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No Turning Back

Disclaimer: I do not own the guys; I just tend to play with them a bit…

 

Dedication: Thank you to all my many friends that I have found through writing fan fiction, you all know who you are…

 

Warnings: This one may be a bit dark at times and some scenes of torture lie ahead…

 

 

 

Chapter One

 

Hutch sat at his desk, looking at the clock. His partner was late again. Only difference was this time, Dobey was waiting for him. He had already poked his head out of his private office twice, looking to see if the dark haired detective had arrived yet, leaving Hutch to have to try and make excuses for his friend. He could feel Dobey’s frustration increase with every passing minute. Hutch knew that he had a new case to discuss with them, but he also knew that his Captain would prefer to speak with both of them at the same time. Hutch could feel his own irritation at his partner start to peek as time passed by.

 

Finally, Starsky came bouncing through the swinging doors as Hutch’s head snapped up to meet his whistling partner. The tall blond stood to meet the brunet as he entered the room completely.

 

“Where in the hell have you been? You’re almost an hour late and Dobey’s been hollerin’ for 30 minutes…asking me where the heck you were…” Hutch spat as Starsky smiled, raising a hand and passing him by.

 

“Look, if you had a night like I had, you’d understand…” Starsky responded as he took off his jacket and draped it across the back of his chair.

 

“Whatsa matter, what happened last night?” Hutch asked with genuine concern.

 

“Remember Sheila, the waitress from Harry’s bar and grill, the one with the big…” Starsky raised his hands to his chest but was cut off by his partner.

 

“Yeah, yeah, yeah…I know her, what about her?” Hutch asked impatiently.

 

“Well, her an’ I went out last night…” he paused looking down at his desk modestly, “…then we went back to my place for a night cap.” He looked up at his partner, his eyes sheepishly searching Hutch’s icy blue ones for understanding.

 

“And?” Hutch prodded.

 

“And what? Do I really have to spell it out…she came back to my place…an’…an’, well, let’s just say she kept me up all night, I barely got any sleep at all…I’m beat, you’re lucky I was only an hour late, this morning she was trying to get a command performance, if you know what I mean.” Starsky explained as Hutch felt his face flush in anger.

 

The blond pursed his lips together as he spoke, “You mean to tell me, that you’re late…”he looked around noticing that other detectives were taking note of their conversation he lowered his voice “…cause you got lucky? Is that what you’re trying to tell me buddy?”

 

“You’re just jealous…” Starsky snipped back as he thumbed through some folders on his desk, “If ya’ want I can ask Sheila if she can hook you up with one of her friends, or maybe even her sister…she’s also got big…”

 

“Starsky,” both detectives snapped their heads around to find themselves face to face with a very angry Captain, “just what in the Sam hell took you so long to get your sorry behind into work?” The rotund black man asked, his eyes bulging. 

 

“Well you see Cap’ I was just telling Hutch here that last night…” Starsky caught his partner’s eye, catching the warning, “…um last night I think I may have eaten something I shouldn’t have…” The brunet shrugged at the tall blond, swearing he saw him blush. “And it made it hard to get outta bed this morning, sorry Cap, it won’t happen again, I assure you.”

 

“See to it that it doesn’t! No both of you in my office, now!” Dobey bellowed as he turned and went back into his room, leaving the door open.

 

Hutch waved his arm gallantly, offering Starsky the lead as he took up the rear. Starsky knew that he had let his partner down, and he would have to make it up to him, he knew that lunch would be on him, probably for the rest of the week.

 

Starsky entered first and took his seat on the left of Dobey’s desk, leaving Hutch to close the door and take the chair on the right. Their Captain sat behind his modest desk, it looking almost too small for a man his size, he rifled through a tan folder on his desk, separating photos and papers as his two finest detectives got settled in, exchanging curious glances with one another in anticipation.

 

“I got a lead on a new case I want the two of you to work on…I know you don’t normally do missing persons, but I think there is more to this one.” He handed the folder with the separated papers to Hutch, who leaned forward to take it willingly. “The family of this man,” he directed them to the photo on top, “believes that something has happened to him.”

 

“Why’s that Cap?” Hutch could tell form the condition that the photo was many years old, it was even discolored slightly.

 

“His name is Gordon Silverstein, he’s a 29 years old transient.” Dobey explained.

 

“Well if he’s transient, what makes him a missing person, where’s he’s missing from?” Starsky asked as he leaned over to look at the photo.

 

“It seems that even Mr. Silverstein had a routine, a routine that he had committed to firmly for the past 5 years. Every Friday night he would call his sister to check in. Now, they all knew that he was a drunk and was homeless, but the weekly phone calls were always placed, no exceptions…”

 

“And he stopped calling?” Starsky questioned.

 

“That’s right, he stopped calling about four weeks ago, but from what his sister said, the last call from him is what has her so worried.” Dobey explained.

 

“How’s that Cap?” Hutch raised one eyebrow in query.

 

“He said that he had a run in, a run in with an anti-Semitic group that had threatened him and that he was scared…the following week, the calls just stopped.”

 

Starsky sighed with a heavy heart, being Jewish himself made it hard for him to comprehend or have any type of compassion for people that felt that way, Hutch looked over seeing the strained look on his partner’s face, knowing that this case was going to be a difficult one for him to have to face. The realization that people out there still felt that there was a ‘superior’ race, and that they needed to secure their place in this world.

 

“Where do we start?” Hutch asked his superior officer.

 

“Well, we checked the sisters phone records and the calls from her brother always came from the same place, a bar just on the outskirts of town.”

 

“Looks like that’s our starting point.” Starsky said as he started to rise.

 

“Correction Starsky, it’s his starting point.” Dobey said pointedly as both Starsky and Hutch exchanged worried glances.

 

“Whattya mean by ‘dat?” Starsky asked, his heart skipping a beat.

 

“Exactly what I said…I want Hutch to go in, alone…no offense Starsky, but you’ll stick out like a sore thumb in that place. I want him to go into the bar, maybe poke around a bit…see what you can learn without letting on that you’re a cop, at least not at first…I think that to be able to find out what really happened, you may have to go all the way in.” Dobey explained.

 

“An’ just what in the hell am I supposed to do in the meantime?” Starsky inquired, the feeling of fear and anticipation beginning to rise in the brunet’s soul. They never liked when one had to go in without the other, it made them nervous, and for good cause, it always too a potentially volatile situation and actually increased the danger 10-fold.

 

“You’re gonna sit back and do the leg work, check into leads, run the checks on the suspects, and basically keep your eye on him from a distance. I can’t send Hutch in, claiming to be an anti-Semite and then show up with his obviously Jewish friend, now can I?”

 

“I don’t like it.” Starsky blurted out in protest.

 

“I knew you wouldn’t, but we have no choice, this is they way we have to play it…now what I was thinking was you go in first Hutch, maybe appear there a few times, mingle with the regulars, then when the time is right, I’ll send Starsky in, you and he will get into some kind of an altercation, where you will make a show of your disdain for a man of his…shall we say his values and beliefs.” Dobey concluded.

 

“I think this assignment stinks Cap.” Hutch retorted sharply.

 

“I know you do son, so do I…I myself have been subjected to racism all my life and believe me, there have been many of times that I have had to swallow my pride and go along with something for the greater good.” Dobey looked up at the brunet who was now pacing the room, “You gonna be able to handle this assignment Starsky, or do I need to make some changes in the roster?”

 

“Nah, you don’t need to make any changes, if you’re about to send my partner into a hate group, I’ll be damned if anyone besides me is gonna be watching his back…even if it is from a distance.”

 

Both Starsky and Hutch locked eyes, the one action speaking volumes with out voicing a single word out loud. This was going to be hard on both of them, equally appalling and uncomfortable, but at least they could do this together and try to make it as easy as possible for the other, knowing that their best friend was with them the whole way.

 

“Now I think that when you two get together in the bar, Starsky you and he need to start a confrontation, I think you really need to take it over the top…make it a physical fight, we need people to see and believe that Hutch as much prejudice as possible. I know it is gonna be tough, but we have to make sure it’s believable.” Dobey stated.

 

“You want us to actually fight?” Hutch inquired, not completely comfortable with the idea.

 

“I think that is going to be the only way, don’t you?”

 

“Look Hutch, it won’t be the first time that we’ve had to pretend to fight, remember when we took on IA, and fought Knight and Williams…I had to deck you then, but you got over it. Look at this as your way to get even.” Starsky joked.

 

“I don’t want to have to hit you Starsk.” Hutch added.

 

Starsky crossed the room and knelt next to his partner’s chair, placing a supportive hand on the blonde’s forearm.

 

“What, you afraid I’m too much of a sissy to take a punch from you? Give me a break, you can’t hit that hard.” Starsky tried desperately to make this easier on his friend. “Look Hutch, I know this is going to be tough, but you can do this, we can do this Buddy, you an’ me.”

 

Starsky stood and looked at his Captain. Dobey flipped his head slightly towards the door, giving the curly haired brunet a subtle hint to leave the two alone.

 

“You two keep talkin’, I’ll be right back, gotta use the John.” Starsky excused himself and rushed out of the room and headed down the hall. In normal circumstances, he would have never left the room, anything that Dobey had to say regarding the case could have been said in front of both of them, but Starsky sensed the difficult time his partner was having with this one, and he really felt that Dobey needed to talk to him alone, and get to the root of Hutch’s uneasiness.

 

As soon as the two were alone, Dobey opened the conversation, “You don’t have to do this Hutchinson.”

 

“Whattya mean?” Hutch asked, his mind elsewhere.

 

“I can see how you’re struggling with this and I need to make sure you’re okay with it.” Dobey stated.

 

“M’ fine, I just hate to think about a group of anti-Semitic people getting too close to me…you know…Starsk used to tell me about people he knew, back in New York, some of them were really prejudice, but then when he moved out here, it was even harder on him, a nice Jewish boy from New York, he stuck out like a sore thumb…I just hate the thought of trying to get close to a group like that, they make my skin crawl.” Hutch spoke with a deep resolve and intent in his voice.

 

“You think I don’t know about racism Hutchinson?” Dobey asked, looking up through hs brow at his officer.

 

“I’m sure you know all about it Cap’n, but I still think it stinks…”

 

“Would it make it any easier if I bring in someone else instead of Starsky to take your heat? I mean I don’t have a lot of options, but I’m sure I can find someone. If that is what you decide, it stays between these four walls and you an’ me…nothing gets past those doors. Hey, there’s always Rosenfeld in traffic…”

 

Hutch furrowed his brow at his superior, “Cap, Rosenfeld is in his fifties, I’m not gonna pick a fight with a man that is about to be a grandfather!”

 

“Well, what about Steinmetz?” Dobey offered.

 

“Just forget it Cap, leave it at Starsky, I’ll be fine…I just need to talk to my partner.” Hutch said as he rose and moved to the door, grabbing the handle and pulling it open, “We’ll check in with you tomorrow.”

 

Dobey watched as Hutch disappeared behind the door, he knew this was going to be a tough assignment for the tall Nordic, but he also knew he would face it like he did everything else, bravely and unwaveringly.

 

As Hutch walked down the busy hallway towards the bathroom, his mind flashed back to a time when he and Starsky had set up another fight, a public feud when the were trying to catch some vigilante cops that were taking the law into their own hands and murdering suspects before they ever got to trial. They were at a bar called Nellie’s and they staged what started out as a verbal confrontation, in front of several uniformed officers, and it escalated into a physical fight. Hutch would never forget the look on his partners face after the brunet’s fist had connected with the blonde’s jaw. He saw the instant pain and concern that nearly overcame the rambunctious detective, and how Starsky had to fight with the urge to run to Hutch’s side to make sure he was okay, and to apologize for decking him. Hutch would never forget the haunted look that washed over his partners face, he himself didn’t want to have to feel that kind of pain, and he didn’t want to hurt him, physically or emotionally.

 

Hutch paused briefly at the door to the men’s room, he slowly used his right hand to push the door open, taking his time as he passed through the doorway. He found his boisterous partner standing at the sink, washing his hands, looking up and catching his eyes in the reflection of the mirror in front of him.

 

“You an’ Dobey done already? I figured I’d come back an’ you two would still be at it.” Starsky quipped.

 

“Yeah, were done…I’m taking the assignment Starsk.” Hutch announced.

 

“I see, well if you’ve decided to take this, then may I suggest you get your mind on this case, and off of the fight with me. You need to just let it go, I know it’s hard…you an’ me have been trained to watch each others backs and protect the other one, not hurt them…but you gotta let go of that, even just for a little bit…it’ll be okay, I promise…it won’t be easy, but it’ll be okay…” Starsky said his cobalt blue eyes trying desperately to pierce his partners. Hutch avoided his friends all knowing glare as he turned to walk out of the men’s bathroom.

 

“Since when did you get all philosophical?” Hutch snorted as Starsky moved towards the door too.

 

“Me? Philosophical? Is that what that was called?” Starsky enjoyed making fun of himself as well as making fun of his buddy. “And you try to make it look hard to do…” The brunet shook his head as he made his way through the door that hutch held open for him, causing the tall blond to smile, shaking his head as well and following his spunky partner out of the station and to his Torino.

 

 

Chapter Two

 

 

Both detectives sat inside the Torino, parked just down the street and around the corner from the bar that Hutch would need to enter, alone, just the thought of that in itself, made Starsky nervous. They went over last minute protocol and emergency procedure if Hutch found himself in trouble, before the two locked eyes giving a silent ‘see ya later’ in their gaze at each other. Both of them knew the increased dangers anytime either of them went in without the other, and it made the stress meter rise to an almost unbearable level.

 

As Hutch moved to get out of the car, Starsky leaned across the seat, looking up at the tall blond, who suddenly looked even taller as he rose out of the candy apple red car.

 

“Look, you watch your back in there, ‘cause I won’t be there to do it for ya’.” Starsky implored his friend.

 

“Ah, isn’t that sweet, you’re worried.” Hutch said smugly.

 

“This ain’t no joke Hutch, I don’t like sending you in alone an’ you know that!”

 

“Well it’s not like I can just walk in with my Jewish friend, yelling anti-Semitic slurs, with you by my side.” Hutch explained to his worried partner.

 

“Yeah? Well if you ain’t out in 2 hours, I’m comin’ in loookin’ for ya!” Starsky vowed as he started his car, allowing the monstrous engine roar at his command.

 

Starsky pulled away from the curb, his tires squealing as he sped down the street, Hutch watching him until he disappeared completely.

 

The tall blond shook his head as he watched the man that meant more to him than any other person, disappear down the road. He realized that what he was about to do, was to protect people like him, people that had certain beliefs or certain morals that not everyone agreed with, but everyone had the right to have. It suddenly struck him that this case was more than just one of finding missing person, or persons, but more about stopping people from spreading hatred that spawned like an infection in a dirty wound.

 

Slowly, Hutch made his way inside the smoke filled bar. He took immediate note to the cliental. The place was filled with middle class, fair skinned men gathered in small groups. Many heads looked up at the Nordic as he walked in. They exchanged glances and whispers, obviously discussing the stranger.

 

He made his way up to the bar, finding even the bartender himself saunter up to him speculatively.

 

“What can I get for you stranger?” He asked Hutch.

 

“Just a beer.” Hutch answered short and sweet.

 

The man turned and drew a draft from the tap and placed it in front of the new man in his establishment.

 

“That’ll be fifty cents.” He requested payment in full, hoping that this new visitor wouldn’t be sticking around for more than that one glass.

 

Hutch looked around and noticed that almost militant appearance by nearly everyone in the room. He dug deeply into his pocket and fished out several bills, laying them on the counter. “Just keep ‘em coming.” He requested.

 

Hutch downed his first beer, feeling the eyes of everyone on him. He had an uneasy feeling deep in the pit of his stomach. He watched two men playing pool, pushing himself away from the counter and walking towards them.

 

“Mind if I take next game?” Hutch asked, being ignored by both players, as the two exchanged glances amongst themselves.

 

Hutch spent the rest of the evening, being pretty much ignored, but noticed just the same. He made sure that he was out within the two hour time limit that Starsky had stipulated. He knew his friend and he knew that he meant it, if Hutch wasn’t out in that time frame, the hot headed brunet would come flying through the front door for sure.

