Just some musings I wrote down this weekend out of utter boredom and tiredness. Felt too tired to draw or read, so I wrote the first thing on my mind. It's something that I noticed in DP, and decided to build up a theory upon it :)

This is unbeta-ed, so I might come back and pimp this up a little if I have the overwhelming need to, but for now I like it as it is. Also, beware the unoriginal title!

Title: Halfa
Pairings: None
Rating: K
Warnings: None
Words: 1986

Most people would assume that the attacks on Phantom were erratic, random, and usually with no plan whatsoever behind it. In their eyes ghosts attacked either because of their petty little obsessions or as an act of revenge against the Ghost Child, and each time the kid would feel obligated to stop them and save the day. He could just go on with his afterlife in peace, leaving the town to be overrun by ghosts, but he didn't. He always intervened, always saved the day.

They were grateful, but also wrong. They didn't know the full story.

Mostly, their assumption was right. At the very beginning of his ghost-hunting carrier, the kid had gotten into quite a few messes and pissed off enough ghosts to last him daily fights till college. It wasn't exactly his fault either, per se. It had more to do with the clash of their worldviews than anything else. Hey, if he had to choose between a grudge held and a plant invasion, meat monsters or weirdos trying to kill his dad and marry his mom, the choice would be obvious. Hardly anyone could blame him for that.

At first the ghosts were intrigued by him, the new halfa on the block. Plasmius had by then become old news, just the old dude you don't talk about because he never does anything aside from closing himself off in his own mansion and baring entry to the human world with ectoplasmic blasts that leave you recuperating for days.

Phantom was a welcome respite from the dullness of the Ghost Zone. Once word had gotten around through the grapevine, many wished to test their strength out against a half-human. His struggles kept them busy and his determination amused them, even if in the end they got captured. They always came back for more though, loving how defensive the boy would get over their presence in his lair.

After all, the freshly-minted ghostling didn't seem like much. Unlike Plasmius, his strength was of no concern to them.

It took some time before they found out how utterly wrong they were.

Halfas were interesting creatures. Truth be told, until the kid showed up they'd only had one example of that peculiar species, but he'd had a much too private life and hissy fits you wanted to avoid. Besides, one specimen didn't exactly make a research paper.

You see, ghosts keep form ('survive' would be a wrong term) by absorbing ambient ectoplasm. A ghost had to constantly concentrate on keeping his form together, because technically they were nothing more than an emotion-driven consciousness manifesting through ectoplasmic energy.

In the Ghost Zone, one can find ectoplasm in abundance. To ghosts it is like breathing air, and soon keeping form becomes nothing more than a subconscious task. The problem only comes when they decide to leave their realm for any amount of time. As soon as they pass through a ghost portal they would feel a slight tug at their core, signaling the steady loss of ectoplasm that should have been immediately replaced, but now acted as a means of keeping them together in the human world. That was the main reason why most of them would either immediately attack the Ghost Boy or go looking for another power source (emotions, electricity, minerals in the earth, you name it). However, nothing can compete with pure ectoplasm, and eventually they would weaken… weaken enough for the kid to capture them on his second or third try, should they prove too strong beforehand.

Halfas, however, were an entirely different matter. They had an annoying quality that made many a ghost envious of them, not that they'd ever admit it. A halfa had a human and ghost form, and once one changed into another, so did their entire inner structure. Their human form could sustain the ghostly one through food and rest without ever needing to enter the Ghost Zone, while on the other side, the ghost form could also survive in the ghost realm without any need for food. It was indeed a very annoying quality.

Not to mention their ability to make haunts for themselves in the human world.

Plasmius' haunt was a large mansion with a small patch of forest surrounding it. He had other ones too, all of them his own properties that he spent an extended amount of time at. And he had a degree of control within them as well. Often he would unconsciously use it to control animal spirits within his territory or to prevent them from ever leaving it. It was one of the many reasons why no one used his portal (aside from his hissy fits). There was nothing fun about being confined to a small patch of land in the middle of nowhere with only a cranky half-ghost as your company. Only the Dairy King insisted on staying there for some reason.

It had taken Plasmius twenty years to build up such a degree of control around his lair, to erect a barrier around it that could prevent any and all ghost entity from leaving it without using the ghost portal. No ghost had ever mentioned this little fact to him, and he stayed blissfully unaware, much to their relief.

Basing their whole halfa knowledge on Plasmius, they immediately assumed Phantom would be the same. He was inexperienced, younger than Plamius when he became a ghost, and even then it wouldn't be until a few years later that even a smidgeon of the barrier would start to manifest. That was what they had thought.

The kid had them all fooled. He didn't even know how ridiculously powerful he truly was.

The first sign that something was horribly wrong had been during Pariah's invasion of Amity Park. At that time many of them could remember feeling utterly terrified. They were ready to scatter to the four winds and go hide in the furthest corners of the earth… but instead they stayed in Amity Park, covering in abandoned stores right under the nose of their terrifying overlord. At that time, they thought it was the king's influence that had them stay.

