For centuries the Andrilla lived undisturbed on the forgotten coral island in the Banda Sea. Ignorant of the machine's determination to protect its secrets, all and sundry have invaded. Horace initiates the cataclysmic event that will annihilate the entire area. Only the hand of God, or maybe blind-luck can save the innocent from the impending

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Excerpt from The Dragon Of Hope Island

“Ladies and gentlemen, we are now passing the southern tip of the Banda Sea. If you look out the starboard side, you will see several groups of islands in the distance. These were all occupied by the Japanese during World War Two.”

Endora walked to the cockpit in order to converse with the pilot. “Were all the islands occupied? I mean like all of them?” she asked.

“Oh yes. Just over there is a group of islands," he said pointing. "Where you can still see the sunken ships. A mate of mine and me found them one summer when we were spending our holidays on his father’s yacht. It’s not too far off our regular course, we could pass over the top if you like.”

“And you can see under the water?” Endora’s eyebrows rose in surprise, the thought of seeing sunken ships intrigued her.

The pilot smiled. “Sure, I’ll show you. It’s only a little way off our course. See that bunch of islands over there?” he said pointing.

Endora leaned over his shoulder in order to gain a better look through the front window and to get closer to the handsome pilot. “Oh yes, I see them. Is that where the ships are?”

“I’ll take it, Perry,” the captain said to his co-pilot. With that, David gently eased the stick to the right and down. The small plane began loosing altitude and swooped toward a small archipelago in the vivid blue sea.

Endora’s interest peaked as ships became visible, nestling under the crystal clear water.

“How did they get there?” she asked.

“Most of them were bombed by our boys after the battle of the Coral Sea.”

There was a blinding flash and the small plane shuddered violently. The sound of the engines changed abruptly and an alarm sang out. Endora Elizabeth almost fell onto the control panel as the plane shook.

“What’s happening?” she gasped. “Have we hit something?”

“Go to your seat and strap yourself in,” David said calmly as if the incident was a routine happening.

Endora pulled back and as she did so, she saw what looked like a lightning bolt rush up from the island ahead and strike the aircraft. All the lights went out and the aeroplane became very unstable.

“The elevator’s damaged. I can’t hold it. Our only hope is the island ahead,” the pilot said. His voice was still firm and reassuring.

Endora Elizabeth hurriedly threw herself into the first seat near the galley and strapped herself in. “Strap yourselves in,” she yelled excitedly. “We’re going to crash. We’re going to crash.”

All electrics were out – no lights, nothing. The pilot yelled back to his passengers. “Don’t worry, we’ll be alright. Our best hope is the island ahead. Please brace yourselves for the impact. I’m heading for the beach.”

The aircraft became unstable as it bobbed and pitched on its erratic course. Endora could see the ocean dangerously close through the side window. Helen became terrified and began to cry. Endora felt paralysed with the fear of what was about to happen. Digger had curled up with his hands round the back of his head.

“This is it, hang on everybody,” the pilot yelled.

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The Dragon Of Hope Island by Wentworth M Johnson

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