"Family Ties"


by
RudyWells1282


Logline: Due to his numerous assignments Steve’s ex wife is planning on taking him back to court in order to revoke his parental rights on their 9-year-old son

  Oscar was sitting in his office waiting for a long over due phone call from Steve. He was supposed to have been home from his assignment the day before and Oscar was getting very worried.

Just as he was beginning to fear the worse his private line rang. Oscar grabbed it right away. “Steve?”

“Yea Oscar it’s me. Look I’m about ten minutes out of Washington. Could you go pick up Robbie for me? I am supposed to pick him up at noon sharp. We’re going to celebrate his 9th birthday this weekend, then he, Maggie and uh…” Steve swallowed hard. “Philip will have there’s on Thursday. On Robbie’s actual birthday.”

“Sure Steve, no problem. But I thought you were supposed to have Robbie on his birthday this year.”

“Yea I know, but I guess Phil has to go out of town or something, just be there at noon sharp, Maggie is getting real picky about that.”

“I’ll be there.” Before he left his office he stopped to see if Rudy wanted to join him. The two of them headed over to Maggie and Phil’s house.

“I tell you Oscar.” Rudy began. “You don’t know how much it pains me to watch the emotional pain Maggie and Phil inflict on Steve every chance they get.”

“Yea I know Maggie hasn’t made it easy on Steve since they divorced what has it been two years now?”

“Yea two years that seems about right.” Rudy agreed.

“You know Rudy, Steve was supposed to have Robbie for his Birthday this year. Maggie and Phil had him last year,”

“Yea I know.” Rudy started. I’m afraid that Maggie and Phil are slowly succeeding in turning Robbie against his father, and Robbie and Steve had been so close before.”

I know Rudy. I feel the same way.” Oscar said as they drove. “Personally I just don’t think it’s fair. Steve is Robbie’s father. I feel he should be able to spend more time with him. I’ve let up on the assignments so Steve can have him on his visitation days anyway. At least I’m not the only one who feels that way.” Oscar muttered. “I thought I was the only one who saw it.”

“No Oscar, I’ve noticed it too.”

They pulled up in front of Maggie and Phil’s house. It was 11:59. Oscar and Rudy got out of the car. They walked across the porch and rang the bell.

“Well, well, well.” Maggie stated her tone very sarcastic. “If this doesn’t beat all. Where is Steve?” She questioned angrily

“He’s just returning from assignment Maggie.” Oscar explained. “He asked me to pick up Robbie.”

“Naturally!” Maggie snapped.

From the kitchen Phil entered. “I see he sent the recruits again.”

“Of course, that’s what I was talking about earlier today. He doesn’t care about his son. All he cares about is the OSI.”

“That’s not true and you know it.” Oscar argued.

Philip ignored him and turned to Maggie.“I believe you now. I think you’ve made the right choice.” Phil grinned.

“What choice might that be?” Oscar demanded.

Maggie and Phil exchanged looks. “Might as well tell him honey. That way you won’t have to tell Steve, they can.” He pointed to Oscar and Rudy.

“I talked to my lawyer yesterday. After the first of the year I’m taking Steve to court to have his parental right terminated. If he likes the OSI so much he can have it. I’ll have my son. Phil wants to adopt him.” Maggie added.

“You can’t do that!!” Oscar shouted. “It will destroy Steve. Why are you punishing him because of me? I’m the one who won’t take ‘no’ for an answer. Don’t do this to him.”

“The wheels are already in motion.” Maggie seethed. “Had Steve picked Robbie up for this visit, I might have stopped them, but this proves once again that he puts work before family. That’s what lead to our divorce in the beginning.”

“It will kill Steve.” Rudy muttered. “That boy is his life Maggie whether you want to believe it or not.”

“That’s not the way I see it, Steve should be grateful I’ll allow him to spend Christmas with Robbie. Phil would you tell Robbie it’s time to go?”

Phil left to get Robbie. Rudy and Oscar tried once again to change Maggie’s mind. But it was no use. She had her mind made up and that is where it stood.

Within minutes Robbie appeared in the living room.

“Ready?” Oscar asked.

