Chapter Thirty-Six: Rescue

The Shkah who were in the cave heard the scream.  Vordkan ran for the door. Robbachass did it, he thought, he killed one of the boys. While he was hoping down deep Robbachass would find a way to save the boys, he committed the deed. Vordkan knew, just like Robert Charles did, that in order to live Robert Charles would have to kill the boys that were kidnapped.
The scream carried from the cave on the plateau to the four trackers.  Alex and Jeremy were asleep, but Mike was making out with Bandar as he learned how to make a Hakaanen boy feel good. Bandar seemed to have humans figured out as the two teens stroked each other’s hard-ons. The sudden scream stopped them in mid-stroke.
"What was that?" Mike asked.
"En kano shopra?" Bandar asked at the same time.
Mike woke up the two napping boys. The scream had already woken up Alex, who was a light sleeper.
"Who was that screaming? Hakaanen? Shkah? Human?"  Alex asked.
"I don't know," Jeremy said. "Where did it come from?"
Almost like he understood, Bandar stood up and motioned for the boys to follow him. Enghar had told him to go to the caves on the plateau as a possible hiding place. Bandar suspected that might be where the screams came from. It was time to end their brief rest and to go to the caves. He hoped that Enghar’s directions were accurate, and he hoped that they weren’t too late.


Douglas placed his hand on Jordan's shoulder. "Come with me, please, Jordan."
"We need to talk."
"About what?"
"Everything. About what's bugging you and what we can do about it."
"Nothing's bugging me, so just leave me the fuck alone!" Jordan turned around and buried his face into his pillow.
Douglas sat next to him on the cot. "Jordan, I know you're feeling left out. You're the only one without a boyfriend, if you even want one. But you did some things that upset people the last couple of days and we need to talk it over. We need to all be together here. We're all alone and a long way from home. So I need to know what's wrong and how to fix it, so you can be a part of the team."
"I want to go home, "Jordan wailed.
"We all do, Jordan. Nobody is happy about being here. But for now we're stuck on this planet and we have to live with it. We will make the best of this if we all stick together. We can't fight each other—ever. When you didn’t help us to find Scooter you really hurt everybody. He came real close to dying right here at the hospital because it took us so long to find him."
"You guys don't like me. You hate me. I sat with Matthew the whole time he was sick and he never said thank you to me. You all ignore me and make me sleep alone. You guys treat me like I'm nobody. You treat me like shit! I hate all of you."
He started sobbing hard into the pillow. Douglas leaned down and tried to hug him, but Jordan pushed him away.
"It’s too late for that shit. Go away and leave me alone!"
Douglas talked quietly to Jordan, almost whispering in his ear, "We don't hate you, Jordan. We love you. We love you through the good and the bad. Remember that no matter what you do, no matter what happens to you or to us on this planet, we all will love you. Unconditionally.  Through anything. We will love you until you can love yourself and return our love. And I love you, Jordan. I want you with us on our side. We all have to stick together. We need you and you need us." He kissed Jordan lightly on the cheek and got up. "We love you. Don't forget that. Ever."
As Douglas walked out of the room Jordan wondered how much of Douglas’s speech was true and how much was bullshit.  He wondered if Douglas would still love him if he knew he had peed on his lover and left him lying in the rain behind that bush.
Jordan almost replied, but he didn't because he knew Douglas hated him and was lying to him. He decided he would get back at Douglas for treating him like shit, no matter what it took.


