by Douglas DD The boys looked around the "Paxton". It had taken them a week

to get it ready. From the time they got up until they went to bed, except

for meals they worked all day to get the starship ready. Quan helped over

the radio.  So did the doctor giving them instructions for the macabre job

of jettisoning the decomposed bodies out into space, then cleaning up the

cabins. They got environmental, engineering, and navigation going. The air

was cleaned up, the water filtered, the rockets tested, the warp drive

started up. Food was unloaded from the "Amaze", enough for that week and

three more. At warp speed, Hakaan was only two weeks away. Once again Mike

was put in charge of the food, a job he relished.


Jim talked with Chief Engineer Quan about getting final instructions on

getting the rockets started to push the ship out of orbit. Jim was

communicating with Alex in the bridge and Quan on Inferno. They started the

countdown to starting the rockets. When it hit zero, Alex had Stevie hit

the start button on the console and Jim smiled when the rockets started and

pushed the starship out of the orbit, it was in for the first time in

twenty-five years.


As the ship pulled away from the gravity of Inferno and its two moons the

boys stayed in contact with Quan. He told Jim when to get the fuel started

to the warp engines, when to start them. when to start the countdown to

engage them. Once they engaged the warp drive and headed into warp space

that would be the end of communication between the starship and the

planet. Quan was working hard to make sure everything was working and ready

and everybody knew what do to.


The countdown started. It was a three hour countdown that would get to zero

when the gravity of the planet and the two moons would be weak enough not

to affect the warp drive. Too much gravity pull could keep it from sending

the star ship into warp space. Quan was using the "Paxton's" computers to

let him know the right time to start the countdown, and when the time came

he told Jim to start it.


The rockets kept sending the starship farther and farther away. Quan told

Jim what dials to watch and what readouts to watch. Travis and Jeremy were

busy helping him make sure it all was working. Quan could get a lot of

information on his computer on the planet, but not all of it.


An hour went by. Then two hours. The countdown kept ticking. Governor

Andorn came on the radio. "Good luck. Inferno is a better place because you

blessed us by being there."


Then the doctor came on. "Thank you, men." They all heard that. He said

men, not boys. "I hope the journey is safe for you and brings you what you

and us both what we need."


And as the countdown went below ten minutes, little Matthew came on.  "I

love you all," he said. "I'll miss you." They could tell he was crying as

he talked to them.


"We all love you, Mattoo, my little brother," Mike said back. "You aren't

seeing the last of us. We'll be back someday. I know it!"


The countdown hit zero. Alex shouted, "Engage!" and Stevie pushed the

screen in front of him. In Engineering Jim watched all the dials move up,

watched all the lights go green, and then they all felt the feeling of

moving into warp. The "Paxton" was in warp space. If nothing went wrong

they would be at Hakaan in two weeks. Starships usually flew themselves

once they get into warp, Quan had told them. Yeah they sure do fly

themselves, Douglas thought, just like the "Starkeeper" did.



Scooter and Douglas were lying on the big double bed in their cabin. They

were naked and had just finished making love. The "Paxton" was a day out

from Inferno.


"You've been quiet since we left Inferno, Douglas."


"I have?"


"Yes. Are you still upset about Matthew?"


"No. I was wrong. He was happier staying behind. It wasn't up to me to

decide his life for him."


"Then what it is?"




Scooter knew Douglas's moods. He knew when Douglas said nothing was wrong

it almost always meant something was bothering him. He gave Douglas a big

hug and kissed him. Then he cuddled up next to the boy he loved so much.


"Tell me, my love. I can read your moods.  But not your mind. I come close

though." Scooter laughed and snuggled up even tighter if that was possible.


"Scooter, what if this whole thing is wrong? What if Matthew was right

about all of us? That we all should have stayed?"


"What do you mean? You were right about leaving the 'Moonduster'."


"That was life or death. This was...I don't know. This me thinking I know

everything. Except for Matthew, we never really fit in on Inferno. I mean

we were starting to, but we really didn't. But we're going to a planet

where we will fit in even less, hoping maybe they can find a way to get us

to our own planet. And who will we know there, Scooter?"


"Our families, I hope."


"But we don't know that, my sweetness. We don't know what happened to the

'Starkeeper'. Maybe it never got back. It seemed to be blowing up when we

left. So what are we going back to? Where am I taking us?  I'm just being

fucking stubborn and instead of being on this starship going to nowhere, we

should be in a warm bed on Inferno getting fed and being safe. You were

right. I'm as bad as Robert Charles."


