CHAPTER 3

				  BOOK 2


The only thing left for the boys to do that day was to give honour to the
boys that had fallen in the attempt to attack the Reneg camp, under normal
conditions and in the way of the present, the fallen boys would have been
left out on the wastes for the animals but this time, the boys felt they
needed to do something special for their friends, they had now become
somewhat of a family and felt the loss of the thirty boys like never
before, it was a new feeling, one that they had never thought of as
important, but now, under this new style of living, it seemed far more than
just the loss of some unknown boys like in the old days.

It was finally decided by all the boys that they would make a small place
outside the bunker and surround it with a fence of stones, the dead boys
would be buried and a smaller stone put up so others would know who they
were, it was a new idea but all of the other boys thought it felt right to
remember their friends in this way, they had all fought to free themselves
from the tyranny of the Renegs.

It took one more day before Lion Claw gave up his last reserves and died on
the pipe frame, his body was blistered and burnt from the bright hot sun,
the large black birds that hunted for carrion were soon all over the mound
of putrid flesh as it hung by its arms, the heavy sickly sweet smell of
death permeated the surrounding valley as the birds went about their work,
by afternoon there was not much more than bones left and those were now in
a crumpled heap at the base of the pipe frame where the animals of the
night could clean them up, by the next morning there was no trace of Lion
Claw or the terror he had instilled in the wastes.

For the next two weeks, all the various leaders set to work sorting out who
would live where and then allocate the newly found bunkers to boys who had
an interest in what each bunker held, the influx of new boys was still
steady as the word spread about the great victory over the local Reneg,
there was now a regular stream of new boys wanting to learn about the new
things of the ancients.

The classes for the new boys grew and, as each one found his own interest,
he was taken and taught more about that field of knowledge, slowly the
ability to read and write grew among all the boys, the ability to use the
ancient technology grew and new ways of doing things was broadened, from
the central Home Bunker boys began to filter out to the other bunkers, each
had his own knowledge and talents and it was not long before the small
number of opened bunkers were again being filled.

For Elios it was the hardest, the long hours needed to understand the
computer systems and the way communication was done, took longer and the
number of boys able to fill this important roll was limited, however Elios
worked on and slowly built his little army of boys who could be then sent
out to each of the bunkers to set up communications to the central Home

Within two months all the bunkers were linked together through the
communications of the ancient computers and the marvel of the newly
discovered satellites that hung above them in some magical way by the
ancients, how it was done did not interest Elios or the other boys, only
the fact that it was there and could be put too use by the boys in the
search for their own home was all they needed to know.

It was no surprise to Elios or the others that a large number of boys
wanted to become involved with the people of the valley, the interest in
growing food and tress seemed to spark an interest in a lot of the boys, it
was as though something primordial was working in the middle of each boys
brain to see something grow from the soil, it soon became vital for them to
limit the number of boys that went to the valley, the last thing they
wanted to do was overload the place so that it could no longer grow plants.

Another full meeting was called by the leaders of all the boys, each type
of skill was represented by a leader, as they all gathered in the common
room for the meeting, Elios was the first to notice the number of leaders,
he was immediately amazed at how many branches of work there now was from
the day the three boys had found their first bunker, it had now grown to be
almost a small city of its own.

Mita was asked to take charge of the meeting, its first agenda was to find
out what all the others wanted to do, there was a total agreement on the
need to find and open more bunkers if they existed and also the need to
improve the ways they could fight the Renegs and where they were hidden. It
became apparent that they would have to create a specialised search team,
it was also decided that each and every boy who joined the bunker system
had to be trained in the use of the ancient weapons so they were always
ready to defend their new homes.

Slowly a plan was devised for a number of small search groups to be trained
especially for the job of finding and opening new bunkers, it was while
looking at his map of bunkers on the computer that Elios saw something was
not right with the small pattern of green lights, there was one more than
there should be, Elios began his search and it soon came to him that the
new green light was only days away from the last bunker they had found,
could the Reneg have finally found a way into the hidden bunkers? It was
one more problem to be solved.