 

~~~~~~~~~~ooo~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

Jason Kiles was an average sized man, with a large ego and a large following to boot. He had many faithful men that hung on every word and belief that he laid down. He sat in his darkly paneled office, sitting in a high back leather chair as he looked at the check in his hands for $50,000.00. He was a business man, and he was good at what he did. The one thing he had never anticipated was the 13 year old boy that came in with is next acquisition. Jim Rigsby had screwed this one up, but it wasn’t a complete loss, he would still get the monthly check for the father, and he would have to tend to and train his bastard child until he was fit for sale himself.

 

He looked at the photos on his desk, the pictures of broken, beaten men in the hands of their new ‘owners’ and the thought aroused him. He was making a good living by brokering out the newest wave of slaves. Jewish men and boys sold to the highest bidder for a life of hard labor and servitude that even the black man rarely saw. This was a new breed of horrific abuse that actually brought excitement to the man behind it all, the one that made the decisions and the money at the expense of others.

 

Jason Kiles managed his business with an iron fist. They would prey on those that were loners, drifters. Ones that had no family to speak of, no one to miss them, no one to wonder where they had disappeared to, no one that cared if they were alive or dead…He was brought out of his daydream by a loud knock on his door, three successive raps, jarring him back into reality.

 

“C’me in!” He shouted as he heard a slight struggle on the other side of the door. The wooden panel was thrown open quickly and roughly, the handle bouncing of the wall as it flew to the side.

 

Two very large men were grappling with a third, smaller and weaker man that was positioned in between them, his hands tied behind his back, his chin dropped to his chest.  He was sobbing hysterically, barely making any sense at all, “Please, please, please…he’s all I got…” The dirty dark haired man pled with his captors.

 

Jason’s face lit up in pleasure as the man was brought closer to his desk and knelt before him.

 

“Well if it isn’t Mr. Stern…” Jason begun tauntingly, “I see you are willing to accept your fate…”

 

The dirty man, lifted his head slowly, his eyes red and puffy from crying, his face stained heavily with the dirt from the work yard, “Please Sir…he’s my boy…he’s all I got…Ill do what ever you say…just don’t hurt my boy…he’s just a kid…” the sorrowful man pled with Jason.

 

“An’ I just bet you’d do anything to protect your kid, now wouldn’tcha?” Jason asked, his eyes growing dark and intense with the power that filled him.

 

“Yes Sir…please…I’ll do anything…” He gasped as his eyes locked with the man’s behind the desk.

 

“You have no clue how right you are…you will do anything!” Jason hissed as he leaned forward slightly. “Believe me, I’d just as soon kill that bastard Jew boy of yours, to save me from looking at his sorry, pathetic ass. But I’ve decided to show you some mercy an’ spare him to ensure your loyalty to the cause…”

 

“Thank you….” He said as he tried to control his breathing.

 

“If you behave yourself and do as you’re told, now and after your sale…I will keep your son alive…” He stood up from his chair. “But if you so much as crap without being told to…I kill him!” He snapped his fingers, “just like that! You hear me?”

 

The man nodded obediently, inhaling quicky, “Y…y…yes Sir, whatever you say…p…please…just don’t hurt ‘im…”

 

“I think you may be ready for your new home Frank…”

 

“Can I see m…my boy one last time…please?” He implored his captor as Jason snorted in laughter at his question.

 

Jason looked at the two men holding Frank Stern by the arms. He smiled satisfactorily as he tipped his head at them and the one to the right sprang from the room. “Sure you can Frank, one last time, but that’s it…” He said as he rounded the desk and approached the defeated man, “But let me make myself perfectly clear…your boy will stay here, in my care, until he himself is ready for sale. I will feed him, house him, and train him…he will be safe until the time comes for him to move on to his new owner like you’re doing now. Keep in mind, if I hear anything about you misbehaving or not fulfilling your duties for your new master…I won’t think twice about killing your boy.” He leaned forward, whispering ominously in the man’s ear, his breath hot on Frank’s cheek, “An’ I am going to make sure that your boy suffers a painful and long agonizing death…he will pay for your sins…” he hissed. “I’ll make you wish you had killed him yourself…”

 

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~ooo~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

Hutch returned to the bar for the forth consecutive night, over the past several days he had been able to strike up conversations and even played a couple of rounds of pool with some of the patrons. He had heard several underlying comments that could be construed as a racial slur, but only if you were looking for it, so he decided to let them go rather then call too much attention to himself. He needed to be careful how he went about infiltrating this group, they needed to trust him, he needed them to believe his hatred which was going to be a difficult feat for Hutch to achieve. Every fiber of his being fought against racism and the evils that spawned from such hatred. How could he expect them to believe something he was so against.

 

He mingled with the crowd and exchanged greetings from many of the regulars as he wandered up to the tall bar counter. He lifted his finger to the bartender as the man had already begun pouring the blond a frosty beer. Grabbing his refreshment, he made his way to the opposite side of the smoke filled bar. He watched the two players presently occupying the pool table, recognizing them immediately as a couple of young men that he had spoken with over the past few days.

 

The shorter, darker man Hutch knew as Jim Rigsby walked toward, flipping his head in acknowledgment. Over the period of a few short days, Hutch had been come to be known to them as Kent Cummings, a salesman that had originated from Duluth, Minnesota and was transferred out here with a large pharmaceutical company, trying to climb the corporate ladder. He had also woven a complicated tale of his brother-in-law that had joined the company after he did, and was moving up the ranks faster…he contributed that to the fact that he was of a different ethnicity and that the company wanted to show its Equal Opportunity Employment for the world to see.

 

“So Kent how’s things with your brother-in-law?” Rigsby asked as he walked up to the tall blond man offering his hand to shake, which Hutch took, still hold his pool cue in his left hand.

 

Hutch took a deep breath, he knew what he wanted to say, but he was also aware that it was going to hurt to say it, whether he believed his words or not, it was going to hurt, “Same as usual, kissing ass and making his Jewish way up the ladder!” Hutch snapped as he closed his eyes briefly trying to get rid of the nasty taste in his mouth.

 

Hutch’s stomach knotted as they continued the conversation. “Yeah, well what’d you expect?” Jim responded as he moved back towards the pool table to take his shot.

 

“Well I sure didn’t expect my own sister to marry on of him.” Hutch retorted as he looked over his shoulder at the bar behind him, and then returned his gaze to the men before him.

 

“Maybe you should have taught her better…” Rigsby said out of the corner of his mouth as he bent in half at the table, concentrating on the white cue ball, closing one eye, taking aim, then coiling back his arm, and taking his shot. Hutch heard the clicking of the balls hitting each other, but noticed that he didn’t hear that distinct sound of one of them being pocketed, as he rose and headed back for Hutch.

 

“Yeah, I know what you mean…if I had to do it all over again, that Jew would have never made it to the wedding.” Hutch quipped, whispering slightly.

 

“I hear you buddy, I hear you…” Rigsby concurred as Hutch watched on. He really hated what this whole conversation consisted of, he never wanted this case, he hated everything it stood for, but more importantly he was worried about saying something that would hurt his friend.

 

“Do you, do you really hear what I’m saying…it just drives me nuts that the Jews, just like the blacks, think that they were served such an injustice that now humanity has to spend eternity making it up to them. It wasn’t them that it hurt; it was their ancestors…why should they reap any benefits for being an inferior race?” Hutch spewed quickly having a difficult time getting that last sentence out.

 

“Yeah, you think so?” A voice boomed from the bar as the three men by the pool table turned to face the intruder, “You honestly think that being either black or Jewish makes someone inferior?” The dark, curly haired man spoke as he looked straight ahead, bringing his frosty glass to his lips and sipping on his beer.

 

Hutch’s heart began to race, this was a critical moment in the case, a staged fight between he and his partner. He had to make sure the others in the bar didn’t attack him first, and also make sure that he, himself would be able to take a swing at the man that was his closest friend, closer than his family…How was he going to be able to intentionally hurt the man he had been trained to protect?

Chapter Three

 

 

Hutch took the first step towards the rude intruder as the other man, Jim Rigsby and his friend Kyle Montag watched on, moving slowly closer, watching the tall blond approvingly.

 

“I’m sorry, did you say something?” Hutch asked Starsky as the brunet turned slightly on the barstool to face his partner.

 

“Yeah I did, but perhaps all that blond hair is plugging your ears…” Starsky snapped, turning completely around so that his back was against the bar. “An’ you have the balls to call us the inferior race.” His face grew intense, he knew he would have to push his friend’s buttons in order to get him to play his part.

 

“Well I don’t recall anyone invitin’ you into our conversation, or asking your opinion!” Hutch spewed with as much venom as he could fake.

 

“Don’t mind me sayin’ so, but I didn’t exactly think you or your Nazi friends over there were gonna give a rat’s ass about my opinions, but I felt compelled to share them with you anyway…” Starsky stood up off the stool, taking one step towards Hutch.

 

Their eyes locked, Starsky saw the desperation in his partner’s gaze, the doubt, the fear. Hutch’s ice blue orbs pled with his for a way out of this, he didn’t want to do this, and for a moment, Starsky thought he may not.

 

“Look Buddy,” Hutch said, raising one finger, shaking it in Starsky’s face, “I’m warning you, all your people want is a free ride, you want something for nothing…”

 

“My people?” Starsky yelled, the vein in his neck bulging slightly as he played his part, “You make it sound like they’re all like me…you don’t know me, or my people!”

 

Hutch looked over his shoulder at the two spectators then back at Starsky, his intended target. His heart hurt as he thought of hurting him, he wondered if he could pull this off without laying a hand on Starsky, without having to hit him. Starsky caught the hint of hesitation in his partner’s mannerisms, hesitation that could get him hurt or even killed.

 

The tall blond waved his hand in the air as he turned to walk away, “Oh you’re not even worth my time, you and your Jew relatives need to go back to your ‘holy’ land and get the hell outta America!” Hutch fumed as he attempted to take a step away from the brunet just to find himself being jerked back by the elbow and whipped around.

 

Out of nowhere a fist connected with his jaw, snapping his head to the side, not really hurting him, but surprising him.

 

His eyes widened as he looked into Starsky’s cobalt blues, saddened that his partner did that, knowing that there was no other way out now, he was forced to play his hand, pulling his fist back and snapping it forward connecting with his best friends cheek.

 

Starsky flew back against the bar counter as his arms flailed for something to help him keep his balance. He stumbled against the wood edge before regaining his balance, pausing and then pushing his body up to a standing position, He looked over at Hutch and a piece of his heart broke as he saw the pain in his partner’s face. He remembered that feeling, a couple of years ago, when the roles were reversed and it was he that had hit the tall lummox, he remembered clearly how terrible that felt and how much it hurt. He knew that Hutch was suffering and he knew that he had to push him just a little further.

 

He straightened up and pulled on his shirt, moving it back into position, placing his right hand on his cheek, he looked up at Hutch, looking deep into his pleading eyes.

 

“Is that all you got?” Starsky asked as he took one more step toward his friend, glancing over to see the two observers, smiling and whispering approvingly.

 

Hutch begged him with his eyes, not to come towards him. He wanted so desperately for Starsky to just stay put. Hutch figured that enough was enough and this was plenty to get him on to the next level, but Starsky just had to make sure.

 

Starsky shoved Hutch hard enough to make him take to small steps backwards, sighing heavily, knowing what was to come. Biting his bottom lip, he bent forward and delivered a punch to Starsky’s midsection, bending the curly haired man in half, and Hutch leaned over him, whispering in his ear.

 

“No more…please?” He whispered as he heard Starsky gasping for air. He didn’t hit him hard, but must have hit him in just the right spot to knock the wind out of his best friend, finding it difficult himself to breathe.

 

His left hand was grasping Starsky’s leather jacket, right at his shoulder, subtly squeezing it tightly in support, while looking like he was man handling the insubordinate man. He jerked Starsky to his feet just as Jim Rigsby approached the duo, delivering his own message to Starsky’s jaw, once again sending the brunet wheeling back into the bar stool, tripping and landing flat on his backside on the hard wood floor. The bar erupted in cheers as Hutch saw that this situation was quickly getting out of control. What had started out as a bar brawl was about to turn into a brutal beating. Both detectives locked eyes yet again and Starsky saw the emotion in Hutch’s face, knowing that he was about to put a stop to it, he sternly looked at his partner expressing his own wishes to let things play out for now.

 

“I think he’s had enough, don’t you?” Hutch stepped in between Rigsby and Starsky.

 

“Whatsa matter Kent, you going soft on us now? After all, you started this, we just thought we’d help you finish it!”  He spat as he took another step towards the injured detective.

 

“Yeah, well first of all, I don’t need anyone’s help finishing off a worthless Jew! And second, I don’t think he’s worth any of us going to jail for assault.” Hutch explained, sensing that Rigsby relaxed a little. “There’ll just be more of them around the next corner, there’s no way to get rid of them, their like an infestation.” Hutch seethed in Rigsby’s ear as the man took one step back, away from Starsky, much to Hutch’s relief.

 

Rigsby looked up at his partner, Kyle Montag, flipping his head to the side, “Take the piece of trash out to the garbage!” He directed his partner as he and two other men that were at the bar jumped in, taking Starsky under his shoulder and dragging him out the back door.

 

Jim Rigsby looked back at Hutch, looking him up and down, admiring what he had just witnessed. He placed a long white cigarette in his mouth, letting it dangle precariously. He circled the tall blond, eyeing him. Hutch couldn’t help but allow his vision to follow his partner as he was drug through the kitchen and out the back door. He was relieved that it was over for his friend, and he hoped that they would not need to repeat this performance. There was a knot in the pit of his stomach, he felt nauseous, dirty about what he had just done. Looking back at Rigsby, he saw him take a shiny silver Zippo lighter from his pocket, flipping back the lid and striking the round wheel, igniting the flame and bringing it towards his cigarette. He took a long and purposeful drag off the stick as he flipped the lid of his lighter closed.  He shut one eye to keep the smoke from filling it as he returned the lighter to his pocket, and took the cigarette out of his mouth with the other hand.

 

“What are you lookin’ at?” Hutch asked him, showing that he held no fear of the man.

 

“I’m looking at someone that interests me a great deal…I like how you handled that man, and I’d like to discuss a proposition with you.” Rigsby lowered his voice for only Hutch to hear.

 

“I’m listening…” Hutch retorted sharply as he moved towards the back part of the room with his new friend.

 

“See, I have these acquaintances…they think just like you do, only differences that they act on their emotions and feelings. They take their philosophy on life and the proper order of things, and actually do things to make it right again.” Rigsby explained.

 

“Just exactly what is it they do to act on it and make things right?” Hutch asked, his interest peeking.

 

“Well, lets just say that they will show you in time…if they decide you’re worthy of becoming part of our organization…but that isn’t up to me to decide, however I am pretty damn sure, they’d love to get the chance to meet you…” he stated as he took another long drag off of his cigarette, inhaling slowly, taking it in as deep as his damaged lungs would allow. 

 

He held out his pack of Winston cigarettes, offering them to the tall blond in front of him as Hutch waved him off.

 

“So when do I meet them?” Hutch asked, looking straight ahead at the other patrons in the bar, noting how there was only fair skinned white customers here. No blacks, no Hispanics, no brunets…Hutch’s stomach turned as he thought about his partner and how hateful these people were towards them, for no apparent reason. He hated playing along, acting like one of them, but he kept his eye on the prize, the possibility of bringing these people down and ridding the world of this so called ‘organization’.

 

“No time like the present.” Rigsby answered as he flipped his head towards the front door, “I have a car waiting outside.”

 

Hutch’s heart skipped a beat and his gut twisted as he realized that these men were moving fast, almost too fast. By going with them tonight, he would have no way to inform Dobey of his whereabouts, no way to have Starsky follow him and watch his back, but if he didn’t go with them right now, that would raise red flags to the suspects, they would figure that Hutch was not who he was pretending to be and that in itself, would jeopardize this whole case. He looked back towards the back door of the place, where the other two men had taken Starsky out, he knew that his partner was going to be furious with him, but he would make it up to him…later…after tonight’s meeting. He also knew Starsky, and knew that he would be mad, but he would get over it, he always did. Hutch nodded in agreement and followed Rigsby out front to a waiting limousine.

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~ooo~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

Starsky was thrown roughly to the ground, the uneven asphalt skinning the palms of his hands as he tried to break his fall. He barely had a second to catch himself before feeling a boot to his side, knocking him over. He let out a long, loud groan as he landed on his side, gasping for air.

 

He looked up at Kyle Montag as he walked over to him, cracking his knuckles in his fists, grinning broadly, thoroughly enjoying the pain he was inflicting on the man on the ground. Starsky blinked hard, trying to help clear his vision and fight through the pain that was searing in his side. He focused well enough to see a second and then a third man approaching him, all of them standing around him in a circle, looking down at him, snorting in laughter and then exchanging glances amongst themselves.

 

“What say we finish him off?” Montag spoke malevolently.

 

“Let’s do this shit!” The man standing above Starsky’s head snorted as he stepped a little closer.

 

“Don’t do this…” Starsky pled as his plea was cut of and he felt a crush pain on his right ankle, Montag lifting his own leg and bringing the full force of his boot right down on Starsky’s bent foot.  

 

An almost animalistic growl came from the detective’s throat, his body contorting, trying to curl up to protect his badly injured ankle as he vaguely heard the roar of laughter come from the three men around him.

 

Starsky heard muffled comments, but wasn’t sure which one was talking, “Piece of shit Jew…you’re all alike…”

 

He lifted his head to look around; there was no one in site, no one he could see in the dimly lit alley, the smell of rotting garbage making him almost nauseous. He felt another hard blow hit him between his shoulder blades, knocking his whole body back to the ground.  He thought briefly about calling for help, shouting out, but if Hutch came to his rescue, his cover would be blown, putting both of the detectives in grave danger. He realized, he was alone, and we would have to get out of this one by himself. He tried to lift himself up.

 

“Just like your kind, stupid as a bag of rocks!” Another comment was shouted at him. Just keep getting up, asking for more you ignorant fuck!”

 

Out of nowhere, another wicked slam connected with his temple, snapping his head to the side. His mind swam, he felt himself losing consciousness, he knew he was out of fight, it was all he could do to stay awake at this point and a part of him wished he wasn’t.

 

His head fell, lying against the damp rocky asphalt; he blinked hard, fighting against the darkness that was threatening to consume him. He was vaguely aware of a few more strikes that his body was taking, but at this point, he hardly felt them. He closed his eyes, and prayed that he would just make It through this one, that one of these guys wouldn’t take it any farther, he imagined a knife, being shoved deeply into his chest, he kept his eyes closed, if he was about to be mortally wounded, he didn’t want to see it coming. He thought again about screaming out for help, but now it was too late, he didn’t have the energy or the ability to exert such force. He was at their mercy, at the mercy of men that would just as much skin him alive then look at him. He new he was in dire trouble.

 

Starsky’s body curled up in the fetal position, a last ditch effort to try and protect himself from more injuries. The brunet detective heard some more conversing, some loud yelling, his mind couldn’t decipher the words, but there were more people around, he knew that. Then suddenly the pain stopped, the attack ceased. He found himself being turned over on his back, young men kneeling at his side, slapping his cheek telling him to hang on, help was on the way. Finally Starsky allowed the comforting blackness that had been stalking him, consume him once and for all as he drifted on into the shelter it provided.

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~ooo~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

Hutch climbed in first, his tall frame making it difficult to maneuver his way around the inside of the limo. He positioned himself on the seat that had its back to the driver, looking around the car, and behind him at the tinted window separating the front of the car from the back. Montag and his partners, Winters and Hudson climbed in next, each of them flanking either side of Hutch, while Montag sat facing the trio. They were followed closely by Rigsby who sat directly opposite Hutch.

 

The tall blond detective noticed Montag, Winters and Hudson’s jovial attitude, almost celebratory. Montag grabbed a bottle of champagne as the other two grabbed glasses and offered them to the others in the car.

 

“Did you see when I stomped on his leg?” Montag asked his two cohorts, “I swear, I think I broke the fucker’s ankle!” He laughed as he popped the cork on the champagne. Hutch looked on horrified at what he was hearing. A lump rose in his throat as he had to struggle to swallow it.

 

“I know, and then my right hook across his temple! Blam!” Winters recreated his swing as Hutch saw the drying blood that stained his knuckles. “Should have been lights out right then! He was one strong ass Jew, I’ll give him that!” They roared in laughter, high fiving each other victoriously.

 

“You guys continued to beat on him?” Hutch asked astounded and scared to death at losing the ability to control his reaction.

 

“You bet we did, felt good too…until those damn good Samaritans ran us off…”  Hudson chimed in as the filled their glasses and passed them around the car for a toast. Hutch couldn’t believe that he was actually about to toast Starsky’s misfortune.

 

Rigsby sat back and quietly observed the interaction and recount of his men, approvingly.

 

Chapter Four

 

 

The light drizzle that blanketed the air drifted over Starsky’s limp form. His skin glistened from the moisture as his clothes began to hold in the wetness, causing him to shiver uncontrollably.

 

Two men rushed to his side, taking position next to the injured and barley conscious detective. The one to his right, gently patted his cheek, “Come on Starsky, wake up…can you hear me? Wake up…” He pled as Starsky’s head lobbed from side to side. He was moaning and mumbling with a low throaty tone.

 

“….u..tch…” he groaned, his head again swaying back and forth “…utch…”

 

The man to the left of Starsky looked up at his partner, speaking rapidly, an obvious panic evident in his shaking voice. “Dobey’s gonna kill us when he finds out we let this happen to him…” He shucked off his coat and laid it over the injured detective, trying to warm him up.

 

“Just shut up and go call for an ambulance, tell them officer down and get some back up over here.” The more senior officer directed his partner as the younger man ran off.

 

“Dave, it’s me…Roger…hang in there, you’re gonna be just fine, helps on its way, just hang in there.” Officer Hancock tried to comfort his colleague.

 

Within 10 minutes both officers could hear the sirens from emergency vehicles cutting through the night air, from a distance at first, but slowly moving nearer. They kept Starsky as comfortable as possible until the EMT’s arrived to take over his care.

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~ooo~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

The limo had been driving around town for about 15 minutes, they were still within the city limits when the car pulled into a parking lot and stopped. Hutch looked around inquisitively, and he furrowed his brow and returned his attention to Rigsby.

 

“What’s going on, why’d we stop?” Hutch asked.

 

Montag reached into his pocket and pulled out a long black cloth strap, “Put it on.” He ordered.

 

Hutch snorted in laughter, “What are you kidding me? You want to blindfold me? Whatsa matter, don’t you trust me?” Hutch tried to joke, but he knew this was no laughing matter. Once his eyesight was taken away, he would have little to no idea where he would be traveling. He would have no way to find his way back, no way to go for help if he had no clue where he was. He also knew, he couldn’t refuse their request.

 

Shrugging his shoulder he half smiled, “Suit yourself.” As he leaned forward, allowing the man sitting next to him to apply the blind fold securely, and he made sure he did.

 

“No just sit back Kent, and try to relax. I promise you’re going to enjoy what I have to show you.” Rigsby vowed as Hutch did his best to keep his nerves calm. He kept thinking about his partner and praying that he was okay. He knew Starsky was the strongest man he had ever known in his life and he knew that he was okay, he had to be.

 

He needed to know that his friend was okay, he needed to ask, but he was afraid to. He leaned forward; his ran his hand through his blond hair as he thought of a way.

 

“That Jew back there, at the bar…” Hutch started, a lump getting caught in his throat. “You killed him, right?” Hutch spat out, the rancid taste of those very words burned his mouth.

 

“We were about to until a couple of good Samaritans ran us off. But don’t worry, he’ll feel us with him for a long time to come.” Montag seethed as he and his posse gring and laughed in unison.

 

“Well, I guess you did the best you could.” Hutch sat back, sighing slightly, relieved that his partner had help.

 

“Maybe next time…” Rigsby stated coldly, “but I seriously doubt we’ll see his ass again!”

 

“Of course, that would be if he were smart, but no one ever accused a Jew of being smart, now have they?” Montag chimed in.

 

Hutch said a silent prayer for his partner, he was worried about him and sickened by his present company, he found himself with a newfound resolve to but these men behind bars and get their hatred off the streets of Bay City.

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~ooo~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

Dobey stood in the stark white hallway with the two detectives from the bar that were supposed to keep an eye on Starsky and Hutch. His anger was evident in his body language as he berated the two officers.

 

“Just how in the Sam hell did you let this happen? I got one of my finest officers in the emergency room, and the other is missing!” Dobey bellowed, his voice echoing in the empty space surrounding him. “Weren’t you supposed to be watching Hutchinson in the bar?” He directed the comment towards Officer Hancock and then turned to Smithers, “an’ you, you were supposed to be watching Starsky! You two did a great job!” He shouted as he walked away in a huff, having to pace the hallway to get some of his anger and worry out of his system before he blew a fuse.

 

Both Hancock and Smithers looked at each other, they felt terrible about what had happened, they already felt like they had let their own down, and now, Dobey was just reinforcing their guilt.

 

“Captain, I swear, we tried,” Smithers, called out to his superior, as his more senior partner tried to stop him. He knew that Dobey needed to rant, and the last thing he wanted was excuses. “One minute they were there, the next, they were gone…we’re lucky we stopped the guys in the alley before…” his words were cut off abruptly.

 

Lucky? Lucky?”  Dobey yelled as he turned back around to face the rookie. “Detective Starsky is in there right now, being x-rayed, poked and prodded, his partner Detective Hutchinson is gone, and I have no idea where he is, and you think I should consider myself lucky?” Dobey’s eyes bulged. “You obviously don’t know these two officers very well, but I tell you what I am going to do for you, how about I let you tell that man in there, that you lost his partner, and then let him know how lucky he is!” Dobey growled before turning quickly on his heels and storming away.

 

Hancock looked at his partner, their eyes meeting briefly as the more seasoned officer just shook his head in disgust at his young and very green partner, before he too walked away.

 

“Who’s with Detective Starsky?” A voice broke there train of thought and current focus as Dobey headed right back to greet that doctor, extending his hand.

 

“I am, I’m Captain Dobey, Detective Sergeant Starsky’s superior. How is he? Is he okay doctor?” Dobey asked, his face lighting up in anticipation.

 

“I’m Dr. Weaver; Detective Starsky is going to be just fine. He took a good beating, but nothing appears to be broken. He has a badly right sprained ankle, some bruised ribs and several contusions, but other then that, he seems to be fine.” The doctor explained his findings. “We’d like to keep him overnight, but the patient is refusing that, so we’ll be sending him home with some ice packs and pain medication.”

 

“Can I see him?” Dobey asked anxiously.

 

“Of course you can,” Dr. Weaver agreed as he showed the way with the wave of his hand.

 

Dobey took two steps towards Starsky’s room, and then turned back to look as his two other officers, “Would you care to join me Smithers?” Dobey asked, raising one brow curiously.

 

“N…n…no thank you Captain, I…I think I’ll just wait out here if that’s okay.” He responded nervously. Starsky’s reputation for being hot headed and very protective of his partner was well known around the station, causing a lump to form in Smithers’ throat as he swallowed hard, trying to calm his fears.

 

“Yeah, that’s what I thought!” Dobey snapped as he turned and continued into Starsky’s room, preparing himself to tell the brunet that Hutch was gone.

 

Dobey pushed the door open slowly as he heard the hinges creak. His gaze was immediately drawn to the brunet lying on the gurney in the well lit room. Starsky was propped up, several pillows behind him. He was wearing on of the bland off-white hospital gowns and his right ankle was elevated and propped up with the help of rolled blankets. A large ice pack draped the bruised joint as the detective immediately perked up, seeing his captain walk in.

 

“Cap, m’glad you’re here, listen can you tell them I need to get outta here?” Starsky pled.

 

“Take it easy Starsky; the doctor is drawing up the discharge papers as we speak.” Dobey informed him and then tried to lighten the mood. “Look, when I told you and Hutchinson to get into a scrap, I surely didn’t expect you to take it this far.” He smiled as his finger waved in front of him, making his way down the entire length of Starsky’s prone body. “I guess I shoulda told that partner to take it easy on ya.” He joked.

 

“Look Cap, speakin’ of Hutch…” Starsky started to ask, but was cut off ny Dobey.

 

“Well, I’m expecting you’ll get even with him, but right now, you’re in no condition to do much of anything, so I’m outing you on medical leave. Doc wants you out at least a week.”  Dobey tried to avoid eye contact with the curly haired man.

 

“Cap, where’s Hutch?” Starsky asked, suddenly getting a sick feeling in the pit of his stomach, knowing that there was something the large black man was trying to avoid telling him.

 

“Don’t you worry about Hutchinson, we’ve got it all under control.” Dobey lied.

 

“Yeah, well then where is he?” Starsky asked as he sat up, knowing that he needed to get to him.

 

“Well, we don’t exactly know right now, but we hope to hear something any minute.” Dobey answered as he felt Starsky’s anger start to rise.

 

“You what?” Starsky shouted, the veins in his neck bulging, hi brow furrowing. “You lost him. You lost Hutch! Is that what you are saying?!?” Starsky growled menacingly as his dark indigo eyes focused on his Captain.

 

“Well yes, I’m afraid so son, Smithers and Hancock were looking after you, you were injured and they needed to get you help…” Dobey tried to explain.

 

“By getting me help, they lost Hutch!” He spat as he swung both legs over the side of the bed, throwing back the blanket they had draped him with. “Son of a bitch! God dammit! How could you have let this happen?” He slid off the side of the bed, landing on his good foot, “You were supposed to keep him safe!” He gingerly put pressure on his sprained ankle, wincing in pain as he did it.

 

“Look Starsky, I’ve got every man out there looking for your partner…” His words were cut off again.

 

“Every man but me!” Starsky snapped angrily as he carefully hobbled over to his clothes that were placed on a chair next to the door.

 

Stopping just short of the chair, he inhaled sharply as his body screamed in agony with every move. His muscles cramped, his bruises throbbed, his head pounded with every beat of his heart, but none of that was going to stop him, he was going to go find his partner. He paused briefly while he waited for the room to stop spinning. Reaching for his clothes, he hopped back to the bed, leaning against it for support as he pursed his lips together, fighting through his pain. His breathing increased as he struggled with his shirt.

 

“Look here Starsky, I can’t have you out on the street in your condition, you need to leave it up to us to find your partner…” Dobey pled as he attempted to help Starsky with his shirt.

 

“Yeah? Is that right Cap’n” You’re gonna find Hutch…just like you were gonna keep an eye on him in the first place?” Starsky seethed as he sat on the bed, trying to pull on his jeans.

 

The words cut through Dobey’s heart like a knife. He had come to love these two detectives like sons, and when one of them was in trouble, both of them were. Dobey placed his large pudgy hand on his forehead, his fingers massaging his temples. Starsky took a deep breath, immediately regretting his words.

 

“Look, Cap, m’sorry, I didn’t mean it, it’s just that I gotta find him.” Starsky said, his heart and words heavy and bursting with emotions.

 

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~ooo~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

Hutch lost himself in the rhythmic lull of the limousine as it rolled through the city. He could hear the light drizzle and the noise the tires made as they rolled across the damp pavement.

 

“You remember the week’s books and receipts didn’tchya?” Hutch recognized Rigsby’s voice.

 

There was an eerie silence that blanket the car and then Hutch heard what he knew was a slap, skin against skin.

 

“M’sorry…I totally forgot…I got so into kickin’ that Jew’s ass that I forgot ‘bout the books.” Montag tried to explain.

 

“Sorry ain’t gonna cut it!” Rigsby stated. “Driver, pull over!” He shouted as Hutch felt the limo slow to a stop and a door being opened.

 

“Well can’t Andrews pick ‘em up?” Montag asked.

 

“You damn idiot, Andrews at work, a very important case, he won’t be back till the end of the week!” Rigsby seethed, “Now you get your ass back to the bar and get the receipts!”

 

“But how am I supposed to get back to camp?” Montag questioned.

 

“You figure it out! That’s what you get for fucking up in the first place!” Rigsby retorted as Hutch heard the car door slam shut and the tires squealing as they peeled away.

 

Chapter Five

 

 

 

Dobey watched as Starsky struggled to pull on his jeans, wincing as the heavy Levi fabric hit against his swollen bandaged ankle. The brunet stood up, balancing on one foot as he buttoned his too tight jeans, that he would have give his right arm for some breathing room. Sitting back up on the edge of his bed, he put on his left shoe, and then attempted to slip the right one over his foot, inhaling sharply through his teeth in pain as it passed over his heal. He left the blue Adidas untied as he looked up at his fretting Captain.

 

“Look Cap, you know as well as I do, Hutch needs me to be watching his back, not anyone else.” Starsky explained.

 

“I know that son, but you’re in no condition…” Dobey tried to explain but was interrupted.

 

“No condition for what?” Starsky barked.

 

“No condition to be out there looking for your partner, that’s what!” Dobey barked right back.

 

The door opened and a young, beautiful nurse entered with a clipboard, and a pair of crutches.

 

“I have your discharge papers detective,” she began to talk as she walked up next to the brunet, setting aside the crutches and leaning in just slightly so he could smell her perfume, “if you wouldn’t mind signing here, and here,” she pointed to the clipboard, but Starsky wasn’t looking at her hand.

 

“I’d be happy to, Miss?” He asked, both eyebrows wagging in curiosity.

 

“You can call me Maureen.” She hissed as she handed him a pen. “I’m going to give you your prescription for pain medication, you are to take it as needed, and follow up with your regular doctor in seven days.” She instructed him as their eyes locked.

 

“Maureen, I like that name, a bit old fashion, but pretty.” Starsky tried one of his oldest lines in his book to strike up a conversation.

 

She blushed and smiled as she turned on her heels, looked at Dobey and flashed a pearly white smile. “You have a mighty fine man here Captain.” She teased as she pulled the door opened to be met by the two officers that were instructed to watch over both Starsky and Hutch.

 

Starsky’s face turned from pleasant to anger in about a half a second, “Just which one of you geniuses was supposed to be watchin’ Hutch?” He growled as Dobey stepped forward.

 

There’s no reason to place blame, for all we know your partner’s on his way to your place looking for you.” Dobey tried to calm Starsky’s fears.

 

The brunet grabbed the crutches, placing them under each arm, and glared at the two officers, “For both of your sakes, you better hope he’s right!” He snapped as he hobbled towards the door, Hancock opening it for his colleague.

 

“I want you to go home and get some rest, an’ that’s an order!” Dobey commanded as Starsky looked back over his shoulder. “I’ll have one of my men drive you home.”

 

“Well if I can make a suggestion,” Starsky spoke intently, “it’d better not be one of these yo-yo’s.” He exclaimed, flipping his head towards the two, “Or I’ll probably never make it there!”

 

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~ooo~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

Hutch felt the car take a sharp turn as his body fell to the side, not prepared for the sudden change in motion. He felt Winters push him back upright position as he heard someone chuckle. He could tell by the sound the tires made, that they had left the pavement and he thought they might be in muddle or loose gravel. He heard the sound of the car hitting potholes, splashing the puddles against the underside of the car.

Winters spoke, “You can take off the blindfold now Kent , we’re here.” Hutch reached up, and lifted the cloth from his eyes as the car took another sharp turn. The tall blond dipped his head slightly to look out the window just as the car passed through a chain link gate.

He witnessed two guards, hurrying to close the large gates as the heavy rain beat down on them. The long black limo pulled to a stop along side an old gray building. The door to the car was opened as Rigsby slid out. Hutch looked at the men beside him, waiting for the okay to make his way out of the car as well. Winters tipped his head, flipping it towards the opened door as Hutch pulled himself forward, ducking just enough to clear the roof, his long legs leading the way out of the vehicle as he awkwardly climbed out.

He stood up, his hands wiping the wrinkles from his pant leg. He lifted his head to find himself staring into the barrel of a gun, pointed directly at his head. He was quickly joined by Winters and Hudson .

“What’s this all about?” Hutch stammered.

“Simply a precaution, I’m sure you understand.” Rigsby spoke as Winters circled the tall blond, Hutch following with him with his pale blue eyes.

Winters began patting down the detective as Hutch instinctively lifted both arms above his shoulders.

 “Nothing wrong with being careful.” Hutch agreed as he was silently relieved that he had decided to leave his revolver behind, just incase these guys decided to search him.

 “Well we wouldn’t wanna let some one in here with a gun, or even worse…a wire…” Rigsby stated as Winters finished searching the detective. Both Winters and Hudson flanked either side of the Nordic.

Hutch looked around the facility. He saw tall chain link fences, topped with loops of horrific looking barbed wires. There were a few tall concrete towers, with glass rooms, occupied by men with what appeared to be automatic weapons. The poorly lit grounds were illuminated by some spot lights and other older looking lamps. He lifted his head as he watched the rain that misted gently through the ray of yellowed light. The men that walked the grounds wore heavy coats, and weapons that were slung around one shoulder and under one arm. A sudden gust of wind chilled the seasoned officer to the bone as he wrapped his arms around himself, rubbing both sides of his upper body trying to fight off the cold. Most people passed him by without giving the visitor a second glance, but a few managed to look him up and down speculatively. He saw many buildings, all with heavy bars over every window and every door.

Hutch’s detective instinct kicked into high gear as he felt a sick feeling swelling deep inside him. He knew, there was no turning back.

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~ooo~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

Starsky pulled up to the front of the bar. He knew that Dobey would kill him if he knew the brunet was here. Reaching his left hand over to the seat beside him, he retrieved his Beretta, , pulling the slide back and checking it, before leaning forward and placing it in the back of his waistband. He pulled open the heavy Torino door as he swung both legs out of the car, and used the door to pull him into a standing position. He was thankful that he had decided to take the prescribe pain medication before he left his apartment, his ankle throbbing, even without any weight on it. He gingerly place weight on his right ankle, still stabilizing himself by his left, until he got a little bit more comfortable with the minimal pressure he allotted the injury. Starsky’s face still bore the evidence of the battle he was in earlier that evening. His eye was discoloring rapidly, sporting a purple and burgundy hue, his swollen lip just minutely noticeable over his enlarged cheek. Starsky flipped up the collar of his brown leather jacket as a light mist fell, blanketing his curly hair.

 

He limped towards the entrance of the bar, suddenly feeling so alone without his partner beside him. Every step took effort; every move caused his body to scream in protest as he tried his best to fight through the pain. Starsky instantly felt every eye in the place, turn and focus on him as he entered the bar. He didn’t care, this was the last place Hutch had been seen, and so it was the first place he started his search. He straightened his posture as he walked through the establishment and right up to the bar. The man behind the counter smirked approvingly, when he saw Starsky’s battered face.

 

“You gotta lot of nerve coming back here.” The man spoke in a low grave whisper.

 

Starsky looked around, searching for a face he recognized, one that was with his partner, or one of the ones that escorted him into the alley. He saw none of them. The brunet leaned in towards the bartender.

 

“I’m looking for that tall sadistic blond. You know, the one that took the cheap shot at me earlier. You seen him?” Starsky asked, doubting that the man would be forthcoming.

 

“Don’t you think you better get the hell outta here, before someone takes you out?” The man seethed.

 

“Too late!” A voice came from behind Starsky as the brunet whipped around, finding himself face to face with Montag.

 

Apparently someone had gone back to the office where the man was collecting the books and the week’s receipts, and let him know they had a visitor. He was more then eager to come and greet the intruder, several other large men circling the brunet.

 

“Shows what a stupid Jew you are…can’t believe you brought your sorry ass back here!” Montag hissed as he flipped his head at his colleague that was nearest to Starsky.

 

With the quickest movement Starsky had seen in a long time, the man to his left had a weapon drawn and pressed painfully into Starskys temple. The brunet winced in pain as every inch of his body protest the fast jerky movement. He felt the room spin slightly as he was turned and thrown against the bar, bending him at the chest. His actions and reactions were slowed by his previous attack as well as the pain pill he took just to get to the bar, suddenly he regretted that decision.

 

Starsky found himself, painfully pinned up against the counter, his arm twisted and bent unnaturally up his back, the brunet grimiced as he suck in air through his teeth trying to keep from screaming out.

 

“Let me go! I’m warning you!” Starsky spat defiantly.

 

He heard most of the patrons in the bar roar in laughter at his expense as he realized that this might not have been such a good idea.

 

“Don’t you worry, I heard you was looking for Kent, and I’m thinkin’ I might just be able to help you out. He said he was just saying to finish you off!” Montag fumed as his men searched Starsky, reaching around the front of his waist, and then moving to the back, quickly pulling out his Beretta.

 

The man smiled satisfactorily at Montag. “Looks like this Jew boy was fixing to plug our Kent.” He said as he handed the weapon to Montag.

 

“Well maybe Kent can use this gun here to splatter your brains all over the camp.” He stated as he placed Starskys weapon in his own waistband.

 

“Camp?” Starsky gasped, “What camp?”

 

He received a shove, forcing him deeper into the bar, forcing his already bruised ribs against the hard surface, knocking a lot of the wind from his lungs.

 

“You’ll see…you’ll see.” Montag stated eerily as he waved to his partners, and Starsky was lifted off the counter and pulled into a standing position.

 

Starsky glared into Montag’s eyes. “You’re makin’ a big mistake, I wouldn’t do this if I were you.” He said, calmly as the other two men began to tie his wrists together.

 

Starsky had mixed feelings, he was worried about being taken prisoner, but thankful that it appeared they were taking him to Hutch.

 

He went along willingly, but into what, he had no idea.

 

“Bag him!” Montag ordered as Starsky’s head snapped up, his brow furrowing in concern as a burlap sac was quickly pulled over his head. The brunet began to struggle as he felt a cinch slowly being tightened around his neck. He couldn’t see anything but a very few shadows, the rope around his neck becoming more and more uncomfortable as he thrashed about trying to free himself, but realizing that he would have to calm down and succumb to their methods, or risk being killed before ever getting to see Hutch again.

 

Chapter Six

 

 

Hutch stood under the thin aluminum awning as he heard the pinging of the rain drops hitting the cover above him. He looked around and saw very few people milling about. Across the yard, he saw a door open to a warn building, an armed man stepping through the doorway, followed by another haggard figure. The second man was thin and wearing torn clothes. Hutch immediately noticed his bare feet and the way his shoulders slumped forward, apparently riddled in defeat. A third man brought up the rear, he too was armed with an automatic weapon. It took a few minutes for Hutch’s eyes to make out the shackles that adorned the prisoner’s wrists and ankles. The tall blond watched in horror as the man was led to the center of the yard, to a small cage, one of three lined up side by side. They approached the middle cage, four barred walls and a barred ceiling. The men accompanying him used a key to open the box as the prisoner obediently entered the 5 x 5 foot cell.

 

“What’re they doing to him?” Hutch asked his tour guides.

 

“Allowing him to serve out his punishment.”  Winters explained as they all watched on.

 

Hutch was almost unaware of a young boy that ran up to his side, eyeing the new stranger, looking him up and down, excitement filling his face. Hutch broke gaze from the man in the cage only briefly to look at he young man, he smiled, tipped his head and the returned his gaze to the appalling ritual that was playing out before him. He vaguely heard Winters addressing the young man as Billy, and asking why he was out of his room. Hutch didn’t even hear the child’s response. The tall blonde’s face paled as he watched the guards unlock his shackles, and close and secure the door, locking it with the key from the outside. The man immediately began to unbutton his shirt, looking straight ahead, out into space, not making eye contact with anyone or anything. He striped off his shirt and his body began shivering in the cold, damp night air. The fog that escaped the prisoner’s mouth with each exhale was evident, even from Hutch’s vantage point. The man then pulled his worn, stained cotton pants down, off his waist, dropping them to the ground and stepping out of them. He bent over, picking them up, and handing them to the guard through the bars of his cage. He turned and stepped to the back of the small box, sitting in the corner, his body trembling even harder now, as he sat against the hard cold concrete, his eyes again fixing on something only he could see, straight ahead of him, barely blinking, focusing on something no one else could see.

 

Hutch’s gut wrenched as he watched this man suffer the ultimate humiliation, he was naked, sitting in a cage in the middle of the courtyard. Three guards passed him by, two of them taking the time and effort to turn their heads and spit on him, hitting him in the face, and on the chest. The man never flinched.

 

“How long do you keep him out there?” Hutch asked.

 

“Most infractions earn anywhere from 24 to 48 hours in the box.” Rigsby answered.

 

Hutch turned his head to look at the young boy who had stepped even closer to Hutch, his eyes locked on the prisoner in the cage. The blond sensed his fear and anger at what he was seeing, but he never made a face, never showed an outward disgust. He just watched.

 

“The more defiant Jews could be left out there for days, even weeks if their behavior continues.” Winters added.

 

Hutch looked around the courtyard, his mind racing. How could this be happening? This was 1976 in Bay City, wherever the hell they were, human slavery, right here in front of him. How could no one know about this place? This was bigger than he thought it was, he had to get to a phone, he needed to get to Starsky, he never felt so far away…

 

“Let’s go inside, we’ve got someone we want you to meet.” Rigsby broke Hutch’s trance as he snapped his head around, looking at the fair haired man who turned and headed into the building, Winters holding the door open for him. Hutch looked down at the young boy, Billy. The dark brown eyes of the preteen pierced the Nordic’s heart as the child smiled and then scurried away. Hutch followed the two through the threshold, into what, he wasn’t sure.

 

The tall blond couldn’t help but think about the brunet boy that he had just encountered. What in the world is that boy doing in a place like this? Where his parents? Were they prisoners, or even maybe some of the guards? His heart broke, either way, this was not going to be a good outcome for that young man.

 

He followed Rigsby into the building. It was an older complex, the walls in the poorly lit room showing their age. Chipped plaster, and spider webbed cracks gave character to the whole aura of this Nazi type camp. Hutch noted the old hanging lamps with metal framed casing hanging low from the ceiling. They continued down the long corridor as Hutch looked around, he tried to find something, anything that would give him some type of clue where he was at. If he found a way to get word to Starsky, he needed to be able to tell him where to start looking. He looked around, into every room with an opened door, looking for a telephone, a radio, something he could use to make contact with the outside world. There was nothing…he suddenly felt like he had gone back in time, like he had entered the Twilight Zone…

 

He was finally led to the last door on the right, at the very end of the hallway. Rigsby knocked twice, paused, and then knocked three more times.

 

“C’me in.” An ominous voice from the other side bellowed as Rigsby looked back at Winters, and then to the door, turning the handle slowly and pushing the door open. They heard the man in the room, his voice raised, apparently in a heated discussion.

 

“You what?” he shouted into the phone as Rigsby passed through the threshold, being waved in by the man behind the desk, his neck cocked, the phone pressed against his ear. “Who the fuck gave you the word to do that?” He fumed as he looked up and made eye contact with Hutch, his brow furrowing at the sight of a stranger. “Get him ready, I’ll be there to process him myself…and Montag…don’t go anywhere, I’m not finished with you!”

 

Jason Kiles slammed the phone receiver back down onto it’s cradle as his face flushed in anger. He looked up at Rigsby, “Did you give Montag permission to go out solo and bring in his own Jew shit bag?” Kiles raged as he rose from behind the desk, grabbing his jacket and throwing it over his shoulders.

 

“Now why the hell would I do that?” Rigsby asked as Hutch felt his stomach turning, just listening to the way they were referring to other human beings.

 

“Well, he got the idea from somewhere…” the red-haired man with extremely fair skin and crystal blue eyes ranted to his comrade.

 

“Jason, this is Kent Cummings, that guy I was telling you about” Rigsby attempted to introduce the two as Hutch extended his hand in greeting just to have it ignored.

 

“Do I look like I have time for socializing?” he snapped, “Why don’t you show him around, but keep him in your sight, you can explain to me later what he’s doing here!” Kiles quipped as he pulled open the door, and rushed through it, slamming it behind him.

 

Both Hutch and Rigsby exchanged looks before leaving the small office.

 

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~ooo~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

The cab they rode in smelt of stale smoke, urine and vomit, making the hooded brunet nauseous as the car drove through the streets of Bay City and then passed the city limits.  Starsky lost tack of all the turns and stops the car had made. One thing he was pretty sure of was this wasn’t just any cab…the driver was obviously in on the illegal activities as he over heard the conversations between Montag and the anonymous driver.

 

“So how much you think this one will bring in?” The unidentified voice asked from the front seat.

 

“I’d say at least 75…he’s in pretty good shape. As long as he cooperates, he should fetch a pretty penny. It would be a shame to have him wind up sick, emaciated or injured. He’s a good product so far, guess we’ll just have to see how much he cooperates.” Montag explained as the driver snorted in agreement.

 

“Take this blindfold off,” Starsky demanded, “whata ya’ afraid of?” He taunted.

 

Montag ignored him as he continued to converse with the driver about everyday subjects, like the previous night’s football game.

 

“Didya eear me? Take this God damn thing offa me!” Starsky demanded a little more aggressively.

 

Without word or warning the brunet felt a fist connect with the right side of his jaw, his head snapping to the side, his temple hitting the glass window.

 

He paused a moment and then straightened back up, deciding it would probably be best if he kept quiet and waited for the right time to make his move. In this situation, timing was going to be everything.

 

They pulled into the gated complex as Starsky fell to the side with the sudden sharp turn. The brunet felt the car come to an abrupt halt and the door open.

 

“Get out!” Montag growled as he reached in and roughly grabbed Starsky around the upper arm, jerking him out of the aromatic vehicle. Starsky felt the rain and cool air hit him painfully in the face. Unable to see where he was going, what he was doing, or what to prepare for, he fell on to his knees, the mud and water soaking through his jeans in an instant as he felt a handful of his hair being gripped and pulled upward, instinctively pulling him to his feet.

 

“Whata good Jew, kneeling before me already.” Montag laughed.

 

“Fuck you asshole!” Starsky spat as he felt himself being jerked forward. The brunet heard several voices, shouting orders as he was pulled into different directions.

 

“Give him over to me, Kiles is pissed,” another voice resonated in the detective’s ears, “…you better figure out how you’re gonna explain this one. Two fuck ups in two months, he’s gonna kill you!” An unidentified voice spoke.

 

“Yeah, well he can go fuck himself for all I care, I make him more money then any of the recruiters in here, he should be thanking me for this one!” Montag argued as Starsky felt himself being jerked back his direction.

 

Starsky could barely walk, his ankle throbbed, his body screaming in agony, still trying to heal from its previous beating. The loss of his sight made the brunet more then uncomfortable, his stomach turned as he fought back the fear that threatened to creep its way up to the surface. He felt himself be shoved forward, all hands holding him. Releasing their grip as the detective fell forward, first onto his knees and then flat on his chest onto the muddied, wet ground. He stayed put, hoping that they would leave him there, give him a chance to rest, and orient himself with his surroundings. He hoped they would remove the blindfold, giving him back the advantage of his sight. Neither of his wishes was granted. 

 

Four strong hands jerked the brunet upright, dragging his lower body through the dirt and puddles as he found himself at their mercy. There were several voices, all talking at once, some had to do with him, and others did not. Starsky kept his hearing trained on Hutch’s voice, he wanted so badly to hear his partner’s voice, he needed to hear it, to know he was in the right place. So far, nothing, no familiar sounds. Starsky sighed heavily, praying that he hadn’t made one of the biggest mistakes in his life, separating him and his partner forever. He allowed his body to relax, to stop struggling, making the journey easier on his aching bones.

 

He heard the sound of keys jangling, a door creaking, and then he was moved again. A certain amount of panic started rising in the normally calm officer.

 

“Where am I? What’re you guys gonna do to me?...” He asked quickly, “Take of this blindfold…look me in the eyes and tell me what’s goin’ on!” He continued as his fear rose to almost an uncontrollable level.

 

He was pulled into a standing position, being careful not to put too much weight on his ankle, hobbling slightly.

 

“Don’t you worry none you fucking Jude, you’ll see all of us soon enough…” Starsky felt a hand grasp his throat squeezing firmly, just barely cutting off his air and then releasing.

 

“Let ‘im go!” Starsky heard a very authoritative voice coming from behind him. He was pushed up against cold metal bars, pressing hard against his back.

 

Starsky had no idea what to expect, or where to expect it from. he stood tall, his chest expanding as he breathed heavily.

 

“So you’re my new merchandise,” the voice spoke ominously.

 

“I ain’t no merchandise.” Starsky protested, feeling the slap of an open hand connecting with his burlap covered face.

 

“Don’t you fucking talk to me, you piece of shit Jew, I’m gonna teach you some manners and show you exactly where your place is in this world. My fucking dog ranks higher than you!” A punch connected with his gut, bending him over as he nearly threw up right then. “You will learn respect and manners, but most of all, you’ll learn your place in this world,” A handful of hair again grabbed as his head was snapped back, “you understand me?” Even through the burlap, he could feel the heat of his breath on his face, knowing that the anonymous voice was very close to his head.

 

Starsky was once again pulled up into the standing position, he felt hands on his shirt as the fabric was roughly pulled taught on both sides, ripping it from his chest and abdomen.

 

“Maybe Montag was right; this bastard may bring in some good money.” Kiles stated as he used his fingers to poke and prod Starsky’s bared muscles.

 

Kiles turned and moved away from the detective, what Starsky heard next, he wasn’t prepared for…

 

“Strip him!” He heard the man order as several hands started grabbing and groping at him while the brunet struggled to free himself, not knowing what they had planned for him.

 

Chapter Seven

 

 

Rigsby was showing Hutch around the maze of buildings as Hutch’s fears heightened. He witnessed several cells, filled with prisoners, or more accurately, victims. All men, that had  one thing in common, their religion. Hutch was nauseated; he wanted to find the nearest bathroom. The conditions those men lived in was deplorable. He knew that he was here for one reason now, and that was to save these men from their doomed fate. They were just making there way back to the office where Kiles had been, as Hutch’s mind raced, he thought about everyone in the camp, and even those outside, ones that were currently being preyed on. He worried about the new man that had been brought in and what they may be doing to this poor soul. Out of the inmates that he had just observed, several of them bore evidence of extreme abuse. They were thin, week and many had scared that Hutch had deduced they had probably acquired at there new residence. The tall blond could only imagine the horrors they were forced to endure. He shook his head, trying to clear the mental pictures and trying to detach himself, emotionally from this situation.  He knew that he could not become emotionally involved in his cases, doing so often cost officers their lives.

 

They entered the office as Rigsby closed the door behind Hutch, offering him a chair across from the desk.

 

“Pretty impressive operation you run here.” Hutch stated as he tried to look at ease with what he had just witnessed.

 

“We try.” Rigsby answered as he took the chair behind the desk.

 

Hutch eyed the phone on the desk, wishing that he could nonchalantly pick it up and call Metro, request back-up and get his fellow officers there to break up this concentration type camp. He knew he would have to bide his time to avoid certain casualties.

 

“So tell me, how long do you usually keep them and train them…what happens to them after you’re done with your so called conditioning?” Hutch inquired. 

 

“We keep them as long as necessary, on the average of 2-6 months, but we’ve had some men that never conform, they never leave.” Rigsby explained.

 

“Where do you find all these guys?” Hutch continued to prod.

 

“Mostly at the bar, or in that general vicinity. They’re mostly transient, loners, no familes. Occasionally, things go wrong…and we get the wrong type with the wrong background.”

 

“Whatya do with them?” The blond was afraid of the answer to come.

 

“Well, we do what ever we can…try to wipe their memory clean, or if that don’t work, they become permanent missing persons…But then in Billy’s case…that was Montag’s screw up…took a boy and his dad…turned out okay, as a matter of fact, if it weren’t for the boy, the dad may have never of come around and obeyed us, but we vowed to raise his kid, feed him and train him until he is ready for sale, in return for his cooperation. His dad ended up bringing us in our highest dollar amount yet, he was still in good physical condition and we had full cooperation.”

 

“Lucky you!” Hutch felt the bile burn his throat as it rose from his stomach.

 

The phone on the desk rang startling Hutch as he jumped in surprise. Rigsby reached for the phone, placing the receiver to his ear.

 

“Rigsby here.”

 

He listened intently as his eyes widened in excitement.

 

“We’ll be right there.” He responded and then hung the phone up, heading immediately to the door.

 

“You’re in luck Kent, looks like we have a new recruit that is being a bit uncooperative, Kiles wants to invite you to watch how we deal with insubordinates like this, its important he finds out if you got the stomach for this kinda work or not. Let’s go!” He ordered as he pulled open the door, Hutch jumping up, running to the door and following Rigsby out the door and into the courtyard.

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~ooooo~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

Starsky fought with everything he could, but it wasn’t much, between his already battered body and his sprained ankle, they quickly had the brunet stripped of all his clothing.

 

They had managed to shackle his wrists, threading the chain through the cages roof, and pulling him up so that his feet barely touched the concrete floor. He still wore the sack over his head as he tried futilely to remove the tightly cinched burlap. He could feel the rough material rubbing his neck raw as he attempted to get at it with his shoulders and by twisting his neck.

 

He struggled with his confines as he grunted and cursed. “Who the fuck are you? What do you want with me?” Starsky spewed nervously, his fear starting to take over. The bag that covered his head was roughly ripped off, bending his neck awkwardly, the ropes rubbing harshly across his neck and face.

 

He was answered with a forceful blow to his backside, right across the small of his back. He knew they were using some type of a think stick to deliver his punishment. Kiles and his men already noted the bruised body evident of a previous beating, but having no problem adding to the décor.

 

“Tell me, what’s your name Jew boy?” Kiles asked as he circled his merchandise, eyeing it with admiration.

 

“Screw you!” Starsky replied as he received another brutal blow across his abdomen.

 

“Name!” Kiles yelled.

 

Starsky gasped and unintentionally coughed up what small amount of fluid he had in his stomach, spitting it out in front of him, some of it dribbling onto his chest.

 

Starsky didn’t answer, he couldn’t.

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~oooooo~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

Hutch and Rigsby walked across the poorly lit courtyard, the sparse lamps barely illuminating the three cages lined up in the center. He remembered seeing one man being led into the center cage, but now could almost make out some commotion occurring in and around the cage on the left. He heard some yelling, something about names, he heard someone mumble, responding and then coughing in agony. As he moved closer to the action that was playing of in front of him, his heart skipped a beat as he recognized something vaguely familiar in the voice of the prisoner.

 

Several people had surrounded the cage; it was difficult to get a good view of what was happening inside the box. He stopped dead in his tracks as he saw his partners, battered, naked body hanging in the small cell.

 

“Starsk,” he gasped quietly as he swallowed hard, the panic in his face, the concern in his eyes, blanketing his face. Fortunately, Rigsby was far enough ahead of him, that he didn’t hear Hutch’s slip.

 

His mind raced furiously, trying to figure out how he was going to get them both out of here. This threw a huge wrench in his plan, now he didn’t just have to think about his own life, but his partner’s as well. And from the looks of things, Starsky was in quite a bit more trouble than Hutch was.

 

He was suddenly aware a smaller hand, grasping his, as he looked to his side, seeing the young boy, Billy, watching the proceedings, terribly frightened, not blinking. His hand shook subtly as Hutch gently squeezed it, wondering what this boy had been through and for how long.

 

Hutch paused briefly, wanting to keep the boy back. Montag approached the under cover detective, handing him a billy club, the ones like they used in the academy.

 

“I brought you a present,” he slapped Hutch on the shoulder, “Don’t worry, there’s no need to thank me, it was my pleasure.” He stated as he continued past Hutch, walking towards the building. It was all Hutch could do to keep from tearing after the man, tackling him in the court yard and ripping his heart out with his bare hands. What had he done to his partner? What kind of sick son of a bitch would do this without giving it a second thought? The blond thought as he looked back at Starsky, hanging in his cell, his body shivering. The rain began to pick up again, like the skies were opening up, grieving with Hutch.

 

He was going to have to play this right, in order to get both of them out of there, he couldn’t blow his cover or they would both be dead with in a matter of minutes. He looked down at the boy that stood beside him and whispered. 

 

“Wait here, ‘kay?” He encouraged the boy, who still didn’t take his eyes off the unfolding events, but he did nod slightly in acknowledgement.

 

Hutch found himself breathing harder as he crossed the courtyard. All he wanted was contact, actual physical contact with his partner. He wanted to tell Starsky to hang in there; he would get them both out of this. He wanted to tell him it was okay…he wanted to tell him, he was sorry, for hitting him back at the bar; he wanted to tell him, he was mad that they brought him here. He wanted to tell him, he loved him. Hutch’s mind raced as he got closer and closer to his partner, trying to figure out how he was going to pull this off. He knew he had two choices, either blow his cover and probably get them both killed, or play along for a little longer, waiting for just the right moment to make a break for it, a break for it, with Starsky at his side.

 

His palm grasped the club in his right hand, his fingers squeezing it, and then releasing it slightly, just to wrap tightly around it again. He thought about trying to take everyone that stood near his partner out with that one club, he wondered how many skulls he would be able to crack before they killed him and Starsky too. The rain had slowed to a gently mist that gracefully drifted downwards. Hutch felt every footstep resonate in his ears as he closed in. The other men around the cage back up, making room for the visitor.

 

Kyle stood next to Starsky’s naked battered body. Hutch noted the bruised face, and the several marks and bruises covering his friend’s mid section as his body twisted slightly, his face contorted in agony. The blonde’s gaze traveled downwards, noting the still wrapped, but very swollen ankle. He felt his other half’s pain as he stepped inside the box.

 

“One more chance,” Kiles fumed, “What’s…your…name?” he emphasized every word.

 

“J…Johnnn S…Smith…” Starsky stuttered sarcastically as his teeth chattered together, the cold burrowing deep inside his body, making its way to his bones. He suddenly felt like he may never be able to get warm again, it was that deep inside him.

 

Kiles made a move towards the prisoner, but Hutch jumped in front of him, angrily shoving the club in his hand against Starsky’s throat, pulling the back of his neck forward with his hand. Hutch’s ice blue eyes locked with Starsky’s. They grew moist, tearing up in sadness for him, swallowing hard; he spoke as his voice cracked.

 

“I believe the man asked you a question, boy!” Hutch seethed through his teeth, chocking on every word, his face contorted in sadness that others read as anger. Starsky read his partner perfectly, knowing that the blond was being ripped apart on the inside, “An’ I suggest you answer him, before I make you sorry you were ever born.” Hutch’s eyes pled with Starsky’s to play along.

 

“Meyers….D…Dave Meyers…” Starsky finally spat out, exhausted and relieved at the same time that he had found Hutch but knowing full well that he may have put him in more danger than he was already in. If Hutch broke and blew his cover to save Starsky, then the brunet knew he was a dead man, he felt instant regret for adding to his friend’s dilemma, but it was too late to do anything about that now, except play along, just like Hutch’s eyes were instructing him to do.

 

Hutch’s hands could feel how cold Starsky was, his flesh like ice, he could feel him trembling as he tried to continue the contact as long as possible, if nothing else but to just warm him up a little bit, allowing his body heat to transfer to his partner.

 

The slightest hint of a twinkle in Starsky’s eyes filled Hutch’s heart with hope. He knew his friend read his thoughts and knew that Starsky would fight to stay alive, putting all his trust in his partner, to get them both out of this. He also knew that if the moment presented itself, Starsky would do the same, he would do anything he could to get them both to safety, even if it meant going along as a prisoner for the time being. Starsky inhaled deeply as Hutch released his grip on him. They vowed to each other as they finally broke their gaze, Hutch turning around to find himself face to face with Kiles.

 

“I appreciate your enthusiasm, but I think you just need to back off until you learn how things run around here. See, this is my show, my camp, my prisoners. He belongs to me, and I don’t ever want to see you interrupt my sessions unless specifically asked to, by me! Is that clear?” Kiles stood toe to toe with the tall blond, Hutch’s stare never wavering.

 

Crystal.” Was the only answer Hutch was able to give; he took a chance and accomplished what he intended to, contact with his partner.

 

“Now step out!” Kiles ordered as Hutch passed him and exited the cage.

 

Kiles looked at one of his men. Cut him down.” He instructed the man to release Starsky from his current position; he then turned around him, making eye contact with Rigsby. “Take Kent back to the office, I’ll meet up with both of you there.” He said as he returned his attention to his prisoner that was being released.

 

Hutch looked back over his shoulder at his partner as they cut his ropes and allowed him to drop harshly to the cold concrete floor, bare naked and shivering uncontrollably now. The tall blond kept one eye on him until he was led inside the building, unable to see him any longer. Hutch felt the anxiety begin to take him over once again as he began to ask questions of Rigsby.

 

“So what happens next?” He asked as they walk down the corridor.

 

“Well we wait, in the office, just like Jason said.” He answered, confused.

 

“No, not me, I mean to the prisoner,” he hooked his thumb behind him, “that Jew in the cage, now what?”

 

“Well, now he begins his conditioning treatment, Jason always oversees the first phase,” Rigsby explained as he opened the door to the small office.

 

 

oooo

 

 

Jason held out his hand, palm up as one of his men handed over a bracelet, complete with a thick chain and small padlock. Starsky had struggled to pull himself up to his knees, gasping.

 

“From here on out, it don’t matter what your name is, now you’ll be known as 12687.” He said as he knelt to place the bracelet, engraved with his ID number around his wrist.

 

The thought of what was happening sickened Starsky, without thought, his anger erupted as his fist launched forward, connecting with Jason’s jaw. He didn’t intend to strike the man that held his life in his hand, but the hot headed brunet was unable to control the action although he regretted it, the second he did it. In the matter of about 2 seconds Starsky felt himself being tackled, punched in his kidney and forced to the ground, the pain that he had been feeling previously had now subsided and the brunet was beginning to become numb, part because of his injuries and partly due to the cold.

 

He saw Jason wipe the blood from his lip as he walked towards him. He barely remembered the feeling of the cold bracelet being locked in place, tightly around his wrists as many hands held him down.

 

 

oooo

 

 

Hutch was looking around; he noticed everything in the room, from the small tiny window up above the door, to the file cabinet in the corner of the room. He also noted the old style phone on the desk and realized that was the only phone he had seen thus far. The two men sat in the office, the lights dimmed and brightened again, just to dim again, Hutch’s eyes raised to the ceiling, looking around, his brow furrowing in question.

 

“What’s that?” Hutch asked, his posture straightening.

 

“Our electrical grid is pretty outdated, that happens every time Jason conducts first phases, I am afraid the surge from the shock therapy plays havoc on our system.” Rigsby explained as Hutch’s heart sank, skipping a beat, the contents of his stomach rising in his throat.

 

Chapter Eight

 

 

“Name!” Kiles commanded.

 

Starsky’s head lobbed forward, from side to side as he tried to comprehend what was being asked of him, “D…Dave…”

 

Another round of the most intense pain coursed through his body as it convulsed and seized uncontrollably.

 

Jason Kiles stood up on the platform right in front of the metal mesh that Starsky was strapped to. He grabbed his wrist, tapping the metal bracelet. “1-2-6-8-7, SIR!” He shouted, the heat of his breath hot on Starskys still cold cheeks. He was still naked, his neck, chest, arms and ankles attached to the metal wall that would send electrical current through the brunet’s body. He grabbed a handful of Starsky’s hair and jerked back his head, forcing him to look at him. The detective’s eyes tried hard to focus as the rolled around in his sockets. “1-2-6-8-7, SIR!” He spat as he stepped off the platform and nodded to the man at the controls. “Now, name!”

 

Starsky sucked in air through his teeth as he struggled to find the words, “1…26…87,” Starsky mumbled as loud as he could exude.

 

“You forgot to say Sir!” Kiles laughed as Starsky panicked, his eyes growing wide, wanting to protest, but finding it was too late.

 

The pain shot through him again as his body shuddered, his mind swam and every nerve tingled and vibrated from the current. He threw his head back as he rode the wave of shock that flowed through him, feeling warm liquid as it flowed down both of his legs, but not having the ability to feel shame, knowing that he had just lost temporary control of his bladder. As soon as the cresting pain subsided, Starsky sucked in as much air as his lungs could handle. “Sir!” he growled through clenched teeth as his head bobbed forward and he lost control of his emotion, breathing heavily, sobbing freely, feeling broken, shattered and only half the man he used to be. 

 

“I bet that hurts like a son of a bitch, don’t it?” Jason taunted Starsky as the brunet fought to regain control of his breathing and emotions.

 

“Now why don’t you tell me a little bit about yourself…” Kiles asked, his arms crossing over his chest triumphantly.

 

Starsky didn’t speak, his mind was struggling to think, to sort thing out before he slipped and said something he shouldn’t, but with all the pain he was experiencing, his thoughts were all jumbled. He tried hard to straighten them out fast enough for Jason.

 

“Whatsa matter 12687, don’t feel like socializing with me?” Jason said quietly, as he allowed a certain amount of gratification to creep into the tone of his voice.

 

Another electrical shock coursed through his body, only this one wasn’t as strong as the last two, but still quite painful and effective. Starsky threw his head back as his body jerked, causing him to clench his teeth, his veins popping in his neck as he rode the cresting arch of pain as it completely passed through his body and out his extremities.

 

Starsky inhaled deeply, and exhaled just as quickly as he regained his composure. He looked directly into Jason’s face, locking eyes with the terrorist, his cobalt blue eyes boring into his captor’s eyes, unnerving the lead man.

 

“12687, requests…” he inhaled, “permission to speak,” every word leaving a sour taste in his mouth, “please, stop…I’ll do…I’ll do what you say…please stop…” Starsky let his head fall forward in exhaustion. There was a brief pause and then Starsky finished, “…Sir.”

 

Jason smiled victoriously as he and his cohorts whooped and hollered congratulations at each other before Jason responded, “Cut him down, he’s had enough for tonight, put him back in the cage!” He ordered as he watched two of his men unhook the prisoner, walking up to him, without saying a word and recoiling his arm, letting it fly forward, connecting squarely with Starsky’s jaw, knocking him out instantly. 

 

 

ooooo

 

 

Hutch sat nervously with Rigsby in Kiles’ office, his mind constantly wandering back to his partner and how he was, what they were doing to him. He tried to push the worst thoughts out of his mind, keeping a hold of the look in his eye when they made contact, the look of trust, the slight twinkle of hope that they both shared in one instant.

 

“So how many people you think you got in here?” Hutch tried to get some kind of information on what he was up against.

 

“Enough to keep Jason and the rest of us, living the good life for some time to come,” he made sure that his answer was oblique and vague.

 

The tall blond had noted several buildings within the camp, he knew that some of them must house more prisoners, more ‘merchandise’, as they called them. He just wish he knew how many.

 

“You know something though…” Rigsby continued, “That last Jew that just came in tonight, I bet he brings in over 50 g’s…”

 

Hutch swallowed hard, a slight panic starting to rise, tightening its grip around his heart; he knew he was talking about Starsky. “Fifty grand, you think so?” Hutch tried his hardest to pretend he was not appalled.  “H…how soon do you think he can be sold?” Hutch’s face paled.

 

“Depends on his training, how fast he learns his place. Sooner we can break him and get him conditioned; the sooner we can sell him.”

 

Hutch’s stomach lurched as his heart sank simultaneously as he realized that he was now in the middle of a black market, human slavery ring, and Starsky was the product. He knew he had to do something for both of their sakes, he also knew that he wouldn’t be able to keep up this charade for long, not with his partner’s well being and comfort on the line. 

 

The door to the office opened as Kiles passed through it, entering his office as Rigsby jumped up out of his boss’s chair. Hutch noted that he was rubbing the knuckles on his right hand as he circled the desk, taking a seat.

 

“That’s one tough Jew,” Kiles stated, flipping his head at Rigsby, “real grade-A beef…” They both left out a laugh and looked over at Hutch who quickly joined in their guffaw.

 

“Yeah, thought you’d like him, my only worry is we didn’t get a lot of time to check him out, he could have family that’ll be missing him. Montag shoulda never brought him until we checked him out.” Rigsby noted as Kiles nodded in agreement.

 

“If all goes well, I am hoping to get this one turned over as fast as possibly, that means intense training sessions, we need to break him fast.” Kiles stated.

 

“Break him without killing him.” Rigsby responded quickly as Hutch’s stomach turned in anticipation and fear.

 

“Well, it’ll be 48 hours before the family can report him missing, officially, that is…” Hutch blurted out as both men’s head snapped up curiously at the tall blond, furrowing the brow. Hutch caught his mistake quickly and thought fast, “I looked into it when I was thinking of offing my brother in law, wanted to see how long I had to dispose of the body.” Hutch informed them as the other men smiled approvingly.

 

“You’re our kind of guy Kent.” Kiles remarked as he rose from his desk. “Why don’t you show Mr. Cummings here to his room, make sure he’s comfortable and then come back and we will finish discussing our game plan for this one.”

 

Hutch stood as Rigsby opened the door to the office, waving him past. Hutch looked back at Kile, sitting behind the desk, the man didn’t even bother to look up at the detective as he was led out of the room, he had truly hoped he didn’t raise suspicion by making the comment about the missing report statute, Great Hutchinson, could you have sounded more like a cop? He thought to himself.

 

As Rigsby led Hutch across the grounds, the blond searched as best he could to search the camp for a sign, any sign of his partner. He craned his neck to the side, looking at the cage he was at earlier, nothing.

 

He was tired, his mind exhausted, but he knew he couldn’t allow himself the luxury of rest, he needed to take note of everything he saw, and everything he didn’t see…

 

Rigsby led him inside a building on the far side of the courtyard and up three flights of stairs. They remained quiet the whole walk as Rigsby opened the door to a small, sparsely furnished room. They both entered the room as Hutch turned full circle, seeing everything it had to offer, which was very little. A small cot sized bed, a small desk with just one drawer, and an old wooden chair with a lamp on the upper right corner of its small top.

 

“You’ll find all the necessities…” Rigsby stated matter of factly, “but little else, we find it necessary to do away with life luxuries, to keep us focused on the prize and the cause.” He said and then tipped his head exiting the room and closing the door behind him.

 

Hutch paced the room nervously, looking around, looking for anything that could help. He looked up, high on the wall over his bed, a small vent like window, barred for security. He hopped up on the small cot, tip toeing, trying to climb the wall to look outside, hoping to see Starsky somewhere, just to know what kind of shape he was in after what he was forced to endure.

 

He knew that they really had no intention of killing Starsky and that was one thing on his side, but he worried about his partner’s stubborn will, and he hoped that Starsky would just go along with them. There was one thing that Hutch could almost bet on, and that was Starsky shooting his mouth off, hopefully he would know better this time around.

 

He heard the door creek behind him as it opened, turning quickly he saw the small head of the boy he had seen just twice before, once when he had first arrived, and the other time when Starsky was in the cage. Hutch’s eyes softened as the boy silently asked permission to enter.

 

“It s’okay, Hutch hopped down from the cot, “you can come in, I’m not gonna hurt you.” He spoke softly, trying to encourage the young man to trust him.

 

The preteen entered the room, looking back nervously over his shoulder and into the hallway, making sure no one was behind him. He closed the door quietly before stepping back against it, placing his back flat on the wall, not wanting to get too close to this tall blond stranger. 

 

“You okay?” Hutch asked, but the boy didn’t answer. “Listen, I promise, I won’t hurt you, m’names Ken, I mean, Kent, Kent Cummings. Are you okay?”

 

“M’Billy, an’ m’fine.” The boy said with a hint of reservation in his voice. “I saw that guy, the one they brought inhere t’night.”

 

Hutch’s eyes lit up as he grabbed the chair by the desk and swung it around in front of him, offering it to Billy.

 

“You did? When? Was he okay? What’d you see, tell me everything?” Hutch spat out quickly.

 

“Why?” Billy asked as he scooted the chair back, still keeping his distance, and then taking a seat.

 

“Why what?” Hutch asked, realizing that he had no idea who this kid was or why he was here.

 

“Why do you care about him? No one else here does.” Billy answered, “Just like my Pop, no one cared about him, and he got taken away, he left me here with them.” Billy blurted out, shocking Hutch.

 

“Your old man was a prisoner here?” he asked.

 

“Yep, they did awful things to him, really bad things, like their doing to your friend.” Billy spoke, his voice wavering.

 

“What you mean my friend?” Hutch panicked slightly, thinking that if this boy could see through his disguise then the others probably could too.

 

“I see the way you looked at him, when you saw him for the first time, an the way you watched as they took him away…I know you care about him, I just wanna know why?”

 

Hutch was impressed by this mere child’s forwardness and honestly. He had obviously been through a lot, but yet he still had spirit. 

 

“I’m not like the others Billy, you can trust me…I am here to help you, but you have to swear you won’t say anything to anyone. My friend is here to help too, but right now, he’s the one that needs help.” Hutch explained gently.

 

“I can help him.” Billy offered as Hutch’s face lit up.

 

“What you mean?” Hutch felt a slight flicker of hope.

 

“I do it all the time…I can get him some food, I’ll sneak it to him later, after the guard’s final rounds.” Billy leaned forward, decreasing the distance between him and the tall blond.

 

“Can you get a message to him for me?” Hutch asked.

 

“That’s easy, I always sneak out and keep old man Steinburg company all the time, they pretty much let me run free throughout the camp, as long as I don’t let on that I am helping the prisoners.

 

“I need you to tell him that I’m here, an I’m gonna get him outta here, but he needs to do as they say, tell him not to fight them. Can you do that for me?” Hutch asked, his gaze on the boy as intense as the pain he was feeling for his partner.

 

“Consider it done, but you have to promise me something…” Billy decided to barter with the detective.

 

“If you get outta here, I want you to find my Pa and help him.” Suddenly that twelve year old looked older then his years, more mature then a boy his age should be, and a piece of the blonde’s heart broke off, crumbling to the ground.

 

“Deal, I’ll do everything I can, I promise.” Hutch vowed. “Hey, do you know if there were any phones around here, anyway I can contact anyone outside.”

 

The young boy laughed as he stood and moved the chair, heading for the door, “You got a better chance of finding a needle in a haystack then getting contact to the outside, were alone, its just us, I wouldn’t be counting on anyone coming to our rescue. I stopped praying for that about 6 months ago, once I finally grew up and stopped dreaming.” With that the boy opened the door, looked both ways and then disappeared out of sight.

 

 

Chapter Nine

 

 

Billy stayed low, crouching and moving in the shadows as he crawled towards the center of the yard, nearing the cages. He carried something tucked under his right arm as he half walked, half crawled closer to the cells. He could make out the shivering, naked form of the brunet lying in the cold, hard concrete, curled up in the fetal position, his knees tucked as close to his chest as possible, his arms wrapped around himself.

 

“Pssst.” Billy hissed through his teeth quietly, trying to get the man’s attention.

 

The man in the cage next to Starsky’s woke up, he also being naked and huddled in the corner. He recognized the boy that had visited him previously in nights past. The older, frail man scooted closer to the bars, his shaking hand held out in front of him. Billy removed the loaf of bread that he had tucked under his arm, tearing off a large piece for the hungry man in the cage beside the newest stranger.

 

“Help me wake him up.” Billy whispered to the older man who was able to stick his hand between the bars and poke Starsky’s shivering form.

 

The brunet stirred, slowly making his way back to the realm of reality as he blinked hard, waiting for things to come back into focus. “Huh? What?” Starsky mumbled as he lifted his head slightly, trying to look around as the pain his body felt throbbed and screamed with every beat of his heart, which was beating faster then normal.

 

He struggled to turn on his stomach, putting both arms underneath him and trying to push himself up. His body still tingled, feeling the after effects of the electroshock he had endured earlier. His ankle throbbed and his head ached, so bad his dark eyelashes hurt. Every movement, every breath, every nerve screamed in pain as he tried to focus on the small boy huddled in the corner, trying to be inconspicuous. The brunet noticed his youth; it took him a moment to remember where he was and what was happening as he was clouded in confusion. Starsky’s brow furrowed as his vision waved in and out of focus, but he finally made out the bread that was being offered to him by the small brunet boy, his eyes filled with sadness and fear.

 

Carefully, Starsky pulled himself closer and closer to the boy, his one trembling hand reaching out and taking the child’s offering. Starsky looked around, seeing no one else around, and noticing that the child was clever and quite smart, always staying in the shadows of an occasional passing search light as it swept through the yard.

 

“W…what’s your n…name k…kid?” Starsky stuttered, his teeth chattering together from the chill that had set deep inside his bones.

 

“Billy, names Billy.” He answered, never taking his eyes of the shivering man.

 

He watched as Starsky tore off a piece of bread, taking time and effort to get it shakily into his mouth.

 

“We call him Billy Goat…” The man in the next cage roared with laughter, as both Starsky and the boy begged him to keep it down.

 

“I can’t stay mister; I just promised that other guy that I’d check on you.” Billy explained nervously as he looked around, knowing that he was taking a chance staying so long.

 

“What guy?” Starsky asked as he winced, trying to sit up straighter, while also trying to protect his privacy, completely aware that he was fully exposed.

 

“Some guy, s’name is Kent something…” Billy explained as he tossed in the last of the bread into both cages, splitting in half.

 

“What’s he look like?” Starsky asked, his teeth still chattering.

 

“He’s really tall, and blond…” Billy related as he turned around, preparing to leave. “Look I really gotta go, they’ll beat me good if they catch me out here. I’ll come back again, when I get the chance, your friend said to hang in there, he’s gonna get you outta here.” Billy said as he sprang up quickly, sprinting across the courtyard weaving in and out of the shadows, definitely in stealth mode. 

 

Starsky struggled hard to get his body to cooperate and stop shaking, but between the abuse he had recently endured and the chill in the night air, it was impossible. He picked up the last of the bread that Billy had left him, as his eyes were drawn to the man in the next stall. He was so thin, so frail…Starsky pulled himself over closer to the bars separating him, threading his arm through his cage and tossing the bread to the old man beside him.

 

“Here old man, you need this more than I do.” Starsky whispered as he pulled his body back, bracing himself against the uncomfortable cage, pulling his knees up and wrapping both arms around his knees, trying to keep the body heat in.

 

He tried to figure out what time it was, and as near as he could tell it had to be close to 4 am, just 2 more hours till sunrise, 2 more hours until the warmth of daybreak would give him a reprieve of the solidarity of darkness and coldness that filled the brunet’s sole, both inside and out. He grimaced as a spasm of pain flashed through him sharply and he allowed it to pass before sighing heavily, allowing his body to rest against the back of his cell.

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~ooooo~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

Hutch opened his eyes; he blinked hard, the realization hitting him hard as he panicked slightly. He didn’t mean to fall asleep, he remembered waiting for Billy to get back, he just closed his eyes for a second, he was so tired. He sat up quickly, noting the dim light that was filtering through the window above the door casting shadows across the room.

 

He stood up, lifting his aching and nearly exhausted body off the cot as he made his way towards the door, tripping over something that was left in a heap in the middle of the floor.

 

He heard a groan as his eyes started to adjust to the darkness as he saw the form starting to move, curling up and then rising to a sitting position.

 

“M’sorry.” A young quiet voice moaned as Hutch realized that it was the young boy. “I came back and you were ‘sleep, I just wanted to rest for an hour, so I crashed here, m’sorry, please don’t be mad at me.” Billy spat out as Hutch saw the boy avoiding looking at him in the face.

 

“Hey, hey…s’okay, I’m not mad, you okay? I didn’t mean to step on you, next time you might want to let me know you’re gonna sleep where I walk.” Hutch broke a slight smile, trying to ease Billy’s fears. The tall blond sensed the boy’s fear and apprehension, it appeared that he was used to being in trouble and used to getting yelled at. Hutch wanted the boy to trust him.

 

Hutch knelt next to the nervous child as the boy rubbed the sleep from his eyes. “Did I hurt you?” Hutch asked as he put a supportive hand on Billy’s shoulder.

 

“Nah. I’m fine…really…” Billy looked into Hutch’s sky blue eyes,  “You’re really not mad at me?”

 

Hutch scrubbed his hand through the boys curly hair, smiling letting out a slight snort, “Don’t be ridiculous, why would I be mad.” Something startled the tall blond, his heart jumping slightly, “You’re not going to be in trouble are you? I mean wont they be looking for you?”

 

“No, I am able to roam pretty freely, but usually I need permission to sleep in one of their rooms, or they get real mad at me…” his voice trailed off, as Hutch knew that he had memories that he probably did not want to revisit.

 

“Did you see him? The new guy, did you get to talk to him?” Hutch asked, his face lighting up with hope.

 

“Yeah…I saw him.” Billy answered the question but gave not other info.

 

“Well?” Hutch exclaimed, “What’s he say? How was he? Is he hurt?”

 

Billy shook his head at Hutch’s innocence as to what was going on around him. “He’s being conditioned, trained, what kind of condition do you think he’s in?” He looked at the tall blond in disbelief. “More men die during conditioning then by execution here. If they’re strong enough to survive conditioning, then they are eligible for sale, if they die, then it’s really no loss to them, so they don’t care how much he hurts, how little he eats, or what kind of condition he is in. All they care about right now is breaking him as fast as possible, the less damage the do, the higher the price he’ll fetch. But make no mistake, they wont think twice about killing him if they have to.”

 

The words coming from such a young boy shocked Hutch as he fell back, his butt hitting the floor, his head falling to rest in his hand. “What can we do to help him?”

 

“Do you believe in praying? It’s not gonna be easy for him, but he’ll do it, I know he will, I can tell. He’s a lot like my Pop, stubborn and hot-headed…if it weren’t for me, my Pop woulda never given up.” Billy’s voice cracked, as his voice started to waiver. “They took my Dad away and sold him; to some master…he’s a servant, reduced to nothing, all because of me…” The boy’s large brown eyes bore into Hutch’s soul, “and if they find out that you care about him, or vise versa, they’ll do the same thing to him, they’ll use you to break him, so you can’t trust anyone, you shouldn’t even be trusting me.” Billy warned.

 

“I need your help Billy, I need to get a message to the outside.” Hutch stated.

 

“I already told, that ain’t going to happen.”

 

“Look, do you know where they took your father?” Hutch asked the boy who just shook his head sadly.

 

“Tell you what, you help me, and I will help you, I will help you find your Dad and get you two back together,” Hutch tipped his head down, looking through his eyebrows at the boy, “deal?” He asked as the young lad that looked to the man, the deep fear and hurt that was evident in his gaze nearly broke the tall blondes’ heart.

 

“I’ll do the best I can.” He agreed as he picked himself up and made his way to the door of the room, opening it slowly. “I’m gonna go see how your friend is doing, I’ll get back to you as soon as it is safe.” He said as he looked out in the hall and then vanished quickly before Hutch could reply, or warn him to be careful. The thought of using and possibly endangering this young boy sickened the tall blond, but he had no choice, his options were limited.

 

 

