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Aftermath (Blades series part 4)

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Julian returns home Los Angeles to face a storm of controversy over the dangers he had faced flying helicopters at the fire front whilst under eighteen, originating mainly with California's child welfare agencies. He also a plague of bad memories of what he had seen and felt during that time. These memories lead to nightmares and a need to self-medicate with alcohol. All the subtle warning signs of a growing problem are there, but get missed by the adults in his life. And his requirement to give evidence to the U.S. authorities via a video link concerning his time at the fires does nothing to help his slide into binge drinking and alcohol abuse, and the deterioration in his behaviour that inevitably results. It is not until he seriously assaults his best friend from Darwin, Brian, on Boxing Day that he suffers a mental collapse, is diagnosed with a juvenile form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and placed immediately in detox for three weeks followed by intense on-going counselling. With a lot of support from family and friends, Julian comes to terms with his demons. He passes Year Twelve, becomes a commercial helicopter pilot, and gets a U.S. Green Card. Finally, he marries the girl of his dreams at a wedding ceremony three years later in Melbourne, before working in America and Australia flying water-bombing helicopters, until their eventual permanent return to Australia to live with their children. Here, Julian commences flying rescue helicopters, having had enough of fighting major forest fires.

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