put down the Book of Shadows. She raised her hands to her face, rubbed both of
her eyes with the tips of her index fingers and exhaled.
It was getting to her. It was really getting to her.
She had not had enough time to fully recover - neither
mentally nor emotionally - from her trips to Russia and her encounters with the
KGB demon who almost killed her. And now, this very morning, they had followed
a trail they thought would lead them to the demon who was killing the young
girls. Instead, it led them to a demon named Mortimer, a demon un-connected to
the girls' killings.
But Mortimer was a powerful demon, nonetheless. He had knocked Piper out,
then almost crushed her and Phoebe to death,
before Prue intervened at the last moment and rescued them.
They had barely managed to escape from Mortimer and had not
vanquished him. Maybe he knew who they were and was going to come after them at
The Manor, Piper thought to herself. And even if he was not coming,
there were surely other demons trying to kill The Charmed Ones. And besides
that danger to them, they still had to find the demon killing the girls, before
the Summer Solstice arrived. And before he killed again in preparation for the
The stress was becoming too much. Piper needed a break. She
needed to just get away from everything.
To get away for a week. To get away for even a day.
But there was no getting away. Not even for an hour.
Not from the demons who wanted to kill her.
And not from what she had to do as a real-life witch.
Piper exhaled again, stood up and closed the Book of
Shadows. She made her way to the attic door and started down the stairs. She
had reached the second floor and was about to go into her bedroom when she
heard a very loud bang come from downstairs.
Piper hurried down to the first floor and stopped short at
the foot of the stairs. What was left of the front door was now lying on the
floor of The Manor some five feet from the doorway, having been smashed off of
its hinges, its glass shattered and strewn all around. And standing a few feet
past the door was Mortimer. He had indeed followed them home to kill them.
Piper instinctively waved her hand at him. But Mortimer had
been immune to being frozen in their morning encounter and he was no less
immune to it now in the afternoon.
"Phoebe!" Piper shouted as she turned and
ran back upstairs
"Mortimer's here," Piper called out as Phoebe ran
out from her room. "Make up a spell - quick!"
"Agghh," came from Piper.
Mortimer was now at the bottom of the stairs. Using the
demonic power of his right hand from afar, he had raised Piper two feet off the
top step of the staircase and was squeezing and crushing her throat.
"Uh...uh..." Phoebe stammered. "Demon named
Mortimer, who's here...uh...below us...uh..."
Phoebe tried to think of what to say next. But she couldn't.
No words came to her mind.
"Uh...uh..." Phoebe said. She gave up on the spell
and ran down the stairs at Mortimer, intending to use her martial arts on him.
But the demon used the powers in his left hand and from a distance sent the
force of a punch into Phoebe's stomach that doubled her over half-way down the
staircase. Then he sent another force of a punch on her chin, knocking her head
back and her body over the railing. Phoebe fell to the floor and lay on her
back, knocked out.
Mortimer turned his attention back to Piper and tightened
his demonic grip on her throat. Her air cut off, she felt herself helpless and
"So there you are!" a female voice shouted from
The Manor's open doorway.
Mortimer turned towards the voice. Seeing who it was, he
focused his anger and his powers on her. As he did, he released his grip on
Piper and she dropped to the top step, then tumbled down the rest of the stairs
to the living room floor.
The woman who now had the demon's attention was standing
squarely in the doorway, staring defiantly at Mortimer. She was in her
late-thirties, close to six feet tall, with broad shoulders but without an ounce
of fat on her Amazon-like body. She was wearing a khaki shirt and khaki shorts,
with lots of cargo pockets on them, and matching khaki knee socks. On her head
was a bush hat, the left side of the brim tied up. A yellow bandana rested
around her neck.
Mortimer growled in anger at the woman as he stretched out
his arm to send his demonic force at her.
"Oh, that will do you no good with me," the woman
said, sprinkling something in the air between her and the demon. He stretched
out both of his arms at her but nothing happened.
"My turn, now," the woman said in an Australian
accent. She took out a vial from her shirt pocket as she quickly moved closer
to the demon. Opening the vial, she threw it's contents in Mortimer's face.
"AGGHH!" Mortimer screamed and began to shake.
"AGGHH!" he screamed again and then a third time.
Then, it seemed to Piper, he just exploded. And he was no more.
"Are you all right?" the woman asked. Piper,
gasping for air and wincing from the pain, couldn't answer. Seeing Phoebe spread
out unconscious on the floor, she forced herself to crawl over to her.
"Phoe...be," Piper said with difficulty, shaking
Phoebe with one hand.
"Oww..." Phoebe moaned as she began to stir.
"Are...you...OK?" Piper asked, still trying to
catch her breath.
"I...think so," Phoebe said. "Agghh...what
"I'm OK...more or less," Piper replied.
"Thanks to..." She looked up at the woman.
"Lumeire Darby," the woman said. She approached
the girls, lent Piper a hand and helped her up, then did the same to Phoebe.
"Aghh," Piper moaned, wincing again.
"Are you sure you're all right?" the woman
"Uh, yeah...just bruised," Piper replied.
"And my throat's been better." She twisted her head back and forth
and ran her hand around her neck.
"I...I just couldn't come up with a spell," Phoebe
said, rubbing her chin. "Oh...that hurts!" She rubbed her other hand
across her stomach, which felt equally sore. "I just...couldn't
"You're witches," Lumeire said.
"Uh...yes," Piper replied.
"Well, that explains it," Lumeire said. "I've
been chasing after Mortimer from Canberra, to Sydney, then to Wellington and
now here to San Francisco. He was doing his business with no time for side
trips. Couldn't understand why he suddenly came to this house. But now I
"We ran into him this morning," Piper said.
"He tried to kill us and when he realized that he hadn't he must have
followed us home." Piper took another deep breath.
"My power to freeze had no effect on him," she
"No, it wouldn't," Lumeire said. "He was
strong and a real bounce of a demon."
"Bounce?" Phoebe asked.
"Uh, that's means bully in Yank," Lumeire said.
"My power didn't work," Piper said, "and
Phoebe couldn't come up with a vanquishing spell when we needed it. We're
stressed out. It's all become...too much."
Piper thought longingly of her home. At that moment, she
wanted so much to be there and to just be Holly Combs again. Just her horses,
her garden - and no demons trying to kill her.
"That was close," Piper said, bringing her mind
back to her surroundings. "Much too close - again!"
"You need to take a break," Lumeire said.
"You need to go on holiday."
"We can't," Piper said.
"Can't?" Lumeire asked. She looked at them for a
minute. "You're new at this, aren't you?"
"New at what?" Prue asked, standing in the doorway
where the door used to be. "And what happened here?"
"Mortimer was here," Phoebe said, "and almost
killed us. Lumeire vanquished him and saved our lives. Oh," she said
turning to Lumeire, "I'm Phoebe. This is Piper and that's Prue. We're the
"Thank you...uh...thank you," Prue said to
Lumeire, taken aback by what had happened to Piper and Phoebe.
"Always glad to help a mate," Lumeire said.
Prue steadied herself, took a deep breath, then came into
The Manor and joined them by the staircase.
"You're a witch, too," Prue said.
"Just like you," Lumeire replied.
"And you're from Australia?" Prue asked.
"From Brizzie," Lumeire said, then saw the
quizzical look on Prue's face. "That's Brisbane," she explained.
"Your name...Lumeire," Prue said. "I know
it from somewhere...uh, photography. Louis Lumeire and the Autochrome. It
was...an early process for color photography."
"Good onya," Lumeire said. "You know your
"I've, uh, recently become a photographer for a
magazine," Prue said. "And, uh, somethings about photography
are...now in my head."
"Louis Lumeire and his brother Auguste were my mother's
great-uncles," the witch said. "Our branch of the family wound up in
Australia and the name got passed down to me as my given name."
"I didn't know the Lumeires were witches," Prue
"They weren't," Lumeire replied. "My powers
come from my grandfather who married into the family. The powers skipped my
parents' generation but then I got them."
"So you've been at this a long time," Phoebe said.
"Indeed I have," Lumeire said.
"We haven't," Piper said. "We are new
"You have to learn to take a break every now and then
and go on holiday," Lumeire said.
"The demons won't let us," Phoebe said.
"And besides them, there's one particular demon we have
to find before the Solstice," Piper added.
"It won't do you any good to find him," Lumeire
said, "if you'll be all stuffed and burnt out when you do. You won't be
able to take him on." She paused for a second.
"You need the show, mate," she said.
"The show?" Prue asked.
"What show?" Phoebe asked.
"The show," Lumeire said, and gave them a
small smile. "Where's your telly?"
"Telly?" Phoebe asked.
"Television," Prue explained. "It's in
here." She led Lumeire into the parlor.
Lumeire picked up the remote control. She closed her eyes
and concentrated as she aimed the unit at the television set.
Suddenly an image appeared on the screen.
"And now, live from our studio," the voice-over
announcer said, "it's time to play
Let's Make a Spell."
The name of the show flashed in large red letters across the
screen as the show's theme song began playing.
"What is this?" Phoebe asked.
"And now," the announcer continued, "the one
who can make the right spell just for you, the one who can make your spell come
true. Our own spell master - Montgomery Hallmark!"
The audience broke into applause as a man carrying a
microphone came out from behind the wide, off-white curtain and onto the stage.
He was in his late forties, with a square face, neat hair and a blue suit.
"Hello, hello," Hallmark said. "Thank you,
Johnny. And welcome to Let's Make a Spell. We're going to give a chance
to win a fabulous prize to the witch who is the most stressed out, the most
under pressure, the most in need of a break."
"Oh," Piper said, "that's us. We should be
"That's good, now," Lumeire said. "You had to
say that first. Now we can go on." She pulled out a pouch from one of the
cargo pockets on her shorts, looked inside it for a second and then closed the
"Here, take the whole thing," she said, tossing
the pouch to Prue. "I'm sure there's something in there that will be what
"Need for what?" Prue asked.
"Oh, and I usually get a feeling about this,"
Lumeire continued, "and I'm always right." She paused, looked at Prue
and gave a little shrug. "Hmm...most always, right. Take number
"Number two?" Phoebe asked.
"Number two of what?" Piper asked.
A gong was heard coming from the TV.
"Now, look there," Lumeire said. "Don't take
your eyes off the telly. He's starting his spell."
"Find the ones who are most deserving," Hallmark
began the incantation.
"Good luck," Lumeire said.
"Ohhh!" Phoebe said as she felt herself being
pulled towards the television.
"Ohhhhhh!" Piper and Prue said as they were pulled
along with her. They all felt themselves hit the TV screen - and then go right
The next thing they knew they were sitting in the show's studio
audience. They were in the three seats off the aisle in the fifth row. Below
them, on stage, was a large curtain. In front of the curtain were cameras
pointed away from the stage and at Hallmark, who was standing in the first row
in the audience.
"What..." Piper began to ask as they looked
"...light up for us to see," Hallmark finished
saying his spell. As he did, small lights suddenly appeared around the girls,
outlining each of them as they sat together.
"There," Hallmark said, "the spell has found
not one but three witches who are deserving of the chance to play - Let's
Make a Spell."
The audience began
to applaud as Hallmark made his way past the first four rows and down to the
"What is your name?" he asked as he stuck the
microphone in Piper's face.
"Uh...uh..Piper," she said.
"And you?" he asked.
He moved the microphone to Prue.
"Uh...Prue," she said.
"Ah...a coven," Hallmark said.
"Uh....no, we're not a coven," Prue said, trying
to make sense of what was happening. "We're...sisters."
"Now, stand right up, all three of you," Hallmark
The girls looked at each other, looked around the studio
audience and the stage, then slowly and self-consciously stood up.
"Are you ready to play Let's Make a Spell?" Hallmark
"Uh...uh..." Piper stammered.
"Good," Hallmark said. "Now, for the
Level-One prize, give me a sprig of clover. A not un-common ingredient in
potions. If you have a sprig with you you'll win the Level-One prize."
"Uh...we uh...didn't bring...uh...anything with
us," Phoebe said.
"Uh...wait," Prue said. She was holding Lumeire's
pouch. She opened it, looked around inside it and pulled out a sprig of clover.
"Congratulations!" Hallmark announced and the
studio audience broke into applause.
"Uh...why does this all...this
show...seem...familiar?" Phoebe asked.
"OK, you have the Level-One prize, which is OK,"
Hallmark said, handing Phoebe a card with a big Level-1 printed on it.
"But wouldn't you like to give this up and try for the Level-Two prize
instead?" he asked.
"Level-Two?" Phoebe asked.
"Phoebe said 'Level-Two'," Hallmark announced,
taking back the Level-1 card from her. "So here we go."
"A potion contains araceae, borage, valerinaceae and
iridaceae," Hallmark said. "What is the most likely missing fifth
ingredient to make this potion work?"
The girls were silent.
"You can discuss it together," he encouraged them.
"I've put arvensis into potions," Phoebe said,
"but not in every potion."
"I've mixed araceae and iridaceae," Piper said,
"All the time?" Prue asked.
"No," Piper said, "not all the
"I've used capsicum in potions with borage,"
"Your answer, ladies?" Hallmark asked.
"Ok," Prue said, "then we'll go with
"Uh...capsicum," Piper said.
"That's it," Hallmark said, holding up a card with
CAPSICUM written on it. He pulled out another card with a large Level-2
on it and handed it to Piper as the audience applauded again.
"Of course, you can stop with your Level-Two prize and
not risk losing it," Hallmark said. "But you don't really want to do
"We don't?" Piper asked.
"Piper said 'we don't'," Hallmark announced. The
audience applauded as Hallmark took back the Level-2 card from Piper.
"Look to the stage," he said, as something rolled
out onto it. It was about ten feet high with what looked to Piper like a
picture of a demon in a circle in the top half of it. In a half-arc above the
picture's head was the word 'SPELL-O-METER'.
"Now," Hallmark said, "just come up with a
spell to vanquish that demon."
"What?!" Phoebe exclaimed.
