Dan was thrown like a ragdoll through Clockworks time portal, he didn't even have time to react to the situation, only that now he could feel himself falling through air, the wind breaking at full force against the front of his body as he plummeted from 20 feet in the air and face planted into solid ground.
Groaning, he simply laid there. He was in too much pain to try and force himself up.
"Ugh… I forgot how much it sucked being human."
He grunted as he attempted to push himself up once again. His arms buckled beneath him and his face met dirt once again.
"What… is your reasoning for this Clockwork...?" Dan spat into the dirt, and with what little strength he had, turned himself into his back.
"Leaving me to die here as a mortal will only return me to the ghost zone…" He mumbled.
Dan was too physically exhausted to think of Clockworks motives. Being a human took a lot out of you, and falling from 20 feet in the air and landing face first didn't necessarily help at all.
Valerie held Eliott's hand as they sped through the skies to their destination.
One of the hospitals was still in commission but it was over crowded beyond words.
"Well, we can rule that out." Paulina mumbled.
Kwan stared ahead for a long moment, as if contemplating something. He sighed as he looked over towards his wife, taking her hand and caressing it gingerly.
"No. They need me there. I'm going to drop you three off at Valerie's apartment. From the looks of things, the complex still seems to be standing. I'm going to go help out the best I can at the hospital. You guys need to stay inside while things are still chaotic." Kwan turned in the direction of the 38 story building.
"Are you sure?" Paulina asked hesitantly.
Kwan nodded. "Yeah, everything will be okay sweetie. Don't worry."
Valerie simply stared ahead, quietly, not even realizing that Eliott was looking at her. His grasp on her hand tightened just a little.
She was deep in thought when she came to the realization that her old Jet Sled was still at her apartment.
She almost jumped out of her seat but stopped when she realized they were 50 feet in the air.
"Hurry up and land this contraption, Kwan." Valerie shouted.
Once she got her sled, she would use it to get to Fenton Works, and there she would check if her father was still alive. If not, she would ensure he was given a proper burial.
After landing and dropping them off, Kwan took off in the direction of the hospital.
Valerie led them through the lobby of the complex to the elevators. They took the elevator up to the 32nd floor where her apartment had been. The whole complex was deserted. People had probably fled to the underground bunkers, leaving their homes and belongings behind. Sliding the keycard through the scanner, she pushed the door open and entered the room, Paulina following behind, holding Eliott close to her.
The room smelled musty and unused.
"You'll have to excuse the mess…" Valerie blushed as she picked up some dishes, throwing them into the sink quickly.
"It's been a while since I've been able to clean up." She almost tripped over one of her unusually large hunting guns.
"Ah!" She caught herself on the edge of the kitchen counter.
Paulina tried not to giggle as she made her way over to the sofa, Eliott following closely behind her. Taking a seat, Paulina grabbed the remote and turned the television on. Static. The transmitting tower must have been destroyed by the ghostly wail as well.
"I really do hope that Phantom is truly gone from this earth." Paulina whispered as she looked down at her tummy and then to Eliott.
"Our children need a world without that monster..."
Valerie slipped into her room, peeling the tattered and ripped red latex suit off of her body. Phantom had done a number on her in that last battle and she thought best that she'd clean up before she went back out.
She stood in front of the mirror and stared long at her bruised body. There were cuts, scrapes, and scars from all of the battles that she had lived through, and each one marked her as a reminder of every ghost she had slain. They were almost like trophies in her eyes.
As she stood there, in her underwear, she couldn't help but think of a time where she had actually thought of herself as attractive. She had developed nicely as most would say, and she had a small collective of men that would have given everything for a date, but it didn't feel right for her, and they had no idea of the life that she led. She didn't feel like she could truly live a normal woman's life. The scars that had dotted themselves along her milky brown skin would always sit as a reminder of her career of ghost hunting and what she was destined to live with. She never wanted to explain why those scars were there, not even to the man that would be the first to remove her clothes.
10 years earlier…
"Valerie! Get up! We have to leave! The city is under attack!" Her father shook her awake.
"Daddy…? What's going on? What are you talking about?" She asked, still rubbing the sleep from her eyes.
