Blades (whole four-part series)
Are heroes born or made? When a 12-year-old kid and his widowed father move to a big metropolis from a coastal city, a fatal tragedy begins a chain of events that tests the courage, self-reliance, integrity and survival skills of the boy. Set in many parts of Australia plus California, over a 5-year period, Blades follows his journey to adulthood and looks at the many lives he saves along the way. More
Blades....The four-part autobiography of a rescue-helicopter pilot
Part 1 STREET KID
Julian Moreland, aged 12.75 years, moves from tropical Darwin with his widowed father, Craig. to Melbourne. A series of traumatic events finds him an orphaned homeless street kid in hospital recovering from burns saving a bay from a burning car. Here, he makes friends with the first four men to help him at the scene, a photojournalist (the baby's cousin), two policemen, and the doctor now treating him. Three of these four men are the main teen characters in the prequel series Dangerous Days.
When told that Julian's an orphan, the wealthy grandparents of the baby offer to foster him, and pay for helicopter flying lessons when he is old enough.
PART 2 HIGH COUNTRY
Julian, an 11th grader at private school, is now 17 yo., and doing his helicopter training. His instructor quickly sees Julian is a 'natural'. Soon qualified, he accompanies his photojournalist friend to Central Australia as his pilot on an aerial assignment, meets a holidaying American family, the Cliffords, and becomes attracted to their 15 yo daughter, Alison, and she to him. That night, he, Alison and two kid brothers Barry & Colin save a young child taken away by a wild dog. Next week, he reads news reports that two of the Clifford boys, Colin & kid brother, Dale, are lost in mountains. Guessing where they might be, he flies to a valley near the search area, finds them as the weather gets bad so can't fly out. Colin has a bad gash on his leg. It goes septic. When the weather abates, he flies them out. Colin is very ill. In thanks, the Cliffords invite him to visitthem in Los Angeles as their guest.
PART 3 CALIFORNIA DREAMING
He arrives in L.A. to be met by the Clifford family, except Colin, who is in hospital with kidney complications. He is pleased to see Alison. They drive to hospital to visit Colin. Alison drives him next day to Venice Beach, where he frees child who has been left locked in a car in the sun. He then passes flight exams to fly helicopters in USA. A family friend of from radio station, KMAC, lets Julian fly their helicopter while the pilot is away. Julian does traffic reports daily. His accent makes him popular with listeners, as his feelings for Alison deepen.
Due to a dry spell & strong hot winds a brush fire breaks out north of L.A. KMAC tells Julian to fly three reporters there. He is one of the first to arrive. Next morning fires flare up. His helicopter is requested to assist. In the morning, he carries fire observers who spot an arsonist. They watch from the air as the massive fire engulfs a town and save the life of a woman fleeing the fire. Later, he assists a ground team looking for missing backpackers.
For the next 4 days, he carries fire spotters and fire fighters. All the while, he thinks of Alison. The Cliffords see him on TV and are worried about him. On day 5, the weather eases. He is sent back to L.A, exhausted and welcomed home by the Cliffords especially Alison. Next evening at L.A. Airport, there is an emotional farewell. Julian takes Alison aside, tells her that when they are older, he wants to marry her, She is happy, and says "yes", but it will be their secret until then
PART 4 AFTERMATH
Back home he is plagued by bad memories of what he had seen there, which leads to nightmares and a alcohol abuse. All the signs of a problem are missed by adults in his life, and his slide into violent alcohol abuse continues, until he assaults his best friend on New Year's Eve, suffers a mental collapse, is diagnosed with a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and placed in detox for three weeks. With a lot of support, he comes to terms with his demons, graduates high school, becomes a commercial pilot, and gets a U.S. Green Card. Finally, he marries Alison three years later and starts flying water-bombing helicopters over wildfires. But eventually, he moves away from fire-bombing to become a rescue-helicopter pilot in Ausatralia
Available ebook formats: