Chapter One

The Sphere Cracks

In a time when ghosts were all-powerful and ever knowing, a dark sphere pulsed, waiting for the proper time to crack and release itself into the minds of the unsuspecting living. The time was coming ever closer.

OoOoOoOoOoOoO

In the present, Danny Phantom, the ghostly hero of Amity Park, was fighting for his life once again. He fired an ecto-beam, creating a large hole in Skulker's armor and sending the ghost hunter flying across the park.

Unknown to him, the power of his attack had shattered the dark fortress that had contained the power of the gods themselves, the power to create or destroy the world, allowing light to filter through. The light revealed what seemed to be a broken shell, onyx in color. A trail of green flowed from the remains and pooled around a small, trembling figure. Still in darkness, the figure opened its ruby eyes and its lips pulled back into a feral snarl. As its blood-red tongue flickered over ebony teeth, it whispered three words. "Azerath, Metrion, Sinthos."

OoOoOoOoOoOoO

Meanwhile, in Jump City, another teen hero attempted to vanquish an enemy. Raven's shield flickered as she felt her powers drain for an inexplicable reason, making her dizzy. She couldn't understand her sudden fatigue. Cinderblock was 2 tons of dead weight, nothing too strenuous for Raven's powers; so why was she so tired? She pondered this and wondered if she truly wanted an answer.

"You alright, Rae?" Cyborg asked, concern evident in his tone.

"I'm fine; it's nothing I can't handle." Raven replied, frustrated at her weakness.

Robin cut in, not hearing their conversation. "Get ready to lower the shield, Raven. It's time to take him down. Starfire and Beast Boy will attack from the air. Cyborg, the front. I'll circle around back for some leverage. Raven, it's up to you to bring him to his knees. Everyone got it?" Four heads nodded their assessment. "Right. Titans, go!"

Robin sprinted to the right as the now familiar battle cry of the Teen Titans rang through the city streets. Starfire and Beast Boy circled Cinderblock above as Cyborg aimed his sonic cannon and Robin settled in to an ambush position behind.

Raven attempted to crush Cinderblock's legs before he noticed the relatively unprotected Titans surrounding him. She began to chant her mantra precisely "Azerath, Metrion, Sinthos." One leg crumbled and Cinderblock started to fall forward. As she continued her assault, however, Raven felt her power slipping away. She immediately cut off the flow of magic and in that single second, the world before her froze and fell away into darkness.

A single shaft of light pierced the darkness. Raven turned to follow the light to its end and found, to her surprise, a large, clear, spherical crystal. Or what had been a crystal. It was in pieces, the edges jagged and sharp. The gem was, judging from the pieces, as tall as Cyborg (about 6 ft) and as wide as Beast Boy (about 4 ft). Raven carefully touched the shards and was astonished to find how thin they were. As she continued to examine the gem, Raven heard a scuffle from the opposite side of the jewel. She moved warily toward the sound, avoiding the slivers of the gem that littered the floor. She edged around the side and stopped dead in her tracks at the sight before her.

A child sat in front of the gem, splattered in glowing green ooze. Normally, Raven would have approached without fear, but she knew the image in front of her was not normal. She noticed a lump of green in front of the child, vaguely human in appearance, but bleeding the same green ooze that covered the child. The lump had multiple injuries, many that looked like claw marks. Many, but not all. Occasionally, a crescent mark was visible, giving Raven a shudder as she attempted to figure out what had created the impression.

A low groan invaded Raven's thoughts and she saw the lump twitch. Raven's concern temporarily overpowered her hesitation and she started to step forward. She froze in mid-step as the child lunged forward onto the lump, hissing. The lump jerked, as if it was in pain, and flopped lifeless once more. Raven slowly lowered her foot, failing to notice the flake of crystal beneath it. The sliver shattered, crunching exponentially loud in the silent space. The child's head snapped toward Raven and she gasped as she beheld its face for the first time.

