Hello fellow Danny Phantom Fans:) This is my debut fanfiction, and I'd love to get to know all the wonderful people in this fandom. Comments and criticism is very welcome. Please do not hesistate to correct me if I make any canon-based error. I am relatively new to this fandom and I would like to get the facts as accurate as possible. Thank you for reading, and please leave a review. I'd love to hear your opinion:)

24/03/07 Update: I know that the first few chapters aren't the best, but please stick with me. It gets significantly better, I promise. Also, I have received several reviews regarding my supposed misspelling of certain words. I would just like to point out that I'm English, and I therefore spell like an English person. My chapters, on the rare occasion that they are not beta read, are at the very least spellchecked. Please bear with me, since English spellcheck obviously picks up on different things due to the spelling differences.

Disclaimer: I do not own Danny Phantom.


Chapter 1

It was two in the morning. The pale sliver of moon visible in the starless night sky cast a faint, eerie glow on the grounds outside Rutherford Laboratories, masking the pair of ghost hunters lurking in the shadows. The crescent moon was barely discernible in the darkness, almost completely obscured behind hazy clouds. Valerie Gray smirked. There was good cloud cover. She and her partner would no doubt pull off another successful capture. With luck the guards wouldn't even notice their intrusion until they were well out of the establishment.

Rutherford Laboratories were mostly deserted, apart from a few incompetent looking guards that made up the outer defense. Despite the seemingly lax security procedures on the outside of the lab, Valerie knew if she were to put one foot inside the seemingly ill protected building, the most technologically advanced detainment devices would be on her in a second. Not to mention the SWAT team that would subdue her in a matter of minutes.

As talented as Valerie was, she was just one girl with a jet sled. She wasn't stupid enough to take on another group of highly trained professionals, especially if she would be outnumbered twenty to one. She could easily prove she was with the CIA, but that would raise unnecessary issues.

In order for the operation to remain covert, it was imperative the target was stopped before he entered the building.

Valerie decided it was time to check up on her partner. If either of them were discovered at this early stage of the operation, it would be the end of their mission.

"Phantom, this is Red Hunter. Do you copy?"

No reply. The idiot probably forgot to charge his communicator. Again.

Valerie Gray rolled her eyes. It was immature, but she didn't care. It didn't even matter that Phantom wasn't around for her to voice her disapproval. Just because he was "gifted" like Mister Masters didn't give him the luxury of goofing off on field missions.

At least one of them had to act professional. Redialing Phantom's identification code on the communication device, she attempted once again to contact her partner.

"Phantom? Repeat, do you copy?"

Again there was no reply.

Had the situation not called for absolute stealth, Valerie Gray would have screamed in frustration. This was not the first time she was unable to contact her reluctant partner on a mission. The Red Hunter was trained to perform her assignments with accuracy and precision. A task made almost impossible by his refusal to follow procedure. That boy was a disaster waiting to happen.

Before Agent Phantom came along she was Dalv Enterprise's golden girl, her unrivaled aptitude for ghost hunting despite her youth put her in a league of her own. Until the recent recruitment of Vlad Master's apprentice, Phantom. Their benefactor insisted on them pairing them on missions Valerie could handle on her own, adamant Phantom needed to learn the ropes of real life field missions.

Valerie Gray didn't do teams. Teams were for those too incompetent to accomplish anything themselves. Valerie was far from incompetent. Vlad Masters had offered her partners in the past and she had always turned him down. The Red Hunter worked alone. She hated having to share the recognition her recent captures with a cocky little pretty boy.

Did he not understand that he was being employed by a covert syndicate? His white hair, which he insisted was natural although it was obviously bleached to attract attention, completely negated the purpose of a codename, in addition to his refusal to hide his face on missions. Even though he could turn himself invisible, all he needed was one slip up and his identity would be revealed to the world. His was far too easy to identify for Valerie's liking, not to mention annoying.

Perhaps, she grudgingly admitted to herself, part of the reason that she despised him was because he had managed to upstage her all their missions together so far. The Red Hunter prided herself on her stealth and efficiency. It stung at her ego that a new recruit, a boy, had managed to beat her to capturing a target twice now.

Her train of thought was interrupted by the cackle of white noise on her communicator.

"Huh? Yeah, Red. I'm in position." Her partner replied. "Sorry about that. Dog troubles. I swear they could see me. They kept barking like crazy."

"The invisible Phantom, Dalv Enterprise's ghost hunting prodigy, got caught by a couple of yapping mutts."

"Ha ha, funny. I've decommissioned the security cameras. All clear."

"And by decommissioned you mean blew up, right? Tech stuff is beyond you. There's no way a pretty boy airhead like you actually managed to disable their security cameras."

Danny scowled, but didn't bother with a reply, used to Valerie's taunting jibes. Sometimes the girl was too competitive for her own good. Ever since Danny joined her on missions, she considered it her right as their benefactor's original protégée to instigate her one-sided rivalry. She was a good friend; in fact the only friend Danny had who was around his age. But her efforts to prove her worth to Vlad Masters were usually overzealous.

