HUMAN/SUPER First Contact 210

He chuckled.

“No,” he said. “You’re very close, but not quite.”

“Then tell me what I got wrong,” she said.

“Oh, I think you can work it out on your own,” he said. “For instance: what kind of monster would intentionally destroy someone’s entire career just for a single commission?”

“The worst kind,” she replied.

“And do I seem like that kind of monster to you?” he asked.

She crossed her arms. He smirked.

“I assure you, I’m not,” he said.

“Are you trying to tell me this was some sort of… accident?” she asked.

“Not entirely,” he said, “but you’re getting warmer.”

“So… you did poison her,” Angela said, “but it wasn’t supposed to be permanent? It was just supposed to last long enough for you to get that job?”

Now you’re catching on,” he said.

“If that’s true, then why are you here now?” she asked.

“You’re the detective,” he said. “Follow the tale to its logical conclusion.”

Angela considered various avenues, then landed on one that sort of made sense:

“You felt guilty,” she said. “All these years, knowing you’d ruined your friend’s life. So when you heard she was making a comeback, you wanted to see it for yourself. You wanted to know she’d really gotten better. To make yourself feel better.”

“How very self-serving of me,” he said.

“But when I called you asking about that party, you realized she wasn’t better,” Angela said. A lightbulb sparked in her head. “You’re making an antidote.”

“See?” he said. “I knew you had it in you.”

“Why didn’t you just tell me?” Angela asked. “I could’ve helped.”

He shrugged.

“That would’ve been too easy,” he said.

Angela rolled her eyes.