HUMAN/SUPER First Contact 154

“Sounds good,” she replied. “See you later.”

“Bye,” he said.

He lingered a moment longer, then strolled out of the shop. Angela took a deep breath and leaned back against the wall. She couldn’t get the image of Harry’s wife’s death out of her head. It was a horrible way to go.

A middle-aged mother of three approached the counter to buy a Wii U for her daughter’s birthday. Angela forced a smiled and got back to work.


As soon as Angela got home, she transferred Tommy’s character over to his account. Talon and Galahad met up at foot of the Daemonspine Mountains and climbed its jagged peaks, fighting various winged abominations along the way.

They were an odd pair—paladin and necromancer—but they worked well together. The kid had a knack for strategy, more than Angela did when she first started playing.

“So how’s school?” Angela asked while they divvied up the spoils of a particularly fierce battle.

“Fine,” he replied.

Angela sighed; she didn’t know why she’d expected any different of a response. Still, she pressed on.

“Do you have a lot of friends there?” she asked.

“No,” he replied.

“A loner, huh?” she said. “I was the same way when I was your age. For years it was just me and my stepbrother.”

Tommy didn’t reply. Galahad walked to the edge of the cliff and peered down at the sprawling countryside below.

“Anyway, I’m just saying it’s perfectly normal,” Angela said. “And it’s not going to last forever. It may not seem like it now, but it will get better someday.”

She cringed. She finally had a chance to do some good but all she could come up with were empty platitudes. She needed to do better.

“Dragon!” Tommy said.

Galahad loosed an arrow and disappeared over the side of the cliff.