Adrien thought he was dead. That is, until a burst of air shot through his lungs painfully.
He sat up quickly, which caused a massive bolt of pain to shoot through his head and his vision to become spotted. The former model glanced around, unsure if he was in the right place. As he was examining his surroundings (which were littered with bodies, guns and other miscellaneous items) he spotted Marinette, who also just sat up. His muscles felt like they were weighed down with anvils as he scooted closer to his classmate. The bluenette looked at him with slight confusion before recognition dawned on her. They both opened their mouths to say something but stopped when they heard a very guttural shout.
Both teens turned to see the woman they were fighting, get thrown back against a wall. They winced at the sickening crack they heard. Suddenly, the two felt a breeze, like the shockwave of a nuclear explosion hit them, followed by a loud and rumbling, BOOM! Both dropped their jaws at the sight that greeted them.
A figure was surrounded by bright light that seemed to burn in the darkness of the ash-clouded city. They watched as any discernable features vanished, leaving only behind animosity. It was then at that time did feeling returned to his limbs. And he noticed that his Miraculous was missing. The blond started to panic. Marinette started to panic as well, probably her fancy earrings she wore all the time were missing. Suddenly, the young girl froze, her eyes turning to the figure that stood, hair floating in the air. If Adrien squinted, he could see the air shimmer with power. A moment later, they appeared, a gold and purple-y tint to them. They swirled around the figure, coming from and going to nowhere.
"Oh no." Marinette whispered in shock and fear. Adrien tore his gaze from the figure and cocked an eyebrow at his friend. The bluenette was pale, her mouth opens in a gasp, and her eyes were wide with fear.
"What's wrong?" Adrien questioned.
"That's Madeline." His friend answered. "She has my Miraculous and….."
Suddenly she squeaked, her jaw snapping shut. The fearful light turned into surprise and maybe a hint of embarrassment. Adrien was indeed shocked to learn that Marinette was in fact Ladybug, but apparently not as shocked as she was. The blond model felt like an idiot for not realizing the similarities between His Lady and secret crush.
"So, you're Ladybug huh?" He questioned with a joking tone. Of course, the young woman couldn't confirm seeing how Michael suddenly pushed them out of the way. There was a blast of light that seared the ground where they were a moment ago. The brunet guy groaned before quickly grabbing his ankle. Marinette quickly crawled over and examined it.
"It's just sprained," the bluenette announced.
"We need to get out of here." Michael needlessly informed them as he stood. Adrien draped Marinette's arm over his shoulder and they slowly limped off towards cover. Unfortunately, the Sith was thrown over their heads and landed with a crash. She struggled to sit up, but to their slight relief, the Sith just crumpled, unconscious.
"Madeline!" Michael's shout jolted the two teens out of their thoughts. The brunet teen rushed forward, stopping only meters away from the glowing form that was his sister. "Madeline? Can you hear me?"
"Madeline is sleeping. I remain." Whoever was speaking had a voice that seemed to be quiet yet booming at the same time. Adrien felt his chest resonate deep, like it would if he were close to a drum, and also heard it in his ear, as if she was whispering softly.
"Release my sister!" Michael ordered. "She doesn't want this!"
"Oh, but on the contrary. I have peered inside her thoughts, I have seen the deep recesses of her mind. She wants to destroy those that have destroyed everything she has loved."
"But it will cost her!" Marinette's voice cut through. Adrien's eyes turned to her as she slapped a hand over her mouth. The silhouette only nodded gravely.
"Indeed. But not her. Some one will pay the price she has put forth: destruction of the Empire and the return of the Jedi and Republic."
Suddenly, the figure started to glow, as if charging up. Adrien, Marinette and Michael all miraculously came to the same conclusion: the figure was going to incenerate the entire planet, or at least the city of Paris, in order to set things right. Thankfully, they all started to shout at the girl to try to reason with her.
"Madeline think about this!" Michael shouted over the growing winds. "You would destroy an entire city, an entire planet, just so you could bring back the Jedi?"
This time it was obvious whose voice it was. "They weren't ready to die."
"You know that's not true! As much as it pains me to say it, sis, the Jedi needed to be gone. They had grown vain and selfish! Believe me!"
Four lines fell down the figure's cheeks, something which Adrien could assume were tears. "No.
I don't believe you."
"Listen to your heart!" Adrien shouted. It was the cheesiest, most cliché things to say but it fit. Over the course of his lessons, Adrien had seen something that those in the Order did not. They had grown so proud in their powers that they eventually became the watered-down version of the Jedi that was created more than 2 millennia ago. They were contradictory hypocrites that were stuck in the past, wallowing in their own pride and snobbery.
Michael had managed to move through the deafening winds enough to where he could grasp his sister's hand. For a moment, the white glow around it vanished, leaving only a tanned, human hand. The dimness continued to move upwards, until Madeline could be seen. Color and definition had returned to her face, yet the ethereal glow that surrounded her still remained. As suspected, tears rolled down her face.
