“The past is our definition. We may strive, with good reason, to escape it, or to escape what is bad in it, but we will escape it only by adding something better to it.” --Wendell Berry
Tom had made quite the impression on us. And if you believed his story then it explained what was going on and why we were all living in Asylumland. Problem was, it didn't fit what we believed about ourselves. After all, time travel is pretty far fetched even to a bunch of people living in an insane asylum.
Still, he seemed to be right about my remembering. In the weeks and months that followed I started remembering more and more about who, where and how I'd killed in the past. I remembered starring through scopes on rifles, sticking knives in the backs of unsuspecting people walking down the street and pouring gasoline on people before lighting matches and walking away.
Sometimes the memories came to me in my sleep-- sometimes when I was wide awake. Usually I'd worked alone but sometimes I worked with others whose names I didn't know and faces I'd never seen before or sense. If what Tom was telling us was true, someone had figured out the perfect way to kill anyone, anywhere and anytime they wanted someone dead.
And as far as I could tell we were powerless to resist. Even Tom said that since he'd become aware of what was going on they still managed to control him. He spoke of watching the entire thing right down to pulling the trigger and not being able to resist.
I wasn't the only one with memories either. Janice was having the same nightmares again and again. We tried to pass it all off as the power of suggestion, a psychological trick Tom was playing on us, but that wouldn't explain the fact that I remembered killing Park Chung-hee before Tom had told us his explanation of what was going on. "There's one thing for certain," Janice said.
"What's that?" I asked.
"Tom or no Tom," Janice replied, "it's time we got serious about getting out of here."
"You're the president," I said. "Give the order and I'll make a run for it."
"Just make sure you take the rest of us with you?" Janice ordered.
"I'll get up with Joe and figure out a way to make it happen or die trying," I answered.