Don’t Let It Happen.
Mayor Bourgeoisie orders all the schools in the city to reopen.
Chloe, of course, will be staying home.
(Sabrina? Not so lucky.)
Adrien? Will also be staying home.
So will, it should be noted, every child of every rich family or
government official. (and let’s be honest–all the government officials are rich, and let’s be honest, every one of them is corrupt)
The rest of the children?
Ladybug stands up and calls for the Mayor to rescind his decision, to look at the facts, to face the facts. If the schools reopen now, in the middle of the pandemic, children will die. Their teachers will die. Their families will die.
The poor will die.
The Mayor refuses, and condemns Ladybug for her speech.
She’s expecting to have an ally in Chat Noir, but to her shock and dismay–
He’s on the mayor’s side.
He wants the schools to reopen. He insists that keeping kids at home is cruel and unfair. That kids should be in school with their friends.
Ladybug tries to make him see sense–
But he doesn’t believe her. He doesn’t believe that Covid19 is as dangerous as people say. No one in his family has been affected, no one that he knows has been affected.
Ladybug tells him, in tears, that her grandmother got it, and died just a week ago.
And Chat Noir, isntead of showing sympathy, just scoffs.
“She didn’t die of Covid19,” he says scathingly, “She probably had an underlying problem? Right? That’s what killed her, not the coronavirus. No one has died from the corona virus. Hospitals are lying about how many people are dying from it so they can get more money. It’s not lethal, more people die of the flu than this. More people die from car accidents than this. The schools need to reopen. It’s important for kids to be in real schools with their friends. Kids don’t get the virus, they’ll be fine.”
And all Marinette can do is just stare at her partner, the person she thought she knew, the person she thought she could trust.
Chat Noir publicly stands against her, stands with the mayor, stands with all the people who don’t care about anyone but themselves. With all the people who would like to see the poor children sick and dying if it means the parents are free to go back to work.
Chat Noir would rather see Marinette and all her friends forced into classrooms too small to social distance in, into hallways cramped and crowded and not well enough ventilated, he would rather they die and watch their friends die and their teachers die and their family members die, all because it’s ‘good for them’ to be with their friends, it’s ‘better than being stuck at home with no human interaction’.
Being dead is better than being home-schooled, as far as Chat Noir is concerned. And he’s pushing this ideology onto everyone. Forcing everyone to face the possibility of death, because as far as he is concerned, the corona virus isn’t fake, exactly, but it’s being blown out of proportion. It’s harmless. No one has died from the corona virus.
It doesn’t matter that Marinette tried to argue with him, tried to explain that if she pushed someone off a building, yes, it would be hitting the ground that killed them, but that doesn’t change the fact that if she hadn’t pushed them they wouldn’t have died.
Chat Noir doesn’t care that her grandmother died in the hospital, doesn’t care that she and her family haven’t even been able to hold a funeral for her, he doesn’t care.
He doesn’t care about anyone but himself.
But Marinette does. She care about her friends. She cares about her teachers. She cares about everyone that would be at risk if the schools are allowed to reopen.
So she does everything in her power to stop it from happening.
As Ladybug, she gives speeches, she goes on the Ladyblog, she goes on every news station that will take her, she goes on the radio, she tells everyone not to listen to the Mayor. She tells everyone to keep their kids home, where they are safe, she tells the teachers and principals and janitors and secretaries and every single person involved in the running of schools to shut the schools down before they can open.
As Marinette, she talks to her friends, she shares the videos and recordings of her speeches as Ladybug, she and her parents hang banners from every inch of their house, and they get a giant flag to fly on Marinette’s balcony, and Marinette creates face masks that she gives away for free with slogans like “don’t stay in school” and “reopen the government before schools” and “if it’s safe for me, why isn’t it safe for Mayor Bourgeoisie?”
With the combined charisma and leadership skills of her civilian identity and her hero identity, she manages to get almost everyone in her school organized through social media, and as a protest, they all refuse to sign in to any of their online courses for a week straight.
Including many of the teachers.
This is just a preview of what will happen if the schools are reopened.
This is just a preview of the strike that is to come if they are forced by their government that doesn’t care whether they live or die only if they can be exploited for profit to return to cramped, underfunded buildings that will guarantee a tragedy.
If the schools reopen, none of them will go.
If the schools reopen, it will just be an empty building.
If the schools reopen, none of them will return.
Some of the students and teachers refuse to be a part of the protest. Adrien is one of them, and he’s sent Marientte several private messages trying to convince her to stop, to change her mind, to realize how irrational she’s being.
She tells him about her grandmother, and outlines what is going to happen if all of the children in the city are forced into tiny buildings and tinier classrooms together.
And his response is almost identical to the response Chat Noir gave her. The same science-denying, compassionless refrain of ‘no one has died from the coronavirus, hospitals are lying so they can weasel extra money, she had underlying causes, she would have died anyways’.
She sends screenshots of the conversation to first Alya and Nino, and then to the rest of the class.
She blocks Adrien from all of her social media, and whatever feelings she had for him are smothered by the pit of black rage that boils in her blood whenever she remembers what he said, whenever she remembers what Chat Noir said, whenever she remembers what the Mayor said, whenever she remembers what anyone who is downplaying and laughing about the pandemic has said.
They only care about themselves.
They only care about money.
The Mayor presses forwards. Threatens the schools with retaliation if they don’t open. Mr. Damocles makes an announcement that the school will be reopening on shedule, and that masks will be provided to students.
