A gleeful smile spread across the evil face of Vlad Masters as he listened to Valerie frantically telling him the story of Daniel Fenton and her meeting with his ghost half at midnight. She believed that Danny had been taken over by a ghost, and someone needed to save him. Vlad resisted the urge to laugh out loud.
"I can't rescue him on my own," Valerie said, she sounded like she was on the edge of hysteria. "The new features on my suit just don't seem to work well enough. I need help Mr. Masters! How can I rescue Danny from the ghost kid?"
"The new features on your suit?" Vlad asked, his curiosity, if it hadn't been piqued before, was piqued now.
"Yes," Valerie answered then took a deep breath.
"I thought your suit was destroyed, Ms Grey," he said almost dangerously.
Valerie cleared her throat. "It was, but I got another one. It just, appeared."
"It just appeared?" Vlad asked in disbelief.
"Yeah," Valerie said sheepishly knowing that her explanation sounded dumb. "But then I had an accident with the suit, and it changed."
"Tell me what happened," Vlad ordered.
"I was fighting a ghost," Valerie told him as she closed her eyes. "It caught me off guard and I slammed against a wall. The suit told me it was offline."
"Offline?" Vlad asked in confusion.
"Yeah," Valerie answered, she was beginning to grow nervous at the almost angry tone in Vlad's voice. "It said that ghost suit version 2.0 was offline and something about a breech in containment or something."
"Ecto containment?" Vlad asked very calmly.
"Yes!" Valerie answered in a relieved tone. "That's it. The suit told me to exit the suit, but I couldn't figure out how, and so there was this electric jolt and…I don't remember anything after that."
Vlad was silent for awhile. "You woke up obviously. Did you feel different? What happened?"
"My suit was gone," Valerie told him. "And my skin felt like I'd bathed in battery acid or something. I looked normal though. Then strange things started happening."
"Strange things?" Vlad asked curiously.
"Parts of my body started disappearing. The way my suit activates is different, and it looks different too. Instead of using the ecto-blasters, the beams come from my fingers instead I…"
"Valerie," Vlad interrupted trying very hard not to sound extremely excited. "Tell me…You said the way your suit activates has changed. Tell me about the process."
Valerie described the two rings and then how the color of her suit changed. She told Vlad that she thought maybe she was a ghost, but she was still alive, that it just must be some feature of the suit.
"That ghost kid," Valerie said angrily. "Tried to tell me he was Danny, and that he was half ghost, that I have became half ghost. It's ridiculous Vlad! That's not possible…is it?"
"Well my dear," Vlad said after a moment of quick thinking. "We live in a world of infinite possibilities. Perhaps it would be best if I came down to Amity Park and ran a few quick tests."
"Thank you Mr. Masters," Valerie said in relief.
"I will meet you first thing in the morning," Vlad informed her, keeping his voice calm and fatherly. "On the way to school. I'll take a few samples of your blood and have the results by the evening."
"I work at the Nasty Burger from four until nine," she told him. "Otherwise, I'm grounded, so that's the only time we can talk."
"I see," Vlad told her. "Don't worry about anything Ms. Grey. Let's run those tests and then we'll decide our next step."
"What about Danny?" Valerie asked.
"One step at a time dear girl," Vlad told her. "Let's figure out what's going on with you first, and then we'll worry about some ghost infested boy."
"Thank you Mr. Masters," Valerie said.
"I will see you in the morning," Vlad said happily. Valerie thanked him again and then hung up the phone and snuck it back into the kitchen. She felt much better knowing that Vlad was taking control of the problem. He had so many more resources at his disposal, and freedom…and money.
Vlad chuckled evilly to himself as he hung up the phone and sat back in his chair. He placed his steepled fingers to his lips and smiled as his eyes sparkled with malicious glee.
"Well, well Daniel," he said to himself as he stood and made his way to his lab. "It looks like you have competition, and I have an even better protégé than I'd hoped for." He laughed, and began gathering together a few items he'd need to test Valerie. There were a few tell tale signs in a ghost hybrid's blood, and if Valerie had become a ghost hybrid by some strange twist of fate, then he would have a new ally, and life would have become just that much harder for Daniel.
