CHAPTER 23

Into the Inferno This story contains sex between minor boys and teen-agers.
If such things offend you, or you are not at least 18 years of age, then
please don't read on. This story is not true, but who knows, maybe some
day it will be.


Stevie met Alex when he came through the air lock. He breathed a little
easier when he saw that Alex didn't have a mark on him.

"How did it go brother?" Stevie asked. Like he needed to.

"I think you should throw RC a sleeping bag. I don't think he's in any
shape to come up the ladder. Let's go to bed."

That night they slept differently. Alex and Stevie, for the first time in a
long time. And they made such sweet brotherly love. Brett and Douglas,
being brothers but full of sex too. Scooter and Jim for the first time in
years. Ryan and Mike, because of all the sweet things Mike had done for
Ryan. Jeremy and Travis, who each thought the other one was cute, and could
do something about it. Robert Charles climbed in through the opening they
were making for the sleds and crawled into the area his workers had made
for him. Jordan fell asleep on the seat next to Matthew, feeling very sad
and alone.

Alex and Stevie had pretty much stayed with their boyfriends through the
trip on the "Moonduster". Now they were laid out on a sleeping bag, Alex
slowly fucking Stevie, telling him how much he loved him and how important
he was to him. Alex let himself relax and soon shot his wad into his
younger brother's butt. They slept in each other's arms, full of love.

For Douglas and Brett, it was a 69. Brett knew Douglas could never be his
boyfriend, but he was happy to get what Douglas offered him and swallowing
Douglas's hot sweet cum was a special pleasure. Douglas told Brett how glad
he was to have him as a brother.

Scooter let Jim fuck him. It wasn't the same as Douglas. But he loved Jim,
it was cool with Douglas if he did it, and he was willing to give himself
up for the friend he loved so much. He shot two light drops over his chest
and belly when Jim came and filled his ass with his boy cum. It was the
first time they had ever made love to each other. They slept cuddled in a
bag, happy to be with each other but missing their boy loves.

Mike didn't know how, but he found Ryan on him. It started out as just
talk, then making out, then feeling up, and now Ryan was ramming him like a
rabbit, telling him how much Mike's kindness meant to him. He felt the
pressure build up in himself, and started shooting as Ryan filled Mike's
insides. Both Ryan and Mike knew that their boyfriends wouldn't mind what
they did, that somehow they would know it was helping themselves and the
whole group.

At first Jeremy and Travis thought they were just stuck with each
other. But then they remembered how they had been thinking how cute the
other guy was, so they said, "what the hell," For them it ended up being a
69, and them knowing that the tighter their group, the better chance they
had to survive. Each new pair fell asleep cuddled up tightly. All of them
in the comfortable cabin knowing that soon they might be out in the desert
sand and heat.


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Robert Charles finished cleaning himself the best he could. He hurt badly
all over. He wanted to make somebody else hurt. He listened to the sounds
of the ship. He had come in through opening in the back after everyone had
fallen asleep. He didn't want to be seen or talked to. He opened and closed
the door to the back section. Right away the climate controlled air felt
good. He noticed that nobody seemed to be sleeping with who he thought
their regular partner was. What a bunch of faggots, he thought. No wonder
they didn't appreciate him, they wanted another faggot like that fucking
Douglas leading them. They would all be sorry before this was over. Very
sorry.

He went slowly around some sleeping boys and climbed quietly up the
ladder. He went into the cabin and up to the seat where Jordan was
sleeping. He saw Matthew on the floor covered by a blanket. He lifted the
blanket and saw his skinny naked body. He felt his dick stir thinking of
how tight his butt was on the "Starkeeper" and what a great fuck he would
be now. He thought what a great way it would be to get revenge on
Alex. But he needed to get him alone somehow. For right now he would wake
up Jordan.

He reached down and shook his shoulder. Jordan was covered by a blanket. He
woke up slowly and rubbed his eyes. Robert Charles pulled back the
blanket. Jordan's smooth, hairless body glowed in the night lighting. That
was all they kept on at night. He reached down and stroked Jordan's dick
until he got hard. Jordan moaned, then tried turning away.