~~~~~~~~~ooooo~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

Billy once again found himself trying to walk as nonchalantly through the camp as he headed down the middle of the court yard, headed for the cages. He saw the old man in the center of the cage, out in front, his body bared as he begged a guard for some crumbs of food.

 

He made his way around the row of cells as he casually passed several men, stopping to accept their greeting or the occasion scrub of his head by them. Once he got close enough, his heart sank and his eyes widened as he noticed something missing in Starsky’s cage…Starsky. The cage was empty, the door wide open. Billy looked around the yard trying to spot the brunet, wondering where they would have taken him to so soon, usually it didn’t happen this fast, he started to panic for the blonde’s friend as he realized that they were speeding up the process, and that Starsky had not gotten the chance to recover, or even rest. He knew that this was not going to be good, for any of them.

 

He ran back to relay his finding to his new blond friend, he was worried about how he would take this; he hoped he wouldn’t be mad at him.

 

 

~~~~~~~~ooooo~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

Hutch was standing, his back to the door, stretching out his tall frame, attempting to work out the kinks in his back. He was tired, his body was feeling the pure exhaustion that made every muscle and all of his bones ache. He jumped as Billy rushed through the door to his room, his cop instinct kicking in as he whipped around, posing a defensive stance against the poor frightened boy who jump back. Hutch relaxed quickly when he saw the fear in young Billy’s eyes.

 

“M’ sorry.” Hutch apologized quickly, seeing the terror in the boys face.

 

Billy sensed Hutch’s intentions immediately as he relax and calmed his own fears, sucking in a deep breath.

 

“He’s gone…he’s gone…” Billy blurted out as Hutch nervously took him by the arm, pulling him completely inside his room, looking in the hall, both directions to make sure that no one was around, before he closed the door and turned his attention back to the young man.

 

“W…whatya mean gone? Where?” Hutch asked, the worry and determination painted across his face.

 

“I…I don’t know…I mean, they probably took him to hurt him some more, but I don’t know. He was just gone…” Billy stammered.

 

Hutch grabbed the boy by both arms, shaking him slightly and bringing him closer the detective. “Listen to me, Billy…I need your help…I need to get to a phone, you gotta think, is there any other phones around here?”

 

Billy paused, his mind racing.

 

“Think!” Hutch shouted at him.

 

“I…I…I don’t know, the only one I’ve seen is the one in Mr. Kiles’ office, I don’t know…” he almost lost his control as Hutch released him, realizing that he was taking his fear and worry out on a mere child.

 

Hutch straightened his posture, his finger and thumb stroking his chin, he knew that he would have to find a way to get to Jason’s phone; Starsky’s life depended on it.

 

“Kiles wants to see you Kent…” A voice boomed as the door opened again and Montag and Rigsby entered the room, they looked at Billy, and then over at Hutch. “What the hell is he doing here?” Rigsby asked as he stepped towards the young boy.

 

Chapter Ten

 

 

Hutch took a step towards Rigsby, placing himself between him and Billy protectively.

 

“I asked him to wake me up this morning, I didn’t want to oversleep.” Hutch lied, thinking quickly on his feet.

 

“Kiles wants to see you Cummings.” Montag noted as he eyed the two suspiciously. 

 

Hutch almost didn’t recognize the fact that Montag was talking to him, the name sounding so foreign.

 

Rigsby looked at Billy, “Go fetch us some coffee and sweet rolls, bring them to the office!” Billy just stared up at him, seemingly afraid to move, “Now!” he shouted as the child jumped to and ran out the door slamming it behind him.

 

Both Montag and Rigsby laughed at his reaction as Hutch joined in, sickened by the way they got their thrills. Rigsby looked back at the tall blond, “Let’s get you back to Jason, he misses you.” He taunted as the three of them left Hutch’s modest room.

 

