Disclaimer: I do not own Danny Phantom. Butch Hartman does. I would never dream of making money off his work, this is but one fanatic's homage. So please don't sic the rabid lawyer hordes upon me, there's not much for them to sue out of me.
Author's Note: FINALLY! The final chapter of this little filler story arc! My apologies for the delays. The rest of the notes are after the chapter.
Part Three: Urban Renewal
"We may have or lose it all
Respect the wilderness, Respect the life
Save the nature for your unborn child"
-"Respect the Wilderness" - Sonata Arctica
"HQ, this is Valerie." I spoke into my comm, waving away the dust that still drifted in the stale air. "I found a way into the tunnels."
"You aren't seriously thinking about exploring that area right now, are you?" The reply crackled through.
"Why not? After all that work getting through that cave-in?" I countered. "Besides, that collapse was recent, there could be people down here!"
I wiped some more of the clingy stubborn dust from my suit, shining my flashlight into the murk of the Underground. Patrol HQ wouldn't argue with me, they all knew that I wasn't stupid and that I wouldn't take such a risk without good reason.
"You know what you're doing." HQ responded finally. "Just be careful, and get out of there if this storm breaks."
I rolled my eyes. I knew better than to stay Underground in an un-surveyed region of the complex during an early winter storm. The tunnels could potentially flood with rainwater; or worse yet, debris could settle and bring the roof down on me. The walls could turn into muddy sludge and slowly crush the entire tunnel; or a catch basin full of water could break, and send a torrent through the tunnels of fast-moving, deadly water. There was still some time before the storm began its assault on the New City however; and if there were any survivors in this particular section of the tunnels, it was imperative to get them out before the storm hit.
"Right. I'll make some noise if anything happens." I started into the tunnels.
As I expected, what daylight had gotten through the thick clouds overhead faded rapidly as I got further from the sinkhole that was the new entrance to that region of the Underground. What I didn't expect however was the lack of metal paneling on the walls and floor. I wasn't sure what to make of that. Maybe that tunnel had flooded before, caking the panels with mud and hiding them? Either that, or they had been pried loose by someone; perhaps to serves as walls on a makeshift shelter?
The air was rank with the smell of wet dirt, and I knew there wasn't much time to explore. The humidity was a great deal higher than I would have expected, a thin layer of condensed moisture having soaked at least slightly into the dirt walls. Oddly enough though, something had to have been holding the muck up; I could find no evidence of any collapse.
Something's down here. I repressed a shiver as I progressed. I didn't have any sort of psychic sense to tell me that; it was simple experience.
As I progressed further down into the tunnels, the walls became stranger; I could make out a weird latticework of... something... that seemed to be holding the walls and ceiling up. Most were a dark brown or green in color, and resembled either veins of some freakish beast, or roots of some kind. Neither boded well for the Patrol or the New City. The deeper I went, the more of those weird roots there were, some looping from the ceiling, walls, and floor like a sprawl of badly installed wiring. Some were pulsing as well, making a low creaking noise that split the silence.
It reminded me an awful lot of a generic bad monster movie, really. It was still pretty spooky. Who knew what lurking monstrosities were waiting at the end of the tunnel? Ghosts, or some freakish thing created by toxins in the Outlands? I thought I saw faint light ahead, and braced myself for the worst.
"HQ, this is Valerie." I spoke into my comm quietly. "I've confirmed something not human in the tunnels."
"Not human?" The reply crackled through, with more static since I was below ground. "Valerie, haven't you got anything more substantial to report than just that?"
"That's all I know!" I snapped. "It's... I'm not sure what it is, I haven't got a visual confirmation yet other than that it's spread out some sort of roots into the tunnels. If it's a ghost, it's not like anything I've seen. Just get some backup ready, I doubt it's friendly!"
