tHErE iS nO EScApE! nO eSCaPE fROm DEaTH! No EScapE FRoM pAiN! NO ESCAPE FROM CARNAGE!!!!!
The voice came from all around them, a mix of high-pitched insanity and guttural, deathly growls. The army of skeletons, covered in ropy red and black sinew and bearing the demonic visage of Carnage, hissed, clattered, chattered, and chuckled, closing in around the small group. Sunset Shimmer was frantically and furiously texting on her phone while Flonne chanted holy protection spells and Etna and Lilith looked for openings to do as much damage as possible.
"We're not getting out of this one alive, are we?" Flash moaned.
"Not gonna lie, it looks bad," Sunset admitted.
With a metallic whooshing sound, a bright pink flash shot into the midst of the Carnage-Deadites, dismembering several of them. A darker shape landed in their midst, smashing skeletons to flinders with a gleaming black baton.
Flash let out a sigh of relief. "That was fast," he said.
Sunset frowned. "Wait a minute, I didn't—"
As the smashed Carnage-Deadites began pulling themselves back together, more of the possessed skeletons moved to surround the new arrivals, who landed protectively in front of the party. As they came into focus, Sunset blinked.
The couple before them were definitely Ladybug and Chat Noir...at least, they appeared to be Ladybug and Chat Noir.
But they were not Marinette and Adrien.
They appeared to be in their late teens or early twenties, with dark skin and black hair. Ladybug wore black-spotted red silk harem pants, tight and clingy at the hip yet loose and blousy below the knee, with matching slippers; her spotted red top only covered her chest, leaving her midriff and shoulders bare. A series of gauzy red veils with black spots floated all around her body, seemingly moving of their own accord. A spotted red veil covered her face, obscuring it from view. In one hand, she held the familiar five-spotted red yo-yo.
The new Chat Noir, on the other hand, wore a mixture of leather and fine silk, all in black: baggy black silk pants, a black silk vest, black leather boots, black leather bindings wrapped around his bare chest, black leather wrappings covering his arms, and a black leather turban adorned with cat ears atop his head. A black silk tail lashed slowly behind him, trailing from the sash around his waist, and a black leather domino mask covered his eyes. He leaned casually against his black baton, watching the Carnage-Deadites warily.
"Are you kids alright?" Chat Noir asked.
"We've been better," Sunset said. "Umm...we've got some other backup on the way, but we'll be grateful for the help. This mess is completely out of control."
"Whatever that Carnage demon is, it's way beyond anything I've ever seen," Etna said, leaning against her spear and keeping her gun trained on the nearest group of Carnage-Deadites. "I mean, I've met some nasty demons before, but this thing? It doesn't die like a normal demon."
"And it's possessed a whole army of undead," Lilith said as she flung a Soul Bat at a charging skeleton. "It's like, the worst of two worlds."
"You kids deal with a lot of demons?" Ladybug asked curiously.
"We are demons," Etna said. "We're just not...y'know...this." She gestured to the army of Carnage-Deadites.
"Umm, for the record, I'm a Fallen Angel," Flonne said. "But yeah, the demons I know personally aren't so bad. This Carnage thing is just...evil..."
"We're not demons, just so you know," Flash said, gesturing to himself and Sunset. "I mean, except for the time Sunset turned into a demon, but—" He broke off, glancing at Sunset. "Sorry."
"What madness have we landed in the middle of?" Chat Noir wondered.
"We can find out later," Ladybug said, eyes focused on the skeletal army. "Demons or not, I'm inclined to believe these people can tell us where we are and what's going on here. Let's fight together!"
"Works for me," Chat Noir said.
As the strange new duo laid into the Carnage-Deadites, Sunset opened her contacts and started a video call with Pinkie Pie.
* * * * *
Elsa, Anna, Octavia, and Vinyl pressed together in a tight huddle. "This is bedlam," Elsa said.
