HUMAN/SUPER First Contact 51

Leigh smirked.

“Do you want to play a game?” she asked.

She reached into the pocket of her black hoodie and placed a tablet in the middle of the table. The computer booted itself up and a drawing program opened. Four lines appeared on the screen, forming a three-by-three grid. In the top left corner, an “X” drew itself.

“Your move,” Leigh said.

Angela focused on the tablet, imagined her finger moving across the screen, and an “O” took shape in the middle square. Leigh drew another “X” and they went back and forth until the game ended in a draw. They played a few more rounds with the same result.

“Not bad,” Leigh said. “How about something harder?”

The drawing program closed and a chess app replaced it.

“I… don’t know how to play this,” Angela said.

Leigh chuckled and said, “You sure about that?”

Two-dimensional representations of the pieces blinked into existence on the checkered board; white on Angela’s side, black on Leigh’s. As Angela stared at the screen, a strategy began to form in her head. She concentrated on the fourth pawn from the left and it moved forward two spaces.

“I knew it,” Leigh said. “This should be interesting.”

The game went on for more than half an hour, dancing around the board, whittling each other down to just a handful of pieces. Every time Leigh made a move, Angela knew exactly how to counter it.

As she moved her rook up four spaces to put Leigh’s king in check, her eyes drifted to the clock on the top right corner of the screen. She jumped out of her seat.

“Oh no, my break’s over,” she said. “I have to get back to work. I’m really sorry. I don’t have time to finish the match.”

“That’s okay,” Leigh said. “We were heading for a stalemate, anyway.”

Angela started gathering up her garbage, but Leigh waved her off.

“I’ll take care of that,” Leigh said. “You head on back.”