While Elios and Mita enjoyed the companionship of their friends Elvan and
Elam, they also had a longing for open spaces and new adventures, it was in
Elios nature too keep looking further outwards and so, they decided to also
become one of the newly formed search teams, Elios made sure that each of
the five teams leaders and number two's had the new codes for the doors for
when they did find a new bunker.

It took weeks of planning and training for the five search teams, there
were new skills that had to be learned and training for the defence of the
small mobile convoys, maps had to be printed and locations settled on as
well as the boys had to learn about navigation and the problems that could
arise with the travel conditions, it was all a long and slow process,
supply lists and transport had to be sorted and how to pack them into the
vehicles for the best advantage to the teams.

After long discussions and trial and error, the boys finally came up with a
plan that they hoped would work, each convoy would consist of two jeeps
with a driver and three guards as scout vehicles, an armed APC with a
driver and guard in the front, behind them would be the commander of the
convoy who would be the navigator and communications officer, alongside him
would be the boy in charge of the roof mounted weapon, and six more guards
and equipment in the back, behind them would be two heavy trucks with
drivers and guards loaded with the rest of their supplies along with four
more guards and bringing up the rear would be an armed Humvee with driver
and three guards.

Each vehicle would receive the most powerful communications equipment they
had and one of the trucks would be filled mainly with fuel cans to serve as
the tanker for the convoy, Elios spent a lot of time with the four other
leaders to teach them about map reading and the new codes needed for
opening the doors, he also saw to the training of two of the boys to find
and enter from the concealed pipes if they had no power to open the doors.

The leaders got map references and other information about other bunkers
from Elios huge store of data and selected which ones they wanted to go and
look for, each convoy would be given two bunkers to search for in case some
were not able to be used for some reason, Mita had insisted that each
convoy had one of his sniper boys along as well, Modou had given them
special training in survival and concealment out in the wastes for that
purpose, those boys would often be an advance guard for the jeeps as they
would have their own Quad to use.

The day for the departure of the search convoys finally arrived and all the
vehicles stood ready outside Home Bunker as the groups finalised any
problems, Elios and Mita, along with Modou, who would be taking charge of
the last bunker to be found, would all travel together to that point and
then Elios and Mita would go on from there.

The first thing Elios wanted to check was the bunker showing on his
computer screen that had not been visited by them before, he had his
suspicions but; if he was wrong then it meant that the Renegs had found a
way into the bunker and that, was not a good thought to contemplate, any
use of the ancient technology by the Renegs could spell disaster for the
boys future.

The return to the new bunker took five days as the boys were not in to much
hurry and they were able to check for things they might have missed on
their first trip, on arrival at the bunker, they were met by the boys who
had stayed to guard the bunker, with the influx of new boys and more
equipment, the day turned into a party and everyone had a great time eating
and laughing, the boys who had stayed behind to guard the bunker were
intrigued by the story of the downfall of Lion Claw, the looks on the young
faces changed to one of awe as the story unfolded and a new sense of
determination came across their faces as they took in the fact that they
were no longer at the mercy of the Reneg gangs.

For the next five days, Elios and the convoy crew prepared for the next
stage of their search, the word of a newly found bunker had already spread
through the vast waste lands and, even as they got ready to travel again,
there were new boys wandering into the new bunker and slowly building its
numbers, Modou and his two Kabine were soon busy setting up to teach the
new boys about the life style they had now come into, it was becoming a
busy time for the new leader of the bunker.

Elios and Mita set out towards the bunker that showed the green light on
Elios computer, it was the first priority and needed to be looked into
before they went further afield, Elios estimated it would take about four
days to reach the place where the bunker was meant to be but they would
travel slower than needed as they also wanted to keep a sharp watch for any
Reneg gangs in this new area.