"OK," Hallmark said, "you're stressed out
witches so I'll tell you what I'll do. I'll give you the first line of the
spell. You supply the last line. Ready?
"To vanquish this demon who stands so tall..."
"Uh...we'll...uhh," Prue said, "say our
"Uh...no," Phoebe said. "Not our words, our powers.
We'll use our powers..."
"And..." Piper said, "make him...small?"
"Fall," Phoebe said. "We'll use our
powers and make him fall."
Hallmark turned towards the spell-o-meter and Prue could
hear the audience collectively hold their breaths.
Suddenly there was a loud ringing sound and smoke started to
come out of the demon's picture. Above his head appeared dozens of small
lights, flashing on and off. The lights spelled out the word 'VANQUISHED'.
The audience applauded wildly as Hallmark turned back to the
"Congratulations," he said, "that was great
spell making. And now its time for your chance to win the big prize."
The girls looked at the stage as something small flew out to
the curtain. It had wings, was green in the middle and yellow on top. And it
was holding a wand.
"What..." Prue started to say.
"Is that a...fairy??" Piper asked.
"It looks a lot like Tinkerbell," Phoebe said.
"Yes, of course it's Tinkerbell," Hallmark said.
"Go ahead Tinkerbell."
Tinkerbell touched the curtain with her wand and the curtain
disappeared, revealing three identical beige colored doors. Each door had a
large, red triquetra on it. Inside the triquetra were the numbers 1, 2 and 3 on
each of the three doors, respectively.
"Oh my goodness," Phoebe said. "I knew this
show looked familiar."
"OK," Hallmark said, "the coven now has to
pick which door they think the big prize is behind."
"We're not a coven," Prue repeated, "we're sisters!"
"Which door do you choose," Hallmark said.
"Door number one...door number two...or door
"One," someone next to them in the audience
shouted. Three, two, three, one. The advice was coming fast and furious from
the whole audience.
"We don't know what this all really is," Prue said
in a low voice. "For all we know this could all be a demon's trap."
"If it is a demon's trap behind those doors,"
Piper said, "it's a heck of an elaborate one."
"Lumeire said to go with number two," Phoebe said.
"She seemed like a real witch. And she was right about needing that
"We don't have anything better to go with," Piper
said, "so I say we take her advice."
Prue thought for a second and then exhaled.
"OK," she said, and turned to Hallmark.
A hush quickly fell over the audience.
"The coven has picked door number two," Hallmark
said. He made a half-turn to the audience then turned back to the girls.
"We're not a coven!" Prue repeated again, more annoyed.
"Let's see what's behind..." he began then paused
for three seconds. "...door number three that they didn't pick."
Tinkebell flew over to the door, touched the triquetra with
her wand and the door disappeared.
"A witch's library,"
Johnny the announcer's voice boomed.
"Twenty-four volumes of the best in witches' reading, including Spells
for Dummies and its new companion book, Potions for Dummies. It also
includes the popular The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Witches and
the newest best selling autobiography of that singing 'Chairman of the Witch
Board' - I Did It My Way: a Witch's
Lifetime Rebellion Against Conventional Spell Making."
The audience applauded briefly then stopped in anticipation
of what was coming next. Hallmark, with an enigmatic half-smile, turned first
to the audience then back to the girls.
"Now we'll look at what's behind..." he began,
then stopped again. He checked that the audience was on the edge of their
"Door number...one," he finally said.
A soft "ooh" came from the audience. They knew
what that meant.
Tinkerbell flew over to Door Number One and touched the
triquetra with her wand. The door disappeared to reveal a hideous looking head
on an oval piece of wood.
"It a demon's head," Johnny the announcer
boomed, "from the demon Vadim. Vanquished but preserved and mounted, it's
suitable for hanging over the mantle of your fireplace. Shows what your powers
can do and serves as a warning to other demons that you're a powerful witch not
to be fooled with."
"We-e-ll, that certainly was not the big prize,"
Hallmark said. "So that means that the big prize..." he paused for a
second, then continued in a louder voice, "is behind Door Number Two!
Tinkerbell used her wand and the door disappeared. In its
place was a beach, with coconut bearing palm trees towering over pristine white
sand. Behind the sand was ocean, a small wave forming and then breaking at the
"It's an all expenses paid vacation spell in beautiful
Hawaii," Johnny's voice boomed.
Tinkerbell flew over to the girls and dropped yellow and
pink leis around each of their necks.
"Included in this spell," Johnny the announcer
continued, "are four days and three nights at the Hilton Waikoloa Village
on the Big Island. You'll cruise on mahogany canal boats along tranquil
waterways and explore the oceanfront resort by air-conditioned monorail."
"That...doesn't look like a picture," Piper said,
motioning to the beach on stage.
"I...can feel the breeze coming in off of the
water," Piper said.
"That looks...is this...real?" Prue asked.
"Is this real, Prue asks," Hallmark said.
"The coven is overwhelmed."
"Not a coven...sisters," Prue said, half
absentmindedly, her head concentrating on what was on the stage.
"Tell them more, Johnny," Hallmark said.
"You'll relax under palm trees," Johnny the
announcer resumed, "and walk carefree along both the white sand and the
black sand beaches. You'll get away from everything, from the stress of daily
witch life. They'll be no demons for you to chase after. And, best of all,
they'll be no demons chasing after you."
The audience was applauding wildly. One woman next to Piper
stood up and gave her a congratulatory hug.
"And that's not all," Hallmark said. "Go on,
"Need something in Hawaii but don't want to use your
powers for personal gain?" Johnny asked. "Well, we've taken care of
that. Included in your prize are three on-demand, personalized spells with
invocation. So you don't have to use your powers at all. Courtesy of Merlin's
"Don't know where to get that hard to find apocynaceae
root for your potion? Have a writer's block trying to finish that last line of
your spell? Let Merlin's help you. With over fifteen-hundred years'
experience, Merlin's is the most prestigious name in magical services.
And the only service to bear the King Arthur Seal of Approval.
"Merlin - the most respected name in magic.
Serving England, and the world, since the year 525."
"Uh...uh..." Piper stammered.
"We...uh...don't have time..."
"Time is not an issue," Hallmark assured her.
"We'll get you to Hawaii in no time."
"Transportation to and from Hawaii," Johnny the
announcer resumed, "as well as between the Hawaiian Islands, is provided
by Broomstick Blue."
Tinkerbell fluttered above the sisters and waved her wand.
Immediately, three metallic blue-colored broomsticks flew out from the stage
and came into each of the girl's hands. There were eight sections to each
handle. Each section had words written on it and was outlined in tiny lights.
"Having trouble keeping up with that demon?"
Johnny the announcer went on. "Tired of using slow, mortal transportation?
Fly Broomstick Blue. Whether your travel is round-trip or multi-city, Broomstick
Blue has a supersonic broomstick for you. Each equipped with the new
'Follow-that-Demon' autopilot. And each broomstick comes with a sound barrier
sonic boom noise suppressor so you can travel quickly and quietly.
"Fly with Broomstick Blue and before you can say
'Abra Cadabra', you'll be at your destination.
"And Broomstick Blue's broomsticks have a hidden
compartment filled with Terra Blue chips. So you won't go hungry while you're
Broomstick Blue - Vanquish Hard, Fly Right."
"Congratulations to the coven of Phoebe, Piper and
Prue," Hallmark said.
The broomsticks suddenly moved backwards between the girls'
legs. The section on the broomstick marked 'Waikoloa' lit up.
"Tune in again next time," Hallmark said,
"when another deserving witch will get to play Let's Make a Spell. Good-bye
The girls felt the broomsticks slowly rise above the floor.
"Ohhh," Phoebe said.
"Hold on," Prue cried. And the broomsticks, with
the girls on them, took off.
"Oh...that was really great!" Phoebe
exclaimed. She dried herself with her large hotel towel, adjusted the strap on
her two-piece coral swim suit, then pulled up a lounge chair on Piper's right
and sat down next to her. "Swimming with dolphins is amazing. No wonder
this resort is so popular. You have to try it, Piper."
"I've signed up for it for late this afternoon,"
Piper replied. "But for now, I just want to lie here in the sun, feel the
cool breeze and do absolutely nothing."
"Except drink a few piña coladas," Prue
interjected. She was lying on the lounge chair on the other side of Phoebe, her
two-piece aqua-blue swim suit matching the color of the pool's water. She took
a sip through the straw of the drink that was on the small table beside her.
"Was Stuart upset about our being here without him?"
"No, he wasn't," Phoebe said. "Well, maybe a
little. But he understood our need for a vacation and how it happened. And he
said that someone needs to be at P3 while we're here so it's for the best that
he's back in San Francisco."
"What about Leo?" Piper asked. "I've been
afraid to call him."
"Just as well," Phoebe said. "Stuart
explained to him what happened. After Leo fixed the front door, he told Stuart
that if The Elders found out that we went on vacation in the middle of these
demons trying to cause major destruction they would be pretty upset with us.
And if he were to join us they would surely find out. Not being here, he can
try to cover for us. But we should make sure not to use our powers to make
spells while we're here. That might tip off The Elders where we are."
"I have no intention of using my powers for anything
while we're here," Piper assured her. Lying on her lounge chair in her
black two-piece swim suit, with her eyes closed, she seemed to be perfectly
relaxed and at peace with the world. "As far as I'm concerned, our powers
were left back in San Francisco, along with everything else that's connected to
being a real-life Halliwell."
Phoebe picked up the resort map that was lying on the small
table next to Piper. They were at the Kona Pool at the southern end of the
resort, near the dolphin area and the Lagoon Tower, one of three towers that
housed the guest rooms and the tower closest to the resort's main lobby. The map
showed her that their rooms, in the Palace Tower, were at the center of the
semi-u-shaped resort. The Ocean Tower, the largest of the guest room
structures, was at the northern end.
Though the distances among the towers was not that great,
Phoebe was glad that they didn't have to walk between them. Her map showed her
the routes of the canal boats and the monorail that connected the guest rooms, restaurants, pools and the main lobby.
As Phoebe looked up from the map, she noticed a girl on a
lounge chair behind her holding a colored drink. That looks like a Blue Hawaii,
Phoebe said to herself. Hmm...I think I'll get one, too.
She put down the map, got up and headed toward the pool bar
as Prue sat up on her chair and took the bottle of sun block lotion from the
"Would you put some lotion on my back?" Prue
asked. She put her hand with the bottle behind her back, in the direction of
where Phoebe had been sitting, not knowing that she was no longer there.
A hand took the bottle from Prue, squeezed out some lotion
and began applying it to her back.
"That's good...now a little lower," Prue said. The
hand dutifully moved to the position Prue had requested.
"I think I'm going to go," Prue started to say,
turning around, "to the - Ahh! What are you doing!" she demanded.
"Applying your lotion, as you requested," the man
said. He was in his mid-thirties with black, wavy hair and a tanned face. He
stood a good half a foot taller than Prue but with a build only slightly larger
"I was walking by when you stuck out your hand and
asked to have the lotion put on you. There was no one else here so I assumed
you were asking me...and I obliged."
"Uh...I was asking my, uh, sister," Prue said.
"She must have left. Sorry...I apologize for shouting at you."
"No apology needed," he said. "I'm Damian
Hallett." He extended his hand with the lotion bottle to Prue.
"Uh...Prue Halliwell," she said, taking the bottle
"I trust you're enjoying your vacation," Hallett
"Yes, I am," she replied. "It's very relaxing
"I suppose it is," he said, though his tone seemed
less than sure about it. "Where are you from?"
"San Francisco. And you?"
"What a co-incidence," he said. "So am
Co-incidence? Prue thought. There aren't any co-incidences
with the Halliwells. But then again...we're on vacation from being The Charmed
"What do you do there?" he asked.
"I'm a photographer with Four One Five Magazine,"
she answered, looking at him carefully.
"I read it occasionally," he said. "I'll make
a point when I get back to read it more often and look for your photo credits.
Though I'm sure I'll be able to tell which ones are yours without looking at
"Really?" she asked.
"You are a most charming and beautiful woman,"
Hallett said. "Your photographs couldn't be any different."
"That's...very kind of you," Prue said, and found
"And what line of work are you in?" she
"I dabble in opportunities," he answered
"What kind of opportunities?"
"Any kind...and all kinds," he said.
"Whatever presents itself."
"So you're here for business?" she asked.
"If an opportunity arises," he answered. "Or
if I can make one arise. If not...I'll just be on vacation. But unlike you, I'm
not here with anyone. A vacation in Hawaii alone is not much of a
'I can understand that," she said.
"Good," he said. "Then perhaps you'll do me
the honor of joining me for a drink later."
"Uh...I don't know," Prue demurred.
"Your company will make at least part of my vacation a real
vacation," he countered.
Prue looked at Hallet for a moment.
"Sure," she said, and smiled at him.
"Six o'clock in the Malolo Lounge off the main
lobby," Hallett said, smiling back. "Until then...enjoy your lotion."
Prue watched Hallett walk away. Then she gave a small smile
of satisfaction and went back to her lounge chair.
The stars were so clear and sharp. Phoebe was sure she could
reach out and touch them.
Piper sat back as far as she could, her eyes looking up at
the stars, as well. The gentle movement of the hotel's canal boat as it
followed its course through the hotel's waterways and lagoons added to the
serenity that she felt. Everything was quiet and peaceful.
Phoebe took a deep breath. She loved this night air. She had
enjoyed Hawaii two years earlier when she had been here filming the Fantasy
Island episode, just before she got the part on Charmed.
But it was different now. Maybe it was because she wasn't
working all day on the show. More likely, she thought, it was because she
wasn't working all day - and all night - being a witch. They had finally
managed to get away from their daily lives as The Charmed Ones, if only for a
They were still the Halliwells, of course; not Alyssa Milano,
Holly Combs and Shannen Doherty. But as far as anyone here was concerned, they
were just three ordinary sisters on vacation. Three sisters whose name
happened to be Halliwell.
