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WITHOUT A TRACE


"I gave up my boyhood to drill and to train, to play my own part in the patriot game"

Dominic Behan: The Patriot Game




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CHAPTER 1


HISTORY

"Universes, endless parallel universes, may lie right next to next to ours. They are as unreachable as the stars. Or are they?"


You've heard of the Bermuda triangle? You know, where compasses suddenly start to spin wildly, with a sudden darkness at noon, where ships and planes sometimes just disappear. When they're gone, they're just... gone, and nothing ever comes back. There are other places where this is supposed to happen too. There's a spot deep in the Gobi, and another above the Java Trench. And then... there's the Wild Coast.... some very strange things have happened there. Over the years Portuguese Carracks, British East Indiamen, and, in 1908, the Wahratah have disappeared off that coast.

On the 27th of July in 1981 my granddad flew his Piper Cherokee out from the little bumpy airstrip on our farm, in the direction of Port St. Johns. He flew off to go and take a swarm of bees out of a friend's holiday cottage. He flew out of our lives, and for all anyone knew out of this world. He and his plane were "missing". They'd just disappeared, disappeared without a trace. No wreckage was ever found.

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