HUMAN/SUPER First Contact 25

That’s why she was smiling right now. Why she had an overwhelming urge to drape a blanket over Jackie’s shoulders. She knew it wasn’t real, but she did it anyway, grabbing a comforter from the linen closet in the hallway.

“Thanks, G,” Jackie muttered.

She rolled over and wrapped the blanket tightly around her body. Angela turned and stepped away.

“Oh, it’s you,” Jackie said. She yawned. The couch creaked. “Sleep okay?”

“Yeah,” Angela replied. “Sorry for taking your bed. I didn’t mean to fall asleep.”

“It’s cool, man,” Jackie said. “Figured it was safer than leaving you on the couch in a room full of sweaty dudes.”

“Thanks,” Angela said.

She stared up at the wall. A framed album cover depicted an army of medieval warriors charging across a field strewn with corpses. The word “Dragonfire” stretched across the sky in ornate text. On the grass, written in blood, was “Battlecry”.

The couch creaked again and Jackie padded over.

“Our first album,” she said. “Want to hear it?”

“Okay,” Angela said.

Jackie turned to the stereo and dug around in a pile of CDs.

“So what’s the deal with you and Gen, anyway?” she asked.

“There’s no deal,” Angela said. “We’re friends.”

“Huh,” Jackie said. “Seemed like there was more going on there.”

“Well, there wasn’t,” Angela said.

Jackie chuckled and said, “If you say so.”

“We’ve only known each other a few days!” Angela said.

“Sometimes that’s all it takes,” Jackie said. She shrugged. “Anyway, just be careful, okay? I like Gen a lot but the girl’s got issues. She’s not exactly what she seems.”

“I’ll… keep that in mind,” Angela said.

Jackie found the Dragonfire CD and slid it into the player. The music started with an orchestral intro that lasted about a minute until the guitars came in fast and raw.