Josh was in shock as him and the rest of the family appeared in the newly-formed courtyard facing the front of his house. Not only had his house grown again, but there were two houses that had not been there before off to his left, while an expanded medical facility was off to his right. After the initial shock, he realized that one of the houses was an expanded version of his parent's house, while the other was Jeff's house, also expanded.
"Whadda you think?" Peter giggled, getting everyone's attention.
"How many months were we gone?" Josh asked warily.
"Less than a day; it's November 12th," Peter replied seriously. "Pabs told me to bring you now, we had it done yesterday. All those vacant lots around you are yours now, so if we need to add more houses we can. I already took care of the local paperwork, so now the property is officially under the Vulcan flag."
"May I ask what happened to the previous location of my house?" Ron asked as he joined them.
"I waited until you got back to ask what you want to do, Grandpa Ron," Peter replied. "We've got this thing we call 'Dimensional doors', and we could make anything you wanted there. With the doors, it would be just like walking into another room if you want to set up guest quarters or make it a remote office building. Nigel controls the doors, so you could limit access to just certain people. I already have some installed for shortcuts to each other's houses and to the staff area of the medical complex."
While Ron and Peter were talking, Josh was looking around. "Is Phil inside?" he interrupted.
Peter shook his head. "Pablito swung by and told me that he's under Orders to keep Phil 'occupied' until later today for some reason; even he doesn't know why. He's got him doing something in Utah at the Unit base until time for him to come back."
Josh nodded. "Considering the way they left, somehow that doesn't shock me."
Ron nodded. "Peter, please get with me tomorrow to discuss the options for my property. Maybe you might have figured out by then how to explain us being gone for two months, yet only missing less than twenty-four hours."
After Peter completed the 'express tour' of the remodeled compound, everyone returned to Josh's house to congregate in the much-expanded family room. As he watched the boys, it was obvious that even the newest of them had bonded with the rest into a tight-knit group. His newest son, Stryker, was not only comfortable, but had unknowingly assisted Willy and Johnny with their own adjustments to their family. All three of them were usually found together, pooling their strengths as they created the foundation of their new lives.
CJ and Chad's confidence had gained a boost when the two youngest of their new uncles decided to become their shadows and emulate them. The youngest of the five boys Grandpa Ron had adopted, seven-year-old Devin, could be an auburn-haired prankster one minute; yet seconds later be absorbed in a serious conversation with his nephews. The brown haired eight-year-old, Carson, the quietest of the five brothers, was usually at Devin's side, and was usually responsible for the ideas which would make Devin's pranks unique. The pair had tagged along with CJ and Chad when Danny arranged for additional training, and Devin had earned himself the title of AMA, Android Medical Assistant; Carson, on the other hand, grasped the complexities of bio-mechanical interfaces and associated systems so naturally that he was easily able to earn the title ACE, Android Certified Engineer. When the four of them were not plotting their revenge on Marc and Danny, they were supporting each other as they adjusted to their suddenly-huge families.
Ron's 'middle' additions, ten-year-old Norm and eleven-year-old Shayne, gravitated to Ivo and Ash when they heard that the pair were going for more advanced weapons training, along with Jeff's son Jason. Never one to suppress obvious interest, Jory included the pair into the training he was planning for Jason, Ivo and Ash, which led to the five becoming close friends along with earning their full Lieutenant ranks. All five now had phasenmorphs, and took their job of protecting the rest of the Sub-Division quite seriously. The friendship that sprung from their common interest was just a bonus.
Andrei found that his experiences over the last ten years of exploring the world led to his own little subgroup in the family. Both Felix, who was the oldest of the five boys adopted by Ron, and Alex, the youngest of Jeff's original sons, had quickly teamed up with Andrei to explore Archnania. By the time they were ready to return, the three boys found that their common interest in exploring had turned into friendship.
