HUMAN/SUPER First Contact 194

“You’ve got to be kidding,” Fatima said.

“Hey, you never said I couldn’t use powers,” Angela said.

“Screw this,” Fatima said. “Get out.”

“Fine,” Angela said, turning to the door. “I guess keeping your word is just too much of a challenge for you.”

She reached for the knob, hesitating just a moment, just long enough for….

“Wait,” Fatima said.

Angela turned around.

“Yeah?” she said.

Fatima straddled a stool and planted her elbow on the desk.

“We going to do this or what?” she asked.

Angela laughed and said, “If you insist.”

She sat opposite Fatima and grasped Fatima’s hand.

“Ready?” Fatima said. “Go.”

Angela let Fatima struggle for a while, but her arm didn’t budge. She could barely feel the pressure; it was about as forceful as a light breeze. Finally, Angela gave a little push and pinned Fatima’s fist to the desk.

“So,” Fatima said, rubbing her wrist, “ask your questions.”

Angela smiled and changed back to normal.

“Why did you stop painting all those years ago?” she asked.

“Straight to the point, eh?” Fatima replied. “There’s nothing to tell, really. I lost my touch. Figured I’d quit while I was at the top of my game rather than have people remember me as washed up.”

“That can’t be all there is to it,” Angela said.

Fatima shrugged.

“What more can I say?” she asked. “I woke up one morning and suddenly I couldn’t paint. Whenever I tried, all that would come out was this shit.”

She tapped Angela’s drawing with the back of her hand.

“I take it this isn’t your usual style?” Angela asked.

“Hell no,” Fatima said. “This is just derivative pulp art, the kind of thing you’d see on the cover of a horror magazine in the 1940s. I’m better than that. At least, I’m supposed to be.”