Ghost in the Shell
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Madam Chaos Shadow
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Willingly rated 'T' for:
.Mild language
.Mild to moderate violence
.Potential ectoplasm and gore
.Very bad jokes like the one above
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Disclaimer :
The show Danny Phantom, the character of Danny Phantom, and all things related to Danny Phantom are not property of me. They all belong to Butch Hartman, as they are his brainchild, and Danny Phantom and The Fairly Oddparents make me very happy. I want fairy godparents to give me ghost powers!
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Obligatory Long-Winded Author Notes – Skipping is a good idea :

A year ago – around the time the episodes 'Attack of the Killer Garage Sale' and 'Splitting Images' were aired (I believe the last episode I had seen was actually 'One of a Kind', but I may have missed any episode; at any rate, I had only seen three different episodes and it was early in the first season run) – I had a dream. I admit that I have a lot of weird as hell dreams, and oftentimes they manifest as whatever I've been thinking about for a long while (I had a dream about Psychonauts every day for two weeks after I began playing the game, and had a recurring disorder throughout this week, which was somewhat frightening). This one, though, involved Danny Phantom.

This dream sticks out in my mind for two reasons: One, it involved a concept of the Ghost Zone that I had at the time (which is actually fairly similar to the one shown in the show, except my variation was dark purple and blue and black rather than being so very... green... And the islands weren't so decrepit, and some of them linked together), and two, the story seemed to involve Danny (whose eyes I was looking out of most of the time) trapped in his ghost form and, later on, trapping his family, friends, and Mr. Lancer (why? I don't know) in the Ghost Realm before finally coming before his mother and father and admitting that all the 'false' ghost readings they had been getting throughout the year were from him – that he (the apparently unrecognizable ghost form) was actually Danny, and he was, indeed, a ghost-human hybrid.

I had wanted to write the story from the time I had that dream, but I never quite got around to it (mainly because, beyond that, I had no idea what the storyline concept was going to be). Instead, I watched a few more episodes, ecstatic when they finally showed the Ghost Zone in 'Prisoners of Love' (admittedly, though, I was a bit disappointed - my dream version was so much less... Green...). As I watched, I began to formulate a theory, based at first on a short sequence during 'What You Want' and, most recently, for a fair storyline junction during 'The Ultimate Enemy'.

It occurred to me that a ghost's ectoplasmic structure, being of a non-corporeal substance, could never fuse with the molecular structure of a human - and if it did, the results would not allow a switch from ghost to human, but would instead properly hybridize the two, creating an astral projection that could be seen and heard and possibly touched, but that existed in neither the Ghost Zone nor the human plane. The explanation the show gives, then, is certainly not my liking.

Having seen when Danny flies through the Fenton Ghost Catcher during 'What You Want', when his human half and ghost half separate, and during 'The Ultimate Enemy', when both Danny and Vlad's ghosts are removed via the use of the Ghost Gauntlets, I have formed a theory which, I believe, is slightly more sensible.

Technically, I formed two, but the one I recently thought about is a bit morbid and doesn't make any sense in the context of the show. To put it simply, I began wondering wether Danny was actually... Y'know... Dead. Of course, if he were, he wouldn't have his human form, would he? Which then begs the question of what would happen were Danny to die... Hmm.

Anyway, enough of that. He's my somewhat more 'likely' theory, the 'Ghost in the Shell' theory. Enjoy my hybridized insanity/stupidity.

Madam Chaos

P.S.: This comes right after 'The Ultimate Enemy', and please bear in mind that I have missed a smattering of episodes, so if something important took place during any of them, it's not my fault I don't know about it. This also means all shows after 'The Ultimate Enemy' have no obligatory bearing on this fic, therefore I will not be held accountable if something totally different than what I say happens later on. So nyah. I will be choosy about what later material worms its way into the fic, since it most likely will anyway. Particularly information in 'Identity Crisis' which, at this writing, has not yet aired, but I have a feeling that it will help bring a tiny bit of support to my theory no matter what anybody in the show says (because the show is silly!)

