A/N: This is something that I've been wanting to write for a while, but was too lazy to sit down and think about. I got a lot of good ideas for this fic from my little sister Tatiana. I debated for a while about which category to put this in, but I definitely knew that I wanted it to be a surprise what the second Universe would be; this is the result. Hopefully the small hints that I gave won't have given it away already...
It may have character death. It depends on how mean I want to be to Danny. Most likely there will be hints of typical pairings, but it won't be a romance centered fic, for the most part.
Edit July 1, 2007: I fixed some stuff, mainly changing the RV into the Spector Speeder like it should be... and other little grammar and spelling details. Nothing major to the plot though, don't worry.
Edit November 12, 2007: Fixed a few more things. I've rearranged the excerpts with the evil guys so that it'll make a bit more sense later on. Sorry for any confusion.
Of Ghosts and Wizards
A foreboding figure with red, snake-like eyes, sat enthroned at the head of the room, surrounded by a mass of his followers, all with strange, draping black garments and white masks. One of his followers was speaking to him, in lowered tones so the rest would not hear; when the report was finished, the figure developed a twisted grin on his face as he hissed in a language that none in the room could understand, "It ssseems that the sssecond prophecy hasss already been ssset into motion."
15-year-old Daniel Fenton was bored.
There was really no better way to put it. School was over for the year (not that he was complaining– he never wanted to go through 9th grade again), ghost activity was at an all time low (in fact, it had been a good two weeks since his last fight), and his parents had taken off for another convention leaving Jazz in charge of the house– and Danny. Said older sibling was currently at the library doing research, and wouldn't be back home until later that evening, or so the neatly printed note sitting on the kitchen table had said. Danny was, of course, hanging out with Sam and Tucker at Sam's house, watching movies.
The one thing that bothered him (other than his boredom) was the fact the ghosts had been so... well, un-bothersome of late. They had been constantly causing mayhem and annoyances ever since the creation of the ghost portal, so why suddenly stop now? Surely he hadn't actually caught them all enough times that they just decided to give up? Not likely; Danny couldn't help but feel apprehensive about the whole situation... or lack thereof.
This, however, didn't keep him from being bored.
He really shouldn't complain. He should just sit back, relax, keep quiet, and try not to think too hard. He was probably stressing over nothing. Lack of ghost interference was a good thing. It suddenly occurred to Danny that perhaps he'd been fighting ghosts so long that he simply didn't know what to do with himself when he wasn't fighting. He inwardly sighed at the thought, wondering if he would ever be normal.
But then, even normal people get bored, don't they?
"I'm bored." Danny stated simply.
Sam glanced at him. "Well, maybe if you watched the movie instead of fidgeting and brooding, you wouldn't be."
Danny blinked. He hadn't realized he was fidgeting. Or that it was so obvious that he was worried about something.
"But we've seen this movie 10 times already," Tucker said, saving Danny from having to reply.
"It's not my fault there haven't been any decent new movies lately." She said a bit defensively, although she didn't really care. She was getting tired of this movie too. You can only watch a movie so many times before it gets old.
Sam stopped the movie and turned to face the other two implying that she was up for suggestions for other things to do. "What do you guys want to do then?"
Tucker just shrugged and pulled out his PDA, and Danny was staring off into space again. Sam just looked disgustedly between the two of them, finally poking Danny who was sitting nearest her.
"Ow!" he protested loudly, rubbing his arm. "What was that for?"
"That was for ignoring me." Sam replied. She eyed her friend for a moment as his face slipped from annoyed to pensive within only a few moments. "What's bothering you? You've been like this for the past few days." She questioned. Danny sighed.
"Haven't you noticed that there hasn't been a lot of ghost activity lately?" He started slowly, gaging their reactions. "Not one single attack for, oh, about two weeks?"
"You're right, I did notice that... but I just chalked it up as being good luck." Sam said.
Tucker was listening now too. "Yeah, not even the Box Ghost has been haunting lately," he said, "You don't think they're up to something, do you?"
"It wouldn't be the first time." Sam replied.
Danny nodded his head in agreement. "I keep trying to tell myself not to worry about it, and to not be paranoid, but it's been way too quiet," he said as he shifted restlessly in his chair, "I just have a bad feeling about it."
Sam and Tucker glanced at each other; they were worried now too.