'When will she realise that I don't think I'm better than her?' Danny grumbled to himself, crouching down into a comfortable position to begin the stakeout.

Sometimes he couldn't believe Valerie hadn't yet figured out that her good friend Danny Fenton and her rival Phantom were the same person. He supposed it was because Valerie's impression of him hadn't really changed since he stopped attending Casper High three years ago, still overlooking his human half as weak, pathetic Danny Fenton who barely managed to pass PE.

He found it immensely frustrating, not to mention annoying, that Red Hunter refused to see eye to eye with Phantom, writing him off as an arrogant showoff although the two had met no more than three times. It was hardly exactly his fault that his fighting style was flashy and demonstrative. He had only started combat training three years ago, when he had first gained his powers. It was the only way he knew how to fight. Red Hunter's ecto-weapons were hardly low key either.

Danny sighed. Then again, perhaps he was expecting too much of Valerie to be able figure out the true identity of Phantom on her own. The very first time he had gone ghost three years ago, he had hardly recognised himself.

Staring down at his white gloved hands, black hazmat stealth suit and white combat boots, he sometimes still had trouble believing how much he had changed since the accident three years ago.

His parents, ghost hunters and researchers, were working on a ghost portal, designed to construct a bridge between the human and ghost worlds, in order to prove that the supernatural truly existed. Not knowing their inquisitive son was inside the machine, they had activated it. An unexpected power surge caused Danny to receive a huge ectoplasmic shock, altering his genetic makeup and turning him half ghost. The rampant energy also resulted in a fully fledged explosion that destroyed his parents' lab.

The sheer amount of ectoplasmic energy should have killed him, especially since he was at the very heart of the explosion. Even the ectoplasmic fallout from the explosion would have been enough to cause fatal illness. Vlad's hypothesis was that when the Fenton Portal was activated, Danny half entered the ghost zone, and therefore could not completely die, as according to Vlad, humans could not be harmed in the ghost zone.

The immense explosion had destroyed not only his parents' laboratory, but also the rest of Danny's home, as well as severely damaging many other houses in their neighbourhood. His parents were killed instantly, and due to their proximity to the explosion, their bodies were completely vaporized. The clean up crew had refused to let Danny see the remains of his sister, Jazz.

They were astonished to find a boy, understandably in shock from the trauma he had just witnessed, but nevertheless still in one piece, sitting in the middle of the wreckage when they arrived.

The next fortnight was a blur to Danny's memory, but he remembered Vlad introducing himself as an old college friend of his parents the day after the accident, and offering for Danny to come and live with him as his legal guardian. He failed to mention that he was a billionaire.

He remembered the nightmares and vivid flashbacks that haunted him, tormenting him during his dormant hours as he relived in his memories the sheer excruciating pain of the ectoplasmic energy searing endlessly through his body, wrenching his soul out of shape as he awoke from his restless slumber, screaming.

Only to remember that he had nothing to fall back on. His family was gone forever.

He remembered phasing right through the bed in his new room after a particularly feverish nightmare about the accident, and landing in his guardian's office a few floors down while Vlad was in the middle of a telephone conference.

They had both looked up to find half of Danny's duvet hanging from the ceiling, trapped between the two floors. Danny was stunned by the events that had just taken place, unable to believe that he had just fallen through the floor.

To Danny's astonishment, Vlad suddenly levitated up towards his duvet, and dislodged it with an effortless tug. He claimed that he and Danny were alike, both half ghost hybrids, humans with powers of the supernatural. He offered to train Danny as his apprentice, to help him gain control of his extraordinary gifts.

After getting over his initial fear and disbelief, Danny eventually accepted. He was eager to use Vlad's training as a diversion to escape the loss of his family, to restore purpose to his life. Over time, the training had helped him ease the pain and forget. Slightly over six months ago, when Danny had finally gained full control of all his powers, Vlad had decided to reveal to Danny that he was a senior intelligence coordinator and for the American Secret Service. In his youth he had used his abilities to serve the CIA, and offered Danny a career as a ghost hunter in his division, a syndicate masked by the front of Dalv Enterprises, a successful and influential American company owned by himself.

The half ghost quickly agreed, eager to prove his worth to his benefactor.

And now, here he was, hiding beneath the undergrowth outside one of the world's most prominent laboratories, crouched in a combat position waiting to ambush a supernatural being from another dimension.

It was times like this that the accident seemed a lifetime away.

He shuddered involuntarily as a pale blue mist escaped from his mouth, his ghost sense forewarning him that their target was close by.

"Red Hunter, the target known as Technus is approaching."

"No he's-- " Beep beep. "Oh. Right."

Danny smirked. Valerie was still unconvinced that his ghost sense was superior to her equipment. Hopefully she would stop underestimating him soon.

He clenched his fists as twin blasts began charging at his fingertips, leaping to his feet as he prepared to join his partner in the night air.