Few places in the world can be more secure than the Reception yard of Hatcham prison. Not just because of the 5.2m-high walls which mark its perimeter, or the Dannert wire lolling along their top. Or even the impressive double gates which swing open to reveal a sterile area where prison staff - if they are having an unusually good day or if a security audit is in full swing - pore over a van's documents, scurry round with mirrors to check for prisoners clinging onto the vehicle's underside, make sure those really are staff in uniform, not prisoners in clothes borrowed from poor sods they have hit on the head.
No, there is another reason for the yard's unparalleled security. It is because few other places are security-checked quite as frequently by two such experienced managers. And lo, here are Messieurs Jenkins and McKenzie at it again ...
"And what about his cellmate? This Mr Djemil character. Do we trust him?"
McKenzie looks at Charlotte, inviting her to join the fray now that he has defended the position she took - even used the very word she kept inflicting on him: holistic. But the young woman has found a cuticle to tug. Seems not to notice.
"Let's just say you made a big mistake when you promised to look out for me. And now that you have ... well, you are in over your head. Way over! It's not silly street criminals who are after me, it's ... it's professional killers who track you down wherever you are, whatever country you're in. And they don't stop until they've ..."
Djemil looks over for more information. But Schild's saucer-wide eyes are staring at nothing, and the bony little body is shivering violently. As if the threat is already with them, somehow. In the cell.
"I wonder ..." starts McKenzie. "I wonder if Schild could have double-crossed someone big time on the out. Or if he was into heavy shit in Israel. In fact ..." He pulls on his cigarette as he gets his thoughts in order. "Maybe, Chris, the bounty was issued from there."
"What, Israel? It's hardly a hotbed of organised crime, is it?"
"Well, for one, are you sure about that? Maybe it is, and we've just not come across it before. I mean, what do we know? Have you been to Jerusalem recently? No, I didn't think so. And two, maybe Schild's part of an international crime syndicate."
Jenkins considers the idea for a nanosecond.
"Bollocks, Tony. We don't get glamorous shit like that in Hatcham. Rapists, robbers from around London, that's what we've got. That's what pays the mortgage."
The nervousness returns. And as it does, McKenzie reminds himself why he let Jenkins talk him into it. Because he had no choice. The MDT is shooting up, his job is on the line, and everything about the sky-high drug rate points to Djemil. The way he took Lopez out. The way prisoners, even players like Samuels, Jarvis, Longman, leave the guy alone. How none of his informers - McKenzie's that is - how none of them will breathe a word against him. Even Lopez, before he went. No, Jenkins is right. It stacks up, the whole thing. And now he, McKenzie, is about to get the proof.