As always, the saga continues.
Danny was jarred awake as plumes of dust from the cave ceiling rained down on him, the sound of thunder echoing throughout the cavern. Using his intangibility to escape the tangled mess of his blanket, the halfa rushed over to the entrance, shifting into his ghost form as he ran. His eyes widened as he took in the giant burning figure walking down the hillside, the trees catching fire as it walked towards the city. Just ahead of it, he could see a tiny speck firing green blasts into the trees, knocking them out of the creature's path.
"Starfire!" he yelled in alarm, just barely lifting off the before freezing in place. A massive burst of black energy struck the enflamed behemoth, extinguishing it and leaving a charcoal husk behind. He watched in horror as the flames burst back to life, the creature moving onwards towards its intended target. As his eyes followed the creature down, a debate raged on inside the hybrid's mind. He knew that he had to help them, but the moment the creature was be take care of, he'd be next. He just needed some way to hide his face.
The moment inspiration struck him, the teen brought his hands to his face and closed his eyes in concentration. Small tendrils of ice began to grow out from beneath his palms like vines along a wall. As his mind went over every detail, the ice moved to mimic what its master desired. When he finally lowered his hands, the halfa took off into the air as fast as he could, making sure to become invisible so he could make his entrance.
The fire creature was at the very edge of the city now, only a small sidewalk between it and the buildings. Three of the four Titans there used their powers in whatever method they could to keep the creature at bay, but had only managed to slow it. Starfire watched as the creature pushed beyond the jets of water sprayed at it and proceeded towards Jump City, her abilities useless against it.
"Isn't there anything that'll stop that thing?" asked Beast Boy after he transformed back to normal. He and his friends were taken by surprise as a guy pushed past him and Starfire and walked towards the fire monster. He wore a skin-tight black suit with white gloves, boots, and belt, which gave him an unearthly appearance. Most of his head was covered by a blue helmet that looked as smooth as glass and glistened like freshly fallen snow. A glowing green eye on the right side of his face was the only thing it seemed to refuse to hide.
It took the Tamaranean a moment before she recognized the boy marching towards the flame monster.
"Hey!" barked Cyborg in a worried tone, moving to stop him. "What do you think you're doing?!" The teen said nothing as he raised his hands towards the burning giant and fired a large burst of blue energy. A cry of pain escaped from the creature's maw as it staggered back, a thin layer of ice coating its chest for a few seconds before melting away.
"I can't believe it," murmured Cyborg as he and the others watched the sudden display.
"He's pushing it back," added Raven, feeling an incredible amount of ghostly energy emanating from the boy as he fired another blast. By the third attack, the fiery behemoth let out a ferocious roar before firing a beam of fire at the boy. His eye widened before firing another blue beam to intercept it. The two attacks connected with a thunderous bang, startling whatever birds had remained in the forest into the air. Both beams struggled for dominance in the middle for a few seconds, but the fire soon began to overpower the strange blue energy.
His arms began to shake as he forced more energy into the beam. The fire monster seemed to laugh at him mockingly as its own attack intensified, the flames eating away the blue energy at a faster rate. The masked teen let out a strained cry as the force from the attack pushed him to his knees. Just as the flames were about to consume him, a large stream of water flew at the creature. The fiery behemoth let out another pained cry as it was pushed back again, ceasing its attack on the boy.
Danny could still feel his arms shaking from the strain as he tried to push himself back to his feet. It was clear now that his cryokinesis wasn't strong enough to leave any lasting marks on the beast. His mind raced as he tried to come up with an idea to stop the monster when he felt a gentle pair of hands help him back to his feet. Looking to his right, the hybrid saw Starfire looking at him with great concern in her eyes.
"I'm alright," he replied, hoping to calm the girl down. "It's just been a while since I've used that much power." Before she could even reply, the sound of thunder boomed from above them. Both teens looked up to see dark clouds looming above, lightning flashing from inside. Rain poured down upon them, causing the creature to let out a horrible screech as it tried to shield itself from the downpour.
"Perfect," muttered the halfa confidently as he pulled out the Tamaranean's grip and took off into the air. Holding out his had before him, he fired a blue beam from his eye until a snowball the size of a basketball sat in the palm of his hand. A wicked smile graced his face as a green glow began to emanate from the snowball, though his mask kept it hidden under its icy sheen.
"Time to beat the heat," the hybrid cried before launching his creation at the beast. The Titans watched as awe as the blue/green comet flew through the air before smashing into the fire beast's chest. The monster staggered back for a moment before roaring at the boy floating before it. Danny merely folded his arms across his chest, watching as beams of blue energy started to pour out from where the snowball had struck it. More began to pour out from the across its body as it staggered back, clutching its chest. It managed to let out one last cry before being engulfed by the blue light and exploding.
Chunks of its charcoaled husk scattered amongst the forest, the little bits of fire still clinging to them going out in the continuing torrent of rain and encroaching frost.
'I'd almost forgotten how good it felt to save the day,' thought the halfa, his form slowly descending until his feet touched the ground again. He managed to let out a nostalgic, satisfied sigh before a sudden column of golden energy shot out from the clouds, revealing two teenagers dressed in what looked like ancient samurai armor. The blue and yellow teens walked over to the Titans, who were too distracted by their cheers of victory to notice their approach. The green changeling was the first to notice them, walking over to them with a light smile on his face.
