HUMAN/SUPER Higher Learning 31

Frederica threw on some deodorant, changed her clothes, and tied her hair back. She glanced in a mirror but she still looked like a mess. But she didn’t have time to worry about that.

She flew out of the building and over the city. The feeling of weightlessness made her a bit nauseous, but the cool wind on her face helped mitigate it. By the time she reached her destination, she almost felt like herself again.

Angela and Genesis lived in the right side of a little red duplex in a quiet neighborhood on Victory City’s east end. Frederica touched down on the front step and rang the bell. She was still a little dizzy so she braced herself on the railing. The door opened and Genesis appeared in the foyer.

She always looked a bit different every time Frederica saw her. The tank top and jeans were pretty typical of her, as was the computer chip pendant hanging from her neck. But now one side of her head was completely shaved, while a thick mane of dark purple curls hung from the other. And a complex tattoo of circuitry stood out against the light brown skin of her shoulder.

“Sorry I’m late,” Frederica said.

“No worries,” Genesis replied. “We figured your first Friday night as a free woman might go a little long. Come on in.”

Frederica followed Genesis into the living room. The smell of roast chicken wafting from the adjacent kitchen enticed Frederica and turned her stomach at the same time. She peered through the door at Angela, hard at work in front of the stove.

“Hey,” Frederica said.

“How’s it going?” Angela asked.

“Good-ish,” Frederica replied. “You?”

“Oh, I’m great,” Angela said.

“Do you want any help with that?”

Angela turned the chicken with her mind.

“Nah, I’ve got this,” she said. “Just make yourself comfortable. It’ll be ready soon.”

Frederica stepped back into the living room and plopped down on the couch next to Genesis. Their little grey cat, Chip, hopped onto Frederica’s lap. She scratched him behind the ears and he started to purr.