GEOGRAPHIC TREACHERY, The Shah’s Revenge. A Mystery-Crime Thriller
Iranian Americans hijack three heavily armed helicopters from a Big Island army base to attack the supercarrier Abraham Lincoln, her flight deck crammed with dignitaries, as she participates in the December 7th Memorial ceremonies in Pearl Harbor.
A dormant volcano at their backs and countless acres of coffee trees ahead, three men, led by Cy, are on a deadly mission. They occasionally pause to sample the bright red coffee cherries, barely noticing the ground transitioning from black soil to hardened lava. The men abruptly halt when the coffee orchard suddenly opens to a circular clearing. An immense banyan tree lies before them, its branches creating a natural umbrella as they spread skyward and then gently arch and touch the earth, creating a dark cavern within.
Each man must bend low and brush the branches aside to enter the shadowy, dramatically cooler chamber. As they acclimate to the sudden drop in temperature and the deep shade, they notice a man hanging by his wrists close to the tree’s considerable trunk. Standing alongside the unlucky man is Liona, their trusted associate, known for his dramatic flair and carnal appetite. Lured there by the promise of romance, the unfortunate soul hanging from the tree, Commander George McHale, discovers his role as a navy officer on loan to the NSA has been found out, and the criminals he sought have, instead, found him.
A few hours later, McHale, having spilled both secrets and blood, his nearly lifeless body still hanging from the branch, the four men move on to their next target. As they slip beneath the branches, a final taunt comes from the man known as the “Aussie,” “Sorry, mate, I hate to leave you drinking with the flies, but it’s time for us to lob-in on your partner!”
At his Pearl Harbor office Rear Admiral Roman Reardon is having coffee with his friend, Colonel Nat, while they review unsettling shipping manifests from a recently arrived cargo ship. Recognizing the possibility of illegal weapons being brought into the Big Island of Hawaii, Reardon dispatches his best team to the Big Island on a recon mission. The timing coincides with the wedding of one of his young officers, Ensign Gary Kida, which his team uses as a cover.
Following their arrival, the team is dispatched to a coffee farm where they discover the lifeless body of Commander McHale. Lelani Fuchida, the County Coroner, arrives as they are about to cut the ropes and lower McHale to the ground. Unaware of the victim’s identity, Fuchida is shocked when she realizes she grew up with McHale. After a brief bout of nausea, Fuchida recovers and completes the initial exam. Pastwa arranges to transport the corpse to the County Morgue, where Fuchida wholeheartedly dives into the investigation.
While Pastwa and his team are establishing their base in Hilo, Cy has called a meeting to discuss how to deal with McHale’s NSA partner, James Lincoln. Liona explains his plan in gruesome detail. He will lure Agent Lincoln to The Rusty Harpoon Bar & Grill where he will be tricked into following Liona, and a woman who appears to be Liona’s date, a few miles up the road to the Rainforest Zoo. Once there, Lincoln will be taken by surprise, overpowered, stripped, forced to drink alcohol, and dumped into the 5-acre realm of a ravenous 800-pound white tiger. His clothes, car, and empty liquor bottle will be left near a beach known for its dangerous rocks and riptides. Cy approves the plan and demands it is immediately put into action.
Two days pass by the time what remains of Lincoln is discovered, and Pastwa is left with precious little in the way of clues. Based on Reardon’s briefing, he labors under the misconception he’s hunting guns and drug smugglers. As corpses show up all around the island, he is clueless about where he should concentrate his team and is getting a feeling in his stomach that there is more to it than Reardon stated.
Having witnessed the white tiger quickly dispose of Agent Lincoln, Cy calls a meeting of the entire group. Standing before a large painting of the Shah of Iran, Cy announces his plan to hijack three assault helicopters from a nearby army air base using Iranian/Americans stationed there. The audience is struck silent while he explains how they will attack the United States supercarrier, Abraham Lincoln, its flight deck loaded with 1,000s of dignitaries and military personnel as they observe the December 7th memorial observations while anchored in Pearl Harbor the coming Sunday.
