Encounter!

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short science fiction story, Adam Wilson is enjoying a motorcycle tour of Europe, when a strange object crashes near him.

Part 1 of 3 short stories leading to my novel 'Splinter'

Submitted: October 17, 2011

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Submitted: October 17, 2011

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Adam sat looking out over Baragem de Paradela, his motorbike cooling down behind him, the

60km journey from Chaves had tired him out, the Triumph Tiger had not missed a beat through France and Spain. The winding roads leading up to this point had been hard work but fun, aside from the fact that he thought the Portuguese drivers were insane.

He was in Northern Portugal, in the Geres national park, at a point about halfway up the west side of the Baragem, a reservoir built in 1956. His friend Dave had told him it was a good place to get away from it all and see some spectacular wildlife, including his favourite, wolves.

The sun was just setting behind him, so he settled down outside his small one man tent with a joint and bottle of the local red wine, freshly bought from a vineyard about 20 km back towards Chaves. Taking out his camera he took a few shots of the scenery until the memory card showed it was full, pulling a replacement out of his bag, he removed the full card and then promptly dropped the camera, the batteries spilling out down the hillside. He found some more batteries and put them in, tried taking a few more pictures when it beeped again saying memory full. He had forgotten to put in the new memory chip and had been using the internal memory, digging out the new chip he put that in and took some more photographs, god this dope was strong. This scenery was spectacular, he thought and taking a deep hit on the joint he looked out across the lake sitting back listening to the animals around him. In the distance he thought he heard a wolf howl, life was getting better all the time.

 

The journey down from Calais had been good, staying off the motorways he had cruised the countryside through France and Spain, exploring on a whim. If he liked the sound of the place he would head that way, using this method Adam had found some wonderful places, most that he would never have known existed. Staying at small municipal camp sites, most of which were run by local families, he had started to learn a small amount of French and Spanish, it had taken him 2 weeks to get this far and the great weather along the back roads through the Pyrenees had been the highpoint of the ride. Camping at small out of the way places had brought him closer to nature, he felt good and although he had initially fought against the idea of doing this trip alone, now embraced it.

Recently divorced, he needed to get away from home to think about what he was going to do now, he would be 50 in a few weeks and lived alone in a small flat, he was tempted to jack in his job and just push off around the world. With no children and very few surviving relatives there was nothing to keep him back in England, taking a sabbatical of two months from work had started to look like a good idea.

The only thing he would miss would be the club. The club, the one part of his life he could not let go, a small motorcycle club with no name, Adam and his club members had been together for 15 years, they turned up at rallies, went on runs and they all looked after each other. This had been the bone of contention that had finished his 26 year old marriage, Lucy, his wife, felt that approaching 50 meant it was time to 'grow up' and give up his beloved motorbikes, of which he had 3, the 1050 Triumph tiger he was currently using, a 1977 Triumph T140v Bonneville and 1978 Kawasaki Z900.

 

Lucy had been unhappy with the fact he had the bikes and yet she still had to drive an old Jensen Interceptor, she wanted him to sell all the bikes and buy something a bit more in keeping with her perceived standards. Her friends all had Audi TT's or MX5's, she hated driving 'that old car' as she constantly called it, to meet them. Adam could not see what the fuss was all about, the Jensen was in his eyes a classic and desirable car. That's why they had drifted apart, different circles of friends, different hobbies, then out of the blue, divorce papers were served on him for 'unreasonable behaviour' and she did not come home that night. Adam had no idea where she had stayed and when he had spoken to her the next day she claimed to have stayed at her friend Sharon's, but Adam had already spoken to Sharon's husband and he claimed she had not been there at all.

Perhaps he had been unreasonable, he was not sure any more, Lucy had never had to work, his job and the occasional gambling spree bringing in more than enough to support them, thinking about it he now realised Lucy had been spending most of her time down the gym or at the local wine bar with her friends, Adam could see that they had been drifting apart for years, maybe only habit keeping them together, she had not been on a run or to a rally with him for some time now and to be honest he felt he preferred it that way. Adam decided that it was time to just walk away, he did not contest the divorce on the proviso they would do a 50-50 split on everything, after weeks of arguing they agreed that they would sell the house and get half each and other than Adams personal stuff, the bikes and the Jensen, Lucy would also get the complete contents of the house, then they could go their separate ways.

