Hello, and welcome to my new Danny Phantom's fic! (And welcome all you gorgeous girls who are crazy about me!) Tucker, I hate to remind you this, but no girl is crazy ABOUT you… maybe one or two have been driven crazy BY you, but that's not the same thing. (Thanks for the support, dude… and that was sarcasm!) Really? Didn't notice. (What? But it was plain obvious!) I was sarcastic, Tucker. (Oh.)
(Ehem. Okay, let me do my job.) The paragraph is yours. (DISCLAIMER: Ramiro doesn't own Danny Phantom's characters, including myself, of course. He'll have some OC in this story; he owns them, but, if you like any of them, Ramiro will allow you to use them as long as you tell him first.)
Thanks, Tuck. One last thing; this story will contain some stuff that isn't exactly adequate for young readers, therefore the rating. (We'll have no vulgarity or stuff like that, but it's a little on the T rating side, so you guys are warned.)
Thanks again, Tucker, and now, on with the show!
A Danny Phantom story by Acosta Perez Jose Ramiro
- An Innocent Praying.
"Thanks God for me and my family having enough food, clothing, and a place to live. Please, bless Mommy, and Daddy, and my teachers and my friends. Oh, and Phantom, thanks a lot for protecting our city…"
"Freddy, cut it!" The eight year old dark haired and slightly tanned kid dressed on white pajamas, kneeled in front of his bed in a praying position, turned to see his mother, a slightly overweighed woman on his early thirties with a similar skin and hair color, looking at him from his bedroom's door.
"I just was praying, mom."
"I know, Freddy, but you can't pray to Phantom." The woman sighed and placed next to her kid, "He is very powerful, but is a ghost, not God, and you can't pray to anyone but Him."
"But God created him, right? And he takes cares of everyone in Amity Park; at least, he must be an angel." Freddy told his mother. The woman shook her head and motioned the kid on his bed.
"Even if that's right, no praying to him, okay?" The woman got a stern look, so Freddy sighed and nodded. His mom immediately got a kinder look, and kissed his cheek.
"Good night, sweetie."
"Good night, Mom." Freddy said with a smile, and, the moment his mother turned off the lights and exited the room, covered his head with the blanket and whispered, "If I'm not kneeled, then it's not praying, right? Okay… Thanks, Phantom."
As many other kids at Amity Park, Freddy Ortega was a big fan of Danny Phantom; the idea of having a real life superhero was just too cool for most youngsters. Freddy had several things with Danny's logo on it, and even some toys the local stores made with his image (taking full advantage of Phantom not being able to copyright it), and he also kept track of about everything related to his favorite hero, plus had a scrapbook filled up with tons of information about him, from photographs and newspaper articles to science magazines' articles (many of them written by local experts, Jack and Madeleine Fenton), even if the kid couldn't understand a lot of the information. If it had Phantom's image or name, Freddy had to do his best to add it to the scrapbook.
On the meantime, several blocks away from Freddy's home, a girl around his age was also getting ready to sleep. However, when she was about to put on her pajamas, she noticed a bright light coming from outside her window. Curiosity was stronger than fear, and the girl opened the window to get a better look; the moment she did it, one strong hand grabbed her while another one covered the girl's mouth, taking her out of the house. A few seconds later, the window was closed by another hand, and the light disappeared as well as the girl.
"Another child disappeared last night, abducted from her bedroom leaving no traces at all." The anchorman said the morning news' main note, "Young Anna Walters, age 8, according to her parents, entered her room around 9 o' clock last night, but, a few minutes later, when her mother went to check her, she found the girl was gone."
At the Fentons' house, everybody was at the kitchen's table, having breakfast and watching the news. Jack Fenton, as usual, came to a perfect explanation about the kid's disappearance, entirely doubtless and logical.
"She was abducted by a ghost!"
(AN: Well, at least, for him, it was a perfect explanation.)
Jazz rolled her eyes for the millionth time, as she usually did when her dad's brain made a connection of anything with ghosts, something that happened about twenty times a day (at least those Jazz could hear to count them), but for once she didn't dismiss that idea, since her mother and brother actually considered it, as Jazz realized thanks to the look, both concerned and thoughtful, they immediately got while looking at the picture of the lost girl.
Anna was the most recent victim of a series of kidnappings that started about a week ago, with one kid disappearing mysteriously every night, some of them even vanishing from their bedrooms. Living in the world's most haunted city, the theory of a ghostly kidnapper wasn't as crazy as it sounded.
"Maybe we should start doing night patrolling, Jack," Maddie told her husband while handling him a piece of toast (fudge covered, of course) without losing sight of the screen, "If there's really a ghost behind this, we need to be ready… and maybe suggest the Mayor to set a few ghost alarms at the Elementary School, as we did in Danny and Jazz's one."
"That's a wonderful idea, Maddie!" Jack exclaimed, "Let's do it right after breakfast… actually, let's get the Fenton RV and go to his office to suggest that directly!"
"Mom!" Jazz quickly objected; her parents convinced the school board to allow the installation of some ghost alarms since the place was a common place of spectral activity, detecting any ghost approaching at less than 100 yards from the school grounds. Luckily, Danny could avoid the alarms in his human form, but it was kind of hard for him to get in and out the school during emergencies.
"Yes, I think it's a good idea too." Danny commented, getting huge smiles from his parents and a shocked look from Jazz.
"Uh… we'll better go now, Danny; I have to be extra-early today at school to talk with one of the boys I'm tutoring." Jazz told her brother while yanking him from his arm. The youngsters and their parents said their "See you later" and "Have a nice day", and, once Jazz and Danny were at the garage, she grabbed him by the shoulders to get his full attention.
"Danny, are you nuts? How can you support that idea?" Jazz asked in amazement and a little anger, "I mean, this means more alarms around the city, and more ways Mom and Dad can track you down! What are you doing next; suggesting them to set an anti-ghost shield at your bedroom?"
"Jazz, cool down, please." Danny placed his hands on Jazz's shoulders to calm her down, and then looked around to be sure nobody could hear them, "I know this is kind of dangerous for me, but you saw the news, and this time I have to agree with Dad. Maybe there's a ghost kidnapper; I actually got the same idea a couple of days ago…" Danny paused, realizing how much he and his father could think alike at times, and, shook his head, sighing and looking down. "I had spent the last two nights patrolling to try finding any clue, but the most I had faced lately are The Box Ghost, who, obviously, isn't the main suspect, and a couple of ghost ravens, annoying and with pretty sharp beaks, yet too small to actually get a kid without causing a major scandal."
"I get your point, Danny, but still there must be another way to help the children." Jazz said in a more calmed tone yet getting a more concerned look, "And what if the kidnapper isn't a ghost? And, even if it is, setting alarms at the school might create a useless paranoia… and ghost hunters will become more aggressive."
"Tell me about it; Valerie found me last night, and obviously she also thinks a ghost is responsible, since all the time she kept asking if I had anything to do with the kidnappings… between shots, of course." Danny sighed; knowing Valerie, she would blame Phantom even for bad weather, so a serious matter could only make her even more eager to blast him in peaces. The idea of several ghost hunters, namely the Guys in White and some others, with a similar attitude and weaponry was just nightmarish.
"Well, then I think there's only one thing to do," Jazz rubbed her chin in thought while she and Danny got into her car, "After classes, we'll meet Sam and Tucker, so the four of us can check Tucker's files about your enemies, and then make a suspects' list based on their psychological profile and modus operandi… and, and I can't believe I'm saying this, later you can go to The Ghost Zone and make a direct investigation."
Danny thought about his sister's idea for a moment, and nodded in reply; visiting his enemies wasn't exactly safe, or sane, to say the least, but it was the best plan right now. Maybe he could even ask his ghostly allies, namely Dora, Wulf and Frostbite, for some information (of course, he would need Tucker's help to translate Wulf's Esperanto to English) in case any of them had seen anything; Clockwork was also a good option, but Danny knew he couldn't reveal too much information because of his duties as Time Keeper, so decided to keep him as a last resource.
At that moment, a blue icy mist appeared from Danny's mouth. Jazz looked at his expression, and realized what was happening.
