This makes me think of jack fenton. Can we have this au please? It's.... just imagine this, a young maddie and alicia being the best and jack's just there being this dude.
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“Good job, son! We saved everyone from the menacing ghost!”
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The Dilemma of Experience and Needs🤔
Hi, guys! I’ve gone through half of my exams and have finally finished my new art! And to celebrate it I want to talk about The Dilemma of Experience and Needs on the example of my story “Repairing our lives”.
So how many times your trust in someone was broken? And how many times did you encounter the situation in which you are afraid to do something basing on your personal experience, but had some kind of need to do that?
Well, personally my trust was broken couple of times and after that I told myself to be always suspicious of every person in my life. But I also have a need to socialize with other people and here we encounter our dilemma.
On the example of Danny we can see it more clearly. In the past he and Vlad were enemies, because Vlad wanted to separate Danny and his Mom from their actual family and make them his, killing Danny’s father (or just ruining his life, in this situation there is little difference, I think) in the process. From his several collisions with Vlad Danny knows better than to trust or believe him, because Masters always has been manipulative and deceiving.
But now the situation has changed and Danny has his family and friends no more with him. The only person he can rely on is his ex-arch-enemy. Basing on his experience, Danny knows he shouldn’t trust Vlad, but he understands that without him Danny would continue to be miserable. He wants human interaction and help, which Vlad happily provides for him, he needs an adult in his life and he knows it. The problem is that he doesn’t know for sure if ignoring his past experience will do him any good, if he won’t be tricked again. Danny is afraid that if he chooses to trust Vlad and ignore his past experience concerning him, he will be manipulated and made into anything Vlad wants him to be, something that Danny doesn’t want himself to be. Something that will disgrace the memory of his family and friends...
This dilemma is really a vital problem. A lot of people collide with it every day. Please tell me what you think of it in the comments🙂 This issue is interesting to discuss and your opinion is very important to me❤️
I hope you’ll like my art, have a good day and I wish you to always have a person you can really trust🙂😉❤️
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Three Genius and One Brain Cell
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I think my favorite part about Jazz Fenton's character design is that someone said, "We're going to trick everyone into automatically connecting her appearance to her parents', not based on their actual biological characteristics (hair color, eye color, etc.) but by color-coordinating her with their signature outfits"...and it works?
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I will never get over how secret identities (more specifically, Danny's secret identity) are handled in the show. Although I gotta give them kudos for often lampshading the sheer ridiculousnes of the whole thing.
Because, on the one hand, you have Danny Phantom, who not only looks exactly the same as his human counterpart except for a tight suit and a slightly altered colour palette, he even has almost identical names. I mean, Danny Fenton? Danny Phantom? Hello? Could there possibly be more phonetically similar words????
And literally everyone in Amity Park but Team Phantom and Vlad Masters, people who are well aware of the crazy inventions and shenanigans the Fentons get themselves into, are legit like, "Danny Phantom? Inviso-Bill? Who could he possibly be? Certainly not scrawny, awkward, always-has-some-kind-of-weird-excuse-or-is-seen-running-away-whenever-ghosts-appear Danny Fenton! Of course not! Wes, don't be ridiculous!"
And on the other hand, you have Valerie. Valerie too-busy-with-work Gray. Valerie, who always wears a fully concealing outfit. Valerie has-her-face-completely-covered-by-a-mask/dark-visor Gray. Where-would-she-even-get-ghost-hunting-equipment-anyway? Valerie Gray.
Valerie, who gets immediately outed and recognised by Sam merely because she called her and Danny 'losers'. When in all fairness, that description could've applied to any A-lister in Casper High. Paulina literally said the exact same thing in the next episode.
But nope! She calls them losers once, and Sam immediately goes: "Hm, that mysterious new hunter whose identity is completely concealed by her outfit, which doesn't even follow any colour scheme we've seen before, sounds a lot like Valerie. I would recognise that particular disgusted tone anywhere!"
I swear to God, this just cracks me up every time I think about it. Peak comedy here, y'all!
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The Fenton family lives above a literal hole in reality. Can we just- talk about that please? Like maybe Maddie and Jack aren't affected as ...
(badly?) Jazz or Danny but like. Their fixation on ghosts and stuff- I just feel like that could've been exacerbated by all the ectoplasm and being in such close proximity to the portal.
