HUMAN/SUPER Higher Learning 19

In the other classroom, Magh needed help with a few words but was otherwise managing fine. The instructor was giving a brief overview of the early history of superheroes and the subsequent emergence of villains. It was familiar material for most of the class but Magh ate it right up. Frederica was starting to find her friend’s enthusiasm kind of infectious.

Please pay attention.

Frederica looked around in both classrooms. She’d heard the voice clearly, but as far as she could tell, nobody had spoken. Carmen was talking about the dimension popularly known as “Fifth Earth”, the ill-fated birthplace of Captain Victorious. She glanced at Frederica and nodded.

That’s better.

A chill ran down Frederica’s spine. Carmen continued her lecture, occasionally looking in Frederica’s direction. Magh’s class let out early, and she headed downstairs with the second Frederica to wait for the first. When Carmen finished her lesson, she handed out course outlines and sent the students on their way.

“Oh, Miss Osbourne?” Carmen said. “I’d like a quick word before you leave.”

Frederica swallowed hard and approached the desk.

“I’m really sorry,” she said. “I was just helping out a friend in another class. I really was listening to you.”

“Are you related to Angela?” Carmen asked.

“Uh, yeah,” Frederica replied. “She’s my half-sister. How do you know her?”

“She never told you about her adventure with a runaway prince?”

Frederica’s eyes widened.

“You’re the witch! The one who taught her how to open portals!”

“I am,” Carmen said. “But I see she hasn’t shared my gift with you. That’s a little selfish of her, don’t you think?”

“How did you….” Frederica trailed off, looked away. “She doesn’t think I’m ready.”

“And what do you think?”

“I… thought I was ready. But I’m not really sure anymore.”