HUMAN/SUPER First Contact 196

“So you do remember it,” Angela said.

“Well… ‘remember’ is a strong word,” Fatima said, “but I can fill you in on the basics.”

“Anything you can think of might help,” Angela said.

“There was this musician,” Fatima said. “Can’t even remember his name now. British, I think. He wanted to collaborate with an artist on some kind of audio-visual experiment in a desperate bid to make himself relevant again. So he invited a bunch of us to this big celebrity bash to test the waters. I had no interest in doing some vanity project for an aging rock star, but free booze is free booze. And I drank a lot of it. I passed out pretty early. Other than that, it didn’t really stand out much at all.”

“Do you think the other people who were there might have a better recollection of that night?” Angela asked.

Fatima shrugged.

“It was a long time ago, so probably not,” she said. “But I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to ask.” She turned the page in the notebook and wrote down a series of names. “I think these are all the artists who were at the party. I don’t have any contact information for them and I can’t help you with the other guests, so that better be enough.”

“I’m sure I’ll manage,” Angela said, tearing the sheet from the book. “I guess that’s all I need from you for now. I’ll be in touch when I find something.”

If you find something,” Fatima said. “No offense, but I’m not holding my breath. Been down this road too many times.”

“That’s fair,” Angela said. “Still, I’ll do my best.”

She headed for the door. She heard the floor creak behind her. Fatima stood from the desk.

“What are you getting out of this, anyway?” she asked. “Like, Carey must be paying you, right?”

“You know, we actually never got around to talking money,” Angela said. “To be honest, I’m not really too concerned about it. Mostly I just want to help.”

“You sound like a sucker,” Fatima said.

“Maybe,” Angela replied, and smirked. “See you around, Fatima.”