|Burning Black Ep1, Act 2: A Raven's Mourning Tears
Author: Digi-Dolphin PM
2 of 5. When the stakes are driven higher, Timmy must learn to rely on his friends in new ways. Worst of all, new evidence is arising that Timmy's death may not have been the accident everyone had long believed it to be.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure - Timmy & Danny F. - Chapters: 16 - Words: 104,834 - Reviews: 37 - Favs: 21 - Follows: 8 - Updated: 10-09-09 - Published: 07-19-08 - Status: Complete - id: 4407789
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: Because this is part of a set, it's best to start from the beginning; Episode 1, Act 1: Dimmsdale By Black Light. Otherwise, you'll get confused pretty fast. Sorry. OTL
A Raven's Mourning Tears
Master Control Spire
A computer screen flickered to life and Remial Buxaplenty's face filled its confines, an irritated expression coloring his face as he worked with something beyond the range of the web camera.
"Ugh, this stupid thing! Blasted contraption, doesn't even warn me properly when weather changes in this city. Utterly ridiculous... it doesn't snow in Dimmsdale this time of year!" he grumbled, "Or at all! We're too far south for it!" He finished his growling and turned to face out the screen. "Now, on to business. What is the status of the Dark Spires for this morning? Are they all fully operational, like you keep promising me but never actually deliver? Hmm?" he ordered. The figure settled back in a seat before the screen touched fingertips in slow, rhythmic order, eyes narrowed behind thick glasses.
"Master Control Spire is working perfectly. Spires One through Six are operating at eighty-five percent." he reported icily.
"And Spire Seven? What of it? Come, come, man, I haven't got all day! I have a matter of another highly irritating pest to dispose of!" Remy declared in agitation, "Chop, chop! Spire Seven, status report!" The figure broke apart his hands almost sluggishly.
"Spire Seven... has been destroyed." he stated flatly.
"What?!" the blonde millionaire teen shrieked in disbelief and rage, "How could it have been destroyed?! You assured me the designs of those towers were infallible! Nothing should have been able to breach their walls!" His face filled the screen in a fury. "It was those two intruders again, wasn't it?! I am not paying you good money to build cheap toy towers that any ninny in a jumpsuit or hack job in an angel costume can just tumble over whenever they jolly well feel like it!"
"Three intruders." the figure corrected, unfazed by the boy's vehemence, "The angel and the phantom returned during the night, and they were joined by a boy about your age." A blue eye blinked out at him from the screen, then pulled back to reveal the full head and shoulders of the red-faced teen.
"A boy my age? Are you certain of this?" he hissed. The figure turned in his seat and gazed up at a wall of monitors playing back pieces of video captured from what few of the anti-magic units weren't destroyed or stolen when the signal from the seventh Spire was discovered to be lost. The angel stood amidst an army of ground units, chanting as the earth quaked and sent everything shaking to pieces. The phantom had been specifically targeting nullifiers, keeping them far from the magic-casting angel. And then the third member of the strike force appeared, a teen with messy brown hair and determined blue eyes that struck a faintly familiar chord in the figure's memory. For a few of the recordings, he displayed nothing special beyond a trained agility for dodging and leaping over the traps. The feed from within the Spire during its final few minutes showed different.
"Yes. Brunet, blue eyes, Caucasian, wore dark clothes." the figure counted off facts, watching the boy on the screen toss out a flying sphere of light from his hand on one monitor, and lift his hand above himself as the angel and phantom huddled at his feet in another, the final moments of the tape blinded by a cave-in of twisted steel, concrete and granite. "He had very interesting techniques. Magic, I must assume, comparing it to what I've discerned from the angel, but his use of it was far different from the angel's techniques."
"Ugh, that brat! I knew he was up to something! He broke into my mansion twice and managed to survive every trap and safeguard I had installed!" Remy fumed, "Mr. Crocker, you had assured me that your nullifiers would reduce magic-using creatures to sniveling dogs in seconds; why is this twit still a pain in my ass?!"
"The nullifiers do exactly that; nullify. They emit a wavelength of energy that disturbs the flow of magic a fairy uses and renders it useless. Continued exposure will begin affecting the health of the fairy until it eventually becomes little more than dust to be swept aside like garbage." the figure corrected bluntly, "This boy, though a magic-user, was human. Nullifiers would not affect him. The angel seemed to have taken damage from the first attack on Spire Seven; the robes he wore began emitting electrical sparks that caught him by surprise. I assume those robes were crafted with magic and they began failing in the presence of the nullification field."