I readied my weapons as I proceeded toward the light. The air was less stale, there was a slight breeze that told me I must be near the surface again. I also caught a whiff of... greenery? That was baffling. While we were having some success introducing new plantlife to the city and the Outlands surrounding it, we were on the brink of winter! I mulled over the oddness as the tunnel slowly brightened, revealing those root-things were mostly shades of green now.
I actually had to shove several of the thick green coils aside as the tunnel widened. Even though the daylight was reduced from the thick clouds overhead, it was blinding compared to the murk of the tunnels. I had to just stop at the exit of the tunnel so my eyes could adjust to the light. Then I could only gawk.
It was a great deal warmer then in the tunnels or outside. The high walls were crumbling mounds of debris, the only thing holding them upright a tightly woven lattice of green vines. More vines seemed to be holding a cracked but mostly intact glass dome from one of the trashed buildings over the top of the enclosure. From up in the air, the makeshift greenhouse had to be nearly invisible. That wasn't the most incredible thing about the hidden alcove in debris of the Near Outlands however.
That great big hole in the ground, held together by plantlife, and shielded from the elements was literally carpeted in greenery. Trees, flowers, shrubbery everywhere in a nearly blinding display of vibrant greens and bursts of brilliant color. Soft grass covered the floor, practically glowing with health. Such abundance was literally impossible up on the surface; the weather had cooled over the past decade. We could get stuff growing, but not to such a degree; this was nothing short of incredible, and not at all what I had expected to find.
The only thing missing was the chirping of birds and scuttling of animals; and as I gingerly proceeded into the room, I half expected to find deer or something similarly cliche grazing. I found nothing of the sort however; the plants were positively pristine, and I couldn't find any indications that people had built the place. Which meant something else had to have created this underground garden.
"Hello?" I called into the grove, hesitant to step from the minor cover provided by the tunnel entrance. "Is anyone down here?"
I was met by silence, which was pretty much what I expected, since I didn't see the keeper of the garden anywhere. My ghost radar was beeping softly on my belt; whatever was behind the place had to be a spook of some sort. Now if it was a reasonable ghost... perhaps there were possibilities.
I waited another long moment to be sure the area was clear before I started through the grove, the grass springy and resilient beneath my feet. If this sort of abundance could be achieved on a larger scale than just that relatively small underground garden, it would be a massive benefit to the city.
I was snapped from my thoughts by a vine snaking out of the bushes and snaring my ankle. With a yelp I was hauled off my feet, momentarily helpless as I watched more vines rip up through the ground, tangling about one another, forming a nearly solid bulk of green. Red eyes glowered at me from beneath deep green vines hanging in a mockery of eyebrows, giant thorns springing from the creature as it finished emerging from the ground.
"You fleshwalkers destroy all my children, and yet you dare set foot here?" A raspy voice emerged from the thing's cruel beak.
"Children-? Wait, what are you talking about?" I mustered my wits enough respond, though my first instinct was to shoot first, and ask questions later.
"You know perfectly well!" The plant monster growled, jostling me as the vine holding me pointed upwards, toward the dome overhead. "Such callous ruin, you murdered them all!"
Wait, he's talking about the wastelands?
"We did not!" I protested, trying to pry the vine loose. "If you'd been paying attention, ghost, you'd know that it was another ghost that trashed everything!"
"You lie, fleshwalker!" It hissed, grip tightening on my ankle. "For years you cut them down in their prime! Years! I will not tolerate your kind here!"
Okay, talking isn't going to work. I tapped the recall button for my jet sled, mind racing.
"Sorry, Leafy." I snapped, aiming my gun at the vine. "But I'm not in the mood to be blamed for stuff I didn't do."
My sled smashed through the dome overhead about the same time I fired my weapon, burning the vine clear through and making the plant ghost recoil with an angry hiss. Several more vines grabbed for me, but missed as I plummeted toward the floor. With the ease born of years of practice, I twisted around midair; landing in an expert crouch as my sled dove beneath me.
