HUMAN/SUPER First Contact 93

He turned to the casket.

“Thanks, Pa,” he said.

He stepped down from the pulpit and returned to his seat. Next up was Dominick’s older brother, who stayed behind when the rest of the family emigrated, followed by his younger sister and his mother.

Together they painted a picture of Gerhard Jacobs as a quiet man with a big heart. Romantic to a fault, he valued idealism over pragmatism, and always kept an open mind when confronted with new ideas.

Almost seemed too good to be true, Angela thought.

The pew creaked as Dominick leaned toward Genesis.

“Do you want to go up and say something?” he asked.

Genesis shook her head. Her grip on Angela’s hand tightened.

“Okay,” Dominick said. “If you’re sure.”

Angela felt so helpless; for all the powers she’d gathered up over the past few months, there was nothing she could do to help Genesis.

The priest returned to the pulpit and concluded the service with a prayer. Dominick, his brother, and four other men moved into position around the casket.

The lid came down, and the pallbearers marched Gerhard Jacobs out the side door of the church. The audience followed them through the cemetery to an open grave in the shadow of a magnolia tree. A few pink flowers dotted the leaves here and there.

The pallbearers laid the casket onto a rig set up over the grave. Dominick stepped back and Marta draped her arm around his shoulder. The priest recited another prayer.

As the casket sank into the ground, Angela felt Genesis tense up beside her. Genesis was fighting so hard to stay calm but the mask was slipping. Angela glanced around, trying to think of something to do. Her eyes landed on the tree.

One by one, the magnolia flowers bloomed, washing over the foliage like a bright pink wave. The crowd let out a gasp. A breeze blew through the tree, sprinkling colorful petals onto the people and into the grave.