The five mini-Marcs, a nickname they accepted with pride, were the wildcard of the group. When they were not busy innudating their parents and siblings with questions and cuddle requests, they would bounce around between all of the groups within the family. Their favorite game had become switching places when they thought nobody was looking; they thought it was hilarious that all of their parents had now decided the first thing they would ask after waking them up was 'Which one are you today?' Since all five had pinky-swore that they would never lie to family about which one of the five they were, the innocent game was enjoyed by all.
"Whatcha doin', Dad?" CJ asked as he was in the process of claiming a seat on Josh's lap.
Josh smiled as he kissed CJ's forehead. "Just thinking about how proud I am with how all of you guys bonded into a family while we were gone."
"You make us feel safe," CJ replied softly. "Ivo says you're not bossy like Uncle Phil is sometimes."
Josh felt a twinge in CJ's emotions at the mention of Phil. Unconsciously going on a gut feeling, he replied "The next time Ivo brings it up, why don't you have him talk to me. Your Grandma Teri said that I'm really the one responsible for the family security of all of your Division brothers, so if any of you are having a problem with an adult, I'm supposed to see how I can fix it."
"Okay, Dad," CJ replied. He was going to add more, but was interrupted by Nigel.
"Directors, I just received a request for assistance from Saint Patrick Hospital. They're still overloaded from the recent battle, and were just notified that a tour bus of sixth-graders was involved in a rollover accident.
CJ quickly interrupted. "Set local condition red, call Doc Austin to get backup. Tell Saint Patricks to redirect non-critical to here, tell them we'll pull critical injuries in directly. Stryker, take the mini-Marcs and do onsite triage as soon as Nigel has a location."
"Acknowledged, Director. I have located the accident; AI Division Security will join Stryker's team on site." Nigel paused, then added on the ceiling speakers throughout the compound, "Attention in the AI Annex! This is not a drill, Condition Red, Medical incoming! Condition Red, Medical incoming! All personnel report to your stations in the Medical Center!"
Seconds later, the room was empty, as Nigel coordinated teleporting everyone to their necessary destinations.
Fully aware that the chances of their particular specialty being needed were slim, CJ, Chad, Devin, and Carson immediately began to bring some order into the chaos as injured kids started appearing in the intake ward. Chad's first thought was how him and his brother felt when their now-Dad was there when they woke up. "Grandpa, Grandma? Call for Clan Intel, then start contacting parents! You're authorized to use Nigel to get them here. Uncle Jeff? You and Jason have the waiting room with the parents; Nigel, watch them, if they need a hand don't wait for them to ask."
The next fifteen minutes were spent assigning teams from Camp Little Eagle, Saint Mikeys, and the local team to the various kids as they were cleared from the wreckage and delivered to the intake room. To everyone's relief, none had been DOA, yet. As Chad watched one of the doctors from Saint Mikeys rolling the driver of the bus to an OR to cure his multiple fractures, his commbadge went off.
"Stryker to Annex Command. Last two; we have a double, need OR standing by with AI techs for one."
"Bring them in, OR 3!" Chad quickly replied before stating "NIGEL! We need a portable in number 3!" He then looked around, stating "Willy! Johnny! CJ! Devin! Carson! OR 3, we're live with an android and a normal!"
All six boys scrambled to the OR, calling for Nigel to scrub them as they ran. They entered the room to find Doc Austin and Josh bringing the two beds now occupying the room out of standby. "Dad!" CJ stated, "You're with Doc Austin, you get the non-Android kid! You get three of the Mini-Marcs when they pop in; we'll take the other two and Stryker."
"That sounds like a smart plan," Doc Austin smiled. "Nigel; I'm ready for our patient."
"Me too," Chad announced as he took over from his dad.
Seconds later, Stryker and the Mini Marcs appeared, the two patients appearing on their designated beds. "CRAP!" CJ exclaimed as the biobed started immediately started displaying a list of warnings.
Over at the other bed, Josh exclaimed "Austin! We're going to need to crack his chest! Minis, start on the extremities!"