“I guess.” Robbie grumbled. “Where’s my dad?”

“We’re picking him up at the airport as soon as we leave hear.” Rudy explained.

“Ok I guess so.” He followed them out to the car. Rudy and Oscar got in the front while Robbie slumped down in the back.”

Oscar watched him then turned to Rudy “He’s a lot like his father.” Oscar noted.

“I’ll say he is.” Rudy agreed.

“Hey!” Robbie called from the back seat. “Don’t compare me to him huh?”

“Why not Robbie?” Rudy wanted to know

“I would just prefer you not. Ok?” Robbie remained slumped down in his seat.

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They arrived at the airport just in time to see Steve’s plane land.

“I thought you said you were ten minutes out?” Oscar wondered when Steve joined them.

“I was, but they wouldn’t let me land.” He turned to Robbie. “Hi son. I have a great weekend planned for us.”

“Yea sure I’ll bet.” Robbie mouthed.

Steve put his arm around him but Robbie shrank away. “I would rather you not do that sir.”

Steve turned to Oscar who shook his head. “I have a message from Maggie. You’re not going to like it.” Oscar whispered as they walked through the terminal.

“What?” Steve asked. “Nothing would surprise me.”

“Not in front of the boy.” Oscar motioned.

“That bad huh?” Steve asked.

Oscar nodded as they continued to walk through the airport. “My car is just over here.” Oscar called when they got to the parking lot.

“Great I can’t wait to get home.” Steve sighed. When they got to Oscar’s car. Robbie opened the passenger’s door and slid in leaving Steve to sit with Rudy in the back.

“Robbie.” Steve scolded. “I think you should let Rudy sit up front. Why don’t you sit back here with me?”

“I’d rather not.” Robbie grumbled.

Rudy put his hand up to stop Steve from further chastising the boy. “It’s ok Steve. Really.”

“No it’s not Rudy…” He caught Rudy’s expression and Oscar’s in the rear mirror. “But I’ll let it go for now.”

They drove to Steve’s house in silence save for the conversation Steve tried to start up with Robbie.

Oscar and Rudy had their minds on what Maggie had told them earlier.

Moments later they arrived at the house. Robbie opened the car door and headed into the house.

‘Now. I wonder what that’s all about “ Steve thought as he waked up the porch steps himself.

“Hey sport why don’t you go put your gear away. I’ll be up in a minute.” Steve said after they all entered the house.

“I’m not a little kid. Dad…I mean uncle Phil never calls me baby names.”

“Let’s get one thing straight I’m your father, not Phil!” Steve almost shouted.

“Yea, well only for the time…aw never mind.” Robbie stomped off to unpack his bags.

“What was that all about?” Steve turned to Oscar “You want to tell me what’s going on here.”

“That’s what I wanted to talk to you about, obviously he already knows.”

“What’s that?” Steve demanded.

“Sit down Steve.” Oscar soothed….

“She’s going to what?” Steve bellowed.

“You heard me, she wants your parental rights terminated. Steve I suggest you call you lawyer right now.”

“Yea I’ll do that right now.” Steve made the phone call “He said he would meet with me tomorrow.”

“That’s good Steve.” Oscar said as he prepared to leave. “Listen you take care.” Oscar reached out and put his hand on Steve’s shoulder. “She has no right Steve, no right at all. You have done nothing wrong. “

“You know Oscar I’m surprised she wants to do this you know, I mean if my rights are terminated she won’t get that support check every month.”

“I’m sure she has a way around that.” Oscar sighed.

“Yea well me to!” Steve smoldered

“You hang tight. Listen I’ll have Russ do some checking. There has to be more to it than just the fact she doesn’t want you to see Robbie anymore.”

“Thanks Oscar I appreciate that.” Steve calmed down a bit.

“I’ll speak to you in the morning. Good night Steve.”

“Yea see you then.” Steve shut the door behind Oscar and headed for his son’s room. “Hey Robbie. What would you like for dinner?”

Robbie shrugged “I don’t care fix what ever you want.”

“Come on son. I want to fix what you want.” Steve coaxed “This is your birthday celebration remember?”