Robert Charles had the knife at Logan's throat and was ready to push it in. Logan let out a loud scream of terror which startled Robert Charles. He stopped, but left a small slit on Logan's skin. His heart was thumping, his dick was hard—he felt so totally in power. He wanted to push the knife through the little boy's throat so badly, to see the blood gush out. If it was that asshole Douglas or one of his toady friends he wouldn't have hesitated—he would have run the knife right through their throats. But the scream from the little boy stopped him. He wanted the power but getting it like this was too cold blooded.
"P..p...p....please," Logan begged. He was shaking uncontrollably and the tears were flowing. "I don't want to die."
Robert Charles came around to the front of Logan. He dropped his loin cloth and pushed his hard dick against Logan's smooth body. A small amount of blood was dribbling down the boy’s chest from the cut on his throat. Robert Charles started humping against the little boy.
Once again his mindset shifted. He needed to cum badly. He would do it over the little boy and then kill him—that would give him every kind of power imaginable.
Vordkan came up the hill and saw Robert Charles and the boys. He snuck up and looked closer.  He could see Robert Charles humping the chest of the small boy. He turned and sent the Shkah men back, telling them that Robert Charles was just teasing the captives before he did what he was told to do. He asked if he could hide and watch and the men agreed. However, they told him that he couldn't interfere.
Robert Charles had his eyes closed and was pushing his erection against Logan's torso. He was lost to the world.
"You're disgusting," Ryan said. "You're a real sicko. Come over here and I’ll suck it for you. Just leave Logan alone."
Robert Charles was so lost in himself he didn't even hear Ryan. All he was thinking about was cumming and then getting the ultimate thrill of power.


Bandar was on the radio talking to Enghar. He gave Enghar instructions to give to his father.  Enghar knew that there was no way Bandar's father would agree to Bandar’s proposal, but he said he would try.
Enghar called the number Bandar gave him. He got hold of the Mayor right away and relayed what Bandar told him.
The mayor surprised Enghar, telling him he liked the idea. He called the governor and asked for permission to implement Bandar’s plan. The governor turned him down, which didn’t surprise the mayor.
"The lives of seven boys are at stake here, including my son,” the mayor pointed out.
"Your son didn't have to accompany the round ears. I told you that they should have stayed here and not upset the Shkah. I will not help the round ears, especially since they disobeyed my instructions. And since you can communicate with your son, tell him to turn around and leave them because he will be getting no help."
"I can't do that, governor. I will tell you this. My son, at fourteen, has more courage than you ever had in a life time. And when election time comes I will be running against you. Everybody will know what you decided about saving the lives of those boys. They will get the entire story, right from the very beginning. And I will defeat you."
"I don't think the round ears will affect the election much. Nobody in the valley cares about them. They care more about keeping their farms safe and the valley peaceful."
"And I think you're wrong. The people of the valley do care, and you will find that out. Now, I have important work to do. Good-bye." And for the second time he hung up on the governor. Next he called his cousin and told him exactly what he needed.
"Is this okay with the governor?"
"No.  But Bandar's life is at stake here. I will be responsible for whatever happens."
"If it means saving Bandar and his friends, I'm with you. I don't care what happens. Just tell me what to do."


Robert Charles was close to shooting his load over Logan’s chest and belly. As the fourteen-year-old humped the young boy’s torso, Ryan kept berating him, telling him what a piece of shit he was, almost screaming it at him. Vordkan was behind a rock at the edge of the hill masturbating.  He didn't know exactly what was being said, but the whole affair excited him. He wanted to get up and join in. As he furiously hammered his teen cock he didn't notice four boys coming over the hill to his right.
Bandar was going to lead the trackers into the caves, but Alex's sharp eyes noticed the two poles on the hill above them. Robert Charles's lamp had just enough light to make them visible in the dark. It looked like there were people on the mesa above, so the boys decided to go up the hill instead of into the caves. They shut off their flashlights and hoped that whoever was above them hadn't seen them.
They climbed up the side of the hill, hoping that they wouldn't come across something horrible.  What they ended up seeing wasn't as bad as they feared, but it made them stop for a few seconds. They could make out two boys tied to tall stakes. It looked like one was being humped by third boy from the front. Alex pulled out a laser pistol, set to stun.
Jeremy turned on his light, and Mike, Alex, and Bandar, followed him. They lit up both poles and the three boys with their flashlights.  What they saw next infuriated them. Before they could react, they heard Douglas calling them on the radio.



