forcing his partner to watch, causing malicious mental distress to the blond man. The prosecution was asking for life
in prison without parole as a justified punishment for the evil defendant. They were unable to seek the death penalty, because
thankfully, both men survived, but just barely.
attorney, in his opening statement, had alluded to the fact that both Detective Hutchinson, and Detective Starsky had been
harassing the poor man to such a degree that he snapped and decided to confront the two on his own grounds, the boat out at
sea, and that kidnapping and assault was never the intent. He had also made mention that due to Hutch’s psychological
state over the past six months; his testimony should not even be considered by the jury. He also stated that when his client,
Anthony Rogers had left the boat, both of the detectives were fine, and it was Tony Rogers himself that had notified the police
as to their whereabouts. Lastly, he had also emphasized strongly that his client was now crippled for life because of Hutch’s
insane fixation on making him pay for something he had never done, and that Hutch had intentionally shot his client with the
sole purpose of maiming him for life, adding to the question of the blonde’s mental stability. The defense was going
for the sympathy factor with the jury and was going to milk it for everything it was worth.
nearest the Judge’s bench opened and Starsky watched Hutch pale as two armed guards escorted Big Tony Rogers into the
courtroom, flanking his wheelchair on either side. The brunet detective placed his hand on Hutch’s knee squeezing gently,
to remind him that he was still here for him, by his side, today and always. Hutch covered Starsky’s hand with his.
dark eyes locked with Hutch’s as he neared the defense table and maneuvered his chair, getting into position, smiling
slightly at Hutch as he broke his gaze to turn and face the front of the courtroom. Hutch inhaled sharply as Starsky leaned
over to whisper in his ear.
babe, remember why you’re here. Don’t let him get inside of you.” Starsky said reassuringly.
approached the bench, announcing sharply to the packed courtroom.
rise, the Honorable Milford P. Davis presiding.”
A large black
man wearing a thigh length black robe, and holding a certain aura of respect and authority, entered the room, climbing the
couple stairs to his Judge’s bench. He took his seat in the high back, burgundy leather chair as he shuffled several
papers on his desk in front of him and pushing his black rimmed glasses up to the bridge of his nose.
be seated,” the bailiff continued as he handed the judge a file. “Your Honor, this is case number 2450348, the
People versus Anthony Rogers.” He turned to face the spectators. “Court in now in session.”
couple of witnesses that were called to the stand for the prosecution were the medics on the boat that initially treated Starsky.
They testified to his condition when they found him, and the immediate treatment he required, plus the state that Hutch was
in. Once the prosecution rested, the defense attorney, Mr. Lockley, avoided cross examination that rehashed Starsky’s
injuries, but he made sure to emphasize the condition Hutch was in, dazed and confused.
that treated the brunet detective at the hospital also testified for the prosecution, he spoke of the officer’s critical
injuries and what kind of treatment and therapy was rendered. The defense attorney declined the opportunity of cross examination,
knowing that it wouldn’t serve his purpose to remind they jury of the injuries Starsky had suffered.
the lunch recess was called and the courtroom emptied, leaving Starsky, Hutch, Dobey and Mr. Dowtry. The prosecutor looked
at the blond, “Okay Hutch, this is it; you’re up right after lunch, you ready?”
be just fine.” Starsky spoke for his friend, watching the color drain from Hutch’s face. “What say I treat
you to lunch, buddy?” The brunet offered as he slapped Hutch on the back.
offerin’ to pay for lunch? How can I pass that up?” Hutch answered, knowing that the main reason for lunch was
so that the two of them could to spend some time together, alone, before the testimony began. Hutch was going to be forced
to play back all the horrid details of that day’s events in his mind, it wasn’t going to be easy for him, it wasn’t
something he wanted to do. He never wanted to go back there, not in a million years, but today he had to. Just one more time,
but this time it wasn’t for therapy or because his doctor was insisting that he face it, this time it was for Starsky,
to bring to justice the man responsible for nearly ruining both of their lives.
get outta here.” Starsky said as he guided his partner out of the courtroom leaving Dobey with Mr. Dowtry to go over
any loose aspects of the case the state had against Anthony Rogers.
The two detectives
decided to grab a bite to eat at the courthouse cafeteria so they would be near by if needed. Sitting at the table of the
busy lunch room, Starsky ate heartily as he shoveled bites of his burger and fries into his mouth, following each one with
a sip of soda through the straw from his white Styrofoam cup. Hutch sat sullenly picking at his salad, not able to eat much
worry, you’re gonna be fine.” Starsky said with a mouthful of food.
what if I’m not?” Hutch asked his partner. “What if I blow it, what if I can’t handle reliving this
again? What then?”
not gonna haveta relive it, Buddy.” Starsky set down his food and concentrated on his partner’s plea for help.
“All you have to do is retell it…think of it as a story…you’re just tellin’ a story…don’t
let yourself go back there.”
what if I do?” Hutch’s blue eyes begged for assurance from the man he trusted most in this world. “What
if I get lost, back there.”
look for me, I’ll be there. I’ll help you come back.” Starsky reached across the table and grabbed Hutch’s
hand firmly in his, squeezing tightly. Hutch literally felt the strength pass from Starsky to him in an instant, he drew on
Starsky’s confidence and held tight, inhaling deeply. “You’re okay, Blintz, you hear me?”
and broke his gaze with the brunet, feeling his eyes begin to tear up. “What would I do with out you?” He snorted
as he started to eat his food, causing a smile to cross the curly haired detective’s face as well.
Back in the
courtroom, the trial resumed.
Prosecution calls Detective Kenneth Hutchinson.” Mr. Dowtry announced as Hutch rose from the spectators.
for a moment and looked down at Starsky who was sitting beside him. Starsky blinked slowly at the blond and tipped his head
slightly, assuring his friend.
to the witness stand, pausing briefly to be sworn in before taking a seat.
state your name and occupation for the court.” Dowtry urged the Nordic man on the stand.
name is Kenneth Hutchinson, I am a homicide Detective for the Bay City Police Department.” Hutch’s voice was calm
how long have you held your current position?” Dowtry continued.
been an officer for nearly twelve years, but a Detective for nine.”
the court, how long have you and Detective David Starsky been partners?”
looking in Tony Rogers’ direction; he looked up and locked eyes with his partner. “Detective Starsky has been
my only partner, since I made Detective nine years ago.”
years? That’s a long time. Would you say that you two are close?” Dowtry inquired.
could say that,” Hutch smiled. “Starsky and I are more than just partners, we’re best friends. Matter of
fact, I don’t think I’d be here today, if it weren’t for him.” The blond gave a grateful nod to Starsky
from the witness stand. “We’ve been through more than our share together, that’s for sure.”