"I said that when I was mad at you. And to wake you up. Because what you

were doing with Matthew was wrong. But this is different. None of us know

what is right or wrong.  Somebody had to decide. I think we belong with

humans. I think we have to find out what happened to our families if we

can. I know we all want to know. I think we have to try to find out. Plus

one other thing."


Douglas stroked Scooter's soft smooth skin. "What's that my love?"


"The Haakanen can't survive on Inferno without help. They know it. And they

are afraid of getting the plague if they go back. They needed us. Without

us going back to Haakan their machines will wear out and they will end up

dying on the planet. Jim says at the rate they're going they need at least

twenty-five more years until planet will even have a chance of keeping the

atmosphere on it's own."


"So you don't think I screwed up, Scooter?"


"Never, my Sweetums."


Douglas kissed Scooter deep. Their tongues played in each other's

mouths. They held each other close and tight, their hard dicks rubbing,

their tongues playing. Scooter rolled Douglas over on his back and rubbed

his almost 4 incher against Douglas's almost 5 incher. The two hairless

dicks slid easily, lubed more and more by the precum leaking out, until

they both hugged and kissed hard and cummed within seconds of each other,

their cum mixing on each other's bellies and cocks. Scooter rolled off of

Douglas, took a scoop of the warm jism on his finger and held it up in

front of Douglas's face. Douglas licked it off then scooped some for his



"We taste good," Scooter giggled.


"Yeah we do," Douglas said, and the kissed one more time.


"Feel better now?"


"Yeah," Douglas said. "I guess we'll find out how this adventure works when

we get to Hakaan. I hope it works out for all of us."


"It will, my love. You're in charge of it."

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ The first week went

smoothly. Everybody got used to their jobs and sleep times. Nothing went

wrong. The ship ran like it had been sitting for twenty-five minutes

instead of twenty-five years.


The boys slept and had sex with their partners. but they had other fun

too. One night Scooter slept with Jim. So Jim's partner, Stevie, slept with

his brother Alex. Alex's partner Mike slept with Douglas. It was a nice

night for all six boys.


On another night Drew slept with his big "brother" Ryan, and let Ryan cum

into his mouth. It was the first time Drew had ever had another boy cum in

his mouth. He coughed and sputtered and lost a little, but he swallowed

most of it. Ryan told Drew he was proud of him. Drew cuddled up to

Ryan. Ryan and Drake were the only boys he wanted to have sex with. Ryan

loved his little "brother". Drew figured when they got home all the sex

would end, but for now he liked it with the right people. Drake wanted to

be with somebody, but was embarrassed to ask, so he spent the night

alone. What he really wanted was to be with Travis when Drew was with Ryan.


That night Travis slept with Douglas and Scooter. They enjoyed three way

sex, sucking each other and playing with each other until they each enjoyed

three orgasms. That same night Alex, Stevie, Jim, and Mike enjoyed a night

together. The only other switching was a night when Braden had sex with his

honorary brother, Douglas and his friend Scooter. Jeremy spent the night

with his old roommate Ryan and Ryan's lover Travis. And the "Paxton" sped

closer and closer to Hakaan.  ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ It was

early in the morning on the tenth day. The "Paxton" was quiet and flying

itself. It was Travis and Ryan's turn to do the overnight watch, which

pretty much was sleeping on a cot in the bridge ready to act if an alarm

bell went off. An alarm clock woke him up every hour so he could check the

navigation, environmental, and engineering instruments. The overnights

rotated to each pair of boys, and on that night they slept on the bridge

instead of in their rooms.


It was around 3:30 when an alarm bell sounded waking the two boys up. Ryan

and Travis had to untangle each other. They had had a wild night on the

bridge, role playing different adventures that ended up with them having

sex. Four different adventures had exhausted them and it was almost two

o'clock before they even got to sleep. So when the alarm went off it took

them a few minutes to figure out where they were and what the noise was.


They got untangled and looked to see what was making the alarm go off. The

flashing light said engineering, so they went to the engineering

station. Two red lights were flashing. Ryan had no idea what they meant,

but Travis saw one that said fuel flow and knew that meant trouble. He

remembered Quan saying whenever the fuel flow light came on the warp drive

should be shut down immediately.


He called Jim and Stevie's room. Jim answered with a sleepy voice.


"What's going on?"


Jim told him about the fuel flow warning.


"Shit! Steve and l will head for Engineering. Wake up Jeremy and tell him

to meet us there. Wake up Alex and Douglas. I'll need you at the bridge

Engineering station."