The mayor called the hospital and talked to Enghar. Enghar told Scooter and Douglas what the mayor had told them. Douglas got on the radio and contacted the trackers. Jeremy answered and Douglas told him to follow Bandar, that they had a plan in place.  Jeremy told Douglas that whatever the plan was it had better take place soon. He then described what was happening in front of him.
In front of Jeremy the lights of the four trackers were shining on the poles. Nobody was surprised to see that it was Logan and Ryan who were tied to the stakes. The surprise was the person with the blue green hair who had been rubbing his cock over Logan—it was Robert Charles. One more boy had come back from the dead. 
Alex didn't hesitate when he saw who it was.  He fired his laser pistol at him, aiming for his crotch. He got a direct hit causing Robert Charles to scream in pain and drop to the ground.
Vordkan saw all the attack unfold and ran down the front trail to the caves to tell the Shkah men. He knew that no matter what happened on the mesa, the boys couldn't get far because the Shkah had unicorns. He knew they had to get up to the mesa right away so they wouldn't have to go chasing the round-eared boys in the dark.
Up on the mesa, Mike quickly untied Logan while Jeremy untied Ryan. Alex placed his foot on Robert Charles’s chest. The older teen was holding his crotch.
“It might be called stun,” Alex informed RC, “but it looks like it should be called sting when it hits you in the nuts.”
Ryan fell into Jeremy's arms, sobbing. "Oh, God, Jeremy, I'm so glad you're here. I was so scared."
"Come on guys," Alex yelled. "We gotta get out of here, quick, before somebody shows up.”
He started back the way they came, but Bandar grabbed him and turned him the other way.
"What the hell, Bandar?"
Bandar didn't understand what Alex had said. He pointed in the direction opposite of the way they’d come.
“Douglas said to follow Bandar. They seem to have a plan,” Jeremy said. Alex figured Bandar probably knew an escape path and had told Douglas. After all, it was his planet. The six boys started to follow Bandar. Mike looked down at Robert Charles who was rolling on the ground in pain and still holding his groin.
"So what do we do with him?"
"I'd love to piss on him again," Alex said. "Stun shooting his balls was too good for him. I should have sliced them off."
They left Robert Charles behind and headed to the edge of the bluff when they heard sounds behind them. Jeremy turned and shined his bright light in the direction of the noise. Coming up the hill were Shkah men on unicorns. The boys turned to run for the bluff, following Bandar. But they soon realized that no matter what they did, they couldn't escape the oncoming Shkah.


Douglas looked at the other boys. All but Jordan were sitting around him in the upstairs lounge. They heard what had been said on the radio. Robert Charles was one of the boys’ captors.  Ethan started sniffling and Scooter held him tightly. Scooter had left his room against doctor’s orders, but he didn’t care—he needed to be with his friends.
"Is Logan ever coming back?" Ethan asked.
"He is," Scooter told him. "Have faith. We have a plan going now. You're going to see your brother real soon."
Douglas looked at the silent radio hoping to hear something. He knew one thing. It was probably getting pretty scary where they were. The question was, would their plan work in time?


