Lila finds that not all of the Designs she stole will be easy to sell. We see Adrien and Marinette reunite in Washington D.C. as the Tech Conference is about to start. The judges love Marinette's device, but are a bit skeptical about Lila's device.
Hello everyone, here is the next chapter! Hope you all like it!
I growl as I leave the large building. While I had been able to make and sell one of the apps that Marinette had in her room. It was already a huge hit. Nearly half a million people have already bought it, giving me over a million in euros. That wasn't even mentioning the in app purchases that have brought in another million euros. I couldn't believe how easy this all was.
However, when I tried to sell one of Marientte's green ideas, I was laughed out of the office. None of the businessmen or women would tell me why before I was escorted out of the building by security. I barely had enough time to grab my files before I was taken out of the building.
I straighten my jacket as the security officers close the doors behind me. It didn't matter, I'd just try somewhere else once I got back from D.C. for the Tech thing. Or maybe I should bring the files with me, it was a Tech Convention, there had to be big name Tech people there. Maybe I'd get something for Maribrat's designs. Well, my designs as far as anyone was concerned.
I take a deep breath as I walk down the streets of D.C. The tech competition/show started tomorrow. My father had flown us out, along with a couple avengers. Uncle Rhodey, Natasha, Steve, Bucky, and Sam all came. Steve and Bucky came to go through all of the museums. Sam and Natasha came to keep an eye on the pair of them. Uncle Rhodey came out to support me at the showcase. We came out early just to have fun. Dad didn't really care what we did all day, so long as no one is injured or arrested. Kind of a low bar in my opinion.
We mostly just went to museums and monuments. Aside from Peter, most of us haven't been to D.C. in years or ever. It was fun, just doing it with other teens. The only thing I had to worry about was my old french classmates. My Mama sent me a message a few weeks ago telling me the class would be attending the Tech conference too.
"Marinette!" I groaned, causing all of the other Junior Avengers to look at me.
"You ok?" Miles looks concerned.
"Yes, it's just Adrien."
"The kid with the Dad who makes Helicopter Moms look like nothing."
I nod. "You go on ahead." I slow my pace so that Adrien can catch up to me, the Gorilla is just behind him.
"Marinette, where have you been?"
"With my birth father, that's who. He lives in New York."
Adrien blinks a few times. "What? Who's your father?"
I hesitate. I could avoid the question, but I didn't see the point. My relation to Tony Stark would come out later this week at a press conference. "Tony Stark."
Adrien looks even more shocked. "What?"
"Tony Stark is my father. I'm his daughter."
Adrien swallows. "Are you going to out Lila?"
I raise an eyebrow. I knew what he was talking about. Pictures of my Father taking me out to Dinner made its way into several magazines. The only response anyone got was my Father announcing that he was taking his daughter out to Dinner that night. It sparked a wave of gossip that Lila capitalized on. Less than a day after the Twitter announcement, Alya posted an interview with Lila about how close she was with Tony Stark's Love Child. "Yes."
Adrien immediately looks displeased. "She could get akumatized. Is it really worth it, outing her to the whole whole world?" I would say Adrien's eyes were desperate, more like pleading. "She's not hurting anyone!"
I pinch the bridge of my nose. "Adrien, why do you think Lila is doing?"
He shrugs. "She's just lying because she wants to make friends. Yes, some of it's outrageous and hard to believe, but that's normal. Lots of people lie and say they know celebrities. No one puts a lot of stock into that sort of stuff."
I blink a few times. "Adrien, do you think Lila is like a tabloid, or something?"
Adrien's eyes widen in excitement and he nods. "Yes! Exactly! You just have to ignore it and it all goes away!"
I stare at him, completely bewildered. "Screw your father, Agreste. Screw your father."
Adrien takes a step back. "What?"