They ate their dinner in silence.

“Well I’m beat.” Robbie proclaimed right after they ate. “I’m hitting the sack.”

“Ok son. Listen the day is yours tomorrow. What ever you want. Ok?”

“Yea sure unless Goldman calls you on an “emergency” Right?”

“He won’t call he promised. He is checking on a couple of things for me. But other than that…”

“Sure. He calls you jump.” Robbie snorted. He turned and stormed off to bed.

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“I don’t know what has happed” Steve spoke to Oscar early the next morning. He was hoping to end the conversation before Robbie woke up.

“Steve I had Russ working all night. It seems Phil got a job in Paris. They are planning on moving there January 15.”

“They are moving to Texas?” Steve wondered.

“No pal. Paris France. That’s why she has to get you out of the picture. She can’t take Robbie without your permission and she knows you will never allow it.”

“I see Oscar. So that’s the game huh?”

“Yea Steve that’s the game all right. We will do everything we can to help you, maybe you will need a different lawyer other than the one who handled the divorce. We can’t let her take him out of the country.”

“Yea I know. I appreciate any help you can give me…Hang on Oscar there’s someone at the door. I’ll be right back.”

“Sure Steve I’ll ‘hold the phone’ so to speak Oscar teased.

“Steve walked from the kitchen across the living room to the front door and opened it. He was greeted by two police officers.

“Col. Austin?” they asked.

”Yes.” Steve replied.

“Your ex wife was murdered last night in a hold up.”

“I see.” Steve stated calmly.

“We need to know where you were at around 10:30 last evening?” The officer requested.

“I was here with my son.” Steve explained.

The two officers turned to one another.

“I’m telling you. I was here all night.” Steve protested.

“I think you better come with us.” The second officer spoke for the first time.

“I have to take care of my son.” Steve told them. “I have a friend on the phone, let me tell him what’s going on.”

The two officers’ followed Steve into the house “My son is asleep upstairs. Let me get back to the phone.”

They followed him to the kitchen Steve picked up the receiver He told Oscar what was going on.

“You’re not serious Steve.” Oscar was dumbfounded

“I think they are very serious Oscar.” Steve came back as he stared at the two officers standing in front of him.”

“Ok you go with them, I’ll have a lawyer waiting at the precinct when you get there. I’ll be there too.”

“Ok Oscar I’ll see you then.”

“I’m going to call some one else to take care of my son.” Steve explained.

“We really need to get going.” The first officer stated

“I realize that, but I have to find someone to watch my son.” Steve objected. “Dr. Wells will be here in less then ten minutes.”

Rudy arrived to take care of Robbie and Steve and the two officers headed down town. Oscar and the lawyer were there when Steve arrived.

“Is my client under arrest?” The lawyer asked

“As a matter of fact yes, we have a witness who says he saw Steve shoot his ex wife.” The desk sergeant informed them.

“What witness?” Oscar demanded.

“We’re not at liberty to say right now.” The Desk sergeant snapped.

“Fine.” Oscar fumed “Where is a phone? I need to make a call.”

“There is a pay phone down the hall and to your left.” The sergeant pointed.

“Thank you.” Oscar scowled. He headed down the hall to find the pay phone. “Yes this is Oscar Goldman. Let me speak with Bill please.”

“Yes Mr. Goldman I’ll put you right through.”

Oscar continued to plug dimes into the phone; he didn’t want the Director of the FBI to wonder why Oscar Goldman was using a pay phone at least till he had a chance to explain.

“Yes Oscar how can I help you?” Bill’s voice came on the line.

“Bill one of my agents is in trouble. He’s being framed for the murder of his ex wife. I’m at he police precinct right now. They’re being real bull headed about it I have to use a pay phone.”

“I understand. Are you sure this agent…”

“Col Steve Austin” Oscar informed him. “They say they have an eyewitness but won’t tell who he or she might be. Could you look it up for me?”

“By all means Oscar.” Bill reported. “I doubt very highly that Col. Austin is guilty.”

“That’s how I feel. Get that for me as quickly as you can.” Oscar was ready to hang up.