"I don't want them bringing down the other Dark Spires before they are fully utilized to cover this city in the nullification field!" the teenager spat out, "Double the defenses on the remaining towers, put the servers to work overtime, do whatever it takes to get those Spires perfected!"
"Don't bother. The Spire they destroyed collapsed on them before they could escape; the three of them have to be dead now. If not, then the two magic-users are dead and the phantom will have to retreat to wherever it is ghosts come from." Denzel Crocker sighed in boredom, "The Spire Server Control Systems will continue at their present pace in bringing the field to full power. Overtaxing them with additional workloads will only cause a systems malfunction." He narrowed his eyes again. "That takes money, and time, to repair." he added warningly. Remy clenched his teeth slightly.
"Ugh... Fine." he conceded, "I leave management of my Spires in your hands once more, but I have yet to hear what you intend to do about the one that was destroyed."
"Once the lot has been cleared and the investigations into the early morning detonation and destruction of Spire Seven have concluded, a replacement Spire will be constructed in its place." the retired teacher replied, "As I had the forethought to fully automate the Spires, there was no other loss of life save for the intruders that sabotaged the tower. The investigation team will be told to keep their eyes open for their bodies for proper disposal, at your behest." Remy nodded.
"All right. That's an adequate plan. I'll queue the funds for the replacement Spire, but don't think this means you're getting off any easier. You have work to do on the improved schematics for the National Spires." he reminded the older man coldly and smiled, teeth showing in the feral grin, "My, my. Another young life lost; such a shame. Dimmsdale must be earning a reputation for having innocent children be lost to Death's embrace. I feel so terribly horrid for them, don't you?" The figure in the seat growled hatefully as the blonde laughed at the personal stab, then signed off, vanishing from the screen.
Amid empty plates and the everyday sounds of people chattering on about menial topics at the only Denny's in Dimmsdale that allowed a ghost and an angel to join them for breakfast for the sheer fact that it was five a.m. and no one was in the mood to care, a group of young teens celebrated their recent victory in liberating an eighth of the city from a blanket of magical oppression. At the center of the jubilation, taking friendly punches to the shoulder from his friends, was Timmy Turner, more easily known as Timothy Neogene. After all, if it hadn't been for his unconventional use of mana, he, the angelic android called Caleb and the heroic ghost known as Danny Phantom would all have been buried, probably crushed, beneath several metric tons of concrete, steel and granite not more than a few city blocks away.
Tootie slurped up orange juice and squealed joyfully as she leaned into the brunet for another makeshift hug. She was the only one of Timmy's circle of fully human friends to know who he truly was, what he truly was, and possessed a fairy godparent herself. All the others, Chester McBadbat, A.J. Ibrahim, Sanjay, and Elmer, had no clue; they only knew Timmy as Timothy, the only one of the Populars to give any kind of damn about them, to actually bother to be their friend and share in the same unified idea... that Timmy Turner did not deserve to die four years ago.
What they did not share in was the reasoning of Timmy's death. Timmy himself had declared his death had just been an accident, and one caused by his own stupidity and carelessness. Chester and the gang sought a better truth, using A.J.'s laptop to calculate the real cause of Timmy's death. So far, no other truth was put forward to challenge the accidental death scenario.
The young, mistakenly-made immortal laughed sheepishly at a joke Chester cracked, all while Caleb looked faintly out of his element, sliding his untouched plate towards Danny Phantom, who promptly went invisible, passed a pair of shining white rings over himself and startled passer-bys with the sight of pancakes disappearing into thin air as he ate. It was a well-earned party of congratulations for the three of them, for all of them really.
Eight Dark Spires once stood among Dimmsdale's skyline, blanketing the city with an anti-magic field that nullified the power of all fairies within it to grant wishes, eventually going so far as to wither them away to dust. Not more than two hours ago, Timmy Turner led a blitz attack that decimated one of those Spires. Confidence bolstered by that, the brunet began to look at his quest to free his hometown of the ominous buildings with more hope. Perhaps, with his friends to support and help him, there really was a chance for him to be a hero.