Danny was pacing now. "And it's worse than if they just attacked– at least then I could be doing something– fighting them! Instead I'm sitting here stressing myself out; hell, that's probably what they want!" he exclaimed, frustrated, as he flung his arms up in the air for emphasis.
"What are we going to do about this?" Tucker thought aloud.
"There's nothing that we really can do..." Sam said.
Danny stopped pacing and crossed his arms, facing them. "Maybe we could... go and investigate," He said, "You know, take the Spector Speeder and see if we can find anything suspicious or odd... at least, more odd than usual."
Sam looked skeptical as she said, "I don't know, Danny... it might be more trouble than it's worth. You could be caught by Walker again, or any of the other murderous ghosts that have been after you. And I'm sure that they won't fall for the same trick twice– I wouldn't be surprised if Walker's prison was armed with ghost and real world things to keep the prisoners from escaping. Not to mention the fact that–"
"Alright! Alright, I hear you, and I get it." Danny interrupted her tiredly.
"Aw, relax, Sam," Tucker piped up, "With us there to protect him, Danny's got nothing to worry about!"
Sam simply gave Tucker a look that clearly said, 'you had better be joking'. The really sad part was that she was fairly sure that he wasn't.
Meanwhile, Danny sighed again, realizing that it might indeed not be the smartest thing to jump into the home of all the ghosts he had ever fought. But he couldn't just sit around and do nothing! It'd drive him mad!
"Look, I know it's probably not the best idea, but I just can't stand sitting around and doing nothing. I'm not asking you guys to come, but could you at least hang around the house and let me know when Jazz gets home?" He said, determined.
They both just looked at him for a second before Sam said angrily, "Don't be stupid! Of course we're coming with you!"
"Yeah!" Tucker gave his ever insightful two-cents.
Danny smiled and went ghost, grabbing the two of them and flying them over the his house, wondering all the while how he was lucky enough to get two friends as great as Sam and Tucker.
Once there, they headed down to the basement, and prepared the Spector Speeder for their trip. After arguing for a while over what they should bring and what they shouldn't (they eventually settled on just the Spector Speeder itself, being a real world item in and of itself, and also equipped with ghost shields, weapons, and communicators. It was really all they needed; anything additional would be frivolous. They weren't hunting ghosts, after all, just... investigating them. Ah, but back to the plot), they made their way cautiously but determinedly through the ghost portal.
Danny was in ghost form, floating leisurely around with Sam and Tucker trailing along behind him in the Spector Speeder. Around him swirled a seemingly endless void of green and inky black, brimming with random objects and a plethora of doors, of all shapes and sizes, and even colors, though they maintained an emerald glow. And, though this was slightly more amusing than watching a movie for the tenth time, he found the beginning of boredom settling in once again.
After who-knew-how-many hours of aimlessly wandering around, arbitrarily opening doors and then immediately slamming them shut, Danny began to see just how half-baked his plan was. The ghost zone was, unarguably, huge, and he hadn't really had any idea of where to even start looking; any place that might have information (such as the ghost zone prison, or one of the other 'homes' of his enemies) were too dangerous to bother with.
And so he still hadn't found anything that even hinted at why all the ghosts have been so quiet lately. Even the ghost zone itself seemed empty, the lack of spectral activity leaving an eerie silence. As if the place wasn't creepy enough already, Danny thought.
Suddenly, his headset crackled to life, and Tucker's voice came through the speakers. "Well, even if we don't find any ghosts having secret meetings while they plot the end of the world, at least we'll have a better map for next time," He said as he monitored his PDA and the instruments on the Speeder. (They had decided to try and make a map of the ghost zone while they were there, to prevent from getting (too) lost, and so they'd have a resource for further explorations.)
Danny saw Sam shake her head through the windshield as she said, "I don't think we're going to find anything, Danny. Maybe we should head back."
"Yeah, it's getting pretty late, too. Jazz will be home soon, since the library closes at seven." Tucker added.
Danny blinked. He had been about to agree with Sam, but instead he said, "It can't be that late, Tuck; we haven't been in here long enough for Jazz to be home already."
Sam nodded her agreement with Danny, and said, "We started this little adventure at around noon, and we've only been in here for a couple of hours– three, at the most. What time is it?"