The ghost visibly recoiled from the draft of chill air flowing into the garden from the new hole in the skylight, lashing out with a flurry of vines. I darted around several, and fragged more with my guns. I had to cringe whenever stray blasts struck the plants below. I wanted to stop the ghost, but I did want to avoid damaging the garden if it was possible.
With an inarticulate bellow, the ghost itself lunged in my direction and I countered with an ecto-grenade to the thing's face. With a messy explosion that stank faintly of overcooked asparagus, the weapon detonated and took most of the ghost's head with it. I started to let out a cheer that died on my lips.
With a shudder, the vines coiled back up, slowly reconstructing the head I'd just blown off. While the thing was momentarily distracted, I blasted a few more holes in the dome and raced upward toward freedom, safety, and most importantly: reinforcements.
I heard the ghost yowl with something akin to pain as the temperature plummeted, the cold wind finally able to penetrate the now-shattered dome. It hadn't so much as flinched at its head being blown to bits, yet a change in temperature was making it cry out?
"Valerie!" I heard Paulina's shout on the wind and over my wristband. "What happened?"
I wheeled my sled around to join the squadron that had been sent to back me up, coming up alongside Paulina. I gestured with my gun to the wreckage below, just in time to see the enraged plant ghost burst through the remains of the dome.
"Ew, what is that?" The Latina made a face. "Some kind of mutant salad bar?"
"Got me. I found it tending a garden down there, and it got all ticked off." I replied, pausing to finally unwrap the length of limp vine that had remained around my ankle. "It was ranting about people killing its children or something."
"Its children?" Paulina studied the ghost from above. "You mean like all the trees and stuff that Phantom destroyed when he leveled the city?"
I shrugged, paying more attention to the ghost's attempts to reach the Patrol members high above. The first few raindrops spattered down, the only warning everyone had before the downpour started. I cringed. Fighting a ghost was bad enough; fighting a ghost with everything slippery with rain and the cold water soaking through my suit would be pure misery.
"It regenerates, so we've got to hit it hard, and fast!" I lined up a shot as the ghost snarled and sent a thorny vine careening at the squad.
The attack was wild, with little apparent thought to it; we all darted out of the whip's path, the thorny vine missing everyone by a wide margin. Everyone scattered further to evade subsequent attacks, trying to line up good shots through the thick curtain of rain that was falling. I shivered, soaked through and cold; there were going to be colds or worse on the Patrol after things were dealt with.
"Fire!" I shouted, spotting an opening in the flailing mess of vines.
The rain was lit brilliant red and green as ecto-weapons lashed out. It was an en masse tactic we'd first perfected for use against Phantom; lining up every weapon in the vicinity and targeting the same general spot on the ghost. It shrieked, the stink of burned plant life carrying only a short distance in the rain. The vines stopped attacking, the entire green mass started to tip over; more black now than green, with gaping holes blasted in it from our weapons.
"That was way too easy." I remarked, looking down. "... Oh."
What had been the ghost's secret garden was flooded completely with the presumably frigid rainwater. Given how the ghost seemed to react to the cold, the flood of water around its base had to have been crippling. On an unspoken signal, Paulina and I flew down for a closer look at the remains. We had to be sure the threat was properly handled.
"You cannot stop Undergrowth, humans!" A tiny green sprout with red eyes snarled from amid the charred wreckage. "My children will be avenged!"
It was growing, albeit slowly.
"If we wanted to, we could finish you off right here, ghost." I leveled my rifle at it, which did make it pause.
Paulina raised an eyebrow, glancing around before grabbing a piece of debris that was slightly bowl-shaped. Much to my surprise, and with a great deal of indignant noise from Undergrowth; Paulina leaned over the edge of her sled, and... plucked him. Without a word, the Latina flew over to the muddy walls of the garden enclosure and scooped some of the sludge into the bowl, and unceremoniously stuck the ghost into it.
"He could be useful." Paulina glanced over at me, ignoring Undergrowth's protests. "After all, you did want to see about cooperation with ghosts, right?"
