It was the start of the week, and the ringing of an alarm clock didn't stop in Marinette's room, where the heroine was sleeping at her desk again.
After being out very late with Chat Noir fighting against another akuma the previous Sunday afternoon, she didn't have enough time to finish the homework that she was assigned for the weekend. Her superhero antics weren’t something she could explain to her parents (or teachers), so scrambling to finish homework and falling asleep in the process was becoming a habit.
"Marinette, you’re going to be late again sweetie! Turn off your alarm and get up, it's been ringing for over 15 minutes." said her mother Sabine.
"Ahhh... coming." said Marinette as she turned off her alarm.
"Good morning!" said Tikki.
"Morning, Tikki..." sighed Marinette. "...at least in a week we will be going to Japan- can you believe it, Tikki?"
"Well, it was difficult to convince you to go, because of Hawk Moth-”
"Ugh, don't remind me, Tikki!! It isn’t like I have a good excuse for why I can’t go on the trip.” She paused, and a dreamy look came over her face. “At least this way, I have a chance to spend more time with Adrien,” she smiled.
"Well, hurry or you are going to be late..."
"Ahhhhh! You’re right- I AM late!"
After she finished getting ready, Marinette hurried downstairs to the kitchen, and grabbed a croissant on her way to the front door. Checking to make sure Tikki was safely tucked away, she closed her backpack and left. She arrived at school, and hurried directly to class.
"Well, look who finally arrived. Girl, you are lucky that today, even Miss Bustier is running late.”
"Hey Alya,” Marinette greeted her friend as she sat down beside her. “How was your weekend?”
"As always, I was looking after my sisters... and yours?"
"Well…" she stopped to think about the numerous Akuma battles over the weekend- the reason for sleeping at her desk and arriving late to school. "Mine was the same as always…"
"Although I don’t mind looking after my siblings, I hate that I had to miss all the action, girl."
"Yeah, it turns out this entire weekend was full of attacks, and I couldn’t sneak out to record a single thing…" With that, Alya turned to her phone, frustrated, and began to review her Ladyblog.
"Hey, dude, you look dead! For real, you should tell your old man to cancel those photoshoots during the weekend, especially if they are going to run so late... this is NOT a good look for you."
"Suuuure… easier said than done," Adrien yawned while covering his mouth. “Thankfully, that’s a convenient excuse to cover what is actually happening…
” he thought.
After another minute, Miss Bustier appeared in the classroom, bringing all chatter from the class to a halt, and forcing the students to their seats.
“Sorry for the delay! Alright students. I’d like to start the day with a reminder for our upcoming trip. Thanks to everyone’s participation in fundraising activities, we’ve been able to fully fund the purchase of all airline tickets for the class. However, we still need to have permission from your parents to authorize our teaching staff to care for you during our week in Japan. You have until the end of the week to turn in your permission forms.” She gave the class a smile.
“Ahem, Miss Bustier...” Chloe held up her hand.
“Well, I suppose that you’ve decided who will be partners for room sharing? For your information, I’ve already told my daddy that I won’t be sharing a room with anyone…” she looked over to the red-head beside her “No, not even with you, Sabrina, even if you are my bff…”
“Chloe, we will have to see about that when we arrive in Japan. They haven’t confirmed the number of rooms reserved for us, and incase you do have to share, don’t worry- the girls will be on one side and the boys on the other.” Miss Bustier gave another genuine smile.
“Uff, whatever… in that case, Sabrina would be the only one worthy enough to share a room with me.”
“Well, if there are no more questions in that regard, I again remind you that you have until Friday afternoon in Ms Mendeleiev’s class to hand in those permission slips, and that tomorrow night is the meeting for your parents to go over the final details for this trip…” she paused. “Now please open your history book to page 50…”
After that, class started and the day continued normally until their break at lunch time.
“Hey, you’re going to your house for lunch, right?” Alya asked Marinette.
“Yeah… but you can came along, if you want” she smiled in response.
“That was what I was waiting for…” laughed Alya.
The two girls went off in the direction of the bakery where Marinette lived. At the other end of the school yard, Nino and Adrien were sitting on a bench.
“Dude, aren’t you tired of all of that?” asked Nino, gesturing to Adrien’s lunch.