To regain the crowds’ enthusiasm, he pulls a tarp from a pedestal to his side, revealing a color poster of President Jimmy Carter. As the tarp falls away, he shouts, “Revenge for the Geographic Treachery committed by Carter and his CIA shall be ours!” The crowd cheers as dozens of shoes bounce against the poster.
Reardon, his tell-tale twitch beneath his right eye causing him much anguish, joins the team on the Big Island and calls for a regrouping. After bringing Reardon current, Pastwa explains his plan to get friendly with Liona. Pastwa and Lt. Commander Ania Yamura plan to meet with Liona, their only possible suspect, late that night on a black sand beach during a local Reverend’s full moon ceremony. Alarmed at the remoteness of the location, Reardon orders Marine Master Sergeant Mike Wolf to recruit a trio of ex-South Vietnamese Army friends of Colonel Nat to station themselves nearby.
Following a hazardous drive to the beach, Pastwa and Yamura are directed to a parking spot by the “Aussie,” who informs them the Reverend insists on complete nudity. Forced to leave their clothes, identification, and firearms in their vehicle, they follow a rugged trail down a rocky cliff to the beach.
Liona’s young girlfriend, Skyla, greets Pastwa and Yamura with tight hugs, turning Pastwa’s face red. She then leads Yamura toward the bonfire to meet her friends. Left behind, Pastwa is not alone for long. Lani Gale, a Honolulu newspaper reporter of note and his former fiancée, appears, immediately assumes Pastwa is incognito and brokers herself a deal to be first with the results of his mission. Liona notices them and decides he must find out more about her.
At the same time, the Aussie discovers a tracking device on Pastwa’s vehicle along with their identification and firearms. They are only two days removed from the planned December 7th attack, putting the Aussie in a quandary; should he dispose of Pastwa and Yamura that night or act as if all is okay. It’s decided to let them return unscathed and unaware that they’d been discovered.
The following day Ensign Kida’s bride and a resale shop owner are murdered shortly after it is revealed that a member of Pastwa’s team, Ensign Parisa Milani is a deep-cover member of Cy’s group. Before Pastwa can respond to the double murder, he and Wolf become engaged in a shoot-out on a back road after they spot a gagged Lani Gale in the backseat of an army automobile. Two kidnappers are killed, a third wounded and taken to Hilo Medical Center in a coma. When he briefly gains conscientiousness, Pastwa tricks him into believing it is December 10th, causing the prisoner to unwittingly divulge the plot to attack the Abraham Lincoln.
Parisi warns Cy that fighter jets are about to intercept his three-assault helicopter attack group. Cy peels off to attack his secondary targets, the Oahu power-generating sources. Cy fires three rockets, but the third jams in the launcher, forcing CY to curtail his attack and ditch in the ocean where a North Korean submarine awaits. Liona, piloting one of the two remaining helicopters, leads several fighter planes in and around the towering hotels of Waikiki Beach before ditching in the center of Diamond Head crater.
Pastwa receives reports describing the downing of two helicopters and a Hawaii Electric Power crew describing Cy’s aborted attack. Discovering where Cy’s helicopter went proves fruitless. Reardon is upset at all the loose ends, especially because no attacker was captured or identified.
While vacationing at a Princeville resort a few weeks later, Yamura gets excited when she mistakes a couple in the crowd for Liona and Skyla. A quick search yields no results, and Pastwa chalks it up to the bright sun disguising what she thought she’d seen.
In the final scene, Liona and Skyla are aboard of three-masted schooner, slowly making its way out of Hanalei Bay, destined for Tahiti. Liona sends Skyla to their cabin and cautions the deckhand, Kamran, not to disturb them, no matter what sounds he might hear.
A few moments later, Kamran is subjected to soft cries, piercing screams, and agonizing moans from Liona’s cabin. Realizing the voyage will last weeks, he casts his hands in the air and exclaims, “May Allah have mercy on me!”