~~~~~~~~~ooooo~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

Jason sat behind his desk, leaning back in his high back leather chair. Everything else inside the camp was modest and humble, except for his office that boasted the finer things in life, including the chair and solid oak desk, both of his finely chiseled, muscular legs up in the corner of his hard wood desk. He lay back in the chair, one arm behind his head, as his other hand twirled and rolled a Cuban cigar between his lips and over his tongue.

 

A knock on the door, three successive raps, followed by two short ones, made Jason drop his jean clad legs to the floor and sit up, leaning with both arms on the desk in front of him, “C’me in.” he commanded.

 

Hutch, Montag and Rigsby entered the room, in that order. Hutch stood to the right side of the desk as the other two filed in behind him.

 

“So tell me Kent, how do you like what you’ve seen so far?” Kiles asked as he took a long drag from his cigar.

 

“Nice little operation you got goin’ here, but I’d like to see more of it.” Hutch pushed as he took a seat across from the arrogant man.

 

Kiles let out a roar of laughter, followed by his other two lackeys as they all apparently shared some inside joke.

 

“Now just slow down there Superman, you got a lot of due paying to do before you get in on the whole operation…” Kiles explained, “…after all, how do we know we can trust you? We really don’t know anything ‘bout you ‘cept you like to kick the shit out of Jews.”

 

“Look,” Hutch exclaimed, in his most serious of tones, “I am sick and tired of watching everyone around me get ahead, while I work twice as hard to stay in the same place.” He growled, his brow furrowing, deepening the crease between his eyes. “I want nothing more then to watch the likes of my brother-in-law fail miserably. But I’ll be damned if I am going to sit back, here among the likes of you, and allow you to make me feel inferior, you seem to mistake the fact that I am one of you, and I won’t be treated like one of them!” Hutch’s heart began to race, his nerves starting to grow edgy as he worried about pushing the envelope too far.

 

The three men exchanged appreciative glances as Kiles spoke, “Looks like my boys were right on the mark about you…you’re gonna fit in just fine here Kent.” Kiles gave his mark of approval before a knock on the door interrupted them again.

 

“Come in!” Kiles shouted irritated by the interruption.

 

The door opened and a man entered, his face covered in sweat and he was slightly out of breath. “12687 is ready for conditioning.” The man announced as he left, closing the door.

 

Kiles rose from his seat, “I’ve got work to do,” he explained as he looked at Montag, “Make sure Mr. Cummings here is comfortable, see to it he gets anything he needs.” He instructed as he moved towards the door.

 

“What I’d really like is to come with you and see the rest of the show.” He requested, causing Kiles to consider granting his permission.

 

“Sorry Kent, maybe next time, right now, I have a lot of work to do, besides, I’m still not so sure your ready for this.” He stated as he pulled the door opened and left the room, Rigsby following him obediently.

 

Montag and Hutch were left in the room alone as the tall blond looked around, searching the room, “Listen, you gotta phone I could use…if I don’t call in to work, my boss is gonna put out a missing persons on me.” Hutch joked as he anxiously awaited an answer.

 

“Sure, over there…on Kiles desk, but be careful what you say, remember I’m gonna be right here listening to you.” Montag warned the blond, making sure that he know he was still not completely trusted.

 

Hutch stood and rounded the desk, picking up the receiver and dialing the station, hoping Dobey was in his office, only getting one shot at dialing his direct line.

 

 

~~~~~~~~~ooooo~~~~~~~~~

 

 

Kiles entered the room; Starsky had been secured to a wooden chair and placed right in the middle, his hands bound tightly behind him. His face was drawn and weary, the shades of purple and burgundy bruising that began to cover his entire body pleased the sadistic man enough to bring a smile to his face.

 

“Good work.” He commented on his men’s handling of the prisoner.

 

Starsky lifted his heavy head, his muscles screaming at even the slightest of movements, his body crying to rest. He was aware of Jason’s presence in the room, but as of yet, could not see him.

 

“Name!” Jason shouted, his voice dark and ominous.

 

Starsky struggled for his brain to comprehend and process what was being asked of him, he apparently didn’t do it fast enough as he felt a hit to his side, gasping in agony as his already battered body protested the attack.

 

“I said NAME!!!” Jason yelled again as Starsky’s breathing increased, panic starting to set in.

 

He new the answer, he knew what Jason was asking; he couldn’t process it and get it from his brain and out of his mouth.

 

Another hit from the other side, struck him right beneath his ribs as he felt the contents of his stomach rise and burst out from his mouth, vomiting all over the floor in front of him, coughing as gasping trying to get it all out.

 

A handful of his hair was grasped as his head was snapped back, Jason’s hot breath against his cheek as Starsky swallowed hard, trying to compose himself. “Name.” Jason hissed into his ear quietly.

 

“1…1…26….8…7,” Starsky stuttered as his voice grew weak and strained, “Sir…” he gasped as his head was thrown forward, his chin hitting his chest.

 

“Atta boy…” Jason said approvingly, “You’re gonna learn your place here real fast.” He stated as he circled Starsky’s chair, listening to the brunet groan and struggle to breathe, he knew he was tired, knew he needed food and rest, he also knew that he had intended neither for the curly haired Jew.

 

“Now listen up, from here on out…I am either Master or Sir, you will not look me in the eyes no matter what, you will keep your head down, looking at your own repulsive body, under no circumstances are you to look at anyone else, you have no rights, no respect, no worth here. You will be stripped of everything you ever were, inside and out…only here, will you learn your true place in this world, your true lot in life. Some people were meant to lead, others to serve…do you know which one you are, 12687?” Jason approached Starsky from the front, bending in half, his face level to Starsky’s as the detective avoid any eye contact, focusing on his own bare, bruised knee as it shook uncontrollably. 

 

“Sssserve.” Starsky answered, his lip quivering, his mind wandering to his partner. Where was Hutch? Didn’t he know how much he needed him? Didn’t he know what they were making him do? Was he okay, maybe he was hurt too…? Starsky felt a back hand to the side of his head.

 

“You stupid fuck! You forgot to say Sir!” Jason screamed, the sting of his knuckles throbbing against Starsky’s cheek.

 

“Sir….!” Starsky shouted quickly and obediently, “I…I’m sorry, Sir!” His voice was shaking as he choked on every word.

 

The room swam as Starsky fought to remain conscious, he struggled to listen and follow the directions he was being given.

 

“Now, I want you to repeat after me…” Jason sat on the edge of a table, that was just out of Starsky’s reach.

 

Starsky’s head remained bent, his chin on his chest, his eyes focused as much as possible on the ground beneath his feet, he listened intently, knowing that whatever Jason instructed him to do or say, he was going to have to go along with it if he was going to survive this, he had to make it through this and get out of his current predicament, he had to find Hutch and make sure he was okay.

 

“I am here to serve…” Jason orated.

 

“I…I’m here t…to serve…” Starsky repeated thinking to himself that it wasn’t so bad, it sure was easier then getting beaten.

 

“I am paying for the sins of my fathers, of my brothers…”

 

“I am paying…for the sins…of my fathers…and brothers…”

 

Jason rose and walked towards the brunet as Starsky began to shake in fear and anticipation of what was to come.

 

“I am nothing…” Jason said in a low hiss.

 

“I…am nothing.” Starsky’s voice quaked.

 

“I am a Jew…”

 

Starsky swallowed hard, fighting back the urge to fight and scream…a part of him feeling so alone and broken, he was afraid. Afraid he would never see his blond partner again…

 

“I am a Jew…”

 

The commotion in the room stirred Starsky’s senses as he saw many feet scurrying about, and things happening in the room, just when he felt like he would make it through this session, he felt his body being touched and felt, before he knew it, he felt the sharp sting of something slicing into his back, several times, across his shoulders…he screamed out, unable to stop the reaction from the surges of pain that shot across his back, and shoulders, he felt his neck and jaw being grabbed by several strong hands as he spat and fought against them…Suddenly the room began to fade, and the blanket of darkness consumed him once again.

 

 

~~~~~~~~~ooooo~~~~~~~~~

 

 

Hutch clutched the phone, cupping the mouthpiece in his right palm, away from Montag as he waited for Dobey, or someone to pick up.

 

He was relieved and frightened at the same time when he heard the rotund man’s voice bellow from the other end, “Dobey, what is it?” The voice growled.

 

“Ca…er, Harold, is me, Kent…Kent Cummings.” Hutch prayed that his Captain recognized his voice.

 

“Who?

 

Hutch’s heart sank, “Listen, I just wanted to tell you, I’m not coming in.” He continued with high anticipations.

 

Hutchinson, is that you?”

 

The tall blond sighed in relief. “That’s right, you heard me and I don’t think I’ll be back either!” he fumed.

 

“What the Sam hell are you talking about? And where in the hell are you?”

 

“Let’s just say that I was getting tired of they way I’ve been treated in that department, and I want out!” Hutch spat.

 

“Listen Hutchinson, I don’t know who you think you are, but if you and your partner don’t get your sorry behind…”

 

“I don’t think you heard me right, there is no way I’m coming back to that place, you got me?”

 

Dobey’s voice became soft and concerned, “Listen son, are you in some kind of trouble?”

 

“That’s exactly what I said!” Hutch answered, thrilled that Dobey caught on.

 

“Is Starsky with you?”

 

“Yes, yes it’s true. I want outta there.” Hutch finished as he noted Montag pacing and eyeing him nervously.

 

“Where are you?”

 

“I have no idea what you’re talking about Harold!” Hutch looked over at Montag, “Look, I got to be going now, I just wanted you know not to be expecting me anytime soon.”

 

“Hutch, we’ll find you…I promise!” Dobey blurted out.

 

“See to it that you do!” The blond said angrily as he slammed the phone down into its cradle, looking back up at Montag as the door flew open and a terrified Billy ran into the room.

 

Chapter Eleven

 

 

Jason finished his task and looked at the unconscious detective with disgust and disdain. He looked at his artwork and then over to one of his men, “Get him outta here, he makes me sick!” He ordered as the men jumped into action, untying the brunet, and holding him to keep him from falling out of the chair as Jason continued to instruct his men. “Hose him down, he’s starting to stink.” He finished as he left the room, and headed back towards his office.

 

The men continued preparing the prisoner, as they drug him, carrying him out if the office, his bent knees and legs dragging behind his limp form. They carried him out to the courtyard, and onto a large concrete slab in the middle of a wide opened space, his hands were shackled to tall iron poles, hanging him from his wrists as his knees rested against the hard surface.

 

 

~~~~~~~~~oooo~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

“What the hell do you want?” Montag spewed at the pre teen that had just burst into the room.

 

Billy looked around the room, his face paling as the perspiration continued to bead up on his skin.

 

Hutch quickly saw the gravity of the situation, and the shear terror on child’s face as he took control of the situation. “I thought I told you to wait in my room!” He shouted in mock anger at the frightened boy. “You sure don’t listen very good, now do you?”

 

N-n-no Sir…” he stuttered, quickly regretting his rash decision to find the tall blond after witnessing the horrific torture that the brunet had just endured.

 

The tall blond approached the young man, grabbing a fistful of his shirt and jerking him closer. “Now I want you to listen, and this time I want you to hear me…go to my room and wait there. I’ve got shit to do here, and this is no place for you to be!” He commanded as yet another man entered the room, looking at Montag.

 

“Kiles wants you, in the courtyard, now!” He relayed the message before quickly disappearing out of the room.

 

Montag looked at Hutch and the boy, seemingly satisfied with Hutch’s handling of the situation, “I think you both better get back to your room. Why don’t you escort Billy Goat here back to the dorm, I gotta go see what Jason wants.” He stated as he headed for the door, holding it open for the two guests.

 

Hutch and Billy passed through the doorway, the tall blond still holding the boy by the scruff of the neck. As they continued down the hallway, Hutch looked around. Montag followed them a short way and then branched off, heading down another corridor.

 

Hutch bent slightly, whispering in the young man’s ear, “What the hell were you thinking, coming in there like that, he coulda hurt you?” Hutch explained as he felt Billy starting to tremble under his hand. “What’s wrong?” Hutch became quickly aware of Billy’s desperation.

 

“It’s that guy, the one you told me to keep an eye on…” His voice low and barely audible as he kept his eyes forward, “they hurt ‘im…they hurt him really bad…” his voice trailed off.

 

Hutch felt his heart sink into the depths of his chest, “What you mean hurt him? What’d they do?”

 

“They had him tied to a chair…they hit him a couple times…” Billy tried to convey they events as they replayed in his mind.

 

“Go on…what else did they do to him, come one Billy tell me, is he okay?” The tone of Hutch’s voice made evident the slight hint of panic as his voice pitched.

 

“T-t-then they took a knife…” Hutch stopped him in his tracks as his face paled with what he had just heard.

 

“They did what?” The tall blond asked in disbelief as his brow furrowed, his eyes darting around as his heart started to race anticipatorily. “Oh Jesus, no…” Hutch gasped as he started to push past the boy and out the door of the building.

 

Billy stopped Hutch by grabbing his wrist and tugging on it firmly, causing him to turn around sharply. “You can’t go rushing out there…you’ll get you both killed…he’s okay, he’s just hurt…don’t screw this up.” Billy warned as Hutch saw the wisdom in the young innocent boy’s face as the curly haired boy’s dark features penetrated his heart. This boy reminded him of someone very close to him, he was wise beyond his years.

 

Hutch paused and took a deep breath; nothing in his police training prepared him for this, to stand by and watch his best friend being tortured, and not do anything to stop it. He knew Billy was right, he knew that he had to be careful if he stood any chance of getting them both out of their alive. He looked around the hallway where they stood, and then back down at the young boy in front of him, “Okay, okay…lets get back to my room, we have to figure out a way outta here, and I’m gonna need your help to do it.” Hutch noted as Billy opened the door and then looked back at him, over his shoulder.

 

“Listen, no matter what you see out here, just keep walking…don’t react…we’ll get him out of here, but you have to listen to me.” He said quickly and then started to walk away, Hutch following close behind.

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~ooooo~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

Hutch and Billy walked across the compound, the smaller boy in front. Hutch tried to be inconspicuous as he scanned the camp, looking for weaknesses and possible escape routes. He noted that Billy’s pace increased as Hutch needed to step up to keep up. He heard laughing coming from around the corner of a concrete wall, watching water as it trickled off a slab and into the dirt. The cool damp air brought a chill to the tall blonde’s frame. He heard roars of laughter and whoops and hollers of joyous celebration as both males made it around the building.

 

Billy whispered a warning that Hutch that made the tall blond shudder, “Just keep walking, ‘member?” he stated quickly as he was almost jogging at this point.

 

Hutch hopped to keep up, and then stopped immediately as he rounded the building, catching sight of his partner, suspended from to poles, chains harboring his red and swollen wrists. Several men surrounded Starsky as they used a high power hose to spray down his friend. Starsky shivered, his skin was a light shade of blue, his naked body hung, his knees barely touching the concrete slab below him. Hutch took a step toward him as he felt a tug on his shirt, looking down to see Billy’s large brown eyes staring up at him, pleading with him to follow. 

 

He looked nervously at his injured partner, down at the boy, and then back to his partner. He closed his eyes briefly as he whispered a silent prayer for Starsky and then followed Billy back towards his room. He fought with everything he had to fight off the urge to rush back to the concrete slab they had Starsky restrained on, wanting nothing more then to rip everyone of the miserable people that were hosing him down, limb from limb. He had to fight against his own will and his own heart as he tried desperately to keep his wits about him.

 

He tried to make eye contact with his partner, but Starsky’s head was bowed, his eyes barely open. Hutch was just going to have to try for a better time to make contact with him, he knew Starsky needed him, needed his contact, his words, his support, and he needed it soon.

 

Reluctantly, he followed Billy back to the building that housed his room. Once inside, Hutch paced relentlessly, his mind racing at a fevered pace. Billy busied himself around the room, looking under the bed and in the small closet until he found what he was looking for, a change of clothes. He pulled them out, holding them neatly folded in both hands offering up to Hutch with a look seeking his approval.

 

“What’s that?” Hutch asked the young man.

 

“It’s a change of clothes, what does it look like?” Billy asked innocently enough. “There’s more in the closet.”

 

“What’d you want me to do with those?”

 

“Nothing stupid…I am…” Billy answered, reminding Hutch of the way he and Starsky always indulged in playful banter. “I’m gonna sneak them to your friend, at least he can where them for a while, help him warm up a bit…they’ll take them away when they find him in ‘em, but at least he it’ll help for a while.”

 

Hutch felt himself drawn into the child’s innocence and good nature, wanting to help, to make someone’s life, someone he didn’t even know, easier…then the reality set in…what if he was caught, it was too dangerous, and even Starsky himself wouldn’t want that.

 

“I can’t let you do that Billy, it’s too dangerous.” Hutch protested as Billy headed for the door.

 

“Nah, it aint nuthin’, I’ve done this before, don’t worry…I know what I’m doing.” He explained before disappearing quickly, before Hutch had a chance to object any further.

 

Hutch fought the urge to follow the young boy, worried about his partner, but also worried about endangering the one person in this camp that was trying to help him. This child was risking his life to help Starsky, he was doing more then even the tall blond was doing, and that realization struck Hutch hard, nearly bringing him to his knees in desperation.

 

~~~~~~~~~~ooooo~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

Billy carefully made his way downstairs and to the brunet. Starsky lay in a heap in the corner of the cell, his body jerking violently, shivering from the cold and twitching from his injuries. Billy heard his labored breathing and his heart seized in sorrow for the man. The young boys mind wandered back to his father, his memories flooding back as his eyes filled with water, as he recalled the way the men beat and tortured his father, trying to break the once strong and proud man that was Billy’s idol. He remembered the look in his father’s eyes as he succumbed to their demands, complying with their wishes as they held Billy in front of him, threatening to slice his throat if his father didn’t obey. He remembered them continuing to condition and abuse his father until the man had nothing left, no strength, no free will, no dignity. He reached his small hand through the bars of the cage, trembling as he tapped the brunet on the shoulder, earning him a subtle grunt from the injured man.

 

“Pssst…hey Mister…wake up…I brought you some clothes.” Billy whispered, trying to sooth Starsky into consciousness.

 

Starsky’s head moved slightly from side to side, his skin glistened with moisture as he lay on his back, face up. Billy poked his shoulder a little harder.

 

“Come on Mister, wake up. You need to put this on…” Billy threaded a shirt and a pair of pants through the cell bars, laying them next to the waking man.

 

“…utch…” Starsky groaned, swallowing hard, trying to push the pain and cold from every nerve of his body. “Hutch…” he repeated.

 

“Wake up…” Billy encouraged the brunet to continue his journey back to him, “Come on, you can do it…I got somethin’ for ya.” A slight excitement caused the tone of his voice to rise as he anticipated his awakening.

 

Starsky’s eyes opened briefly, then closed just as fast, his dark lashes pressing hard against his cheek, trying desperately to will himself back into the painless world of darkness he was being unwillingly pulled from.

 

“I brought some food for ya’ too.” Billy added as he pulled a roll out of his jacket.

 

Starsky heard the word food and struggled harder to bring himself back, he was famished. He knew that food wood be vital in maintaining his strength.  He groaned as he slowly rolled to his side, blinking rapidly as he tried to focus on the young man, staring at him sympathetically. The pain that he construed from the look on the youngsters face, tore at the detective.

 

He saw the clothes lying beside him, his trembling hand reaching for them, feeling elated by the feel of the flannel pants, and zippered, hooded sweat jacket that he pulled closer to his frigid body. His breaths came in short, quick gasps as he fought to control of it, along with his shaking body.

 

He slowly pulled on the flannelled, draw string pants, rolling on his side, and struggling to get them on. Billy watched him as Starsky grew more and more frustrated. He was finally successful barely pulling them up to his hips. He looked at Billy, his drawn and weary face showing his exhaustion and pain. His eyes locked with the boys as he looked at the shirt he still needed to maneuver.

 

Billy reached through the bars, motioning at the detective, “C’mere,” he instructed him as Starsky grunted and struggled to scoot closer to the child. “Turn ‘round.” Billy continued to direct his new found friend. “The guards wont be back for several hours, I’ll come back before their rounds and take these back, don’t worry.” Billy reassured him.

 

Starsky smiled in appreciation, only have of his mouth curled upward. “Thanks kid.” He whispered as he complied.

 

The brunet groaned unintentionally as he turned his back on the boy, for him to help with his jacket. Billy gasped in horror as he saw Starsky’s back, he threw the jacket over the curly haired man’s shoulders, and held the arms for Starsky to slowly slip his arms through. His young face paled as he felt his stomach turning, unable to take his eyes off of the cruel wounds that they had inflicted on this man, simply because he wasn’t one of them. As soon as the jacket was on, Billy set some bread and cheese down beside the detective and whispered. “I’ll be back in a few hours, get some rest and eat.” He patted him on the shoulder, carefully avoiding the area that appalled him so.

 

He rose quickly to his feet and ran off, back to report to the tall blond that was waiting for word. How was he going to take it when he told them what they had done to his friend’s back?

 

Chapter Twelve

 

 

Billy slowly entered Hutch’s room, pushing the door open slightly as he peeked around the doorway, finding the room empty. He stepped in cautiously and closed the door, his eyes tracing around the small space as he looked for nothing in particular. He sat on Hutch’s bed, the mattress feeling more then inviting to the weary child. He had had very little sleep over the past couple of days and the fatigue was setting in. Pushing himself up on the bed completely, he used his arms to lift his body towards the pillow. Laying back he allowed the comfort surrounding his body to consume him quickly, into a deep, peaceful slumber.

 

 

ooooOOOOoooo

 

 

Hutch allowed the hot pulsating shower to beat against his aching back, stretching his neck, backwards and forwards, trying to loosen up the stiffness that was building. It felt good, he needed this to wash away the filth that covered his body and to try and relax his body from the tension that racked it since his arrival at this concentration type camp. He knew there were other prisoners, but had yet to see them. How many were here, he had no idea, but he knew he had to help them, but first he had to take care of his partner. He finished soaking up the heat and pulsing of the shower, and turned and shut it off. Flinging back the curtain, he grabbed the dingy yellow towel that he had slung over the sink, wrapping it around his waist. His tall frame and taught back muscles flexed with every move as the water dripped from his wet blond locks.

 

Stepping out of the stall, he headed back down the hallway to his room. All the tenants on the east side of the building shared one bathroom, the ones on the west shared another.

 

He walked into his room, instantly spotting the sleeping Billy on his bed. He knew the boy was tired and needed his rest, he also knew that he needed to know how his partner was. Hutch allowed the boy to continue to sleep as he searched the room for clean clothes to wear. Finding a change of clothes, he looked over his shoulder, making sure that Billy was still sleeping. He carefully pulled the pants on, under his towel, hiking them over his hips and buttoning them. He finished dressing by pulling a sweater over his head, thrusting both arms into the sleeves.

 

The tall detective looked down at the peacefully sleeping child, sitting on the bed next to him, his own fatigue taking control of his body. He lay back, staring at the ceiling, his forearm on his forehead, eyes blinking, feeling heavy and gritty with every movement. He closed his eyes one final time, it felt so good, he knew that just letting them rest for a few minutes wouldn’t hurt anything.

 

 

ooooOOOOoooo

 

 

 

Kiles walked through the yard, occasionally when sleep eluded him; he would walk the grounds, taking in his accomplishment and the new world that he was creating, one Jew at a time. He enjoyed the cool crisp night air, seeing his breath play out in front of him in the form of fog as it lifted into the dark sky, the deeper he breathed the more the fog. He made his rounds, first to the men inside the barrack type buildings, the ones that had earned their rights to be able to sleep inside, on hard cots barely wide enough for their thin frames. Many of them were emaciated, frail from months of near starvation and abuse. Some were still in fairly good shape, sure to fetch Jason Kiles top dollar on the black market. The thought excited him and he felt himself actually becoming aroused at his achievements as he eyed each and every one of them. He decided quickly that it would be best for him to take his reacting body outside, into the night air, to clear his thoughts, and focus on the prizes that awaited him.

 

He left the building, the cold air hitting his cheeks harshly. He walked into the middle of the yard, passing the three cages that held any prisoners that were being ‘difficult’. The old man was now in the cage on the left as Kiles rounded the corner. He had earned minimal clothing back, a pair of shorts, but nothing else. He wasn’t even shaking anymore, his body seemingly adapting to the cool temperatures. He passed the elderly male and stopped in his tracks as he looked in on the center cage and found a fully clothed Jew.

 

“Son of a bitch!” Kiles shouted as he looked down at the sleeping brunet. “Guard!!!!” He screamed out, his anger boiling over as Starsky jerked awake sitting up slowly, his body once again screaming out with the sudden movements.

 

“Where’d you get the clothes?” Kiles asked a confused and only partially awake Starsky.

 

The brunet stayed silent, it took him a minute to remember where he had gotten them, and once he did, he wasn’t about to tell the insanely angry man that stood before him.

 

“I asked you a question!” Kiles shouted as the guard positioned himself in front of his boss, nervously trying several keys, attempting to unlock the cage. By this time, several other guards had joined the trio.

 

“I had t…them hidden…” Starsky stuttered, knowing that what was about to happen was going to be painful and there was even a chance that this time, he may not survive. But he also knew that he couldn’t give up the child that tried to help him.

 

Kiles burst into the cell followed by the largest of the guards. He grabbed a handful of Starsky’s hair, snapping his head backwards, exposing his neck. Drawing a large knife from the back of his waistband of his jeans, his placed the cold steel blade against the trembling man’s throat, applying just enough pressure to make him flinch, feeling the sharp edge barely pierce his flesh.

 

“Now tell me where you gottem!” Kiles demanded, growling, his lips pursing together.

 

“The boy…it was the goat boy…” A voice from behind Kiles spoke.

 

Jason turned to see the old man, weakly trying to push himself up off the cold concrete ground. “Billy brought them.”

 

Starsky felt his heart seize in panic as Kiles released his hair, giving it a final shove forward, just for good merit.

 

Kiles looked at one of his guards that still stood outside the box, “Get me the boy.” He ordered as the guard ran off obediently.

 

“No…no…no…don’t…I mean…he didn’t do shit…leave him alone…if…if you wanna punish someone, punish me…just…just leave the boy…alone.” Starsky pled as Kiles laughed, walking past him and leaving the cage, the other guard following close behind.

 

“You don’t know how it works ‘round here…see…if someone crosses me, that it is my job to teach them a lesson…” He said quietly as he turned his back on the detective, walking away slowly. “Now we wait.” He stated as they all paused in the center of the courtyard and waited patiently for Kiles next victim to be brought to him, the evil man becoming aroused once again.

 

“No…please God…no…” Starsky gasped as he allowed his forehead to rest against the cold black steel of the bars of his confines, his desperation blossoming to a whole new level. “Hutchhhh.” He whispered, silently praying for the White Knight to ride in and save the day.

 

 

ooooOOOOoooo

 

 

Hutch’s mind wandered peacefully in his dream state, he and Starsky running through the streets of Bay City, tearing after a wanted criminal. Just the way it should be, Starsky out in front, and Hutch watching his back. Even though they were headed into danger, at least they were able to watch out for each other…suddenly the scene faded to a beautifully sunny day on a crystal clear beach. Both of them in shorts and shirtless, lounging in the warm sun, enjoying the mild Southern California weather…Two beautiful women jogging, catching both of their attention as the rose up, propping themselves up on their elbows, watching the scenery as it the women’s assets  bounced on by.

 

He was suddenly jolted out of his mirage by the door to his room being flung open loudly, the handle bouncing off the wall. Rigsby shouted out as he eyed the boy who sat up startled and scared by the rude awakening. Hutch tried to clear the fog from his head as quickly as possible. Billy curled up on the bed, slowly scooting himself farther back against the wall until he had no where else to retreat.

 

Hutch tried to place his body between the intruders and the fearful child as Rigsby approached him, reaching out and grabbing Billy by the wrist, roughly jerking him from the bed and onto the ground next to him.

 

“You little son of a bitch…Kiles knows that it was you that took that Jew his clothes an’ know he wants to see you!” Rigsby growled as Billy’s eyes locked with a frightened Hutch. He showed no terror in his gaze, just a simple acceptance of what was to come.

 

“I’m…m’sorry…he was cold…” Billy answered as Rigsby pulled him closer to him, yanking him up on his feet.

 

“Hey listen, take it easy on the kid…he really didn’t hurt anything, did he?” Hutch tried to convince Rigsby, earning him a roar of laughter.

 

“Well of course he didn’t hurt anything, but he tried to help the Jew…he might as well of slapped Kiles across the face…No one, no one, interferes with Kiles conditioning treatment.” Rigsby looked down at the child, “And now you’re gonna pay for it.”

 

One of Jason’s henchmen took the child and drug him from the room, followed by another one of Kiles men. Hutch stood, preparing to follow the group only to be stopped by a third man. “We’ll send for you when its time, don’t worry, we wont let you miss the show!” he said with a sickening smile washing across his face.

 

Hutch took a step forward, about to step in and stop this from happening. He thought about the child and about his partner the expression on his face changing to anticipation.

 

“Look, I don’t want anything to happen to that kid…he didn’t do anything wrong…at least not as far as he can tell, he’s just a child.” Hutch expressed his feelings.

 

“Don’t worry, Kiles wont kill him, he’s all we got to keep his old man  in line…his father calls here every week just to talk to him, make sure he’s alive…in return, he does whatever he is told, without protest. Makes Kiles a fortune in this line of work, if you know what I mean?” The tall red haired winked at Hutch and then left the room, closing the door behind him.

 

 

ooooOOOOoooo

 

 

Starsky sat in his cell; he was a little surprised that they had not taken his clothes from him. The older man that had been held in the cell next to him was rewarded handsomely for turning the kid in. He was now treated to new warm clothes and a hot meal in the cafeteria in return for his loyalty. Starsky felt his dread and doom building from deep inside, at the very core of his being. Either Starsky or the child would be made to suffer for their indiscretion, and the brunet detective only hoped it would be him.

 

He watched as Rigsby walked with the boy, dragging him half the time if he tripped, until he was able to get his feet underneath him, and attempted to keep up with the larger man’s frantic pace. Starsky’s heart seized and cramped up, his stomach knotting.

 

Billy’s eyes locked with Starsky’s as they came nearer, there was an expression that the brunet read as a calmness, and a resolve about his fate and what was to come. Starsky didn’t feel the same, he wasn’t about to go into this calmly, he couldn’t. If they attempted to harm the boy then Starsky would sacrifice himself to ensure the child’s safety.

 

“Ready to watch him pay for your sins?” Kiles asked Starsky as he delivered a brutal kick to Starsky’s side, knocking him to the ground, leaving him gasping for breath.

Chapter Thirteen

 

 

“You son of a bitch, let ‘im go!” Starsky shouted as he struggled to pull himself to the front of his cage, trying to divert the attention from the boy to himself, but having little luck. “Let go of him, he didn’t do nuthin’!” The brunet pled, his anger having no place to be released, he allowed his forehead to hit against the bar in frustration.

 

Rigsby pulled the small boy up by the collar as Kiles approached him, backhanding him across the side of his cheek, snapping his head to the side.

 

Billy didn’t make a noise, not a peep, not a gasp. Starsky screamed out, “You motherfucker, leave him alone!” He spat as he reached both arms through the bars in a futile effort to reach the men that held this boys fate in their hands.

 

Kiles large hand grabbed Billy’s throat, squeezing tightly, choking the life from the young male. Billy’s eye showed fear, but not panic.

 

“You’re killing him, let him go! I swear, I’ll do anything you say!” Starsky shouted as he started to rip his shirt off of his body, his hands shaking as they reached for the waist of the pants, nervously wanting to remove them and make their punishment stop. “You can have the clothes back, just leave him ‘lone” Starsky begged, his voice cracking.

 

Kiles released Billy’s throat, leaving the boy coughing, his head hung forward as he struggled to catch his breath. With a tip of his head, Kiles instructed his man. Rigsby grabbed a fistful of Billy’s hair, pulling it back, stretching his neck. Kiles once again, connected firmly with Billy’s face, instantly splitting the child’s lip, the blood beginning to trickle down his chin.

 

Starsky’s anger began to boil uncontrollably as he seethed, gasping heavily, trying to breath through his rage, the veins in neck and temple bulging. “Must make you feel real good…beatin’ the shit outta a kid! Why don’t you come over here and take a fucking shot at me asshole!?!”

 

For the most part he was completely ignored by everyone around. All eyes were on the events unfolding in the center of the courtyard, the silence of the others gave Starsky little hope that he would be able to stop what was happening.

 

“Come on!!! Come on!” He cried out as he allowed himself to collapse and slowly fall down to the cold concrete, sliding against the metal bars. “Please, leave ‘im ‘lone…” Starsky sighed heavily. “Please…” He sobbed as he let his head fall forward, afraid to watch anymore.

 

 

ooooOOOOoooo

 

 

Hutch made his way downstairs and out of the building that housed his room. He opened the door carefully, peeking his head out, his eyes darting from side to side. He heard some screaming off in the distance, it was muffled and he wasn’t able to make out the exact words, but he knew it sounded like his partner’s voice.

 

Once he was confident that the coast was clear, he made his way outside and across the courtyard of the camp. The shouting he had heard earlier had subsided as he neared the cages that held his partner. Before he was able to make his way around the wall, a wall that separated him from the most important person in the world to him, he was stopped. A strong arm grabbing his bicep, grasping it firmly and whipping him around, he found himself staring into Montag’s face, the man’s crystal blue eyes glaring deep into Hutch’s soul.

 

“Just where in the hell do you think you are goin?” Montag spewed, his brow furrowing in suspicion and anger. “You were told to stay put until someone came for you.”

 

Hutch let out a nervous snort of laughter, “That was like 15 minutes ago, thought you forgot about me….I didn’t want to miss the show you know…I have, shall we say, a vested interest in this one, and I want to see him pay for everything he’s done, including breathing.”

 

“Yeah? Well I think you’re just a little too eager for your own good…” Montag stated calmly as he pulled the blond back. “You need to get your ass back to your room and wait for instructions…you read me?”

 

“Loud and clear.” Hutch answered as he jerked his arm out of Montag’s grasp.

 

Hutch turned on his heels and headed back to his room, Montag, having no reason to doubt the blond, went on his way, confident that Kent Cummings would follow the directions just given him.

