HUMAN/SUPER First Contact 191

“So am I,” Angela replied.

She leaned across the counter for a kiss. Genesis grabbed Angela’s collar and held her close.

“Love you,” Genesis said, her lips brushing Angela’s ear.

Angela pictured the courier again and floated up toward the ceiling, out of Genesis’s grasp.

“I love you, too,” Angela said.

“Show-off,” Genesis said.

Angela smirked, did a backflip in midair, and flew out the door.


The address on the back of Carey Abbott’s card led Angela to a pizza place with a narrow flight of stairs off to the left of the main entrance. She climbed the stairs and knocked on the door at the top. A shadow flickered across the peephole. The door opened half an inch.

“Who are you?” a woman asked from just out of sight.

“I’m Angela Osbourne,” Angela replied. “You’re Fatima Brighton, right?”

“Maybe,” the woman said. “What’s it to you?”

“I was hoping we could talk for a bit,” Angela said. “Carey sent me.”

“If you’re here for the money, I pissed it away already,” maybe-Fatima said.

“That’s not why I’m here,” Angela said. “I’m a… um, I’m not really sure what you’d call me. A consultant, I guess? I’m here to help you, if I can.”

“Help me?” Fatima asked. “With what?”

“Uh, painting?” Angela replied.

Fatima laughed bitterly.

“I’m done painting,” she said. “I’ve been done for twelve years. I told Carey that but he wouldn’t listen. ‘Could you at least try?’ he said. It’s his own damn fault things turned out the way they did.”

“Please,” Angela said, “if we could just talk face-to-face, this would be a lot—”

The door slammed shut.