Ruby and indigo eyes met over the lump's translucent body. One pair in cold calculation and one widened in fear. The child's expression shifted from a snarl into a smirk and Raven struggled to breathe through her fear. Green lips moved to uncover black teeth flecked with jade and a crimson tongue moving over them.

Raven felt the wrongness of what she had assumed to be a vision. 'After all,' she reasoned, 'this must be a vision.' Her fear mounted as she registered the difference in the 'vision'. No interaction. That was the problem with this apparition; the contact between herself and the child. It was impossible for a vision to affect her, yet here was this child, this creature, staring into her eyes and mocking her.

The child rose, and Raven instinctually settled into a battle stance. The child didn't respond, save for its widening smirk. It approached Raven in hesitating, measured steps as though unsure of its course. The creature stopped a few feet from Raven, observing her through narrowed eyes. Five…ten seconds passed and with no indication, the creature pounced. In her battle-ready state, Raven easily created a shield. Instead of stopping the creature, however, the shield seemed to ease its qualms, if it had any to begin with. As the creature passed through the shield, Raven again felt her powers drain away from her.

The creature slammed Raven to the ground, its strength surprising her, impropriate to its size. As its face approached Raven's, she could feel its hot breath on her and hear its animalistic growls deep in its chest. That, however was all she felt. There was no heartbeat in the creature; Raven knew that without a doubt. The creature's mouth was inches away from her throat when a high-pitched keening punctured the vision, wrenching apart the darkness and knocking the creature away from Raven.

OoOoOoOoOoOoO

Danny was uncapping the Fenton Thermos to capture Skulker when an image misted over his eyes. A pale, dark-haired girl was pinned to the ground by a creature that reminded him simultaneously of Plasmius, Pariah Dark, and Dan Phantom. Its power seemed to exceed their combined might, the pressure of it freezing Danny in place. He was stuck, incapable of helping the girl. The creature's mouth was closing in on the girl's neck as Danny cursed his own uselessness. He opened his mouth to call out, hopefully to distract the creature and was struck with inspiration. His ghostly wail! He was stupid for not thinking of it before. Danny took a deep breath and released his greatest offensive attack. The wail managed to catch the creature off-guard and knocked it away from the girl, shattering the darkness as it echoed.

A bright light flashed and Danny opened his eyes to find that he was on his back in the park with a very worried Sam looking down on him.

"Are you okay, Danny? That must have hurt."

"What …What happened? Where's that girl? And…Skulker! Where's Skulker?" Danny asked, feeling a little out of it.

"Dude, you just fell two stories and hit the ground. I didn't think Skulker hit you that hard." Tucker commented as he ran up, Thermos in hand.

"He didn't. But…where are they?"

"They? They who? Skulker's in here." Tucker shook the Thermos, listening as Skulker tumbled and cursed.

"But there was a girl. And something else, something evil." Danny looked around as if expecting to see them.

"There's no one here, Danny. Maybe you hit your head when you fell." Sam joked.

"I saw it before I fell. It's what made me fall in the first place." Danny was not going to let it go. It had been too real to be an illusion.

"Okay, okay. We can look it up later," Tucker promised, stomach growling, "after we get something to eat. I'm starving!"

With that, the three friends stared walking toward the Nasty Burger, attempting to figure out what Danny had seen.

OoOoOoOoOoOoO

Raven blinked her eyes against the bright light and heard a soft sigh of relief from beside her. The light dimmed and she could make out Robin's outline next to her. The room was lit well enough for her to recognize the Tower's infirmary. Raven knew that she had probably been in a healing trance for a few days and hazily remembered that she had to tell Robin something, but that fact didn't stop her as she slowly drifted back into dreamless sleep.

AN: This chapter is exactly the same in content. It needed to be edited for easier reading. Thanks for reading! Many cyber blessing to anyone who can tell me how to do the line-things I see in other stories!