"The sky...is so big here," Piper remarked.
"There's no light pollution here," Phoebe said.
"That's why it looks so big...and so beautiful."
"Everything is so beautiful here," Piper
said, thinking about what she had seen that day. The coconut trees against the
background of the ocean, the purple shadows of the banyan trees at sunset.
Hawaii is really someplace special, she thought.
They came to a stop at the boat landing at the Ocean Tower,
the guest rooms furthest from the main lobby, at the opposite end of the
resort's property, and the largest of its three guest towers. The tower complex
was actually made up of three not quite complete rings of rooms, so that the
grounds within each ring were open to the grounds of the ring next to it.
Two couples sitting in front of them got off and after a
moment the boat left the landing and continued on its journey.
It circled around the length of the Ocean Lagoon that filled
most of the grounds within the Ocean Tower complex, then doubled back on the canal
towards the Palace Tower. Their rooms were in the Palace but they were enjoying
the tranquility of the boat ride and had no intention of getting off. And so
when the boat reached the tower's landing, they didn't.
"We're just here for the ride, Captain," Piper
said to the girl in the naval uniform at the bow of the boat, as she turned
around to see if they were getting off.
"And my compliments on how smoothly you've steered the
boat," Phoebe added.
"Thank you, but I'm just an operator, not a
Captain," the girl replied. "I don't really steer anything. The boat
is on a track that's hidden beneath the water. It's course is fixed - it's just
like the boat rides at Disneyland. I start it and stop it and control its speed
but I don't get to navigate anything."
"Hmm...well, we're enjoying your ride anyway,"
"Prue's missing a good thing," Piper said. "I
hope her dinner date is worth it."
"Zabaione con Frutti di Bosco Gratinato," the
Donatoni's waiter announced, placing the cream and berry pastry cup dessert in
front of Prue.
The Italian restaurant's lanai-front seating along the
resort's boat canal had given Prue and Hallett a spectacular view of the
sunset. And now the candle-lit table and the subdued canal waterway lighting
complemented the star-filled night sky.
"I hope you've enjoyed the evening," Hallett said.
"I have," Prue assured him. "Though I had
expected only a drink or two."
"You had to have dinner anyway," Hallett replied,
"so there was my opportunity to have it with you. I told you I dabble in
"But that's in business," Prue said, tasting the
"And one that's a pleasure should be passed by?"
he asked, rhetorically. "I take every opportunity that comes
A few musical notes coming from Hallett's jacket pocket
"Oh," he said, as he looked at the number on the
cell phone he now held in his hand. "Uh...would you excuse me for just a
"Of course, Damian," she answered.
"Yes," Hallett said into the phone, as he stood up
and turned partially away from Prue. He listened for a moment to what was being
said on the other of the call. "That is not acceptable."
Hallett's voice was low - and stern. "If you fail, you'll have to answer
to The Source!"
Hallett closed the cell phone and put it away as he sat down
and smiled at Prue.
"I'm sorry...business," he said.
"An opportunity?" Prue asked, finishing her
"That remains to be seen," he replied,
"Well, drinks and dinner have been a most enjoyable
opportunity for me," Prue said. "Thank you very much,
"My pleasure, Prue," Hallett said, "and I do
mean a pleasure." They both stood up from the table.
"Are you going?" he asked.
"I think I'm going to say good-night," she
"Another opportunity is presenting itself to me,"
Hallett said. He went over to Prue and put his arms around her shoulders.
"The opportunity to kiss you." He pulled her closer to him and
started to kiss her. Prue hesitated for a second - but only for a second.
Then she put her hands on his neck and back and solidified their kiss.
"Still want to say good-night?" he asked, after
their kiss ended.
"Ummm...maybe not," Prue smiled at him.
"King David Kalakaua built and kept 'Iolani Palace as a
modern, up-to-date building," the docent said, as she pointed around the
room. "Less than five years after its completion in 1882, the King
installed electric lighting, only a few years after its invention."
The docent walked past a portrait of King Louis Philippe of
France, a gift to King Kamehameha III, the third of the Kamehameha Monarchs of
Hawaii, and stood next to two portraits of a man and a woman.
"And here is King David Kalakaua, the last King of
Hawaii, and his sister and successor to the throne, Queen Lili`uokalani,"
she said, pointing to the paintings. "David Kalakaua was known as the Merry
Monarch, an appellation he shared with Charles II of England. In addition
to supporting the arts in Hawaii - he himself was a musician - he liked to
entertain and socialize.
"But he did not do that here, in the Blue Room, but
rather in the Throne Room, just across the hall. And if you will follow me, we
will go there now."
Phoebe walked over to the portraits to get a closer look,
then turned and looked around the room at its blue draperies, blue furnishings
and blue carpet. They don't call this the Blue Room for nothing, she thought.
'Be sure to hop over to Honolulu and take the tour of
'Iolani Palace,' Stuart had told her over the phone. 'It's the only
royal palace in America'.
Stuart knows his history, she thought, and he was right
about coming here. She had been on the lanai hale kia - the veranda with
pillars that runs the length of the palace and looks out onto the palace
grounds. She had walked through the Grand Hall, its walls covered with
portraits of Hawaii's monarchy, a magnificent koa wood staircase at one end
leading up to the family rooms on the second floor, the Hall's handsome
symmetrical arched wooden doorways leading off to the first floor rooms.
Including the Blue Room where that she was in.
In her mind, Phoebe pictured King Kalakaua and his wife
Queen Kapi`olani in the room, greeting their guests in the informal gatherings
that were held there. And the pride that he had in his palace, built to reflect
a modern Hawaiian nation in a modern world.
"If we don't go wikiwiki we're going to miss the
rest of the tour - Phoebe."
Startled, she turned around and saw a man behind her. In his
early thirties, tall and slim, a handsome face and neat, brown hair, he stood
there faintly smiling at her. Phoebe stared at him intensely.
"Phoebe Halliwell, you really should continue with the
tour and see the Throne Room," he said.
"Who are you - and how do you know my name?" she
"Colby Lockwood," he replied. "I'm also
staying at the Waikoloa and I saw you at the pool yesterday. When I see a
beautiful girl, I make it my business to find out who she is and learn what I
can about her."
"So you inquired about me," Phoebe said, feeling
cautiously relieved at his answer."And what did you learn about me?"
"That you're from San Francisco and that you're not
here alone," he replied. "That is, you're here with your
sisters...but you are alone in that you're not with a man."
Phoebe tilted her head and looked at him closely.
"You're not very shy, are you," she said. "The 'man' in my life,
if you must know, is back in San Francisco."
"One doesn't come to romantic Hawaii alone without
the man in one's life," he said. "If he let you come here by
yourself, then that begs the question of how much you really mean to him.
Or...how much he really means to you."
"Do you always come on this quickly - and
strongly?" she asked.
"Only when I come upon someone as lovely as you,"
Phoebe gave a slight chuckle.
"It appears that you're here - in romantic
Hawaii - by yourself," she remarked.
"At the moment, I don't have anyone special to
bring with me. And besides, I'm here on business," Lockwood said.
"What business would that be?" Phoebe asked.
"Now you're the one doing the inquiring,"
he said. "But I don't mind. I'm a facilitator."
"What does that mean?" she asked.
"I do what's needed to help people get what they
want," he replied. "I arrange things so that their business goals
"In other words," Phoebe said,
"Facilitate," he said, and she laughed..
"By the way, I didn't see you on the plane coming over
from the Big Island this morning," he said.
"I...uh...took an early flight," she replied
"I was on the first flight," Lockwood countered.
"There, uh...was an un-scheduled flight before
that," she said, trying to cover up for her Broomstick Blue 'flight' that
brought her to Honolulu. "It was just there when I came to the
"Well lucky for you," he said. "Shall we
catch up with the tour?"
"By all means," Phoebe said and they headed
together towards the Grand Hall.
The tour finished, Phoebe and Lockwood stepped out on to the
"I learned a lot this morning," Phoebe said.
"This was really nice."
"Yes, it was," Lockwood agreed. "Especially
taking the tour together with the present company."
Phoebe gave him a small smile.
"I have some business to attend to in Honolulu,"
"Facilitating?" Phoebe asked, still smiling.
"Yes - precisely," he said. "But I'll be on
the Aloha flight back to Kona on the Big Island at twenty past four. Will you
be taking that one?"
"Uh...I haven't decided yet," Phoebe said. I don't
need a reservation with Broomstick Blue, she thought.
"Well, then I'll see you back at Waikoloa,"
Lockwood said. "I'd like that to be for dinner."
"As I said before, there is someone," she
"Yes - the one who let you come to Hawaii by
yourself," he said. "But there's no ring on your finger - and perhaps
that's why. But in any case, you're not committed yet."
Phoebe glanced at her left hand. Maybe I should be
committed by now, she thought. But no - she knew that she still wasn't ready to
"Uh...maybe for drinks," she said.
"OK...I'll start with that," Lockwood said,
smiling. "Six-thirty at the bar in the Boat Landing Pavilion in the Ocean
"OK," Phoebe said.
There was a broad smile on Piper's face as she emerged from
the dolphin pool. With their permanent smile, she felt the dolphins were
smiling back at her and started to wave good-bye to them.
I probably look foolish doing that, she thought. But...I
don't care. I'm on vacation and I don't care how it looks. And so she waved at
the dolphins again.
Then she noticed a woman near her doing the same thing.
"With their intelligence I think they really like
that," the woman said. "I think they make some kind of bond with
"I think you're right," Piper said. "I
certainly feel like I made a bond with them."
"First time?" the woman asked.
"Yes, it is," Piper replied.
"Third time for me," the woman said. "Oh, I'm
She was about five inches taller than Piper, pretty with
dark brown hair, high cheeks, luscious lips and in her early to mid-thirties.
She projects a presence about her, Piper thought.
"I'm Piper Halliwell."
"Halliwell," Rita repeated. "Hmmm...that name
rings a bell. But I can't remember why. Oh well, no matter. I'm pleased to meet
"I...don't recall our having met before," Piper
said, "but I'm glad to meet you, too."
"Where are you from?" Rita asked.
"San Francisco," Piper said. "And you?"
"Hollywood," Rita replied. "At least, I used
to be. When I was acting."
"You were a movie star?" Piper asked, her interest
"Hardly a star," Rita answered. "Though I
like to think that I could have been had things worked out differently. No, I
made half a dozen pictures - even made one with Meryl Streep - but my name was
always way down in the credits. I was Rita Ellison back then, using my maiden
name. I did a few guest shots on TV - I did 90210 twice and thought I might
have a chance there after Neve Campbell left her Brenda role."
"Uh, that would have been, uh, something," Piper
said. She remembered that Tori Spelling told Shannen that Campbell had starred
in that role in the changed real world - the real world that changed when Charmed
became part of it
"Something...yes," Rita said, her mind briefly
going back to a Hollywood of a few years earlier. "But I didn't get the
call. And then I met Roland - my husband. And I had to choose between
continuing to seek fame or settling for fortune. Roland is a property
developer, both of new and existing ones. I was discouraged at my acting
prospects so I chose Roland. Oh yeah, and love, too."
Rita shrugged her shoulders.
"Well, at least I got the fortune part of it," she
added with a wink. "Or at least something akin to it. That is, depending
on how successful Roland's work is. Sometimes he's got so much on the line I
wonder if we'll have anything left if it doesn't all work out right. Especially
when he's trying to take over existing properties. But then he manages to pull
it off...like some kind of magic."
The words caught Piper's attention. No, she thought. I am on
vacation! I am not going to even think about what she meant by 'magic'.
"Ah, but enough of me," Rita continued. "I
can get carried away. It's my acting background - sometimes I think that the camera's
still on me."
"You really miss it, don't you," Piper said.
"Oh, I don't know...maybe sometimes," Rita said.
She hesitated for a moment. "Yeah...truth be told I do miss
"I know how you feel," Piper commiserated. I miss
it even more than you do, she thought.
"You do?" Rita asked, surprised.
"Uh, that is...I know someone who was - uh, is -
an actress," Piper said. "And she...she had to stop acting, at least
for a while. She misses it a lot."
"Who's that?" Rita asked. "Maybe I know
"Holly Combs," Piper replied, a little sadness in
her voice. Rita's longing for her acting career had touched a nerve in Piper.
"Don't think I knew her," Rita answered, shaking
her head. "But if she has a chance to get back into it, tell her not to
give up. There's nothing like it."
"I know," she said. "And I won't. I mean, I
know that she won't give up."
Rita gave Piper a quizzical look. She was about to pursue
what Piper had said when a man interrupted her.
"There you are, darling," he said. He was tall,
almost six feet, with broad shoulders and just a tad more weight than he should
have had. Blonde hair lay on a broad face with a pointed nose and dark,
piercing eyes. He looked to Piper to be almost ten years Rita's senior. And
there was something about the way he looked at Piper that bothered her.
"Did you enjoy your swim with the fish?" he asked.
"I've told you they're mammals, Roland, not
fish," Rita said, exasperated. "And yes, I did enjoy their company.
Oh, sorry Piper. This is my husband, Roland. And this is my new friend, Piper
"Hello," Roland said. "You have a knack for
making friends so quickly, Rita." Piper detected a disparaging tone in his
"Left over from my Hollywood days," Rita retorted.
"You have to learn to be friendly to everyone there, Piper."
"Yes...you can't afford to do otherwise," Piper
"Now that you've finished your swim here's your ring
back, darling," he said. He took out an emerald ring from his pocket and
handed it to Rita. Piper saw that it was a stunning white gold ring, an oval
emerald set in a cluster of diamonds
"Are you also from Hollywood?" Roland asked Piper
in a cold tone.
"Piper has a friend who is," Rita interjected.
"Are you up for breakfast tomorrow, Piper?"
"Uh...I don't want to...uh -"
"Intrude on us?" Rita asked, finishing Piper's
sentence. "You won't be. Roland has some business to attend to so he'll be
out early. So I'd enjoy the company."