"Man, you had us scared stiff!" Chester declared for what seemed like the thirtieth time since the group pulled him out of his dazed state at the bottom of a perfect crater, "That force field thing you did was sooo cool! Now I wish I could learn magic, too!" Timmy grinned sheepishly.
"Ah, well, if you did that, then you'd have to worry about nullifiers too. You're better off as you are, 'cause then you can go places I can't go to help me out." he replied and blinked as Sanjay held out a piece of orange to him.
"You didn't eat your daily serving of fruit! Healthy diets are important!" the dark-skinned teen told him in his carefully worded English. He smiled hugely. "The human body is like a shiny American car! It cannot go without the high quality fuel!"
"No, thanks. I'm allergic to citrus." Timmy muttered, eyeing the orange warily. The other boy shrugged and popped it into his mouth, chewing cheerfully away.
"You too, huh? Man, do all guys named Timothy catch bad breaks when it comes to oranges?" Chester mused with a chuckle, "Hey, A.J., remember when we had that one day at school where the whole menu had oranges and stuff in it?" The African-American across from him nodded, grinning hugely as Timmy turned a slight shade of green.
"Timmy was totally freaked out! I never thought he'd actually try to go the whole day without eating anything!" he laughed and shook his head, giving the brunet an apologetic shrug, "Sorry, but he had that same allergy too."
"It's a common allergy, isn't it?" Elmer asked, toying with the pink hat that seemed to be cursed to rest on his head. He looked up at the red-haired angel curiously. "You keep handing your food off to Danny Phantom. Not hungry?" he pointed out.
"I'm an android. Mechanical. I don't eat." Caleb sighed, "I can drink water, but that's all. And even then, I don't really need the water. It just lets me use it for crying."
"Ghosts don't need to eat, either. They're spirits from dead people." Tootie remarked, eyeing the invisible space where food continued vanishing. The rings passed again and Danny Phantom shimmered into view, fork still stuck in his mouth as he scowled at the young Goth. He pulled it free and gave a little snort of disdain.
"Ghosts eat! They just don't eat the same kinds of food you do." he corrected.
"But you are." Tootie pointed again, "You wolfed down three plates of pancakes and bacon."
"I like human food. Ghost food sucks. No taste." Danny muttered and bit into another piece of bacon to punctuate it. Chester sat back with a contented sigh, patting his belly as he chewed on a toothpick.
"Welp, that'll do me for a while. So, now that we have a tower all torn to pieces, what's next?" he asked. The group looked at one another in realization. That's right; they only took out one Spire. There were still seven left in Dimmsdale. Timmy rubbed at his chin thoughtfully, sitting back in his seat as a pensive expression crossed his face.
"Well, we all need to recover from that last hit. I know I definitely need some time to rest; I drained a lot of mana from myself and from Caleb to make that shield." he remarked, "I'm just glad that he was able to convince the cooks here to use some of his recipes, or I'd just pass out again from mana depletion." He gazed out at the city and smiled. "But once I'm charged and ready, we'll hit the next Spire. There's one near the commercial district, not far from the Wall-to-Wall Mart. Since we know the blitz attack worked, we can use it again to attack that tower."
"Once we make some adjustments to the execution so we don't wind up having to huddle under another force field." Caleb added in, "As impressive as your shield was, Timothy, I wouldn't want to rely on it too heavily. I don't know the full extent of its potential." Timmy shrugged at it and looked out at the city again.
The shield... it wasn't the first time he used mana in a way that startled the android. A few minutes before it, he'd thrown out Fire mana in the form of several explosive flash bombs to clear an area near the entrance of the Spire. Caleb had gawked at him, and it was rare to have the android do anything expressive that was less than dignified. And long before that was a trick that Timmy developed just for fun, the Light orb, a sphere of Light mana that could follow him around or be tossed ahead to illuminate paths. The first time he showed it to Caleb, the poor angel nearly had a conniption; something about it being outside the laws of mana usage as dictated by yadda, yadda, old guys Timmy never heard of and somebody who wandered around for a few thousand years while wearing white spandex.
Short Attention Span Boy zoned out halfway through the fit.
Now he wondered about it. Sure those sudden spurts of creatively used mana saved his butt a couple of times, but really... how reliable were they? Caleb didn't trust them, but then Caleb never tried to do those things himself. Maybe it was different for him because he was a human and using modern thoughts to control mana?