Tucker held his hands up defensively, saying, "Hey, I'm just telling you what I see– the clock on my watch, and incidentally, my PDA and the Speeder, is 6:30."
"What?!" Both Danny and Sam exclaimed.
"Six hours?" Danny said incredulously, "It sure didn't feel like that long..."
Tucker gave protest as Sam yanked his wrist towards her to look at his watch. A glare from the goth silenced him.
"Well, no wonder your watch is fast!" Sam said with exasperation, "It looks like it's running on double time." She then pointed at the second hand on his watch; it was moving abnormally fast, completing it's usual 60 second route in about 25 seconds.
"That still doesn't explain my PDA and the Speeder's clock." He replied perplexedly.
"Do you think it's because we're in the ghost zone?" Sam speculated.
Danny sighed. "Anything is possible, I think. Although, I can't remember our watches ever going fast before while we were in here."
"Well, we've never really been in here at a time when we weren't occupied trying to fight or escape," Sam pointed out, "Maybe we just never noticed."
"Could be," the halfa replied thoughtfully, "Either way, I think you're right about not finding anything... let me just check one more door, and then we'll head back."
After a quick glance around, Danny swooshed over to a door that caught his eye; it seemed bigger than a many of the others he had seen, and rather than the usual nondescript lumber, this one seemed to be made of stone. It was intricately carved with strange symbols, and the word 'runes' came to Danny's mind, though he had no idea why he thought that.
Despite the ominous feel that it emitted, the door had no locks, or 'keep away' signs– just a large, vertical bar handle that fit comfortably under Danny's hands as he grasped it. Steeling himself, he gave a hearty pull.
Danny gasped as several things happened at once. Firstly, the door did not move a bit. Secondly, he felt a tingling sensation all over his entire body, as if he were being inspected by an invisible force. Lastly, the door now had several locks down the front that seemed to have appeared out of nowhere.
He immediately released the handle and zoomed back several yards, nearly ramming into the RV as he did so.
"Whoa, Danny, are you okay? What happened?" Sam asked concernedly.
Danny, who was still in a bit of shock, just said, "B-but, didn't you see that!? A second ago, that door didn't have a thing on it, and now it's got, like, a million locks!"
Both Sam and Tucker were giving him strange looks, and finally Sam said, "The door looks the same to me, Danny..."
"I don't see any locks, dude." Tucker added, sounding worried for Danny's sanity.
Danny just looked at them. And then at the door, and then back to them again. Forcing himself to relax a bit, Danny floated cautiously back over to the door. "Maybe only ghosts can see them, or something," he said, though he didn't sound too sure of himself.
Tucker and Sam latched onto the idea, neither of them wanting to think that perhaps their friend had lost a few of his ghostly marbles.
"That could definitely be it," Tucker quickly agreed.
"And I bet there was lots of other things that you saw and we didn't, but they were never pointed out so we didn't notice," Sam added reassuringly.
Now back in front of the door and feeling better knowing that his friends didn't think he was crazy, Danny took a closer look at the locks on the door.
He was surprised to find that all of them could be easily undone. None of them required a key, or a combination. They were all just a matter of sliding-this-to-the-left, or turning-this-knob-to-the-right. In a few moments, Danny had them all unlocked.
While he was doing this, Tucker and Sam watched him. Of course, to them it just looked like he was a mime pretending to undo locks and bolts, but they just glanced at each other and didn't say anything.
Warily, Danny grabbed the handle again, took a deep breath, and pulled.
There was a great gust of stale air that blew out as the door swung heavily open. Through his headset, he could hear a gasp from Sam and an "Oh man..." from Tucker as they saw what was inside.
It was possibly the most gruesome thing Danny had ever seen in the ghost zone... or in his life in general.
The room was rather large– about the size of a small sports stadium. The walls and floor were a plain, gray stone; most of the space was taken up by stadium style benches that resembled large steps that started where Danny stood in the door way and ended down on what would be the ground level. They were continuous and wrapped all the way around the large, oval space.
At the center of the room, on a slightly raised dias in the ground level, facing him, was an oddly inauspicious stone archway. A frail and tattered black veil hung from the structure, fluttering lazily and forbiddingly as if a soft breeze was blowing, even though the air in the room was deathly still.
