Write a story to show how McGarrett might have come to terms with his first kill. Use his advice to Danno in "...And They Painted Daisies on His Coffin" (Season 1) as inspiration.
Written by Honu
It was well past midnight. With so much on his mind, Steve McGarrett was restless and continued to shift his position under the covers. He hated what Danno was going through; it was plain to see the effect that Thad Vaughn's death was having on his young second in command. There were so many questions.
Even if the shooting is deemed justified, this incident may haunt Danno for the rest of his life. Will he survive? He's such a good cop and has so much potential. This could make or break him. Hell, there are cops who go through their entire careers without ever firing a gun in the line of duty. It's a damned shame! And what happened to the gun? Where's the girl?
Finally, his exhausted body took precedence over his mental search for answers that didn't exist. He fell into a deep sleep, and his mind drifted into his past, to a time when he was even younger than Danno...
"Bless me father, for I have sinned." He finished crossing himself and continued, "It's been three months since my last confession." Steve's voice was quiet but strained. He'd been holding this inside since it had happened; it was eating him alive and he wasn't sure why. But the base's chaplain was a friend and Steve trusted him.
"Tell me about your sins, Lieutenant."
Steve stiffened at the memory, but he managed to get it out. "I killed a man."
In truth, the chaplain already knew about the incident. It certainly wasn't a secret. In fact, Lieutenant McGarrett was considered a hero by many, including his commanding officer. But it was time to hear Steve's version.
"Tell me what happened, Steve."
The young officer cleared his throat and began.
"It was after our ship went down, before we were captured by the North Koreans. There were five of us in the lifeboat, including Captain Peters. One of the men was wounded and the captain was doing what he could for him. It was dark, except for what little moonlight there was and the flames from the ship that attacked us; they were hit and burning. I happened to glance up at the ship just as one of their crew was about to lob a grenade directly at our lifeboat."
Steve paused, reliving the moment that so haunted him. "I didn't really think, father; I just reacted. I grabbed the captain's service revolver and fired. The man went down and a second later his grenade exploded."
In a voice barely audible, Steve continued. "Father, I saw his face in the moonlight. I can still see his eyes. He was somebody's son, maybe somebody's brother. He was so young. And I killed him."
The navy chaplain listened intently then thought for a few moments before he responded.
"Steve, we are at war. It's a sad fact that in war, young men are killed. That's why wars are to be avoided at all cost."
After another interval of silence, the priest continued.
"Steve, do you know what the sixth commandment is?"
"Thou shalt not kill," the lieutenant replied immediately.
"That's what most people think it is. But from the original Hebrew, a better translation is 'Thou shalt not murder.' There's a big difference. Murder is deliberately taking the life of an innocent human being without justification. Steve, what you did saved the life of your CO and all the men on that lifeboat. You had no choice. It was not murder. You broke no commandment."
"Then why do I feel so guilty, father?"
Though Steve couldn't see it behind the screen of the confessional, the chaplain smiled poignantly at the young officer's question.
"It's because you're human, Steve. And because you hold life as sacred. It would be far worse if you felt nothing. I've seen that happen to some military men, and I pray that it never happens to you."
"What should I do now? How do I go on with this on my conscience?"
"Place your trust in God, Steve. You will learn to live with it, with His help. But you won't get used to it. Pray that you don't get used to it. Hold on to your humanity and continue to see it in others."
"Learn to live with it, don't get used to it..." Steve mumbled in his sleep. They were hard words; hard when he had heard them years ago and equality hard when he had delivered them to Danno just yesterday. Danno...
He saw so much of himself in Williams. Steve had found the strength to serve and protect the public, even if that meant taking a life on occasion. And he was willing to bet that Danno would find that strength as well.
McGarrett's First Kill
Written by H50 1.0 FOREVER
It was the most unnatural act he'd ever committed. Murder! Well, the Navy didn't call it murder. They called it an act of war. To the Navy lieutenant, who had been brought up in the Catholic Church, however, it felt like cold-blooded, premeditated murder. And to think he hadn't even been issued a service revolver. Navy reconnaissance photographers didn't pursue the enemy. Quite the contrary. They flew past them quickly and high in the sky to prevent the enemy from shooting them. That was how it had been . . . until now.