Seriously, the man needed to figure out that force fields were a definite plus in any magic spell collection. Just look at Cousin Danny and his ecto-shield!
Time to go; a whole day for resting and recovering was ahead of him.
The next day, everyone was back to their usual routine, or pretty close to it. Caleb returned to New York to study up some more on the mysterious switch Cosmo had found in Remy's house. Danny headed back to Amity Park and resumed his hero duties there when not studying for exams in his first semester of community college. Chester and the 'Others' continued testing variables in A.J.'s simulation program, determined to find a reason for Timmy's death. Tootie headed over to the high school to eat her lunch with them and take another magic lesson.
Timmy was stuck with dealing with Remy.
"I don't believe this." Remy confronted him almost immediately after he stepped out of the building to pick out his lunch spot. Timmy halted and blinked at him in surprise. "I don't believe this! You aren't supposed to even be...!" The blonde's cheeks puffed indignantly, red spots flushing on them.
"I'm not supposed to be what?" Timmy asked coolly, folding his arms over his chest as he waited for his rival to finish his personal fit, "Hurry it up and spit it out. I have friends waiting for me."
"You were supposed to be dead!" Remy hissed under his breath, "I was assured of it!" The brunet stepped back in shock, mind racing to understand the situation. Did he know? Had he found out somehow? How did Remy figure out the truth of his identity?! The blonde stepped forward, growling furiously. "That tower you destroyed... my tower...! It should have crushed you like a teacake!" he spat out, "How the hell did you survive?!" His eyes narrowed. "You used your magic, didn't you?! Those nullifiers should have stopped that!"
"Okay, so what part of 'rules don't apply to me' didn't you get?" Timmy shot back, relief flooding him for the moment. All right, so his true identity was still safe. But, how did Remy know what he had been doing that night? "Nullifiers? Please. Those things work on fairies, right? Do I look like a fairy to you?" he went on, hoping to steer the conversation off. Crocker must have told him one of the Spires had been taken out, but how would any of them know that it fell with him still inside it?
"You wretch. Filthy, lying wretch." the blonde growled, "I'll be waiting for the day your magic screws up and gets you killed. One more brat that won't be in my way!" With that, he spun in a huff and marched towards the Populars' table. Timmy watched him leave in confusion, fists held tightly at his side so as not to incite another school yard fight via physical or magical force. That was weird. 'One more brat'? Had someone else been bugging Remy before Timmy started in on his towers, and somehow got eliminated? A chilling shiver ran down his spine and he stiffened; he hadn't felt one of those in a long while. What did it mean?
"This can't be good." he murmured worriedly, "Remy can't mean that he got somebody killed. That's outright murder!" He looked aside at the pink and green squirrels that dashed under the bushes at first sight of the rich teen. "Wanda, Cosmo, didn't that sound creepy to you guys?" he asked.
"He might have been trying to intimidate you, Timmy. You did step back, after all." Wanda told him, crawling out from under the bushes, Cosmo following suit. "Let's get to the bench and meet with the Others. You have to finish teaching Heal to Tootie and hand off the anti-magic trap detector to Sanjay." Timmy nodded and headed for the bench, halting a second time as Trixie Tang darted into his path, smiling.
"Timothy! Hi! It's so weird how you seem like you're avoiding us at the A-List table. Tad and Chad are starting to wonder if maybe you're really not cut out for the club." she remarked and fingered a red pendant that hung at her neck, a small gold crown logo emblazoned on it, "I've been working pretty hard, y'know, trying to find out how you died so that you can be avenged." Timmy groaned softly and shook his head.
"Trixie, there's nothing to find out about! My death was an accident! An accident!" he exclaimed in exasperation, "And you can't ask Apollo about me because he's not allowed to tell you." Trixie tapped her cheek thoughtfully, a perplexed expression on her face.
"Yeah, that's been kind of annoying. Why won't Fairy World and Da Rules let anyone know about you?" she asked, "Were you someone really important to them?" Timmy shook his head.
"No. Not important. They protect me because it protects them. My identity is all that stands between them and a global recall of all fairies." he replied in a low tone and picked up her hand, holding it between his own as he looked her straight in the eye, "So stop trying to find out who I am. The moment my secret is discovered by someone who could use it against me, against all fairies, you will lose Apollo forever." The Asian stared at him in disbelief, eyes wide as a blush came over her face. "You don't want to lose your fairy, do you?" he questioned lightly, "Because that's what's gonna happen if you don't lay off." She continued staring at him, then smiled and quickly pressed a kiss to his cheek.