"I will never cooperate with filthy humans!" The ghost whined.
Threat handled, the squad returned to headquarters. It was cold, windy, and we were all sopping wet from the downpour that had started to turn into freezing rain in places. Our captive was the subject of a great deal of speculation as we brought him in. Where would we put him? The holding chamber we had in the basement laboratory was meant for normal ghosts. We weren't sure if putting a temperature-dependant spook in the warm lab was a good idea.
"Cease this! I will make you all pay!" The little sprout flailed now-harmless green tendrils as several Patrol members peered at Undergrowth.
"Well, he doesn't seem to do well in the cold." I noted as we debated what to do. "If he'd calm down a little, we could probably work something out."
"He's not going to listen to any of us though." Paulina responded, still holding the makeshift flowerpot. "Maybe he'll listen to another ghost?"
I nodded slowly. "Sounds reasonable. I can head into the Ghost Zone and track down Sam. She's still big on the environment. But where can we put him until she gets here?"
"We just need to keep him someplace cold, right?" Another Patroller piped in.
"Okay, so I'll pop over to Danny and Sam's lair, and see if they can help." I mused, walking over to the fridge and opening the door.
"You will all feel my wrath!" Undergrowth yelled at me from his current position next to last night's casserole.
I nudged his bowl aside and grabbed a couple of sodas before shutting the door on the ghost. I popped one open, and tossed the other to Paulina.
"In the meantime, we'll make sure Undergrowth behaves." Paulina caught the can. "And try talking to him, if he'll actually listen."
I walked to the door and grabbed my jet sled, calling back over my shoulder as I headed for the lab and the portal. "All right, I shouldn't be too long."
"Good luck!" Paulina's voice called back.
I spared the guard a quick salute as I opened the portal. It wasn't the first time I'd been into the Ghost Zone since we first fired up the new portal; it wasn't even the second. These days, there was always at least one Patrol member standing guard near the portal, even if there had only been a handful of ghostly intrusions.
The hop from the portal to the mock-portal that was the entrance to the two ghosts' lair was a quick one. Danny had given me the access code to open the gateway so that I could come visit at any time, though I was careful not to abuse that privilege.
In just a minute or so, I was leaning my sled against the wall of the "basement" of the lair and strolling up the twisted staircase.
"Hey, Danny, Sam! You guys home?" I called ahead.
Danny was in the kitchen when I got to the top of the staircase, along with Tucker. I stopped dead, not because I hadn't seen the spectral techno-geek in awhile, but because of how different he looked. He still had the glasses and that goofy red beret, but the rest of his outfit was drastically altered from when I'd seen him at that spooky party. He was dressed surprisingly well, though he looked like a renfaire and a computer store had fallen into a blender set on puree.
"Hey, Valerie!" He looked up from the devices laid out on the table. "Hey, you alright? Y'look like you saw a ghost."
"Or something else startling that I don't see everyday." I finished the joke, finding my voice. "What's with the threads?"
Danny quirked an eyebrow at his friend. "You didn't invite her yet?"
"I haven't had a chance!" Tucker protested.
"Invite me to what?"
Tucker managed to look sheepish, a dopey grin on his green face. "My... wedding. Remember that princess?"
I very nearly fell flat on my face at that. At least I refrained from the standard issue "EW!" that usually was my first reaction to hearing about ghostly relationships. "You're getting married?"
"Well, yeah." Tucker grinned while Danny tried to keep from laughing. "Dora and I were working together so much during his rampages and stuff. We just kinda clicked, y'know? A lot of the refugees in the Ghost Zone were living at her castle, and Sam and I were over there helping organize everything."
"Yeah, it was Sam that talked Dora into popping the question." Danny picked up the tale, still grinning. "Because Tuck was too nervous to do it!"
"Hey! I was going to... at some point!" Tucker protested the teasing.
"Well, good to know you're all doing well." I remembered why I was there in the first place and tried to steer the topic back to it. "Do you guys know where Sam is? We've got a ghost problem in New Amity."
