He was subjected to silence twice more before a shaft of light opened behind him, bathing the room in a sudden flood of brilliance that made Malcolm close his eyes to avoid being blinded.
“He was telling the truth I guess,” said a voice he didn’t recognize.
“I told you he was.”
That voice he recognized, and anger flared in him for a moment as he slowly opened his eyes, seeing the one-way mirror several paces in front of him as he’d expected. The interrogation rooms in this place were ominous and easy to black out since they were sealed tight and didn’t allow a single mote of light to penetrate once they were closed off. He’d been on the other side of the glass a few times, and had wondered what being on this side would be like.
Malcolm almost gasped aloud as he felt a gentle pair of hands alight upon his forearms while another another pair worked at the metal cuffs that had at one point replaced the ropes that had bound him.
“Relax Malcolm,” Samantha said, “You’re cleared, we can go back to work when you’ve rested.”
As she spoke Samantha walked around to face him, her features soft once again as she knelt down in front of him. “I am sorry that I had to act that way, but we had to know.”
“Is Malcolm X really dead?” he asked, not caring to hear how it was all business at this point. He knew it was, that was what the agency was all about after all, but it was human nature to feel hurt and betrayed after being singled out this way. He did what he could to push those feelings down, as they weren’t useful at the moment.
“Yes,” Samantha said with a nod, “But he and King both lived to a ripe old age and passed on only a few years ago. Both men were virtually forgotten by history, and what remains is a country that’s still divided, and on the brink of another civil war.”
“So we didn’t do any good?”
Samantha lowered her gaze before looking back to him, “We’re going back further this next time.”
“The slave trade?”
She merely nodded.
“Then what are we waiting for?”
Samantha’s smile was answer enough, but at that moment Malcolm couldn’t help but think of the warning they’d been given. What the hell though, how much worse could it get?