“Just a second Oscar I have the information. The witness is Phil Leads…”

Oscar was dead silent.

“I take it that name rings a bell?” Bill asked.

“Yes, that’s Maggie. Steve’s ex wife’s new husband.”

“Very interesting development. Keep me informed Oscar.”

“I will.” Oscar walked back to where Steve still stood with his attorney and the police.

“So.” Oscar began. “Phil is your witness?”

“Where did you get that information?” The Desk sergeant demanded

“Let’s just say I have very strong connections at the Bureau.” Oscar informed them.

“Oh and who might that …” The desk sergeant fell silent. “I’m sorry Mr. Goldman. I didn’t realize.”

“Yea right!” Oscar seethed. Then he turned to Steve. “What’s going on so far?”

“My lawyer is trying to arrange bail.” Steve said.

Oscar turned to Steve’s lawyer. “Any luck Jack?”

“We’re just about there. We have to meet with a judge to determine whether or not bail will be allowed. Personally I’m not counting on it. It is a capital murder case with an eye witness “

“And we all know how reliable he is.” Oscar muttered.

“That doesn’t matter right now.” The lawyer stated. “At least they are letting Steve stay here until the arraignment. It should be in about an hour or so.”

Oscar walked over to where Steve sat on bench. “Oscar I want you to go to my place and make sure Robbie is ok. Take him to the OSI. I don’t want Phil to try and take Robbie away from Rudy.”

“I’ll do that Steve.” Oscar rose. “You’ll be ok here?”

“Yea, I’ll be fine. Jack will stay with me till the arraignment.” Steve sighed. “I just want to make sure Phil doesn’t get Robbie.”

“I’m on my way.” Oscar left the police precinct and headed for Steve’s house. Rudy and Robbie were in the kitchen eating breakfast when he walked in.

“How’s Steve?” Was Rudy’s first question.

“He’s holding up. He’s requested that I take you and Robbie to the OSI right now.”

Rudy gave Oscar a puzzled look. “Just bare with it Rudy I’ll explain everything later.” Oscar said his voice barely audible.

“Yea sure I got it. Robbie, come on I have to go to the office for a bit.” Rudy explained.

“Not that I really care, but where’s my dad?” Robbie asked

“He had something to do. He’ll be home later on today.” Oscar promised.

“Where did he go this time?” Robbie sneered. Asia? China? Huh just where did he go?”

“Look Robbie.” Rudy scolded. “I’ve had enough of you surly attitude to last me a life time. Now Oscar says your father will be back later today.”

“Yea some father.” Robbie smirked. “He said we would spend the day together.” He grabbed his jacket and followed Oscar and Rudy out to Oscar’s car. “Maybe I should just go home.” Robbie suggested as they got in the car.

“You don’t need to do that Robbie. Your dad will be home later on. He wants to have celebrate your birthday with you, so just relax.”

Again Robbie slumped down in the back seat as Oscar drove them to OSI headquarters.

“What are we doing here?” Robbie was suspicious

“We’re going to stay here till your father comes. We’re having some security problems and your dad feels you’ll be safer here.”

“Sure what ever.” Robbie sighed.

“Rudy you take him on in. I have to get back and wrestle that problem we have.”

Rudy stared at him blankly. “Oh yea right.” Rudy shrugged and led Robbie into the OSI building.

Oscar arrived at the police precinct just as Steve, his lawyer and the police were leaving. “We’re on our way to the courthouse.” The lawyer explained.

Oscar followed in his car. At the arraignment the judge refused bail and Steve was led back to a cell.

“How did this happen?” Oscar demanded when he and the lawyer were back out on the street

“I told you sir it’s a capital murder case. You don’t get bail for that, no matter who you are.”

“So how long will he be in jail?” Oscar demanded an answer

“At least till the trial…” The lawyer started

“And that will be when?” Oscar pressed.

“In about two weeks. Jury selection will start…” He glanced at his watch. “I have to meet with another client Tell Steve I’ll see him later.”

Oscar grabbed him. “You have no other clients other than Col Austin. Do I make myself clear? I want him out of there right now!! He’s a federal agent for god sake. They’ll kill him in there.”