"Ghost problem?" I had Danny's utter attention at that.
"Relax, Danny. The Patrol spanked the ghost pretty bad. Guy calling himself Undergrowth; has a serious thing for plants." I explained in brief. "We've got him in the fridge at headquarters right now, because I think if we can talk some sense into him, we could arrange something."
The two ghosts exchanged looks at my summary of events. "Definitely sounds like something Sam could help out with."
"But she's out with Dora helping pick out bridesmaid dresses!"
I raised an eyebrow at that, trying desperately to picture the goth ghost helping in any way with wedding planning. I ended up with a mental image of a very gothic wedding, full of black and purple and spooky stuff as opposed to the white and frilly pinks usually associated with wedded bliss.
Tucker grabbed one of the gadgets on the table. "So we test out these new phones! By the way, Val, I built one for you, too."
I accepted the device with a raised eyebrow. "Given the present company, this isn't just a phone, is it?"
"Tuck figured out a way to make calls from the Ghost Zone to the human world." Danny grinned. "We thought it'd be a little more practical than sending somebody through the portal if something comes up."
"Yup!" Tucker beamed, obviously pleased with his device as he punched in a number on it. "C'mon, Sam, pick up-... Hey, Sam? Yeah, Val's here, with a bit of a ghost emergency. Yeah. Mmhm. Plant ghost named Undergrowth. Yeah. They've got him stashed in the fridge and want some help getting through to him. You are? Great! Cool, we'll see you guys soon then!"
"Are they done with the dresses already?" Danny raised an eyebrow.
I made idle chatter with the two ghosts, mostly catching the guys up on how the city was doing. Both were surprised, but relieved to hear that Vlad was still bankrolling the reconstruction; and that he was still living in Wisconsin despite owning a small house in the new city. There were some raised eyebrows at my confirmation that Paulina was still acting as the city's mayor, and doing an impressive job of the task no less. In turn, I learned that Tucker and Dora, his... fiancee... were trying to organize the Ghost Zone into an actual society. Apparently the main reason they were having any luck convincing the other ghosts to cooperate was the shared fear of Phantom; the common enemy that had made the spooks as weary of fighting as the city in the real world was.
Before long, the two female ghosts arrived. Sam was clad in blacks and purples as she often was since I'd known her. Dora had changed since I has last seen the ghostly princess. Rather than a braid, her long hair was tied back in a sporty ponytail; and her old fashioned dress had been replaced with a more modern one. She still carried herself in that same formal manner though, offering a polite curtsey before floating over to embrace Tucker.
"So what's this about a plant ghost?" Sam asked.
I quickly filled her in on the details, and before long we were on our way back to the portal. None too soon, personally; I didn't care to sit around watching Tucker and Dora making puppy-dog eyes at each other. I was glad that he was getting on well, but still; the idea of ghostly relationships still made me cringe.
It didn't take more than a minute or two before we came out through the Patrol's portal, and I had to roll my eyes at the sound of ecto-rifles being brought to the ready position.
"Stand down." I told the overactive guard. "She's with me."
"Wait... is that-?" The guard looked at Sam more closely in disbelief. "Sam Manson?"
"The very same. Now that we're all caught up, can we get to dealing with the crazy plant already?" Sam remarked dryly.
We left the poor guy staring in disbelief as I showed Sam to where we had kept the spook. Paulina was still in the kitchen, with the fridge door open. From the look on her face, I could gather she'd been trying to talk to Undergrowth without much luck.
"We're trying to rebuild everything!" The Latina was shouting into the fridge. "Including trees and gardens and stuff!"
"So you can destroy it all over again, fleshbag!" Undergrowth could be heard snarling back. "Like your kind always does!"
"Whoa, cool it, people." Sam interjected neatly, startling Paulina aside and getting a look at the captive ghost. "So this is Undergrowth?"
"Sam-!" Paulina yelped, surprised.
