It’s lucky they breed us tough in the country, not like those city dwellers who seem to live their lives like pampered little pets who need everything done for them because by the time things were wrapped up and cleaned up at the Gibb Airport the sun had risen.

It wasn’t like in the movies where you see crime scene tape flapping between trees and people in white suits with the word “Forensic” written on the back. No we didn’t need all that because it wasn’t really a crime scene. Sure a crime had taken place but not one was hurt, short of Mr. Growly Man’s pride, and that made the airport little more than a road side drugs bust. Things would be documented, photographs would be taken, abuse would be hurled (by Mr. Growly Man), evidence would be removed and in a few days someone from the Aviation Association, possible with Nick escorting, would come in with a low loader truck and take the plane away which would then get forensically tested in Perth, but that was it.

The site where Mr. Growly Man’s friend decided to have a bonfire was a different matter. Some one had died there and even though it was pretty much a suicide, or stupidcide maybe, it became a crime scene that needed preserving for collection of forensic evidence, or body bits! The annoyance, for Nick and Sam more than myself and Matthew, was that the forensic team had to come in from Perth, they would be flying in which saved time but they still wouldn’t arrive until well after sun up and the local cops had to stay and keep the scene clear for them. Yes even in a place that’s lucky to get a hundred visitors a year the police can’t abandon the scene until it’s clear.

Once Sam had got the information out of NIck that he needed he returned to the explosion scene and left Nick and his Senior Officer, Xavier Dafall, to do what was needed at the airport. Nick of course told Matthew and I that we could head home, in fact I lost count of the number of times he told us that, but me being as stubborn as I am kept saying no.

Mr. Growly Man and his friends were relocated to the legs of the comms tower and secured with handcuffs, it gave them a little bit more movement but most of all it gave us the change to access Nick’s cop truck and put it back the way it should have been. I think when the sun started to rise even Mr. Growly Man realised how tired he was because his barrage of dribble and curse words seemed to taper off about that time.

It wasn’t like we’d been deputised and could suddenly clean up the scene for them but we could clean up the stuff that wasn’t related directly to the case. Things like, cleaning up the rubbish from the comms tower, cleaning up the crap the idiots had pulled out of Nick’s cop truck and looking for Nick’s keys when the sun started to rise.

Matthew and I were both running on adrenalin, we’d been up for twenty four hours, we’d had a relatively busy day prior to our evening run and much of the time we’d been awake was spent alert and on edge. Given that Nick had been through a lot more physically and mentally than we had I thought it was quite amazing he was looking as good on he feet as he was, and he still had more hours ahead of him than we did.

Not long after 7:30am Sam returned to update us on the situation further down the road and let us know that the forensic team was about an hour out. He’d actually said he’d come back to make sure the runway was clear for the plane to land, but I could see from the look in his eyes he really came back to check on us!

Like I said Matthew and I were not deputised in any way shape or form so there was limited things we could do and when Sam told Nick that he should head home and get some rest it was pretty much decided that we would do the same. Nick of course protested slightly, to which I protested and like a spoilt child told a Senior Constable of the Western Australia Police that “if he’s not going home, I’m not going home.” But in the end I think Nick worked out for himself that he was pretty much a wrecked unit and heading home was the best thing for him. It wouldn’t be the end of his involvement but there was no point driving himself to exhaustion when what was left was just the grunt work.

“Okay, I’ll go home and get some rest. But you’ve got to update me later on,” Nick told Sam.

“Naturally. When we’ve cleaned up this shit, I’ll get the lads to take the numpties back to the station and book them and I’ll come into Halls and personally update you. How about that?”

I think both Nick and Sam knew it would quite go down that way but Nick was too tired to care, he was just happy to hear the words. Sam of course would update him and there would be paperwork Nick would be required to lodge with Fitzroy Crossing Station but Sam wouldn’t be making a special detour to Halls Creek just to tell Nick they finished cleaning up. That job would wait until the criminals were booked and on the prisoner transport back to Perth.

“How about I drive you back to the Beast?” Nick asked politely when the conversation was over.

“How about we drive you back to the Beast then I drive you back to town and Matthew drives my truck home!” I replied.

Previous Outback story here.