 

Just as Hutch was approaching his building, he ducked around the back side, determined to get to his friend and make sure that he was okay. He knew that if Starsky was being harmed he was going to have to grab him and run. He also knew that doing that would probably cost both of them their lives…he needed to stay calm and not react without weighing all the consequences, but he just couldn’t sit by any longer and watch the horrific treatment that his best friend was receiving. He had to plan an escape, time was of the essence and they needed to make their move fast, for all of their sakes.

 

Hutch waited in the shadows as the grounds cleared out. He slowly made his way towards the cages that housed his partner, being careful not to get caught, knowing that if he did, this time they wouldn’t be so understanding.

 

He stayed in the shadows; somewhat mimicking what he had seen Billy do as he maneuvered his way around. 

 

He approached the wide open space that housed the three iron cages, one that he knew would be occupied by his partner. Peeking his head around the corner, his eyes grew wide as he witnessed one man throwing Billy’s motionless, naked form into the cell next to Starsky.

 

The hot headed brunet continued to shout and scream at Kiles and the others that surrounded his cell.

 

“You sons of bitches…you didn’t need to do that to him, he didn’t do nuthin’! I swear to God, mark my words, one of these days you’re all going to pay for that…I’ll see to it!” Starsky continued to spit out the words faster then Hutch could comprehend them. He closed his eyes briefly, wishing that his friend would close his mouth and just let him handle it. At the rate Starsky was going, it was going to be a long night for him…not if Hutch could help it.

 

The blond heard the clanking of metal against metal as he looked back around the wall, his stomach jumping into this throat as he witnessed three men enter his cage and roughly grab him, dragging him across the ground and out of the cell. They continued to tow him up a set of stairs, his legs hitting the concrete steps roughly before disappearing into a room at the top of the two-story building.

 

 

ooooOOOOoooo

 

 

Starsky was brutally thrown into the room, two men flanking him immediately as Kiles took his time swaggering inside, a smile spreading across his face. The curly haired detective immediately recognized the room; it was the same room that he had been given electric shock therapy earlier. Trying to push himself up on all fours, he looked to his right and saw the metal meshed wall where they had strapped him to before. His heart began to beat a little faster as he realized what they had in store.

 

Rigsby and Hudson, another one of Kiles henchmen that had been absent for quite some time, quickly grabbed Starsky, jerking him up by the arms, they struggled to move him closer to the wall as the brunet began to fight back. Starsky had been some what compliant up until now, but knowing what they were going to do and how much it was going to hurt, he couldn’t help but fight.

 

He snorted, grunted and moaned as he attempted to yank himself free. Rigsby and Hudson tightened their grip as they fought back. Just before they were successful in strapping him to the wall of torture, Starsky twisted his body, turning inward as he rose he free leg, his knee connecting with Hudson’s groin.

 

Letting out a purely animalistic growl, Hudson released his hold on Starsky and reflexively grabbed his crotch with both hands, dropping to his knees. Rigsby quickly retaliated with a vicious blow to the side of the prisoner’s head causing Starsky to see stars, his knees buckling briefly.

 

Rigsby collected his own strength and power as he strapped one of the brunet’s arms to the wired wall. Starsky gasped, he was exhausted and weak, his ankle still throbbed, he had little food and barely any water other then the rain that had fallen. He had no strength left to give, and no fight left to wage against his captors.

 

Hudson had managed to pick himself up off the ground. Kiles was yelling at his man, berating him for being incompetent.

 

“You fucking idiot! How’d you let him get in a shot like that?” Kiles shouted at his employee. “You’re such a loser, I don’t even know why you’re here…get the fuck outta here, I don’t even want to look at you!” Kiles ranted as Hudson walked over towards the partially restrained detective, pulling back his right arm and letting it fly forward, connecting with Starsky’s abdomen, bending him in half. 

 

Starsky heaved and coughed heavily while Rigsby finished restraining his other arm into the device that was made to send vicious amount of electricity surging through its victim’s bodies.

 

Hudson made his way, out of the room as Kiles continued to yell at him and encourage him to leave, actually demanding that he left. Starsky gasped over and over again, breathing heavily, trying his best to catch his breath.

 

“What’s a matter Jew?” Kiles asked, returning his attention to his prey. “Havin’ trouble?”

 

“Fuck you!” Starsky spat, figuring he really had little to loose at this point. Either Hutch would bust in and save him, or he was pretty much a dead man, and at this point it made no difference to him.

 

His head was quickly snapped back, stretching his neck, his Adam’s apple bobbing predominantly as he swallowed his fear.

 

“You’re a real smart ass, aren’t ya?” Kiles asked as Rigsby held a handful of the defiant man’s hair.

 

Starsky swallowed hard, fighting to get the words out, wanting to sound as tough as possible.

 

“Why not untie me and get rid of your goon here…” He paused briefly, sucking in a lung full of air, “then we’ll see how fucking tough you are…” He finished spitting out the words, expecting to be hit, or slapped, or even electrocuted, but the only response he got was a deep hearty roar of laughter.

 

Kiles slapped Rigsby and his back, “Do as the man says Rigsby…” Kiles instructed the man, “Get the hell outta here.”

 

Both men exchanged an understanding gaze as Rigsby smiled and let go of Starsky’s hair, pushing his head forward just for effect. Starsky’s heart began to race, what did these men have in store for him? What was their plan? The panic slowly started to seep back into the brunet’s tough appearance as is eyes darted back and forth between the two.

 

Rigsby left the room, glancing back over his shoulder at his boss one final time before disappearing completely.

 

Kiles shut the door firmly as he crossed the room in front of the restrained and helpless Starsky.

 

“You got your wish Jew, he’s gone, now what?” Kiles taunted the exhausted man mercilessly.

 

“Untie me, and I’ll show you what…” Starsky hissed. “You didn’t need to hurt the kid…”

 

“He disobeyed me…he’s lucky he’s still alive.” Kiles retorted.

 

“You’re a sick son of a bitch…gets his jollies beating on kids and taking advantage of people that are just plain different…” Starsky spoke, his voice even and steady. “What’sa matter, do we scare you? You afraid that you might be the inferior race…is that why you have to hurt us and beat us…to make you feel above the rest of us?”

 

“You think you know me? You don’t know shit about me…” Kiles spat.

 

“I know that you’re fucked up in the head…an’ that without your fucking goons, you ain’t shit!” Starsky answered, only to be met with a severe surge of pain that coursed through his entire body as he screamed out in agony. He never even saw it coming…

 

 

ooooOOOOoooo

 

 

Hutch stood outside, waiting for his opportunity to make a move. His gaze was drawn upward as he noticed the lights flickering on and off, knowing that someone, probably his partner, was being ‘conditioned’.  His stomach seized up in knots, his fear and anxiety rising in to his throat as he swallowed hard, trying to return the bile to his stomach. He looked around the camp nervously, he looked above him, to each side of him, and then behind him, looking for anything, something that he could use to help.

 

He spotted something off in the distance; it glistened in the damp night air as the flickering lights illuminated the box. Looking around quickly, making sure the coast was clear, he made a mad dash for the object of his hope.

 

 

ooooOOOOoooo

 

 

Starsky heaved, in and out, excess saliva dripping from his mouth, a string running from his bottom lip, nearly all the way to the floor. The brunet continued to gasp, tying to regain the composure he had just moments ago, trying to get his breathing under control once again.

 

“Care to repeat your thoughts?” Kiles teased and taunted his victim as he paced in front of him. Even if Starsky wanted to repeat his words, he couldn’t find his voice.

 

“I’m gonna ask you again…care to repeat your words?” Kiles said with more emphasis, making sure that Starsky realized that he was none to happy with his behavior.

 

“N…no.” Starsky stuttered, regretting the fact that he had even tried to confront him in the first place.

 

“No what?” Kiles seethed, his face reddening in anger.

 

“No…No Sir…” Starsky conceded defeat, at least for the moment. He had no choice, he was in no position to argue or fight with the evil man. He knew that nothing he said was going to change his mind about racism or fair treatment.

 

Every hair on his body tingled, he felt his skin crawling as the electricity continued to flow through his system.

 

This time Starsky was very aware of Kiles making his way back towards the switch, the device that would send another surge of pain throughout his body. Kiles placed his hand on the switch, a look of pure evil washing over his face. Starsky held his breath, prepared to ride this wave of excruciating pain that was about to hit him like a brick wall. His mind was already telling him NOT to scream out, not to give the man the satisfaction of knowing that what he was doing was killing him.

 

The lights flickered again, just momentarily, for a split second, before going out completely, all electricity was gone as the duo were plunged into complete and utter darkness.

 

“What the hell?” Kiles uttered in disappointment, knowing that his session would now be interrupted. 

 

Hutch… Starsky thought to himself, a blanket of relief wafting over him.

 

Chapter Fourteen

 

 

 

“What the hell?” Kiles said to himself as he looked around, waiting for the lights to come back on.

 

Starsky kept his head down, looking at the ground before him, his eyes closing as he thanked his partner for his quick thinking. He already knew that Hutch had to have had something to do with this stroke of luck.

 

Kiles waited a few more seconds, then flipped the light switch on the wall on and off a couple times just to see if it was working. “Looks like you lucked out Jew boy!” he seethed as he opened the door of the room, and shouted down the hall. No one answered his call; he looked back at the exhausted and restrained prisoner before making his way out of the room.

 

Kiles walked down the hall, noting the empty space, looking around, for someone. He opened the exterior door of the building, nearly hitting the newest member of his clan in the chest. He stood and looked at a startled tall blond. “Cummings, do me a favor,” he spoke to Hutch, looking around for his absent right hand man, “go inside and get the prisoner,” he explained reaching in his pocket and pulled out a key ring with merely to iron keys on it, “take him back to the cell an’ lock his ass up. I need to see what the hell happened to the power.” He finished as he continued to look around.

 

“Sure thing.” Hutch agreed, his heart rate increasing, knowing that he would soon be close to his partner.

 

“You seen Rigsby around anywhere?” Kiles asked, looking deeply into Hutch’s ice blue eyes.

 

“No, not me, haven’t seen him…” he explained, looking around in a mock search of the man.

 

“Okay, listen up here Kent…I want you to go inside, third door on the left, you’ll find the dirt bag there. Untie him and take him back to his cell in the middle of the courtyard. Lock him up and then I want you to find Rigsby and tell him I’m lookin’ for him, have him meet me in my office, you got that?” he asked, the look of intent evident on his face as he looked up at the blond.

 

“Got it.” Hutch answered, reaching out and taking the keys from the evil man’s hand, fighting the overwhelming urge to kill the man right then and there.

 

Montag ran up to the both of them, his breathing rapid as he stood there obviously winded. “It’s Andrews, he’s on the phone.” Montag informed Kiles.

 

“It’s about fucking time.” He spat as he looked back at Hutch who stood there staring at him. “Get moving!” He ordered as Hutch hopped to and headed in the building. Kiles followed Montag back to the building that housed his office.

 

 

ooooOOOOoooo

 

Hutch slowly made his way down the long hallway, every step on the concrete floor echoing in his head. He looked around, the cop training kicking into high gear as his heightened senses started to take over. His eyes darted around constantly, looking at the doorways, then in front of him and then behind, making sure that no one was near. After what seemed to be a lifetime, he finally made his way to the third door on the left, pausing briefly to take one more look around before turning the handle slowly, his stomach jumping in anticipation of finally seeing his partner, his best friend, his other half. He was worried and relieved at the same time. He pushed the door open hesitantly as he took one step inside. He heard Starsky’s ragged breathing coming from the far side of the room. He waited slightly, allowing his eyes to adjust to the dark room, making out the shadow of a form against the wall.

 

Inhaling deeply he continued into the room, turning and closing the door behind him, feeling the knob and turning the center of it to lock it. He heard a groan escape from the brunet.

 

“Shhhhhhhh Starsk, it s’okay it’s me.” He whispered.

 

He let out another barely audible moan as every noise tugged at the blonde’s heartstrings. Hutch made his way carefully across the room, seeing his partner’s form, and noticed that the brunet’s head was lobbed forward, causing Hutch to be concerned.

 

“Starsk, you hear me?” Hutch asked as he moved closer, not wanting to startle him. “It’s okay now, m’here.” He reassured his friend as he reached out with his right hand to touch Starsky’s forearm that was stretched out to his side.

 

 “N…noooo…p…please, no.” Starsky gasped, his head still hung forward, his chin on his chest. “S…sir…nooo…”

 

Hutch quickly realized that his partner was begging for mercy, pleading for the unbearable pain that he had been subjected to, to end, the blond inhaled deeply, fighting against his own anger and pain. “Auh Starsk, it’s me, Hutch.” He said gently as his hand made contact with his partner’s arm.

 

He immediately felt Starsky’s body start to shake as it tensed up, the brunet pulling against his restraints, trying to stop whatever contact was being made with him.

 

“Dear God buddy, what’d they do to you?” Hutch asked as he released Starsky’s arm, not wanting to make him uneasy or afraid.

 

Hutch felt the lump in his throat growing in size as his stomach contents threatened to make an appearance. He swallowed hard as his mind raced, trying to figure out what he was going to do next. He had to get his partner out of this situation, and he had to do it now. He knew that much, but how?

 

“Starsky, listen to me …I’m gonna get you out of this, it’s me Hutch…please, I’m not going to hurt you, you gotta trust me.” Hutch tipped his head, trying to get Starsky to look at him with out forcing him to.

 

He saw the brunet’s eyes focused on the ground, transfixed on something that only he could see, not willing, or not able to look him in the face.

 

“Didya hear me Buddy? I’m gonna help you.” Hutch tried to encourage a response of understanding from his partner.

 

There was a momentary pause before Starsky’s words sliced through the blond like a knife…”Y…yes Sir…” he stuttered as Hutch closed his eyes and allowed a piece of his own heart to be shattered, watching his partner react like this, knowing that this was part of the ‘conditioning’ that he was forced to endure. “No more…please…no more Sir.”

 

Hutch noticed how his friend was strapped to the metal wall so barbarically, he had no idea what all they had done to him, but he knew there was more then just what he had witnessed himself. Nervously, he looked back at the door, knowing that he was limited on time, he needed to get through to Starsky and he needed to do it fast.

 

“Starsky, listen to me pal…I gotta get you out here, but I am gonna need your help…do you understand me?” Hutch asked his heart racing.

 

The dark haired detective shut his eyes tightly, squeezing them hard briefly before reopening them. “You with me Gordo?” Hutch continued to try and coax him back to reality.

 

Starsky still wouldn’t look at the tall blond; his eyes still focus down in front of him as he nodded subtly. “You sure about that?” Hutch asked as Starsky nodded again, fighting against his own demons, trying to fight through his own fears.

 

“M’ here Hutch…it hurts…God it hurts…” Starsky gasped, talking quietly and still with a certain air of insecurity.

 

“Listen Buddy, I’m gonna untie you now…okay?” Hutch wanted to explain everything he was doing, trying to regain his best friends trust, a part of him dying over the fact that he had lost it in the first place. “We’re getting the hell out of here.” Hutch vowed.

 

“N…no…can’t.” Starsky stammered and Hutch was unsure about whether or not the brunet understood his words.

 

“We gotta Buddy…you’re going with me.” Hutch reinforced as he started to untie Starsky’s right wrist from the metal meshing.

 

“Billy…can’t leave Billy here.” Starsky tried to lift his head, briefly looking at Hutch and then dropping his gaze quickly. “He tried to help me….I gotta get him out Hutch…p…please…help him…” Starsky pled, his exhaustion, pain and fears very evident in his words and the sporadic breathing that he was exuding. “Get ‘im out first Hutch, comeback for me.”

 

Hutch knew at that very instant that there was no way he was leaving Starsky behind, so that meant that he would need to take two prisoners with him on his escape. That definitely put a wrench in his grab and go plan. He decided that he would need to return Starsky to his outside cell and see what kind of condition the boy was in, then he would decide how and when to make his move. He didn’t care if he had to take on the whole camp, they were getting out of there, and they were getting them out soon. His mind wandered to Dobey, wondering how things were going on his end, were they even making any head way in finding them, or were they on their own completely. Either way, he knew he couldn’t wait any longer to be rescued, as far as he was concerned they were on their own and he was going to take care of it himself.

 

Hutch finished untying his partner’s wrists as the brunet fell forward, unable to hold himself up on his own accord. He had had very little sleep, barely any food, and had been torture, beaten and electrocuted, draining every ounce of strength that the man once held. Hutch always felt that Starsky was one of the strongest men he ever knew, and to see him now, reduced to a feeble, terrified man, clearly broke Hutch’s heart. The blond reached out to catch Starsky as he fell forward only to have his best friend flinch in fear, trying to avoid any contact whatsoever. He didn’t know what to do, to force physical contact with his partner, or to give him space to get rid of all the demons that had been forced on him by this group of Nazi type terrorists. Reluctantly, Hutch allowed the brunet to fall forward, to his knees.

 

The tall blond let out a loud gasp as he looked at Starsky’s bare back. Scrawled across his shoulders, dried blood and swollen skin still showing the fresh evidence of a word being carved into his skin. J-E-W

 

“Son of a bitch!” Hutch raised his voice, his anger rising, his blood starting to boil. He knew that someone was going to pay for what they had done to the man that meant the most to him in this world.

 

“What?” Starsky asked, gasping trying to muster up strength to get to his feet on his own, “What…is it?” he asked.

 

Hutch’s eyes softened in sadness of what he was witnessing, he needed Starsky to stay strong, and he needed him to believe that they were not defeated and that they were on their way, getting out of this situation. He knew that he couldn’t tell him, not yet. He needed to find the right time to tell him how these barbarians had desecrated his body in one of the vilest ways that the seasoned detective had ever witnessed in his life.

 

“Nothing, it’s nothing, don’t worry about it.” Hutch reassured his friend. “You okay? Need some help?” He offered his hand out in front of him, thrilled to see Starsky reach up with a trembling hand and grasp it firmly, pulling himself to his feet and next to Hutch. They both enjoyed the feeling, the sensation of being close, supporting each other, one physically, one mentally. Hutch grabbed Starsky around the waist, trying his best to give him the support he needed without looking like he was helping the prisoner too much as they made their way out into the courtyard and back to his cell.

 

 

ooooOOOOoooo

 

 

Kiles was back in his office, the phone pressed firmly against his ear as he listened intently.

 

“Well we were expecting you yesterday.” He fumed into the mouthpiece. “Did you run the background check on the new prisoner?” he asked and then waited for a response.

 

“What the hell do you mean no? I told you I wanted it done yesterday! He’s nearly ready for sale, and I need to make sure the title on him is free and clear!” He shouted. “I don’t give a shit how busy you’ve been Andrews! What good is having a cop on your payroll if he’s too busy to do his fucking job? Now I want you here in 3 hours, and I want the info I asked for! While you’re at it, I want a check run on one Kent Cummings, he’s new to my organization and I wanna make sure he is on the up and up.” Kiles yelled at the caller and then slammed the receiver back onto its cradle.

 

Chapter Fifteen

 

 

 

Hutch walked Starsky back to his cell, making it look like he was manhandling the prisoner as much as possible. Once they were at the row of cells, Hutch shoved Starsky against the cold bars, unlocking the door, pulling it open and shoving him inside. Much to Hutch’s chagrin, his friend fell forward, landing on his knees, once again exposing the vile words that were carved across his back. The blond felt anger and nausea as he swallowed hard.

 

Starsky fought through the pain as his body and muscles screamed in protest at him, breathing through the agony. He looked into the cell next to him, seeing the tiny naked frame of little Billy, the boy’s back to him, as he curled up into the fetal position trying to keep in some heat.

 

“Hutch.” Starsky whispered as the blond leaned in closer.

 

“Yeah Buddy?” Hutch responded, looking around and being very thankful that the grounds at the camp were bare, no one out and about. He figured that everyone was trying to figure out what had happened to the electricity.

 

“Help me.” Starsky gasped as he pushed the sweat jacket that had been left in his cell towards his partner. “Cover the kid up.”

 

Hutch took one final look around, determining that the coast was clear, he pulled the jacket between the bars of Starsky’s cell and threaded it through Billy’s cage, spreading it out and covering the boy’s small body completely.

 

“We…we gotta get him outta here Hutch, he t…tried to help me, I ain’t leavin’ him behind.” Starsky stammered, the chill sinking it’s sharp teeth back into the brunet’s bones.

 

“I know he did buddy. He’s been helping me too…I’ll figure something out.” Hutch spoke as he sat back, his rear hitting the concrete below him as he leaned slightly against the cold bars of their cruel confines. He drug his large hand down the entire length of his face, his mind racing as he started to think out loud.

 

“There’s nothing around for miles, we’re gonna need some supplies…” Hutch spoke, looking back at Starsky who was huddled up, tucking himself together tightly trying to increase his own body heat. “…and transportation,: Hutch continued, tipping his head at Starsky’s leg, “…with your ankle like that, you wont get very far.” He noted.

 

“Then leave me here, get the kid out and go get help.” Starsky whispered, his voice quivering as his body followed suit, the cold digging in deeper.

 

“Forget it!” Hutch snapped sharpley, “There is no way, no way that I am leaving you behind…either the three of us make a break or we all sit tight.” Hutch quelled any thoughts that Starsky might have about him leaving his partner behind. 

 

“In…in the shed…” Billy’s weak voice barely audible, interrupted the duo as both Starsky and Hutch focused on the quivering boy, lying in the fetal position, his head still covered by the jacket. “…t…t…there’s a backpack…its…its under the supply pile…in…in the back…on…on the right…” Hutch craned his head, trying to hear the boy’s quite words that were being spoken. “There…there’s…a…cart…a motorized one in the garage…Andrews….uses it when he’s…here.”

 

Both detectives looked at each other, locking eyes in disbelief.

 

“What are you talking about Billy?” Hutch whispered, his eyes still looking around him, canvassing the area, making sure that no one was watching him or sneaking up on them.

 

“In the big metal garage in the back…there’s…its like…a…golf cart thing…they keep the battery fully charged…it’s ready to go…” the boy stirred slightly, trying to get more comfortable, “I hid a pack…in the shed…there’s water…and matches…some snacks…a flashlight…first aid kit…”

 

“Billy, why’d you pack all of that?” Starsky asked as his eyes too, started to scan the area.

 

“I…I was gonna get my Pop outta here…but I was too late…they sold him too soon…and now he’s gone…you guys are welcome to it.” The wise teen spoke as he curled up even tighter.

 

Starsky moved closer to the walled bars of the cell, Hutch looked at the brunet. “I’m gonna go check it out.” He explained as Starsky nodded in understanding, threading his arm through the bars and rubbing the boys’ back comfortingly.

 

Hutch stood and rushed off, leaving Starsky there with Billy. “It’s okay kid, we’re gonna get you outta here, and then when we do…we’re gonna find your Dad, I promise.” Starsky vowed, the boys’ body tensing up slightly under his touch.

 

“Sure…” Billy answered, his voice heavy with doubt and cynicism.

 

“I mean it Billy, Hutch and I are gonna get him back, I swear.” Starsky swallowed hard, hoping that this was going to be one promise he would be able to keep. He couldn’t stand the idea of letting this young man down. He knew what it was like to lose a father at that age, and to not have him around during the most formidable years. It had happened to him by circumstances beyond his control, and he wasn’t about to let it happen to this young man that had tried to help him and ended up paying the ultimate price. “I promise.” Starsky whispered as he let his head relax against the cold iron bars that separated them.

 

 

ooooOOOOoooo

 

 

Kiles stood in his office, two candles illuminating the small room. Montag was positioned right behind his boss, both arms crossed across his broad chest. Hudson, one of his other guards stood across the room, leaning against the back of a leather chair, his legs out in front of him, crossed showing a very relaxed demeanor.

 

“Just where in the fuck did Rigsby disappear too?” Kiles voiced his rhetoric question, “And why did he disappear right about the time the electricity went out?”

 

“You think he had something to do with it?” Montag asked.

 

“No stupid, but I think that one has something to do with the other.” Kiles finished just a he heard a light knock on his door, bringing both Hudson and Montag to full attention. “Come in!”

 

The door opened slowly and a young blond man entered the room, in full police uniform, his badge displayed proudly on his chest. The man looked more like a boy then a mature male, old enough to be a police officer with the BCPD.

 

“Andrews, where in the fuck have you been? We’ve been expecting you for two days!” Kiles spewed as the nervous officer stammered in reply.

 

“I…I couldn’t help it, my Captain had me putting in overtime on some fucking case about some niggers that where robbed at gunpoint, like I really give a shit about that!” Raymond T. Andrews fumed, as he stepped closer to Kiles. “I wanted to just shoot the motherfucker and be done with it, like I did the last time.”

 

The room burst into a fit of laughter as they all seemed to share the same despicable hatred for other races, all of the remembering the time that Andrews shot an unarmed black man, claiming it was self defense. He was suspended while they investigated the shooting, eventually finding that Andrews was justified in fearing for his life after completing a high speed chase of a suspected armed robber. Starsky and Hutch both testified on behalf of the victim and both were devastated when IA had ruled in the young racists’ favor, nearly taking out their own anger on the IA officer himself. From that time on Raymond T Andrews had been transferred to a different station, different precinct. Everyone in the Bay City Police Department knew that Starsky and the uniformed officer would never be able to work together again, not in this lifetime.

 

“Well I’ve got a crisis going on here, powers out, Rigsby’s missing and I was right in the middle of a conditioning exercise. I can’t keep having you straggle in and out, no consistency. I feel like I cant count on you anymore and I think it’s time for you to make a choice, once and for all…us or them!” Kiles spewed as Andrews gaze darted between the men in the room nervously.

 

“You know I can’t do that Jason, I need to stay on the force, besides, if I quit now, who would you get to run all your background checks and get you guys cleared for apprehending your victims?” Andrews protested.

 

“You think you’re the only one on the force that is helping me out? There are more members of mine inside that force of yours then you realize.” Kiles informed his charge. “Did you every get me the checks on the two new residents we have here?”

 

“No, I didn’t, by the time I got your message, I was logged out, didn’t want to arouse suspicion and risk compromising your operation here.

 

“Tell you what,” Kiles stated as he made his way towards the door, “why don’t you come with me, and I will introduce you to 1687, the new Jew on the block, you can have a little fun, and then I’ll introduce you to my new an…he’s really a straight arrow, I think you’ll like him a lot. You two seem to be cut out of the same mold.” Kiles finished as he headed out the door and down the hall.

 

“Sounds good, can’t wait.” Andrews concurred as he followed Kiles down the hall and out of the building.

 

Officer Andrews followed Kiles out into the courtyard; he had been down this road many times before. Kiles always liked Andrews to get to meet the new detainees so he could question them, get a physical description of them and then take it back to the precinct to run his checks on the new prisoners, as well as the new hires.

 

 

ooooOOOOoooo

 

 

Starsky was actually enjoying the quiet time that he and Billy had gotten. The brunet detective was able to provide and be some source of comfort to a boy that was severely lacking attention and positive affirmation. They made small talk, Starsky promising to help him out of the terrible lot that his life had become, Billy talking about his father and how much he missed him. Starsky realized that he had it easier…his father was dead, there was no chance or hope to see him again in this life time…Billy’s father had been cruelly ripped from him, alive and breathing, but still unable to make or receive any contact at all. It was tearing that child up, but that remarkable boy continued to forge forward, hoping and dreaming for the day they would be reunited again. Starsky was amazed that the wise child, never gave in, never gave up. He was determined.

 

“12687…rise and shine, it game time!” Starsky heard Kiles voice bellowing from afar as he struggled to sit up.

 

He saw the fear in Billy’s face as well as his body, tensing up, the color draining from his face completely. He didn’t outwardly show fear, and if it weren’t for Starsky’s police training, he probably never would have been able to read the body language that the young man was exuding.

 

 

ooooOOOOoooo

 

 

Hutch found himself in a small shed as he frantically looked around until he saw the pile of food, water and other supplies. The tall blond headed straight for them, his head bobbing and weaving, examining the pile for signs of disturbance, signs of things being out of order, signs of what Billy had sent him there for in the first place.

 

Around the very back of the pile Hutch saw a lifted spot, just barely noticeable, but worth checking out. He stooped down low, one hand lifting the stack of supplies every so lightly, the other digging underneath, fishing and feeling for anything that felt foreign or out of place. His hand feeling a strap, latching onto it and pulling out from under the heap, sitting back down on his rear, he opened the zippers and started rifling through its contents.

 

3-bottles of water

4-packages of beef jerky

2-packs or trail mix

Small loaf of bread

1-small first aid kit

Matches

A small plastic tarp

Flare gun

2-Flares

Compass

Blanket

 

Hutch was impressed by the young mans planning, he had the essentials, and for now, that would have to do. The blond shoved the items back in the pack and slung it over his shoulder as he made his way out of the shed. He knew that Billy had originally planned on these items for just himself, but now it would have to supply the three of them, they would have to ration the contents, but Hutch believed they would suffice and if worse came to worse, he would give Starsky and Billy his share, he needed them the least. He quickly made his way out of the shed and over to the garage, wanting to check on the cart and make sure it had an ample supply of gasoline to take them as far away as possible.

 

 

ooooOOOOoooo

 

 

Billy pulled himself backwards into the very corner of his cell, bringing his knees up to his chest, trying to protect his space. Starsky watched him empathetically as he pulled himself to the front of the cage prominently; ready to protect Billy at any costs. The curly haired brunet first noticed Kiles, and then noticed the man following him, flanked by two more men on either side of him. His eyes widened in shock as he the man’s face let way to the eerie shadows that had plagued him.

 

“What the fuck are you trying to pull here Kiles?” Andrews gasped in horror as the gravity of the situation struck him, “He’s a fucking cop!”

 

Starsky instantly recognized the young officer as one that he had a run in with before, no stranger to his already racial biased opinions after the man had gunned down a good friend of his.

 

“You can be damn sure his partners around here someplace!” Andrews spewed as Kiles face turned red in anger.

 

Chapter Sixteen

 

 

“Cop? What the hell are you talking about cop?” Kiles asked, his voice rising in fear and concern, his eyes darting around the camp, things quickly swimming out of control for him.

 

“Just what I said, he’s a fucking cop you idiot!” Andrews fumed as he ripped the keys to the cage out of Kiles’ hand and began unlocking the cell, “His name’s Starsky, Detective Sergeant David Starsky, homicide division.” Andrews explained as he pulled open the heavy metal door.

 

“Nice to see you again Raymond T.” Starsky hissed wearily, knowing that this case was coming to a close, one way or another, it was nearing an end, he only hoped that Hutch would get himself out safely, and not endanger himself any further. He prayed that the tall blond already knew that their cover was blown and he was going for help.

 

“He’s got a real soft spot for niggers too!” Andrews spewed as he walked up to the brunet, pulling back his leg and delivering a vicious blow to the dark haired man’s side, “ ‘specially dead ones!” He laughed as he knelt next to Starsky, listening to him cough and gasp for breath. “How’s ‘bout it Starsky? Gonna tell me where Hutch is?” he asked, resting his forearms on his bent knees.

 

“Go fuck yourself!” Starsky heaved as Andrews fist connected with the side of the brunet’s face.

 

“Andrews…this ain’t good…I wasn’t plannin’ on taking down no cops…Jews or not!” Kiles stammered as he nervously.

 

“I’ve waited 2 years to pay you back for ruining my reputation in the department.” Andrews continued to concentrate his rage on the man before him, “You know they won’t even consider me for promotion because of your accusations…?” He whispered ominously. “Sure, sure, I was cleared of any wrong doings, but I still have that mark on my record. Shit, my new department won’t even let me go out on patrol on my own! Their afraid I may beat the crap out of some nigger thanks to you!” The young blond officer spoke, his voice lowering, seething with anger. “So tell me Starsky, how they treatin’ you in here? Same as all the other fucking Jews I take it?” Andrews spoke as he took his right hand, grabbing a fistful of the curly man’s hair, slamming his head onto the concrete ground with a satisfying bounce.

 

“This is all your fault Andrews!” Kiles shouted at the man who was oblivious to his ranting, “you shoulda been here to check him out…I knew this would happen!” The panic in Kiles voice became more and more evident, “This was all your idea, I knew I shouldn’t of believed you! I’m out of here…you’re on your own! I want no part of burning a fucking cop, Jew or not man, that’ll get you the death penalty in this state!” Kiles shouted as he turned and ran across the courtyard, on his way to God knows where.

 

Andrews looked up at Rigsby and Hudson, who were both frozen, staring at Kiles as he ran off. “Don’t just stand there! Help me get him to the conditioning room!” He demanded as both men squirmed their way into the small cell, awkwardly maneuvering themselves into position, each of them grabbing the detective on both side of him, lifting him up and half dragging, half carrying him towards the building in the back while Andrews followed from behind.

 

They roughly drug him up the side stairs, his knees and shins hitting the planks hard as Starsky tried in vane to move his legs protectively.

 

Once they disappeared through the doorway, Hutch knew he was safe to make his move, the first of many.

 

Slithering his way through the shadows, Hutch made his way to the row of cells, hunkering down near Billy’s cage.

 

“Psst!” He attempted to gain the boy’s attention that up till now was fixed on the happenings surrounding him. “Billy…it’s okay, it’s me Ken…um, I mean Kent.” He whispered intensively. 

 

Billy looked around, his face void of any color, his eyes wide in terror and fear. “T…they t…t…took him…they’re really gonna hurt him this time…” Billy stammered. “You gotta help him…go…now….he needs you!” The young boy pled, his eyes begging with Hutch.

 

“Look, it’s okay, were gonna be okay…I need your help okay?” Hutch asked, dipping his head in emphasis, his brow furrowing. “Think you can help me Billy?”

 

“I’ll…I’ll try…” he vowed as his big brown eyes looked at Hutch, tearing into a piece of the tall blonde’s heart. “What ya’ need?”

 

Hutch threaded his hand through the bars of the cell, handing Billy a set of keys. “When the coast is clear, I want you to get yourself out of here and run as fast as you can, don’t look back, just keep running. I want you to meet me behind the supply shed.” Hutch explained as his eyes darted around him, keeping an eye on his own surroundings. “I’m getting my friend out of here, and I promised him, I’d take you with us…” Hutch smiled. “Think you can do that Billy?”

 

“Y…yes Sir…” Billy stuttered, feeling Hutch’s ice blue orbs boring into his soul.

 

“Billy, you don’t have to call me Sir.” Hutch said softly, “You can call me Hutch.”

 

“Yes Sir.” The boy said out of habit more then anything causing the tall blond to snort in laughter.

 

“We’ll work on that.” Hutch stated as he looked back at the building, pulling a gun from his waistband, checking it, and then replacing back into position.

 

“Where’d you get that?” Billy asked in amazement, part of him feeling safer already.

 

“When was the last time you saw Montag around here?” Hutch pointed out, Billy nodding in understanding.

 

“Cool.” Billy whispered in complete admiration for his tall blond idol.

 

Hutch took one last look around, canvassing the area before looking over his shoulder at the caged boy. “Okay Billy, don’t forget, I want you behind the supply shed, wait there, I promise I’ll be there as soon as I can, you got me?” Hutch made the directions very clear.

 

“Yes Sir.” He spoke without thinking, dipping his head and looking up at  a smiling Hutch, “Sorry…” he said sheepishly.

 

With that Hutch ran off, headed towards the building that housed his partner, his best friend, his other half. He knew that he needed to get Starsky and run, he had no idea what kind of condition his friend would be in, but he knew that it would be largely up to him to get both of them to safety.