“You know I don’t have any other option… this was cooked by my personal chef…” he paused and looked to Nino “but you knew that already…” said Adrien.
“Here have a cookie…”
Lunch passed uneventfully, and the warning bell rang indicating it was time to go back to class. Marinette and Alya were already on their way back to the school.
“Oh man, I am so envious of you sometimes, Marinette.” said Alya.
“Ah, why do you say that?” asked Marinette, looking concerned.
“Haha, relax girl- it’s just that you live so close that it’s easy to go home, have lunch that’s 100% fresh, and then return to school in time…” she paused. “Well, only if your bff is with you!” Alya laughed.
“Hey ladies,” said Nino when he saw them pass on their way to their classroom.
“Hey, Nino!” said Alya.
“Hi Alya, Marinette…” said Adrien with a smile, then he continued to the classroom, following Nino.
“A-Adrien… Nino… hi…” stammered Marinette.
“Let’s go…” Alya pulled on Marinette’s arm to keep her from falling too far behind.
Once they were in the classroom, the four of them sat at their respective seats, and Miss Bustier arrived to start their lessons.
“I see that everyone is back, so let’s start this afternoon’s lecture...” With those words, she began instructing their literature class.
The afternoon passed quickly, and when there were only a few minutes left, Miss Bustier stopped the class for her final announcement of the day. “Ok, that will be all for today. I want to remind you again how important it is to return your travel paperwork no later than Friday afternoon. We legally must have it for you to travel- is that clear?”
“Yes,” replied the class in unison.
The bell rang.
“Ok, you are dismissed… and remember to read the next chapter for tomorrow!” she called after them as they began exiting the room.
All of the students started to leave the campus, and Marinette and Alya stopped at the top of the stairs near the school entrance. Nino and Adrien were at the bottom of the stairs waiting for Adrien’s ride, while, on the opposite side, Chloe and Sabrina were waiting for her limousine ride home.
“I told you Sabrina, it’s nothing personal…”
“But…” Sabrina protested shyly.
“No buts… I simply don’t like to share with anybody… unless...” She glanced over at Adrien. “Adriiiikins!!” She exclaimed as she launched herself at him- her arms flung open wide to pull him into a tight hug.
“Hey, Chloe…” Adrien replied as he tried to pry her arms away. He looked relieved that his car showed up just then, and he tried again to push away. “I have to go- you know, photoshoot.”
“Awww... it’s not fair! I couldn’t talk to or be with you all day… today, you showed up a bit late, and you looked so tired…”
“Ah yeah, there was a lot to do...” He finally managed to free himself and hurried to his car. “Bye Chloe,” he said, then looked past her. “Nino.”
“Bye dude, guess I had better get going as well.” Nino waved after the car, and began walking to his own home.
“Oh damn…” said Chloe, noting that her limousine had arrived. “It’s time.” She looked to Sabrina. “Are you coming?”
“Oh yes! Thank you for inviting me to hang out this afternoon, Chloe!”
“Yeah, yeah, whatever… are you going to do my homework?”
“Always…” Sabrina nodded, as she got into the car.
From the top of the stairs, Marinette watched angrily.
“That Chloe- always the same! Doesn’t she know that poor Adrien isn’t an object…”
“Hey, relax girl. What we can do? He’s said himself that there isn’t much to be done. The poor boy just happened to know her before coming to school here.” said Alya as she started going down the stairs.
“I know! I feel bad for him... could you imagine having to support Chloe all this time?” Marinette said as she followed.
“Hah… exactly! At least she isn’t his only friend now.”
“Yes, that’s true...”
“Well, see you tomorrow,” Alya said, giving Marinette a quick hug goodbye as they reached the bakery.
“Until tomorrow!” Marinette waved goodbye and went into her house.
Later that afternoon, Marinette sat at her desk, and focused on her schoolwork like there was no tomorrow.
“You can do it Marinette, just keep focusing and you will finish early this time…”
“That was what I’ve been doing Tikki… I REALLY wouldn’t want an akuma to-”
Just then, a scream rang out.
“I guess I spoke too soon.” She sighed, and climbed through a skylight above her bed, and onto her balcony. “Tikki transform me!” She cried, and the transformation into Ladybug overtook her.
