HUMAN/SUPER First Contact 317

“You can’t be serious!” Angela snapped. “We’re not leaving you here to die.”

“I don’t have a place in this world,” Ozzie said. “I’m an artifact of a future that doesn’t exist anymore. I might as well do something useful with my last moments.”

“I can stay too,” Angela said. “I’ll keep a portal open so we can jump through when the time comes.”

“And I’ll help you control the power core,” Leigh said. “Buy us some more time.”

“I won’t risk it,” Ozzie said. “I’m the expendable one here. You both have futures ahead of you. I don’t want Genesis to go through what I have.”

Angela stared down at her hands and tried to think of a counter argument. But Ozzie was right. Angela sighed and hugged Ozzie.

“Thanks,” Angela said. “For everything.”

“Just take care of our girl, okay?” Ozzie said. “Or I’ll be back to haunt you.”

“I will,” Angela said.

She backed away and opened another portal. Leigh hugged Ozzie and stepped through. Angela glanced at Va’el, still in her seat.

“You coming?” Angela asked.

Va’el laughed sheepishly.

“Forgot to mention,” she said. “I pawned the autopilot months ago. This baby’s going nowhere without me at the helm.”

Angela opened her mouth to protest when Ozzie shoved her backward. She landed in the grass, staring up at the sky. Genesis hurried over to her.

“What’s going on?” Genesis asked. “Where’s Ozzie? And Va’el?”

Angela glanced up at Leigh, looking away with her arms crossed.

“They’re staying behind,” Angela said.

“What?!” Genesis snapped. “No!”

She started toward the portal, but Angela caught her hand.

“It’s too late,” Angela said.