The Morrow Family Saga: Ohio, Chapter Eighteen

Eddy Hoover sat in his office. Ohio had shown him the evils of using the National Guard to quell rebellion. It had made him and Nixon both Pariahs. Now ill, he was just barely keeping the FBI under control. It seemed that senior officers all could sense a change, like sharks, and were circling and waiting to move in for the kill. But he didn’t care. He was still king and, by God, he was still in control.

His secrets had been well kept. His fascination with dressing in women’s clothing, his attraction to his assistant director, and his fanatical attempts to cover his homosexual affairs through his hunting down of all homosexuals. Of course, his attacks on the ‘communists’ had also earned him a few rumored connections to the socio-economic political movement. But he hated communism. And those damned hippies. And anyone else who didn’t see that America was supposed to be under his guidance.

Hell. He had led well from his seat as director of the FBI. For well over thirty years, he had led. From the very conception of the agency, he had been at its helm and leading the charge against all that he saw as enemies of the state. But now he was old. Maybe too old.

And tired. This job had a way of taking everything from you. It had a way of replacing your friends with possible enemies. It replaced your loved ones with people who hated you because you had the power and they did not. It caused you to be alone. Even surrounded by those who worked for you, you were still alone.

So much responsibility. So much to do. So little time. So few people you could trust.

He put his head in his hands. Would he have done it any different if given the chance? Probably not. The files he had on every person in America would be burned upon his death, his successor would see to that. It no longer mattered, though. None of it mattered.

The power he held was useless. It had never brought him the relationships he wanted. It had never held any of the relationships he found together. In fact, it had simply ravaged every one of them until there had been noting but enmity left. enmity and loathing.

And only a handful really knew the fullness of his secrets. Jim Wallace. Kendrick Wells. Tom Goldman. His past lovers.

But Ken was dead, and good riddance. The man had been unstable to begin with. Jim would never spill the beans, he didn’t dare. And Tom, well  Tom could have cared less.

Eddy’s lovers, all but one, were already dead. He had seen to that. He had become good at covering his indiscretions up. And he did it himself. He had no need to order his agents to do his dirty work.

It was hard work keeping up a squeaky clean façade. After all, he didn’t need America discovering that he was everything he hated. That just wouldn’t suit him. He had to remain a hero to the unsuspecting masses.

He took a deep breath. He didn’t know how much longer he could keep this up. In a way, he had hoped that Nixon would excuse him from his post. But Nixon had not. Instead, he was still stuck in a job he was swiftly getting too ill to perform.

He needed rest. He needed quiet. He needed peace. He needed to go home.

***

Richard M. Nixon sat behind the desk in the Oval Office. His gamble at Kent State had just blew any chance at a re-election. Four dead. None of them armed or even linked to the protest. It had been a scandal. An outrage.

The nation was talking about it and condemning his actions. For a fail-proof plan, it sure failed. And in the worst of ways. It was so bad that it couldn’t be covered up.

Making things worse were those damned hippies. And that guy named Charlie Manson. And escalating problems in Vietnam.

Though Charles Manson was old news, his murder spree having taken place in ’69, he was still part of the current affairs. Having been caught and now behind bars, the man and his followers all awaited arraignment for their parts in the murders that had held the country spellbound and terrified. Manson had become another boogeyman that could be used to scare children into behaving.

The hippies and their communes had initially been neither a source of good or evil, but Manson had made the word a bad thing and the idea of a commune as if it were a mortal sin. In the turmoil, the idealistic utopian view had dimmed and the taste for such was now rapidly declining…though many were still casing problems where the war was concerned.

That damned war had eaten up more than enough young men and women, but the Pentagon swore that they were extremely close to winning. They “just needed a little more time.” Bull shit. They had been saying that for the last for years. He had heard their cock-and-bull story while a senator.

He no longer wanted to hear it. He wanted results. He would get results. Or they would pull the troops out. Fuck the South Vietnamese government.

Kent State had proven that Eddy Hoover was too old and senile to be running the FBI. It had been a reluctant acquiescence to Eddy’s advice, mostly out of fear, and sent word to stop the protests at any cost. But the cost had been four innocent lives, not a dozen protestors or even a nonviolent end. It had been a catastrophic decision that had doomed his career in one month.

Although he had known that the war in Vietnam was growing in unpopularity, and he had promised to bring the boys home, he had remained on the advice of his military advisors. Now, he was looking at a four-year evacuation plan that made him look stupid. And he hated looking stupid.

He sat back and closed his eyes, gently rubbing his eyes with the fingers of his right hand…and sighed. Would this damned war ever end? Or would America be embroiled in this war for another twenty years?

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