CHAPTER 38

In the Valley of the Shkah

by Douglas DD

Douglas ran out of the barn and followed Drake into a field. The end of the
field turned to mud as they got close to the pond that held the farm's
irrigation water. Douglas could see a figure out in the mud. He walked out
to it with Scooter following him. They were getting halfway up their knees
in mud, and it was getting hard to walk through it.

They got to the figure in the mud. It was Drew lying on his back, sunk
about half way into the mud. His whole body was muddy and so was his face.
Douglas could see he was crying.

"Are you hurt?" Douglas asked.

Drew just moaned.

"Can you get up?"

"I guess so."

Douglas looked over at Drake who was more than knee deep in the mud. They
all were covered with mud now. He held out both hands and Drew took them.
He pulled Drew out of the mud. Drew made a popping sound as he stood up.
The boys all stomped through the mud and back up to drier land. All of them
were covered with mud.

They took the trail around the mud to the pond, where they all went in and
got cleaned off. While they were cleaning off, Douglas asked Drew what
happened.

"I don't know. I just got scared and started running and didn't want to
stop. Drake ran after me and I ended up in the mud. And I fell down and
didn't want to get out. I was...was....."

Douglas looked at him. He could see he wanted to cry. Drew shook some then
seemed to get his control back. Douglas helped wash the mud out of his
hair.

"You're going to need a shower and a shampoo when we get back," Douglas told
him.

The boys headed back for the farmhouse. They went back up into the barn.
The farmer came in and chewed them out for going out into the open. Douglas
told him what happened with Drew. The farmer looked at Drew and smiled. He
gave him a hug, then reminded the boys to be careful. Nobody knew where the
Shkah were, and the Governor's men were looking for them too.

The farmer went back into his house. Drew sat in a corner shaking. Douglas
asked Drew if he was okay and Drew's tears were his answer. Douglas took
Drew's hand. He called to Scooter and Drake. They went down the ladder to
the little office at the back of the barn.

"I think we need to talk, little dude." Douglas said.

"I want my brother," Drew said.

"I'm right here," Drake said.

"No, I mean my big brother."

Everybody looked at him confused. Drew just sat on a chair sniffling.

"Oh. I know," said Scooter. He walked out of the room. A couple of
minutes later he came back with Ryan. "Is this who?" he asked.

Drew smiled. "Yeah."

"You've been having nightmares. We've heard you scream. More than once a
night since we rescued you," Douglas said.

Drew started crying again andRyan went over and hugged him.

"It's okay, little bro. It's all over now. We're all here for you and we
love you."

"I try to help him," Drake said. "But he won't let me."

Drew started sobbing more. "He doesn't know. He wasn't there."

"Drew," Ryan said. "Didn't you tell me when we were all tied up about how
you and Drake feel so many things together? About how being twins made you
so connected?"

"Yeah. But...but you were there...and I...I..please hold me."

Ryan set the small boy on his lap and held him. He felt himself getting
hard from the bare butt on his lap. He tried to ignore it. "Well, maybe if
you let Drake hug you. And if you told him what it was like, he would
understand. He was almost there with us you know. They tried to kidnap both
of you. It wasn't his fault he wasn't there. Let him hug you. Let him
help you. You were so scared. So was I. We all will help you. But no
more keeping it in."

Douglas and Scooter were amazed. That was the longest speech they had ever
heard Ryan give. And he was right. Drew needed to quit holding that night
inside of himself. They were all there to help him. Douglas looked at the
thin red mark on his throat where Robert Charles cut him. It had been so
close. So close to death and so close to getting raped. So close to both.
What happened to him on that hill that night had to have been so horrible.

Drew looked at Ryan. "I love you."

"I love you, little bro."

"You've got a woody. I can feel it," Drew giggled.

Ryan blushed twenty shades of red. Douglas and Scooter started giggling
too.

"Ryan, can you do to me what you guys do to each other?"

"What's that, little bro?"

"You know, what you do at night."

Ryan's blush became deeper, if that was possible.

"I can't do that, little brother. I'm sorry."

The tears started up again. "I thought you loved me," he whispered.

"What?" Ryan asked.

"N..n...nothing."

"He said he thought you loved him," Douglas told Ryan. "Maybe it's time to
show that. He saw the bad side of sex on the hill. He needs to see the
good side. He and Drake both do. I think Drew needs to be shown how much
we do love him. And his big brother is the one to do it."

"I don't know. I mean..I don't know," Ryan stuttered.

Douglas whispered something to Scooter. Scooter left the room. The rest of
them waited in silence until Scooter came back with Travis.

"You wanted me?" Travis asked Douglas

"I think your boyfriend needs some help showing someone some love. Someone
who needs it really badly." He looked at Drew who smiled shyly. "There are
some blankets in that closet. See you guys later."

