HUMAN/SUPER First Contact 315

Genesis turned and stepped through the portal. A man with brown skin and a face full of bony ridges approached hesitantly. He reached out, trying to touch the vortex with his hand.

“It’s perfectly safe,” Angela said. “I do it all the time.”

The man took a deep breath and plunged into the blackness.


The process was much easier after that. People stepped through one by one, and all Angela had to do was concentrate on keeping the portal open. It took a few hours to get everyone out. The ship’s hold seemed even bigger when it was empty.

Angela poked her head through the portal and glanced around. The refugees were milling about the clearing at the centre of the park and spreading out through the trees. Genesis stood by the portal, cellphone in hand.

“I just got in touch with police and immigration,” she said. “I figure if these people are staying, it’ll be best if they do it by the book. Wouldn’t want them to all get arrested later. They’ve been through too much already.”

“Good thinking,” Angela said. “Can you hold the fort here a little longer? I want to check on Ozzie and Leigh.”

“Don’t be long,” Genesis said.

“I won’t.”

Angela kissed Genesis, then withdrew and dismissed the portal. Footsteps approached behind her.

“That was some pretty quick work,” Va’el said. “Took me a day and change just to get them all aboard.”

“I guess they’re used to fleeing now,” Angela said. “I just hope they’re going to be okay down there.”

“I’m sure they’ll be fine,” Va’el said. “Your people can’t be any worse than those raiders.”

“You clearly haven’t met my people,” Angela said.

Va’el smiled.

“Fair point.”

“How are things going with the engines?” Angela asked.

“Not sure,” Va’el replied, “but your older self stopped swearing half an hour ago, so I’m going to assume that’s a good sign. Hey, you thirsty?”