HUMAN/SUPER First Contact 42

She took a deep breath and opened the front door. The crowds were thin this time of day. Fewer eyes to avoid. She headed inside.

The game store was still closed when she arrived but Andrew ushered her through the gate. He stepped behind the counter and tossed something to her.

It was a nametag attached to a lanyard.

“Angela, Sales Associate.”

She slipped it around her neck.

“How’s it feel?” he asked.

“Weird,” she replied, staring down at her name. “I’m so used to working from home.”

“Well, I’m sure you’ll get the hang of this in no time,” he said. “Come on, I’ll show you around.”

He gave her a quick tour of the shop. A side door led to storage space and a break room equipped with a TV and several video game consoles. The main area of the shop was divided into sections by platform and included several demo stations for customers.

He took her behind the counter and started to show her the procedure for making a sale. After a couple minutes, he paused and hooked his thumbs in his pants pockets.

“Now, I hate to be a hardass on your first day,” he said, “but, um, you’re going to have to actually look at people when you serve them.”

She clenched her fists and looked into Andrew’s eyes.

An encyclopedia of gaming trivia extending back to the 1980s downloaded into her brain. She caught glimpses of his home, his friends, a social life involving board games and science fiction conventions.

“There you go,” he said, smiling. “Much better.”

She glanced away.

“Hey, don’t worry,” he said. “I was nervous on my first day, too.”

She decided not to mention her power just yet. Instead, she nodded. He finished showing her how the cash register worked. She pretended not to already know.