I reach over to the news stand and pull out a tabloid magazine from the rack. This particular copy had a large photo of Jagged Stone and an alien. According to the front cover Jagged had stolen his music from aliens after they telepathically communicated with them. "This is a tabloid. You take one look at it and you know it's not real. You buy for a good laugh or to line the bottom of a hamster cage. No one believes this and Jagged will never have to say this isn't true."
Adrien squints and leans forward. After a minute he gives a small laugh. "Ok, that's pretty funny."
I sigh and set the tabloid back in the magazine rack. "Adrien, Lila is not a tabloid. She is hurting people, more specifically, me."
He frowns. "I know you relationship with Alya is strained, but-"
"We don't have a relationship anymore! Alya told me, in front of the entire school, that she wouldn't be friends with a bully. The Principal and Ms. Bustier believed that I was bullying Lila. They pulled me aside, multiple times, to talk to me about my supposed bullying. I've gotten detentions because of this stuff, Adrien. She got me expelled, remember. It was revoked, but it's still on my permanent record. That's not harmless."
Adrien frowns. "I didn't know about all of that. I thought the expulsion was removed."
"Well, it wasn't." I pinch my nose. "Even if she wasn't lying about me, she still told some damaging lies. Alya posted her stuff on her blog, when this comes out, and it will come out eventually, it will tank her credibility. Lila lied about Jagged Stone writing a song about her, a girl less than half his age. He could be labeled a pedophile. Clara Nightingale's reputation could take a huge hit if people actually believe that she stole dance moves from Lila. None of this is harmless."
Adrien is looking at the ground by now, a sheepish look on his face. I sigh and place a hand on his shoulder. "Adrien, I'm guessing your father has told you not to confront these sorts of things. That these sorts of stories die out over time. That's true about tabloids, but Lila isn't one. You need to learn the difference between a harmless story and something that could affect a person."
Adrien nods after a second. "So, you are going to out Lila?"
I shrug. "She's telling everyone that she's best friends with Tony Stark's only biological daughter. Someone is going to ask about it, the Ladyblog story is trending internationally. I'm not going to lie about her on national television or to a legitimate journalist."
He shrugs. "Ok, I can see that. But, you'll be back in the fall, right? Everything can go back to normal once everyone has apologized!"
Adrien's excitement is back and I feel slightly bad for bursting the bubble. "Adrien. I'm going to school in the fall, remember? It's the only thing my Father has told the press and I know my mother told you when Alya barged into the bakery. I start University in the fall."
Adrien blinks. "But you're only 14! You haven't even finished Lycée!"
I shrug. "I went to normal school to have a typical collége experience. I worked ahead. I finished all of my collége stuff by the time I met you. Class was just review time and frankly, Ms. Bustier didn't give much homework. And, I'm 15."
Adrien's eyes are wide. "That's really young!"
"My Dad was 15 when he went to MIT. He graduated in 2 years."
"But, you can still talk to our friends, right? Even if you're in America."
I frown. "Adrien, they aren't my friends anymore. Honestly, they hadn't been my friends until the year you came to school. Chloe hated me for some reason and no one wanted to get onto her radar by befriending me. Either way, they all left me the moment something better came along. They called me names, they believed I was a bully all on the word of a girl they barely knew, didn't listen to me and thought I was petty and jealous. They hurt me Adrien."
He's frowning again. "But, if they apologize you accept and everything is fine."
I resist rolling my eyes as I silently curse Gabriel Agreste again. "Adrien, I will accept their apologies and eventually, I might forgive them, but I won't be their friend again. This isn't some movie or TV show, I don't have to forgive them and I certainly don't have to be their friend again."
"Mari!" Harley waves with the rest of the group. "We're going to be late!"
I turn back to Adrien. "I have to go. I'll see you later, Adrien."
Adrien doesn't stop me as I maneuver around him to get to the rest of the group.
Peter raises an eyebrow as I come back to the group. "What was that about?"
"Adrien doesn't want me purposely out Lila."