"Michael, let me do this." She begged.
"I lost Selma." He said with a shake of his head. "I'm not losing you too."
"Then let me do one thing. And then, I'll come back to you."
Michael hesitated. "You promise?"
Adrien watched as Michael reluctantly let go of his sister's hand. The color vanished until she was that glowing, intensely scaring thing. Her head moved up, to where she was gazing up at the large ship just now coming closer to the city.
"With the power of the Miraculous of Destruction, I remove your existence from this place." She made a wiping motion. To Adrien's shock, the ship started to break apart, as if that entire ship was made out of orbs of light. He could only imagine the panic on board that thing as it broke off into chunks, only to disappear into oblivion. But as the ship finally disappeared into nothing, the blonde could clearly see there was only one figure left, who was in a fetal position in a bubble. Madeline made a gesturing motion, the bubble getting closer.
As it did, Marinette and Adrien gasped in shock when they recognized who was trapped within there. The young boy knew there was no way he could forget that purple suit.
Hawkmoth landed right in front of them. The bubble popped, but glowing chains appeared around his ankles and wrists. Almost instinctively, Adrien and Marinette took up protective stances around Madeline, ready for anything that Hawkmoth might throw at them. But the blond's surprise, the evil Miraculous holder just stared at him with…..was that, relief?
"Hawkmoth, wielder of the butterfly Miraculous, you stand accused of upsetting the balance of the universe. A balance that will ultimately take years to correct." Hawkmoth bowed his head in shame. Or was that smirking Adrien could see. "As your punishment, you shall no longer wear the Miraculous of any kind and will be turned over to the human authorities."
Suddenly, Hawkmoth's whole body arched and he screamed in pain as the miraculous was removed from his lapel. Dark purple smoke, like what happens to a person when she/he are Akumatized, engulfed the man leaving only-
"Dad?!" Adrien stumbled back at the sight of his father, hunched over and dirty, looking ashamed and still rather smug. Anger coursed through Adrien but before he could make a move, he felt a comforting hand on his shoulder. Swiveling his head, he found Marinette giving him a look that said, 'I'm sorry' but at the same time said, 'Let me do the honors.' He opened his mouth to speak but didn't have the chance as the Inquisitor still lying unconscious was engulf in purple-black smoke. The returning form wasn't really all that different but at least she couldn't do any more damage.
They all returned their attention back to Madeline as the glow around her faded. She sunk to the ground, the jewelry smoking with glittery smoke. A humming sound met Adrien's ears, and he was on his feet in a millisecond, lightsaber blazing. But he relaxed when he saw that the human, and two aliens were on a speeder, skittering to a stop when they realized they missed the fit. The large gorilla-cat huffed, and said something in a language Adrien couldn't quite understand. He was so busy laughing, relishing in the fact that he was that he was alive to notice the Inquisitor sneaking up on him, her blood-red saber ignited.
It was only until Madeline and Michael glanced his way, their faces going pale. Adrien whirled around to see the green-skinned alien with her saber above her, ready to strike. Then, all of the sudden, she went rigid. Both her and Adrien glanced down to the smoking hole now in her midsection. The blond whirled around to see the older brunet human with a blaster out, the end smoking. He didn't even blink as he slid it back into his holster. Madeline rushed forward, catching the dying alien her arms. Adrien was shocked to see tears forming in both Madeline's and the Inquisitor's eyes, which were slowly turning a brilliant blue.
"I…. I never thought I would d-die like this." The Inquisitor stuttered, shivering. Everyone stood at a respectful distance, except for Michael, who was knelt next to Madeline. The green-skinned woman turned her eyes up to the brunettes. "I was a young fool. I made mistakes, so-some c-costing my soul. Can y-you ever find it in your heart to for-give me?"
"I don't know." Madeline answered honestly and realistically. Adrien would've lost it if Madeline forgave her.
"Do you think I'll be one with the Force?" The question had Adrien thinking that she didn't have a lot of time left. Her now crystalline blue eyes glazed over, and been given a dull look as she stared at nothing. "Do you think…. I'll see Master Luminara again?"
"I do." This time it was Michael who spoke as Madeline was too choked up to speak.
That got a small smile on the young woman's face as her eyes started to close. "I'm…on….my…. way."
Everyone bowed their heads in silent reverence as the last breath was taken and the Inquisitor went limp. Her half-lidded eyes were gently closed by Michael and Madeline carefully laid the limp body on the ground.
Adrien couldn't help but embrace Marinette in his arms as a cry of victory erupted from his throat. The others started to follow suit and soon the small group was shouting, dancing and hugging each other in happiness. Madeline and Michael were the only two reserved in their celebrations, as they just with their eyes turned to the skies. Marinette hugged her friend while Michael and Adrien only fist bumped.
It felt good to be alive, except….
