Friday, 11 March 2011

Ch: 26 Gangsta's Paradise - Coolio 1995

A few days passed. Gene hadn’t brought up the subject of Sam Tyler’s jacket, as worn by Father Daniel. He had mulled over it, and thought, what was the bloody point? So may crazy things were happening, so much madness. What did it matter? No doubt he would find out in time, all in good time. Perhaps Sammy Boy was next in line for the salvation of souls by the Gene Genie.

The phone in the flat rang out. Father Daniel answered it. Gene himself was in the little boy’s room reading the Manchester Evening News, 1995 Edition - he noticed glancing at the date. Bloody Hell. He was in for another ride by the looks of it.

“Gene!” “Gene it’s for you”. “Gene”.

“All right, keep your wig on!” Gene shouted, flushing the toilet and going back into the kitchen. He saw the priest waving a mobile at him.

“For me” he asked. Who the hell would be ringing for him.

“Hunt.” He said into the mouthpiece as he snatched the mobile from Daniel’s hand.

“Ah. Just the person. I need you to get on a job. Pronto. It’s pretty urgent….”

“Whoaa whoa” Gene said “NOBODY tells Gene Hunt what to so. Who the hell is this?”

But before Gene could hear, Daniel snatched the phone back off him.

“Sorry, yes…yes I know, he’ll be fine …yes once he’s back..its been a while that’s all… Yes of course…I’ll send him across no worries”. Daniel switched the mobile off.

“I’m waiting” Gene said, his arms crossed defensively across his chest.

“So’s CID”

“What?!”

“You heard. They want you down there now, Gene. “

Gene looked puzzled and moved closer to Father Daniel, staring him in the eye.

“Who wants me where?”

“I just said. You’re wanted back at CID. Gene Hunt, back on the beat”.
“Listen, pal” Gene grabbed Daniel by the lapel of his new leather jacket

“Gene Hunt will NEVER be back on the beat. I ain’t no plod. Get it?”

“Got it”. Daniel replied “But they want you to cover a job. There’s nobody else worthy”.

Gene brushed his own overcoat down, straightening the collar, curiosity now getting the better of him.

“What kind of job?”

“Not sure, but they need an expert in the field. Who else but……”

“The Gene Genie” Gene interrupted.

Father Daniel continued.

“It’s a mate of mine, down there. Something big’s about to kick-off, so it’s all hands on deck, I think he said they were drafting in a few coppers from Stockport, and Hyde.”

“Hyde?” Gene stopped in his tracks but Daniel ignored him.

“You need to get over to Old Trafford now and see how the land lies.”

“Don’t use those swear words at me…Main Road’s the place remember…Gene Hunt is a true Blue which reminds me…”

“Not now Geno. I gotta fly myself. By the way” he waved some keys “Take the car, it’s a long way on the bus”.

Gene caught the keys “And don’t call me Gene!” but it fell on deaf ears.

In the silence Gene’s mind worked overtime. What was going on now? Well, there was only way to find out.

Yet when he saw the Smartcar parked round the back of the flat, he began to have second thoughts. Glancing around to make sure nobody was looking he unlocked the door and got into the driver’s seat. How the mighty had fallen. Gene Hunt, driving a bloody poxy Matchbox toy car. Still, as the engine ticked over and he drove out and made his way towards the Mancunian Way he thought it was better than nothing. It was a nippy little thing and good to feel some power between his legs after all the bloody walking he had done lately.

Before long he was zipping up Chester Road, sunglasses on. For once it wasn’t raining in Manchester and it was actually a pleasant autumn day, with the sun shining high in the clear blue sky, although here was a nip in the air. Winter wouldn’t be that far away.

It was years since he had been down that way. He wondered if the Pomona Dock was still there - it as a ship that doubled up as a nightlcub/casino. Many a good night had been spent in there with Raymondo and Skelton. What a laugh. For a fleeting moment he wondered… what if….what if when he got to the copshop they were there, waiting for him. Bloody hells bells. That’s it. Reunited. The team. Fan.bloody.tastic!

He put his foot down, and turned on the radio and joined in with the song playing, not even thinking for a moment how he even knew most of the words.

“Whatever I said, whatever I did, I didn’t mean it
I just want you back for good, want you back, want you back, want you back for good…”

He drove past some more familiar sites, White City, and gritted his teeth as sped past Manchester United’s Football Ground, resisting the urge to spit out of the window. Shortly after, the old familiar building loomed before on the left hand side of the road. Why did all copshops look the same, that dreary grey stone building?

He slipped the Smartcar quickly into a small parking space, thinking that was good thing it being small. It did have a few good uses even if it wasn’t exactly street cred.

His cowboy boots clonked on the stone steps as he entered the building.

Banging on the desk where a WPC in her forties was busy shuffling paper he announced his arrival.

“Hunt”.

“I beg your pardon. There’s no need for that sort of language. Really. “

Gene looked back at her. Stupid Mare. She needed a good shag by the looks of her.

“I said Hunt. My name is DCI Gene Hunt. I am expected.”

“Wait here. “ What a battle-axe Gene thought.

