Mistakes were Made
Location: Loom General Hospital
Joint post between Fallenreaper and I.
Matthew stood up from where he'd been slouched in one of the waiting room seats, rolling to his feet with loose-limbed grace. He had watched Officer Norton enter, dither, and get what he was asking for. He had heard every word of the exchange between Norton and the woman.
He could hear - well, he could feel it more than actually hear - the officer's heart practically quiver with his nervousness, despite the calm facade he was maintaining. Norton was far more jumpy than he should be for an FBI agent here on legitimate business, and the FBI seemed unlikely to be involved in a mere 'burglary gone wrong'. Either this man was trouble, or he was here about the supernatural side of things.
The vampire stepped up to him. "Why are you here about Holly?"
Robert tilted his head slightly. Slowly, his index finger rose to push his glasses’ further up on his nose bridge before he addressed Matthew. Already he identified the man as being beyond human causing him to follow his Bureau training. His words held an air of caution.
“Are you related or a family friend of hers? Ms. Knight’s attack is one of several under investigation currently,” He politely explained, but gave no additional information. Subtly he was sizing the man up as a potential threat.
"Not exactly a close friend," Matthew replied easily, "but concerned, nonetheless." The nervous little man was definitely here because he was in the know, judging by how his nerves were ratcheting up another couple notches. His own relaxed poise had not changed, and Wee Willy had brought him fresh clothes, so he was as neat as he pleased, but reassuring anyone out loud that he was no threat was unlikely to help. "There have been other attacks? Dear God." No lie at all, in any of his words, no lie to the alarm and displeasure in his voice. He hoped the monster he had killed was the only one.
Robert subtly nodded. It was obvious he was having a hard time believing the man’s claim, especially when Matthew was out here in the waiting room and his connection was still vague in his answer. Carefully Robert adjusted his shirt collar in a nervous gesture then cleared his throat.
“Yes. This is why I have to speak with Ms. Knight. I need to know if her case relates to the other incidents,” Robert explained then added, “if it does, we can possibly learn about the culprit and put an end to his rampage.”
Matthew smirked. "Wrong answer," he whispered, an amused edge to his tone. A quick glance about showed that no one else had noticed their conversation yet, but still. "Why don't we go somewhere we won't be overheard, and you try telling me who you really are, or we can call the police directly and find out that you aren't actually on the case. Let's try, say, the cafeteria, if you're afraid of anything untoward happening." He paused. "Think of it as interviewing a different witness first."
“More like a suspect,” Robert muttered coldly.
His expression seemed unchanged or influenced by the fact the creature before him knew he was lying. His hand gripped his baggage while he gestured with his other for Matthew to lead. A hint of wariness was still slightly in his muscles.
“After you. I will say this, I’m pretty sure Ms. Knight’s file would’ve mentioned her having associations with an individual like yourself.”
"It's too early in the day for you to flirt with me like that," Matthew returned fire amusedly, already turning away.
7am in the morning meant that the cafeteria was doing a brisk trade - mostly in the way of coffee. Matthew slumped into a seat at a table surrounded by empty tables, propping his head up on one arm; he wasn't actually all that tired yet, but it never hurt to play-act a little, and it had occurred to him that he'd been up and about since dusk the previous day, and might be a little bit tired. "Would you like a coffee? No? Then introductions, to start. You can call me Stanford."
Robert shook his head at the offer when given the chance finally, “No, thank you.”
His figure casually slid into the seat across from the demon before gradually relaxing. His hands were positioned in front of him on the table top and left idle for the moment.
“Mr. Norton,” Robert repeated the exact name given at the desk. There was no hesitation or caution in his tone while he leaned back, waiting for the demon to lead the conversation.
"Mr Norton," Matthew repeated, mimicking him with a hint of mockery, "why don't you start by telling me what position it is you hold, that I should be speaking to you at all."
“If you insist on being childish, we can end our business right now. I have more important things to worry about then being mocked,” Robert said, knowing he didn’t give the proper title of Special Agent at the beginning.
He didn’t consider this conversation important and it wasn't helped by the demon’s childish behavior. In fact, the mockery had begun to rub away at his patience causing him to adjust slightly. His eyes glanced to the ticking clock positioned over the exit. The seconds counted down gradually for a few moments before Robert returned his attention back to the demon. There was a hint of frustration, but he held his temper in check.
“To be truthful, you’re not the one I want to talk with. It’s Ms. Knight,” Robert made a point to remind Matthew his true reason for being here, “Most of the time when someone like you is involved, you're usually the cause of it in some manner.”
His words were meant to cut at the root of what Matthew was. A hand had already dipped out of sight and rested on his handgun, filled with silver and a combustible material able to mimic sunlight. The bullet type was standard issue for all Bureau agents because it could damage a wide range of demonic species. An important factor when it came to a race whose evolutionary path was nothing but pure chaos. With demons, no matter how friendly, it was best to be safe rather than sorry every time.
“Now, you can either hinder or help my investigation. Either way, I’m getting my answers. The choice of how is up to you,” to prove his point, Robert rose from his seat then made to leave.