The numbers 3:42 AM on her alarm were only a foggy red blur to her.
"Wh..wha? Under attack?" Her eyes shot open as she jumped from her bed and rushed to the window. What she saw struck sheer horror in her eyes. The city was in flames.
It didn't take her long to pinpoint the center of where the destruction was coming from. His laughter echoing through the skies was enough of an answer for her.
"Dad! I have to stop him!" She rushed to her closet to retrieve her backpack.
"Valerie. I can't let you do this." Damon grabbed her by the arms.
"But Dad! Only I can do this.. Danny Phantom is gone. I'm the only hope this city has and I can't just let that monster destroy everything!"
Damon shook his head.
"No Valerie. This is one ghost I do NOT want you messing with. I've already lost your mother and I'm not going to lose you too!" His sad gaze met hers. She looked down and signed.
"… Oh… okay… dad…" She would have to get away some how.
Reaching over to her nightstand, she grabbed one of the trophies that littered the table. Gritting her teeth, she wailed it against her fathers head with enough force to knock him out, but not enough to hurt him.
"I'm sorry dad, but.. I have to go!" She tried to stop herself from crying. She never wanted to hurt her dad, and it pained her to do that to him, but she had no other choice.
Snatching the crimson ghost hunting uniform out of her bag, she slipped it on as she hurried out the door, making sure to grab every weapon she could manage to hold.
"I should have done this sooner! Who knew, causing so much chaos, death and destruction could be so, exhilarating!" Phantom shouted. Beams erupted from his hands and leveled a playground to nothing. What used to be their local mall was now nothing more than broken foundation and rubble.
Phantom glared at the death and destruction that he had created. It felt so, right to him.
He knew not, the reasons as to why… only, he didn't want to stop until nothing remained of Amity Park, and perhaps... the whole world.
"STOP RIGHT THERE!"
Phantom turned to the direction the voice came from, his face only visible from the light that the flames had emitted.
"Well, well.. Valerie. Come to play hero once again before you die?" Phantom smirked.
"No, I'm here to play checkers, or maybe play a game of charades, except, I don't believe there will be any dying involved." Valerie rolled her eyes.
"You know, I'm not much of a games person anymore nor do I play by the rules." Phantom flew towards her, and tried to knock her off of her jet sled, but she saw and dodged just in time.
"Danny, why are you doing this? This isn't you! why are you letting this monster control you!" Valerie pleaded desperately.
Deep down, she really didn't want to fight him. She still cared for him, maybe even still loved him.
Danny smirked. "Because! It just feels right, Valerie. I have no personal reason for destroying this pathetic city and all the wretches that inhabit it. I have nothing to gain, nor lose by doing so… because quite frankly, I don't care." He launched another ecto-bomb at her, she dodged it just by an inch.
"Danny, what would your family and friends think if they saw you doing this? How would they feel?" Valerie shouted back at the ghost, hoping that maybe she could at least talk some sense into him.
"They don't really do much thinking or feeling anymore, now do they?" Phantom spat as he charged towards her once again.
"and neither do I." he caught her by the neck, and lifted her up.
She was caught by the throat when she had tried to dodge him once again.
"Ugh… You! Let me go!" She struggled against him by kicking and thrashing as hard as she could.
No. She wasn't going to die tonight.
Phantom grinned. "Let you go? Why, that's a very good idea!" He flew up into the air, the city hundreds of feet below them and held her up by the latex of her jumpsuit.
"Painting the asphalt in with your blood will be the perfect finishing touch for my masterpiece." He gestured towards the destroyed city.
"Wouldn't you agree Valerie?"
"Agree with THIS!" She shouted as she pressed the button on her watch that summoned her Jet Sled.
Before Phantom could react, the sled had crashed into him, causing him to drop Valerie.
"Gah! You'll pay for that!" Phantom yelled at her as he began to chase her as she plummeted through the air the sled quickly following behind.
The board caught her as it dove downwards.
Valerie adjusted herself and stood up, trying to gain her footing and balance.
She managed to level herself, and finally gained control of the jet sled once again. She lurched forward, narrowly avoiding Phantoms attack.
Phantom attempted to punch her off of her jet sled, but she quickly saw him and dodged.