He glanced around the place. Yep, all plod places were the same, same posters on the walls, same fluroescent lighting, that smokey haze. Any moment now the terrible twosome, Carling and Chris would burst through the door……he waited in anticipation.

“This way” The grey-haired dragon had returned and was opening a door to another office.

“Cheers, me dear” Gene thanked her but she gave him a look to strip wallpaper. The old bat needed to lighten up.

“Do you want a drink?”

Good God. Gene was shocked. Maybe she wasn’t so bad after all.

She added “I am making one for the Guv.”

Guv? He was the Guv. So who the hell was she on about. He would find out soon enough. He let it go.

“Yes, if there’s no scotch I ‘ll have a tea, five sugars, and a couple of Garibaldis if you’ve got any, failing that pink wafers”.

Yet her face remained frosty as though a smile would make it crack. Stuck up cow.

As he entered the office and closed the door behind him he came face to face with a tall man, his back to him, as he looked out of the window.

“DCI Hunt, reporting for duty, Sir!” He did a mock salute, at the same time bracing himself for the face before him.

Yet Gene was in for a surprise. For when “The Guv” turned round, Gene didn’t recognise him. In fact he didn’t even seem remotely familiar. Not one little bit.

Hmmmm.

“Gene. At last. It’s about time we got you back on the job. It’ll do you good, keep your mind off stuff….being busy.”

Gene took in the words, the same words Sister Mary Magdalene had spoken the other day. He also digested the man in front of him. He must have been in his…what….early thirties…although he looked a lot older. His sandy hair curled around his already lined face. He must have had a hard life.

He noticed he did have the familiar Manchester accent, that twang instantly recognisable anywhere.

“Ah, Annie, thanks for the teas” The old bat had returned with a tray complete with two mugs and a plate of biscuits. No Garibaldis, but a few custard creams and at least some pink wafers.

Annie. Gene looked at her again. He tried to envisage her hairstyle with a little less grey in it..her face a little fatter…. He wasn’t sure. What had he really expected? Tyler to be Cock of the yard? Top Dog? He felt disappointed. Or did he? Maybe Ray and Chris though were tucked away somewhere in an office. He still remained hopeful.

“Take a seat Gene whilst I explain”.

Gene sat down across from him and took a pink wafer, dunking it in his tea. Pulling it out half of it fell off and splashed into his tea.
“Damn”

“This is the brief, Gene. We need you. We wanted somebody good. And you are the best. “

Gene remained silent as he slurped his tea. This was good, the kind of thing he wanted to hear.

“We’ve had a tip off. Big job about to kick off. We need you to go undercover.”

“I’m your man, Stan” Gene leaned back, putting his feet on the officer’s desk, confidently. He was starting to feel good.

“Kick-off’s a good word to use actually” the other Guv continued.

“A week on Saturday there’s an all important home match- the derby - City versus United. “.

“Hold it there. I ain’t no plod . I am not going on the beat to patrol the crowds so forget that for a month of Sundays.”

“No Gene. Let me finish. The word is, from our …informer, is that whilst the match is on, the Nat West Bank is going to be done over. Big time. The one on the front of the road. The club’s takings are usually brought down there before kick-up so they are not hanging around at the ground, it being in …not the most salubrious of areas.”

Gene knew the Derby would be played at Maine Road, in the centre of Moss Side, an area notorious for riots in the early 80s. A real Gangsters Paradise.

“So what exactly do you want me to do?” Gene was even more curious.

“Well, the plan is you are to go undercover at the ground. Find out what you can. Chat to people. It’s possible an inside job - that’s the word on the street. The club can’t afford the takings to go missing. Plus there’s more. Some scam going on..not sure that’s why we need you Gene. You are the man for the job”.

The thought of spending some time at City’s Ground filled Gene with joy. He would be in his seventh Heaven.

“Fire away then. What am I to do?”

“Well we’ll get you in there, either in the guise of a new trainer, coach. “

“Bloody Hell” Gene nearly fell of his chair.

“I’d rather be Manager, or what about a player? “ His fantasies started to take over.

“Too much like hard work Gene. Both would get publicity. We can’t afford that. You need to be there, in the thick of it, but at the same time, out of sight…a coach, or physic guy would cut the mustard for us. You get to here the whispers of what’s going on without being too obvious. We’re expecting some well known Football hooligans to turn up. We believe they are part of it, maybe plan to set off some kind of riot, whether it’s in the ground or outside, and given the location, well…..anything could kick off, bigtime, and if it does all eyes, and cops will be focused on that, leaving our lightfingered friends to rob the club and the bank blind”.

Gene rubbed his chin. It certainly seemed do-able.

“OK. I’ll do it. Have I got a team?” He had to ask. He needed to know.

“No Gene. You’re on your own. But we’ll be behind you all the way. For backup. You can do this for us Gene. “
Gene stood up.

“Right then. Just keep me briefed and what to do when. And by the way….They usually call me “Guv”. So to avoid the confusion, and there can’t be two of us…what name should I be calling you by?”

The other detective had also risen to his feet. He moved towards Gene, getting ready to show him out of the office.

Offering his hand for Gene to shake he spoke.

“Fair enough. Gene. I’ll call you Guv, and I , for my sins, am DCI Raimes, but you can call me Colin”.