Alex could see that they were going to be trapped at the bluff. They would be at the edge of the cliff that had a straight drop. He could see nowhere to escape. Why had Bandar led them to this side instead of the way they had come? he wondered. Was he betraying them to the Shkah at the last minute? Alex mentally shook his head. He didn’t think Bandar would ever do that. It was something Alex felt in his bones. Bandar must have gotten confused and frightened, causing him to make a terrible mistake.  Now they were going to pay for it.
The Shkah men stopped at the top of the hill waiting for the rest to catch up. They were in no hurry. They knew there was no escape in the direction the boys had gone. Mike watched them gathering in the distant darkness and tried to figure out what they were up to. He wondered if they were going to charge them and run them off the cliff like sheep. He held his laser gun in his hand. Well, let them come, he thought. I'm ready for them.
Suddenly the boys heard a low rumble coming from beyond the bluff.  They were so focused on what the Shkah were doing that they didn't turn to see what it was. But Bandar turned and blinked his flashlight three times as the roar got louder. Suddenly a flier came up over the top of the cliff and landed just a few feet from the boys. The side door opened and Bandar hopped in waving for the others to follow. Ryan boarded next followed by Jeremy. Mike boosted Logan into the flier and then followed him.
Alex saw the unicorns ready to charge across the mesa and aimed the laser gun at them, firing off random shots. He had slowed them down some. He hopped onto the flier and it lifted off and zoomed away from the mesa. They looked down at the dark mesa just seeing a few lights from the stunned Shkah.
Mike was looking the other way and saw the lights of the little valley. He also saw the same twinkling colored lights that they had seen earlier start flashing again. He again wondered what they were.
The flier turned and raced to the Big Valley. They could see the lights of the villages and farms and soon they were landing at the airfield at the capital. The pilot shut down the engines, looked at the boys, smiled, and said something in Hakaanen.
They all smiled back. Bandar said something to the pilot who then opened the door.  There was a shuttle bus waiting for them outside. Bandar's father was there to meet them. He gave his son a hug and a kiss, then hugged each of the other boys as they got off the flier. He saw that Logan had blood on him, but he couldn't tell if it was his or somebody else's. The boys and Bandar's dad got on the bus and it started up.
It was then that Ryan saw that Logan had been bleeding.  He had a wound on this throat where Robert Charles had cut him. It didn't look serious, in fact the bleeding had all but stopped.  In all the excitement, nobody had noticed the blood, but now they could see it. Logan was still pale and shaking after what Robert Charles had done to him on the mesa.
The bus got to the hospital and they all piled out. Douglas, Ethan, and Scooter were waiting for them at the entrance. Scooter was seated in a wheel chair. Hugs and kisses went everywhere, but the two biggest hugs were the one Mike and Matthew gave each other and the one Logan and Ethan gave each other. The twins were together again making them both feel complete. Mike was with his little "brother" again. And most importantly, for the first time since Matthew had been left behind buried in the sand, the whole group was together again.  Robert Charles had been exiled and was no longer considered part of the group, and his assault on Logan cemented that position.  But now they were all together, along with the twins.
Douglas vowed to never let them be split up again. But like every other time he made that promise, he wasn't going to be able to keep this one.