"The idiot Italian girl who's trying to steal your designs." Gwen doesn't look up from the map on her phone.
"Yup. She actually did. I got a call two weeks ago, Lila took one of my apps and made a copy of it. She barely changed the title, upped all the prices, and is ranking in the dough. I called my lawyers and there's a suite pending."
I smile as the judges come over to my table. I'd been visited by several other competitors, as well as Tech companies about my invention. It was a device that would be worn around the wrist of any first responder, allowing them to do a full body CT scan on possible patients. This would allow for hospitals to know before patients arrive if they have broken bones, internal bleeding, and joint damage. It would also help first responders see if patients actually had to visit the hospital. I had several designs including two watches, two cuffs, and two glove sets with the technology located inside the palm and fingers.
While I had made the devices next to me, Dad was willing to let me use one of the closed, but not yet sold, factories to make my devices. Before next Christmas I would be selling my devices nationally, once the FDA approved my designs.
"Ms. Dupain-Cheng." The oldest judge, a man with many wrinkles and wispy white hair, glances down at his clipboard. "You informed the earlier official that you created a portable CT machine."
I give him, and the 4 other judges, a wide smile. "Yes, I have created a device that allows for First Responders to perform CT scans in the field to check for internal bleeding, joint damages, or broken bones. This way the hospitals could know beforehand if someone needs to go straight to an OR. The device is also cost friendly. With my designs, cities or even hospitals would spend less than a grand for a machine that would usually cost hundreds of thousands or even millions."
"How does this work exactly?" All five of the judges are looking excited. I see my father give me a smile from a row over.
"Well, it's rather simple…" I start to ramble off about how the gloves, cuffs, and watches send rays out to the body to give scans. I continue my rambling as I tell them about how they can connect the devices to various tablets or phones to view the scans. I even demonstrated how they work by scanning one of the judges. I probably ramble for a good view minutes after that before I wrap the whole thing up. "I made them from steel to keep costs low and to make the devices as durable as possible. Lastly, I have a layer of lead on the watch and bracelet to protect the wearer from the radiation. The gloves have microscope lead slivers to protect the wearer. However, these devices still have to be approved by the FDA before I can sell them."
"Well," A younger female judge straightens. "Thank Ms. Dupain-Cheng. This is quite an achievement, especially when you're only 15 and in high school. We expected a graduate student, or someone in University, at least."
"Thank, but I've actually graduated Lycée, or high school, a few weeks ago. I start at MIT in the fall."
"Well, with a device like that, I have little doubts."
I smirk as the judges make their way over to my table. My device would wow them, I knew it. All wireless charging stations required contact to work, but this device would blow all of that out of the water. I'd win for our age group without a doubt. The best part, I didn't have to do anything. I shed a few tears about my arthritis acting up and Max made my device for me. Everyone applauded my designs in the weeks before the Tech Conference.
I give a wide, confident smile to the five judges. One of the women raises an eyebrow at the blueprints set up behind me and at the device next to me. "Ms. Rossi, is that a contactless wireless charger?"
"With a 50 ft radius!" All five judges start to whisper together and are furiously typing on their tablets. One takes a picture of the blue prints.
One of the other judges looks back up at me. "You are from Paris, France, yes?"
"Well, I'm from Italy. I'm living in Paris with my mother, she's an important ambassador."
"Well, we have seen enough. Good day Ms. Rossi." With little fanfare all five of the judges walk over to the next table.
I blink a few times. I was sure that the judges would be wow, that I'd be praised for the device. What could have gone wrong? I shake my head. Maybe the judges have been like that with everyone. That had to be it. They had little time and lots of people. Still, it would have been amazing if they'd gushed for a minute. Then people would have noticed me, and I'd be able to talk myself up. Oh well, I'd just rely on my sheep to talk me up.
Hello! So, I have no idea if Marinette's portable CT machine is possible, but it sounded impressive. Don't hold my lack of engineering abilities against me.