Another special thanks to everyone who reviewed: Zizzo, Punker88, Shades-of-Pink, moonymonster, Sam, Writting Freak, The Silent Rumble, GallyHoshi, Diamond Unicorn, DPhantomtomboy, emotigone crazy, Fantomgirl 1 on 1, and K4g0m3-ch4n. It's been a pleasure writing this.
And now, the exciting conclusion:
Part 3: The How of Plasmius
"We're not going back to Amity …" Sam observed an hour later.
"And we're not going to Wisconsin …" Danny added.
"So where are we going?" Sam asked.
"I don't know. Looks like we're headed towards Washington."
"Maybe it's seeking the wrong ghost?"
"Won't know 'til we get there."
"Unfortunately. But if it goes all the way to Canada, I'm quitting."
It wasn't Canada, though; the Boooo-merang began to lose altitude at a place much more familiar.
"Pleasantville?" Danny exclaimed. "I think it's seeking my sister!"
"No way. How would it find Jazz?" Sam asked. "She doesn't have an ecto-signature."
"I dunno. This is way too weird," Danny confessed. Suddenly he sat up straight. "Wait. I have an idea – going ghost!" He leapt out of the Specter Speeder, flying after the Booo-merang and grabbing it out of midair.
"Danny! What're you doing?" Sam asked as he floated back into his seat on the Speeder.
"Thinking that I want to talk to the smartest person I know before I get myself into a fight with the strongest ghost I know," Danny answered. "Jazz' school is on the east side of town. Let's stop in and say hello."
Sam parked the Speeder in an alleyway near Jazz' dorm, and Danny rummaged through the experiments and weaponry to come up with the Specter Deflector. "Here, Sam, wear this." He put it on her without turning it on. "But don't turn it on until we get to Jazz's room."
"You don't think they'll let us in?" Sam asked.
Danny shook his head. "They might let you in, but guys aren't allowed. I'm gonna fly us up, okay?"
"I don't think I've been invisible and intangible so many times in one day as this afternoon, Danny," Sam remarked, smirking.
"What, does it bother you?" Danny went to hoist her up in his arms.
"No … not at all," Sam grinned, letting Danny carry her up to Jazz' room.
It was relatively late (almost eight o'clock) when they slipped into Jazz' room, and Jazz was typing on her computer as fast as possible. "Hey, Jazz," Danny said, reappearing and letting Sam down.
Jazz jumped, screaming. "Aaaah!"
"Aaah! What?" Danny fell into a battle stance, looking for what had startled his sister so much. Sam stiffened, blinking with wide eyes.
"Oh." Jazz turned in her chair to look up at Danny, pressing a hand to her chest in visible relief. "It's just you."
"Just me?" Danny and Sam chorused.
Jazz ignored the hurt in Danny and Sam's voices. "I'm so glad you're here! Something's wrong with Dad, right? He gave you that black eye, didn't he?"
Danny blinked; he'd forgotten about the black eye almost entirely, but a glance in the mirror confirmed that it was still brightly visible. "Uh, yeah. How did you know?"
"I could tell when I gave him a call on Monday," Jazz answered. "He was acting kind of weird … really mean. So I went to call you, and I couldn't get through – so I decided to do some research to find out what could have happened to him – and I figured it out. Hang on, I've got the files on here somewhere." She turned back to her computer, typing rapidly.
"You figured this all out and you weren't even there?" Sam said incredulously.
"Well, it's not like I don't keep track of anything and everything," Jazz answered breezily. "I thought at first that Dad was being overshadowed, but Danny would have figured that out. I called again on Wednesday and Dad was still acting weird, so I guessed it couldn't be that."
Danny colored. "I almost didn't figure that out," he confessed. "Sam suggested it."
Jazz wasn't paying attention, though. "So then I started searching for mind control devices, and you know what I came up with?" She sat back from the computer with a triumphant look. "Bloodstream nanobots!" The computer showed a picture of the tiny robots.
"That's what Vlad used on you!" Danny said, the light clicking on. "But he used it as a threat to kill you."
"That's only a really crude use of them," Jazz answered. "I couldn't get a whole lot of information on them without breaking into Axion Lab files, but from what I gathered, a concentration of them in the brain could change the way synapses fire – in other words, you could completely control a person's mind with them." She paused to take a breath. "And of course, the only ghost we know who has access to nanobots and a grudge against Dad is Vlad Plasmius!"
"He's responsible, all right," Danny growled. "We came here to look for him. Why did the Booo-merang take us here, anyway? Shouldn't he be in Wisconsin, or Amity Park?"