"Nigel," Carson stated as he looked over CJ's shoulder, "I need complete left and right backplanes! Guys, split his chest and get ready to swap some hardware!"
"Got it!" Willy exclaimed as him and Johnny got to work. As the twins handled the most urgent part, Stryker and the last two minis started work on the lower extremities.
"Nigel, we need full hip, knee, and ankle joint rebuild kits!" Marvin stated.
"All of the requested hardware is in the sterilization cabinet," Nigel replied.
"Mitch to Grandpa Marc, we need a leg for an eleven-year-old standard boy. Nigel can get you data."
"I'll give you 'grandpa', munchkin!" Marc replied. "Caleb and I will be right over."
"Is there anything we need to watch for, Marc?" Josh asked as his group were cleaning up from the various procedures that had been done.
"Carson's already on top of it, that's part of his normal training," Marc replied. "He knows when he needs to call us in or get you involved."
"That's nice to know; now all we have to do is talk to his parents about his rehab," Josh observed. "I hope his family is a good one."
"I just escorted them to conference room seven, Intel has cleared them," Nigel interrupted. "They are worried about both of their boys, I took the incentive of informing them that their genetic son is in recovery, while their android son is still being assisted."
"Thank you, Nigel," Josh replied. "I think me, Marc, and Austin will handle the parents, while the Mini-Marcs catch up with things in post-op."
"Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Peters, I'm Dr. Josh Michaels, and these are my associates Dr. Austin Michaels and Dr. Marc Furst."
"How are the boys?" Mrs. Peters asked immediately.
"Relax, both of them will be in good shape once they recover," Josh replied as the doctors all took a seat. "Right now, Lyle is still receiving hardware repairs to some of his joints. Harry is in recovery; once you are ready, we can discuss what you can expect during his recovery."
"How bad were they hurt?" Mr. Peters asked.
Doc Austin took over the reply. "Harry had a collapsed lung, multiple fractures, and his left leg was pretty much destroyed. Since we have access to technology from multiple planets in the Federation, we were able to repair all of his issues except the leg with no issues. The leg was taken care of by Dr. Furst, so he can give you the details."
Marc immediately took over. "We recently developed a procedure which allows us to use android parts to replace lost limbs. Our replacements are able to 'grow' with the patient, so there is no need for future procedures to adjust the limb."
The two parents exchanged glances before Mr. Peters asked "By any chance are you THE Marc Furst?"
Marc nodded. "Yes, I'm the Medical Director for the AI Division of Family Clan Short of Vulcan now."
Mr. Peters nodded. "In that case, any questions I had about the safety of the new leg are already answered. What is Lyle's status?"
"The AI Annex directors and their staff are still working," Marc replied. "From the reports of our staff, it appears Lyle did his best to protect Harry. He was successful, but all of his joints from the hip down are requiring replacement. His biometric interfaces threw enough errors that he received upgraded replacements. Right now, they are finishing the joint replacements while giving him the latest updates to his programming."
"What is this going to cost?" Mrs. Peters asked warily.
"Absolutely nothing," Josh replied. "Lyle is an android; his medical needs are covered by Family Clan Short for the duration of his existence by order of the Patriarch. Harry is obviously bonded with Lyle in some fashion, which means he is considered family to Lyle and receives the same care as Lyle does from our Clan doctors."
"After what I've learned about the Clan's response during the Battle of Earth, I know better than to argue," Mr. Peters admitted. "Do you know when we'll be able to see the boys?"
"Our policy is that we will not wake a patient up if they have family until the family is present," Austin stated. "I need to know if you are able to free up time to support your sons for at least the next week; Harry should be able to use his leg fairly normal within that time. If the time away could adversely affect your employment, please get with Josh. He has the authority to assist in multiple ways, including employment by Federation Youth Services if you meet requirements."
