HUMAN/SUPER Higher Learning 42

He charged forward and sprang into the air. Karen shot Frederica a look and followed him. One by one, the rest of the group took flight. The roar of jetpacks filled the air as Frederica raced to join them.

They moved in a very loose formation over the city, performing flips and spins and dives along the way. The boy with the jetpack wrote emoticons in the sky with his exhaust. Frederica kept near the back, trying not to draw attention to herself.

“Hey,” Griffith said, gliding beside her. “Pretty cool, isn’t it?”

“Is this all you do?” Frederica asked. “Just fly around together?”

“Well, sometimes we do volunteer work,” he said. “There are a few charity groups in town who get us to help out with advertising and entertainment and such. We also compete in an aerial marathon every summer. But, yeah, mostly we just fly around. I never had a chance to fly with other people my age growing up, so I was thrilled when I finally found this group.”

“For me flying’s always been an escape,” she said. “I go up here to be alone.”

He chuckled.

“I hope I’m not spoiling it for you, then.”

“No, this is… okay.” She looked around, spotted Karen up ahead. “Your friend doesn’t like me very much, though.”

“She’s just looking out for me,” he said. “She thinks I’m too trusting.”

“Are you?”

“Probably,” he said. “But you seem harmless enough.”

“Are you calling me boring?”

“No, no, definitely not… I just… um….”

“Relax,” she said with a smirk. “I was just messing with you.”

“Now you are dangerous,” he said.

They laughed. Frederica’s wings sprouted feathers again without her even intending to. The girl with the butterfly wings floated in front of Frederica.

“Hey, you should do mine next,” she said.