But there were other inconsistencies. Undergrowth never spread his man-eating plant life beyond the borders of the city. Ember never went on a world tour. Spectra never tried her luck in bigger cities, where drama and depression were more abundant than in Amity Park. No other ghost ever left town. Even Technus, who had almost managed world domination by possessing every computer in the world, had done it while staying in the head computer in Amity Park, surrounded by all the electricity he could eat up. It took them a long time to notice the signs and realize what exactly was going on. Oh, but once they did…

The kid had taken the whole town as his haunt… and they couldn't leave it.

Sure, they could go around town without any sort of trouble, their only worry the steady decline of their ectoplasm supplies, but go beyond the border and you start to feel a tug pulling at you, sucking you dry so rapidly you either turn back or let yourself fall apart. It was like a bubble that would never pop, only stretch with you until it gets too taut to bear.

Get caught in it, and you won't leave so easily. Freakshow's marry band of ghosts were prime examples. Were it not for the Reality Gauntlet, Lydia wouldn't have been able to leave with him.

There were ways around the barrier, of course, you just had to make sure you emerged in the human world on neutral ground. Natural portals would do the job nicely, but they were pretty unreliable (you didn't want one closing soon after, leaving you stranded in the human world until you dissolved from lack of ectoplasm supply). There were also those rare numbers of ghosts that could make portals, or antique ghost artifacts with the same abilities, but they were hard to come by and even harder to get them to work for you. You could bypass the barrier if the Ghost Child himself was aware of your presence while passing through it, meaning either a friendly flight with him or a chase until you lost him and started to feel the tug again.

And then there was the option of getting him to stop holding up the barrier. Not a good idea. It happened only once, when Vortex caused his powers to short-circuit. While the weather-bending ghost went on to terrorize the world, the amount of power that took to keep the barrier erect was suddenly redirected to support the Ghost Child's newly acquired power of changing the weather. It wasn't just Amity Park that had been a storm – there were hurricanes in the Ghost Zone as well. To say the least, no one wanted to try that course of action ever again.

The only ones immune to the effects of a halfa's haunt were either humans or another one of its species. They could come and go as they pleased, even though halfas would start to feel uncomfortable after staying for any greater amount of time. It was obvious that even for an owner of several large companies, Plasmius took one too many day-long trips outside of Amity Park.

Why was the Ghost Child so much more powerful than Plasmius? No one knew exactly. Maybe it had something to do with the amount of ectoplasmic exposure he was subjected to upon his 'death'. Maybe it was the pressure he'd been under, forced to develop his powers at a rapid rate to fend more powerful ghosts off, or maybe it was just his prioritizing – defense over offense – that differentiated him from Plasmius – but it wasn't like they cared to make a scientific inquiry. The only thing they needed to know was that most of his power transferred to the barrier, keeping him unaware of his true potential.

He had them all effectively trapped in a cage, confined to one town alone. Without realizing it, he wasn't just saving people in Amity Park from ghosts – he was also saving the world.

But, they would make-do with it. They had to. Besides, a whole town to roam in didn't sound that bad as opposed to just the vast green boredom of the Ghost Zone. Unlike at Plasmius' lair, at least they could find some entertainment here.

These days, they don't fight the Ghost Child for just the heck it. True, part of it was for fun and teasing (and revenge and their obsessions), but mostly it was just for the pretense of it being so. They needed to preserve the status quo.

No, they didn't attack Phantom because he was a halfa, an abomination of both worlds – one that belonged to neither and yet to both. They didn't care about any of that. They fought because, deep down, they were afraid of him.

And so their little charade continues, keeping the ghost boy busy day in and day out. They would attack and succeed and be beaten and be sucked into a cramped space no ghost should ever experience, but they would always feel a small bit of accomplishment, knowing that they had distracted the kid enough to not wonder, not notice how in all these years, all this time… not one ghost ever left Amity Park.

The halfas didn't know about this curious aspect of their power. Heck, they probably thought they had an unused lair waiting for them in the Ghost Zone, their name inscribed on a floating door. No ghost ever bothered to correct their line of thought.

Why though? Why keep them in the dark?

It was because, if they knew – if they ever learned to take control of their lair, to manipulate it to their will and influence everything going on within its borders…

No ghost in Amity Park would ever be safe.

So basically, for better explanation: halfas have a pesky habit of making the place they live in their haunt (or lair, whatever). Unfortunately for the ghosts, they are situated right around the only two artificial ghost portals in the world, and you can't leave a halfa's haunt once you've entered it, unless either the halfa orders you to leave (Vlad ordering his vultures around), you stay in his presence while he's leaving it (how he chases some ghosts out and how Youngblood could follow him when he was driving him mad), OR you just return back to the Zone and try another way. Same as in the Zone with a basic haunt. They own it and control it, and if you want to leave, you're either kicked out or leave through the door you came in.

I was kinda leaning towards the ghosts as a whole when I thought of the POV, but it might also be considered neutral *shrugs* Now, any thoughts on this theory? I think it's pretty plausible. I'm not saying Danny became that powerful all at once, but many things combined with quite a bit of time before the ghosts figured it out, PLUS him considering himself a protector of the WHOLE of Amity Park... it just kinda happened.

But it's just a theory, right? :)