Adam had not mentioned that since she had left he had put in the garage the 3 Fernando Zobel paintings that she hated, after the house was sold he auctioned them for 135k, he had owned them for 21 years, bought on impulse when he had had a large win gambling on tipped horses. Lucy had never taken any interest in them, in fact had berated him over wasting his money, even though the rest of the money paid off their mortgage. He had hung them in his study, where he worked when working from home and which she never entered, so he could enjoy them out of her sight.

 

Another howl wafted down the valley, this sounded different though, it was long and drawn out and Adam had no idea how far away the wolf was, sound bounced all around the valley making it difficult to work out where it had come from. He had hoped to be able to see one, but the locals where he had stopped to pick up food and wine had told him they were still quite rare, despite the reintroduction schemes. Adam stood up and lifted his binoculars to his eyes, the fading light was making it difficult to see far now, he looked across the edge of the bay where he was camped and as he did a bright light blinded him, seconds later a shock wave knocked him from his feet and his ears hurt from a loud explosion, he tried to stand upright but fell to the ground holding his eyes tight shut and covering his ears with his hands.

What seemed like minutes but must have been seconds passed, the earth stopped moving and he pulled himself to his feet, he could hear nothing except a roaring sound, squinting through half closed eyelids, he then noticed his bike had fallen over, he staggered over and pulled it up, flicking the side stand down again onto the beer can he used to stop it sinking into soft ground. Making sure the bike would not fall over again he rubbed his eyes, what the hell had happened? It had sounded like a bomb, not that he had heard one before, but it was just what he imagined it must sound like, his body felt battered by the blast, the shock wave must have shaken him up inside as well, as he now felt quite sick. Hot dirt and stones started falling around him and he dived under the nearest tree, he watched as something landed on and set alight to his tent, he managed to put it out using his wine as he could not see where his water bottle had vanished to.

 

After removing his gear from the still smouldering tent, he looked over to other side of the bay, there was a large smoking hole in the ground which was filling with water, it must have been 30 meters across by 100 long. It could only have been a meteor or something similar, it looked like it had come in at an angle from the east, hitting the edge of the shore and piling up the ground in front of it for about 100 meters. Adam wondered how far underground it had gone, there was steam pouring from the gash in the ground as the water flowed in behind it. Pulling a 4 cell Maglite from the pannier on the side of the bike, Adam started walking around towards the other side of the bay, his legs still felt a bit wobbly but his hearing was starting to return, he was wondering what a meteor that size might be worth!

 

There were small fires everywhere, he stamped them out as he passed, he could not put them all out but thought it might help, it took him 20 minutes to get halfway to the crater, Adam was now sweating and had run out of energy, damn I should have taken the bike he thought, I'm getting far too old for this. Sitting down on a fallen tree he heard a grinding noise, his hearing had seemed to have returned to normal but he could not work out what the sound was. He stared over at the massive hole in the ground, it was getting darker now as the sun dropped behind the hills and the hole was still a good half mile or so away making it difficult to see , there was no indication as to what was causing the noise.

Pulling out what was left of the joint, he lit it and pulled heavily, the smoke easing his fatigue, he sat listening to the weird sound, when suddenly it stopped. Standing up he tried to see but it was now far too dark, then some lights appeared, coming down from the other side of the hill, it looked like two men with torches. They were calling out in Portuguese and Adam had no idea what they were saying, they moved closer to the hole in the ground, shining their lights down into the hole and calling out. Adam wondered whether to shout across, hang on they might be police, he took one last toke on the joint and then crushed it out under his foot, then as he started walking on down, one of the lights went out and a man screamed, a terrifying sound in the fading light, the other man started running back up the hill, he too was shouting and screaming, then his torch was flying through the air and went out, silence reigned.

