Part 1: Chapter 5: Bilbao

It was the middle of the night when I arrived in Bilbao. I’d practically driven all night and was thankful that I’d managed to acquire a second car with the added bonus of an emergency money fund that ensured that I did not need to break any further laws. I had a few hours to kill before the morning ferry to Portsmouth, so I had to keep my head down and plan how I would stowaway undetected.

By now, I was working on the assumption that the agents of Stasis would have worked out my route and would be gathering their footsoldiers in strategic locations in an attempt to intercept me. It was important for me to keep moving as remaining in one place for too long would just make it easier for them to triangulate my position.

I’d travelled through the city and was out in the suburbs closer to the port. Keeping your head down in residential areas without looking sinister was tougher than I expected. I decided to head directly towards the port and scope out the security and covertly seek out opportunities.

An opportunity found me.

I was a few hundred yards from the security fences when I was alerted to a car crawling to a halt a few yards behind. My first instinct was to run, but I held back for a second. A lone car was not the style of the agents of Stasis. I turned to face the tall, slender dark haired woman that had tracked me down as she got out of the car.

“Eric…”

“Sarah?” I replied instantly, half in shock at hearing such a familiar voice.

“Not quite,” she replied, “You know my voice as Sarah, but this time you can call me Alana. There isn’t much time to explain – the trackers are very close. I’ll have to neutralise the tracking chip – your Stasis link is a little more complex, but when Stasis is on its down time they are unable to track you via that.”

Providing more answers than ‘Sarah’ ever did in under a minute, I allowed Alana to neutralise the tracking device with a hand-held EMP device without even a semblance of reluctant coercion.

“Now get in,” she said, “We won’t be taking the ferry. As clichéd as it sounds, there is a small jet waiting a few miles away. It’s just a good job that you decided to be predictable and head for Bilbao.”

I took this criticism on the chin and let Alana put some distance between us and the agents.

“Before you ask, they only patched my voice. I was hired merely to provide. I can assure you that we’re not going to get back to England and I reveal myself as an agent.”

“I’ll admit that the thought had crossed my mind.”

“Naturally. I’ll fill you in on the rest when we’re on the plane.”

Taking this procrastination a little easier than I had when Alana’s voice had been the omnipresent ‘Sarah’, I thought back to when I learned about what Stasis actually was.

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