J. Edgar Hoover was sitting in his office, writing something, when Robert Parsley entered it for the last time. A half-eaten danish sat on the desk.
"Have a seat."
"How is the Atlanta case going, son?"
Robert paused for a moment, so that it would look as though he was pondering. "Well, it's been tough. Nobody really wants to talk to a Yankee detective. You'd think that I was a carpetbagger, the way they treat people like us.
"Hm." Edgar stopped writing. "And what do you mean by 'people like us', Robert?"
Parsley tried to swallow the thought. Just relax. Smile at him, he loves it when you smile at him.
Robert forced a Shrugging Smile #5. "Well, sir, you know. Northerners. People who aren't from around there, y'know?"
Hoover chuckled, and holstered his pen in its holder. "Well, that is right. It's unfortunate that there are so many aliens and subversives in our society these days. Wouldn't you agree, Robert?"
Robert nodded. The lump in his throat didn't let the words out.
Hoover stood up, and casually strode towards the office window, his back to Robert. For the first time, he threw open the curtains, and stared out at the campus spread out below him. He sighed. "I've been working in this bureau for a long, long time."
He sat ramrod stiff, his eyes still directed where Hoover's used to be. "Yes sir. Longer than any of us."
"I've seen a lot of good men taken down in the line of duty. They served their country. They were patriots. Do you consider yourself a patriot, Robert."
"Of course. Sir."
"Good, good. So do I. And nothing is of greater threat to patriots like us than the unknowable."
"That's why I do what I do, sir."
Hoover shut the curtains with a snap, and turned towards Robert. "No, not like that. I can understand the danger posed by freaks and geeks. We need to lock them up or destroy them, in the interest of national security. We don't need to know any more than that."
Hoover moved behind Robert. He placed his hands on Robert's shoulders.
A bead of sweat formed on Parsley's forehead.
"I'm talking about the unknowable things you never see coming. When those you trust turn out to have their own agendas. When people you thought you could trust turn out to be anti-Americans who only showed you what you wanted to see."
Robert said nothing. He closed his eyes.
"What do you think of that, Robert?"
The hands moved from his shoulders, to around his throat. Robert gagged.
"That's right, you mussie scum. Choke on it. Choke on your lies."
Robert grasped at Hoover's fingers, struggling to gain a breath. He tried to yell, but he could only whisper "….. no…"
"Don't FUCKING lie to me, Parsley. Don't you DARE spill your filthy tongue in my office again. You TRAITOR. How could you do this?" Hoover shook his head, looking up and away from the thing between his fingers. "How could you?"
Robert began to turn blue, and he began to sink down to the floor.
Hoover kicked the chair out of the way and tackled him the rest of the way down, pressing his knees into Robert's chest. His old hands were tightly wrapped around Robert's throat, crushing the life out of him. His hair and suit were in disarray.
There was hell in his eyes. Robert could see it, as his own eyes fogged and waned.
"I TRUSTED YOU!" screeched Hoover, slamming Robert's head onto the tile floor. "YOU SON OF A BITCH! YOU WERE ONE OF MY BOYS. YOU WERE ONE OF MY BOYS!"
Robert would have offered a retort, if he had been able to think. His body began to thrash, and his grip on Hoover's arms weakened.
Hoover responded in turn. He thrashed Robert's head against the tile floor, again and again, until the blood began to run from his nose and eyes. With lips puffed out and a face as red as a tomato, Robert Parsley died in J. Edgar Hoover's hands.
With a final crack, Hoover slammed the dead head into the tile, shattering it. Blood pooled below. The blood trickled away in all directions on the cracked tile like rivers on a map. The Ohio, the French Broad, the Mississippi.
Hoover took a few minutes to catch his breath, before crawling off of the body and back to his desk. He buzzed his secretary.
"Yes Mister Hoover?"
Hoover mopped his forehead with a handkerchief. "I need a cleanup. Please."
"Right away sir."
Hoover put his finger off the buzzer, and picked up his Danish. He was finished by the time his men arrived to clean up the mess.
The Imam waited an extra half hour to see if Robert was coming. When it was clear that he wasn't, he drove himself home, fixed himself a glass of wine, and waited for the end to come.
He didn't have to wait long.
CASE FILE INDEX 6671
CASE SUMMARY: CELL OF ISLAMIC EXTREMISTS OPERATING WITHIN THE UNITED STATES BORDERS, KNOWN TO BE SUBVERTING AMERICAN IDEALS THROUGH OPERATIVES PLANTED WITHIN THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION.
STATUS: RESOLVED. NO SUSPECTS REMAINING.