HUMAN/SUPER First Contact 285

“All the more reason to bring me along,” Angela said. “I assure you, I can take care of myself.”

She held up her hand and her skin erupted into thick, grey scales. Eric sighed.

“Fine,” he said. “She works at VCU. Meet me there at eight. Main entrance.”

Angela nodded and headed back to the window. She paused on the ledge.

“Oh, one more thing,” she said. “Why didn’t you tell Amir what’s going on?”

“I want to keep him as fast away from this business as I can,” Eric said. “If the loyalists found out there’s someone here that I love, they might decide to use him as leverage. Or worse, take him out of the picture entirely, so there’d be nothing holding me here.”

“I thought these people were supposed to be the good guys,” Angela said.

“There are no good guys in that world,” Eric said. “Only varying degrees of tyrant.”

Angela was silent a moment, then said, “See you soon.”

And flew out the window.


As soon as Angela slid her key into the lock, a little grey paw poked out from under the door, grasping up at her. She stooped and poked Chip’s leg back inside with her index finger. He meowed through the wood.

“I know you’re excited to see me,” she said, “but you’re going to have to step back.”

She stood and opened the door slowly. Chip tried to squeeze his way through. Angela scooped him up and cradled him in her arms. He pawed at the pendant around her neck.

“You missed me, didn’t you?” she said. “Yes, you did.”

She took a seat at her desk and he climbed up onto her shoulder. When her computer booted up, she eyed the icon for Akkraemyth. She could see why Eric might not have felt like playing the game lately. She opened her chat program. A message popped up from Amir.