In another part of the city, not far from Marinette, Adrien was at his first actual photoshoot of the week when he heard the same scream.
” thought Adrien “Hey, Vince-”
“What was that?” asked the photographer, as his attention was taken away from Adrien.
“I’m going to the restroom…” said Adrien, and he snuck away, unobserved, behind a fake wall in the studio. “Plagg transform me!” he called, and transformed into Chat Noir.
Starting from the rooftops gave Ladybug an advantage, and she closed in quickly to where the scream came from. Chat Noir landed next to her not long after she arrived.
“My lady, you’re here!”
“Chat… good- there you are. Let’s hurry, I have things to do.”
“It would be a pleasure m’lady. Believe it or not, this cat was also busy.”
“Then, let’s do the same as always…”
With that, the two executed their never fail plan; distract and attack, break the cursed item, purify the akuma, and return everything back to normal.
“That... ending was purr-fect.”
“It was an easy one, chaton.”
“Don’t you mean purr-fect?”
“Didn’t you just use that pun? What happened- cat got your tongue?”
“Ah… nooo… haha Ladybug, was that a pun?”
The beeping sound of their Miraculous brought them back to the present.
“Oh look, I have to go...” with that, she launched her yo-yo and started on the way back to her house.
“Mmm… me too,” Chat said to himself, and with the help of his staff, he went back to the studio.
The next day at school, most students had delivered their legal permission slips, with the exception of Adrien who explained that his father said it would be delivered personally. “Not that personally….
” Adrien thought. It was probably going to be Nathalie that showed up again with the tablet version of Gabriel Agreste to the parent meeting that evening.
Once evening arrived and the meeting began, all parents (except for Gabriel) were situated in the school courtyard, which had been arranged to a makeshift auditorium to accommodate the large group. Finally, principal Damocles began the meeting.
“Good evening, and welcome everyone.” said the principal. “As you know, this year, the final school trip will be to Japan, and we have quite a bit of information to go over.” He launched into a detailed explanation of the expectations for the students while in a foreign country; there were a lot of details about rules, customs, and conditions before he gave the floor over for each teacher chaperone to give information as well.
While the meeting was in progress, Ladybug was crouched, hidden from sight on a portion of the school roof. She didn’t want to alarm anyone with her presence, so she made sure she wouldn’t be seen watching Gabriel’s assistant, Nathalie, from above. All she wanted was confirmation that Adrien would be permitted to attend the trip that he was so eager to go on.
Not far from where Ladybug was hidden- more precisely, at the other side of the same roof- Chat Noir was also hiding to verify the same thing as Ladybug. Honestly, he was worried that his father might change his mind about the class trip at the last minute, since he had sent Nathalie (as predicted). His father seemed to be very busy lately, especially at night, and apparently the only way to be ‘present’ for that meeting was using a tablet with video conferencing. It seemed like a convenient way to go back on his promise to let Adrien go with the others.
Eventually, it was time for Gabriel Agreste to speak, using the tablet that Nathalie held in her hands. He suggested that one of Adrien’s bodyguards go to Japan with the class, since he wasn’t convinced that the students would be 100% secure in a country so far away. Luckily for the two spying heroes, the principal managed to convince Gabriel that it would be nothing to worry about, considering there would be at least one police officer or one of the three teachers with the students at all times. With a class so small, there really didn’t need to be more chaperones or security.
After listening, Gabriel finally authorized Nathalie to deliver the signed documentation, and the meeting for parents was adjourned. Principal Damocles answered a few last questions, and everyone departed.
“Did you hear that Tikki?? He’s going... oh… heheee!” Ladybug started laughing quietly to herself when she realized she was transformed. “Oh right... it’s going to be so late, and Chat will probably be waiting for me since it’s patrol night.” she mumbled to herself, then stood up and lashed her yo-yo out to make a quick trip over to the Eiffel tower.
“This is great Plagg… it means I’m going!” Chat Noir excitedly whispered into the night air. He glanced down quickly to his staff. “Hmmm... Ladybug didn’t call… was she late too?
” he thought to himself. “… I wonder what could’ve happened…
” He stood up, and quickly vaulted away from the school towards the tower as well.