 

Panic filled his heart, his chest started heaving and he really wished he had not smoked that last joint. Turning off his torch and dropping down behind a fallen tree Adam looked out from underneath it, laying flat on the ground he could see nothing, it was now far too dark, but there were still noises coming from near the hole, it sounded like something moving about. Adam forced the feeling of panic down and thought quickly, he needed to get out of here, now! But he was scared to move, after half a bottle of wine and a joint he was in no fit state to run or figure this out, he decided to move as quietly as possible back towards his bike.

He had gone about 200 meters when he heard the sound, dropping to the floor he pulled out the torch and held it like a weapon, it was nearly two foot long and quite heavy, this partly reassured him, holding his breath he waited. Some way off to his left he heard a faint sound, strangely there was no animal sounds at all, no birds, nothing. Whatever it was, it was getting closer, there seemed to be no pattern to its path though, Adam could hear it sweeping back and forth not more than 100 meters away, fighting down the urge to shine the torch out there, he slipped it back into its belt loop and then jumped up and started running back to his camp, fear driving him as fast as he could move through the woods.

 

Something landed on his back, he tried to scream but something else pricked his neck and he fell helpless, all his senses were working but he could move, his head was fine, but everything below where his neck was pricked would not obey his thoughts. He could still breath and his heart was working so he knew he would not die, then his body was rolled over, he could not quite see what had done it though, he got a glimpse of what looked like a brushed aluminium arm then felt himself being dragged along. Adam was glad he had not had time to remove his armoured riding clothes, he felt rocks and stones batter his body as it was dragged along, experimenting he found he could move his head slightly, and some feeling was returning to his limbs, but not much.

 

The dragging felt like it was going on forever, then he was released and left alone, waiting for a while until there was no sound or movement, he turned his head, it responded slowly but he managed to look to his right, there on the ground were the other two men he had seen earlier, he could see the face of one, he was crying and Adam saw the fear in his eyes. It was obvious that they could not move either. Then the thing appeared and fear raced across his heart, Adam had always had this irrational fear of spiders and here right in front of him was a gigantic metal one, ok it had 6 legs and not 8, but it still looked like a spider. The long legs held a coffin shaped body about a meter off the ground, there were no other features at all and it looked like it was made of polished silver, Adam tried to work out exactly what it was, struggling to make his brain focus properly, the shock of what was happening not helping at all. The obvious thought was that it was alien, he could not really believe that, but could think of no other explanation and he had seen nothing like this before. Watching the spider suddenly turn and disappear into the woods, a thought struck him, how long would he be stuck here? He could feel his legs again and could just move his toes, whatever it was was slowly wearing off, he called out quietly to the other men,

“Do you speak English? Can you hear me?”

The crying man opened his mouth but nothing came out, he was absolutely terrified, Adam felt quite calm and wondered if it was the dope or the adrenaline, more movement was appearing in his limbs now and he could now move his left hand, he would have to play a waiting game, he could do nothing until his body would obey him.

 

Adam awoke with a start, totally disoriented he nearly screamed in panic and fear, keeping himself as still as possible he looked around, he must have slept for some hours as the sun was now coming up in the east, just starting to clear the hill tops across the Baragem. Turning slowly he saw that the two other men had not moved, both appeared to be asleep, he tried to move his arms and found that he could, his legs seemed fine as well, but all of his limbs ached and he felt like he had been beaten rather badly, steeling himself he sat up as slowly as he could, he did not know why he did it so slow, maybe an instinct of some kind. The spider was nowhere to be seen, slowly Adam crept across to the first man and touched him, his eyes opened and his mouth gaped, but no sound came out, obviously he still could not move. As he leaned closer, he felt something touch his neck, something sharp, leaning back Adam peeled off his armoured bike jacket, there in the collar was a thing that looked like a dart, feeling the back of his neck, he realised that the needle had only just touched his skin. Looking at the other two men he found needles in their backs, they were both lodged deep into the muscle, Adam had been lucky, he pulled out the needles and examined the men, both were alive but paralysed, he did not know what to do, should he try to help them or get away?

