Disclaimer: I own nothing
"I believe that we are solely responsible for our choices, and we have to accept the consequences of every deed, word, and thought throughout our lifetime." Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
Chapter 6: "Consequences"
(Monday-August 9, 2010)
"Your plans for the holographic software is working perfectly. In a few years, we can revolutionize entertainment and communication."
"We're having trouble with the…mentally controlled tech. We can't seem to get it to work to your specifications."
"Okay, I'll put it as one of my personal projects. Next."
"You were right. These new batteries work twice as effectively as before. If we can implement this type of tech in power plants across the country…no the world, we can-"
"One step at a time. Right now, they're just batteries, dude." Danny waved the scientist off. "Next."
Axion Labs was, at this point, a shining jewel for Amity Park. With its affiliation to Fenton Works' recourses and information, and Vlad Co.'s (Yeah, real original name) nearly unlimited funding, Axion Labs had produced a lot of revolutionary technology. They had already produced tech from household items, all the way up to satellites.
While Vlad handled the business and financial aspects, Danny supervised the tech and projects. Basically, he came up with ideas and blueprints, then the scientist of Axion Labs built them. Not all of them worked, but a lot of them proved successful.
Danny was quite pleased with the progress. Axion Labs finished projects that he could never find the time to even start. This even included weapons…
Before the war, Danny was really reluctant to produce ectoplasmic weaponry for sale. He was scared that this would produce conflict not only among the humans, but also the ghosts. After the war, Danny realized that ectoplasmic weapons were now being produced all over the world. It was now clear, that the world had adapted to ectoplasmic weaponry and even more powerful tech like Amazo.
With so much dangerous tech in the hands of the bad guys, Danny decided that it would no longer be beneficial to hold the world back. He had to even the odds for everyone else. And in the meantime, if he created something that could shut down all ectoplasmic weapons if ever necessary…
Well, that would suck for his enemies.
"Danny." Harriet Chin, an old friend of his parents and Danny's publicist, spoke up. She was thin woman of average height with silky black hair pulled into a pony tail.
"Yeah?" Danny looked up from a report he was reading. Harriet had proven to be a valuable ally over the months. She made sure that the right amount of information was revealed for both Fenton and Phantom, and that the media was on his side.
"We need to talk about you making some public appearances." Harriet answered.
Danny sighed. "That again?"
"Yes." Harriet nodded. "Like it or not, Fenton Works is now a household name. As the head inventor, you are a public figure. If you don't do something in the public, people will talk. You'll get a bad reputation."
"And I should care why?" Danny questioned. He didn't care about bad publicity. "It won't affect business if I'm an extreme introvert."
Harriet sighed. "Fine, then…"
Danny walked into the large of Axion Labs. It was filled with computers, half-way finished machines, and tools. Handing his report to a nearby scientist, he added. "Sorry, Harri, but I don't have time for that. I have enough on my plate. Being a public figure (at least my human part) would be too much."
"If you say so."
"I do. And-"
"I told you that wouldn't work, Technus!"
"Stupid human! The machine would have worked if you had not gotten in the way!"
Danny scowled and walked up to the ruckus. This had happened several times over the past couple of months. While brilliant, Technus was not what you would call a team player. This was especially true when he worked with humans.
Sometimes, Danny wondered how Skulker and Technus worked together in the alternate future. Neither of them were any good at teamwork. It was probably the threat of his alternate self that pushed them into an alliance.
The threat of death had the tendency to cause unlikely alliances…
"Hey." Danny addressed the two scientists. "What's wrong?"
"These humans keep interfering in my work!" Technus was a technology ghost. He had long white hair, green skin, and was wearing a lab coat. "If it were just I, Technus master of all technology, then this work would have already been finished!"
"And I told you, Technus, if you activated the new power source, there was a 50% chance it would explode!" A tall African-American scientist wearing glasses spoke.
"It would have been a small explosion! No one would have gotten hurt." Technus argued. "Don't insult my intelligence!"
"Hey!" Danny stepped in between the two of them. "I'm getting sick of this fighting! You've been doing it for weeks."
"No buts. Technus, stop doing dangerous experiments. Silas, no one was hurt. You don't need to get into an argument. Next time, talk it through." Danny glared.
Harriet had to admit. It was hilarious to see two grown men…er, man and ghost…getting scolded at like they were children. And by a teenager no less!
"Fine…" Silas Stone sighed.
"Whatever…" Technus shrugged.
"Okay, I take it you were working on the new Spector Speeder, then?" Danny questioned.
"Yes, we were working on the new design that you supplied us." Silas nodded. To most, it might be demeaning or embarrassing to take orders from a teenager, but Silas knew that age did not equal capability. He knew at first glance at Danny's many designs and inventions that the boy was brilliant. That was all Silas cared about.
"And?" Danny questioned.
"It is half-way finished." Technus noted. "We're having trouble with the power core. It becomes overheated with all the different functions working in the Spector Speeder."
"That's why I had the new batteries developed." Danny answered. "Expand them and put them into the Speeder."
"I see…" Silas nodded.
"Good idea…" Technus agreed.
"Okay." Danny turned. "I've got to get going. Harriet, what's next?"
"I'm not your personal assistant."
"Uh huh, I've seen your paychecks. You get paid enough to be my publicist, personal assistant, driver, and bodyguard." Danny snorted.
"…Fair enough." Harriet shrugged. "Now you need to go out and do something a normal teenager would do. I say go do drugs."
"Hmm…" Valerie Gray eyed the punching bag that Dani just hit. The female ex-ghost hunter was a beautiful African-American girl about average height. She wore a yellow blouse, orange skirt, and orange headband in her hair.
"Is hmm good?" Dani questioned.
"It depends." Valerie turned to the halfa. "If you mean, would this work in a fight, then yes."
"But you need to be careful." Valerie warned. "If your…"
"Spectral Claws." Dani beamed in pride.
"Yeah…claws." Valerie frowned. "Claws hit a normal person in the wrong way…it could be messy."
Valerie pointed to the bag. It had a deep gash in it and was leaking sand. "Your ectoplasmic claws are deadly sharp. One wrong move, and you can kill a person. The human body has several weakness. If you cut a main artery, then there is a good chance that your opponent will bleed to death quickly."
"I see…But what about Danny? He usually swings around a huge broadsword. It could cut just a deeply as my claws."
"I don't think I've ever seen him cut a ghost let alone a human." Valerie stated. "From what I heard, he did it to the Torch ghost and tried to do it to Nocturne, but he mostly uses it to focus his energy."
"But my claws…are meant to cut." Dani noted.
"Yes, and they will cut deeply." Valerie nodded. "I'd use them only when absolutely necessary."
"Yeah, that's what Dad and Wulf said…I think…" Dani rubbed her head. It was sometimes hard to understand the wolf ghost.
"Wait. You already asked them for help?" Valerie frowned. "Then why did you ask me to watch your claws?"
"Oh, I don't know…" Dani whistled innocently. "Maybe to try and convince you to come back out into the field…"
"Come on!" Dani gave her puppy dog eyes. "It would be so awesome to fight together again."
"I'm sorry, but Daddy won't let me." Valerie looked away.
"Don't lie." Dani crossed her arms and glared. "He works at Axion Labs remember? Danny talks to him all the time. I know that it isn't Damion that is holding you back."
"…I…" Valerie shook her head. "Fine. I don't want to okay?"
"No, it's not okay!" Dani shouted. "You can't just stay away forever."
"Maybe I can." Valerie said stubbornly. "After all, you seem to be doing well without me. You have Wolf, Cujo, Danny, and, heck, you even have the Fright Knight helping you."
"That's not the same." Dani rolled her eyes. "Wulf and Cujo aren't much for conversation. Fright Knight is a stick in the mud, and Danny's gone all the time."
