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Michael Austin is Steve Austin's son, whose existence is revealed in the Return of the Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman reunion movie. Although his age is not stated on screen, based on the age of the actor it can be estimated he was born sometime in the early to mid-1960s. Michael's mother's name was Karen who died of pnemonia when Michael was six years old on Christmas Eve in a little town call Placidville, population 104. Austin kept Michael a secret, and while he didn't want to, Steve left Michael in the care of his sister-in-law, Michael's Aunt Mary in Seattle, Washington, after his mother's death as, at the time, it was the only thing he could do. When Steve asked about her upon their reunion, the junior Austin described her as being "fat, fifty, sassy and reads too much Judith Krantz." Michael was 14 years old when he took an interest in meeting his father, but shortly after Steve Austin had the accident that lead to his becoming a bionic man, and the two do not meet at this time. Steve paid for all of Michael's schooling, and Michael has become a second lieutenant at Maffin Air Force Base in Los Angeles, California, when he is reunited with his father. Michael was described by his instructors (Jerry Dreyfuss, Duke Rennecker, et al) as "a hell of a pilot" albeit a little eager. However they thought they could deal with his attitude but concluded that they couldn't and with graduation fast approaching, Michael would soon be out of their control as he was scheduled to proceed to intensive training flying F-16s and while he knew he was technically ready, Dreyfuss felt he wasn't emotionally ready - "It's the Jewish mother in me", he said. They understood that Steve had stayed away for reasons of his own, but they now needed him to speak to his son.
Due to an accident during a demonstration flight on the day of Michael's graduation from basic flight training, Michael undergoes surgery and becomes bionic. Michael's injuries are severe and would have left him confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life, if not for Michael's father going to his close friend and head of the OSI, Oscar Goldman to make deal for his son to be fitted with bionics. At first, Steve proposes that, in exchange for the surgery, he will return to work for the OSI as agent. Oscar rejects the deal and tells Steve that the funds have already been approved by the proper people as a repayment for all of Steve's past sacrifices and good work for the government.
Subsequently, Dr. Rudy Wells assembles his surgical team and performs the the bionic enhancements. While Rudy is confident that Michael will recover physically, he expresses his concerns about the young man's state of mind and indeed when Michael finds out that his father authorized the process; he turns away from him bitterly. To aid in his recovery process, Michael is sent to the clinic where Dr. Jamie Sommers, who is, herself bionic, works as a therapist. Jamie arranges this shortly after the surgery is complete and when Micheal is strong enough to be moved; he is transported to the clinic. Sommers is not only MIchael's therapist, she is also assigned the task of training Michael in the use of his bionics (much as Austin had trained her Aside from bionic limbs, Michael's right eye (as opposed to his father's left eye) is replaced.
Michael's bionics are of a next-generation technology, making him more powerful than his father and Jaime Sommers. ), and Michael is shown speeding ahead of his mentor during a run and up until this point had not known Jamie was bionic. Jamie counsels Micheal on his new abilities and gently, if indirectly, helps the young man overcome his fears by relating her own experiences with learning to come to terms with her bionic implants. She also helps him bridge the gap between father and son.
Later, Michael's bionics help save the lives of of Jaime and Steve. As Michael blurs into super-speed to pursue the villain, his father remarks, "I can't do that". "I can't do that, either," replies Jaime. Another unique ability demonstrated by Michael is the ability to shoot a powerful laser from his bionic eye (his father was shown using the same ability in an issue of the Six Million Dollar Man comic book, but never in the TV series).
During a dinner party to celebrate the conclusion of the Fortress incident, Oscar makes Michael a job offer which he politely declines. Micheal and his father seemingly part on better terms, promising to work together towards a better relationship. Michael Austin's activities after the events of the reunion movie have not yet been chronicled; he does not appear, though he is mentioned in the subsequent movie, Bionic Showdown.