In A Quiet Night
rating: +7+x

Edgar opened the door with a sigh. His office was dimly lit by the lights from the buildings outside. It was enough. He walked over to his desk, taking a seat with another sigh; it had been a long day, after all. He pulled out a pack of cigarettes and lit one, not caring about the rules regarding smoking inside the building.

"Fucking cocksuckers," he whispered as he opened a folder to scribble down some data. Nearly five hundred disappearances with no culprit in sight. None besides him, because it would be on his shoulders where the blame would fall if his superiors saw no progress with the investigation. "There aren't even any clues, how the fuck do they expect me to have it done by the end of the week?"

He leaned against the back of his seat, frustrated. His mind was blank, but at the same time it was a maze of ideas, like a forest on a snowy day. He was trying to find his way, he knew there was a way, but the only thing in the distance was a curtain of snowflakes.

He turned to the window, trying to see things differently. Cars were passing by, people were moving forward. A quiet night, he had to admit. But somewhere out there, in an alley, in an apartment, even in a sewer, was the the thing or the man he was looking for.

Edgar decided he wasn't going to get anywhere sitting in his office.

— - —

Henry's room was pitch black. It didn't matter. He groped his way to his bed, where he layed down with a grunt. Things were getting complicated; his game was slowly closing down. He was aware that he couldn't keep it up any longer, but he had to try. With some remorse, he got up again, bent down to look under the bed, and the darkness returned his gaze.

He reached out to pull out a small cardboard box; the recording where he watched a couple disappear into thin air. It was the only existing proof of the disappearances. With that, the UIU would have taken a different course of action. It would have assigned some specialized agent, it would have started using some kind of technology to be able to search for this thing.

Henry pulled it out, held it in his hands for a brief moment, and dropped it on the floor. He stomped on it several times, until he was sure it could never be reproduced again.

He took a black plastic bag, put the pieces inside, and went out to find a public trash can that could not incriminate him. If they didn't solve the case, they would remain as the same useless organization they had always been, and that was what he needed most at that moment.

— - —

"Boss? What are you doing here at this hour?"

"Agent Edgar? You should be solving the case of the disappearances, not taking damn late-night walks."

"I'm trying to refresh my mind. Besides, you didn't answer my question."

"I don't have to answer anything. You mind your own business and I'll mind mine."

"What's in your bag?"

"None of your concern, Agent, but if it's so important to you, know that I'm throwing out the garbage I've collected during the week."

"At this hour? Wasn't it better to do it in the morning?"

"And what's with this interrogation, Agent? You think I'm carrying a body in the bag. Go ahead, check it yourself."

"No… no. I believe you, boss. It's just… these days you can't trust anyone anymore. You remember what happened on Tuesday, don't you? When Rogers got caught taking a bribe. I used to think he was a loyal agent…"

"You're right not to trust anyone. The world is a shithole, and the whole UIU is full of shitty people. They hide like rats, watching from the shadows, interfering with operations whenever they can. Now, if you excuse me, I must be on my way, and you on your investigation."

"Of course. Good night, boss."

"Good night."

They walked away from each other. After a few steps, Henry cursed to himself. Edgar would claim to have found him in the middle of the night. He would need to get even further away from the area before throwing away the evidence.

"We'll see what comes of this case, Agent Edgar. Damn it, we'll see," he whispered, and continued on his path.

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