P.P.S.: "Great. Now I'm going through evil puberty."

I'm sorry. But that was a really good line.

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Danny looked up and blinked.

The Box Ghost was hovering above him, a single, empty cardboard box swirling around the ethereal dimwit. Wondering vaguely where the box had come from, Danny spotted something about laboratory supplies on the side of the box as it zoomed closer to his line of vision. The ecto-filtration tube – they only came special order – had likely been packed in a cardboard box.

He had changed the ecto-filtration tube a fair amount of time ago; why was the box still in his parent's laboratory?

Doesn't matter.

"What are you doing here?" he asked calmly. The Box Ghost looked down at him, his eyes narrowing, his lips curled into a smile.

"Ah, you have come to do righteous combat with the Box Ghost!" he howled. "Prepare to taste my corrugated cardboard doom!"

The box suddenly hurled through the air, straight toward Danny, but the bow blinked and leaned against the stairwell wall, phasing into non-corporeal existence and allowing the box to bounce against the stairs behind him, then ricochet off, skittering harmlessly away. He resumed his normal consistency once there was no chance of being smacked over the head with a cardboard box and stood tall again, not entirely sure how to go about his job this time.

"What are you doing here?" he asked. "There aren't too many boxes down here..."

"I am aware of this!" the Box Ghost returned immediately. "Instead, I have come to... Ah... I have come to..."

He faltered, unable to quite figure out what he had come to do, and Danny sighed, two rings of electricity originating from his waist marking his immediate transformation into his ghost mode.

"I'm really not in the mood," he admitted, reaching over his back and into the small pack still hanging from his shoulders, "but this shouldn't take long."

The Fenton Thermos in his hands, he suddenly launched himself off of the stairwell, toward the Box Ghost, and tackled him bodily, slamming the both of them into one of the walls, the Box Ghost taking the brunt of the blow. Danny released him and prepared to end the battle immediately by absorbing him into the thermos, but suddenly felt an impact up the side of his head – hardly painful, but fairly jarring. He shook it off, realizing with a terribly embarrassed rush that he had just been knocked by the deadly force of a cardboard box, and spun, looking to see where the Box Ghost had slipped off to.

"I really don't have time for this," he moaned. He sent a look up as he heard the faint sound of wind rushing around a square object, and looked up, powering a short blast and firing a beam of ectoplasm at the box coming after him, disintegrating it in a blow.

The Box Ghost hovered on the opposite side of the room, a sheepish look on his pudgy face, and smiled, shrugged, muttered a low "Beware?" under his breath.

The thermos cap was already off.

"Please," he said. "I have an essay to write! I don't have time for you!"

Channeling his power through the thermos, the ghost sent a wave of spectral energy from the thermos, catching the Box Ghost in its grip and dragging him immediately into the confines of the bottle. Once the Box Ghost was fully absorbed, his cry of "Do not underestimate the power of old-time wooden crates!" still echoing, Danny capped off the thermos, sighing, and then stopped.

"Old-time wooden crates?"


He hit the ground hard, the thermos tumbling out of his grip, and rolled head over heels before coming to a complete stop with a painful slam against the opposite wall. He stared up to the ceiling, squinting a bit, and saw one such old-time crate fall from where it had been hovering above him, splintering upon contact with the ground.

That had been rather embarrassing, too. Where did that come from?

He rolled to his stomach and got up on his knees, pushing himself off the floor and looking over to the thermos. It was still secure, thankfully, the Box Ghost had been properly captured this time. He stepped toward it and picked up the bottle, then turned and made his way to the Portal, preparing to siphon off the ghosts into the Ghost Zone.


His sister's voice came lilting down the stairwell, and he stopped, turning toward the stairs and waiting for her to appear. She did, after a moment, her eyes focusing briefly on Danny, who had yet to change back from his ghost incarnation, before suddenly shifting to the broken remnants of the crate. She arched an eyebrow.

"What just...?"

"The Box Ghost," he said wearily, going toward the portal again and setting up the thermos to siphon off its contents. "He... Wields boxes." To this explanation, he shrugged, figuring that was fairly obvious, and in an electric flash Danny Fenton was standing where Danny Phantom had been.