"Stay still!" Phantom shouted, obviously frustrated.
She narrowed her eyes. He may have been evil… but he was still a teenager. His fighting was very sloppy and uncoordinated,
"Hey Phantom…" She was going to regret this, and the thought of kissing a ghost disgusted her.
She stopped in mid air, Phantom was caught by surprise as he slammed into her. She wrapped her arms around him, pressing her lips against his cold ghostly ones.
His eyes widened. He pushed her back and flinched in surprise.
"What are you doing? You human fool! I'm trying to KILL you. Yet you try to use me to satisfy your human hormonal needs?" If he were human, he would have probably been blushing. Instead, his cheeks flushed a darker shade of blue than that of his skin.
Good. She managed to distract him. Maybe now she could land an attack.
"But, Danny… I always thought you liked me? Remember?" She opened her wrist laser and shot him, point blank in the face.
Phantom was caught off guard, thrown back by the blast, he regained his focus and glared at her, his eyes gleaming red with anger.
"You will pay for that…" He spat again as he flew towards her, readying an energy blast.
"Using my past human emotions against me, that reaches an all time new low Valerie."
Valerie scoffed. "All time new low? You already reached that when you murdered Danny and started wreaking havoc on Amity Park! You're a filthy horrible ghost! How a sweet boy like Danny could become a monster like you is beyond me!" She lurched forward and kneed him in the gut.
As her knee met his gut, he turned intangible, causing her to fall right through him. He turned around, grabbing her by the back of her jumpsuit, he once again dangled her above the ruined city and she watched as her jet sled fell helplessly to the ground, and this time, it wouldn't be able to save her from the fall.
"So.. this is it then..?" She whispered to herself.
She was going to die at the hands of the boy she had loved, defending the city that she had called her home.
He wasn't the boy she loved. Danny Fenton was dead. All that remained was the ghostly monster which had manifested inside of him
She gritted her teeth, her eyes filling with tears. She watched as they trickled down her face and fell upon the city below.
"I'm sorry Amity Park… I've... failed you..."
She felt herself falling through the air, only seeing a flash of white before she had passed out.
"Am I dead..?" She thought to herself.
She had been rescued. She'd been rescued by the Guys in White, and her father. They were on motorbikes and she had been caught by one of them.
She was out cold, but she recalled her father explaining to her afterwards that they had managed to thwart Phantom, and send him back into the ghost zone.
Of course, Phantom was a lot weaker back then. Now, the Guys in White wouldn't have stood a chance against his new power. But somehow, his younger self had managed to stop him. She didn't see how it was possible. 10 years of him terrorizing Amity Park, and the ghost zone… He was unstoppable with that ghostly wail. The younger Danny must have found a weakness.
5 years earlier, he had broken out of the ghost zone, but he wasn't strong enough to penetrate the ghost shield that Axion had reverse engineered, using the blue-prints and information found at Fenton Works.
He had spent that five years, scheming, and coming up with a way to break the spectral shield, and he had succeeded. History had repeated itself the day before. Amity Park had once again suffered at the hands of Phantom.
Valerie looked down at the mirror and then sighed. "I have to find out if he is truly gone." She quickly hopped into the shower, rinsing her body of all the dirt, blood and sweat. She quickly cleaned up and changed into another suit, rushing out the door with her jet sled in her arms.
"I gotta make sure Dad is alive…" she whispered. She knew Damon. He was good at getting out of tight situations, though; she had a tugging feeling in her heart, that he wasn't able to escape the explosion. If he had managed to escape, he probably would have attempted to contact her, but her communicator had been destroyed by Phantoms wail.
She hopped onto her Jet Sled and shot off through the city towards what was left of the Fenton Works lab.
"Hey, are you okay?" a female voice asked.
"I think he's dead…" younger sounding male voice chimed in.
"No, he's breathing Timmy. I don't think dead people breathe."She laughed.
He gritted his teeth as he felt a sharp poke in his lower abdomen.
"Wake up! Wake up lazy bones!" The boy's voice echoed through his ears.
Dan grunted, his eyes shooting open as he looked around, wanting to strangle the source of his discomfort.