The Shkah men watched angrily as the flier took off and flew toward the Big Valley. They had just been ready to start their charge to run the boys off the cliff when the flier appeared. It had loaded the boys too fast for them to react, and when they were able to charge one of the boys started shooting at them, forcing them to back off.
Vordkan stopped next to Robert Charles, who was hurt. He twisted and moaned. His balls were hurting. They felt like a horse had kicked them a dozen times. He was doubled over and could hardly move.
The Shkah men rode up and got off their unicorns. One of them went over to Robert Charles. He got him to straighten out his legs, which hurt at first, then started to make him feel better. Another one picked up his knife which had blood on the blade. He showed it to the other Shkah men. They muttered some things and nodded.
Vordkan and another Shkah helped Robert Charles to the cave. In the morning it would be time to decide if he passed his test and, if he didn't, what they were going to do with him.


The doctor cleaned up Logan's cut. The wound hadn’t been real serious and it was unlikely there would be any kind of scar.
Douglas and Scooter told the trackers the story behind the rescue. He apologized for not cluing them in on the details.
“Only Bandar and his father and Enghar and his father knew the full story. All the rest of us knew was that there was a rescue plan in place.”
They knew they owed Bandar's father a big thanks for arranging for the flier to rescue them from the Mesa. Alex told the story of the actual rescue and how they were pulled off of the mesa just in time. Ryan told about the actual kidnapping, how they had escaped, and about being found by Robert Charles.
"Robert Charles had a look in his eyes like I had never seen,” Ryan told them. “It was like really wild. I think he's losing it. He's more than a pain in the butt--he's become evil."
"But he didn't follow through cutting Logan's throat," Douglas said. "In the end he couldn't kill him."
"What I think," Ryan said, "is that Logan's scream surprised him. I mean it was loud.  It sure surprised me. It made RC stop and he was so turned on by what he was doing, he decided to get off on Logan, which might have saved his life.  I think if you guys hadn't shown up he would have done worse things to him."
Logan shivered wondering what could be worse than what Robert Charles had been doing to him. He’d made a cut on his throat and then rubbed his slimy cock all over him. Logan started crying again thinking about it.  Ethan hugged his twin brother. Ryan hugged him from the other side.  Logan started feeling safe and warm again sitting between his brother and his "brother".
"It figures Robert Charles would end up with those Shkah guys," Scooter said.
"I'm glad they weren’t the ones who rescued me," Matthew speculated, “or who knows what would've happened. I know I wouldn't have met Enghar." He smiled at the Hakaanen boy next to him.
"Well, I think that Robert Charles is going to be trouble again," Douglas said.
"How can he go against his own kind like that?" Jeremy asked.
"He's gone nuts. And don't forget, his own kind exiled him and sent him off to die" Douglas reminded them.
"He deserved it," Alex said. He put his arm around Douglas. “I’m sure RC hates you—but we all have your back.
"I know he deserved it, or I wouldn't have kicked him out otherwise. It’s a miracle he didn’t die. But still, I’m sure he hates me, and probably the rest of us, for sending him off to die. We have to watch out for him. He's very dangerous."
Mike and Alex brought up the bright flashes and the blinking lights that they saw in the direction of the little valley. Scooter told Enghar what they had seen. The mayor was listening in. He knew exactly what it was the boys had seen.
The mayor told Scooter what it was and Scooter translated it for the rest of them.
"What you guys saw was an energy field.  Here is the story. The little valley was where the Hakaanen first settled.  The energy field went over the valley while they created an atmosphere for it.  Then the first settlers came when the little valley was able to support life. The energy field kept the atmosphere sealed into the valley. Brandon can explain how it all works later.
"Then they started atmosphere in the Big Valley using a larger energy field.  After the two valleys were settled they started to create an atmosphere for the entire planet of Inferno. When the Big Valley was done the settlements moved there from the little valley. But all the machinery is still in the little valley and it still works. Finally, the Shkah were exiled to the small valley when they started creating problems. Apparently the Shkah turned the energy field on and that's what you saw."
"Why did they turn it on?" Jeremy asked. "Because it's pretty?"
Scooter talked to the mayor, who answered him. Scooter translated
"He says they probably just wanted to see if the machinery still works. As far as he knows they never had turned it on since their exile. The other atmosphere generators are more than adequate for both valleys. There is no danger of losing atmosphere. All of the equipment that is needed to keep them going is in the Big Valley, and then there is also the equipment in the remote parts of the planet working on creating a planet-wide atmosphere.
"Can we see the equipment tomorrow?" Brandon asked.
Scooter asked the mayor, who said yes.  He said he would take them there himself.
"What do you have in mind, Brandon?"  Douglas asked.
"I'm not sure yet. I'll tell you later. Right now I just have some things I want to check out." Brandon had learned a great deal about atmosphere generation from his mother, but he could tell that the technology of the Hakaanen was far advanced from that of Earth.
Jordan was lying on his cot listening to all this. So, Robert Charles was still alive, and he was becoming powerful.  Jordan thought about how he could get back at everybody here who hurt him and hated him. He knew he needed to find Robert Charles. Robert Charles wanted revenge, too, and they could work together to get even.


