"Nostalgia": When they were children, Lois and Lucy Lane grew up on a number of military bases. While their father was stationed in Germany, the two played on a tire-swing, and Lois became concerned as her sister climbed the rope, eager
- You're my sister...and I will never run. I knew, no matter how high the climb, how far the drop, that I would always be you sister.
- -- Lois Lane
Appearing in "Nostalgia"
- Lois Lane (Flashback and main story)
- Amanda Suresh (First appearance)
- Elenor Lane (Dies in flashback)
- Metropolis Police Department
- Sam Lane (Flashback only)
- United States Army
- Ulschmid Military Base (Flashback only)
- United States of America
- Guayaquil (Mentioned only)
Synopsis for "Nostalgia"
When they were children, Lois and Lucy Lane grew up on a number of military bases. While their father was stationed in Germany, the two played on a tire-swing, and Lois became concerned as her sister climbed the rope, eager to fly, while Lois was sure that she would fall. Despite Lucy's promise that she wouldn't, she relied on her sister again to catch her, losing her grip, and crashing into Lois on the ground. Before either of them could fully recover, their attention was taken suddenly by the flaming crash of a helicopter nearby.
Now, Lois lies awake in her Metropolis apartment, alone for once, as her boyfriend Jonathan is out of town. She struggles with sleep. Having once been in a coma, she knows well enough that further sleep is just wasted time. She had hoped to spend the night at work, but Perry sent her home, and so she merely lies awake in bed, remembering, though she knows nostalgia is dangerous. A sudden crash from down the hall startles her, and Lois grabs a baseball bat, creeping cautiously toward her living room. There, she is surprised to see her sister Lucy, speaking in the made-up language they had used as girls, incoherently. She collapses in her sister's arms before Lois can get any sense out of her.
After the crash in Germany, Sam Lane had reprimanded Lois for not taking better care of her sister. They could have been killed, if the helicopter had crashed any closer. Once sure she'd got the message, he allowed her to go back to Lucy, warning her to stop talking in their made-up language, as it annoyed him. Naturally, she and Lucy were speaking it as soon as his back was turned. Smirking, their mother Ella reminded that after having been dragged to military bases all over the world, it's only natural that they would speak a mish-mash of different languages. She urged him not to be so careful with his girls - they were tougher than they looked. Besides, their lives would always be in danger, so long as they were forced to live next to weapons. Sam had reason to worry for his wife, at least. She was sick with an unidentifiable affliction, requiring tests upon tests, and she was tiring of it.
Now, Lois' memories of her mother are fragmented, and she can hardly put together an accurate picture of her face anymore. The images she can conjure, though, are of a good and caring mother. This was the mother that Lucy should have had - but when Ella died, she had been forced to play the role. Lucy explains that something had happened to her friend Amanda. They had been roommates for five years. A few weeks back, Amanda had come down with an illness, and her doctor had told her it was contagious, and given her a prescription. Though Amanda had recovered somewhat, she was experiencing bizarre symptoms; transformative symptoms. Nearly an hour ago, some men had come for her, claiming to be from The Cartel. Now, they were after Lucy too.
Lucy begs Lois not to tell anyone - not even Superman. Though she is skeptical, Lois recalls how she had complained that she had never really caught Lucy when she fell. Lucy merely fell on her. In the same way, she is now about to be flattened by what Lucy has got herself into. Because they are family, though, Lois makes the promise to keep it to herself, and to find Amanda on her own. Lucy, meanwhile, must stay safe in her apartment.
After putting Lucy to bed, Lois worked all day and night to investigate. The Cartel had been seeking the drugs that Amanda took. Lucy and Amanda's neighbours and Landlady had claimed never to have heard of them, despite Lois having found fresh blood in the grass and their cat Simon outside. A nurse at the clinic Amanda had gone to claimed that the doctor she'd seen had only worked there a day before vanishing, and several thousand dollars worth of medication was stolen soon after. The police had heard of the drug as well, but the usual mob informants turned up only dead ends. Fortunately, a bookie found her the necessary addresses. Despite making headway, Lois wonders how the cartel even found Amanda and Lucy - and how did Lucy escape? Something in Lucy's story feels wrong.
Later, Lois meets James Olsen in Centennial Park, who has reluctantly agreed to help her by giving her a special hidden camera. Thankful, she warns that if things go wrong, he should call the number on the scrap of paper she tosses into his hands. He should call it if she doesn't get in touch with him by midnight. Naturally, this worries him, but she insists that he let her keep her secrets.
