Oscar was sitting at this desk reading his morning reports, when Callahan buzzed him. "Mr. Goldman, there is a gentleman here to see you. He says his name is Joe Thompson, he is a lawyer from New York."
Oscar thought for a moment. "Send him in." Oscar got to his feet. "Joe how are you? I seem to remember meeting you at a Christmas party my sister had a couple of years ago. What brings you to Washington?"
"Oscar if I may call you that?"
"Go right ahead."
"I'm afraid I have some bad news. Your sister Julie and her husband Tom were killed in a plane crash two days ago."
Oscar sat down hard in his chair. "I can't believe it." Then after a moment, he asked, "What about the kids?"
"Your sister and brother in law came to me about a year ago. They named you as legal guardian to all four children."
"Are you serious? I don't know if I'm ready for this. Are the children in DC now?
"No. I left them in the custody of friends in New York. I thought you would need time to prepare for them."
"Yes. I've lost track how old are they?"
"Well Danny is 12, the twins Marc and Matt are seven, and the little guy Joey is 4. Joe ha."
"I know Joey is autistic. My sister told me as soon as they found out. She was pretty upset."
"Anyway my questions are this. Do you want the children? And how long will it take you to get ready for them?"
"Of course I want them. Can you give me a week? I have a big enough place. I just need time to get the extra bedrooms ready."
"Fine I will bring them down in a week along with there things." He handed Oscar several folders. "You will need these to register the older ones in school. They are proof that you have custodial rights over them. Their schools in NY will release the records to the school you choose to send them to."
Oscar took the files and put them in his desk.
"I will be here at noon on the 21st then."
"I'll see you then"
The lawyer and Steve almost collided into one another as Steve was coming in and the lawyer was leaving.
"Who was that?"
"Joe Thompson. He's an attorney."
"Somebody finally decided to sue you?"
Very funny, no he's my sister's attorney. He informed me my sister was killed two days ago in a plane crash, which leaves my four nephews in need of a home. I guess I've been elected."
"Oscar!! I'm so sorry I didn't know. I would never have."
"Don't worry about it Steve. You didn't know."
"So" Steve said looking around. "Did you lock the kids in the vault already?"
"No, he's bringing them down a week from today. I have to have time to get things ready for them. I have to buy beds and get those rooms fixed up.They are a mess. It may take more than a week just to get the rooms cleaned. Then I have to hire a babysitter, the youngest one is only four, and has some special problems. He's autistic."
"Then I have to buy furniture, have carpet laid."
"Let us help, Jaime and I. She's in Washington for her tests. I'm sure Rudy will let her go a little early."
"Great!! Let's go ask her".
They left Oscar's office and headed for Rudy's lab.
Jaime and Rudy were taking a break when they walked in.
After relaying the story to them, Rudy gave Jaime the rest of the day off.
When they arrived at Oscar's Jaime and Steve were aghast at the condition of two of the spare rooms. He had three spare rooms but used the two for storage; the other was a guest room.
"I guess I'll give Danny this room, " Oscar indicated the guest room. The other two will go for the other three, I figured the twins would share a room and the little one will have a room to himself. "
"Steve, you do this room and I'll take this one. Oscar. You go buy the paint you want in both rooms. We should have the rooms cleaned up by the time you get back. Then tomorrow you can order the carpet and furniture. We should have them all cleaned out and painted by the end of the day."
Oscar turned to leave. "Just don't let the neighbors see."
Jaime was right. By the time Oscar got back the rooms were already to be painted. Jaime worked on one room Steve the other. They were done in a little over an hour.
The next morning Oscar went to a children's furniture he ordered bunk beds for the twin's room and a trundle bed for the baby's room. He turned to Jaime who was helping. "I figured if I ever had to use the guest room, Danny could bunk in with his brother for the night."
"That sounds practical"
When can you deliver this?" Oscar asked the sales manager.
"Day after tomorrow soon enough?"
"That will be just fine."
Next they went to the carpet store. Jaime helped Oscar pick out the carpet.A light blue for the twin's room, and a light brown for the little one's room.
"I need this by tomorrow." Oscar stated as they placed the order.
"I don't think that will be possible."
"It's going to have to be. I'm having furniture delivered day after tomorrow. I'll pay you extra."
"Well if the carpet doesn't have to be ordered and I have it in stock I can do it tonight after I close up the shop."
He dismissed himself to check. He came back five minutes later. "You're in luck, we happen to have both in stock. I'll be there around 5:30. If you meant what you said about paying extra."
"Yes I did."
"See you at 5:30 this evening then"
"Ok, see you then."