"But where did the crate-"

"That," Danny said quietly, "I don't think anybody can answer."

The thermos cleaned, he removed it from the socket built to sustain it, and turned to Jazz, a smile on his face. "There we go," he said cheerily. "He shouldn't be around for a little while."

"Good to hear," she said, although she sounded somewhat distracted; clearly, she had been looking for him for some other reason than to ask where the crate had originated from. "I heard you say something about an English paper a bit earlier?"

"Ehm... Yeah, I guess I was saying something about that..."

"You were raving about it upstairs... Two pages on what now?"

"'What advice would you give some someone beginning their high school career'," he recited with a sigh. "Or I could do 'What is the worst piece of advice you have received, why, and did you follow it anyway?'" He paused for a moment, murmuring something about Sam and the Portal, then quickly recovered and went on: "Or I could go with 'If you could spend a year with a real or fictional person in the past, present, or future, whom would you choose and why?'" He looked down to the thermos, frowning slightly. "I can safely say the Box Ghost isn't on that list..."

"Do you want some help?"

He looked up to her, and this time smiled. "You know, I think I'd appreciate that a lot."


His name was Daniel Fenton. He had what one could call a 'typical lower high-school geek build'; not exactly tall yet, with a scrawny build brought on from growth spurts that had yet to help him surpass the height of about five foot four, caught in the awkward years between being a child and being an adult. His eyes, a bright medium blue, still gave him an air of innocence and youth, while his hair, black as raven's feathers and apparently only half-combed, gave him the suggestion of scruffy rebellion that one just entering the teenage years almost invariably felt inclined to adopt.

He was fourteen years old at the time when his good friend Samantha Manson happened to hint that he should put on a jumpsuit, walk into a dangerous and unstable contraption, and lean on the 'on' switch that was, curiously, located inside of the invention that would be ultimately named the Fenton Portal; in theory, the Portal was meant to open a gateway into the Ghost Zone, an alternate dimension populated by the spirits of those who have passed on, but in practice, it made some lights glow along its outer ring. Of course, Danny would have the bad luck to lean on the strangely placed on switch while some of the panels were open for repairs, for when he did so the machine activated, and the exposed wires came to life, sending a shock through the young man that, under normal conditions, should have effectively killed him.

And, in a manner of speaking, it did.

Danny awoke from the blast to a painful all-encompassing cold and realized after a moment that he was definitely not breathing. Leaping to his feet and checking for a pulse that wasn't there confirmed that he had either gone between lives or was going to be sent to the loony bin after he would inevitably panic and report to his parents that he had just died.

He began to calm down when he realized that dead men tell no tales, and he was perfectly capable of doing just that. About the time he had come to the conclusion he was just having a very surreal experience, Sam found her way through the thick smoke hanging over the floor of the laboratory and shrieked, which was a peculiar thing for the gothic girl to do. When Danny attempted to figure out what she had cried out about, she seemed shocked to recognize his voice, and with a murmur she informed that he was definitely not himself, and that he inexplicably had a fine, white-blue aura around him. She reached out to verify what she was seeing, and about the time her hand passed straight through his arm and left her with a terrible chill running through her fingers, it occurred to Danny that something was very much wrong.

A look in the mirror placed within the lab confirmed this assumption; his hair had changed from its deep raven to a curious snowy white, and his eyes had lost their medium blue in favour of a medium emerald that, much to his shock, were glowing. The jumpsuit he had been wearing – silver and accented with black on the belt, boots, and gloves – had inverted in its colours and, now that he was looking at it, seemed to have grafted itself to him; the zipper had inexplicably disappeared.

After the maniac scream had escaped his throat and the incoherent babbling had stopped, Danny took a moment of silence with Sam to try and figure out what had happened. The conclusion was very simple: the electrical shock had clearly done something really weird, and now strange things were happening. This gave potential credence to his stark change in hair colour and the fact that he was glowing, but his eye change and the inversion of the jumpsuit were inexplicable, and much harder to determine were first of all, why Danny felt so cold, and second of all, how Sam's hand had phased through his arm.

