Some of you may remember back when I posted about one of those guys who's been completely broken coming up to me and telling me that his name was William. And then a different one claiming the exact same thing.
Well, I've been keeping an eye on the Broken ones for a while now. I'm curious about them. I want to know what exactly makes them tick. How they act, and why they act the way they do. Agents are relatively easy to understand. Even if I don't really consider myself an Agent, I've got motivation. Hyde had motivation. Caper has a motivation, even if he won't tell me. Alex (I interviewed him the other day; you'll be hearing his story soon) has a motivation. I assume that Poe has a motivation, and I'll need to get around to her. All the Agents have motivation of some sort. The Broken? They've got the opposite of that. They're dead inside. They've been forced into this against their will. They're not going to act like normal people.
But yeah, I've been keeping an eye on the Broken. I think I'm starting to figure a few things out. It's strange how exactly they tick. Were they all former runners? Random people who just went insane? Former Agents who...mentally regressed for some reason?
Lately, I've seen a lot of the Broken in this area start dressing the same. Picking up the same mannerisms. And they've started to become slightly more coherent. I tried talking to one the other day. A lot of the time he'd blank out, and I'd have to ask him about three times before he realized he was being asked a question, and not everything he said made sense, but he could at least carry on something resembling a conversation. The conversation is highly fragmented, so I'll just give you the bullet points.
I started by asking him what his name was, and he looked up at me, huge bags under his eyes. "William," he said, slightly confused. "My name is William Jameson. I'm 33 years old [there was no way he could be older than 25]. I live at [address undisclosed]." And from there, he kept listing all this private information. Some of it pretty clearly either contradicted what I could tell about him from a glance or earlier information he had given me. The whole time, he had this look on his face like something was off, but he couldn't quite understand what. Like he knew that this person he was telling me about wasn't him, but he couldn't quite grasp that fact.
He kept rambling nonstop until he couldn't think of anything else, and then just trailed off and fell silent. It was a few minutes before I could coax another word out of him. He just sat there, staring down at the floor, as if his mind had completely shut down. He threw out a sentence here and there, but nothing of any real value. He finally started talking again about the third time I got around to asking him what he did. He looks up again, like there was this light going on in his head. "Well, I...we...he...." He trailed off, completely confused. It's like it was dawning on him that he wasn't really William, and that the whole life that he had constructed was a lie. I changed the subject quickly before he shut down completely.
"So how did you first hear about...you know. The Boss. The guy we work for."
His face lit up again, the confusion clearing away. "Well, my father and I were stunt motorcyclists. We had a pretty good life, until I found out that my dad had cancer. The Big Guy offered to heal my dad if I came and worked for him." I froze. I had never heard anyone but Caper call him "The Big Guy." William continued. "My dad actually did recover. He got better. The doctors said it was a miracle. And then, his first big show, he had a terrible crash." He snapped his fingers. "Dead, just like that. So now I'm stuck here."
I shook my head, thanked him for his time, and headed out. I'm going to have to talk to Caper about this.
I think I may have figured something out, though. The Broken have nothing anymore. They don't know who they are. So they find things they can latch on to. Constants. A name. A particular style of mask. A story. Anything they can to construct some sort of identity for themselves. I have no idea who William really was. Was that one guy who came up to me really William? Is anything this William said about himself true of the last William? And how many people think that they're this guy? Who was William?
And more importantly, is he still alive?
-Don't Shoot The Messenger-