"You insolent little welp! Cut that out!" He had attempted to create an energy blast with his hand to vaporize the boy to no avail.
'Dammit…' he thought to himself. So it was true then. He had been brought to his knees by Clockwork and that… that pulsating gemstone. What had Clockwork done to make him mortal again? First thing was first. He needed to get to the bottom of this.
"Hey! That's no way to talk to my little brother!" the young woman walked forward.
"We could have just left you here to die, but we stopped and tried to offer our assistance." The boy dropped his stick and removed a cantine from his satchel and offered it to Dan. The boy had messy brown hair and really bad overbite.
Dan looked at the water container, and licked his lips. He hadn't realized how thirsty he was.
He snatched it and chugged it all down in one swig.
"Hey! Slow down, you'll make yourself sick you know." The girl approached him.
He looked at her and raised an eyebrow.
"Who the hell are you supposed to be..?"
"My name is Sam." She frowned slightly at his rudeness
His gaze shot up at her when she had said her name. "Sam?" he lowered his eyes.
"Yeah, It's short for Samara, and that's is my brother, Timmy." Sam pointed to the younger boy. She, herself, looked to be maybe, 14 or 15 years old. Timmy was perhaps 10.
"What's your name?" Sam asked. Dan looked at her strangely.
"..Dan… yeah… Dan…"
Despite being siblings, they both looked very different. Timmy's eyes were blue, and his hair was brown, while Sam's eyes were green, and she had a tuft of choppy blonde hair that stopped at the bottom of her neck. Timmy had a pale complexion while Sam looked as if she had spent a lot of time in the sun.
"What are you brats doing all the way out here..? Shouldn't you be in the city? Hiding from Phantom?" Dan asked.
"We're wanderers." Sam smiled. By the looks of their attire, it didn't appear to him that they were from the city.
"Yep. We scower the wasteland for buried goods and treasures, and then sell them to people for cash. There's a lot of valuable stuff hidden in this rubble." Timmy explained.
"Timmy and I were orphaned 5 years ago. Our parents had gone outside the shield to fight and that Phantom guy murdered them in cold blood." Sam tried to stop herself from getting angry her nails dug deeply into the palms of her had as she recalled the events.
"Ugh! He's done nothing but cause misery, pain, and suffering… and because of him, we have to make ends meet by grave robbing." Sam removed her canteen from her backpack and took a swig of water, wiping her face when she was finished.
"It's a thankless job… but it's the only choice we got. Me and sis gotta stick together and the only way we can survive is doing.. this…." Timmy chimed in.
Dan hadn't asked these kids for their life story. Yet he sat there, listening intently and wondering why they were telling him this. He almost felt sorry for the wretched creatures.
Little did they know, HE was the cause of their misery. He was the one that had murdered their parents.
Humans were so foolish.
Still, Dan couldn't help but feel a twinge of guilt for all that had happened to them. Was it his humanity? His newly beating heart within his body that was causing him to feel even one speck of remorse for what he had done?
"Sorry to hear that kid." Was all Dan could muster. He had no idea what to say to these kids. 'Sorry bout murdering your folks, thanks for the help though. I'll be on my way~ toodles!.' That would have been awkward… and in his weakened state, he couldn't afford to start a confrontation. If these kids were wasteland dwellers, than they had to be packing some sort of heat and would most likely kill him.
Sam sighed. "Well.. we were heading back to the city to trade in some of our loot… until we foundja lyin' here.. are you heading anywhere? Do you have a place to go to?" She asked.
Dan thought for a moment… He obviously didn't have anywhere to go. Everyone in the city hated him… but they obviously didn't recognize him in his new human form. Maybe he could start a new life? At least until he figured out how to get his ghostly powers back, and then he could lay ruin to those pathetic fools, once and for all.
Or did Clockwork have other plans for him..?
Dan quietly thought to himself.
He didn't suppose following them to the city would hurt. without his ghost powers, he was just as human as they were. He couldn't fly, or teleport, or even go intangible!
Sam looked over at Dan as he thought to himself. She quirked an eyebrow and waltzed over towards him with her arms folded behind her back.
"So, what's your story? Why are you all the way out here? Did you get separated from someone?" Sam asked as she gathered her things and slipped them into her waist satchel.
