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Break to Bind: Tape 2


A gray Sony mini-cassette is tucked inside a smoky plastic case. A hand-written gum label is affixed to the case. Subject: LNU, FNU, “Bill”. Beneath the cassette case, a stack of bond paper, slightly brown with age. The top and bottom margins appear to have been trimmed, so that the pages are 8 ½ by something less than 11. The type is bold and distinct, IBM Selectric.

[Dr. Carol Lopez, female, hereafter ‘L’]… Please identify yourself for the record. [transcription note: L speaks with neutral American accent]

[“Bill,” male, hereafter ‘B’]… I’m Bill. [transcription note: Bill speaks with neutral American accent]

L… Yes, that’s all I have on your paperwork. I need your full name, Bill.

B… Yeah. That would be great.

L… I’m sorry?

B… Seriously, I wish I knew, but I’m just Bill.

L… You don’t have any other name? Just Bill?

B… You got it, sister.

L… Is that short for William?

B… Search me, I don’t have a clue.

L… Do you know your date of birth, Bill? That’s not here either.

B… That’s a really complicated question.

L… Your birthday is complicated?

B… Oh yeah.

L… How is that?

B… Well, it’s either about four months ago, or forty years ago, or a really long time ago. I’m not sure which, and the Doc isn’t having any better luck. Even with the hypnosis.

L… Do you have problems with your memory?

B… You betcha. I don’t remember shit from before four months ago. From either body.

L… What do you mean, either body?

B… This one, or the other one.

L… You have another body?

B… Had. I used to have it. I’ve seen pictures of it. Me.

L… What happened to this other body, Bill?

B… It got killed. This weird thing knocked its head off. And then I came back. I wasn’t black before. I wish I could remember something from when I was white. You know, so I could compare. Maybe sort out some of this prejudice stuff. It would probably be really valuable. You know, for society and all.

L… You believe you were killed and resurrected?

B… Hey, I’m just going on what they tell me here. First thing I remember in my life is that I woke up in bed in Chicago four months ago knowing that my name was Bill and that this was my address. This lady was in bed with me, she claimed I was her husband… there was a big scene, she was really pissed off about something. Probably that I didn’t know who she was. Accused me of making it up to get out of support payments after a divorce or something-

L… Bill, please focus here. What did you do when you woke up knowing you were Bill?

B… Well, the crazy bitch wouldn’t tell me if I had a car, so I ended up taking a bus out here. Knocked on the door. The place was really fucked up then. This evil magician guy had just been here and almost killed the Doc, but Wernher said he ran him over with this Porsche he talked a guy out of in Detroit, and Jeff was still held prisoner by this demon in South Carolina, or North Carolina? I get the Carolina states mixed up-

L… Bill, maybe we could leave that aside for a little while.

B… Yeah, okay. What would you like to talk about?

L… Why did you come here?

B… I thought it was important. And it is. We’re like a super team here, you know.

[UI male, unidentifiable accent]… We are not a super team, Dr. Lopez. This is a research institute.

L… Please don’t interrupt again. I only invited you in to observe to avoid another blouse incident.

B… [laughs] Wernher did the blouse thing again? Oh man, that rocks. I wish I could do that.

L… What do you do for your super team, Bill?

B… Well, you know, I don’t like to brag, but I’m like a healer, empath-type guy. We don’t have super hero names or anything, you know.

L… You’re a healer empath?

B… I mean, we call Doc “Doc”, and we call Cornelia “Jugs”, but not to her face, cause she’d kill you. She’s seriously psycho.

L… Bill-

B… But hot. Psycho, but hot. And she’s like a psychic too, except she doesn’t know it. And she doesn’t think we are either. She says it’s all like, swamp gas or sun spots or something. Like I said, she’s crazy.

L… I need a break.

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Backstory, got it. Waiting for more...

OK, you're really starting

OK, you're really starting to get me to wonder what the supervillains in this world will be like! =)

I think you manage to get Bill's bitterness across without making it too heavy-handed. I could see that becoming a distraction for the reader if he ends up dwelling on it a lot, but so far, it's another promising angle.


Rest assured, the villains are coming and they're not very nice at all. Bill's character changes pretty significantly, as well, so the bitterness factor almost entirely goes away. These tapes are a snapshot of how things were 13 years before the narrative begins. All will be explained... well, some will be explained at least.