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‘Whatchadoin?’ Kiko said, almost startling Yelina out of her skin and grappling with her for what she was working on so intently.

‘You bugger! Let go!’

‘I wanna see!’ Kiko persisted, refusing to let go before the little blonde girl could hide it.

‘It’s none of your business! Leggo! You’re gonna break it!’

‘I’ll tell!’

‘Shut up! You’re gonna get us in trouble!’

‘Ow! Don’t bite!’

‘Then let go!’

‘No! I wanna see!’

‘If I let you see,’ Yelina told her, ‘you gotta keep it to yourself! You say one word and I will punch you out!’

‘Cross my heart and hope to die.’


‘Okay . . . well . . . I will swear on the Boom-Boom Kitty,’ she intoned, holding up the feline in question, who endured her antics with world-weary forbearance.

‘Your brain is cracked,’ Yelina muttered, rolling her eyes. ‘Okay, but don’t you dare tell anyone!’

‘You stole that stuff from that alien thing!’ Kiko accused, aghast but intrigued.

‘Yeah, well, some of it.’

‘But- what is it? And what are you doing with it? Making a super-hero suit?’

Yelina gave her a disparaging look. ‘Ha-ha. Look, I took this thing here, that sort of looks like cloth? But if you look real close, you can see that it’s made up of tiny little fibres. Except they’re not fibres. They’re kind of like tiny artificial muscles. This is how those alien things move their arms and legs, see? Instead of hydraulics, they’ve got this muscle-cloth stuff on the insides of their joints.

‘Now, what I figured is that I can grow this stuff in a nano-solution, like we used to do in science class, and then when I’ve got enough of it, I can turn it inside-out, rig it so it runs off the body’s muscle-impulses, and make myself a super-suit!’

‘Oh, I see,’ Kiko said in comprehension. ‘But what are you doing for structure? It’s one thing to have super muscles, but you need a super skeleton, otherwise what’s inside’ll get squished.’

‘I’m tryin’ ta make the two an’ put em’ together,’ Yelina complained, ‘but it keeps bunching up.’

‘You need chains of Bucky Balls,’ Kiko said, intrigued now. ‘Something to align the force and disperse it over a wide area . . . and in shapes to fit the human body . . .’ She gave Yelina a look. ‘I’ll help you do this- BUT, I get one too!’

‘You don’t even know what I want it for,’ Yelina said distractedly, turning her attention back to the problem of making the suit work.

‘You wanna go after the alien bad guys,’ Kiko said, as though stating the obvious.

Yelina gave her a look. ‘So?’

‘So I’m coming too.’

‘What? Why?’

‘Why are you going?’

Yelina shrugged. ‘I don’t know. They scare me, and I don’t like being scared.’

Kiko thought about that a moment. ‘Well, I want to know who they are and why they’re here. It’s the not-knowing that bothers me.’

Yelina sighed. ‘Okay . . . let’s make us a pair of super-suits.’

You are the alien.

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