“What’s his name!?” Astra giggled the question while interacting with empty air. Somehow she knew, without looking, that the owner was there.
“Ben Barker,” the green-haired woman replied without taking her eyes off of Astra’s dad. “We should talk,” she leaned closer and whispered, then tilted her head at the office and turned around.
“Be careful with Ben, honey. I’ll be right back.” Greg said as he followed the owner.
“‘Kay!” Astra nodded and continued to pet the air. Ben reached the office and found the owner seated behind her desk. She gestured at the seat in front for Greg.
“Welcome to my shelter, I’m Mundo. You probably weren’t ready for all of this today,” she said with an amused smile. “But, your daughter is special. Unique.”
“Uhuh,” Greg replied. He did not know what her intentions were, but he wasn’t about to offer up any information on his daughter if he didn’t need to. Mundo scribbled something on a notepad, then flipped it face down on the desk and pushed it toward Greg.
“Off the top of your head, do you know your daughter’s favorite number?” she asked. Greg nodded.
“Yeah,” he chuckled. “I don’t know where she learned it, but she swears 35 is her favorite number.” Mundo nodded, then flipped the notepad over to show the number 35.
“How did you know?” he asked with more than a little concern. He subconsciously turned to glance out the window. He could clearly see Astra’s blonde hair peeking over the kennel fence.
“Your daughter is something called a ‘Unique Soul’. Specifically #35, La Estrella. The star. She’ll have several abilities, but the one that we should talk about first is her ability to see the true nature of things.” Greg glanced out the window again, then back to Mundo.
“What’s in there with her?” he asked. “Is it dangerous?”
“Any pet is dangerous if it isn’t cared for properly. That kennel holds a wolf cub, a unique wolf cub.”
“Does it have powers like Astra?” Greg asked. Mundo nodded.
“Not like hers, but each Unique develops abilities based on what it is. Your daughter, the star, can learn to travel between universes and discharge plasma beams from her hand. The cub is number 33, the spider.”
“So it can walk on walls and poop out webs?” Greg chuckled. Again, Mundo nodded. “Those are the fun ones,” Mundo said. She typed some keys on her keyboard and moved the mouse, then she pointed at the screen. It changed from the security view of the parking lot to a lab environment. The camera was focused on an empty table.
“The cub, and other Unique spiders, can do this too,” she said. On the screen, a hairy, brown, baseball-sized spider suddenly appeared. It wasn’t on the table though, somehow it was floating; Greg realized it was probably on top of the invisible wolf. The spider fell to the table and another appeared to take its place. Greg watched with silent panic as spider after spider appeared. They covered the table, some fell to the floor. He was even more surprised to realize the spiders didn’t seem to be moving. “He can summon spiders,” Mundo said.
“Are they dead spiders?” Greg asked. Mundo giggled.
“No, but they’re under his control. He’s content to just sit there, so they are too.” Suddenly, a small yelp sounded from the kennels. Greg and Mundo looked to see Astra running toward the office covered in a black swarm of spiders.
“DADDY!!!!” Astra yelled. Greg was on his feet in an instant and met her at the door ready to start swiping the spiders off her, but she was smiling.
“HE CAN MAKE MORE PETS!” She held out her hands that were covered with crawling, creeping spiders. “CAN WE KEEP HIM!!”