Vlad continued to smile. This was the best news he'd had in months, in fact the only thing that would have made him happier would be hearing that his precious Maddie had filed for divorce from that oaf Jack Fenton. He sighed heavily and promised himself, that dream would come in time.
He made his way from the lab with plans already swimming in his twisted little mind. If Valerie turned out to be a genuine hybrid, then he would need to get her away from Danny as soon as possible. The last thing Vlad wanted was for Valerie to figure out that he himself was a ghost hybrid, at least not until she could accept her new power and him as her master.
"Sam," Danny called as he caught up to her and Tucker on the way to school. She turned and looked at him with her normal friendly, or friendly for Sam, expression.
"I'm so sorry," he said breathlessly since he had ran all the way from home, frantic to catch up to his friends so he could apologize. "I was a jerk to you last night and I'm sorry."
Sam looked at Danny thoughtfully for a moment. "I'm sorry too," she said. They smiled at each other a moment then looked at Tucker.
"Wait," Tucker said in confusion. "What?"
Sam rolled her eyes and said, "I showed up at Danny's meeting with Valerie last night."
"And things really didn't go well," Danny added.
"So after she left, I let Danny know I was there," Sam continued.
"And I treated her like crap instead of being thankful that one of my friends was there to comfort me when I was hurting." Danny said as he looked at Sam. "I'm really sorry there was no excuse for my behavior."
Sam shrugged her shoulders. "Don't worry about it Danny. It's no big deal."
"Wait," Tucker repeated as he looked back and forth between his friends. "Valerie reacted badly? Then how are you still here? Is she going to spill the secret? I thought she was supposed to kill you."
"Ha ha," Danny said sourly. "She did shoot at me, but I don't know." Danny rubbed his neck and looked at Sam.
"I don't think she's going to spill the secret, and she was too shocked to do anything but yell at Danny," Sam told Tucker, but held Danny's worried gaze.
"She yelled at you?" Tucker asked as he shot Danny and amused look then laughed.
"And shot at him," Sam told the techno geek. "But then she took off."
Danny sighed. "I'm hoping, since she didn't completely go berserk, that she'll come around and see reason."
"And hell will freeze over when?" Sam asked dryly. Tucker started laughing again and Danny shot him an angry glance.
"Wow, you're such a pessimist, Sam," Danny complained as he shot Tucker a look which told his friend that he didn't think his amusement was amusing.
"It's from years of practice," Sam told him and smiled slightly. Danny narrowed his eyes at her for a moment before finally smiling as his friend.
"Uh, guys?" Tucker asked, with a worried look growing on his face. "When you're done flirting with each other, you need to take a look across the street. I think we've got trouble." Both Danny and Sam turned in time to see Valerie climbing into a black limousine.
"Oh crud!" Danny cried his formerly happy expression changing to one of complete and utter defeat.
"You knew this was going to happen," Sam said calmly as she put her hand on Danny's arm. "You saw how she reacted to your confession about being half ghost, do you think she's going to react any better to Vlad? Especially considering how deeply he's been deceiving her?"
Danny sighed as he watched the limo with Valerie in it, drive away. "You're right."
"But Vlad isn't going to be stupid enough to tell her right away," Tucker said as he adjusted his glasses. "I mean it would be really dumb for him to confess, considering how much she hates ghosts and all."
Danny sent Tucker an annoyed look. "What?" Tucker asked innocently.
"Thanks a lot Tuck," Danny said then began walking to school. Sam gave Tucker an exasperated look the followed Danny.
"Not all is lost," Sam said as she caught up to Danny. "She has to be in school today right? Vlad's not going to kidnap her or anything."
"What?" Danny asked in surprise. "You think Vlad's above kidnapping?"
Sam shook her head. "I think Vlad wants Valerie for an ally, or at least to keep using her against him. She's not going to stay on his side if he takes her somewhere against her will. I bet you she's going to be in school today."
"I'll take you up on that bet," Tucker said. "Twenty bucks?"
"Tucker," Sam half laughed. "Have you ever considered that you're addicted to gambling?"
