Chapter 19

As the explosion rocked the house, Jazz thudded up against one of the kitchen walls, a giant flash of light bursting from the open lab door. The ghost alarm fell silent, the sensors burned out as an eerie silence fell.

'What is going on down there?' Jazz thought incredulously, frantically searching her mind for any weapons downstairs that could possible explain what had just happened. The only thing that she could remotely think of was the Ghost-Portal's ecto-filter, but not only had Danny changed it yesterday, but it going off would have wiped them off the face of the planet—not just rattled the foundations of the house.

Straightening herself and thanking all the gods in the heavens that her parents were not home, Jazz began to descend the steps to the lab, unnerved by the absence of noise. Reaching the bottom of the flight, she looked disbelievingly at the sight before her.

Nothing was broken. Absolutely nothing. It didn't even really look like any of the beakers had been moved. But that paled in comparison to what dominate the scene.

Jazz walked forward, dumbfounded by what greeted her eyes.

The unconscious forms of Danny, Sam, Tucker, Valerie, Dash, Paulina, Kwan, and Star.

Laying sprawled in lose limbed heaps across the laboratory floor, the only one that looked physically harmed was her brother, and those injuries she suspected had come from fighting the ghost that had initially triggered the alarm system. Not from whatever it was that had rendered them unconscious.

A flicker of movement by the portal caught her eye, whipping out the Fenton Peeler she whirled to face what had moved. Two silhouettes were within the swirling light of the portal. One raised its hand then they both faded from view.

'D-did it just wave at me?' Jazz blinked and though incredulously as she placed her thumb onto the Fenton Genetic Lock to close the portal. Setting the Fenton Peeler aside onto the portal's console, she turned her attention back to the teens lying upon the ground.

"Now what am I suppose to do?" She asked aloud, eyeing the muscular forms of the football players in particular. "There's no way I can move you guys out of here on my own."

Stepping over Kwan, she rolled Danny off Sam, rather amused at how the two had ended up.

Jazz blinked as something pulsed upon her brother's forehead. Brushing aside Danny's black bangs, she frowned at the unfamiliar symbol she saw there. She laid a cautious finger against it. Nothing happened. She rubbed her thumb against it to see if it could be removed. Nothing happened. It just continued to pulse with an irregular blue-white light.

Her frown deepening she glanced at the others and noted that they too bore the strange Greek symbol upon there foreheads. As she watched Paulina's gave one last little pulse and faded away, leavening nothing behind.

She looked back at Danny, his was much stronger compared to the others and though its light was dimming it was nowhere near the fading away stage of the others.

"What happened to you Danny? What happened to you all?" Jazz questioned aloud once again. Jazz sighed as she looked back at the others; there was only one option for getting them home. She would have to call their parents. She sighed again. "Yeah, like this is going to go over well."

. . .

Jazz sat upon a chair as she rested her elbows upon the edge of Danny's bed, her chin resting upon her laced fingers, watching the sleeping face of her brother.

He had not wakened when she had carried him to his room nor had he roused since. And that worried her greatly, usually no matter how hard the hit was Danny could usually shake it off pretty quickly. What also worried her was that none of the other teens had waken when there parents had arrived to carry them home after her call and mostly truthful explanation that there had been an explosion in the lab.

Jazz grimaced—it had not been fun dealing with the parents at all. Especially Sam's, it seems the Mansons still had not gotten over the Circus Gothica thing.

She shifted her attention back to Danny, not surprised to see the slight bruising and scrapes that he's acquired from somewhere were almost fully healed. The accident hadn't just given him powers.

"No, it hasn't just been getting powers that have changed you Danny." Jazz mustered sadly, brushing her fingers against his face, feeling the inhumanly cool skin against her own, "Your temperature is colder now and physically you've gotten stronger, faster. I also don't want to think of how many times you've come home bruised and beaten up, yet are healed by morning…. But it isn't just your physical body that's changed, but yourself as well."

She fell silent for a moment, knowing that that was true.

"It is nearly impossible to sneak up on you anymore, even when you're sleeping. And then there is the other little things, liking pulling others out of danger before anyone, yourself included Danny, even knew they were at risk. In fact, it is impossible to sneak up on you now, and I know that… that you don't act like a teen anymore." She continued talking, knowing from previous experiences that her voice was the reassuring factor for his trigger sensitive instincts, not her physical presence.

"Yeah it's me, categorizing your psyche again. From what I've read, you react now to things like any…" Jazz paused as she searched for an appropriate term, "Trained combatant would, instinctively aware of your surroundings, constantly scoping things out and though you don't have that 'superhero mentality' yet, where you don't worry about ordinary things like the football players at school bullying you, you are getting there."

"J-Jazz?" Danny croaked faintly.

Jazz blinked and shifted her attention from her dialogue back to her brother. "Welcome back Danny, I'm glad you're finally awake, I was worried."

Danny blinked to clear his fuzzy vision, trying desperately to recall how he had ended up in his bed with Jazz beside him and no one else. All he could remember though was working on the History project then fighting the ghost followed by a brilliant flash of light from the Ghost Portal then nothing.

"W-what happened?" He finally asked hazily.

Jazz cocked an auburn eyebrow at him, "I was hoping that you could tell me that."

Danny struggled but his mind remained blank, he shrugged helplessly, "Sorry, don't remember nothing."

"Humph, you probably hit your head then," Jazz said as she sat back into the chair, knowing that after someone was knocked out they rarely remember the moments leading up to the moment of unconsciousness.

"Do you remember getting that though?" She asked, flicking her fingers at the fading mark on his forehead.

"Getting what?" Danny questioned in confusion, raising his hand to his head but feeling nothing.

Jazz reached over and picked up the hand-mirror that she had brought from her room after she'd settled Danny into his bed and held it up before her brother's face.

Danny blinked at the blue-white glow faintly seen beneath his bangs. Brushing the black locks aside he studied the faint alien symbol. As he watched the mark pulsed twice before fading away to nothing.

He raised his eyes to his sister's, his puzzlement obvious. Something had happened. But for the life of him he could not remember a thing.

. . .

Seven pairs of eyes watching the viewing portal, blinking at the final scene that had just been enacted after the time stream had been restored.

"Oops." A green eyed female mouthed.

"Heh. Forgot about that." An Old One said rather unrepentantly.

"So that's what the symbol was!"

"Yes," an Old One said in amusement, "That's what that symbol was, and that's what happened."

"Is there anything else that I should be reminded of?"

"No," was the Master of Time's reply.

"Thank God, come on, it's time to get home, Samantha will only keep supper warm for so long."

The two Old Ones watched as the three halfas and two humans departed. A smile curved a childish blue face as the door shut.

"At least—not at this time."

The End… (Perhaps)