"Right, with that…team." Valerie nodded. She was probably the only human in Amity Park that knew about Young Justice. Danny made sure to keep her up to date on what was happening. She didn't know if it was out of their friendship or out of hope that she would return to being a heroine.
"Yeah, that's why you should come back." Dani nodded to herself. "Besides, you don't to be outdone by the guys, right?"
Valerie chuckled. "That won't work, Dani. I've heard a lot of worse insults to my ego."
"Look, Dani." Valeried knelt down to Dani's level. "I'm sorry, but now's not the best time."
"When will be a good time?"
Valerie frowned. "When…when I'm needed."
"But your needed now." Dani suggested. "You can come help guard the Mirror of Memories while it's moved. It'll be fun!"
"No." Valerie shook her head. "Part of the Justice League and the S-rank ghost will be there. My presence is unnecessary."
"Well, I don't think so…"
"And that's why you're my friend." Valerie smiled.
"Whatever." Dani shrugged and looked away. "But you know that I won't stop until you're back to being the Red Huntress again."
"Yeah, I know."
Recognized: Danny Phantom B04
"Hey," Phantom walked into the Cave. "You said you wanted to see me?"
The halfa noted that both Batman and Green Arrow were already in the Cave. They seemed to be talking to someone. Phantom knew that the rest of Young Justice, besides Wally, were spending the day at the beach. He was invited as well, but Phantom had too much on his plate right now to laze around on the beach.
Batman turned. "Yes, as the leader of Young Justice, you should be the first to learn about your new teammate."
"New teammate?" Phantom questioned.
"Yes." Green Arrow smiled. "This is…"
A girl stepped out from behind Ga. The girl was wearing a green costume similar to GA, but her midsection was showing. Her long blond hair was pulled back into a pony tail. Despite the green mask, Phantom could easy tell that the girl was gorgeous. Her sharp blue eyes lit up and her lips formed into a smirk at the sight of Phantom.
"Artemis." The girl spoke. "Call me Artemis."
Phantom had to fight his disbelieving look. He forced his shock down and remained neutral. His eyes, however, showed his surprise as he met Artemis' gaze.
'Why is she here?' Phantom questioned mentally. Phantom was not upset. It was the opposite, really. Phantom was glad to have Artemis on the team. Back when Phantom, as Red X, went to Gotham to obtain information, Artemis proved herself an invaluable ally and friend.
No, Phantom was actually glad to see her, but he still questioned as to why she was here. As far as he knew, Artemis had no affiliation with the League. She might not have mentioned it, but if she was somehow related to Green Arrow, then why didn't she mention it when Danny made her combat arrows for her?
"It's nice to meet you." Phantom extended his hand. He had to keep his cool. "And welcome to the team."
"Likewise, and thanks." Artemis took the hand and shook it. "It'll be fun to work with Danny Phantom and the sidekicks of the League."
"Er…" Phantom frowned. "I wouldn't call them that. They really don't like being called a sidekick."
Artemis nodded slowly. "I can understand that."
"So, you're an archer like GA?" Phantom looked to said hero.
"Yep, he's my uncle." Artemis explained.
"Ah…" Phantom knew that was a lie. He could tell, but he said nothing. "So finished your training, or did Speedy's leaving push you into the spot light."
"A little bit of both." Artemis played along.
"So…" Phantom turned to the Leaguers. "Where are the others? They should meet our new teammate too."
"They're changing." Green Arrow noted. "They'll be here in a minute."
"Hey, Phantom!" Robin greeted the halfa as they walked into the center of the training hall.
"Or now…" Green Arrow deflated. "Why must I always be wrong?"
"The beach was so much fun!" Miss Martian cheered. "You should have come with us."
"Sorry, I had business to handle." Phantom shrugged. "Work comes first."
"Work?" Superboy questioned. "What…"
It was then that they noticed Artemis. They all raised an eyebrow at her appearance. The green arrow design probably threw them off.
"Guys, meet our new teammate." Phantom gestured to the archer.
"Hey, name's Artemis." Artemis place her hands on her hips.
"Oh! Like the goddess of the hunt and bow!" M'gann smiled. "That's so clever."
"Greetings." Aqualad shook Artemis' hand. "It is a pleasure to meet you. I'm sure that you'll make a fine addition to the team."
"Yeah, you'll do great but…" Robin looked down. "I was kind of hoping that Speedy would join. Not that you're not great! But…Speedy has a history with us."
"Not all of it good." Superboy grunted.
"So, you two are Robin and Aqualad." Artemis noted. "But you two…"
"I'm M'gann!" Miss Martian floated up to Artemis. "But I'm on Earth now, so you can call me Megan…Oh! And my hero name is Miss Martian."
"Superboy." The clone said simply.
"Wow, didn't know Superman and the Manhunter had…partners." Artemis corrected herself at the end. Her eyes swept across the two aliens. Her eyes lingered a little longer on Superboy, but it wasn't very noticeable.
"We mostly work with the team." Miss Martian cheerfully explained.
"Yeah…mostly…" Superboy looked away.
"Alright then." Aremis nodded. "Wait…I was told Kid Flash was on this team too."
"He is." Robin nodded. "But he had school…poor sap."
"He will arrived shortly." Kaldur explained.
Recognized: Kid Flash B03
"Or now…" Kaldur noted.
"I feel for ya kid." Green Arrow stated.
"The Wallman is here!" Wally appeared in the Zeta Tube. He was dressed in swim gear and had beach gear in his hands. "Now let's get this party star-" He tripped and fell on his face. "-ted…"
"I got him…" Phantom noted as the beach ball bounced by them. "Smooth move there, Gracie."
"Wallman, huh? I love the uniform. What exactly are your powers?" Artemis smirked.
"The ability to fail epically." Phantom joked as he pulled Wally to his feet. "You okay?"
"Yeah…" Wally eyed the new girl. "Um…who's that?"
"Artemis." The blond stated proudly. "Your new teammate."
"Kid Flash. Never heard of you." Wally noted.
"Um, she's my new protégé." Green Arrow interjected.
"What happened to your old one?" Wally questioned.
Recognized: Speedy B07
"Well, this is going to be good." Phantom noted.
And it was. Speedy…er, Red Arrow arrived and made the situation very awkward. The animosity between Artemis, Red Arrow, and Green Arrow was obvious. Phantom wished he could do something, but this was obviously a…family issue, and Phantom already learned that he couldn't help all that much with family issues.
What really concerned Phantom was the obvious tension between Artemis and Kid Flash. There was a chance that their attitudes would affect Young Justice. He would have to be sure to try and ease the tensions.
It had to be soon, too. Red Arrow told them how he rescued Dr. Serling Roquette from the League of Shadows. He hid her at Happy Harbor High School, and was letting the team guard her. Phantom was glad that RA saved the women, but he didn't like the disrespect the young hero showed to his team. He didn't even offer to help. It was like he thought he was above them.
After Red Arrow left, Phantom turned to Batman. "I know this is important, but I kind of thought we would be stationed to Amity Park for the move."
"What move?" Artemis questioned.
"The League is moving a dangerous artifact from Amity Park today." Kaldur explained.
"Yeah, it's the thing that the news has been talking about for weeks." Superboy shrugged.
"Ah…" Artemis remembered that.
"I understand how you feel about this. It is in your home town." Batman nodded to Phantom. "But the League will handle the mirror. It will be moved safely. You and Young Justice need to focus on Dr. Roquette."
"It's not the League I'm worried about…" Phantom caught everyone's attention. "The ghost's that will be working with them…Many of them enjoy making scenes."
"We'll handle it." Batman left no room for argument.
"Alright…" Phantom nodded slowly. He had heard about Dr. Roquette's disappearance. Anyone that knew about the field of science knew about that. He knew personally what the League of Shadows would do with Roquette's knowledge. The Mist could lead to a disaster. "Let's go then."