“Oscar. I did what I could to get him out on bail.” Jack reminded.

“Well you’re going to have to try something else. There are people in there that Steve put in there. He can’t go to jail.”

“All right Oscar I’ll work on it…”

“And Steve is your only client?”

“If that’s the way you want it…”

“That’s the way I want it. We’ll double what you usually charge for a case like this. I’ll be in my office. You get him out of there as fast as you can!!!”

“Yes sir.” Jack replied.

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Oscar headed back to the OSI building. Rudy was waiting in his office when he arrived. “What’s up Rudy?”

“I might ask you the same question. What’s going on with Steve?”

“Where is Robbie?” Oscar looked around.

“He went with Russ to media room I had some things I needed picked up.”

“Ok then. Steve is in jail awaiting trial on the murder of Maggie.”

“Want to run that one by me again? I sort of came in after the picture started.”

Maggie was murdered last night. Phil told the police he saw Steve do it.”

“You can’t be serious. “What time did this happen? I mean Steve was on the phone with me from 10:00 till 10:45. Maybe closer to eleven?”

Oscar looked up from the file he had started to read. “What was that Rudy?”

“I said I was on the phone with Steve till almost 11:00 we were talking about well you know everything from Maggie wanting to take Robbie out of the country to Why Robbie has such disdain for Steve.”

Oscar grabbed for the phone. “Who are you calling?” Rudy wondered

“The phone company I want Steve’s phone records. The murder occurred at 10:30 last night. There is no way…yes this is Oscar Goldman at the OSI I need the phone records of.” He gave them Steve’s phone number.

The phone company said he would have them within the hour. “Steve did call you?”

“Yea he called me.” Rudy told him

“Good then it will show on his records.” Oscar was dialing the phone again. “I’m calling Steve’s lawyer this time.” He answered the question etched in Rudy’s face.

“Yes Jack. Oscar Goldman here. We have some new evidence that has just come to light. It seems Col Austin was on the phone with Dr. Wells last night from 10:00 till almost 11:00. There is no way. You get us in to see the judge again, if he gives you any trouble you have him call me.”

“You have the phone records?”

“I do.” Oscar said taking them from the messenger who had just brought them. He quickly signed the receipt

”Be at the court house in 10 minutes I’ll see what I can do about getting together with the judge.”

Oscar hung up the phone. “Rudy stay here and don’t let Robbie out of your sight! If what I suspect is true we can’t let Phil anywhere near Robbie.”

“Ok Oscar. I’ll keep him here.”

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Oscar raced all the way to the courthouse with his evidence. Steve and his lawyer met him at the door.

“Here Oscar I’ll take those.” Jack took the phone records. “We have an appointment with the judge and prosecutor in the judge’s chamber in less than five minutes.

“Didn’t I just hear this case?” The judge scowled. As he started to read the case in front of him.

“Yes your honor” the prosecutor sneered.

“We have new evidence. I want the case thrown out.” Steve’s lawyer stated.

“What evidence would that be?” The judge continued to glare at Jack.

Jack handed him the packet containing the phone records.

The judge peered at the documents. “I see you were on the phone when this occurred?’ The judge looked at Steve.

“I was?” Steve wrinkled he eyebrows. Then thought for a moment “That’s right. I was talking to Rudy, but to be real honest I don’t remember exactly what time I called him. I know the news came on while we were talking.”

“Well your phone records indicate you were talking to him from ten till after eleven. Since the murder occurred at 10:30 on the other side of town, I have to dismiss the charges.” The judge stated.

“Your honor!” The prosecutor objected. “I have an eyewitness…”

“Your eyewitness and his wife also wanted to take this man’s son out of the country. I have that in front of me as well. “ He turned back to Steve. “I’m sorry Col. Austin. I hope you can forgive the court.”

“I’ll try.” Steve muttered.

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Later that evening Steve and Robbie sat at dinner. “So you see son, that’s where I was. I guess it’s going to be just the two of us now.”

“Personally I’d rather live with Phil.” Robbie snorted.

“Yea well I’m your father you’ll live with me.” Steve pointed out.

