HUMAN/SUPER First Contact 132

Angela shook her head.

“It’s not that, actually,” she said. “It’s my job. It seemed to be getting better for a while, but lately the pressure’s really been getting to me. It’s like my brain is being pulled in a thousand different directions.”

“Have you thought of quitting?” Greta asked.

“Occasionally,” Angela replied, “but wouldn’t want to leave my coworkers hanging.”

“I felt the same way before I joined Jackie’s band,” Greta said. “I didn’t think my old boss could get by without me. But he’s been doing okay.”

An arrow pierced the little dragon in the heart and it tumbled over the side of the balcony. Angela waved her hand. The village disappeared.

“I don’t even know what I want to do,” Angela said. “It’d be so much easier if I could actually control my powers. I’ve been practicing every day, but nothing changes.”

She closed her eyes and visualized the street cleaner she ran into a few months ago. The look in his eyes, the feeling of being inside his head. Fragments of memories drifted through her mind. She opened her eyes.

Her beer bottle floated in front of her face.

“Holy shit,” she muttered.

She stood from her seat. She held her hands out and the bottle floated between them, swaying back and forth. She was having a hard time keeping it steady, as if she were gripping it with slippery fingers.

A wave of fatigue swept over her. She felt her knees give out before she realized what was happening. Her eyelids drooped and glass shattered and she fell backward into oblivion.


Angela opened her eyes and a blank television screen stared back. She was lying on her side on the couch, wrapped in a thick blanket. She looked down at the coffee table in front of her face, fixating on the remote control. She willed it to move with all her might, but it declined to cooperate.

“You’re awake,” Genesis said.