Someone Was Watching
Voices have a lot of power, but in Amity Park they're being silenced. When teenagers start disappearing from the most haunted town in America, with no ghost taking credit for the crime, Team Phantom needs to work out if they're fighting a ghost enemy or a human.
Set after Masters of All Time. Reveal fic.
Amity Park really was a "Great Place to Live!" when one admired the big picture.
Ghosts were reoccurring enemies of the citizens of Amity Park, but the common ones were mere annoyances. The only time humans were forced to worry about malevolent beings was when the ghosts were above a level 8 on the GIW's ecto-activity scale; and that rarely ever happened under the watch of Phantom.
There were positives to having everything they know about life and death being flipped upside down and spun through a blender. Due to the increase in ghosts within the city, crime carried out by humans was at a low count of two felonies every six months. Kidnappings, assaults, murder, and rape were all things of the past. The humans had better things to worry about, such as their own existential crisis due to the confirmation of the existence of ghosts or simply trying to stay out of the way of them.
All things considered, the town of Amity Park was a safe environment that mixed the supernatural with reality. Of course, one had to consider the risks of getting caught in a ghost fight– or ending up within 60 feet of Jack Fenton – but other than the occasional weird occurrences, the town was a treasure to all its residents.
So when the first girl disappeared, it caught the attention of everyone.
Ghosts don't kidnap people unless they're doing it very loudly or simply goading Phantom into fighting them, but this high school girl disappeared with zero noise.
Police were forced to resurface and start working on locating a human, not a ghost. Some tried to calm the masses by saying they girl ran away. She was bullied in school and her grades were dropping; it's not as if a human would have taken her, right?
When the second girl went missing, people started to talk about a serial killer who snuck into Amity Park to prey on little girls. Police ignored the serial killer rumors, but did focus on those who had recently moved here or were taking a vacation at the supposed "most haunted city in America." The second missing kid had moved to Amity Park only a week before the first girl disappeared.
Nothing came up and by the time the third child went missing, a young boy this time, the town was forced to recognize that a human was committing crime again within their walls. It was a terrifying thought for everyone. They had been handling ghosts for almost two years now, and suddenly it was back to fighting amongst themselves?
Neighbors feared neighbors. Old friends were suddenly suspicious of each other. A feeling of distrust invaded every mind in Amity Park before they could stop it. After a month since the first kidnapping, three teens were missing with no leads to where they went.
Mayor Montez was hounded by concerned parents almost immediately. Under threat of impeachment, Montez created several safety precautions for teenagers: one such rule included having parents drive their kids to and from school each day to ensure their safety 24/7.
Now the teenagers, although slightly concerned with the thought of becoming the prey of a serial killer, were quite thrilled with some of the changes being made. Homework was light because the teachers were all distracted by learning drills to protect them from guns, and during the school week they were forced to go over safety features, which to them was better than any math course. But the best part was having their parents drive them every day- no more stinky buses!
Two teenagers with the last name Fenton, however, were less than thrilled with the arrangement.
"I swear that was a red light," Danny Fenton breathed heavily, leaning against the RV window. They passed through another intersection. "Okay, I know that one was a red light."
As the large vehicle carrying the Fenton family shot down the main highway of Amity Park, cars miles away heard the noise and moved to the side for fear of getting run over. If this weren't a typical occurrence in the city of Amity Park, the vehicle breaking not only the laws of the road but the laws of physics as well would have been pulled over already.
Thankfully for the Fentons– unthankfully for everyone else– the police were tired of ticketing them every time Jack Fenton got behind the wheel. As long as he didn't kill anyone and paid for all the property damage, it wasn't their issue.
"Dad, you do understand the meaning of speed limits, correct?" Jazz Fenton asked, in the same position as her little brother and only half serious. "They're not suggestions."
Jack Fenton was hardly concerned by his children's statements. "But of course, Jazzy-pants!" he cried, ironically stepping on the pedal at the exact moment. The speedometer now read just under 80mph. "But if you want to be on time, you have to break a few rules!"
