The Scorpions Nest

HRH Prince Harry is Kidnapped in Afghanistan, What would you do get him back, follow this exciting story through several countries, and High octane action in the quest to bring the monarch back alive


8. Leyhill Prison

8. Leyhill Prison

Gloucester, England

17.45 GMT/20.15 AFT


A thick metal fence surrounds the prison yard, prisoners in groups do not stray too far from their friends, no grass just dirt and dust, watched over by eagle eyed guards, trained to spot trouble if it should start to rear its head, armed with batons and tasers these guards do not really want to go down into the yard, their defensive weapons are designed for close quarters only and that is not an appetising thought here.

"Should I go down there and break it up warden?" ask a guard looking pensive.

"Nope let them tire each other out for a bit longer."

"What if one of them gets killed?"

"They've been fighting for three minutes now, if either of them had a shank they would have used it by now, take Gomez and Clarke down there with ya, but give them a couple more minutes."

"Ok where do you want them placed? Solitary?"

"Put Ayling in solitary, and confine Sykes to his cell."

"Yes sir."

Warden Ashwell a thin stick of a man, in a crisp blue suit, born and raised for better things took the job of warden for the extra money it would bring, not for a burning desire to reform people, he walks down the badly lit corridor flanked by officers Gomez and Blakey and stops at cell C28.

"Open C28" he shouts back to a guard who is sitting at a control booth at the far end of the corridor, there is a loud clunking sound, and the cell door slowly slides back, inside is David Sykes an ex bodybuilding competitor, with an aggressive demeanour, standing at nearly six foot tall and equally as wide, this man with a menacing face is here for the crime of theft, not as dangerous as he looks but physically a formidable foe.

"What was it this time Sykes?" enquires the warden.

"He just came at me for no reason."

"You’re not in solitary, so you don't have to try and bullshit me; I just want to know why it's always you two"

"It's his macho bull, I just can't take any more how he did this and did that and saved people and killed people etc, he is so full of shit."

"Well he is a decorated soldier."

"I know but it's when he said he stayed in a lake for three days just to get to his target, that's crap and it grates on my nerves, I served six years in the Paras with two tours in Iraq and I've never heard anything as dumb as the levels he says he went to."

"So basically you're saying you started it......again."

"If he is so bad ass why is he in a minimum security prison, he is only in here for assault."

"He broke both legs of his wife's new lover, that's not assault that's GBH, and the only reason he is here and not a higher level prison is because it was classed as a domestic dispute, he is out of here in eight weeks, if you two have one more dust up, it will be you in solitary."

"OK ok he just angers me."

"Listen, I've read his profile and seen his records, trust me he is only in solitary for your protection, not as a punishment".

"Warden” The warden leaned back from the cell door and looked inquisitively at the approaching guard.

"What is it Jenkins?"

"There's an Officer from the MOD in your office with some documents from the home office, and he said it's very urgent, in fact he was extremely insistent."

"Not another pen pushing soldier looking for a job, ok I'm on my way."

Sergeant Major White is standing in the warden’s office looking through a register that was left lying on the desk, as he is running his finger down the list, the door opens and in steps warden Ashwell.

"Excuse me that's private" snatching the file from White and closing it "What can I do for you?"

"Sorry I wasn’t prying into the files, just inquisitive, I'm Sergeant Major John White from 21st cor........"

"…..I don't care who you are sir, what do you want?" the warden says interrupting him.

"OK to the point suits me" he replies throwing down some documents on the desk, "I'm here to relieve you of one of your prisoners, and if we could hurry this up as we are short on time" White replies, his earlier apologetic attitude all gone.

The warden scans quickly through the headed papers, looking up every now and then to make eye contact with White.

"Well it looks like you have some powerful friends, if you don't mind I'd like to just phone through and check the validity of these documents."

"Go ahead, but like I said we are in a hurry."

Ashwell picks up the phone and dials a short number, "Is that you Gomez?, good can you take Ayling back to his cell and ask him to collect all his possessions, then bring him here to me", he replaces the receiver and immediately picks it up again and hits a quick dial number. "Hello, this is warden Ashwell from Leyhill prison; I have a sergeant major White here with papers from the home office requesting I release one of my prisoners into his custody."

There is a pause while Ashwell waits for his reply, White gazes around the room and then looks at his watch again.

"Yes, right ok immediately thank you" he replaces the handset and looks up at White "Well it seems you really do have some friends in really high places, forgive my shortness with you earlier, this is an unusual request and the manner of it too, normally we get a month's notice before a prisoner is moved."

"Don't sweat it; can I use your office to speak with the prisoner privately before we depart?"

"You can of course; do you want some armed guards in here with you? He is a very strong and resourceful prisoner, this maybe a low security prison, but this is an unusual prisoner."

"No that won't be necessary, if I know this prisoner he respects authority."

"Ok well my office is yours, there will be a guard outside, and I’ll send him in when he gets up here" he said handing the file back to White, he makes his way to the door and opens it.

"Thank you" says white looking up from the file.

"You’re welcome" Ashwell leaves and closes the door behind him.

As the door swings open, White looks up from the file, he takes his feet off the desk and sits upright, as two guards bring in Ayling, he walks in looking slightly drunk but coherent nonetheless, his face looks weathered and beaten, there is dried blood by his right eye and both his fists appear to be bleeding, he is strong looking man but looks like he has seen better days he takes a seat in the chair in front of White.

"Thank you gentlemen, you can leave us alone now."

"We will be right outside sir if you need us" replied one of the guards.

"Thanks, but I'm sure there will be no trouble in here, will there corporal?”

Ayling looks up and stares White in the eyes, then looks over his shoulder at the two guards "Nope no trouble here."

"Good come over here and take a seat" says White waving to usher the guards out the door, "Right I don't have the time nor the inclination to mollycoddle you over this, I'm going to get straight to the point soldier!, we need you, or should I say we need your skills, a plan has been drafted, sanctioned and a mission now readied, all we need now are the members, but this is a dangerous mission and all I can tell you is it's in Afghanistan, I can't give you any more info than that."

"So you need me to go on a dangerous mission in a hostile environment, sounds just fine and dandy, what's in it for me?"

"When the missions over and providing you're still alive, you will be free to return to public life."

"Are you kidding me, I only have eight weeks left anyway, I want reinstatement back in the SAS with the same rank I had before."

"That's a tall order, but maybe possible, I'll tell you now you can't go back in as a corporal, you will have to work your way back up, you have to remember you were court marshalled for beating an officer, and these things are not forgotten."

"He had that coming, he should have been the one court marshalled for killing those civilians in Iraq."

"There was not then, and is not now, any proof of what you claim to of seen that day, but I'm not here about what happened over a year ago, I'm here to recruit and fast, this is possibly a ten man crew departing within 24 hours, are you in or out?"

"If you can get me reinstated, then I'm in."

"Good, get your coat, we are leaving now."

"Don’t you want to check to see if you can get me reinstated first?"

"Don't worry I cleared that ages ago before I came here, your old commanding officer Jackson told me exactly what you would ask for, as of this moment you are back in the SAS, but we need you for a mission before you can go join your old regiment."

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