This is the continuation of one of my plot bunnies, 'The Door,' shown in 'One Shots and Plot Bunnies,' a set of Danny Phantom one shots and plot bunnies.
Plasmius flew through the Ghost Zone with the Infi-Map, which he'd stolen again, in search for a source of greater power for himself. The map led him to the far reaches of the Ghost Zone that were almost never frequented. No other real landmarks were in sight, though there were random floating islands in the area that all seemed of similar size a feature. All were tiny pieces of barren rock that, if he so wished, Plasmius could sit or stand on. Even these were few and far between, though they seemed frequent considering there was nothing else around. Until the Infi-Map led the older, malevolent half-ghost to his goal, that is.
On a much larger island than the others stood a single door, constructed of what appeared to be a solid brown wood with a rounded wooden frame. There was no handle on this door, no latch, no finger-groove; there seemed to be no means of opening it at all.
Plasmius landed on the floating island, rolling up the Infi-Map in his hands as he did so, and approached the strange door.
"This will lead me to power?" he muttered to himself, the way he always does. He touched the door and, finding that it did not automatically summon defensive measures to divert him as some doors and passages in the Ghost Zone did, proceeded to run his hand across its surface and along the edge of the door. Still he could find no way of opening it. Pushing on it yielded no result, and neither did his attempt to blast the door open. In fact, when Plasmius had floated away from the door for appropriate blasting range and then blasted it, the door seemed to be covered in a reflective sheen, which dissipated when the blast's energy did, revealing absolutely no change. The blast hadn't done anything to the door at all. "Cheese logs!" Vlad swore when he saw this. He then flew around the door in hopes of finding a clue on the other side. What greeted him was a hazy, impenetrable darkness blocked by some sort of strange shield that revealed itself as a light sheen when he attempted to penetrate it. Stumped, Plasmius walked back around to the face of the door and noticed a stone plaque that hadn't been present moments ago. There was strange text on the top section of the plaque and the rest of the space was occupied by the picture of a strange large key. As Vlad peered at the foreign text, it suddenly shifted with an eye-bending wave and became English.
Vlad read aloud to himself;
"'The path is locked
By the Key;
The one of pure heart,
The one of power,
To hold back the Dark.
Thus it is opened.
World's Heart at risk.'
"Well what does that mean!? Butter buns, I can't open it..." As Vlad turned away from the plaque, it vanished, though he did not notice. "So who can...? Of course...," Plasmius said with a fanged smile and an almost hiss.
Plasmius, as he was returning to his portal, decided to buzz past the Far Frozen again in order to try provoking action if he hadn't already by stealing the Map in the first place.
Danny was in the park with Sam and Tucker when his ghost sense went off with a particularly strong burst of cold inside him. He immediately rolled to his feet and leapt behind a tree to transform. After the signature flash of light and an "I'm going ghost!" he reappeared as Danny Phantom and returned to his friends, doing a 360 to search for the ghost also.
"Young Danny, it is me, Frostbite of the Far Frozen!"
"Frostbite?" Danny lowered his glowing green hands and allowed the energy to dissipate back through his body as his eyes met the form of the familiar, and more importantly non-malevolent, ghost Frostbite. "What brings you here?" The two shared a frozen handshake that caused Sam and Tucker to shived with "Not more ice training, right?" (Frostbite had come to Phantom one day soon after the Undergrowth incident to give Danny better training of that particular power.)
"No Danny. I have come to request help. Plasmius has stolen the Infi-Map from us, and we fear it is not for a good purpose."
"What!? He stole the Infi-Map? But don't you guys guard it?"
"We do guard it, but several of us were in another part of the Far Frozen attending the Ice Sculpting Competition, and he took advantage of our distraction, using it to overpower us and steal it. He declared intentions of gaining more power but was no more specific than that."
"Of course he wants more power..." Phantom growled to himself. He was silent for a moment, thinking about what to do.