Lois learns that The Cartel isn't dispensing drugs, but following them. An informant tells her that the drug is being pushed by a small-time gang of dealers, and it has bad side-effects that have clearly affected him as well. He gives her an address, and before going in, Lois attempts to make herself look as much like a drug addict as possible. As she approaches the dealer, and lays eyes at last on the strange purple substance, a helicopter interrupts the deal, and the Cartel rappels down taking down the dealer, and kidnapping her.
As their mother grew weaker, Lois could see her father changing. He handled her like she was going to break. When she was gone, Lois had been forced to take her place, and she knew that Lucy would never accept her as a replacement - and Lois' attempts to do so came with their own troubles.
Lois quickly realizes that The Cartel is not a cartel - it's something official. She is taken by chopper to the ship graveyard east of Metropolis, where few would think to look for them amid the wrecked ships. When separated from the other captives, Lois is informed that she is wrong to assume that they are monsters, kidnapping and experimenting on innocents. They are not the monsters. Besides that, they are well aware of who she is, and they insist that they are the good guys. They lock her in a cell, and from the chair she is strapped to, she can hear faint bits and pieces of discussion.
She overhears Amanda's doctor discussing how he had appropriated an alien organism; a crystalline fungus which induces a state of temporary euphoria when ingested. However, the fungus introduces DNA from any creature with whom its host comes in contact, and with contamination, a user could become a monster. By now, the Cartel's sweeps should have wiped the drug from the streets - though it never should have been on the streets, were it not for a handful of junkies who broke into their pharmacies. Though detox is possible, many of the users embrace their mutations, and refuse to go back. Lucy and Amanda were meant to be two of the last infected users, but Lucy escaped. Worriedly, Lois realizes that her sister had lied to her, and that she is in danger.
Lois rocks the chair backward, smashing the wooden legs, and allowing her to free herself of the ropes around her, trying to psyche herself up for what she must do next: find Amanda, get back to Metropolis, and save Lucy. In the meantime, though, the mutants have staged an uprising, and it is only through Lois' help that one of the agents survives the attack. Rushing onward, Lois hopes that the footage she captured from her camera will ensure that justice is done for these people who have been transformed so. She calls out for Amanda, and finds her nearby, breaking the padlock on her cage with a fire extinguisher, and doing the same for others locked up in a similar fashion, though time is short.
Up on one of the wrecked ships' decks, she is fortunate to be saved by the man she saved. He turns on Amanda's doctor, warning that these people are victims of his incompetence. He urges Lois to find her sister while she can. Amanda drags Lois up onto the back of a massive, flying mutant, explaining that they can trust it to get them to safety, and reluctantly, she leaves the other mutants and the agent behind in favour of finding Lucy. Soaring over Metropolis, Lois curses Lucy for lying to her, and letting her believe that she wouldn't flatten her again.
Amanda explains that their ride is actually her cat, Simon, who had also been exposed to the drug. She warns that if Lois tries to go public with what was done to these victims, the mutants won't get any peace. They'll lose the trust of the public if they are hiding their true, mutated nature in order to seem normal. The only way these people can have normal lives is if nobody knows that they're not normal.
Upon their return to Lois' place, she sends Superman to look into what's going on in the harbor. Soon after arriving, Lois receives a call from the agent, explaining that the other victims will be detoxed and released without harm. Superman, though, will not be fortunate enough to find his organization. He warns that if she publishes her story about this situation, she and her family will suffer more than anyone in his organization will. While he is well aware that she could find them wherever they hid, but in exchange for her discretion, he offers his promise to make things right. Though she is unsatisfied, he hangs up before he receives her answer.
Lois checks on Lucy's room, only to find that Simon the cat is in there, and Lucy is not. Lois realizes with some consternation that the creature she had flown back to Metropolis with was not the cat after all - so who and what was it? She listens to it, and realizes that it is speaking the made up language that she and Lucy had spoken as children, and as it transforms back into Lucy, she immediately demands to know how Lucy could have done this to herself - abusing the drug that her friend was given. Sighing, Lois softens, and begs her sister to stay and get help detoxing. Tearfully, Lucy can barely believe that Lois would forgive her after she behaved so stupidly, but Lois reminds that asking for help is an act of bravery too.
Then and now, Lucy had wanted to fly, and always, Lois had been the one onto whom she had fallen. She had never really learned to fly, and Lois had never really caught her - but she would never let her sister fall alone.
- This book was first published on February 26, 2014.
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