"I'm probably already fired," Mr. Peters stated. "I was put on probation for staying with my family during the attack. My employer seems to think that since Lyle is an android, I have a built-in babysitter I can use at his whim. Lyle was a present to me from one of my great-uncles when I was a boy; he's always been treated like family, not a servant."
"We'll look into a job for you while the boys are healing," Josh stated. "Federation Youth Services is covering your expenses until both of them are released by their doctors."
"I might just send JJ over to have a talk with your former employer," Austin added. "He's very proficient at describing in colorful detail the process for cranial extraction from the rectal cavity... in about twenty languages."
"I'd love a recording of that!" Mr. Peters smiled. "Thank you, Doctors."
"You're welcome," Josh replied. "Austin, Marc? Would you mind making a quick round of the rest of the patients before you head back home?"
"No problem, Josh," Marc replied. "I wanted to check out the new expansion anyway!"
"Same here," Austin nodded. "Mr. and Mrs. Peters, you can feel free to call on any of us at any time."
"Since we'll be seeing a lot of each other, let's drop the formality; please just call me Josh," Josh stated as him and the Peters started towards the recovery room. "I just adopted a few android sons myself. While I'm glad that he was there, what led to Lyle being on that bus today?"
"I'm Guy, and my wife is Violet," Mr. Peters replied. "When Harry was little, he has issues with his body temperature that would lead to seizures if it wasn't caught in time. Lyle took it upon himself to look out for his nephew; when it was time to start preschool, he convinced the owner that he would be an asset to the classes while he watched over Harry. It worked out so well that when Harry was ready for normal school, the daycare took the initiative to convince the school to continue the practice. It has been years since Harry's needed Lyle to watch out for him medically, but him and his classmates are so used to Lyle being with them and helping that none of us could justify changing the situation. Lyle even gets graded, just like the rest of the kids, but his grade is based on his affect on the progress of the rest of the class."
"I think I'm going to have to refer the educational director for Clan schools to your school district," Josh nodded. "The Clan schools already take an unconventional approach to teaching; if the school is willing, they might be able to partner with the Clan to provide some advanced options for their students. By any chance were the bus passengers their classmates?"
"Their class and two others, why?"
"If I understand what I've been told about Derek, he's the head of Clan education, he'll probably like to test the students while they are here, just to get an idea of where they stand on their knowledge. Your two boys, plus three others who have just been removed from abusive situations, are automatically eligible for a Clan education. The rest may be offered the chance, and like I said, the school might even get an offer from the Clan Educational Division."
"What is going to happen to those three boys?" Violet asked.
"Let me get an update," Josh replied. "Nigel, do you have a status report on the three rescues?"
"All three are from families that have histories of emotional abuse on both sides. Clan Intel has terminated parental rights for them and two siblings. Of the five, the two with siblings are cousins, so four of the five fall under Clan rules for not separating family. All three injured boys are in recovery three, along with their younger brothers who are waiting for them to wake up."
"I'm almost to recovery three; let Intel know that I need one of them to join me. We can start the placement process in the next couple of minutes."
"The Double J's said they'll meet you there."
"Thanks, Nigel," Josh replied. Looking at Violet, he added "You just heard their status; going by what I heard in your voice I think I know the answer, but I need to hear it. If you follow your heart, what would you like me to do about those five boys? ignore any financial or housing limits, as those can be compensated for."
Violet nodded. "Right now I want to give them a hug, and tell them that we're going to do everything we can to find a way to give them the love of our family."
Turning his head, Josh stated, "Guy, same question."
"If there was any chance at all, I'd try to make them our sons."
"Remember those answers," Josh smiled. "There's a group of boys here who tend to get their way."
"How's he look, Mitch?" Josh asked as him, Guy, and Violet walked up to Harry's recovery biobed.
"I just finished with the nerves at the interface to his new leg; I think the swelling in the bundle is reduced enough to speed up the relink."
"Great job! These are Harry's parents, Guy and Violet Peters. When can you wake him up?"
