The Walkabout tour mini bus pulls up to an old country house, a verandah around the front and side. The area around it is desolated for miles. The house is surrounded by walking sticks, walkers and wheelchairs and surprisingly, surrounded by three Landcruiser Police vehicles and a single police car. There is a young policeman investigating the grounds, looking for clues and writing notes in a notepad. Another young police-woman is taking photos of the surrounds. There appears to be more police inside the house.
“What the hell?” Edward rhetorically asks.
He pulls up the bus, leaving the motor running, he grabs his hat and jumps out of the mini-bus door and walks towards the congregation of police.
A senior policewoman moves to greet him. They exchange words, but they are too far away to hear.
Claire and Kate look at each other, with great concern on their faces.
Kate tries to look out the window, the other passengers do the same, some are even taking photos.
Kate says to Claire, “I wish I knew what they’re saying.”
A man sitting quietly in front of them responded by saying:
“I know what they’re saying.”
Both Kate and Claire looked at each other, not saying a word.
The man, who looked like he was in his mid 40’s, short, receding blonde hair and stout figure continued…
“I can lip read, been deaf since I was 6.” He pointed to his hearing aid on the side of his head, then continued…
“Something terrible happened here. Apparently, something attacked the famous Isaac of Ularu.”
“Some ‘thing’?” Kate asked.
“Yes.” The man replied, the calmly stated: “The cop said it’s a god awful mess inside and they’ve got no idea what happened to Isaac, but there’s not much left of him.”
Claire looked to Kate and said:
“I don’t like this.” Then they both looked out the window with apprehension.
Edward shakes his head, shrugs his shoulders, then walks back to the mini-bus.
He steps back on board then announces to everyone on the bus:
“Apologies everyone, it appears that our friend Isaac has gone missing and therefore, we will not be able to visit him today.”
A woman’s voice with a German accent, from somewhere on the bus asked:
“What is going on? Why can’t we see Isaac?” She cried.
“Now, Karen, don’t make a fuss.” Her husband assured her.
“But you need him!” she replied, then stood up and pleaded:
“My husband is very sick, what can I do?”
Edward sarcastically replied:
“Go see a doctor, I suppose.”, then he sat down, turned the microphone on and announced:
“Apologies ladies and gentlemen, we will now continue our tour. Next stop will be Arthur’s eatery for lunch and then a tour around ‘the rock’. Don’t forget that we’ve got an early start tomorrow morning, we’ll heading to the Blue Sky Mine at 8 am, so please make sure you’re all on board by 7.30.” then he put the mini-bus into gear and muttered “Let’s get out of here.”
The aboriginal elder, now dressed in a suit and tie sits at a large corporate table in a board room, with a single phone, wireless pointing device and a laptop.
He is typing notes on the laptop when there is a knock at the door.
He looks up, then a familiar person walks in.
“Is it set?” He asks.
“Timer is set for 9 minutes to 9 exactly. With a failsafe remote.”
“Perfect.” He said, then went back to typing.
“Has he arrived yet?” he casually asked.
“He’s waiting in reception.” Bunga replied.
“Excellent, show him in on your way out.” Djiniyini commanded.
“Yes.” He said, then walked out the door.
A few minutes later, the door opens.
Djiniyini stands up to greet the man.
“Mr Josephus” He smiles, extending a hand of friendship.
“Welcome to Australia” he greets him. Flavius shakes his hand and simply says:”
“Thank you, Mister Gondara. I’ve come a long way to be here.” He sighs.
Djiniyini prompty replies:
“Yes, of course. Well then, let’s get straight down to business then.”
Hugo is standing on a beautiful beach, next to a portable Barbie-q, with a basket of fish, a roll of Dharma uluminium foil, a metal spatula and a Dharma cola can in his hand.
He appears to be talking to himself, as he is about to prepare cooking.
Ben silently walks towards him.
“Oh, I’m sorry. Did I interrupt?” Ben asked.
“Err, no, just talking to myself.” Hugo replied.
“Oh. I thought for a minute there I heard you talking to someone.” Ben continued.
“No. Just talking, you know.” Hugo looks sullen.
“What y’got cooking there?” Ben enquires.
“Fish. Did you want some?” Hugo offered.
Suddenly, Ben grabs Hugo’s hand moments before he is about to put the fish on for cooking.
“Hugo.” He cautioned coldly…
“Where did you get these?” He demanded.
“Cindy and the others, they caught these in the river ov…”
“Hugo. Put that down and come with me.” Ben interrupted.
“Wha? But I just go this going!” Hugo cried.
“Hugo, we need the keys.” Ben concluded.
“You mean the keys? Oh no no no, you know the rules… no guns unless someone’s life is in danger.” Hugo clarified.
“Well Hugo, if I’m not mistaken, your life would have been over if you continued to eat that fish. It’s Fugu.”
“What-goo?” He asked.
“Fugu. You eat that fish and it will be your last meal.”
Hugo held the fish up close to his face and said quietly:
“Deeeeewwwd…But why would they do this?” He wondered.
“Hugo, moments like these, I don’t stop to ask questions, I get myself a gun. And quickly!” He turned towards the Dharma barracks and Hugo put the fish down, then yelled out to Ben:
Ben knew there was something wrong and turned back to Hugo.
“Bernard and Rose!”
“Please, don’t tell me…” Ben gasped.
“I gave them some as well!” Hugo said nervously.