Of course, Danny's parents were ghost hunters – that was, after all, why they had built the portal – so it came to him after a moment that he had successfully electrocuted himself to death and was now standing before Sam living (or whatever) proof that his parents weren't quite so crazy had he had thought. Pity his life had to be given to prove it.

Sam promptly moved to smack him out of these negative thoughts and this time actually hit flesh. Her hand reached his head much harder than she had intended, forced him to stagger to the side and fall to the floor. A flash of white erupted around the young man, and two circlets of electrical energy suddenly engulfed him, moving from about his waist and simultaneously up to the top of his head and down the soles of his shoes. Once the lightning spark had ended, Danny was lying on the floor, no longer looking quite so pale, no longer wearing the jumpsuit, and no longer supernatural.

He rose to his feet immediately and seemed quite happy that the tandem hallucination was over. His mind drifted momentarily to what he had seen in the mirror, the curious representation of himself that, he hoped, was not actually him, and the word fluttered across his mind.


He felt a blast of cold overtake him at that moment as the electrical flash appeared again, once more starting from the waist and traveling across his body. He closed his eyes in the wake of the brilliant flash, and Sam covered her face as well, but upon opening his eyes it was obvious that something was very much wrong – Sam looked taken aback, and looking down, he found that he had spontaneously reverted to the alternate form again, and with another cry of surprise mingled with despair he staggered back.

About the time he unwittingly phased through the table, overestimated his step, fell, hit the floor, and began to rise again against his volition and without even bothering to get to his feet, the thought occurred to him that maybe, just maybe, the shock had killed him and left in a curious halfway state wherein his human body could shift into his spectral form at relative will. This thought only occurred to him when Sam, who seemed to have a grasp of the situation far better than Danny did (perhaps because she was spared the panic of having walked intangibly through a table and found herself floating about three feet off the ground afterward), had told him what she thought was going on.

She stayed with him that night, fabricating an excuse that her parents would accept, and after perhaps twenty minutes more of trying to rationalize the situation Tucker decided to make his appearance. And when Tucker – techno-geek extraordinaire, and self-delusional ladies man even more so – realized that the house was empty save for the sounds coming from the basement, he decided to investigate and walked into the middle of a rather peculiar scene; it looked to him that Danny had, in the last few seconds, launched himself off of a table in hopes that Sam would catch him in the fall, but both had failed in their attempts and now lay sprawled in the opposite wall, entangled momentarily and incredibly embarrassed when they looked up to see that Tucker's blue eyes were very firmly fixed on them and he seemed about ready to say the inevitable: "Okay, seriously, what the hell?", another electric flash encompassed the raven-haired boy and, once the transition was over and Sam shoved him off of her, shivering slightly, the exclamation really did come:

"Okay, seriously, what the hell?"

It took a moment to explain, and Tucker only half-listened to what Sam was saying – he was too fixated on Danny, who had once again lost control of the curious form he kept flickering back and forth from and was now lying on his back, floating idly through the air, clearly growing tired of the routine, which had somehow become trite to him. By the time he had phased entirely through a wall, Tucker's jaw had dropped and he had entirely tuned out Sam's explanation of the situation – Danny's live performance was giving him enough of an idea of what had happened.

A moment later, when Danny calmly walked through the wall and resumed his corporeal form, Tucker had already run for the phone and decided that if Sam was staying to watch the show, he was staying as well. The event didn't come too often than one of your best friends seemed to spontaneously gain the ability to transform into a ghost.

In fact, it was less than a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Such conditions to turn somebody into a half-ghost (that was the decided term for this weird situation, although they knew that it wasn't entirely proper) didn't seem likely to arise too often. Or ever before. Or ever again.

