HUMAN/SUPER Higher Learning 416

“Plus Magh would kick your ass,” Tommy said.

“I mean, she could try,” Josephine replied. “I’ve still got a few tricks up my sleeve.”

“Uh huh,” Tommy said. “My money’s on the one with actual magical powers.”

Beside him, Magh sat up and stretched her arms over her head.

“What’s going on?” she asked.

“Jo was just about to challenge you to a duel,” Tommy said.

Josephine rolled her eyes.

“I was joking,” she said.

“That’s a relief,” Magh said. “I wouldn’t want to have to hurt you.”

Frederica laughed and Josephine punched her in the arm. Tommy yawned and set his book down on the coffee table. The cover featured a photo of Jeannette Carroll, covering half her face with a mechanical hand. Frederica stared for a long moment before she even noticed the title:

I, Robot: A Life in Ones and Zeroes by Frederica Osbourne.

Beneath the book were two others: Flight of the Barnstormers by Karen Ibáñez and Verden: A People’s History by Magh Ikeda.

“Jesus, did everyone write a book?” Josephine said. “Where do you even find the time?”

“You’d be surprised how useful super-speed is for meeting your deadlines,” Frederica said.

“Even then, you’re still late half the time,” Josephine said.

Frederica shrugged.

“With super-speed comes super-laziness.”

The front door opened and Danu staggered inside, followed by Dee. Danu slumped onto the couch next to her parents and threw her head back.

“Oh my gods, I’m so tired,” she groaned.

“How did it go?” Magh asked, squeezing Danu’s hand.

“She’s ready,” Dee said. “But she needs rest. Even practicing the spell is taxing. In the morning we’ll do it for real.”