1Disclaimer: I do not own the Magic School Bus. Noka and Latano and the danger they're in are mine. All mine. Muahahahaha
"Class, I'd like you to meet our new students," Ms. Frizzle said in her usual cheerful way.
Everyone smiled kindly at the new arrivals, Latano and Noka. Both boys looked strangely older than anyone else in the class, though they were the same height.
Latano had long black hair, straight, past his shoulders. He had dark brown pants, a loose dark grey t-shirt, and grey eyes that didn't seem to miss anything.
Noka's eyes, on the other hand, missed everything. He was blind. But that didn't stop him from targeting people with a sightless stare whenever they spoke. His skin was lighter than Latano's - which was a very even medium brown - but darker than anyone else's besides Tim and Keesha's. He had dark brown hair almost as long as his friend's, brown pants about the same shade, and a dark green t-shirt.
Ms. Frizzle smiled. The fact that they looked a little older didn't stop her from thinking these two were in need of a little seasoning. "How long will you be staying?" she asked.
Latano counted to ten and mentally wished this crazy teacher hadn't asked the question so soon. He'd been hoping to get to know the class a little better before asking for their help. But, on the other hand, time was of the essence.
"Should I tell them?" he asked Noka in a whisper.
"They're not ready," Noka said. 'And their teacher is over cocky,' he added mentally.
"We're ready to take chances, make mistakes, and get messy!" Ms. Frizzle announced.
Noka sighed. If there was one thing he couldn't stand, it was cheerful, cocky teachers with high-pitched voices and frizzy hair. Okay, so the frizzy hair didn't matter to him at all. But after only two minutes, Ms. Frizzle was already on his nerves. "They aren't ready," he repeated, hoping Latano would decide to go somewhere - anywhere - else.
"Not a field trip," Arnold pleaded.
"We don't have a choice," Latano said to Noka, ignoring Arnold's request. "Ready or not, they're our only option." He turned to Ms. Frizzle. "Actually, we won't be staying long at all. We need your help. Our friends are in trouble."
"What kind of trouble?" Tim asked.
"Like no threat your Federation has ever faced," Noka sighed.
"Leave the Borg out of this," Latano advised. "You don't want to confuse them." He turned back to the class. "But he's right. I won't force any of you to help us. Unwilling allies are worse than useless."
"Allies?" Ralphie asked. "Is it just me, or does that sound like you're fighting a war?"
Latano smiled. Maybe this class wasn't as naive as he and Noka had thought. "You're right," he said evenly. "We're fighting a war. And we're on the verge of losing."
That set the class off. Cries of "Where?", "Who're you fighting?", and "Why doesn't the President know about this?" filled the room.
So much for 'Not as naive as he and Noka had thought.'
Again, Latano counted to ten, and looked for anyone who wasn't shouting questions left and right. "Tim," he said quietly, pulling into the hallway the only student who fit that description. "I need you to help convince your class that I'm not joking."
Latano thought for a moment, and then realized something. "Tim, quickly, go outside and see if your bus is here."