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Day One


Name: Clinton Francis Barton

Position(s)/Responsibility(s): Senior Agent, Specialist, Training Officer, Inter-Agency Liaison

Field Status: Suspended

If Suspended, Reason for Suspension: Health, Trauma

Purpose of Visit: Observation and Assessment


Doctor Jan Li sighed, looking up from the brief overview she'd been given on Agent Barton. She knew more about him, sort of -- her ex had been in some sort of regular poker game with him a couple years ago, which was apparently a big deal for a Specialist, but she'd never actually said why.

Maybe not having more information was a good thing. It'd keep her from making judgments ahead of time.

The man in the lobby did not look like a big deal. He looked tired, and nervous, but mostly tired. He was sitting in a chair, legs apart, elbows resting on his knees and fingers entwined in front of him. He was wearing a big jacket, the type used to conceal weaponry, but he'd made it through security -- any weapons he had brought with him were already checked into a storage locker until his departure.

"Agent Barton?" Jan asked, finally making her approach. He looked up, brows lifting, and glanced sideways as if not expecting her to be talking to him.

"Yeah," he said, once he'd ruled that out. "That's me."

"Doctor Janice Li," she said, extending her hand, and after a moment he shook it. He dropped her hand immediately afterward, and rubbed at his neck slightly.

"Good to meet you, doc," he said, after a moment, and attempted a hopeful grin that looked so faintly sheepish for his awkwardness that Jan couldn't help but wonder if she was being manipulated.

"Welcome to the WSC's Virginia facility," she said, opting for assuming the best of him for now. "If you could follow me...?"

Day Three


Her patient was very polite when he was present, prone to getting lost in his own thoughts that he didn't share with her, refused to remove his hearing aids for sleep, and while he appeared to take his sleeping medication clearly did not. People did not stay that still while sleeping, a sort of studied calm that did not last in the face of any noise in the adjoining hall.

He was also very politely dismissive of her security clearance, which he did not feel was high enough to discuss anything that he actually found traumatic. He had noticed that she was former U.S. Army, though, and Jan let him talk down rabbit holes of military service even though she knew he was doing that intentionally to distract her.

She hadn't been given the tools to find the answers her bosses requested, and -- well. Perhaps that was the point. She breathed, to keep herself calm against frustration.

Hers was a friendly interrogation, but it was an interrogation. Agent Barton had clearly been trained too well to break.

Day Four


"I've been removed?" Jan asked, wincing at the way her voice cracked. She covered the phone receiver, and glanced sideways along the room. No one in the office had reacted except Steve, who sent her a worried look. She wave a hand at him, and he moved to the far side of the room.

"You're doing great work, Doctor Li," Doctor Smythe repeated, tone soothing. Jan rolled her shoulders back, forcing them to relax. "We just think that Agent Barton will react better to.. different stimuli. We'll bring him back to you for a final assessment before he's released."

"Thank you," Jan said, faint, knowing that she would get no further. Smythe hung up.

Day Five


Response to requested update on case #0003204: No Update Available.

Day Six


Response to requested update on case #0003204: No Update Available.

Day Seven


Response to requested update on case #0003204: No Update Available.

Day Eight


Response to requested update on case #0003204: No Update Available.

Day Nine


Response to requested update on case #0003204: Patient Ready For Release.

Doctor Li jumped up from her analysis of the effort to provide for post-traumatic counseling for the entire New York office and staff, and rushed down to her meeting room..

She breathed, and straightened her suit jacket, opening the door. The guard inside the room nodded to her, and left.

"Agent Barton," she said as she glanced over him. He was wearing a long-sleeve t-shirt, and pants, and had his arms crossed over each other, shivering slightly. "Are you cold?"

He squinted at her, after a moment. "Yeah," he said, distantly. "Yeah, I guess."

She had turned to the thermostat, and turned it up five degrees, shucking her jacket as she did so. It was already 73, after all. As she brought back water bottles from the refrigerator by the door, Barton straightened.

"Doctor Li?" he asked, with a tone of genuine surprise.

"... Yes," Jan said, giving him his water bottle. He took it, and fumbled with the top for a moment before opening it. She sat down across from him. "We met earlier this week."

"Oh. Huh. It seems like it was ages ago." He drank down most of the bottle in one go. "I guess you're right."

He didn't say anything else about the time that had elapsed since they'd last spoken, and Jan knew better than to ask.

He was more centered than he had been, more focused. More nervous.

Jan had only worked with the WSC for six months, and she believed strongly in the aspects of its work that she had been given access to. Peace was a responsibility of the people, and those who got hurt in pursuing peace deserved the support of professionals and politicians. But, still: she knew better than to ask.

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Clint Barton

February 2017

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