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Sting of the Scorpion part 11 "Tightening the grip"

Updated on April 16, 2016
lawrence01 profile image

I am an ex soldier and I spent time in the Middle East among the Kurds. I loved writing this story as I could tell part of my story.

Thanks for joining us again

I just want to take a moment to say thanks to all you folks who're showing up to read these hubs as the story unfolds. When I first started I had no idea if people would like them and no idea if i could keep writing the story beyond a few thousand words, we're close to having a complete novella now (granted not all of it has appeared in the hubs but all the essentials have) so I'm really thankful for the support and help in advice from other hubs and hubbers that I've recieved.

Hope you enjoy the latest episode.

Anyway, without further ado let's get into the story.

First a little history

Before we get into the story this week it might be prudent to tell you a little about the history of the Special Air Service (SAS)

The forunner unit of the SAS was first formed in 1941 in the Desert or North Africa. Fighting a force that was far superior in tactics to and weaponry to the British Army of the day they were specialists it infiltrating behind enemy lines and destroying his supply bases sometimes as much as five or six hundred miles behind enemy lines, nowhere was safe from them.

The British forces in North Africa became known as the 'desert rats' for their ability to hit the enemy hard and then seemingly disappear into the desert without a trace, the 'Long Range Desert Group (the forunner of the SAS and the first ever 'Special Forces' unit) were part of the 7th Armoured brigade and were the desert rats, the present SAS is proud of that heritage and keeps the desert tradition alive.

The team are cornered (so it seems) like a rat cornered by the cat hunting it (in this case the Persian Cat and the Russian Bear) but like all rats they're coming out fighting, let's see what happens.

Just saying hello


From last time

“I want the Hind to deploy the hounds here” he pointed to the spot where the parachutes had been found, “that way either way they’ve gone we’ll know as the dogs noses don’t lie, and we’ll be able to cover a lot of ground very quickly”

“As soon as we’ve got a direction from the dogs we’ll seal all the roads off down that path, they’ve got about three hours head start, so I think they’ve covered at least twenty miles” He stopped and thought for a moment, then continued. “Let the Iranians go after the vehicle with road blocks and village searches, we’ll concentrate on these two”. He smiled slightly, “and when we catch them, God help them, because I’m going to make them pay, then I’ll extract the information, and then, when we’re finished killing will feel merciful”

Continuing on

Joey and Sandy kept going for the whole morning and most of the afternoon in which they made another twenty miles, but the noise from behind them was steadily getting louder and louder as they heard the sounds of men and hounds pursuing them.

They kept to the remote parts of the mountains as much as they could, but even here there were villages and with every village they came across the chances of capture grew exponentially as more and more people joined the search.

Word had gotten out among the villagers, and whatever they were being told had put them firmly on the side of the pursuers with each village sending out their own search parties and effectively keeping Joey and Sandy away from any of the villages, thus forcing them into the remote regions and into one valley, it was starting to get uncomfortable as it felt as if they were being driven into a trap, like a noose slowly being tightened around their necks.

“Let’s stop here for a moment” Sandy was beginning to tire, she’d kept up all the way so far, but the level of fitness between the two was beginning to show. She sat down on a rock overlooking the oncoming valley, they’d managed to take to the saddle of a ridge, getting a view of what’s ahead and who’s behind them. “How far back do you think?” she didn’t finish the question.

“Still about three miles or so I’d say” Joey replied, “We’ll have to deal with them soon though”

“Yeah” she replied, neither of them were looking forward to it, a showdown against Spetznaz and the foreign legion wasn’t something to look forward to, even if you had superior numbers and the advantage, they had neither!”

It was then they heard a faint noise in the distance, low and hardly detectable to the normal ear, but the senses were still on ‘overdrive’ and they heard something, a kind of like a massive diesel engine growling with fury as it pushed a heavy load up a mountain. “Is that what I think it is?” Joey began.


A showdown against Spetznaz and the Foreign Legion wasn’t something to look forward to, even if you had superior numbers and the advantage, they had neither!”

The routes taken

Alamut Castle, Iran:
Qazvin, دسترسی به قلعه حسن صباح، Alamut Castle, Iran

get directions

Where the destroyed the base and set Chambers free

Penjuin, Iraq:
Penjwin, Iraq

get directions

Joey and Sandy are making for here over the mountains with tracker dogs and armed men pursuing them.

Piranshahr, West Azerbaijan, Iran

get directions

Jacko, Mac, Smithy and Chambers are all making for here with the Iranians closing every road searching for them.

Strange things happen

It was then they heard a faint noise in the distance, low and hardly detectable to the normal ear, but the senses were still on ‘overdrive’ and they heard something, a kind of like a massive diesel engine growling with fury as it pushed a heavy load up a mountain. “Is that what I think it is?” Joey began.

“A train? Wait a minute, I think we are near a rail line” Sandy made a grab their map, “Yeah look, the other side of this mountain” she pointed to the one on their left, “The line runs down from Tehran, but turns east west just ten miles back, it runs all the way to the border, or pretty close to it!” she looked up, “and I think it’s only about two miles from here!”

“Then we’ve got work to do”

Jacko's problem

Turning the tables?

Jacko had a different solution to their problem, they were going to ‘go looking’ for the enemy! But not yet, at the right time they’d do an ‘advance to contact’ as it was known. If the Iranians were setting up roadblocks on the main roads with the major convoys then it was only a matter of time before they sent smaller units down the back roads to begin the search between the villages, or better yet send units to mobilize the villagers into searching, they’d keep going, keep heading west until they met such a unit, then they wouldn’t hesitate, they’d go ‘head to head with the whole damn republican guard if they had to!

