"You'll be okay, won't you?" Kyle Boome asked me, smiling uncertainly. He was my mentor for the past four years, versing me in everything he knew about Volcanology. I wouldn't trade those four years for anything.
"Don't worry about me," I laughed. Kyle was the nervous, forgetful type. I found it funny how he looked like the big, tough guy that bullied the nerds, when he was really one of the most sensitive and sweet people I knew.
"Well… Gotham is a pretty dangerous place…. It's fairly famous worldwide."
"I know. I survived high school there. I can handle it. Father made sure we knew how to be safe," I said, shaking my head. Kyle and I had become best friends over time. Still, he worried far too much. I wasn't scared of the criminals, so long as I didn't meet them face to face. I'd been lucky so far, at least.
"Are you going to come back?" Kyle asked after a long, awkward silence. I hated goodbyes.
"Probably not for a while. Right now, Clarity and Glen need me."
Clarity and Glen were my younger siblings. Clarity was just out of highschool, and Glen was just a year younger than me. Our father had just passed away because of lung cancer, and our mother had died when I was really little. I doubt that they even remember her.
"When things settle down a bit, maybe I'll further my education. I'd love to teach, so I'd like to get a PhD sometime."
The PA system in the airport announced my flight was getting ready to leave in less than half an hour. I needed to hurry up."
"Best of luck, Sable," Kyle said, giving me a bear hug. I hugged him back, grinning from ear to ear.
"You too, Boome." I smiled at him before running to the security line. Gotham awaited.
After a ten hour flight, the smog covered city came into focus in the early morning light. I sighed as I looked over the dismal buildings, already missing the bright and tropical Galapagos Islands.
If home is where the heart is, this isn't it. I thought as the plane landed. I still couldn't help but smile as the old familiar town surrounded me. It was a strange feeling of bitter sweetness.
"Sable!" I heard a familiar voice shout over the crowd. I smiled and turned to face my sister, Clarity.
"You've grown," I commented, standing next to her.
"Taller than you now," she said, jutting out her chin.
"By a quarter inch, maybe." I said, ruffling her curly hair. She was beautiful, really. Round faced, big eyes, with thick black hair and smooth tanned skin. While she would only know it from pictures and stories, she looked an awful lot like my mother.
"Doesn't matter, I'm still taller," She said, ducking her head away from my hand. "Glen is waiting in the Jeep, so we'd better get your luggage and hurry out to see him."
"Is he doing alright?" I asked.
Two years ago, he was attacked by an upstart criminal trying to get a name in Gotham. He'd been cut up pretty viciously, but survived. However, one of his eyes went blind and an infection took his left leg.
He'd always wanted to be a firefighter, ever since he was very young. He was pretty torn up about the whole ordeal for a few years after the incident, but now he'd found himself something new to aspire to. He'd started up a cafe right after I'd left, and now he and Clarity ran it together.
"He's losing vision in his other eye. The doctors don't know why, but they gave him some medication to help. We're just hoping that it works." Clarity's tone fell from her normal bright and cheery standpoint down to a quiet and scared one. I gripped her hand tightly, and smiled a little.
"He'll be fine," I said, not believing my own words. Clarity picked up my suitcase and nodded.
"He'll want to ask you all about your trip, so let's hurry up and go see him," She said, pulling me through the crowded airport.
We arrived at an old green jeep after a minute. Clarity climbed into the drivers side, and I climbed in back.
"Long time, no see, Sis." Glen said from the front. I grinned at him, and hugged him from behind the seat. It was a little shocking, seeing him with an eye patch and the crutch balanced beneath his arm. I'd seen pictures, but in person it was all the more jarring.
"Heya Glen. How have you been?" I asked, patting his arm.
"Meh. I've grown to actually really love cooking, so I'm pretty happy with how things turned out. Everything has a purpose, eh?" he said, glancing back my way with a grin. I was glad he could be so positive. In his position, angst would be understandable.
"Yeah. I probably will find something perfect for me here in Gotham. Chances are that I'll stay for a while."
"That's good. We missed having a big sister," I heard Clarity say, biting her lip in concentration as she entered onto the busy street. She didn't really like driving much. Then again, neither did I.
"How was the galapagos?" Glen asked. "You only ever sent pictures. Got any amazing stories to tell us?"
"Well... I don't know. I was usually studying in a research camp or in one of cities. I guess I was lucky to have such an opportunity, but nothing really crazy happened."
"What about the field trips?" He asked.
"Well... we did study the gas composition of Wolf Volcano this one time," I started to say. "But when we got there, we found that the COSPEC had broken."
"Oh, sorry!" I said, giggling. "I'm used to being able to use the terminology freely. A COSPEC is a tool we use to measure the gas outputs."
"Oh... so it was broken?" Glen asked.
"Yeah. We couldn't get any measurements, so we had to hike all the way back," I explained.
"Here we are. You'll have to tell us more later," Clarity said, getting out and assisting Glen. I smiled at them as she did. They trusted each other so much, just like siblings should.
"Clarity and I'll handle dinner. I know you can't cook," Glen teased as he climbed into the elevator.
"I may not be able to cook, but I can hike further than both of you combined," I teased back.
"Okay you two," Clarity sighed, pushing us apart. "We get it."
"Fine mom," Glen said, rustling her hair. Clarity glared at him.
I just laughed, glad to be home.