Shadow Unit

Case Files

Teasers & Deleted Scenes

Boston, MA, January 2012

The Boston field office was a place of veritable riches. No hot-plate coffeepot for them: the floor the ACTF was situated on had a kitchen, and the kitchen had a Keurig machine.

"Look. At. This," Chaz Villette breathed as Nikki Lau passed by, on her way rapidly to somewhere. A whole stand of instant coffee pods stood before him on the counter, in a round retail-rack dispenser. "I was just supposed to grab everyone coffee."

"Wasteful," Lau noted. "Think about all the plastic islands that plastic's making out in the ocean."

Chaz ran a finger down the rows of labels. "Van Houtte butterscotch or Big Easy Bold, vouched for by none other than Chef Emeril Lagasse?"

Lau pulled a face. "I have never put garlic in my coffee."

"Breakfast blend it is," Chaz said, and plucked one out. "Bam."

"Stick to the basic stuff," Bollinger said, lingering in the doorway behind Lau. "Whatever they use for vanilla flavor in those things, it's terrible."

"Imagine the betrayal," Lau said gravely. "The king of spices goes to the Dark Side."

Bollinger tipped her head like a sparrow. "Vanilla is the king of spices?"

Chaz blushed. "It's something I say."

"Then it's like The Prisoner of Zenda," Bollinger said, and took a big blue mug off the shelf. "He may look like the king, but he ain't him."