The group, while assisting the small bunch of feral children, are discovered by an enemy patrol. They take five of the children (Gavin, Natalie, Casey, Jack and Darina) and escape back to Hell. The children do not trust them, and their leader, Gavin (who is deaf), convinces the others to try to escape into the bush. Ellie and the group manage to track them down, but not before Darina dies of dehydration. They convince the children that they will be safer with the teenagers in Hell than anywhere else, and, exhausted, the children give in.

To make the kids happy, they decide to celebrate Christmas - which will necessitate a raid on an occupied farmhouse to get supplies. Homer, Ellie, Gavin and Fi are captured but manage to escape (breaking through a car boot and riding a motorbike straight through the farmhouse in the process), and return to Hell to celebrate a happy Christmas. After Christmas, they also establish an informal school, with Lee teaching arts and music, Kevin teaching science, Homer teaching maths and Ellie and Fi teaching English. At the same time Lee apologises to Ellie for his past actions, eventually mending their fractured relationship.

They soon discover, however, that their attack on the airfield made them an ultra-high priority target for occupying forces, and a group of soldiers tracking them near Hell ambushes them. After a comparatively long (compared to other head-to-head encounters with enemy groups) fire fight, the group realises that they are no longer safe in Hell, and make contact with New Zealand immediately.