“What? Hold on a moment.” Kay leaned forward and shouted into Irwin’s helmet, “Turn around!”
“Turn around! Wrong van!”
“I think this evening we may need to take your DWP friends out for a few drinks. We just raided a forgery factory, complete with three trafficked women in a back room. James thinks they’re speaking Czech, but he’s not really sure.”
“But not the wife and child.”
“Time to look at the other van. We’ll head for Ancoats and…… What the Fuck?”
They had been heading along Regent Road toward Eccles New Road and the industrial unit. It was dual carriageway with crash barriers separating the opposite flows of traffic, so an easy turn was out of the question. Irwin had braked hard as they approached a junction and thrown the scooter into a harsh U-turn, pitching it so far over that the bottom of the fairing almost scraped the ground. A dab of his foot on tarmac had kept them from toppling, but only just. Now, to a backing track of car horns, he was accelerating toward town again as fast as the squealing engine would allow.
“Are you alright? What was that?”
“An idiot in charge of a moped. I’ll tell traffic about him later. We’re heading for Ancoats now. Any update on the other van’s location?”
“Last seen heading for the City stadium. The helicopter will be there soon, we’ll patch them through to you, see if they can vector you in.”
“No uniform in the area?”
“None armed. We’ll have as many as possible to back you up if we don’t get there in time.”
“Okay. Got to give directions now.”
“Ancoats?” Irwin suggested before she’d had a chance to tell him.
“Ancoats. As fast as this thing will take us.”
Other fiction by Ian Pattinson