HUNTER SOCIETY PSYCHOLOGICAL EXAMINATIONS
Initial Hunt Psychological Report
Applicant Name: Jason A. Hale
Examiner: Dr. Shimura
Down the hallway, Jason walked almost autonomously. Less than eight hours after landing back in Georgia and he found himself back at Headquarters. The man was tired. Exhausted in ways he didn't know he could be, whether it was the jet lag from their travel overseas or the emotional onslaught that had struck him at a weak point during the second hunt of his training. There wasn't a fiber of his body looking forward to opening that door, once he had reached it. Just following an interview with Pam on how the trip went, all he wanted was sleep and some time to get his damn head straight. Did he get that? No. Instead, he pulled open the door of his office, now for the third time.
Jason was dressed in usual attire. Jeans, a long sleeve despite being in the humid state. Unlike the last visit, he bared no outer injuries that seemed to slow him down. His eyes told a story of tiredness. The kind that someone could sit down and just pass out comfortably from. A stoic expression on his face yet there was no mistaking a look in his eyes that suggested he was thinking far too heavily.
was sitting at his desk this time instead of how he usually stood by it. He was reading about the trial Jason just went through, until he heard the door open. He looked up at him, seeing how tired he was made Seth nearly grin. "Ah, Jason, nice to finally see you again. Please, relax and have a seat." He spoke as he arose from his desk and handed him a cold can of Coke.
Although no one was to expect otherwise, no sort of smile came in response from Jason. He could've slapped the grin off the others face in the meanwhile. Instead, he took the can of soda complacently when it was held out. He sat down without a fuss nor a word, certainly no greeting. Jason took a breath and glanced back at the other. "Let's get this over with." Thirty minutes... he could do this, right?
That sounded familiar, like father like daughter he supposed. Seth put the timer on and sat on the other leather chair with his file on hand.
"Start from the very beginning of the trial, Jason."
Jason's eyes fell on the timer. For once he gave no trouble in speaking.
"...the hunt took place in England. The case of a possession of a little girl. We flew out early morning, got there sometime later... got some sleep. Went to the house the next day. There was trash piled up outside like nobody had gone out in a while. The house itself was clean. "
"We talked to the mother first..." There was a pause. A slight hesitation. "Her name was Carol. She told us what was going on." He cast a small glance up to Seth. Words were coming out tired and emotionless thus far. "Red rimmed eyes. Hungry all the time. Hungry for meat for the most part... said she tried to take a bite out of her one night. It raised flags, not towards possession. Something was off."
"We met the daughter. Amberlise. An eight year old girl, she almost looked like- ..." He paused and caught the name before it left his throat. Jaw tightening. His head lowered some and he cleared his throat before continuing.
"When Neseva got in a room alone with her, she attacked. It wasn't the same little girl. Red eyes, longer nails. A snarling... she was going for the throat. Alice pulled her off and I held her back after that. When she calmed down she seemed to go back to her old self. Sobbing in crying, telling me she didn't want to."
Seth sat still with his ankle resting on his knee. He listened intently, when Jason looked up at him, Seth was still listening. He tilted his head ever so slightly when he didn't finish his thought. "Like...whom?" He was already pressing, but he needed answers. After he finished telling the story, there was a slight pause before he continued on. "What do you think might have triggered Alice to react in such a way?"
Jason cast him a stare at the first question and didn't answer. Pushing it back in his head. To the second, his eyes narrowed. One wouldn't miss a sharpness to his tone. "Are you gonna ask all your questions now or wait until I've finished?"
Seth sighed and waved his hand in a gesture. "Carry on."
There was another pause of thought before Jason continued.
"The mother pointed us in the direction of her husband. He'd been thrown in jail the week prior to trying to kill Amberlise... like he knew what she was. When we went to speak with him we found out she was adopted. Didn't mean much until he talked about a warning from the biological father."
"It wasn't a possession case. Amberlise was a Rugaru... before then I hadn't known what the hell that was. Now I do. Related to a werewolf. Has a need for human flesh. Soon as we were done there we headed back. We'd left Amberlise locked in her room, told Carol to keep it shut no matter what she heard. When we got there... something was off."
Eyes dropped to the floor. The man's jaw clenched. Whatever he was about to say, he had to ready himself for it. He didn't want to speak. Not to Pam, not to Seth.
After Jason spoke there was a rather long pause. It was obvious whatever was next was probably something Jason never expected. "I know it's difficult," Seth spoke in a quieter voice. "But do your best. I'm here for you to speak your mind, it’s not just an evaluation. Curse me out if that helps you." From the second Jason stepped in, Seth knew he didn't want to be here. He stood to fetch a box of tissues, and placed it beside Jason, just in case if he needed it.
What he got in return was a rather hollow stare. It screamed "We went up the stairs... she'd opened the door while we were away. Amberlise had gotten to her before we could stop it. Carol was..." Jason took a deep breath. "Carol was still alive. She was holding her... stroking her hair but... the room was a mess. There was blood pooling on the floor. A lot of her body was of her body, abdomen cut into... and Amber was still feeding." His voice slowed near the end, a sickened tone coming from his lips... was it even possible for him?
"I couldn't have Nes... I couldn't. And at that time, Alice was in no shape for it. She didn't take things well. Any of it, I don't blame her for a second but-" Jason trailed off. His words seemed to freeze in his throat. "...so I finished the hunt. We went back. Cleaned up. Boarded a plane the next morning, and now I'm here."
Seth listened to every word. He would let the silence linger, a moment for him to gather his thoughts. "I'm sorry that the three of you had to witness that." He was aware of how gruesome hunts could get, but hearing about how devastating the aftermath was of this one caught him off guard. "Who did Amber look like? I need your complete thoughts, Jason. I can't send back to the HSHQ how you stared at me like that and told me about the Hunt. I want to know how you're holding up through all of this."
