Hello – for readers both new and old, I welcome you to Insight View and hope you enjoy the fresh editing, better writing, and new content.
Disclaimer: Danny Phantom and all related characters are owned by Butch Hartman and Nickelodeon Studios.
Fun Fact: Want to see how the original compares to this newer version? Send me a personal message and I will send you a link to the older copy. The first draft was written and published onto the site in September of 2005.
"This is Dash Baxter - quarterback of the Casper High football team, all-star candidate on the basketball team, and third-time champion of the Raven wrestling squad." Dash Baxter himself was a tall, muscular boy with choppy blonde hair and indigo-colored eyes. He spun the camera around to get every possible angle of his face.
"Can we just get this over with?" one of his partners, Valerie Gray, complained, sighing impatiently. She frowned in disgust as he made a kissy face at the camera before rounding on her to give her a dirty look.
He paused the recorder and puffed his chest up as if that might intimidate her. "This is my project. I'm the one holding the camera. Therefore, I'll do as I please."
"We're going to be here all night," Sam Manson grumbled, glaring at him from behind a curtain of black hair.
"Shut up loser," Dash retaliated.
Sam rolled her neck around, bored out of her mind and irritated; the loser comment hadn't bothered her. In fact, she was pretty used to being called that. It was everything else that bothered her. The idea that she was here with the three classmates she probably hated the most out of the entire school population; that she was here without her best friends, who wouldn't ever call her a loser, who wouldn't care what she said or how she said it, who didn't mind how she dressed.
"If you whine one more time -" Paulina Sanchez warned, shaking her head dramatically as she spoke.
"You'll do what?" Sam interrupted. "Shake your pom poms? Ooh, careful, you might break a nail."
"Let's just cool it and get this stupid project done please," Valerie cut in. "I'm freezing my butt off out here." She rubbed her gloved hands together and pulled her coat tighter around her, her breath coming out in a puff of wintry air. Her heavy backpack was resting against her shoulders, but no one else in the group was wearing one.
"Why did I get stuck partners with that loser?" Paulina asked Dash, not bothering to lower her voice as it was obvious who she was talking about.
"Paulina -" Sam began, her lilac eyes narrowing angrily.
"Because English," Dash started, ignoring the goth girl. "Is absolutely pointless. It's easy to speak the language we use every day."
"For some of us it is," Sam muttered, glaring over at both Paulina and Dash. Valerie snorted and tried to make it into a convincing cough. Neither Dash nor Paulina got it, proving Sam's point. She sighed heartily in satisfaction.
Valerie composed herself long enough to say, "Come on. Let's just record what we need and go home."
"You seem awfully anxious to get home," Sam couldn't help but point out, not meeting Valerie's green eyes but staring straight ahead.
"Aren't you?" Valerie challenged, but a red tint had risen to her cheeks. "I hate to say it, but Dash is right. This assignment is completely pointless. Catch one strange event in the night? What's that all about?"
"It wouldn't be the first lame homework assignment," Sam said, nodding in agreement.
"And the partners suck," Paulina added. "Why couldn't Mr. Lancer just let us choose our own?" Everyone personally agreed, but none of them would admit it aloud. The Latina girl let out a shrill cry and readjusted her earmuffs. "Not to mention, we're walking around in below freezing temperatures and I'm missing my favorite tv show."
"And Dash's biography is the only thing we have on tape," Sam grumbled.
Silence fell and the four teens walked along an empty street at the north edge of their home city, Amity Park. Despite the tension between them, neither one of them could deny that the project was one of the worst they'd ever received from the English teacher. They'd agreed on an early time to complete the assignment – eleven o'clock p.m. – but everyone knew the real reason they'd chosen such a time; the less they had to see each other, the better. And as all of their thoughts fell onto various things they could be doing – what they were supposed to be doing reminded them quite suddenly.
Noise erupted from the street to their left, making Paulina and Sam physically jump. Dash swiveled the camera around and frantically hit the button to record. "What was that?" Paulina asked, unable to hide the tremor from her voice.
"Catch a weird event in the night," Dash whispered.
Paulina jumped again at the sound of a roar that ripped through the cold night and sent shivers down their backs. Sam was the only one to notice Valerie grip her backpack tighter. She peered around Dash and gazed towards the street, trying to see something, but it was dark due to a broken overhead light.
"What was that?" Paulina repeated.
"Let's go check it out," Dash suggested, still whispering. "And get it on camera."
"What if it's some gang?" she argued, shaking her head.
"Or worse?" Valerie suddenly said, an odd tone to her voice Sam didn't like.
This time, they all started as a flash of green light illuminated the street for a millisecond. The echo of energy bounced back and forth between the two buildings on opposite sides of the street before it dissipated.
