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Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard and Dr. “Doc” Bergman together in fan fiction

We received three Ducky and Doc stories. You surely will enjoy them, for each offers something special.

I Can't Believe It!

By Steve’s Girl


"Ladies and gentlemen, aloha and welcome aboard. We will reach Honolulu International Airport, as it was called then, at 10 pm, which means a flight time of about five hours and thirty minutes. Captain Ebenberg and his crew hope you will enjoy your flight."




Dr. Donald Mallard , or "Ducky," as he was affectionately called by the NCIS  team in D.C., was on his way to the "Congress of US Medical Examiners," which was to take place in Honolulu. He looked forward to the congress and hoped to meet Dr. Bergman of whom his colleagues, Torrens and Knight, had spoken so enthusiastically when they had returned from Hawai'i where they had helped with a case. He had a window seat.


The seat at the aisle was occupied by Dr. David "Doc" Bergman, Honolulu's coroner. Doc was on his way home from only a short visit to his sister on the mainland because he didin't want to miss meeting Dr. Mallard from NCIS in D.C.. Agent Barrett who had been transfered from NCIS in D.C. to Hawai'i was full of praise for him.




"I've never been to Hawai'i, but I'm certain that Mark Twain was right when he called the Hawaiian Islands 'The loveliest fleet of islands that lay anchored in any ocean'. To think that James Cook discovered them only about 220 years ago! I hope there will be enough time to do a little sight-seeing, I would love to see..." and Ducky didn't stop talking; there was no Leroy Jethro Gibbs (his boss) to rein him in.




Strange guy, Doc mused, dress shirt, bow tie and does he really wear suspenders? British timbre, talking endlessly, educated - a history professor maybe? He hopes to have time for sight-seeing - so it's unlikely he is a tourist.


Doc was lulled into sleep by Ducky continuous talking. The book he was reading, Kathy Reich’s book, Spider Bones, given to him by his sister to pass the time during the flight, was about to slip from his lap.


Ducky caught it just in time. Looking at the title he thought, A tourist maybe, making sure that there are rascals in paradise as well. Rascals in Paradise: that is the title of a book written by James Michener. Must read it again if and when I'll have the time.




When the two doctors were walking towards the exit of the airport, they were approached by a big man in whom the ethnic diversity of Hawai'i seemed to be rolled in one. He was holding a signboard with "Congress of US - Medical Examiners" written on it. His name tag read "Keoki McCall".


"Aloha and welcome to the congress, Dr. Mallard. Aloha and welcome to the congress, Dr. Bergman," he said, draping a lei of red carnations around each man's neck.


Ducky and Doc glanced at each other and after a second they exclaimed in unison: "I can't believe it!"


Thus was the beginning of a life-long friendship.





Coroners in Paradise

In memory of David McCallum and Al Eben

By Honu 59


“And that, my friend, was another fascinating case for our team.”

The old Scotsman turned to the man seated beside him, certain that he would not be able to top that story.

The park bench shared by the two men looked out on the Celestial City – a most beautiful sight.  Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard straightened his bow tie then tugged at his white robe, a garment he was not yet used to wearing.

“It’s really quite comfortable once you get used to it,” commented Dr. Bergman, who usually answered to “Doc.”  His own white robe bore a very subtle print of plumeria flowers and palm leaves.

In Heaven there is no more death, so what’s a pair of coroners to do?  Harp lessons?  No, Ducky played the oboe and English horn.  Doc favored the piano, an instrument he had picked up during his retirement.

“I must admit it, Ducky, that last case of yours was quite interesting, but you and your team at NCIS had DNA testing and all manner of instantaneous information at your fingertips on those fancy computers of yours,” Doc remarked.  “In my day, our computer was an IBM mainframe that took up an entire room.  Arriving at cause of death took a lot more old-fashioned book research and in-person consultations, not to mention hours at the microscope.” 

“I’ll grant you that,” agreed Ducky.  “So…what was your most challenging determination?”

Doc didn’t have to think for long to offer his answer.

“Conus Textile Linnaeus …or more precisely, the venom thereof.”

The Scottish ME raised an eyebrow. “You have me intrigued, Dr. Bergman.  Please continue.”  Dr. Mallard was in the habit of addressing others, even close friends, very formally.

