My Guest Writer this week is Nest Madden who has appeared in this slot a few times before. He’s back with an extract from his novel: Aftermath:
“Any Oscar unit, any Oscar unit, west bound M4 before junction 3, acknowledge. MP over,” the police radio operator transmitted.
She waited a moment.
“I say again, any Oscar unit, any Oscar unit, west bound M4 before junction 3 acknowledge. MP over,” she repeated.
“Hello, MP from Oscar 24, we’re at junction 3 roundabout, can we assist?” the observer in the front seat of the Metropolitan Police traffic car replied.
“Hello, Oscar 24. Yes, we have a report from XRay 4, area car that they’ve seen a number of men on the hard shoulder of the west bound carriageway adjacent to an emergency telephone behaving suspiciously. They are assigned to Heathrow rendezvous point 4. Can you deal, over,” the operator said.
“Yes, yes all received. We will make our way,” Andy Stillman, who was the observer that day looked over at his driver, Scott Williamson who grinned and accelerated the car hard into the entrance slip road heading west.
“Area car boys must be getting lazy,” he remarked as the car nosed onto the motorway.
“Hold up! Look there, what’s that boy carrying? He’s got a bleeding bazooka,” Andy yelled.
Scott automatically stuck on the blue strobe lights and began to draw behind the car.
Shalim, freeing himself, fell in a heap at the bottom of the fence. Abu half turned to help him. As he did so a police car drew toward the men and the rear of their car. Horrified Abu saw the blue light on the top of the police car go on and momentarily froze. He instinctively brought the RPG up toward the vehicle. Iqbal was yelling at them to get in the car. Questioningly Abu hesitated. Shalim gave him a huge shove onto the rear seat and dived in after him. Iqbal gunned the engine and rocketed the car toward the traffic.
Scott Williamson had been a soldier before he joined the Metropolitan Police. He recognised an RPG when he saw it. Accelerating hard Scott stamped on the accelerator and began to pursue the car as it made an effort to get away. Andy was catapulted back in his seat and scrabbled to grab the radio handset. He cursed. Scott saw the car weave into the westbound traffic. “MP, MP, from Oscar 24, urgent message,” Andy yelled into the handset.
“Oscar 24, from MP. Go ahead with your urgent message.” The operator, as always, sounded cool and almost disinterested. The truth was far from that and she had alerted the duty inspector that there was a another situation building.
“MP from Oscar 24, we are in pursuit of a Sliver Ford Mondeo motor vehicle, registration echo, sierra, november zero nine, hotel november x-ray. Four up, towards Slough. Be advised the occupants appear armed. I say again, the occupants appear armed. Request the assistance of a Trojan firearms unit. Speed now 80 plus miles per hour. Message ends,” Andy said.
“All received Oscar 24, change to channel five and keep the commentary going please, MP over,” the operator said.
In the police control room the duty inspector realised that this possibly might be linked in someway to the emergency landing at Heathrow. He picked up the phone to alert the Silver commander dealing with the incident at airport.
“We need to move it Iqbal, the police are gaining on us,” Shalim yelled. He had righted himself and was now anxiously watching the police car from the rear window of speeding car.
“I’m doing what I can with this piece of gutless crap,” Iqbal grunted through gritted teeth and buried his right foot into the floor. They were travelling at in excess of ninety five miles an hour and weaving in and out of the traffic. Rashid was rummaging in the cricket bag at his feet, his questing hand connected the butt of the heavy Browning 9 millimetre pistol. It was a worn but serviceable weapon. He checked the magazine.
“He’s really going for it Scott,” Andy was trying to update the Police Control room and watch where the car they were following was going as it weaved across three lanes of traffic to the outside lane and then back to the hard shoulder.
“Was that a bazooka that the guy pointed at us?” Andy asked.
“Sort of, it was an RPG.”
“A what?” Andy said.
” A rocket propelled grenade, there’s another Traffic car coming up fast on our offside and I can see more blue lights further back,” Scott said.
The car they were chasing continued to swerve across the four lanes of traffic. This was possibly the busiest part of the motorway and Scott prayed that the driver was skilful enough not to clip another vehicle with his wild manovering. All the police drivers could do was keep in visual contact and wait their chance to put a TPAC stop on the vehicle.
“Oscar 24, Oscar 24 from MP.” The car’s radio sprang to life.
“Oscar 24 receiving, go ahead over,” Andy yelled in to the mic.
“Oscar 24, Thames Valley vehicles are now ahead of you and putting in a rolling roadblock, go car to car with Tango Bravo 3, over,” the MP radio operator said.
“Yes, yes all received. Tango Bravo 3 from Oscar 24, we can see the traffic slowing ahead of us. We believe the suspect vehicle will attempt to use the hard shoulder or go for a decamp. We will pursue, over.”
“Oscar 24 from Tango Bravo 3, yes all received. We are slowing the traffic to walking speed.”
“Oscar 24 and Thames Valley unit from Trojan 41. We heard all that and will follow Oscar 24 during the pursuit,” another voice had joined the radio transmission evidently from an armed response unit from the Trojan call sign. Andy glanced at Scott, relived they had armed back up.
“The traffic is slowing, get round it. Get over on the edge, look there,” Shalim yelled pointing to the hard shoulder.
Iqbal nodded and swerved over so that they were careering down the hard shoulder on the inside of the near stationary lines of traffic. Their car clipped the wing mirror of another car, the noise causing Iqbal to pull violently to his left. The near side wheel hit the soft edge of the verge wrenching the steering wheel out of Iqbal’s grasp. The car slewed left, mounted the verge and skidded down into the ditch. The occupants were thrown about violently as no one was wearing seat belts. Rashid’s head smashed against the dashboard causing him to drop the browning. Which with the safety catch off discharged deafeningly in the passenger compartment. The bullet went through the floor harmlessly. Shalim’s forehead struck Iqbal on the back of the head and in turn propelled his face into the steering wheel knocking him out cold. Abu was thrown around like a rag doll.