"When I am free to regenerate, you'll pay for this!" The green spook growled.
"Right. Y'know, I can appreciate where you're coming from, but trying to destroy all the humans isn't going to help you any." Sam addressed the ghost, plucking his makeshift bowl out of the fridge.
I motioned to the front entrance, and we moved the conversation outside. The overhang that shaded the main entrance kept the rain off, but the air was still sufficiently cold, and the ghost was only able to slightly regenerate some of his lost mass. Instead of looking like a stray vine, at least Undergrowth now had some resemblance to a full shrub of some sort.
"Like I said before, we didn't do that-" Paulina gestured to the ruined landscape still visible in the distance. "It was a ghost named Phantom that did."
"Then where is he?" Undergrowth demanded, still seething. "My children must not have perished in vain!"
"Already dealt with, almost a year ago." I responded.
"Yeah, he's gone for good and we're trying to rebuild." Paulina added.
Undergrowth considered this for a moment before turning a beady red glare on us. "Yes, rebuild. Rebuild your metropolis and continue your slaughter!"
"If they really wanted to keep 'slaughtering' your 'children', don't you think they would have just finished you off?" Sam raised an eyebrow. "Not all humans want to destroy nature. Some of us want to protect it."
Undergrowth didn't respond to that, looking at the beginnings of the reconstruction. It hadn't been easy, but we had taken steps to incorporate natural spaces and agriculture into the layout. Even before the shield fell, we'd ensured that there were green spaces.
"And from what I'm told, these 'fleshbags' saved you from this." Sam continued, gesturing at the downpour. "Because your garden got flooded. Sounds like a real slaughter to me all right."
I cringed. The goth ghost still had a knack for the razor wit and vicious sarcasm.
"What are you getting at?" Undergrowth finally said, glowering at Sam.
"What I'm getting at is simple." Sam retorted. "These guys don't need your help to rebuild and undo all the damage Phantom did. Sure, it'll be tough, but they can manage. If you're trying to interfere with them, you'll be dealt with as a hostile ghost. I've seen what Valerie can do, and it wouldn't be pretty."
"Darn right." I muttered.
"Now, if you want at least some of your children to survive, you need their help. Your garden wouldn't have lasted through the winter if this storm alone dunked it." Sam continued. "But these guys aren't trying to slaughter anybody. They want to work cooperatively. Such as rebuild a city that isn't going to hurt the environment?"
"And I would assume you'd know best what's hurting the soil and stuff that's making it so difficult to grow anything." I chimed in. "If you could tell us what's wrong with it, we can take steps to fix it."
"And then everybody wins." Paulina concluded. "You and your... children... prosper, the city gets some extra help rebuilding, and... we could set an example for everybody else to follow!"
Undergrowth went quiet, considering the barrage of information. Sam's words were harsh, but it was true. We could rebuild without the green ghost's help, as we had been doing for the past several months. Things would simply be a lot easier, and better, if we could get the eco-ghost on our side.
"It's called compromise." Sam broke into the silence with that wry sarcasm. "And I don't know about you, but I kinda like the idea of an entire city being planned and built around protecting the environment."
I came flying back into the city hub from patrol, rushed and a little late for the celebration. The winter had been long and difficult, but the season was finally turning toward spring and everybody was in high spirits as the city prepared for its first annual spring festival. From above, it seemed almost a sea of bright colors; almost as if everyone in the city was tired of the drab grey and brown of the cold season and had exploded into blossoms of brilliant, even gaudy color themselves.
On the subject of flowers, the party's guest of honor and host towered a good twenty feet above the crowd. The thorny armor was gone though, replaced with colorful flowers and grasses in a living parody of a grass skirt. It was a sharp contrast to the beginning of winter, and while there had been more than one argument about specific details; somehow Paulina and the architects wrangled arrangements that while not perfect, were at least satisfactory to both sides.
