HUMAN/SUPER First Contact 291

“Everything,” he said.

Carmen grinned.

“You’re more ruthless than your father was,” she said. “I’m impressed.”

“So will you help me?” Eric asked.

“How could I possibly refuse?” she replied.

She took a seat at the desk and pulled the grimoire toward her. The book opened on its own, flipping rapidly through the yellowed pages.

“This may take a while, darlings,” she said, shooing them toward the door.

Angela glanced at Eric. He nodded, and the two of them left Carmen to her studies.


They waited in the outer office, Angela swiping away at her phone, Eric tapping his fingers nervously on the secretary’s desk. More than an hour had passed and still no word from Carmen.

“You think I’m doing the right thing?” Eric asked. “Giving her the book?”

“I don’t know,” Angela said. “The stories you mentioned, are they really that bad?”

“They are,” he said.

“And you believe them?” she asked.

“Well… I did,” he replied. “But I was a child at the time. I didn’t know shit about shit.”

“Then maybe you should give her the benefit of the doubt,” Angela said.

“Maybe,” Eric said.

“Don’t get me wrong, she totally gives me the creeps,” Angela said. “But she seems to be just as attached to this world as you are, so I don’t think she has any intention to destroy it. And if she does try anything, we’ve got superheroes for that. Bottom line: it’s not your problem.”

Eric chuckled.

“You are really good at telling people what they need to hear,” he said.

“It’s a gift,” she replied with a wink.