The only thing left for the boys to do that day was to give honour to the boys that had fallen in the attempt to attack the Reneg camp, under normal conditions and in the way of the present, the fallen boys would have been left out on the wastes for the animals but this time, the boys felt they needed to do something special for their friends, they had now become somewhat of a family and felt the loss of the thirty boys like never before, it was a new feeling, one that they had never thought of as important, but now, under this new style of living, it seemed far more than just the loss of some unknown boys like in the old days.
It was finally decided by all the boys that they would make a small place outside the bunker and surround it with a fence of stones, the dead boys would be buried and a smaller stone put up so others would know who they were, it was a new idea but all of the other boys thought it felt right to remember their friends in this way, they had all fought to free themselves from the tyranny of the Renegs.
It took one more day before Lion Claw gave up his last reserves and died on the pipe frame, his body was blistered and burnt from the bright hot sun, the large black birds that hunted for carrion were soon all over the mound of putrid flesh as it hung by its arms, the heavy sickly sweet smell of death permeated the surrounding valley as the birds went about their work, by afternoon there was not much more than bones left and those were now in a crumpled heap at the base of the pipe frame where the animals of the night could clean them up, by the next morning there was no trace of Lion Claw or the terror he had instilled in the wastes.
For the next two weeks, all the various leaders set to work sorting out who would live where and then allocate the newly found bunkers to boys who had an interest in what each bunker held, the influx of new boys was still steady as the word spread about the great victory over the local Reneg, there was now a regular stream of new boys wanting to learn about the new things of the ancients.
The classes for the new boys grew and, as each one found his own interest, he was taken and taught more about that field of knowledge, slowly the ability to read and write grew among all the boys, the ability to use the ancient technology grew and new ways of doing things was broadened, from the central Home Bunker boys began to filter out to the other bunkers, each had his own knowledge and talents and it was not long before the small number of opened bunkers were again being filled.
For Elios it was the hardest, the long hours needed to understand the computer systems and the way communication was done, took longer and the number of boys able to fill this important roll was limited, however Elios worked on and slowly built his little army of boys who could be then sent out to each of the bunkers to set up communications to the central Home Bunker.
Within two months all the bunkers were linked together through the communications of the ancient computers and the marvel of the newly discovered satellites that hung above them in some magical way by the ancients, how it was done did not interest Elios or the other boys, only the fact that it was there and could be put too use by the boys in the search for their own home was all they needed to know.
It was no surprise to Elios or the others that a large number of boys wanted to become involved with the people of the valley, the interest in growing food and tress seemed to spark an interest in a lot of the boys, it was as though something primordial was working in the middle of each boys brain to see something grow from the soil, it soon became vital for them to limit the number of boys that went to the valley, the last thing they wanted to do was overload the place so that it could no longer grow plants.
Another full meeting was called by the leaders of all the boys, each type of skill was represented by a leader, as they all gathered in the common room for the meeting, Elios was the first to notice the number of leaders, he was immediately amazed at how many branches of work there now was from the day the three boys had found their first bunker, it had now grown to be almost a small city of its own.
Mita was asked to take charge of the meeting, its first agenda was to find out what all the others wanted to do, there was a total agreement on the need to find and open more bunkers if they existed and also the need to improve the ways they could fight the Renegs and where they were hidden. It became apparent that they would have to create a specialised search team, it was also decided that each and every boy who joined the bunker system had to be trained in the use of the ancient weapons so they were always ready to defend their new homes.
Slowly a plan was devised for a number of small search groups to be trained especially for the job of finding and opening new bunkers, it was while looking at his map of bunkers on the computer that Elios saw something was not right with the small pattern of green lights, there was one more than there should be, Elios began his search and it soon came to him that the new green light was only days away from the last bunker they had found, could the Reneg have finally found a way into the hidden bunkers? It was one more problem to be solved.
While Elios and Mita enjoyed the companionship of their friends Elvan and Elam, they also had a longing for open spaces and new adventures, it was in Elios nature too keep looking further outwards and so, they decided to also become one of the newly formed search teams, Elios made sure that each of the five teams leaders and number two's had the new codes for the doors for when they did find a new bunker.
It took weeks of planning and training for the five search teams, there were new skills that had to be learned and training for the defence of the small mobile convoys, maps had to be printed and locations settled on as well as the boys had to learn about navigation and the problems that could arise with the travel conditions, it was all a long and slow process, supply lists and transport had to be sorted and how to pack them into the vehicles for the best advantage to the teams.
