Chapter 2: Secrets I
I gaped at the sight of him floating there in all his glory, he was back… But what does that mean? Did he…
I blocked out the snide voice in the back of my head "He'll be fine…" I whispered.
"You just made, a big mistake Vlad…" he growled hands lighting up with emerald green energy.
(Start the 'Breaking Benjamin' song 'Dance with the Devil' at the *1*)
I saw the RV, knew it'd probably been here awhile, but right now I couldn't think about that, I had other things to deal with… such as my powers being back. Am I dead? Did Plasmius kill me and now I'm stuck as Phantom forever? I wondered momentarily before shoving it away as I lunged forward at the now recovered Plasmius. A blast of ecto energy flying from my hand. Only to have him deflect it as I slammed a fist into his gut knocking him back. "Your mistake was messing with me! Ruling the world should have been enough, haven't you learned, whenever the villain comes to gloat the good guy wins."
"I'm the hero in this scenario Daniel. I saved the planet something that not even the great Danny Phantom could do…" he growled grabbing my arm and throwing me through a nearby billboard. I hit hard before phasing through it recovering quickly with an ark of green energy from my swinging hand as I flipped around a pair of pink blasts from Vlad who dodged my attack.
*1* "You're a monster who blackmailed a planet of desperate people who were willing to make a deal with the devil to save themselves!" I roared a blast of arctic energy flying from my hands he countered with a quick blast of pink energy as they were frozen into icy shards of pink energy which I dodged easily closing with a roundhouse kick at his head. Catching him unaware as it slammed home throwing him for a loop as he recovered with a glare.
"A monster I may be… but I'm still master of the world."
My eyes narrowed "Not for long…" I growled as we closed again…
(Pause 'Dance with the Devil')
The radar in my suit's goggles was sensitive enough to see through the smoke, I saw my little boy turn into that… ghost. How… how could Danny be that ectoplasmic scum Phantom… I wondered in shock. All this time, all the times I'd shot at the ghost boy… I'd been shooting at Danny… Oh my god, what kind of mother was I that I couldn't recognize my own son.
This was so cool, there must have been residual ghost DNA locked within Danny and it was just dormant, and the shocks had supercharged it and triggered them again. Or the blast from Vlad sent through his body killed him… and this is just what he truly looks like as a Ghost. I shook off the negative thoughts I had to have hope that he'd be fine, that he wasn't truly a ghost, that he was just in Ghost form like usual.
"Kick his butt Danny!" I cheered watching the two halfa's duel in the air above the street, I glanced over at Sam wondering how she'd reacted. She seemed to be doing okay… at least on the outside, other than that I had no way of knowing.
(Resume 'Dance with the Devil' now, Vlad's POV)
I growled at the fact I was once more fighting Daniel with his powers. How, how did he regain them? All I did was shock him… with ecto energy… either his abilities were dormant or… I killed him.Introspective thoughts were pushed to the side as I focused on the fight.
"You will fall Vlad! No matter what it takes, someone will defeat you." He growled sending out another series of energy blasts at me. I blocked with a hastily generated shield.
Sending a series of blasts back I shook my head "Come on little Badger, how many times must I beat you before you realize that you can't defeat me. Don't you understand yet, I've won! I'm master of the world, before I'm done taking over, Danny Phantom will be the world's most wanted ghost!"
He flipped and twisted around the blasts one clipping his side leaving a burn and tear in the jumpsuit. "So what? I've dealt with world infamy before. I'll still stop you." He replied as he fired a massive blast of energy from his hands.
Spinning around I quickly generated a cyclone of ectoplasmic energy to deflect the blast, the winds and deflected energy tearing through the streets and buildings around us shattering windows. "But this time Daniel, every military in the world will be equipped with top of the line equipment and will be tasked with hunting you down. You'll run down eventually Daniel."
Charging forward his hands glowed green as he aimed a right hook at my chin "Even if I fall, I'll make sure to take you down with me." He snarled as I blocked countering with a jab to the chest which he side slipped throwing a kick at my face. I leaned back grabbing his ankle and sending a shock through him.
Crying out he writhed for a moment before seeming to focus through the pain as he fired a blast point blank into my chest knocking me back and causing me to lose my grip on his leg. "Lucky shot Daniel…" I smirked as red eyes met green.
"I'm just full of surprises fruit-loop." He shot back as he recovered, part of his right boot burned away from my last attack. Charging once more we continued a hand to hand duel through the air.
