HUMAN/SUPER First Contact 107

“You’re not the only one who’s learned a new trick,” he said.

“Which is what?” she asked. “Turning off people’s powers?”

“Basically, yeah,” he replied.

“Wait,” she said. “So all these years, that’s why I couldn’t read your mind?”

“I didn’t even know I was doing it, originally,” he replied. “I just instinctively blocked every power that came my way. Then one day I discovered I could control it, even direct it outward. Like I just did.”

Angela crossed her arms and considered his words.

“Do it again,” she said.

Kay chuckled and stared intently at Angela. She felt her power slip away once more, her mind filling with a sense of calm she hadn’t experienced in months.

She turned and made eye contact with a middle-aged man coming out of the mall. Nothing happened. No surge of thoughts and feelings, no flashes of memory. The man just gave her an annoyed look and kept on walking.

“This is amazing,” Angela said, glancing around. “I never thought I’d ever be able to just… look at people again.”

“I guess my presence isn’t such a burden after all, then,” he said.

She grabbed Kay and pulled him into a hug.

“Thanks,” she said.

“It’s nothing,” he said. “Listen, do you mind if I take a rain check on lunch? I’ve got something I need to take care of for a friend.”

“Is this about Martin?” Angela asked.

Kay chuckled.

“God, you’re persistent,” he said. “It’s nothing you have to worry about. Just go about your day. I’ll be back at the apartment in time for dinner.”

“Okay,” she said, stepping back.

“You should invite your girlfriend over tonight, too,” he said. “With me around, you won’t need that blindfold.”