"You're sweet, but really. You shouldn't underestimate me. I'll find out my way. Maybe I won't lose Apollo if I don't tell anyone else who you are." she purred, "Don't you worry, ghost boy; I'll have my cake and eat it too!" With that, she hurried away, laughing brightly as she made her way to the Populars' table. Timmy rubbed at his cheek, watching her bounce away with a stunned look.
"She's not giving up, is she?" he murmured aloud. The two squirrels watched blankly from near his feet, clutching acorns for show.
"Nope." Wanda replied and the brunet sighed in resignation. Danny had been right; this triangle he was stuck in sucked. Was this a family fate or something? He even inherited the nickname that Paulina girl constantly called his cousin! 'Ghost Boy'... he was an immortal, not a ghost! Pay attention to school, girl!
He finally made his way to the bench, wincing as he flopped onto the grass and saw Tootie already there. A dangerous look was in her eyes as she watched the popular girl sit at the table far across the yard. He waved a hand in front of her face to distract her, then looked up at the boys sitting on the bench and gathering around A.J. and his laptop. Sanjay gave him a nod and held out his hand for the detector. Timmy passed it on, cast Revive on him, then waved as the teen grabbed his lunch sack and raced off, skateboard under one arm.
"Okay, what is so fascinating about A.J.'s laptop that everyone is fighting for position?" Timmy finally asked in exasperation, "You have a DVD player in there or something?"
"We're testing two new variables in the simulation." Chester remarked, "Dammit, that knocks him upside the head. Right result, wrong method." The blonde sat back in irritation. "It can't be this tough to figure it out!" The brunet sighed and shook his head, turning back to Tootie as she pushed her glasses up the bridge of her nose again. She had a thoughtful expression on as they slid back down into place. Probably thinking about that same program herself.
"Why can't they just give it up?" he wondered aloud and held out his hands, "Okay, Tootie, now Heal is a little more difficult than First Aid because it draws more mana through you to heal larger wounds. Your focus has to be sharper." The young Goth nodded and closed her eyes, holding out her hands to mirror him. "Draw in the mana as if you were gathering it for First Aid."
The bracelets at Tootie's wrists began to glow as she followed his instructions. Wanda and Cosmo jumped from the grass to the bench for a better view, tilting their heads as the shimmering circle of light bloomed beneath the little girl.
"Good. Now, pull in more. You need more mana to pull off a stronger spell than First Aid." Timmy coached, slowly pulling his hands away from her. She frowned slightly, concentrating harder. "You should feel a sort of tingling in your fingers when you've collected enough." he added and propped his cheek onto one fist, pulling up a sphere of Earth mana from the ground and holding it over his free hand to toy with as he watched her. Really, it was almost like putty, this mana stuff. If he just focused on it one way or another, it shaped itself to match. The orb became a block, then a triangle, then a ring. It spun over his palm, flattened and folded into itself to become a discus and an idea popped into his head.
"I've got it. It's tingling." Tootie finally murmured, turning her gaze up to him, "Now what?"
"Now we need someone with an injury." Timmy remarked brightly, "Hey, Chester! Think fast!" The blonde jerked his head up and yelped as the disc of Earth mana slammed into his face. His hands flew up to cover a bleeding nose as Tootie squealed in shock. "Now, Tootie! Heal it!" the boy declared. Shutting her eyes again, she held out her hands towards the shrieking teen.
"Light of mana! Heal these savage wounds! Heal!" she cried and a large burst of shimmering light surrounded Chester, vanishing into his body as he coughed and pulled his hands away. The nosebleed had stopped and any harm the disc had caused faded into nothingness. Tootie cracked open an eye to see her handiwork, then cheered at her success. "I did it! I healed Chester!" she exclaimed happily.
"You're gonna have to heal him next!" Chester growled, diving at the brunet and send them both tumbling across the grass, "That freaking hurt, Timothy! You're dead, man!"
"I put my money on the one with the teeth!" Cosmo exclaimed cheerfully as he watched the two duking it out nearby. Wanda gave him an exasperated glare.
