OOC: Continued from here and here.
"You're taking your life in your hands with that, you know half these places break health codes." Constable Hale observed, sitting sideways on his parked patrol bike and watching Douglas lick the juice from a late night kebab off his long fingers.
"Haena kilted me yet."* Corporal FitzJames pointed out laconically, wiping his hands on his trousers.
"I'm sure there's a rule somewhere that says you're only allowed to eat those things when drunk." Hale added dryly.
"I kin get drunk if ye like."** Douglas replied easily. Both bike cops were often on patrol together were and accustomed to each other's company.
"Yeah, the Sargeant would love that." Hale drawled. Douglas had turned up to work drunk once, and the verbal butt-kicking Whitehurst had given him had been the talk of the station. He'd only done it the once. Of course, turning up hung-over was an entirely different matter. That was almost a certainty.
Sounds of revelry drifted on the lazy night air and just as the two cops were enjoying their moment of ease a loud revving of engines followed by the squealing of tires was heard nearby.
Hale and Douglas looked at each and jammed on their helmets and gloves in unison. The big Scotsman thumbed the button on his bike glove that activated the bluetooth pickup in the helmet even as the pair started their own engines. "FitzJames to Base, we hae ano'er foockin' drag race, same place as las' week." He snapped, not even waiting for the acknowledgement from the station which came a moment later as he kicked his bike into high gear and shot off along the street with Hale on his tail. One thing you could say for police bikes, however bulky they might be, they had guts. "Git a couple o' cars doon here." ***
"Copy that Corporal, we're sending two squad cars out. You and Hale are not to enter the situation without backup." That sounded like Gillis.
"Hurry the foock up then!"# Douglas snapped, having no intention of waiting for the cars. They would take far too long. There had been a rash of street racing recently. They'd broken one up in the exact same spot the previous week. A couple of days later in another part of the city they'd been too late, the race had run, a car had skidded out of control on the ice and slammed into the sidewalk. The teenager behind the wheel had lived; the three pedestrians he had hit hadn't. Douglas was amazed that these idiots had come back to the same spot as before. Dogs to their vomit, fools to their folley.
There were of course laws against street racing. There were laws against most dangerous activities. There were laws against theft and fraud and keeping your neighbours up all night; against trafficking in drugs and stolen items and people. Laws against crimes so big and complex that you needed to own a company to even be eligible to commit them, and against crimes like murder and rape which hailed from humanity's most primitive past and urges. Not that they were likely to see many of those tonight of course, the more interesting crimes tended to happen behind closed doors.
But when it came to on-the-street policing, the most important law was the law against stupidity in public places. Lots of people did mildly illegal things every day, but when people did stupid, annoying, dangerous shit in a public place where it was going to upset or even injure other people, then that unwritten law was all a cop needed to arrest them and throw them in the back of the car and work out what to charge them with on the way to the station. The metaphorical book was several inches thick, they were bound to be guilty of something. And if they weren't doing something stupid right at that moment there was always the oxygen theft sub-clause, cross-referenced to such documented crimes as loitering with intent and public nuisance.
They had only been a couple of blocks away, and they rocketted down an alley-way just as several cars were visible as a colourful, high-speed blur going past the other end. Douglas didn't even slow down, he could hear the sirens approaching from the other direction, and knew that the patrol cars would be coming up the street that the race was running down. Flicking on the bike's lights and sirens Douglas took the corner out of the alley on a half-inch of rubber, seriously endangering his knee, and sped after them.
There was a screetch of tires as the race ended and the racers hit the breaks. No doubt they could see the lights of the cars in the distance. Douglas and Hale came to skidding halts behind the four cars, locking them in, and jumped off their bikes. The car doors opened and it looked like some of the drivers were thinking of doing a runner.
Douglas removed his helmet, six and a half feet of Scotsman in official blue looking decidedly smug. "Luiks like th'party's o'er lads."## He drawled, ignoring the other party-goers behind them.
That probably would have been the end of it had not the big, tatooed driver of the green and silver car decided to throw a punch at him. Subtitles
* "Hasn't killed me yet."
** "I can get drunk if you like."
*** "FitzJames to Base, we have another fucking drag race, same place as last week. Get a couple of cars down here."
# "Hurry the fuck up then!"
## "Looks like the party's over."