Jim hung up and told Stevie to get out of bed. They both had been in the

same bed. They didn't bother to get dressed. Nobody had worn clothes on the

"Paxton" from the time they got it cleaned up.


Within five minutes everyone was at their station.


"So, do we shut down, Douglas?" Alex asked.


"You're the Captain," Douglas said. "I'm the leader of the group, not the

Captain of the ship. You're in charge of running the ship, and we both

agreed to that. I'm in charge of the mission.  You have to decide, Alex."


Alex got on the intercom. "Shut down the warp drive, Jim," he said.


They all knew what that meant. If they couldn't get it started again they

would be marooned in space, drifting along until the environmental machines

broke down. They would be just like Inferno. But Quan had said if they

don't shut it down when there was a problem with the fuel flow they could

lose all their fuel and never get the ship going again.  Whatever choice he

made was a risk, but Quan had made it pretty plain that when that alarm

went off the warp engines had to go down.


Jim pushed the touch screen on the main Engineering control panel. The warp

engines went offline. They all felt the little dizziness that happened when

a ship left or entered warp space. Alex looked out of the front view screen

and saw the colors of warp space change to the black of deep space. All he

saw was black and the lights of stars.


They set to work investigating why the alarm went off. Jim wished somebody

on the ship would invent a warp radio so he could talk to Quan. He looked

at all the dials. They didn't tell him a thing. He had no idea why the fuel

flow alarm went off.


He got out the manual and the shorter instructions Quan had given him. The

manual was pretty much beyond him. He needed years of education to figure

it out, but Quan had put the major things that could happen on a printout

he could understand. He hoped that he could find what went wrong on the

printout.  "If I can't figure this out," Jim thought, "we're doomed."


Jim went through the engineering log. He checked the readings. He compared

them to Quan's instructions. He couldn't find a pattern. Alex called him.


"Any luck?"


"No. I don't know what the deal is yet. I'm flipping through lots of



"Well, it's almost five in the morning. Let's get some sleep. We might be

drifting but it doesn't look like we're in any danger. If any new alarms go

off we'll wake everybody up." Alex said he they would all meet at ten



When ten came they all met in the dining hall. The "Paxton" was not as big

or as fancy as the "Starkeeper" was. The dining hall was the best place to

meet. Since this was about running the ship, Alex was in charge of the

meeting instead of Douglas.


"All of us need to help Jim find the solution. We need to go through all

the books and see if there is a pattern that set off the alarms.  The

computer is telling us nothing. Anything to add, Jim?"


"Quan said the computer should tell the area the problem is in. Like if

there is a leak or something it should tell where to look. It tells us

nothing. It just set off the alarms. I don't even know where to begin to



After more discussion they broke up and started working. They flipped

through manuals.  Stevie had the computer replay what happened in

Engineering before the alarms went off. He played it back over and over,

but couldn't figure out what set off the alarms. He had Jim look at

it. Every readout looked perfect right up to the alarms going off, then the

fuel flow lights turned to red.  But nothing showed up that could have made

the alarms go off.


They worked until they were too tired to work any more. Mike made a nice

meal and got it to them all and tried to help. It was close to midnight

when Alex said it was time to sleep. They all needed fresh minds to find

out what was wrong.


Jim and Stevie lay in their bed together. They both were exhausted.



"All the tests show nothing wrong. Quan's book shows nothing wrong. I don't

understand the manual at all. I don't know what else to do, Stevie."  Jim

felt close to crying. Stevie hugged him and kissed him. They were too tired

to do more and fell asleep in each other's arms.


Douglas and Scooter talked until early in the morning. Douglas was worried

again he had done the wrong thing. Scooter told him that they would get it

all fixed, and that they weren't going to all die out in space.


"We were safe on a planet, Scooter. Now here we are right between two of

them. We need all of our fuel to get to Hakaan or back to Inferno. If we

lost any we're done. We will drift in space forever, and it's my fault

we're here."


"No, it's not. We all followed you and we all knew what the risk was. I

know this, my love. I will follow you anywhere, anytime. I'm happy I did

this time. We did what we needed to do."


"I love you, Scooter."


"I love you, Douglas."


And they fell asleep in each other's arms.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ The boys were up early working on trying

to figure out what was wrong with the fuel flow. Stevie found out in Quan's

manual how to do a complete dry run test. He and Jim programmed the

computer and ran the fuel system through the dry run. Everything worked

perfectly until they got to the spot where the alarms were set off

before. When they got there the alarms went off on the test, but all the

readings were normal.  "We're missing something," Travis said. "We gotta do

it again. We have to find out what is setting it off or we will float out

here forever."