"Uh, in that case...sure," Piper answered.
"Nine o'clock at the Palm Terrace by the Ocean
Tower," Rita said. "I just love their Mango Tango Smoothies. See you
"I haven't seen
you all day, Prue," Phoebe said. They were standing by the boat landing at
the Palace Tower, "Piper had breakfast with...uh, what's her name?"
"Rita Wilkie," Piper said.
"Right," Phoebe continued, "but I thought we'd
have breakfast together before I went touring in Honolulu."
"I, uh, had breakfast with Damian," Prue replied.
"Whoa...you had dinner with him last night and then saw
him again this morning for breakfast?" Piper asked. "I see I don't
have to ask how dinner went."
"It was...fine," Prue admitted. "I had
"Night?" Phoebe asked, surprised. "Was
breakfast...a continuation of your dinner?"
"Prue, you just met him!" Piper exclaimed.
"Don't tell me you spent the night -"
The loud crashing sound cut Piper off.
"What was that?" she asked.
"Over there," Phoebe said, pointing down the boat
canal. "That boat turned over in the water."
The boat was about seventy yards from them, near the
ballrooms attached to the main lobby. They started running towards it, passing
the red-orange flamingos in their private water Sanctuary, seemingly
un-disturbed by the loud noise of the crash. They reached the boat as it lay in
the water at the bend in the canal, opposite the Japanese Tea Room.
Four people, including the boat's operator, were in the
water. Two others were still inside the boat, hanging on to its window pillars,
which with the boat on its side, were now on top and above them.
The sisters went into the water, which reached above their
knees. They grabbed three of the people and pulled them onto land. Prue went
back for the fourth person while Piper and Phoebe got into the boat and helped
the two people inside it get out.
"Are you hurt?" Phoebe asked two of the people who
were spitting up water.
"I...I don't think so," a young girl said.
"I'm soaking wet...but I think I'm all right," a
"Margie...Margie," a woman frantically shouted.
Piper had just helped the woman out of the boat and the woman ran to the young
girl and hugged her.
"Are you all right?" the woman asked.
"Yeah...I'm fine, Mom," Margie said.
"What happened?!" another woman asked
"I don't know," the operator said. "We
just...went off the track."
"Has this ever happened before?" Prue asked.
"No...never," the operator said. "We've never
had an accident like this."
Hotel staff were now running to them as a crowd of guests started
"Is everyone all right?" a hotel man in a suit
"OK everybody," another hotel man in a suit said,
"it was just a minor incident. We'll take care of everything. Please move
along and enjoy your stay here."
A couple of men that Phoebe assumed to be part of the hotel
security starting politely but forcefully leading the people away.
"You too, ladies," one of them said.
"We just saved all of those people from -" Piper
started to say.
"Thank you but we'll take it from here," he said
firmly and led them away with the other guests.
"That was very strange," Phoebe said. "To run
off of its track like that."
"Well, now that we're sopping wet," Piper said,
"let's go up to our rooms and change."
That was strange indeed, Prue thought. She looked
back over her shoulder at the boat as they slowly walked to the Palace Tower
and their rooms.
"The Crossroads of the Pacific," Lockwood said.
"That's how Hawaii was known back in the days of the great ships that
crossed the Pacific in the twenties and thirties. Honolulu was always a
port-of-call for them, wherever they were headed. It gave the Islands a unique
combination of mystique, charm - and romance."
They had been sitting at the Boat Landing Pavilion at the
edge of the boat canal for the better part of an hour, enjoying their drinks.
"I think Hawaii still has all of that," Phoebe
"I'm glad you feel that way," he said.
"Especially about the romance part."
"You're persistent, aren't you," she said.
"As a facilitator, I have to be," he replied.
"It has its benefits in non-business areas, as well."
"I'm meeting my sisters for dinner," Phoebe said,
as she started to get up from the table. "Thank you for the drinks. This
"It was indeed...nice," Lockwood said, as he stood
up as well. He came closer to Phoebe, put his hands behind her shoulders and
gently kissed her.
Phoebe did not put her hands around him. But she didn't
resist him, either.
Their kiss ended, Lockwood had a small smile on his face.
Phoebe, self-consciously, realized that she had one, too.
"Perhaps we can move up to dinner tomorrow
evening," he said.
Phoebe hesitated. She knew how she felt about Stuart. But
despite that, she knew that she wasn't prepared to commit herself to him. Maybe
being away from him for a few days was relieving the sub-conscious pressure she
felt about making that commitment. And maybe seeing someone else would give her
a fresh perspective.
"Perhaps," she told him. "I'll...call you
"That was a marvelous breakfast," Phoebe said, the
next morning. They were walking towards the exit of the Orchid Café, just
outside the Lagoon Tower, the guest room complex closest to the Main Lobby.
"I'm glad we were able to have it together," Piper
said. "Thanks to Damian and your friend uh...Colby being busy."
"Let's not forget the Wilkies," Phoebe chimed in.
"They were also -"
The loud crashing sound interrupted her. They stopped and
looked at each other.
"Not again," Piper said. "It can't be."
They ran outside and saw a crowd starting to gather on the
tower's grounds. They rushed towards it and made their way past the people
standing at the edge.
"Oh my goodness!" Phoebe exclaimed.
The lead car of the monorail was off its track, twisted and
suspended in mid-air. The car attached to it was twisted sideways while the
third car was halfway off the track. They could hear the moaning and the cries
for help coming from inside the cars.
But before they could do anything, half a dozen of the
resort staff came running and pushed aside the crowd. One of the staff was
talking excitedly into his walkie-talkie. Three of the others started to go
into the monorail cars to reach the people trapped inside them while the
remaining two men started to push the crowd back.
"Everyone...please leave...it's all under
control," one of them said as another five men from the resort staff came
"Everyone back!" one of them ordered. Two of them
joined the first two in aggressively dispersing the crowds while the other
three started crawling inside the overturned car to help the trapped guests.
The girls found themselves being pushed back and away from
the scene when a man they recognized as the Assistant Manager approached.
"What happened here?" Prue asked. "Yesterday
it was the boat and today the monorail."
"Just minor incidents. Nothing for you to be concerned
about," he said, as he brushed past them.
"These aren't minor incidents," Prue said.
"There's something going on here...and we need to find out what it
"Prue, we're on vacation," Piper said. "Let
the resort's staff take care of it. They get paid to do that. And besides, what
makes you think it's something we should get involved in?"
"I was speaking to one of the other boat operators last
night," Prue said. "We had gotten to be a little friendly from my
rides that I took. He told me they've had an occasional breakdown of a boat.
But there has never been an accident with the boats in the twelve years that
the resort has been open. Nor any accidents with the monorail.
"And now it's more than just getting dunked in the
canal water. People were hurt here today," she added. "Two accidents
in a little more than twelve hours. We have to find out what's going on."
"OK," she said reluctantly. "But how do we do
that? We just saw the Assistant Manager stonewall us."
"We have to get someone with the authority to make them
tell us about what happened and everything that they know about it,"
"And how do we do that?" Piper asked.
"With a spell," Prue answered.
"Uh, Leo said we shouldn't use our powers here to make
any spells," Piper reminded her.
"Not our spell," Prue said. "A spell
from Merlin's Magical Services."
"Merlin, we need a spell," Prue announced and the
section on the broomstick marked Spells lit up. Piper and Phoebe looked
on as Prue held the broomstick with both of her hands.
Spell Description began to flash in the next section.
"I guess we describe the spell, now," Piper said.
"A spell to get authority to make the resort give us
information about the accidents and let us find out what is really going on
here, so that we can stop it," Prue said.
The flashing light changed to a steady light.
"What happens now?" Piper asked.
"I don't know," Prue said. "Let's wait and
Prue stopped as they saw the words change to Connection
"Huh...high tech spells. Do you think they're using
Internet?" Phoebe quipped.
After a few seconds the word Invocation lit up below
authority, provide the power
To learn what you
wish, this very hour."
"Who said that?" Phoebe asked. "And what was
"It came from the broomstick," Piper said.
Spell Invocation Completed was now lit up in that
"Who was speaking?" Phoebe asked.
"Someone at Merlin's," Prue answered. "They
made a connection with the broomstick and cast the spell."
"That connection must have made it as if they were here
with us," Piper said. "Which would let the spell be invoked
"Hallmark said that we get three spells with invocation,"
Prue reminded them. "So this must be the way Merlin's does it."
"That was innovative," Piper said.
"OK...so Merlin's made up the spell and invoked
it," Phoebe said, "but what's changed?"
"I don't know," Prue said. "Let's find
They left the room and went down to the Palace's atrium
lobby. Phoebe liked the small palm trees that were spaced throughout the lobby,
which ran the length of the tower and led out to the boat landing and monorail
"I don't see anything different that will help us find
out what's happening," Piper complained.
"Perhaps my unworthy self can be of assistance to
you," a voice said.
They turned around and saw a somewhat heavy man with
oriental features and small, black eyes. He wore a white three-piece suit and a
white derby-style hat with a turned-up brim.
"I am Inspector Chan of the Honolulu Police," he
said, showing the girls his badge.
"Inspector...Chan?" Piper asked.
"Uh...Charlie Chan?" Phoebe asked,
"My humble self is known to you," Chan said.
"It must be from imaginative journalists who write of my cases to sell
"How...how can this be?" Phoebe asked, stunned.
"We used a spell to get us authority," Prue said.
"And a police Inspector certainly does that for us."
"But he's...Charlie Chan...he's...," Piper
"Just like some other people..." Prue said,
"like witches who are now real."
Phoebe put her hand on Chan's arm and felt it.
"Uh...he's real, too," Phoebe announced.
"Very real," Charlie said, "to great relief
of my daughter Rose. She complains that sometimes newspaper exploits make me
into make-believe Superman."
"I'm Prue Halliwell and these are my sisters Piper and
"Haie - three lovely young women with same last
name," Charlie said. "I will have to look at you when I speak so you
will know which Miss Halliwell I address."
"Just call us by our first names, Inspector Chan -
Prue, Piper and Phoebe," Prue said.
"I will agree to your request if you will do same and
call me by very American first name," he said.
"Uh...sure - Charlie," Prue said.
"Now, let us talk of how I can help," Charlie
Prue told Chan about the accidents with the boat and the
"And we want to find out what is happening and if there
is more to this than just accidents," Phoebe added.
"You have special skills to bring to
investigation?" Chan asked. "Perhaps witch skills?"
The girls looked at Chan with surprise.
"You refer before to spells and witches being
real," Charlie said, "so I make policeman's connection. All three of
you are real witches?"
The girls looked at each other, not sure how to answer him.
"Yes, we are," Prue admitted.
"Good," Charlie said, with neither surprise nor
disbelief. "Your powers may yet be of big importance. Now I go and do
"Good," Phoebe said, "where do we
"You start by going out into nice sun and sitting in
lounge chair at pool," he said. "Group of spiders put flies on guard
but single spider can work successfully with little notice. Three beautiful
young ladies together will draw much attention to investigation. More than
would one old policeman.
"But I need one lady to assists me. Miss Prue,
you come with me," Charlie added. "You have knowledge of accidents
and resort people. My ample girth and weight will serve to obscure so slim a
Chan and Prue headed outside, leaving Piper and Phoebe in
"He didn't give our being witches a second
thought," Phoebe said.
"I guess Merlin's spells are really thorough and cover
everything," Piper said.
"And compact," Phoebe added. "There was a lot
of spell power packed into those few words. He even has a family and a
history," she remarked, with some amazement.
"Just like we Halliwells have," Piper said.
"You shouldn't be surprised about that."
"I've seen a few of the old Charlie Chan movies with,
uh...Sidney Toler," Phoebe said, "and he looks exactly the way he
does in them. And he sounds like him, too."
"Someone at Merlin's must have seen the movies as
well," Piper smiled. "And...we also look and sound exactly as
we do on TV," she added.
"But that's different," Phoebe said. "We are
real. That is, we play witches but we...uh that is, our characters..."
Piper smiled at her.
"OK," Phoebe said, giving up. "So what do we
"Do as Charlie said and head for the pool," Piper
Prue saw the ambulance pull away as she and Chan approached
the scene of the morning's accident. The resort's security staff had cordoned
off a very wide area around the monorail and they were some distance from it
when they were stopped by one of the security men.
"I'm sorry but this area is closed off," the man
"Wise decision but we must examine the scene,"
"You can't come through," the man said, trying to
push them back. "This is only for authorized people."
"This makes me authorized," Charlie said, showing
the man his police badge. He didn't wait for a reaction but simply brushed past
the security man with Prue.
The security man turned around and saw the resort's
Assistant Manager looking at him. The man shook his head and shrugged his
shoulders. The Assistant Manager rushed over to Charlie and Prue.
"You can't be here!" he said to them.
"Understand your desire to keep people away but cannot
honor it," Charlie said. "I am Inspector Chan of Honolulu
"Honolulu?" the Assistant Manager repeated.
"Uh...this isn't Oahu and you're out of your jurisdiction here. You'll
have to -"
"Chief of Hawaii County Police felt it valuable to
request my temporary assignment to his department," Chan said. "All
of Big Island now my jurisdiction."
The Assistant Manager exhaled.
"I see," he said, unhappily. "I'm Hugh
Nichols, the Assistant Manager. But this woman -"
"Is assisting me in investigation," Chan said,
cutting him off. "Now, tell me about monorail."
Nichols gave Prue a hard look, then exhaled again.
"The metal shoe that keeps the monorail on the track
broke off in the lead car," Nichols said. "Though the monorail's
speed isn't that fast, it was enough for its momentum to propel it to jump the
track. That pulled the cars behind it off as well."
"And when was monorail shoe last checked?" Charlie
"Last night," Nichols replied. "It's standard
procedure to check the equipment when it stops running."
"What time is that?" Chan asked.
"One a.m.," Nichols replied. "Look, this was
just an accident. It was metal fatigue."
"Accident is like bad marriage," Charlie said.