Just moments later, they met up.
“I’m sorry, I’m late,” they said at the same time. There was a moment of confused silence.
“That was in purr-fect sync, don’t you think, m’lady?”.
“It was just a coincidence, chaton”.
“C’mon. You gotta admit, that was pretty pawsome...”
“Meowch… so rude.”
“…Chat,” Ladybug sighed. “You know we have patrol to do and we are late… although…”
“What’s wrong, m’lady?”
“First we have to talk.”
The two of them sat together on a platform near the top of the tower.
“Look Chat, I know there have been a lot of attacks lately,” she turned to look at Chat, and he nodded. “...but there are cases where we can’t…”
“I don’t understand…”
“Let me finish, please Chat…” he nodded again to show he was listening. She continued.
“Look, you know that the end of year school trips are getting close, right?”
“Yeah, and lately the akuma victims have all been students from different schools... but they’ve all been akumatized because of these trips, even if their reasons were slightly different…”
“That’s right. Look, my school trip is this upcoming week…”
“And it will be for that full week… with any luck, at least during that time, the attacks will cease for a while, because without students…”
“There would be no victims, I understand, but…”
“Call it coincidence if you want, but…” Chat began to fidget nervously.
“Oh no… your school trip too? If we’re both gone, who will be on guard for Paris that week? After everything that has happened… I can’t just not
go on that trip without an excuse…”
“Shhh… m’lady, calm down. Though what you’re saying is true, I believe that it’s time we get a rest, don’t you think so? Also, what I meant is that you’re right, the attacks will definitely be reduced without students…”
“And so, what could be the worst that would happen?”
Ladybug’s eyes widened in horror. “…Ahhhhh!!! Noooooo… no, no, no…!”
“M’ lady? What?”
“The worst that could happen… well what about Hawk Moth attacking and destroying everything, trying to lure us out for our Miraculous... but without us here... Ahhhhh…!!”
“But it won’t be like that…” Chat reflexively put one hand on her shoulder. “Believe me, my lady… the majority of schools have already taken their trips… it seems like the remaining schools in our area will be finishing our trips next week…”
“Wait… how can you be so sure?”
“Oh, I forgot to tell you… well we didn’t really have time to talk after our recent battles, but I have been looking into it.”
“So you mean that next week should be the final ones?”
“Yes, that’s what it seems like,” Chat replied with a Cheshire smile. “Say. All things considered… we ARE both taking a trip next week… do you think that maybe we’d be visiting the same place…?” He waggled his eyebrows.
“No way… you said it yourself… SCHOOLS…”
“Awww… well, that IS true… and with what we’ve seen, all recent victims have been students. I bet that next week, while we are… out... everything will be relaxed around here!” He gave her a thumbs up, and his smile was so confident, she immediately felt secure with their decision.
“I think you’re right,” she smiled back. “Thanks, Chat.” Still smiling, she continued. “Well… it’s getting really late, I guess we should call it a night…”
“Yes, I believe that you’re right, my lady… I’ll see you around.” He lept into the night.
“Yeeeah…” she sighed to herself, and with that, she launched herself towards home with a flick of her yo-yo.
The remainder of the week passed quickly. With minor interruption from any Akuma, by Friday afternoon, everything looked and felt more relaxed. That in mind, Marinette was more at ease and began to feel genuine excitement for her trip to Japan.
Sunday afternoon arrived, and the students, principal and three teachers were reunited at the entry of the school. They were about to eagerly board the small charter bus to go to the airport, when a bossy voice rang out loudly.
“Alright, I’m going to announce the names of who you’ll be sitting with on the bus, and I don’t want to listen to any complaints!” said Ms Mendeleiev.
“Awwww...” groaned several students.
“I said no complaints!” She gave a loud sigh, followed by a deep breath. “So, the very first row of seats will be reserved for the school staff. Immediately behind those seats, you’ll notice a half row, with only two seats because of the door on the other side. In those two spots, Chloe will sit by the window, and Sabrina, you’ll have the aisle seat. Kim- you will sit behind Chloe, and Max, you’re beside him. Mylene and Alix, you’re to sit across from them, behind the door opening- so Alix, take the aisle seat. Ivan and Nathaniel, you need to make sure you’re behind Kim and Max respectively… Rose behind Mylene, Juleka behind Alix. The last row of bench seats at the back of the bus will be for the last group of students. Adrien, please sit behind Ivan, closest to the window. Nino, you will be beside him... Alya, sit next to HIM, and Marinette, you’ve got the last seat, at the opposite window.”