"How are we going to fix all of this?" Rose asked hesitantly. Madeline turned her attention to her hands, and as she concentrated, an orb of light started to appear.
"Like this," was her answer before she tossed it up into the sky. It exploded in a burst of light, which swept around the city. It cleared the cloudy skies, and most of the craters caused by the Star Destroyer. The air was breathable after a while.
"What do we do now?" Marinette was the one to speak next.
With a glance up at the sky, Michael answered, "Now, we rebuild."
Even with most of the damage gone, it took months for the city of Paris to return to normal. The United Nations had helped but only after several appeals from the Moraes twins. Both Madeline and Michael had taken up the mantle of temporary leadership while the city was being cleaned up. They helped make it easier for the Parisians to clean up by allowing them access to the technology in the underground temple.
During the clean up effort, Madeline was named the new Grand Master of the Parisian Jedi Temple of Earth. There was a huge ceremony at the base of the New Eiffel Tower (which was still being worked on) with the ghost of Madame Cammi (who had been allowed to leave the Temple) conducting the ceremony. Almost the entire city was in attendance.
"You have travelled far, Madeline Moraes," The ghost of the sapphire blue Twi'lek announced, her voice carrying across the courtyard effortlessly. "You have faced such trials as wars, massacres, and betrayals but you did not balk. You stood strong in the face of the trouble and horrors. The Will of the Force has spoken to me, wishing to you to return the Parisian Jedi Temple back to its glory, so when the Republic rises once again, the Jedi can come back again, a new and shining Order that will outlast the Old Jedi."
Madeline's heart pounded in her chest as Madame Cammi draped something over her shoulders. The Twi'lek Jedi had informed her that the sash was an ancient symbol that was used during most ceremonies. It was something that Madeline hoped to return to the Order. Beside her Michael watched without envy and proudness, a small smile on his face. Her brother was wearing traditional robes dusted out of the Underground Temple, which was currently being renovated. The mayor offered to give her her (English, ladies and gentlemen!) own personal apartments to live in until the Temple was completed.
"Madeline Moraes, it is the biggest pleasure of mine to announce, that by the will of the Force, I now name you, Grand Master of the Jedi Temple of Paris, Earth."
The brunette stood to the cheering crowd, feeling light yet burdened at the same time. Was this how Master Yoda felt when he was named Grand Master? So much responsibility had been placed on Madeline's shoulders, but after she went through what she went through, she was certainly glad she made this far. The thought of being the youngest Jedi Grand Master, tossing Ada Gillian out of the position, made her feel like she was being written about in the history books as they spoke.
Following the ceremony, there was a huge party as all work was put off for now. Music blared through the streets as the people partied and drank. Madeline excused herself as soon as the wine was brought out, knowing the effects of Coriellian wine. The small trio of aliens had gone off somewhere in the city to rest up for their departure the next day at dawn. In her new large, yet very modest apartment, Grand Mistress Madeline watched the party with a small smile. They were as relaxed as a people could be after being invaded by a tyrannical government.
But there was a heaviness that surrounded the joyous party. Those lost at the prison camps and at the brief, but brutal skirmishes would weigh heavily on the young Grand Master. The brunette had plans for a memorial for those that were lost. Master Selma's body would be burned in a private ceremony, but Madeline believed that it should be placed in the mausoleum that was very deep in the Temple.
"Quite a party they're having down there." Her brother's voice cut through Madeline's deep thought. The young Grand Master whirled around, her new ceremonial robed dress swirling with the movement. He was leaning on the doorframe, nonchalantly, his face split into a smirk that spoke of his sarcasm. But there was something about him that Madeline noticed. He wore dark robes, his hair combed and oiled back, with pieces of armor on his arms and wrists as well as his knees and his legs.
"Where are you going?" Madeline asked, her expression careful and guarded.
Michael sighed wearily as he answered, "I'm going with Hera Syndulla when she goes back to the Fleet. I'm going to fight with the Rebellion."
As much as the news of her brother leaving her, Madeline was happy for him. He was going to help those that were fighting to restore the Republic, and maybe, hopefully, when they were victorious (Madeline refused to think otherwise) he could help them build a better Republic that would not make the mistakes of the Old Republic. Madeline silently embraced her brother tightly, breathing in his scent so she would never forget.
"Please be careful." She ordered him as she straightened the collar of his robe. "Don't come back to visit, and don't do anything stupid."
"I promise." Michael assured her softly. Madeline watched her twin brother walk away with silent sadness. The young woman turned around and returned her vigil at the window, praying to the Force to keep her brother safe from the dangers that would come from an insurgency that would no doubt evolve into a full-scale war. She hoped that he would return when the darkness had passed, and would help return the Jedi, which she would hope become a brighter beacon to the galaxy than its predecessor.
As the sun rose, Madeline refused to leave as she watched the Ghost and a Jedi Starfighter exit the atmosphere, leaving the young woman alone to face the challenges that her new title would bring her.