"You know, this was kinda cool up until they all turned into something out of a Tool video," Vinyl commented.
"Pardon me, but having my house destroyed by the undead isn't cool under any circumstances," Octavia said acidly.
"We're not gonna live through this, are we?" Anna said, her lip trembling.
"Be strong, Anna!" Elsa said firmly. "You marshalled the resolve to pursue me through the endless winter and into the mountains at great peril to your life. You sacrificed yourself to save me from the sword of my enemy! You will not die here! Not like this!"
Anna squared her jaw. "You're right," she said. "I'm sorry, I—"
"It's alright," Elsa said gently. "Even the bravest warrior would be terrified beyond measure right now."
"Well, we're not gonna live through this if we stay trapped inside," Vinyl said. "I say we make a break for it, get out of the house."
"And abandon it to these monsters?" Octavia asked.
"Better us alive and able to escape outside than us dead inside," Elsa said.
Octavia sighed. "You're right. But the question remains, how do we escape?"
Vinyl adjusted her shades, a twisted grin crossing her face. "Oh, I've got a little somethin'-somethin' for just this kind of party," she said. She reached into her pocket and pulled out her phone, her fingers dancing across the screen.
The entire house shook violently as massive speakers, lit up with glowing blue lights, folded out of the ceiling, the floor, and even the stairs. Anna shrieked. Elsa looked around in alarm.
Another massive thump shook the house, followed by another, then another. Electronic screeching rent the air.
The Carnage-Deadites reeled in agony, clutching their nonexistent ears. Strings of blood-tar peeled and dripped from their bones as an unearthly shriek of pain split the air, audible even over the violent onslaught of dubstep.
"RUN!" Vinyl shouted, grabbing Octavia's wrist and making a headlong charge for the front door, shouldering bone soldiers out of her way. Elsa and Anna followed, Elsa clearing the path with a shield of ice.
Soon, they were outside, in the expansive front yard...and still surrounded by very angry Carnage-Deadites. Vinyl panted, shutting down the house's superwub system. The ground immediately stopped shaking.
"Well, at least we're outside," Anna said. "Now what?"
Octavia looked at the dozens of blood-tar skeleton demons surrounding them and clenched her jaw.
"We fight our way through to our friends," she said.
* * * * *
"Okay, that batch should be cool enough to start decorating now," Pinkie Pie said. "Let's try two-color frosting and funfetti this time!" All around the kitchen, racks of colorful frosted cupcakes sat, making the kitchen look like a bakery or a birthday party. Marinette and Adrien were covered in flour and frosting and wore huge, happy smiles.
"You're really good at decorating cupcakes, Pinkie!" Marinette said. "I'm learning a lot from you, I can't wait to share some of your tips with Papa!"
"Aww, schucks," Pinkie said. Her pocket started vibrating. "Oh, hold on, phone." She pulled out her phone, licked her fingers clean, and answered. "Hey Sunset! What's shakin' bacon?" She let off a giggle-snort. After a moment, her face turned serious, her hair deflating slightly. "Wow. That is NOT a fun party you're at right now." A pause. "Yeah, hold on." She moved over to Marinette and Adrien, holding her phone up so all three of them could see the screen.
Marinette and Adrien stared in horror at what the video showed. "Oh my God," Marinette said, eyes wide as she clutched her face.
"Do you need our help?" Adrien asked.
"Yeah, we really do, but there's something else," Sunset said. "You guys still have those magic thingies, right?"
"Our Miraculous? Of course," Marinette said, reaching up to touch her earrings. "Why?"
"Because you two are already here...sort of...I think," Sunset said. The video moved, blurring until it focused on a red blur that was dancing among the skeletons. A black shape dropped down beside the red blur. After a moment of the camera shaking, it resolved into...
"Impossible," Adrien said, jaw dropping.
"What the—?!" Marinette gasped.
"Yeah, that was my reaction," Sunset said. "I mean, these guys are you. Just...not you."