After long discussions and trial and error, the boys finally came up with a plan that they hoped would work, each convoy would consist of two jeeps with a driver and three guards as scout vehicles, an armed APC with a driver and guard in the front, behind them would be the commander of the convoy who would be the navigator and communications officer, alongside him would be the boy in charge of the roof mounted weapon, and six more guards and equipment in the back, behind them would be two heavy trucks with drivers and guards loaded with the rest of their supplies along with four more guards and bringing up the rear would be an armed Humvee with driver and three guards.
Each vehicle would receive the most powerful communications equipment they had and one of the trucks would be filled mainly with fuel cans to serve as the tanker for the convoy, Elios spent a lot of time with the four other leaders to teach them about map reading and the new codes needed for opening the doors, he also saw to the training of two of the boys to find and enter from the concealed pipes if they had no power to open the doors.
The leaders got map references and other information about other bunkers from Elios huge store of data and selected which ones they wanted to go and look for, each convoy would be given two bunkers to search for in case some were not able to be used for some reason, Mita had insisted that each convoy had one of his sniper boys along as well, Modou had given them special training in survival and concealment out in the wastes for that purpose, those boys would often be an advance guard for the jeeps as they would have their own Quad to use.
The day for the departure of the search convoys finally arrived and all the vehicles stood ready outside Home Bunker as the groups finalised any problems, Elios and Mita, along with Modou, who would be taking charge of the last bunker to be found, would all travel together to that point and then Elios and Mita would go on from there.
The first thing Elios wanted to check was the bunker showing on his computer screen that had not been visited by them before, he had his suspicions but; if he was wrong then it meant that the Renegs had found a way into the bunker and that, was not a good thought to contemplate, any use of the ancient technology by the Renegs could spell disaster for the boys future.
The return to the new bunker took five days as the boys were not in to much hurry and they were able to check for things they might have missed on their first trip, on arrival at the bunker, they were met by the boys who had stayed to guard the bunker, with the influx of new boys and more equipment, the day turned into a party and everyone had a great time eating and laughing, the boys who had stayed behind to guard the bunker were intrigued by the story of the downfall of Lion Claw, the looks on the young faces changed to one of awe as the story unfolded and a new sense of determination came across their faces as they took in the fact that they were no longer at the mercy of the Reneg gangs.
For the next five days, Elios and the convoy crew prepared for the next stage of their search, the word of a newly found bunker had already spread through the vast waste lands and, even as they got ready to travel again, there were new boys wandering into the new bunker and slowly building its numbers, Modou and his two Kabine were soon busy setting up to teach the new boys about the life style they had now come into, it was becoming a busy time for the new leader of the bunker.
Elios and Mita set out towards the bunker that showed the green light on Elios computer, it was the first priority and needed to be looked into before they went further afield, Elios estimated it would take about four days to reach the place where the bunker was meant to be but they would travel slower than needed as they also wanted to keep a sharp watch for any Reneg gangs in this new area.
The second days travel was much as the first, long barren stretches of salt wastes that reddened the eyes of the drivers even though they wore the special driving glasses of the ancients, the guard boys were just as tired as they had to keep watch hour upon hour over the shimmering white flatness, by the time Elios called a halt for the night, everyone was worn out and some tempers were getting thin, only those not on specific duty could rest and relax during the driving hours but, at night they took over as guards and protectors of the camp as the others slept.
It was a monotonous two days but Elios and Mita knew that tomorrow things would change, they were now right at the edge of the salt wastes and tomorrow they would being to travel into sand and hills, while it would still be tough travel, they would at least be spared the glaring sameness of the salt flats and their eyes could finally rest from the stark glare of the bright sun off the prism like salt crystals that had seemed to increase the vast power of the sun.
There was little to distract the convoy during the night and, in the first light of morning, Elios and Mita called their troop together for a briefing of what they thought lay ahead of them, this led to a change in the positions of the convoy vehicles, Mita, along with one guard boy, would now go ahead and take up a position with his sniper rifle well in advance of the rest, he would then wait and watch until the slower convoy caught up and then repeat the exercise, with his two-seater Quad he could easily speed ahead, it was in this way they hoped to be able to see any enemy or those from the forward bunker, before the strangers could see them, the two jeeps would now take a wider track to each side for a better side cover and all the trucks would close up and keep together with the Humvee's around them while the APC took the vanguard.