“One moment… how come Adrien has to sit with those three?”
“Is that a complaint, Miss Bourgeois, when I specifically said no complaints?”
“Good… the principal, Miss Bustier, Mr D'Argencourt and I will be in the front area, next to the driver. Do NOT make us regret that decision, or make us change places with anyone who can’t behave… understand?”
“Yes...” said the students.
“Good! Now, place your luggage in the side trunk of the bus where the driver says, and get inside- sitting WHERE you’ve been instructed, and I don’t want ANY problems…”
The students did as they were told, and although Chloe didn’t like the seating plan, she obediently sat towards the front of the bus, by the window, and next to Sabrina. The bus ride to the airport was without incident, and once there, Miss Bustier gave similar directions about assigned seating on the plane.
After passing through security, and showing their tickets, they all were assigned consecutive seats; the 3 teachers and the principal were sitting in the first row of 4 seats in the central part of the plane, and just behind them began the 4 rows of student seating. Chloe, Sabrina, Alix and Mylène were in the first row after their chaperones; then it was Kim, Max, Rose and Juleka; then came Ivan, Nathaniel, and 2 empty seats; and finally, Marinette, Alya, Nino, and Adrien were in the last row for their group.
Despite purchasing all of the airline tickets at once, it was inevitable there would be extra seats that would be occupied by other passengers. It wasn’t like they could hire a private jet for such a long journey. Principal Damocles breathed a sigh of relief when an older couple going on vacation to Japan came to sit in the empty seats next to Ivan. He noticed there were a fair number of students from other schools on their plane as well- apparently for a similar school trip. He was a little apprehensive that there could be trouble due to the sheer number of students on the aircraft, but he was grateful all the students were grouped mostly together, and the older couple was in their group instead of other children.
Once in the air, just after the crew gave permission for the passengers to stand in the cabin of the plane, the students started talking amongst themselves.
“This is unacceptable. I cannot believe
that I’ll be trapped for hours in a plane… surrounded by losers like all of you, and I can’t even sit by the window. I’m sure my father wouldn’t like the idea of me in an aisle seat… ”
“But Chloe…” said Sabrina.
“I don’t think we can do much about it- nobody is sitting where they want, right?”
“Mmm… I guess so… I should’ve insisted that daddy get me a private plane, but Adrien… he had to pipe up with that ‘won’t be fair
to everyone else, because not everyone can pay for private transport…’ bah- nonsense! Being here
“But Chloe, at least we’re together… the bff’s that we are!” Sabrina smiled.
“Ugh, whatever… how many hours is this flight, anyways?”
“It will be 12 hours exactly, though having only been in the air for 30 minutes, it means that…” Max supplied, just before he was interrupted.
“WHAT? 12 whole hours?? Sitting here, so far away from my Adrien??”
“Chloe…” Sabrina said timidly.
“What, Sabrina? What!”
Sabrina pointed to the principal, who had a very stern look on his face.
“Miss Bourgeois. I remind you that we are on a plane
... and although our flight is destined to take that long,” he paused and looked to Max “...thanks for the information, young man,” ..and returned to lecturing Chloe, “I recommend that you behave. Do NOT make me send you back to Paris as soon as we arrive. I can assure you that the mayor wouldn’t find any inconvenience in sending you home on a private plane to Paris if you don’t behave.” said the principal.
“…whatever.” Chloe grumbled under her breath.
“Can you believe it, we almost got rid of Chloe…” Marinette said to Alya with a hint of disappointment.
“Yeah, but I doubt that miss ‘perfection’ would want others to know her as the one that didn’t make it to Japan.”
“Haha, I could totally imagine it happening though. That’d be soooo funny, dude… don’t you agree Adrien?” Nino was wearing a large grin, and looked over to his friend.