Stevie programmed the computer again. They went through the test again. And

the alarms went off in the same place. Quan's book said everything was

working perfectly. The tests said everything was working perfectly. But

everything wasn't working perfectly. There was something seriously wrong

with the fuel flow system to the warp engines. Something was making the

alarms go off, and until they found out what it was they couldn't risk

starting the warp drive.  Doing that could cause them to lose all the fuel

they had.


Travis and Jeremy followed the fuel lines to where the fuel tank

was. Nothing was leaking. The next step would be to see of anything was

leaking outside, which would mean a space walk. Alex decided they would do

that the next day, and that Travis and Jeremy would go out on the walk with

Douglas and Ryan at the airlock backing them up.


That night everybody went to bed late again.  Even the twins, who were too

young to help on a lot of things, but were able to run errands and get

tools and do checks for the older boys. They were happy to do anything to



Jeremy was tossing and turning. He was worried about the space walk. Braden

was tossing and turning too, mostly because Jeremy was. But he was worried

about Jeremy some too, and about them getting to Haakan safely. Braden was

about to send him to the other bed so he could get some sleep.


"Jeremy, maybe at least one of us could sleep if we weren't banging into

each other."


Jeremy kissed Braden. "I'm sorry, Bray Bray. I guess I'm a little

tense. Going on a space walk is hard enough for people who know what

they're doing. We've been lucky so far doing it. And I'm not even sure we

need to do this one."


"What do you mean?"


"If there was a fuel leak outside, then the fuel gauge would be going

down. It hasn't moved since we shut down the warp drive. So why go out?"


"Maybe the gauge doesn't work," Braden said.


"There are two of them, just in case. They both say the same

thing. Everything is doubled."




"Yes, everything."


Braden pushed himself close to the big studly boy he loved so much. He

still didn't know why Jeremy loved his own little skinny self, but he was

happy he did.


"What are you thinking, buddy? I can hear the hamster at the wheel up there

in your head."


"What I'm thinking is this. Are the alarms doubled too?"


"Well, of course. If one doesn't get set off, the other one will be."


Braden snuggled up tighter to Jeremy. "What if one alarm goes off

accidentally? What happens to the other alarm?"


"I don't know. I guess it doesn't do anything because it thinks the first

alarm is working like it should. I mean, I suppose it backs up the first

alarm if it isn't working, but doesn't do anything if the first alarm goes

off. What does that have to do with.......oh......I think I see what you're

thinking, buddy."


"Yeah, like what if the alarm is going off at the same spot because it

isn't working right? What if there is nothing wrong with the fuel system?"


"I donno. Maybe we should check that out in the morning before we do

anything else. That's a super good question, Bray. Super good."


"Well, then, just in case though, maybe I should relax you some so you can

sleep."  So instead of pushing Jeremy out of bed, Braden went down under

the covers and but Jeremy's hard cock into his mouth, soon bringing him off

to an orgasm that shook the whole bed. Braden swallowed his lovers thick

sweet cum, and let his now relaxed love fall asleep cuddled against him.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ At seven o'clock Mike had breakfast ready

for everybody. And at eight o'clock they had their morning meeting. Braden

and Jeremy had already told everybody about Braden's theory. Now it was

time to decide what to do about it.


"I guess we can run another test. But unhook the main alarm and see if the

backup alarm sounds," Jim said. "If it goes off too, then we still have a

problem. But it won't hurt to find out what happens."


"How long will it take to do it?" Douglas asked.


Jim looked at Stevie. "A couple of hours," Stevie said. "We have to figure

out how to do it first. Then we have to run the same test."


"Well, while you're doing that we better go ahead with the space walk,"

Alex said. "Because if we are losing fuel we need to know it.  The sooner

the better."


"If we're losing fuel, we're losing it pretty slow," Jeremy said. "The

gauges still haven't moved. We waited all night, another couple of hours

won't hurt."


"I agree with Jeremy," Douglas said.  "Let's not risk anybody out in space

if we don't have to."


Alex glared at Douglas. Douglas wasn't in charge now. He was. "You want to

make the decision, Douglas?"


"Nope. This isn't mission business. This is running the ship. It's your



Alex nodded at Douglas and this time gave him a quick smile. Douglas always

found a way of reminding him that they had picked the right person to be

their leader. "I agree with Douglas. Let's run the test first."