He's tough, a lot tougher than I remember… I thought with a growl as I blocked a kick at my gut. Countering with a punch to the face which he countered with a forearm knocking me back with a shot to the gut the energy leaving a burn mark on my stomach as well as burning away my jumpsuit, I dodged to the side as I spun kicked him in the back throwing him forward. To my surprise a laser blast erupted up from the ground narrowly missing Plasmius as he teleported a few feet to the right.
Risking a glance downward I spotted the smoking cannon on the RV, seeing my Dad at the wheel and Mom aiming the cannon I shivered at the angered expression on their faces Oh wonderful… they're probably gonna try and take a pot shot at me next… but to my surprise Mom's voice came over the speaker "Give him hell Danny. We've got your back." I blinked a fierce smirk crossing my face, they knew… and they accepted it enough to side with me over Plasmius. Alright, now let's get down to business.
"So you've gotten your pathetic father and Maddie on your side Daniel, it still won't save you." He told me, hands glowing pink, a sword forming from his hands, similar to the one he'd used back in Ancient China while we'd been chasing him for the Infimap. I cursed as he swung at me, I backflipped mid air avoiding the blow before lunging to the side, a shout below heralded the Anti-Creep stick spinning through the air towards me as I phased through a roof top to get away from Vlad for a few moments, phasing outside as he dove in. He wouldn't long think I was inside but it worked for now, I caught the bat with a quick nod to the RV below. But still no way would a wooden baseball bat stand up to a razor-sharp sword forged from ectoplasm… unless…
Eyes glowing bright blue a layer of eerily glowing ice grew over the bat, shaping into a medieval style broadsword made entirely of ice. Just then Vlad came smashing out of the building with a roar lunging at me with his blade, which I met with mine the two clashing with a deafening clang of ice and energy. "Impressive little badger, but it won't save you." He sneered as we dueled, his blade being reinforced by his ectoplasmic power, mine began to glow green as the fight intensified.
"Like I've told you before, I'm just full of surprises." I shot back as I twisted around a thrust, only to miss the entire dodge as it open a gash across my ribs, glowing green ectoplasm leaking from the gash. In retaliation I slammed my ice-sword forward towards his gut, he leaned around it though the edge nicked him cutting through his suit like it was nothing a narrow gash opening across his side, as he snarled in pain.
The duel intensified as we used every ounce of our strength and speed to stay ahead of each other. Blows would be thrown and dodged while we each accumulated a fund of minor to semi-serious wounds across our bodies, my suit was half destroyed, turned into more of a spandex shirt covered in small cuts, a pair of tattered, burned gloves, ragged shorts, and burned, worn boots. The only thing still untouched was my symbol, that white, stylized 'D' that formed a P within it… His cape was in tatters, suit torn and ripped in over a dozen places, green blood leaking from scrapes and cuts, though my wounds were more numerous, the wounds from the fight with skulker, Vlad's initial assault before regaining my powers, and then this fight. Was taking its toll on me.
When ever she could Mom would take a pot shot or two at Vlad with the RV's weapons though more often than not she'd miss due to the speed we were moving at, or he'd deflect it back at them, only to have it splatter against the vehicle's shield. Finally with a resounding CRASH our blades met and shattered into shards of, ice, energy, and wood. Almost right away he fired a blast of pink energy at me knocking me back as another rip appeared in my suit, on the tattered right shoulder, which now sported a burn.
I glared into the targeting scope tracking the battle, shooting at Vlad when I could. The fight was growing fiercer and fiercer as time went by, but I was determined to help Danny however I could. Another blast splattered against our shields as Vlad sent Danny back with a powerful two fisted blow to the ribs which tore a short bark of pain from the white-haired teen's mouth. To my shock Danny recovered mid air and growled something, what I couldn't tell but Vlad started to charge.
('Dance with the Devil' ends, start 'Hero' by 'Skillet')
"Move Danny…" I whispered as he seemed to be panting slightly, instead of dodging he took a deep breath leaning back before letting out a scream, it grew in pitch rapidly as waves of energy boiled out of his mouth, it sounded like an armada of tortured souls moaning in agony. Vlad was thrown backwards through a building. Stopping Danny panted as he dropped rapidly, but smoothly to the ground. Landing on his knees trying to recover, "Danny…" I whispered in shock, was he truly so powerful? I absently noted the meter off to the side that was designed to measure power levels from ghosts and attacks, it wasn't even aimed at us and it registered an easy 8.5 on the meter. Sam and Tucker ran over to him the instant he landed, I kept an eye out for Vlad in case he recovered…
I was horrified at the injuries covering Danny's body from head to toe, if it wasn't burned or cut, his skin was bruised. "Are you alright?"