In the back of his mind, though, Phantom was still worried. He had hoped to be there to ease tensions between the League and the S-rank ghosts. Now, though, they would be left on their own. He would just have to hope that they wouldn't kill each other.
'Please don't kill each other…' Phantom pleaded in his head.
"They're gonna kill each other."
"Nyx!" Spirit glared at her friend. "Don't talk like that."
Across the street from the Amity Park Museum, Spirit, Rachel, Youngblood, and Nyx were watching as the members of the Justice League and Council of the Elite prepared to move the Mirror of Memories. They look civil now, but…
"Torch refuses to be in the back! Torch leads, not follows!" A ghost was wearing a chain necklace around his neck. Various rings were on each of the man's fingers. Simple silver piercings were in the man's ears, right eyebrow, and tongue…which was sticking out at them. Finally, a headband with the word champion was tied around the ghost's forehead.
The peace could easily be changed into chaos.
"Be silent, child." Pandora ordered. "We need to be respectful…for now."
"Torch know this." Torch frowned. "But Torch does not like taking orders from humans."
"I can understand that…" Pandora looked at the group of Leaguers. "Although, Frostbite doesn't seem to have a problem with it."
"Harharharharhar!" Frostbite laughed. "It is good to see you again, Aquaman…or at least in better circumstances."
"Yes, Frostbite." The Atlantian nodded. "I am glad to see that you have remained safe since our battle."
"Yes, perhaps we can have a rematch some time!" Frostbite gave him a huge grin. "This time it can be on land."
A little bit away, the rest of the Leaguers watched on.
"Tsk…" Wonder Woman looked away. "It is hard to believe that creature is a ruler."
"Looks are deceiving." Superman tried to reason. "Besides, Aquaman said that he was a good guy."
"He froze Orin in a block of ice."
"Er…" Superman looked uncomfortable.
"It could be worse." The Green Lantern with a green mask and pale face commented. "That monster Colossus could be here. That thing almost killed me and Captain Atom."
"I thought you would be more concerned about the ghost known as Vision." Red Tornado stated. "She will be here as well…"
"Torch remembers you!" Torch pointed at Red Tornado. "The android that is evenly matched with Torch!"
"..That is either a really good thing, or a really bad thing."
"See!" Nyx pointed down to the adults. "They won't be able to work together."
"For once, I agree with Nyx." Rachel stated. "Only a small portion of the League can even tolerate ghosts, and even fewer would trust them."
"Aye…" Youngblood nodded. "Thou yonder warriors shan't be able to work together."
"What you supposed to be, anyway?"
"I beith a wizardith!" Youngblood gestured to his clothes. He was wearing a cloak with stars decorated on it.
The tipped skeleton wizard hat spoke. "Not everything ends with 'ith'."
"Well they should."
"I…can see what you mean." Spirit pulled out her phone. "I texted Danny, but he's…busy."
"Busy enough to ignore this?" Rachel questioned.
"Yeah…" Spirit frowned.
"Well, it must be freaking important." Nyx noted. "Personally, I wouldn't miss this for the world. I can't wait to see the fireworks."
"Will you mom even let you follow them?" Rachel questioned.
"Will yours?" Nyx retorted.
"Probably not, but I'm not the one dying to see this." Rachel rolled her eyes.
"It wouldith be funith if we see the adults fightith." Youngblood suggested.
"I swear, if you don't stop that, then I'm done being your hat…" The ghost's skeleton companion warned.
"Hmm…" Spirit eyed the adults down below. "I'm going to follow them."
"You are?!" Everyone turned to her.
"Yeah, I've got a bad feeling about this." Spirit nodded.
"You think they'll start fighting?" Youngblood questioned.
"No." Spirit shocked them. "But…I…feel something in the air."
"Feel?" Nyx questioned.
"Yeah, it's like…I know that something will happen." Spirit explained. "Someone will try and steal the mirror."
"Who would be dumb enough to do that?" Rachel questioned. "There are five Leaguers, and six S-rank ghosts protecting the mirror. Attacking would be suicide."
"Perhaps…" Vision's voice drew their attention. They turned and saw the strategist standing behind them. "But perhaps not. With the right plan, anything is possible."
"You would know…" Nyx noted.
"Is there something you want?" Spirit questioned.
"Yes, I overheard your conversation." Vision explained.
"Ah…that's not good…" Youngblood shrunk back. He knew Vision's reputation.
"So you don't want us to go then…" Rachel sighed.
"No, quite the contrary. I need your help."
Phantom really felt like pulling his hair out. This mission wasn't even starting well. Artemis had really messed with the team's flow. It wasn't really her fault, though. If they just had some time to integrate her into the dynamic of the team…it would probably have went better.
'Ahk...This is weird…' Artemis commented as the mental link was established.
'And distracting.' Dr. Roquetee noted. She was a blond woman with short hair and glasses. 'Coding a distributed algorithm virus on a kiddy computer with less Ram than a wrist watch is hard enough. Now I have to hear teen think in my skull!'
'Lady, do you always complain when someone tries to help you?' Kid Flash questioned.
'Pot, Kettle. Have you met?' You could almost feel Artemis' sarcasm.
'Enough!' Phantom ordered. 'If you two can't get along, I'll make you wait in the Bioship.'
'But she started it!'
'And I'll end it.' Phantom threatened. 'Now everyone, be quiet.' He looked over at Artemis. 'Go patrol the perimeter, please.'
'Fine.' Artemis agreed.
'What's the plan?' Aqualad looked at the leader.
'Still thinking…' Phantom stated. 'The biggest problem is this place. Way too many entrances. It's a good place to hide until you're found. And when the doc activates the antivirus and tracks the Fog, they will find us, and keeping out trained ninja…will be difficult.'
'Then what are you going to do?' Dr. Roquette looked up at Phantom.
'Hmm…We don't have time to come up with something full proof. The longer we wait, the more the Shadows will use the Fog.' Phantom noted. 'First things first, trying using this instead of the kiddy computer.'
'A Tucker Phone? Those things have impressive processing power for a phone, but…'
'This one's specially made.' Phantom stated as he plugged in the phone to the monitor. 'Trust me, you'll be hard pressed to find supercomputers that can run as fast as this.'
'Alright. Can't hurt.' Roquette nodded.
'Plus, we can move quickly if necessary.' Superboy suggested. 'Keep moving to throw off the attackers.'
'Right.' Phantom agreed. 'With that out of the way, we need to focus on the rest of the mission. Stop the Fog and protect the doctor.'
'And will you be able to do both?' Roquette questioned.
'Yes.' Phantom stated. 'We'll go on the offense too. Kid Flash, Robin, Aqualad, you're all going to track down the Fog. Get to the Bioship and be ready to move when the doctor starts tracking it. Find the person using the Fog and take him down.'
'You got it, man.'
'The rest of us will stay here.' Phantom explained. 'Superboy, get to the roof. Use your infrared vision to scan the area. The assassin's might be able to move silently, but they can't hide their body heat without some hardcore tech.'
'Artemis guard the south. Miss Martian guard the north. It will force the Shadows to try and enter the side.' Phantom ordered. 'Be ready to move on Superboy's signal, so stay focused.'
'Whatever you say.'
'And what will you do?' Roquette asked.
'I'm your personal bodyguard.' Phantom stated. 'The last line of defense, but don't worry. I have a few tricks up my sleeve to confuse them. If we at least stall them until the Fog is stopped, then they might just leave. There will no longer be a reason to attack you…besides revenge, but in that case, I can fly you out of here.'
Roquette seemed satisfied. 'Okay then, I'll start tracking the Fog.'
'Good. Let's do this.'
"Are you okay, Spirit?" Youngblood questioned.