"Cosmo, they both have teeth! And who said you could gamble on a school yard fight?!" she scolded, tail fluffing up in irritation. Cosmo only smiled wider.
"I know! That way, no matter who loses, I win the jackpot!" he laughed and jumped up and down excitedly, "Yay! Jackpot, jackpot, jackpot!"
"Hey! Off!" Timmy yelled and finally shoved the blonde overhead, flipping the other teen onto his back, "Owww..." Both boys just stared up at the clouds until the rest of the group finally gathered around them. "What?" the brunet grumbled, "He started it. He didn't have to punch me that hard!"
"Dude! You're the one who threw a lump of rock at my head for no reason!" Chester griped in response, sitting up and dusting off his jacket, "You deserved it!" Timmy lifted a hand and called a Light orb in place of the Earth lump, flattening it down into a discus as well.
"It helped me figure out something. I can actually use this stuff as a makeshift weapon or something. Like the discus." he remarked, "The Earth one did pretty good, but what about one made of Light?" He sat up and spun it over his hand, studying it with a thoughtful frown. "Or steel? If everything in the world has mana in it, then why not pull it from other Elements and objects?" he mused aloud, "Why stick with just the basic Elements of nature?"
Sanjay ran up to the group as they pulled the two teens to their feet, waving the detector over his head excitedly. Chester brushed dirt and grass from his clothes as Timmy gingerly poked at a bruised cheek and Tootie lectured him over using his friends for target practice. She cast her newest spell on him and stood back proudly while he muttered under his breath about whether or not it really was such a great idea to teach her any spells. His attention returned to Sanjay as he held out the device to him, making his report on the Spire in the commercial district of Dimmsdale.
The Dark Spire was surrounded by deployment bays hidden in the parking lots that were built near its base. The detector picked up roughly the same number of traps as the previous tower, the ratio of nullifiers, destroyers and capture units counted as four to four to two. Timmy folded his arms over his chest, listening as Sanjay continued describing the area. The Spire was located fairly close to a few smaller shops and didn't have as large an empty area as the first Dark Spire, so precise plantings of the charges was definitely a must. This particular tower also was receiving shipments of something being brought in by truck. There were human drivers, but the unloading of containers as far as Sanjay could see was being done by automated forklifts.
"I wonder what they could be putting into the Spire? More parts to make more traps?" Timmy wondered aloud.
"Could be. If the first Spire was also a trap factory, then the other Spires must be working overtime to make up for the loss of the tower you destroyed." A.J. remarked, "So that means even more weakened defenses and an overtaxed mass manufacturing system until production returns to normal." Wanda and Cosmo scampered to their godchild and leaped magically onto his shoulders, perched there in their squirrel forms as they listened to the super-genius of the group. "The ratio is a little weird, though. They went heavy on the nullifiers this time." he added thoughtfully, "Does Danny Phantom have a ghost partner or ghost wife that can help him clear those?" He jumped as Timmy burst into laughter, falling back onto the grass as he held his sides. "I don't see the humor in it. What's the joke?" A.J. asked in confusion, blinking down at the brunet.
"That's just too hilarious!" Timmy stammered out and kicked at the air, laughing harder as the fairies in their disguises tumbled away in giggles, "Oooh! Ow! Man!" He managed to get himself under control and sat up, rubbing tears away. "Ask him when he gets here, okay? Ask him yourself. Good Lord, I can't wait to see that!" he hooted.
And ask he did. Once the angel and ghost were called back for the second Spire attack, A.J. mentioned the ratio of traps to the two of them and calmly asked Danny if he had a spectral spouse to aid in destroying the nullifiers surrounding the Dark Spire. Timmy laughed even harder as he watched his cousin's face turn bright red, green eyes shrinking down to pinpoints from the shock as his mouth dropped open. Caleb grinned and tried to hide it behind one hand, shaking his head slightly.
"I take it this means no?" A.J. asked, baffled by the reactions to what appeared to be a simple question. "Do ghosts even get married?"
"I told you someone would bring it up eventually." the angel remarked with a chuckle to the halfa standing by him. Danny shook himself off and folded his arms over his chest, cheeks still flushed with embarrassment.
"Ugh! Come on! Is it a crime to just be steady with a girl? Do I have to just propose on the spot or something?! Is that how things worked in the really old days?!" he hissed back.