I imagine that the Fentons moved in like two years before Danny was born, so when Jazz was a tiny baby. She wasn't born in Amity Park, but she grew up in one of the thinnest areas between Earth and the GZ. Maybe that's why she's a bit more openminded about stuff? Idk it's been a bit.
I think that Danny and Jazz would've been somewhat weird as tiny kids, and it got more noticeable in middle school (they were jokingly called the "cryptids"), and then suddenly bam. They hit highschool and suddenly the only weird thing was their parents and stuff.
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Cozy - Day Twenty Three
(Part 1: Core) (Part 2: Candlelight)
Jack almost trembles as he walks down the stairs, footsteps heavy each time as he grasps the small square of blanket in his hands.
He can’t be terrified now. Danny is probably more scared right now, he thinks.
The faint humming flitters in his ear, but not settled and rhythmic like usual. It’s pulsing and stressful. That must be Danny’s core acting up.
The thought alone is ludicrous, but it must be true.
All of a sudden, his son flees around the door behind him, and freezes when he notices his father. The man almost breaks. Danny looks terrified, a look which Jack never wants to see on the face of his own child.
“I’m the humming, Dad. I am.” Danny pants, words breaking like a dam. His fingers clench around the doorframe as he scans Jack. Up and down. Up and down again.
“I know, son. I know.” Nods Jack as he saunters over to the sofa, gently laying the blanket over one arm. “I hope I gave you enough time to process this.”
Danny blinks in surprise. “Yeah. I did.” His eyes still hold their blue wariness, however.
Beside him, Danny moves from the doorframe and quietly creeps, footsteps so quiet like a graceful cat. So different from the clumsy son Jack had grown so accustomed to over the past six months.
He can feel Danny’s blue eyes piercing, watching. As if any movement he makes is under watch. From the surprise Danny emits, Jack can imagine Danny was expecting a very different reaction.
“What were you expecting?” Jack asks, “I mean, you’re darting like a startled rabbit. I must be doing something that’s surprising you.”
“I guess ‘cause the humming.. I thought… I thought you’d have weapons. Not a blanket.” Danny shrugs, putting a hand over his chest protectively, “My ghost core. You hunt ghosts.”
Jack’s world crumbles.
Here he was, prepared to reassure his son and feeling ready to face anything after looking through that ancient photo album. Now he wasn’t too sure.
Ghost hunting — the only thing that Jack had excelled with in life — in Danny’s view was the thing that Jack saw was more important than his own kids.
“Daniel James Madison Fenton.” The large man states firmly, placing both hands on his son’s shoulder so he can’t run. This is important.
“You and Jazz will always be more important than any ghost hunting could ever be. Screw those weapons! Screw that lab! Screw that dang portal. You and Jazz are always and always will be foremost the most important things in my life. You hear me?”
Something changes in Danny’s eyes, and a small smile arises on his face.
“You really mean it, Dad?”
“Of course I do! Now tell me about that snazzy little ghost core of yours. If you want to, of course.”
“I think I’d like that.” Danny beams.
The father and son duo walk to the sofa and Danny sits first, his blue eyes constantly observing him. There’s something haunting beneath those blue eyes, but Jack ignores it. He can’t fail his son now.
“Well, where do I even begin?” Danny sighs, tapping his fingers on the arm of the chair.
“Your choice.” Jack shrugs.
They awkwardly sit in silence and Jack fumbles with the blanket on the arm of the chair. The teenager doesn’t say anything, but simply watches the blanket, deep in thought. Jack stays quiet.
“What do you think about Phantom?” Offhandedly, says Danny, slouching into the back of the armchair, hands hugged around his chest tightly.
What’s this got to do with Phantom? Jack wonders. Sure, he wasn’t exactly a big fan of the ghost, but Phantom did a good job of protecting Amity when needed. But knowing the ghost personally? Jack barely spoke to him, if at all.
“I don’t really know him that well, son. He does a good job of protecting us, but other than that I just don’t know.”
A grateful smile hovers on Danny’s face, and the boy visibly brightens. “You think I— he does a good job?”
“Yes.” Jack nods. It seems that talking about Phantom makes Danny happier, although he isn’t sure why. His son does have a ghost core, so perhaps Danny is trying to get his opinion on other ghosts before he tells him the truth? Especially since Phantom once had been their sworn enemy when he first appeared.
