The van’s front right wheel, the rim damaged when it hit the kerb, was flat by the time it reached the top of the hill. Still with a lead on the moped, it turned left down a side road. Which turned out to be a dead end. They faced an open space that a fully inflated car could have crossed, but the van crunched to a halt.
Back down the road Irwin pulled the moped to a halt. He even took the time to deploy the kickstand before dismounting. He and Kay drew their guns, but then they hesitated. “I’ll go first,” Kay volunteered, “I’ve got a vest on.”
“I’m not arguing with that.” Irwin looked around. They were drawing a crowd. “Armed Police! Please go indoors!” Some of the crowd even did as he said.
“I’m supposed to say that.” Kay raised her gun and aimed in the general direction of the van. “What are we supposed to do? They’ll just use the hostages.”
“Let’s keep them occupied until Armed Response get their act together.” He raised his gun, but kept his finger outside the trigger guard.
Irwin headed to the left and Kay to the right then they moved in as a pincer toward the van. Down the hill the Armed Response Range Rover’s siren stopped blaring.
The van’s driver’s door opened. Kay’s pistol twitched around until it was aimed at the figure that was revealed. The teenager already had his hands above his head. “Come out slowly.” Kay commanded. He slid from the seat, almost tumbling when he didn’t reach out for any hand holds. “Face down on the ground, hands behind your head.”
Whilst Kay dealt with the driver the rear doors opened. Half standing in the opening was a woman being held in place by a man with a very big handgun. Behind them Irwin could see another figure in the farthest corner of the load area. He was holding tight to a child. Irwin’s finger slid inside the trigger guard.
“You just killed her husband.” the man in the door announced.
“Right. How do you think we got on to you?”
Kay had moved closer to the driver, so she could stare into the van. The front seats were empty, and a partition separated them from the cargo area. The Armed Response Range Rover finally pulled into the road with dramatic tyre squealing. “Behave,” Kay told the driver, “they’re armed too.” the driver nodded and she carried on round the front of the van.
“Have you made the call?” the man with the big gun asked.
“I’m making it. I’m making it.” his companion replied. “They’re not picking up.”