"Terrible result even more tragic if could have been avoided,"
"What?!" the Assistant Manger said, angrily.
"Are you accusing the Waikoloa staff of not having properly checked the
"Accusations are like baking cake without all
ingredients," Chan answered. "May look good on outside but cannot
withstand close inspection. For now, I am just asking questions.
"And what of canal boat? Same inspection made?"
"Of course," Nichols said. "And that boat had
been running since mid-afternoon when it was put back into service."
"And same metal fatigue?" he asked.
"Yes...they were just co-incidences," Nichols
Chan's black eyes took on a sleepy look. But it was only a
"Co-incidence like ancient egg - leave unpleasant
odor," Charlie said.
Now that's a good line, Prue thought. I'll have to
remember to tell Brad to give it to me on Charmed when I talk about
there not being co-incidences for the Halliwells.
"I will look at monorail cars and boat," he said.
"Kindly advise your security staff to not touch anything else until I am
done. Also, most important that no public mention to be made about broken shoe.
No one besides security staff to know about it."
Charlie turned away from Nichols and motioned to Prue to
follow him. He walked over to the lead monorail car, its twisted hulk still
half-suspended in mid-air. The sun was shining on the underside of the car and
he closely examined the mechanism.
"Look closely," he said to Prue. "What do you
see on metal where unfortunate shoe was attached?"
"Uh...nothing," Prue said.
"Precisely," Charlie said. "Metal fatigue
leaves scratches, particles, small cracks in remaining metal. Even if fatigue
is sudden, trace of something should be in remaining piece."
"And this doesn't have anything," Prue said.
"This was clean break," Chan said. "Too clean
for natural occurrence."
Prue took a deep breath and exhaled.
"That leaves...a supernatural occurrence," she
"Your witch experience will provide important
insight," Chan said.
He knelt down on his knees and looked at the now exposed
rail under the track way. He pulled out a small flashlight and examined the
"Rail is scratched from car going off," he said,
"but otherwise not damaged. Come - we must examine boat from
They went to the boathouse where a surly security guard
reluctantly let them in. The boat was mounted on high skids. Chan and Prue bent
down and looked underneath it.
"Same thing," Prue said. "No marks on the
"I must see broken show from accident," he said to
The guard exhaled, then slowly walked over to a locked
cabinet. Opening it, he pointed to the piece.
"Equally clean break," Charlie said, as he looked
at it closely.
"Fingerprints?" Prue asked hopefully.
"Taking fingerprints useless now," Chan said.
"Too many cooks have been handling key ingredient."
"We need to find suspects," Prue offered.
"Hotel full with guests. No shortage of suspects,"
he replied. "Long experience teach, until guilty person found, suspect
everybody. Not always easy to reduce many suspects but we must find way to
eliminate and concentrate on likely possibilities."
He thought for a moment.
"We must talk again with un-enviable Assistant Manager
Nichols," he said.
Chan and Prue went to the Main Lobby and headed for the
office. Five people were in it, besides the secretary, and they all were
talking excitedly on the telephones.
"Excuse me, can I help you?" the secretary asked.
"Must speak to Mr. Nichols," Charlie said.
"I'm sorry - he can't see anyone now," she said.
"You'll have to come back."
"May indeed come back again," Chan said, showing
her his badge, "but does not replace need of Mr. Nichols at present."
They walked past her and into the inner office behind her.
"Ah, Mr. Nichols," Charlie said, "must again
impose my presence on you."
"Yes, what it is Inspector?" he asked. "But
be brief. You can see that I'm very busy right now. The Manager is away on the
mainland so I must do everything."
"Understand you have much to do to keep guest
calm," Chan said, "but problems rarely wait for clearing weather.
"Do you have any enemies who would want to hurt
you?" he asked.
"Hurt me?" Nichols repeated. "What are you
"Must consider possibility of planned accidents,"
"Planned," Nichols repeated in disbelief.
"Are you suggesting that these weren't accidents?!"
"Evidence strongly pointing in that direction but proof
not yet at hand," Charlie answered. "Again I ask, do you have any
"No, I don't," Nichols replied, indignantly.
"Most happy to find lucky man without enemies. What of
resort manager and resort owner?" Charlie asked.
"Not to my knowledge," The Assistant Manager
"Resort is big business," Chan said. "Much
opportunity to at least make someone angry."
Nichols was silent for a moment, then exhaled.
"Well, maybe Tyr Castillion," he said. "He
wanted to open his own resort on this part of the island. When he saw that it
wasn't financially feasible, he offered to buy Waikoloa Village, instead."
"And owner refuse to sell?" Charlie asked.
"Yes, the resort is doing quite well and he's happy
with it," he replied.
"Did Mr. Castillion keep pushing owner to sell?"
"Yes, he was persistent," Nichols admitted.
"Finally, the owner named a very high price. Too high for Castillion and
he walked away."
"Perhaps not walk very far," Charlie said. "I
must see canal where boat go off the track."
Nichols exhaled. He had a potential catastrophe on his hands
and didn't have time for distractions.
"Go ahead," Nichols said. "It's just down at
the bend by the Japanese Tea Room."
"I desire make complete examination of boat
track," Charlie said. "Would have great appreciation if you provide
tall boots from maintenance men to wear."
Nichols exhaled again.
"Beth," he called and the secretary hurried in to
"Get Inspector Chan a pair of maintenance boots,"
he instructed her.
"Two pair," Charlie corrected him. "Miss Prue
require boots as well."
Nichols nodded his head and Beth went out.
"Beth will bring them to you," he said. "Now
if you will excuse me, Inspector, I have a lot of work to do."
Charlie and Prue went into the outer office. Presently, Beth
brought the two pairs of boots. Prue quickly slipped hers on while Chan sat
down on a chair along the wall.
"Need of furniture to put on boots proclaims to world
my excessive avoirdupois," he said. "Daughter Rose give me latest
diets to try but I am what I am."
Having managed to get his boots on, Chan stood up and went
outside with Prue.
"Accidents make bad publicity for resort," Charlie
said, "that keep guests away. Business becomes bad, re-think offer from
persistent Mr. Castillion, Owner loses money, price for resort drops like
coconut from wind-blown palm tree."
"So Castillion hired someone to make these
'accidents'," Prue said, as they walked past the ballrooms.
"That is direction logic takes us," Charlie said.
"You said that we need to eliminate whoever we can and
concentrate on likely possibilities," Prue said. "I can make a few
"Am all ears to hear suggestions," Charlie said.
"Some people that we've met here," she continued.
"Roland Wilkie, for one. He's a developer who takes over existing
properties - like a resort in trouble. Piper said he's doing business while
he's here. Maybe putting the resort in trouble is that business.
"And then there's Colby Lockwood. He told Phoebe he's a
facilitator - he arranges things for people's businesses. Maybe he arranged
these accidents for Castillion."
"Most interesting possibilities to examine," he
said. "Are there others?"
There was one other, she knew. Damian. He looked for
opportunities - or made them. But no...he couldn't be involved in this.
"That's all for now," she said.
Charlie noticed her hesitation but said nothing about it.
"Will have important talk with two people you suggest,"
They approached the bend in the canal where the boat had
overturned. The area had been cordoned off with a security guard posted to keep
guests away. The guard had apparently been told to co-operate and he lifted the
'Do Not Enter' tape to let them through.
Charlie removed his white suit jacket, laid it down on the
ground, and rolled up his shirt sleeves. Prue did the same with her blouse
sleeves and they stepped into the water.
The water was clear and the sunlight made the inspection
relatively easy. Charlie bent over and ran his hand along the track.
"Track is in tact," he said. "As we
Remaining bent over, Charlie began to closely examine the
"What are we looking for ?" Prue asked, as she did
"Facts to show us that present direction is not path to
nowhere," he replied.
They continued slowly searching the canal bottom. Prue saw
something shiny but when she picked it up she saw it was just a coin that had
fallen into the water.
"Haie - what is this?" Charlie exclaimed as he
picked something up. It was an indigo-colored, elliptically shaped metal object
about three inches long, fitting comfortably in the palm of Charlie's hand. On
the side facing upward was a gold-colored design.
Prue stared at the object and exhaled.
"That's a pentagram," she said. "It's a
symbol that's been taken by demons and warlocks and used for their evil
"Small things sometime tell large stories,"
Charlie said. "This small object, shaped like egg, tell us that our
direction is path to somewhere."
"Phoebe has the power of getting premonitions from
things," Prue explained to Chan.
They stood around Phoebe in her hotel room as she took the
indigo-colored object from Prue.
"But also visions from the past of things that happened
with it," Prue added.
"Please Miss Phoebe consider offer for permanent
employment in Honolulu station house," Charlie said. "All murder
weapons come to you. Can eliminate tedious fingerprint check."
"You would still need your experts because it doesn't
always work," Phoebe said. "And I don't know how to make it happen.
Sometimes I feel it's just pot luck."
"One grain of luck sometimes worth more than whole rice
field of wisdom," Charlie said. "Let us hope this is such lucky
Phoebe closed her eyes and concentrated for fifteen seconds.
"I saw him," she said.
"Who is he?" Prue asked.
"I don't know," Phoebe said, "I don't
recognize him. He's tall and slim, maybe forty. Dark, straight hair, neatly
"That eliminates anyone I've met here," Prue said.
"Me, too," Piper said.
"We must find this man right away," Chan said.
"He's here at the resort," Phoebe said. "I
recognized the hotel's furniture in his room."
"How do we find him without a name?" Piper asked.
"We can try scrying," Phoebe said.
"How? We don't have a chain and crystal," Piper
"Maybe we do," Prue said. "Where did you put
"It's in the second drawer," Phoebe answered.
"She had a lot of things in it," Prue said, as she
went to the drawer and opened it. She pulled out Lumeire's pouch, brought it to
the table and emptied it.
"What do you know," Phoebe said, as she picked up
a chain and crystal.
"Lumeire said there'd be something in there that we'd
need," Piper said. "She was right - twice."
"Scrying is something witches use to find
someone," Prue explained to Chan.
"Only it doesn't always -" Phoebe started to say.
"Work, I know," Chan said, finishing her sentence.
"Your modesty about your witch powers like suitor never asking girl to
marry him for fear of seeming pushy - honorable but misplaced. Your powers very
good. Please proceed with scrying."
"Here's the map of the resort," Piper said, spreading
it out on the table.
"OK - here goes," Phoebe said. She held the chain
between her thumb and forefinger and let the crystal begin to swing across the
map. The crystal started to swing in a small circle around the Ocean Tower.
Suddenly it stopped and dropped down on the map.
"That's the Ocean Tower pool," Piper said.
"He must be swimming in it."
"Or sitting around it," Prue said. "Let's
Having checked out the few swimmers in the pool, Phoebe
slowly walked around the lounge chairs. Prue, Piper and Chan took up positions
around the pool area, ready to move in at Phoebe's signal.
Phoebe had half-circled the area when she stopped. She
stared at a man lying on a lounge chair, his eyes closed. She waited a few
seconds to be sure, then signaled the others to come.
Despite his weight, Chan moved quickly on noiseless feet and
reached her before Piper and Prue did.
"We must speak to you," Charlie said, shaking the
"I am Inspector Chan of police. Please sit up."
"Police?" the man asked as he sat up on the lounge
chair. "How can I help you, Inspector?"
"What is your name," Charlie asked.
"Boise, Idaho," he replied.
"Tell me Mr. Richards," Charlie said as he removed
the indigo object from his pocket, "is this object known to you?"
"Yes, of course," Richards said. "That's from
the treasure hunt. Did I win?" he asked excitedly.
"What treasure hunt?" Charlie asked.
"The resort's, of course," Richards said.
"Do you know of this?" Chan asked Prue.
"No, I never heard of it," she answered.
"Then you weren't one of the guests chosen to be part
of it," Richards said.
"Please explain about this treasure hunt," Charlie
"I was to hide this thing in the canal, near the Tea
House," Richards said. "Then when someone found it, we'd all win a
"If you were supposed to hide this, how did you expect
it to be found?" Prue asked.
"I wasn't supposed to hide it too well," he
answered. "Just so that it wouldn't be seen by anyone casually walking
along the canal. Only by someone who was looking for it."
Prue and Charlie gave each other a look.
"Who told you to hide it?" Chan asked.
"Martha Peterson," he said.
"A resort guest?" Prue asked.
"Yes. She was also chosen to be in the treasure
hunt," he answered.
"Did you know her before you came to hotel?" Chan
"No," he said.
"Where is her room?" Chan asked.
"I don't know," Richards replied. "She
brought the treasure to me."
"Do not leave resort until I give approval,"
Charlie said to him. "We will now find Martha Peterson."
After Chan called Hugh Nichols and got Peterson's room
location, they went to the Lagoon Tower at the other end of the resort and up
to her fourth floor room.
"Who is it?" a female voice asked in response to
Chan's knock on her door.
"Inspector Chan of Honolulu police. Please be so kind
as to open your door."
There was a moment's wait before the door slowly opened to
reveal a woman a little taller than Phoebe. She was in her mid-thirties, with
slightly curly dirty blonde hair, a pale complexion and big, green eyes. She
was wearing a rose-colored print robe with, Piper assumed from the way she was
pulling its lapels across her chest, nothing underneath it.
"I must speak to you," Charlie said, showing her
his badge, "and much prefer to do so inside."
"Wow, a real police Inspector. Come in," Peterson
said. "Are you like the ones on TV?"
Piper gave the woman a look,
"More like the ones in the movies," she told her.
The Charlie Chan movies, she thought.
"Are you detectives, too?" she asked. "Three
female detectives. They never do that on TV."
"You are familiar with this?" Charlie asked,
showing her the indigo object.
"Yes, of course. That's part of the treasure
hunt," she said. "Did I win a prize? Oh that would be so wonderful. I
love contests. I always enter them back home in Peoria. Imagine, winning a
prize from the Hilton Waikoloa."
"No prize today," Piper said. "You gave this
to Gerry Richards?"