"No," Tucker replied. "I'm addicted to money."
"And tech gadgets," Danny added.
"And girls!" Tucker sighed and Danny laughed.
Sam shook her head and rolled her eyes. "What did I do to deserve this?" she asked as she looked up at the sky."
Danny put his arm around Sam and gave her shoulders a squeeze. "You know you love us, Sam," he said.
"At least one of us," Tucker whispered in Sam's ear. She gave him an angry look and he bounced away laughing.
Danny gave Sam a questioning look, obviously wanting to know what Tucker had whispered. "You don't want to know," she said as she shook her head and shot Tucker another irritated look. Tucker only chortled with glee.
The trio settled into silence as they resumed their walk to school, Danny with his head hung low, Sam with an extremely troubled scowl, and Tucker with his attention focused on his PDA.
Sam waited until they were climbing the steps of the hollowed halls of Casper High before she spoke. She had been thinking as they walked, trying hard to find a way to solve the problem of Valerie, besides knocking her in the head and mailing her to Timbuktu, which frankly was Sam's preferred solution.
"I think maybe," Sam started then swallowed hard. "Maybe I should try talking to her."
Danny's eyes lit up. "Really?" Sam shrugged her shoulders and Tucker shook his head.
"What?" Sam asked as she put her hands on her hips and looked at Tucker.
"I didn't say anything," Tucker said almost defensively. Sam gave him another irritated look.
"Okay," he started. "I don't think it's a good idea for you to talk to Valerie. She might turn on you. Think you're possessed or something. She might attack you."
Danny gave Sam a worried look. "Tuck has a point."
"Well," Sam said as turned and started walking away from them and into the school. "It's a chance we have to take." Tucker and Danny watched her go, looked at each other a moment, then followed Sam into the school.
Valerie smiled as the black limo pulled up beside her and the window rolled down to reveale the smiling face of her savoir and mentor, Vlad Masters.
"Good Morning, Miss Grey," he said cheerfully.
"Hi," Valerie said breathlessly as the driver opened the door for her. She climbed inside then looked uncomfortably at Vlad who laid out a DNA collection kit out on the seat between them.
"While I'm preparing the test," Vlad said. "Show me how you transform." Valerie nodded her head and did as Vlad requested. He watched her very seriously as the rings enveloped her and then she sat looking at him in all her ghostly glory.
"Hmm," Vlad said maintaining an aura of calm. "That is very different Ms. Grey. Curious. Show me how you…disappear please." Valerie then did as Vlad asked as he ran her through several tests.
"I am unable to tell you exactly what has happened to you at this time, Ms. Grey," he started in an extremely business like tone. "But, I will be in contact with you this evening. I believe this bears further looking into."
Valerie looked at her hands and took a deep breath. "If something has happed to me, to give me ghost powers, can…can it be fixed? Can I return back to normal?"
"Why would you want to my dear?" Vlad asked in bewilderment. "Imagine all the good you could do with such amazing powers. You could stop ghosts from overrunning Amity Park and the world. It would be an extremely noble calling…"
"I don't need ghost powers to destroy ghosts," Valerie said stubbornly. "Can you do something about it?"
"I don't know," Vlad said as he rubbed his chin. "Let me run my tests and I'll know better what we're dealing with."
"What do I do in the meantime?"
Vlad smiled kindly. "I advise you to stay away from Daniel and his friends, who knows how deeply they've been corrupted by ghosts. It probably has something to do with that idiot Jack Fenton. He's always meddling with things he shouldn't be meddling with."
"When will you contact me?" Valerie asked worriedly, her mind already racing, trying to find a way to stay away from Danny, Tucker and Sam. She looked out the car window and saw Star standing on the steps of the school, talking to Paulina.
"You have nothing to fear," Vlad assured her. "Just stay away from Danny and his friends and I'll be contacting you as soon as I have the results of these tests."
"Thank you Mr. Masters," Valerie said then started to open the car door, but the driver beat her to it. Vlad waved at her and she looked at him worriedly then ran up the steps of the school toward Paulina and Star.
Vlad waited until the car was in motion again before picking up his cell phone and dialing Axion labs.
