He’s an enigma known only as Splice; a criminal mastermind with unlimited resources, cunning, and guile. A silent force who can make world leaders disappear in a miasma of blood and gore. But how did he get here? Where did he come from? The world may never know, but you will. Splice: Hit Bit Technology is by Bill McCormick.
He’d known what the stuff he wanted looked like but was whelmed by the myriad of choices. He hadn’t realized how confused he must have looked until he heard a deep voice behind him.
“Can I help you, young man?”
The owner of the voice was easily six and a half feet tall and probably had a side job as a wall. His uniform shirt looked painted on, and his muscles seemed to have muscles of their own.
Terrified, but lacking options, he’d handed the man his list.
“My dad’s doing some repairs and asked me to get him this stuff.”
“Did your dad give you money?”
He smiled as best he could.
“Oh, yes, sir. He’s good about that stuff.”
The giant grunted, took the list, perused it briefly, and smiled.
“Good man, your dad. Getting the electric in order before the snows fall is a smart thing to do.”
“Yes, sir. My old man’s got smarts.”
He’d managed not to visibly gag on the thought of his father framed in a positive light and followed the landmass as he wandered through the store, adding item after item to a small basket.
The walking zip code was chatty now that he had a customer and, especially, a kid who said nice things about his father. The human area code went on and on about how his old man was a saint and kids these days didn’t appreciate family and too many kids didn’t know their place, no offense, and it was good to have a father who knew how to fix things and the reason people got fat was because they ate too many vegetables and ….
Unlike other droning litanies he’d endured this one had two advantages. First, it wasn’t accompanied by a fist. He’d admitted to himself he’d found that to be a huge benefit. Second, the litany ended, and the counting began.
One hundred and seventy-six dollars later, to the penny, he’d walked out of the store with a heavy bag full of tools.
Once night had finally fallen completely, he’d opened his notes, and put everything in order.
The office had emptied out precisely at six in the evening, and the front door security cameras went live. They were fun to watch, swaying back and forth as they scanned the entrance for interlopers. He had no intention of being anywhere near that entrance, so he’d ignored them.
Around midnight he’d slid up to the power box, laid out his tools, and set to work. A half an hour later, you couldn’t tell he’d been there at all. The wires leading to his hovel were carefully hidden underground, covered by the usual debris found in alleys. The box was still dirty on the outside, and a late rain would cover the rest.
Back in the small room, he’d carved out of nothing; he happily plugged in two space heaters, a small fridge, and a little clock. All quietly purchased from small stores where no one would remember a little black kid. They’d barely acknowledged him at all. He was beneath them, beneath all notice, and he was learning to use that to his advantage.
You can’t arrest a ghost.
A Bite of… Bill McCormick
Hero or villain? Which is the more interesting to write?
They both have value. In The Brittle Riders I focused on the heroes and their acts of daring do. In SPLICE there are no heroes at all, just this young kid who makes the best of things by stealing from the mob. Not a good life choice normally. However, as has been noted by others, my heroes and villains share multiple traits. I like characters to have some grit to them. I also like them to have some depth. That said, the motivations for villains can be wide ranging while heroes are limited. They’re there to save the day. So, I guess I like the naughty ones best.
Is it important to include all shades of belief and sexual orientation in a book?
I don’t know if you need them all in every book, but I do believe it’s important to have a diverse roster of characters. The trick is to write them honestly. Bob the black guy and Lucy the lesbian aren’t going to snare any readers. But Bob the multi-lingual botanist who loves poetry and happens to be black, and Lucy the welder from Omaha who creates sculptures of dragons out of waste metals and happens to be a lesbian, are the beginnings of characters readers might like to know.
Have you ever written somebody you know into a book? A lover? A friend? An enemy?
All of the above and all the time. Sometimes I just add their traits to other characters, but I have used people’s names. Sometimes, like the John Dobbs character in SPLICE, I created a super Marine and then named him after John who is not ex-military in anyway and, in fact, was the lead singer and guitarist of a popular metal band back in the day. He got a kick out of it.
A glimpse into the mind of… Bill McCormick
A klazomaniac genius and retired bridge troll who dabbles in ballet, horticulture, and vivisections, Zeezledop now resides in a musty cavern once owned by a malicious geneticist. Having long since eaten any residual pets he spends his time cranking out yellow journalism and dinosaur porn. Bill is @BillMcSciFi on all social media and You can find out more about him at BillMcSciFi.com.