I’d now reached the petrol station and had cleaned myself up. Now came the difficult part – somehow I had to get back to England with no money and no passport. I had to acquire transport of some form and head North to Bilbao. The ferry would be the safest option for me. As sinister as the agents of Stasis were, they had no official influence. They would not be allowed to stop the ferry once it had left port. On land, they’d just track me down and whisk me away back to their headquarters for another session of tests before I was sent back into Stasis again.
Naturally, I had limited options in a country whose language I did not speak with any great confidence. And a man with a visibly grazed face that had trouble communicating in the middle of nowhere was going to draw attention in no time at all. My only option was to take the path of surreptitious vehicular acquisition. Or car theft to the layman.
Although risky, I had to take a chance as soon as possible. Traffic was hardly steady, but the petrol station seemed to be a regular stopping point for the traffic that was passing by. All I needed were the right circumstances – a person travelling on their own who is stopping for a break rather than for petrol is more likely to negligently leave their keys in the ignition thinking that the petrol station is a garrison of vehicular security.
I was not waiting long, though the guilt I felt about stealing an elderly lady’s car was still with me as I reached Albacete a few hours later. It should be an easy run up to Bilbao from here, though I had yet to decide whether I’d risk stealing petrol or another car to complete the journey.
As I continued with my journey, I thought back to the first time I fell out of Stasis nine years ago.