The second days travel was much as the first, long barren stretches of salt
wastes that reddened the eyes of the drivers even though they wore the
special driving glasses of the ancients, the guard boys were just as tired
as they had to keep watch hour upon hour over the shimmering white
flatness, by the time Elios called a halt for the night, everyone was worn
out and some tempers were getting thin, only those not on specific duty
could rest and relax during the driving hours but, at night they took over
as guards and protectors of the camp as the others slept.

It was a monotonous two days but Elios and Mita knew that tomorrow things
would change, they were now right at the edge of the salt wastes and
tomorrow they would being to travel into sand and hills, while it would
still be tough travel, they would at least be spared the glaring sameness
of the salt flats and their eyes could finally rest from the stark glare of
the bright sun off the prism like salt crystals that had seemed to increase
the vast power of the sun.

There was little to distract the convoy during the night and, in the first
light of morning, Elios and Mita called their troop together for a briefing
of what they thought lay ahead of them, this led to a change in the
positions of the convoy vehicles, Mita, along with one guard boy, would now
go ahead and take up a position with his sniper rifle well in advance of
the rest, he would then wait and watch until the slower convoy caught up
and then repeat the exercise, with his two-seater Quad he could easily
speed ahead, it was in this way they hoped to be able to see any enemy or
those from the forward bunker, before the strangers could see them, the two
jeeps would now take a wider track to each side for a better side cover and
all the trucks would close up and keep together with the Humvee's around
them while the APC took the vanguard.

After a fast morning meal, the newly configured convoy set off, Mita and
his guard had already left and were out of sight as the other started their
vehicles, the faint shimmering blueness of the distant hills beckoned them
and Elios did not want to wait any longer on the last of the salt flats, he
set a reasonable speed so the central trucks could keep pace without being
stretched to their limits but he also did not want them to be ambling along
as though they had all day.

By midday they had left the salt flats and were now a few kilometres into
the sandy rises that would lead to the first of the low hills, inside the
vehicles, under the heat of three days of dusty travel, the boys were
beginning to smell ripe, their clothes were inundated with salt and dust
and their skin felt like it was covered with grit, the heavy scent of boy
sweat filled each vehicle but, for those inside it was almost unnoticeable,
all their senses were directed onto what was outside the vehicles, they
were now into territory that could hold extreme danger and none of them
wanted to be the one responsible for getting his friends hurt or worse,

After travelling for an hour on the morning of the fourth day, Elios called
a halt to the convoy as a message came in from Mita, he was positioned on
top of a low sand dune overlooking a wide valley that led to another higher
range of hills, he had buried himself deep in the sand so he was almost
invisible to anyone below. With his binoculars he watched the far side of
the valley below with an intense gaze.

As Mita had set out before first light, he was able to get to and up the
ridge before the first rays of the sun showed over the next ridge line,
what he saw below him gave him, gave him food for thought, the bunker they
had been searching for looked to be closer than they had at first thought
but, further to that it was plainly obvious that it was occupied by

Mita watched as he saw four grown men come out of the bunker door, they
were fully armed and on the alert as they made for what looked like sentry
posts set up about a hundred metres outside the doorway, Mita stayed still
and watched as the men took up their own positions to guard the door
access, the first thing Mita noticed was that they did not look like Renegs
and, unless he was mistaken, they looked very much at ease with the weapons
they carried, the more he watched the more certain he was that they were
part of the "President" mans group although there was nothing to indicate
that apart from the way the behaved.

Mita called back to Elios with his information and then stayed to watch
further as Elios pulled over the convoy so the noise would not carry to the
bunker guards, from now on they would have to keep things very quiet, Elios
sat down to think, they had to make contact but in a way that everyone
would stay safe, he already was not very happy with the man who said he
ruled everything but there was a faint chance they could be of help with
the future of the Reneg gangs.

It was not Elios wish to make enemies wherever they went, but they had been
and seen enough to not want to be ruled over by a funny short fat man,
Elios though he would have to spend some time to find out what a
"President" man was, for the last few weeks he had been to busy t look into
it and now felt he should have done it sooner, they had always held the
advantage by knowing what was to come before they stepped into anything and
now they were once again faced with this strange man and his troop.

