Shadow Unit

Case Files

Teasers & Deleted Scenes

Ashton, VA, August 2009

Katharine Allison had met Silence before.

Silence looks down a lot of the time: at clasped hands, at a glass of water, at restraint cuffs. Sometimes Silence would look out a window, at a neutral artwork meant only to break the line of a beige wall, or at the stop-start tick of a clock, trudging out the hour.

This Silence looked her in the eye, cool and regal. Hafidha Gates had said Good Morning as she sat down, and then had not uttered a word since, content to sit and stare.

Silence could mean so many things.

"I have a lot of information about you," Katharine said, though she hadn't brought in any files, not even paper ones. "There's the medical records, of course, and the files from the cases that you've worked on. I've met your team members, your friends, your parents, and they've shared stories with me, their hopes and anxieties for you."


"They hope that you'll be able to walk out of here one day," Katherine continues. "They think that if anyone can, you can."

One corner of her mouth pins, half a smirk. But it's gone, and Hafidha Gates doesn't speak.

"And you don't want to talk to me," Katharine says, soft voiced. "You don't want to say anything, not even to tell me that you won't say anything. You have the right to remain Silent. And--well. Here in Idlewood, it can feel like the only right you have left. And anything you say can be used against you. You know. It doesn't matter what an interview subject talks about, as long as you keep them talking. Because everything they say gives an interviewer another way in. You know it. You've done it."

Cool eyes. Lifted chin.

"And that's significant, isn't it?" Dr. Allison goes on. "You've done it. You were the one who worked to catch the people who live in Idlewood. You caught the bad guys. And now you live here, with the people you've brought here. I think about how that might feel. I'd feel exposed. I'd sit in the room designed to keep another sense from me, and remember when I could walk down the hall, do my business, and just go home. I'd feel judged by everyone who saw me. I'd feel like I'd let them all down."

Nostrils flare and pinch. Blink and you would miss it.

"And you didn't ask to talk to me. This is mandatory talk therapy. Nobody asked you. You don't have a choice. I'm coming here to talk to you for an hour. It's on the schedule. I'm supposed to ask the questions, and you're supposed to cooperate and answer my questions. You don't have a choice about me coming here for this hour, but you don't have to say a word. And you're right. You don't have to say anything. You can resist what's happening to you."

Nothing, not even a twitch.

"And I want you to. I want you to resist. I want you to hold your trust until I've proven that you can trust me. I want you to remain silent until you choose to speak. Heaven knows you don't have a lot of choices. You don't have anything but rules, restrictions, control imposed on you, nothing that you control but your voice. So control it. Be silent. I'll come here for our hour, and I will meet with you. And you don't have to say a single word you don't want to say. Ever. Not even if you do decide to say something. You will always have the right to be silent with me. I promise."

Stillness. Intent stare, mouth set and straight, one brow knits, smoothes.

A nod.