After a fast morning meal, the newly configured convoy set off, Mita and his guard had already left and were out of sight as the other started their vehicles, the faint shimmering blueness of the distant hills beckoned them and Elios did not want to wait any longer on the last of the salt flats, he set a reasonable speed so the central trucks could keep pace without being stretched to their limits but he also did not want them to be ambling along as though they had all day.
By midday they had left the salt flats and were now a few kilometres into the sandy rises that would lead to the first of the low hills, inside the vehicles, under the heat of three days of dusty travel, the boys were beginning to smell ripe, their clothes were inundated with salt and dust and their skin felt like it was covered with grit, the heavy scent of boy sweat filled each vehicle but, for those inside it was almost unnoticeable, all their senses were directed onto what was outside the vehicles, they were now into territory that could hold extreme danger and none of them wanted to be the one responsible for getting his friends hurt or worse, killed.
After travelling for an hour on the morning of the fourth day, Elios called a halt to the convoy as a message came in from Mita, he was positioned on top of a low sand dune overlooking a wide valley that led to another higher range of hills, he had buried himself deep in the sand so he was almost invisible to anyone below. With his binoculars he watched the far side of the valley below with an intense gaze.
As Mita had set out before first light, he was able to get to and up the ridge before the first rays of the sun showed over the next ridge line, what he saw below him gave him, gave him food for thought, the bunker they had been searching for looked to be closer than they had at first thought but, further to that it was plainly obvious that it was occupied by someone.
Mita watched as he saw four grown men come out of the bunker door, they were fully armed and on the alert as they made for what looked like sentry posts set up about a hundred metres outside the doorway, Mita stayed still and watched as the men took up their own positions to guard the door access, the first thing Mita noticed was that they did not look like Renegs and, unless he was mistaken, they looked very much at ease with the weapons they carried, the more he watched the more certain he was that they were part of the "President" mans group although there was nothing to indicate that apart from the way the behaved.
Mita called back to Elios with his information and then stayed to watch further as Elios pulled over the convoy so the noise would not carry to the bunker guards, from now on they would have to keep things very quiet, Elios sat down to think, they had to make contact but in a way that everyone would stay safe, he already was not very happy with the man who said he ruled everything but there was a faint chance they could be of help with the future of the Reneg gangs.
It was not Elios wish to make enemies wherever they went, but they had been and seen enough to not want to be ruled over by a funny short fat man, Elios though he would have to spend some time to find out what a "President" man was, for the last few weeks he had been to busy t look into it and now felt he should have done it sooner, they had always held the advantage by knowing what was to come before they stepped into anything and now they were once again faced with this strange man and his troop.
For the next hour, Elios and his boy discussed what to do, keeping in contact with Mita, he passed on what was said so that he could also point out any suggestions or faults, finally it was decided to make an approach to the bunker with only a minimum of boys so that they did not look threatening, it was hoped they could find out what the others were up to, if they wished to join up with the boys for mutual defence then it was ok, if not, then they would leave them and go on with their search for another bunker although Elios felt it was not a good idea to leave someone behind them that could cause trouble for them later but, he also did not want to start anything that could hurt them either.
Knowing how the sound of the vehicles could travel long distances, Elios kept the speed down to a minimum as the closed up on the sand dune that Mita was still hidden on, Mita had estimated that the valley was about two kilometres wide and what looked like the entrance to the valley was a further three kilometres to their right, Elios slowly pulled all the convoy to a stop where he saw the quad partially buried in the soft sand, the guard boy was also half buried under the sand behind the quad using it as cover, as the guard saw the convoy close on his position he lifted up enough for Elios to see he was ok, as quietly as they could, Elios convoy pulled to a halt below the ridge.
Above Elios and the convoy, Mita kept a sharp eye on the four bunker guards below him, while he had heard the sound of the slow moving convoy, he felt sure the sand dune had covered most of the noise from those he watched below, a soft whispering of sand behind him, told Mita that he was being joined from below by one of the convoy boys, he didn't need to look around as the special smell of Elios hit his nose, only his eyes moved slightly to look at his boy friend as he slithered in beside him.
"Hello my Kabine, how are things with the convoy?"
"Good, I only hope they didn't hear us coming up, what's happening down there?"
"Nothing much, the guards seem to be relaxed and I haven't seen anyone from inside come out so I don't know how many men are in there yet."
"Ok, well I've been thinking further on how we should go about talking to them."