For the next hour, Elios and his boy discussed what to do, keeping in
contact with Mita, he passed on what was said so that he could also point
out any suggestions or faults, finally it was decided to make an approach
to the bunker with only a minimum of boys so that they did not look
threatening, it was hoped they could find out what the others were up to,
if they wished to join up with the boys for mutual defence then it was ok,
if not, then they would leave them and go on with their search for another
bunker although Elios felt it was not a good idea to leave someone behind
them that could cause trouble for them later but, he also did not want to
start anything that could hurt them either.

Knowing how the sound of the vehicles could travel long distances, Elios
kept the speed down to a minimum as the closed up on the sand dune that
Mita was still hidden on, Mita had estimated that the valley was about two
kilometres wide and what looked like the entrance to the valley was a
further three kilometres to their right, Elios slowly pulled all the convoy
to a stop where he saw the quad partially buried in the soft sand, the
guard boy was also half buried under the sand behind the quad using it as
cover, as the guard saw the convoy close on his position he lifted up
enough for Elios to see he was ok, as quietly as they could, Elios convoy
pulled to a halt below the ridge.

Above Elios and the convoy, Mita kept a sharp eye on the four bunker guards
below him, while he had heard the sound of the slow moving convoy, he felt
sure the sand dune had covered most of the noise from those he watched
below, a soft whispering of sand behind him, told Mita that he was being
joined from below by one of the convoy boys, he didn't need to look around
as the special smell of Elios hit his nose, only his eyes moved slightly to
look at his boy friend as he slithered in beside him.

"Hello my Kabine, how are things with the convoy?"

"Good, I only hope they didn't hear us coming up, what's happening down

"Nothing much, the guards seem to be relaxed and I haven't seen anyone from
inside come out so I don't know how many men are in there yet."

"Ok, well I've been thinking further on how we should go about talking to

"What have you come up with? I don't want you making a target of yourself
for those crazies."

"Well, you remember when we first met them they had a white cloth to show
they were not going to attack us?"


"Well I have cut one of those white bed coverings into a smaller piece, we
use only one of the Humvee's and fly the cloth on the aerial to show them
we don't want to fight with them, I, a driver and two guards go down there
alone, the rest of the convoy stays hidden behind this ridge, you can keep
us covered from up here and the others can be ready in the jeeps and other
vehicles just in case they start anything."

"That's fine but what if they try to hurt you, you'll be all alone down
there with only the three boys and no way to escape if they try anything?"

"Don't worry, we'll still have the Humvee and we'll stay inside until I
feel if it's safe enough, I'm not going to take any chances with them,
besides, you'll be up here watching and they don't know we have all the
other boys hidden down here, if we have to fight we can keep them inside
the bunker until they want to give up."

"Are you forgetting how much equipment is inside these bunkers, they could
stay in there for years if they wanted to and we couldn't get to them?"

"I know, if they do that then will just have to wait and see, but if they
don't want to join us then we can just leave them, we have enough boys now
and all those new ones coming in all the time, that we outnumber them if
they try to make a fight of it, besides, they are all older men, they can't
last as long as we can and I only saw one boy that was with them."

"Ok, but if they make one wrong move towards you I'm going to start

"Good, ok, well I think we had better get this started, I'll send half the
boy up here to watch with you, the rest can stay ready in the jeeps,
Humvee's and the APC in case they're needed, keep your com unit open in
case I need your help, when I start talking to them I will leave mine open
so you can hear from here."

Mita turned his head and quickly placed alight kiss on Elios cheek as the
boy started to squirm his way back down the ridge to set up the other boys
for what was to come, within half an hour, everything was ready, Elios
Humvee had a large cut piece of white cloth flying from the aerial as he
started to drive towards the entrance of the valley some three kilometres
away to the right, Elios kept his speed down to stop any dust from flying
to high or any noise from carrying to far towards the waiting guards at the
entrance of the new bunker.