The group of children invisibly followed the truck holding the mirror. They were at a good enough distance so that the members of the League that were leading the truck couldn't notice them. The ghosts probably were aware of them, but Vision most likely told them about the kids. Especially considering…
"My Dad doesn't look happy." Spirit noted.
"Neither does my Mom." Nyx nodded.
"They probably don't enjoy the fact that Vision is using you in her plan to protect the mirror." Rachel stated.
"I still don't see how we can help…" Youngblood noted. "I mean, even if I'm an awesome level 41 wizard dragonborn, I'm still don't think that we can help if a wall of superbeings can't stop something."
"Captain Kyd's got a point." Nyx agreed.
"That's Lord Wizard Kyd." Youngblood was ignored.
"I'm all for jumping in the midst of a mosh pit, but…" Nyx eyed her mother. "I don't want to be around when Mom fights…"
"Are you two…okay?" Rachel questioned. "After what happened after the Freakshow thing anyway."
"I never got an answer," Nyx frowned deeply. "But I ain't giving up. If I can use magic…maybe you can help me?"
"I can try…"
"Hey, I know that's important to you, but…yawn…l-let's stay focused…" Spirit rubbed her eyes.
"You okay?" Youngblood questioned.
"Yeah…Yeah, I'm fine, but…I just feel drained right now…" Spirit mumbled.
"Well, darn…" Nyx yawned. "That yawn made me sleepy, Girl Scout."
"Actually…" Rachel's eyes drooped. "I feel tired as well. How about you, Youngblood?"
"Youngblood!" Nyx snapped.
"Twenty-four!" Youngblood's eyes snapped open.
"Stay…away…dummy…" Rachel noted.
"Gah, it must be that two o'clock wall…" Spirit muttered.
"But it's like nine."
"Then…" Spirit froze. Her Premonition was screaming at her. She stopped flying. The others stopped and turned to the girl.
"Hey, what's wrong?" Youngblood questioned.
"Yeah, come on, Girl Scout." Nyx glared. "We're out of Amity Park now, but they won't stop for us. We'll lose them if we stop."
"No…" Spirit paled. "He can't be here…"
"Who?" Rachel questioned.
"The reason why we are all so tired."
"Huh? What do you –"
Boom! The entire area was covered in an explosion.
Everything went black…
'So you, know Daniel Fenton right?' Dr. Roquette asked over the mental link.
'Yeah, we've worked together before. I even helped rescue him from the Shadows once.' Phantom stated. 'Why?'
'He's a mystery to the scientific community.' Roquette explained. 'One day, he just comes out as a genius inventor. Granted it was in his genes, but still…"
'Many people call him the Phoenix. A brilliant mind reborn from the ashes.' Roquette noted. 'But I don't know. I suppose I would have to meet him.'
'Er…no offence, Lady, but weren't you the one giving us a hard time for talking too much?' Superboy questioned.
'That was when I was working on my programming.' Roquette noted. 'But Phantom was right about this phone. Now, I just have to wait for it to process.'
'Wow, is it really that good?' M'gann questioned.
'It's like a miniature supercomputer.' Roquette noted. 'That's why I was asking about Fenton. He made this for you, right?'
'Ah. Maybe the rumors are true then.'
'Well, I don't…Crap!' Phantom was alarmed.
'What is it?' Artemis questioned.
'My duplicate patrolling the perimeter has been destroyed. And I know who did it. Superboy, east side.' Phantom ordered.
'…I see someone.' Superboy questioned. 'But…there's also one on the west side.'
'Two of them?!' Roquette panicked.
'Okay, Artemis and Miss M, take the assassin on the west side. Makes sure that assassin doesn't get in. Superboy, follow the plan. I'll take the other one.'
'You sure?' Superboy questioned.
'Yeah, I have a score to settle.'
Spirit had to force herself out of the crater she was in. Strangely, there was very little pain from the black energy explosion. No, she just felt…weak. It was as if all her power was stopped in a single moment.
"Ah…" Spirit struggled to stand. None of her friends were around her. She could hear fighting in the distance, but she couldn't see it. The trees and darkness were in the way.
"I'm so glad you're awake." A familiar voice spoke behind Spirit.
The halfa flinched and turned. There stood one of the Phantom Family's most despised enemies. He was the person that put them through some of their worst hardships.
The ghost appeared like a demon with his down ward purple horn and red eyes with a scar running down his left eye, and another scar running across his face. One of his horns was broken off too. His body seemed to be made of stars.
Nocturne was back. But…
"What the…" Spirit's jaw fell. Terrifying black energy danced around sleep ghost. Spirit felt a sense of dread from looking at this energy. That wasn't the weird part, though. The weird part was from where the energy was coming.
"Is that…a black power ring?" Spirit stared at Nocturne's starry right hand.
"Yes, it is." Nocturne grinned cruelly. "And with it, I'm invincible."
"I've heard that before. And if I remember correctly, you got your butt handed to you." Spirit mocked.
"Ah…Still have that fake act of cockiness I see." Nocturne chuckled. "It's a really good trick. Makes your opponent underestimate you even more. But it is far from the truth."
"What are you talking about?"
Nocturne eyed his ring. "You see, my powers have recently been amplified. My mere presence makes people drowsy. Not only that, when people sleep, I can see them. Not their dreams. No, I see their souls."
"That makes no sense."
"It doesn't? After all, not a minute ago you were unconscious. In that short period of time, I saw a lot." Nocturne's evil smile made Spirit take a step back. "All your doubts, hopes, dreams, and personality traits were visible before my eyes."
"You cherish your family and friends above all else, especially Phantom. Yet, at the same time you feel held down by them because they don't let you reach your full potential. Part of you wants to know what would happen if you were alone, but you also fear solitude." Nocturne's dark laugh rang out. "That's why keep trying to get the Red Huntress back in action. You think that she always be there for you, while at the same time push you past your limits."
"Let's dig deeper, though. You're cheerful, positive, and imaginative…when you're not thinking about Phantom's almost death that is." Nocturne took pleasure in watching Spirit squirm. "Despite your doubts in yourself, you're confident that you will become stronger. That comes from your more positive outlook on life. It's this aspect that constantly compels you to work to make the world better.
"One of your greatest flaws is your desire to be the center of attention. You relish in attention and praise. This search for acknowledgment and attention is why you despise silence and boredom, always use humor as a deflecting devise for negativity, and are willing to destroy things to bring attention back to you. Very unlike the one known as Nyx who merely likes chaos for entertainment."
"Stop it!" Spirit shouted.
"You love the feeling of accomplishment. That is why you jump at the chance for combat. Recently, however, you have begun to take an interest in art and literature." Nocturne sneered at her. "You hope that this will fulfill both your desire for acknowledgement and your desire to accomplish what few others can."
"Shut up!" Spirit rocketed at the ghost. "There's no way you can know this stuff!"
She sent an ectoplasmic powered kick at Nocturne. Nocturne merely raised his hand. The black ring on his hand glowed and blocked the kick effortlessly. No…that was not the best way to describe it. The energy didn't seem to block the kick. It didn't even absorb the kick. No, it was almost as if…
The energy behind the kick disappeared.
"Wha-Ack!" Spirit cried out as the black ring blasted her back. Like before, the pain was minimal. It was more like Spirit suddenly felt exhausted, like she ran a marathon and had nothing left in the tank. Was it part of Nocturne's powers? No…she wasn't tired. It was more like she didn't have the energy to move.
"But I can know that." Nocturne explained. "You told me after all."
"Guh…" Spirit forced herself and wobbly legs. "What…what happened to you?"
"I became better and stronger." Nocturne stated. "It is all because of the power of the ring."
"No, not that…" Spirit look up with puzzled eyes. "Nocturne was an arrogant, power hungry jerk who wanted to rule the world, but I don't sense anything like that with my Premonition. Your intentions aren't that. You want people to suffer. You're completely different from before. Who…who are you?"