 

A noise behind him made him throw himself back to where he had been laid down by the spider, keeping himself still he watched it appear through the trees and stop a few meters away, Adam could see no eyes, but he felt it was watching him. It seemed to study him for a few minutes then turned away to examine the others, suddenly it grabbed one of the men and dragged him off towards the hole in the ground. The spider cared not for the fact it was leaving bits of him snagged on rocks and branches, it dragged him through the bushes at the edge of the hole and Adam could only imagine the pain as the man grunted at every impact. He had felt everything, even though he could not move, when he was drugged. There was nothing he could do for that man, at least he might be able to help the other. As the spider disappeared over the edge he moved quickly over to the other man, his eyes were glazed with terror, but he was starting to move slightly, Adam tried to help the man up and struggled, the man was a dead weight, he started to say something and Adam silenced him by putting his hand across his mouth.

He held his finger to his lips to get the man to stay quiet, he was showing more signs of movement now, then man started to struggle and tried to help Adam in his attempts to lift him, he started gabbling in Portuguese and nothing Adam could do would quieten him down. Then a scream rendered the air, it came from the hole and was cut very short, this spurred Adam into a titanic effort, “Come on you, move!!” He managed to heave the man upright and supporting him got him moving away from the hole. Sweat was pouring down his back, Adam was still wearing his armoured motorcycle gear, it had protected him when being dragged, but now was just slowing him down, he did not have time to remove it though, the thing might be back at any second. Removing the needle had helped, the man was getting more and more able to support his own weight.

Adam kept glancing back, he knew they would not be able to outrun the spider thing, the configuration of its legs and body made it the idea all terrain vehicle. In the back of his mind he was remembering reading a book with something like this in, but could not remember the end, he thought they had encased it in concrete or frozen it, but he was not sure how it had ended. Whatever they had done in the book it was no help here in the middle of nowhere. The man was now gasping something in Portuguese and waving Adam to stop, they had covered about 300 meters up hill and Adam was glad to rest, they both sat down tried to slow down their breathing, when the spider appeared on the edge of the hole, it appeared to be looking at where they had been laying, The man went to jump up, but something made Adam hold him back, “Keep still and do not move.” He whispered at the man who stared back at him, then kept quiet and still.

The Spider moved in a quick circle around where they had lain, it looked like it was searching outwards around that spot. They must have been in plain sight but it appeared not to see them, Adam waited until he thought it was facing away from them and grabbed a rock, he then hurled it as far as he could into some bushes about 30 meters away, the spider reacted instantly, moving at an incredible speed towards the bushes, it disappeared into them and Adam quickly hustled the man in the opposite direction. Pulling him down behind a fallen tree they dropped out of sight, Adam peered around the edge of the tree and watched as the spider headed back to the same spot on the ground and started its search pattern again. This time slowly spiralling outwards. Each time it faced away from them they managed to get a little further away using available cover.

Adam had now realised its vision or whatever was based on movement, if it got too close he threw a rock and it would scuttle off after it, then return to its starting point. This tactic allowed them to get some distance from the hole, around 1000 meters, then the spider stopped chasing the rocks, it had worked 10 times, but now the spider did not run off to investigate, it ignored the noise and carried on with its search pattern. It was learning.

 

Now all they could do was wait until it had reached the other side of its search area and then move off, using as much cover as possible. They were about two thirds of the way back to Adams bike when the man started pointing to the right and mumbling something, he was very insistent that Adam go that way instead of back to the bike, Adam did not know what to do, his bike was fast and he was sure he could out run the spider on it, even through the woods. But the man was very persistent, Adam decided to go with him for a short distance and see what he was trying to tell him. As he followed Adam realised they were dropping down into what looked like a rain gully, this took them out of sight of the spider, from here they could make better progress, but it was leading away from the motorcycle.

Being out of sight of the thing was better than risking the wrath of the spider, so Adam went along with the man, they made about another 1000 meters before Adam called a halt, he was very tired now and needed to rest. Climbing up to the edge of the gully Adam peered out towards the hole, there was no sign of the spider, Turning to the man Adam pointed at him himself and said “Adam” and then pointed at the man “Jorge” he replied “Eu não falam inglês!” Shrugging his shoulders Adam pointed back towards his bike, “I'm going for my bike.” The man looked blank then smiled in understanding and he pointed the way they had been going, then he grabbed and shook Adams hand before running off.