"Why were you in that limousine?" Paulina asked cattily as Valerie stopped beside Star who was looking at her questioningly.
"The limousine belongs to…an associate of my father's," Valerie lied then winced at the look Star was giving her. "And it's none of your business." Star only looked at her blankly.
"Whatever," Paulina said dismissively. Then turned back to Star. "So if you want to come to the party Friday night, you have to have a new dress. We'll go shopping after school." Star nodded her head and looked at Valerie again who was looking worriedly over Paulina's shoulder.
Dash was standing near by and she could see Danny, Sam and Tucker standing by their lockers. Valerie shot a quick look at Star then walked over to Dash.
"Hi Dash," she said sweetly. He smiled at her warily. "Do you think you can do me a favor today? Since your so big and strong?"
"Sure, Babe," Dash said, obviously buying Valerie's charming act.
Valerie smiled and fluttered her eyelashes. "Those losers, Fenton, Manson and Foley have been giving me grief lately. I was wondering if you could keep them away from me, just for today. I really need a break. Can you keep them away from me?"
"Want me to rough them up for you?" Dash asked almost too excitedly.
"No," Valerie laughed weakly. "But can you walk me to class?" Dash looked uncertain for a moment.
"Please?" Valerie begged as she made eyes at Dash.
"Okay," Dash said as he sighed deeply. "But I can't walk you to every class. People will think we're together or something."
Valerie laughed and shook her head. "Just the first class will be fine Dash, thanks." He gave her an irritated look then walked with her. She looked at Danny and his friends out of the corner of her eye, and didn't relax until she was sitting safe at her desk.
She took a deep breath and dug in her backpack for her notes. A cold chill went through her as she realized the notebook she needed was in her locker. She swallowed hard as she looked out the door from her desk.
Valerie wasn't a girl who normally ran from her fears, but Vlad said to keep away from Danny and his friends, and he wouldn't make such a statement without a good reason. She looked at the notebook she held in her hand and decided it would have to do, she couldn't take her chances.
Unfortunately, Sam was in her next class. The Goth girl sat next to Valerie and looked at her.
"Can I help you?" Valerie asked stiffly as she stared straight ahead, not wanting to make eye contact with the girl.
"This is more about me helping you," Sam answered.
"You helping me?" Valerie laughed. "I don't think so."
Sam took a deep breath. "I'm not going to play games Valerie," she began, Valerie was still refusing to meet her gaze. "I'm going to lay it all on the line, here and now."
"I don't want to talk to you about it," Valerie growled.
"Danny is a good guy, the best guy. "His accident wasn't his fault, but he's making the best of what he's been given, and it hasn't been easy. He sacrifices a lot to keep the residents of Amity Park safe and…."
"Oh no!" Valerie growled softly as she interrupted. "I'm the one who makes the sacrifices, to keep Amity Park safe from the likes of him and the other disgusting creatures his presence obviously draws. He's a menace and he's dangerous."
"He's not dangerous!" Sam hissed. "At least not to the people of Amity Park!"
Valerie finally looked at Sam. "I think your letting your massive crush on Fenton get in the way of your judgment," she told the Goth acidly. "I don't think you even see clearly where he's concerned and he's got you fooled. You and Foley have been completely corrupted by ghosts. I don't know what really happened to Danny, but I intend to find the ghost responsible and rescue Danny from its influence!"
"Are you really that stupid?" Sam asked in amazement. "Because I hear stupid coming from your mouth, but it's just really hard to believe."
"Mr. Master's told me not to talk to you," Valerie said as she turned her eyes away from Sam, and I would appreciate it if you would leave me alone.
Sam shook her head angrily. "Of course Vlad doesn't want you to talk to us! He doesn't want to risk losing his perfect pawn!"
"I'm not his pawn!" Valerie growled angrily.
"Ask him," Sam started. "Ask him about Plasmius. Ask him about his history with Jack and Maddie Fenton. Ask him about his accident Valerie. Ask him why he wants to help you? Do some research on him Val; he's not known as a humanitarian. He doesn't help anyone, he only helps himself."
"Go away!" Valerie growled.