"Wake up, dude. I want you."

Even half asleep Jordan could smell the stink on Robert Charles. He didn't
want him touching him or being close to him.

"Don't turn away from me. You know you like it," Robert Charles whispered
to him.

"Leave me alone."

Robert Charles started lifting him off the seat, but Jordan resisted.

"Come on, Jordy, you know you want it. You know you want to make me feel
good."

"Noooo. Noooo. Please. Not tonight." Jordan tried making himself into a
ball.

Robert Charles put his hand over Jordan's mouth and nose and closed them
both tight. "Listen, you little shit. I'm tired of people fucking with
me. You are supposed to be my friend. Well, now is the time to show it or
I'm going to hurt you bad. Understand what I'm saying?"

Jordan grunted out, "Uh huh," and tried nodding yes.

Robert Charles let go and whispered," Get up and follow me."

He walked back to the galley with Jordan stumbling after him. For the first
time since the first day he met him Jordan disliked Robert Charles. He
thought they were partners in using everybody else, and now he was being
used himself.

When they got down the ladder they had to maneuver around sleeping
bags. One of them was the one that had Mike and Ryan in it. It was much
darker down below than up in the cabin and Robert Charles stumbled over
Mike and woke him up.

"What the fuck," Mike mumbled.

Robert Charles tried to get around him. Jordan stepped around the other
way.

"What's going on?" Mike asked.

"You guys can have fun, so can we," Robert Charles said. He was pinching
Jordan's butt cheek as a reminder not to say anything.

"That cool with you, Jordan?" Mike didn't trust Robert Charles one bit.

"Yeah." It was too dark for Mike to see how miserable Jordan looked.

Jordan followed Robert Charles to the area he had built and crawled into
his sleeping bag with him. Robert Charles didn't mess around with any
foreplay. He went right into Jordan's tight butt. Mike lay in his own
sleeping bag listening to the sound of Robert Charles fucking Jordan.
Somehow the whole thing didn't seem right, but before he could think more
he was asleep.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

When morning came Mike was up before everybody sticking breakfasts into the
microwave. Boys were soon coming from the cabin and from down below ready
to eat. When Jordan came up Mike looked at him, and followed him to a seat
to eat. He sat next to him. Jordan had been a real pain in the ass on the
"Starkeeper", but the happenings on the "Moonduster" seem to have changed
him out. He wasn't the cocky 12 year old boy strutting around trying to
create trouble and problems. He had become very quiet and seemed to be very
attached to Matthew. Whenever Scooter wasn't there, he was on the seat
above Matthew, and even when Scooter was there he would sit next to him
sometimes go be close to Matthew.

"You okay?" Mike asked.

Jordan looked down at his pancakes. "Yeah."

"Did RC make you do that last night?"

"No," Jordan said quietly.

"Because if he did, I'll go kick his ass. He isn't going to push anybody
around any more." Mike ruffled Jordan's hair. "Okay?"

"Yeah. It's cool." Jordan had a sullen look on his face and Mike decided
not to push any more. But he was sure that Jordan didn't give up his butt
competely willingly last night.

After they ate and cleaned up the galley Douglas called for a meeting. When
they all were there Douglas said it was time to have a new election. They
needed to have a leader they were all confident in. Nobody said a word
about what happened between Alex and Robert Charles the night before, but
everybody knew about it by now.

Robert Charles sat at the back table with Jordan and glared. Jordan looked
unhappy sitting where he was.

"I nominate Douglas as our new leader," Scooter said.

Robert Charles bumped Jordan lightly. "Um...I nominate Robert Charles."
Jordan didn't have a clue why Robert Charles wanted to be nominated since
he knew he was going to lose.

"I just want to say," Douglas said, "that I know I didn't want to be the
leader. I still don't really, but I guess somebody needs to and you guys
seem to think I'm the one. So, I will work hard to do the best I can. I'm
going to say this much. If I get elected, we are going to leave the
'Moonduster' and head over the mountains. Everybody should know that. I
think if we stay here we will die. Food and water will run out. And Stevie
can only do so much to keep this wreck going. And he's done awesome so
far. You all know how I feel. We gotta leave here."