“…Mmm.” Adrien grunted noncommittally. Before he could be pressed for an answer, he blurted out, “Did you know- I’ve never been on a plane before.”
“Never been on a plane? Really?” asked Nino.
“No, never. Normally it’s my father who travels- I do all the photoshoots and participate in modelling shows for my father and such… but never outside of Paris…” said Adrien.
“Ohhh… and I thought that, like all rich boys, you must be well traveled and have visited the world…”
“Haha, no… in all honesty Nino, I just can't believe that my father allowed me to go, you know?”
“Ahhhh…” agreed Nino.
“Hey, Nino... what about you? Have you ever traveled in a plane?” Alya asked this time.
“No, not at all- what about you?”
“No” said Alya.
“No” Marinette also said.
“Oh! So it’s also the first time on a plane for the rest of you too! Great!” Adrien replied with a smile after hearing their answers.
“It seems so! Isn’t that great, Marinette?” asked Alya.
“Ah… yeah great…” she smiled nervously.
“I can’t wait to land- I found information about some great mixes I can create with Japanese tunes...” Nino started explaining.
Several hours into the flight, the crew walked through the cabin offering sodas, snacks, and an in-flight meal. Adrien was beyond happy- he usually had a strict diet, but this week he was free from all the restrictions. It wasn’t just Adrien though- all the students were enjoying not only the food, but also the onboard entertainment being offered. A majority of the students started getting comfortable to sleep; despite not really being conscious of the time, or how many hours were left before arrival, they were feeling tired. Some were taking bets about who could stay awake the longest. The whole trip thus far was picture perfect- so perfect that it seemed impossible, or like a dream.
The illusion was shattered when the plane suddenly encountered severe turbulence… the few students that had already lost the sleep game were jolted awake.
“Esteemed passengers, this is your captain speaking. Please ensure you’re back in your seats with your seatbelts securely fastened. We’re passing through an area of turbulence at the moment. It’s nothing to be concerned over, but please remain seated for the time being. We’ll be sure to let you know when you’re once again free to move about the cabin.”
Miss Bustier stood momentarily to look over her class. “Alright everyone, you heard the captain, so make sure to follow the instructions of the crew and stay seated in your assigned location.” she said.
“I don’t like this one bit.” murmured Marinette.
“Hey girl… there’s nothing to be afraid of! Look, although we don’t have internet access, and I can’t show you the security protocols for this, your bff did her homework before this flight. I read all about turbulence before this trip- it’s totally common when flying.”
“If you say so…”
“Hey,” interrupted Adrien “Sorry for interrupting, but I also read in preparation… everything will be fine, there is nothing to worry about, Mari.” He flashed one of his winning smiles in her direction.
“T-th-thanks, Adrien...” blushed Marinette.
“Did you see that??” Alya whispered lowly to Marinette. “He was worried about you… hehe!”
“You think so? ” Marinette whispered back, then began to giggle.
“Hey, dude… When did you become an expert on Aeronautics?” teased Nino.
“Since my father made me read any and everything related to potential in-flight danger on a plane… and how to avoid it.” replied Adrien.
“Ah, then, for first time your father and his over-protection led to something useful…” said Nino.
“Haha, yes I guess you could say that…” said Adrien.
The turbulence was intermittent from that point on, but eventually settled out once more, and the students started falling asleep one by one. As all long flights do, this one felt as if it would never end, but eventually they were nearing their destination airport, Narita International.
“Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We are beginning our descent into Tokyo, where the local time is about 8:50 am. We’re right on schedule for our original landing time of ten minutes after nine. At this time, I would ask that you’re all back in your seats, with your seats and tray tables fully upright and secured, with your seatbelts fastened as we make our final approach.”
After that notification, the teachers turned around to check that everyone was awake and in their seats. A few minutes later, the crew walked down each aisle making sure that every passenger was complying with the flight directives, and were prepared for landing. Suddenly, the entire plane jolted in the air. Something as strong as an explosion was heard in the central cabin, just behind the section where the class was seated.
“Everyone, please keep calm, we’re sure there’s nothing to be afraid of… ” the principal assured his precious students.