"Don't trust him Val, he's using you. He's been after Danny's dad for a long time and he's been trying to destroy Danny and…"
"Shut up!" Valerie screamed as she slapped her hand on her desk. The entire class turned and looked at Valerie and Sam in shock.
"Girl's," the teacher said. "Do we have a problem here?"
"No," Sam said as she sat back in her desk.
"Everything's fine," Valerie said as she turned away from Sam.
Sam took several deep calming breaths as she opened the book she was supposed to be reading then looked at Valerie who was staring blankly at the ground, a look of worry on her face.
"Valerie," Sam said. The other girl refused to acknowledge her. "I'm warning you now. Don't trust Vlad. Danny is…we're just trying to protect you Val."
"I don't need protecting," Valerie shot back. "Now I would appreciate it if you would leave me alone. I don't want to hear anymore ghost corrupted spew from your mouth."
Sam glared at Valerie a minute then decided she wasn't going to waste any more of her breath on the stubborn girl, though she did have to get one last lick in. "When everything comes falling down around you Valerie, and you realize how nasty, bitter, wrong and idiotic you were, remember, you were given the opportunity to save face. You were shown mercy and you rejected it."
Valerie closed her eyes, took a deep calming breath and hoped that Sam's tirade was the worst she would have to deal with until Mr. Masters told her what happened to her suit, because she didn't know how much longer she could keep her composure.
The minute the bell rang, Valerie fled the class, not looking where she was going, she ran into Danny, who was looking for Sam to find out if she talked to Valerie. He put her hands on her shoulders to stabilizer her and she freaked out.
"Get your filthy hands off of me," Valerie cried as she pushed at Danny who let her go and watched her run down the hall.
"Sorry," Sam said. "I think I may have upset her more."
"Maybe we should have Jazz talk to her," Danny said thoughtfully.
Sam shook her head. "I don't think anyone can reach her. Her mind is made up."
Danny sighed heavily. "I need to get to class…" he told Sam almost helplessly.
"Don't worry," Sam said as she put her hand on Danny's arm. "We'll talk about this at lunch and figure something out."
"Okay," Danny reluctantly agreed as Sam nodded her head and they parted ways. He took a deep breath and made his way to class, debating on whether going to talk to Vlad about Valerie, would be wise.
"Daddy," Valerie said in bewilderment as she walked in the door and found her father already home from work. "What are you doing home? Are you okay?"
"I'm fine, Sweetie," Damon said happily. Valerie watched as he walked to the closet and began digging out suitcases.
"What are you doing?" she asked curiously.
Damon turned and smiled at his daughter. "I've been given a fantastic opportunity Val," he started. "We're going to Wisconsin. We leave tonight. Vlad Masters himself has requested that I design a security system for his home in Madison."
"Really?" Valerie asked as relief and happiness rushed through her.
"I didn't want to leave you," he said. "And Mr. Masters agreeed that it would be good to bring you along, and as a perk of the job he'd hire several tutors so you don't miss your education while we're gone.
"Wow," Valerie said as her mind began to race. She wondered what Vlad had found out. What were the results of the tests? She supposed she'd find out soon. He'd found something, otherwise they wouldn't be going to stay at his house, unless of course it was to protect her from Danny.
"I hope you're not upset," Damon continued as he returned to pulling suitcases from the closet.
"Of course not!" Valerie said. "I'm very happy that you're getting this opportunity!"
"And a wonderful opportunity it is!" Damon continued as Valerie leaned against the wall and relaxed. Vlad would not only protect her, he'd make everything right again, and then maybe they could save Danny…and his friends.
"This could put us back on our feet again, Val," Damon continued, and then we could leave this ghost invested town.
"That's awesome," Valerie said absently as her mind raced, unfortunatly Sam's words came back to haunt her, and she began to feel doubtful, and worried. She sighed hoping that Mr. Masters could answer all of her questions, and put those doubts to rest.
am so sorry that I haven't updated in so long. I am seriously
blocked. The reason you are getting this chapter now is because I
had most of it writen weeks ago, I just needed to tweak a few
things. Please bear with me, I'll hopefully be updating my other