HUMAN/SUPER Higher Learning 73

“I get experience,” Frederica said. “And I get extra credit in some of my classes. We’re not exactly well-funded here. Keeping costs down is the only thing that lets us operate without too much interference.”

Josephine chuckled.

“Listen to you,” she said. “Sound just like a real journalist.”

“Well, I’m working on it,” Frederica replied with a shrug. “I haven’t really contributed much in the way of stories while I’ve been here. Turns out that’s not really my strong suit.”

“Really?” Josephine asked. “Can’t you just look into people’s eyes and dig up all their secrets?”

“I did, once,” Frederica said. “Filled a notebook with celebrity gossip I absorbed at a movie premiere. But I couldn’t bring myself to actually do anything with the information, so I destroyed all my notes. And now I just leave the mind-reading out of my work.”

“But what if it’s for, like, a good cause?” Josephine asked. “Exposing government corruption or something?”

Frederica shook her head.

“It’s still too big of a temptation.”

“I think you’re just making excuses,” Josephine said. “You’ve got to stop holding yourself back.”

“Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it,” Frederica replied.

Josephine chuckled and said, “You’re hopeless.”

“Hey, new girl!” Karen said, stepping over to Frederica’s desk.

“Yeah?” Josephine replied.

Karen held out a piece of paper and a wad of cash. Josephine just stared at it.

“What’s this?” she asked.

“Lunch orders,” Karen said. “If you want to hang out here, you’ve got to pull your weight.”

Josephine glanced at her sister. Frederica just shrugged. Josephine laughed and stood from her seat. She took the money and the note.

“Where am I going?” she asked.

“There’s a diner just around the block,” Karen replied.