“The victim was a man in his late thirties.  There were no signs of death by natural causes, but it was clear that he had suffocated. The question was why.  I looked at a sample of his blood under the microscope and found foreign matter – an alkaloid – some sort of ammonium compound.”

“Ah, so he was poisoned!” Ducky concluded excitedly, “With something that would cause paralysis and suffocation.  Several species of insects and spiders have venoms that contain alkaloids as major components.”

Doc nodded in agreement. “The thing I couldn’t fathom was how it got into his bloodstream.  There was no evidence of the compound in the stomach contents.  On a thorough examination of the body, there were no wounds or skin abrasions of any kind.”

“Strange,” Ducky commented. “If it were an insect or spider bite, that would have been apparent on the body somewhere.”

“I had hit a dead end on the means of entry,” Doc continued, “so I decided to concentrate on investigating the chemistry of the poison.  I took some spectrophotometer readings and found traces of N-methylpyridinium, homarine and γ-butyrobetaine.  The effects of that combination are similar to those of the South American poison, curare.”

“Curare,” repeated Ducky.  “That would cut off the nerve function at the myoneural junction, paralyzing the muscles responsible for respiration.”

“Exactly!  So, I knew in detail what had happened internally, but I still didn’t know the source of the poison nor how it had entered the body.  In the meantime, a second victim was delivered to the morgue…”

“With the same cause of death, I’d wager,” Ducky surmised.  Donald Mallard loved a good mystery and this one was proving to be top-notch. 

“Right!” replied Doc.  “The next clue came from Che Fong, our forensic scientist.  He had collected and analyzed items from the scene that were near each victim at time of death.  One item was a pillowcase, the other, a note found in a birthday present.  Both were damp with sea water according to Che’s findings.  That discovery prompted our detectives to consult with Dr. Pell, a biologist at Sea Life Park.”

“Conus Textile Linnaeus, I presume,” concluded Ducky. 

“Otherwise known as Cloth of Gold.  Bingo!” Bergman grinned broadly.  “A beautiful little marine gastropod mollusk – a sea snail – and deadly as it is beautiful.”

“That’s the source of the poison, but how was it administered?” Ducky asked.

“Dr. Pell explained that the Cloth of Gold is armed with a harpoon-like projection that it uses to immobilize its prey.  It releases a poison-filled dart, needle if you will, from the anterior end.  The needles are only five one-thousandths of an inch in diameter.  I had been scratching my head ever since the first body came in but there was no way to find point of entry of something that small.”

“I doubt if our NCIS lab could have found it either, modern equipment, not withstanding,” admitted Ducky. “Were the deaths accidental?”

“No, and sadly, before the end of the case, there were two more victims, the last, a suicide,” Doc added.

“Murder by mollusk,” Ducky mused.  “That is immensely fascinating, Dr. Bergman.  I believe that you win!”

So engrossed had the pair of coroners been with this story, they didn’t notice another approaching the bench with an easy, casual amble. 

“Say, what are you fellas talking about?”

“Quince, you old devil,” Bergman greeted, “Dr. Mallard, have you met Dr. Quincy?”


Note:  Honu59 has taken an actual Hawaii Five-0 case and told it from a medical examiner's point of view. Watch "Cloth of Gold" (Season 4).


Chicken Katsu and a Mystery

By H50 1.0 FOREVER


Sometime in early 1993


Ever since Dr. Asher “Doc” Bergman, the retired medical examiner for Honolulu City and County, had received Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard’s letter, saying that the medical examiner for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service in Washington, DC was coming to Hawaiʽi for a two-week vacation, he had been turning emotional cartwheels. He had not seen his star medical student in entirely too long. Was it possible that eight years had passed since they last had met? Yes, it was the year before Doc’s wife, Judith, passed away.

Doc had worked hard to make his home presentable. It had not been easy, for his accumulation of professional journals tended to find their places in high stacks on seemingly every surface. Even though he no longer examined corpses, he enjoyed keeping up with the latest technology, especially advances in DNA testing. Finally, the journals stood, arranged by date, upon bookshelves – with the help of his faithful housekeeper, of course.


When Doc answered the ringing doorbell, he found Ducky adjusting his bow tie. “Aloha!” he greeted him.

“Yes! I made it across 2284 miles to Los Angeles, then another 2552.9 miles to Honolulu. Do you realize it is 4836.9 miles from Dulles in Virginia to the airport here, in Hawaii?” Ducky asked.