"I'll come back to the Far Frozen with you. Vlad usually has to come back and do something."
"Returning to the scene of the crime?" Tucker commented.
"Do you want to come too?" Danny aimed back at his two best friends.
"Of course! We'll follow you in the Specter Speeder."
Phantom turned back to Frostbite. "We'll be at the portal in a few minutes. Is that okay?"
"I shall wait for you there, young one." Frostbite disappeared, presumably to return to the portal in the Fenton basement/ghost lab.
Phantom grabbed Sam and Tucker and turned invisible, taking off to fly them back to their houses. He went to Tucker's first, landing in his room.
"Get cold weather clothes, because we're going to the Far Frozen, and it's really cold there." Tucker grabbed a thick heavy jacket and pulled it on loosely. Sam did the same when they went to her house, and then they were back at Danny's house.
"Can you distract our parents? I need to go into the Ghost Zone with the Specter Speeder," Phantom whispered into Jazz's ear. Jazz was currently studying at the kitchen table with open books and notebooks. Jack and Maddie Fenton were down in the lab working, which Danny discovered when he flew down there invisibly, giving him the need for Jazz's distraction.
Jazz jumped, still not used to Danny's cold whispers in her ear while he was an invisible ghost, whispers that were usually, like this one, requests for a distraction.
"How long do you need?" Jazz responded quietly.
"Just a few minutes."
"Mom! Dad! Can I talk to you? I have a question about ghosts!" Footsteps up the stairs could be heard almost immediately.
"Thanks, Jazz," Danny whispered again. Jazz, expecting it, managed to only twitch this time.
Danny's parents appeared at the top of the stairs just as Danny flew invisibly down to the lab through the wall with his two friends still in hand.
"What's your question, sweetie?" Danny heard his mom say from down in the lab. Then he wasn't paying attention to what was happening upstairs. Sam and Tucker got in the Specter Speeder while Danny located and tossed at them the Fenton Phones. He placed one in his own ear as Frostbite appeared next to the portal.
"Let's go," Danny said, and everyone was off through the Ghost Zone to the Far Frozen.
"So this is what it's like here," Sam said, looking around at the snowy landscape from outside the Specter Speeder.
Danny hadn't told either of his friends much about the place because he didn't tell them much about the Undergrowth incident at all. Sam had had turned into the evil plant caretaker.
"Plasmius doesn't seem to have returned, yet." No sooner were the words out of Danny's mouth than the evil halfa did appear, waving the map in the air and taunting the Far Frozen inhabitants with it.
"Plasmius!" Danny shouted as he shot towards the arrogant fiend.
"Oooh, my day just gets better and better!" he said as he fired and ecto-blast at Phantom, which was dodged, and dodged the returned ecto-blast from the young halfa.
"Return the Infi-Map, Plasmius!"
"Catch me if you can, Daniel!" Vlad shot off laughing madly.
"Come on," Danny tossed back at his friends, who were back in the Specter Speeder, ready for the chase. The three took off together as Frostbite and the other Far Frozen inhabitants watched.
"Where are we even going?" Tucker asked in a bored voice. The last real Ghost Zone land mark had been passed over ten minutes ago.
"I've never been this far in before," Phantom commented. He was still in ghost form, but he'd returned to sit in the Specter Speeder after the first ten minutes of chasing Vlad. They'd been chasing him for over an hour. "You're recording out course, right Tucker?"
"Yes," Tucker yawned, not even bothering to check the ship log, which was still running.
"I wonder where he's leading us," Sam voiced. They'd figured that Vlad was leading them somewhere some time ago. They thought it might've been Clockwork's Tower, but that had passed by in the distance a while ago. Now all they could see was small desolate islands that were spread thinly about the area. Danny figured they only got as big as a chair, though he never paused to test the irrelevant theory.
Sam suddenly sat up. "Hey, what's that?"
"Did we arrive?" Tucker asked eagerly, also perking up a bit and looking ahead.