Then Robert Charles stood up to talk. "I know you guys don't like me. It's
because I've had to make all the tough decisions and..."

"Put a cork in it, RC," Alex said. "Let's vote."

If the looks could kill, then the look in Robert Charles's eyes would have
finished Alex off. Mike had the ballots ready again and passed them
out. Again everybody voted. The results weren't a surprise. Douglas 10,
Robert Charles 2.

Douglas took a deep breath. Now it was more than just coming up with ideas
and staying in the background. Now he was responsible. Twelve boys were
going to look to him to make his decisions. And his decisions could make
the difference about whether they would live or die. He took a deep
breath. There were no adults to bail him out now, but he had some pretty
good friends to give him advice. He wasn't going to make his decisions
alone. He was going to ask for plenty of help. But he knew that in the end
the decisions would be his.

"Scooter, Mike, Alex. I need to talk to you guys."

He led them downstairs. Robert Charles saw them go down and sat fuming even
more.

"What's up, Douglas?" Alex asked.

"I guess I'm in charge now. But I'm gonna need you guys. I'm gonna need
your advice. I'm gonna need your help. I can't do this alone."

"Douglas, I know you can do this. We all know you can," Scooter said.

"Scooter, I didn't say I couldn't do it. I said I can't do it alone."

`I love you my sweetness. Douglas could hear his thoughts. You can do
anything you want. I love you.'

`I know I can Scooter. I love you. I need you with me all the way.'

`I love you, Douglas. I'm in your heart and soul. You will never be
alone. NEVER!'

Just hearing Scooter in his head made him feel better. Knowing his love was
with him gave him more confidence to do what he needed to do. He leaned
over and kissed Scooter. Scooter gave him a hard kiss back. Mike and Alex
stood there holding hands. They heard a noise and saw Robert Charles coming
down the ladder.

"Are you guys having some sort of secret meeting?" he asked.

"I'm just setting up who is going to advise me," Douglas answered. He
figured he might as well be honest about it.

"Oh, so you don't think you need the guy who led you here? Like everything
I did isn't worth shit?"

"RC, didn't you get my message yesterday? Or do you need an instant
replay?" Alex asked.

"Listen, shorty. I wasn't ready. You cheated. Which is how your fearless
leader is working right now. Just get anybody to help you and forget the
guy who got you here."

"Robert Charles. You can't be as stupid as you sound," Douglas said. "You
never led us. You lied to us, you bullied us, you cheated us, and you
talked a big line. If building you that comfortable corner is leading the
you were a leader. If making us all better and giving us a chance to
survive on Inferno, then you weren't worth shit. You're dad isn't here to
help you threaten. What we're talking about here is survival. For all of
us. Pure an simple. Survival. So I think the best thing you can do is go
upstairs. And when you're willing to help us instead of getting in our way
let us know."

Robert Charles started to say something but Douglas shut him up. "It's like
this, Robert Charles. Lead, follow, or stay out of the way. You didn't
lead us, you won't follow me, so stay the fuck out of the way." Douglas
looked at him. "But like I said, any time you want to follow and help, let
me know."

Robert Charles sneered at the four of them and climbed up the ladder.

"Good speech, Douglas," Mike said.

"He's going to be trouble," Douglas said. "Getting to us means more to him
than helping us survive. He's a mean, sick bastard."

`I love you, My sweet,' Scooter said in Douglas's head. `You were so
awesome.'

Douglas concentrated his thoughts. `I love you. I love you so much. With
you I am never alone.' They kissed again, and went up the ladder to start
getting the work for the day done. Douglas wanted them ready to go by the
day after tomorrow. There was nothing to stay here for.


++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

They spent the morning getting the opening wider so they could get the
sleds out. Just before lunch Scooter called them on the PA. He said
Douglas, Alex, and Stevie needed to get up to the cockpit fast.

Douglas headed up first and fast, afraid that something happened to
Matthew. But when he got to the front he saw that Scooter was in the
cockpit.

"Listen," he said. "Something is on the radio."

Alex and Stevie got there. All four of them listened to the radio. A steady
pattern was coming over it. Long long. Short short shot. Long long
long. Short short. Then it repeated.

