HUMAN/SUPER First Contact 236

“I have to get home before my wife does,” he said. “Go back to sleep, Anita. I’ll call you soon.”

As he leaned over the bed and kissed her, the memory began to come apart at the seams. Angela rolled it back, searching moment by moment for more clues.

The bedroom was small and cluttered. Moonlight peeked in a window by the bed, through which Angela could see Victory City’s skyline. And on the floor, next to Gaspar’s trousers, Angela spotted a flight attendant uniform bearing the logo of Air Victorious.

Angela turned to Simone, breaking the connection.

“Her name is Anita,” she said. “She was a stewardess at least twenty, maybe thirty years ago. That’s when she and Gaspar were together.”

“Twenty or thirty,” Simone muttered. “So that means… he was cheating on my mother?”

“Looks like it, yeah,” Angela said. “I… guess that wasn’t what you wanted to hear.”

“I knew it was a possibility,” Simone said, “but I had hoped this was just… a youthful indiscretion. No wonder he never said anything.”

“Yeah,” Angela said. “I’ll get in touch with the airline shortly to see if I can access records about past employees. If I find anything, I’ll let you know.”

“Thank you,” Simone said.

Angela nodded and turned to the old man.

“It was nice meeting you, Gaspar,” she said, and put her arm around Frederica’s shoulder. “Come on, Fred, we’ve got work to do.”


Air Victorious was a small, independent airline with a headquarters occupying the third floor of a squat office building in the city’s industrial district. A six-foot model of an airplane hung from the ceiling over a spacious lobby lit by a wall of plate glass windows.

Angela approached the front desk at the far end of the room. An Asian man in his early twenties looked up from his computer and smiled.