I knew the Slayer here in Carlisle was young, but I had no idea she was so small and so fragile. When she was carried in, broken, bruised and bleeding, by the tall boy, my first instinct was not to offer care, but to berate them for their carelessness. This is who I have conditioned myself to be for five long years - see the purpose, not the person, do not allow myself to get involved. I cannot allow myself to make a mistake again - I cannot afford its consequences.
Her Watcher, Will Redford, had arrived minutes before, and appears to be worryingly detached from the situation in Carlisle. He is brash, rude and resents my presence here. However, that, in itself, is only to be expected. His tenure here is pracarious at best, and I have to admit, my first meeting with Redford has simply added weight to the Council's opinion that he is a less than effective influence here. I cannot help but think that he is far from a steadying influence on the Slayer.
Jennifer Matlow, the Slayer, however, is a different proposition. The Council, for reasons best known to themselves, removed her from her father, who was also a Watcher, several years ago. I cannot help but think that this was not a good decision. The girl is very emotionally immature, and physically under-developed - she has not been allowed to grow up. Redford is clearly not aiding in that development. She does not have the mental and emotional fortitude to cope in such a volatile situation, and she made me lose my detachment.
I had never seen injuries like hers in the flesh. They were extreme and shocking. Her knee, swollen, bruised and twisted, her hands shattered, and her ribs crushed. A fifteen year old girl should never have to suffer such as this. No-one should have to suffer like that. It was this suffering, the pain and pleading in her eyes, that broke me down. I laid aside everything I had put into place, all my coolness, detachment and froideur, and let myself take a genuine care, a genuine interest in the girl.
Jennifer scares me. She is alone here, with no family to support her. She was wrenched away from all that she knew, all that she loved, by the Council, and for what? To fight, to be hurt... to ultimately die. Where is the sanity in that?? Yes, she has her destiny to fulfil, and now, I am part of that destiny, but surely there are more humane, kinder ways of doing it? Surely she could have at least stayed with her mother? My heart aches for her, simply because of that loss.
And I couldn't help. All the effort put into altering who I have become, and I still was unable to help her. I had to call on Templeton, who treated her. What he did for her has only raised more questions in my mind. Who is he really?
I have to hand her immediate care back to Redford. If the only way that I can help the Slayer is to revert to being who I was a liftime ago, I daren't allow myself to care, to become an active part of the situation here. I have a job to do, a job that requires me to stay separate and apart. I need to take a step back, cocoon myself in my hard shell once more, and just observe. I cannot afford to care, to become involved.
I must simply Watch.