"Gerry Richards...oh yes, he was the next player in the
treasure hunt," she said. "Everyone on our team is supposed to win a
prize if the hunt is successful."
"Who told you to give it to him?" Chan asked.
"It was in the instructions that came with it,"
"Instructions from whom?" Charlie asked.
"From the hotel," she answered. "It said so
right in the instructions. It came with that treasure hunt object."
"Who gave it to you?" Prue asked.
"The bellman brought it to me this morning," she
"You have instructions in your possession?"
"No, I threw it out," she said. Charlie quickly
looked around the room for the wastebasket and moved towards it.
"It's not in there, Inspector," Peterson said.
"Housekeeping cleaned up my room before."
"What was this wrapped in?" Phoebe asked.
"Some plain brown paper," she said. "It just
had my name on it. I threw that out, also."
"Do you remember which bellman bring this 'treasure
hunt' object?" Charlie asked.
"The nice one, Rong," Peterson replied. "He
helped me with my bags when I checked in. I asked him about his name because
it's so unusual - I don't know anyone named Rong back in Peoria. He told me its
"Beautiful and common yellow daisy in meadow only seem
unusual to person living in barren desert," Chan said, with a hint of
indignation. "I will speak to bellman with such unusual name. Thank you
for your help."
They left her room and were standing in the tower
"I don't think she knows any more than what she told
us," Phoebe said.
"Unfortunately, neither do we," Charlie said.
Charlie and Prue came into the Main Lobby and walked over to
"Please be kind enough to summon Rong," Charlie
said to the young female bellman standing there.
"Certainly, one moment," she said and headed off
into a room off to the side behind the bellstand. In a moment, a young bellman
came out of the room and approached them.
"Someone want me?" he asked them, looking from one
to the other.
"I requested your presence," Charlie said, and
proceeded to address him in Cantonese. The bellman replied in the same language
and their conversation went back and forth. The three sisters stood by as
spectators, unable to understand what was being said but sensing Chan's
thorough probing of the bellman. The only words they recognized were 'Richards'
Their talk finished, Rong went back into the side room and
Chan returned to the three girls.
"He knows nothing that can help us," Charlie said.
"Package was found on bellstand this morning. No one saw who put it there.
Only Peterson name on it."
"Where does that leave us?" Phoebe asked.
"In hotel lobby at three o'clock," Charlie
replied. "We have taken much time following path of pentagram object but
have learned little of -"
The commotion of people suddenly running past them and out
of the lobby cut him off.
"I recognize them," Phoebe said. "They're the
hotel security staff."
"Something must have happened again," Prue said
and they hurried outside.
The security staff was running towards the Lagoon Tower and
they followed them. But instead of going into the tower grounds, the security
staff ran around it towards the Dolphin Center.
Two young teenage girls were standing near the dolphin pool,
Soaking wet, they were both shaking. One of them was crying. Three adult women
and one man, also wet, stood beside them.
"Is everyone all right?" one of the security men
"We were just...so...frightened," the teenage girl
who was crying said.
"My arm hurts," the other teenager said. "I
banged it trying to get away from them."
"Everyone back," one of the security men shouted.
"Please clear the area."
"Best for the moment if you do as they say,"
Charlie said to the sisters. He pulled back his jacket to show his badge to the
"I must see what has happened," Chan said. The
security man exhaled and reluctantly let him through.
Chan went over to the teenager.
"Please tell me what happened?" he asked.
"The dolphins...they just went wild," she said.
"You were in the pool all together?" he asked.
"Yes...and we saw the dolphins starting to come in. We
were ready to have fun with them," she replied. One of the security men gave
her a towel and she quickly pulled it around herself.
"Then what?" Chan asked.
"I don't know," she answered. "The
dolphins...just went crazy. Jumping...and turning in circles. They knocked us
and hit us..."
"Did you see anything happen before that?" he
"No...I don't think so."
"Did anyone see anything?" Chan asked loudly to
"All we saw is those dolphins attacking us," the
"Did you see anyone near the dolphin pool?"
Charlie asked. "Maybe on side, watching?"
"I don't know," one of the men said. "We were
all looking at the dolphins."
Chan looked around at the six people. There was nothing more
he would get from them, he realized.
"Was anyone from your friends or family watching you
swim with dolphins?" he asked.
"My mother...was there...when I went in," one of
the teenage girls said. "But she left right away."
"Who is leader of swim with dolphins?" he asked.
"I am," a young girl said. She was in her
mid-twenties, her dark brown hair in a ponytail which she was in the midst of
opening. She was standing on the side next to one of the security guards.
"I am Inspector Chan of Honolulu police," he said.
"I'm Iris Menlo, the marine biologist," she said.
"Tell me, please, what your trained eyes saw
happening," he said to her.
"I don't know what happened," she said. "I
opened the gate to let the dolphins in to the encounter part of the pool. And
suddenly they started jumping into the air, and swimming very fast in short
circles. And they didn't look at who was near them. They hit a few of the
people as they did that."
"And that is not normal behavior for these friendly
creatures," Chan said.
"No, not all," Iris said. "They never act
wild and excited like that. And they're always careful around people."
"Anything that you see would cause that?" Charlie
"No, not yet," Iris replied. "But they seem
to have calmed down now. I'm going back in and examine them."
"I will be anxious to learn what you discover," he
said. "But please be careful during examination. Whatever affected
dolphins may still be there."
Charlie walked over to the encounter pool and looked inside
it for a moment. Then he turned around and went back to the sisters.
"What happened?" Piper asked, as they walked away
from the dolphin pool.
"Dolphins attacked people coming to play with
them," he replied.
"What?" Phoebe asked. "Dolphins don't do
"They do not unless something done to change their
friendly attitude," Chan said. "Young biologist will examine dolphins
"And she may find another pentagram object," Piper
"Most definitely another pentagram will not be
found," Charlie said. "We are in duel with someone quick and clever.
Opponent left meaningless but elaborate pentagram clue to keep us busy chasing
after trail and not interfere with his plan for dolphins."
"It's more than just that, Charlie," Prue said.
"With the utmost respect for your abilities as a detective, had you found
that pentagram by yourself you would have thought it to be curious. But you
would not have understood what it meant nor have known who had held it. And
without that knowledge you would not have been kept busy tracking it down and
been out of the way all day.
"It's only Phoebe's power to get premonitions that gave
you the trail to follow," she continued. "Whoever is behind all of
this was counting on that. Which means...that he knows who we are."
"I must now amend my earlier offer to Miss Phoebe to
join station house and extend same to you, as well, Miss Prue," Charlie
said. "Your analysis make you first-rate detective."
"He's taunting us," Piper said, "challenging
our abilities as witches."
"We must concentrate on reduced list of suspects but
mind, like parachute, only function when open." He paused for a moment and
glanced at Prue. "Must not have closed mind that there may be
"What do we now?" Piper asked.
"I go and find whereabouts of man who so covets this
resort, Tyr Castillion," Charlie said. "There may be much to learn
from him. You go and think about possibilities of all suspects. Especially of
"Let's narrow down the suspects to whom we've had
something to do with," Phoebe said.
"Let's start with your friend Colby Lockwood,"
"OK...he already knew all about me when we met at
Iolani Palace," Phoebe said. "Which could be because he knew who we
really are. That business about asking about me because I was pretty could be
just a story he made up. And he was very interested in how and when I flew over
"He could have been toying with you about that,"
"Right," Phoebe said. "And he came on to me
very strong, despite my telling him about Stuart."
"Like he was trying to keep close to you to keep tabs
on what you were doing," Piper said.
"And, he facilitates getting business people
what they want," Phoebe added. "Maybe he was using a demonic power to
do just that."
"OK, he's certainly on our list," Piper said.
"Next up is Roland Wilkie," Phoebe said.
"Develops properties, including existing ones,"
"That would give him the interest in making the
Waikoloa fail," Phoebe said.
"But there's nothing to link him to knowing about us
being witches," Piper said. "And he's hardly said two words to me."
"Piper!" a woman's voice called out.
They turned and saw Rita Wilkie hurrying by.
"Hi," she said, breathlessly. "Did you hear
about what happened at the dolphin pool?"
"Uh...yes, we did," Piper replied.
"Scary," Rita said. "Oh, I remembered why your
name Halliwell was familiar. I heard Roland mention it the other day when we
were having dinner. I think it had to do with a business deal...I don't
remember which, Roland always has so many that he's juggling. Anyway, it was
something about not letting Halliwell get in his way and stopping him.
"Of course, he couldn't have meant you, Piper. I
hadn't even met you yet until the next day. And anyway, you don't have anything
to do with Roland's business deals."
"Uh...no, I'm sure that I don't," Piper said.
"Well, I'm going to run," Rita said. "I want
to grab a massage at the Kohala Spa. It's about the only thing left here that
hasn't been shut down. Honestly, this place is falling apart. Broken monorail
shoe, wild dolphins. What's next - facial mudpacks getting stuck on? At least
the masseuse is human so I'll be safe. See you later."
"OK," Phoebe said, "that adds Roland
Wilkie to our list. Sure sounds like he was talking about us being witches who
could stop whatever he was planning on doing."
"Yes...maybe that's why he gave me that odd look when
Rita introduced me to him," Piper said. "But we're not done
yet." She paused. "You've been very quiet, Prue."
"Have I?" she asked.
"Yes you have," Piper said, "and you know
that you have."
"There's one more person we have to consider,"
Phoebe said. "Damian Hallett."
"No...it can't be him," Prue said.
"Can't be?" Phoebe asked. "You mean,
you don't want it to be."
"He's from San Francisco," Piper said. "Even
though we didn't know about him there, he could have known about us. Remember
what Tallor told us about our being on the Demons' Map to Witches Homes? And he
just happened to be standing behind your chair so that he could put the
lotion on you and meet you."
"And you said that he deals in opportunities - and
makes opportunities if he they don't come along," Phoebe reminded her.
"He could be making this opportunity for Castillion,"
"No...he's not like that," Prue said.
"Honey...you're heart's been reached by him,"
Phoebe said. "And that's stopping your head from working. And that may be
exactly why he spent the night...uh, why he got close to you. To block your
"Charlie meant me...when he said not to have a closed
mind," Prue admitted, slowly. "He knew that I was holding back a
name. He may be from fiction but he's one sharp detective."
"Then you agree we have enough reason to add Damian to
our list?" Phoebe asked.
Prue exhaled. She looked at Piper and then at Phoebe, then
"What is it?" Piper asked.
"There's...one more thing. One thing that I haven't
told you," Prue said.
"Out with it," Piper said, firmly.
"While we were having dinner, Damian got a call on his
cell phone," Prue went on. "He turned away from me as he was speaking
and thought that I didn't hear him. But I did." She paused.
"I didn't make anything of it at the time," she
continued. "I was in the middle of enjoying being with...enjoying being on
vacation and not thinking about demons." She hesitated.
"What did he say, honey?" Phoebe asked, taking
"He told the person on the other end of the call that
if he fails he'll have to answer to The Source," Prue reluctantly said.
"Oh, I'm so sorry, honey," Phoebe said, squeezing
"We haven't run into The Source since we've become real
Halliwells," Piper said. "But since he was referred to in some of the
Charmed episodes he's real now, too. That is, if he wasn't real all
along, just like the rest of the demons were real."
"And Damian may have someone working for him,"
Phoebe said. "And if The Source is involved, then this is bigger
than just Castillion,"
"No...I still can't accept that Damian
is...is...anything other than..."
"Someone who's made you happy," Phoebe said.
"We understand that," Piper said. "But, as
much as I don't want to do this to you, Prue...there's just too much pointing
at Damian to exclude him from our list."
Prue sighed and swallowed hard, then looked off unfocused
ahead of her.
"Maybe it won't turn out to be him," Phoebe
said, and gave Prue's hand another supportive squeeze.
"But for now, we have to suspect him," Piper said.
"Come in, Charlie," Phoebe said, opening the door
to her hotel room. Piper was sitting on a chair while Prue was sitting on the
bed, looking dejected.
"Unhappy Assistant Manager informs me that Mr.
Castillion is now on way to resort," Chan said.
"Coming to see the results of his demon's work,"
"Also informs me that sixty-eights guests checked out
early today because of 'accidents'," Charlie said, "and one hundred
more said they will check-out tomorrow morning. Seventy-three reservations for
future also have been cancelled."
"And that's just the first day," Phoebe said.
"I see," Charlie said, looking at Prue's face,
"that list of supernatural suspects now expanded. Happy solution never see
light if truth kept in dark," he said to Prue.
Phoebe went over the list of suspects and the reasons for
their being on the list, including their conversation with Rita Wilkie. Charlie
listened carefully, his mind making note of everything Phoebe said.
"All three could know who we are and could have a
motive to see the Waikoloa fail," Piper said.
"Now we work to find which one has connection to Mr.
Castillion and eliminate the others," Charlie said. "I will speak to
"If you can find them," Phoebe said. "We
don't know if they -"
A muffled noise at the door interrupted her. Piper walked
over to the door and saw that an envelope had been slipped under it. She picked
up the envelope, opened it and took out a sheet of paper.
"Everyone is invited to a free cocktail hour with a
full buffet," she said, reading from the page. "To make up for the
inconveniences and difficulties that have happened."
"They're trying to stop the stampede out the front
door," Phoebe said.
"Whoever hasn't left yet will surely be there for the
free food," Piper commented. "From five o'clock until half past seven
in the Monarchy Ballroom," she continued to read from the invitation.
"That's in a little over half an hour from now,"
"Three suspects will likely be there to partake of
hotel generosity," Charlie said. "I will speak to them individually
there. After that, I will speak to man who so desperately wants to own Waikoloa
"Mr. Colby Lockwood, I am Inspector Chan of Honolulu
"Hello, Inspector," Lockwood replied. "I've
heard that you're about."
"I am investigating most unfortunate incidents at
resort," Chan said.
"Investigating...do you mean that you suspect these are
something other than accidents?" Lockwood asked.