The carpet layer was true to his word he was there at 5:30 on the dot. The carpet in both rooms was done by 9:00. Oscar wrote out a check for the carpet, including the extra he had promised. He also included a very generous tip. "Thank you!"
The next day passed quickly Oscar was busy registering the older children in school. The school said they would get the records form the previous schools, and to not worry.
Steve and Jaime were with Oscar at the house when the furniture was delivered. The deliverymen set everything up. Jaime put on the finishing touches.
"Oscar. Jaime began, "I'm going to the department store to buy bedding."
Oscar reached for his wallet. "I'll give you some money."
"No you won't Steve and I want to do this it's our gift to the kids."
"Thanks for everything you two."
"Don't mention it" Steve said. "Jaime do you want me to come with you?
"If you want."
They left, and Oscar headed to the office.
Rudy walked into Oscar's office. "Bout time you got here."
"I've been busy"
"Jaime and Steve told me"
"Maybe you should have just stayed home."
"No, I have some files to read. Besides, I will need to take a few days off after the kids get here. I still need to hire a nanny."
"How bout a nurse?"
"That's sounds great. Do you have one in mind?"
"Linda's sister in a nurse and she works with autistic children."
"Will she be willing to do it?"
"Do you want her to be a live in?"
"I guess that would be a good idea" He thought a moment. "There is that room off the kitchen. I've been using it for a study all it needs is a bed and a dresser."
"She says she will bring her own. She likes her own bed. She's wanted tomove to DC for some time but thought the housing was too much. She says she can move in today, if that's all right?"
"This is going to work out just fine. What's her name?
"Linda says it's Mary."
"What I like is that she has worked with autistic children."
Once again Steve and Jaime helped. By 10:00 Mary was all settled in.
The next morning Oscar was enjoying the breakfast prepared for him by Mary."This is really great. He commented.
"Thank you. Mr. Goldman. When do the children arrive?"
"Well I called Joe last night I told him I was ready anytime. He said he would bring them up today."
"Wonderful!" She exclaimed.
Before either could say another word the door bell rang.
"Now who could that be?" Oscar grumbled as he laid down the paper and headed for the door. "It's only 7:30"
He opened the door. A dark haired woman wearing a powder skirt and whiteblouse stood in the doorway. "May I help you?"
"Mr. Goldman? I'm Gretchen Winter I work for the Department of Childrenand families. I understand you are seeking custody of your brothers daughters?"
"First of all get your facts straight. They are my sister's four sons."
"Yes I'm sorry. My Department must make sure that the children are coming to a suitable home. If need be we can place them in a foster home until you have time to prepare for them."
"I have already prepared that's why I called Joe Thompson yesterday and told him to bring the children today."
"Well what you feel is suitable and what we say is suitable may be two different things. I must see where they are going to sleep. And meet whoever is going to care for them while you are at work."
Mary walked into the living room at the moment. "I'm Mary Wilson. I will be the children's caregiver while Mr. Goldman is at the office. I am a trained nurse who has worked with autistic children in the past."
"That's nice. Now I need to see the rooms they will be sleeping in.
"Fine, just as soon as you show me a search warrant." Oscar grumbled.
"Mr. Goodman, I don't need a warrant. My job is to protect children. I can be here when the lawyer brings them, and take the children with me. And I will do that."
"Very well. Please follow me."
Oscar led her upstairs. "This is the room Danny will have." He showed her the guest room. It held a double bed and a desk. The shelves were lined with books and a brand new color TV sat on the dresser.
The twin's room held the bunk beds with the bedding Jaime had bought the day before. The comforters matched they were covered with Mickey Mouse and Goofy. They too had a brand new color TV. "The twins will share this room."
"And this is the four year oldss room " The bed was a youth bed instead of a comforter it had a big blanket with Winnie the Pooh."
"Is that good enough?"
"I can see you are ready for the children. I will be here later today just to see how they are settling in.
"That won't be necessary"
"Please Mr. Goldman, let me do my job.
"If you insist."
"Mary, why don't you make some roast beef sandwiches for lunch. And I thought we could have roasted chicken for dinner with peas and mashed potatoes. Jaime wanted to see me in my office. So I'll be back after a bit, Joe said he should be here around noon. I should be here long before that."
"That's fine Mr. Goldman. I'll get started on dinner right away " She smiled as he left.
As he entered his reception area, something was strange. Callahan was not at her desk. When he entered his main office Steve, Jaime, Rudy and Callahan yelled, "SURPRISE!!!"
"What's this all about?"
"It's a baby shower." Jaime stated.
