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About the Author
Mark A CooperMark A. Cooper was born in London and moved with his wife and son to the U.S. in 2003. When his 12-year-old son’s grades improved after reading the Harry Potter series, Mark decided to encourage literacy with his own novel. He self-published Fledgling: Jason Steed and the novel has enjoyed huge success and a devoted following on the web.
Jason released the brake. The plane lurched forward and started to gather speed. He increased the throttle and increased speed. Lights from a
Jason released the brake. The plane lurched forward and started to gather speed. He increased the throttle and increased speed. Lights from a vehicle came on ahead. The sirens went off, and the guards poured out of the barracks. Jason slowly pulled back on the tiller. Nothing happened. The plane just continued down the runway.
It bounced and rattled its way toward the buildings. He gave it more power. Still nothing happened when he tried to lift the wheels off the ground for takeoff. The buildings were now getting close; the plane felt lighter to control but would not clear the buildings. He cut the power and applied the brakes.
The plane slowed and bounced to a stop. They were now desperately close to the barracks and Weing’s armed guards. Again, he opened the throttles and slowly turned around. He applied the brakes and opened the throttles again. The back of the plane started taking shots from behind.
“Jason. Go! Go!” Wilson shouted as he turned the rear machine guns on the oncoming guards. Both Ryan and Peter in their Plexiglas domes turned to the rear and also began shooting.
The tail began receiving heavy fire. The armored jeeps were getting closer and closer. The second jeep had a mounted machine gun and started firing at the plane. Wilson targeted this vehicle and unloaded his rounds. The driver and gunman were killed instantly; the jeep veered off to the left and turned over, bursting into flames.
Wilson was screaming at the top of his lungs for Jason to move, but the noise of the engines drowned any sound he made. Jason pulled the throttles back farther. The plane’s old body shook violently.
“This baby is going to need everything to get it off the ground,” he said to himself.
He applied more throttle, building up the revs before he eventually released the brakes.
The plane launched forward. He pulled the throttle back farther and farther. With its 110-foot wingspan bouncing, the B-24 stormed down the runway. Now that it was going faster, it felt lighter to control. Jason opened the throttles all the way; he wanted to get as much speed as possible. He pulled back the tiller. The end of the runway and the wire fence rushed toward him. He had to go now. He was going too fast to stop.
The thirty-three-ton plane slowly lifted off the ground and roared into the cloudless dawn sky. Wilson, John, Ryan, and Pete started cheering as they left the complex behind.
Jason turned on the radio to call for help.
“This is Jason Steed of the 22nd Platoon Sea Cadets requesting flight information—over.”
Ray Steed was on the bridge, He could not believe his ears when the sweet, unbroken voice of his son came loud and clear over the airways. The bridge crew members cheered and gave Ray a pat on the back. Ray had to fight back his emotions.
“This is Jason Steed of the 22nd Platoon Sea Cadets requesting flight information—over,” he repeated.
“G’day. Jason Steed, this is Broom Air Force Base North Western Australia. Roger Bankman speaking. Please give your position—over.”
“I have no idea, sir. Somewhere over Jakarta, flying southwest, 22 degrees—over.”
“We have you on radar. What are you flying, Jason?” Roger replied.
“I don’t know, sir. A big American World War II bomber. It has four engines, three domes. It’s green, noisy, and bloody huge, sir.”
The officers on the bridge of the Ark Royal, including Ray, fell about laughing. Then, a new voice came over the airways.
“This is Commander Elliot from Special Forces. Jason Steed, we got your message.”
“What message, sir?”
“Are you still in a position to trade for some carrot cake?”
“Wow! You got that? Yes, sir, I want to trade.”
“Then, Jason, keep heading toward Broom Airfield. Someone will meet you there.”
Eleven years earlier…
“Well constructed, full of adolescent wish-fulfillment and almost believable, this is an undemanding page-turner in the spirit of Alex Rider and Co. that will appeal to parents as well a...
“Well constructed, full of adolescent wish-fulfillment and almost believable, this is an undemanding page-turner in the spirit of Alex Rider and Co. that will appeal to parents as well as kids. Let the sequels begin. ” - Kirkus
Length: 8.25 in
Width: 5.5 in
Weight: 9.68 oz
Page Count: 240 pages