"What is it?" Douglas asked.

"I don't know," Stevie said. "Let's see if Jordan or Jim do."

They came to the cockpit fast. Jim had no clue. But Jordan thought he did.

"It might be a locator signal," he said.

"Ours?" Alex asked.

"No. Another one. The Communications officer let me listen to one on the
radio once. It had a pattern like that."

The boys listened to the signal. If it was a locator signal that meant
another shuttle might have made it to the planet. Well, if a bunch of kids
found their way here, Douglas thought, no reason one with a regular crew
couldn't. And if it was a locator signal, that means somebody from the
"Starkeeper" survived.

"If it is, then we're not alone," Douglas said. The boys looked at each
other all excited. Maybe a rescue was on the way. Douglas was thinking
that there would be adults coming to rescue them, and adults meant they
could be responsible and make the decisions. He could take the big weight
off his shoulders that was suddenly sitting there. He said a quick silent
prayer that if that was another shuttle up there it would find them fast.

"Can they hear our locator signal?" Scooter asked.

"I don't know," Stevie said. "The radio is so messed up I don't know if it
is even sending. I guess something is working because we are hearing that
signal."

"Why aren't they sending us a message or something?" Douglas asked.

"Maybe they don't hear us. Maybe we can't receive it. I don't know," Stevie
replied.

"I wonder if they are in orbit around Inferno?" Alex questioned. Nobody
said anything to that because nobody knew.

They listened to the beeps for a couple of more minutes hoping that maybe a
voice would come telling them that they were found and that everything was
okay. Then suddenly the beeps stopped. The cockpit was totally quiet. They
waited for them to start again, but nothing happened. The beeps never
returned.

They spent the rest of the day talking about them. Were they from a shuttle
locator? Was it in orbit? Could it be from whatever aliens terraformed this
planet? If it was a shuttle did they hear the "Moonduster's" locator
signal? The boys would keep popping their heads outside hoping to see
something landing next to them. Nothing happened.

By the end of the day they were pretty sure nothing was going to
happen. The whole group started becoming really depressed. Just after
dinner Alex and Stevie stepped out from the cockpit with part of the
instrument panel.

"What do you have there?" Ryan asked.

"Well, guys, since the sun is down, and it's cooling off, let's take it
outside and find out," Alex said.

Some of the boys went out of the airlock and down the ladder. Some went
through the opening in the back. They spread the tarp out and the twelve
boys sat on it wondering what was going to happen. Only Stevie, Alex, and
Douglas knew. Douglas had talked with Stevie and Alex about doing something
special on their last full night on the "Moonduster".

Stevie opened a small hatch on the fuselage of the shuttle. He took a power
cord and plugged it in. The thing they brought out started humming. It was
a touchpad from the instrument panel. It had a couple of speakers from the
broken radio attached to it. Alex pushed the pad and a sound came out. It
was a musical note. Alex tuned it all up, then played a quick song.

"I thought maybe us all doing a little singing would get us in the right
mood for what's ahead of us."

Alex started a few notes of a song he figured everybody would know. The
singing was quiet and not everybody was singing. Douglas thought about the
concert Alex put on for them in the cargo hold and how alive that
was. Right now they were all dead. Alex and Stevie started singing with
their golden voices, Alex pounding away on his homemade keyboard. But that
was about all that was heard, except Douglas singing loudly but way off
key.

Robert Charles, who had been sitting quietly, got up and went up the ladder
into the cabin. The singing went on quietly. It was more like a
murmur. Then he reappeared and climbed back down. He was carrying one of
the radios that was on the sled. The singing stopped.

"What are you up to, RC?" Alex said.

"I put a radio next to Matthew. It's set for two way. I figure Matthew
can't be with us but he can hear us sing. And he can call us if he wakes
up. So let's sing so Matthew can hear us."

Douglas looked at Robert Charles. He forgot that just because he was an
asshole, it didn't mean he wasn't a human being too. Just like all of them.