That was not what made Danny slightly nauseous, however. Nor was it what made him feel weak, and caused him to lean against the cold, stone doorjamb for support. No, it was the carpeting of human corpses that littered the steps and floor of the room. There must have been hundreds of dead bodies, all in varying but late stages of decay. Most of them were yellowing skeletons, their bones lain out, morbidly piled one upon the other, nonexistent eyes staring out of lifeless sockets. Some, however, still had bits of rotting tissue and flesh hanging of the bones, filling the room with a stale, tainted stench.
After only a few seconds of looking, Danny, clenching his jaw and swallowing, turned away and closed his eyes, trying to get himself under control. He felt sick... really sick. Of all the ghosts they had fought, however evil and sinister the plans had been, there had never been any real damage done. Nobody had ever died, or even gotten seriously injured. Everything had always worked out in the end. These people, however, whoever they were, did not get the happy ending that Danny realized he'd always taken for granted.
Sam sounded sick as she said, "W-what do you think could have done this?"
Danny had an overwhelming urge to say, 'It was the veil... the veil did it... It's all the veil's fault...' But instead he just shook his head and said simply, "I don't think I want to know." He was about to float up and shut the door, when he heard a sharp canine bark from inside the room.
Whipping his head around and taking a defensive stance, Danny saw a large, almost bear-like dog sitting on an unoccupied patch of stone a few meters away from him. It had a happy grin on it's face and it's tail was wagging enthusiastically.
For an instant, Danny entertained the thought that it had been the dog that had cause all the carnage in front of him, but somehow he knew that wasn't the case. Either way...
"Oh no," He said, shaking his head. "I've had enough of ghost dogs to last me the rest of my life," He continued, hoping the dog would take the hint and go away.
The dog barked again and then whined, it's tail wagging furiously. Danny tensed as it took a few tentative steps toward him, but then it just sat down again and stared at him with big, blue, puppy-dog eyes.
Danny rolled his eyes and floated carefully over to the dog, reaching out cautiously to scratch the dog behind it's ears. It panted happily in response, licking his palm and looking up at him pleadingly. Suddenly, Danny noticed something that he hadn't before.
Meanwhile, Sam and Tucker were watching, too sickened to be curious about the dog, when Danny exclaimed, "Sam, Tucker, I don't think this dog is dead!"
"Huh? What are you talking about, Danny, all ghosts are dead." Tucker said, confused.
"But that's just what I'm saying," Danny said, his eyes wide, "I don't think this is a ghost at all."
Sam gasped as she said, "You're right! Look, it doesn't have that green glow that all the ghosts always have,"
"He's warm, too," Danny added. "And I can feel a pulse."
The dog, seemingly happy that his three new humans weren't totally stupid, gave a bark of joy and sat patiently waiting for the next move to be made.
"So... what do we do now?" Tucker asked.
"Well, we take it with us, of course!" Sam said passionately, "We can't just leave the poor defenseless creature here to fend for itself!"
Danny would have smiled if he weren't standing in a pile of someone's bones. He turned back to the dog and said, "Well, I suppose you'd like to come with us then?"
The dog gave an affirmative bark and appeared to nod it's head. Danny blinked at that but ignored it for now. He grabbed the dog around the middle and flew it out to the Spector Speeder. Sam had already opened the door on her side, and when he handed the dog to her, she took it eagerly and it settled happily across her lap. As she petted it, she cooed on about how it what a 'handsome' and 'intelligent' dog it was. Both Danny and Tucker rolled their eyes.
Floating back over to the door, Danny took one last glance at the fluttering veil before swinging the door shut again. He breathed a sigh of relief, and turned away to head back home with Sam, Tucker, and their new canine companion.
The dark-hooded figure stood in front of a mansion in Wisconsin. He smirked as he easily called upon a dark power and blasted the front doors open, before continuing into the richly furnished home. Stepping through the ruins, he made his way into the lower levels of the house, finally reaching an odd metal place, filled with all sorts of contraptions and liquids, which reminded him vaguely of a potions lab. In the middle of the room hovered an irate ghost. Red eyes like his own looked ready to rip his head off, or something to that affect, while his mouth was twisted into a snarl.
Before a threat could be uttered, or a blow thrown, however, the robed figure spoke, his snake-like voice cutting through the air and obviously catching the angered ghost's attention.
"I have a proposssal for you, Plasssmiusssss..."
A/N: Please review– I'd love to hear what you think!
'Til chapter 2!