 

Adam sat quietly for a while, getting his breath back slowly, he pulled out a cigarette then thought better of it. Climbing back to his feet he headed off towards his bike, stopping every 30 meters or so to check behind him, there was still no sign of the spider. Reaching the camp, Adam crawled into the tent and looked around for his bag, it had his mobile in it, pulling it out he turned it on and waited, no signal, damn. When he came out he picked up his binoculars and looked towards the hole, he took a deep breath, there were now two spiders down there, one staying by the hole doing something to a strange object. The other was still searching the area but it had not got halfway to where he was now. Then slightly to the left, about 50 meters from the first Spider he spotted movement, it was Jorge, he had a shotgun in his hands and was trying to sneak up on the Spider. Jorge managed to get within 20 meters, then suddenly stood up and fired the shotgun, the impact flipped the spider on to its side. He then fired the second barrel directly at it from less than five meters, before noticing the other spider which was now racing towards him.

He was still reloading when it hit him, it had stuck one of its legs out just as it got to him and the limb had gone straight through him, the spider pulled back and Jorge fell to the ground, there was blood everywhere. It then turned to the other spider which was not moving, Adam could not see clearly what was going on, the other spider got up and started shaking, it did this for about 30 seconds then moved off as if nothing had happened. It joined the other at the strange object and they both appeared to be doing something with it, Adam started to grab his gear then thought better of it, making sure he had his wallet and phone he put on his helmet and tried to start the bike, at first it fired then died.

 

The smell of petrol was strong,the petrol pipe had pulled off when it fallen over, Adam looked across and could see one of the spiders heading his way, it must have heard him try to start the bike, he pushed the pipe back on and thumbing the starter he held it, letting the engine spin, then it caught and fired up. Glancing over his shoulder the spider was less than 100 yards away, he dropped into first and gunned the engine, the bike took off and he held on to the bars as they fought him across the rough ground. Looking in the mirror he saw the spider gaining slowly, he knew really needed to get to the tarmac road to make any decent headway.

The Triumph was not really designed for dirt riding, it had road tyres and Adam was pushing them well past their limits. Racing up the dirt track as it rose into the hills, he could see the road 500 meters ahead, but the spider was still gaining. It was going to be close, fear was driving him hard, risking everything Adam dropped a gear and red lined the bike, he was now doing 60 in second, flicking it into third he held the throttle open and shot out onto the road. Now he could really get moving, going up another gear he was past 90 when a lorry came out of a side turning ahead, he had no chance of stopping and had to go out around him on the wrong side of the narrow road. The lorry braked hard and stopped and as he flew around the front of the lorry he realised it was not stopping for him. A car was coming the other way, he made it through the gap just as his knee clipped the front wing, straightening the bike he heard an almighty crash as the spider hit the car. Adam braked hard as he saw a bend coming up and turned his head just as the spider passed him in the air, one of its limbs caught the handlebars and flipped the front wheel sharply to the right.  The bike hit the road and Adam slid off, glad he was still wearing his armoured gear but then as his hand hit the ground he painfully noticed he had not pulled his gloves on, he snatched his hand back as he started losing skin.

 

As his body came to a stop his bike carried on and sailed off the edge of the road, dropping down the embankment to the edge of the lake about 200 meters below, it was following the spider down and crashed on top of it when they reached the bottom. Adam looked down at the bike on top of the spider, there was no movement from down there, he walked back to the car which had ended up crashed into the front of the lorry and peered inside, the driver was dead, the front top edge of the roof of the car was missing along with the top of the drivers head, the spider had cut clean through the thin metal,Adam did not look any further into the car. The lorry driver was sitting stunned in his cab, as he walked over to him something made Adam turn around, there at the edge of the road was the spider, it had 3 limbs missing and was dragging itself towards him.

 

It was obviously badly damaged, but that was not stopping it, it was unbalanced and moving at slightly faster than walking pace, not hesitating Adam stared running. Clearing the vehicles he threw off his helmet and kept moving, the scream of the driver spurred him on even faster.