Robert Charles's gesture seemed to lighten things up. The singing got
louder. Everybody started joining in. Brett lost his worried look and
sang. Jordan brightened up and sang. Pretty soon Alex was jamming away,
Stevie was playing on some drums he constructed quickly, and the whole
group was up singing and dancing. They were naked, hard, and for a little
while happy.

Up in the cabin Matthew woke up. His head hurt, his stomach hurt, and his
leg hurt. He heard the singing on the radio and smiled. Then he fell back
to sleep.

The wind started blowing some and the temperature went down. The boys
started heading back into the shuttle. As Scooter and Douglas helped Alex
and Stevie put things away they looked up into the sky. It was clear and
black and full of stars. Suddenly some streaks went across it.
Meteors. The night was beautiful. Douglas wondered when he would feel this
happy again.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Scooter checked on Matthew. Jordan said he would take care of his waste bag
and clean him up.

Matthew had a fever earlier and he still felt warm, but his face looked
calmer. Scooter turned off the radio and returned it to the sled when he
got down below. He closed the door and found Douglas in their corner in a
sleeping bag. He cuddled up next to him. He loved feeling Douglas's heart
beat through his smooth hard chest. He loved touching his skin.

They kissed and cuddled. They touched and petted. Douglas kissed Scooter's
neck and nibbled on it. He kissed down along his chest and licked his
nipples. Scooter's pink nipples stood up hard. Douglas bit them
lightly. Scooter moaned from the feeling.

Douglas kept licking and kissing down Scooter's body. When he got to his
belly button he kissed it and licked the inside. Then he licked down to
his hairless pubes. Scooter's beautiful uncut dick stood hard and
proud. Douglas licked around it, along the inside of his thighs and then
under his balls. Scooter shuddered from the good feelings. Then Douglas
sucked on each of Scooter's balls and licked up his dick, until he licked
the head. His tongue played with the peehole, and then Douglas took it all
the way in, sucking him down to his smooth pubes. Scooter pushed his hips
up and humped Douglas's sucking mouth. Douglas flicked his tongue across
Scooter's dick as he sucked him.

I love you my sweetness, he heard Scooter say in his mind. I want you in me
tonight. We are one in our souls and I want us one in our bodies.

`I love you so much, Douglas thought back. I want to make sweet love to
you. I want us linked and one.'

Scooter's legs were up and Douglas pushed up against his rose. He pushed
inside, Scooter pushed back, and soon he was all the way inside his
love. He could feel Scooter's insides around his hard dick and he pushed
his smooth pubes to Scooter's butt.

`Make love to me my sweet. Be one with me. Love me. Love me. Love me'.

Douglas started pumping Scooter's butt. He loved being in him. He loved
being in Scooter's mind. He and Scooter were one. Linked forever. Mind and
body together. Douglas was in Scooter's body and in his mind and in his
soul and in his heart. He rubbed hard across Scooter's sweet spot sending
so much pleasure through Scooter that he shook.

`Touch them Douglas. Touch them together. Oh, please touch them.'

Douglas heard Scooter in his mind, but didn't understand. `What, my love?
Touch what?'

`The heads...we need to touch the heads. The heads...they gotta touch.'

Douglas knew what he wanted, but wasn't sure why. But if this was what his
love wanted, then he would give it to him. He pulled out of Scooter's butt
with a pop and got closer to Scooter, laying his hard dick over Scooter's
boner. He let the heads of their dicks touched and Scooter let out a long
moan. Douglas almost felt electricity shoot through him as the two dick
heads touched. Scooter felt the jolt too as all the energy of their sex
went between the heads of their dicks.

