|“||The [REDACTED] has failed his agents. I shall never forgive him for that.||”|
– William Kirklund, Correspondence: Resignation Letter
As the Head of Investigations, Kirklund was in charge of investigating reports of Altered World Events and other phenomena, as well as conducting background investigations of staff and other persons or groups of interest.
On September 13, 2010, Kirklund was alerted of an AWE taking place at Bright Falls, Washington, by former FBC agent Frank Breaker, who had in turn been notified by Barry Wheeler. A team was dispatched to investigate, but upon arrival two days later discovered the AWE was over, and that Alan Wake was believed to be partly responsible but had gone missing. They discovered Dr. Emil Hartman and brought him in to the Bureau for questioning; he was eventually released, but with his research confiscated. Eventually, the Shaded form of Hartman was discovered and arrested by Investigations agents, who brought the specimen back to the Investigations Sector for further study.
Following a visit by Alice Wake to the FBC, the Shaded form of Hartman became agitated before breaking out of its containment cell under unknown circumstances. The paranatural creature rampaged through the Investigations Sector, which was abandoned and sealed behind a Firebreak, leaving only the department's lobby available for the remaining staff. Kirklund was among the survivors and continued receiving new casualty updates for several days after the incident.
With his staff reduced and Director Zachariah Trench refusing to provide additional space or resources, Kirklund launched several investigations of unethical or corrupt activity within the FBC. He and Agent Patricia Lewis determined that the Prime Candidate Program was illegal and inhumane in how it had treated Dylan Faden and recommended that it be shut down for violation of the Ash Act. He ordered Agent Tim Spalder to investigate the Head of Research, Dr. Casper Darling, particularly the rumors of the inhumane treatment of a paranatural entity. However, the investigation was inconclusive due to the number of classified documents, lack of cooperation from Research staff, and unclear legality of how paranatural creatures could be treated. Kirklund also had Trench investigated due to his increasingly irrational and abrasive behavior and arguments with Darling, although both refused to cooperate with the investigation.
Kirklund was reprimanded by Trench for his investigations and told he needed to accept responsibility for what had happened to his sector instead of blaming it on Trench, who told him that holding a dangerous creature in Investigations instead of Containment was Kirklund's decision and fault. He also refused to end the Prime Candidate Program, blaming its failures on Darling, and declared both Kirklund and Darling traitors who refused to see how Trench was working for the good of the FBC.
Kirklund eventually reached a breaking point with Director Trench's lack of support and increasingly unethical decisions. In 2019, he submitted his letter of resignation to the Bureau to protest the fact that the Investigations Sector had not yet been reclaimed from Hartman and hoped that this action would finally get his staff the help and attention they needed. He furthermore stated that the screams of dying agents trapped beyond the Firebreak still haunted him and placed the blame on Trench for failing to protect the agents. He was succeeded by Chief Investigator Remy Denis, who became the interim Head of Investigations.
- Kirklund's first appearance in Remedy Entertainment media was in the Alan Wake tie-in comic Night Springs, in which he has a phone conversation with Frank Breaker, though only Breaker's responses are shown.
- In Chapter 2 of 2021's Alan Wake Remastered, an additional Control Easter egg was included, depicting a letter which Kirklund sent to Frank Breaker, four days before Breaker notifies Kirklund about the events of the Bright Falls AWE.
- Case Files: Bright Falls Summary
- Night Springs: An Alan Wake Story
- Research & Records: Shaded Specimen Captured
- Correspondence: Missing Agents
- Research & Records: Ethics Investigation
- Research & Records: Darling Investigation
- Research & Records: Director Investigation
- Correspondence: Trench: Official Warning
- Correspondence: Resignation Letter
- Correspondence: Staffing Issue
- Now Alan Wake Remastered has a Control Easter egg, Stevivor