He and Scooter walked out. Drew, Drake, Ryan, and Travis were left in the
office alone. Drew was still on Ryan's lap. Ryan took him and set him down
on the floor. Travis did the same with Drake. Both of the twins were hard,
with just over two solid inches pointing up.
Ryan and Travis told them to relax, that no matter what happened they didn't
have to do anything back. Ryan took Drew into his mouth and Travis did the
same with Drake. It didn't take long for the two young boys to have the
greatest feeling of their lives. Other than to eat, the four of them didn't
leave the office that night. Ryan got Drew to sleep by rubbing off against
him until they both cummed. Drew didn't really like having Ryan's sticky
cum on him, but he fell asleep before he could do anything about it, and,
with Ryan cuddling up to him, slept without a nightmare.

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

While Travis and Ryan were showing Drew and Drake some of what they did at
night, the rest of the boys were in the loft. Jim came up to Douglas and
Scooter.

"Can I talk to you guys?"

"Of course. Any time," Scooter said.

Jim blushed a little. "Douglas, you know that me and Scooter were good
friends in Florida before I moved to Mars."

"I do. I can't think of a better one for him to have," Douglas said.

"Well, I have Stevie now and all, but, well, I kind of wondered if I could
do something with the two of you. Like all three of us together."

"What does Stevie think of that?"

"He wants to do it with his brother and Mike tonight. So he is cool with
it."

"Then it's cool with us," Douglas said. "Right Scooter?"

Scooter grinned a huge grin and the three boys were soon on a blanket on the
floor of the loft. Jim was gently sucking on the hard cock of his old
friend. Scooter was taking care of Douglas, while Douglas had Jim's for the
first time. That was just the first round. They finally collapsed after
the third round. It was the first time Scooter gave up his butt to somebody
other than Douglas. Jim was thrilled to be inside his buddy for the first
time. For Scooter it was a test if all of Douglas's love was enough. He
had promised that only Douglas would be able to make love to him like that,
but he knew now that he needed to do with Jim what they would have done if
Jim had never moved. It was a beautiful feeling as he had his lover's magic
wand in his mouth as Jim filled his insides. They slept together, Scooter
held tight between his two friends, happy and content.

For Stevie it was wonderful to be with his brother and to see what his
brother's lover was like. He wasn't disappointed. His bubble butt took
Mike and Alex back to back. Both times he covered his belly with his cum as
the two older teens made hard but sweet love to him.

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


The Shkah raided two farms that day. They burned the buildings and one
farmer was killed trying to protect his home. Robert Charles was the one
who shot him, getting him in the chest with a laser shot. The rifle was set
to kill. Raiding the farms was the most fun Robert Charles had ever had in
his life.

Jordan got a thrill from it too. He and Orzano rode with the raiders, even
though they were both only twelve. They helped set fires also. Jordan was
surprised that he liked Orzano. He didn't think he could like the aliens,
but Orzano helped make him feel welcome in the group and asked him to ride
with him. Jordan had spent all his life on space ships and had never ridden
a horse, so he rode buddied up with Orzano on his unicorn.

When evening came they looked for a place in the forest to make camp.
Guards were set out and plans were made for the next day. The plan was to
raid a village this time. Some other Shkah who came down the North trails
were going to meet them for this raid. This should show once and for all
that they were serious.

Jordan crawled into Robert Charles's sleeping bag since he didn't have one
of his own. The other Shkah were going to bring one, but tonight he needed
to share with Robert Charles like he did the night before. He kind of
wanted to go with Orzano, but Robert Charles asked him to share.

He lay next to his big friend. Robert Charles slid his hand onto Jordan's
dick. He didn't say a word. Jordan grabbed Robert Charles's hard cock.
The two boys jerked each other off. Last night they had just slept.
Tonight, somebody was being nice to me, Jordan thought. Jordan was happy he
ran away. He was happy he was with somebody who liked him.

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

When morning came Douglas was up with the sun. He heard the farmer and his
helpers down in the main barn getting ready for the day. He untangled
himself from Scooter and Jim. The three of them had had a nice night
together. Stevie, Mike, and Alex were still all tangled together too. It
was nice to do things a little differently with the friends he loved. He
knew Ryan, Travis, Drew, and Drake were still downstairs. Brett and Jeremy
were nice and cozy together too. What a great group of friends to love. If
he was going to get stuck on an alien planet for the rest of his life, he
couldn't think of better people to be stuck with.

Which brought him to the question bugging him and all of them; would they
ever make it back home, or would Inferno become their home for the rest of
their lives? Six weeks had gone by since Robert Charles panicked and
pushed the button that launched them from the "Starkeeper." So much had
happened it seemed almost like six years. He wondered what had happened to
the "Starkeeper". If they went home would they even find their families
alive. Maybe they were better off staying here and making new families.

But for that to happen, they needed to take care of the Shkah threat, or
this beautiful green peaceful valley would be no more. They certainly
weren't helping by loafing up here in this barn. He needed to talk to
Bandar's father. It was time to make some plans. The Governor was blaming
them for the Shkah attacks. It was time to for them to help their Hakaanen
friends. The Shkah and Robert Charles needed to be stopped.

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

Early that morning a series of loud explosions went off. They could be
heard for miles. Then a cloud of smoke could be seen. Half the small
village of Rantano was gone. All of its shops were destroyed. The Shkah
raiders rode through the village shooting at anybody trying to fight the
fires caused by the bombs. Everybody could see that two of the raiders were
round ears.

