|The SODO Files
Author: Haku PM
A mixture of short stories, onrunning tales and historical reports from one of the foremost supernatural investigation units on earth.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Adventure/Humor - Chapters: 4 - Words: 14,163 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 07-27-07 - Published: 06-24-07 - id: 2381221
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Profile of: James Michael Ignatius.
Author: Professor Jack Kant, human liaison and S.O.D.O psychologist.
Profile Taken: November 9th, 2004.
My time with James Ignatius (b has been nothing if not interesting. Having been paired with him as part of our primary British task-force, our joint career has granted us encounters with numerous different creatures and varying occult groups, as well as allowing me the opportunity to research into scientific anomalies and techno-occultic developments. However, having been tasked with analysing Ignatius for the human liaison office, I shall do my best to remain un-biased and assume the role of an impartial viewer in my estimation of his contribution to the organisation.
As is often muttered throughout members of the organisation, Ignatius' may have done some great things in the past, but few have acknowledged the price which he has forced others to pay.
On a surface examination of his personality, James Ignatius comes across as nothing more than something of a cultural oddity; a man eager to indulge in paradoxes and unorthodoxies so as to further affirm his independence, thus lending validity to his rather uncompromising values. Although having spent some time as a priest in the Anglican Church, his outlook on life is decidedly un-Christian – he engages in spurious and unmediated acts of dark magick, not to mention working alongside demons and occasionally showing them leniency when he believes their human masters to be more at fault. One of his more apparent traits is his use of what he terms "tough justice"; a life-ethic which he applies to many of his unfortunate adversaries. Ignatius sees nothing wrong in using violence to extract forced confessions from dark magicians, not to mention physical torture in the case of rapists and other such criminals. When the two collide, he is even happy enough to resort to execution.
However, one must not be too quick to brand this man as some sort of agent of a Christian inquisition, placing his faith entirely in some old-testament vengeful god and justifying his violence with religious rhetoric. By the standards of most decent people, the folk Ignatius torments are guilty of evil acts; things such as murder, rape, economic corruption and general lack of fair play. He himself would argue that when Christ said "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you", he is simply the "logically-sprouted bastard" of the equation; if the guilty have been given enough lee-way to oppress and harm the innocent, Ignatius believes himself to be entirely justified in ridiculing and horrifying the guilty. I can also say with some assurance that James Ignatius has never laid a finger upon a genuinely good person, and will sweat blood in order to give them justice.
From what I know of the man's past, this desire to vindicate the righteousness of the innocent stems from his own upbringing. Although I have only ever caught snatches of his past during his occasional alcoholic rants, Ignatius let slip that he was raised (from the ages of three until twenty-one) by a tyrannical and sadistic uncle, who raised him into accepting a Crusader-like mentality based on a fairly fundamentalist doctrine. Whilst Ignatius has his unsavoury aspects, his uncle was much worse – anti-Semitism, Christian fascism, racial eugenics and other such trash were all accepted by this hateful, harsh old man. James mentioned his uncle had schooled him into believing that the rest of his family were all "naïve sheep" and that only he was capable of being a divine warrior. Given Ignatius' talents in the fields of magick, I personally believe that his uncle had seen overwhelming potential in him, and had thus tried to harness him for his personal philosophies. Ignatius tells me that whilst he was hardly a brilliant pupil, he had no more failings than any other child and found it despicable that his uncle had failed to realise this. Any vestiges of happiness or love the boy found during this point were quickly smashed apart by his uncle, who forced him to look upon any fulfilment of personal pleasures as sinful and worthy of punishment. Ignatius also claims that his uncle frequently abused him (non-sexually), and the scars on his back are testimony to these allegations.
Things became harder once James entered puberty. Whilst his childish impulses had been easy enough to control, hormones were another thing entirely. He began to disobey his uncle and openly challenge his authority, but also quietly seethed at a self-revulsion towards his sexual instincts, which his uncle had raised him into believing were the most sinful drives of all. He quickly fell into a vicious cycle made up of hatred, self-loathing, neuroses, hedonism and complete depression; he would try to satiate his longings with other young women, which was also a way of getting back at his uncle. However at the same time his sexual exploits seemed only to prove the truth of his uncle's sermonising – the flesh was a treacherous prison, which would distract him from following the labours set to him by both God and his soul. As one might guess, his uncle had not allowed him to experience any pride in serving God, and so Ignatius could find solace on neither side and began to hate himself for a multitude of reasons.