"Try to make this a fast fight; I'm sick of covering you with Lancer," Jazz said in a severe tone, but switched immediately to a kinder and slightly concerned one, "And please, be careful, okay?" Danny and Jazz shared a little smile, and then he got a stern expression.
Once the bright light circles changed Danny into his Phantom persona, the boy grabbed a Fenton Thermos from his backpack, strapped it at his back, and then turned invisible and phased out of the car, flying at a good height to get a better view of the area. He finally spotted the reason his ghost sense got active; one moving at a pretty high speed down the street.
"Hey, Johnny, how about we play chicken with some of these stupid morning drivers?" The ghost girl asked her boyfriend, holding to him by his dirty old jacket, both of them riding a motorcycle with the number 13 at the sides.
"Sure, Kitty; I wonder how many of them will crash trying to avoid us!"
"And I wonder about the last time you washed that jacket!" Johnny and Kitty looked up and behind them, finding Danny just a few feet over them, "Newsflash, Johnny! There's one thing called 'soap'; use it once in a while."
"And can't you stay out of our way once in a while?" Kitty snapped at the halfa while Johnny growled and looked down next to his bike.
"Shadow, get him!"
Johnny's shadow immediately changed into its monstrous self, and charged against Danny, trying to slash him with its claws. Danny avoided the attack, and blasted the dark creature that, as usual, recovered in a moment and started chasing Danny, gaining more and more height and speed.
Danny gave a fast look over him; the day was partially clouded, so he couldn't count on the sun to bright enough to get rid of Shadow, so Danny decided to improvise his own light. Danny placed himself over the creature, and formed a large ice shield (thanks to his newly developed freezing powers) in front of him; Shadow got an evil grin, knowing that the shield wasn't enough protection against its claws.
"Lights On!" Danny shot a blast through the ice that acted as a magnifying glass and created a powerful blinding light; Shadow received the full impact, and, shrieking, disappeared in pain. Danny knew it would be back eventually, but that would take at least a few days, and Johnny would be almost totally powerless without Shadow; Danny got rid of the shield and dived at high speed, hoping to catch the ghostly couple before they could cause an accident.
"Johnny, he is right behind us!" Kitty told her boyfriend, half angry-half scared; Johnny was worried as well, knowing that in a direct battle Danny could defeat them both without problems, and accelerated. Danny sprinted, and got ready to blast them, when an idea popped in his mind; instead of attacking, Danny grabbed Kitty by her shoulders, and flew away from Johnny, who got a surprised and furious expression at his enemy touching his girlfriend.
"Hey, let me go, you fool!" Kitty tried to escape, but Danny was stronger; after a few seconds of struggling, Danny talked to her face to face.
"Listen, Kitty, if you cooperate, I promise I won't hurt you or Johnny, and just get you two in the thermos without a fight." Danny said in his best severe tone, making her to stop struggling and listen carefully, "I need certain information; do you know anything about a ghost who had been kidnapping children recently?"
"What do you mean? I know nothing about that!" Kitty snapped at Danny, "Do you think I care about a bunch of ´?)& brats anyway? As long as I can be with Johnny, the rest of the world can pretty much go to &!º¿¡/´ç, you idiot!"
Danny wide opened his eyes, surprised at Kitty's language; compared to that, the lousiest words he heard at times in the dressing rooms after P.E. class were Shakespearian works! Danny frowned at the ghost after a few seconds, upset about her lack of interest or sympathy for the kids; of course, he realized she cared about nothing but her and Johnny, so she wasn't a very reliable source of information, but that also eliminated them from the suspects' list.
"Hey, you $"(&)\º¿, get your lousy hands away from my girl!"
"You two met at the same English class, right?" Danny said to both ghosts when hearing Johnny and his motorcycle, flying against him to save Kitty. Danny decided he had enough of them, so threw Kitty against Johnny, who caught her at mid-air, and then moved aside to avoid getting hit by the vehicle. As the couple dashed away from him, Danny grabbed his thermo, and aimed at them to capture the ghosts before they were too far.
"OUCH!" Danny fell several feet down thanks to a well placed ecto-blast at his back, courtesy of Amity's most dangerous ghost hunter.