Matthew straightened up, folding his arms and leaning back in his seat to look up at the other man. "I killed the monster that would have killed Ms. Knight," he said coldly, all trace of levity gone. "But no, I'm not the person you want to talk to, am I?"
“Cooperation gets you farther than beating around the bush,” Robert stated bluntly, being honest. There was a hint of tiredness in his voice as he released his hand from resting on his gun.
Reluctantly, he lowered himself back into his seat, “Since you’ve killed it, what was it?”
Matthew discarded a couple of responses he could have made about honesty and cooperation. "I don't know." He paused for a moment, finding the words. "It was humanoid in form. It cloaked itself in shadows, but when injured by silver it revealed itself to look like a white-skinned man with sharp pointed teeth. I think it was there for her flesh and blood. It was unusually strong and fast, and its touch was literally ice-cold. It could speak, with grammar and mockery, but it could not think further than its prey."
"Sounds like a young Wendigo," Robert commenting revealing the Bureau had suspected the species for a bit now. Slowly his figure leaned forward, his hands cupped over underneath his chin as his thoughts rushed around in his mind.
"Was there anyone else that saw this creature? Logic would indicate her neighbor did, but I'm not jaded enough to be a pessimist yet."
Robert waited to hear Matthew confirm or deny his suspicions first.
"He saw it," Matthew confirmed. "She saw it. No one else, so far as I know. But I did not know about the other attacks. I know nothing about wendigos beyond what I have told you about the one I killed just short hours ago. So I do not know who else, if there was anyone else."
"Great...," Robert sighed then leaned back in his chair causing it to squeak, "So why did you stick around? You knew the Bureau would be coming and investigating this incident. It's not exactly a secret among your type."
His tone held genuine curiosity in it as he studied the demon before him. His arms had fallen into a crossed position over his chest and seemed they were comfortable there.
"Especially since being there at all immediately put you at risk of being a suspect and possibly detained on sight."
"Being there at all meant I could not stand by and let the creature slaughter her." Never mind that Matthew might have done such a thing himself, once upon a time. "I chose to stay because I'd like to know if she's fine."
He took a deep breath. "But more importantly, I wanted to meet whoever came to investigate. 'My type', as you say, aren't one big happy family trading gossip. 'My type' usually stick to themselves, and this city is a big, dangerous place where everyone keeps things to themselves. I need information. I need connections. 'Your type'," he let amusement turn up the corner of his mouth for a moment, "is at least slightly more likely to look kindly upon me than some would-be bounty hunter."
“A demon with a heart,” Robert stated calmly.
His figure settled backward, relaxing finally and glanced at the clock a second time. Weighing his options in his head, Robert finally came to one that was suited to the situation.
“Well, I will admit your decision is unusual. Usually, your type is chosen through different channels rather than simply looking for it,” Robert continued as he tried to phrase his words more delicately, “You will go through an intense interview and they will have extreme expectations of you. Mostly to see if you’re- to put it bluntly, see if you’re a worthy asset. Failure to meet any of it could result in you vanishing completely.”
After a pause, he then added, “Knowing this, are you sure you still want to do this?”
Matthew blinked. ".... I'm not sure I'm specifically looking for employment. And I'm certainly not sure about this do-or-die Sorting Hat. But let's say I'm cautiously interested."
“The Bureau has to be careful who they are associated with. We aren’t exactly well-liked among a few groups, including your kind,” Robert stated politely, unfazed by the demon’s reaction.
He checked the clock again then went on, “The interview serves as a way to both establish what type of individual you are, how reliable your information is, and any possible trouble in your past. Some individuals have tried to use the Bureau as a shield against hunting Angels, a fact that is unacceptable or tolerated.”
Robert leaned over the table but kept a firm distance between the two. A respectable one, "I question a lot about this series of events like how you and Ms. Knight know each other. You sidestepped my question on that."
Matthew rolled his eyes. "Because I don't know her, obviously. Rampant paranoia being what it is in our side of the world, and a man seemingly stalking a woman being what it is in any decent part of the world, I wasn't going to say that when I still want to get close enough to find out how she's doing. Sometimes coincidences do happen. Now, given how you keep looking at the time, perhaps we can save the preliminary interview for later. You do have other witnesses to interview and a creepy, exsanguinated corpse to arrange disposal for, after all."
“Truthfully, stalking is the mildest of odd behaviors I've seen. And you're not the first to happen to be near her location,” Robert said, subtly hinting that this wasn't the first time a demon had been caught stalking the woman. Thankfully the first time she was blissfully unaware of its presence and there had been connecting evidencing she was the cause. At least until now.
He casually lifted upright from his seat, staring at Matthew for a moment, “Yes, unfortunately, I have limited time to investigate her and her neighbor. This was a long time actually coming so it’s the perfect opportunity. How or where can I get a hold of you, Mr….?”
"Stanford," Matthew filled in, patting his pockets for a pen. He found one, but nothing to write on except a napkin; he carefully wrote down his current handphone number on it. "Not that I'll be going far, honestly," he said with a smirk. "I'm going to be lurking right outside waiting to bug you about them."
"As long as you don't try to eat me, I'll accept that," Robert commented. He took the napkin before saying his goodbyes then walked out of the cafeteria, heading toward JP's and Holly's rooms.