“I only see two choices for us.” I said to Matthew after a few minutes of sitting in the dark and watching the happenings between Nick’s cop truck and the old communications tower.
“At least you have two.” Matthew said without hesitation.
“Well they aren’t great but firstly we could just sit and wait for the Nick’s mates to arrive.”
“How far off do you reckon they are?”
I looked down at my watch, the green dots and hands glowed in the moonlight. “I’m guessing they are still an hour away, maybe a little less.”
“Well from what we can see they aren’t actually doing anything, maybe waiting is not such a bad thing.”
He was right, the three men did not appear to be doing anything, it was almost as if they were waiting for something else to happen. Then I happened upon an idea that I’m sure should have come to me long before it did so I berated myself for not thinking about it.
“Fuck that’s it. I’m such an idiot.”
“I’m not going to agree with you, you’ve got a gun!” Matthew said in response to my quiet but grumpy outrage.
“Thanks. You’re such a good brother. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before.”
I went on to explain my new theory to Matthew a theory that the men were reportedly flying a plane full of drugs. I never found out where they were headed, it might have been Gibb, but it stood to reason that if they were flying them in someone was meeting them. With Nick’s cop truck the only one anywhere near the airport it stood to reason they were still waiting.
“Doesn’t explain why they’d been waiting for song long.” Matthew said.
“Nothing explains things exactly but what if Gibb wasn’t their target and they suffered some sort of problems forcing them to land here and now they are waiting for their meeting to come in from wherever they were suppose to land?”
Matthew remained silent for a few minutes letting the information settle in, then when he spoke he said. “Sounds very Hollywood.” Of course I had to agree with him it did sound Hollywood. “How much of a problem are drugs coming in across these borders?”
“Not as much by small plane, but the coast line is vast and some boats are relatively easy to get in unseen. But lets face the drug business is lucrative and planes would be a small expense. Besides the story about the drugs was reported as true, it’s the rest of it that is just brain farts at the moment.”
“Still, I’m not quite sure how all that helps us yet.” Matthew said.
“Neither am I.” I replied, then added. “It does raise the question of where the second crew are. Are they still travelling? It’s been at least ten hours since Nick headed out here.”
“How many other strips are there in the area?”
“A few, but there is a lot more places where it’s possible to land a small plane and these sort of operations would probably be happy to avoid official strips if they could. Ten hours without the meeting crew arriving could put their original meeting anything north of eight hundred ks away.”
“Well if the plane is full of drugs eight hundred ks on the road would be nothing to get their shipment.”
Everything we said made things feel more and more Hollywood but the truth was even with us guessing at the exact happenings there was more than enough facts to suggest those guesses were at least possible.
“Probably but eight hundred ks is a long way. The coast is only about two hundred ks. Another eight hundred ks into the interior gets them a long way into national parks, aboriginal land and vast amounts of nothing. Now I think about it I’m struggling to see the point of them flying that far given the chance for detection and the extra time in the air.”
“Ok, so what are you suggesting now?” Matthew asked.
I thought for a few moments, I wasn’t exactly sure what I was suggesting other than the fact that my mind didn’t like the idea of the plane full of drugs flying so far over land when so many other places would be just as good.
“I don’t know.” I replied, the added. “I think what I’m suggesting is that the crew meeting the plane aren’t coming in from such a long distance. It just doesn’t feel right.”
“So what does feel right?”
“I don’t know but what if they intended to land here and it’s the road crew that are late?” I asked just throwing the idea out there before my brain full caught up.
“Wouldn’t the guys in the plane just leave the drugs in the hope they weren’t caught? They could stash them anywhere really.”
“Yeah. It’s not a perfect plan and there is lots of holes in it but it sits better with me than the plan flying so far. After all if a car broke down out on these tracks somewhere a person that doesn’t know the area could be lost for days, let alone a few hours.”
“How far would someone have to go to get parts for a plane if it was broken down?” Matthew asked.
“Probably Broome, but getting the parts to wherever they are would be the issue. Not like we have over night delivery up here. Ordering most aeroplane parts, even in Broome would probably raise a few eyebrows too.”
“Seems to me you are now suggesting that the plane didn’t breakdown and this was their destination.”
My brain was still running slightly slower than my mouth. “I’m not entirely sure what I am saying but the car breakdown on the way here seems more likely than the plane.”
We both mulled over the suggestions I had just made, neither of us seemed willing to discount any of them.
“So what are we going to do?” Matthew asked a few minutes later.
“I’m going in!” I replied.
Previous Outback story here.