"Because he is here," Jazz answered bluntly. She suddenly sighed, and Danny realized how tired she looked. "He realized I figured it out, and he threatened to kill Dad if I tried to contact you and tell you what was happening …"
Danny's face became hard, his brows drawing down. "I'm gonna tear him apart molecule by molecule!" he threatened. "I can't believe that total fruit loop! Who invests millions of dollars worth of stuff into revenge?"
"Oh, oh, I know the answer to that one!" Sam said sarcastically. She sighed loudly. "How did he get the nanobots into Mr. Fenton anyway?"
"I don't know yet, but Vlad probably infected something he ate with them. They can withstand stomach acids and just about anything else as well, except strong electrical shocks," Jazz explained. "Listen, Danny, you'd better find Vlad fast. If he gets wind of this …"
"If I get wind of what? You divulging all my evil plans to the one person I didn't want to hear them?"
Danny, Sam, and Jazz all cringed and turned to face none other than Vlad Plasmius. Danny wordlessly changed back into his ghost form, fists clenched dangerously.
"Oh, good show, good show." Plasmius clapped sarcastically. "Bravo, Fentons. With your bravery – and brains – I'd think you'd want to renounce your father and join me." He said this almost seductively.
"In your dreams," Danny snapped. Not the wittiest response, but he was so angry he was seeing red. "Sam?"
"What?" Sam blinked at Danny.
"Grab him!" Danny smirked.
Sam took a moment to catch on, but then she rushed forward, hugging Vlad's middle. Vlad cried out, startled when the Specter Deflector electrocuted him. "Aargh!"
"Hah!" Danny released an ecto-blast at the older ghost's face; Vlad fell back, falling through the wall, and Sam released him to keep from falling over herself. "Sam, get Jazz out of here and – uh – I dunno! Bring back weapons! Lots of them!" He followed Vlad.
Sam grinned a little. "You know, I don't like Plasmius, but at least when Danny's fighting him he realizes he really does need some help."
Fighting Vlad was a losing battle – as usual. Danny threw ecto-blasts, kicked, and punched, and Vlad yawned through the battle – and he hadn't even gone on the offensive yet.
"Danny, Danny, Danny … when will you learn that I'm simply twenty years ahead of you?" Vlad purred, splitting himself into four.
Danny gulped. He still hadn't managed to duplicate that trick.
"Enough!" All four Vlad's fired ecto-blasts, and all four of them found their mark. Danny slammed into the ground on his shoulder, digging a groove into the carefully manicured lawn in front of Jazz's dorm.
Danny groaned. He had to get up, but he was tired and sore. Gotta hide …
"Take that, Plasmius!" cried Jazz, just as she fired off a huge glob of ectoplasmic goo at the four duplicates. Sam was right behind her, firing another miscellaneous weapon. Two of the duplicates were instantly fried, and the third tumbled down to the ground and self-destructed. Vlad put up a shield in front of himself for protection.
"Don't think for a moment that I won't just destroy your father for this!" he called.
"Oh yeah? Then why haven't you done it yet?" Jazz shouted back, clearly unimpressed. "Aah!" She jumped clear of a ray shot at her by Plasmius.
"Hey!" Danny was galvanized back into action at the sight of his sister in danger. He took a deep breath. "Leave … my … sister … ALONE!" His voice morphed into a scream, and the scream into a Ghostly Wail.
There was a shocked sound from Plasmius, and then he was tumbling end over end, slamming into the wall of Jazz's dorm. The force of Danny's Wail kept him pinned there until Danny could scream no more; the ghost boy slumped to the ground, transforming back into Danny Fenton.
Vlad fell to the ground in a heap, clearly dazed, and Sam ran up, unhooking the Specter Deflector from around her waist. "Here you go! I really, really don't accessorize well," she said, hooking the device around Vlad's waist before he could protest.
"Aaugh!" Shocked repeatedly by the device, Vlad groaned; he was still too weak to overcome the Deflector, and he too transformed back into his human form. Still, the device shocked him. "Get this infernal thing off me!"
"Nuh-uh," Sam smirked, the key dangling from one finger. "Jazz?"
Jazz was hovering over Danny. "Help Danny out," she called back. "I've got a couple of questions for Mr Masters."
A few minutes later Danny was up and on his feet again, but Vlad was grimacing.
"So how were you controlling the nanobots?" Jazz demanded.
"Child, there are worse tortures than this," Vlad snapped back, sounding exasperated. "The connection between myself and your father is permanent – much to my dismay – until I kill him!"
"You're a liar," Danny said shakily, leaning on Sam for support. "Where's the control device?"