"Suspicion is father of truth," Chan replied.
"Remains to be seen nature of offspring."
Lockwood picked up a miniature frank-in-a-jacket.
"I see happenings at resort have not diminished your
appetite," Chan said.
"I've seen all sorts of things happen in lots of
places," Lockwood said. "Besides, the hotel's food is quite good. It
would be a shame to miss it."
"Pardon my impertinent questions but it is routine with
investigation," Chan said. "You have not chosen to leave unlucky
hotel as have other guests today."
"No, I'm enjoying myself," he answered. "And
I still may have business to keep me here."
"Yes, as facilitator," Charlie said.
"You know what I do - you've already investigated
me," Lockwood said.
"I am informed of your business by Miss Prue
Halliwell," Charlie said. "She is assisting investigation with her special
Charlie looked closely at Lockwood's reaction to his choice
of words about Prue. But he could not detect anything to indicate that Lockwood
associated any meaning to them.
"I've only said hello to her once," Lockwood said.
"But if she is anything like her sister Phoebe, then you have a formidable
"Phoebe is an intelligent, self-confident and very
capable woman," Lockwood answered. "My business aside, it may well
have been worth my coming here just to have met her."
"Are you familiar with businessman Tyr
Castillion?" Charlie asked bluntly.
"Yes, indeed," Lockwood admitted. "The
business that brought me here is for him."
Charlie was taken aback by Lockwood's readily admitting the
"In your business as facilitator, you are involved in
Mr. Castillion's attempt to purchase this resort?"
"Yes, my job was to facilitate that, to convince the
owners of the advantage to them to sell the hotel."
"Advantage that given problems at hotel past two days
may be even greater," Chan said.
"That's how things go in business," Lockwood said.
"Thing can change rapidly from day to day."
"I must ask where you were at ten minutes past five
yesterday afternoon?" Chan asked.
"Ah - I see I need an alibi," Lockwood said.
"Well, I have one. I was at Kona airport. I had just gotten off of my
flight coming back from Honolulu. Will that do?"
Charlie shrugged his shoulders.
"Alibi like man holding cards in poker game,"
Charlie said. "Hand always looks good until challenged. Thank you for your
time, Mr. Lockwood. Must ask you to please remain at resort until matter is
"I have no intention of leaving," Lockwood said as
he helped himself to some coq au vin. "You should try some of this,
"Alas, investigation and eating often like two ends of
see-saw," he replied. "Almost impossible to achieve balance and allow
both to have equal position."
Charlie made his way around the buffet to the other side of
the room. A man and a woman, holding wine glasses, were standing off by
"Mr. Roland Wilkie and charming wife Mrs. Wilkie, if I
am not mistaken," Charlie said.
"You are not mistaken," Wilkie said. "And
just who are you?"
"Inspector Chan of Honolulu police."
"Honolulu? You're a bit far from home," Wilkie
"I would very much enjoy being home with family on
Punchbowl Hill," Chan said. "But requirements of investigation keep
me at distance."
"Well, whatever you are investigating has nothing to do
with us," Wilkie said, cavalierly.
"Regret having to contradict such a distinguished
gentleman," Charlie said, "but investigation has very much to do with
all resort guests."
"Really? And just what is it that you are
investigating?" he asked.
"Unfortunate incidents that have plagued resort past
two days," Chan replied.
"And that is all that they are," Wilkie said.
"The result of poor management. Why do you policemen always try to look
for things under rocks?"
"Oh Roland, you don't have to be so discourteous,"
Rita said. "I apologize Inspector Chan. Roland sometimes has his own
little view of how the world should run."
"And that view includes developing existing properties
such as Waikoloa Village?" Charlie asked.
"As a matter of fact it does," Wilkie said.
"If you must know, that's why we're here. I will be developing this place
for Tyr Castillion, once he buys it."
Chan's black eyes focused on Wilkie. He had not expected to
hear him volunteer that information.
"I am intrigued as to how you develop existing resort
that has been successful?" Chan asked.
"It's current situation has shown it to be less than
successful," Wilkie countered. "Poor management always takes its
toll. That's the first thing that I change when I take over rebuilding a
"And this resort certainly needs that," Rita said.
"Broken shoes on the boat and the monorail, wild dolphins - about the only
thing they've been good at is having a good chef. And a good wine
selection." She took a sip from her wine glass.
"Then I look at each aspect of the property and find
what is not efficient or not properly designed," Wilkie continued. "I
am quite experienced at doing that."
"Waikoloa Resort has things not found in other
hotels," Charlie said. "Like Dolphin Center."
"Last year, I spent four months developing the
Wellington Exploration Center," Wilkie countered. "That included a
marine biology education section that showcased dolphins. I know exactly how to
turn this resort around."
"Pardon nature of question but I must ask where you
were at six minutes to nine this morning?" Chan asked.
"Six minutes to nine?" Wilkie asked.
"That is time of unfortunate incident with
monorail," Chan answered.
"What? Are you actually asking me for an alibi?"
Wilkie asked, indignantly.
"Role of policeman in investigation does not allow
luxury of choosing questions," Chan said. "Must indeed know of your
whereabouts at that time."
"Why are you asking that of me?" Wilkie asked.
Charlie shrugged his shoulders.
"You are not only hotel guest receiving question,"
"Oh tell him, Roland," Rita said. "You have
nothing to hide."
Wilkie looked coldly at Chan. Then he exhaled.
"I was on my way to Kona," he said. "I was
having a problem with the car rental and went back to Avis to exchange it. I
recall the agent noting the time-in on the first car as nine o'clock."
"Unfortunate car problem may have good fortune for you
hidden in it," Charlie said. "Significant alibi noted. Thank you for
Charlie went back to the other side of the room and saw who
he was looking for.
"Mr. Damian Hallett, I am Inspector Chan of Honolulu
"Hello Inspector," Hallett said. "How did you
know who I am?"
"Miss Prue Halliwell assisting me in investigation gave
me most accurate description of you," Charlie replied.
"Humm," Hallett said. "What are you investigating,
"Incidents of boat and monorail."
"And Prue thought you should investigate me?" Hallett
asked, with mixed surprise and disappointment.
"Unfortunate profession make detective suspect innocent
with guilty," Charlie answered. "Miss Prue responded to my
"I see," Hallett said. But there was some hurt in
"You are man who makes business in opportunities,"
Chan said. "But you do not take opportunity to leave afflicted resort as
"Opportunities do not come along when everything is at
its best," Hallett replied. "The situation here may yet present an
opportunity for me."
"Failure of deer to run swiftly make lion very
happy," Chan said.
"Oh, it's not quite that dramatic," Hallett said.
"But business opportunities for success are often predicated on another's
inability to do the same."
"And you feel that you can make successful opportunity
here?" Charlie asked.
"I can do my part of it," Hallett replied.
"There are people who know how to bring a certain touch to a resort. Just
the right mixture of new and exciting activities that will bring more guests
and keep them coming back. I may have the opportunity to woo such a person from
his present employ and bring him here for the new owner."
"I was not aware resort was for sale," Chan said,
"Tyr Castillion has been trying to buy it for some
time," Hallett answered. "The current environment may give him the
opening he needs. If he does, I have the opportunity to receive a considerable
fee from Mr. Castillion if I can bring this key person to the Waikoloa."
Again, Charlie thought. This suspect also has connection to
"And you are negotiating with this important activity
person while you are here?" Chan asked.
"I did most of the preliminary negotiation
myself," Hallett said, "but it is being concluded by my agent. He's
paid on contingency, of course."
"Regret must ask most un-comfortable question,"
Charlie said. "Where were you at ten minutes past five yesterday and at
six minutes to nine this morning. Those are times of inability of present
resort management to be successful."
"Throwing back my words at me, Inspector?" he
asked. "And now I see that's cause for me to need an alibi. Uh, two
"Well, let's see. I was trying out the Kohala Pool
sometime around five o'clock. Had I known I would need an alibi I would have
been sure to note the exact time. But I wasn't alone in the pool and I stayed
there for a good half-hour.
"As for this morning," Hallett continued, "I
had gotten up a bit late and decided to let room service bring my breakfast.
They were not particularly fast in coming and I had to call a second time. So I
recall when it finally came it was ten minutes to nine. I'm staying in the Ocean
Tower and the monorail accident was near the Lagoon Tower. I could hardly get
there from my room in four minutes."
Charlie looked at Hallett carefully. This was the third of
his suspects with what appeared to be a good alibi for the time of the 'accidents'.
"Did I pass your test, Inspector?" Hallett asked.
"I believe my alibis are good, if not perfect, if I say so myself."
"Perfect alibis have way of turning imperfect without
warning," Charlie replied. "Thank you, Mr. Hallett. Please do not
leave Waikoloa Village until investigation is completed."
"No need to worry on that account," Hallett said.
"The resort is offering this delicious free food. I wouldn't miss the opportunity
that presents to me."
Charlie left the Monarchy Ballroom and went back into the
Main Lobby. He asked a few of the hotel staff until he came to the girl
bellman, who directed him to someone sitting in a club chair at the far end of
lobby. Chan made his way towards the man.
"I am Inspector Chan of Honolulu police. I am informed
that are Mr. Tyr Castillion."
"I am," the man replied. "What can I do for
He was a broad shouldered, large man, with a fittingly
large, broad face. In his late-forties, he was younger than his prematurely
grey hair would indicate. His eyes were a deep, piercing grey. Chan sat down in
the chair that was at right angles to Castillion.
"I am investigating incidents that have befallen this
fine resort the past two days," he said.
"I heard about the accidents," Castillion said.
"Why are you investigating them?"
"If 'accidents' is proper word of description,"
Chan said. "You have for some time tried to buy Waikoloa Village."
"That's not a secret," he replied.
"Despite owner's insistent unwillingness to sell, you
persist," Chan continued.
"I have and will continue to try to buy the
Waikoloa," Castillion said. "Until I have it."
"Most ordinary businessmen recognize impenetrable wall
and look for easier wall to break down," Charlie said. "Yet you have
not. You have reputation as plenty smart businessman but you continue pursuit
of resort. Perhaps expecting something will happen to change owner's
Castillion's expression became excited and he leaned forward
in his chair.
"My father was a persistent man," he said.
"He kept after his goals no matter what happened and didn't lose sight of
them. He taught us to do the same thing. My sister and I learned that lesson
from a very young age - don't be deterred from what you really want."
"And you have both followed that lesson closely through
life?" Chan asked.
"Yes - I've been better at it than she has, but yes -
we have followed that lesson," he said. "And that is why I have not
given up my effort to buy this resort. What I am expecting is that my
persistence will wear him down and he will sell it to me."
"Inspector Chan," a girl's voice called to him.
Charlie turned around and saw Iris Menlo coming towards him.
"Ah...respected marine biologist," Chan said.
"Did your examination of dolphins lead to discovery?"
"It did indeed," Menlo replied. She held out her
hand to give something to Charlie. As he put his handkerchief in his hand and
took the object, he saw that it was a suction cup, made of clear plastic and
about four inches in diameter.
"I found this caught in a corner of the gate that
separates the encounter area," she said.
"Please be so kind and enlighten somewhat dense
detective as to significance of find," Charlie said.
"A little over four years ago," Iris said,
"as part of a study of dolphins in New Zealand, dolphin researchers Dr.
Ingrid Visser and biologist Robin Baird, attempted to tag dolphins with radio
transmission tags that they attached to them with suction cups. The dolphins
immediately started jumping wildly in the air and swimming very fast in short
circles. They realized that the dolphins were trying to dislodge the suction
cups, whose presence was foreign to them and annoyed them, or even made them
feel that they were in danger.
"It was exactly the same behavior that they displayed
Charlie looked carefully at the suction cup that he was
"Someone who wants to cause problems with dolphins
would use this," Chan said. "Assumption made that he knew of this
"The results were published about two years ago,"
Iris said. "Anyone involved in marine biology would have known about
"All of the dolphins acted in this manner,"
Charlie said. "Would have required suction cup for each dolphin. But you
found only one suction cup."
"The water in the dolphin pool is continuously being
filtered," Iris said, "because people tend to accidentally drop all
sorts of things into the pool. That can be dangerous for the dolphins. At the
very least it could contaminate the water.
"So the filter automatically disposes of whatever it
traps so that it does not affect the water as it's re-cycled. Whoever did this
knew that the study reported that most of the dolphins had been able to
dislodge the cups relatively quickly. So he knew we wouldn't find them on the
dolphins when we examined them. And he counted on the filters to dispose of the
cups once the dolphins had gotten them off."
"And no one would then no about suction cups,"
Charlie said. "He only needed brief time of cups annoying to dolphins to
frighten swimmers." He stopped and thought for a moment. "Person who
did this must also know about workings of pool filter trap. But did not expect
that one suction cup would get stuck and not reach filter."
"What I don't understand is how anyone could get close
to the dolphins to put the cups on to them," Iris said. "One of us
would have seen someone near the dolphins on the other side of the gate where
no one is supposed to be."
"Possibility of explanation begin to appear like vision
of small pond in desert," Charlie said. "Whether real or only mirage
requires more investigation. Thank you Miss Menlo for your great help."
"Haie - I go to three suspects to find which one has
secret connection to Castillion and eliminate other two," Charlie said,
"But I find that all three have relationship with him. And openly
tell me of it."
He had just finished telling Prue and Piper about his
conversations, including the ones with Tyr Castillion and Iris Menlo.
"And each suspect claims alibi for time of
accidents," Charlie added.
"You can check their alibis," Piper said.
Charlie thought for a moment. "Something is very wrong
"At least we have a real piece of evidence," Prue
"I must go and make inquiry from my sources,"
Charlie said. "Also check on alibis. It is most likely that when I return
I will ask you to make inquiry from your sources, too. In the meantime,
I leave real piece of evidence in your care."
