"I'm warning you, Jenkinson." Alan almost stumbled off the seat as the van hit a mound, which didn't improve his mood at all. "Christ Stewart! You aiming for bloody pot-holes or what?"
"This'll bugger your suspension up." Jason observed.
"Who are you? Bloody Kwik Fit?" Alan snapped.
"Keep your hair on." Jason sniffed, grabbing hold of the seat for support.
"Now what?" Stewart looked in surprise at yet another string of yellow cordon tape. "We didn't miss any turnings did we?" He asked Rowan
"I didn't see any, but I was looking more at the laptop than out of the window." Rowan answered. Stewart rolled down the window when someone who looked more military than police, approached the van. "Yes we're police, yes we feel very foolish, yes we're frigging lost." He said testily.
"And yes you'll be getting out of the van." The soldier type was armed and Rowan almost fainted. This was going out live! This was going out with her name on it!
"Do what?" Stewart said in astonishment. "What the hell is this? Starsky and pissing Hutch? Look I can't leave the van. I'm headed for F1 Secure Facility with a prisoner. They're expecting me, yes? Do yourself a favour and don't make this any worse than you're trying to."
"I said out." The other man repeated. "You too, lady."
"Jesus wept." Stewart muttered. "Do as he says, Miss Hall. I'll have your arse for this, pal." He pointed at the man as he climbed out of the van.
"Open!" The soldier hammered on the back doors with his fist. "Tell them to open it."
"Alan! Open up. Emergency." Stewart shouted. Rowan wondered if Terry Hook was equipped with a body cam. She sincerely hoped so.
"What in black buggery is going on?!" Alan bellowed. "What the shit is that?" He blinked in shock at the soldier's firearm. "Look, buster, we're on a schedule here. If we don't show at the other end, there'll be police forces from two districts out looking for us. Understand?"
"In." The soldier ordered Stewart. "You'll be safe, I promise you. You too girl. In the van." Rowan scrambled into the van first, glancing swiftly at Terry.
"This is a bad move, pal." Stewart growled, stepping up into the van. The soldier cast a swift look round the interior before slamming the doors shut.
"What the shit's all this?" Jason glared at everyone. "Who was that? Bloody Fidel Castro?"
"Yes, who was that?" Alan turned round to glower at Rowan. He clearly thought this was something to do with her.
"I don't know." Rowan shook her head. The van jolted into motion and the thrill of the story suddenly wore off. That man was armed. They were in danger. "Maybe you should ask him." She nodded towards Jason.
"Huh?" Jason frowned at Rowan.
"Vans get hijacked for their cargo."
"Are you stoned?" Jason yelled. "I'm on bloody remand! I'm hardly Ronnie Biggs! Who are you anyway?" He looked at Rowan, dressed in casual black trousers and a white shirt.
"She's a social worker." Terry butted in.
"Another one?" Jason rolled his eyes, but accepted it. "So where we going?"
"Hasn't it got through your thick head, Jenkinson?" Alan said irritably. "We don't know. In case you missed any of that, we've just been help up and kidnapped at gunpoint."
"What the shit for?" Jason blinked a few times. "I don't want kidnapping for Christ sake! Jesus I'll never get to bloody court!"
"You want to go to court?" Rowan asked.
"Yes, I want to go to court." Jason sneered. "I want this farce sorted out, you see. Everyone in the world can't be bloody blind. Why do you think I went for a Crown court hearing? Do you really think a panel of three, crusty, anally retentive magistrates are in touch with the world? Are they shite!"
"Must you yell and swear all the pissing time, Jenkinson?" Stewart yelled and swore. "Did she have a go at you? No she bloody didn't. Watch your trap."
"You will be quiet!" The driver of the van yanked open the partition window. Rowan, and the others, were very alarmed to see it was a different man. "Just shut the hell up!"
"Where we going?" Jason wasn't the type to shut up on demand.
"Somewhere you should feel at home." The man laughed and closed the window.
"Huh? Clay Street?" Stewart said in confusion, naming Jason's home address.
"Hardly." Jason said sarcastically. "Who in their right mind would hijack a van with three bloody coppers, a shrink, and a thug in it?"
"So this isn't some sort of escape plan?" Rowan asked nervously. The novelty of this was wearing off at a rapid rate. "Trust me, your timing couldn't possibly be worse."
"Do I look like I've escaped?" Jason yelled. "I don't want to bloody well escape! I Just told you that!"
"Roar once more, Jenkinson and I'll sodding well floor you!" Stewart snapped. "Stop frigging bellowing, yes?"
"What time is it?" Alan asked suddenly.
"Yes you've missed your tea break." Jason muttered.
"I wasn't talking to you, pissant. Are your gadgets on a time limit? Do they run out?" Alan glared holes through Rowan.
"Yes and the have, about fifteen minutes ago." Rowan mumbled. The cameras were set to record in two hour blocks but they had to be manually continued.
"So someone will know something isn't quite right. Yes?" Alan persisted.
"I sincerely hope so." Rowan nodded.
"What?" Jason asked suspiciously. "Gadgets? What gadgets?"
"Pocket recorders." Terry came to the rescue again. "They all use them, Jenkinson. As it happens, this one could come in very useful if it's recorded all that."
"Too right." Jason nodded. "Especially the bit with me saying I wanted to go to court. You make sure they hear that bit." He nodded at Rowan who nodded back. She wanted viewer ratings and this cliff hanger would have them tuning in in droves. Would it be worth it if she ended up raped and shot?
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