They were interrupted by the doorbell Steve turned to Robbie “you stay here I’ll get it.”

Steve opened the door and was greeted by Phil Leads. “I see they let you go. I just wanted to let you know I’ll pick Robbie up at noon on Monday.”

“No you won’t my son stays with me.” Steve pointed out.

“I guess I’m going to have to kill you too then.” He pulled out a 38 revolver and aimed it at Steve. Steve turned slammed the door but he forgot to lock it.

Phil opened the door. “I think I’ll just take Robbie with me now. I never wanted his mother. All I wanted was your son.” Phil kept talking. “I tried to frame you for her murder but you had to have an alibi. Well goody for you that won’t do you any good now.”

Steve continued to walk away. He saw Robbie standing in the doorway.

Phil once again aimed and fired striking Steve in the back of the neck…

Phil walked over to where Robbie stood. “You understand why I did this don’t you son?”

“I’m not your son. Don’t ever call me that again!” Robbie screamed.

“Well you don’t have a choice now do you?” Phil sneered. He grabbed Robbie and pushed him out the door.

He had to drag Robbie all the way to the car where he forced him into the trunk and sped away.

Inside the house Steve lay bleeding and unconscious.

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“Morning Rudy” Oscar called as he passed Rudy’s office, what are you doing here on a Saturday?”

“Just needed to grab something I left here yesterday, what about yourself?”

“I’m doing some background work Rudy. Some I should have done a year ago when Maggie married Phil.”

“Yea” Rudy followed Oscar down to his office. “What have you got so far?”

“I just started. Russ is supposed to bring me some paper work later this morning.”

“Mind if I wait with you?” Rudy sat in one of the chairs opposite Oscar’s desk.

“Not at all. “I’m telling you I don’t like it. Who could have killed Maggie and then framed Steve. Thank goodness the two of you were talking to each other the other night.”

“Yea I know.” Rudy replied. “You don’t suppose Phil could have killed her himself?”

“That’s exactly what I think Rudy. He kills her, frames Steve. Steve goes to prison and he takes Robbie…”

Russ burst into Oscar’s office. “Oscar.” He wheezed. “You’re not going to believe it.” He handed Oscar the file he had brought in.

“This isn’t real is it?” Oscar bellowed.

“I’m afraid it is Oscar.” Russ nodded as he slowly caught his breath.

“Come on Rudy. We need to get to Steve’s right now!!” Oscar grabbed his coat.

“Oscar what is it, what’s wrong?” Rudy asked as they ran across the parking lot to Oscar car. “Just what did that report say.”

“Phil’s name is not Phil.” Oscar started after the two of them were in the car. “His name is Ivan Lesta…”

“Isn’t he one of Russia’s…?”

“Best agents? Yes he is Rudy. That’s why I have to get to Steve. I have to warn him to never allow Robbie to go with him. That’s what he’s been after all along. That’s why he married Maggie to begin with...”

“He never wanted her. He wants Steve’s son. How embarrassing that would be not only to the OSI and the US government, but think how Steve…”

“I don’t even think about it Rudy. He had no job offer in France. That was just a cover. He was going to take Robbie to the Soviet Union. “

“That was his plan all along.” Rudy snapped his fingers. “He told Maggie that so she would want Steve out of the way so to speak with Robbie. Then when he killed her it would look like Steve did it because he was upset by the fact she was going to terminate his parental rights.”

“Right. Then once Steve was in prison, he being the step father would have sole rights over Robbie, cause the courts aren’t going to give them to a convicted felon Especially one who has just murdered the child’s mother.”

They pulled up in Steve’s driveway. “Well his car is here.” Oscar noted as they darted up the steps.

“Rudy look!” Oscar cried as he pointed to the reddish substance that trickled out from under the door.

Together they managed to get the door open. “Oh My ---“ Oscar cried when he saw Steve on the floor of the front hall.

Rudy knelt beside him “Steve? Steve!” He called out. Steve did not respond.

“Oscar! Call an OSI ambulance. Then search the house see if Robbie is still here, though I doubt it.”

