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And Justice For All

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The power to expose the truth? Wasn't that... all she had wanted? Marinette felt the corners of her lips twitch before allowing a rueful smile to spread across her face. She lifted her hands slowly to one ear as Scarlet Moth's soothing tone caressed her weary soul. As her fingertips grazed the cool round stud she let her eyes narrow, her smile pulling into a more sinister grin. Fine, she thought idly as she plucked the first earring and reached for the second, if Paris doesn't want Marinette anymore then she would go... and she would take Ladybug with her. The second earring tugged free just as she felt the first tendrils of darkness bubbling at her feet. She had just a moment to tuck the studs away in her now black purse before her body was engulfed by the writhing amorphous shadow.

When the darkness cleared from her vision she looked upon the world anew. And it was putrid. She could not truly see, not as she had before at least. No, but things were so much clearer now. People stood before her, the brightness of their souls infernos among the pitch. Oh, they were so bright, and wriggling and rotten. Even the brightest reds and purples were tarnished by deep black masses tucked just beneath the surface. Rotting black filth ruining perfectly beautiful souls: lies, sins, fears, injustices. She had to help them all these pitiful humans all in so much pain. She had called these people her friends, had sat among them every day never knowing that they were being eaten alive inside. She had never been able to see so clearly before.

Moisture began to gather behind the cloth that covered her eyes gradually seeping through and cutting slow anguished rivers down her cheeks before dripping from her chin. The cold bite of the heavy metal scales clutched in her left hand grounded her in reality keeping her from being swept away into hysteria. She felt the trays on either side dip and sway as they sought balance. Balance she could now bring thanks to Scarlet Moth's generous gift. He had been right all along it would seem. Perhaps even the true hero of Paris? She had thought she doled out justice fairly as Ladybug protecting her precious citizens, but this was true power. Absolute justice at the tips of her fingers... and the tip of her sword. Tears continued to fall freely down her face as she firmly tightened her grasp on the xiphos blade in her right hand careful, oh so careful, not to tremble under the weight of her new burden.

Then, suddenly, a comforting presence stood tall at her side. From her peripheral she could see the gold and blue soul, a mirror of her own, swirling intensely next to her. Verity Queen stood tall and regal a warmth exuded from her like a physical glow, for all Marinette knew it was.

"Nothing is hidden under the sun, my daughter." Verity Queen cooed gently and Ma-Princess Justice found herself smiling tranquilly. Her skin tingled and her own soul relaxed and as she basked in the queen's presence she came to peace in this new world. A world she would help cleanse by her mother's side with the aid of her new subjects. She felt the crowd of akuma shift behind her restless but waiting. Her desperate loyal ones by her side where they belonged. This was good. This was right.

"Scarlet Moth," She beamed widely as she felt her tears flowing down the newly formed smile lines and past the edges of her lips. She paused for a moment squaring her stance before raising her xiphos high into the air and continuing with purpose and authority. "I am Princess Justice and I will not fail you! Ladybug will not interfere with you this Day! Now my loyal ones seek out Chat Noir and bring him to me!I I have justice to bring for all the citizens of Paris."