“We’ll need to be about ten miles from the main road” Jacko spoke to the team, “Then they’ll be too far to call up for assistance” he pulled the vehicle over as they came into sight of the first village, driving straight through the village would be risky, it would draw the locals attention to them who might notify the Iranians as to where they were and would take the element of surprise away from them, but skirting the village was going to take time, and it was a commodity they just didn’t have.

I did this on horeseback! (Couldn't resist that but it's true!)

Skirting the village

“Boss” It was Smithy who spoke, “It’s close to the morning prayer time, if we wait until then most of the village will be praying or out in the fields, we could drive through then and it’s likely they’ll just think we’re foreigners from the fortress!” he had a point, about the only thing they could do and one worth taking a risk on, besides that few minutes wait would give them time to check a few things out like Mac’s wound which they could see he was in pain with but there’s no way he’d ever admit it.

Mac’s wound was checked, the dressing was holding and no fresh blood seeping through, once a field dressing is on then the only time you take it off is when the Doctor is going to patch the wound up, “Sorry Mac” Jacko looked directly at him, “We can’t give much for pain relief!” They did have Morphine but that would mean Mac being high as a kite and that was the last thing needed, they needed everyone fully alert and functional, Mac was alert, functional but it pain and doing a bad job of trying to hide it.

The prayer call began and they saw a couple of men making their way to the village Mosque, the women were either in the fields with their men or in the homes making food for the evening meals.

“Time to move folks” Jacko spoke softly as he put the ‘cruiser’ into gear they drove into the village watching every home they passed for signs of trouble.

The Village

Imagine it covered with trees and high in the mountains
Imagine it covered with trees and high in the mountains | Source

Moving through the Village

The average home in this part of the world is more like a mini fortress; a five foot high wall surrounds a courtyard where the women do their work of cooking and cleaning, at the back of the ‘compound’ is a two room building built of mud brick, one is where the people sleep and the other is where everyone eats, that is if there are no visitors, usually there are and that means it’s where the men eat with the women having their own eating place in the courtyard.

The team got through the village without incident and as far as they could tell without being spotted, at least no one was following screaming for their blood.

Outside the village the trees cleared somewhat as the road took a left turn and headed round the mountain, climbing as the village receded into the distance, just before the road crossed the skyline they head the noise they were all dreading.

About a mile away heading from the north to the south at high speed the Hind was really moving, it didn’t stop, but there was no way they couldn’t have been seen.

“Oh Shit” was all anyone could say, but it was Chambers who voiced what everyone was thinking.

He's back!

“Big fella in the sky” It was Smithy who spoke up, kind of praying in his own inimitable way. “I know we don’t talk that often, but hopefully you’re not too pissed off with me for that and might consider this little request” he went on, “Joey’s probably on the receiving end of that lot” he pointed to the weapons pods they could see on the aircraft, “Keep him safe as he’s a mate Lord, can you? Thanks” not exactly the pattern for prayer you’re taught in Sunday school but Smithy was sure God wasn’t too fussed about patterns so much as listening when you call or scream out, ‘he just likes it when you talk to him’ was Smithy’s reply. They all replied “Amen to that”.

“Think they saw us?” It was Chambers asked the obvious,

“I’d lay money on it” Jacko replied in a ‘matter of fact’ tone. “So let’s get the hell out of here before the reception committee show up”

Thats all for now.

Yep, bad news just showed up! The Hind is back, and he's looking for someone!

But what happens next will have to wait a little while (but not too long).

I just want to say thanks to all you folks who've encouraged me in many ways, it's really great to know that others are enjoying the story as much as I am, the next part is 'part written' but still needs a little work, I promise I'll get it out to you as soon as it's finished.

Leave a note either here or on my fb page to let me know what you think of the story so far.


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    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      And it keeps building.



    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 

      2 years ago

      The suspense is building.

    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      I think the best way to describe the next part is 'unexpected' and as we used to say "a change is as good as a rest!"

      But no it's not 'easy'


    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I hope the next leg of the journey is relatively easy, but something tells me not to be into wishful thinking.

    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      I need to apologize as I completely missed that you'd commented here, sorry for that!

      The next instalment is written and will be posted later. By the way it was drummed into me in the Army that they never retreat as it's called a 'tactical withdrawal' I was told the difference is 'retreat means defeat'

      One thing I will say "it's time to get the hell out of Dodge"

      Have a good weekend.


    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It's time to make a hasty retreat for sure. Thanks for the background information before the story. Very helpful!

    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      You're right about the story 'standing by itself' it was a bit of a moment of 'getting carried away' when I wrote the intro.

      As for what happens next, well I think the people at 'Phoenix' aren't going to make it easy but we'll see how it turns out.


    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Okay Lawrence, so what happens next? I'm anxious to read the answer. I liked the fact that you added some background in the beginning even though I think the story stands by itself. Either way, great stuff. Thank you my friend.

    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      Glad you're enjoying the story. I'm trying to convey what it must be like for these brave heroes who often go into danger and dangerous situations with only their wits and what they carry on their backs to make our world a safer place to live in.

      There's a few more chapters but they're going to get a bit 'hairy' from here.



    • emge profile image


      2 years ago from Abu Dhabi

      Excellent tale and related beautifully. Soldiers and war always interest me.

    • lawrence01 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawrence Hebb 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      I mentioned a bit about the history of the SAS at the beginning as the 'Long Range Desert Group' was part of the Brigade known and feared by the Germans as 'The Desert Rats' and what does a rat do when it's cornered? It goes for the Jugular, turns the tide and comes out fighting! That's what they're doing.

      Strap in and hold on as it's about to get 'hairy' as they fight their way through.

      Glad you're enjoying the story.


    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Excellent. These guys are really in a bind, or a couple of binds. Great writing my friend.


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