“We’d better hurry.” Ben sighed, “We’ll get the guns first. Walt is inside, get him to call Vincent. It’s getting dark and we need to get to Rose and Bernard as quickly as possible.”
Miles is inside a shopping mall, sitting in a seat inside a franchise style travel agency. Miles looks a little uncomfortable, he leans forward and rests his elbow on the desk, holding his hand open, trying to get clarity from the agent.
“So, let me get this right. A bus is the quickest way to get to Alice Springs?”
“Yes, sir, the only flights from here go to Darwin and then a bus from there to Alice. But the next flight won’t leave Sydney for another 3 days.” A young male agent, barely out of school explains the details.
“Ok then, I suppose I’ll take the bus.” Miles sits back and throws his hands in the air in resignment.
The agent types away on his computer keyboard, then gives Miles the details.
“Ok, the next bus leaves at 7 am Tuesday, from Central and arrives in Alice at 10 am Friday.”
“Wait, what?” Miles yelps.
“Sir, Alice Springs is a long way from here.” He states.
“Um, that’s 51 hours!” Miles states.
“That is correct sir.” The agent replies.
Miles looks down into his lap, shakes his head as whispers to himself:
“Son of a bitch.”
Sawyer gets off his motorbike, he takes his helmet off, then removes a piece of paper from a strap inside his helmet, he opens the seat of his bike and takes a pair of glasses out to read the paper.
“Bishop Martin Museum
Church Street, Natchitoches, Louisiana
Ask for ‘Fred’ tell him The ‘doc’ sent you”.
He looks up from the paper and sees a two storey building, something that looks like a saloon from a spaghetti western.”
Sawyer mumbles to helself:
“Don’t look like no darn museum.”
He puts the paper back into his helmet and chains his helmet and bike together. He walks through the door, towards the souvenir counter. There are racks of postcards, souvenir spoons and all sorts of trinkets.
There is no one at the counter, so he picks up a small bell from the counter and rings it.”
A small elderly lady, hair pulled back, glasses hanging on a chain around the neck and a silly grin on her face asks:
“Hello dear, would you like some help?”
“Yeah, I’m lookin’ for Fred.” Sawyer said.
She just smiled at him, with no response at all.
“The Doc sent me.” He continued.
“Oh, that’s nice dear. I’ll run and get him.” She goes through a nearby door and a few minutes later, an elderly man comes out, walking with a an old wooden walking stick, glasses and hat.
He smiles and looks up at Sawyer and says:
“So tell me son.” Then he pauses for a second.
“Can you scuba?” He asks.
“What?” He huffs.
“Scuba?” Fred repeats, then explains, “you know, self contained underwater breathing apparatus”.
“I know what scuba means, Einstein, but what’s that got to do with anything?” he enquired.
“Mr Ford, would you be interested in a all expenses paid trip to Peru?” he asks.
“Wait a second speedy, we’ve only just met” he snickered.
“Mr Ford, I know who you are, I know why you’re here and I know you have nowhere to go.” He stated.
“Well, ‘Fred’, how ‘bout you start by telling me something” he asks.
“Yes” Fred replies.
“Who are you? And why did The Doc send me here?” Sawyer asks.
“Hehe.” He giggled. Then simply said: “The Doc sure knows how to pick ‘em.”
“Come on, come and sit down, we’ve got a lot of planning to do.”
He said, signaling for Sawyer to follow him.
A hotel outdoors area, dimly lit by some bamboo poles with oil fires burning upon each one.
Claire, Kate and Aaron are sitting at a table, having dinner.
Claire asks Kate :
“How come you’re not eating your ‘tucker’?”
“Hmm?” she looks confused.
“I’m sorry Claire, I suppose I’m just a little jet lagged. Besides, the thought of eating Skippy for dinner isn’t really working for me.” She smiled.
“Who’s Skippy?” Aaron asks Claire.
“I’ll explain later, honey.” She reponds.
“Why don’t you get an early night. We’ll be fine without you.”
“Are you sure? I’d love to get some shut-eye.” Kate pleaded.
“Sure, go ahead, we’ll be going to story telling after dinner, we’ll tell you all about it in the morning.” Claire smiled.
Scene 7: 8pm.
An open area of hard red sand and scattered bushes, surrounded by dark trees. In the middle, there is an open fire, surrounded by rocks and there are people seated around the fire.
A local Aboriginal man sits cross legged near the fire.
Claire is carrying Aaron in her arms and walks towards the group of people.
“Sorry, I’m late.” She whispers.
An aboriginal woman walks towards her and offers her a blanket.
“Thanks.” She whispers.
She puts the blanket on the floor and lowers Aaron into the blanket, wrapping him up and sitting next to him.
Then the aboriginal man starts to talk:
There are a few people unsettled, so they all sit to listen to the commanding voice.
“For us, story telling is a tradition as old as time itself.” He continued.
“For us, it is language, it is life, it is our blood.
Tonight, I tell you of a very special story.
A story about Mapinguari, a Bunyip.” He took a breath, then looked at Claire, then looked around at the others.
“Of course, he wasn’t always a Bunyip, he was once an ordinary man, living an ordinary life, not far from here.” He lifted a stick and poked at the fire.
A plume of black smoke wafted up into the air.
Then the aboriginal man looked back at Claire and said with cold clarity:
She looked around un-easily to verify that he was looking at her.
She looked un-easy and then stared at the aboriginal man.
“Sorry, are you asking me?” she enquired.
“No miss, I am telling you. You do understand.”
And the aboriginal man went on to tell the story.