They humped and rubbed, but it didn't take long. The orgasm built up in
both of them. Their dicks swelled up with blood, the heads getting big and
full of feeling. Douglas was getting feelings in his head he never felt
before, his brain on the edge of exploding. Scooter was the same way. They
were ready to cum, and the feeling of their orgasms leaped from one mind to
the other. Douglas was feeling his and Scooter's and Scooter was feeling
his and Douglas's. Douglas was lost in Scooter. Scooter was lost in
Douglas. In both of their minds the only thing happening was the feeling of
sex and orgasm.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh .
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. MMMMMMMMMMM.. AAAAAAAAAAAAA

It was in Douglas's mind. In Scooter's mind. In both of their dicks. The
feeling almost sent them out of their bodies as their orgasms exploded and
they covered each other with their spurts of hot sweet boy cum. They both
were so lost in themselves and each other they didn't even know they were
screaming. "DOUGLAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

"SCOOOOOOOOOOOOOOTERRRRRRRRRRR"

Then entire group heard them and they didn't care. They were each with
their own boyfriends, Alex and Mike, Stevie and Jim, Ryan and Travis,
Jeremy and Brett. All they knew through their own feelings was that
something very special must have happened between their leader and his
lover.

For Scooter and Douglas the explosion in their minds and dicks overloaded
some circuits. Douglas fell on top of Scooter as they both blacked out,
totally happy, glowing like the lights of a thousand cities. Their bodies
were stuck together by what they shot out, and their minds and souls were
stuck together by their love

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Robert Charles was sleeping in his corner. He was jerked awake by the
scream of Scooter and Douglas. That and all the other sex he knew was going
on had him very horny. He lay in his bag stroking his hard leaking
dick. What he wanted right now was a place to put it.

He waited for quiet. Once again he quietly climbed up the ladder and walked
to the front of the cabin. Matthew was on the floor as usual. He had more
room because that afternoon Jeremy and Jim had taken the seat in front of
him out. Robert Charles looked at him. He remembered how gorgeous Matt's
bubble butt looked on the "Starkeeper." He wanted it now. He was
unconscious. He could never tell Alex. He quietly pulled back his blanket
and looked at his pale skinny naked body. But then he put the blanket
back. No, doing that to the injured boy was wrong. He hadn't brought him
the music so he could do something like that to him. Talking him into sex
on the "Starkeeper" was one thing. This was something else. Like Douglas
had thought earlier, even assholes have their human side.

Jordan was sleeping on the seat again. Robert Charles being there woke him
up. "No, please, no, Robert Charles."


"No. Please. This is different. He's hurt and sick. He can't be any
fun. Don't do it."

"I know, Jordan. I didn't plan to. I was just making sure he was okay.
What do you think I am?"

Jordan threw off his blanket and raised his legs. "Do me. Do me. Leave
Matthew alone. Do anything you want...but leave him alone. Please."

"Jordan, go to sleep. I'm not doing anything to anybody." Robert Charles
went to his sleeping area, suddenly feeling very lonely. For the first
time in his life, he was really and totally alone. He had just done the
right thing, he knew he had just done the right thing. Yet, suddenly he
felt like a piece of scum. Is this what everybody really thinks of me? he
thought. As much as he wanted to fight it, Robert Charles, arrogant,
bossy, but still a lonely young boy, cried himself to sleep.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Sometime after Robert Charles made it back to his corner the wind that
started that evening picked up. The gusts shook the ship. Mike woke up from
a gust. He untangled himself from Alex, which woke him up too. They climbed
up the ladder. Jeremy and Brett were in a sleeping bag in the galley. The
wind had awakened Brett. When he saw Alex and Stevie, he got up
too. Jeremy was wrapped all around him.

"What's going on?" he asked.

The ship shook. "I don't know. It's still dark out," Mike answered.

Then they heard a noise from outside. Something other than the wind. Like
sandpaper being rubbed on the fuselage.


"What the fuck....." Alex said.

Mike went to a window where no emergency lights reflected. He could see
something blowing up against it, like brown snow. He knew what it was right
away.

"It's sand," Mike said. "It's a sand storm."

"Shit. I hope that doesn't mess things up," Alex said.

"It won't tonight, love. We're safe in here. Let's go back to the sack."

They headed down the ladder as the ship shook again. Brett knew he couldn't
sleep. He kept waiting for his allergies to kick in now that his meds were
gone. He knew it was just a matter of time. He didn't want to be sick
again. He didn't want go be a bother to his friends. The ship shook from
the wind. Brett wiped away a tear and crawled back into the sleeping bag
with Jeremy.

