HUMAN/SUPER First Contact 313

They reached a doorway at the far end of the balcony. Spiral stairs wound up and down into darkness. The captain led them down several flights to a small control room overlooking a larger chamber. A metallic sphere floated in the center of this chamber, emitting bursts of light at irregular intervals.

“They found pieces of it in the wreckage,” Ozzie said, staring at the sphere. “Scientists spent years reverse-engineering it for use in vehicles. They were just starting to roll out production models when I got my powers back.”

“So you know how it works?” the captain asked.

“Vaguely,” Ozzie replied.

“Better than nothing,” the captain said, and a hatch opened nearby. “Speaking of whom.”

A thin man climbed out of the narrow passage. He had large black eyes and pale blue skin. He stood a little over five feet. He muttered something in a strange language.

“I don’t want to hear any more excuses,” the captain said. “This woman’s going to help you with your work. I want you to show her exactly what’s wrong with the engines.”

“That won’t be necessary,” Ozzie said, still staring through the window. “I can see the problem already. There’s a fracture inside the power core.”

Angela peered into the sphere with her x-ray vision and spotted what Ozzie found: a crack running along the surface of a crystal deep inside.

“Can you fix it?” the captain asked.

“No,” Ozzie replied. “It’s going to blow no matter what we do. I think you’d be better off trying to get the engines working long enough to move the ship clear of the city.”

“We can’t just abandon all these people here,” Genesis said. “There are children aboard.”

“That’s not what I was suggesting,” Ozzie replied, and turned to Angela. “Your job will be getting everyone to safety. It’s going to be a lot of work so take Genesis with you.”

“What should I do?” Leigh asked.

“You can help me fix the ship,” Ozzie replied.

Leigh grinned and said, “I was hoping you’d say that.”