"Now, if you want. Jamie already stopped by and told his head about his leg, so he ain't gonna be freaky," Mitch replied before turning and shyly waving 'hi' to the parents.
"Is that what Dr. Furst would look like as a young boy?" Violet asked softly.
"Yes, this is my nephew Mitch," Josh grinned. "He's one of the five Mini-Marcs that are running around here; we rescued them yesterday."
"So Vision had to make five of them to hold all their cuteness?" Violet quipped.
Smiling at Mitch's sudden full-body blush, Josh replied "We try not to tell them that; all five blushing at once might set off the fire system!"
"Uncle Josh!" Mitch giggled.
"Go ahead and wake Harry up, little guy," Josh stated.
"Okay; but I'm tellin' CJ that you're bein' mean!"
After helping Guy assist Harry into the powered wheelchair that he would be using for the next day or two, Josh decided to check on the five orphans while the Peters family waited for their other member to enter recovery. The group was easy to find, since Jamie and Jacob were already there doing their part in bringing the boys into their new lives.
Josh noticed that two of the boys started to separate the intimate cuddle they were in when they spotted him heading their way, so he raised his voice just enough to be heard. "Jamie, Jacob? Get Beau in here so those two know boyfriend cuddles are really okay."
Bringing in the third part of their threesome without a single word, the twins were deeply involved in a three-way kiss seconds later. After giving all three a quick kiss to the top of their heads, Josh turned to the five shocked boys watching the display. "Hey guys, I'm Josh, and I'm here to see if I can help the Three Musketeers with getting the five of you a real family. One of my sets of twin sons are the directors of this Division of the Clan, and I'll be calling them in to make your choice official. Right now, all five of you are marked as 'do not split up'; that means where one of you goes, all five go. The only ones that can change that are you, so why don't you tell me your names and let me know if you want to change that? If you're not comfortable with calling me Josh, you can call me Doc Josh; there are about a dozen of us doctors in the Clan with the same last name, so we prefer to use our first names."
After realizing that the other two older boys were latched to each other after hearing that they wouldn't lose each other, the older of the two redheads stated softly "I'm Wylie Jenkins, and this is my little brother Spike."
Recognizing the same look that he'd seen with CJ and Chad in the green eyes of the pair, Josh squatted to be less imposing as he replied. "Welcome to Family Clan Short, guys. Right now, you both have the same look in your eyes that my nephews did when I saw them at the party my parents held almost a week ago when I came home from the military. Later that day, they became my first sons, and now they are in charge of everything that you see here. They'll be turning eleven on the twenty-first next month. I told you that just so you can see that this is real; you won't leave this complex until all of you are in a good family that you approve of."
"Nobody's gonna want us," Spike whispered with downcast eyes. "Even our mommy and Daddy never wanted us."
Going on gut instinct, Josh held his arms open. "I think I see two boys who are years overdue for a hug. No matter who ends up being your new parents, you're part of my family now. That means I'll always be here if you need me."
The caring tone of Josh's voice, something neither boy had ever heard directed at them, got through to them just enough to push back their doubts and allow them to wordlessly take him up on his offer. To Josh's surprise, he found himself with TWO seven-year-olds along with the expected eleven-year-old in his arms; the young blond that had been cuddled with his brother and his brother's boyfriend had been listening, and had decided that he was included in the offer.
As he wrapped his arms around the three boys, Josh softly instructed "No matter who their parents are, boys in my family are expected to cry when they need cuddled to help undo their hurt."
All three boys latched on to Josh like their lives depended on it, the only sounds being occasional sniffles as they released tears that had been witheld for years.
As Josh concentrated on starting the healing of the boys in his arms, Violet joined them and went to the pair of blonds who were now just resting their chins on each other's shoulders. "Hello boys, I'm Harry Peters mom, you can call me Violet for now. You make a really cute couple, by the way. Once Harry's dad, Guy, and Harry are done talking with the doctor about his new leg, they'll be over; we're still waiting for Lyle to come out of surgery. Why don't we get to know each other while Doc Josh helps your other brothers get rid of some of their hurt? There's nothing that you can say that will make me mad at you, but I wouldn't be surprised if there were things said that will make me mad at what was done TO you."