They gave Oscar all sorts of things that children would like. Toys, games,and most all groceries they thought children would like.
"Oscar what time is Joe bringing them down form NY?"
Oscar glanced at his watch. "I better get going. He said he would be at my house at noon. I know him, he's always on time."
Oscar was on the porch waiting when the car followed by a u-haul pulled up in front of his house.
Joe stepped out of the car. He gave Oscar a slight wave then opened the back door of the car. The twins stepped out. Then the passenger door opened and Danny stepped out. Joe walked around to the other side of the car and let Joey out. He led the children up to the porch. "Kids, this is your uncle Oscar he's going to take care of you."
"Hi, guys" Oscar said.
Danny reached out to shake Oscar's hand "Hi Uncle Oscar, I'm Daniel. This is Matt and this is Marc, You'll learn to tell them apart. Then he pointed to Joey, This is Joey, he has some problems, but he's a pretty good kid."
"Why don't you come in? I have a lunch already for us."
They disappeared into the house.
After lunch Oscar helped Joe unload the u-haul. It contained most of the children's favorite toys their suitcases and other various things.
Oscar led everyone to their rooms. "I hope you two don't mind sharing a room?" He said as he opened the door to the twin's room.
They both shook their heads. No they didn't mind.
"Listen I need to talk to Joe for a moment, you guys get settled in. Mary, will you take Joey?
"Sure Sir, no problem." She took Joey to his room m to get his things unpacked.
"Joe. I had a visitor this morning. She was a representative from the Department of Children and Families. How legal are those papers you gave me?
"They are binding Oscar, don't worry."
"Well she indicated that if my home was not up to snuff she could remove the children from me."
"No way, if she comes around again, you call me. My firm has an office down here. We will represent you. Now there is something you need to know about Danny."
"He's a genus I know. My sister said he was reading before he was two. I have him registered in a school here that will let him work at his intellectual level."
"That's great. I'm glad you and your sister were so close." He saw the clock on the wall. "I have to go. I need to get the u-haul back and get back to NY. Again if she so much as rings you bell you call our firm here in DC. I'll let them know what's going on."
"She said she was coming by tonight."
"I'll call right now. There will be someone from my firm here by 5:00 and will stay here in case she shows up."
The lawyer arrived at 5:00. Mrs. Winter arrived at 5:05
"Mrs. Winter. I'm Howard James. I don't want you around my client. The children are to remain with him unless you have just cause I suggest you leave right now before I file charges of harassment against you."
She turned and stomped off the porch.
Danny watched this exchange with great interest.
A few days later Danny was sitting on Oscar's front steps reading a bookwhen Mrs. Winter pulled up in her car. "Hi" She said in a friendly voice. You must be Danny. I'm
"I know who you are you're Mrs. Winter. I heard all about you. Now I'm only going to say this once. If you come near me or my brothers ever againI will go to the nearest police officer I can find and have you charged with attempted kidnapping. Do I make myself perfectly clear?
"I just wondered how you were getting along.
"Just fine, now you better get out of here before I call the police.
Several days later Danny was sitting in Oscar's office. "Uncle Oscar" He asked when Oscar walked into the room. "What are bionics?"
Oscar dropped his cup of coffee. "What makes you ask that?
"Uncle Oscar, I'm not stupid. I've heard you and Dr. Wells discuss it."
"Well I don't know what you have heard but I don't know anything about it."
"Well then I guess I'll have to find out by myself."
"Danny, listen don't use that word outside of this office.
"Then it does mean something."
"I didn't say that, just don't use that word outside of this office."
"Well you're ready to own up to it, I think I might be able to help with a mistake Dr. Wells made.
"Danny listen, just drop the subject for now. This not something that a 12-year-old should be talking about, just forget about it ok?"
"I said not another word."
With that Danny left the office. It was the last Oscar was to see of him for over a week.
Danny walked down the street, he felt bad lying to his uncle. The truth was he everything there was to know about bionics. He had read everything in Oscar's files and Rudy Wells's.
The car was waiting for Danny just outside Oscar's house. "Danny, hey Danny come here a minute."
Slowly Danny walked over to the car. "Hi Dan, I'm an old friend of your dad's he gave me something a few years back. I heard about the accident, and thought I would give it to you. I don't have it with me, didn't think I would see you. But if you hop in I'll take you to my place and get it for you then give you a ride home."
Danny jumped in. He no sooner was in the car when a gun was stuck in his ribs. "Don't say one word or my partner will hurt one of you little brothers.
Danny rode along in silence. They drove till they came to a deserted farmhouse. "Get out of the car Danny, you have some information that we would love to have."