Oscar quickly called the National Medical Center and had them dispatch an ambulance to Steve’s house. “Dr. Wells is already here.” He told them.

“Ambulance is on the way Rudy!” Oscar called as he began to franticly search the house for Steve Austin’s only son.”

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When they arrived at Dulles Ivan opened the trunk “Come along Robbie.” He called. “We are taking a little trip.”

“I won’t go with you!” Robbie called.

“Oh yes you will.” Ivan grabbed him and dragged him into the airport. “You will stay with me, and you will do as I tell you. You have no one now. If you stay they will put you in a children’s home. You don’t want that do you?”

Robbie slowly shook his head. “No I guess not.” He sobbed.

“That’s a good boy. When we are in my country I will be your father. Understand?”

Robbie nodded. “Yes sir.”

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“He’s not here Rudy.” Oscar stated as he came back into the hall. “I’m sure Lesta has him. How is Steve doing?”

“Not very well I’m afraid. I just wish I had him in the hospital right now. I could see how much damage the bullet did.”

“I think I hear the ambulance now Rudy.” Oscar pointed toward the street.

“Run out so they know which house to come to.” Rudy ordered.

Oscar quickly rushed out to the sidewalk and flagged the approaching ambulance.

They carefully loaded Steve onto the stretcher and into the waiting ambulance before they took off Rudy turned once again to Oscar. “Are you sure Robbie is not in the house?”

“I looked everywhere Rudy. He’s not here. I’m sure Ivan has him.”

Rudy rode with Steve and Oscar followed behind. As he drove to the hospital he put out what he knew would be a worthless APB on one Ivan Lesta AKA Phil Leads “He’ll have Col. Steve Austin’s son Robert Steven Austin with him.” He gave the police a description of both before he hung up and followed Rudy and Steve into the hospital.

Oscar sat in Rudy’s office waiting the verdict on his friend’s condition while Rudy rushed Steve into his lab to assess the damage.

As Rudy was examining him Steve started to come around. Rudy was quick and held him down. “Take it easy Steve. Do you know what’s going on? Don’t try to talk. If you under stand what s going on just squeeze my hand.

Steve gave Rudy’s hand a light squeeze.

“Good now just relax. I need to check the damage. Ok?”

Again Steve squeezed Rudy’s hand.

An hour later he emerged from the lab. Oscar jumped to his feet when Rudy entered.

“It’s not good Oscar.” Rudy informed him. “Here let me show you.” He pinned an x ray to the screen “Here I took this of Steve’s head an neck I also have one of the lungs.”

“I don’t understand Rudy.” Oscar began. “His lungs. I thought the bullet went in through the neck.”

“It did. But it was a bullet designed to explode on impact.” Rudy started

“Explode? Rudy, what do you mean explode?” Oscar demanded.

“Maybe that’s not the right term it is suppose shatter would be a better way to phrase it. Anyway it shattered. Which means there are bullet fragments all around.”

“Say what?”

“Here take a look.” Rudy indicated the x ray. “See those dark areas?”

Oscar nodded. “Yea. The bullet fragments?”

“That’s right. Now look at this one here. Rudy pointed to one of the dark areas. This one is sitting on the vocal chords. “

“What exactly does that mean?” Oscar asked fearing the worse.

“If I make one slip Steve will never be able to speak again. I’m going to do this in a series of operations. This will be the first. The next will be this one.” Rudy pointed to an x ray of Steve’s lungs. “That one will be tricky as well.”

“Oscar nodded that he understood what the Doctor was trying to tell him. “When will you start?” He asked.

“As soon as I can. I’m going to do the throat first.”

“Can I see him before?” …

“Yes in fact he wants to see you.” Rudy led him to Steve’s room.

“You mean he’s awake?”

“Yea but barely. Look Oscar I know he’s concerned about Robbie, don’t tell him what we know at least until he’s a little stronger.”

“Ok I suppose so, but I know Steve if his son is in danger, he’s going to want to know.”

“Trust me Oscar the less he knows right now, the better.” Rudy added.

They stepped into the lab where Steve lay ready for surgery. “I repaired as much of the damage as I could for now.” Rudy was saying, “The rest will have to be done in the OR.”