It was twenty minutes before he reached the opening into the valley, once
there he sped up the Humvee so that the sound would reach the waiting
guards and let them know that someone was coming towards them with no
attempt at concealment, through his ear piece, Mita reported what was
happening down in the valley as the louder sound of the speeding Humvee was
heard by the four guards.

In the two defensive bunkers outside the bunker, the four armed guards
heard the deep throated growl of a heavy vehicle coming from further down
the valley, Mita, watching through his binoculars from his hiding place
atop the sand ridge, saw the guards come to alert as the first signs of the
speeding Humvee came within range, its hastily made white flag flying
stiffly in the draft created by the speed of the vehicle.

As the Humvee drew closer, the four guards raised their rifles in the
direction of the perceived threat, watching closely the guards saw the
white flag and paused, it was an old system of truce and they had no option
but to hold fire until they found out what was going on, seeing only a
single vehicle, albeit and armoured one, the senior spoke into his com unit
to his superior inside the bunker.

Elios stopped the Humvee about one hundred metres from the guard posts,
there he sat and waited as he tried not to show any signs of aggression
towards the four men aiming rifles at he and his small crew. It took a few
minutes more before he saw the door of the bunker start to rise and the
dark shape of six more figures came through the entrance, in the lead was
the same man Elios had spoken to all those weeks ago, Captain Noel.

The Captain looked at the single Humvee waiting patiently a hundred metres
from his guard posts, too his mind there could only be one group that would
have them apart from his own troops, in all their long travels from one
bunker to another, they had never seen the waste land gangs with vehicles,
it had to the young boys they had met some time ago, the Captain gave
orders for his men to lower their weapons but stay alert, he then moved
cautiously towards the Humvee.

As he drew closer, Captain Noel heard and saw the drivers door begin to
open, the tension in the air was almost palpable as the small figure of the
boy he knew as Elios, stepped from the Humvee, apart from a side-arm and a
combat knife fixed to his waist belt, the young boy was unarmed, the
Captain gave a hand signal behind his back for his men to stand down, the
boy was evidently no threat at this stage, although he did look incongruous
in his cut down fatigues and large weapons on such a small frame.

Elios took a couple of steps towards the captain and then stopped so he was
still close enough to the Humvee to flee if had need too, Elios then waited
for the Captain to approach him before smiling and giving a short greeting,
Elios also remembered to keep his own com unit open so that his backup
could hear everything being said, he waited while the captain replied to
his greeting and then began to explain to the man why they had come to see

"Captain, we came to see if you wished to join our bunker system, with the
ones we hold now we could be of help to you and your people, we could also
use the help you have about the ancients, its obvious that you have a lot
of knowledge we don't have and it would be best to keep the technology of
the ancients out of the hands of the Renegs."

"Well, Elios, thank you for the offer but I can't make that decision, we
would have to let the President do that, he's our leader and the leader of
our country as he is your leader."

"What! No he's not our leader, we lead ourselves."

"I'd have to disagree with you there Elios, you see the President is the
lawful leader of the North American States and, you are a member of those
same states so, therefore you are under his command, it's all to do with
the legal aspect of the constitution for which he is responsible in just
the same way his Forefather's have been."

"Well I don't know anything about Forefathers, his or anyone else's, for
that matter, I don't know what a Forefather is, as too us belonging to your
"President" man, well that's silly, we have our own leaders and we're doing
ok just as we are."

"Look, Elios, its the way of the world, someone has to be the overall
leader, the Presidents family was chosen to be that leader as his
Forefather was the one who held the office when the Horror started, its the
way things are done, you have to have a leader, besides he's a very
religious man and would not do anything to hurt you or your group, he's
juts there to lead us through these tough times."