"She's safe, guys," Jamie, Jacob, and Beau chorused from their cuddle. "She's already been checked out by us."
Fully trusting the telepathic boys who rescued them from their parents, the pair nodded. "I'm Simon," the twelve-year-old on the bottom replied. "The blond over there hugging the Doc is my little brother Timmy."
"I'm Jeremy," the eleven-year-old on Simon's lap added. "I'll tell you why we don't have families anymore first, that way you can leave before we get our hopes up."
"All you'll be doing is telling me what I need to know so I can ask Doc Josh how to help you," Violet replied, "but you do have the right idea about getting the worst of it out of the way. Going by how you've already started, I'm not going to hold how you state what happened against you."
Jeremy and Simon exchanged surprised looks, then shifted around so that Jeremy's back was to Simon's chest. As Simon wrapped his arms around his boyfriend, Jeremy began. "Don't say I didn't warn you. We've lived in the same house since we were born. There used to be pictures proving it, but both of us knew what sperm and cunt juice tasted like before we said our first words. There were movies of our first orgasms; we were still in diapers, and they were while our weiners were stuck in each other's mothers as our fathers screwed them. This is the first time in as long as I remember that none of the three of us ain't had to have a plug in our butt to keep from craping our pants."
Both boys eyes grew wide at Violet's growled response. "If I ever get my hands on those low-life twisted son-of-a-bitches, I will personally rip them into pieces so small that they can never be identified! That shit AIN'T going to happen to you ever again! I had it bad, but nothing like that! If I have to call God Himself, you are going to be part of my family before any of us leaves here; you young men are going to learn the difference between love and what was done TO you, with all of us fully clothed while we TALK you through how to express your PROPER feelings to your partner, no matter if it is each other, or another boy or girl your age that you end up married to."
Neither boy had a chance to respond before they found themselves pulled from their seats into Violet's arms. "Your new lives start right this instant; from this point on, all of that abuse in the past doesn't exist. Get used to the teasing about Peters being your last name; it's going to be there the rest of your lives." Violet stated firmly.
"Chad says that they're about to transfer Lyle to the recovery bed that Harry was in," Jamie suddenly informed the group. "Nigel, could you please take all of us over to join Guy and Harry, that way nobody needs to break their hugs?"
"As you wish, Jamie," Nigel replied a second before the group found themselves on the other side of the room.
Lyle barely had time to sit up before he found himself in Guy's arms. "You two scared the living shit out of me!" Guy stated as he gave Lyle a hug that threatened to undo half of the work that had just been done. Once satisfied that the boy that had oncebeen his brother but was now his son was alive and in one piece, Guy sat him in the wheelchair next to Harry. "Get comfortable, guys; the two of you get to spend the next day in that chair to make sure that you're healed."
Lyle and Harry exchanged grins, both fully aware that this was their Dad's way of showing them that nothing had changed after what they'd just went through. Once they had settled in, Guy told them "Three of your classmates were taken from their families by Clan Short, along with two little brothers. We're going to have a family meeting once your Mom and Doctor Josh get done with convincing them that their old lives are over, then unless one of us has a reason why it shouldn't happen, you guys are going to have five more brothers. Your opinion matters, so don't be afraid to speak up, okay?"
"Okay, Dad," Lyle and Harry chorused.
"Dad?" Lyle added.
"What's up?" Guy responded.
"I got new updates to my medical library. A couple of things about the issues Harry had with fevers triggered some warnings in my head that we needed to have him looked at by Clan Short Medical's Advanced Procedures department. Can we find out how to do that?"
"I'm CJ, one of the Directors here. I already put in the request while I was updating Harry's program," CJ stated from where he'd been watching them reunite. "Nigel picked up on it too; we're just waiting for the new leg to wire itself in."
