HUMAN/SUPER First Contact 211

“So where’s the antidote?” she asked. “I can take it to Fatima now.”

“It’s not quite ready yet,” Tony replied. “I’m still missing one last ingredient. And I’m thinking you may be better equipped to acquire it than I am.”

“What do you need?” Angela asked.

“An item of Fatima’s clothing,” Tony replied.

Angela scoffed.

“You’re joking, right?” she said. “You want me to raid her closet?”

“It doesn’t have to be anything big,” he said. “A sock will do. But it has to be unwashed. It needs to still contain her essence.”

“I swear, if this is some kind of fetish thing…” Angela said.

“Nah,” he replied. “I’m more of a bondage man, myself. My safeword is ‘Cubist’.”

Angela sighed and headed back toward the balcony.

“Oh, could you do me one more little favor while you’re there?” Tony asked.

“What kind of favor?” she replied.

“Don’t tell Fatima what I did,” he said, and the tone of his voice sounded almost humble for a moment.

“I already tried,” Angela said. “She didn’t believe me. For some reason, she still thinks you’re a good person.”

Tony smiled faintly.

“She always was a bad judge of character,” he said.

“Clearly,” Angela said, and flew out the door.

When she reached Fatima’s building, she noticed the windows were all dark. She plucked a blade of grass from a nearby lawn and climbed the stairs. Using Anna’s power, Angela guided the grass into the lock, and the deadbolt clicked.

She entered tentatively, scanning the room for a laundry basket or hamper. She crept through the cluttered apartment and stepped into the bedroom. No sign of dirty clothes here, either.

Angela turned to Fatima’s bed. The mattress was stripped bare; no sheets, no pillowcases, no blankets. A box of dryer sheets sat open on the nightstand.

“You have got to be kidding me,” Angela muttered.