Elios thought back to his first meeting with the short fat man, it was
obvious he had seen very little of tough times as he was well fed and had a
special escort to keep him safe, Elios looked deeply into the Captains
eyes, even he could see that the man thought he was right and that he
believed in what he was saying, there was no evident dishonesty in the mans

"I'm sorry Captain, but we have our own leaders, we only made this approach
so that we could all be safe, we have a number of bunkers open and thought
you may need help at some stage, there are still a lot of Renegs out

"I don't have the authority to make any decisions at this time Elios,
perhaps it would be better to talk to the President about all this and then
we can come to some sort of agreement on mutual help."

Elios thought about the offer to talk to the "President" man, in his ear
and unheard by the Captain, Mita advised him about not going inside the
bunker where he would be alone, they didn't know these men very well and he
did not want his Kabine going into that sort of danger, Elios gave it more
thought, finally he decided that he had to try, if nothing came of it then
so be it, they would go there own way and keep away from the fat man who
though he owned the world.

"I will meet with your "President" so we can talk about sharing things and

"Good, if you can give me a little time to set it up then we can get it all
sorted out, would you like to come inside and wait, we can get some food
and drink for you and your boys?"

Elios listened to Mita in his ear as he thought about the offer, Mita was
still not happy that Elios wanted to talk to the man who though he owned
the world, if anything happened inside the bunker, Mita and the others
would not be able to help him, Elios agreed but could not give up this
chance to make their own small world stronger by having allies, finally,
Elios agreed to go with the Captain as long as he could take two of his own
boys with him, the driver and gunner would stay with the Humvee, Elios said
nothing about the rest of his group hiding up on the sand ridge.

Elios returned to the Humvee and asked two of the four boys to come with
him, they would keep their rifles and stay with Elios during the meeting,
the three boys returned to join the Captain as he waited patiently for the
boys, once they were all together, the Captain led them through the cordon
of ten men towards the open doorway.

As they moved inside the dark opening, Elios began to take notice of the
number of men and, much to his surprise, women, all wore the same military
dress that Elios and his boys wore, Elios also saw that all of them were
fully armed and watching the smaller boys with an alert nonchalance, to
these long time troops, any strange visitor, especially armed with weapons
from a bygone age, was to be watched closely.

Captain Noel led the boys to one of the tables in the common room, there he
called for food and drink for the visitors while he went to organise the
meeting with the President, Elios and the boys drank and ate as they
waited, in his mind Elios tried to sort out what he would say to the short
fat man, even now, he was not sure of the man, there was something about
him that Elios natural suspicion of adults did not trust, he could still
not get his head around the fact that the man claimed to rule the world.

It was twenty minutes before the Captain returned, after a short message,
the Captain asked Elios and his two boys to follow him to the Presidents
office, behind the small group came six adult military, also armed, they
were not going to trust Elios and the two boys close to their President. At
the door to the office, Captain Noel told Elios that they could not carry
their arms into the meeting, it would seem as though the boys did not trust
the President and could cause problems with the talks.

Elios was not happy about being unarmed but there was little he could do
now, the three boys were outnumbered and all that kept them safe was the
knowledge that Mita and the others were still hidden within reach although
the hidden numbers of armed adults in the bunker surprised Elios, there
were far more here than they had seen when they first met, Elios felt for
his com unit to make sure it was still on and that Mita could hear

When they entered the office, Elios saw that the "President" man was seated
behind a large desk, behind him were six men, also well fed and a little
overweight, Elios was not happy to see the extra men, in his mind a talk
about friendship was between the two men whom it concerned, he immediately
felt the tension in the air and the "President" looked a little too
comfortable and appeared to look down at Elios as nothing more than a young
immature boy, Elios gathered this information before the man had even said
a word to him, his natural suspicion of strangers, especially, adult
strangers, was on full alert.