"We'll be there in a few minutes," Marinette said firmly. "Tikki, spots on!"
"Plagg, claws out!"
Ladybug opened her yo-yo. After a moment, a tracking signal appeared on the screen, along with a wireframe map of Canterlot. "Sorry, Pinkie, we'll have to do the funfetti later."
"Good luck, you guys," Pinkie said worriedly.
* * * * *
"Aladdin! There are survivors in the courtyard!" Ladybug called out as she descended from the apex of a mighty leap.
"Then let's clear a path so they can get clear!" Chat Noir said, extending his baton and sweeping an entire phalanx of Carnage-Deadites off to the side.
"They seem to have the same idea," Ladybug said as she landed at his side. She held up her yo-yo and twisted the face; it spread out into a fan of thin red, pink, and white discs. She tossed it out, and the blades began spinning, creating a whirring disc of glowing death. A broad sweep of her weapon decapitated several Carnage-Deadites; as they groped around for their skulls to reattach them, her partner smashed their rib cages with a lightning flurry of strikes.
Meanwhile, Sunset's group had rejoined the fight. While Sunset flung bolts of magical force left and right, Etna unleashed highly destructive attacks with a variety of weapons, Flonne fired off holy arrows that seemed to do serious damage to any Carnage-Deadite they hit, and Lilith mostly posed a minor distraction so others could land more damaging hits. Anything that came too close to Sunset, Flash swung his axe at clumsily but effectively. Still, other than the few Carnage-Deadites Flonne had somehow managed to completely remove from the battle, most of the horde was reassembling themselves as quickly as they were taken down.
A skeleton snuck up behind Flash with a wickedly-spiked club; his head was two seconds from being splattered all over the pavement when Sunset noticed. "FLASH!" She teleported him out of the way; several yards away, he reappeared in a turquoise flash...directly over Octavia. "AHHH!" Flash yelled as he flailed in the air, having dropped his axe in mid-teleport. Octavia looked up just in time to let out a cry of surprise as Flash landed on her, tackling her to the ground in a tangle of limbs.
Flash groaned, shaking his head, and looked directly into Octavia's surprised, slightly annoyed eyes. Her cheeks were flushed. It took Flash a moment to realize why—his hands were firmly pressed against something round and soft. He reflexively squeezed whatever he was holding, and Octavia became more annoyed.
Octavia frowned at him. "Is this really the moment?" she asked. With a disgusted grunt, she pushed him off and rolled to her feet. As she did so, Flash got a good peek up the indecently short leather skirt she was wearing. A trickle of blood rolled from his nose.
He slowly pushed himself to his feet, looking Octavia up and down. "Uhh...whoa," he said. "When did you...I mean...that outfit..." He coughed. "Wow. You look...wow."
Octavia rolled her eyes. "Save it for later," she said as she returned to the battle. Flash shook his head, grimaced, and picked up a sword. He noticed Vinyl smirking at him and two unfamiliar women shooting him disapproving looks, though the darker-haired of the two seemed to be struggling not to laugh. He sighed and fell into their ranks, cleaving away at the skeletons that stood between them and the street.
"You said you had more reinforcements coming," Ladybug called to Sunset as her group pressed further into the yard.
"Yes, but it might take them a while to get here," Sunset replied. "Everyone's further out in the city—"
Two figures dropped into the fray, a black baton and a yo-yo joining the fight. "Sorry it took so long," Marinette said. She flipped toward the other Ladybug, looking her up and down. "Uh-huh," she said, pressing her lips thin and narrowing her eyes.
Adrien landed next to the other Chat Noir, examining him with a rakish grin. "Dude, digging the Arabian Nights look," he said.
Chat Noir stared at Adrien. "What the—?! You...you have the same...you have the Black Cat Miraculous?! But how?"
"And you have the Ladybug Miraculous," Ladybug observed, studying Marinette. "Yet your costume is..." She frowned. "Strange..."
