Epilogue: Trial of Humanity; the Defense Rests

It was a cool, Wednesday afternoon and Sam, Tucker, and the ever-unresponsive Danny were sitting through a boring lecture on right angles in their Geometry class. Right angles; who really cared anyway? The only sounds were from the teacher blabbing on and on and the chalk scraping across the chalkboard; though occasionally there was a cough or sneeze or the sound of shuffling movements from the students.

The whole, boring, peaceful silence was shattered when the door slammed open and everyone looked around to see a young police officer standing in the threshold, biting his lip.

"Er, sorry to intrude madam," He muttered, trying to ignore the students stares, "But, eh, I need a one Daniel Fenton to come with me."

Danny, the only one of the class who had made no response at all to the entry, now slowly turned his head in reply to the sound of someone saying his full name. He did not, however, react when he saw it was an officer, he merely stood and walked slowly through the desks towards the man. Sam and Tucker automatically stood to follow, paused, and then went anyway. Danny, no matter how dead he seemed, was still their best friend.

The officer looked as though he was going to protest but when Sam grabbed Danny's hand (Danny gave no response, his fingers limp in her grasp) and glared at him, the man backed off and led them through the school and out into his cruiser.

"Where are we going?" Tucker asked, shutting the car door and buckling his seatbelt; he sat beside one window, Sam sat in the middle, and Danny starred blankly out the other window, "The station? Need more answers?"

"Um…no…" The police man seemed genuinely shaken about something, "I'm not…I'm not aloud to talk about it outside the containment area." And he pulled out of the school parking lot, driving down the street and pulling onto the highway.

The silence in the car was heavy, dreadfully so, and Sam longed for someone to speak but she didn't know what to say and so she kept her mouth shut, her hand still clutching Danny's. When the policeman pulled off the highway and started heading towards the dump, she felt Danny's usually unresponsive fingers tighten in her grasp. He knew where they were headed.

The police officer turned off the main road and started driving down a rather bumpy, recently made, dirt road. Before reaching the end, he pulled to a stop beside several other police cars and opened his door. But Danny and his two friends were faster and had already cleared the trees by the time the officer had locked his doors.

Danny choked, his eyes widening, shaking visibly.

Where the warehouse had been, the warehouse under which had been Ed's School, there was nothing but a huge, black crater in the earth. There was nothing left. Danny pulled away from Sam, running up to the barriers. The police officers tried to stop him but he barreled past them and ran to the edge. However, his moment was too much and he slipped over the edge and tumbled head over heels into the black ash all the way to bottom where he lay sprawled for a moment before scrambling onto his hands and knees and digging into the destroyed earth.

"No…!" Sam and Tucker could hear him cry, "No, no, no, no! Not Alex too! Not Alex! Not Alex! Why is this happening to me…!? What did I do to deserve this!?"

Sam realized what must have happened. If this was where Ed's school had been then surely Yulicfer had been watching the proceedings of his summons from somewhere he deemed safe. And when the summon circle had been destroyed by Amethyst and Danny and the energy had backfired at the evil genius…it had ruined everything around him as well.

And it was at that moment that everything came into horribly clear focus. This had been the last straw. Danny wasn't going to get better, he wasn't going to go back to the old Danny they'd all loved. He was gone. Completely.

Forever.

Forever Phantom?

Not likely.

Forever Fenton?

No. Fenton was dead too.

Then forever…what?