I knew the second I crab walked out from behind the bush that I was putting myself in more danger than I had been in up until that point. I wasn’t just jumping out in the open and shouting to the bad guys “Hey look at me!” but I was trading relatively good night time cover for nothingness until I was able to reach what I was aiming for.
Before leaving my cover I had checked again to see where Matthew was and I knew in a round about area where he was, but the fact I couldn’t pin point him exactly I hoped meant that the baddies couldn’t either. The man who we’d spotted having a leak behind Nick’s cop truck was leaning against the driver’s side of the truck facing the rough area where Matthew was, I could only see the darkness of his feet under Nick’s truck from the right angle.
I made my decision quickly when I got closer to the old comms tower, it wasn’t that I had forgotten about the old wooden structure between the legs on the north western side that once housed the generator which powered the tower it was just that I hadn’t given it any thought. However as soon as I saw it in the darkness I knew that was my target spot, not inside it, although it wouldn’t have been locked, just in it’s shadow, because it would hide me from the guy near Nick’s truck and hopefully give me a good chance at seeing how they had rigged the broken ladder up into the comms tower.
The only problem was between my last bushy shrub and the legs of the tower was about twenty metres. Not long when you are trying to throw a water buffalo but it’s a fair distance when you are trying to sneak around without being seen. Because I was closer to the enemy I also had to take a little bit more care and consideration where I put my feet. In the movies the silly bad guys are often fooled by crazy animal calls, or throwing rocks in the opposite direction, but in real life if you are in an alert state waiting for something to happen the sound of a broken twig or scurrying rock etc can be fairly loud and very directional. If I stepped on something or kicked a rock there is a better than excellent chance that it would give away my presence and my location before I had time to breath.
Of course it would have been easier if I could have just lit my path and walked along sure footed but as you know that wasn’t possible, I had to take it carefully and easily one small crab walked step at a time. As well as that I had to fight the pains in my shins and achilles as the crouching put strain on the lower parts of my legs.
It seemed that whatever the guy leaning against Nick’s cop truck was doing it had little to do with being any kind of sentry because he was only interested in looking in one direction, in fact I wouldn’t have been surprised to see him unmoving even if a mob of kangaroos came past the end of his nose. Therefore sneaking across to the tower was a little easier that I thought, well the bit about not being seen was easier, the bit where I stood up and felt both my achilles pull tightly and the muscles in my lower legs flex with pain was not so easy, but I managed to do it without groaning in pain.
I leant against the wooden structure underneath the tower, caught my breath and stretched my sore muscles. I had no real idea how the wooden structure had survived the elements since the tower had been vandalised out of usefulness but I also wasn’t going to lean on the thing too hard. It was the same reason I didn’t bother opening the doors to either hide inside or see what, if anything, was hidden inside. I’ve seen horror movies, there is nothing like a squeaky hinge or rotten board to give away a person’s location.
Standing underneath that tower I could not only hear the footsteps of the men on the wooden boards above me but I could hear their voices and both voices spoke in English. One of the voices spoken had a thick accent I believed to be Indonesian which went a ways to confirming the story we had up to that point. While the other accent was definitely Australian and further localised by the way the man pronounced particular letter combinations like ‘th’ as ‘f’ and others just as distinctive. It was an Australian accent with a thick injection of Perth, the capital city of Western Australia.
Some people took offence at having such an accent pointed out to them, to suggest they speak in a different way to other Australian’s, but in effect every state of the country has a slightly different way of speaking and such speak, as the one the man above me was using, was predominantly Perth based. And that told me the second man in the tower was a local of sorts and again added further weight to the story as we knew it.
“Now we are going to try this one more fucking time!” The voice was that of the Aussie and while the words he spoke suggested it wasn’t the first time he was trying something the anger at which he spoke them indicated he was getting sick of making the same request and not getting the answers he wanted. “Who the fuck is Dean and what the fuck does Seven Zero One fucking mean.” There was a brief pause and when it wasn’t filled by another voice growly man continued. “Tell me now and perhaps I wont fucking shoot your arse dead, you fucking filthy pig.”
Obviously the growly man above me was very articulate and well spoken, I could tell by his use of the term pig to describe a police officer and the way he could insert fuck so seamlessly into the conversation. When I finally met the wonderful man I would be sure to compliment him on his articulate speech.
Previous Outback Rescue story here.