HUMAN/SUPER First Contact 11

Angela nodded. They didn’t say much for the rest of the trip, which only took about fifteen minutes. When they pulled into the lot in front of the little grey building, Angela climbed out of the passenger seat and leaned against the door for a moment.

“Thanks for everything you’ve done,” she said. “I’m… not used to being this reliant on someone. Usually I’m not quite so helpless.”

“That’s all right,” Genesis said. “I’m sure I’ll eventually get to see you on one of your good days.”

Angela chuckled.

“Maybe,” she said.

She shut the door and turned toward the clinic. Genesis pulled out of the parking lot and drove away. Angela took a deep breath and headed inside.

The lobby was brightly lit, with ample natural light pouring in through a row of plate-glass windows. Angela’s shoes tapped on the pale blue floor tiles as she approached the counter to greet the receptionist, a forty-something Chinese woman named Wendy.

“I need to see Doctor Hassan,” Angela said. “Is he available?”

“He’s with a patient at the moment, Miss Osbourne,” Wendy said. “Have a seat and I’ll see if he can squeeze you in.”

Angela wandered over to the row of chairs lining the far wall. More than half the chairs were occupied; on one end, a woman struggled to control three children of varying ages. Angela sat as far away from them as she could.

She played a tower defense game on her phone to try to take her mind off things. But after her third attempt at beating the same level, she gave up and leaned her head back against the wall. She was starting to sweat under her coat with the bright lights bearing down on her.

Her phone buzzed.

“Want to get lunch later?” a message from Genesis said.

Angela ran it around in her mind for a minute, then typed, “Yeah.”

“Great,” came the reply. “Message me when you’re done.”

“Okay,” Angela replied, and smiled to herself.