Vlad floated forward, mouth open, to tell Skulker to stop, that he'd hired him and rebuilt his suit to capture the boy, not to kill him. That Vlad had other plans, but–
But Vlad had never tasted the fear of another half ghost before.
Yes, that was what he was feeling, and it was almost intoxicating.
Oh, Daniel had been afraid before, when they were fighting, but he hadn't been human then, he hadn't really had time to be afraid, and Vlad hadn't had time to savor it. The fear of a ghost was different. This… Vlad inhaled deeply.
He glided forward, and was delighted when Daniel flinched away from him, no-doubt remembering their fight the previous night, even as he made a pathetic attempt at information gathering and banter. He reached out, cupping one side of Daniel's face in his hand, smiling as he felt Daniel's heart rate start to climb through the contact.
Then, quick as a snake, Daniel turned his head and bit Vlad's wrist. Or tried to. His human teeth weren't nearly up to the task. Vlad laughed. Oh, the boy had some fight in him, didn't he? But that wouldn't do, would it?
He reached over to the 'shock' button and pressed it ever so delicately.
The boy seized, head snapping back for a moment before listing forward, dazed and reliant on the Containment Cube to stay upright. His eyes were glassy and his breath ragged, and he was oh so scared.
"Plasmius," said Skulker, snapping Vlad out of his reverie. Something on his wrist tweedled, but Skulker ignored it.
"What?" snapped Vlad, angry at being interrupted.
"Remember, he's young."
Vlad felt his eyes flare. "So? You try to skin him."
Skulker's faceplate made a jittery motion, like it was trying to settle into a configuration it hadn't been designed for. "You know things aren't that simple."
"Wh-what are you two talking ab-about? Who ev-even are you?" Daniel's skin was pale, and he was trembling badly enough to stutter, but he still, evidently, had enough energy for sass.
Vlad pursed his lips. Right. He had another goal here. Doubtless, he would be able to indulge his ghost half's emotional appetites later. Perhaps even when he finally showed everyone what an oaf Jack Fenton was. He smirked. "Oh, haven't you put together the pieces yet?" He let his rings sweep over him, revealing his human form. "It's me, the first human-ghost hybrid created by your father's stupidity."