Stevie went to the bridge and started working on how to disable the main

alarm so that the second alarm would take over. Jeremy and Travis helped

him, while Jim went to Engineering to run through his manuals and

printouts. After about an hour Stevie thought he had it figured out. He

punched in some numbers and got surprised when an alarm went off. He looked

at what the computer screen told him.




He called Jim. Jim told him he had seen the same message. Now it was time

to run the test. Stevie programmed the same test program they had been

running. It started off and when it got to the point that the alarm went

off nothing happened. The test went quietly on. Everybody let out their

breath that it seemed like they had been holding in forever.


Now it was time to try it for real.


"What if somehow we disconnected the whole system?" Mike asked. "What if

the problem isn't the alarm system?"


"Mike, you worry too much," Ryan told him. "Come to my bed tonight after

we're safely rolling, I'll take care of your worries." Travis looked at

Ryan. Ryan smiled at him, and Travis smiled back. Ryan had a nice way of

relaxing people. And Mike sure looked like he needed it.


"Only on way to find out," Alex said. "And that's to go back to warp

drive." He looked at Douglas. "Only this time, it's the whole mission

here. It's your call, Douglas."


Douglas knew that wasn't true. But he knew what Alex would decide. It was

the only possible decision. "Start the countdown," he said. "We're going

back to warp."


The boys cheered and went to their stations, or went so a spot where they

could see what was going on. Alex started a two hour countdown. Now the

questions were, what if the alarm really was working right and it went off

again? And what if both alarms weren't on now and something really was



"Worrying won't solve a thing," Travis said. "Let's just get this thing



When the countdown got to zero the warp drive was engaged.  They all felt

the familiar dizziness as the starship went back into warp space. Everybody

stated at the control panels waiting for alarms to go off.  Nothing

happened. The fuel gauges stayed steady. The fuel flow was right like it

was supposed to be. The "Jordan M. Paxton" raced toward Hakaan.


That night Ryan gave Mike a long massage. The massage ended with Mike

having an incredible orgasm, as Ryan and Travis both helped him over the

top. Ryan was right, Mike thought, I worry too much. But if this is my

reward for worrying, I better worry more often.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Scooter figured even with their delay

they were a day away from Haakan. The next day they would have to leave

warp space. The "Paxton" had run perfectly. The fuel went down just like it

was supposed to. No alarms went off. Braden had come up with the proper



"Braden sits around quietly for weeks, then suddenly he seems to shine,"

Douglas told Scooter.



"Well, when he shines, he shines pretty good. Nobody else thought about the

alarm being broken. We all were looking for something complicated, when it

ended up being something simple."


"Maybe that's why he came up with it.  It was a simple solution. And he

wasn't involved in trying to read manuals and all the rest of the shit. He

looked more at the big picture. But whatever, we're almost there."


"And we're all wondering what is there."


"You worried, my love?" Douglas asked.


"Yeah. Aren't you?"


Douglas looked into Scooter's eyes. "Big time," he said.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ That night all of the boys met in the

Captain's cabin. It was the largest.  It was the only one with a separate

bedroom and had an extra couch. Douglas thought about the cabins on the

"Starkeeper" where even the smallest ones had a bedroom that was

separate. Earthlings and Haakan had a different way of looking at comfort,

at least in space. The boys sat with their partners, Alex, Mike, Jim, and

Stevie taking up the main couch and Douglas and Scooter sitting on the

smaller one. The twins sat on the floor cross-legged. Jeremy sat on a big

chair and Braden sat on his lap. Ryan and Travis were on their stomachs on

the floor, arms around each other. Douglas had called the meeting and they

all waited for him to speak.


"Tomorrow, if all our calculations are right, we will arrive at

Hakaan. What happens from there none of us know. For all we know the

population of Haakan has been wiped out, but the doctor didn't think so. He

said people always survive plagues.  But whatever happened, for the last

twenty-five years no ship has gone to Inferno from the home planet.


"One thing we know for sure is, no matter what happened on Hakaan, the

chances of us leaving there on our own aren't good. Quan told us where fuel

might be, but that was twenty-five years ago.  So who knows.


"Tomorrow I take over from Alex. He is the ship's captain.  But now we're

at our destination. But I'm going to need all of your help.  Just like Alex

got in solving our problem in space. It was all of us working

together. That's how we got here from the day we got launched from the

"Starkeeper" by him."


The way Douglas said the word "him" sent shivers down their spines. They

all knew what happened in the cave with Scooter and Douglas.