"I am the nightmare of death." Nocturne answered simply.
Spirit didn't understand what that meant. "I don't-"
The ground rumbled from the power of the roar. It was almost like a miniature earthquake. After a moment, though, it stopped.
"What?!" Spirit looked in the direction of the demonic roar. In the distance, was a large black and purple dragon. Like Nocturne, it seemed to have an aura of black energy around it. Despite this, the halfa girl recognized the dragon.
"Is that Aragon?" Spirit whispered.
"Yes, the beast of death." Nocturne extended his hand and his ring glowed. "Don't worry, you'll get to see up close and personal soon enough."
"Yeah," Spirit glared. "But it will be after I kick your butt."
Nocturne laughed. "Even you don't believe that. Here let me show you…"
"Never thought you would be here." Phantom noted as he stood next to Dr. Roquette.
"I guess it's your bad luck." Jinx noted.
"That's the thing." Phantom turned. "I believe that we make our own luck based on our actions."
"You must have made some sucky actions then." Jinx noted.
"That…is hard to argue…" Phantom frowned.
"Oh…" Jinx smirked. "Do I sense some doubt in the almighty hero."
"None whatsoever." Phantom eyed the girl. "I take it that you're working with the assassin Cheshire now. What happened to Walker? Did he dump you for Shiva?"
"Hardly." Jinx rolled her eyes. "I was tired of babysitting that fool."
"I see…" Phantom nodded.
"Enough formalities." Jinx stated. "I'm here to kill the good doctor."
"Figure as much." Phantom then addressed the doctor. "Keep working, doc. I'll make sure doesn't get close."
"False promises. Never figured you for a liar." Jinx charged.
"We're all full of surprises." Phantom attacked the bad luck user.
Jinx first attacked with a blast of pink energy. Phantom easily blocked this with a blast of energy of his own. The two blasts met between the two fighters and canceled each other out. Following this miniature explosion, the two meta-humans began to fight in hand-to-hand combat.
Jinx sent a spinning hooking heel kick at Phantom's head. Phantom ducked under the kick and threw a punch at Jinx's midsection. With the smallest amount of effort, Jinx moved out of the way of the strike. Seeing an opening, she sent a hex bolt at Phantom.
The bad luck energy hit Phantom and sent him skidding back. He could feel his powers be disrupted by the energy. It was a weird reaction. It was almost like…
Never mind, he needed to focus.
Jinx quickly turned her attention to the doctor. She blasted at the doctor. Even if Roquette dodged, the blast would hit the computer. Either way, it was mission accomplished.
If Phantom didn't create a shield of ectoplasm around the doctor that is…
Despite the danger, Roquette still hadn't turned around. Even as the computer monitor spark and rattled because of Jinx's bad luck ability. Jinx was surprised by her resolve in the face of danger.
"Tsk…" Jinx glared at Phantom. "Okay, then. I was going to go easy on you, but…"
Pink energy began to flow off of Jinx in waves. Her cat like eyes disappeared in a pink glow. "I won't hold back anymore."
Phantom expected Jinx to blast at him, but she didn't. Instead she sent a hex bolt at the ceiling. The lights shattered and sparked. The halfa was forced to cover his eyes from the sparks and glass.
Jinx instantly took advantage. This time, she blasted the floor beneath Phantom. The tiles exploded up and forced the halfa into the air. At this time, Jinx decided to attack directly. She sent a barrage of small hex bolts at Phantom.
He was blasted into the nearby wall. Before he could recover, Jinx trapped and pinned him to the wall. "And that's that."
With a wave of her hand, Jinx sent a blast at Dr. Roquette. The bolt hit the computer and caused an explosion. Roquette was sent crashing into the opposite wall. She fell to the ground lifeless.
"You lose." Jinx smirked at Phantom.
"Do I?" Phantom returned the smirk.
"Huh?" Jinx watched as green energy came up from behind her and was absorbed into the Phantom.
She turned. Dr. Roquette was gone. All that was left was a smoking metallic belt.
"A Fenton Disguise Belt. It can hide your hair color, eyes, and clothes. It may not be as perfect as Martian shape shifting, but it was enough to fool you." Phantom smirked. "Oh, and here comes the other one."
Once again, green energy was absorbed by Phantom.
"What did you do?" Jinx hissed.
"I can make three duplicates. One patrolled the perimeter. One was disguised as the doctor. One guarded Roquette in the last place any one looks when they're searching for someone." Phantom explained. "That's why I have Superboy guarding her right now."
"Oh, and another thing." Phantom pushed Jinx and sent her flying across the room.
"Duplicates greatly diminish my power. So now…I won't hold back anymore."
The entire area was covered in black flames. Aragon's fire had burned everything in its path. Luckily, no living being was hit by the fire. The flames covering this area fell from the sky as the dragon ghost fought Superman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern.
The ghosts were fighting the army of Sleep Walkers that Nocturne created. Usually, the artificial beings were pushovers. Unfortunately, the Sleep Walkers were also covered in the black energy. No matter how hard you hit them, they just seemed to keep coming. Not only that, their attack power was many times stronger than ever before.
"Gah…" Spirit landed on the ground with a thud. Like Nocturne said, he took her to the area where everyone was fighting. There was not much that Spirit could do. Every time she gathered the energy to fight back, the black energy seemed to wipe her stamina away.
"Ah…" Nocturne tilted his head. There where he was looking was the Mirror of Memories. It must have been blasted out of the truck in the first explosions. "That's what I came here for."
"The mirror…" Spirit struggled to move, but her body felt numb. She had to stop Nocturne. 'Come on! Move!'
"With this, it is mission accomplished." Nocturne picked up the mirror.
"Mmm…" Spirit forced herself on shaky knees. "Why…would you want…the mirror? You can already make an army."
"You think I would actually tell you?" Nocturne sneered. "No, you get to die in ignorance."
"Die, huh? I thought it was mission accomplished."
"Perhaps for now, but I know you halfas. It is you that always end up ruining the plans." Nocturne stood above the halfa. "It is always your fault. I think it would be best to end you now."
The ghost of sleep reached down and grabbed Spirit by her throat. With ease, Nocturne picked the girl up and dangled her in the air. The girl would have struggled, but once again the black energy around Nocturne seemed to erasing her energy.
"Moron…" Spirit managed to speak. "You think…I'll just give up…"
"Even the strongest will can do nothing when the body is weak." Nocturne noted. "Goodbye ghost gi-"
"Let her go!" Shadows jumped up from the ground and tried to hit Nocturne. They did nothing.
With a look of annoyance, Nocturne turned. "The daughter of Pandora…It is foolish to attack me."
"Let the Girl Scout go." Nyx warned.
"Ala-blast him in face!" Youngblood sent a blast of ectoplasm from his wand. Like before, there was no effect.
"Gnats should not attack a giant." Nocturne sighed. Out of his black power ring came two energy hands. They instantly went to grab the two other children.
Both Youngblood and Nyx tried to dodge and destroy the arms. Nothing they did could stop the arms of energy, though. They did their best to avoid capture, but the arms were too fast. In seconds, they were captured.
"Gah!" Youngblood and Nyx struggled and failed to escape from the energy.
"You won't be able to get away." Nocturne remarked. "But if I remember correctly, there was one more child…yes, there you are."
"Azaroth Metrion Zin-" Nocturne's hand grabbed Rachel's head and stopped the words. In the process, he dropped the mirror, but it wouldn't be damaged by that.
"No you don't." Nocturne chuckled.
"Mhmhmhm!" Rachel tried to speak, but couldn't because Nocturne's hand on her mouth.
"Don't bite. I won't do anything." Nocturne mentioned.
"Well, then. That was easy." Nocturne commented.
