HUMAN/SUPER First Contact 131

She peered out at the stage. Jackie’s hair whipped back and forth as she wailed on her bass, while Greta sang her heart out at the front without the aid of a microphone. Angela couldn’t see the faces in the audience from here, only their fists, thrust in the air and occasionally throwing up the horns.

“Best seats in the house, eh?” Genesis said.

“Yeah,” Angela replied, and leaned her head against Genesis’s shoulder.


Angela sat on the balcony of Greta and Jackie’s apartment, nursing a beer and looking out at the Pacific Ocean. After losing track of Genesis in the after-party crowd, Angela had stepped out to get some air.

The cousins had moved since the party they threw last spring; this new place was much more spacious, in a nicer part of town. One of the perks of being rock stars.

A pigeon landed on the balcony railing. Angela extended her fingers toward it and a second, identical bird appeared beside it. They sized each other up, the doppelganger mirroring the real pigeon’s every move.

After a couple minutes of this, the fake bird transformed into a tiny dragon and blew pink flames into the air. The pigeon took off in a panic.

“So this is where you were hiding,” Greta said in German, stepping outside.

“I wasn’t hiding,” Angela replied. “I just needed to stare at something other than the floor for a little while.”

A small village sprang up on the balcony floor and the dragon swooped down toward it, bathing it in flames. Tiny, imaginary archers fired arrows up at the beast.

“Is there anything I can get you?” Greta asked. “Another drink, perhaps?”

“Maybe just some aspirin,” Angela said, rubbing her temples. “I’ve got this dull throbbing behind my eyes that just won’t go away.”

“Do you want me to turn the music down?” Greta asked, gesturing back inside. “It gives me headaches sometimes, too.”