HUMAN/SUPER First Contact 135

“Progress towards what?” Genesis asked.

“I’m not sure, exactly,” Angela replied. “My full potential, maybe. I mean, if this works, I could do pretty much anything.”

“Well, I hope you remember us mere mortals when you’ve achieved godhood,” Genesis said.

Angela kissed Genesis and said, “Count on it.”

“So,” Genesis said, taking the notebook from Angela, “shall we get started?”

Angela closed her eyes and pictured the street cleaner.


Days passed. Angela practiced every night but the numbers stayed the same. The only thing that changed was the headaches: they were getting worse. After more than a week of this, her mother invited her and Genesis out to dinner, so Angela decided to take a break.

They met at the Rogues Gallery II, a fancy little steakhouse downtown. Vivian was wearing a red cocktail dress and stiletto heels. Her hair had grown out into a bob in recent months, and she’d streaked it with dark highlights.

“Hello, darlings!” Vivian said.

She kissed Angela and Genesis on the cheeks and they all headed inside. A waiter led them to a quiet table by a window. Angela stared out at passersby, quickly glancing away whenever they looked inside.

“Dinner’s on me, by the way,” Vivian said as the waiter handed out menus. “So don’t hold back.”

“You don’t have to tell me twice,” Genesis replied.

The waiter took their drink orders and left them to decide on their meals. A couple minutes later, a bald young man in a chef’s uniform brought them their drinks.

“Well, look who it is,” Vivian said. “I was wondering if you’d be here tonight.”

“An artist never strays far from his canvas,” he replied.

“Of course,” Vivian said, chuckling. “Cole, I’d like you to meet my daughter, Angela, and her girlfriend, Genesis. Girls, this is Cole Hayes, the second-best chef in the city.”

“Only the second?” Genesis asked.