Lockley watched as the partners’ communicated to each other from across the room. He saw how Hutch gained confidence
when he locked eyes with his friend. He saw the look, the intense stare that Starsky returned to Hutch when he needed it most.
It was almost as if the lawyer could hear them talk and comfort each other, without speaking a word. He knew instantly what
he had to do when his turn for cross examination came.
on as Starsky smiled and dropped his gaze to his lap, knowing that these two boys had truly been through more than they should
have had to go through. It made them stronger; it strengthened their bond as friends and as partners.
As the questioning
continued, Hutch recounted the events that unfolded that night, a little over six months ago, from the kidnapping on the docks,
to the horrific scenes of torture inflicted on his partner on the boat, even retelling the entire crucifixion in eerily accurate
details. By the time Hutch was finished with his testimony there was hardly a dry eye in the courtroom. Starsky’s chest
puffed in pride at the job the blond had done, he winked at him from behind the prosecution table. Hutch looked into Starsky’s
eyes several times through-out the questioning, just so he could see for himself, that his partner was fine, and no harm would
come to him by Hutch simply retelling the story. The blond drew on his partner’s physical as well as emotional strength
to help him get through today, and get through it, he did.
further questions Your Honor.” Mr. Dowtry announced to the court.
spoke loudly. “Your witness, Mr. Lockley.”
attorney rose from his table as Hutch braced himself for anything. Dobey sensed Starsky tense up beside him as he tried to
put a reassuring hand on the brunet’s arm.
take it easy, son.” Dobey whispered in Starsky’s ear.
Hutchinson, you just gave the court a recap of the events
that you and your partner were a party to, to the best of your recollection, is that correct?” Mr. Lockley began to
pace in front of the Judge’s bench theatrically, stopping in just the right spot to block Hutch’s view of Starsky.
sir, it is.” Hutch replied firmly as he locked eyes with the red headed lawyer.
to look around the attorney’s back to catch Hutch’s attention. Mr. Lockley watched Hutch’s movements and
countered every time that the blond witness had Starsky in his sight, moving just enough to block him once again.
we heard the doctors earlier testify to your partner’s injuries, and tell us the reason why he wouldn’t be testifying.
Because unlike you, he has almost complete memory loss due to severe trauma, isn’t that right, Detective?”
yes…it is…” Hutch’s brow furrowed as he wondered where the defense lawyer was heading with his questioning.
up and completely moved positions, assuring him a clear view…until Lockley moved once more. The brunet returned to his
seat beside Dobey.
doin’ this on purpose Cap’.” Starsky said as he leaned toward his superior.
know he is, an’ there ain’t nothin’ you’re goin’ to do about it, so I suggest you sit still
before Judge Davis throws your ass outta here.” Dobey answered.
isn’t it also true that you were under the care of a psychologist for several months following the severe trauma you
had to endure?” Lockley continued.
face paled as the beads of sweat started to form on his upper lip. “Um…
correct…” His voice cracked as he stuttered, his eyes growing wide, searching for Starsky’s indigo set to
calm him down. “But…”
answer the question Detective.” Lockley chastised Hutch as Starsky shifted uneasily in his seat. “You want the
fine jury here to believe that you yourself, are sure, beyond a shadow of a doubt, as to the chain of events you are attempting
to recall, that happened so long ago, and yet you are able to recall them with precision and accuracy as to how and when they
happened? Are you sure about that Detective?”
Dowtry shouted out, rising from the table. “Detective Hutchinson’s
mental health is not on trial here your Honor.”
but his ability to remember accurately, what happened out there is relevant to this case.” Lockley retorted loudly.
overruled,” The judge announced as Lockley smiled.
the court if you would Detective, just how long after this alleged attack, were you on medication to assist your mental healing
process?” Lockley forged on.
was on medication for approximately a month and a half.” Hutch’s voice lowered as if he was ashamed of it.
breathing increased as his anger was simmering.
sorry Mr. Hutchinson, could you repeat that, I’m not sure the jury heard your answer.” The lawyer continued to
shove Hutch closer and closer to a proverbial edge of the cliff, just waiting for him to jump off and basically commit testimonial
suicide. If he snapped on the stand, all of his admissions in court would be clearly scrutinized.
said, I was on the drugs for a month and a half.” Hutch spoke loudly.
was that the first time you have had trouble kicking a drug habit?” The slick attorney threw out for the jury to hear,
knowing that Dowtry was surely going to object.
Dowtry shouted right on cue. “Detective Hutchinson’s
history or past has no bearing on this case.”
Captain, they’re gonna rip him to shreds.” Starsky spoke loud enough to get Lockley’s attention.
cool it.” Dobey warned his officer.
The judge agreed with the prosecutor. “I’m warning you Mr. Lockley, I will not have this courtroom turned into
a circus, I am ordering you to stick to the facts of this case, and nothing further. Is that perfectly clear?”
“Crystal.” Lockley said smugly, knowing that he had accomplished
his goal, he was able to put a hint of Hutch’s past drug addiction out there for the jury to hear, and he was sure that
they would remember that reference. “I am sure that what you went through out there on that boat, was extremely traumatizing
for you, what you claim my client did to both you and your partner.” Lockley again looked back at Starsky making sure
that he was unable to connect with the witness. “What kind of an effect did it have on your mental state Detective?”
atrocities that that man put us through are incomprehensible. Having to watch my partner, my best friend, get tortured and
then crucified, caused me to snap. I needed to seek professional help to cope with what Tony Rogers had done to both of us.”
said you snapped.” Lockley grinned warmly at the blond on the stand. “Tell me officer, did you snap before or
after you thought you saw Mr. Rogers hurt your partner?”
stared blankly at the attorney, his stomach clenching and cramping in fear.
is possible that you aren’t sure when it is that you ‘snapped’, that it is remotely possible that it wasn’t
even Tony Rogers that had hurt your friend at all, I mean it isn’t like you were exactly of a sound mind, now is it?”
your Honor!” Dowtry exclaimed.
