As I have mentioned before using the name Dean on everything does allow that air of mystery at times and people don’t often expect to see a female when the rescue Beast pulls up to save them. The same could be said for criminals on the run in the middle of nowhere.
Just to catch you up a bit, Nick, the local copper, and I were searching the bush for a guy who had fled Perth after a botched up armed robbery where several people were shot. Nick asked for my help rather than waiting around for some city cops who would slow him down and he’d be forever watching. It look us less the eighteen hours to find the guy camp and when we did he made the same mistake so many others do.
Despite the fact that I got out of the drivers side of the Beast our runaway criminal, whose name was Thomas Kinkade, had obviously seen the name on the side and assumed if anyone if us had to be Dean it was the one with the same anatomy as he had. That suited us well too because if Thomas thought the plain clothed cop was actually Dean the rescue truck driver the advantage had to be on out side.
“Hey Dean, what can I do for you? Lost someone?” Thomas said with as greasy little smirk as his way of introducing himself to us. He was wearing a blue truckies singlet, which was brave in the hot desert sun, shorts, a pair of Blundstones a on his head was a rip off Akubra.
Nick replied not correcting the name, “Yeah, looking for a couple in a Range Rover. Last report we got had them about forty k’s nor’west of here but the information stream hasn’t been as bloody terrible as usual and we’re having a bit of trouble finding them. Don’t suppose you’ve seen them in your travels?”
Nick was just testing the waters and trying to get a read on the guy. The reports from the city cops had the guy dangerous and armed and Nick had no intention of pushing the guy’s buttons. I know for a fact that Nick would rather the guy flee and get away rather than put both of us at risk of a gunman.
“Been here a few days now but I haven’t seen any Rangies, in fact you’re the first people I’ve seen. Sorry I can’t help you but I’ll definitely keep my eyes peeled.”
Even I could tell Thomas was keen to get rid of us, I doubted he knew who we were but he was obviously getting used to his life of solitude and the less people that saw him the better.
“Mind if we stop here for twenty minutes while we take a break from the search? We’ve been on the go since 6am.” Nick said Thomas still assessing the situation and giving us a reason to hang around. It was easy to see that Thomas wasn’t keen happy to have us around but he also didn’t want to force us away.
“Knock ya selves out.” As I walked back to the truck with the intention of getting some water out of the fridge I heard Thomas talking directly to Nick. “What’s with the chick? Did you lose a bet or something?”
“She’s got her uses in the cold nights of the bush if ya know what I mean.” Nick said. “I better go and check what she’s doing, if I leave her too long she might forget!”
“Yeah I know what ya mean man, waste of space the bloody lot of them! I’ll be over under the tarp relaxing and enjoying the peace and quiet if ya want anything.”
By the time Nick got back to the truck I was climbing back into the cabin. I tried not to make it look like I was eaves dropping but I wanted to see where Nick was going to take our story. My excuse was I needed to know the story in case questions got asked, the truth was simply that I wanted to hear Nick weave his web and see how far he was willing to go.
When Nick climbed up into the passenger side of the truck I handed him a cold water and we looked over the scene before us. Thomas had himself set up nicely with a lean to tarp hanging off the side of the 100 series Land Cruiser trayback he’d stolen before leaving the city. The registration plates checked out and the description was more than close enough to be accurate. He had a camp set up under the tarp and a small fire pit a few meters outside of the tarp’s coverage area. I couldn’t see what he was keeping his food in but he obviously had something in the tray of the ute because we couldn’t see anything outside, just like we couldn’t see a swag or mattress of any kind.
“So how do you want to handle this Dean?” I asked with a smile on my face.
“You know how much it scares me to be compared to you?” He asked
“Why? Because of my charisma and charm?”
“Yeah lets just call it that shall we!”
“Chicken shit!” I replied teasing him to go further and give me a good explanation.
“Are you kidding, I’m a cop in one of the harshest most inhospitable areas in the world. There is little training anywhere that can prepare a person for what I see out here….And I’d still rather face all that that do what you do everyday!”
“Speaking of what we really like doing, what’s you plan here?” I asked.
Nick thought about it for a few moments before replying. “The guy’s got at least one weapon on him.” I must have looked confused. “Didn’t you see I?” I shook my head. “Handgun of some sort tucked into his pants, if he gets too excited he’ll blow his balls off. Typical Hollywood mistake.”
I laughed, “How many other weapons has he got?” I asked having forgotten the answer.
“Several shot guns, no idea where they are yet but my guess is they wont be far away so it goes without saying we need to be careful.” He paused for a few seconds and took a swig of cold water. “As much as he doesn’t give a shit about what he’s got the Land Cruiser is pretty well set up, I don’t think he’s going to make a quick run for it. Don’t think he has any idea who we are so the element of surprise should be with us.”
“You think we can just walk up to the guy and arrest him and all will be good?” I asked.
“Not exactly, to be honest I want you out of the way, even if this guy runs on foot I’d rather you weren’t too close given what he’s wearing.”
“Cut the baby shit Nick, you didn’t invite me out here to be a fucking greenhorn.” He looked at me slightly confused, I don’t think he’d heard me swear very often. “If you go around the other side of that Cruiser and things don’t go as planned the next thing that prick will do is come after me. That’s not my idea of fun.”
After a brief discussion it was agreed that the two of us would approach Thomas together, both armed and both prepared to fire if needed. It was also agree that if one of us did get shot the other one would shoot first and answer questions later. We weren’t going to try and ambush the man, that would be foolish, instead we’d simply walk around the front of the Cruiser casually strike up a conversation with Thomas and then when the time felt right we’d take the man down.
In the rear part of the cabin Nick cocked and loaded four hand guns, he handed me two of them, the felt heavy in my hand but I’d used them plenty of times before, just never against a person. Nick showed me how to slip the guns down the back of my pants and lift the shirt tails over them. He did the same then we quietly and casually exited the Beast.
Trying to act as casually as I could I made my way around the front of the truck and met up with Nick.
“You ready for this?” he asked me.
“Nope, but let’s do it anyway!”
Side by side we walked across the
arid land towards the front of the Land Cruiser, past the black bullbar close enough to touch it and around the passenger corner. The second we both rounded the front of the ute we saw Thomas sitting on a camp chair with a shotgun pointed at us.
Previous Outback Rescue story here.