 

 

ooooOOOOoooo

 

 

Starsky was tossed into the room, falling to the floor, instinctively throwing down his hands in front of him, to protect himself. Rigsby and Hudson looked at one another and then over at Andrews, who with a flip of his head, ordered the two out of the room, an order that they obeyed immediately. They left, closing the door securely behind them. Andrews walked around Starsky’s form, kicking his calves, enjoying the groans that escaped the brunet’s mouth.

 

“Well ain’t you a sight for sore eyes!” Andrews noted, “I’ve been dreaming of this day for 2 long years.”

 

Starsky gazed remained fixed on the floor, “Well I wouldn’t go gettin’ too excited if I was you. It ain’t over yet.” Starsky gasped, still fighting to catch his breath, scrunching his eyes together tightly, fighting through the pain, and trying to get the room to stop spinning.

 

“You look like shit!” The blond uniformed officer stated as he felt a certain surge of excitement run through his veins. “Tell me boy, were they a little rough on you?” He reached down and grabbed a fistful of Starsky’s hair, pulling his head back, stretching his neck.

 

Starsky swallowed hard, his Adam’s apple bobbing up and down as he tried to blink through the nausea that was swimming through his body.

 

“Yeah, well you ain’t so hot yourself,” Starsky spat, closing his eyes tightly just in time to feel a hard slap across his face, his head snapping to the side.

 

“Where’s your fucking partner smart ass?” Andrews demanded answers; his voice rising in anger as he slowly began to loose control.

 

Starsky remained on his knees, his elbows now resting against the floor, his breathing increasing even more. He slowly lifted his head to meet Andrews gaze. His face was pale, the sweat glistening off his skin, being highlighted by the light from the slowly rising sun shining through the window. His right eye was bruised and swollen, his lip split and fat. His body screamed in agony with even the slightest movement that the brunet tried to make.

 

“Fuck you!” Starsky spewed defiantly as Andrews walked over to him, the officer’s face flushing in anger, balling up both of his fists, prepared to make the insubordinate man pay for his disobedience.

 

Starsky gasped deeply, struggling to slow his breathing, trying to prepare himself for the pain that was about to be inflicted on him. He closed his eyes, mentally readying himself as he heard a third voice bellowing from inside the room, a voice he recognized, a voice that he often turned to for comfort.

 

“Step the fuck away from my partner Andrews!” Hutch’s voice resonated throughout the room, the tone of his voice sending a chill even through Starsky’s body.

 

Andrews turned slowly, his heart sinking as he came face to face with the barrel of the gun. Just on the other side of the gun was a very angry detective, with nothing but pure hatred in his gaze. Hutch glanced over at Starsky, his heart aching as he saw his partner’s battered and weak form. “You okay Starsk?” He asked, quickly returning his attention to the shaking, vile man that stood before him.

 

“M’fine.” Starsky gasped, spitting the excess blood from his mouth onto the floor, looking up at his partner, “What the hell took you so long?” He tried to joke, attempting to crack a half smile, but finding that it caused him too much pain, cringing, he rolled back into himself attempting to roll away from the pain.

 

“Thought this was a private party,” Hutch quipped back lightly, “Think you can walk?” The tall blond continued to question his friend.

 

“Yeah, sure…if you think you can get this room to stop spinning.” Starsky informed Hutch of his own condition and feeble state.

 

Hutch took two large steps towards Andrews, the look in his face causing the man to tremble where he stood. “L…look Hutch, its not what you think…I wasn’t gonna hurt him…” Andrews rambled nervously, “I…I…I was gonna help him, gonna get him out of here…”

 

“You son of a bitch!” Hutch spat, now close enough to make contact with his nemesis, throwing him up against the wall behind him, hearing the satisfying grunt of the air being knocked from him. “What kind of piece of shit cop are you, pulling this crap on a fellow officer? You’re a disgrace to the badge!” He continued to fume as he felt an uncontrollable rage that began at his toes and quickly rose, exploding through his hands as he found himself punching the living daylights out of the man before him.

 

After several hits and brutal punches and once Andrews was on the ground, teetering on the edge of unconsciousness, Hutch towering over him, raising a finger in warning. “Never mess with a man’s partner.” He concluded as he rushed to Starsky’s side to assess his condition.

 

Hutch kneeled next to him, pulling his friend into his embrace, Starsky resting his chest against Hutch’s chest, just enjoying feeling the contact again, “You’re beautiful, you know that?” He sighed as he allowed himself to finally relax against the person he trusted most in this world.

 

“You’re delirious.” Hutch chuckled as he cupped his partner’s face in support. “Let’s get the hell out of here.”

 

“What about the boy?” Starsky asked.

 

“Don’t worry, he’s waiting for us…I made a promise to you didn’t I?” Hutch mentioned as Starsky smile, and then struggled to get to his feet with the help of the partner, using his jacket to grasp onto, pulling himself to a standing position. As soon as Starsky was on is feet, Hutch could feel the brunet sway back and forth, knowing that getting him out of here and to safety wouldn’t be easy, but he’d manage.

 

They carefully made their way out of the room, Starsky leaning on his partner for strength and support as they slowly made their way down the stairs and across the yard, Hutch just hoping that Billy would be where he had instructed him to be…

 

Chapter Seventeen

 

 

Flinging on arm over his partner’s shoulder, Hutch did his best to hike Starsky up, on handed, providing a stable pair of legs for the brunet to rely on. Starsky too did his best to support himself as much as possible, trying to take as much weight as he could; off of his partner…they hastily made their way down the stairs and across the courtyard. Hutch knew that most of the employees of the camp were tending the other prisoners and trying to fix the power outage that Hutch was single handedly responsible for. It is what he referred to as creating a ‘diversion’.

 

As they passed through the courtyard, he noticed more and more prisoners wandering around freely, with no guards to speak of. There was an occasional shout for some one to stop and an occasional bang from sporadic gunfire. They kept as low as they could, ducking their heads as far down as possible as the dashing, or rather limped across the grounds. Hutch’s mind wandered, wondering what could possible be going on here that he was unaware of, the flurry of activity that encompassed them bewildered the blond detective.

 

It took the some time but the eventually made their way to the supply shed, Hutch looking around, making sure that no one was on their heels, the rounded the corner and Hutch’s heart stopped when Billy wasn’t there to greet them. He came to an abrupt stop, causing Starsky to look into his face in surprise.

 

“Whatsa matter?” Starsky asked as Hutch’s face paled.

 

“It’s Billy, he’s not here!” Hutch whispered. “I told him to wait for me here.”

 

Both Starsky and Hutch looked around, the panic starting to rise.

 

“Hutch, I’m not leaving were with out him.” Starsky informed his partner.

 

“I know buddy, I know.” Hutch answered.

 

“I’m right here.” Billy’s still high pitched voice came from around the corner of the shed as he peeked his head around the corner, making sure that the men there, were the ones he was expecting.

 

Starsky’s battered face lit up when he saw a fully clothed Billy walking towards him. He could have done without witnessing the boys bruised face or swollen cheek, but he was glad to see him nonetheless. The boy walked up to the two detectives, the back-pack already slung over his shoulder as he received an affection scrub of the head from Hutch.

 

“Atta boy, I knew you wouldn’t let me down.” He commended the child as he pointed off to their left. “That way, I got the cart waiting for us on the other side of the fence.”

 

As Billy led the way, Hutch continued being Starsky’s human crutch, allowing his friend to place all of his weight on him, acting like his other leg. His ankle was still so swollen and sore that it was difficult for Starsky to put too much pressure on it at all.

 

“By the way Billy, how’d the rest of the prisoners get out?” Starsky asked the child, already expecting that he knew the answer.

 

Billy reached into his pants pocket and pulled out the keys that Hutch had previously bestowed on the young man.

 

“Ever heard of a universal or master key?” he winked as he walked away, leading the trio towards the fence towards the back of the camp.

 

Hutch continued to help Starsky walk, giving him as much support as possible, the brunet feeling like he was being a burden to the tall blond, but also knowing that he wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

“L…look Hutch,” Starsky panted as he leaned briefly against the wall of a building they were passing, “I’m just slowin’ you two down…why don’t you leave me here, I’ll be okay…get the kid outta here and send back help.” Starsky pled, hopping that his friend would see the wisdom of his words.

 

“Nothin’ doin’. We either go together, or we stay together. It’s that simple.” Hutch stated matter of factly.

 

With a heavy sigh and trying to muster all of his stamina and strength, Starsky pushed himself up off the wall, into the waiting arms of his partner as they continued making their way towards the waiting cart. Once there, they would load the three of them up and head towards the hills, as far away from this God forsaken camp as possible.

 

Billy continued onward as he made his way to a specific area of the chain link fence that bordered the camp. The cart was just on the other side of the fence as the young man looked over his shoulder at the tall blond, giving him an inquisitive look. Hutch just tipped his head forward.

 

“Push against the fence,” he instructed the young lad as Billy complied, nearly falling forward as a large piece of the fence fell outwards, on the to dirt ground in front of him.

 

Billy looked back at the two detectives with a smile, it was the first time either detective had seen the boy show any type of elated type emotion whatsoever. Starsky snorted in laughter at the boy’s reaction.

 

“See, I told ya…every once in awhile, this tall blond lummox surprises me too.” Starsky joked as Hutch smiled affectionately.

 

“Well Billy, now you know which one of us is the brains of this operation.” Hutch taunted back.

 

“…and which one of us has all the looks.” Starsky retorted as the young boy stooped down and made his way through the metal fence.

 

Hutch took Starsky’s arm from around his shoulder, both of them bending as the tall blond guided hi weak partner through the hole, following close behind. He immediately returned Starsky’s arm, around his neck as he pointed to the right. “Over there.” He directed the boy who led the way.

 

Shortly the three of them made their way to the white, battered golf cart, Hutch placing Starsky as gently as possible in the passenger side, Billy instinctively climbing in the back as Hutch rounded the vehicle and took his place behind the wheel.

 

Hutch turned slightly, speaking to the young boy who fit perfectly in the small space on the back of the cart, “You in?” Billy nodded, “ ‘kay, hold on, and what ever you do, don’t let go.” Hutch explained as he started the cart and hit the accelerator as the mildly powered cart lurched forward.

 

They had only been on the run for about 15 minutes before Hutch looked over and noticed his partner, slumping forward, further and further.

 

“Billy, I’m gonna need you help.” Hutch explained as Billy rose to his knees and leaned forward. “Hold his shoulders; make sure he doesn’t fall out.” Hutch instructed as Billy willingly obliged.

 

Hutch kept one eye on his partner, the other on the road as he concentrated on getting them as far away as possible. Starsky was completely drained, his body settling momentarily in a narrow comfort zone, allowing his body to relax and turn off, even briefly. Rest and sleep had finally taken over; the strong and iron-willed man was now overpowered by his physical body that insisted on rest.

 

They had traveled for just under an hour, Hutch felt the small cart lurching forward and sputtering in response to any command he would give it. His eyes widened in worry as he looked over at Billy who was having a little more difficulty hold Starsky in place, partly do to weakness and fatigue, and partly because Hutch had chose to leave the beaten path some time ago and the new route they traveled was rough and treacherous. The golf type cart bounced roughly when deep holes in the ground were hit by unsuspecting tires, Hutch struggling to keep control of the wheel. He felt the cart begin to revolt and refuse even the easiest commands, like pressing the accelerator or turning the wheels. The cart lurched and sputtered one final time as it slowly rolled to a stop, the life drained from its engine like a dying old mule that had just crossed the Sahara.

 

Once it had completed ceasing to move, Hutch jumped out and ran around the backside of the vehicle. He pressed one hand against Starsky’s shoulder as he looked over at the young man in the back.

 

“Come on Billy, we’re gonna have to walk from here. Think you can make it just a little further?” Hutch asked as he bent down to bring himself level to his partner’s face.

 

“I can make it.” Billy answered as he hopped out of the back and hurried to the tall blonde’s side, just in case he needed any help.

 

Hutch looked up, through his brow as he pled with the brunet. “Hey buddy, come on, time to wake up.” he said soothingly, trying to gently coax his friend back to reality.

 

Starsky moaned throatily as his head lobbed to the side away from Hutch. The blue eyed man cupped his partner’s cheek softly as he pulled his face back towards him.

 

“Starsky, c’mon. It s’me. I need you to wake up for me.” Hutch encouraged him.

 

The curly haired man moaned and groaned slightly as his body shook violently, abruptly lurching back into the world of consciousness. He let out a startled shout as he pulled himself out of Hutch’s grasp, trying to break free from any contact whatsoever as Hutch tightened his grip.

 

“Hey, hey, hey…it’s okay, its me buddy.” Hutch assured his friend “It’s alright, it’s me Hutch.”

 

Starsky’s eyes opened wide, the fear that the blond saw, deep inside them, disturbed him deeply, gnawing at the very core of the Nordic. It took the brunet a moment to orientate himself with his surroundings, his eyes darting widely back and forth, around him, making sure that nothing was going to jump out at him, seemingly frightened of his own shadow.

 

“Ah, jeez buddy, what the hell did they do to you?” Hutch asked as Starsky calmed down enough, relaxing in Hutch’s grasp, the blond leaning his head forward in obvious distress over the situation.

 

“I…I…m…m okay Hutch, I’m here, s’okay.” His voice trembled as Starsky struggled to control it. “L…lets get outta here, ‘kay?” Starsky stuttered as he leaned towards Hutch allowing his partner to help support his as he struggled to stand, his body still screaming in agony as he fought through the pain, holding his breath and then exhaling hard.

 

Together they stood up as Hutch looked around quickly, canvassing the area, he looked down at Billy and then pointed off to his right, “That way,” he directed the young man as Billy scurried ahead of the duo.

 

Hutch struggled slightly as he lifted Starsky’s right arm and draped it over his shoulder, his other hand wrapped around his partner’s waist, supporting him with everything he had left. Billy took charge of the heavy backpack, filled with supplies that they would need to survive if they were left out in the woods for any length of time at all.

 

As they walked along the uneven ground, Starsky occasionally tripping, and Hutch nearly losing his grip, allowing him to fall, they traveled deep into the woods, into the denser part of the forest, allowing them more protecting and a better view if someone tries to sneak up on them. They had only been on foot for about 20 minutes before Hutch determined that Starsky needed to rest, he was weak and injured, the extent of his injuries were still not completely clear.

 

He struggled to pull Starsky up to the base of a tree, trying to be as gentle as possible, he help to lower him to the ground, propping his back against the might oaks trunk. Billy was already opening the backpack and pulling out the canteen of water handing it to Hutch.

 

Hutch unscrewed the top on the canister, cupping Starsky’s chin with one hand and placing the cold metal mouth of the container to his lips. He gently lifted the water and allowed a small amount to flow into Starsky’s mouth, satisfied to see him swallow at least some of it, as the rest dribbled from his mouth and over his shirt.

 

The brunet’s deep blue eyes, darkened by his recent experience, looked pleadingly and almost embarrassedly at Hutch’s icy blue orbs, “its okay, its just water, you’ll dry off.” Hutch joked as he also took a small drink and handed it to Billy, making sure that he did the same.

 

“Hutch,” Starsky voice was rough and raspy, speaking in a barely audible whisper. Hutch leaned his ear closer to the dark haired man.

 

“Yeah Buddy? What is it?” he asked, wanting to be there for him in anyway possible.

 

“My back, what’d they do to my back?” Starsky questioned him, their eyes locking once again as Hutch struggled to swallow the large knot forming in his throat, nearly choking him.

 

Chapter Eighteen

 

 

“Starsk, I don’t wanna talk about that right now, I just want to concentrate on getting you out of here.” Hutch spoke softly, knowing that there was little chance that his partner was going to let it go that easily. The blond busied himself, trying to make Starsky more comfortable as Billy rifled through the supplies of the backpack.

 

“Hutch, I gotta right to know.” Starsky spoke and then inhaled sharply as a sharp hot spear of pain shot through his body, slicing deeply.

 

The concerned light blue eyes of Hutch’s locked instantaneously on his friend as he quietly rode the wave of pain with the brunet, holding his breathing and peaking like a cresting wave, before crashing down and slowly dispersing back into the vast ocean.

 

“I know you gotta right to know, just not right now, okay?” Hutch pled him to drop the matter.

 

“Jew.” Billy’s one word answer shocked the tall blond as his head whipped around, glaring at the boy. Billy looked up, connecting with Hutch’s eyes, shrugging his shoulders, “What? He’s gonna find out sooner or later.” Billy started to unbutton his shirt, quickly pulling it off his shoulders and exposing a faint scar across his upper back, revealing the word that Hutch was starting to hate. “We all get that, it ain’t a big deal, its sort a like branding.” Billy looked back at Starsky, seeing the hurt in the man’s eyes. “We are what we are, there ain’t no changing that.”

 

Hutch finished taking a quick look at his partner, trying his best to assess his injuries and determining whether or not they would be able to continue any further with damaging his partner. It bothered the blond when he felt Starsky’s body trembling slightly under his touch, a far off gaze in the brunet’s eyes, warned the Nordic that Starsky was far from being okay, physically or emotionally. Hutch looked over at the youth beside them.

 

“Listen Billy, I need you to do me a big favor, it would help us all out a bunch. I need you to look around the area here, not going too far, and collect firewood, anything you come across that you think might help us, can you do that for me?” he dipped his head down, and looked up through his brow at the pre-teen.

 

“If you wanna get rid of me, just so you two could talk, all you gotta do is just say so.” Billy answered.

 

Hutch broke a slanted smile as he realized just how smart this young man was. Billy set the back pack and its belongings aside as he stood and trotted off, in search of nothing in particular, just giving the two men a moment alone.

 

“They really did that Hutch. I have that carved into my back?” Starsky asked, his gaze fixated on the leave that covered the ground beside his left thigh.

 

“Yeah buddy, they did. But it doesn’t look too deep, an’ I’m sure with the right plastic surgeon, it won’t be noticeable at all.” Hutch assured Starsky as he placed a supportive hand on the brunets shoulder, squeezing slightly, just reminding him that he is not alone in any of this.

 

Starsky inhaled sharply causing the blonde’s head to snap up. “You okay, you in much pain?”

 

“Nah, nah…m’okay. Just tired I guess.” Starsky said as he wrapped both of his arms around his chest, trying to get rid of the bone chilling cold that had invaded his body.

 

“Wanna talk about what happened?” Hutch tried to encourage his partner to let things out, knowing full well that he would only divulge what he was comfortable with relating.

 

“I think you’re right, maybe we should just talk about this later.” Starsky answered.

 

“Might help if you let it out.” Hutch replied.

 

“I said later Hutch!” the curly haired detective snapped at his friend, something he was not accustomed to doing.

 

“Okay, okay…later it is. Now let me take a look at that ankle.” Hutch requested as he reached down to examine the injury.

 

His heart leapt as Starsky twitched and shouted out in pain as Hutch laid his hand on the severely swollen area. “M’sorry pal, I didn’t mean to hurt cha? You okay?” The tall blond looked back at the reactions on his partner’s face, being able to read his facial expressions and he knew he would have to rely on that seeing how he wasn’t exactly telling him the truth.

 

Hutch finished his examination of Starsky’s ankle, gently placing it back on the ground in front of him.

 

“You know Andrews is gonna come after us.” Hutch conferred with his partner.

 

“I know, we need to be ready for him.” Starsky agreed as he looked around, scanning their surroundings. “You didn’t by chance grab a couple more weapons did ya?” He asked optimistically.

 

“Sorry, m’lucky I got out with this one.” Hutch said sheepishly as he too looked around, scanning the area.

 

“D’ats okay, just give me a couple rocks, I got a great arm.” The brunet joked, winking at his partner, managing a crooked smile as he inhaled sharply, riding a wave of pain that shot through him like a hot knife.

 

“I couldn’t believe that Andrews was mixed up in this shit,” Hutch started to orate, “m’sorry buddy, if I had known, this never would have gone this far.” The blond was beginning to feel the pangs of guilt for the pain his partner had to endure at the hands of these masochists. “It never should have gone this far anyways, but I couldn’t get you out, I tried, I really tried.”

 

Hutch’s pale blue eyes locked with Starsky’s, the pain that the blond had been feeling shot through the brunet like an arrow. “Don’t do this to yourself buddy.” Starsky responded, breaking his gaze as he looked away.

 

Hutch smiled as he looked over his shoulder, seeing Billy running back towards them carrying just two sticks, one in each hand. “Was I gone long enough?” The boy asked, his honesty and candor bringing a smile to both detectives’ face.

 

“Is that the best you could do?” Hutch asked sarcastically, noting the two pathetic twigs the boy held.

 

“Come on now, you really think that I believed you were gonna start a fire, just to tell them where we are? It’d be like lighting a signal fire, and I don’t think you want to do that just yet.” Billy retorted.

 

“Kids’ got you there Blondie!” Starsky snorted in laughter as he watched his fair skinned friend blush in embarrassment right before a fit of coughing seized the brunet, making him bend forward grabbing his ribs with one hand, the other hand rising to cover his mouth.

 

Hutch reached forward, placing a comforting hand firmly on his partner’s shoulder, squeezing it gently.

 

“Easy there buddy,” Hutch tried to assure his partner. “You okay?” He tipped his head and asked his friend.

 

“Yes Sir.” Starsky answered without realizing the Freudian slip that he had been conditioned to answer. He looked up at saw the intense pain in Hutch’s sky blue eyes, pain mixed with a certain amount of pity that Starsky had wish he hadn’t seen. He hated pity, always thought that it was a useless emotion.

 

“Starsk…” Hutch whispered as he tipped his head, toughing his forehead to the side of Starskys temple, causing the brunet to crack a slight smile, realizing his mistake.

 

“Sorry, didn’t mean it.” He replied. “I’ll try and work on that.”

                                                                

 

oooooOOOOOooooo

 

 

Andrews, Hudson and Montag were huddled together, trying to come up with a plan for attack. Rigsby was escorted into the room by two men; his eye blackened his face flushed in embarrassment.

 

“What happened to you?” Montag asked as he moved closer to his friend.

 

Kent, fucking Kent Cummings happened to me. He got my pistol and took my keys.” Rigsby answered as he rubbed the back of his neck with his right hand, “He tied me up and threw me in a storage closet behind building 3.”

 

“First of all, his name isn’t Kent Cummings, it’s Detective Sergeant Ken Hutchinson, and that Jew you brought in for conditioning was his cop partner. I can’t believe you idiots allowed this to happen. You’ve truly ruined everything!”  Andrews shouted, his nerves becoming evident in his voice as it quivered slightly. “Now, we need to get out there and find them, before they make it back to the cops. I want to split up in to pairs. Rigsby and Hudson, and then Montag and me, lets move out!” Andrews enjoyed the feeling of being in control for the moment, being in charge, it excited him.

 

The four men broke off into pairs, all but giving up on trying to catch the other prisoners that were running in several different directions, some of them out the gate, or finding the hole that Starsky and Hutch had made in the back of the grounds.

 

Andrews and Montag loaded into a 1976 Ford LTD, closing both doors tightly, Montag behind the wheel, the headed out into their forested surroundings, hunting down the three fugitives and their golf carts.

 

 

oooooOOOOOooooo

 

 

Hutch offered Starsky more water, trying his best to make his partner as comfortable as he could given the present circumstances. As Starsky took a longer drink off the canteen, enjoying the cool fluid as it flowed down his throat, his head tilted backwards. Starsky’s head was cleared of the shadows as Hutch’s eyes witnessed a swollen lump on the front of Starsky’s just above the hairline. He had been so busy with the escape, the boy and getting them to safety, that he hadn’t thoroughly examined his friend. Instinctively, he raised his hand, trying to gently move his hair aside so he could examine the area. Starsky jerked back as even the lightest touch caused him discomfort, wincing in pain and sucking air in through his teeth. 

 

“Sorry buddy. Let me take a look, I’ll try not to hurt you.” Hutch explained.

 

“Yeah? Well you’re a little too late for that aren’t ya?” Starsky quipped.

 

Hutch pulled himself back, not sure if Starsky meant the pain he just inflicted or the pain that Hutch had allowed to be inflicted on his friend over the past few days.

 

Starsky looked at the hurt expression that washed over the blonde’s face. “M’sorry Hutch, I didn’t mean it like that.” Starsky reassured his partner as Hutch shook it off and continued to examine his partner’s head.

 

“How’s you vision buddy, any blurriness? Headache? Nausea?” Hutch rattled off his questions.

“How’s about all of the above, and now your questions are making me dizzy.” Starsky retorted, snorting slightly as he laughed. “Hutch, I wanna lay down…m’hurting.” The brunet finally admitted as his body started to fall to the side, Hutch catching him and easing his body to the ground, shucking off his jacket quickly and placing it under the brunet’s head.

 

“Billy, grab me the blanket it out of the back pack, help me cover him up.” Hutch instructed as Billy snapped to, and jumped into action.

 

“Okay Starsk, I’ll let you lay down, but no sleeping, not just yet. Not with that knot on your head.” The blond explained.

 

“Yes Mom.” Starsky snapped back as he struggled to keep his eyes open, squeezing them tightly, trying to stop the earth from spinning so quickly.

 

“Look, I need to check out the area, looks heavily wooded, I just need to see if there is anyway out of here. Think you’ll be okay for a few?” Hutch asked his partner as he and Billy covered the detective, tucking in the ends around the brunet. Hutch looked up at Billy, “I want you to keep an eye on him, don’t let him go to sleep, keep him warm. If something happens, I want you to yell at the top of your lungs for me, you got that?” Hutch instructed the frightened teen.

 

Billy nodded nervously as Hutch smiled and scrubbed the top of his head. “Atta boy!”

 

Hutch looked around and then stood, heading off into the thicket of trees and brush, maneuvering it professionally, as he covered the ground quickly, leaping and sidestepping anything that got in his way. Billy watched at the tall blond made his way through the area.

 

The boy looked back down at Starsky, noting that the brunet was shivering subtly; he attempted to rub his hands over the detective’s body, trying to warm him up. 

 

Only moments had passed, even though it seemed like hours. Billy sat there keeping Starsky company, exchanging semi light banter, both of them reminiscing about their fathers affectionately.

 

The dark woods made the oncoming headlights hard to miss. The saw the beams that illuminated the trees in bouncing sequences, as the approaching car apparently hit the same rough patches that their small cart had earlier.

 

“Billy, run!” Starsky ordered the boy, whose eyes were wide with fear, “hide, and what ever you do, don’t come out! No matter what, you got me?” Starsky asked as he pulled the boy down, to meet his face, jerking on the child’s shirt, gripping it in his fist.

 

Both of their hearts accelerated, their breathing increased as panic started to set in. “GO!” Starsky commanded as the boy looked at the brunet, his eyes welling with tears. He nodded in understanding and rushed off, staying low to the ground, moving among the shadows.

 

A large sedan type car pulled up, the passenger door opened, Starsky winced, squinting his eyes, blinded by the glare of the headlights. He heard the one thing that caused him to jump out of his skin. “Well, well, well, look what we found here!” Andrews voice whistled through the leaves of the shrubs and the branches of the trees.

 

 

Chapter Nineteen

 

 

 

Starsky lifted his left hand to shield his eyes from the glare of the oncoming lights. His gaze darted to the side as he made sure that Billy was covered and well out of sight. He struggled to push himself up, back into a sitting position, once again using the tree behind him for support against his back. He inhaled sharply, holding his breath, sucking the air through his teeth as he fought through the pains that were shooting through his head and across his badly beaten body.

 

“Miss me?” Andrews hissed as he knelt beside the brunet as Montag had climbed out from behind the wheel, scanning the area for any sight of the tall blond. “Where’s Hutch?” Andrews asked, dipping his head looking though his brow at the soon to be prisoner of his.

 

“He had a date…” Starsky gasped, struggling to speak, and still trying to sound tough, “with your wife, sends his regards though!” The dark haired man squeezed his eyes shut tightly as a hot stab of agony shot through him.

 

The knuckles of Andrews right hand, connected with Starsky’s jaw, snapping his head to the side. The brunet was surprised by the lack of feeling that he experienced by the punch, wondering if it was from a bad hit, or a lack of feeling he was experiencing thanks to all that his body had endured over the past 48-72 hours. His brow wrinkled, he couldn’t remember how long it had been, the hours seemed to blur together in a haze of confusion. His head swam, as his vision blurred, he felt like his body was paralyzed, wanting to fight back, but unable to move.

 

Andrews stood up, hovering over the injured officer as he enjoyed the feeling of control and power, pausing briefly to absorb the euphoric sensation. Starsky was barely aware of the noises and activities that were playing out right in front of him. Billy climbed out from the bushes, jumping up on the rock that he had been hiding behind, and making one ditch effort, he leapt through the air, attaching himself to Andrews back like a leach to its victim. One of his arms locked around the officer’s neck as the other flailed wildly, striking the man in the head as he turned in circles trying to rid himself of the pesky intruder. Montag ran up and pulled Billy off of Andrews with one hand strategically placed, grasping a handful of the boy dark hair, and snapping his head back.

 

“Son of a bitch, what the fuck do you think you’re doing you little asshole?” Andrews spat as Montag held the boy up, in front of the officer, preparing him to take his punishment.

 

“I’m not going to let you hurt him!” The spry young man spat as he struggled to free himself from Montag’s grasp, earning him a round of laughter from both men.

 

“Dammit, Billy.” Starsky whispered as he struggled against his own body, wanting to get up and save the boy, his body not following even one of the commands he was giving it.

 

Starsky managed to get his knees underneath him, gasping heavily as his arms fought to lift his weight off the ground. His elbows buckled as he fell back down, the side of his face, connecting with the dirt below him.

 

Andrews smiled as he took one step towards the young man, admiring his bravery, but denouncing his insubordination.

 

“Now, now, now Billy, I know I’ve taught you better than that. Haven’t I always been good to you?” The blond street cop orated, “Haven’t I fed you? Given you a cot to sleep in?” He saw the fear in the boys eyes increase as they grew wider, “Didn’t I keep that fucking Jew of a dad of yours alive?” He spat, his voice rising in anger as he stepped toe to toe with the small man. His right lifted his right arm over his left shoulder, bringing it backwards viciously as the back of his hand connected with the side of the boys face.

 

“Andrews, stop…leave ‘im ‘lone.” Starsky gasped, his body still writhing, trying desperately to get up and do something. “Please don’t hurt ‘im.” Starsky pled in vain.

 

Billy brought his head back around to the front of him, a trickle of blood already dripping down from the corner of his mouth as he looked defiantly at the man before him.

 

“You’re a tough brat, I’ll give you that!” Andrews concluded as he balled up his fist and struck the child in the abdomen, instantly doubling him in half, listening to the satisfying sounds of the boy gasping and heaving, fighting just to breathe.  Montag let go of Billy’s collar and allowed the child to fall to the ground, a puff of dirt being puffed up from the impact of his collapse. Both Montag and Andrews turned their back of the coughing child as they returned their attention back to the brunet by the tree.

 

Starsky could barely make out the feeble whines that escaped the brave young man as Billy balled up into the fetal position, pulling his knees up to his chest instinctively to try and protect himself from further assault. His face was against the rough and rocky ground, every gasp of air that he puffed through his mouth, blew the dust up and into his eyes. He blinked hard, trying to keep the painful particles from reaching their target, his eyes watering profusely, themselves trying to wash the dirt from them naturally.

 

Starsky remained on the ground, sensing the approaching men, vaguely aware of everything that had just transpired. “You s’n of’ abitch,” he attempted to shout, a mere whisper escaping his lips.

 

“One more time, where’s Hutch?” Andrews repeated his original query.

 

“Go t’hell.” Starsky coughed, knowing that either way he was a dead man, and he would be damned if he would allow Hutch to join him.

 

Billy remained on the ground, huddled in a ball, short quick gasps escaping from his mouth.

 

Andrews grabbed a fistful Starsky’s dark curls, lifted his head up, and slammed it back onto the ground. The brunet almost lost consciousness completely as he fought through the urge to succumb to the blissful darkness that was beckoning him.

 

As Andrews stood, straightening his posture, Montag and he both trained their ears to a far off wail of sirens as they listened to the coming nearer. Montag looked at his temporary partner, his eyes widened with concern, “It’s the fucking cops.” He stated the obvious, irritating the uniformed police officer.

 

“No shit Sherlock!” Andrews retorted sharply.

 

“Who the hell called the cops?” Montag asked, more speaking out loud then truly expecting an answer.

 

His eyes grew big in terror, his face paled as he witnessed something he never expected. Andrews lifted his gun, pointing it at Montag. “I did!” Montag answered as he pulled the trigger, sending a bullet right through the man’s skull, his eyes frozen open for all eternity as he fell to the ground, killed instantly, dead before he even hit the dusty and rocky floor. 

 

 

oooooOOOOOooooo

 

Hutch was not that far away when he heard the shot ring out though the woods. His head snapped back around in the direction that he had left his partner. His heart jumped into his throat as panic began to set in, the pictures that flashed through his mind of the possibilities of what the end result of that gun shot was, made him nauseous as he turned on his heels in mid stride and raced back to his friend. Reaching inside his jacket, he retrieved the gun, cursing the fact that he didn’t have the forethought to have left the damn gun with his wounded partner. He flew over the ground, his long legs carrying him swiftly, even gracefully over the terrain. He ran with a sense of urgency that took over his body, his mind racing, constantly think of the ‘what if’ factor as he neared the clearing.

 

He slowed down, his pace less frantic, moving on the side of caution as he carefully scanned the area, gun raised to the sky, eyes darting around with the senses of a hawk. He placed his back up against a tree and peaking his head out carefully, he saw Andrews towering over his partner. Noticing that Starsky was braced up against the tree, his head moving around dazedly, he scanned the area for little Billy. His brow furrowed as he attempted to focus on the rough terrain, his heart beating rapidly as he found it difficult to slow his breathing. Licking his lips, closing his eyes tightly, he tried desperately to think of a way out. His mind was racing just as fast as his heart was, making it difficult to concentrate. He had no idea if Andrews had more people with him and where they were positioned, so his eyes kept a constant scan of the area.

 

He saw Andrews return his attention to Starsky at the base of the tree, placing the gun near his partner’s forehead, piercing his lips together as he heard the officer growl, “Where’s your fucking partner?” he spewed menacingly.

 

“Andrews!” Hutch called out from behind his shelter. “Let him go!” he shouted, trying to come off unnerved.

 

Andrews perked up, looking in Hutch’s direction, “Come out, come out where ever you are…” he taunted as he spoke melodically.

 

“Drop your gun, and I’ll come out unarmed…” Hutch shouted, his anxiety peaking. “We can talk about this…it’s not too late you know.”

 

“Tell you what Hutchinson!” Andrews yelled back, his eyes honing in on the general direction that Hutch was hiding, “you come out, with your hands up, an’ I’ll think about not splatterin’ your Jew friends’ brains all over this mighty Oak!”

 

Hutch heard the sirens drawing nearer as he knew that he had to buy themselves some time, he thought about his next move, stalling long enough to get them a few precious seconds before sighing and stepping away from the tree. He held both of his hands high up in the air, his magnum pointed towards the darkened sky.

 

Andrews shoved the barrel of his gun, deeper into the temple of the brunet in front of him as he shouted out at the tall blond. “Now just drop your gun, and maybe I will let him live!”

