Dean watched as Joe and Scout argued over the legitimacy of the dingo story. Scout firmly believed that the Chamberlain baby was taken by a dingo, while Joe refused to believe that an animal as timid as that would harm anyone unless provoked. Scout argued with a firm, high voice, his eyes focused upon Joe's and his body rigid. Joe argued with his almost tediously ordinary voice, like David Attenborough or some news anchor, his body relaxed and his eyes flicking from Scout's to the article. Dean couldn't help but think this entire case was crazy, or as he put it quietly, "Dingo ate my baby crazy".
Dean listened for a few minutes but when the food was brought out, he couldn't hear anything over the sound of his own ferocious munching. Joe and Scout settled that the baby could've been taken, if the dingo had been starving for a while and mistook it for a bilby or rabbit. But they both agreed that the recent killings were quite strange and unlikely. They finished their meals while Dean watched on, his stomach satisfied. For now. Joe belched quietly while Scout turned his attention to Dean.
"So, do you mind if we...?" he asked and Dean shrugged.
"It's what we do. Personal matters aside, our job is to save people's lives. How far?"
"Not very. But it'll be pretty late when we get there."
"What are waiting for, Superman to save the day?"
As Joe had predicted, it was late by the time they arrived at Uluru. Once they paid to get in, which everyone thought was funny, or as Scout put it, "We have to pay to see a rock?", the group went to find accommodation. Dean locked the Metallicar and checked up on his motorcycle. Scout strode around the front of his car and talked to Joe. Dean stood and looked at the huge rock that was dwarfing them. It was definitely big, and seemed out of place in the middle of the flat landscape. It stretched out on the red sands, its bright reddish-orange surface dulled by the moon's shine. Dean noticed a trail of posts lined up along the rock, and a sign was posted at the base, but he couldn't read it in the gloom. He checked that he had everything, and asked the local hunters where to begin. Then the three hunters spotted the police and rangers milling about not too far away.
As they walked up to the crime scene, Dean noticed how the grass clumps were squashed flat, as if someone had been dragged over the ground. And there was plenty of blood to prove it. He brushed a hand over his chin and thought for a second. He turned to Joe and Scout.
"Are there any other big beasties living in places like this?" he asked, waving an arm around at the arid desert land stretching out from horizon to horizon. Scout looked at him side-on in his bird-like way. Dean was beginning to think it meant he was curious. Or suspicious.
"Not really. There may be rogue buffalo, cattle or even camels, but that's about it," Scout replied, but then looked around the ground and added, "And I don't see any hoof prints."
"And you said that dingos don't do this kind of thing?" Dean pressed.
Joe nodded. "Nah, and I can't image they'd gang up on a fit human."
Dean nodded and indicated for Scout and Joe to stay where they were. They exchanged an amused glance and watched the foreign hunter swagger up to the crime scene. He walked over to a uniform-clad policeman, who was standing staring up at the stars, his hands rested on the radio and baton strapped to his belt.
"Excuse me officer. Sergeant Dean Young, from Darwin," Dean said, holding up his ID. The officer glanced at him but didn't bother checking the ID.
"Yeah? What does Darwin want with us down here?" he replied with a baritone voice, looking down at the bloodied ground. He was a tall man with broad shoulders. He had a substantial beer gut, but his arms were still thick with muscle, although not exactly body building material. He also had a wiry black moustache clinging under his flat nose, and tiny, bored eyes.
"Well one of the men was from Darwin," Dean recalled, "Henry Anderson. I've been sent down to investigate the matter."
"Huh. I thought we'd already talked to you mob. But hey, I guess they're giving the rookies a chance."
Dean knew this was a stab at him, as the officer obviously saw him as an American who's just moved over and was trying to earn points with the up-highs.
"Well, just in case you haven't read the newspaper," the officer began, trying to stifle a yawn, "This bloke was found dead here, not far from the Rock. We suspect dingoes, judging by the claw and tooth marks, as well as the fur, tooth and claw chips found in his body. But that doesn't explain why his neck's broken. We're a bit far from the Rock for him to've jumped, but the fractures and internal damage suggests he fell from the same height as the Rock. We know he's been dragged from somewhere because of the blood trail and scraped dirt and grass, as well as the dirt in his body. Because his body's half-chewed, we can't tell which angle he fell from, how far he rolled or anything. But hey, it should say all that in your paperwork right?"
Dean nodded. "Just confirming. And no witnesses to ask either. Can I talk to the people who found him?" he asked. The officer just waved a hand and handed him a card from his pocket. On the card were a few hand-scribbled details of where the campers were. Dean took a moment to look at the site and promised to come back in daylight.
Dean returned to where Joe and Scout were leaning against their car. Joe was slouched and snickering quietly while Scout looked on with the seriousness of a funeral.
"Mate, wouldn't it have been easier to let us locals handle it?" Scout asked before Dean could say anything. Then, like a well rehearsed act, they both pulled out of pockets various ID's and cards. They showed their police ID's to Dean particularly and replaced them in their pockets.
"Come on, I can do it too," Dean defended, and held up the card. "Look," he said while looking down his nose, "I even got the camper's details."
Scout raised his eyebrows and the corners of his mouth turned down in mock surprise.
"Newbie's got some skills," Joe said quietly, and it was Scout's turn to snigger.
"Hey! I've been hunting since I was a kid. I know what I'm doing!" Dean grumbled, although he knew they were talking about him hunting in the new country. How different could it be?
Hey! to those who read this Fanfic. Sorry, I havn't been wrting for a number of reasons, including study. Its not that I've run out of ideas, I just don't have much time nowadays. I will try to knuckle down soon! Sorry this chapter is so short!