HUMAN/SUPER Higher Learning 99

She peered into his brown eyes but she couldn’t pluck any additional information from his mind. Mostly he was just anxious to get back to a Netflix binge with his wife. Frederica sighed.

“Thanks anyway. Sorry for interrupting your shows.”

He gave her a wary look, then turned back into the house, shutting the door in her face. Frederica grabbed her phone and searched the local papers’ archives for any obituaries with the name Keating in them. She found a result from eleven years ago:


Veronica and Roger Keating of Victory City, BC, died tragically in a car accident Wednesday morning at the ages of 52 and 45, respectively. They are survived by their daughters, Gertrude and Virginia.

Mechanics by trade, the Keatings worked together for several years in her father’s auto shop before finally marrying. Their first daughter, Gertrude, was born just a year later, followed by….


Frederica held the phone to her chest and closed her eyes. So Virginia lost her parents when she was young, probably not much older than Frederica was now. Was that what led Virginia down her current path? Frederica wondered. Or had she always been like this? Either way, Frederica couldn’t do anything about that.

The sister might be an option, though. If Frederica could get close and read the woman’s mind, it was possible she might find some dirt on Virginia. Or dirt on the sister, herself, if it came to that. Frederica didn’t relish the thought of using Virginia’s family against her, but these were desperate times.

She typed “Gertrude Keating” into Facebook and a local result popped up at the top of the list. She clicked through to the profile. Much of it was friends-only, but she was able to glean a few details from what was available publicly.

Gertrude was a thirtysomething white woman with raven-black hair and green eyes. She was short and plump and had a warm smile. Several of her photos included a young boy who looked to be around ten years old. Her workplace was listed as Keating Autobody.