When morning came the wind was gone. While Mike got breakfast set up they
went to look outside. A lot had changed. Sand was piled high up the side of
the shuttle on the airlock side. The ladder was half buried so they didn't
have to go far to touch the ground. When they set foot on the sand it was
loose. Jim tried first and he went down to his knees and slipped down to
harder ground. Jeremy and Stevie joined him. They walked around the shuttle
which was half buried in sand. They got lucky when they saw that the side
the hole was on was away from where the wind came from. Just a little bit
of digging and they could get the sleds out. They went back into the
shuttle through the hole. A lot of sand had blown into the back but nothing
they couldn't work through.

After breakfast Douglas called a meeting. It was time to plan their leaving
the "Moonduster".

The two sleds would be loaded by the end of the day. They had already
started yesterday. They planned on leaving around 3 AM. Then they could go
almost 5 hours before it started getting really hot. Since some of them
would have to walk the going would be slow. Then sometime after noon, they
would set up the tents and rest. Douglas didn't want them traveling during
the hottest part of the day. Then, depending on how things were, they might
but in a couple more hours in the evening. That would have to wait and
see. They needed to cover a lot of ground as fast as they could.

"Does disagreeing with you make it so I'm in the way?" Robert Charles
asked.

"No. Disagreeing and then doing something against us would mean getting in
the way. I want disagreeing so I can see all the sides," Douglas said.

"I think again we should stay, and I have some new reasons."

"Ok. Tell us."

"First. The radio signal. How do we know they didn't hear ours and they
aren't coming to rescue us?"

"We don't. We don't know that they are either. We don't know where that
signal came from. All I know is, if we believe whoever sent that signal is
going to rescue us then how long to we stay here before we give up? A
couple of days? A week? A month? A year? We decided to go. So unless we
have something that is for sure, we're going. I guess there is another
reason."

"There is, Sir Douglas. The sandstorm."

"What about it?" Douglas knew where this was going, he just wanted Robert
Charles to say it.

"That was one motherfucking storm last night. It half buried us in sand. A
storm like that hits us outside the shuttle and we're dead. We don't know
how often these happen. I don't want to be caught in it."

"It could happen. It might not happen. Who knows? We stay here and a storm
hits again and maybe we get buried. The air vents clogged. Who the hell
knows? What's going to make us dead is staying here and not fighting to
live. We need help. Matthew will die without help."

"He's going to die anyway, unless you haven't noticed. His head is injured,
his leg is broken, and he might have other injuries. Internal ones."

"What are you saying, RC?" Mike asked.

"What I'm saying is. We can only take so much food. And most important so
much water. Why waste it on somebody who won't live to get anywhere. I say
we give him a bunch of those painkillers and bury him in the sand before we
go." Mike stood up from his chair. This was his little brother Robert
Charles was talking about. "We have a better chance of surviving without
him. I say we leave Matthew behind."

Mike had the vision of Scooter, Douglas, him, Brett, Stevie, everybody,
even Jordan taking their turns watching Matthew and cleaning him. Matthew's
cute face and button nose was in his mind as he jumped on a table and on
top of Robert Charles. He knocked him to the ground and the two of them
wrestled, crashing into chairs and tables and the counter. Mike was ready
to finish what Alex started.

They rolled around some more until Mike was on top of Robert Charles, his
fist up ready to flatten his face. "Don't you dare fuck with Matthew, you
fucking no good asshole. How can you think of saying that? As long as I
have one ounce of life in me, I will give it for Matthew. He's my brother,
and I love him, and I will kill for him!!!!!" Mike stared into Robert
Charles's eyes. Robert Charles had no doubt that Mike would kill him, just
like he had no doubt Alex would too.

"Look, Mike, I didn't mean it that way..."

"Then how the fuck did you mean it? Tell me while I'm still letting you
live!" Mike had never been this mad in his whole life.

"It's just something to think about. I would never...."

"Fuck you Robert Charles." Mike was so mad he was crying. "Fuck you, fuck
you, fuck you. You lay one finger on Matthew in any way, you're dead. And
there is no law here that will stop me. DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME, YOU
FUCK????!!!!"

Robert Charles just lay there.

"DO YOU?!!"

"I do. But you didn't understand what I meant, I meant to say..."