"I'm sure you are." the words never left his tongue but perhaps his expression gave away such a thought. At the answer, he received Jason's brow furrowed. A look of strain present. "She was eight years old her mother said. Dark hair, blue eyes. Pale... normal kid until things changed. Her eyes turned red, nails have grown out. The next moment she'd calmed down again she went back to as she was, clinging to me and crying."
"I didn't ask what she looked like, I asked who she reminded you of personally. The longer you dodge my questions, I'm afraid your session will have to be extended. If that's what it takes for you to open up to me." Jason was acting like Seth was the problem, when all he was trying to do was alleviate it by getting it off his chest. "Jason, has keeping thoughts about bad memories ever helped you? As far as I've seen, that isn't the case."
"You haven't seen a thing." Jason snapped in more ways than a tone of voice, body tensed. "And what good does it do me? To sit here and spill my guts while I pretend you about what happens to me anyway, huh? We both now that ain't the fucking case. And why the hell do you care who Agnes is familiar to- ..." Silence. Jason froze as soon as the name mistakenly left his mouth. A pit formed in his stomach and his eyes dropped to the floor. "..."
Seth drew out the silence a little while longer. "Jason,.... There is no pretending to care required in my job, if I didn't, I wouldn't even be sitting here. As for your daughter... I spoke to her." It was outside of his jurisdiction of what Seth and Agnes spoke about, but there was nothing against proclaiming that the two had spoken. "Is it because the girl looked like Agnes that made the situation so difficult?" And here Seth sat thinking the two despised each other wholeheartedly when it wasn't the case.
Jason's head snapped up the moment he had mentioned speaking to Agnes. A stare mixed with shock and apprehension lingered on his face to the news... of course, he knew Agnes was there, now. He didn't question Alice's intent in bringing her in... he still didn't like it, for some reason or another. That was left to be investigated for another day. Silence lingered. Eventually, he took a long and steady breath before his gaze landed on Seth. "...I didn't know Agnes when she was younger. I wasn't around until she was a teenager, and even then, we sure as hell didn't get along. But the moment I saw Amberlise I just... " He answered truthfully. Another pause, eyes averted momentarily almost defeated.
Jason's expression lingered as such and he spoke in a quieter tone. Although subtle, the man's voice cracked. "It isn't about Agnes. Y'know that? You can believe me or you don't... I don't care." He looked the other in the eye once again. "You can call me a lot of terrible things and be right about it. And I've done a lot of things I sure as hell am not proud of." Jason paused. Blue hues were distant as he worked to shake the freshly branded images out of his head. " if you want evidence of that, you can look in the mirror. I just... wish we had stayed. I should've stayed behind... we shouldnt've wasted time."
Seth frowned ever so slightly as Kei described how he saw Agnes in Amber. The way he spoke and the expression on his face wasn't something alien. "I do believe you," Seth assured. "From a father to a father, seeing even the tiniest ounce of similarity in others can remind us of our children to a great degree." He watched as Jason mustered up that last statement, and Seth nodded. "You are not a child killer, remember that. You did what was needed to be done, that was all that was required of you. You cared for Alice at that moment, you needed her to be away from that scenario. What you did was right, and you shouldn't regret." Jason at this point just needed comfort and reassurance.
A response didn't come all too quickly, but the gears were turning in his head. "Maybe." He wasn't certain if it was the same. Fathers weren't absent from their children. Children didn't murder their parents. The two had never been father and daughter by his own mistakes and design and yet something was still weighing on him about the matter. Undoubtedly, he had seen Agnes in the little girl. That's the one thing he could truly place about it, while he felt on the matter he couldn't. About the hunt. About her presence somewhere in the Headquarters.
As Seth continued on to speak his stare to the floor was distant. He was right... up until the end. There was regret. If not regret then something like it. It sat in his chest and settled as a pit in his stomach. It weighed down on him like Amberlise had herself the moment he had pulled that trigger. His eyes went down to the can of Coke in his hand as if he'd forgotten it was there. Setting it back on the edge of the desk with a heavy exhale he listened for whether the timer was to go off... perfect timing hadn't hit.
Seth glanced at his watch and then over at the timer. "Have you seen Agnes yet? Have you tried to make amends with her?" He inquired softly.
"Like I told you. I got off the plane, talked to the head boss... now I'm here." Jason responded with the same monotony that he had come in with. "...I hadn't seen her for a while... suppose now I know why."
"I advise caution. Not of her, but of what you just went through. Do not compare the two. Agnes is your living, breathing daughter, and Amber wasn't. You're not a child killer, Jason, you had a job to do and you did it." Seth repeated for reassurance. He was exhausted, so Seth glanced at his watch and then the timer. "I suggest you go see Agnes to clear your head, and to take a break from hunting for a while, you and Alice both. I also advise you sleep off the jet lag." Seth spoke as he walked over to the timer and turned it to the thirty-minute mark. "You may leave."
A statement he had heard a number of times now and yet midst the traveling and interrogations, his head had been too preoccupied to let himself fully believe it. Perhaps some sleep would do him some good. He had Jason's attention as he spoke. Less tired, more thoughtful to the notion. "I'll think about it." He had a week to decide whether or not he'd go about following that advice.
He watched the man get up and start walking, much to his confusion. When the timer was stopped he heard the ding that it was finished and stared back at Seth in surprise. A moment or so later he stood. "...thanks." Jason murmured quietly. Expression not quite as hard as it had been prior. Turning to leave he made his way to the door, slipping past it and back down the hall from which he had entered.