“It’s no problem,” Frederica said. “Where’s your friend now?”
“That’s the thing,” Nila said. “She’s right here.”
Frederica glanced left and right; Nila was alone.
“Hi,” a disembodied woman’s voice said. “I’m Ji-soo.”
Frederica jumped back instinctively. When she finally caught her breath, she looked to Nila.
“We were studying this piece of old alien tech,” Nila said. “It was broken, stopped working forever ago, but suddenly it came to life and latched onto her arm. That’s when we realized it was a cloaking device. You can help, right?”
“Actually, this might be more of a job for Josephine,” Frederica said. “Come on inside.”
Nila stepped forward and the door closed behind her. Frederica glanced back over her shoulder. Josephine stood from the bed and cracked her knuckles. She extended a hand toward the empty space behind Nila. A ghostly figure flickered in the air for a moment, then vanished again. Josephine put her arm down.
“Well, that’s embarrassing,” she said. “I swear this has never happened to me before.”
“Wait, do that again,” Frederica said. “I have an idea.”
Josephine furrowed her brow and Ji-soo started flickering again. Frederica could just barely make out the girl’s short dark hair and white tank top. She held out her hand toward Ji-soo.
“Give me your arm,” she said.
A flickering forearm pressed into her hand. She probed around with her fingers until she found a round, metallic object, a couple inches wide, embedded in the skin.
“Whatever you’re going to do, make it fast,” Josephine said. “I don’t think I hold this much longer.”
“I’m trying,” Frederica said.
She closed her eyes and summoned her technopathic ability. She focused on the little machine, its power source and inner workings. She could feel the flow of energy through it, drawing from the girl’s nervous system to project the cloaking field around her body. She tried to halt the energy, to tell the machine to disconnect, but it wouldn’t listen.