"Thank you, Doctor; just let us know what we need to do," Guy smiled.
"I'm not a doctor, even though Dad and Marc call me one; I just know how to fix people's heads that have positronic brains," CJ stated.
"That makes you a brain surgeon," Guy replied softly, recognizing the insecurity of the boy he was talking to. "That makes you a very special kind of doctor; even in the medical field most doctors can't understand what you do. Even if you don't like it, just remember that people are going to call you Doctor out of respect for what you can do. Your Dad is really proud of you and your twin, by the way; I heard it in his voice when he was telling us about your family."
CJ nodded, the explanation actually making sense. "Okay, I guess I'll let people call me Doctor, but only if they ain't family."
Guy's response was suppressed by Jamie joining him, the lack of expression on his face making it clear that this wasn't a social visit. "Director Michaels?" Jamie asked flatly, "Are you prepare to receive the pre-placement report?"
"Go ahead," CJ replied, dreading what he might find out.
Seconds later, CJ was as white as a ghost. "They need to know all of it, Jamie."
"As you wish, Sir," Jamie nodded. "Mr. Peters; are you willing to receive the telepathic data reporting the conditions which your prospective sons were exposed to? If you wish to proceed after review, know that Family Clan short has determined that your current sons will require the same information as that which you will receive to prevent adverse reactions. Failure to accept this data will terminate the proceedings leading to the placement of the five boys with your family."
Based on CJ's reaction, Guy was sure this wasn't a game. "I accept, Sir."
Seconds later, Guy began voicing words that even Lyle had never heard pass his lips. Once his rant finally ran down, Guy turned to his sons. "Guys, in any other situation, I would be fighting to make sure that you never had to have anything close to this in your heads. Unfortunately, there are three of your classmates, along with two little brothers, whose lives might depend on you knowing what they went through. I really hope you can find it in your hearts to make them your brothers forever after you see this, but I'll understand if you can't."
Harry and Lyle nodded, then waved to Jamie to proceed, neither one trusting their voices after the shock of their dad's response. Their wide eyes signalled that they were getting the report; Harry screaming "WHAT THE FUCK!" at the top of his voice made it clear that the report was finished.
"Our brothers need us," Lyle stated in an uncharacteristic growl as he activated the controls and swung the wheelchair to head over to where the rest of the boys were talking to his Mom.
Jamie didn't need orders from CJ; the look on CJ's face told him what was required. "Guy, we need to join the rest of your family for the final checks, hopefully before CJ talks his Guardian Angel into taking him to kill the offenders... again, since they have already been terminated under Vulcan law."
"If you talk him into it, I want to join the trip," Guy stated to CJ firmly. "I think we need to hurry to give five boys their new family."
"Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen, I am Ronald Michaels, Family Clan Short AI Annex Clan Grandfather," Ron stated as he smiled at the news reporters from western Montana and northeren Idaho assembled in front of the medical center. "The Head of Security for the AI Annex Compound has informed me that once our boys are done, there will be guided tours of the public areas of the complex for those of you who wish to present an overview of what our family has to work with."
"As most of you are probably aware, Saint Patricks Medical Center is still overloaded from the recent battle. Instead of risking the chance of recovery for the injured passengers of the bus, they contacted my grandsons and requested assistance. The results of that call are zero casualties, all of the passengers as well as the driver are classified as stable, and all but five youth will be eating dinner at home tonight. For the youth needing extended recovery time, they will be transferred to the Clan Short medical center in Charleston, South Carolina along with their family members. As is standard procedure for Family Clan Short, there will be no charge for any of the care provided today, and if being there for their offspring leads to any issues, Federation Youth Services is standing by to assist the families."
"What was the worst injury? They must be minor going by the timeframe you are suggesting," one of the reporters piped up.
