HUMAN/SUPER Higher Learning 344

Frederica nodded.

“I used to be a thief,” Molly said. “Damn good one, too. Especially after I got my powers, as you might imagine.”

“If rats can get in, so can you,” Frederica said.

“Exactly,” Molly said, and started climbing down the inside of the wall. “Mind you, I didn’t go after ordinary people. Just people who could afford to replace what they’d lost. Gotta have a code, you know?”

Frederica descended after Molly. At this size she could basically use the grooves in the wood like a ladder.

“So what happened?” she asked.

“Well, I had a few close calls,” Molly replied. “Almost got eaten by a dog or two, that kind of thing. And eventually I just decided that that life wasn’t for me anymore. Then I fell in love with a cop and there was no turning back.”

“I bet that was awkward,” Frederica said with a chuckle.

“It was at first, yeah,” Molly said. “But now I can’t imagine my life without her.”

“That’s really romantic,” Frederica said.

“I suppose it is,” Molly said. “What about you? I saw the way you looked at that girl from this morning.”

“Melody?” Frederica smiled. “Yeah, we’ve been together a few months now and I’ve honestly never been happier. I don’t think I’ve ever felt this way about—”

A chunk of wood came loose in Frederica’s hand and she lost her footing. She scrambled for a new handhold but couldn’t get a grip. She fell, down into the darkness, for what seemed like an eternity. She could hear Molly yelling somewhere far above her.

Eventually she could make out the bottom coming up rapidly toward her. She squeezed her eyes shut and covered her face with her arms and braced for impact.

And then… nothing.

She opened her eyes. She was floating just a few feet above a floor of rough concrete. For a while she remained like this, trying to catch her breath. Then a cricket the size of her head scurried past and she realized that she was still tiny.

That she was using two powers at the same time.