Three more farms and another village were attacked and burned. There were
two more dead Hakaanen, both of them by Robert Charles's laser rifle.
Vordkan and Jordan both saw how much Robert Charles seemed to love drawing
blood. By nightfall the entire valley was full of fear.

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

Just after supper a wagon pulled up to the farm. The doctor got out of it.
He knocked on the door of the farmhouse. The farmer answered it and pointed
to the barn. The doctor went in and climbed up to the loft. All of the
boys met. Enghar, Bandar, and Prekan were there too.

Scooter translated for them.

"The Shkah did a lot of damage today. Not only the ones who attacked the
Building of Life, but two groups came down from the north and attacked four
farms, plus a village was practically destoryed. We have no way to protect
ourselves. They say it will stop when we turn you over to them," the doctor
explained.

"Are you going to do that?" Douglas asked a little defiantly.

"Never. And neither will Mayor Andorn or any of the others helping you. We
know that you have helped us more than once. Without you going back to the
Building of Life they would have blown up the machinery and we would have
been at their mercy.

"When we brought you here, people who saw you gave the Governor's men some
pretty bad information. If they saw you turning left, they had you turning
right. It will be a while before you are found, but it will happen. Mayor
Andorn will be here soon. He's been hiding out too. I rode here in a
carriage instead of my own car to keep from being recognized." He went over
and hugged his son Enghar. Then he hugged Matthew. Douglas and Scooter
noticed that right away and stored it away in their memories. Matthew was
very special ot the doctor.

"So if you're not going to turn us over, what do you plan to do. You guys
don't seem to be able to stop them."

"I don't know what we're going to do. That's what we need to work out."

"By we, do you mean you and the Mayor?" Douglas asked. "Or are we
included?"

"I mean the Mayor, me, and all of you. Especially you, Dooglass. Since you
are the leader of your group."

Douglas saw how much his thinking had changed. He remembered when he was
made the leader of the "Starkeeper" boys, he wished so much he could turn
everything over to an adult and quit being responsible for everything. Now
he had adults to run things, but he wasn't about to turn things over to
them. This was his group. These were his friends. They were his
responsibility, and until there were no more threats to them, anything
anybody wanted to do to them or with them had to go through him. They gave
him the responsibility to keep them safe, and that was what he was going to
do.

They heard a noise outside. Another carriage had pulled up. Mayor Andorn
got out and the farmer points him to the barn. He climbed up the ladder and
into the loft. Bandar ran over and hugged his dad.

Scooter kept translating.

"Things look bad," the Mayor said. "Three groups raided parts of the valley
today. The Governor is afraid to go after them because he is afraid that
they will attack Orkyl, the capital, and go after the Building of Life
again. Only this time they will succeed. So he is putting all his efforts
into finding you round ears. Right now there seems to be no stopping the
Shkah. They are doing whatever they want."

Douglas started taking charge. Leading is group through the desert and into
the valley had made him to completely confident in himself. He had no
doubts now in his ability to lead in a tough spot, and right now he needed
to tell the Hakaan men what he was thinking and what his friends were
thinking. He, Scooter, Mike, and Alex, especially had done a lot of talking
in the loft. Douglas had a pretty good idea where everybody stood and what
they all agreed on. It was time to tell the Hakaan men how they felt.

"Well, we have some ideas," Douglas said.

"Oh?" Mayor Andorn said. He was trying hard to hide his excitement. The
Hakaan had no experience fighting. They were confused and afraid, plus the
Governor did not want to take any action against the Shkah. He was afraid
of making them even more angry. He wanted peace at any price.

"First, do you guys blame us for what's going on, like the Governor is?"

"No, not at all," the Mayor answered. "This all started a long time ago.
The raids aren't new. But the burnings and bombings and killings are.
Those are being blamed on you and on the two round ears with the Shkah.
What can you tell us about them? Some of my fellow Hakaanen, and the
Governor and his followers, think you all are working together."

"The older kid is Robert Charles. He was our leader, though looking back at
it none of us can figure out why. He was bossy and pushy, but somehow he
seemed to have the power to convince us to let me lead our group. Somehow
we gave the power to him. But he took advantage of it and before we left
the 'Moonduster' I was elected leader."

Douglas went on to tell about Robert Charles and Matthew's water and how he
was exiled from the group. The Mayor was about to say something when a moan
came from Matthew. Everybody looked over at him.

"Mattoo?" Enghar asked, and he hugged his lover.

"I remember...it like came to me...just now..when you talked about
R..R..RC."

"What?" Scooter asked. "What did you remember?"

"The tent," Matthew whispered. "I was hurting. Maybe..I don't know.
Somebody was shaking it...knocking down poles...I remember....but maybe it
was the wind...." The memory of being buried in the tent came back to
Matthew for the first time in days. Enghar held Matthew tightly to him.
Matthew closed his eyes and leaned against his friend and love and started
feeling much better.

