So there we were in a bit of a stalemate position. Nick, Matthew and I were in our respective hiding spots at the Gibb Airport, Mr Growly Man and his two annoyances were secured to Nick’s cop truck, a cop truck similar to, but newer than, Nick’s had arrived, we were waiting to see who emerged from said truck and it appeared they were waiting to see who emerged from the dark.
From where I was standing in the tin shed I could only see the passenger door. Had it not been dark Nick would have had a better view from the comms tower and Matthew would be looking almost directly at the driver’s door. The only real advantage I had gained standing where I was was that I was behind the headlights.
I saw the passenger door open and a darked silhouette stepped out onto the dry, dusty surface. The silhouette took up a stance behind the door, I couldn’t see a drawn gun but I assumed by the way they were using the door as a shield there was a gun drawn. The very next moment I heard a voice and realised two things. Firstly the driver of the cop truck had also climbed out and presumably taken up a similar stance and secondly that the voice was familiar.
“Western Australia Police, identify yourselves and do it without any bullshit. If we see a single movement that we don’t like we will shoot first and ask questions later.”
I was about as confident as I could be that the voice belonged to the head honcho of Fitzroy Crossing Police station, but I wasn’t about to make a move until Nick did.
“Fuck you, you stinking fuckin’ copper bastard. Fuck you. Fuck all of you. I’m going to fucking kill all of you fuckers!”
Growly man still hadn’t lost his articulate grasp of the English language.
“Charming.” Sam called out. “Where is…”
“Up here Sam!” I heard Nick’s voice call out from the tower.
I couldn’t see him but when the silhouette I could see turned towards the tower I knew he was looking towards the voice.
“Are you OK Nick?” Sam’s voice echoed in the darkness.
“Yeah mate. I’m coming down. There is two other people here with me. Dean, in the shelter behind you,” as locals both officers would have known exactly what Nick was referring to, “and her brother Matthew, western side of run way. Both are armed but are no threat.” Nick called out as he climbed down from the comms tower.
“Roger that Nick.” Sam replied. “Come out guys.”
A few moments later we were standing at the front of Sam’s cop truck and Nick was updating him on what he needed to know about the situation, how we got to where we were and who the swearing man and his friends were.
Sam wasn’t as happy to see me as I think people should be, but in his defence that had quite a bit to do with the fact that he did suggest, or in his words ordered, me not to head out to the airport to save Nick by myself. It really didn’t help matters that I responded by telling him I wasn’t by myself because I had Matthew. I decided to leave well enough alone and simply apologise with the suggestion that it would never happen again. We both knew it was a little white lie but we were also both happy.
“So what was the big bang out there?” Nick asked when he’d finished with the sit rep (situation report for those not up on police jargon). “Just a warning that you were on your way?”
“Ha! Hardly.” Sam said and I could hear the amusement in his voice. “We are assuming that it was the rendezvous car for the drug shipment but the idiot driving couldn’t tell us much, in fact talking for him might be a bit hard ever again.”
Growly man suddenly interrupted. “You fuckin’ arseholes. What have you done to him. I swear if you’ve hurt him I’ll kill everyone in your family!”
Such an angry man and he still didn’t get the idea that he was in no position to be blabbering such comments.
“Yes, yes Princess. Settle down, we all know you are the toughest man in the world. We are all shaking in our boots. We are however going to be here for a while longer, so unless you want a bullet in you, keep your mouth shut.” Nick was tormenting the guy a little but I think that was fair enough given that he’d been putting up with the guy longer than we had. “So what happened?”
“It appears the guy was broken down and he must have seen our headlights through the bush so he set up a little ambush.”
“It obviously worked, we saw the explosion.” Nick said.
“Fucking Oath!” Growly man said but was ignored.
“Oh yeah it worked. Stopped us dead in our tracks. We pulled over, cautious, not knowing who or what we were facing. Hoping it was a stranded tourist, ready for something worse. We got out and confronted him and he threatened that if we didn’t surrender and give up our weapons and vehicles he’d blow us up.”
“Fuck yeah!” Growly man uttered seemingly still not understanding that Sam’s presence meant that his rescue was not coming.
“Fuck yeah alright. The idiot lit the small fuse he had then got scared by a noise in the bush, which couldn’t have been more than a wombat looking for food, and he dropped the fuse and blew his car and himself sky high!” Sam said with a smile on his face. “Brian, Billy and Kaitlyn are still back there waiting for all the pieces of the genius to land.”
A tirade of curse words and expletives followed from Growly man but none of us cared greatly how irate he wanted to be because our little trip to the airport was all over bar the shouting.
Previous Outback Rescue story here.