"I got you, kidnapper!" Valerie growled while shooting a series of blasts at both Danny and the couple. Danny, by mere instinct, formed a shield around him for protection, saving himself from another blast, while Johnny maneuvered his vehicle to avoid Valerie's attacks, but one side of his bike got slightly damaged because of a narrowly-avoided one.
"Hey, nobody messes with my motorcycle!" Johnny snapped at Valerie, and forgetting any caution, dashed against her; Kitty grinned evilly, enjoying the idea of playing chicken with the huntress and her sled.
Valerie, of course, accepted the challenge. The huntress and the ghosts headed against each other, and, oddly enough, Danny noticed Val wasn't shooting at them. He was about to try helping her, when Valerie executed her plan, the sled just a few feet away from the bike; the huntress jumped from her sled, making it to pass right under the motorcycle, and then gave both ghosts a powerful flying kick, taking them down from their vehicle, and, since none of them was particularly strong, and the kick surprised them (so they couldn't turn intangible on time) they got stunned; Danny, to say the least, was incredibly impressed by the girl's skill. Valerie's sled, as it was programmed, caught her on mid air, and the huntress turned to shoot at the motorcycle.
"MY MOTORCYCLE! YOU ?'¿¡&$Ç!"
"Remember what I said about soap, Johnny?" Danny smirked at the couple, aiming at them with his thermos, "Forget about the jacket, and use it in your mouth."
"AAAAARGGGGH…" Both Johnny and Kitty got sucked inside the thermos, and then Danny turned at Valerie, who was pretty stunned at the vocabulary Johnny used with her.
"I don't know what's worse… what he said to me, or the fact I understood it." Valerie shook her head, and then aimed at Danny, "Okay, ghost, enough playing! You're going to tell me where those kids are, or I'm giving you the worst beating of your after-life!"
"Believe it or not, Val, I'm not the cause of everything wrong in the world." Danny sighed yet prepared to dash away the moment she decided to let her weapons do the talking.
"Don't call me Val!" The huntress roared, and started shooting at him. Danny dived to avoid the attack, and dashed away with her in hot pursuit.
"Well, how I'm supposed to call you then?" Danny snapped back while accelerating, "That's your name, and as much as you like hunting me, I'm not calling you like that ghost just did a moment ago!"
"Why, thank you for being so considerate!" Valerie growled, trying to get a good shot, "Then, call me by my full name, and, now that we are talking, why don't you reveal what you did with the children?"
"That cowl doesn't allow you to hear me, or you just were born stubborn?" Danny replied after avoiding a particularly close blast, "I told you, I'm not a kidnapper! Think about it; the only thing you can accuse me is of property damage, and, as I always tell you, THAT'S BY ACCIDENT!"
"You tried to kidnap the Mayor once!"
"He was overshadowed!"
Danny couldn't help but sigh in relief when looking down and finding out he was right over Casper High. Obviously, now the problem was getting inside the school without activating the alarms, but the solution came by itself.
"Hey, Valerie, time out!" Danny made the classic signal with his hands that, luckily, really worked at making her to stop shooting, and then he pointed at the school's clock tower, "Speaking about time, you are running out of it."
Valerie noticed that she was just one minute from getting late to classes, and groaned, upset at Phantom realizing she had a limited time to hunt him.
"Saved by the stupid proverbial bell," Valerie talked to herself, and then growled at Danny, "Don't think this is over, ghost! If I find out that you or any of your ghostly colleagues is behind this, I'll become seriously furious with all of you!"
Valerie dashed away from Danny, heading to some bushes behind the school (her favorite switching outfit's spot), while Danny waited for a few seconds and then pretended to fly away from the school. Once he was as a certain distance, he descended, and, hiding behind a car, changed back to normal; Danny then ran at fast as possible to try being on time.
"If she was just furious now, I really don't want to see her SERIOUSLY furious." Danny said to himself while running. Now he was more determined to find out about the kidnapper and save the children; he was worried enough about their security and welfare, and now he also had to add worrying about his own.
No matter how dangerous, he would go to The Ghost Zone after school.