[This chapter is for PhannieMay15! The first part will be for Days 8, but it'll be longer. Anyway, the theme was "Alternate Universe" and so I decided out of all the fun prompts to do Age Swap! Which means 14 year old Vlad, Maddie and Jack and 40-something Danny, Sam and Tucker. :D Enjoy!]
Notes: Because I ship Danny with literally everyone, I had a hard time picking who he might be with in the future (as lovesick as that boy was in the show, I can't imagine he didn't at least want to get married at some point), so I just left him single. We'll say he dated a lot and none of them stuck. However, I can't say the same for Sam and Tucker so I married them instead. ;D Everything else will be based on canon relationships.
"Hold still whelp so I can shoot you! I've sworn to have your head upon my wall!" Skulker shouted, aiming yet another missile toward Vlad's head. Didn't he ever run out? He was wearing a mechanical suit! Surely the ammo was under the same physical limitations and had limits on ammunition storage? Skulker roared and fired another, disproving Vlad's theory with what seemed like sheer spite. "You can't run forever!"
Vlad rolled his eyes and went invisible. He flew behind a building and waited for Skulker to pass by. If he weren't so obsessed with hunting Vlad, Skulker could possibly be useful. Good with electronics, amazing tracker, and seemed to know a great deal of ghosts. Wonderful information source! Shame he was focused on cutting Vlad's mint green head off and mounting it on his wall.
That tended to put a dent in future allies.
"It's no use hiding!" Skulker shouted, aiming a missile at Vlad's position. The young ghost cursed and scrambled away before the ectoplasm exploded over the entire wall. "I've keyed into your Ecto-Signature! There's no where you can run!"
Vlad became visible and focused on his hands as he held both out toward Skulker. A soft pink wisp danced around his fingers, but nothing solid enough to do damage. Vlad growled and concentrated harder on the energy growing in his hands and Skulker aiming weapons at Vlad, vulnerable in the air. He'd done it in practice, so why couldn't he seem to bring up a Ghost Ray when he needed it!?
"Got you!" Skulker shouted, switching hands and sending a net toward Vlad's head.
The boy cursed already calculating it was moving too fast for him to get out of the way! The net approached and—vanished in a flash of green light? Vlad stared at the disintegrated net pieces as they fell to the ground. Skulker did much of the same, his metal face gaping at the interruption to their fight. Vlad looked around, floating and waiting for the intruder.
"Picking on kids, Skulker?" A voice laughed from around them. A swirl of green smoke flew through the air and teleported between them an older, human-shaped ghost with glowing green eyes that laughed in amusement. The man looked like he had been around forty when he died, if the slight wrinkles at the side of his eyes were an indicator, though his fashion gave none of that way. He wore a black hazmat suit with white gloves and boots that matched his snow white hair. The ghost held a hand up and wagged his index finger back and forth, scolding Skulker. "I thought you were the big hunter? This seems a bit small for you."
"Phantom!" Skulker shouted, his glow growing stronger with his rage. "How dare you interrupt my hunt of the Halfa!"
"Halfa?" Phantom, Vlad took a guess that was his name, said. He hit the side of his head and looked Vlad over. He winked and Vlad scoffed. "Is that him? Now I'm extra glad I showed up to see what the fuss was about. If I'd known the Halfa was a kid, I would have been here sooner."
"Well now you've seen him," Skulker hissed. The hunter's rage grew by the moment, his flaming hair growing and flashing everywhere. Vlad glanced between the two, cursing his inexperience. Skulker knew who Phantom was, so he must be somewhat well known. Vlad needed to do more research. Skulker pointed at the ghost and yelled, "Your curiosity should be sated! Now get out of here and allow me to finish my hunt, you pest!"
"Skulker," Phantom said, raising an eyebrow up. He crossed his arms over his chest and leaned in closer to the mechanical ghost. The cocky attitude almost glowed as brightly as Phantom's ghostly aura. "You really, really want to do that?"
"I will not be stopped from capturing my quarry!" Skulker yelled, yanking out an impressive bazooka over his shoulder. Vlad winced, remember the blast radius of that particular weapon and how difficult it was to avoid it. Phantom didn't move. Skulker hissed, "The Halfa is my prey!"
"So we're doing this," Phantom said. He turned around to Vlad and grinned, giving Vlad a big thumbs up. "Hey kid, time me!"
"Time you?" Vlad asked, eyes widening. "What are you doing!?"
"You'll see," Phantom said
Vlad had the time to blink before Phantom was throwing a fist in Skulker's face. A second to his gut was followed by a massive Ghost Ray to the chest. The blast threw Skulker into the side of the nearest building, where Phantom was—waiting for him!? How did he? Vlad gaped. There was more than one of him. Vlad looked around as another hit Skulker in the side with another smaller Ghost Ray. Three. No, there were four Phantom fighting the mechanical ghost.
"Form duplication," Vlad whispered to himself as his eyes grew wider and wider watching the fight. Phantom had mastered form duplication. Just how strong was he!? "I don't believe it."
"Believe it," A copy said, laughing near Vlad's ear. He laughed harder when Vlad jumped away from the sudden appearance. Phantom's copy grinned and asked, "Since you're not keeping time, you want to see something funny?"
