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Posted on 30 Apr 2021 @ 5:02pm by Special Agent Kamea Kai

Episode: S1E1: Back to Basic
Location: En Route (Honolulu to Los Angeles to Atlanta to Norfolk)
Timeline: May 2nd

She'd said her good-byes yesterday. Probably hugged and whispered Aloha a thousand times; made promises to keep in touch and received them in turn. Certainly, according to her mother and the aunties, the mainland was a wasteland of a place but they would take care of her.

And then, finally, the moment had arrived and she watched her father drive away before turning toward the large sliding glass doors at the entrance to the Daniel Inouye Airport. Being off-duty and between assignments, she traveled unarmed with a backpack slung over one shoulder, dressed in jeans, bare feet tucked into flat shoes, and white pullover with the sleeves pushed up to just below her elbows.

There had been things to do at first, security checkpoints and the whole business of finding the gate, checking arrival times. And when the flight was delayed by a bird strike, she'd sat near the windows and watched the ground crew, lost in through.

Hours lost. Hours spent pacing, sipping bottled water, and watching the crowd milling about. Once aboard, she claimed her window seat and settled in for the nearly nine hour flight; the plane was crowded with sun-baked tourists who were caught between the reluctance to leave Hawaii behind and the need to begin the transition back to their normal lives. They chatted about getting the dog back from the kennel and those amazing dancers at that ... what did they call it? ... that luau.

Her cousin, Makoa, and his friend, Ori, both in college, worked weekends and summers doing fire dances for the tourists. Ori's younger brother, Hilo, had tried out and nearly set the tent on fire; so he tended bar and said the tips were worth it even if he didn't get as many telephone numbers.

Still, she could understand their reluctance. This would be her second trip to the mainland but this time, it would be long-term. A life far different than the one she had been living. She was still in mid-step, between what was and what would be; still cataloguing what she'd left behind because she didn't yet know what she would find once she arrived. The water at dawn before the tourists descended en masse. Her first weeks in plain clothes, recognized immediately as a cop, and being relegated to minor cases. The laughter. The in-jokes. The cranes she'd helped fold that one weekend for another cousin's wedding. Hiking. Ziplining. Riding on ATVs far from the crowds. So very many things.

Twelve hours or so from now, her new life would begin. Honolulu to Los Angeles. Los Angeles to Atlanta. Atlanta to Norfolk and then a test to her parents and a rental car to the hotel to drop everything off before she had to report in.

Kamea Kai closed her eyes, plugged in her earbuds and left her mind drift, bobbing on an ocean of memory.


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