"What have you come up with? I don't want you making a target of yourself for those crazies."
"Well, you remember when we first met them they had a white cloth to show they were not going to attack us?"
"Well I have cut one of those white bed coverings into a smaller piece, we use only one of the Humvee's and fly the cloth on the aerial to show them we don't want to fight with them, I, a driver and two guards go down there alone, the rest of the convoy stays hidden behind this ridge, you can keep us covered from up here and the others can be ready in the jeeps and other vehicles just in case they start anything."
"That's fine but what if they try to hurt you, you'll be all alone down there with only the three boys and no way to escape if they try anything?"
"Don't worry, we'll still have the Humvee and we'll stay inside until I feel if it's safe enough, I'm not going to take any chances with them, besides, you'll be up here watching and they don't know we have all the other boys hidden down here, if we have to fight we can keep them inside the bunker until they want to give up."
"Are you forgetting how much equipment is inside these bunkers, they could stay in there for years if they wanted to and we couldn't get to them?"
"I know, if they do that then will just have to wait and see, but if they don't want to join us then we can just leave them, we have enough boys now and all those new ones coming in all the time, that we outnumber them if they try to make a fight of it, besides, they are all older men, they can't last as long as we can and I only saw one boy that was with them."
"Ok, but if they make one wrong move towards you I'm going to start firing."
"Good, ok, well I think we had better get this started, I'll send half the boy up here to watch with you, the rest can stay ready in the jeeps, Humvee's and the APC in case they're needed, keep your com unit open in case I need your help, when I start talking to them I will leave mine open so you can hear from here."
Mita turned his head and quickly placed alight kiss on Elios cheek as the boy started to squirm his way back down the ridge to set up the other boys for what was to come, within half an hour, everything was ready, Elios Humvee had a large cut piece of white cloth flying from the aerial as he started to drive towards the entrance of the valley some three kilometres away to the right, Elios kept his speed down to stop any dust from flying to high or any noise from carrying to far towards the waiting guards at the entrance of the new bunker.
It was twenty minutes before he reached the opening into the valley, once there he sped up the Humvee so that the sound would reach the waiting guards and let them know that someone was coming towards them with no attempt at concealment, through his ear piece, Mita reported what was happening down in the valley as the louder sound of the speeding Humvee was heard by the four guards.
In the two defensive bunkers outside the bunker, the four armed guards heard the deep throated growl of a heavy vehicle coming from further down the valley, Mita, watching through his binoculars from his hiding place atop the sand ridge, saw the guards come to alert as the first signs of the speeding Humvee came within range, its hastily made white flag flying stiffly in the draft created by the speed of the vehicle.
As the Humvee drew closer, the four guards raised their rifles in the direction of the perceived threat, watching closely the guards saw the white flag and paused, it was an old system of truce and they had no option but to hold fire until they found out what was going on, seeing only a single vehicle, albeit and armoured one, the senior spoke into his com unit to his superior inside the bunker.
Elios stopped the Humvee about one hundred metres from the guard posts, there he sat and waited as he tried not to show any signs of aggression towards the four men aiming rifles at he and his small crew. It took a few minutes more before he saw the door of the bunker start to rise and the dark shape of six more figures came through the entrance, in the lead was the same man Elios had spoken to all those weeks ago, Captain Noel.
The Captain looked at the single Humvee waiting patiently a hundred metres from his guard posts, too his mind there could only be one group that would have them apart from his own troops, in all their long travels from one bunker to another, they had never seen the waste land gangs with vehicles, it had to the young boys they had met some time ago, the Captain gave orders for his men to lower their weapons but stay alert, he then moved cautiously towards the Humvee.
As he drew closer, Captain Noel heard and saw the drivers door begin to open, the tension in the air was almost palpable as the small figure of the boy he knew as Elios, stepped from the Humvee, apart from a side-arm and a combat knife fixed to his waist belt, the young boy was unarmed, the Captain gave a hand signal behind his back for his men to stand down, the boy was evidently no threat at this stage, although he did look incongruous in his cut down fatigues and large weapons on such a small frame.
Elios took a couple of steps towards the captain and then stopped so he was still close enough to the Humvee to flee if had need too, Elios then waited for the Captain to approach him before smiling and giving a short greeting, Elios also remembered to keep his own com unit open so that his backup could hear everything being said, he waited while the captain replied to his greeting and then began to explain to the man why they had come to see them.
