In the bedroom everything was closed down already. Geoff searched his way through the dark to the bed, in which, he assumed, Kate was already sleeping.
"Are you asleep?" he asked.
"Hmmm," she answered.
He got into the bed and crawled against her back. Suddenly she turned around and said: "Geoff..."
"I had such a weird dream last night."
'Ah,' Geoff thought, 'maybe that was why she had acted so confused and upset today.' He'd noticed it, but he hadn't been able to find out what was bothering her.
"Tell me, Geoff," Kate said, "have you ever seen a person, who is already dead, walking around in your dreams, telling you he fooled you?"
Geoff couldn't help but laugh a little.
"Yeah," he said, "actually, it's quite common. I went through it several times after my father died... He always came in with that big smile upon his face, walking to his chair..."
"Oh! That's a relief, I almost thought I was seeing things," Kate interrupted him with a sigh.
After a rather long silence, in which both of them were busy thinking, Geoff asked: "Who was it? Walking around in your dreams?"
"Oh Geoff," Kate gasped, "it was David... just the way he was... walking into the base, bag in his hand and a big smile upon his face... and I got angry with him, telling him what a stupid joke this was... It... it just seemed so real..."
Geoff put his arms around her and tried to comfort her. In the silence that fell next he stroked her arm and had flashbacks to that mournful day David died.
The next morning Guy entered the base. Except for his bag, he also carried a huge package. With a conceited expression on his face he said "good morning", walked right into his office and closed the door behind him.
Clare, Jackie and Geoff looked at each other. Clare shrugged.
"He's always late," Jackie said, "and even then he dares to walk in like that! No sorry's or anything ..."
"Yeah..." Geoff said and walked to the coffeemaker to get a cup.
At that same moment Guy put his head around the door asking: "Do you have one for me, too?"
"Now listen," Geoff said irritated, "you came walking in here like a hurricane, hardly saying anything, vanishing in your office and... argh... leave it..."
"Whoa, whoa", Guy replied immediately. "If it's too much trouble for you I can get it myself... take it easy Geoff, don't make a fuzz."
He made himself a cup of coffee, took it into his office and closed the door again.
Jackie looked at Geoff. "Are you alright? This is not your normal way to react."
"Yes," Geoff said, "yes, I am... It's just that sometimes..."
Clare looked at him with an understanding expression.
Inside his office Guy unwrapped his package. He looked satisfied. He had bought himself a hammock and saw himself lying in it, relaxing after work or on days off. There was a frame in the box as well, on which to hang the hammock but he decided not to use it. He planned to go to the store during lunchtime to get some strong ropes, so he could hang it between trees.
Far up north, in the Northern Territory near Malaranka, a dark-haired, rather skinny, young man named Joss was making up to leave. He had been hiding himself for several years, wandering the bush, leaving no trace. Some time ago he got the drive to go south again. He didn't know what caused this drive but he was used to listen to his intuition. Right about the time he was about to leave however, he had caught the Ross River virus and he had been ill for over a month. The drive he felt grew more and more urgent during his illness and now he didn't want to delay his leaving anymore.
He packed up his little belongings and left, searching for someone who was heading south.
After travelling for several days, in several cars and in several directions, he ended up walking along a dusty road. He wasn't feeling well. All this travelling had cost him too much energy and he realized that, however right it had seemed at the moment, he had not yet been fit to travel when he left.
He sat down at a crossing, too tired to go on. In the distance he saw a dustcloud and he knew there was a car driving his way. By the time the car was near, Joss was not able to get up anymore so he tried to wave.
The driver saw him and jumped out of the car to look what was wrong.
"Can I help you?" the driver asked. "Do you want a lift from me?"
"Yes," Joss sighed." I have been travelling for days now," he whispered. "I have been ill, you know, and now I'm completely spent."
"Okay," the driver said, "come on, I'll help you get into the car."
Even before the driver was seated Joss fell asleep. He was moaning almost every time the car hit a hole or a bump in the road. The man, who had no radio, didn't know what to do. He drove him to the nearest property he could find, which was the Robson's.
When Len Robson saw Joss sitting, sleeping in the car, his mouth fell wide open with astonishment and confusion, but he pulled himself together and helped the driver carry him into the house.
"I really have to go on," the driver said. And after Len assured him he would take good care of the sleeping, moaning man, he left.
The moment the car left, Len's wife Hannah entered the room. She looked at the man on the couch and stammered: "No... this isn't possible..."
Joss opened up his eyes a little and heard the woman say: "David...?"
Half awake, Joss said: "You know my brother?" and fell asleep again.