He also once let it slip that he believed himself responsible for his uncle's death, which took placed on what he described as "a field mission" some time in the winter of 1989. Although he expressed guilt at having somehow killed his uncle, this seems to have ratified the code of justice he later adopted; that if people haven't got it in them to be generous, loving and open-minded, then they have no right to threaten the safety of those who are. I am unsure as to if Ignatius' killing of his uncle was through some sort of accident, or whether he genuinely intended to kill the old man. Knowing him as I do, a small part of me fears that although he may regret it, Ignatius feels no true guilt over his uncle's death.
This event, however, seems to fit with another major event of Ignatius' life; his training to become a priest. It is a matter of S.O.D.O record that he began his studies early in the summer of 1990 – although he did not achieve priesthood until 1994. It is my belief that having killed his uncle, Ignatius felt an innate need to reconcile himself with God. Like many things in his life, he approached this redemption with a kind of duality of conscience; on the one hand, Ignatius hated everything to do with Christianity as his uncle had exposed him to such a harsh version of the faith; but on the other hand, he needed to seek solace and knew no other way of doing so.
This may also explain his short career in the clergy; although everyone these days regards him as a "priest", Ignatius officially does not bear any such title. He took a congregation some time around the Christmas of 1995, but quit the job in '97 and has been with us ever since. My guess is that although he found some relative peace as a member of the clergy, all that managed to satiate was his guilt at his uncle's death. Nor, indeed, could he accept his guilt when his uncle had been a vile and despicable man, perhaps not deserving of death but certainly worthy of some form of punishment. Again, a dark cycle was triggered in Ignatius, in which he found nothing but hatred, rage and depression. There are rumours of his flock having once or twice found him paralytic in the vestry, railing against all of them and usually with an empty bottle of some spirit or other nearby. I myself have seen him indulge in the occasional alcoholic rant, and it certainly isn't pretty.
However, this will all come as a shock to those among us who have recognised one of Ignatius' greater traits – his sheer niceness. Very rarely does he come across as a man with a deeply haunted past, laden with killings and self-hatred. People on field missions have often remarked on his easy-going nature, as well as the concerned manner in which he deals with bystanders and civilians. At no point does he give the appearance of a hateful or angry man. How then does this square off with the haunted, essentially dangerous agent of harsh justice, who will indeed appear on field missions when he finds an enemy to be unduly unfair in their methods?
Although this may be controversial – and although I have no real knowledge of human psychology – I would advance that Ignatius has something of a split personality disorder, which he uses to his advantage during missions. The first Ignatius is a happy-go-lucky friend to everyone, who is eager to help anyone he can in any way possible. He bears the positive traits of loyalty, good humour, kindness, empathy, rational forethought and a fairly proper sense of right and wrong. However, this Ignatius is also prone to moments of cowardice, which hampers his ability to help people.
The second Ignatius is the desperately furious and righteous man who can be seen when the patience or competence of the first is tested. Although he has a multitude of inner demons to exorcise and has no qualms in taking them out on others, this part of my colleague is entirely unbothered by danger or risks; he will cockily stroll up to demons and address them with a complete lack of fear. This half also bears a detective's intuition, whilst the other only has a researcher's zest. It would seem that Ignatius unleashes this half of himself when he knows the first to have failed, in the knowledge that despite a blatant disregard for the rules, he will get results. And once the mission is done he will immediately revert to his nicer self, who will be able to brief surviving victims and give them the support they need in order to cope.
I conclude that although his darker side may be dangerous, Ignatius has never once turned it against an innocent individual. He will always play the part of the necessary evil, harming only those who are guilty of some great crime. This is his way of ridding himself of his uncle's vitriol, and he is always reined in by the moral control of his better side; as well as by my own goading and persuasion. However, I fear that this cannot last for long; the world in which we dabble is undoubtedly a dark one, and that only gives the darker Ignatius freedom to carry out gradually worse acts of retribution. Either there must be a synthesis and harmony between the two separate parts, and a complete balance through which he need not "switch characters" to make use of his varying talents; through which confidence need not be alienated from kindness, and effectiveness need not go hand-in-hand with rage. If this is not done and the Heads do not do their best in helping this change come about, I cannot predict what effects it will have on my colleague.