 

Hutch looked at the crazed man, the sirens so close, but seemed so far away, “It’s over Andrews, the cops are gonna be here, you might as well let it go.” He tried to convince the man that held his friends life in his hand.

 

“Drop the fucking gun!!!” He shouted Hutch worried that Andrews was being pushed to the limit, and that he would, in fact, carry out his threat at any moment.

 

The tall blond reluctantly dropped the weapon to the ground, looking at Andrews, trying to keep the situation under control for just a few more seconds. “Look, its okay, take it easy, we…we can help you, I swear we can…”

 

The Nordic’s blood ran cold as he witnessed Andrews, smile evilly and raise his weapon towards him.

 

“You’re as dumb as your friend here!” He quipped, pulling back the hammer with his thumb, tilting his head to the side slightly and pulling the trigger.

 

“Hutchhhhhhhhhhhh!” Starsky shouted out as he looked to the side, seeing the tall blond fall to the ground with a sickening thud.

 

The injured brunet struggled against his body as he attempted to rise, seeing Billy out of the corner of his eye get to his feet, running up to Andrews and beating him against the back with his fists, causing the unaffected man to snort in laughter.

 

“No! No! No!” Billy screamed at the man as he continued to beat against him with his fists. “You killed him, just like my dad! I hate you! I hate you!”

 

Andrews spun around, Billy tripping at his feet as the deranged man looked down at his horrified face, raising his arm over is opposite shoulder and bringing it back across the boys face, sending him spiraling outward across the ground, hitting his head against its hard surface.

 

“You son of a bitch…leave…the…kid alone…” Starsky puffed as he fought against his own pain and demons as he tried to remain defiant to the end.

 

“Your turn.” Andrews commented as he walked towards the brunet, raising his hand with the gun in it and bringing it back across Starsky’s temple, knocking him out cold, his body falling to the side.

 

A panic washed across the man’s face as he heard the sirens come closer, he raced to Montag’s corpse, kneeling down and talking his gun, wiping it down with his own shirt and the placing it in Montag’s lifeless hand, wrapping the dead man’s fingers around it tightly before rushing to Starsky’s side, just as the police vehicles and unmarked cars rolled up, their headlights shining brightly at the crime scene before them. Andrews looked over his shoulder, his eyes squinting from the shining headlights.

 

“Hurry up, get an ambulance, we got officer’s down!” He shouted at the men that were starting to exit their vehicles. “I’m Officer Raymond T. Andrews, Bay City PD…get me some help here!”

 

He heard the familiar voice of Captain Dobey echo off the trees, “You heard the man, get an ambulance up here pronto!” He shouted as he rushed to Officer Andrews side, putting his arm on the shoulder.

 

“You okay son?” Dobey asked Andrews with growing concern.

 

“Yes…yes…sir.” I’m okay…I tried to stop him, but the suspect shot Detective Hutchinson after he knocked out Starsky here…I don’t know if either of them are gonna make it Sir, I tried to help, I really did.”

 

Other officers were rushing to Hutch’s side, performing first aide, checking for vitals.

 

“You did good son, I’m proud of you.” Dobey stated as he looked around at all the bodies lying about, as more officers begun to work on the young boy. “You shot and killed the suspect?”

 

“Yes sir…I had no choice, he was gonna kill Starsky.” Andrews stuttered, playing the frightened officer role to the hilt.

 

“There’s gonna be a commendation in this for you ya’ know don’t you, son?” Dobey stated as he squeezed the blonde’s shoulder supportively.

 

Chapter Twenty

 

 

The car ride to the hospital was nerve racking for little Billy. He sat in Dobey’s car, in the front seat, between the large black man and Andrews himself as they followed the two ambulances carrying Starsky and Hutch. The child’s heart raced, his eyes wide with fear, as the blond cop recounted ‘his’ version of events. Andrews proceeded to tell Captain Dobey how he had followed Starsky from the bar in the city, to their location, he hid out in the woods until he felt the coast was clear, and assisted both Starsky and Hutch in their escape.

 

The three of them made it to the woods when Hutch had gone ahead to seek help, leaving Starsky, Billy and Andrews behind. The overly intuitive officer heard an oncoming car approaching as he hid in the bushes, watching as Montag attacked both Billy and Starsky before shooting Hutch, fatally from what the younger cop could tell. They were both aware that Hutch was still alive, but not for long, Andrews thought to himself sinisterly. After Andrews completed his tall tale, Dobey tilted his head, leaning it towards the young witness between them.

 

“Is that how it went down, son?” he asked, his voice hinted the slightest growl in relief at finding his two detectives, both men to which he had become very fond of, perhaps too fond given his position as their superior.

 

Billy looked straight ahead, out the windshield of the car, he felt Andrews knee pressing against his threateningly as he stammered, swallowing hard, “Y…yes…sir…that’s just how it happened.” he stuttered as Dobey looked back at the tail lights of the ambulance in front of him. “He…he saved our lives…”

 

“Well Andrews, I don’t know how to thank you enough for what you’ve done for them and for my department. I know you and Detective Starsky had your personal problems, but I see you were able to put them aside and do what was right and I commend you for that.” Dobey poured compliments on the deceitful officer.

 

“No need to thank me Captain, I was just doing my job.” He replied, “M’sure he woulda done the same.”  All three of them rode the remainder of the trip in silence, each pondering their own personal demons and fears.

 

 

oooooOOOOOooooo

 

 

Once the had arrived at the hospital there was a mass of activity as both ambulance doors were thrown wide open, Hutch’s unconscious body lifted out of the back of the first one, the white from the sheets of the gurney only made his pale features more exaggerated. There was one orderly on each side of him, one pushing the apparatus, the other holding the glass IV bottle high in the air as he rushed along side of the gurney.

 

The shorter, darker orderly was shouting statistics at the doctor who had rushed out to meet the group.

 

“BP 100/50, pulse 45 and thready, respirations 14. Bullet wound upper left chest area, pupils equal and reactive.” He spewed almost too fast for Dobey to comprehend or absorb the gravity of what was being said.

 

Starsky’s ambulance and gurney followed closely, with two more orderlies going through the same motions.

 

“BP 130/80, pulse 68, respiration 20…” the man in the pure white uniform continued his oration as the burst through the emergency room doors, disappearing behind them as they swung closed.

 

Dobey made his way to the nurse’s station, bellying up to the counter and taking two clipboards, one for each patient that was about to be admitted, grabbing them he turned, nearly stepping on Billy who seemed to be joined at the hip, and right under his foot. He looked around the waiting room and found two empty chairs side by side, pointing in that direction and ushering his young friend to take a seat as the large man barely fit in one of the small chairs himself. He began the arduous task of filling out the patient information sheets for both detectives, something that he was completely capable of doing, knowing them almost as well as they knew each other.

 

Dobey began filling out the patient history forms, a chill running up his back as he was suddenly aware of Andrews’ absence. He looked around the room, stood and made his way to the large glass doors that led the way outside. Pushing the door open, he stuck his head out and peered around, finding no sign of the man. Turning and stepping back into the waiting room, he nearly stepped on Billy again the boys eyes were wide, the fear and uncertainty that radiated from them bore deeply in to the black man’s soul and heightened his alert as his cop instinct kicked in. 

 

“Is there something you wanna tell me son?” Dobey asked, his gruff exterior softening as he attempted to approach the boy as more of a trusted father figure then a threateningly tough police Captain.

                          

“It di’nt happen that way.” Billy said, his gaze never shifting from Dobey’s stoic stare.

 

“What didn’t happen?” Dobey prodded the boy to continue.

 

“That cop…he didn’t save us…he’s the one that shot Hutch.” Billy spat out with very little emotion whatsoever.

 

Dobey took note of the child’s lack of emotion, noting that either he was making it up, or maybe he had seen so many terrible things in  his young life, that he was almost ‘used’ to the horrors that a child this age should have never been exposed to.

 

“Son, that’s a serious allegation you’re making there.” The large man tipped his head, looking at the boy through his brow.

 

“I know it is sir, but it’s true…he shot Hutch and he hurt the other one. I saw him. Then he shot and killed that guy in the woods. They were in it together; I don’t know why he did that, I haven’t figured that out yet.” Billy explained as he turned and headed back towards their seats. “But I’m still working on that one. I’ve seen him around before, at the camp where they kept all of us. Sometimes he’d come dressed up like a cop, other times he was just in regular clothes. He always met with Kiles…and now both of them are gone…and that worries me.”

 

Dobey sat in his chair, inhaling deeply, completely blown away by the very adult conversation this pre teen and he were having. He set the clipboard down in the empty seat next to him as he focused his attention on the young man.

 

“Billy, do you really mean what you’re saying? You understand what it means to lie don’t you?” Dobey asked the child, thinking about his own kids at home, his heart aching for the boy.

 

“Yes sir, and I don’t lie…unless I have to an’ right now, I don’t have to.” Billy looked up at Captain Dobey. He spoke with an eerie conviction as he stared at him. “You see, I don’t have any reason to make this up. If that cop did help us, don’t you think I would want to tell you that? He hurt them, and he killed the other guy, he said he was the one that called the cops, and then just shot Mr. Montag in the head and then he dropped dead. The only thing I could figure out is that he wanted you to think he was helping, so he could get back here and get away before you figured it out, or before those two cops told you the truth. I don’t think he was expecting wither of them to live.”

 

Dobey looked up, his eyes wide, his heart skipping several beats. He looked around, he realized that he hadn’t seen Andrews since they all got out of the cars back at the hospital. He stood and rushed towards the nurse’s station as he reached over the tall counter picking up the receiver of the phone, pressing it to his ear and dialing several numbers.

 

“Dispatch, this is Captain Dobey, I want you to contact Officer Raymond T. Andrews, try his radio, his home, his parents. Tell him to contact me here at Bay City Memorial, if you can’t track him down, or he doesn’t check in with in the next hour, I want an APB put out on him. I want him considered armed and dangerous, you got that!” Dobey spat into the phone before pausing briefly for confirmation that the receiver understood, and then he hung out the phone, lifting his hand to his temple, rubbing it with his pudgy finger, trying to stop the incessant pounding that was trying to break through his skull. 

 

“You gonna find him Sir?” Dobey opened his tightly shut eyes to see Billy looking at him inquisitively.

 

“You bet I am son, you bet I am.” He vowed as the two of them returned to the chairs against the wall and Dobey continued to fill out the admittance papers for his two finest officers. Billy sat there quietly, not wanting to interrupt the man, but not wanting to be far away from him either. He was another one of the few adults that made him feel safe.

 

 

oooooOOOOOooooo

 

 

Hours passed, hours that seemed like days as Dobey and Billy sat in virtual silence, each pondering their own thoughts and queries. A doctor, clad in his thigh length white coat, burst through the swinging doors, his boisterous voice calling out.

 

“Who’s with Detectives Hutchinson and Starsky?”

 

Dobey and Billy popped up from their chairs like Jack-in-the-boxes, springing from their metal tin.

 

“That would be us.” Dobey stated as he approached the doctor, his eyes wide in anticipation. “Are they gonna be okay.”

 

“I’m Doctor Miller, let’s step over here and talk, shall we?” The tall man waved his hand in front of him, guiding the two towards the far wall, more secluded from the other patients and loved ones patiently waiting their turn. 

 

Dobey’s heart raced slightly, knowing that it usually wasn’t a good sign when they are ushered away from other speculative glares, that is was for good reason.

 

“Detective Starsky is gonna be just fine, we had to splint his ankle, it is severely sprained, and even though the x-rays are negative, there is a slight possibility of a hairline fracture that we just couldn’t pick up on. Detective Starsky also suffers from a pretty substantial concussion, four broken ribs, we are lucky that he didn’t puncture a lung. That, coupled with some suspected temporary nerve damage due to the electric shock therapy he received is going to hinder his healing slightly, but we expect him to make a full recovery. It will take some time though; I think that his physical injuries may heal long before his mental ones do.”

 

“What about Detective Hutchinson?” Dobey inquired, noticing the change in the doctor’s demeanor.

 

“We took him straight into surgery, the bullet lodged with in inches of his heart, just to the upper chest area.” He pointed to his own chest to explain the injury. “It tore some of his pectoral muscle an embedded itself in the Sternocostal Head of Pectoral Major, just up and to the left of the heart. Removing the bullet caused some damage to that muscle which we were able to repair. The only danger he is in right now is the onset of infection which is a risk following any type of major surgery. We will start him on an antibiotic therapy, strictly for preventative measures, and once we feel he’s ready, we’ll begin a regiment of physical therapy, to help him regain strength and mobility. If all goes well, he should regain most if not all of his range of motion from prior to the shooting.”

 

Dobey sighed in relief, just knowing that for the moment, both os his men were out of immediate danger, and now would be able to concentrate on recovery, caused the black man to reach in his breast pocket and retrieve a handkerchief, wiping his sweaty brow before returning it to its proper place.

 

“Thank you Doc, thank you so much for taking care of both of them. When will I be able to see them?” He asked.

 

“Once we get them set up in recovery, and settled, I will have the charge nurse come and get you.” He promised as they shook hands and the doctor turned on his heels and exited the waiting room.

 

Dobey took a moment to compose himself before talking to his small friend. “You hear that son?” he asked turning around to face Billy. “They’re both gonna be…” Dobey’s words dropped off sharply as he noticed that his small friend was gone, vanished, he scanned the waiting room, but found no sign of him.

 

Chapter Twenty-One

 

 

Dobey alerted the hospital staff about the missing boy; soon he had several employees searching the storage closets, elevators, even the morgue for the missing teen. He also let security know about Andrews, making sure that they kept a special eye out for him. Once he had done everything in his immediate power to locate both missing persons, he resolved himself to heading towards recovery to see his injured detectives. He felt the slight flit of butterflies that fluttered through his stomach in anticipation. Nerves as to what kind of condition he would find them in, the doctor had given him his report, but one never knew what to expect.

 

He walked into the room, a young nurse leading they way. It was a long rectangle room that housed several curtained cubby holes housing stretchers and patients that just come out of surgery. They were, for the most part, unconscious and hooked up to machines, the incessant beeping of the heart monitors resonating in the large black man’s ears. The traveled to the far end of the room, the last cubby on the right hand side, the petite nurse reaching up and pulling back the tan curtain as if opening a door for the rotund man. 

 

A smile washed across his face as he saw that the hospital had put both of the detectives, in the same space, the same small area, side by side. He was pretty sure that one of them must have come around enough to either request this, or became obnoxious enough for the staff to do anything to shut them up. Either scenario worked for him, as long as they were together, that was all that mattered.

 

Sitting in the middle, right between both detectives on a yellow vinyl chair was Billy, watching over both men. He turned abruptly when the curtain was pulled back, his eyes wide with fear until he laid eyes on Dobey. His posture relaxing slightly, he turned back around, focusing his attention on both officers as he spoke.

 

“Sorry Sir, I couldn’t wait to see them, they needed me here, I keep an eye out for them, they needed me.” Billy stated, his voice monotone as he watched the sleeping men breathe.

 

“Its okay son,” Dobey spoke as he moved closer, placing his large, pudgy hand on the boys shoulder and squeezing gently, “I’m sure they wouldn’t want it any other way.”

 

Hutch’s pale skin and blond hair looked ever fairer against the white sheets, the covers pulled up to mid chest. An IV was hooked up to his right arm while nasal tubes provided the much needed oxygen to the patient. His upper torso was bare, save for the bandage that covered the majority of his chest where the bullet had been lodged and then removed.

 

Dobey looked over at the brunet, the light bedding exaggerating his darker features as he methodically inhaled and exhaled, his chest rising and falling in a calm relaxing succession. He had no nasal tubing’s, but the IV in the crook of his right arm was the same as his partners. Starsky’s face was bruised, his eye swollen terribly along with his lower lip. His leg stuck out from the bottom of the bed, propped up on a couple of pillows, the ankle splinted and wrapped tightly. Dobey couldn’t recall ever seeing Starsky so battered and beaten as he was witnessing now.

 

Billy’s gaze shifted from one man to the other, his concern evident on his face, suddenly looking way older then his age. Dobey stood back and watched the scene unfolding before his eyes, and couldn’t help but wonder what had happened to the trio during their captivity. 

 

Starsky’s head lobbed from side to side, mumbling something at first that was incomprehensible.

 

“H…no…noo…Sir…” he stammered, “H-h-hutsch…” his dark lashes fluttered against his pale skin. “H-h-h-hutch…n-n-nooo, please…” There was almost a panicking tone to his voice, his breathing increasing.

 

Dobey moved closer to his waking officer, his large hand covering Starsky’s bruised one that lay across his lap.

 

“Dave, son, its okay, its me Dobey…come on son, wake up…” The Captain attempted to rouse him.

 

Starsky’s eyes opened abruptly as his head jerked from side to side, seemingly unaware of his surroundings, and yet petrified by them at the same time. Billy stayed in his seat, perfectly calm, having an odd understanding at the man’s erratic behavior.

 

“Starsky!” Dobey’s voice bellowed authoritatively, trying to snap Starsky back to his reality. “It’s me, Dobey, look at me!” He ordered as the brunet’s head turned, his wild eyes locking with his Captain’s.

 

Dobey turned his head, back towards the curtains that were now drawn back, “Nurse!” He called out, looking for some help.

 

Starsky’s physical stiffness subsided as he seemed to relax back into his bed, his eyes drifting back to the front, looking up at ceiling, almost a blank look washing over his face.

 

“Starsky, can you hear me?” Dobey questioned him as the man seemed not to hear him. “Nurse!” Dobey shouted out again as the petite nurse that had led them to the recovery area reappeared.

 

“What is it?” She shouted as she rushed to Starsky’s side, checking his monitors, noting the quick increase in his pulse rate as she reached out for his arm only to have him jerk it away.

 

“H-h-hutch, where’s Hutch?” He stammered as he twisted and turned his arm to keep her from touching him.

 

“He’s right here,” Billy’s calm voice came out of nowhere. “He’s right next to you.” Billy looked at the nurse, “If you wouldn’t mind backing up so he can see his friend, I think it would help him.” Billy’s large brown eyes begged the small lady, who quickly obliged. “Look, he’s right there, he’s okay.” Billy assured Starsky turned his head, looking at the sleeping blond in the bed next to him, calming down even further.

 

His pulse and heart monitor started to slow as just this sight of his partner calmed him to some degree. The nurse tried to check the IV in his arm, only to have the brunet rip his arm away, out of her reach.

 

“Just don’t touch him…you guys don’t understand what happened to him in there…every time he was touched, he was hurt, just don’t touch him, just let him be there, he’ll be fine.” Billy warned Dobey and the nurse. “You need to give him some time, he’s been conditioned this way and it is going to take some time to fix him, but first of all, he’s gonna have ta’ wanna be fixed. You just need to let him be himself, a Jew. Once he comes to grips with that, then he won’t be afraid of the others around him, he needs to gain everyone’s trust right now, and right now, he don’t trust nobody…’cept maybe his friend in the bed over there.” Billy’s words once again making him sound much older then he actually was. 

 

Starsky’s eyes returned forward, focused on the wall across the room, just looking over the top of Billy’s head. Dobey looked around the room impatiently, he sighed heavily as he spoke to Billy, “I gotta go call into the station.” Dobey looked at the young boy, “I want you to wait here, no running off, you got me?” Dobey commanded shaking his pudgy finger at the boy.

 

“Yes Sir, promise, I won’t go nowhere.” Billy responded as Dobey headed to the door and exited the room.

 

Billy sat there in the dimly lit room, his gaze changed from one detective to the other. Hutch was still sleeping; Starsky lay there patiently and quietly wrapped in his own thoughts and demons. Billy spoke softly, “You’re gonna be okay, you know that don’t you?” He reassured the brunet, but Starsky didn’t even acknowledge his words.

 

A soft moan came from Hutch’s direction as Billy’s head snapped towards him. The boy stood and took two steps near the blonde’s bed, saddling up to his side. His hand reached over the silver railing and lightly touched Hutch’s arm, stroking it gently. The Nordic moaned again, his head lobbing slightly to the side as a groan escaped his lips.

 

“You waking up Mister?” Billy asked in a whisper.

 

Hutch’s eyes opened and closed quickly, the lights of the room, and the movement of his head, causing his head to swim.

 

“S-starsk…” He gasped, his voice hoarse, his throat dry.

 

Billy looked over his shoulder at the brunet’s bed and was pleasantly surprised to see the man looking back at them.

 

“See, I told you he’d wake up.” Billy noted as he returned his attention to Hutch. “Hey mister, wake up, your friend needs you,” he tried to coax the blond calmly.

 

“S-starsky…” Hutch whispered again.

 

“He’s right here, he’s waiting for you.” Billy informed him.

 

Hutch’s eyes slowly opened as he winced in pain, his head throbbing. His head turned, the right eye opening first, allowing him a few seconds to focus.

 

“That’s right, your friend his here with you, we made sure they put him in here with you, so you guys would be together. Look for yourself.” Billy encouraged as Hutch struggled to crank his head enough to make out the profile of his partner, his indigo eyes looking at Hutch’s light blue orbs. There was something haunting in them that Hutch couldn’t quite place, something missing, vacant.

 

He licked his dry lips, swallowing, trying to promote saliva to dampen his parched mouth. “Hey buddy, we made it.” Hutch was shocked by his own raspy voice, harsh and rough.

 

Starsky blinked once and then returned his gaze back in front of him, blinking methodically as his own mind fought for control of his emotions. Hutch wanted so badly to get out of his bed and make his way to his partner’s side, to comfort him, and help him, to give him some type of contact, anything he could do for him.

 

“Starsk…” Hutch tried to speak, but it was difficult for him. “Starsk…you with me buddy?”

 

Silence

 

“What’d they do to him Billy?” Hutch whispered.

 

“Question is, what didn’t they do to him?” Billy answered matter of factly. “It’s okay, he’s strong, like my dad, he’ll get over this.”

 

It suddenly hit Hutch that they still had work to do, they promised the boy that they would find and reunite him with his father, he had to get Starsky back.

 

“Look Billy, I need you to go get the doctor…I need to talk to him.” Hutch hissed in pain, “Can you do that for me?” He pled as Billy shook his head in confidence.

                                                                                                       

“But I promised your Captain that I would stay right here, I wouldn’t go nowhere, he’s gonna be real mad at me if I do.” Billy’s eyes were filled with excitement, and a slight hint of fear.

 

“Don’t…don’t worry about it Billy, Starsk and I rarely listen to him, he’ll get over…now just go!” Hutch demanded as Billy turned on his heels and rushed out of the room.

 

As soon as they were alone, Hutch turned his head, struggling to move to his side, using the metal railing of the bed to help him move.

 

“Starsk, can you hear me?” Hutch winced, fighting through the pain as he moved ever so slightly. “Listen Buddy, I…” he inhaled sharply again, “I need you…I need your help…I can’t do this by m’self…it’s gonna take Me an’ Thee buddy, you up to it?”

 

There was an uncomfortable silence in the room and for a brief moment, Hutch didn’t think that he had gotten through to his partner. Then Starsky’s head turned slightly, his vacant eyes lazily looking at Hutch, the life gone from them, the childlike enthusiasm that had always filled the man, appeared to missing.

 

“M’ here Hutch…tell me what to do…” He whispered, his voice cracking in anguish as he struggled to speak with out breaking down, “I’ll do whatever you say…” the brunet resolved as he turned his head back to the front, staring at the ceiling.

 

Chapter Twenty-Two

 

 

Two nurses entered the small cubicle, one approaching Hutch’s bed, the other’s Starsky’s. As the nurse with Hutch started to check his IV, and his bandages, the blond allowed his head to lob to the side, watching his partner as his nurse reached out for the brunet’s arm. An arrow pierced the blonde’s heart as he watched his brave partner flinch, pulling back his arm protectively, not wanting to be touched. The calm red haired nurse spoke softly to her patient.

 

“Shhhhhhhhh, its okay, m’not gonna hurt you…” she said gently as she reached out, this time, her fingers making contact with Starsky’s dark skinned arm, lightly brushing over his arm, allowing him to feel at ease with her presence before continuing further. “See? I promise, I’m not gonna hurt you…” she continued to soothe him as Hutch watched on.

 

Starsky’s eyes darted around nervously at the nurse, then over at Hutch, then back to the nurse, seemingly searching for some type of intervention or help. A part of Hutch’s heart broke off as he saw the fear that exuded from a once strong and fearless man.

 

“There you go, that’s better,” she continued as she fully took his arm, turning it over carefully and checking the crook of it where the IV had been inserted. “That looks just fine…” She talked him through it, “Now I just need to take your pulse,” she place two fingers against his wrist, lifting her other arm up so she could read her watch. When she was finished, she gently laid his arm across his lap, giving it a pat for reassurance.

 

She moved around his bead, to the other side, still being careful not to startle or frighten him in any way as she checked his ankle and adjusted his covers.

 

Starsky’s doctor came bursting into the cubicle with Billy at his side. “What is it; the boy said you wanted to see me…?” Dr. Miller spat out quickly, worried about both of his patients lying before him.

 

Hutch looked up at the older, gray haired man, his glasses low on his nose as he looked over them at the blond. “I wanna…” Hutch sucked in air through his teeth trying hard to ride out the stabbing wave of pain that shot through him, “I wanna know what is wrong with my partner.” He finally spat out.

 

Dr. Miller neared Hutch’s bedside, his tone lowering, trying to keep the brunet from hearing. “Mr. Hutchinson, your friend has been some pretty traumatic experiences, I would beg you to keep your voice down as not to agitate him any further.” The doctor explained to Hutch as he pulled up a chair, positioning himself at Hutch’s head, ready to have this discussion.

 

“As far as your friend’s physical injuries, he is far luckier than you, and he will heal completely as far as I can tell…my concerns are for his mental stability, that is another issue on its own. I am afraid there is really no way of knowing how well he will recover mentally from his experience, that all depends on him…I have the Chief of Psychiatry coming down here to speak with him, but he will want to do so without your presence, I am sure.”

 

“No way, there is no way I am going to leave him alone, not after all that he’s been through, you don’t understand doc, he needs me now, I am going to help him through this, and there ain’t no way in hell I am gonna let him down again!” Hutch’s crease between his eyes deepened as his brow furrowed, the determination in his eyes causing the Doctor to take note. “Where he goes, I go; it’s as simple as that.” The blond concluded as he tried to allow his body to relax slightly against his pillow, his shoulder beginning to throb as his right hand came up to touch it, trying to ease the pain.

 

Dr. Miller snapped at one of the nurses as he motioned for her to come nearer, she reached in her pocket and pulled out a syringe, handing it to the man. “I’m going to give you something Mr. Hutchinson, it’s going to help alleviate some of the discomfort.” He explained as he stuck the needle in the cockstop of the IV and dispersed the numbing fluid into the blonde’s veins.

 

Hutch felt the warm fuzzy feeling that begun to wash over him before he even had time to protest. His head rolled to the side as he saw his partner’s indigo eyes searching his sky blue ones, locked in desperation as Hutch blinked slowly, feeling the undeniable sensation of unconsciousness beckoning him, his eyes glazed over as he smiled at Starsky, slurring his words.

 

“Don’t worry Buddy, I’ll be right…here…” Hutch mumbled as he started to drift off.

 

“Hutch, no Hutch…please…don’t go nowhere…stay with me Hutch…” Starsky pled as he began to panic, the doctor approaching him with his own liquid filled syringe.

 

“S-s-sorry pal…I can’t…” Hutch finished as he finally slipped all the way into darkness, and a peaceful warm, painless rest.

 

 

oooooOOOOOooooo

 

 

The dimly lit, dark smoke filled bar was crowded and noisy. The stall in the back of the place had one man sitting there, his back to the other patrons, an oversized coat covering himself, the collar pulled up high, his beret type hat pulled low to his ears. He had a short glass sitting in front of him, filled with amber colored liquid and ice cubes that he slowly nursed, taking small sips at a time.

 

He jumped nervously as he was joined by another, blond man that hopped onto the bench opposite, then burst out laughing at the mans reaction.

 

“Whatsa matter Kiles, hiding from ghosts?” Andrews taunted the red haired man, pointing out and teasing him for his fears. “I told you, I got this all figured out.”

 

Kiles picked up his glass, tipping it back and finishing off they very last drop in it, sucking up an ice cube into his mouth and rolling it over his tongue. “Yeah, well I already told ya’ I ain’t burnin’ no cops.” Kiles retorted.

 

“Well my friend, I am afraid you are out of other options here…” Andrews looked at him, pulling out a manila envelope from his jacket pocket and laying it on the table. “Either you help me burn those two cops an’ that snot nosed kid, or I’m havin’ this delivered straight to the DA’s office. I’ve got enough evidence on you in here to start a nation wide search. There are photos, tapes of your torture sessions, and statements from your fellow comrades as well as your victims. They’ll be so busy looking for your ass, that it’ll take them a year to get around to lookin’ for me, giving me plenty of time to set up shop somewhere else, runnin’ the whole operation from under ground.” Andrews explained watching the color drain from Kiles face.

 

“You got it all figured out, dontcha?” Kiles said weakly.

 

“Let’s just say, I did my homework.” Andrews answered, satisfied with his work and his ability to manipulate and control Kiles.

 

“Well have you figured out how were gonna take the three of them out?” Kiles questioned, eagerly waiting Andrews answer.

 

The waitress approached their table, Kiles ordered a refill of his Brandy on the rocks and Andrews ordered a scotch. As soon as she left their table Andrews leaned in closer to Kiles, “I’m thinkin’ that the minute they get ‘em outta the hospital, back to their own pads, it should be pretty easy to take them out, one at a time, fast and quite.” He held up his hand, his fingers making the shape of a gun, “Bam!!! One shot, straight to the head…they’ll never know what happened.” he let out an evil laugh, resting back against the seat, kicking his leg up on the bench seat, waiting for the waitress to return with his drink.

 

 

oooooOOOOOooooo

 

 

Hutch’s eyes opened, his head still swimming as things warped in and out of focus for him. He closed them tightly, and then tried again, giving his mind a moment to catch up to his surroundings. He was no longer in the recovery bay and now appeared to be in an actual room. His eyes opened wide as his thoughts traveled to Starsky, looking to his side, his heart skipped a beat as he found an empty bed. His arms fumbled around his bed, looking for a call button as he shouted out…

 

“Nurse…NURSE!!!!!!” He shouted. his head nearly splitting open as he suddenly felt a warm hand on his bare arm.

 

Hutch looked over at Billy’s scared face, the boys wide dark eyes pleading with Hutch’s, almost relieved that the tall blond finally woke up.

 

“B-Billy, where’s Starsky…Where’d they take him?” Hutch stammered, still trying to fight his way back to the reality that was staring him in the face.

 

“I told ‘em you were gonna be mad Kent, I told ‘em not to take him, they wouldn’t listen…” Billy spat out quickly. “He didn’t wanna go either, but they took him anyways”

 

Hutch fought through the intense searing pain that shot through is chest as he struggled to sit up. “Where’d they take him?” Hutch demanded.

 

“They took him to talk to that shrink…he didn’t wanna go Kent, I couldn’t stop them, I tried, m’sorry.” The small boy whimpered, afraid that his blond friend would be angry.

 

Hutch raised his hand, scrubbing the child’s head, “It’s not your fault Billy…it’s not your fault.” Hutch assured the child as his gaze traveled towards the door, pushing himself off the bed, while Billy stood there trying to stabilize him, “By the way, m’names Ken, Ken Hutchinson, but all my friends call me Hutch.” The tall blond added as he took very slow steps towards the door of his room, bent on finding his partner.

 

As they reached the door, Hutch reached out and pulled open the door and with Billy’s helped made his way to the hall. A nurse came running up to assist the boy with his charge, taking Hutch’s arm and supportively wrapping it around her shoulder.

 

“Get me a wheelchair,” she shouted at an orderly, who jumped into action.

 

The orderly quickly returned with the wheelchair as they lowered the blond carefully into it. His head was still spinning from the medications and even the slightest movements exasperated it.

 

“Just where do you think you were going Mr. Hutchinson?” Nurse Hatchet asked the weary blond.

 

“I thought I was going to my partner, and I think that is where you are about to take me if you know what is good for you.” Hutch’s voice and commanding as Billy stood behind the both of them grinning widely.

 

Nurse Hatchet began to push the wheelchair and Hutch was glad that it was in the opposite direction of his room, giving him some hope that they were headed towards Starsky.

 

Hutch and Billy were led to the elevators; they entered as nurse Hatchet turned the blonde’s wheelchair around, bending over the detective and pressing the button for the third floor, waiting patiently for the doors to close.

 

 

oooooOOOOOooooo

 

 

Starsky sat on the leather couch, his knee bouncing nervously as he wrung his hands in his lap, the voice of the psychiatrist that sat behind the large Oak desk, echoing in the brunet’s mind.

 

“I want you to tell me about what happened to you David…” He spoke with little or no emotion as Starsky remained quiet, his gaze focused on his lap.

 

“I already told ya’, I don’t wanna talk about it. Can I go back to my room now?” Starsky asked, his voice shaking slightly.

 

“No, you can’t. You need to talk about your experience…now I’m going to keep asking you the same question until I get an answer, shutting me out wont do you any good.” Dr. Rubens stated authoritatively.

 

The curly haired detective remained silent, the sweat on his brow becoming apparent as his jaw clenched in frustration.

 

“How do you expect to ever get over this if you don’t talk about it?” The doctor prodded his patient, the tone of his voice becoming louder and more demanding.

 

“There’s nuthin’ to get over.” Starsky spoke in almost a whisper as his head remained down. “I wanna talk to Hutch, not you, I wanna go back to my room.”

 

“I’m here to help you David, but you got to want help.” Dr. Rubens spoke as he opened the top drawer of his desk and withdrew a syringe, filled with clear liquid.

 

Starsky’s head snapped up as his eyes grew wide, looking at the item in the man’s hand.

 

“W-w-what’s that for?” Starsky stuttered,

 

“It’s some medication, to help you relax and maybe it’ll make you more willing to talk to me…” He stated as he walked around the desk, slowly moving towards his patient, noting the dark haired man’s agitation growing. “Just relax Mr. Starsky; really, I am just trying to help…”

 

“I don’t want no drugs doc, I just wanna go back to my room.” Starsky swallowed hard, his Adam’s apple bobbing as his dark blue eyes plead with the man that was now towering over him.

 

They both heard a commotion coming from the waiting room and looked towards the door, just as Starsky felt a sting to his left arm, the drug being injected in to him quickly. He jerked back reflexively, grabbing the syringe out of the doctor’s hand as the aging man backed away.

 

Chapter Twenty-Three

 

 

 

 

 

‘You can’t go in there Sir!’ They heard a female voice shouting from the other room.

 

‘Get outta my way!’ Starsky recognized Hutch’s angry voice.

 

The door to the office flew open as Hutch wheeled through, fighting and pushing the whole way with young Billy right behind him.

 

“Get the hell away from him! Don’t you dare touch him!” Hutch shouted out, his brow furrowed as he fought to stand up, trying to get out of the wheel chair.

 

Starsky looked over at his partner, his gaze softening as his eyes rose to look at his best friend.