Honor, I think the jury has every right to know what Detective Hutchinson’s state of mind was at the time of the events
to which he is testifying.”
Please answer the question Detective.” Judge Davis advised.
eyes filled in fright as the moisture in them grew, he could hear his own heartbeat in his head, as his body trembled. He
looked at the members of the jury who were staring at him, some showing pity; others seemed to be judging him. He looked at
the judge who stared sternly at the officer. He tried to look around the defense lawyer that was blocking his view to his
out of his seat, “Just what in the hell are you trying to do to him? He’s not the monster here, that motherfucker
over there is the evil one.” Starsky pointed to Big Tony.
The judge demanded as he slammed his gavel against his bench.
in the hell can you sit there and tear him apart like this, you’re as guilty as he is!” Starsky shouted at Lockley
as Dobey tried to pull the brunet back into his seat.
said order in the court!” The judge fumed as he glared at the irate man.
your order, I can’t believe you’re allowing this line of questioning to continue!” Starsky yelled at the
it, bailiff remove him from the courtroom!” Davis commanded.
at his hot tempered detective trying to remove him himself from the room. The last thing he needed was for the curly haired
man to take a swing at a public official.
can do this Hutch, hang in there, I’m with ya’ Buddy!” Starsky yelled as he was being forcibly removed.
his head, playing with the pinky ring on his finger, reminding him of a bond and commitment he made to that out of control
man that was just escorted out of the courtroom. He inhaled deeply, calming himself. Starsky did exactly what Hutch had needed,
he caused a distraction and allowed the blond a moment to regroup, calm himself down and prepare for further questioning.
“Continue with your questioning Mr. Lockley.” The
“Thank you, your Honor. I’ll repeat the question Detective.
Isn’t it possible that your compromised mental condition occurred before what you have claimed happened to your partner
at the hands of Mr. Rogers?”
“According to my doctor, no, my mental condition was a direct
result of what happened before my partner was crucified by that man over there.” Hutch insisted with an air of certainty
as he pointed to Tony Rogers, locking eyes with him for the first time.
“Isn’t it true that the doctors really can’t
say for sure when the onset of your ‘mental illness’ was?” Lockley asked.
“Yes, that’s true, but I can.” Hutch blurted
out before Lockley had a chance to stop him, just wanting the jury to hear it.
“I object your Honor.” Lockley protested. “Would
you please remind the witness to stick to simply answering the questions?”
Hutch smiled as Judge Davis frowned at him. “Detective,
I don’t want to have to remind you again.” He chastised the blond on the stand. “I also order the court
to strike the last part of Detective Hutchinson’s answer from the record…That’s enough for today…Court
is in recess until tomorrow 9 am.” He announced with a bang of his gavel against his bench.
The spectators and jury rose as the judge left the courtroom and
Tony Rogers was escorted back to his cold cell. Hutch joined Mr. Dowtry at the prosecution’s table. He looked up to
see Starsky coming back through the paneled doors.
“What happened? S’everything okay?” He asked
as he approached the table.
“It’s fine, everything is just fine, thanks to you.”
Hutch said giving his friend a pat on the back.
“That was a pretty dumb stunt you pulled there Starsky,”
Dobey admonished his officer, “getting yourself thrown outta court like that.”
Starsky hung his head briefly as Dowtry showered him with praise.
“Actually, it was probably one of the smartest things I’ve ever seen.” He disagreed with the Captain. “You
did exactly what I needed you to do, you bought my witness time, brilliant, simply brilliant.”
you think he’s gonna let me back in here tomorrow, to be here for the rest of the questioning?” Starsky asked
wondering if what he had done was really in Hutch’s best interest.
“I think there’s a good chance, I’m sure he’ll
reprimand you for your behavior and make you promise not to do that again, but he’ll let you stay.” Mr. Dowtry
informed the brunet.
in that case, this calls for a celebration! Let’s head to Huggy’s drinks are on me!” Dobey smiled widely
at his detectives. The four men headed out of the courtroom and on to a more relaxed setting.
morning came around and once again Starsky rushed to pick up his partner so they could ride to the court house together.
The bailiff called the court to order in the same fashion that
he had done so the day before. The judge entered the room and approached his bench, instantly seeing Starsky standing there
as a spectator.
He sat down, allowing the rest of the people to take their seats.
“Before we begin this morning, Detective Starsky, would
you please stand.” The Judge asked the brunet.
Starsky looked at Dobey, swallowed hard and stood, giving his
best guilty face at his Honor. “Y…yes Sir?” He stuttered.
court understands your outburst yesterday. I know this is an emotional case for you, but I cannot and will not allow such
fits to be thrown in my courtroom. If you feel you will be unable to control your emotions during this trial then I will ask
you to leave now, and not return for the duration, is that understood?” He said sternly.
“Yes sir, I would like to apologize for my uncontrolled
outburst yesterday Your Honor, I can assure you that it won’t happen again.” He smiled with child like charm,
knowing full well that if Hutch needed him to do it again, he would in a heartbeat.
to it that it doesn’t,” responded Judge Davis. “You may continue with your cross examination Mr. Lockley,”
he turned to his bailiff, “Please call in Detective Hutchinson.” He instructed him.
Hutch entered the courtroom and approached the witness stand for
the second day in a row, only this time Starsky saw that he stood straighter and he seemed to have more confidence. He was
more sure of himself than he had been yesterday. Maybe Starsky wouldn’t need to create another diversion today, because
he knew that if he did, he would be banned from the courtroom for the rest of the trial.
“Detective Hutchinson, I believe we left off yesterday,
discussing the mental state you were in at the time you partner was suffering at the hands of the man, or men, that were responsible
for your partner’s injuries. Now isn’t it true that your doctors diagnosed you with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?”
Mr. Lockley asked for confirmation, even though it was in previous testimony. He again positioned himself between Hutch and
Starsky, once again taking away their view of each other.
“Yes sir, it is.” Hutch kept his answer short and
to the point.
“And isn’t one of the side effects of that disorder,
confusion, and jumbled or inaccurate memories?” Lockley questioned.
