Hope was instantly taken to surgery at the hospital, and Phil was taken to a normal part of the hospital. Phil was well-behaved and showed almost no fear, only distrust whenever someone new came into the room he was in. Hawks was very kind, kept his promise to the young boy, and stayed by his side.
The doctors did tests and poked him with many needles. They expected him to cry or throw a tantrum, but he didn't. He smiled lightly before closing his eyes and waiting for the minor pain to disappear. Hawks smiled kindly and was concerned for the child as he gave him candy. Phil looked confused as he asked him what it was.
"it's a candy... a sweet," Hawks told him, shocked. How could a kid not know what candy was. "have you never had it before" he asked. Phil just shook his head and tried to give it back to him, only to have Hawks unwrap the candy and hand it back "here, give it a try," he smiled as Phil took it and put it in his mouth. He instantly smiled and nodded his head.
"It's delicious," he smiled shyly as his eyes shined. Hawks looked at him with pity as he watched him enjoy the small candy he got from the front of the hospital.
Hawks found many strange things with the kid in the past 5 hours of their being there. First... he didn't really like to play with small toys. Second, he had never even heard what a phone or computer was. Third, he chose to read a high-level book for someone his age over the little picture book they brought him. Forth he was well-mannered with everyone. Fifth, if someone told him to do something, he did it without complaint, leading him to number six... even with the disgusting hospital food, he didn't complain about it and ate it happily.
Hawks felt terrible for the boy.
When the police came, Tsukauchi asked the child questions along with Hawks and Eraserhead. And the answers they got only made them come up with more questions than they came in with
"do you know where you're from," Tsukauchi asked
"I'm from... Grace Feild House."
"do you know where the location of Grace Feild's house is," Eraserhead asked
shake of head
"ok, how about caretaker," Tsukauchi asked
"do you know where she is," Tsukauchi asked
"... is she alive," Hawks asked
"I don't know... we left before we could find out."
"Who were those monsters you were running from" Eraserhead asked
"Emma said they were demons who planned to eat us."
"Who is Emma" Hawks asked
"she is another one of my big sis."
"what made her think that they would eat you guys," Tsukauchi asked
"Emma, Violet, and... Normen heard one of them say they wanted to eat Connie when they... adopted her..."
"Who is Connie, Phil," Hawks asked
"She... she was the last one to get adopted before Norman did..." tears started to come to his eyes as he tried to rub them away. Hawks moved to hug him and lay on the bed Phil was sitting in, trying to comfort him.
"I'm sorry I brought back bad memories. Can you tell me your quirk, please" Tsukauchi asked as he wrote something down; Phil looked at him, confused?
"you don't know what a quirk is," Tsukauchi asked him, shocked. Eraserhead and Hawks stared at him. Phile just shook his head, confused, as he looked up at Hawks. "have you never heard of a quirk" he asked.
"no... is it something bad," he asked kindly.
"no, nothing like that, kiddo... a quirk is like a really cool power that people get when they turn 4 or 5... did anyone in your family have one," Hawks asked.
the heroes and investigators looked at each other confused. They don't know how many kids or people were in the kid's little family. Still, there is no possible way for them to be quirkless. We don't know if mama had one... she was working with the demons."
"What," Eraserhead asked "can you please explain who your mama is and how many siblings you had"
"there... there were a lot of us... I think 20 of us... mama took care of us all..."
"do you know if she had a job anywhere," Tsukauchi asked him as he continued to write everything the boy said,
"I think mama's job was to take care of us until the harvest... at least that's what Ray said."
"so you lived on a farm... what animals or foods did you all grow."
"We didn't do any of that stuff," Phil said, looking down at his hands as Hawks placed a hand on his shoulder. Eraserhead quickly shot a look at the boy, realizing what he meant. he placed a hand on Tsukauchi as he was about to ask more about what he meant. Tsukauchi did not understand what that meant since they had discussed what was appropriate and what was not beforehand. He just nodded and went on to the next question.
"ok... how many people lived in your village," he asked kindly, only to have Phil give another confused look.
