A Flowchart of the Petraeus Affair's Love Pentagon, from the Shirtless FBI Agent to Chuck KlostermanS

Since CIA director David Petraeus resigned on Friday over an extramarital affair uncovered by the FBI, the story has shifted from John Le Carré espionage novel to Vince Flynn right-wing thriller to misanthropic Coen Brothers farce — adding along the way more characters, more improbable situations, and best of all, more sexually-charged emails.

But how can you keep track of it, between the five main characters in this metaphorically-appropriate Love Pentagon and the many minor characters besides? You come here, where in-house illustrator Jim Cooke has created this attractive and easy-to-follow flow-chart, a key to which is provided below.

(Note: Click for an expanded view of the chart.)

The Main Characters

A Flowchart of the Petraeus Affair's Love Pentagon, from the Shirtless FBI Agent to Chuck Klosterman

David Petraeus, the director of the C.I.A. and retired four-star general, resigned on Friday afternoon over his extramarital affair with...

A Flowchart of the Petraeus Affair's Love Pentagon, from the Shirtless FBI Agent to Chuck Klosterman

Paula Broadwell, the West Point and Harvard graduate who wrote Petraeus' biography and accompanied the general to Afghanistan in 2010. Rumors about the two, who regularly took long jogs together, and whose affair is said to have begun in 2011 after Petraeus accepted his post as CIA director, had been floating for months, but the FBI investigation that uncovered the affair didn't begin until Broadwell sent harassing emails to...

A Flowchart of the Petraeus Affair's Love Pentagon, from the Shirtless FBI Agent to Chuck Klosterman

Jill Kelley, a civilian who volunteered in Tampa — where Petraeus was stationed before leaving for Afghanistan — as a military social liaison and party planner. The anonymous emails, which accused Kelley of having an inappropriate relationship with Petraeus (according to the Daily Beast, they read "like, ‘Who do you think you are? … You parade around the base … You need to take it down a notch'"), spooked the married socialite enough to ask for help from...

A Flowchart of the Petraeus Affair's Love Pentagon, from the Shirtless FBI Agent to Chuck Klosterman

an FBI agent friend, as yet unnamed, who referred the emails to the agency's cyber crimes unit. After connecting the anonymous harassment to Broadwell, agents uncovered evidence of an affair between her and Petraeus; at that point, however, our anonymous FBI friend was removed from the case, reportedly over concerns he'd become "obsessed." Check it: dude had sent shirtless photos of himself to Kelley. (Don't worry; his thread doesn't end here). In all likelihood, though, Kelley ignored the buff FBI JPEGs because she herself was apparently exchanging thousands of emails with...

A Flowchart of the Petraeus Affair's Love Pentagon, from the Shirtless FBI Agent to Chuck Klosterman

General John Allen, Petraeus' replacement in Afghanistan. The emails — comprising "tens of thousands of pages," according to the Pentagon, probably because they're including the entire chain with every print-out — are said to have been, at worst, flirtatious, and it seems unlikely that the two ever consummated an affair. Nevertheless, Allen is now under investigation by the Pentagon's inspector general, though he won't be stepping down from his post in Afghanistan.

Bit Players

It wouldn't be a sex farce with an "unstable" family member! And that's why we have...

Natalie Khawam, Kelley's sister, for whom Petraeus wrote a letter of support in a custody battle. Khawam, the New York Post reports, was accused of being "psychologically unstable" and was not granted custody.

And remember the FBI agent? After being pulled off the case, apparently motivated by a certain political "worldview," our topless buddy leaked news of the investigation to...

Dave Reichert, Republican congressman from Washington, who in turn leaked the information to...

Eric Cantor, House majority leader, who quickly called the FBI to ask, we assume, "what the fuck?" Which brings us to...

Chuck Klosterman, who today wrote an essay for Grantland about the eight or so hours during which a few people on the internet were speculating that a letter to his New York Times advice column had come from Broadwell's husband. It didn't, and yet Klosterman manages to wring 2,000 words out of his non-brush with the Petraeus affair. The final paragraph:

But you know what I learned from this? Nothing. I learned nothing. It's just something that happened (and it just so happens that it happened to me). Life is crazy. But I already knew that last Thursday, and so did you.

Yup.

[illustration by Jim Cooke, hat tip to Hilary Sargent Ramadei]