Fan Fiction Musings on Motives (journal entry)

Claire Avalon

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Violet Nowak
Claire Nowak
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I am good?

That's an idiotic question. I do good...I can. I have a set of skills and a desire to use them. Do I really care who they benefit? Of course I do. This profiler stuff does a number on the brain. I love my training. I love to get inside the heads of people. I know why, I've been in enough therapy to get the gist. As a child the emotional unpredictability of my father and the lack of affection turned me into a supercomputer for detecting micro-feelings. That's all it is when someone calls themselves an empath. Just a traumatized child trying to feel special. You learn the weight of someones foot on the hall outside your door and you know their mood when you hear a key in the lock. I learned what people feel so that I could learn what they need. Either to become it, or to poke the bear. But poking the bear is really just studying the bear. Every reaction is a lesson. I ate it up...still do. And with a little help from the ACME training academy I've learned to tell the difference between the "I had this planned from the beginning," look, and the "I'm trying to make it look like I had this planned from the beginning," look. And I can see it with just half a face visible. I can see it from grainy security footage and C5 car dash cams. I've learned the difference in moods from handwriting, from the level of sarcasm in a retort. Everything is data and it all means something! That is the addictive part.

And the opera thing, it seems unrelated. I guess I just wanted a way to scream and have it seem impressive. But there's something to it. Music is the ultimate tool for emotional exploration, and opera is the ultimate music. Or at least that's what I tell myself. Truth is once I'm good at something I don't really like to branch out. I don't want to try something unless I know there's a solid chance I'm going to be really, really good at it. I'm not there yet with opera, but I want to be great. I want to be unquestionably one of the greats. I've got a heart condition, it's slowed me down. And profiling kept me sane for a while, desk work people watching for curious humans who don't like boundaries. So on the days I'm too weak to stand, let alone power through Amneris's arias in my Aida score, I obsess over criminals. I comb through their files and evidence like an absolute stalker until my brain doesn't feel like my own anymore.

And she, she's the perfect puzzle. Like so many of us, I'm obsessed. I want to turn over every stone, watch the ants scatter and see where they hide next. I want to wrap myself up in information until I know her better than I know myself but...why? To see her brought to justice? There's actual scum I want brought to justice. There was Dr. Maelstrom, Lee Jordan...actual creeps with no regard for human life or...elegance. Why the hell do I care about elegance in a robbery? Probably the same reason she does. That's my job. I want so much. But do I want her caught?

The answer, I think as I fill out my ACME application, means the difference between me submitting this or crumpling it up and narrowing my dream to the stage. There's a part of me I know belongs to me alone, not to my father or to my mentors or even to Carmen. My integrity. I can't do this job if I would let her get away. Even if I'm not in the field, if there's a part of me that would, I can't do this. And I won't fool myself pretending. But one thing is for sure. Before I do a damn thing, Carmen and I need to have a long talk. And for once, I think I'm entitled to some very direct and verbal answers.
 

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