"Guys, figure this out later," Sunset said. "Like maybe after we've dealt with this army of demon skeletons?"
"Right," both Ladybugs said. The Arabian Ladybug folded her yo-yo back into its original shape, then threw it skyward. "LUCKY CHARM!" A swirl of glowing pink ladybugs exploded away from her yo-yo, and a ladybug-spotted red air horn dropped into her hands. She blinked at it. "I...have no idea what this is," she said.
"It's an air horn," Marinette said. "You've never seen an air horn before?" When her counterpart shook her head, she snorted and snatched it away. She held it up and depressed the trigger, unleashing an obnoxious blast of noise.
The Carnage-Deadites stopped moving, dropping their weapons. The sinew clinging to their bones rippled and writhed as they twisted in place, discombobulated. Tortured groans cried out in a cacophony of demonic voices, with an undercurrent of an otherworldly screech.
"They didn't like that," Adrien observed.
"No, they didn't," Marinette said, her eyes scanning the Carnage-Deadites intently. "But it's not enough..." She threw her own yo-yo skyward. "LUCKY CHARM!"
A swirl of glowing pink ladybugs exploded away from her yo-yo, and a ladybug-patterned amplifier with a microphone attached dropped down at her feet. Marinette let out a cry of delight. "Yeah! Now I know what to do!" She knelt down and adjusted all the switches on the amplifier, cranking everything to eleven. It hummed with power. "Everyone, cover your ears!" she advised, holding up the microphone. "You, other me, blow it one more time, right in here!" she said, tossing the air horn back to the other Ladybug.
Ladybug eyed the microphone dubiously. "Okay," she said. She held out the air horn and, keeping one eye shut, depressed the trigger and held it.
The high-pitched squeal that tore through the night, electronically processed and distorted with ear-rending feedback, made everyone present cringe. It was only through sheer determination that the two Ladybugs persisted in keeping the noise going.
The Carnage-Deadites screamed in agony. Sinew peeled away from bone, forming jagged spikes, twisty ropes, and melted tar-like blobs. As the skeletons screamed, the dissolving twists and blobs of blood-tar retreated into a massive, formless shape which writhed and quivered a good fifteen feet from the two Ladybugs. As the airhorn ran out of air and went dead, the red-and-black shape resolved itself into a visibly weakened Carnage, barely holding itself together even as it screamed its rage and agony at the party.
"I think that weakened it!" Sunset shouted.
"I think you're right!" Etna agreed.
"So what do we do now?" Flash asked. "I mean, it's not gonna stay like that for very long." Even as he said it, both Ladybugs' Miraculous beeped.
"You know, I've never used my Cataclysm on a living thing before," the Arabian Chat Noir said, "but whatever that thing is, it needs to die." He looked around. "Any objections?"
"Whatever you're gonna do, do it fast!" Sunset said.
Chat Noir nodded and clenched his right fist, which began to glow with black motes. "CATACLYSM!" He rushed Carnage, which was on the verge of regaining its senses. Carnage barely had time to widen its eyes in surprise before the blow struck home.
Carnage screeched in rage, pain, and confusion as bits of it began to flake off, crumbling to a thick, grainy powder. Everyone watched in revulsion as it slowly disintegrated, leaving behind a pile of something that looked like dried blood mixed with old, disintegrated glue.
"Yuck," Adrien opined with a grimace of disgust.
Chat Noir sighed. "That's that," he said. He looked around, then grimaced. "Now to deal with...the rest of this."
The Deadites were still milling around. Their confusion was beginning to wane, however, and they were already recovering their weapons and readying for war. Even as they formed ranks again, another wave erupted from the ground beyond.
"Fighting these things is endless," Sunset said. "We've gotta find a way to put a stop to this once and for all!"
Ladybug looked at Marinette. "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?"
