When we got back to Halls Creek there was no welcome home banners, no ticker tape parade, no fan fare for the three heroes who had broken the huge drug ring and stopped millions of dollars of drugs hitting the streets, nothing at all!
Well a big reason for that is because news travels slowly in the outback. We don’t have that twenty hour news cycle thing where thousands of bottom dwelling scum suckers, otherwise known as journalists, just follow the police around waiting for a story to happen, report on it in a half biased, half primary school essay type way, then jump to the next story before the first one even hits the published stage. We have one reporter who floats between towns and tells the stories pretty much exactly as they happened, but she can’t be everywhere and she doesn’t monitor the police radios looking for a story, she also has her daily job of Fitzroy Crossing Public Librarian.
Our heroics, or perhaps just a story about and outback drug bust would make the news, both the state news and the national news, because it was a substantial bust but, there would be no live pictures and interviews. It would be the sort of story that only had a voice over explaining what happened in as few words as possible with pictures of maps and file footage of either Halls Creek or Fitzroy depending on which town the editors decided was the closest to Gibb Airport. It was the sort of story that would be lucky to make the same day news cycle in our home state, over on the east coast it would be lucky it if made news the following day.
So therefore no fanfare for the heroes because pretty much no one knew we were missing. Both Nick and I had spoken to Barry before we left and I spoke to Stephen but neither of us said anything about a big drug bust and how we were off to be heroes. Also it’s not like we were gone a long time, all up Nick was gone for less than twenty four hours, Matthew and I only about fourteen.
Anyway what was my point? I don’t remember. Oh yeah.
When we got back to town it was nearly 11am, I was driving Nick’s cop truck and he was catching a bit of shut eye in the passenger seat, while Matthew was driving the Beast, or should I say the Beast was letting him drive her!
It was easier to get Nick in the passenger seat of his own vehicle than I thought it would be, he was dog tired and although he wouldn’t admit it too many people he was stressed out and mentally on edge. He didn’t need to admit that to me I knew him too well and it was because I knew him so well that he gave in and let me drive home.
As I stopped in front of the Police station Nick woke up, I guess he’d had about an hour of sleep, it wasn’t enough but it would help him given that he had several hours of paperwork ahead of him.
“I hope you are headed home to get a few hours kip.” Nick said to me as we stood between the Beast and his cop truck talking.
“Are you taking the same advice?” I asked him.
“I just had a sleep.”
“Well I wouldn’t call it a sleep, but yes you had your eyes closed and you were snoring.”
“It’s more than you’ve had.”
Of course Nick was right, Matthew and I had been up for just as many hours as he had been, we’d been on the go for most of that and even when we weren’t we were at home washing the Beast. So while I might not have felt as tired as Nick looked, I was just as fatigued.
While I didn’t specifically agree with Nick’s request to go home and sleep I didn’t disagree. I think we both knew what was going to happen and we respected each other enough not to push the subject from either side of the fence.
“If you need any help documenting what went down after we arrived you know how to get hold of us.” I said to Nick as I walked towards the passenger seat of the Beast.
“Are you expecting a chauffeur driven ride home are you?” Matthew asked with a smirk.
I could tell he was tired too given that his comment wasn’t delivered with as much sarcasm as usual. Truth was I could have driven home, it wasn’t that far, but I figured since he’d driven the old girl this far he may as well keep driving.
“Don’t you want to drive?” I asked answering a question with a question.
“Don’t you?” He asked repaying the favour.
Nick was standing at the front of his cop truck laughing, further proving how tired he was if he could laugh our silly banter like he was.
“I asked you first.” I replied.
“And I asked you second.” came Matthew’s response. Honestly he was like a little kid sometimes!
“Just get in and drive me home, or I will drive off and leave you sitting on the side of the road crying like a baby!”
“Will the two of you just get out of here!” Nick said with a smile, then turned around and headed for the door of the station with his right hand in the air waving to us.
We did as Nick suggested and got out of there. When we pulled up at home I asked Matthew, seriously not in the same silly manner we’d talked about driving home, if he wanted a nap.
“Are you having one?”
“I don’t want to. If I fall asleep now I’ll probably sleep until dinner time then screw up tonight’s sleep.”
“What are you going to do then?” he asked me.
“I think I might have lunch, a strong coffee and then think about the afternoon. Maybe I can stay awake until early evening then just get an early night.”
“Sounds like a plan!” Matthew replied.
Previous Outback story < a href="/2019/01/18/outback-rescue-gibb-airport-p20/">here.