When morning came the shuttle bus was waiting for them outside of the hospital. Douglas thought somebody must think they were pretty special to use one of those instead of a wagon. He knew how careful the Hakaanen were when it came to using their machines. The mayor rode with them back to his village. He did a lot of talking with Douglas, using Scooter as a translator.
Douglas thanked him for sending the flier to rescue them. The mayor told him that he had done it for all of them, not just his son. He said Douglas and his group were like Hakaanen to him. They had become a plus for the Big Valley. He had heard how much Enghar and Mattoo loved each other which told him a lot. He asked Douglas what the round-eared boy helping the Shkah was like. Douglas told him about Robert Charles. The mayor shook his head. The boy sounded just like a Shkah to him.
When they arrived at the mayor's house they settled in. They started talking
and were waiting for the company the mayor told them would be arriving soon.
"Do the Shkah come down here much?" Douglas asked the mayor.
"They do raids on farms sometimes.  Steal things. Burn crops. Nothing big."
"It sounds big to me. What do you do about it?"
"Nothing. Our governors have always thought if we left them alone and don't make them mad they will leave us alone, or at least not escalate things beyond their raids. But, as you can see, they have been becoming increasingly bold.
"So what about us? What about the kidnapping and Scooter being shot? That's nothing big?  They can go shoot at us and nothing happens? Bandar told Scooter the governor wasn't going to do anything to rescue Ryan and Logan. He did nothing about shooting Scooter. Why wouldn't he help us? It isn't right!"
"I understand your frustration, but there is a lot of history at work, son. He was doing what he thought was best for the entire valley. I think he was wrong, but I don't think it was anything personal against you and the round ears." The mayor didn't really believe a word of what he had just said. He knew that the Governor was prejudiced, but he didn't want to upset Douglas more than necessary.
"Well, I have another question then,'" Douglas said.
Scooter started translating again.
"About what?" the Mayor asked.
"About the Shkah putting up the energy field. You said they were just testing it. I'm asking, WHY were they testing it? Why do they think they might need it?"
"Because they just want to know if it works. Maybe in case the machines break down here they have a backup."
"And you don't see anything suspicious at all?"
"No. There is no reason to be."
Douglas looked at Mike and Alex. "I guess humans are more suspicious than the Hakaanen are. I think something is up and that it isn't good."
He turned back to the mayor. Scooter was ready to translate again.
"What if the Shkah were planning to blow up your atmosphere-making machines or something like that?"
"Oh no. The Shkah are troublemakers, but they would never do that. And the atmosphere is getting closer and closer to being complete around the whole planet—they would never sabotage that.”
"They tried killing two of us and kidnapped two others," Douglas reminded him. "So, what if they decided to do something to the machines, what would happen?"
The mayor thought for a second. "Right away, not much. But since only the valleys and the desert area and mountains close by have full atmosphere we would start losing it to the rest of the planet. It would be a slow deterioration, and we could raise our energy shield to seal off the valley.”
"Wouldn’t that be destroyed with the machines though?"
The mayor nodded yes. "The outer shields where the oxygen atmosphere ends in the southern hemisphere would collapse too. And then the poison atmosphere we are replacing would start making its way to the north. It would take a few months, but unless we fix our damaged machines it would reach here."
When they studied the atmosphere from the "Moonduster" they never noticed the poisonous atmosphere in the south. They had been orbiting the northern hemisphere.
"But," the mayor said, "the Shkah wouldn't do that.  Why would they?"
"To conquer you," Douglas said.
"Conquer? What do you mean conquer? Why would they do that?  In the end the Shkah might be troublemakers but deep down they are Hakaanen. Besides, they have no way of destroying the machines."
"These Hakaanen are way too nice in some ways," Douglas said to the other boys. "I mean they haven't had wars for hundreds of years. The Shkah are like a totally weird happening.  Maybe they became weird because they are cut off from their home planet. I guess we really don't know why, but, we have all seen that they are evil. The Hakaanen think so differently from us that they don’t see the evil.”
Again Scooter translated for Douglas and the mayor. "Are the machines guarded?"
"Guarded? Why? Look the Shkah wouldn't ever do anything to the machines. And like I said, there is no way they can damage or destroy them."
"That's not true, dad," Bandar said. "Remember a couple of months ago you told me that some explosives were stolen from a warehouse. That you figured some farmer near the mountains took them. Well, maybe it was the Shkah."
“We would have seen them coming into the Big Valley,” the mayor told his son.
“Not if they launched a diversionary raid on some of the farms,” Douglas pointed out.
The Mayor turned pale. For the first time in the talk the thought hit him that maybe the Shkah could do something. He needed to talk to the governor. They had to do something just in case the round ears were right.
The expected company started arriving at the house. The house was now crowded with boys.  Not only the human boys, but some Hakaanen boys as well. Food and drinks were laid out in the house and in the back yard. Some of the fathers came too.  They were happy that the round ears had been rescued.  Their sons had started making friends with some of the round ears before the Shkah attack on them. Looking at Enghar and Matthew, everybody could see how they felt about each other. They could see that the round-eared boys were like Hakaanen boys, naked and full of love.
The human boys were learning that they didn't have to hide their feelings. Kissing a lover in front of everybody was okay. Being naked with a boner was okay. They could see that having sex required a bit more privacy. But nobody seemed to mind if guys made out with each other in front of them, or if they sneaked away for sex. The Hakaanen and "Starkeeper" boys saw a lot of things the same way, at least all but Jordan and the twins. Jordan sat alone, sulking.  A couple of Hakaanen boys tried getting him involved, but he ignored them.
The twins ate and played and had fun. They didn't mind the sex things around them. In fact, they found it exciting. But they didn't want to participate, even though both of them found their little dicks getting rock hard watching the naked Hakaanen boys as well as their own friends.
The party was a couple of hours along when an electric car pulled up in front of the mayor's house. The driver opened his door, then opened the back door. A large man dressed in colorful clothes stepped out.
Next: Sabotage 
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