"You...really don't want to know kid…" Dan folded his arms as he weakly pulled himself off of the ground, and dusted himself off. He looked down at his clothing. It was what he had been wearing when he died, his old t-shirt and jeans that were way too small for his adult body. He was almost thankful that at 14, he had worn his clothes way too baggy or he'd look absolutely foolish right now. He never took notice of his adult body as a ghost, he was lean and muscular.
'and Dash thought I'd never fill out..' Dan thought to himself, almost laughing.
He got quiet when Samara looked at him funny.
"Something wrong?" She raised an eyebrow.
Dan shook his head.
"No.. uh… just.. thought of something.. that's all."
She cocked her head to the side and shrugged, returning to the conversation she was having with her brother.
Dan kept to himself as he walked with the kids. They had a lot of ground to cover before they had made it to New Amity.
Timmy and Samara carried about their own merry conversations, Dan only catching bits and pieces.
Dan looked up and noticed that it was starting to get dark, and they still had a long way before the reached the City.
"You brats know it's dangerous out here.. at night? Don't you…? Bandits.. and coyotes…" and ghosts.
"We hold our own." Samara mumbled quietly, not appreciating being called a 'brat'
Dan had remembered these lands all too well, and any humans foolish enough to venture outside of the ghost shield. If they hadn't met their death in his hands, they would have died from something out here, such as ghost wolves or scavenger bandits.
Dan would also have to be careful. He was weak in his human form. He didn't have ghost senses or powers, so he'd have to keep a sharp eye out for anything suspicious.
"We cannot set up camp here. This is the territory of the Badlands Gang…" Timmy had been holding a map as he looked back at Dan.
"They're ruthless, and cruel.." Samara shook her head. "When I was a child I used to think that Phantom was their leader.. But I was wrong. Phantom was a lot worse, but they are still pretty bad."
"We have to keep moving or we might get spotted."
Dan rolled his eyes. He know about the Badlands Gang, a bunch of ex-ghost hunter thugs gone rogue, that made deals with ghosts in order to make money. Typical human trash.
"I'm not afraid of them. Let them find us. If they do, I'll lay waste to all of them." Dan was pretty confident in his abilities even as a human, we could probably knock some heads around.
"Uh huh… Sure." Timmy rolled his eyes as he looked back at Dan.
"These guys have lots of weapons!" Sam chimed in.
A loud thunderous roar caught all three of them by surprise. It was growing closer as the earth beneath their feet began to shake.
Dan turned around and glared. 30 thugs on what appeared motorbikes were heading towards them, their dust trails flaring up behind them like a storm of dirt.
Dan glared as they grew closer.
"…. You two… run. Get out of here… I'll handle them…" There was no way they could outrun them on foot. Dan was going to buy the kids some time.
He couldn't believe himself. He was actually…HELPING these kids.
"But.. Dan..!" Sam tried to interrupt. "You.. can't take them alone!"
"Yeah, and I can't take them with you two getting in my way either.. now get lost!"
"Dont Do this! They're gonna kill you!" Sam shouted as Timmy began to grab her shoulders, leading her away.
"You're too weak..." Timmy muttered to him as Sam finally gave up and began to walk with him
It was a bitter reminder… He could almost punch the kid for saying that, but it would probably make his teeth even worse... and that kid couldn't afford it.
"If he wants to die, let him. Let's go Sam…" Timmy mumbled as the two made their escape, while Dan, faced the oncoming stampede of motorbikes.
They all came to a screeching halt as Dan stood, boldly in the middle of their trail.
"Well.. well.." a gruff, beared man with a tooth pick in his mouth examined Dan.
Their leader. "What have we here?" Spitting the tooth pick out, he kicked the stand on his bike, and got off.
His army of thugs remained on their bikes and waited as their leader approached Dan.
"Not much here boys… only some baby boy who can't seem to pick his clothes right."
End of Chapter 2
Sorry everyone. I know I had this chapter posted, but for some reason It wasn't finished. When I uploaded it. So.. I went and took the liberty of re-editing it and posting it for your viewing pleasure~ ^^ Enjoy and please leave reviews~ Sorry for the long update time~