Elios saw the President give a half hearted smile in his direction and
gestured for Elios to take a seat across from himself, he then went into an
introduction of the six men behind him, Elios could not understand why he
had to have "Advisors" a leader knew what was right or wrong, if he was not
sure he asked all the people what they thought and then, they all made the

Elios could not follow all the names of the six men so let it pass, he was
here to offer help and that was all, finally, when the President had said
his piece, Elios reiterated his offer of help and friendship by the two
camps joining together for mutual safety, Elios watched as the "President"
turned to his six men and they began to discuss what Elios had just said,
already Elios was bored with the long drawn out process, it took a further
ten minutes before they even came close to making a decision, each of the
six men had to have his say and. By the tone of the talk, Elios guessed
that it would not go well; there was an aloofness about the men towards
such a young boy coming to them.

The discussion rolled on and Elios soon became aware that what they were
saying was not what they meant, the six men, along with the "President" was
slowly turning the meeting around to make it feel as though they expected
to take charge of Elios and all the bunkers his boys had found and, that
Elios and his boys would now come under the rule of the "President", they
would not be allowed to roam freely over the wastes but would spend their
time here under the orders of the "President" and his advisors who would
see that they would be made to work for the good of the States, Elios had
no idea what these "States" were and so lost interest.

It was two hours later that Elios had had enough, rising to his feet, he
thanked the six men and the "President" for their time but said he and his
men would prefer to stay together and not join the group, from the corner
of his eye, Elios caught a stiffening of Captain Noel's body, it was the
first sign of something not being right, as he turned around to leave, the
double doors crashed open and in ran six armed men, their rifles aimed at
Elios and the two boys, it was a smooth voice of the "President" that broke
through Elios shock.

"I'm sorry, my boy, but you can't leave, we've decided to keep you here and
any of your young friends that come will also join you, it's not right that
young boys like yourselves be allowed to roam wildly out on the wastes,
that's what started the wild gangs in the first place, we're going to keep
you here and give you a proper Christian upbringing so that you can join us
eventually and become a working part of our way of life."

Before Elios could open his mouth, he and the two boys with him were
grabbed from behind and their arms quickly pulled behind their backs and
fastened with the metal circles like they had used on Lion Claw, for just a
second, Elios saw a look of sorrow pass over the face of Captain Noel, it
made no difference to the way Elios was feeling at the betrayal, he had
thought that the funny white flag was a sign of peace.

After they removed his combat knife and com unit, with his mind now in
turmoil, he and the others were roughly pushed out of the office and taken
away along a passage, from his knowledge of the layout of the bunkers, he
could tell they were being taken down below the ground level, all he could
hope was that Mita had picked up on what had happened.

Out on the ridge top, Mita heard everything, from somewhere deep in his gut
he felt a surge of pure anger rise like a volcano, he had never experienced
such hatred of any man but now, his anger almost radiated out of him as he
continued to listen to the words coming from the com unit, which, it
seemed, the men had not thought to switch off or, Elios had purposely left
on for his benefit, Mita listened intently as the remaining men in the
Presidents office continued to discuss the boys, the first voice Mita
recognised was that of the Captain.

"Mr, President, I must protest, those boys came here under a flag of truce,
we have no right to imprison them for their views."

"Not true Captain, those boys need a good dose of reality, they also need
to be taught about the laws of God, they're like little heathens, doing
things to each other against all that God stands for, they need to be kept
here and be turned back to the ways of God, which reminds me, get the
Pastor to start giving them lessons from the Bible, I'll not have good
American boys become agents of the devil, you will need to send out patrols
to bring the other boys in as well, with God's grace we will have this once
mighty country back to following God's word."

There was silence on the com unit after that and only the closing of a door
in the background told Mita that the meeting was over, while his rage
continued to build, Mita did not forget the two boys down in the Humvee,
with an urgent call in his com unit, he told the boys to get out of there
fast and return behind the ridge, he and the others would cover them from
the ridge, Mita then watched as the Humvee quickly fired up and turned to
leave, as the Humvee sped off, Mita watched another ten armed men run from
the bunker door to join those already outside but, it was to late, the
Humvee was now disappearing in a cloud of sand and dust.






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