Danny stood and flew through the front of the Specter Speeder. "It looks like a door."
"Yeah. A plain, brown, wooden door. Odd." Danny went up to inspect it, overcome by curiosity momentarily, and was followed by Sam and Tucker, who parked the Specter Speeder alongside the edge of the larger floating island.
"The path..." came a voice quieter than a whisper, though the three of them all still heard it.
This was confirmed when Danny asked if they heard the voice and they nodded affirmatively.
"Hey, where'd Plasmius go?" Sam observed.
Plasmius blasted Phantom in the side at that very moment. "Fool!" He reappeared. "You followed me all the way out here! Now you aren't going to escape me!"
This of course, caused a fight between the two halfas. Though Danny didn't notice, Vlad maneuvered himself so he first caused Danny to crash into the door, which started glowing with a golden light around the edges, and then caused Danny to shoot the door with a great deal of his own energy. The door responded with an increased brightness on one edge, obviously the opening edge. Vlad started cackling again as everyone's attention was caught.
"The path is open..." came the strange voice that the three friends heard.
Danny shot forward suddenly, ecto-punching Vlad and stealing the Infi-Map. Vlad screamed in fury and sudden attention.
"Beware the Darkness..." The voice seemed to trail off this time, as the door swung wide. The deceptive light at the edge vanished as the door opened to a deep darkness that started leaking out of the doorway past the frame. A strong gust of wind came pouring forth, and no one could resist it completely as Phantom and Plasmius were grounded and all four people were slowly pushed back.
Danny glanced back at the nearing edge of the island and saw that the darkness spilling forth from the doorway was surrounding the island and expanding. Something deep within his being and those of his friends feared for their very selves because of the darkness. If they were to fall into it...each feared they wouldn't return.
The wind suddenly gusted stronger and everyone was lifted off their feet. The Specter Speeder had been consumed by the darkness and the Infi-Map was blown from Danny's hands back the way they'd come, far out of sight.
Danny, more concerned with his friends, caught both of them and landed further back from the door on a larger island that the three of them could stand side by side on. Plasmius landed on a smaller island closer to the door. The expanding darkness reached him first.
Danny, Sam, and Tucker watched, rooted to their floating island, as the darkness surrounded Vlad and then started creeping up on the island itself. Tendrils started climbing around his feet and his expression changed from one of fear and apprehension to one of delight.
"So this is the power the map meant!" He started cackling as the darkness rose to cover him and he fell down into the pool at his feet. He vanished, and his island disintegrated under the darkness onslaught.
The three had been watching Vlad and Danny in particular had been watching and also remembering what he did to the door, realizing that he'd opened it for Vlad. Vlad had tricked him. Then something viscous covered his feet and his friends' feet. They looked down, alarmed to see that while they'd been watching Vlad, the darkness had reached them. And now they couldn't escape.
They all tried, Danny the hardest of all, but it was futile. The darkness rose to envelop the three of them. They tried to hold each other's hands tightly so they wouldn't be separated, but the tendrils of darkness worked their way through fingers and between hands, effectively separating them. No one heard the screams of fright that were covered by the darkness as the three disappeared far from any hope of rescue. Their island also was eaten away by the darkness, like everything else the expanding wave came across.
Danny sensed that he was falling, though he couldn't see anything, hear anything, or feel anything. He didn't even seem to be breathing, though when he was in ghost mode that wasn't as unusual for him. He had the feeling that Sam and Tucker in the same place as him, wherever that was, though they were not actually there and Danny had a feeling that they were nowhere nearby.
'How can that be?' Danny thought to himself. 'Here but not here.'
And then his feet touched down on a platform, he had the sudden feeling that he was standing upright instead of falling back, and the darkness shattered away from the platform he was standing on, the fragments turning into white birds that quickly disappeared into the dark landscape.
Danny looked down from the birds he could no longer see and could do nothing but gasp.