Shadow Unit

Case Files

Teasers & Deleted Scenes

J. Edgar Hoover Building, Washington D.C., March 2009

"Lau would be the Toxic Avenger," Hafs says, feet kicked up on her desk and her braids swinging like pendulums as her head lolls--or lols--over the back of her Aeron. "Can't you just see her shoving some dipshit's head under the fryolater?"

"Only if they richly deserved it," Daphne answers. Her knees drape over the arm of the sunflower velvet couch. "See, that's the problem with gammas. No Hollywood justice. It's never some fool who richly deserves to suffer." Daphne kicks her feet, heels drumming against stretched fabric. "I'd go after people who don't pull over for emergency vehicles. My gamma power would involve making them spend a subjective eternity in an ambulance stuck in traffic while their mother can't breathe."


If Daphne were a cat, she'd be batting at those beads swinging on Hafidha's braids. She tucks her hands behind her head to encourage a little self-control.

Hafidha continues, "Mom would set people on fire with a look. Oh, wait, she does that now. No, I think her gamma power would involve The Voice of Command. She'd just order you to jump off a bridge and halfway to the water you'd start to wonder if you should have asked why."

Daphne kicks harder. "Frost would become a human carcinogen. We'd never catch her, because her victims would die six months later, counties away. Seizing and bleeding out the nose. Actually, I'm not sure she's not doing that."

Hafidha's screen is covered with flickering windows of color, appearing and dismissed too fast for Daphne to follow. She reaches for a brownie off the plate beside the printer and says, "Maybe we should look into it."

Maybe we should. "Duke."

"Teleportation," Hafs answers promptly. "But only to the most unlikely place possible. No, gamma!Duke would never get caught, because nobody would believe he did any such thing, even when he was confessing. His power would be the unsuspension of disbelief. El Jefe."

"Telepathy." Daphne says so without thinking. A sharp frown follows. "Crap. No. He does that now."

"Gamma!Dad would have a plan," Hafs says. Her hands flick out to both sides to indicate the exclamation mark, though nothing interrupts the scroll of data before her. "Hell, his mythology might revolve around having a plan. Maybe A Plan could be his manifestation."

Daphne sits up and swings her feet to the floor. Suddenly, she doesn't want to think about Stephen Reyes, gamma. Not now, and maybe not ever. "Hey," she says. "Let's talk about something else now."

Hafidha glances over her shoulder, lips forming a cushiony O. "Your point," she says. "I see it. How's that kitchen reno coming?"