He nodded recovering "I'm alright, just sore and tired… and not looking forward to the eventual discussion needed with my parents after this is done." He replied tiredly, I could tell by the sweat gathering across his brow that he was barely holding ghost form as it was.
"Relax dude, no way Vlad's getting up from that." Tucker told him not wanting to lay a hand on his shoulder due to injuries.
Danny struggled to his feet, revealing more damage. Before we could do more than start to try and support him we heard sarcastic clapping from further up the road "Very good Daniel, that last blow did some damage. But it seems it drained you more than it did me."
Glaring in the direction of the voice we saw Vlad approaching, tattered suit and cape covered in dust and leaked ectoplasm. "I'm not down yet Vlad…" Danny growled, exhaustion clear in his voice and stance.
"Oh give up the act Daniel, after all that you're barely standing, you'd be lucky to conjure a basic shield much less an actual attack." Vlad snorted hands glowing.
Danny's eyes narrowed in response, a weak aura of green surrounding his hands "Try me…" he snarled.
Hearing the door to the RV open behind us alerted me to the approach of Danny's parents. His mother toting the Ecto Bazooka on one shoulder.
Before any of us could think to move or react Vlad snapped out "Very well Daniel, if you're so sure of your power then, PROVE IT!" he finished with a roar firing a two handed blast of energy that rocketed towards us, Danny reacted from long standing instinct leaping forward before all of us he threw up a barrier of emerald energy between us and the blast, the pink beam slammed into it as he literally slid back a couple feet from the impact. Grunting in effort as he fought to maintain the barrier, cracks beginning to form in it as Jack shoved Tucker and I back behind the RV's shield. Finally with a cry and a shattering sound Danny's shield failed and the beam struck him dead on in the chest and head throwing him back, but enough of its energy had been expended that it traveled no further from there.
Danny landed hard on the street upper portion of his suit practically gone except for a few stubborn strands of material around his upper arms. His hair was scorched and blackened, the damage standing out visibly against his normal white hair. His Mom moved first aiming the Bazooka at Vlad and firing before he could recover from his last onslaught the blast expanding near him opening a miniature portal to the ghost zone which began to draw Vlad through it "This is far from over Maddie, I will have you eventually, now that there's no one left to stop me." He got out before disappearing completely through the vortex which closed behind him.
(Stop 'Hero' start 'Live Life Instrumental' by 'Crush 40')
With a cough Danny drew our attention back to him, he opened his eyes a little and looked up at me with a weak smile "Told him… I wasn't… down yet." He muttered softly.
I knelt next to him gently taking his hand in mine "You did great Danny. You just get some rest, we've got it covered for now." I told him.
He grinned tiredly before closing his eyes a pair of familiar white rings washing over him. Changing ghost to human as his battered, torn jumpsuit was replaced with equally destroyed t-shirt and jeans.
I felt his parents presence behind me, "Is he okay?" his Dad finally asked.
I swallowed thickly not looking at him "I don't know, he's alive… for now. But he's never been this badly beaten before. Plasmius isn't usually this vicious,"
Tucker picked up when I fell silent "Yeah, we've seen them fight a couple times before, and usually while Vlad is a fierce fighter he seems to be holding back from truly trying to kill Danny… this time he seemed to be fighting for keeps. And didn't care if Danny lives or not…"
Biting my lip I fought back the tears that threatened to fall. I needed to focus right now, later once Danny was safe I could break down. "Hold on Danny…" I whispered setting his hand down softly next to him.
"Should we take him to a hospital?" his Dad asked.
"NO!" Tucker and I replied in unison, I feel silent and let him continue "We can't, they'll do blood tests and the risk of his secret getting out is too great to take."
His Mom cut Tucker off "I don't care about his secret I just want my baby to be okay."
I turned and fixed them both with a fierce look "Take him to a hospital and reveal his secret and you'll hurt him worse than Plasmius ever did. He's fought all these months worked to keep it secret not because he didn't think you'd accept him but because he knew the risk would be too great. His enemies already try and use Tucker and I against him. If they knew that his parents knew who and what he was they'd use you both against him as well. He couldn't live with himself if anything happened to any of us, that's why he's never told you." I explained vehemently.