"Is this where…you call…yourself a god?" Spirit struggled to speak.
"No, I was foolish to ever think that." Nocturne glared, but it wasn't at her. No, it was a glare at himself and his past beliefs. "I have met a read god, and I could never compare."
"God?" Nyx questioned through clenched teeth.
"It doesn't matter." Nocturne frowned. "All that matters in this moment is your death…"
Yeah…the fight wasn't going as well as Phantom wanted it to go. In his last fight with Jinx, he used her inability to work together with Walker to his advantage. Now, though, he no longer had such an advantage. Not only that, the duplicates had exhausted him more than he liked to admit.
"What's wrong!?" Jinx kicked Phantom's midsection. "You're a lot slower than when I first assessed you!"
Phantom grunted and moved back. He was running low on juice. Not only that, he couldn't use a widespread attack because of the limited room… "I don't know what you're talking about!"
He sent a combo of punches at Jinx. The girl expertly dodged the blows. She sent punches of her own at Phantom. Each one was blocked by the halfa. They continued with this exchange until Phantom sent an ectoplasmic powered knee at the girl. This attack caught a glancing blow on Jinx, but she avoided most of the damage.
Despite her aching ribs, Jinx blasted Phantom back with a hex bolt. "Don't lie! I can see it. You're strength, speed, and intensity have drastically dropped."
"Yeah, right!" Phantom sent a barrage of ecto-blasts at Jinx.
Jinx dodged each of them. She smirked. "Right, indeed. Before, you would have overpowered me by now."
"Not my style anymore!" Phantom went back to close combat.
Throughout the exchange, Jinx kept speaking. "Is that because you can't use that style?"
"It's true!" Jinx's eyes lit with delight as she kicked him away. "I can see it in your eyes. They're so much duller than before. It's probably a bunch of reasons."
Jab to Phantom's face. "Gassed out from fighting too much."
Cross punch to Phantom's sternum. "Hardened from seeing so much death from the war."
Spinning kick to Phantom's jaw. "Maybe it's a consequence of that super mode you went into."
Finally, she swept his legs and tossed him below her. Pinning him, she added. "Or it could be a combination of all three."
Phantom didn't give her the satisfaction of answering.
"Your face is all the answer I need." Jinx smirked.
'Phantom! The anti-virus has finished downloading! Now it's up to Robin, Kid Flash, and Aqualad.' Superboy mentally called.
Despite his situation, he smirked. "And what does my face tell you now?"
"…Victory…" Jinx frowned. She placed a hand over her ear. "Cheshire…What do you mean it's time to go…What happened to the Fog?...They what?!"
"You lose." Phantom stated happily.
"That's impossible!" Jinx glared down at him. "There's no way she could finish an anti-virus that fast."
"It is with a little new Fenton Tech."
"You…" Jinx's eyes widened. "You tricked me. I thought that I had enough to fight you. That's why you stalled…"
Jinx trembled in anger. "You bastard!"
She punched him in the face. "You made me fail! I hate failing!"
"Ack…didn't think you would be a sore loser…" Phantom groaned. "Never knew about the anger problem either…
"Who do you think you are!?" Jinx shouted as she kept punching him. "Who do you think you are to try and one up me like that!?"
She raised her hand. It glowed a dark pink. Phantom realized that this was a kill blow. He didn't have the energy to block it.
In his head, he quickly ran through his options. There was no way he could stop the attack physically. His teammates were too far away right now to help him. He was on his own.
He had to do something! But what can he do? Nothing Phantom could say would stop her. No, there was nothing he could do…
But he couldn't! No! There wasn't even a guarantee that it would work! And if it did…
Nevertheless, as the kill blow drew closer, Phantom's voice worked on its own. He just blurted it out.
Jinx froze. Her fist was inches away from his face. Slowly, the pink energy faded. "What did you say?"
"Did…did he tell you?" Jinx questioned. "I can't believe he would tell you that. That was…our thing. How could he?"
"I…I can't…" Jinx stared at him. She examined him, his eyes, his face, and his soul. "He didn't tell you."
Then it all clicked.
In shock, Jinx stumbled back away from Phantom. Her face paled. Her eyes showed shock. "But you were in two places at once…The duplicates and the Disguise Belt...No way…"
"No!" Jinx looked at him desperately. "Why didn't you tell me!?"
"I couldn't." Phantom stood. "Please, I don't-"
They were interrupted by an arrow. Jinx had to dodge the green arrow as it zoomed to her head. Both teens turned to look at the entrance. Artemis and Miss Martian was there.
"Don't move." Artemis ordered.
"No…" Jinx shook her head. "I'm no longer in the mood."
Boom! Pink energy exploded out. All three members of Young Justice had to move to avoid the explosion. Then, when the smoke had cleared, Jinx was gone.
"She's gone…" Artemis frowned.
Phantom looked over at his teammates. "An old decision came back to save me."
"Okaaay…" Artemis didn't know what that meant. "Care to elaborate."
"Let's just say the forgiveness can go a long way." Phantom explained. "Anyway, did you handle Cheshire?"
"Yeah…well, it was mostly Artemis." M'gann blushed. "I got disorientated by her jellyfish poison. Luckily, my body altered itself to nullify the poison, but by the time I came too, Cheshire was gone."
"You handled her?" Phantom questioned.
"…Yeah…" Artemis handed him Cheshire's mask. "I handled it…"
"Good." Phantom nodded. "Well…Wally will be happy for the souvenir."
"Speaking of them…" Superboy walked into the room with Dr. Roquette. "How'd they do?"
"Let me find out…" Phantom placed a hand over his ear. "Phantom to Aqualad. Did you stop the Fog?"
"Yes. Unfortunately, we couldn't save Star Labs, but we tracked the Fog to the user. We have captured Dr. Ojo and downloaded the anti-virus to the Fog." Aqualad stated through the radio.
"Well…" Phantom stated. "That's done then."
"Mission accomplished." Artemis smirked.
"Thank you." Dr. Roquette stated. "I had my doubts, but…you pulled this off flawlessly. I didn't even see an assassin."
Phantom looked around the room. It was completely destroyed. "Well…I wouldn't say flawlessly."
If Spirit had suspected that anyone would interfere, she would not have it would be him. Her first guess would have been one of the ghosts. Then, a second guess would have been a member of the Justice League. To her shock, though, it was neither of them.
As the large shadow appeared over Nocturne, Spirit was surprised as a ball of greyish white muscle landed on top of Nocturne. "Grundy says leave little girl alone!"
The force of blow caused Nocturne to let go of the children. They all collapsed onto the ground. The black energy of the ring had taken its effect on the children.
Despite her shock over the situation, Spirit forced herself to act. She reached out and grabbed the mirror that Nocturne dropped. The halfa no longer had the energy to use ectoplasm, but she could still do this.
"GRAH!" Solomon Grundy was sent baralling back when Nocturne blasted him with the black power ring.
"Foolish girl, what do you plan to do with that?" Nocturne chuckled. "You can't use the mirror without energy."
"Don't plan to…" Spirit groaned. "But…I can still do this! Nyx!"
Spirit flung the mirror towards the shadow ghost. Gathering as much energy as she could, Nyx sent a wave of shadow energy at the mirror.
Crash! The mirror was shattered into hundreds of pieces.
"What!?" Nocturne's eyes widened. "That's impossible!"
"Don't ignore Grundy!" Solomon Grundy ran at Nocturne.
In anger, Nocturne batted Grundy away. Spirit was surprised to see the wall of muscle be flung away with such ease. "It can't be…The mirror can't be broken…"
"Well it is…" Rachel muttered.
"RAW!" Nocturne glared. "I'll kill you brats-Ah!"
A battered and bruised Plasmius blasted Nocturne from behind. "I think not."
Nocturne glared at the older halfa. "Grr…It appears that my Sleep Walkers have thinned out."