Which meant that the immediate aftermath of the situation – once Danny had figured out how to keep his normal, human form and prevent the ghostly half from surfacing every ten seconds – was announced with a symphony caught between the discordant notes of Tucker announcing how cool this all was, Sam trying to get him to stop announcing how cool it was even though it was fairly clear she held similar convictions, and Danny – sitting on a chair and slumped forward, resting his head in his hands – feverishly thought about what repercussions this could bring and how his parents would react. The back of the young man's mind, however, was dominated by thoughts more akin to what his friends were expressing, and secretly the little voice was waving its arms in the air and screaming about how cool life would be now.

To this, he looked up and smiled, and in that act let his guard down, which allowed him to immediately go intangible and fall through the chair.

Over the night, after his parents returned and sister had returned from their respective occupations, the three had already left for the park – it was dark, and the park was almost completely uninhabited during the night. Here, they took the opportunity to test Danny on his ability to wield these peculiar powers, and in no time they found that he could fly, become intangible (a condition Sam lovingly referred to as 'ghosting'), and go completely invisible, as well as actively shift back and forth between his human form and his ghost form in an almost controlled manner.

Danny was taking it all quite well; when Sam and Tucker asked how he had moved on from sheer, abject panic to simply going with the flow, he announced that he was either deep in a very cool dream or had long since gone into shock and would likely wake up screaming about it in the morning.

Indeed, he was correct: when he awoke the next day to find that he had ghosted through the bed and the floorboards and was lying in the laboratory at five in the morning perched somewhat precariously on top of a fairly tall storage case, he was certainly found to be screaming about it.

Fortunately, over the course of the month, he got better, although it couldn't be said that he had control over his newfound powers; at least five times a day he found that he would unwittingly phase into intangibility and his hand would slide through his desk, or he would walk through open locker doors, and once he managed to make his entire left arm disappear into nothingness for a good thirty seconds before he noticed anything was wrong (thankfully, nobody else did either). And approximately a month after the curious accident that had granted him this odd gift, he had his first true fight with a ghost.

It was then that he realized that his accident had opened a two-way portal between the Ghost Zone and corporeal plane, and he knew immediately that as it was his fault, it was his responsibility – the powers that had been granted to him by the Portal would have to be used to keep the ghosts from overrunning the real world.

Having such responsibility, however, didn't necessarily mean he couldn't occasionally have a bit of fun.

Which was exactly what he did the day after his essay was due.

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Chapter Notes :

1 : The Box Ghost, I always thought when I first saw the show, might very well be a spectacularly powerful king of ghosts of a sort. That honour obviously goes to Pariah Dark. But when I was originally going to run with this concept and posting a variation of this story on the Nick message boards (it was cleaned out with all of my other posts when I made a rather 'strong' political argument and the moderator spazzed), the fic started with a scene where Danny... Well, fought the Box Ghost. This 'opening' is tribute to that.

2 : Corrugated cardboard doom! Hah! I want to say he actually said that, but I can't back that up, and I'm proud of myself if I thought of it.

3 : The essay prompts Danny has in the 'opening' are actual essay prompts used in past years by various colleges. The first is from Simmons College; the second is a negative variation from the University of Pennsylvania; the third was given by Kalamazoo College in 1993. College essay prompts suck.

4 : The secondary section is a note for anybody who does not pay attention to the theme song and didn't see 'Memory Blank' (which was, in all, a very long explanation for giving Danny a super hero emblem... I liked it anyway). I had originally thought to open the fic this way, but it wasn't going too well, so instead I compressed it into a very long explanation of everything that really should have lasted maybe three paragraphs and went on for... Lemme see... About three pages. I'm just that awesome.

5 : I was going to have this chapter be longer, but I realized that three pages of totally superfluous unnecessary notes and five pages of back story was entirely too long as it was. That, and I have absolutely no follow-up to that final sentence. Why not? Because I don't plan things! Spontaneity is how I function when I write! Because I'm just that cool. Yeah. Bow before me, mortals.

6 : I like how this entire first chapter has nothing obvious to do with the plot. Just thought I'd mention that. But like I said, anybody who doesn't pay attention to the theme song and hasn't seen 'Memory Blank', which says something completely different anyway, this is for you. The real story begins next chapter, after I figure out what I was implying with that last sentence.