"The recovery time is explained by my grandsons having access to technology that is still being refined to allow it to be released for general distribution," Ron explained. "As you would expect by the designation of our facility, I have multiple grandsons who are androids. As their built-in medical library is able to be updated, they can be trained on new equipment, and their feedback on issues that they spot with their non-android brothers learning it can be used to lessen the chances of misapplication in general use. As of the latest report, I believe the worst injury qualifies as the boy whose leg was mangled to the point that it required removal, along with lesser but still potentially critical injuries. He has been fitted with one of the android-based prosthetics as a replacement, and is currently in recovery. His android brother saved his life, and is holding second place for needing every joint from his hips down replaced, along with multiple other injuries."
Ron was interrupted by Felix shyly joining him on stage. After some whispered conversation, Felix stepped up to the podium. "Hi, I'm Felix Michaels; my new Dad's been talking to you. My nephews said that you needed to know this, so I got stuck coming out here. Even in emergency situations, we are required by our Patriarch to watch for signs that a family may need help or that abuse is happening. I'll give you the bad news first. Two boys, along with the little brother of one of them, were found to have been sexually abuse by the male and female parent of both families... since before they were out of diapers."
After a pause to ensure that sunk in, Felix continued, "The parents of the two seriously injured boys that Dad was telling you about are in the process of adopting those three, plus one more, along with his little brother, both of which were being driven to suicide by their parent's mental manipulation. All of the involved former parents have been turned over to Clan Headquarters for prosecution. on a more positive note, seven families, which were found to need assistance to bring them up to the minimum standards that our Patriarch has determined are needed to properly provide for a family, are now being assisted by Federation Youth Services. To reduce illogical duplication of resources, FYS is acting as an agent of Family Clan Short in this situation. While FYS will provide the material necessities, the funding and requirements are completely under the jurisdiction of Family Clan Short."
"How long will assistance be provided?" a young female reported asked from the front.
"Until there is no need," Felix replied. "It would be illogical to do otherwise."
"As much as I don't want to hear the answer," another reporter asked, "I'd be remiss in my duties if I didn't ask; I completely understand if you can't or won't answer. How bad were the injuries to the three boys that were molested?"
Felix glanced at Ron; after getting a nod, he turned back to the reporter. "All three had intensive intestinal and oral scarring. All three required devices to retain fecal matter in their rectal cavity, as their anal muscles were stretched to the point that they could not provide their primary function. The physical damage has been repaired using a new procedure that is still in development; the mental damage will be with them for the rest of their lives. Family Clan Short will ensure that they receive the support needed to keep it from ruining their lives."
"Thank you for phrasing that in a way that we can use it as a direct quote," the reporter who had asked the question stated with a smile. "Just out of curiosity, what is the position of the Director of this facility on non-emergency requests for care?"
Felix smiled. "We are a Vulcan family; it is illogical for a Vulcan healer to deny his services to those in need, without a fee. With that said, the particular skillset of our staff leans towards the emergency side of services, but we have technology that we can use that allows for local patients to visit our parent division's medical center in South Carolina instantly. They are providing staff on our end to help determine which facility is most appropriate for each individual's needs. No matter which facility you end up in, the care and support you receive will be the same, all at no charge. Additionally, Federation Youth Services has been tasked by Starfleet Medical to transition all medical facilities on Earth to the same no-charge format as Clan facilities. Medical centers and doctors who have requested placement on the Clan's list of associate facilities are prioritized at the moment; by the end of the year we expect the current list to be completed. Non-affiliated medical facilities which have not been converted yet will receive the standard Federation compensation for any cases that they handle from patients listed as being on the Clan's care list."
"Thank you, Felix," the same reporter replied. "You have a very proud Dad waiting for his turn. Please pass on our thanks to your family inside; you young men have made Montana proud today."
"Thanks for being so nice," Felix replied honestly. "Everyone have a great day!" Felix grabbed a hug from his Dad, then quickly made his way back into the building.
"That's my boy!" Ron stated proudly as he re-took the podium. "I'm opening the floor for questions; please raise your hand and I'll take them one at a time."