"Indeed." Plasmius prepared himself for battle.
"Fine then." Nocturne sighed. "You lucked out then. I don't know what that was, but it wasn't the Mirror of Memories. It's not here. That means that there is no reason to be here anymore. I will have to kill you halfas later."
"And you think I will just let you leave?"
"I think you don't have a choice." The entire area was covered in black light. The dark energy swirled all around them. In a flash, everything was silent.
"He's gone…" Youngblood noted.
"Yes," Plasmius knelt down by his daughter. "Are any of you harmed?"
"No…" Spirit noted as her father picked her up. "Just drained."
"Yes…" Plasmius nodded. "I know the feeling. That black energy…It was devastatingly strong."
"Nyx!" Pandora flew to her daughter and picked her up. "I knew I should never have let you follow us!"
"I'm fine, Mom." Nyx stated.
"So…" Visions stated as she approached the group. "The mirror was destroyed."
"Yes." Youngblood said as he was helped to his feet.
"Good. I shall show the Justice League." Vision informed them and left.
"Torch has to question what's with this big guy." Torch poked Solomon Grundy with his red and black scythe.
"If I remember correctly. His name is Grundy, correct?" Frostbite examined the downed monster.
"Yes..." The Fright Knight nodded as he helped Rachel. "He attacked Amity Park not too long ago."
"Torch heard he was captured." Torch commented. "Why is he here?"
"He must have escaped." Plasmius noted. "But...why would he come here?"
Spirit looked down at the large beast. "He saved us."
"Yeah! You should have seemed. He was boom! And Nocturne was like waa! And we were like woah..." Youngblood...tried to explain.
"Torch has to ask...what do we do with him?"
"We have to follow the humans rules...even if he saved the children." Pandora frowned.
"So we hand him to the League?" Frostbite questioned.
"It is the only choice we have."
Spirit looked down at the pale monster. She kept questioning why he came to save them...her. The halfa girl knew that they were connected somehow, but did Grundy know? If so, then that would explain his actions. He saw Dani as the only family he had. Yet here she was letting others decide his face.
It left a bad taste in her mouth.
(Tuesday-August 10, 2010)
"So that was your plan…" Phantom stated. After returning from his mission, the halfa returned home and heard what happened. Phantom wished that he could have been there to help, but after he explained about the Fog, there had been little complaints.
"Yes." Vision nodded. Once again, they were all gathered in the Masters Mansion. This time, though, there was some good news. "Now that the Justice League believes that the mirror is destroyed, there will be no argument when I take it back to the Ghost Zone for safe keeping."
"And how did you pull that off?"
"It was all thinks to young Rachel." Vision explained.
"Yes…" The girl nodded. "My magical energy hid the mirror's presence. No one knew that I switched the real mirror with the fake one in the chaos."
"How did you know that you would be attacked?" Phantom questioned.
"I didn't, but it was a possibility." Vision explained. "In case that happened, I wanted it to be our victory."
"That it was." Plasmius nodded.
"But what about Nocturne and Aragon?" Spirit questioned. "They're back and they have those…rings."
"Yes…" Fright Knight spoke up. "I remember that power…"
"As I explained to the Green Lantern, those rings have a complicated past." Vision explained. "Originally, they were created by the Reaper."
"Freakshow said his name was Nekron?" Spirit mentioned.
"Yes," Vision nodded. "He was embodiment of death and a consequence of the Reality Gauntlet."
"The Reality Gauntlet? How does that work?" Phantom questioned.
"There is the reason the Ghost Writer normally refuses to use his powers for more than teaching lessons." Fright Knight mentioned. "There are consequences for altering reality."
"Yes, remember, there are always consequences for actions. Even the smallest action can cause ripples." Vision explained. "Long ago, a man with good intentions created the Reality Gauntlet. But the road to hell is paved with good intentions. He saved lives and made the world better, but at the same time, he used a power that should not belong to mortals."
"And that was what created the Reaper?" Plasmius questioned. "The distortion in reality created a threat that was unequaled."
"No." Vision looked away. "That was what created ghosts."
"…Do you mean…" Rachel's eyes widened.
"Yes," Vision nodded. "None of us ghosts would exist if it weren't for the Reality Gauntlet."
"So…that's why this is the only planet with ghosts…" Phantom noted. "Because someone messed with death and reality here."
"Make no mistake, though, that vile gauntlet brought more destruction and death than you can even imagine." Fright Knight growled. "Don't forget that the Reaper was one of the first ghosts. The devastation he caused…"
"So there was good and bad, since the beginning for ghosts, huh?" Spirit mentioned.
"You have no idea." Vision seemed…scared. "There was a reason it took all of Fa…Pariah Dark and the King's Advisors powers to kill Nekron. And the reason for that was the black power rings."
"With those rings, the Reaper could transfer some of his power to others." Fright Knight explained.
"Some?" Spirit questioned. "That ring…It was something else. There was nothing I could do against Nocturne."
"And it was also why the Justice League couldn't fight off Aragon. Combining the power of his amulet and the ring is devastating." Vision noted. "The power of the black power rings is one to be feared and respected."
"But why are the rings still around if the Reaper was killed?" Phantom questioned.
"Many of the rings survived the final battle." Vision explained. "They have appeared from time to time. We have hunted down most of them and destroyed them. Hopefully, these will be the last two."
"Aren't you worried about this?" Plasmius questioned. "Those rings are dangerous."
"Of course, but I don't believe Nocturne and Aragon will do anything foolish right now." Vision noted. "They have some sort of goal. I will continue to investigate."
"Not to mention how the Green Lanterns will be looking into it as well." Phantom noted. "And with that happening, are you certain they won't find out about the mirror?"
"Don't worry. I will hide the mirror in a place no one will find it." Vision stated.
After the meeting, Spirit left with Rachel to talk. Once outside, the halfa said, "You did great today."
"Thanks, it was fun…except the part where we almost died." Rachel noted.
"Yeah, although, I think Nyx might under house arrest for a while…" Spirit frowned. "It might be boring for a while."
"With you it's never boring." Rachel stated.
"I'll take that as a compliment."
"You should…by the way…"
"Do you need any help…you know…patrolling?"
"Oh…That would be great! But…your mom?"
"I'll figure something out. I…just want to do some more good for people."
"I'm sure you will, Rachel."
"Call me Raven."
Knock! Knock! Knock!
"Artemis!" Phantom knocked on his friend's door. "You there?"
It was currently mid-afternoon. Phantom needed to talk to his new teammate, but he couldn't appear in Gotham as a hero, and Artemis didn't know about his duel life. So, Phantom was wearing a toboggan hat to hide his white hair and sunglasses to hide his glowing green eyes. His clothes were simple jeans and a blue t-shirt.
The door cracked opened, but was still chain locked. Phantom had to look down to see the person answering the door. The woman had dark hair and eyes. She was of middle age, but could pass as younger. Oh…and she was in a wheelchair.
"Hello, can I help you?" The woman questioned.
"I'm sorry. I must have the wrong apartment." Phantom scratched his head. It had been a while since he'd been there. "I'm looking for Artemis Crock."
"I'm her mother." The woman stated. "Are you her friend?"
"…You could say that." Phantom eyed the woman. "Do you now about her new…extracurricular activity?"
"Oh…" Mrs. (Miss?) Crock's eyes widened. "That."
"Yeah, can I come in? I need to speak to her." Phantom requested.
"Of course." Artemis' mom unchained the door and let him in. "Come in."
"Thank you." Phantom nodded.
"Artemis!" The woman called. "A friend is here!"
"What?" The blond walked into the room. She was now dressed in civilian clothes. "Who…"
"Hey, Artemis." Phantom removed his hat and glasses.
"You're…" Artemis' mother stared at him.