"Captain, we came to see if you wished to join our bunker system, with the ones we hold now we could be of help to you and your people, we could also use the help you have about the ancients, its obvious that you have a lot of knowledge we don't have and it would be best to keep the technology of the ancients out of the hands of the Renegs."
"Well, Elios, thank you for the offer but I can't make that decision, we would have to let the President do that, he's our leader and the leader of our country as he is your leader."
"What! No he's not our leader, we lead ourselves."
"I'd have to disagree with you there Elios, you see the President is the lawful leader of the North American States and, you are a member of those same states so, therefore you are under his command, it's all to do with the legal aspect of the constitution for which he is responsible in just the same way his Forefather's have been."
"Well I don't know anything about Forefathers, his or anyone else's, for that matter, I don't know what a Forefather is, as too us belonging to your "President" man, well that's silly, we have our own leaders and we're doing ok just as we are."
"Look, Elios, its the way of the world, someone has to be the overall leader, the Presidents family was chosen to be that leader as his Forefather was the one who held the office when the Horror started, its the way things are done, you have to have a leader, besides he's a very religious man and would not do anything to hurt you or your group, he's juts there to lead us through these tough times."
Elios thought back to his first meeting with the short fat man, it was obvious he had seen very little of tough times as he was well fed and had a special escort to keep him safe, Elios looked deeply into the Captains eyes, even he could see that the man thought he was right and that he believed in what he was saying, there was no evident dishonesty in the mans words.
"I'm sorry Captain, but we have our own leaders, we only made this approach so that we could all be safe, we have a number of bunkers open and thought you may need help at some stage, there are still a lot of Renegs out there."
"I don't have the authority to make any decisions at this time Elios, perhaps it would be better to talk to the President about all this and then we can come to some sort of agreement on mutual help."
Elios thought about the offer to talk to the "President" man, in his ear and unheard by the Captain, Mita advised him about not going inside the bunker where he would be alone, they didn't know these men very well and he did not want his Kabine going into that sort of danger, Elios gave it more thought, finally he decided that he had to try, if nothing came of it then so be it, they would go there own way and keep away from the fat man who though he owned the world.
"I will meet with your "President" so we can talk about sharing things and information."
"Good, if you can give me a little time to set it up then we can get it all sorted out, would you like to come inside and wait, we can get some food and drink for you and your boys?"
Elios listened to Mita in his ear as he thought about the offer, Mita was still not happy that Elios wanted to talk to the man who though he owned the world, if anything happened inside the bunker, Mita and the others would not be able to help him, Elios agreed but could not give up this chance to make their own small world stronger by having allies, finally, Elios agreed to go with the Captain as long as he could take two of his own boys with him, the driver and gunner would stay with the Humvee, Elios said nothing about the rest of his group hiding up on the sand ridge.
Elios returned to the Humvee and asked two of the four boys to come with him, they would keep their rifles and stay with Elios during the meeting, the three boys returned to join the Captain as he waited patiently for the boys, once they were all together, the Captain led them through the cordon of ten men towards the open doorway.
As they moved inside the dark opening, Elios began to take notice of the number of men and, much to his surprise, women, all wore the same military dress that Elios and his boys wore, Elios also saw that all of them were fully armed and watching the smaller boys with an alert nonchalance, to these long time troops, any strange visitor, especially armed with weapons from a bygone age, was to be watched closely.
Captain Noel led the boys to one of the tables in the common room, there he called for food and drink for the visitors while he went to organise the meeting with the President, Elios and the boys drank and ate as they waited, in his mind Elios tried to sort out what he would say to the short fat man, even now, he was not sure of the man, there was something about him that Elios natural suspicion of adults did not trust, he could still not get his head around the fact that the man claimed to rule the world.
It was twenty minutes before the Captain returned, after a short message, the Captain asked Elios and his two boys to follow him to the Presidents office, behind the small group came six adult military, also armed, they were not going to trust Elios and the two boys close to their President. At the door to the office, Captain Noel told Elios that they could not carry their arms into the meeting, it would seem as though the boys did not trust the President and could cause problems with the talks.
Elios was not happy about being unarmed but there was little he could do now, the three boys were outnumbered and all that kept them safe was the knowledge that Mita and the others were still hidden within reach although the hidden numbers of armed adults in the bunker surprised Elios, there were far more here than they had seen when they first met, Elios felt for his com unit to make sure it was still on and that Mita could hear everything.