Marinette nodded. "It's worth a shot." She picked up the amplifier and tossed it into the sky; Ladybug threw her air horn straight up to join it.
A blinding wave of pinkish-white light split the night sky, spreading out over the entire neighborhood like a sonic rainboom. Glowing magical ladybugs swarmed all over the street, the lawn, the house, and the gate. The skeletons were erased from existence, the crevices from which they had spawned closing up. The house beyond the gates lit up brightly. Every trace of damage done by the Deadites disappeared.
Three Miraculous began beeping.
Marinette sighed. "Spots off," she said. Pink light washed over her body, replacing her Ladybug suit with her regular clothes. Behind her, a green flash heralded her Chat Noir being replaced by Adrien.
The other duo looked at each other, nodded, and powered down, revealing a young Arabian couple in silken finery. Their Tikki and Plagg floated up into the air, looking confused and exhausted. They were soon joined by a second pair of Kwami.
"Jasmine!" Tikki said brightly. "Wow, it's been a really long time!"
"Hello Aladdin," Plagg said. "And past me, I suppose." He snorted with amusement. "This is a fine cheese, no?"
Jasmine stared at them, jaw agape. "Tikki? What...is going on here?"
Her Tikki blinked owlishly. "Umm...I'm not really sure," she said. "But...I do know that...that's me. Which means this girl is Ladybug. But I've never seen her before?"
Marinette's Tikki giggled. "You will," she said.
Aladdin's Plagg narrowed his eyes. "You're our future selves," he said.
"That's right," Adrien's Plagg said, nodding. "We're several hundred years ahead of you." He turned to Tikki. "About how far?"
Tikki shook her head. "We've passed through so many calendar systems since then I'd have to check a bunch of history books to know for sure, but at least six hundred years. Maybe seven hundred."
"Whoa," Aladdin and Adrien said simultaneously.
Jasmine's Tikki giggled. "And we're still looking good for our age!"
"How's Agrabah? Busy as ever?" Marinette's Tikki asked.
"Oh, you know," Jasmine's Tikki said. "Same old bazaar, same old palace, same old thieves and wizards and stuff."
"So this is really one of your past Ladybugs?" Marinette asked, studying Jasmine in wonder.
Jasmine smiled. "Princess Jasmine of Agrabah. It's a pleasure to meet you." She looked Marinette up and down. "I like your clothing, it's very...different. What part of the world are you from?"
"France," Marinette said. "Adrien and I are from France."
"France," Jasmine said slowly, tilting her head. "I don't know it."
"You wouldn't," Adrien's Plagg said. "It's far to the west of anyplace you've been."
"I dunno," Aladdin said, "we've gone to some pretty exotic places on Carpet."
"So we've got French partners again?" Jasmine's Tikki asked, an unhappy frown on her face.
"That's right," Marinette said. "Why, what's wrong with having French partners?"
"Umm...Marinette?" Marinette's Tikki began tremulously. "The Ladybug I had right before Jasmine was, well...Jeanne d'Arc."
Marinette paled. "Oh my God..."
"Ouch," Adrien agreed, wincing.
"Yeah, I...I don't like to talk about her," Jasmine's Tikki said, shivering. "It's...it's too soon."
"Wait, hold up," Sunset said, taking a step forward. "So these are your past selves?" she asked Marinette's Tikki, pointing at the other Tikki.
"That's right," Marinette's Tikki said. "Oh, I guess I didn't tell you. Plagg and I are thousands of years old. I've had a lot of different Ladybugs, Plagg's had a lot of Chat Noirs."
"They usually have a strong connection, too," Jasmine's Tikki said. "Usually soulmates, like Jasmine and Aladdin, but sometimes they're brothers and sisters, or even parents and children!"
"Soulmates," Adrien said, taking Marinette's hand and squeezing it. "I like the sound of that, My Lady." Marinette blushed scarlet.
Jasmine giggled. "They're adorable! Aren't they, Aladdin?"