"We didn't live in a village. We lived in a house... no one else lived around us... it was just us."
"so no other adults... or houses... or anything else like that..."
"there was a wall." Phil offered.
"a wall for what"
"so that we wouldn't escape," Phil said. That's when Tsukauchi and Hawks realized what he meant and why Eraserhead hit Tsukauchi earlier. They were the animals raised on the farm... it was their mother's job to make sure they grew healthy and send them off to be killed and... eaten by the monsters- Demons they caught chasing them.
"thank you for your time, Phil... we are going to talk right outside... here, why don't you read this book I got you," Tsukauchi said as he took out a fiction chapter book that the boy might like. Phil nodded and opened the booked it to the first page. Hawks slowly got up from next to him and walked over to the rest of the adults. Once he was away and out of sight of the child, he dropped his smile along with Tsukauchi's, who now looked more concerned.
"This is going to be a problem." Tsukauchi stated as he glared at the notepad he had in his hands "not a single lie," he growled,
"Basically, he just told us they grow up to be cattle..."
"We need to get information out of the little girl as soon as possible," Eraserhead said as he quickly went to the front desk to ask about the girl's condition. Hawks and Tsukauchi stayed back. Hawks punched a wall as he glared at nothing. Tsukauchi stared at him. he could understand why he was upset at hearing how the children were being treated but not why he was so affected that he had to make a hole in the hospital hallway.
"Shit," he whispered to himself as he continued to glare
"Hawks, you need to calm down. if you are going to go back inside with him, you need to be calm, or you might scare him." Tsukauchi said as he placed a hand on his shoulder.
"How can I calm down when this has been going on under my nose-"
"our noses," Tsukauchi interrupted, making Hawks look at him, "he said his sister is 12 and that he was 5, so this has been going on for longer than you have been a hero and longer than I have been a detective." he said as he sent him a nod "no one is to blame for this other than those monsters and the caretaker."
"that doesn't mean that I'm not to blame... I've flown through that area before..." Tsukauchi sighed as he placed another hand on Hawks and made him turn to face him.
"This is not your fault, Hawks. No one is blaming you," Tsukauchi said as he shook him lightly "if anything, you are their hero. Remember, you saved them"
"get your head together before you go in to face that child," Tsukauchi stated, "because if you don't, that trust you built with him might break, and that's all we have going for us now."
"the girl will be out of surgery in about another hour. I think you can keep the boy calm while I ask him about the scar he has behind his ear." Eraserhead asked, walking up to them. Tsukauchi let Hawks go and looked at him.
they walked into the room to find Phil deeper into the book. He wasn't halfway, but he was more than the beginning of it. This impressed them, but the wave of pity they felt hit again.
"hi, kiddo" Hawks smiled as he sat on the bed next to Phil, and Tsukauchi and Eraserhead sat on the seats in front of him again. Phil looked up, smiled kindly, and closed the book to talk to them.
"Hello, Mr. Hawks."
"so we wanted to ask you some more questions before we move you to a room you can share with your big sis... is that ok."
"sure" Phil smiled and nodded his big but still little head.
"ok, go ahead" Hawks smiled at Eraser.
"Hello Phil do you remember my name," he asked kindly. Phil nodded and let him continue. "well, I wanted to ask you why you had that bandage on your ear. The doctors told us it was cut deep and must have hurt greatly."
"oh... that's where the trackers were," Phil said as he slowly brought his hand to where the tracker once was. "Emma took it out with something Ray made when we were with Mom in our first house... but..."
"But what, Phil," asked Eraser as he watched Tsukauchi write something down.
"Emma, Ray, and Hope had to cut them off when they ran away the first time because if they didn't, mama was going to catch them and... and..." tears started to build up as Hawks pulled him to sit on his lap and hug him. Oh, he was mad... not even angry... he was beyond furious there was no possible word to describe how mad he was. But right now, this child needed him.
Eraser glared ahead when he saw that Phil wasn't looking at him or Tsukauchi anymore. He didn't know when or how the kids escaped or if it was easy the first time they ran, but... where were the kids that escaped the first time... why hadn't anyone reported them if anyone found them. There is no way a child could live out there alone.
