HUMAN/SUPER First Contact 292

Behind Eric, the door to Carmen’s office swung open and she stepped out with the book tucked under her arm. Eric looked up at her expectantly.

“I’ve got good news and bad news,” she said. “Bad news is, I can’t destroy the mark. Good news is, I can transfer it to another person.”

“How is that good news?” Eric said. “I can’t force someone else to go in my place.”

“Why not?” Carmen asked. “I thought you said you were willing to do anything.”

“Anything but that,” he replied.

“Suit yourself,” she said. “Fortunately, the person who receives the mark doesn’t need to be alive.”

“Why didn’t you just say that from the start?” he asked.

“I was curious how you’d react.”

“I can still call this deal off, you know,” he said.

He crossed his arms. She laughed.

“You have your father’s temper, you know,” she said. “Though he would’ve drawn a sword by now.”

“Unfortunately I don’t own one,” Eric said.

“More’s the pity,” Carmen replied. “Now, we should probably get moving. I’ve taken the liberty of arranging a cadaver for our purposes, but it’s a bit time sensitive.”

She performed a series of gestures with her left hand—like sign language—and a swirling black vortex appeared in the air behind her. She turned and stepped through. Eric hesitated at the periphery, peering into the blackness like he was leaning over a cliff.

“Is that what I think it is?” Angela asked.

“It’s a portal,” Eric replied. “It’ll take us… somewhere else.”

Sweet,” Angela said.

She took a step forward and the vortex enveloped her. She felt dizzy for a moment, then she stepped out into a wide stone hallway lit with fluorescent lights. Up ahead, Carmen stood next to a door labelled “Morgue”.

“That was so cool,” Angela said.