HUMAN/SUPER First Contact 305

“But it’s not just me, is it?” Genesis said. “It’s much bigger than that, otherwise you wouldn’t be trying to get me to leave town.”

Future Angela said nothing.

“Fine,” Genesis said. “Then I’m just going to pretend this never happened.”

She stepped toward the bathroom. Future Angela turned to Angela.

“We don’t have time for this,” she said. “If you really care about Genesis, you’ll open a portal and drag her through. Kicking and screaming if need be.”

Angela glanced at Genesis, who shook her head, and then turned back to Future Angela.

“You’re going to have to do it yourself,” Angela said.

“I would if I could,” Future Angela said, “but I can’t.”

“Why not?” Angela asked.

Future Angela sighed. She unzipped her jacket and shrugged it off. Her left arm, including the shoulder, was entirely mechanical, a gunmetal grey prosthetic covered in decades’ worth of scuffs and dents. She raised her metallic fist and made the gestures Angela learned from Carmen. Nothing happened.

“Happy now?” she said.

“No,” Genesis said, stepping forward. “Not until you tell us everything.”

Future Angela turned away, facing the curtains covering the living room window. She was quiet for a long while, staring down at the fingers on her mechanical hand.

“I was right here when it happened,” she said, finally. “The explosion took my arm off in an instant. I didn’t even realize it was gone until I looked down. I tried to heal but my powers were gone too. Some kind of energy pulse, they said; depowered everyone for miles.”

She stepped over to a chair and sat down.

“Downtown was obliterated,” she said. “Buildings fell, fires raged, and without any powers, nobody knew how to deal with it. And you were right in the middle of it all. It was weeks before they… they found your body.”