"All of us working together will get us all home. Just like it got us this



Douglas looked at the group. "This could be our last normal night together

for a long time. I think we should show our love for each other, like we

have since we were on the 'Starkeeper'."


Nobody had any objection, but the twins were a little confused. They didn't

know what went on the starship. But they were about to find out.


There was soon a lot of wrestling, kissing, jerking off, and sucking going

on. Nobody cared who was with whom. But in the tangle of arms and legs and

bodies Douglas saw the twins alone on the small couch, naked and hard and

looking at everything going on, but also looking a little bit scared. He

got up on the couch with them, his hard hairless boner wet with precum. He

was also wet with his sweat and the sweat of the other boys he had been

playing around with.


"Are you guys okay?" he asked.


"Yeah, I guess," Drew said quietly.


"This is part of how we all love each other. We're a big family. We have

been since we were on the 'Starkeeper', we just haven't had much chance to

express it together recently. You guys don't have to stay if it bothers

you. I know you're young and you didn't...."


"We're not little kids," Drew said forcefully. "We're ten years old. I've

done this stuff before," he added trying to sound grown up.


"So, do you wanna stay and watch then?" He saw how hard their little boners

were and how they tried not to touch them with everybody watching.


"Yeah, I guess so," Drew said.


"Do you want to join us?"


"I dunno, maybe.....," Drew started to say.


"Yes," Drake said interrupting him. Drew looked at his twin brother. Drake

was the shy one, and here he was wanting to join the wild group in front of

them. He didn't understand at all. But for Drake it was simple. In the big

group he could have some fun and lose his shyness. He got up off the couch

and down on the floor and before he knew it Scooter and Douglas were

wrapping themselves around him. He lost himself in the two teenage boys

having fun with him.


Drew watched his twin brother dive into the orgy in front of him. He was

deciding whether to follow him when Ryan got up, pulled him along, and

brought him to the floor. He lost Drake, and Drake lost Drew, and the

twelve boys got lost in arms and legs and sucking and sweat and precum,

until finally there were hard orgasms and cums in mouths, on bodies, on the

floor.  When it was over they were all exhausted and dragged themselves to

their room. All but the twins. Drake ended up with Scooter and Douglas, and

Drew ended up with Ryan and Travis. Stevie and Jim took the bridge watch

for the night and slept through another quiet night on their journey.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ When morning came Mike had breakfast

prepared, then Alex and Douglas went to the bridge. Jim went to Engineering

with Travis and Jeremy. Stevie had the helm and Ryan was at the Engineering

station. Alex told Ryan to take them out of warp. Ryan hit the icon on the

touch screen, Jim watched the gauges flicker, and they all felt the light

dizziness of going out of warp.


They could see a sun in the view screen. It was small, but bigger than the

rest of the stars. They were at the edge of a solar system.


Scooter started working as the astrogator, checking where the sun's planets

were. Hakaan was the second planet out in the solar system. The Hakaanen

called their sun Chamira. They all watched as Chamira got bigger and bigger

in their view screen.


"Have you found Hakaan yet, Scooter?" Alex asked.


"Not yet, I'm...oh..wait. I have something." Scooter gave some instructions

to Stevie, who turned the ship to the new coordinates. It was now heading

straight towards Haakan.


Mike got on the radio trying to see if he could raise any signals. Scooter

came over to do the broadcast. He was still the only one who know how to

speak proper Hakaan.


Two hours went by without an answer.  Mike got lots of static and noise but

no words that Scooter could make out.  Soon they could see the planet, and

it wasn't long before they were ready to enter orbit.


Scooter had used the Hakaan name for the "Paxton." He identified it and

asked for permission to enter orbit. He said they were coming from Inferno

(using the Hakaan name). He kept repeating his broadcast, but he got no

answer. Just static and noise.


Stevie and Alex placed the starship into orbit. Now they would have to

check what else was in orbit.  The ship had a proximity alarm, but Alex

knew he would have to be very alert.  Douglas would have to decide what to

do next, especially with no answer to Scooter's broadcasts.


They looked down at the planet's surface. Except for the different shapes

of the continents it looked just like Earth. The continents were green and

brown. They could see the white peaks of mountains. Most of it was ocean,

just like Earth. White clouds covered sections of the planet. It looked

beautiful after so long on the desert planet of Inferno.


"It's beautiful," Scooter said.


"You're right, it is," Mike replied. "But if what I'm hearing on the radio

means anything, that beautiful planet below us is a dead planet as far as

intelligent life goes."


NEXT CHAPTER 48 The Ancients





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