Sam's heart clamored against her chest hard. She knew that energy blast like her own heartbeat. "We need to get something else," she said, laughing nervously. But her fake laughter died as more commotion disturbed the tension even more and another vicious roar pierced the darkness.
"What, are you kidding? There's nothing around here if you haven't noticed," Dash protested. "Besides, this is my project and I'm going to get whatever that is over there."
"Excuse you?" Paulina began, her eyes flashing dangerously. "This is our project, not yours."
"It's probably a ghost!" Sam shouted, trying to tear their attention away. "And this is Amity Park. Ghosts aren't strange. They're normal by this point."
But her cries were drowned out as something big and heavy hit the building, sending bricks and foundation flying everywhere. Another flash of green light shot from the darkness. The next thing they knew, they were watching two dragon ghosts that flew right at them, roaring loudly and blowing fire from their scaly mouths. One dragon was vivid green and physically bigger than its partner, an ice-blue beast with glowing skin. Either way, both of the spectral beings looked enraged and powerful as they spread their gigantic wings in unison.
Paulina screamed and put her hands over her head, running blindly away. Valerie disappeared from Sam's sight as both she and Dash dodged the dragons by falling to the ground. A cold brush of air followed in their wake. But the dragons either didn't notice the four of them or didn't care. They just kept flying away, like something was chasing them.
And something was. It streaked past them so fast, anyone watching would have simply seen a silver blur; at least until it stopped, coming to floating in midair only a few feet from the ghosts. The figure was much smaller than the two by a landslide, but that didn't stop him from gunning after the dragon pair, green energy shooting from his gloved hands.
"Yes!" Dash shouted happily, catching the sight up close with his camera. "This is awesome!"
Sam couldn't move as she tried to take in the situation quickly. She had to warn him, she knew it. But she didn't know what to say. Would they suspect something if she called out to him? And what if she distracted him too much and his enemies got the upper hand? She'd never forgive herself if they injured him…or worse. But she knew she had to do something.
But before she could get out another cry, someone clapped a hand to her mouth. "Be quiet geek, they'll hear you," Dash said. Sam tried to get away, but couldn't; Dash's arm muscles were the same size as her head. She squirmed against him but he kept a firm hold. In the background, she could hear Paulina muttering in Spanish somewhere close by. But Sam's focus was on him.
He dodged just as both dragons rushed for him on opposite sides; they collided with each other rather than him. Even from their distance, she could see the one-sided fight – it was clear they were no match for him for whatever reason despite their toughness and physical size. He easily kept them at bay with an ectoplasmic energy blast from his hand, forcing them onto the ground while he fumbled for an object behind his back. He brought out the small, cylindrical object and a vortex of blue-white light appeared, instantly catching both dragon ghosts inside.
"He saves everyone from so much danger," Paulina said, dreamily. She gave Sam, still pinned under Dash's arm, a look and then shrugged noncommittally. "He can stop anything."
The whirring noise of an energy gun charging caught their attention and Valerie swooped overhead, a large weapon and a steady aim pointed at the ghost kid. Her new maroon and black outfit blended in perfectly with the night and her glider zoomed silently beneath her feet. "He can't stop me," she muttered, glad that no one could hear her. This was her chance…
Sam let out an unheard gasp. She was running out of time. He was running out of time, especially if he hadn't seen the ghost huntress tearing after him. And she knew he hadn't. Not yet anyway. And by then, it might be too late.
She sunk her left fist into a sensitive spot on Dash's body. He grunted and let her go instantly, not recovering fast enough to catch Sam as she ran after Valerie as fast as her feet would take her.
"Valerie, stop!" she yelled without thinking.
But it wasn't enough. Valerie's gun emitted a bright spark and a beam of pink energy fired from the chamber. It sped through the air – and struck the unsuspecting target.
He cried out in pain as thin, pink veins of electricity covered his entire body. He dropped to the ground on all fours, mistakenly turning to face his attacker. There was a flash of light that started near his stomach and spread equally in both directions to his toes and head. Now instead of the silvery white hair, green eyes, and black and white jumpsuit, the ghost kid transformed into an ordinary teenage boy with baby blue eyes and spikey raven hair.
Sam stopped running, only a couple feet away, her breath leaving her in just a few seconds. Behind her, Paulina and Dash let out surprised gasps in unison. Somewhere above them, Valerie floated on her jet sled, but was otherwise immobile in shock. Dash found his voice first.
Please R&R! Stay tuned for chapter two, coming right at you.
And I thought about making Paulina (when she was running away and screaming in terror with her hands over her head) run into a pole. I figured that'd take away from the action though. But there's a small blooper for you all to imagine.
I apologize, but I am no longer putting sneak peeks at the end of the edited chapters for this story.
Raina Wolfe – Lateraina