I believe it is.” Hutch answered, not offering any more information.
then that would mean that it is possible that your recollection of the events on the boat are completely inaccurate, isn’t
that correct?” Lockley spat, then added quickly, “No further questions your Honor.” Giving the jury exactly
what he wanted to give them as their last impression of the Detective, giving them reasonable doubt.
Judge Davis addressed Mr. Dowtry, “Anything further Mr.
“No thank you, your Honor,” The prosecutor announced,
knowing that if he delved any further into Hutch’s past drug addiction, or recent mental instability, he would open
the door for Mr. Lockley to petition the court to have Hutch’s testimony thrown out, and he didn’t want to run
Hutch looked over at the judge, waiting for direction. “You
may step down, detective.” Judge Davis instructed the blond.
quickly and hopped off the stand as he looked up, searching for Starsky’s face. His eyes locked with his partner’s
darker blue ones. One corner of the brunet’s mouth was turned up in a slight smile, happy to see Hutch finally out of
spoke loudly, “Call your next witness Mr. Dowtry.”
state calls Reese Sturgeon to the stand your Honor.” He responded as he watched the defendant.
eyes grew wide as his face paled, as his former partner was led into the courtroom, his hands and ankles shackled together.
Big Tony leaned towards his attorney, speaking harshly as Starsky watched him squirm.
“Objection, your Honor!” Mr. Lockley stood in protest.
“The defense was not informed about this witness.”
“Counseler, you received the same witness list as I did,
and Mr. Lockley, I believe that this witness is on both of our lists. It is not my fault if you missed him. Objection, overruled.”
Mr. Lockley sat as Big Tony glared at his lawyer. “Perhaps
I should ask the Judge for a new lawyer.” He hissed as he leaned towards his attorney.
“Perhaps you should,” Mr. Lockley responded knowing
that his defense was all but gone now. Mr. Dowtry questioned Reese about the events that unfolded from the day on the docks,
to later on the boat. The witness told the jury that Tony had set the whole plan up, and put it into motion, wanting to make
an example out of the two detectives.
In return for his testimony against Big Tony, the District Attorney’s
office had agreed to a plea bargain for Reese’s testimony, dropping his charges from attempted murder and kidnapping,
to aiding and abetting in a criminal act with malicious intent. With his guilty plea, he received an eight year sentence,
which was much better then the life without the possibility of parole he would have been facing. Also he had the opportunity
of serving his time in a federal prison; away from Big Tony.
When the testimony had gotten to the unbearable beating of the
curly haired detective, Reese explained about how Tony had personally picked out the barbaric object of torture that he would
use, the cat o’ nine tails, by trying it out on some of his loyal followers, figuring out which would do the most damage
and inflict the most pain.
theatrically addressed the jury, “Your Honor, I would like to submit into evidence, people’s exhibit A26, the
actual weapon used against Detective David Michael Starsky.” He announced as he held up a plastic bag, showing the members
of the jury the dark, stained cat o’ nine tails. Silence blanketed the room as the sound of the plastic bag opening,
seemed to echo across the paneled jury’s box.
Starsky felt the sweat start to bead up on the side of his face
as Mr. Dowtry reached in and pulled out the leather tool. Hutch watched his partner’s reaction as the brunet’s
The prosecutor held the handle of the whip in his right hand as
he slowly moved it in front of the jury, giving every individual a chance to absorb the archaic essence that exuded from the
instrument and all of its barbed straps. The odor of dried blood and slightly rotted flesh rose from the item as a few of
the jurors turned their heads.
Starsky’s eyes grew wider. Up until now, he had handled
the trial much better than Hutch had. He was strong and there to support his partner in any way he could. Now, it was the
blonde’s turn to support his friend as he leaned towards him, “Hey Buddy, you okay?” He whispered in Starsky’s
Nothing, no answer. Hutch hadn’t expected this reaction
from his partner, he knew it must have been the cat o’ nine tails that triggered the fear and terror. For a brief moment,
Hutch was pissed at himself for not thinking about this scenario, for not preparing Starsky for the moment that item would
be introduced as evidence. He couldn’t foresee the damage that it would cause.
“Hey Starsk? It’s me…you okay?” He reached
over and grabbed the brunet’s forearm squeezing it firmly. He realized that Starsky had spent the last six months healing
physically and helping Hutch heal mentally. He thought about whether or not Starsky had allowed enough time for himself, to
heal inside and out.
continued with his questioning of Reese. “So Mr. Sturgeon, are you saying, that this is the weapon that the defendant
used to strike and torture the officer?”
sir, that’s it. He used that and made the blond one watch…” Reese went on to describe how Starsky had barely
screamed out, how he tried so hard to stay strong, and how horrible it was to watch the two be torn to shreds, one literally
and one figuratively.
Dramatically, Dowtry crossed in front of the Judges bench, whip
in hand, and he raised it high into the air, bringing it down sharply as it cracked loudly in response.
Hutch felt Starsky’s whole body jump as his complexion paled.
The brunet swallowed hard as Hutch placed his hand on his partner’s shoulder, “Easy buddy…” He soothed.
gonna be sick.” He stammered as he jumped up and bolted out of the courtroom with his blond counterpart right on is
Tony looked over his shoulder as he smiled evilly; still pleased
with the effect he had on the two detectives.
outside the bathroom stall in the cold tiled room as he heard his partner retch, causing him to breathe slowly to keep from
losing his own lunch.
“You okay in there, Starsk?” He asked.
“Yeah…yeah…” Starsky gasped, “Just
give me a sec, would ya?” He pled as he heaved one more time.
The brunet rocked back on his heels, his rear coming in contact
with the floor below him, he leaned back against the stall wall as he closed his eyes, breathing heavily. He heard the squeak
of the hinges on the door as he opened his eyes to see the tall blond towering over him.
“You plan on staying down there all day?” Hutch asked
with a crooked smile as he knelt next to his partner.
“If I need to, yeah.” Starsky snorted as he closed
his eyes again. “I remember Hutch, I don’t wanna, but I do…” He lifted his head and locked eyes with
“I know Buddy, I know…I don’t wanna remember
either, but if we let it eat us up inside, then Tony wins, doesn’t he?” Hutch said caringly. “How long have
you remembered, I mean, did it just come back to you like that?” He said as he snapped his fingers.
“I’ve been getting bits and pieces, here and there,
for about a month now.”