"how long ago did they escape," Tsukauchi asked him once he calmed down.
"last year... they came back for the rest of us..." Shit... a year out in the wilderness...
"do you know where they had been staying," Tsukauchi asked him
"Emma said that they have been staying in a bunker... Mr. William Minerva built "
"And who is William Minerva," asked Hawks
"Mr. Minerva left us clues... in books, and when they escaped, Emma said that Sister Krone left us a pen with a big map to tell us where the bunker was that was from Mr. William."
"so they found the bunker, right," Tsukauchi asked him. Phil just nodded and continued.
"yeah. Emma and Hope said that it was massive and had a little farm to grow food... they also said there were lots of books and other things..."
"ok... let's change the topic... do you mind if we ask what the tattoo on your neck means," Eraser said as he pointed at the boy's neck.
"I don't know... Hope said it's our number that the demons call us... when we get adopted..."
"oh ok... so... I think we are done, for now, Phil... you did a good job telling us everything you know. " Tsukauchi smiled as he placed a hand on his head. "when your sister is feeling a little bit better, we will take you to her ok."
"ok," Phil nodded as he hugged Hawks tighter. Hawk wasn't going to be letting him go anytime soon. He hugged him tighter and laid down, allowing Phil to lie next to him so they could talk about their new book.hours later
When Hope was finally out of surgery, she was placed in a big room with an extra bed that Phil would move into once they were done questioning her. she was asleep for about another hour before she woke up. Still, before that, Eraser and Tsukauchi were given a report of her injuries.
"she had a broken ankle bone, dislocated shoulder, deep stab in her stomach, big bruises, and a lot of cuts on her back, and she also had a head injury; it wasn't that bad, but it was bleeding a lot when they got her... she is also missing the ear where Phil said they had the tracking device." Eraserhead was reading the chart out loud to Tsukauchi and the now-present Best Jeanist. Best Jeanist was dealing with one of the rowdy demons who attacked many police officers earlier and couldn't make it for the earlier interrogation of the little boy. But when he heard what they went through and how they were going to be food if they didn't rescue them when they did... made him sick to his stomach. He had been a hero for a good couple of years, and he knew by instinct that this would be a big case.
"they said that the injury to her ear looked around one year old, so that part of the boy's story checks out." Eraserhead nodded, and they started talking in one of the hospital conference rooms.
"We will ask the girl more questions, but we don't want to overwhelm her since she didn't see Hawks when he rescued them in the forest."
"I think we should involve other heroes after this... the children stated that there might be more kids somewhere out there, and we need as many hands on deck if we don't want them to get captured by any more of those demons," Tsukauchi said
"we will be bringing in all tracker heroes along with any battle heroes who might be able to fend off any of the demons and caretakers as we will be rescuing the children who were left behind... if there are any," Eraserhead said.
"do you really think that the government will allow such a movement with the words of these kids," Best Jeanist asked as he looked over the notes? He looked in pain but hadn't said anything more.
"they are going to have to consider what the demons had said and that large chunk of the arm from one of the police officers now in critical condition." Eraser said as he looked over the new files. "that and the fact that the boy didn't lie since he had been here... proven by Tsukauchi."
"I agree, but this might be too much to handle."
"It is all our faults, including the governments, that these kids are placed in the living situations that they are in... if they don't, I have every right to sue the government for careless actions against civilians," Eraserhead Glared.
"I agree with you, Eraser. If anything, I'm on your side, but you must realize how many resources this will take up if more children are like them."
"Guys, please, let's just deal with this later. We must talk about the girl and the questions we will ask her when she awakens."
"OK... from what I got when I first met them on that road, she seemed very guarded and doesn't trust easily. I think we should move Phil into her room before she wakes up and has her talk to him before questioning. "
"Why do you say that."
"... by the way she guarded Phil when the car almost hit her made me realize she is very protective of him and also how Phil has no big damage on his person compared to her."