Maddie Fenton looked as though she were on a rollercoaster at a theme park. Despite her love for her husband- and his insane driving skills- she put aside her fun in order to appease her children's wishes. "Jack, dear, you're scaring the kids."
"I'm not scared!" both Danny and Jazz said stubbornly. They made a face at the other for copying them.
"Awwwww, but Maddie," Jack whined. "I want to go catch the ghost after this."
"I know you do, and we will, but please be a dear and get the kids to school still breathing?"
The two hunters were some of the only people in Amity Park who refused to believe a human was behind the kidnappings. Whether they had actual evidence to support this or it was just another one of their crazy ghost obsessions, Danny and Jazz could only guess.
"I would give anything to fly right now," Danny muttered, looking out the window and reminiscing all the times he skipped the bus to fly to school.
"Please, take me with you," Jazz said, holding a hand over her mouth. She was about two minutes away from puking inside their family's prized ghost hunting RV. "If I hurl, it's heading towards you."
Danny jerked backwards. "What the- no way! Keep it over there."
"You can turn intangible," Jazz groaned, "I can't so suffer."
Jack suddenly slammed on the brakes, sending the rest of his family forward as inertia kicked in. "We're here!"
"Oh thank God," Jazz whispered from her hunched over position. Danny laughed when her usually perfect red hair got stuck in her mouth.
After sending her little brother a glare, Jazz unbuckled her seat belt and walked around to her mom's side of the car. "You'll pick us up?"
Maddie glanced at her husband bouncing in his seat and sighed. "I'll pick you up."
"Have a great day kids!" Jack shouted before speeding away through the parking lot.
The two green-looking teenagers watched the RV as it almost ran into their teacher's car. Lancer poked his head out of the window and screamed "FENTON!"
"If I get detention for this, Dad's raising my allowance," Danny grumbled.
Jazz blinked. "You have an allowance?"
Predictably, Lancer glared at the teenagers as he approached the school.
"I will now."
Detention was boring as usual, but at least Danny only had to suffer through it with Mikey, not Dash, who had apparently been caught trying to change all the computer screens to play the Ghostbuster's theme song when they loaded this morning.
Mikey was busy doodling on a pad and Lancer seemed engrossed in today's newspaper when Danny's boredom took hold. There were zero ghosts around and it wasn't like the teacher would let him go to the bathroom anyways. "What are you reading?" Danny wondered, leaning forward.
Lancer lowered the newspaper enough to look his student in the eye. "Are you asking because you're interested or because you're bored."
Danny flushed a little but shrugged. "A little of both."
Lancer raised an eyebrow, but seemed to be in a good mood as he started reading, "Stolen from her home last Tuesday, Caroline has been missing for long enough time to contact the federal government about a large-scale kidnapping occurring in Amity Park. Officials are unsure if the federal agents visiting should be notified of our towns current predicament-"
"They mean the ghosts, right?" Mikey cut in.
"Yes Mr. Lankey, they mean the ghosts," Lancer answered, hardly fazed that he was interrupted. He suddenly got the "teacher look" which meant he was going to turn this into some sort of educational lesson. Closing his paper, he turned his attention to his students.
"What do you two think of all this?" he asked.
Danny bit his lip, recalling how angry and horrified he had been. When Jazz first shown him the announcement about a kidnapping, he had rushed into the Ghost Zone to beat the one who took the human girl into a pulp. After almost three hours of talking to those he was allied with, and even several he wasn't, no one took claim for the event or had heard anything about it.
Though ghosts were hardly black and white beings, one thing that remained constant was their pride and overall delight for attention. Danny had even asked someone who was an expert on taking the attention from other people- well according to Skulker at least who had given him the ghost's address.
"Kid, if a ghost hasn't taken credit for it, then a ghost didn't do it," the new guy Amorpho told him. "Either that or you've got someone who's already taken credit for it, but in a way that's quiet yet satisfying enough to appease their obsession."
"It, uh well, would have been easier if a ghost did this," Danny finally said out loud. Lancer was tough on him, sure, but he was also the only teacher that tutored, gave extra credit, and worried about him daily so Danny felt comfortable with sharing.