Marinette’s parents receive in the mail, a waiver, declaring that, with their signature, they will place no blame on the school or the city of Marinette contracts Covid19 and gets sick or died.
Her father wants to tear it to pieces, but her mother stops him. And she calls up every news station that Ladybug has appears on. And she sends them pictures of the waiver, she tells them exactly what the schools are doing. Her father calls the parents of all of Marinette’s friends and tells them not to sign the waiver, he tells them not to give in to the threats from the school or the government.
The protest, which was supposed to lask a week, extends to two.
Marinette gets her hands on the waiver, and brings it up to her room so she and Tikki can read it together.
And the pit of rage deepens with every word she reads.
Marinette lives right across the street from her school.
Tikki is the one to say the words, “Let’s go, Marinette.”
And Marinette replies, “Tikki, spots on!”
And they go out.
First to Marinette’s school.
They make sure no one is inside.
They use her Lucky Charm, and get a vacuum. She turns it on.
And then they destroy the school.
Use the yoyo the slice through the concrete like it’s butter, like the yoyo is a lightsaber. They use her supernatural strength to turn that concrete into dust.
Every square inch of the building is reduced, very quickly, into dust. Dust which gets sucked up the instant it’s small enough into the Lucky Charm vacuum, so that it can’t get blown around by the wind and pose a danger to anyone or anything.
By the time she is done, there is nothing except different colored patches of tiled flooring to show that a building ever stood where her school used to be.
She turns the vacuum off.
She goes back to her house to detransform and retransform beore her timer counts down, and now that she is retransformed and Tikki re-fueled, they have no timer, though the Lucky Charm remains.
Then she moves onto the next school, a few blocks away.
Chat Noir shows up to stop her, enraged far beyond anything she would think reasonable or deserved, and it doesn’t take any effort at all to subdue him. She’s fought him too many times to ever lose to him. And without her there to stop him from making mistakes, he’s brash and bullheaded and wouldn’t know strategy if it hit him over the head. She tied him up with her yoyo and snaps his baton in half within thirty seconds flat.
And after thinking about it for a second, she reaches for his Miraculous.
Because Chat Noir is not the sort of person she can trust to help her, and this latest stunt is the straw the breaks the camel’s back. She could handle it when it was just her being affected, but now he’s putting the lives of everyone at risk, more blatantly than ever before, and that, that she cannot take.
For once in his life, Chat Noir does something intelligent.
Before she can grab his Miraculous to take it from him, he casts Cataclysm.
But unlike him, she isn’t on a timer. And he has no way of escaping.
It takes exactly five minutes for him to be forcibly transformed back, and yes, she’s surprised to see Adrien, but not as surprised or distress as she would have been if he hadn’t already shown his true colors. If all her friendly feelings towards him hadn’t already turned to burning hatred.
She takes the ring with ease, though he puts up a struggle, and the exhausted Plagg disappears into wherever Kwami go when their Miraculous isn’t being powered by a human soul.
She puts the ring in her yoyo rather than equipping it. Plagg deserves a chance to rest.
She leaves Adrien, crying, shouting, raging, there, in the ruins of a school whose name she doesn’t know, the sort of deathtrap he would sentence her and all of her friends and millions more kids they will never meet to, while he and his only friend, Chloe, had the privileged of staying home safe.
And she moves on to the next school.
And she doesn’t stop until every school in Paris is destroyed. And the only reason she stops when she gets to the invisible boundaries separating Paris from other nearby cities is that the sun is rising, and she’s tired, and she’s hungry.
She has time to go back home and sleep and eat.
The schools aren’t set to reopen for another three months.
The next day, there’s nothing to stop her from going out of Paris and destroying every school building she comes across, still with that first Lucky Charm, still with the ability to reset everything back to the way it was. But not yet.
And she finds, when she reaches the next city, that people have watched her, and taken her example to heart.
The civilians are already destroying the schools, so that they cannot be reopened. So that their children cannot be sacrificed and their blood used to oil the machine that is capitalism.
And it doesn’t take long before other cities, other countries, start doing the same.
Because buildings can be rebuilt.
But you cannot bring people back from the dead.
The only way to fix a tragedy is to prevent it from happening in the first place.
If schools are reopened before it is actually safe, children will die. Teachers will die. Children will infect their families. Everything will get worse.
Do not send your children to school.
Do not allow your school to be opened.
Do not go to school.
Don’t let it happen.
Protest. Strike. Graffiti the walls with inappropriate things that must be removed before the building can reopen. Throw every wrench you can into the cogs.
Do not sign the waiver they send you that says you will not hold the school or the city accountable if your child gets sick or dies.
Hold them accountable.
And don’t let it happen at all.
Do not get in the car when your parents try to drive you to school.
Do not get on the bus.
They can punish you, but you will be alive.
Organize with your friends, you classmates. Stage walk-outs. Refuse to enter the building.
Do not let the schools reopen in the middle of this fucking pandemic. If you are a teacher, principle, secretary, nurse, JANITOR, strike. If you are a student, protest. If you are a parent, keep your kids home.
WE have the power to stop this tragedy from happening.
All we have to do is use it.
Do what is right. Even if it’s scary. Even if you’ll get in trouble.
The alternative is worse.
We don’t have a superhero to save us. We only have ourselves. And we can stop it if we work together.