“Why didn’t you tell me?” Hutch furrowed his
brow at his partner, a little angry for being deceived.
“You weren’t exactly ready for me to fall apart on
ya’. I had a hard enough time tryin’ to keep it together in front of you. You didn’t need be worryin’
about me, an’ you know that’s exactly what you woulda done.” Starsky explained, washing any anger that Hutch
might of felt away, instantly.
“Jeez Starsk, I’m sorry. I was so consumed with my
own mental issues, that I didn’t even see the effect it was having on you. I shoulda seen this, I shoulda noticed that
you were recalling everything.” Hutch tried to apologize.
“Not everything, at least not until I saw that whip in court
just now. Shit Hutch! If I had my gun right now, I walk right up to Tony Rogers and put a bullet right between his eyes!”
Starsky said looking intently at his friend.
“No you wouldn’t. You’re not capable of doing
that Besides, I think Big Tony got exactly what he deserved, he’s confined to that wheelchair for the rest of his pathetic
life. He’ll never walk again. He can’t hurt us anymore.” Hutch said, standing up.
“You don’t know that, what if he gets off, what if
they let him go?” Starsky’s indigo eyes followed the blond.
that what you’re worried about? That he’ll get out; that he’ll come after us? Is that what’s been
bothering you?” Hutch said sympathetically.
“No. I’m not gonna let that happen, to you or to me.
It won’t happen, trust me.” Hutch said as he offered his hand to his friend who was still sitting on the ground.
“It’s me and thee, from here on out.” He said as he raised his eyebrows at the curly haired man sitting
on the floor of the bathroom, suddenly looking very vulnerable.
heavily, leaning forward, grasping his partner’s hand and pulling himself up, trying to get back to his feet as he spoke,
“I guess you’re right, but I just don’t know if I can go back in there, knowing what he did to me…to
us.” Starsky grunted as Hutch helped him up. “How can someone do something like this, I mean, look at him…”
The anger in the brunet’s voice began to increase, “he’s sitting there like nothing happened, like he ain’t
responsible for shit!”
“Easy there Gordo,” Hutch tried to calm Starsky. “He’ll
get what’s comin’ to him, mark my words, one way or another, he’ll get his.” Hutch patted Starsky
on the back as he guided him out of the narrow stall.
“Look at us, ain’t we a pair?” The brunet snorted
as they both walked out of the bathroom, and back to the courtroom, side by side.
They entered the courtroom as Mr. Dowtry was finishing his questioning
of Reese. Tony smiled as the two entered, knowing full well that he had gotten to them. It was now Mr. Lockley’s turn
for cross examination.
The Defense Attorney stood and walked in front of the witness
“Tell me Mr. Sturgeon, exactly what kind of a deal did the
DA’s office promise you in return for your testimony?” He asked as Mr. Dowrty stood to object. “Did they
promise to spare your life in return for you turning on your former employer?” He spat out before Dowtry had a chance
“Objection, your Honor!” The prosecutor shouted out.
“Sustained!” Judge Davis yelled, slamming his gavel
down on the bench. “I warn you Mr. Lockley, you had better stick to the facts of this case and leave the theatrics and
tricks to someone else!” He admonished the lawyer.
sir, no further questions.” Lockley wrapped up quickly. He wanted to leave the jurors with the slightest doubt about
the witness’s testimony and his motives for turning state’s evidence against his client, and he succeeded. ‘
The remaining portion of the trial spanned over the next week,
definitely taking its toll on both Starsky and Hutch. The state had wrapped up its case and had turned the proceedings over
to the defense. Mr. Lockley led their case by insinuating that Hutch was crazy at the time of the incidents he testified to,
and Reese was saving his own ass. Trying desperately to plant the seed of doubt in the jury’s mind, even the slightest
shadow would grant him an acquittal.
Closing arguments lasted several hours, but seemed to span many
days. Before they knew it, the jury was dismissed to begin deliberations, and the long waiting period began. After court was
in recess, Starsky, Hutch, Dobey and Dowtry decided to head to Huggy’s for an early lunch.
skinny black man had a hard of a time coming to terms with what had happened to his two friends that fateful night on the
boat a little over six months ago. He too, had a deep feeling of sadness and guilt as he watched both detectives go through
the uphill battles of recuperating from Big Tony’s atrocities. If they hadn’t been trying to protect him, they
never would have experienced the horrors they did. Huggy even had a difficult time going to court to watch the trial. He tried,
but he couldn’t even make it through the opening arguments.
help but feel like this was largely his fault. He just couldn’t let go, let go of that guilt that tried to eat him alive.
All Hutch had to do was to tell Big Tony that it was Huggy that had ratted him out, and there was a good chance that the experiences
that he and Starsky endured, would likely have never have happened.
It hit Huggy
hard when he saw the four walk through his door, how selfish he had been, the trial was now over, and Huggy had avoided it
all. He really hadn’t been there for his two friends over the past six months, and he had planned on changing that tonight.
It was time to put their pain and his guilt behind them, today was a new day and a new beginning for the trio.
He broke out a bottle of his best wine as his waitress escorted
them to their table. Approaching the table with a white towel draped neatly over his left forearm, he formally offered his
“Looks like a celebration is in order here,” he held
out the bottle in front of him. “May I interest you in a bottle of one of my finest Chardonnay’s?” He asked
humbly, “On the house, of course.” He added.
Starsky and Hutch smiled at their friend gratefully, they both
knew this wasn’t easy for him either. They all had their demons that they needed to battle, each in their own way.
“That’s just t’riffic, Hug.” Starsky smiled
approvingly, “I will gladly accept on behalf of these losers here at the table with me.” He joked as Dobey shot
him an icy stare.
“Who you callin’ a loser, Loser?” Hutch snapped
back, feeding off of Starsky’s prodding.
“You can say that again!” Dobey chimed in as Mr. Dowtry
enjoyed the banter being slung back and forth.
Huggy popped the cork on the wine and poured each of his guests
at the table a generous portion. They had all ordered Huggy’s Specials, as the waitress took their requests and scurried
off to the kitchen.
“How’d it go today?” Huggy asked, still mad
at himself for not being present.
“As well as can be expected,” Hutch said, giving Starsky
a quick look through his brow, before returning his attention to the owner of the establishment as Huggy sat at the only vacant
seat at the table.