 “S’good to see ya’ Hutch, but I’m afraid you’re too late.” Starsky smiled his crooked smile as he held up the syringe for his partner to see and Hutch’s rage continued.

 

“I don’t know where in the Sam hell you got your degree, but just who in the hell do you think you are?” Hutch spewed as he limped forward, towards the surprised doctor who was retreating behind the safety of his desk. “What’d you give him?” Hutch demanded as he leaned against the desk for support.

 

Hutch looked back over his shoulder watching as Starsky’s gaze glazed over, his head lobbing to the side slightly as Billy took a seat next to him on the couch, his tiny hand reaching out and softly stroking Starsky’s dark arm, soothingly.

                                                                                                

“I asked you a question!” Hutch bent forward threateningly. “What’d you give my partner?”

 

“Partner,” Starsky murmured, “Ah Hutch, I love it when you call me that,” Starsky snorted in a drunken stupor as his head rolled back, finally resting on the back of the leather couch, his eyes trying hard to focus on the ceiling, blinking slowly.

 

“N-n-nothing that is going to hurt him, I assure you…it is merely a sedative, something to relax him. Your partner was showing signs of distress, and I just wanted to calm him down.” Doctor Rubens tried to explain.


Hutch turned and slowly started to make his way to his partner, “Well you succeeded in that.” He snapped sarcastically as he knelt next to Starsky, placing his large pale hand on the brunet’s knee, sighing heavily.

 

“It is a perfectly acceptable form of therapy; sedatives are commonly used to make a patient more willing to talk about their experiences.” Doctor Rubens attempted to reason with the blond who just ignored him and concentrated on his partner.

 

“M’sorry buddy…I didn’t mean to let you down again.” Hutch said quietly.

 

“S’okay, this shit ain’t that bad Hutsch.” Starsky slurred, still fighting to stop the room from spinning. “Can we go back to the room now?”

 

Hutch let out his own burst of laughter as he strained to stand, “Sure we can Buddy, sure we can.” The tall blond turned to look at the man behind the desk. “Think you can manage to get us another wheelchair for him, and maybe some help?” Hutch quipped sharply.

 

Looking deep into the tall man’s intense icy blue orbs, the doctor quickly reached for his phone, dialing a three digit extension before speaking into it and requesting a wheelchair and two male orderlies to assist in the transfer of both the patients from his office.

 

They returned to their room and Starsky was helped into bed, snoring before the covers were pulled up over him. Hutch smiled at his peaceful partner as he too carefully climbed into bed himself. Billy sat in the chair that he had placed right between the two detectives, equally spaced, showing no favoritism. He looked at Starsky, a smile washing over his face as he saw him sleeping peacefully and worry free.

 

Hutch and Billy made small talk, keeping the conversation as light as possible. It was long before Dobey and a uniformed officer entered the room, looking at both his officers and then at the young boy in the middle of the two beds. Billy’s large brown eyes looked up at the big black man. There was a certain amount of intimidation in the boys’ face, knowing that Dobey held a bit of authority frightened the child.

 

Dobey moved closer to Hutch’s side, glancing back at Billy. “Hutchinson, we need to talk…alone.” He mumbled as Hutch looked over at Billy and then at the officer with Dobey.

 

“Hey Billy, why don’t you and Officer Smithers here, go to the cafeteria and get something to eat, you must be starving.” The blond suggested.

 

“Nah, m’fine…I’ve gone longer without eating.” He stated as if he were proud of his accomplishment.

 

“Well that’s fine Billy, but you don’t have to go without eating anymore.” Hutch stated with a flip of his head, “now do me a favor and go with Smithers for a little bit, Captain Dobey and I need to talk.” He remembered that this child had the mind of an adult and he needed to talk to him with facts, not trying to sneak one by the child.

 

“Why didn’t you just say so?” Billy asked as he stood up and headed for the door. “Try not to fall asleep before I get back,” he said, looking back at the blond, “I don’t want them to take you away either.” 

 

Hutch smiled and winked at the young man as Officer Smithers led him out of the room.

 

Dobey looked back at his detective, his eyes darting over to Starsky and then back, “S’he okay?” he asked with concern, noting Starsky’s obviously deep sleep.

 

“Yeah, he will be…this is their idea of helping…drugging him into to spilling his guts about what happened to him…you know as well as I do Cap’, he’ll talk when he’s ready to, and not before…” Hutch quipped, the irritation in his voice cutting and sharp. “I don’t want them forcing him again like that…can you talk to them?”

 

“Damn straight I will…don’t worry, I’ll see to it, that doesn’t happen again.” Dobey assured the blond then sighed heavily. “Look Hutchinson, there’s still no sign of Andrews or Kiles and that has me a bit worried. I wanna put a guard on you and sleeping beauty over there, just until they are rounded up. The guys we did get out of that camp are singing like songbirds, so I don’t think he’ll need to testify at trial, or at least I am hoping he wont,  but I’m not gonna feel confident about that until those two are behind bars.”

 

“So that’s what Smithers is doing here…” Hutch concluded.

 

“Well not exactly, Child Protective Services wants Billy to be made a ward of the court.” Dobey blurted out as Hutch sat up abruptly, the searing hot pain that shot through his injured shoulder causing him to gasp.

 

“No way Cap, you can’t do that…you can’t put him in some foster care, not after all the shit that kid has gone through.” Hutch protested. “He needs Starsk and I to see him through this, we promised to find his father and get them two back together.” Hutch pled.

 

“I’m afraid it’s out of my hands. He’s a minor and the courts have the final say, there’s nothing I can do.” Dobey said solemnly. “You don’t expect him to stay here at the hospital with you two until you’re released do you? We’re doing everything we can to locate his father, but we don’t even know if he’s still alive.”

 

Hutch knew that his captain was right, after seeing what his partner had endured and what kind of people they were dealing with, there was a very good chance that his father may already be gone.

 

“Well I hope for the kid’s sake, that isn’t the case.” Hutch stated as he looked over at his stirring partner.

 

“You an’ me both, you an’ me both. But until we find out for sure, someone has to take care of that boy, and CPS thinks that foster care is the best way to go for now.”

 

Hutch looked up at his Captain, “Can you just do me one favor Cap?”

 

“Sure, what is it?” Dobey asked, his curiosity peeked.

 

“Try an’ wake Starsky up, I know he’d wanna say goodbye.”

 

Dobey approached his sleeping officer as he reached out a hand, placing it on his shoulder and shaking him gently. “Starsky, come on Starsky, I need you to wake up for me.” The large black man gently coaxed the sleeping man.

 

Starsky stirred, muttering something under his breath as Dobey shook him a little bit harder, “Come on son…we need to talk.”

 

With a shout and a jerk, Starsky woke up quickly, his eyes wide with fear, unsure of his surroundings as Dobey jumped back.

 

“Starsk, its okay…” Hutch’s voice instantly causing his partner to relax, “It’s just us, you’re okay buddy.”

 

Starsky let out a sigh of relief as he let himself fall back against the pillow, blinking his eyes and swallowing hard.

 

“Starsk…we need to talk about Billy.” Hutch said, his voice calm and soothing.

 

“Wh…what about Billy, what happened?” Starsky asked, fighting against the drugs that coursed through his system, “S’he okay? What happened Hutch?”

 

“He’s fine, it’s just that…” Hutch’s voice trailed.

 

“CPS came to me and want me to turn Billy over to them.” Dobey interjected seeing how the blond was struggling. “They’re placing him in foster care until they can locate his father or family member.”

 

Starsky’s eyes danced around the room, over at Hutch, who was avoiding the contact, and then back to Dobey.

 

“B…but you can’t do that…he needs us…” Starsky protested, then looked at Hutch, “he needs us Hutch.” he pled.

 

“I’m afraid we don’t have a choice, they’ve made their decision,” Dobey continued, “They’ve reviewed the case, and know that neither one of you are capable of taking care of him, and he sure in the hell can’t stay here at the hospital while you two are recovering.”

 

“Don’t let ‘em do this Blintz.” Starsky begged, ripping out a piece of the blonde’s heart with every word. Hutch knew that Starsky would have trouble with it, but he also knew that Dobey was right. “He saved our lives.”

 

“I know he did Buddy, but Cap’s right…this hospital ain’t no place for a kid his age. He needs a bed to sleep in and three square meals a day…you know that as well as I do…” Hutch explained as he watched Starsky’s face pale, knowing that the brunet realized that this was the only option for the time being. “I think we both need to try and explain this to Billy, make it easier for him to accept.”

 

Starsky nodded in agreement as he fought against the sickening feeling that was entering his soul, knowing what was right, but wanting to do otherwise.

 

The door to the room opened as Smithers and Billy entered. The young boy carried a tray of food, piled high. “I brought you guys something too, the man said it would be okay, an’ I figured you two would be as hungry as I was.” He spoke as he set the tray down on the empty chair, immediately noting the somber mood that blanketed the room.

 

He looked at the three men in the room as all of them were looking at each other, “What is it?” he asked knowing that what ever was coming would be bad news. “Is it my dad?” He swallowed hard.

 

“No…no…nothing like that.” Hutch jumped in immediately.

 

“Listen son…” Dobey started, putting his arm around the boy’s shoulder, just to have him twist away from the contact and move towards Hutch, sitting next to him on the bed.

 

“What’s wrong Hutch…what’s goin’ on here?” His eyes were wide with anticipation and wonder.

 

Hutch looked over at Starsky and then back at Billy, putting his large hand on the boy’s arm, “I’m afraid that…that the courts want to place you with a family…” He felt Billy’s body tense up. “It’s their job to make sure you’re safe and well taken care of.”

 

“But…but I’m fine, I wanna stay here with you two…I promise I’ll be good, and I wont be no trouble at all, I swear.” Billy stammered, feeling the burn of tears that started to well up in his eyes, fighting to hold them back.

 

“Its not that Billy,” Starsky spoke up, “it has nuthin’ to do with you bein’ good…this hospital is no place for a kid…you need a bed to sleep in, and food on a table…not on a tray.” Starsky stated, struggling to convince himself as well as the boy in front of him.

 

“But then who’s gonna watch out for you guys?” Billy asked with a definitive tone of concern and desperation in his voice.

 

“Us?” Hutch asked, a smile crossing his lips, “We’ll be fine. Our Captain there will make sure of it.” The blond dipped his head and looked at the boy sitting there, his big brown eyes searching his sky blue ones. “Trust me Billy, if it were up to us, you’d stay here…but I think this is probably best…”

 

“An’ as soon as Hutch an’ I are up and around, we’re gonna come see you, and get you back with your Dad, just like we promised.” Starsky interjected.

 

“You guys really think he’s still alive?” Billy’s words cut through the two, “Cause I don’t…there’s no sense in wastin’ your time lookin’ for my old man…even if you do find him, who knows what they did to him…I’m not so sure I wanna know…” he stated looking over at Starsky. “I mean, no offense, but look at you…I don’t wanna see my Pop go through all the crap you are goin’ through. He ws a strong man, and a proud man…I just as soon remember him that way.” He said strongly as he stood and moved towards Smthers. “So I guess that’s why your really here…to take me to a new family.”

 

Billy grabbed a sandwich from the tray and a small carton of milk as he walked towards the uniformed man.

 

“Hey kid…” Starsky called out causing Billy to turn back around and look at the brunet in the bed, “Hutch and me ain’t givin’ up, we’re still gonna find your old man.” He assured the boy as he noted the lack of emotion on Billy’s face.

 

“I know you will…” Billy stated and then turned and pulled the door open, disappearing through it without so much as a goodbye, Officer Smithers following close behind.

 

The door closed and Starsky and Hutch exchanged painful glances, both of them feeling the need and the urge to go after the boy. Starsky paced the back of his hand against his head, sighing heavily as the weight if the boys words and the drugs that still ran through him, fought for control of his emotions. Hutch slapped his leg in frustration as he looked up at his Captain.

 

“So tell me Cap, what have you guys turned up so far?” he asked hopefully, “Any leads on Andrews or Kiles?”

 

“Nothing on them…but we found some paperwork in the office that may just be lead us to that boy’s father as well as some other missing men.” Dobey explained peeking both of the detective’s curiosity. “It’s not definite yet, but it’s a start.”

 

“Exactly what is it?” Starsky spoke, closing his eyes as the sedatives tried to work their magic.

 

“Seems that there is a paper trail leading to some of the men that were sold for slavery; some documentation, we don’t have positive ID’s yet on the victims, only thing used were first names and initials. But there is some contact info on the sheets and we got the guys in R & I checking out each one. We’ve got a couple of Kiles men that are singing like birds, against that man. When we find that bastard, we should have an airtight case against him.” The rotund man spoke wearily.

 

The three of them sat there in silence, each one pondering and struggling with their own thoughts and demons as all of their concentration eventually returning to little Billy. This was the hardest part of the job, personal involvement. Minutes passed that seemed like hours, Starsky had dozed back off ever so briefly before an intruder burst into their room, shouting and ranting, making it very difficult to understand her.

 

“Captain Dobey,” she said, breathing hard, “I’m sorry, Captain Dobey.” The large black man rushed to her side as Hutch turned to look at her and Starsky was once again roused.

 

“What is it?” Dobey asked, his face contorted in concern.

 

Both Starsky and Hutch’s heart leapt into their throats as they heard he spew her next words.

 

“Someone…someone attacked your officer…in the parking garage…they knocked him out…he’s…he’s in the emergency room…” she ranted.

 

“Billy...!” Hutch shouted.

 

“M’sorry…they took the boy with them…one of the other nurses saw the whole thing…they took that boy that was in here, they grabbed him…” She finished as the three of them exchanged worried glances.

 

Chapter Twenty-Four

 

 

 

Hutch was already climbing out of his bed as he looked over at Starsky who was doing the same.

 

“Just where in the heck do you think you’re going?” Hutch asked the brunet.

 

“Same place you’re goin’, after the kid.” Starsky answered, sitting up and then closing his eyes quickly as the room started to spin.

 

“You’re not going no where, you’re in no condition.” Hutch protested as Starsky looked up at him through his brow, a crooked smile washing over his face.

 

“And your fit as a fiddle right?” Starsky asked as Hutch winced in pain as he walked to the closet to retrieve his clothing that the nursing staff had placed there. “We go together Hutch, Me and Thee ‘member?”

 

Their argument was cut off by the shrill ringing of the phone as Starsky reached for it, picking it up before it had a chance to ring a second time, speaking directly into the mouth piece.

 

“Starsky.” he answered as his gaze looked up at Hutch, who was already looking at him.

 

“Billy? Where are you son? Are you okay?” Starsky started firing off the questions while Hutch made his way across the room, standing next to the brunet as Starsky tilted the receiver out for both of them to share.

 

‘I’m…m sorry, I didn’t mean to get caught…we didn’t see them…” Billy’s shaking voice broke both of the men’s heart to skip a beat. ‘Please don’t be mad at me…”

 

“It’s okay Billy, we’re not mad, neither of us are…are you okay?” Starsky asked.

 

‘M’fine…but…but m’ scared…they said they’re gonna hurt me or my Pop unless you two come…alone.”

 

Starsky raised his dark lashes, his eyes connecting with Hutch’s, “Where are you kid?”

 

“I don’t know…”

 

Both detectives heard a commotion and a few gasps from the young man before another voice spoke into the phone.

 

“Listen here, an’ listen good Jew boy!” The deep ominous voice growled. “I’m gonna give you and your partner one more chance to save this fucking kid’s life! You hear me?”

 

“We’re listenin’” Starsky struggled to control his emotions as he listened to their demands.

 

“We want both of you…alone…to meet us in San Diego, at the California/Mexico boarder. Right at the last exit before the check point there is a rest area, pull in there and wait, we will contact you.”

 

“That’s over a 2 hour drive from here,” Starsky tried to keep the man talking, trying to talk him out of waiting for the exchange, “Why don’t we just make the trade now, me for the kid.” Starsky offered, earning him a stern glare from his partner in protest.

 

“No! This is not a negotiation…you hear me? Now you and that fucking Jew lovin’ blond partner of yours had better head downstairs, there is a cab waiting for you…his fare has already been paid and he’s been instructed to drive you to San Diego, but that is all he knows. There will be other vehicles watching you two, an’ if they even suspect a tail, we throw the kid outta the car right onto the freeway! You got that asshole?”

 

“Yeah, I hear ya’” Starsky sighed heavily, his heart beginning to race as his mind was flooded with memories of the past few days and the pain and torture he was forced to endure.

 

Hutch noticed as his friend’s hand stated to shake, taking the phone from Starsky’s grasp, he spoke slowly and clearly into the mouth piece.

 

“We’ll be there, but let me tell you something…you and your friends had better not touch a hair on that kid’s head, or you all will be answering to me! You got that?” Hutch attempted to sound threatening as he received a roar of laughter from the other end of the line and then it went dead.

 

Both Starsky and Hutch looked at one another, the look of fear and worry evident on both of their faces. Hutch held his blood stained clothes in his hands as Starsky looked at them and then at his attire.

 

“What about me, where’re my clothes?” Starsky asked as he swallowed hard, trying to control the pain and the medications that were surging through his veins.

 

“I don’t know that they saved them Buddy.” Hutch answered as he looked over at Dobey who was standing there in amazement.

 

The large man didn’t have a chance to speak one word before both detectives laid into him.

 

“Cap, m’gonna need some clothes.” Starsky spewed as Hutch interjected.

 

“We need to get outta here right now Cap…think you can help us out?” Hutch asked as the look of confusion washed over the black man’s face.

 

“Just what in the Sam hell is going on here?” Dobey asked in a state of shock with all the commotion that was occurring in the room that he expected to be quiet and peaceful.

 

“Cap, they got Billy…they wanna make a trade…the kid for us.” Hutch explained as he set the clothes on his bed, grabbing his jeans. Leaning against the bed, he bent over and pulled on one leg at a time, using his right arm, wincing every time he moved the wrong way.

 

“Excuse me…” Starsky butted in as both men looked at him, his hands waving the entire length of his body, “Can I get some help here…? I need some clothes.”

 

“I can’t let you two go out on your own.” Dobey protested.

 

“Yeah, well it doesn’t look like you got much of a choice Cap, unless of course, you want a dead kid on your hands.” Hutch protested as he sucked air in through his teeth, fighting through the pain as he removed his hospital gown.

 

“Clothes please!” Starsky pled, sitting against his own bed, still feeling too woozy to move about comfortably.

 

Dobey looked at the brunet, sighing heavily as he made his way to the door, opening it and rushing out. Hutch looked back at Starsky as he fought to put back on his blood stained shirt.

 

“You feelin’ up to this partner?” Hutch asked, watching Starsky’s head roll slightly.

 

“Do I look like I’m feeling up to this?” he mumbled, staring down at his lap, “we ain’t got much of a choice, just like you told Dobey…” The brunet raised his head to lock reassuring eyes with his best friend, “They’ll kill him if we both don’t come…he saved our asses Hutch, we owe him.”

 

“That we do.” Hutch agreed as he pulled his jacket over his arms. “But m’worried about you, you went through a lot of shit there Starsk, and I need to know if you’ll be able to put it behind you for now.”

 

“Well I’ll tell you what…when I figure that out, you’ll be the first to know.” Starsky stated solemnly.

 

It wasn’t long before Dobey returned, carrying some clothing folded over his arm, he approached the brunet’s bed, setting the white t-shirt and denims next to him.

 

“Got these from the lost and found, unclaimed items, they launder them here in site and then donate them to the Salvation Army. I convinced them that you are a worthy cause.” Dobey explained to the two. “I would be remiss in my duties if I did not advise the two of you against this action you are about to take, but I also know that my advice would be ignored, so for whatever its worth, I object.”

 

“Dually noted Cap.” Starsky sighed as he himself, struggled to get dressed in the borrowed clothes.

 

Starsky looked up at Hutch who was still trying to rearrange his clothing and his harnessed arm to a somewhat comfortable position, “You ready Blintz?” the brunet asked.

 

“As ready as I’ll ever be.” Hutch answered, looking up at Dobey who had retrieved two weapons from under his jacket.

 

“You’ll be needing these.” The black man offered as he held out his hand, a gun each of them, one that Hutch would be comfortable with and one that the brunet was accustomed to. 

 

Each detective took their weapons and placed them in the back of their waistbands, pulling their shirts down over the top to cover them. The tall blond eyed his swaying partner.

 

“You sure you’re up to this Gordo?” Hutch asked, his face masked with deep and genuine concern as he stepped closer to him.

 

“We don’t have much of a choice, do we?” Starsky answered as he stopped and braced himself against the foot of the bed briefly.

 

Hutch was in about as good of shape as Starsky was, the medications from his surgery almost out of his system completely, at least to the point where he could function reasonably well. His should screamed in pain and hot searing agony, but he wasn’t about to take any type of pain medications now, not when he and his partner were about to enter a world of danger and unknown. They were both going to have to be alert as possible, and try their best to watch each others backs. Hutch knew that it may be left more up to him, then his brunet partner. He knew that mentally and physically, this would be pushing his friend to his limits and then some.

 

“M’ gonna have three unmarked vehicles following you two.” Dobey began to explain, but found himself quickly cut off by Hutch’s sharp tone.

 

“That’s outta the question cap. They’ve got their own guys following us, and if they even suspect that we’re being tailed, they’re gonna toss Billy out on the freeway, and they’re not gonna bother to slow down.” Hutch explained, his pleading eyes locked on his Captains, begging for understanding. “You put tails on us, and you’re signing that kids’ death warrant…don’t you see that Cap?”

 

Dobey pretended to weigh his options, knowing that he really had none. Sighing heavily, he handed a walkie-talkie to Hutch and then headed for the door. “At least take this with you.” He advised as he left the room and headed downstairs to make sure that no one followed the two men.

 

Hutch looked back at his suffering friend, “Listen Starsk, if anything heavy goes down out there, I want you to hit the deck and stay there, you hear me?”

 

“What, now you think you’re my mother?” Starsky joked, trying to fake his best half smile, but failing miserably. “Okay, okay I hear ya…” the brunet finally conceded as he pushed away from the hospital bed and stood straight up, pausing briefly as the room came to a stop, and then taking his first step towards the door, feeling Hutch’s large hand on the small of his back for support.

 

Both detectives did away with the customary wheelchair dismissal that was protocol in hospitals as they made their way to the elevators and down to the lobby. Outside, right in front, waiting in the patient pick up and drop off drive thru area was a yellow cab. Both Starsky and Hutch looked both directions, scanning the area, their senses on heightened alert as they walked towards the cab. Hutch reached out and opened the back door, holding it open as Starsky slowly climbed in, grunting and inhaling sharply in discomfort with even the slightest of movements. Hutch tried to mask his own discomfort as he joined his partner in the back seat, sliding in beside him, without a word spoken the cab driver pulled away from the curb and made his way through the crowded streets of Bay City and onto Interstate 5, headed south towards San Diego.

 

The middle-aged man behind the wheel attempted to make small talk as they made their way south,

 

“It’s a nice day dontcha think?” The man asked, Hutch noting his thick Midwest accent.

 

“Just perfect…” Hutch noted as he watched his partner grimace as the taxi swerved into the lane next to them, the driver over correcting by pulling the wheel and swerving back. “Couldya take it easy?” the blond asked with a tone of irritation in his voice.

 

“Sorry Buddy…didn’t mean to do that you know?” The cabbie snapped back, locking eyes with Hutch through his rear view mirror. “So what takes you to San Diego, business or pleasure?” he nervously continued to try and make conversation.

 

“Business.” Starsky grunted, dismissing the man abruptly.

 

About 2 hours and 20 minutes into the drive, the cab slowed down, merging to the right side and taking the exit for another freeway, the 8 headed east. Confused, both detectives looked at each other, knowing that they were instructed to head to the San Diego/Mexico border and the direction they had just taken was away from that location. Hutch leaned forward, speaking over the seat.

 

“Um excuse me, but I think you took the wrong turn.” He explained to the driver, concern washing over his face.

 

The man lifted his clipboard off the front seat, checking it before speaking to him. Turning his head to the side, he spoke to his passenger in the back, “No, I don’t think so, dispatch has instructed me to drop you two off at Mission Beach, that’s exactly where I’m headed.”

 

Starsky poked his head out the window, looking at the large green freeway sign that clearly read: BEACHES

 

“Well, he’s gotta point there, that’s where we’re headed alright.” He whispered to his partner, both detectives sat back, not comfortable with the uneasy feeling trying hard to bore its way inside both men by the sudden change of plans.

 

 

Chapter Twenty-Five

 

 

The cab pulled down a small dead end road, a concrete barricade separated the car from a crowded sandy beach. The amount of people and traffic worried the two detectives more then anything else. If something were to go down here and they were forced to use their weapons, there was too much of a chance that innocent people would get hurt or even killed.

 

The cabbie looked over his shoulder at the two, speaking out of the corner of his mouth, “Well, here you go, I hope you two enjoy your visit here to San Diego, it really is a beautiful city.”

 

Starsky and Hutch looked at each other in confusion, Hutch finally being the first to speak up, “I thought you were taking us to the border.” He questioned.

 

The gray haired man picked up his clip board reading of his directions, “Pick up-Memorial Hospital Bay City…Drop off-South Mission Beach, San Diego. Nope, this is it alright…now if you don’t mind, I gotta long drive back home. Enjoy your time here, lots of fun in the sun if you catch my drift?” He winked as Hutch reached for the door handle, looking over at his partner and then back at the driver.

 

The tall blond opened his door as Starsky did the same on his side, both men climbing out, Starsky taking more time and holding his breath frequently as his mind struggled to fight against his discomfort just to get through the next step. They both closed their door in complete unison as they looked at each other over the hood of the cab as it pulled away, leaving the two standing there dumbfounded.

 

They closed the space that separated them as they both scanned their surroundings. The boardwalk of the beach was bustling with young fit bodies, bikini and Speedo clad women and men, roller skating and riding bikes, some couples just walking hand in hand under the bright warm golden sun. Off to their right there was a small amusement type park with an old wooden roller coaster, the air was filled with the sound of the cars speeding over the noisy tracks, children and adults alike screaming with joy. Towards their left was a row of stores that sold everything from surf boards to bathing suits. Behind them was the beach, the powerful waves cresting and crashing down, just to slowly make its way to shore disappointingly, and then ebb back to the vast ocean it came from. They saw families and teens frolicking in the sand and wading in the water and playing games of Frisbee all along the shore line.

 

Looking back towards the road they had come from they saw a long stretch limo, ominously making its way through the intersection and onto the dead end road, coming towards them.

 

They watched the car come closer; Starsky’s heart began to race. His body screamed in protest with each and every movement. He felt the sweat bead up on his forehead as he experienced something he rarely felt before, fear.

 

Just the thought of being back in their clutches caused the brunet to tremble, Hutch watched Starsky’s reaction as he worried about his partner’s ability to function under such duress. 

 

The long vehicle made its way down the short and narrow road, pulling straight towards them before veering off and turning to the side, exposing the passenger door to the officers and continuing to pull forward until the door to the rear of the car was at their reach.

 

Hutch backed up one step, touching Starsky’s arm and encouraging him back as well. The blond could feel Starsky’s body shaking as he tightened his grip, more for moral support then direction.

 

The door opened slowly and all the detectives saw was a pale hand as it pushed it open further, then nothing. Hutch cautiously bent over, looking inside seeing Billy kneeling on the floor board, his hands tied behind his back, his mouth gagged tight, covered with duct tape, his eyes wide with fear and red from crying. The tall blond slowly closed his eyes, his pale lashes hiding the sadness he felt for Billy’s circumstance, no should that age should have had to endure even half the trials and tribulations that this boy faced head on. He saw a hand appear to Billy’s left, holing a pistol and pressing it roughly against the childs’ temple and pulling back the hammer.

 

“Get in!” The faceless man spoke as Billy’s eyes locked with Hutch’s pleading for help and then shaking his head no.

 

Hutch knew immediately that Billy did not want Starsky or Hutch to get into the car; it was as if he had accepted his fate, but did not want the officers’ blood on his hands. He shook his head no again as several tears broke free, traveling down Billy’s bruised cheek.

 

“I wont ask you again Jew lover! Get in the fucking car!” The man spoke as Hutch registered the voice and recognized it as Kiles.

 

The blond again scanned their surroundings, knowing that any type of struggle here would probably lead to the end of Billy’s life and probably bystanders that were simply there enjoying the beautiful sunshine that San Diego had to offer, all none the wiser that just a few feet away from there a volatile situation was unfolding.

 

Hutch stood up and looked at his partner, “Think you’re ready for this Gordo?” he asked with deep concern.

 

“As okay as ready as I’ll ever be…” Starsky mumbled quietly as Hutch put his hand on the small of his friends back and guided him into the limousine.

 

As they climbed in the black leather upholstered interior, Starsky’s eyes quickly spotting Kiles as he attempted to sit on the opposite bench seat, just to have his collar grabbed and found himself roughly jerked to the seat next to Kiles. Starsky let out an unintentional shout of pain as he landed heavily on the bench next to the red head, earning a chuckle from Kiles.

 

“Miss me motherfucker?” Kiles hissed in Starsky’s ear.

 

Andrews smiled approvingly as Hutch climbed in, hands up in front of him and was instructed to sit next to Andrews, the blond complied immediately.

 

Kiles kept the weapon at Billy’s head as he shoved Starsky over across the seat and onto his side, patting him down roughly, checking for either wires or weapons. The brunet grunted several times when the man’s strong hands hit him in just his already bruised areas. It didn’t take long before Kiles ripped the weapon from the back part of the of his waistband, the metal from the weapon scratching his back painfully.

 

Andrews then did the same to Hutch, knowing that if one was carrying the other would be. Hutch tensed up and grimaced in extreme pain as Andrews hand came in contact with his bandaged shoulder, feeling the incision tear slightly as a warm fluid seeped from it. He quickly found the tall blonde’s gun and confiscated it, handing it over to Kiles.

 

Andrews instructed Hutch to reach over and close the door, which he obeyed, sucking in air and holding his breath while his own body also protested certain movements, as the driver pulled away from Mission Beach, headed to a destination unknown. Hutch watched Starsky’s face pale and he wasn’t sure if it was due to his injuries or his fear that was creeping back into his soul.

 

The limo slowly pulled away from the boardwalk and headed back towards the freeway, slowly making its way through the heavy traffic and back to Interstate 5, once again headed south. Inside the car, the five people sat in silence as Hutch watched his partner and then looked at Billy who was still kneeling on the floor board, his hands behind him. Every time the car took a turn Billy would tip over landing on his shoulder or face, just to be roughly yanked upright again by either Kiles or Andrews, whoever got to him first. Both men appeared to enjoy the boy’s futile attempts to stay upright, enjoying his defeat in more ways then one.

 

Hutch caved first, “Can’t you just untie him and let him sit normally?” he begged his captors. “He’s not a danger to anyone, just let him be?”

 

Both Andrews and Kiles let out a roar of laughter as Kiles kicked his foot out, intentionally knocking Billy violently over, the boy’s head hitting the door with a thud.

 

Hutch noted Starsky’s silent behavior, noting that under normal circumstances, he would be the one coming unglued by the treatment of this child, but the brunet sat there quietly, and just watched, completely expression list, only adding to the blonde’s concern for his partner.

 

Kiles reached down and grabbed Billy’s collar, jerking him back up on his knees. Reaching over with his left hand he brutally ripped off the tape along with any peach fuzz or facial hair and a little bit of skin from his lip with it. The young brunet boy bit his lip to keep from crying out, allowing his tongue to explore the areas that were now raw and bleeding.

 

Hutch closed his eyes his stomach wrenching in anger and turmoil as he felt nauseous, watching the behavior they were subject this mere child to.  He knew that if he said more, Billy would probably be the one to pay the price, so he fought against his urge to scream out, swallowing his furor.

 

“M’okay Hutch…really…” Billy spoke as he locked eyes the tall blond. “Don’t get ‘im any madder at me…”

 

Kiles laughed heartily as he slapped Starsky on the back, taking his gun and pressing it cruelly into his cheek. Hutch’s body tensed up as his brow furrowed as he fixed his gaze on the red-haired man as Kiles expression grew angry and curt.

 

“You ‘member all the fucking fun we had together Jew boy?” he hissed, his hot breath radiating across Starsky’s cheek, “Did you tell your white friend about all the good times?”

 

Starsky swallowed hard, his hands trembling as he fought to control the shudders. He looked down at his lap remembering how he was not allowed to make eye contact with them.

 

“Well didya?” Kiles repeated.

 

“N-n-no…” Starsky gasped trying to stop his shaky voice.

 

“No what, you son of a bitch?” Kiles spat angrily, the spray from saliva raining across Starskys face causing him to blink to protect his eyes.

 

“No S-s-sir.” He stammered, closing his eyes feeling ashamed and defeated.

 

The brunet detectives mind rushed back to their conditioning sessions, feeling the pain and anguish all over again as he felt his emotions on the verge of erupting.

 

“Did you tell your friend about pissin’ all over yourself?” Kiles laughed as he looked to see Hutch’s expression. “Did you? Or were you too fucking ashamed of your weakness?”

 

“Leave it alone Kiles…save it for camp.” Andrews instructed as Kiles let out one final laugh and then removed the gun from the brunet’s cheek, again slapping him on the back.

 

Hutch sighed heavily as he sat back, showing his captor’s that he did not intend to start any trouble. He looked back over at Starsky who was staring at him intently, expressing volumes to the blond with just one gaze and without speaking a word. Hutch knew immediately that no matter what happened, if it came right down to it and Hutch needed Starsky’s help, Starsky would be more then capable of holding his own. Whatever turmoil and anguish was going on inside the brunet’s head, he would put aside and be there to have his partner’s back. A rush of relief washed over Hutch as he tried to look out the window to get his bearings on where they were actually headed to.

 

They continued in a southerly direction as they passed some factories and other large buildings. From best as he could tell they were still on the same freeway and headed to the border. Billy cleared his throat, earning him a glance from both Starsky and Hutch as he looked at them nervously. Andrews and Kiles made small talk about leaving the country after they had done away with at least two of their three captives. The still planned on keeping Billy to ensure his fathers behavior, and just for the fun of watching the insignificant Jew squirm. Billy wiggled around on the floor again, balancing from knee to knee uncomfortably.

 

“Excuse me…” His voice was soft and respectful as he asked for attention.

 

Andrews leaned in, “Whatta you want kid?” he asked meanicingly.

 

“I need to take a piss.” The boy answered, his eyes staying focused on the floorboard of the car, avoiding eye contact with the men subserviently.

 

Both Starsky and Hutch looked at each other, hoping that if they stopped they would get the break they needed to make a move.

 

Chapter Twenty-Six

 

 

 

“You can pee y’rself just like your friend here for all I care.” Kiles said angrily as he flipped his head towards Starsky.

 

“Please, I really need to go bad, I don’t think I can hold it.” Billy pled.

 

Andrews and Kiles looked at each other and then back at the boy as Andrews picked up a phone that was a way to communicate with the driver. “Find a place that is outta the way so the kid can shake his snake.” Andrews spoke into the phone, and then hung it back up quickly as he looked at Kiles. “I don’t know about you, but I don’t wanna make the rest of this trip with piss all over the place.” Andrews explained as Kiles shook his head in agreement.

 

“Can you take these off?” He asked, lifting his arms up as far as he could behind him.

 

Kiles leaned forward as he used a small