HUMAN/SUPER First Contact 115

A tall, muscular woman with long dark hair stood in the alley. She was wearing a navy blue bodysuit with a black cape down her back. She stared down at Angela through the holes of a black domino mask.

The images that flowed into Angela’s head were mostly of Toronto; looking down on the city from rooftops, fighting criminals in the streets. The woman had several faces on her mind, too. One of them was Kay’s.

“Uh, I’m sorry to intrude,” Angela said. “I thought I heard something, and….”

The woman didn’t respond. She turned her eyes to the sky, bent her knees a little, and jumped. She soared up between the buildings and landed on the roof. She glanced back down briefly before disappearing.

Angela just stood around in the alley for a while, confused, playing the last few minutes over in her head. Then a thought occurred to her. She opened her mouth to speak and a single word came out.

She didn’t know what it meant or even how she was able to make such an unnatural sound. All she knew was that she felt somehow different having said it.

Her body began to change, to transform. She grew taller by at least a foot. Her sleeves split at the seams as chiseled biceps erupted along her arms. She felt her stomach shrink, replaced by a perfect set of abs. Her hair became shiny and straight, falling down to her waist.

She staggered backward. Her hand fumbled out for support and punched right through a brick wall. She turned and regarded the fist-shaped hole with bemusement.

She heard voices approaching and she started to panic. Her breaths came in ragged gasps, her heart pounding in her chest. She couldn’t let anyone see her like this. She took a deep breath and spoke that strange word again.

She returned to normal.

A group of young women—high school aged, most likely—passed by the alley, deep in conversation. They even didn’t notice Angela standing there in tattered clothing.