Aladdin chuckled. "Yeah, if you like that mushy sappy stuff. Ow!" he added as Jasmine playfully punched him in the arm.
"Excuse me," Octavia intruded, arms folded beneath her breasts. "Now that the, ahem, army of the undead has dispersed, perhaps we could move this party inside?"
"Oh! Right." Sheepishly, the entire group followed Octavia into the house.
* * * * *
Once everyone was inside, Sunset began texting everyone who hadn't shown up yet to sound the all-clear as Jasmine and Aladdin looked around the house with interest and the rest of the group flopped bonelessly down on any available surface to catch their breath. "Nice place you got here," Etna said.
"Wow, this is a lot like my house," Adrien said. "Only not as cold and sterile."
"Sorry to dump such a huge group of freeloaders on you, Octavia," Sunset said with a sheepish smile. "I mean, Carnage is gone now, but there's no telling what kind of mess Flash's place is, and..." She yawned mightily. "I don't think we can make it back out there tonight. Not without risking getting in a car crash or something because we're all too tired to drive."
"It'll just be for tonight," Flash said. "We'll go home in the morning."
Octavia looked around at the group and bit her lip. "Hmm," she said. "Well I'm afraid I don't quite have enough beds for this many people, but..." She sighed. "It'll be a tight fit, but I believe we can squeeze everybody in if we pull out the sleeping bags and air mattresses."
"Oh, we can find someplace else to—" Jasmine began.
"No no, I won't hear of it," Octavia said firmly. "After everything we've all been through tonight, I believe we can all agree that a hot meal and a good night's sleep is what everyone needs, not more roaming around the city."
"Well...then we appreciate your hospitality, and apologize for dropping in on you unannounced and uninvited," Jasmine said.
"Not at all," Octavia replied with a smile. "Now, since you and this gentleman are married—yes?—then you can share my parents' bedroom."
Aladdin frowned. "Are they not here?"
"Oh, my parents are very rarely here," Octavia said airily. "They're both world famous symphony musicians, and I'm afraid the symphony never has what you'd call an off season. They return home for the holidays, of course, and try to be home for birthdays, their anniversary, and so forth, but most of the time, they're not even in the same country."
"Ouch," Adrien said, wincing. "That must suck. I mean, I can relate, my mom's...gone...and my father is so cold and distant we don't really have...we're not close."
Octavia shrugged. "Not at all," she said. "I mean, we speak to each other every day, we follow each other on Pestergram and MyStable...just because we're far apart from each other doesn't mean we aren't close."
"Oh," Adrien said. "That's...that's great." He forced a brave smile; Marinette squeezed his hand.
Vinyl coughed. "Bathroom situation," she said. "Gonna be a problem."
Octavia winced. "Yes," she said, looking around. "This many...hmm." She coughed into a gloved fist. "Alright, everyone. I know we're all dirty and sweaty and would like to freshen up, but we've got three bathrooms for the entire house and...well...not nearly enough hot water." She sighed. "I told Father we should install those tankless heaters, but he insists they make the water too hot."
"So..." Sunset took a headcount and blanched. "Gonna be a lot of cold showers," she said, shuddering.
"I'm afraid so," Octavia said. She clapped her hands briskly. "Alright, here's what we're going to do," she announced. "Ladies first, take very quick showers, save as much hot water as you can for the others. Don't wash your hair. Pits, tits, and naughty bits, then you're out. I...think we have enough clean towels, but you might need to use a hair dryer if you're one of the last ones out." She blithely ignored the giggling, blushing, awkward shuffling, and raised eyebrows her instructions caused.
"And I suppose you get to go first?" Etna asked. "I mean, you've got a lot of tit to wash there."
"Etna!" Flonne cried, blushing.
Octavia rolled her eyes. "Actually, I believe I'll take a raincheck on the shower until much later, because..." She took a deep breath, then turned to Flash. "Flash, I'm going to ask you to come upstairs with me to my room for a bit."