"I am sorry for the trouble we have made," announced the blue teen, bowing slightly towards the small boy and placing a hand over the cloud-shaped symbol on his chest. The yellow teen crossed his arms over his chest, clearly unwilling to do the same. The taller one took noticed and gently nudged him with his elbow. A light smile came to the halfa's face as he watched the begrudging look on the yellow teen's face vanished completely.
"I am… also sorry," he said, bowing more extravagantly than his counterpart.
"You have taught us much green one," continued the blue one as he extended a hand out to the changeling, which he gladly took in a friendly handshake. "Thank you."
"Don't thank me," Beast Boy replied, releasing the blue teen's hand in order to wave away the gratitude before gesturing to Starfire. "Thank the person who taught me." Starfire walked over to the join the group, the blue and yellow teens bowing to her graciously.
"And thank you for helping to defeat the flame monster," she added, returning the bow. Danny smiled from underneath his mask as he watched the group of teenagers converse without a care in the world. With an approving nod, the halfa turned and began to walk away, up the path of destruction back to his cave. He was surprised when a large hand grasped onto his shoulder.
"Do not think we have forgotten about you, masked one," said the blue teen, turning the hybrid so that he was now facing the group. Both his and the yellow teen's eyes widened when they saw the emblem blazing on the ghost's chest. The two teen immediately performed the most respectful bow they could, surprising both the Titans and the ghost boy.
"It is a great honor to finally meet you, O Great One," announced the blue teen. Danny could feel the surprised gazes of the Titans burning into his as he watched the two teens straighten up in stunned silence. Immediately, the larger armored being grabbed his hand and began to shake it excitedly.
"It's… good to meet you…"
"Thunder," answered the blue one, releasing the hybrid's hand and gesturing to the yellow teen.
"And I am Lightning," added Lightning as he also shook the halfa's hand with as just much enthusiasm.
"You know this guy?" questioned Robin as he walked out from the forest and joined his friends. The two boys looked at the Titans in shock, sharing a quick glance with each other before looking back at them.
"You don't?" asked Thunder.
"He has saved your world dozens of times," said Lightning as he gestured to now squirming halfa. "Faced beings that send chills up the spines of the strongest immortals, and has fought the elements of nature itself and bested them." The Titans looked at him in awe, causing the ghost boy to nervously rub the back of his neck and avoid eye contact with them.
"Hold on," Cyborg interjected, snapping all the teens out of their stupor. "If he's done all the things you say, then how come we've never heard of him before?"
"I'm sure you have," answered Thunder, causing Danny to freeze. "There are very few people in all the realms who haven't heard of the great…"
"Stop!" barked the masked teen as he grabbed the larger teen by the shoulder, startling everyone by his commanding tone and earning a suspicious look from the boy wonder. The two brothers gave him a questioning look as he released his grip on the taller one and shook his head.
"The world isn't ready to accept me yet," he said with a solemn tone, turning and continuing the walk back to his cave. With every step he took, his body slowly faded from sight.
"And I don't want to be hurt again trying to be."
The seven teens just stared at the spot he'd vanished, letting what he'd said sink in. Only after a minute did Lightning finally break the silence.
"It really is a shame that he has become like this."
"What do you mean?" asked Starfire, becoming more concerned for her friend by the second.
"Though there are stories about his deeds, there is still much we do not know about him," Thunder answered, tearing his eyes away from the empty spot the hybrid had and letting them fall on the alien girl.
"Whatever has happened to him, it has left him broken and afraid."
Danny didn't release his invisibility until he neared the entrance to his cave. With a tired sigh, he removed his helmet and let it hand from his hand.
"Even while being hunted down like an animal, you can't resist being a hero, can you?" The hybrid froze for a moment before turning his head in the direction of the voice. Walking into the light was what seemed to be an old man a black tunic and white sash, a red robe sitting on top of the ensemble. But what really drew him in was the mask that covered the man's face. The part that covered the right half of his face was completely black, no visible eye hole in sight. The other half was a metallic orange with a cold, commanding eye peering out from it.
Without a second thought, the hybrid glared at the intruder, his free hand exploding with ecto-energy and aimed directly at him.
"You've got about ten seconds to leave before you see how much worse my bite is to my bark," he growled, his steely gaze challenging him to tempt him.
"Very well," the man said, giving the boy a light shrug before approaching the teen. Danny's eyes never left the man, watching him for any sudden move for a weapon or an attack. The man came to a stop right next to the teen, pausing for a moment before turning around and bringing his face right up to the teen's. His next few words chilled the ghost boy to right down to his bones.
"I'll be in touch…. Danny Phantom." The entire area light up as lightning streaked across the sky above them. The instant the light died away, the old man was gone, leaving the halfa whirling around in an effort to find him. When it became apparent the man was gone, Danny slumped down onto the ground, running a hand through his snow-white hair in dread.
'I've been discovered…'
Danny's in trouble now. What's is he gonna do, and why is Slade interested in him. Find out next chapter, and don't forget to review.