“Not off hand, but I can’t say I’m surprised. Were you able to get any sleep along the way?”

“There was too much turbulence over land – a weather front from over the Pacific was moving inland – although I did catch a nap once we were over water.”

“Good! Come in! Let’s get you fed.”

“No need. I can pick up something . . .”

“Every need. Mrs. Apaka has made dinner for us. Do you like chicken katsu?”

“I’m not sure I know what it is,” Ducky replied.

“It’s fried chicken made with panko bread crumbs, instead of flour.”

“That sounds interesting,” Ducky allowed, even though he wasn’t sure what panko bread crumbs were; such Japanese items had not made their way to mainstream America in 1993.


The men made their way through the house and onto the lanai, where Mrs. Apaka served them plates filled with chicken katsu, rice topped with green onions, and creamy slaw with tall glasses of plantation tea. Ducky promptly took a long sip of the tea, which contained a spear of pineapple in what otherwise was simply iced tea.

“Forgive me, please. I don’t know why I’m so thirsty,” Ducky said as he set down the glass.

“No need to apologize,” Doc replied. “You’ve been flying. Why the airlines don’t readily supply passengers on long-distance flights with bottles of water, I’ll never know.”

“When I asked for one, the stewardess said they didn’t have any. She had the audacity to suggest that I write to airline management to complain. Can you imagine?”

“Knowing what flying has become, I can. Oh, for the days when flying was enjoyable,” Doc said.

Realizing that he had done nothing but complain since arriving at Doc’s house, Ducky exclaimed, “My! It’s beautiful here! Look out there! You can see the ocean! How blue it is!”

“Judith and I bought this house for that view,” Doc related. “So many nights, I came in late from work to find her sitting out here, watching the moonlight dance over the water.

Sometimes, she would have fallen asleep. On those nights, she slept more peacefully than on other nights.”

“I can understand that,” Ducky replied. “My hotel room has a balcony where I might sit out tonight. Maybe I’ll fall asleep there.”

“By all means, but here, we call the balcony a lanai,” Doc informed him.

“Lanai,” Ducky repeated.

When dinner had been partaken and thoroughly enjoyed, Ducky said, “I wonder if I might sound you out on a troublesome case.”

“Please do. I always welcome troublesome cases,” Doc replied, his interest perking up.

“A body came in late yesterday, so I only gave it a cursory once over and read the dental records that were in the NCIS files.”

“A repeat offender?”

“Yes. My staff will complete the postmortem, but they will need my assistance.”

“What did you find?” Doc asked.

“The corpse fits the description of the man he is said to be, except that the dental records don’t fit his mouth,” Ducky said.

“No? What about his blood work and tissue type?” Doc asked.

“They fit.”

“Well, my guess would be that the victim has a very close relative, who may also be a victim,” Doc offered.

“Or the perpetrator. I’ll know more when the DNA test comes back,” Ducky replied.

“What form of DNA testing are you using?” Doc asked.

“Polymerase Chain Reaction, PCR. It requires a comparatively small amount of DNA, so a cheek swab is sufficient, eliminating the need to draw blood. It also allows us to have results within one day,” Ducky explained.

Doc paused for a moment, then suggested, “Unless he is a twin!”

“That is a possibility,” Ducky allowed. “I need those DNA test results.”


The following morning, Doc arrived at the Coffee House, where he and Ducky had agreed to meet for breakfast, to find that Ducky was nowhere to be seen.

“Has Dr. Mallard arrived?” he asked the hostess.

“No, he hasn’t. When he does, I’ll show him to your table.”

“Maybe he’s tied up in traffic,” he said aloud. Or maybe he received the DNA test results he needs, Doc thought to himself. He ordered a cup of coffee and scanned the front page of the morning newspaper while he waited for his protégé to arrive.

Sure enough, Ducky was beaming from ear to ear when he arrived a few minutes later. “You were right! The corpse has a twin.”

“You’re onto something! What was the cause of death?” Doc asked.

“Gunshot with penetration directly through the heart,” Ducky replied. “Jimmy, my assistant, told me this morning that the heart had exploded into a million pieces, indicating the use of a hollow-point bullet.”

“Which is illegal. Is the corpse’s twin a marksman?” Doc asked.

“That is for Leroy Jethro Gibbs to determine.”


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