HUMAN/SUPER First Contact 163

The French woman draped a black cloak over Angela’s shoulders and shooed her out of the van. Francis stood outside, waiting to get in.

“I take it this is your first time shifting?” he said.

“Yeah,” she said, resting a hand on her stomach. “I’m used to being inside other people’s heads, but not their bodies.”

“It’s pretty trippy, eh?” he said. “So how does your ability work? Physical proximity? Touch?”

“Eye contact,” Angela replied.

“Ah,” he said. “That must’ve been awkward at first. I remember when my power first manifested, I couldn’t stop changing into everyone I laid eyes on. Took me quite a while to learn to control it.”

“I still haven’t learned that,” Angela said. “I’m getting better at some aspects, but it still all flows in unbidden.”

“Oh man, that’s rough,” Francis said. “I don’t know if this will help, but whenever I felt the change coming on, what I ended up doing was focusing really hard on my face. Like, just picturing it in my head, fixating on all the little details. It sort of… anchored me, and eventually it became as automatic as breathing.”

“Hmm,” Angela muttered, crossing her arms.

“Anyway, it’s just a thought,” he said. “I’d better get in there.”

His skin shimmered and he transformed into Greta. Angela got out of his way and he stepped into the van. She wandered into the warehouse, where a large wooden structure had been erected, stretching almost the entire length of the building.

An opening in the structure led to a narrow corridor with walls made up to look like mossy stone. The ceiling was painted bright green. A few crew members were tinkering with a fog machine by the entrance.

“It’s a maze,” Jackie said behind her. “You and Francis are going to chase me and Greta through it. Eventually we end up cornered in this ancient crypt and have to fight our way out.”

“You built all this for a music video?” Angela asked.

“Nah, we’re just freeloading off some TV show that just finished filming here,” Jackie replied.