“This is the captain again. Please everyone, I ask that you remain calm, with your seatbelts securely fastened. We have already begun our descent into Tokyo and will be safely landing in just a few minutes here. There is no cause for alarm- your flight crew and I have everything completely under control. Thank you for your complete cooperation.” The captain’s voice cut off sharply from the intercom system.
“No one had better DARE to get up at this point- did you hear him?” Miss Bustier’s worried shouts were interrupted by a maniacal laugh from several rows behind the group.
“Muahahahahahaha! NOT ONE of you noticed my presence this entire trip?? Well too late! I’m sure nobody is going to miss YOUR presence either, when you fail to arrive in Tokyo! If I couldn’t go, why should you?!” the voice cried out, angrily. “Oh my… is that SERIOUSLY an AKUMA, here in the middle of our flight??” Alya asked excitedly. “If I can’t live-stream it to my blog, at least I can record it for future reference…”
“Uh, Alya… why aren’t you worried that it could kill us all? We are thousands of metres in the air right now!!!!” exclaimed Nino.
“Oh man, what am I thinking…” her face suddenly paled. “This is the end- there is no way that Ladybug or Chat Noir are going to show up to fix this mess!”
“Stupid cat! He had to assure me that nothing would happen in Paris! Well, he was right… when we return, he won’t believe this…
” thought Marinette, worriedly. She quickly peered into her small bag at Tikki who was looking at her with the same, panicked expression.
“oh ‘great’... why here? Why now? I’m never going to hear the end of this… not only will my father be right about flights being dangerous, but I was so sure that there weren’t going to be akumas through this trip! How foolish of me- I know better, something always happens where I am! When I tell Ladybug, she’s never going to believe it…
” Adrien’s thoughts whirled, and he looked into his shirt pocket stealthily, while Plagg peered out at him with a mirrored look of concern.
“Dude- what should we do?” asked Nino.
“Uhh...” began Adrien.
“... it’s getting closer!!” breathed Nino.
“... and it’s going to be recorded on my phone…” Alya scrambled to start recording with her phone. “I swear, if we get out of this, I will definitely be more grateful than ever to Ladybug…”
“And what if it was just Chat that showed up?” asked Marinette.
“Well yes, of course I’d feel the same if only Chat Noir was here. I’d be eternally grateful...”
“Dude… What are the chances that they are here- with us- among the passengers? It’s possible, right? They COULD be with us!” Nino looked excited.
“Ah? I hadn’t considered that.” said Adrien, carefully.
“I would love it if they were here- finding out exactly who they are behind the masks- can you imagine, Marinette?”
“Well, I, ummmm...” Marinette struggled to answer.
The new villain passed by them, still laughing on her way towards the front of the plane as people visibly cowered away from her, wondering what powers she possessed. She stopped at one of the aircraft doors.
“Mmm” she smiled determinedly. “Here we are… I just need to open this- and with the help of this-” she pulled out what looked to be a book from a handbag which was part of her akumatized form, “... you won’t be showing up at your final destination! You’ve won a fabulous trip to a lovely little place I’ve chosen for you in an alternate reality… muhahahahahaha!!!” Voicing her intent, everyone stared wide eyed and fearful, trying to anticipate the moment when she ripped the door open, and, with the help of her book, cruised away from the plane and opened a portal not far in front of it.
The shock of the door being forced open caused the cabin to instantly depressurize, and the plane jolted uncontrollably. Alya dropped her phone in her lap, the recording forgotten. The ceiling seemed alive when little bags attached to tubes dropped from it, where they dangled and bounced wildly- very few passengers on the plane actually tried to grab them for oxygen because they were too terrified. There was nothing but chaos, and noise: the rushing wind from the cabin door; the muted screaming from within the plane; and the creepy laughter from the akuma which still sounded through the plane even though she was no longer aboard it. People had contorted into semi-fetal position, still strapped into their seats, and had covered their eyes in terror.
Despite their planning, Ladybug and Chat Noir could never have guessed that Hawkmoth had calculated an attack just to test the limits of his power. Not able to gather the funds required to attend her class trip, this poor teen was a convenient vessel for akumatization… all so he could test the distance of his control. And now, they were all in grave danger, with no apparent means of escape, and no apparent way to transform.
“I have to do something,
” thought our heroes at the same time, “but what?
To be continued…