Vines and sturdy trees veritably cradled the newer buildings; in many cases the buildings were built specifically around the vegetation, the living wood providing the support structure for walls and floors. It was certainly unique to see from the air; the New City a giant sprawl of life in the center of the bleak wastelands left from Phantom's rampages. We still had a long way to go before we reclaimed all of the ruins, but we'd made impressive progress in the year since the ghost was defeated.
I spiraled my sled to a landing on the platform erected near Undergrowth's new garden, offering a hasty apology to Paulina and the ghost for my tardiness. With all the major players arrived, Paulina stepped up to the microphone.
"Thank you everyone for coming today!" Paulina began, the crowd quieting down. "I'm sure you guys all know why we're gathered here; to celebrate!"
There was a cheer from the crowd at that; it had been far too long since anyone had celebrated anything. Besides, the weather was good; it was a bright, clear day, perfect for a party.
"One year ago, we had nothing!" Paulina continued. She really did have a knack for public speaking. "We were living in fear, hiding from the ghost that was a plague for the past decade. Everyone lost a lot; homes, friends, family. We'll never forget them, but those of us who survived can at last believe it: The nightmare is over!"
This brought another eruption of cheering from the crowd. The nightmare had really been over for awhile now; ever since Phantom was defeated by his past self. For most of the civilians though, the past year had been exceedingly difficult and full of hardship as we began to pick up the pieces of normal life.
Paulina held her hands up for silence, and again the crowd shushed itself so she could continue. "And now we're started a new life, a new society; one in which humans and ghosts can help each other and move past the unwarranted fear we've shared for the past ten years!"
A lot of people had looked askance of the Patrol when we first proposed helping Undergrowth set up shop in the city hub. He was a ghost, after all, and the civilians had become well-conditioned to fear ghosts. It hadn't taken long for the plant spook to win people over though; first by recreating the garden that had been flooded before, and later by using his particular powers to speed along the building process. The New City was already being written up in architecture magazines for its 'outstanding breakthroughs in building design.'
"So I would like to make today a citywide holiday. Both to celebrate our success, and to remember all those who were lost these past ten years." Paulina concluded.
There was another cheer, followed by a thunderous wave of applause that rolled on and on. I felt a chill and instinctively looked skyward; where I spotted three floating figures far above the crowd. Grinning like an idiot, I identified the trio and waved up at them. The celebration just would not have been complete without those closest to the ten years of disaster present to share in the triumph. Danny, Sam, and Tucker, though they were all ghosts now would always be welcome through the portal.
That's just what friends do.
... Until Indemnification, at least.
Closing Notes: Geez, 9 pages for this chapter. Still, bet you guys weren't expecting Undergrowth to show up! With the end of this chapter, Jeremiad is now completely finished. I hope these three "After the End" chapters have been entertaining as I established the setting for my next fanfic, Indemnification. Anyhow, it was fun getting back into writing Valerie's point of view, even if briefly. The next story will be told in 3rd person much like Benediction was. I hope to see you there!
For now, however, some recommendations and shout-outs to keep you guys busy until I get the first chapter of Indemnification done!
www. fanfiction. net/s/ 3512907/1/ - A DOOMED Alliance by Emissary of Honesty, based on one of my plot bunnies that he adopted.
www. fanfiction. net/s/ 3378398/1/ - Analogue by Andrew Laplante, also based on an adopted plot bunny.
And my entire TUE series:
www. fanfiction. net/s/ 2829879/1/ - Lament, the 8 page epic poem that started the entire thing.
www. fanfiction. net/s/ 2834452/1/ - Jeremiad, the fanfic based on the poem, though if you're reading this right now, you've likely already read the entire fic!
www. fanfiction. net/s/ 2874003/1/ - Anathema, the partner story to Jeremiad. Dan tells his story, from his creation to his capture at the hands of Danny Phantom.
www. fanfiction. net/s/ 3088970/1/ - Benediction, the sequel to Jeremiad/Anathema, in which Dan returns and it's Jazz that saves the day.