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SHE STUMBLED BACK. Someone caught her, pulling her up roughly. Her skin burned at the contact, and she twisted away, eyes still trained on the plaza. The pounding in her ears grew louder and louder. People poured out of the swirling black hole, malice emanating from them as they lurched closer. Her hands began to shake as one thought echoed through her mind.

Villains.

Blue sparked in the air, appearing around her before fizzling away. She couldn't even conjure a shield, not until she calmed down, and at the moment that seemed impossible. Her breath came out in spurts, and her skin seared where the scar was, as if it had split open once more.

"Smith --"

She jumped as a hand touched her shoulder. The constant noise in her head stopped, leaving the world oddly quiet, even though panicked shouts still rang through the air. Tokoyami stood behind her, narrow eyes scanning her with concern. "Smith, you must calm down."

Fists clenched together, she sucked in a shaky breath and swallowed, blinking rapidly to dispel the tears that tried to spring forth. She would not cry, no, she could not cry, or else all of the walls she had worked so hard to build would crumbling like the security gate at U.A, and she needed those walls to survive.

"Yeah," she murmured. She cleared her throat, then spoke again, voice firm and indifferent. "I'm fine. What's the plan?"

"Evacuate," was all the boy said. She nodded and followed her classmates as they ran to the entrance, only to be stopped by a mass of black shadow. It was the same thing that brought the Villains, she realized.

"Hello," the shadow rumbled. If she didn't know he -- she assumed it was a he, but honestly one can't tell with these sort of things -- was a Villain, she might of thought him a podcast host, as his voice seemed like it could be soothing if it wasn't used to terrorize young teenagers.

"We are the League of Villains," continued the shadow man. "Please forgive our rudeness, but we are here to terminate All Might, the Symbol of Peace." She inhaled sharply. Kill All Might? The man that taught her Hero Studies? The man that protected Japan from people like this guy? Is that even possible? Her gaze flickered to her classmates. Horror and fear coated every one of their features, even those that strained to hide it. Was it possible that they would be killed too?

She felt a tug.

Relaxing into the hold of the flow, she slowly wove her way to the front. The Villain was still caught up in his monologue. "The schedule said that All Might was going to be here. Perhaps that schedule was changed?" She swallowed and moved faster, coming to stand behind Thirteen. Schedule. Was that was the intruder had been searching for in Aizawa's office? That begged the question: if she had done something instead of cowering in fear, would this situation even be happening? If she had sucked it up and dealt with it like her father taught her, would they all be safe right now?

"No matter ..." The black wisps expanded, reaching out to her classmates and she slipped in front of Thirteen, a large shield forming over the group just as two figures darted forward. Bakugo and Kirishima both landed powerful blows, straightening with a confidence that could only be seen as admirable. Her fingers twitched, and her shield stretched out to cover the two boys. Bakugo flashed her a glare, to which she just rolled her eyes.

"Ah ..." To their horror, the shredded black smoke gathered back together to reform the Villain. His foggy white eyes came to rest on the three teenagers in front of him. "I forget. You are the best of U.A.'s students. However, you are just that -- students."

The black mass suddenly shot out, encasing all of them in the fog. It slammed into her shield, held back for only a moment before seeping through the blue material like water seeps through a rag. It felt like ice, trickling down her spine and spreading out to every inch of her body. A gasp escaped her lips as the darkness scratched at her skin, and the shield disappeared.

Then all was black.


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