Shadow Unit

Case Files

Teasers & Deleted Scenes

Bloomington, IN, October 2009

"Justice isn't centered."

Brady squeezed his burning eyes to clear them. "What?"

Nikki Lau sprawled on the hotel suite couch, her feet up on the arm. She frowned, intent, at her badge. "Justice. The figure. It's off center."

He blinked again and gave his head a little shake. That always worked for cartoon characters, when nothing made sense. "Did she move? Is this one of those face of the Virgin on a tortilla things?"

Lau ignored him. Or maybe she'd been struck deaf by a miraculous FBI badge. "And the word spacing sucks. Both the 'of's dangle off the ends of their lines like, I don't know--like balloons on strings." She rolled sideways and waved her badge folder to him and the room at large, outrage in every visible fiber. "This is a crappy piece of design work."

Brady slumped back in the upholstered chair that was barely less hard than the straight-backed one at the desk. "It's a gold shield with a big-ass eagle on top. You show it to people and they stop doing whatever it is you don't want them to do. Nobody reads it."

"Good design costs the same as bad up front, and has a longer use life. Also, a good-looking badge instills confidence in the wearer."

"I take it you didn't get any sleep last night, either."

She glared at him. "...No."

"Yeah. Well, come take your frustrations out on these transcripts. If we get through 'em by midnight, I'll buy you ice cream for a bedtime snack."

Lau gazed down at her badge. "I'll try to continue to wear it with pride," she sighed, and flapped the wallet closed. "Transcripts. Ice cream. I'm there for you, man."