"We want to know what you know about bionics."
"I don't know what you're talking about."
"I think that you do. And you are going to tell me everything that you know. Then what you let me go home. Of course not I know what you look like."
Oscar answered the knock at the door. "Steve! Where's Jaime?"
"She had to go back to Ojai. Classes to teach you know?"
"Steve have you seen Danny?"
"No I haven't maybe he's at the library reading."
"He's been doing a lot of reading and not at the library. He's been through most of my files and Rudy suspects he's been through his. Today he asked me what bionics were."
Steve almost fell off the chair he was sitting in. "That was my reaction. I told him not to say that word outside of my office. That was before I noticed my files had been gone through."
"You don't think some one has him do you?"
"That's exactly what I think. Steve will you?"
"You don't even need to ask."
"Do you have any leads, anything at all?"
"Nothing except he left my office at 2:00 it is now 6:00 and I haven't seen him since."
"I'll get right on it."
"Listen Dan, I have tried to be patient with you. You have my word, all you have to do is tell us is Steve Austin bionic?
"I don't know what that word means."
"I don't believe you."
"How many other bionic individuals are there besides Mr. Austin?"
Danny was now wishing he hadn't ever mentioned that word out on the playground the day before. "I am sure you I have know idea what you are talking about."
"Dan, Dan, Dan. Well maybe when you are hungry you will tell us what we want. It is after 6:00 and you should be hungry. If that doesn't do it we have other ways.
Danny shrank back in the chair he was sitting in.
Mary came into the living room. "Mr. Goldman? Have you heard anything?"
"No Mary not yet. Steve is doing his best."
"Well the other children are fed, the twins are in their room playing a game, I'm going to take this guy and give him a bath."
"Danny go bye-bye in car."
Oscar turned his head, "What did he say?"
"Oscar I'm sure Joey didn't."
"No he said something about a car. Look if we can get him to give us a description."
"Oscar, that's an awful big if. If you can even get him to understand what you want."
"We have to try."
The man who had driven the car walked back into the room where they were holding Danny. He was carrying a tray full of food, fried chicken, cakes,cookies and all sorts of other goodies. Danny's mouth started to water.
"Hungry are we? Well it's all yours as soon as you tell us what we need toknow, or
he said holding up a small color wheel, we can do it the hard way.
Danny thought he knew what it was, this guy was going to hypnotize him. He smiled to himself. "Whatever you choose. I'm not saying a word."
Oscar and Rudy were trying with Joey. It was obvious he had seen the abduction but they just couldn't get the information they needed.
"If only I hadn't let him leave. I should have know he knew more about it."
"Oscar, don't blame yourself."
They didn't notice that Joey was sitting between them drawing pictures.
"Ok young Dan you leave me with no other choice."
"Go ahead do your best. Just remember this. What ever you do to me could be considered as child abuse.
"What is this?" Oscar said as he noticed the pictures Joey was drawing. He picked up the sheets of paper strewn on the floor.
Joey pointed to the picture. "Danny bye-bye"
"Rudy he has the license plate."
Rudy called it in, within minutes they had a name Ivan Stravinski, a Sovietoperative.
"Rudy we have to find him"
Steve walked through the door at that moment.
"Oscar I just don't know where to start."
"We know who has him."
Before Danny knew what was happening Ivan sat him down in front of the color wheel it started spinning. Danny just sat and watched it. "You will tell me all that I need to know.
'That's what you think' Danny thought to himself.
It took only moments until they had an address on Ivan Stravinski and Steve was on his way to the farm, followed by Oscar and Rudy.
They arrived at the same time.
They bounded up the steps and onto the porch.
"Now you will tell me what I want to know? Tell me all that you know about bionics and is Steve Austin bionic?
"Like I told you before, I don't know."
"You know, I believe you. But as you say I can't let you go. He raised agun to Danny's head.
Steve burst through the door and knocked the gun out of Ivan's hand.
Oscar grabbed his nephew and ran out the front door to where Rudy was waiting, expecting the worst.
Oscar handed both over to Rudy. Danny seemed to be all right.
"They hypnotized him but he didn't say anything. Why?
"Simple Danny said, I'm color blind." In order for it to work you have to see the contrasting colors. I can't"
A week later Danny sat in Rudy's office, "Now, " he started "you said I made a mistake and that you had the answers?"
"Yes it has to do with the fact that Steve's bionics freeze when in extreme cold. I think I have the solution. A miniature heat capsule, that lies just below the surface of the skin. If they are exposed to the cold they burst it and it generates enough heat to get them out of the situation.
A month or so later the capsule was inserted, tested and proven to work.