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Break to Bind: Tape 3

Allreck, Simon G.

A gray Sony mini-cassette is tucked inside a smoky plastic case. A hand-written gum label is affixed to the case. Subject: Allreck, Simon G. 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]

[Simon Allreck, male, hereafter ‘A’]… Simon George Allreck. I was born the seventh of July, nineteen sixty-seven in Providence, Rhode Island in the United States. [transcription note: A speaks with educated New England ‘patrician’ accent]

L… Thank you. And for the record, Dr. Eric Sherman is sitting in on this interview at his request and with my permission. However, Mr. Allreck, please just behave as though Dr. Sherman is not here. This interview is to be between the two of us.

A… Of course. Proceed as you will.

L… Simon, please tell me when you think you started to notice that you were different from other people.

A… [sighs] This is a pointless request.

L… Why is it pointless?

A… I suspected I was different from a very early age. The thought processes behind that suspicion were so fully-developed that they could not possibly be addressed in the context of this interview. You would not understand them, and we haven’t the time to try to overcome that.

L… Why do you think I couldn’t-

A… What you need to do, Carol, is put some more thought into your open-ended questions. Imagine what level of detail you could understand and use, and narrow it down. I’m not a country rube, ready to reveal my petty foibles and insecurities when subjected to your community college interviewing methods, and I won’t do your job for you.

L… I’m sorry, Simon. I’ll rephrase. I can imagine that this very fully-developed thought process you went through at an early age resulted in a number of conclusions?

A… That is true.

L… What would you say was the most significant of those conclusions?

A… That is a much better question, Carol. What is the purpose of life?

L… Is this your way of making fun of my question again?

A… No, not at all. I am answering your very good question with another very good question. What is the purpose of life? Are we to believe that we are mere animals, feeding, fucking, excreting and dying to no end? Are we to believe life is a divine morality test, that our use of free will is determining our rewards? These are some of the many questions I considered as a child. My ultimate conclusion was that the purpose of life is ascendance.

L… Ascendance?

A… Yes. Progression, transformation, ascendance. The harnessing of the hidden machinery of the cosmos for the heightening of our consciousness, the strengthening of our soul, circling nearer to that which man calls divine.

L… Do you equate ascendance with the pursuit of power?

A… That is at once an ignorant, ill-thought oversimplification and an eternal question examined by the wise. It all turns on your definition of power.

L… What is your definition of power, Simon?

A… Mea culpa, Carol. I drew you into that question, knowing I would not answer it. It is again beyond the scope of this interview. For me to discuss such a subject with you would be comparable to you discussing the sole of a boot with an ant. Power is not something a person such as yourself deals in; it is something that happens to you. It would take you years of devoted study to reach a point at which we could begin to have a conversation on the topic without me finding you a terrible bore.

[Dr. Eric Sherman, male, hereafter ‘S’]… Simon, you’re starting to be an arsehole. [transcription note: S speaks with unidentifiable accent]

A… I’m sorry, Eric, but even you are a juvenile on the subject and she is the merest zygote by comparison.

L… That’s quite alright. I’m enjoying this. You’re probably the most interesting one of the bunch so far, Simon.

A… Thank you, and no, flattery will not get you what you think it will. This is not vanity or arrogance you see in me, Carol. It is proficiency.

L… I meant what I said, all the same. I imagine there are a number of reasons why you think you are superior to so many others. What would you say is the most significant of these reasons?

A… Have you ever faced an enemy, outside of a structured competitive environment, with no limits to the consequences of failure, and no way of knowing how far your enemy will take the conflict?

L… I don’t think so.

A… Such encounters have been the central pre-occupation of my life since I was very young, Carol. On the first few occasions I can remember a tremendous anticipation before the encounter. A fear of the enemy as an unknown. Yet with each instance came the unassailable conclusion that I faced my enemy and found him weak and unprepared in comparison to myself. The flush of a victory won out past the edge of your previously known world, with no resources to draw upon but your own strength, places you apart from other men. They are less [emph] everything to you, afterward. Less interesting, less worrying, less significant. It is what makes the madge-eye [phon] most different from others. The inevitable, cumulative result of hundreds or thousands of these victories over a lifetime is a stature greater than human.

L… You consider yourself superior even to your comrades here? To Wernher, Cornelia, Bill, Jeff-

A… Far superior. Their differences came to them by accident, and they understand them even less than they do the weather. They have what we call magics of the soul. What little they have achieved, they have achieved by happenstance. I have achieved ascendance by design. Good judgment and a powerful mind have made my soul strong. I understood my power before I sought it. They seek to understand it only after it has visited them, with the sole exception of Cornelia Donlon, who seeks to understand nothing at all.

L… Cornelia’s attitude bothers you?

A… She is by far the most powerful among all of the others, yet she has neither control nor even awareness of her power. It is her stubbornness, the strength of her stupidity that makes her so formidable.

L… I understand you will not allow her near you? That you made Dr. Sherman write it into her contract that she will forfeit all her earnings here and pay fines if she comes within ten feet of you. Why is that?

A… Cornelia’s aura is fundamentally incompatible with mine. If she were to come too close, certain magics in my proximity would be threatened. The results would be harmful. It is only in the interest of safety. Her mindless denial of what you might deem the supernatural shapes her power to the point where it is disruptive. She has her uses, but I believe we would all be better off if she kept her distance.

L… Do you consider yourself to be a god, Simon?

A… There can be only one God. In this, Christ and the other early Judaic madge-eye [phon] were correct. Their mistake, and the mistake of all who choose the path of devotion rather than the process of inquiry, was in daring to think that so many of them could understand the exact nature and identity of that God. To presume to appoint themselves a chosen people by virtue of blood. This restricted their power, funneled it, channeled it, ultimately closed in upon it. Blood magic is among the weakest of disciplines. I will accept no such artificial limitations upon the avenues of ascendance. I know there is a God. It is his true nature that we all seek. But you do not seek a thing by pronouncing you know it, at the very beginning of your search. I may never even fully understand the works of God. I certainly will not presume to place myself upon his throne.

L… The others are here for just a couple of reasons. Either for money-

A… [interrupts] Cornelia is here only for money, and perhaps amusement-

L… [interrupts] Or to serve their fellow man, in one form or another. Why are you here, Simon?

A… I am here to test myself. I would have thought that would be obvious by now.

Building well

Not much new to add to this one, other than to say these seem to be building well on one another.

And to wonder how these characters manage to spend time together without coming to blows!


Ultimately, they DIDN'T manage it! But really, there is a core of level-headed people involved who kept things going for a while.

Does this mean we get to see

Does this mean we get to see the train wreck actually happening?

Or is the story more about everyone trying to pick up the pieces afterward?

You'll see lots of debris

You'll see lots of debris from the train wreck. Some looking back on it, people making amends, moving forward, or in some cases, going nuts and crashing and burning. But you don't actually get to see the train wreck. I argued with myself over that, but decided that including it would be long, drawn out, over-wrought, and not important enough to merit that much attention. The important stuff is what brings them back together, I think. I like those kinds of stories myself, so I'm taking a shot at telling one.


I see some paralells to something I'm working on now. The wreck is a story unto itself, but it's not as important as what the characters are doing to deal with life in the aftermath.