"I'd be willing to bet that it wasn't the wind Matthew felt. It was RC
trying to get rid of Matthew because he was slowing us down and was taking
water. He had said more than once we should to abandon Matthew," Alex said.
Alex's anger was rising again. Shooting Robert Charles in the balls had
been much too good for him.

"So you exiled him?" the doctor asked. "An interesting punishment."

"It was that or kill him," Douglas said. "And I couldn't do that. There
was no way he could stay. He stole water, which was our life, from us. I
don't know what I would've done if I had know about him knocking down the
tent. I really don't know."

Then he told him about Jordan, who the Hakaanen had already met of course.
Jordan always seemed to be joined at the hip with Robert Charles.

The room was silent for quite some time. Then the Mayor looked at Douglas.
"What do you guys think we should do?"

"You're asking us? A bunch of kids?"

"We're asking you because we have no experience at warfare. And your former
leader seems to have taken charge somehow. I don't think the raids were
totally planned by the Shkah. You're kids, but you showed us what you're
made of when you went to rescue your friends and when you saved the Building
of Life. The Governor is spending time fooling himself that he can buy
peace. A lot of us don't agree. The Shkah have to be stopped!"

"Well, we have thought some about it. And we do have a plan. Kind of. But
first we have a question."

"What's that?"

"Why don't you use the flyer against the Shkah. You can find their raiders
and stop them dead. Or go attack their villages in the small valley."

"The flyer is under the control of the Governor. I got away with it once.
But my cousin isn't even allowed near the hangar it's in now. And I don't
think the other pilot is ready to cross the Governor."

"Why won't the Governor use it? I mean even he has to have sense enough to
see what it can do. He's gotta be stupid to not use the flier," Alex said.
Alex was never one to hide his opinion of somebody, especially if he thought
they were stupid.

"First, the Shkah, or your friend, have been very clever. They go into the
woods painted green somehow. Even their unicorns have some kind of paint.
They are very hard to see. And there are three raiding groups so we don't
know where they will come out and do something. Second, it's the usual
stuff. The Governor doesn't want to make the Shkah any angrier. He still
thinks turning you over to them will end all of his troubles."

"So there is no way we can use the flyer even for a quick mission?" Douglas
asked.

"What kind of mission?" said the Mayor.

"We're sure that the 'Moonduster' has weapons in it. And we need more laser
rifles," Douglas said.

Ryan looked at Douglas. Why hadn't they talked to me first? he thought. It
was fine that Douglas had his cabinet, but some of the rest of them knew
stuff too. "Douglas, Robert Charles had a laser rifle with him. Where to
you think he got it?"

Douglas stared at Ryan. Shit, he thought. Maybe I should find out what's
going on before I jump the gun. It never occurred to him to ask Ryan about
what he saw, had been so worried about Drew and his nightmares. Sometimes
he forgot everybody else, like he did with Jordan.

"So, then they've gone back to the 'Moonduster'," Douglas said with
disappointment. For their plan to work they needed more weapons.

Then an unlikely voice popped up. "What about the 'Sundancer'? Did you
look at everything there?" Brett asked.

Now it was everybody's turn to look at Brett. Douglas held a lot of group
meetings, but when it came time to make plans, it had been him, Mike,
Scooter, and Alex. Maybe he needed to include everybody. He made a note to
get all opinions before they did anything. Somebody was sure to find some
flaw or come up with a good idea. He still needed his small cabinet, but
their ideas better get talked over by everybody from now on before he
decided to act hom them. Not that he planned on deciding anything without
their vote, but just having their plans talked about would help before they
discussed them with somebody else. The only big decision the group hadn't
voted on was exiling Robert Charles. That was his responsibility only.
Maybe now it would be different, but then, on the side of that hill in the
hot sun with everyone tired and hungry and thirsty, it had to be his.

"We didn't, Brett," Mike said. "We found those two guns but never really
looked for all of them. Maybe that's the place to go. Robert Charles never
knew exactly where it was. He probably got those guns from 'Moonduster'
rather than 'Sundancer'.

"So what do want us to do? Even at our fastest it will take three of four
days to get there and back. And we still have to hide most of you. And I'm
sure tomorrow the raids will get worse. Or even worse, the Governor will
surrender power to the Shkah. It wouldn't surprise me." The Mayor sounded
desperate.

"Well," said Douglas, "here is the first part. Can you find an excuse to
get the flyer to take a trip over the plateau where the shuttle crashed?"

The mayor and the doctor both thought. It was the doctor who came up with
an idea.

"Mayor Andorn, do you know if we have anyone out checking the atmosphere
sensors?"

"I think two inspectors were sent our a week ago. But I don't know where."

"It doesn't make any difference. I see what your idea is, son. Because it
just so happens one of them forgot to pick up his prescription. And I think
he is going to need it out there and could be in big trouble if he doesn't
get it."

Douglas smiled. The doctor had it figured out exactly. He said he would
arrange to have the flyer ready in the morning, with the Mayor's cousin as
the pilot. He would be requested for the mission since he was the most
experienced pilot.