"Actually, you should have had a child by now, so yeah, pretty much." Caleb remarked casually, smiling at the reddening face of the halfa, "It's not so bad. I think you'll make an excellent father when you get around to it." Timmy pounded his fists against the rooftop overlooking the lot where the Dark Spire stood, laughing so hard he could barely breathe.
"Ghosts can have babies?" Tootie wondered aloud in surprise, "How does that work?" Danny winced and looked slightly ill.
"Oh, gross! Don't mention that! I asked myself that same question when it came to Box Lunch... ugh!" He scowled and took to the air, folding his arms over his chest. "Great... that image is gonna be stuck with me all night..." he complained. Elmer peered at the tower through A.J.'s binoculars, watching the trucks as they pulled up to the open dock one by one.
"That's the third truck in the last hour. You might want to get this done sometime soon." he remarked to the group, "Who knows when the ratio might change?" That killed the laughter quickly as Timmy looked up at the group, blinking.
"Oh, yeah. We're here to destroy the tower. Oops." he murmured and stood up, dusting himself off. For his sake, he took mental inventory of his gear. His infiltration outfit was the same as always, an ensemble of darkly colored clothing that Tootie insisted made him look like a Goth punk. Strapped to his back via bandolier was a new staff to replace the Battle Staff that had been destroyed in the last attack. Caleb called it a Rune Staff, designed to help him channel mana easier through it for more potent spells. Clasped around his right forearm was the dull white armband that was the Adventurer's Map 3000, a device given to him by Cosmo and Wanda to act as both all-purpose map and a tracking unit. It was completely technological, as far as Timmy could see, and so far was immune to the nullifiers he was often exposed to in trap-hunting. Completing his outfit were the two blue-black gloves that he'd taken to wearing after his first foray into Oberon High School. His explanation for constantly wearing them was that they prevented him from leaving fingerprints on anything.
They quickly became as synonymous with Timothy Neogene as his pink hat was to him as Timmy Turner. Briefly, he wished he could have worn his normal outfit for the attack; he always felt more comfortable, more confident, when dressed in his classic pink shirt, jeans and pink hat. The dark colors of his new identity seemed to color his personality differently. Timmy didn't quite like it.
"You guys have the detector?" he finally asked the group of boys setting up watch on the rooftop. Chester held it up, the screen flashing with numerous small blips of light. "Okay. Cosmo, Wanda, stay here with them. Keep an eye on 'em all and..." he whispered the rest of his words to the fairies fluttering by him, "cover for Tootie if she needs to make wishes with Romi. I know your magic charges are getting low, but maybe if you alternate granting wishes and using magic you can make them last longer."
"We'll do our best, Timmy, just be careful in there." Wanda murmured, a Fenton Phone already clipped to her ear. She reached out and threaded her slight fingers through his hair. "You almost gave me a heart attack last time! So please, please be careful this time!" she whispered and smiled at him, "And also, remember what I said. Don't just run, fly."
"Whatever you say, Wanda." the brunet agreed with a sigh and gave both fairies a careful hug, "Be back in a bit." Tootie hugged him tightly once Cosmo and Wanda pulled away to take up positions by the other teens.
"Don't scare me again! Just get in, plant the bombs and get out!" she told him, nuzzling her cheek against his shirt, "I know you have the plan adjusted to make sure that last disaster doesn't happen again, but just be careful anyway!" Timmy pat her head cautiously.
"I'll be fine. Caleb preset the charges for five minutes this time." he assured her and freed himself from her arms to join the other two beings entering the tower with him. "Okay, guys. Ready?"
"We have the plan; let's just do it before I get bored with staring at that thing and Ghostly Wail it from the inside out." Danny remarked and yawned lazily. He wore the backpack filled with time bombs and had brought additional Fenton Phones for the group to use. He and A.J. each wore a set, while Caleb just copied its communication signal and told them he'd broadcast it through himself. A.J. sat near the edge of the supermarket roof, laptop set before him as he continued typing at it. Sanjay and Elmer both flanked him, gazing at the Spire with binoculars as they kept watch over the trucks. Chester maintained his watch on the anti-magic device detector, calling out numbers every now and then.
The ratio changed again, three to four to two.
Danny pulled Timmy into the air with him as Caleb took flight on his own red wings. One last cheerful wave before being turned invisible, and the young immortal was off to bring down another Spire.