“I understand.” Oscar said as he approached Steve. “Steve?” He called out.

Steve’s eyes opened and he looked right at Oscar.

“Remember Steve.” Rudy cautioned “Don’t’ try to talk.”

Steve looked at him and blinked. Then he made a motion with his hands and Rudy handed him a note pad a paper.

Steve wrote on work ‘Robbie’

“We’re doing all we can to find him Steve?” Oscar informed him. “I have three agents on it as we speak.

“Steve nodded then let the sedative take it’s affect.

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“Final boarding for flight 8557 nonstop to Moscow.” The gate agent called.

“That’s us, “ Ivan said as he grabbed Robbie by the elbow and escorted him to the plane.

“I don’t want to go.” Robbie cried. “I don’t want to go!!”

“Come on son. We have to go home. I know you have had a good time in the US but your mother is waiting.”

Ivan smiled at the gate agent. “My son would rather stay I believe.”

“Have a nice flight the gate agent smiled back…

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Oscar walked along side the gurney as Rudy pushed it down toward the OR. “He’s going to be all right isn’t he?” Oscar asked for the fourth time in five minutes.

“Oscar I’m pretty sure he’ll be ok, but then on the other hand”…they arrived at the OR. “Look I need to get him into surgery.” Rudy pushed Steve through the doors “Why don’t you wait in my office I’ll keep you informed.”

“Ok Rudy.” Oscar headed down the hall. When he opened the door to Rudy’s office the phone was ringing. Oscar picked it up. ‘Yes.” He spoke

“Oscar Goldman please?” The voice said.

“This is Oscar Goldman.” Oscar shot back.

“Sorry Mr. Goldman. We tracked them to the airport. Their flight left twenty minutes ago.”

“Where did they go?” Oscar knew he really didn’t need to ask.

“To Moscow sir. Non stop.”

“Then I guess you’re going to have to go to Moscow and get him!” Oscar screamed. “Robbie is Col Austin’s son. Ivan Lesta killed his mother tried to kill his father and then kidnapped the boy. You find him!!! Col Austin is in critical condition. I want the boy back here. Now!!!” Oscar slammed the phone down.

Oscar sat in Rudy’s office for what seemed like hours when Rudy appeared in front of him. “Oscar you awake?”

Oscar jumped to his feet. “How’s Steve?”

“He came through the first operation like a trooper. “

“What about his speech.” Oscar wanted to know.

“That’s going to be fine. He has to rest his voice for the next few days, but other than that it should return to normal.”

“When can I see him?”

“Not for a couple of more hours. What did you find out about Ivan?”

“He got out of the country. He took Robbie to Moscow.” Oscar told him

“Oh that’s just terrific” Rudy shot. “Steve will hit the ceiling. We’re going to have to tell him.”

“Yea I know. It’s not something I’m looking forward to either.”

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Robbie had cried himself to sleep and had slept most of the way. “Come on son.” Ivan coaxed “We’re home.”

Robbie slowly opened his eyes. He stared horror struck at the man standing in front of him. “You killed my parents!” He cried.

“That’s right, I’ll do the same to you if you don’t get up and move right now.” Ivan whispered to the frightened boy.

“I want to go home.” Robbie whimpered staring out of the plane window at the City of Moscow.

Other people were starting to stare. “Now son,” Ivan coaxed. “I know you miss the friends you made when we were in the United States, but all good things must come to an end. You are home.”

Robbie turned to him “I hate you, you killed my parents!” He cried.

“It was necessary Robbie, or should I say Ustin?”

“Huh?” Robbie looked up at the man he had admired for over a year, who now was someone completely different.

“That is your name now. You must have a Russian name if you are to be my son.”

‘Dad and his friends were right.’ Robbie thought to himself. ‘I have to get out of here and get back home.’

Ivan grabbed him. “Come on son, you’re mother is waiting.” Ivan pulled Robbie off the plane and into the airport.

By the time they reached Ivan’s car Robbie had resigned himself to the fact that there was nothing for him back home so he decided to settle in.

...Continued