"Don't gawk, Mom." Artemis frowned.
"Well, it's not every day a ghost walks into my home." The woman noted.
Phantom eyed Artemis. Her mom obviously didn't know about his last visit here.
"Well, I'm sorry to just drop by, but I needed to talk to Artemis." Phantom stated.
"Mom, I think he means alone." Artemis mentioned.
"Whatever you say in front of my daughter you can say in front of me." Mrs. Crock frowned at the ghost.
"No offence, Mrs. Crock, but that's not true." Phantom corrected.
"He's right, Mom. This is Young Justice business." Artemis nodded.
"Fine…" The woman sighed. "Keep your door open, though."
Artemis rolled her eyes.
Phantom just chuckled, though. "Don't worry. My girlfriend would tear my balls off for just thinking about cheating…That and I'm pretty sure you or your daughter could kill me."
When they were out of ear shock, Artemis smirked at the halfa. "Girlfriend, huh? You never mentioned that before."
"It never came up before." Phantom stated as they walked into Artemis' room. He was surprised that it was rather plain. The only qualities that stood out were the two beds and Alice in Wonderland poster. It was obvious that someone else lived in this room with Artemis once. It was probably a sibling.
"Do the others, know?"
Artemis laughed. "Oh, this is good. I'm soooo gonna enjoy telling them."
"Whatever…" Phantom shrugged. "So…Is that one of the parents that didn't care about me being here a few months ago?"
"…Yeah…" Artemis nodded.
"It seems like she cares a lot." The halfa mentioned.
"Well…that's new, okay?"
"…Okay." Phantom asked no more.
"Thanks…So, what did you want something?"
"Yeah, there is…"
"Then what is it?" Artemis questioned.
"Is there a reason you joined the team?" Phantom asked his friend.
"Yeah," Artemis nodded. "Batman and GA asked me to…"
"And you weren't concerned?" Phantom asked.
"No, should I be?" Artemis questioned.
"You aren't a side…partner to a hero. You have no connection with the League." Phantom explained. "Why would they ask someone they didn't even know?"
"You don't have a connection to the League either." Artemis snapped. She was annoyed with his questioning. "Maybe they were just impressed by us."
"Exactly." Phantom hung his head. "We made an impression. They know that eventually we could become a threat. That's why they're trying to get us on their side."
"Tsk…" Artemis looked away. "Why are you saying this?"
"The same reason I was worried about you being a vigilante in Gotham." Phantom explained. "You're my friend."
"I…thanks…" Artemis sighed. "But I can handle myself."
"I know." Phantom nodded. "But I just want to ask you if this is what you want. I can guarantee you that a hero's life is a lot harder than it looks. Not only that, you're on a team. You're going to have to trust the others to protect your life. Can you do that?"
"I…I don't know. But I can try."
"Yeah…" Phantom sighed. "But sometimes trying isn't good enough."
"The Mirror of Memories was destroyed." Joel heard a voice close to his cage speak. Despite this, he continued to pretend to be asleep.
"No it wasn't." A dark gravelly voice answered. "That mirror is nearly indestructible. But it's no longer our concern, old friend. The ghosts probably hid it, and if its Vision's fault, then we won't be able to get to it. What really concerns me are the black power rings."
"Yes, you told me about those, Vandal." The first voice spoke. "Do you believe that the rings appeared because of the Reality Gauntlet?"
"I don't know, but it is possible, Lex." Vandal's voice noted. "Either way, the Light will need to focus on finding both Freakshow and the ghosts with the power rings."
Lex's voice chuckled. "It seems that we have the Justice League and the ghosts on our side with those goals."
"Yes, everyone understands the danger and destruction that could happen because of them." Vandal sound displeased.
"You witnessed the Reaper first hand if I remember correctly."
"Yes…it is not a pleasant memory." Vandal sound pained. "The world was set aflame. Millions died. Entire races went extinct."
"That's not a pleasant thought." Lex noted.
"No, it's not. It would completely destroy all that we have worked for, if it happens again." Vandal stated.
"Then we will have to stop it."
Joel continued to listen as they walked away. He recognized those voices. They were partners of the Master. If the boy remembered correctly, they were both cool headed and calm individuals. If these Freakshow and ghosts worried them so much, then they were bigger threats than Joel can even begin to imagine.
Despite this, though, Joel was more worried about another piece of information. The mirror everyone wanted was now out of the picture. That meant that the Ghoul Project would continue on without any more delay.
'It will be my turn soon…' Joel thought. And when that happened…
His story will be over.
Bonding Moment: Kid Flash
"Are you ready for this?" Wally glared.
"Oh, you know it." Phantom glared back. "I'm so going to win."
"In your dreams."
Robin stood up and commented. "Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages. Welcome to the first annual Young Justice Eat-off!"
"This is so stupid." Artemis noted.
"Yep," Superboy nodded. "Who'd you bet for?"
"Kid Mouth. You?"
"I went with the guy that can literally put food though his skin into his stomach."
"You both know the rules." M'gann, the official ref, stated. "Whoever eats the most in five minutes wins. You are allowed to use your powers to eat, but you can't interfere with your opponent's eating."
"Why did you agree to referee this?" Kaldur questioned.
M'gann shrugged. "They asked and it gave me a chance to try some new recipes."
"Thanks again, beautiful!" Wally smiled. "Don't worry, I'll be sure to win for you."
"No way! I have the perfect plan." Phantom stated. "I'm totally going to win."
"Dream on, Inviso-Bill!"
"I never approved that name!"
"You two ready?" Robin questioned as he held up the timer.
"You know it."
"I was born ready."
And thus the feasting began. Phantom created three duplicates and had each of them eat alongside him. Wally merely stuffed as much food as possible down his throat. In the blink of an eye, the food began to disappear.
Not all the food went into the teen's stomachs, though. A lot of it was flung all over the place. You can imagine that disgust of the rest of the team as they dodged the storm of food being flung at them.
After five minutes of this, the timer went off.
"And stop!" Robin called.
"Who won?" Superboy questioned.
"And the winner is…Wally!" M'gann raised the speedster's arm.
"Yeah! I'm the king!"
"King of pigs, maybe…" Artemis muttered.
"Dude, there were four of me! How did you eat more than four people while remembering to breathe?" Phantom questioned.
"It's a talent." Wally shrugged.
"Pretty useless talent." Superboy remarked.
"You are truly a worthy foe." Phantom complimented.
"You're not so bad yourself." Wally stated. "You were pretty close to beating me."
"This is the weirdest thing to bond over." Kaldur commented.
"Meh, whatever works, right?" Robin noted.
"Next year, I'll have to make more duplicates." Phantom stated. "That way, I'll totally win."
"I'll have to work on my technique." Wally agreed.
"Wait…You're actually going to make this an annual thing?" Superboy questioned.
Artemis placed her face in her hands. "You're both so disgusting…"
Ah...I love Spring Break. Not much of a party person, but I love the chance to relax.
Quick note: For everyone that remembers this episode of YJ, it took place on August 8, not 9. August 8, 2010, however, is on a Sunday. Wally went back to school on this day, so it couldn't be on August 8. Thus I changed the dates of this chapter to fit that logic. Not a big change, but it would have bothered me if I didn't change it.
It has been pointed out to me that my portrayal of some DC characters such as Cassandra Cain are different than in the comics. Please note, that I know this. I have my reasons for making minor changes to the characters. For example, it would be nearly impossible to portray Cassandra from a different perspective is she couldn't originally speak like in the comics. I am aware that she couldn't talk before meeting Batman. As such, there will also be changes to other characters too.
Captain America: Winter Soldier comes out soon. I'm excited, but I wish I didn't know who the Winter Soldier was. That's the bad part of knowing a lot about comics. It ruins some of the twists in the movies. Oh, well...
Thank you all for reading and please remember to...
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