Douglas then told them their whole plan. It would work best if they could
get the flyer again, but if they couldn't then he had an alternate plan.
But either way they would need to move now.. They Mayor agreed. He and the
doctor both thought it was a good plan. But then, they not only didn't have
a plan. And it was obvious the Governor wasn't going to do anything to
stand up to the Shkah.

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

It was still dark when Robert Charles woke up. The men were awake already.
Robert Charles woke up Jordan. The men woke up Orzano and Vordkan. They
wanted to eat now and be ready to go raiding when the sun started rising.
Robert Charles had tasted blood and wanted more. He had shown the Shkah how
to use guerilla tactics. Just like in the games they played on Earth and in
a lot of the Earth wars. The Shkah were becoming quite good at it.

When the sun rose they set off looking for a farm. They hit one at
breakfast time. Robert Charles went into the house with Jordan and Vordkan.
It seemed to be empty. They went upstairs. It was empty, but the beds
were unmade. Robert Charles headed back downstairs. The men were looking
in the barn and outside. Robert Charles looked in the pantry. As he was
closing the door he noticed a handle on the floor, which he lifted it up.
There was a ladder leading down into a basement. He saw a light switch and
flicked it on, then he climbed down the ladder. Right away he saw the
farmer, his partner, and a boy who looked to be around 13. He pointed his
gun at them. Vordkan told them to go up the ladder. He went up first, then
the farmers and the boy followed, and finally Robert Charles went up.

The men came in and led them out of the house. Then Jordan and Vordkan set
the house on fire as the farmers watched. One of them started crying, and
so did the boy.

"Tell them to shut up," Robert Charles said. Orzano translated and Vordkan
said it loudly. The boy kept sobbing as he watched his home going up in
flames. Robert Charles walked up to the boy and slapped him across the
face.

"You wussy Hakaanen. A weak cry baby like all of them. You've just found
out where the power is." The boy didn't understand the words, but he got
the idea. He couldn't stop crying though, so Robert Charles punched him in
the stomach. Then he stood there and laughed.

The men set fire to the barn then got on their unicorns. As they started
riding out, Robert Charles aimed his laser rifle at the man who had started
crying and fired it. The beam hit the man in the chest. The rifle had been
set to kill.

Robert Charles looked at the boy, who was crying loudly now. "That was for
you, boy. I see you again, you weak crying son of a bitch, I'll pop you."
He shot a beam over the boy's head and laughed. This was fun. He wished
again he hadn't been interrupted when he had the little twin. After raping
him he would have slowly sliced him up and listened to him scream. But he
knew he would get him again. Either by finding him or having him turned
over by the Hakaanen. Either way the little shit was his. And what he
would do to him was nothing compared to what he would do to that fucking
Douglas.

The raiding party hit two more farms and the outskirts of Awanstor, Mayor
Andorn's village. Farmers and villagers were hiding. Everyone was
frightened. The Governor knew he would have to find the round ears or
surrender the valley to the Shkah. In the raids from all three parties, six
farms were burned and two villages damaged. No more Hakaanen were killed
because they went into hiding when they heard the raiders were near. More
damage would have been done, but something happened toward the afternoon
that had the southern raiders changing some plans.

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


Before dawn Douglas, Mike, and Scooter were hidden on the flyer. They sat
low in their seats sleeping. When dawn came the pilot came on board. It
was the Mayor's cousin. He carried a bag that had "pills" in it that he got
from the doctor. He was ready now to do whatever it took go defeat the
Shkah quickly. And that included the second part of the round ear's plan.
Dawn was coming to the valley. Douglas looked at the two large hangars at
the other end of the field. He wondered if there were shuttles in there.
If there were it had been over twenty-five years since they had last been
flown. There was no place to fly them to now.

The flyer took off from the airport and went straight toward the eastern
plateau. Douglas looked at the hills go by underneath him. It was hard for
him to imagine that they had gone across them and over them in the two
sleds. When he saw how the mountains stretched out and how easy it was to
miss the big valley he could see what a miracle it was that they made it.
They flew over Matthew's horsey rock. It looked even more like a horse from
in the air. It didn't take long for the flyer to get to where the
"Sundancer" crashed. The pilot hovered over the site looking for a flat
place to land, then finally set the flyer straight down.

Douglas, Mike, Scooter, and the Mayor were on the flyer. Alex stayed behind
in charge of the group until Douglas got back. The three boys got out and
started looking through the wreckage. The wind was blowing hard. The dead
bodies were still there and were decomposing. They went to the area where
the two laser rifles were found. Hopefully they would find more or find the
storage area where they had been left. The boys looked through the wreckage
of the front of the shuttle, trying hard not to get sickened by the dead
bodies.

`Douglas, there is something under this piece of wreckage.' Scooter sent
the thought to Douglas who was quite a few feet away so he wouldn't have to
yell over the wind.

Douglas went over to where Scooter was. He wave do Mike who followed him
over. A bit piece of the fuselage was sitting on top of a smashed metal
box. They could see that the piece was too heavy for them to move. Douglas
and Scooter went over to the flyer and told the pilot what they found. They
came up with a plan for moving the heavy piece of metal.

