HUMAN/SUPER First Contact 296

“Don’t you worry,” Carmen said. “They caught me off guard the first time. I won’t make the same mistake again. And I’m counting on you to back me up. You have telekinesis in that pretty little head of yours, right?”

“I’m not even going to bother asking how you know that,” Angela said. “Yes, I have telekinesis. It’s pretty weak, though. Small objects, not much else.”

“That’ll do,” Carmen said. “Be ready.”

She assumed her previous position, one hand on each man. She started reciting the spell. The purple glow appeared again and quickly spread. As the light reached full intensity, Carmen placed both hands on Eric’s chest and spoke a different incantation.

The light filled the room, but Eric didn’t disappear. Instead, an old man popped into existence on the other side of the table. He was wearing flowing blue robes and had a neatly trimmed grey beard, head shaved smooth. He reached into the folds of his robe and produced a twelve-inch length of polished wood. A wand, Angela realized. He pointed it at Carmen.

Angela reached out with her mind and the wand twisted from the man’s fingers and flew into her own. Carmen made a gesture toward him and a tendril of black smoke snaked from the palm of her hand, coiling around the man’s body. She pinned him against the wall.

“Galdrar,” she said brightly. “So nice of you to join us.”

“Vile witch!” he said. “I should have known you would find a way to interfere with Eric’s accession. I don’t know what you’ve done to him, but you won’t get away with it!”

Carmen scoffed.

“My dear old fool, I’m afraid you’ve got it all wrong,” she said. “Your golden boy came to me.”

Galdrar craned his neck toward Eric.

“Is this true?” the wizard said. “You conspired with your father’s most hated enemy?”

“Oh, don’t act so surprised,” Eric said. “I spent the last twenty-seven years building a life for myself here, and you expected me to just give all that up and go back to a world I barely even remember?”