"Uh," Vlad said, floating away from the powerful ghost. Mastering four forms, as well as keep up conversation outside of the battle? This ghost might be a little above his skill range. A lot above his skill range. Vlad swallowed and nodded in agreement.
"Then pay attention or you'll miss it," Phantom said, pointing back to the fight.
Vlad turned his head in time to watch Phantom blast Skulker's head off. Vlad sucked in a breath, and stared when Phantom yanked out a small green blob of a ghost the size of his hand. Apart from the suit, it lost its ghostly glow and all the metal parts dropped to the ground. The Phantom clones vanished and he floated back over to Vlad.
Phantom held up the smaller ghost and said, "Skulker's not so scary without his suit, is he?"
"I'll get you!" The tiny Skulker shrieked, his voice high pitched and whiny. "I will not forget this embarrassment!"
The ghost blob threw a handful of goopy ectoplasm at Phantom's face, causing the older ghost man to drop Skulker. Phantom winced, wiping the sludge off his face with a grimace while Skulker made a break for it, flying off into the distance as fast as he could.
"Hate it when he does that," Phantom said, a wry smile tugging on amused lips.
Vlad was alone with the high class ghost.
His insides shook, and he grit his teeth. Phantom had shown up and saved him from Skulker (to Vlad's eternal regret that he needed the help), but it wouldn't be the first time a ghost had shown up to fight over the unique "Halfa" and wanting a piece of Vlad. Who was to say that Phantom didn't want much of the same?
"You okay, kid?" Phantom asked. He floated away a few feet, giving Vlad his space. He licked the side of his lip and held out his hand. "My name's Phantom. It's nice to meet you after hearing so much gossip in the Ghost Zone."
"I can't tell if your name is boastful or uncreative," Vlad said, slapping a hand over his mouth. Always. Always with the snide comments? Couldn't he even control himself around certain trouble? This is why ghost attacked him all the time. Had to be. "I mean—"
"No, no. It's okay." Phantom held his hand up, his chest rumbling with laughter. He wiped a tear from the side of his face and patted Vlad on the arm. "Let's say that second one turned into the first one, and leave it there."
"Oh," Vlad said. He clutched at the edge of his cape, using it as a temporary shield as he pulled it up near his chest. Phantom kept staring at him, amused and clearly aware that his power dwarfed Vlad's own. The Halfa fidgeted and struggled to find the right thing to say. Making enemies of such a strong ghost wasn't in his best interests, was it? Vlad huffed, "Alright then."
"And what's your name?" Phantom asked, sitting in the air. He crossed one leg over the other and leaned back with his hands behind his head. Utterly relaxed. It almost pissed Vlad off. Phantom smirked, "I doubt it's 'Halfa' like everyone's been saying."
Vlad wrapped his fingers around his cape tighter. Phantom was smiling too brightly. Too friendly. He was a ghost! They were all bad weren't they? That had been Vlad's experience so far. He shouldn't tell this guy anything. But then again. Vlad winced at every time someone had shouted "Whelp", "Ghost Child" or "Halfa" at him. It wouldn't hurt to at least have his name be something other ghosts yelled at him.
"Plasmius," Vlad said, holding his chin up. He just dared Phantom to make fun of it.
"How old are you again?" Phantom asked, pulling his arms down and crossing them over his chest. He rolled over and laid on his stomach in the air. "I want to say fifteen, but I'm not all that great at guessing ages."
"What's it matter?" Vlad asked, hissing, though oddly happy he'd guessed higher than lower.
"Nothing, just a little jealous you were able to come up with such a cool name at your age," Phantom said. "Plasmius like Plasma, right? As in blood?"
Phantom had finished his question by tapping against his canine tooth. Vlad touched his own rather elongated fang with his tongue. Vlad looked like a vampire in his Ghost Mode. Nothing to be ashamed about. "What of it?"
"Nothing," Phantom said. He floated a tad closer to Vlad, trying to look casual, but Vlad noticed. He floated away from him in response to each inch. Phantom frowned. "You have a lot of problems with ghosts like Skulker?"
"I can handle it," Vlad said, frowning. "I've found him before! I didn't need your help!"
"There are bigger ghosts out there than Skulker, you know," Phantom said.
I'm looking at one, Vlad thought to himself in response. He narrowed his eyes, still unsure of Phantom's motives. What was this? A power game? Vlad huffed, "Of course I do! That's why I'm out here getting stronger myself."
"Long as you know," Phantom said. He flew closer, and flicked Vlad in the center of the forehead. "But if you decide you want some help with that, I'm more than happy to give you a hand. It can be hard learning all those powers by yourself."
Vlad dropped his cape and batted away at Phantom's hands. "I'll manage!"
"If you say so," Phantom said. He stared hard at Vlad, and saluted before flying up and back, his feet turning into a ghostly tail. "But all the same, I think I'll keep some tabs on you."
"What?" Vlad shouted. "No! I don't need a baby sitter!"
"See ya' later, little Plasmius!"
"Are you always this annoying!?" Vlad shouted back, fear of Phantom's power momentarily swept away by the anger coloring Vlad's cheeks. "Don't come back!"
Phantom disappeared in a puff of green smoke, and Vlad hung in the air over his city. He didn't need this.
It was hard enough being fourteen with ghost powers. Now he had to deal with an annoying Phantom on top of it all?
"Perfect," Vlad said, grumbling and turning to fly home. "Just, perfect!"