The pilot got under the flyer and disconnected a piece of cable with a hook
on it. Then he got into the flyer and lifted off. He hovered over the
metal piece. Mike grabbed hold of the hook, which wasn't easy since the
flyer created even more wind around him. He jerked down on the hook,
pulling out more cable until he got it hooked up to the fuselage piece.
Then he attached the hook through a hole in the fuselage. He got out from
underneath the flyer and waved to the pilot. The pilot lifted the flyer up
higher until the metal piece came off the storage box. He flew off away
from the boys, flicked a switch that opened the hook, and dropped the metal
piece to the ground with a huge crash that startled the three boys.

The storage container was badly smashed. Mike got a metal bar from the
flier and used it to pry open the container. Inside were laser rifles.
Some of them were bent and smashed, but they were able to pull out eight
that looked to be intact. They turned the solar chargers on each rifle to
the on position, then packed them into the flier. When they got back they
would test them to see if they actually worked, but they were pretty sure
that they would. With the eight rifles and the two laser guns, they had ten
weapons, almost enough for each boy.

The flyer came back to the north end of the valley. The pilot dropped the
boys off along with the Mayor and then flew south back to Orkyl, the
capital city. As far as the pilot was concerned he had the flyer now and he
was going to do with it whatever needed to be done. He'd deal with the
Governor after he helped the Mayor and the round eared boys.

They were dropped off outside a farm that had been burned. They didn't know
if any of the Shkah raiding parties had seen them. They wanted to be seen,
but not just yet.

Suddenly some unicorns with riders came into the field they were in.
Douglas and Mike both raised their rifles, but the riders were Hakaanen.
The Mayor of Awanstor had been talking half the night to the Mayor of
Grastano, whose village had been attacked. The men were farmers and
villagers from the area. They were mad and ready to do anything and follow
anybody. Douglas told them of his plan and what he wanted them to do. They
were ready for anything. The only thing they were lacking was leadership.
And the leader of the round eared boys seemed to be ready to give them that.
All they had to do was wait for the flyer to make two trips back.

The flyer was back quickly. It came in from the plateau again instead of
flying over the valley. This trip wasn't supposed to be happening. The
flyer set down in the field. Drew, Drake, Brett, Alex, Ryan, and Enghar got
out and the flyer was off again.

The group was ready. They all knew what to do. Douglas, Mike, and Scooter
got on the flyer which headed back over the plateau, and then to the north.
The pilot landed on a mesa to the east of the little valley where they
couldn't be seen. The flyer took off again. They all waited patiently for
it to come back. Everything was almost ready to go. They just needed
everybody to be in the right place. Everybody but Matthew, who still had
his cast on, had something to do. And even Matthew had something since he
had their home radio.

When the flyer came back, Jim, Stevie, Jeremy, Travis, and Bandar got off.
There were eight of them on the mesa, and they each were armed with a laser
rifle. They were going to wait until it started getting dark, then they
would take the trail down towards the little valley.

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

The flyer went back over the big valley, and flew to the field at the north
end. However, the pilot made it look like he was coming there from the
south. And he hovered high and landed slowly, trying to make sure he was
seen. The unicorns with their riders were already heading up the long trail
heading west, going up the south hills and then to the small valley. They
moved slowly and kicked up a lot of dirt and dust. It was the middle of the
day, the sun was at its highest point and the sunlight reflected off of any
metal they were wearing or that was on the unicorns.

One of the southern Shkah raiding parties saw the flyer land and then later
noticed the group heading up the trail. The leader got his radio and
radioed to Arkron telling him what he saw.

"It looks like the Hakaan flyer is dropping people off. And a raiding party
is heading up into the north hills. I think they're heading for our
valley."

"Which trail are they taking?" Arkron asked.

"The long trail. It's less steep."

"Fools! Less steep, but much longer. You all take the short steep trail.
You'll beat them to the valley easily. How far off is Sharman's group?"

"Two hours south an hour ago."

"Radio him. Have him join up with you. You will be in the valley defending
it before they even know you are there. Plus we will have men in the valley
to help."

"Shouldn't we just go attack them when we get up into the north hills?"

"No. They will be like we are up there. Moving and hard to find. Catch
them coming into the valley at Sopas. It is narrow and we can trap them
there. How many are there?"

"I figure around twenty. It is an excellent plan Arkron. There will be no
escape once they are at Sopa. We are on our way."

Arkron put his radio away. He started sending his thoughts through Orzano.
"Your friends are fools, Robbachass."

"Why?"

"Instead of taking the difficult but short east trail, they are taking the
easier but longer west trail. By the time they get to the small valley most
of our warriors will be there waiting to trap them." Arkron told Robert
Charles everything he had found out.

