HUMAN/SUPER First Contact 205

“What, did you think I was celibate or something?” Fatima asked.

“No,” Angela said. “It’s just… him?”

Fatima shrugged.

“We all have our guilty pleasures,” she said. “Anyway, do you really think he knows something about what’s wrong with me?”

“I don’t know for sure,” Angela said. “When we talked on the phone, he told me he remembered that night clearly, but once we met up in person—”

“Wait, he’s here?” Fatima said. “In Victory City? Why?”

“He didn’t say,” Angela replied. “That’s suspicious… right?”

Fatima clutched her temples.

“Oh God,” she said. “He’s probably here for my show. He must’ve heard I was coming out of retirement and wanted to surprise me. You didn’t tell him that I can’t paint, did you?”

“Of course not,” Angela said. “He seemed really interested in my reasons for asking about the party, though. When I wouldn’t tell him, he clammed up. It was almost like he only met with me to find out what I knew.”

“Oh, that’s just what Tony’s always been like,” Fatima said. “He can’t just give you a straight answer, he has to make you jump through all sorts of hoops before he’ll give you what you want. There’s nothing sinister about it. It’s just his idea of fun.”

“Well, for now he’s my only lead,” Angela said. “Do you mind if I dig into your head again? See if I can find any memories of him that night?”

“Go for it,” Fatima said. “But it’s not going to do you any good.”

Angela stared into Fatima’s eyes and homed in on the party, searching for any glimpse of Tony. He appeared in wisps here and there; hanging on Fatima shoulder, sketching other guests, schmoozing with their host. Then everything started going blurry and the memories faded.

“Damn,” Angela said. “I got nothing.”

“Told you,” Fatima replied.