HUMAN/SUPER Higher Learning 259

There was a rustling on the line, then a swirling black vortex appeared in the middle of the room. Chip hissed and dove under the couch.

“Thanks, we’ll be right there,” Frederica said, and turned to Melody. “I won’t be offended if you wanted to sit this one out. No need for you to get dragged into my family drama.”

“What kind of girlfriend would I be if I bailed on you at a time like this?” Melody asked.

“A smart one?” Frederica replied.

“Bah,” Melody said. “Where’s the fun in that?”

She grabbed Frederica and stepped through the portal. They emerged into a cramped bedroom. Two beds sat at opposite sides of the room, and one half was lined with boxes full of Magh’s belongings. Magh stood in the doorway, wand at the ready. Her eyes widened as Ozzie stepped out of the portal.

“You were there,” Magh said. “The day we came to Earth. You helped save us.”

“Guilty as charged,” Ozzie said. “Now can you close the damn portal before the Zopheri get through?”

“Zopheri?” Magh muttered, waving the portal away. “They’re here?”

“You know them?” Frederica asked.

Magh nodded.

“They came when our colony was attacked, but they were too late,” she said. “The bandits got away and the Zopheri left us to pick up the pieces.”

“What’s even the point of having these guys around then?” Melody asked.

“Same as it is for cops on Earth,” Ozzie replied. “Protecting corporate interests and the status quo over the needs of the common people.”

“You sound like you’re about to start a revolution,” Frederica said.

“Nah, that’s a job for the young,” Ozzie said. “I’m more like the elderly mentor who gets killed off in the first act to motivate the hero.”

“Well, let’s hope it doesn’t come to that,” Frederica said.