Tucker laid a hand on my shoulder "Calm down Sam, fighting won't do anything right now. We need to get Danny out of here and get him help. Cause he's in bad shape…"
I sighed as Mr. Fenton returned with an actual stretcher which he laid down next to Danny. "I'll need help moving him. Keep his neck and back as still as possible." He instructed as Tucker and Mrs. Fenton gently moved him onto the board. As they lifted him into the back of the RV I followed tiredly, my anger having drained as quickly as it had risen, I sat next to the stretcher that held my best, and oldest friend, the boy I secretly—Alright not so secretly I guess—loved, Please be okay Danny… I thought once more taking a hold of his hand.
I ended up in the front seat with Mr. Fenton while Mrs. Fenton took care of keeping Danny stable. "So how long have you three been fighting ghosts?" he asked finally probably just to make conversation.
I thought, "Freshman year, remember that whole big thing with the meat and ultra-recyclo vegetarian protests?" He nodded "He had his powers from a month before that, Lunch Lady was the first big ghost we fought. Before that was just this little annoyance called the Box Ghost. And other little odd ones that would show up from time to time."
"And he fought them all on his own? All this time, and kept it secret from us?" he asked shocked.
"Well Sam and I helped, and it wasn't always easy. When we brought him home unconscious he'd passed out during a fight with the Lunch lady, he had issues with phasing, invisibility, transforming and such early on. And when he got his ghost ray, I can't begin to tell you how often I'd end up with a bruised backside from a high-five."
Time passed as we headed for Fentonworks I told Danny's parents what I felt comfortable about revealing without Danny's imput. One subject I didn't touch on no matter what was Dan, my friend's evil alternate self. "So ever since the meteor shower that's when Danny got that symbol?" His dad asked confused.
"Well it was a little more complex than that, but yeah, Sam came up with it. And during the mess with Sam wishing she'd never met Danny and trying to bring Danny Phantom back to stop Desiree, she altered his costume with that insignia. Then in undoing it all she added in that it'd remain." I explained.
Finally we pulled up in front of Fentonworks Mr. Fenton and I got out, going around back to help move Danny inside. His parents lifted the stretcher and carried him inside, Sam staying right by him. As I followed along once I closed up the RV I was busy pulling up his baseline temp, respiration, and other such vitals since they were different than a normal human.
I found them set up in the basement, Danny was already hooked up to a heart monitor, brain wave indicator, and breathing machine. I hoped as a precaution, his mother was working on bandaging his various cuts and burns, my best friend was starting to look like a mummy he was so covered in bandages. "He's lost a lot of blood, but the thing is the computer's reading on the sample is odd… almost as if…" his Dad was saying as I cut in still tapping at my PDA.
"Like there's trace amounts of ectoplasm in his blood." I told them off handedly as I worked on removing the third to last layer of security on the information.
She glanced at me confused, "Yes… how did you know that?"
I laughed, it was short, dry and unamused but I laughed "You think we never ran checks on Danny? We have a complete record of his baseline vitals so that we knew when he was fine or not. Since his vitals are altered from an average teenager due to the ectoplasm infused into his blood."
"Do you have a copy I can look at so I know what's stable for him?" she asked hands still working on treating his injuries.
I kept working "I should have a complete copy for upload to your server in two minutes tops. Sorry we put a lot of security onto this, wanted to make sure practically all medical evidence needed to prove that Danny's a half-human, half-ghost hybrid didn't end up in the wrong hands." I told her as I started on the final, and heaviest layer of encryption.
Sam spoke from nearby "We were all paranoid about it, but knew a record of the info was necessary so we had Tucker throw every kind of encryption, protection, barriers, firewalls, and code barriers he had at it. Literally the only one who can unlock that information is Tucker."
I nodded for once not milking the praise, "Almost done, just gotta…" a beep came from the device in my hands "Got it, uploading now, should be displaying on the computer in 30 seconds tops."
With a beep the information appeared on the screen, "There you go."
This is what the screen read;
Name: Daniel James Fenton/Danny Phantom
Resting heart rate: 50 bpm
Average temperature: 95.6°F
Blood-type: B negative, mixed with 5% ectoplasm.
The information continued like that getting more technical with history of injuries, power levels and such.
With a nod his parents continued working "Thanks Tucker, now that we have his baselines we can be sure of when he's stable." I nodded silently as they worked, I sat down in an open chair and did my best to remain calm Please recover soon pal I thought.
Now came the hard part, the waiting…
So I'm not sure how strong the ending was but I'm pretty proud of the fight scene. Next chapter or two will be slow as Danny recovers, the Fentons prepare to go into hiding along with Sam and Tucker and their families, and Vlad consolidates control of the planet.