Stripping off his jacket and dropping that he risked a glance over his shoulder, the spider clambered over the wrecked car dropped to the ground and came after him, it was not moving fast and Adam reduced his pace, fear driving him forward, but his body complaining that he could not keep going at full pelt, slowing down to just keep him ahead of the spider seemed reasonable. Within 100 meters his heart wanted to explode, his lack of fitness was going to get him killed and he was slowing down fast, a thumping against his leg reminded him he still had the big torch hanging from his belt, surprised it he not lost it in the crash he grabbed it and went to throw it away. Then stopped, it was the only weapon he had against the thing, thoughts rushed through his head, if he tried to keep going he would be completely exhausted in minutes, the thing was already damaged and struggling to follow him, but it seemed indefatigable, it would not stop, unless it could not move.

 

Adam stopped dead and spun around, he waited as the spider approached him quickly, with only three limbs working it was struggling to keep its balance, Adam sucked in a deep breath and held the torch up, at the last second the spider thrust at him with one of its limbs, stepping aside only just in time the limb missed him by inches. Swinging the torch down as hard as he could, he smashed it into one of the last remaining rear limbs, Adam was surprised as it went straight through, separating the limb from the body, the spider now fell over and stayed there, the last two limbs twitching. Adam now sucked in great amounts of air trying to get his breath back and calm the raging fear coursing through his body, adrenaline had kept him going, now his body had run out, never before in his life had he gone through anything like this.

Sitting down on the edge of the road he pulled out a small tin and rolled himself a cigarette, he could now feel all the damage to his body, he had not noticed it before. His left hand was bleeding where it had dragged on the road, his right side hurt like hell and he suspected he had some broken ribs, possibly where the torch he had hanging from his belt had been forced up when he came off the bike, he could also feel his right ankle swelling up inside his boot. A scrapping sound made him look at the damaged spider, it was trying to drag itself back towards the hole in ground with its two limbs digging for traction on the hard tarmac, but getting nowhere.

 

Another car appeared around the bend, the drivers face showing shock as he stopped and got out, he ran over to Adam and started talking to him, “English, I only speak English.” replied Adam, “Ah, I speak English!” Said the man “What has happened here?”

“You would not believe me mate, can you just call the police and an ambulance please?”

The man ran back to his car and pulled out a mobile phone, in Portuguese he gabbled away for a minute or two ,then went to look in the truck and the car, he turned very pale and walked back to Adam, as he did he looked at the spider still trying to get away.

 

“What is that thing?” he asked.

“No idea.” said Adam and then he passed out.

 

 

Adam was having trouble focusing on the ceiling, he tried to move and found he was in a bed, sitting up he found his right leg was plastered and there were various parts of his body bandaged.

A nurse looked in and he called her over “Nurse! Why is my leg plastered? I didn't break it!” she looked puzzled and went out of the room, she came back a few minutes later followed by what Adam assumed was a doctor.

“Hello Mr Adam Wilson, how are you feeling today?” Said the doctor.

“Fine” replied Adam “But extremely confused, why is my leg plastered? And where am I?”

The doctor looked at the nurse then back to Adam, “You are in the Centro Hospitalar in Lisbon, you have broken your leg and have other injuries, including a head one that has been worrying us. Are you sure you feel ok?”

“Look I'm absolutely fine, my head feels a bit light but other than that I'm fine, how did I get here?”

“You crashed on the road from Chaves to Boticas, the local hospital was worried because of your head injury and sent you here. From what we were told about the state of your motorcycle helmet you are lucky to be alive!”

Adams mind raced, what the hell? That is not what happened, something made him keep his mouth shut and play dumb, he asked “Is my mobile around? I'd like to let some people know what has happened.”

The doctor shrugged, “Its in the top drawer next to you, but the battery is probably flat, we did contact your wife as she is listed as next of kin in your passport, but she did not seem interested we are sad to say, but she did give us the number of a friend of yours, David, he was here up until a couple of days ago then had to go home. We will let him know you are awake, we have his number.”

I'm going to have to change the next of kin in my passport thought Adam, then he realised what the doctor had said “Wait a minute, Dave was here until a few days ago? How long have I been here?”