Robert Charles smiled. More proof that Douglas was an idiot. He couldn't
plan his way out of a shopping bag. And now he thinks he can play the game
of warfare. Robert Charles was raised playing military games. He had to
give Douglas credit. He got the wussy Hakaanen actually doing something, if
indeed that was Douglas and his group going up the hill. And he figured it
was. But once again to Robert Charles it was obvious who the real leader
was. He had shown the Shkah about guerilla tactics. Douglas couldn't even
take the right trail on a raid. Not only that but he was going up the hill
so that everybody on the planet knew what he was doing and where he was
going. Even the Hakaan flyer pilot was too dumb to do fakes with his flyer.
They were all so dumb that in no time at all the Shkah would rule all of
Inferno.

"So, while they go to defend, we should keep the Hakaan off balance with
even tougher raids. Take a village and burn it to the ground and kill as
many as we can. Make them so scared they will call off their own raiding
party while they piss their pants."

Orzano translated the conversation back and forth.

"No, Robbachass. You've been right in what you've shown us. But I think we
should ride hard down the big valley and over to the small valley. I want
to be there when we triumph. I want to tell the Governor I have the round
ears he sent after us and now we are going to crush him!"

Robert Charles smiled even more. He liked it. Arkron was his kind of guy.
Once Douglas was defeated there would be nobody around to stop them.
Douglas might be a fag and stupid at war, but at least he was showing some
balls. Today it would probably be all be over. Douglas would be his.

"Arkron, if we come across any farms along the way can we, you know, like,
burn...."

Arkron laughed hard. "You make me laugh, Robbachass. I promise you, after
our triumph you can take Vordkan, Orzano, and Jordaann and do your own raid
on a farm. The first one you see on the north end. But for now we need to
ride across the valley as fast as we can. Starting right now!"

Robert Charles could hardly wait for his own raid to happen. But for now,
he was ready to get to the small valley so he could have his way with
Douglas. As they got on their unicorns and headed north, Robert Charles
thought about what he would do to him. Rape him for sure. Make him suffer.
Maybe rape him over and over in front of his foolish followers. Maybe he
would kill the twin he had on the hill in front of him. Show him what he
could've and should've done. Kill him nice and slowly. And then kill
Douglas even slower in front of his queer friends. Robert Charles had a
king sized erection thinking about it.

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

The climb up the north hill was hot in the afternoon sun. Even on unicorns
it was tiring. Ryan and Drew remembered the last time they went up the
hill. They were tied up and were prisoners. They had all wondered if Drew
should take the trip up this hill with them, but Drew said he was okay. He
wanted to go. His twin and his big brother would be with them and he would
be okay. He knew how much they both loved him. Last night Drake slept with
him in his sleeping bag. He only told Ryan what they did, but it was like
everybody knew anyway. All Drew knew was that he was loved like never
before and that was already helping get rid of his nightmares.

When night came they stopped to camp. They were pretty much into the hills
now. Alex was the leader and he set out guards. Enghar could help
translate some to the Hakaan men because being with Matthew had taught him a
little English. He missed Matthew so much. They hadn't been separated a
single night since Matthew had come into his life.

On the southeast hill over the little valley Douglas and his group made
their camp. The two southern raiding parties had made it into the small
valley just before it got dark. They had beaten the Hakaan raiding party by
quite a bit, just like they figured they would.

Travis was the lookout for Douglas at the time and he quickly came back
into the camp to report what he had seen. The Shkah raiders, at least the
southern ones, were in the valley. They beat the Hakaan group.

"Damn. This is going to be tough," Mike said. "I hope this works. If it
doesn't we won't get another chance."

"I know," said Douglas, quietly. He knew the plan would need some luck.
And he had to wonder if their luck was running out.

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

Alex got his group up before dawn. He got Brett, Drew, Drake, and Enghar
together.

"Enghar knows where to take you. He's been to the little valley a couple of
times, he's looked at the maps. His dad helped with the layout. You guys
are small and can hide easily behind what rocks and shrubs are there. You
know what to do, right?"

The four of them were quiet. Enghar only understood every other word, but
he knew what was planned. Brett was in the charge of the group. It was the
first time anybody had put him in charge of anything. He was scared of it,
but excited at the same time. Their job would be simple but very important
to the plan.

As the sun rose it lit up the west side of the small valley. Douglas and
his group started down to the valley in the shadows on the east side. They
should make it down to the valley easily before the sun got too high up.
The shadows hid them well. They crept through a field and hid in some brush
close to where the pass through the hills into the small valley was.

Now they all waited, except for Alex's group. His included Ryan and the
Hakaan men. They all knew what they needed to do and now it was time to do
it.

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

The battle didn't take long. Alex led his group into the pass that led into
the little valley. There were Shkah up on the hills on either side of them.
Douglas's group could see them and let Alex know where they were and how
far they could go in. Douglas's group was behind the brush next to the
meadow. Most of the Shkah were in the meadow at the end of the trail down
the pass. The Shkah on both sides started coming down. Douglas could see
them and warned Alex. Alex turned his group around and started retreating.

