HUMAN/SUPER Higher Learning 399

“That still doesn’t explain the why though,” Frederica said, turning to Dee. “You cast the spell, didn’t you?”

“I did,” Dee replied. “A long time ago. What happened just now was… an aftereffect.”

“Can you cast it again?” Tommy asked. “Send us home?”

“Unfortunately, no,” Dee said. “But I do know somebody who can.”

She reached into her pocket and took out a rectangle of clear plastic with a spiderweb of cracks along the surface. It wasn’t until a grid of icons appeared that Frederica realized it was a smartphone. Dee scrolled through the menus and tapped a few buttons.

“What are you doing?” Josephine asked.

“Renting a car,” Dee replied.

A few minutes later, a hovercar floated down from the sky and landed gently nearby. The doors swung open. Dee climbed into the driver’s seat and Josephine rode shotgun. Frederica slid into the back with Magh and Tommy. Instead of a wheel, a touchscreen sat in the dashboard in front of Dee. She entered an address into the interface and the car rose from the ground.

“I wish Nila were here to see this,” Josephine said, gawking out the window.

“If she were, she’d never want to leave,” Frederica replied. “She’ll just have to get here the old-fashioned way.”

The car cruised over the city, joining streams of other hovercars flowing through the sky. Frederica spotted people flying here and there too, above and below the cars. They seemed to keep out of each other’s way, which came as a relief to her, knowing she’d still be able to fly around the city when the time came.

“So here’s a question,” Josephine said. “If you’re thirty-one and we’re thirty years in the future, does that mean there’s a little baby version of you crawling around back in our time?”

“Not exactly,” Dee said, cryptically.

The car passed over the Champion Hotel. It hadn’t changed much in the past few decades, though many of the buildings around it were new. Frederica thought of Melody, wondering if the two of them were still together in this future.