The doctor thought for a moment, “You were in the local hospital for 3 days and then brought here, you have been here for 15 days.”

 

18 days!! I've been unconscious for 18 days, something is not right, unless I dreamt it all, but it seems so real. Adam lay back and did not listen to any more the doctor had to say, after a few minutes he gave up and left Adam alone, his throat was dry and he leaned over to get a glass of water from the cabinet, as he did a man came into his room and shut the door. The man was very well dressed and had a cut glass English accent.

 

“Ah, Mr Wilson, you are awake at last, what do you remember about the” he paused “accident?”

“And who are you?” asked Adam.

“Me? I'm Mr Smith, from the insurance company, I need to make a report about what happened, so far all we have is a report that you left the road in the mountains at high speed, but not why. You were very lucky Mr Wilson, your motorcycle fell 500 meters to the ground, you hit a tree about 100 meters down which undoubtedly saved your life.” He paused then carried on “The Guarda Nacional Republicana or GNR, want to prosecute you for loads of offences, they have witnesses that claim you were drunk and on drugs in a bar about 30 minutes before the accident.” Another pause, “I also have to say that they found a large quantity of various drugs in your pockets and wish to know where you got them from.”

Adams head was spinning, he did not understand what was going on here, but before he could speak Smith started again.

I do urge you to remember Mr Wilson, that the GNR's are a military force and they do not like being messed about, if you go to court over these drugs, you will go to prison for a long time. Think about that for a moment.”

Panic was now rising in Adam, he was being set up, but why? “Ok, Mr Smith, I really dont remember a lot anyway, so what do you want me to do?”

Thats the attitude we like Mr Wilson, all you have to do is remember that you have been in an accident and lost some memory.” Pause, “If you stick to that, you will find that the drug problem will go away and the insurance payout will be very handsome, if you do 'remember' anything I would advise you to keep it to yourself.” Pause, “You would probably not be believed and the GNR might issue a warrant for your arrest.”

Is that a threat?” Said Adam.

The man smiled, he reminded Adam of a shark that had just seen an easy meal, “I never make threats, Mr Wilson.”

Adam smiled back “Just who are you really?”

The smile disappeared “That is not the sort of question you should ask” Again that smile, “If I told you, I would have to kill you.”

Adam's face slowly lost its smile as he realised the man meant it. Adam coughed and spoke up “Fair enough, I'll be quiet.”

Good!” Said Mr Smith, “Just sign this waver and we will arrange for you to be taken home, I'm sure if nothing is heard in the next few weeks, that the insurance money will appear very quickly as well”.

With that he turned and left the room, leaving the door open this time.

 

 

The doorbell broke Adam out of his afternoon doze, he was due to have the cast off in Epsom hospital tomorrow, he could not wait, he had gone far too long without riding one his bikes, Dave had serviced the Z900 for him and it was waiting for him in Daves garage. Grabbing his crutches he made his way to the door of his flat, Dave and Tommy were standing there with a box.

What this?”he asked them.

Tommy answered him “Oh its your stuff from Portugal, they finally send it over, we just met the courier downstairs. You ready for the off tomorrow then?”

Adam nodded his head enthuiasticly, ten weeks in a cast was along time and it was driving him nuts, the doctors in Epsom had been puzzled though, the break so very clean, as if it had been done by a surgeon. They could also find no trace of his allegded head injury, but they put that down to concussion. Adam told the guys to dump the box in the front room. Dave was speaking as he unpacked the box and started fiddling with something inside, “I still think we ought to go back to the Baragem on a run, all the club together, seriously mate you missed a treat there, I loved it!”

Adam sighed whistfully, “Yes mate,” he responded, “I'd love to, thats a good idea.”

Dave was staring at something in the box, he looked up at Adam, “Ok Adam tell me what really happened in Portugal?”

Adam looked confused “What are you on about?”

Dave pulled out Adams camera, “I was just flicking through the photos on your camera, I thought I'd pull the memory card and print out some of the photos for you, then noticed there were 4 photos on the internal memory of the Baragem, how could you have taken those particular ones if you never got to Paradela?”

 

 



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