The bullet had gone straight through my left shoulder. I gingerly removed my shirt and used it to stem the flow of blood. I surmised that I was not bulletproof, but I also thought that there would be more blood than was currently trickling out of me.
I was perhaps not bulletproof, but was able to control my bloodstream. It was a mere two minutes later that the bleeding had completely stopped. Judging by the grazing on my face, the healing process for actual wounds was another matter entirely.
I was still coming to terms with the last hour of my life and the changes that Stasis had caused within my mind and body. I was deep in contemplation that I’d failed to hear the voice coming through the headset that I had neglected to put on in my haste to get off the runway.
It was Patrick.
“Well Eric, that was unexpected.”
“Which part? The part where you tried to kill me or the part where I turned into a bionic superhuman? And please don’t patronise me by claiming that you thought I might do that under stress, because I refuse to buy into any more bullshit. Now I know my abilities, it is time that I called all the shots. I will be returning to Stasis under my own terms.”
“You have no idea what you are getting into here. No idea whatsoever.”
“No….in this world I don’t, but Stasis is my world…”
I was interrupted by laughter. “You don’t even have the slightest clue as to what Stasis actually is, do you? None at all.”
“Perhaps not, but maybe you would care to enlighten me further.”
I knew that Patrick was not going to divulge any information that may aid me in my fight against whoever might be the biggest villains in this act of war against the human race. I did not have any inkling as to how far this ran deep.
I was also positive that Patrick had no idea about how I had manipulated Stasis over the last decade. Even if the four people that I had trapped within Stasis belonged to Patrick’s faction, I doubt that they would have broken through my denial code in the twelve Stasis minutes that had passed since I was wrenched out. And they certainly would not have figured out how to manipulate time in those twelve minutes.
“You will quickly begin to realise just how deep our powers run.”
These were the final words that Patrick spoke before the radio went silent and I was left to fight my own paranoia for the remainder of the flight fulling expecting an explosive display of the depth of the powers that Patrick was threatening me with. I postulated here that he would almost certainly have military ties and my display of strength controlling who can enter Stasis would be high on the list of Patrick’s priorities.
The other thing that was occupying my mind was just how I was going to enter the UK. I was not a registered pilot and I had not submitted a flight plan I knew that as soon as I entered UK airspace in a stolen jet that the radio would start up and I would be bombarded with questions.
I considered my options. Playing the ‘dead pilot’ gambit certainly would not work, nor would surrendering to the authorities as I was certain that this would lead me straight back to Patrick’s faction.
I dropped to 20,000 feet, set a course for the middle of the Atlantic, activated the Autopilot and took the third option as soon as I could see English soil. I parachuted to the ground.