Mike slapped his face hard and got up. "I think we should leave you
behind. You're a total waste of food and water." He walked back to his
chair shaking, wiping off tears.

The door to the cabin was closed, but in the front of the cabin Matthew had
woken up just long enough to hear the words, "Leave Matthew behind." He
wasn't sure what it meant, but he knew he didn't want to die. He hurt
bad. He passed out.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

As the day wore on they all talked about what happened between Mike and
Robert Charles. Everybody knew the bad blood wasn't gone. And everybody
left Robert Charles alone. He was becoming more and more separated from the
group.

One person stayed with Matthew all the time. He was looking worse and
worse.

Mike cried while he was with him. Just when his little brother was getting
happy, all this shit had to happen. He stroked Matthew's hair and petted
his forehead and his cheeks. "I love you, my little brother. I won't let
you die on me. You will live so we can be brothers forever."

One of the things Jeremy and Jim fixed up that afternoon was going to help
them take more supplies. They got the track off the damaged sled so it was
lighter and just on its runners. Then they hooked it up to another sled
just like a trailer. Now there was room for them all to ride. They would
be able to go much faster. Also, they could take more food and
water. Douglas was feeling good about that.

Just before dinner they got the sleds out of the shuttle. Everybody who was
going to drive got a chance to drive the one without the trailer. They each
drove it around the shuttle so they could learn how it works. Douglas,
Alex, Mike, Jeremy, Jim, and Travis were going to be the drivers. Douglas
would've liked to have Robert Charles as one of the drivers, but he didn't
trust him.

That night they laid all the sleeping bags by the opening on the lower
deck. For the first time Matthew was moved. Scooter figured his neck and
spine were okay because he could move everything and he could feel pain
everywhere. It was hard getting him down, and here they did use Robert
Charles because he was the second biggest kid. But nobody let him have
control of Matthew has he was handed down the ladder and put into a
sleeping bag. Throughout the whole thing he never woke up.

Just before three o'clock an alarm sounded. Stevie moaned and flicked a
switch. It stopped. The boys were out of their bags dressed. They rolled
the bags up and put blankets over their shoulders. It was cold out. They
stuffed their bags into the trailer sled. Then Mike, Jeremy, Travis, and
Douglas helped carry Matthew to the single sled. There was room set up in
there to put Matthew in his sleeping bag.

They were now out of the shuttle. Alex didn't shut anything down on
it. They had taken all the power chips. Only one was still on the
"Moonduster". It would run the lights and the climate control, everything
until it ran out in maybe a year or so.

Douglas started the electric motor on his sled. It purred perfectly. Mike
started his sled. His was the one with the trailer. They flicked on the big
headlights plus the searchlights that Stevie and Jim had installed. The
desert was lit up by the lights. The two sleds started moving. Stevie was
sitting next to Jim and he pointed a searchlight at the "Moonduster". He
moved it back and forth. Light from the emergency lights inside shone
through the windows. The shuttle was half buried in the sand. It had been
their home for so many days. It had done its job. They would probably never
see it again. The boys all looked at it. All but two boys had tears
flowing. Matthew didn't know what was going on. Douglas was staring
straight ahead into the dark desert. Everything was on his shoulders. What
if Robert Charles was right? What if they should have stayed? What if he
were leading all of them, some of them the best friends he ever had to
their deaths? What if he wasn't big enough for this job?

Even Robert Charles had some tears and didn't try to hide them. But his
tears weren't for the "Moonduster". They were for himself and how much he
had lost the last few days. It should be him leading this group. Leading
them to do whatever they could to make the "Moonduster" home until they got
rescued. Douglas had turned everybody against him. He, Mike, and Alex would
pay. Robert Charles didn't care who saw him cry. They would all think he
was sad for leaving too. What he really was, was mad for leaving.

Douglas led the string of three sleds into the desert and towards the
mountains. He was leading his group to find a mysterious green horsey. He
was leading them into the Inferno.


Next: Chapter 24 The Trek

Constructive comments are welcome. E-mail me at TheHakaanen@Hotmail.com.
Douglas DD

 

 

 

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