The Shkah in the meadow started cheering and got up from the grass to get
their unicorns and help chase them. As the whole group got up, Mike aimed
his laser rifle. It was set to heavy stun, which could burn, hurt, and
knock a guy out depending where he got hit. He hit a Shkah in the back on
his first shot. They stopped and turned around, but it was too late.
Douglas, Travis, Scooter, Jim, Stevie, and Jeremy got from behind their
hiding places and started firing. When it all settled there were twenty
unconscious Shkah in the field and not one human was touched. The Shkah
never thought that somebody might come and get them from behind. Douglas
had faked them into thinking the attack would be straight on, when all the
time it was a fake attack. The real one was a sneak attack from behind.

Meanwhile Alex's group was heading back out onto the north plateau. Four
Shkah had been hiding on each side, but Alex knew they were there because he
had been warned. The way out became a narrow canyon. Some small rocks and
shrubs were on the side. The four small boys were hiding to one side. They
had snuck in there at dawn. They were small enough to hide there even
though the Shkah could see into that area. When Alex and the Hakaan men
rode past, Brett gave the signal and he and Drew ran across the opening.
They each had a metal wire which they pounded into the ground on one side.
It was on a spool that unwound as Brett and Drew ran it across the path.
The Shkah came riding through chasing Alex's group, but they hit the cable
and their unicorns tumbled and spilled the Shkah on the ground. Only one of
them stopped in time, but before he could do anything Alex was turned around
and he fired a laser shot at him, knocking him off his unicorn. The Battle
of the Valley of the Shkah was over. The Shkah were defeated except for one
small group.

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

Arkron led his raiding group into the narrow canyon towards the pass. Brett
and Jeremy were up on the hill on the east side so they could look down
without the sun in their eyes. When they saw the unicorns and their riders
enter the canyon Brett radioed Douglas.

"They're here," he said quietly.

The canyon was short and the riders stopped when they got to the end. They
were at the top of the pass. From there the road was wide and went down
into the small valley.

"They stopped," Brett radioed. Brett was so happy that he was given
responsibility. It helped that the medication was working and he was
healthy. He had felt kind of helpless since the time he helped to keep the
power chips from Robert Charles, but it was from there he started getting
sicker. Yesterday he led the group that tripped the Shkah. Today he and
his love were the lookouts. Not only was he feeling good because he was
healthy he was feeling good because for the first time in a long time he was
helping everybody instead of holding them back.

Douglas had the raiders in sight now. He was watching them through
binoculars. He recognized Robert Charles and Jordan. Robert Charles looked
weird with his blue/green Shkah colored hair.

"It's quiet down there," Arkron said. "I wonder if they have captured the
round ears. They must have or they would be in position to stop them."

"We never heard anything on the radio," Robert Charles said.

"Our radios are so old they don't always work. I tried to raise him earlier
but couldn't get anything. Everything is falling apart here. Let's go down
and see where they are keeping their captives."

"I don't know," Robert Charles said. "It doesn't feel right. Somebody
should be coming up to meet us. It's too quiet. I think some of us should
wait here."

"Nonsense. Your round eared friends went right into our trap. You saw
yesterday how stupid they were. Your Dooglass knows nothing of fighting.
You are far better than him."

Robert Charles smiled. Arkron was right, of course. He was ten times the
leader Douglas was. But it still didn't feel right. They rode down into
the valley. Brett got on the radio and let Douglas know they were coming
down.

They stopped when they got to the meadow where Douglas did his sneak attack
on the Shkah.

"Arkron, I just don't feel right about this. Let's have our rifles out."

Arkron couldn't argue with that. They got their rifles out and rode into
the village. They got to the square and stopped and looked around. Robert
Charles and Jordan hung back some. Vordkan and Orzano saw that and went
back to where the two Earth boys were.

Suddenly the roof tops on both sides had people standing on them armed with
laser rifles. Mayor Andorn looked down at them.

"Drop your weapons!" he said. "It's all over."

Bazel raised his rifle, but Alex was ready and shot him, knocking him off
his unicorn. Arkron tried firing back but Douglas hit him and knocked him
off. Robert Charles took off, with Jordan, Vordkan, and Orzano following
him. The two Shkah boys weren't sure what was going on, but they knew they
didn't want to be where the shooting was going on.

Robert Charles stopped quickly. "You're dead, Douglas! I hope you
understand that! YOU ARE FUCKING DEAD!!!!"

Then he and the other three boys rode out of the village, up the hill, and
out of the little valley. Brett and Jeremy were still up on the hill. They
watched the four boys ride by wondering what was happening.

The Shkah leaders and raiders were all captured now. Only the four boys got
away.

Robert Charles stopped his unicorn. He looked back toward the small valley.
He meant what he said. Douglas was dead. But it wasn't going to be
quick. It was going to be slow. And before he killed Douglas, he was going
to make him hurt and suffer in ways he could never believe. He was going to
destroy Douglas's friends and his whole world. Douglas had crossed him for
the last time. When they met face to face again, the power would be his.
And Douglas's fate would be sealed.

Robert Charles looked at Jordan. "Douglas is dead. And I will need you to
help me make sure his life is shit before it happens."

Jordan smiled at the older boy. "Whatever you want, I will do." Jordan
knew, right then in his heart, that he loved Robert Charles.

NEXT: CHAPTER 39 Death of a Boy

 

 

 

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