“You think he’s goin’ down?” Huggy asked,
afraid of the answer.
sure hope so, if not for attempted murder, then at least for kidnapping a public official.” Starsky said as he focused
on his glass of wine in front of him.
“Oh he’s definitely gonna do some hard time. Just
how much? That’s in the hands of the jury.” Mr. Dowtry threw in, knowing the fear that everyone at the table was
“Well I just hope that the members of the jury are smart
enough to see through Tony’s lawyer’s smoke screen. I wanna see that scum get exactly what he deserves!”
Dobey’s voice bellowed. “As far as I’m concerned, that man should never see the light of day again, not
after what he’s put you two through.” Dobey immediately corrected himself, “Make that the three of you!”
Huggy nodded in agreement, and appreciation.
Diana approached the table carrying several plates and passing
them out to the customers.
chance he’ll get the death penalty?” Huggy asked, hoping.
Dowtry spoke up. “Problem is, Detective Starsky didn’t die…”
a lot!” Starsky shot back as he took a bite out of his burger.
“What I mean is, the death penalty is reserved for murderers,
especially of an officer. But you’re alive,” Dowtry looked at the brunet, then at Huggy, “There is no way
to tie him with any of the murders that the state suspects him of committing, and they don’t usually enforce the death
penalty for attempted murders…I’m afraid the best we can hope for is life.”
The five of them sat there and did their best to enjoy what was
left of their meal. They tried to keep the conversation away from Big Tony, and focused on their everyday lives. Plans for
tomorrow, next week, next month.
Before leaving the restaurant, Starsky excused himself to use
the men’s room, causing Dobey to take Hutch aside.
“What the hell happened to him the other day?” Dobey
asked, referring to his quick exit at the courthouse during testimony. “Is he okay? Is there something I should know?”
Dobey asked more as a father then a Captain.
“He’s fine, Cap’.” Hutch thought about
leaving it at that, but he couldn’t shut Dobey out, he deserved the truth. “He remembered Cap. He remembers what
happened on the boat.”
Dobey’s eyes widened, “Sweet mother of Jesus. He remembered
everything?” Dobey asked, praying that the worst of the torture still eluded the curly haired man, for his sake. The
human mind could only take so much, and he knew that both of his detectives were being pushed to the breaking point.
“I’m not sure yet. I know he remembers a lot of it,”
Hutch informed his superior, “do me a favor, don’t let him know that you know. I wanta handle this one on my own.”
Hutch’s eyes pled with Dobey’s.
“Excuse me, Cap’n, there’s a call for you. You
can take it back there.” Huggy said, pointing to a phone hanging on the wall behind the bar.
Starsky returned from the bathroom as they were getting ready
to leave. They had all come in one car and still needed to go back to the court house to drop off Dowtry before heading to
“What say we catch a movie tonight?” Starsky asked
Hutch, his eyes wide with childlike enthusiasm.
ever you want.” Hutch answered, “Wanna join us?” The tall blond aasked Huggy who smiled broadly.
“Well that sounds superb my friend.” He accepted quickly.
Dobey walked up, his face long with worry, Dowtry following him.
“What is it Cap?” Hutch asked immediately.
“We need to get back to the courthouse, the jury has reached
a verdict.” Dobey announced solemnly.
“But it’s only been a couple of hours?” Starsky
said, his eyes darting between Dobey and the prosecutor. “What does that
“I don’t know for sure, but in my experience, when
a jury comes back with a verdict that fast, it usually isn’t good.” Dowtry informed the men before him.
They stood ceremoniously in the courtroom, as the jurors and the
judge filed in. The bailiff announced all to be seated as Judge Davis thumbed through some papers on the desk in front of
“The court has been informed that you have reached a unanimous
decision in the case before us, is that true?” Judge Davis asked the jury foreman as the designated person stood to
“Yes it is your Honor.” He replied.
Both Starsky and Hutch sighed heavily in unison, looking at each
other in silent communication. They both knew that regardless of the verdict, they were both going to be okay, they were alive
and healing, and they still had each other. That was all that mattered to them. Dobey flanked Starsky on the right as Huggy
sat to the left of Hutch, he wanted to make sure he was here for this; it was the least he could do.
pass your findings to the bailiff.” The judge instructed the juror, who handed a sealed envelope to the officer of the
The silence that blanketed the proceedings gave Starsky and Hutch
an uneasy feeling. The clicks of the bailiff’s shoes echoed throughout the room as it was packed to standing room only
The judge opened the envelope that the officer had handed him,
he peered over his black rimmed glasses and he wrinkled his nose at the paper. He quickly folded it back up and handed it
back to the bailiff, who returned it to the jury foreman.
“Please read the verdict for the court.” Judge Davis
instructed the middle aged man.
and Hutch looked at each other, inhaling in nervous anticipation. Big Tony turned in his chair, looking over his shoulder
giving the two detectives a menacing stare.
the defendant please rise.” The presiding official quickly noted his mistake, he cleared his throat. “Please accept
the court’s apologies, you may remain sitting.” He said as he returned his attention to the foreman. “Please
continue Mr. Foreman.”
Starsky couldn’t help but allow a smile to wash across his
face at the judge’s mistake. He hated the ill feelings he harbored for this despicable human being, and briefly felt
guilty until he looked up and saw Hutch hiding his laughter behind his left hand.
The graying man’s voice shook slightly and his hand trembled
as he read from the paper, “We the people in the above entitled case, the People versus Mr. Anthony Rogers, case number
2450348, do herby find the defendant guilty of all charges.”
Starsky and Hutch’s hands searched for each other’s grasping together firmly in solidarity. A joyous outburst
flowed through the courtroom as several reporters fled the scene, each wanting to be the first to break the news. Many of
the spectators gave congratulatory slaps on the back and exchanged handshakes as they stood triumphantly.
“This is bullshit!” Big Tony shouted from his wheelchair,
his attorney trying to calm him. “Get the fuck away from me you asshole! This is all your fault, if you had done you
job, none of this would ever have happened!” Tony chastised his counselor, turning slightly to give both detectives
an evil glare. “I demand a new trial!” He yelled turning back to the judge.
