HUMAN/SUPER First Contact 209
 

Angela opened her own crafting interface and threw in some of the herbs she’d found. She brewed health potions, stat-boosting tonics, deadly poisons….

She froze as a realization slowly formed in her mind.

“Holy shit,” she muttered.

///

Angela floated up to the ninth floor of the Champion Hotel and peered through the curtain. The lights were off and there was no sign of Tony, so she slipped inside. She made a beeline for the closet and pulled out the leather chest.

A lamp flicked on across the room. Tony sat by the desk in the corner, bathed in orange light, still wearing those damn sunglasses. Still grinning.

“I was wondering when you’d try breaking in here,” he said. “Though you seemed to know your way around, so I’m guessing this isn’t your first visit. You must really be grasping at straws at this point.”

“Not really,” Angela said. “I’ve pretty much got everything figured out now. I was just trying to confirm it.”

“Oh really?” he said. “Let’s hear your theory, then.”

“You poisoned Fatima,” Angela said. She paused, watching for a reaction, but he remained perfectly still. “You really wanted to work with that musician, and you knew the only way you stood a chance was to take Fatima out of the running. So you created some kind of potion and slipped it into her drink at the party. It messed her mind to the point that she couldn’t paint. Then she retired and you rose to fame.”

Angela took a step toward him.

“But that wasn’t enough for you, was it?” she said. “When you heard that Fatima was coming out of retirement, you assumed your poison had worn off, so you flew here to give her another dose. That’s why you were checking out flower and herb shops yesterday. You were gathering ingredients.”

Tony was quiet for a long moment, then he slowly clapped his hands.

“You put all that together in a day,” he said. “Not bad.”

“So I’m right?” Angela replied.