Vlad smirked at that, a thin expression on a pale face. "Ah, wouldn't you like to know." A particularly strong shock made him gasp. "All right, all right! If you want proof, call your father right now. You can listen to him perish for me." He held up a cellular phone.
Jazz stared at him, then flipped open the phone and dialed their home number.
"He's full of it. He's lying," Danny said slowly, trying to reassure himself and his sister more than anything else.
"He doesn't have a control device on him, that's for sure," Sam said, but her voice was drawn and tight. "We checked all his pockets. I don't know how he could kill your dad right now …"
"Hello? Dad?" Jazz sounded worried. "Dad? Oh. Hi," she smiled shakily, looking over to Danny. "Oh, no reason, I was just calling to say hi …" He's normal again! She mouthed.
Both her eyes and Danny's went to Vlad, who had closed his own eyes and was frowning. What was he doing …?
"Uh-huh. I see …" Jazz's voice was beginning to lighten. "Oh, he's here with me. I know, he took the Speeder! He just missed me so much, Dad, he had to see me. I mean, at least he picked a weekend, right?"
"What's going on?" Sam whispered.
"I don't know," Danny grimaced, shaking his head.
Then suddenly, Vlad gave a frustrated yowl. "I can't do it! What's happened?"
"GottagoDadbye!" Jazz managed to pack the words into one sound and hung up. "What, Vlad?"
"I can't sense your father any more!" Vlad looked enraged. "This is insanity!"
"Sense my dad?" Danny looked even more incredulous – but Jazz suddenly smacked herself on the forehead.
"What?" snapped three voices in unison, two curious and one furious.
"He's using nanobots to control Dad!" Jazz looked excited.
"Uh … we already knew that," Sam said.
"Not like this, we didn't," Jazz answered. "Vlad implanted nanobots in himself as well! Nanobots that could control the ones in our dad!"
"Oooh," Danny said intelligently. "Wait … what?"
"He's been using his own mind to control Dad's mind," Jazz explained patiently. "But they don't work any more … because of this!" She pointed to the Specter Deflector. "Remember? Strong electrical shocks destroy the nanobots!"
Vlad looked surprised at this information. "I was assured they were indestructible!"
"Virtually indestructible," Sam corrected. "Way to go, Jazz!"
"No, way to go you, Sam," Jazz answered warmly. "I would never have thought to put the Specter Deflector on Vlad."
"Oh, Danny told me he did that once before," Sam said airily, and Danny blushed.
Vlad, on the other hand, scowled. "Enough!" He got to his feet, transforming as he went (although if he felt anything like how Danny felt, he had to be on his last leg). "I would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for you—"
"Oh, don't even say it!" Sam cried, clapping her hands over her ears.
Danny, however, grinned darkly. "Jazz?"
"On it, Danny," Jazz smiled, producing a Fenton Thermos. "I knew keeping one around would be smart."
"Hey, her aim improved," Sam remarked as Vlad Plasmius was sucked screaming into the Thermos, leaving only the Specter Deflector behind.
"Can we just leave him in there for, oh, I dunno … a few months? Years?" Danny asked.
"Danny …" Jazz sighed.
"Come on, Jazz! I can't believe he was going to kill Dad just like that," Danny protested.
"I'm with Danny on this," Sam said. "The longer he's out of our hair, the better."
"Well, maybe for a couple of days," Jazz allowed. "And I know just how he should spend them."
They deposited the Thermos in the post box an hour later, addressed to Vlad's castle in Wisconsin. The note contained in the packaging read, "To whomever opens this package: press the 'release' button."
"So I told Dad that you're both spending the night," Jazz said. "He says he feels like the last week was a haze, so I guess he doesn't remember anything. He was wondering why the Ghost Shield was on …?"
"Uh … well, tell him he put it up to protect against—"
"—Inviso-Bill," Sam interrupted. Danny smacked his hand into his face, and Sam grinned.
"So, uh … am I in trouble?" Danny wanted to know.
"Nope!" Jazz grinned. "For once."
Danny blinked, suddenly realizing something. "Wait … if he doesn't remember the last week … he doesn't remember my 'F'! Woohoo!"
"An 'F'?" Jazz asked, her voice ominous.
"Oh, man …"
"Come on, Danny," Sam grinned. "You can get some studying done. I'll help. But first …" she wrapped her arms around Danny's neck. "We've gotta sneak back into the dorm, right?"
Danny blushed slightly. "Right."
They waved to Jazz, who smiled knowingly, and Danny carried Sam away.
I hope you'll all read my next story, 'Coming Home' - an AU where Pariah Dark has ruled over Amity for ten years. Thank you again for reading! Please leave a review!