"We have hunters, trackers, and devices that can pinpoint a specific ectosignature. We even have access to the Ghost Zone, one of the only places ghosts use to hide out from humans," he continued, eyes on his teacher's interested expression. "Ghosts are predictable, but humans aren't, and that's going to be the hardest part in finding this guy, I guess."
Lancer grinned. "Mr. Fenton, I do believe that was the most intelligent thing you've ever said to me. Jasmine would be proud."
Danny knew his face must be as red as it felt. That did not make him feel good. Not at all. Not even a little. Nope.
"Anything you want to add, Mr. Lankey?" Lancer asked, deciding Danny's blood pressure needed a break.
"We wouldn't need the help of people who think we're crazy if this were just another ghost attack," Mikey said, referring to the federal government's refusal to repair Amity Park's damaged roads after ghost attacks. They had practically laughed in their faces.
Lancer nodded. "I agree." He leaned backwards in his chair and rubbed the bridge of his nose. "These next few weeks are going to be hectic for all of us. No one wants the government butting into our business, but those children's lives are more important."
Danny suddenly remembered how he thought the second girl looked familiar. "Mr. Lancer, she wasn't one of your students, was she?"
The adult's eyes closed as he sucked in a deep breath. "A Freshmen. Just moved here last month."
Mikey and Danny winced. That was right around the time when the first girl went missing. "She was only here for a few days before everything went to hell," Danny commented, leaning his head against his desk.
He couldn't even imagine how that girl must be feeling right now. Some of Amity Park's citizens had thick skin due to their exposure to ghosts, but this girl and her family had only just moved here.
"That's awful," Mikey said, looking down, but there was a calculating look in his eyes. "But why did she move here halfway through the school year?"
"Scholarship student," Lancer answered, looking wistful. "She was brilliant at art and Principal Ishiyama was hoping to raise the prestige of our school by accepting her even between terms."
Mikey looked as though his brain was working a mile a minute. Danny watched him out of the corner of his eyes when he whipped his head around to face him.
"Did you know the boy that was taken?" he asked.
Danny blinked slowly. "Uh, well I've seen him around school, but no, not really." His mind partially caught up to what Mikey was thinking. "But I have seen him messing around with an instrument all the time?" he voiced, unsure.
Lancer was watching them curiously. "What are you getting at, Mr. Lankey?"
Mikey looked unsure himself, but more confident in whatever he was thinking about than the teacher and his classmate. "Not sure, but I need to ask my parents something because I think they were in a PTA group with the first girl that went missing."
Danny knew Mikey was smart- pretty much all the citizens of Amity Park had to be to survive- so if this kid could piece together something even the police couldn't, then he'd believe it.
"Well my parents are used to hunting ghosts, but if you find anything, I can tell them and I'm sure they'll help," Danny joked, knowing full well he'd be the one hunting this guy down if it came to it. Hunting humans was certainty new, but a couple people had been seen begging Phantom for aid so it's not as though he could sit around doing nothing while more people went missing.
Mikey nodded. "I will!" he reassured.
The next day the newspaper headline reported him missing.
A/N: This idea was pitched to me in a review because some of you wanted to see a more serious story from me with bonding/hurt/comfort (and not a stranded story).
1) Some of the main characters from the show will be roughing it together after being kidnapped individually
2) Danny's still 14 even though he's a sophomore. He's a late birthday.
3) No ice powers yet or Dani (this happens before those episodes)
4) Danny's only just getting used to his powers (no season 3 confidence yet)
5) Unlike SWMC, Danny is more of a teen victim here than a strong-willed leader who takes everything in stride
6) It's a gen. fic. These kids have a lot more to worry about than romance.
7) Mental abuse and neglect
9) As always, a reveal fic
10) I have everything planned out already (for once)
You still don't need to worry about things like bashing/pairings/main character death/or crazy overdramatic angst. I'm not changing my writing style, I'm just delving into different genres. I'm excited about this story! I've never done something like it.
PS: Another fanfic in the DP fandom has used this plot bunny before, but just like the "ghost zone field trip" ones, mine shares the idea not the story. I'll link it once we get further into the plot.
SWMC is still kicking me in the ass, but I haven't abandoned it, I promise.