His Honor, polled the jury individually, as was the normal procedure
in a guilty verdict. He received twelve affirmative votes in favor of guilt for the defendant bringing to an end this session
Judge Davis slammed his gavel against his bench. “Order,
order in the court.” He announced, once again gaining everyone’s attention. “You’ll get your chance
for an appeal Mr. Rogers…I have tentatively scheduled sentencing for two weeks from today, Monday February 19th…”
And with one final bang of his wooden club court was adjourned.
Two guards approached Tony Rogers as they shackled his hands together.
“Is this really necessary?” He asked them in complete and utter disdain, “I’m a fucking cripple for
God’s sake, what the hell do you think I’m gonna do? Run you over with my wheelchair?”
“It’s standard procedure Mr. Rogers, please just cooperate.”
The larger of the two guards instructed the prisoner as the other guard secured his wrists together.
Starsky and Hutch watched as they wheeled him out of court and
the door slowly closed behind them, putting an end to this chapter in their lives. All five men stood around the prosecution
table smiling and sharing in the relief that they had more than earned.
“I don’t know about you guys, but I thought for sure
they were gonna let him off.” Huggy announced with a certain amount of sorrow and guilt weighing heavily in his voice.
“Well, I know one thing, I was holding my breath as they
read the verdict, that’s for sure.” Dobey confirmed as Mr. Dowtry was loading his paperwork back in his briefcase.
me, I was positive they would find him guilty.” He announced as he closed and locked the lid of his leather carrier.
and Hutch looked at the prosecutor inquisitively. “But I thought you were the one that said if they came back with a
verdict that fast, it was a bad thing?” Starsky asked, raising his index finger at the man.
me? Did I say that?” He joked as the rest of them broke out in laughter.
say we get the hell out of here? I think the Captain here, still owes us a couple drinks, don’t you partner?”
Hutch put his arm around his partner’s shoulder, pulling him closer.
of said it better myself!” Starsky concurred and the five of them left the courtroom for a destination filled with laughter,
drinks and good times.
“All rise, the Honorable Milford P. Davis presiding.”
The bailiff announced to the court that was waiting to hear the sentencing of the now infamous Tony Rogers. “Your Honor,
this is the sentencing phase of case number 2450348, the People versus Anthony Rogers,” he turned to face the spectators,
“You may be seated.” He stated as he moved to the side of the Judge’s bench.
had already been wheeled into court, his wrists still bound by shackles as he was led to the defense table and pivoted into
position. Both Starsky and Hutch knew that this was going to be one of the last times they would have to see this man, the
man that nearly broke them both, nearly crushing their spirits and their minds.
began his speech for the convicted criminal, the victims and spectators as well.
have reviewed this case thoroughly and I believe that I have come to understand the intricacies as well as the atrocities
that Detective Hutchinson and Detective Starsky were forced to endure at the hands of you, Mr. Rogers. Furthermore, you have
shown an incredible lack of remorse for your actions that has caused this court some concerns and has been taken into consideration
in your sentencing phase.”
Both Starsky and Hutch looked at each other, both feeling comforted
by the words being spoken by the judge. It appeared that he understood the pain and anguish that the two had experienced and
was going to pass a judgment, granting them some restitution for their suffering. He continued…
“Although I find the actions of your crimes completely appalling
and your behavior in this court inexcusable, I can’t help but take pity on your current condition. You have already
been sentenced to a lifetime of confinement, never being able to walk again, and I honestly find your threat to society to
be minimal. But the real question here is whether or not those personal feelings should be allowed to be a factor in my judgment.”
Huggy looked over at Starsky as the brunet swallowed hard. Both
detectives’ heart rates increasing ten fold as they listened intently to the judge’s words.
I allow my feelings for what the two officers experienced at your hands, then likewise, I must take into consideration the
feelings that I have that you have been given a sentence much harsher that I would be allowed to inflict on you due to the
restrictions placed on me by this court.”
Hutch leaned forward, over the low wood paneled partition, separating
the spectators from the proceedings, as Dowtry leaned back to meet him.
the hell is going on here?” He whispered, the tension in his voice causing it to crack slightly.
wish I knew.” He responded and then sat back up, facing the presiding judge.
“Your possible range of sentencing for the charges levied
against you, range from ten to thirty years in prison. It is my job to determine what sentence fits the crime you have committed…And
although I find the barbarism of your actions to warrant the toughest sentence this court has to offer, I also find that the
amount of suffering you will be forced to endure, everyday for the rest of your life, earns you a certain amount of leniency.”
Hutch sighed heavily as he sat back and rolled his eyes. “I
don’t believe this.” He commented as Starsky sat, staring straight ahead, almost emotionless.
“So with that being said, I herby order you to serve the
minimal amount of time in prison, for the charges you have been found guilty of. Mr. Anthony Rogers, this court sentences
you to ten years in the State Penitentiary, giving you credit for the time already served. That is the order of this court.”
He commanded with a loud slam of the gavel against his bench.
rise.” The bailiff instructed the court, as a wave of whispers and gasps filled the small room.
Huggy looked around the room wide-eyed as the majority of the people stood as instructed and watched the judge leave. Dobey
looked at the prisoner as Tony was looking directly at Starsky smiling, their eyes were locked.
“I told you you’d never be rid of me!” He shouted
at the detective, gloating.
the hell happened?” Hutch stood as he questioned the prosecutor.
there Hutchinson, it isn’t his fault.” Dobey tried
to keep his officer calm.
sorry Ken, but unfortunately this is the American justice system at work. It’s not always fair, and a lot of the time,
I don’t agree with it, but for now, there really isn’t any better way.” Mr. Dowtry said as he collected
his belongings obviously discouraged by the sentencing.
Hutch was suddenly aware of the fact that Starsky had been completely
quiet, no reaction, no words of protest, something that was completely out of character for the hot headed brunet. He heard Tony shouting some nonsense as he was preparing to be escorted back to the jail.
“When I get out, I’m comin’ after your friend.”
Tony taunted Starsky as Hutch saw him blowing his partner a kiss and winking at him.
and without a sound, Starsky stood up, and walked through the swinging door partitions, and right up to Tony, quickly grabbing
his collar in both hands and jerking his face closer to the brunet detective’s.
He pursed his lips together as he spoke in nothing more than a
growl, “If you ever, ever, come near him or me again, there ain’t gonna be a court on this earth that’s
gonna save your sorry ass! You got that?” He said as he shook him harshly, giving him a final shove for emphasis as
Hutch pulled the brunet off of the convicted man.