It all came about during a reconnaissance run over the southern regions of North Korea. Steve and his pilot, Dan Baker, were almost over the demilitarized zone separating North and South Korea when they took a hit. Oil began spewing across the windshield. The engine began sputtering. They were going down.
They were lower than the tree tops when Steve caught sight of a North Korean on the ground. His rifle was jammed against his shoulder, and he was taking aim. Steve did the only thing he could. He took the revolver that Baker handed to him and fired a shot. One shot. It was not particularly well aimed, but it struck the North Korean and sent him sprawling backwards and onto the ground.
Somehow, Baker managed to keep the plane aloft until they reached South Korean soil. There, he might have made a successful landing if a ditch hadn't gotten in his way. He was killed on impact. Steve was seriously injured. He would only learn later that South Korean troops had rescued him and delivered him back into American hands.
"Why are you so upset, Lieutenant?" a voice asked him through a haze.
Steve peered up to see an Army captain wearing medical insignia standing over him. "I shot a man. I think I killed him."
"Where was that?"
"North Korea. We hadn't made it back over the DMZ, yet," Steve explained. "He was gunning for us."
"We're at war with the North Koreans, you know. Of course, he was gunning for you."
"But I'm a Navy reconnaissance photographer, not a . . ." The words he needed escaped him. "My mother will disown me. My priest will excommunicate me."
The captain chuckled under his breath, stood aside, and showed Steve that his mother was seated not far away.
"Mom! You can't come over here! It's a war zone!" Steve exploded.
"Relax, Lieutenant. This isn't Korea," the doctor told him. "You're at Tripler Army Hospital in Honolulu, Hawai'i."
"Tripler?" Steve asked as he looked around.
"You just regained consciousness yesterday, as the Consolation was about to make port at Pearl Harbor."
Steve sank back against his pillow and emitted a relieved sigh. "It's over, then?"
"For you, it's over, Lieutenant. You'll be on bed rest for a few weeks, then in therapy for a few months, and at home for a few more months before the Navy may let you shuffle papers for them."
Betsy McGarrett walked over to her son, still wearing a smile on her face. "And, no. I will not disown you. You did what you were supposed to do. As for excommunication, our priest was called up. He's stationed somewhere in Korea, although I imagine he's listening to confessions, not fighting."
"Isn't he a bit old for that?" Steve asked.
"He's not yet sixty and is still in the reserves," the woman explained.
"So, he's not in an excommunicating mood?"
"No, Stephen. Father Timothy is in the business of saving souls, not destroying them."
"Thanks, Mom. Boy! Are you ever a sight for sore eyes."
"So are you!? she replied as she bent down and placed a kiss upon his forehead. "Now, relax. I'm not going to disown you. Just catch your breath and get some rest, so you can get well."
Steve nodded as he watched his mother settle back into her chair, don her reading glasses, and take up the book she was reading. And, then, his eyes closed, and he drifted into the most restful slumber he had known since his ordeal had begun.
Two Sides of the Same Coin
Written by Steve's Girl
The door had just been closed by Danno and Steve leaned back in his chair. For the first time Danno had killed a man. He had shot a very young man through a closed door to death.
"That's a stinking job", Danno had said and Steve had replied, "You learn to live with it, but don't get used to it."
Now he remembered his "First". It happened during his NI (=Naval Intelligence) days. A sailor had taken hold of a man, Jeb Michaels, in a supermarket and dragged him onto the street. Steve had happened to pass by. After he had tried to persuade the sailor to drop his gun and let the man go but failed ,he had had no option but use his own weapon. He had aimed at the thigh of the kidnapper but the man had moved and got hit in the chest. He had died before the ambulance had arrived.
Steve had been devastated, had spent sleepless nights and had given the impressions of simply going through the motions when on duty. After three days he had been summoned to his commanding officer.
"McGarrett, according to my informations you're taking the death of the kidnapper really to your heart."
"Such things happen, McGarrett. You have to learn to live with them, but never get used to them. I understand that the situation is not easy for you since it was the first time you killed someone. But consider that you saved another man's life. I got a call from Mr. Michaels this morning. He said that he and his family are more grateful to you than they can say. He has two children, a boy of thirteen and a girl of five and he told me that you've made it possible that they can grow up having a father."
After some moments had passed, Steve's c.o. had continued:
"If someone like you had been present many years ago your father probably would have lived and you didn't have to grow up without a dad. Never forget, McGarrett, there are always two sides of the same coin."