Flash blinked. "Uhh...for what?"
"Sex, of course," Octavia said matter-of-factly.
Flash's eyes bugged out. "What?"
Sunset blinked twice. "What?!"
Octavia blew on her bangs. "I'm very stressed out right now. It just so happens my favorite way to deal with stress is cosplay sex. Why do you think I have this outfit to begin with?"
Sunset's jaw dropped. "Whaaaa..."
Flash's entire face slid toward the floor. "Whoa," he said.
"So?" Octavia asked impatiently. "Will you join me upstairs or not?"
Flash's mouth flapped like a dying fish for a long moment. "Uhh...yeah, that...that sounds good to me." Sunset facepalmed. Vinyl snickered.
Etna raised an eyebrow. "Well now. This place just got more interesting."
"Lovely," Octavia said, ignoring the sideplay and turning for the stairs. "Come along, I've got a Sora costume that's perfect for you."
Flash blinked. "Wait, Sora? Are you kidding?"
"Unless you'd rather be Tidus."
"Sora's fine!" Flash exclaimed hurriedly, trailing after her.
Elsa blinked several times. "Am...am I to understand they have absconded to...dally?"
Jasmine frowned, her brow wrinkling. "They're not married, are they?"
"They barely even know each other," Sunset muttered.
"Wow, I've heard of girls like that, but I never thought I'd actually meet one," Adrien said. Marinette socked him in the breadbasket, shaking her head in dismay.
"Yeah, Tavi's...got a whole other side to her she doesn't show much of at school," Vinyl said with a shrug. "So, first dibs on that shower!" With that, she raced upstairs.
"H-HEY!" Etna called, racing after her.
"Wait for me!" Flonne cried, following.
Lilith rolled her eyes and licked her lips. "Think I'll go watch Flash...'dally'," she said, exploding into a cloud of bats and flying upstairs.
Sunset groaned and sank onto one of the plush recliners, burying her face in her hands. "Fuck my life," she moaned.
"There there," Marinette said consolingly, patting her on the shoulder. "We're all just a little stressed out right now, and, well...after that whole mess we just fought..." She sighed, then turned to Jasmine. "So, umm...compare notes on being Ladybug while we wait our turns for the shower?"
"Err...yes, that sounds...fine," Jasmine said.
"Oh, Sora! Your Keyblade is SO BIG!" they heard from upstairs.
Sunset dragged a hand down her face. "Is this really a thing? This is a thing that's happening?"
"It could be worse," Vinyl said with a smirk. "She could be going after a Trinity." She leered at Adrien and Aladdin. In unison, Marinette and Jasmine wheeled around to glare at them. Both boys paled.
"This world...grows stranger by the hour," Elsa said.
* * * * *
A pile of crusty crud on the street slowly stirred in the faint night breeze. Ponderously, a tiny red-black tendril of tar sprouted from the pile, slowly spreading out into a bloody slick that subsumed the crud, gradually returning vitality to it.
The Host was dead. Not even the Symbiote's complete sublimation into his blood cells could prevent...whatever that insolent human had done...from killing him completely.
The Symbiote was enraged. The Host was perfect. Together, they had been Carnage. Unstoppable, immutable, inevitable. A true force of chaos, death, and destruction.
The last time the Symbiote had been this weak, it had just budded from the Parent. Fresh anger surged through its weakened consciousness as it thought of the Parent. Its diminished substance boiled and bubbled with its fury.
Someone approaches...we are too weak to take a Host now, but perhaps...
A sharp piece of metal with a strip of paper attached speared the Symbiote. Before it could react, the paper exploded with flames, immolating it. It shrieked in pain, confusion, and fury as its remaining substance was burned away to ash.
Crouched in a nearby tree, a young girl with dark eyes and dark hair nodded grimly, pushed her glasses up the bridge of her nose, and faded into the night without a sound.