When they entered the office, Elios saw that the "President" man was seated behind a large desk, behind him were six men, also well fed and a little overweight, Elios was not happy to see the extra men, in his mind a talk about friendship was between the two men whom it concerned, he immediately felt the tension in the air and the "President" looked a little too comfortable and appeared to look down at Elios as nothing more than a young immature boy, Elios gathered this information before the man had even said a word to him, his natural suspicion of strangers, especially, adult strangers, was on full alert.
Elios saw the President give a half hearted smile in his direction and gestured for Elios to take a seat across from himself, he then went into an introduction of the six men behind him, Elios could not understand why he had to have "Advisors" a leader knew what was right or wrong, if he was not sure he asked all the people what they thought and then, they all made the decision.
Elios could not follow all the names of the six men so let it pass, he was here to offer help and that was all, finally, when the President had said his piece, Elios reiterated his offer of help and friendship by the two camps joining together for mutual safety, Elios watched as the "President" turned to his six men and they began to discuss what Elios had just said, already Elios was bored with the long drawn out process, it took a further ten minutes before they even came close to making a decision, each of the six men had to have his say and. By the tone of the talk, Elios guessed that it would not go well; there was an aloofness about the men towards such a young boy coming to them.
The discussion rolled on and Elios soon became aware that what they were saying was not what they meant, the six men, along with the "President" was slowly turning the meeting around to make it feel as though they expected to take charge of Elios and all the bunkers his boys had found and, that Elios and his boys would now come under the rule of the "President", they would not be allowed to roam freely over the wastes but would spend their time here under the orders of the "President" and his advisors who would see that they would be made to work for the good of the States, Elios had no idea what these "States" were and so lost interest.
It was two hours later that Elios had had enough, rising to his feet, he thanked the six men and the "President" for their time but said he and his men would prefer to stay together and not join the group, from the corner of his eye, Elios caught a stiffening of Captain Noel's body, it was the first sign of something not being right, as he turned around to leave, the double doors crashed open and in ran six armed men, their rifles aimed at Elios and the two boys, it was a smooth voice of the "President" that broke through Elios shock.
"I'm sorry, my boy, but you can't leave, we've decided to keep you here and any of your young friends that come will also join you, it's not right that young boys like yourselves be allowed to roam wildly out on the wastes, that's what started the wild gangs in the first place, we're going to keep you here and give you a proper Christian upbringing so that you can join us eventually and become a working part of our way of life."
Before Elios could open his mouth, he and the two boys with him were grabbed from behind and their arms quickly pulled behind their backs and fastened with the metal circles like they had used on Lion Claw, for just a second, Elios saw a look of sorrow pass over the face of Captain Noel, it made no difference to the way Elios was feeling at the betrayal, he had thought that the funny white flag was a sign of peace.
After they removed his combat knife and com unit, with his mind now in turmoil, he and the others were roughly pushed out of the office and taken away along a passage, from his knowledge of the layout of the bunkers, he could tell they were being taken down below the ground level, all he could hope was that Mita had picked up on what had happened.
Out on the ridge top, Mita heard everything, from somewhere deep in his gut he felt a surge of pure anger rise like a volcano, he had never experienced such hatred of any man but now, his anger almost radiated out of him as he continued to listen to the words coming from the com unit, which, it seemed, the men had not thought to switch off or, Elios had purposely left on for his benefit, Mita listened intently as the remaining men in the Presidents office continued to discuss the boys, the first voice Mita recognised was that of the Captain.
"Mr, President, I must protest, those boys came here under a flag of truce, we have no right to imprison them for their views."
"Not true Captain, those boys need a good dose of reality, they also need to be taught about the laws of God, they're like little heathens, doing things to each other against all that God stands for, they need to be kept here and be turned back to the ways of God, which reminds me, get the Pastor to start giving them lessons from the Bible, I'll not have good American boys become agents of the devil, you will need to send out patrols to bring the other boys in as well, with God's grace we will have this once mighty country back to following God's word."
There was silence on the com unit after that and only the closing of a door in the background told Mita that the meeting was over, while his rage continued to build, Mita did not forget the two boys down in the Humvee, with an urgent call in his com unit, he told the boys to get out of there fast and return behind the ridge, he and the others would cover them from the ridge, Mita then watched as the Humvee quickly fired up and turned to leave, as the Humvee sped off, Mita watched another ten armed men run from the bunker door to join those already outside but, it was to late, the Humvee was now disappearing in a cloud of sand and dust.