It was almost nine o'clock when Charlie and the sisters
approached the bellstand. Rong, the bellman Charlie had spoken to earlier, was
"Rong, I have most important matter for you to
do," Chan said to him. "Find these people, give them note from me and
tell them it is urgent they come to Water's Edge Boardroom immediately. But do
not tell them together nor bring them at same time. Understood?"
"I understand," Rong said. He took the paper with
the names and went off on his task.
"Assistant Manager made small meeting room available
for us," Charlie said. "Let us go await arrivals."
They made their way out of the lobby and onto the Lagoon
Lanai walkway that curved between the boat canal and the resort's lagoon. They
walked down to the Boardroom and went inside.
"Now we wait," Charlie said.
They sat down in the chairs that were set up around a round
conference table. Their wait was not long. After five minutes the door to the
room opened and Tyr Castillion came in.
"Your note said this was urgent, Inspector,"
Castilllion said. "It is after nine and I want to get back to Kona, where
"Apologize for lateness of hour," Charlie said,
"but interference with your return home unavoidable. Please have seat
until all are here."
Castillion gave Chan a hard look, then pulled back one of
the extra chairs that was not at the table and sat down. Again the wait was not
long for presently the door opened again.
All eyes turned to the door as Rita Wilkie walked in. She
looked around the room at who was assembled with surprise.
"What's going on here?" she asked.
"Please come in and join us," Charlie said,
standing up. "Your presence is most important."
Rita slowly came in to the room but did not take a seat.
Castillion now stood up and the three sisters did the same.
"Incidents happening at resort past two days were meant
to look like accidents," Chan began, "to frighten away guests and
convince owner of need to sell. But close investigation show that
"accidents" were not natural." Charlie carefully
emphasized the last two words.
"Broken shoe on monorail caused cars to go off the
track," Chan continued. "At my request, resort Assistant Manager did
not make that fact known. Yet in conversation with Miss Piper, Mrs. Wilkie, you
tell her of broken shoe. And repeat same in conversation with me. Fact that
could only be known to person who made it break."
"What?" Rita asked. "What are you
insinuating?" She hesitated. "I must have heard that from one of the
workers. Hotel people are careless in what they say."
"Likely true in many cases," Chan said, "but
not here. Assistant Manager plenty worried about resort reputation. He make
sure no one outside of security staff knows about it. No one except person who
"Are you suggesting that I somehow crawled underneath
the monorail and...and broke it off myself?" Rita asked, incredulously.
"I have fumbled around, foolishly playing part in well
done scene worthy of Hollywood movie that left me in dark," Charlie said.
"But at least when light at last begins to stream in, I do not close the
shutters. Light now streaming in...because there is more.
"You told Miss Piper that you were actress under maiden
name of Ellison. But inquiry I made with mainland police make clear that is not
your maiden name. It was, and is, your middle name. It was maiden
name of your mother, Ruth Ellison. In accordance with sometime Western
tradition, mother's maiden name passed on to daughter as middle name."
Rita stared at Chan but said nothing.
"Inquiry with Hollywood police also reveal you married
Mr. Wilkie there," Charlie went on. "Last name of bride written on
marriage certificate is...Castillion. You and Mr. Castillion are brother and
Prue saw the features on Rita's face change and become very
cold, as she continued to stare silently at Chan.
"Mr. Castillion refer to sister in conversation with me
first give me idea of possibility," Charlie said. "Further inquiry by
Miss Piper from her whitelighter source named Leo reveal forty years ago
there was a witch named Ruth Ellison. She retired from doing with things when
she married. But witch powers often passed on to children. Especially to
"You send me on chase of wild goose with pentagram
object to keep me busy and not interfere with your plan for dolphins."
Charlie took out the suction cup from his pocket.
"Affect of suction cup on dolphins was learned in
recent study in New Zealand," Charlie said. "You spent four months in
Wellington, New Zealand last year, where your husband worked on developing
marine biology section. Plenty time for you to become friendly with marine
biologists there and learn of study report about cups. Also give you
opportunity to learn how dolphin pool filter system works.
"You were careful not to leave any impression of you
touching pentagram object so that Miss Phoebe would not get premonition of you,
only of innocent Mr. Peterson," Charlie continued. "But knowing how
filter system works, you count on filter trap removing suction cups and cups
not being found. So you feel no need to be careful when touching them. You did
not expect this cup to be caught on pool gate and found by Miss Menlo.
Premonition of past that Miss Phoebe get from cup is of woman's hand holding
it. A hand with distinctive oval emerald ring on finger."
Rita glared at Charlie as all the other eyes now focused on
the oval emerald ring on her finger.
"Ring Miss Piper remember you showing her when first
meet," Charlie said. He paused for a few seconds.
"Only person with witch powers could break both boat
and monorail shoes in such un-natural manner," he continued. "And
also put suction cups on dolphins without having to be in water with
Rita exhaled, then a small smile crossed her lips.
"That was very good, Inspector," she said.
"You put it all together."
"Don't say anything, Rita!" Castillion shouted.
"Oh, it doesn't matter, Tyr," Rita said.
"They can't legally do anything to me. And besides, I still enjoy a good
review of my acting. And Inspector Chan has just given me one."
Charlie gave a small bow of his head to her.
Rita pulled up a chair and sat down.
"My mother died two years ago," she said.
"Just before she died, she told me that she was a witch - it was a
complete shock to me. She said it was passed down in our family from mother to
daughter - Tyr has no part of it. She told me she bound my powers when I was a
baby because it was too dangerous for me to have them. I could easily use them
for bad instead of good. She had seen a couple of witches turn bad and didn't
want me faced with that temptation. When she died, my powers were unbound.
"And you know...my mother was right. Once I had them,
the temptation was too great - I did use them for...bad things."
Rita paused and look at her brother for a moment.
"I had been out of Hollywood for almost two
years," she continued. "I thought about using my powers to get back
into movies or at least into television but I couldn't figure out how to do it.
My powers are strong but they're limited in their scope.
"So I used them to make money. Roland's development
business sounded better before I married him than the reality of it. His deals
fell through more often than they succeeded - that made things
financially...erratic. So I started to use my powers to help make his deals
"Like you were doing here at the Waikoloa," Prue
"This was a bigger deal and needed a little more
effort," Rita said. "And Tyr was going to gain, as well."
"I didn't ask you to do anything, Rita,"
"And you didn't tell me not to," she
replied. "I didn't want anyone to be seriously hurt. That first monorail car
looked empty when I broke the shoe. I didn't see the people inside it from my
angle of where I was standing."
"Were you acting when we met and you said you didn't
know why my name was familiar?" Piper asked.
"No, that was real," Rita replied. "I didn't
know who you were, just that I'd heard the name somewhere. My comment about
Roland's using magic to close his deals was my own little inside joke. Later, I
remembered who the Halliwells were."
"And so that little act about your husband saying the
Halliwells might stop him was made up," Phoebe said.
"Yes...just because I'm out of Hollywood doesn't mean
that I can't still act," Rita said. "And it was some very good
acting if I say so myself."
"You threw suspicion on your husband," Phoebe
"It was a diversion to send you off looking in the
wrong place and away from me," Rita said. "Poor Roland, he doesn't
know anything about any of this. Not what I did, not that I have powers. So
there was no way that you could ever really involve him. He was perfectly
"Your confession explains much," Charlie said.
"I told you, Rita, not to say anything,"
"What is Inspector Chan going to do?" she asked.
"Throw me into jail? They couldn't keep me there. And he didn't even read
me my rights."
"But we could do things," Phoebe said.
"Like vanquish you."
"No...The Charmed Ones wouldn't do that to a little
witch like me," Rita said. "It would not be justified...and you're
such good witches."
"You're right, we're not going to vanquish you,"
Prue said. "But that's because we need your brother to do something. He's
going to hold a press conference and announce that these 'accidents' were the
work of one of his employees. Someone who did these 'dirty tricks' on his own.
You can make up a name to give to the police. Tell them he's run away and you
don't know where he is."
"And at the same time, renounce any plans to buy the
Waikoloa Village," Piper added.
"What? No - I'm not going to do that," Castillion
said. "That would blemish my reputation. And I still want this
"You'll do it if you want to save your sister,"
Prue said. "We put a 'pending' spell on her. If you don't make that
announcement by tomorrow morning, she'll be automatically vanquished."
"And the spell will also vanquish you if you ever try
to use your powers again," Phoebe said to Rita. "It will warn you a
few times - each time with a stronger warning. If you don't stop, then..."
"I don't believe you," Rita said. "You may be
The Charmed Ones but even you couldn't come up with a spell that complex."
"We had help," Piper said. "We got the spell
from a very powerful place - Merlin's Magical Services."
"I still don't believe -" Rita said as she raised
her hand to use her powers.
"OWW!!" she screamed as an energy charge
surrounded her body.
"Warned you," Phoebe said. "It will get
stronger each time until you're vanquished."
"Or if you're not vanquished first by the timer,"
Prue said. "You have until ten o'clock tomorrow morning to hold that press
conference. If you don't, or if Rita tries to use her powers, then it will be your
own actions, not ours, that will trigger her vanquish."
"Sooner the safer," Chan said. "Suggestion to
make announcement tonight, in time for late night news broadcast."
"A startling announcement just moments ago by Tyr
Castillion," the woman said.
Charlie, Prue, Piper and Phoebe watched the eleven o'clock
news anchorwoman breathless report on the large-screen television in the Malolo
Lounge off the main lobby.
"Someone employed by him was responsible for what had
appeared to be accidents at the Hilton Waikoloa Village on the Big Island.
Castillion, nicknamed 'The Source' because of his being behind much of the
funding and purchasing of hotels, resorts and shopping malls in the Islands and
in California, said -"
"Did you hear that?" Phoebe asked.
"Castillion is called 'The Source'. That's who Damian was referring to on
that phone call you overheard, Prue. Not The Source who's the demon."
Prue exhaled. In response to her asking, Charlie had told
her of Damian's disappointment in her
suspecting him. Maybe there's still time to explain things to him...and
patch things up, she thought.
"- and will not pursue his intended purchase of the
resort," the anchorwoman on the TV screen said.
"Well, that's it," Piper said. "It's over.
The resort's reputation has been saved. And Castillion will not be getting his
hands on it."
"Thanks to you, Charlie," Phoebe said.
"'Thanks' is like family holiday dinner," Charlie
said. "Always enough portions to go around to everyone. Great thanks go to
you for immeasurable important assistance. Old saying 'Do not challenge
supernatural unless armed with sword of truth'. You bring needed sword to this
"That's very kind of you, Charlie," Phoebe said.
"Now I go home," Charlie said, "where
daughter Rose and son Henry anxiously await latest story of father's exploits.
It is happy occasion when I come home and case is solved. Otherwise, eleven
children want to send me back out until I find guilty."
"Uh...where is...your home?" Phoebe asked.
"On Punchbowl Hill in Honolulu," Charlie answered.
"There is most beautiful view of city and mountains surrounding it."
"Everything here in Hawaii is beautiful," Piper
"Hawaii quickly make such impression of beauty on
malihini," Chan said.
"On who?" Prue asked, her mind having returned to
the present company.
"Malihini means newcomer," Charlie
explained. "I am kamaaina - old-timer - and still am in awe of
beauty of Islands."
"Meeting you and working with you has been very special
for us," Phoebe said.
"My feelings same for you," Chan said.
"Please to make presence known next time you visit the Islands. Place
reserved for you at my side."
"Thank you Charlie," Prue said. "Aloha."
"Aloha," Charlie replied. He turned and began
walking towards the door. The girls stood watching the white-suited figure
until he walked out of the lounge.
"What do you think...is going to happen to him,
now?" Phoebe asked.
"I...I don't know," Prue replied, shaking her head
"Do you think Merlin's spell was powerful enough to
somehow...keep him real?" Piper asked. "I know...it doesn't make
sense for Charlie Chan to stay real."
"No more than it makes sense for the Halliwells to stay
real," Phoebe said, "and we still are. So maybe he will be, too. At
least, for as long as Charmed remains real."
They had gone back to Prue's room. Phoebe pulled aside the
curtains and looked out the window. The path lighting around the Palace Tower
partially illuminated a few couples strolling on the walkways. A canal boat was
pulling away from the tower landing dock.
"They've got at least one boat running again," she
said. "Things are getting back to normal. The guests who were ready to
check out tomorrow will be staying."
"Except for us," Piper complained. "We're
still leaving tomorrow because our three day vacation is over. But it isn't
fair! We were promised three days without having to chase after any demon,
warlock or anything like that. And we lost one whole day of that chasing after
"We haven't had enough time...for
everything," Prue agreed.
"Like time for you to have another dinner...plus, with
Damian," Phoebe said.
"Or another cocktail hour for you with Colby,"
"Point well taken," Phoebe admitted.
"We've had a witch's holiday," Prue said.
"A what?" Phoebe asked.
"It's just like a postman's holiday," Prue said.
She saw the blank expression on Phoebe's face.
"A postman is what they used to call a mailman,"
Prue said. "He walks around all day delivering mail. When he goes on
vacation, instead of doing something different to relax, he winds up taking
long walks, just like on his job. They call that a postman's holiday.
"We just did the same thing. Instead of relaxing, we
wound up chasing after Rita just like we chase after demons and warlocks back
home. So we had a witch's holiday."
"I get it, now," Phoebe said.
"But you're right, Piper," Prue continued.
"We are entitled to another day, a day without worrying about bad
witches, to make up for today. And we're going to get it."
"Just how are we going to do that?" Piper asked.
"We got this vacation through a spell Markham
made," Prue said, "and we're going to get the make up day the same
way. Through a spell from him that give us another day at the resort."
"He's not here to do that for us," Piper said.
"He doesn't have to be physically here," Prue
said. She went over to the closet and took out the Broomstick Blue broomstick.
"Markham gave us three spells from Merlin's," she
said. "We used two of them - one to get Charlie here and one on Rita. That
leaves us with one spell left."
She looked at Piper and then at Phoebe, then held the
broomstick tightly in both hands.
"Oh Merlin," Prue said, with a smile on her face.
"We...need a spell."