“Starsky!” Dobey yelled in warning.
his strong arm on Starsky’s upper arm, firmly squeezing it to get his attention. “Come on buddy, he ain’t
worth it.” Hutch tried to convince his partner.
him outta here!” Dobey ordered Hutch to take his partner home.
ain’t goin’ nowhere, I want his ass arrested!” Tony protested as he struggled to sit up.
what?” The bailiff knelt next to Tony. “I didn’t see anything!” He said and then winked and blew a
kiss at the angry man.
Huggy followed Starsky and Hutch out of the courthouse, taking the two detectives back to Starsky’s place. Tonight was
not a night for celebrations; the drinks would be on no one this evening.
and Hutch were enjoying some well deserved time off. They had taken a two week vacation and had chosen to spend it in the
the hot sun beating down on them as they bathed on the beach. It took Starsky months before he felt comfortable enough to
go shirtless in public, his scars were more visible to himself then to others, and he was tired of trying to explain them.
He had finally gotten to the point that he didn’t care about them and when someone asked him what happened, he would
graciously tell them, that it was a long story, and if they were pretty and of the opposite sex, he would offer to explain
it over a nice romantic dinner. Yes, everything was finally returning to normal.
They both lay back in fabric lounge chairs, a colorful pina colada
in their hands garnished beautifully with pineapples and colorful tiny umbrellas.
“So you okay with the outcome of trial?” Hutch asked
his partner who gave him a brief one word answer.
“No.” Starsky replied as he took a long drink off
of his refreshment. “You?”
“Not even close.” He responded as he too took a long
“So what are we gonna do about it?” Starsky questioned
as he rested his head against the back of his chair, turning his face towards the sun, drinking in its warmth.
“Not much we can do, ‘cept let it go.”
“Think you can do that?” The brunet looked at his
Hutch looked upward, “No.” He answered as he sighed.
“Not even close.” Starsky retorted amused with the
way their conversation was working out.
“Well, the way I see it is; Tony Rogers will someday get
what is coming to him, one way or another. These things have a way of working themselves out.” Hutch commented.
“You really believe that, Blintz?”
“Yeah, I do…I have faith that someday, God will make
him pay for what he did to you…I mean us.” He corrected himself quickly as he sensed Starsky’s eyes on him.
They both rested, closing their eyes and enjoying the warm blanket
of sun that covered them.
Ironically, at the same time that the two detectives were enjoying
the warmth of the sun, Tony Rogers was getting acquainted with the State Penn facilities. All the arrangements had been made
for the convicted criminal’s transfer. He would share a cell with only one other inmate, far less crowded than the other
cells that commonly held three or four.
He was wheeled
into the cell; they made sure that he received a bottom bunk on the right side of the cold gray room.
As he was
left alone in the small cubicle, he heard footsteps approaching from behind.
have been waiting for you Mr. Rogers,” The man spoke, “I am very disappointed in your work.”
around, his face becoming void of all color as he was face to face with an older gentleman with thinning white hair, and a
charming smile. Tony’s eyes grew wide as his cell door was closed with a heavy Clank.
gave you one simple job, destroy Starsky and Hutch. And you failed, you couldn’t even kill one of them…”
The man hissed evilly. “And now it is time to pay for you inadequacies.” He continued as a shadow of a figure
walked up from behind the far side of the cell, his hands slowly threading through the bars. “You see there is but one
punishment for failure…”
Gunther, w…w…wait, you gotta believe me…” Tony stuttered knowing that he was about to pay the ultimate
stood before the helpless man, enjoying watching the fear and smelling the pure animalistic panic exude from his former employee.
truly expected more from you, you came so highly recommended. Too bad it must end.” He hissed as he flipped his head
to turn around to see what Gunther was looking at as a thin wire hooked itself around the paralyzed man’s neck, pulling
tighter and tighter. The ability to inhale being stripped from him as his hands came up defensively. He eyes bulged in both
fear and having the life squeezed out of him.
began to flail about recklessly in desperation as Gunther smiled and turned to leave. One of the guards approached the cell
and unlocked it, pulling the cage door open.
was my quickest roommate to date.” He said as he passed the guard.
it was Mr. Gunther.” He agreed as the powerful inmate continued on his way down the corridor.
looked back in time to see Tony’s last futile attempt to pull the wire from his neck as his head lobbed forward, his
eyes remaining open in a lifelong stare.
Hutch could tell from behind his closed eyes that his path to
the warm sun had been blocked, a shadow forming before him. He slowly opened his eyes, blinking rapidly as he adjusted to
the bright daylight. He could make out the silhouette of a woman standing before him.
me,” the female spoke. “but my friend and I couldn’t help but notice that you and your friend here appear
to be alone. We were wondering if you wouldn’t mind if we joined you.” She said, cocking her head to the side.
up, slightly flustered as he worked hard to focus. She was beautiful, her copper skin radiating and glowing in the shadow.
She had dark silky hair that flowed over both her shoulders. Hutch cleared his throat and looked over at this sleeping partner,
hitting him on the shoulder.
Starsk, wake up!” Hutch spewed quickly.
Starsky jumped out of his slumber and into reality. “Huh…what? Why’d you do that?” Starsky asked as
he rubbed his eyes.
his head towards the beautiful woman standing before him as he spoke. “She and her friend would like to join us.”
upright, clearing his vision and his throat as he flashed a wide smile at her. “Please, be our guest,” He offered
as he waved his hand in front of them, offering to share their blankets that lay on the sand.
visitor giggled as she turned and bounced off to get her friend. Starsky and Hutch both watched as she pranced away, both
of them appreciating her assets.
“Well, my friend, looks like this vacation is finally looking
up,” Hutch noted,
“Hey! Whatya mean, you ain’t been enjoyin’ my
company?” Starsky retorted, faking a tone of hurt and sadness in his voice.
“Well of course I have, dummy! It’s just that there
are some things that were meant to be enjoyed even more.” Hutch stated as he winked at his partner “If you know
what I mean.” He smiled.
“I sure do, I sure do!” He agreed as they both prepared
themselves to be joined by two of the most beautiful women they had seen in a long time.
It was time
for the healing to be completed, for their lives to return to normal, and for them to share and experience some of the finer
things that life had to offer.
they had earned it!