Sometime after midnight we found ourselves somewhere in Oregon, surrounded by trees that a spider could emerge from at any moment. I was glad to have some peace of mind in knowing that we had a head start and it’s probably not back up to hunting speed yet. We should be able to clear the forest filled areas before it catches up with us.
“How far north are we going exactly?” I asked NFL.
Cassandra was asleep in the backseat while I drove and he rode shotgun.
“Round about Canada.” He said.
“How long have you known about this invasion?” I asked.
“I haven’t known there was an invasion for very long. Just a few months. I was originally brought in to build large carrying craft meant to explore the stars with our newfound speedy technology. Like in the movies. But, after five years or so I began to question some of the things that were added to my designs. It would take a genius to figure out that the little tweaks here and there were due to needing passengers to run aboard and take off immediately without everyone being seated like on an airplane. Like a rushed exit. Good thing I’m a genius. I kept my head down after I figured it out so I wouldn’t be ‘reassigned’. After a little digging I found out about the Nazi’s and just sort of went from there.” He continued.
“How likely are you to succeed?” I asked.
“Pretty likely. They will have their prissy little spacecraft full of their version of perfection while the fleet I’m storing elsewhere will be ready to save as many of everyone else as I can fit.” He said. “Just keep driving. I need to get some work done.”
“On what? Is there a computer back there?” I asked.
“No, just a cell phone. But, given that I built it, I dare any major competitor to outdo me.” He said smiling to himself.
He immersed himself in his phone while I peered through the trees here and there and tried to take in the beauty of the forest that would probably be burned down during the hostile takeover. One last look at the world as I know it.
Up ahead there were more winding roads of greenery. Up above a shimmering half moon and… what was that?
It looked like a gazelle leapt from treetop to treetop. Maybe it was a bug in my field of view playing off of my paranoia.
“Um…” I began.
“You’re not crazy. I saw something too.” NFL said.
“Ok.” I said gulping hard. I so don’t want to die here tonight. Not after escaping so many times today. “Should I stop?”
“No because there’s probably something behind us too. Just keep going.” He said and unbuckled so he could go to the cargo area and rifle through the weapons.
Two more gazelle like shadows leapt across the treetops in the moonlight. They were smaller because they were further ahead.
“Two more up ahead NFL.” I said shakily. I knew it. I knew there were more spiders.
“Cassandra. We need your eyes.” He said as he shook her on the shoulder and handed her night vision goggles.
She awoke with a fright, put the goggles on, and immediately began to scan the terrain ahead.
“Well?” I asked nervous.
“Well they’re not spiders.” She said.
I breathed a small sigh of relief.
“They’re bicycles.” She continued.
I don’t know what gave me away, the look on my face must have been intelligible because that is the most ridiculous thing I had ever heard.
“Remember I told you that so far they have taken the form of inanimate objects. One of the forms another subject told me about was a bicycle. He said he didn’t even own a bike, but everywhere he would go the very same bicycle would be in the vicinity. He thought he had a stalker at first. But, then the bike would start showing up in places that no one would just leave a bike because it would get stolen, and he once saw someone try to move it and get a static like electrocution warding them off. Then he knew something was wrong.” Cassandra explained.
“Places like where?” I asked.
“An aisle inside of the grocery store just leaning against the cereal boxes. At the top of a staircase outside of a doctor’s office when there were bike racks nearby. Next to the wall of a building unattended. But, he always had this creepy feeling like someone was watching. And then we what we saw on tape confirmed that the bicycle was a Necro object.” She said.
“What was on the tape?” I asked.
“The bike would melt into a puddle that broke apart into small liquid spheres that would roll and bounce trying to catch the man. The Necroshperes eventually did. Those little liquid spheres ate him alive, swallowed the pieces, and reformed the bike which rolled away on its own.” She explained.
“I don’t know what’s worse, a giant spider or a bike.” I said.
“Yeah well, we were just glad we were finally able to get something on tape. The President had a fit and called an emergency meeting at the Pentagon after that. He demanded to know why that poor man had been executed and said that any deals we had would be off if his citizens continued to be killed. The Necros told us that the man wasn’t really from our planet and was a criminal citizen of theirs they had been trying to capture. The President didn’t want to believe them, but what choice did he have? We didn’t have any evidence to the contrary.” She said.
“With that in mind, avoid all puddles on the road at all costs. The air is dry, that’s means low humidity and that it hasn’t rained in a few days. There is no reason outside of those bikes for any moisture to be on the ground waiting to swallow us up.” NFL said.
“I don’t know if fire is an effective weapon against this one.” Cassandra told him.
I was paying special attention to the road ahead of me, but turned to see what she was talking about. NFL was holding a rocket launcher and positioning himself to shoot anything up ahead by leaning out of out of the back passenger window if we spotted a puddle up ahead.
“Should I slow down so we can tell if the road is wet? It’s still pretty dark out.” I asked.
“Nah, let’s take our chances. After all, I think it’s safe to assume that all of us are targets now and we don’t want to be so careful avoiding one bike that we let the other two sneak up on us.” NFL told me.
“What makes you think that all three of us as targets has been confirmed?” Cassandra asked. “Why would you be a target?”
“Because unless I heard Brian wrong, he said he saw three bikes and I’m sure they know by now that Annie ditched us.” He said as he fired a rocket up ahead. “Drive through the flames.”
“Are you crazy?” Cassandra shouted.
“Yeah. Crazy enough to know little liquid spheres will have a hard time sticking to the tires if one of the two are on fire. There’s suspicious ice up ahead.” He said.
“Shit.” I whispered.
“It’ll be alright. Just do as he says.” Cassandra tried to soothe me. But that wasn’t the problem.
“The Spine Eater is behind us. About half a mile away.” I said and sped through the fire that had spread to the trees.