“Well, my core.” Danny winces as he gestures to his chest, “It gives me ghost powers. I can do all sorts. Invisibility, intangibility, ectoblasts, flight-“
“Woah woah, hold up!”
Danny freezes and his shoulders tense.
“You can fly?” Says Jack, eyes wide with amazement, as Danny deflated in relief. His son can fly? And that means...
“Yeah, I can.” Danny smirks.
Jack can’t help the infinite happiness that sparks within him. Danny can fly!
“You can see the stars! You can go to space!”
“Done, and done.” Danny smirks, tilting his head, “Did you think I wouldn’t?”
Excitedly, Jack swoops up his son under the shoulders (Danny’s light for his age) and embraces him tightly in his arms. It’s just like all those years ago when he first put the tangerine HAZMAT suit on, except he gets to see the stars twinkle in his son's eyes with excitement.
My son’s dreams came true!
And as long as his kids are happy, that’s all that matters to Jack. He places Danny back down, and grabs the ragged fabric in his hands.
“And uh, there’s something else.” Danny rubs the back of his neck, awkwardly smiling, “I’m Phantom.”
Jack has no time to even breathe before a halo of light engulfs the room, and there, glowing, floating where his son once stood, is Phantom proudly standing, shoulders tall and eyes filled with confidence.
He steps back, a small gasp emitting from his throat, almost dropping the blanket in shock. However, Jack internally steadies himself, even though his thoughts are going wild.
Danny’s probably expecting him to gawp with astonishment, and shout “You’re a ghost?” or something similar. But he can’t do that.
He doesn’t need words to show how proud he is.
Jack stretches his arms slowly outwards, and embraces his son gently around the shoulders, just in case Danny feels like he needs to be let go of. But his son doesn’t resist, so Jack hugs firmer, all his love pouring into the one small gesture as Danny clings to him like a lifeline.
He’s never been close like this since the accident.. The man ponders, and looks down at his son, safe and cozy in his arms, and his heart swells with pride.
“You’re not just the hero of Amity Park, son. You’re my hero.”
Goddamn I was meant to write something wholesome and happy but I burst into tears reading it. I think I wrote it too wholesome.
I didn’t include Jack giving him the blanket but that’s cause I think it ended off pretty nicely instead of continuing. But I can say that yes, Danny does get the blanket and he loves it very much and uses it as a security blanket.
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I think the sentence you’re looking for is “buy him a new and better phone because you crushed the old one”
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Chapter 3 of "I'M GOIN'..." is done! Here's the AO3 link. Or read it below. (...Or don't read it at all. I'm not your mother. Do what you want....but don't forget to brush your teeth. And get a decent amount of sleep. And brush your hair. And-)
I'M GOIN'... Chapter 3: "Friendship"
Danny went home after a couple long days in the hospital. He was glad to be home. The very first thing he did was run to his bedroom, jump onto his bed, and look up at the stars on his ceiling. He heaved a heavy sigh, naming the stars, looking for his favorite constellations. Maybe things would be back to normal soon.
He was just beginning to believe that things were still normal, that things were safe, when suddenly his arm fell through his bed. A yelp escaped him as he pulled his arm back out of the mattress. "Danny? Are you okay?" Jazz poked her head into his room, her eyebrows knit in concern. "Is something wrong?"
"Everything's fine Jazz." Danny scowled lightly and crossed his arms over his chest. He really hoped that she didn't see anything. "I just want some time alone if you don't mind."
"O–okay." Jazz's eyebrows somehow managed to knit together even tighter. "I'll leave you alone for a bit then." She looked a little hurt, and plenty worried. But Danny didn't really care. He was too caught up in his own panic, because as Jazz left the room, his legs both seemed to vanish.
He stopped himself from screaming, and tried to make his lower-half visible again. The issue was, that Danny didn't know how to control what was happening to him.
Danny was panicking. He changed. He was different. He wasn't himself anymore. There was a flash of white light, and then he was different. He could feel it. See it. And sense it all at once. And he didn't know how to change back.
He was practically touching the ceiling and curling in on himself because he was freaking out.
Then his bedroom door opened. And shut. So quickly he almost didn't notice. There in front of him stood Sam and Tucker, looking concerned.
Danny suddenly turned back to normal, and fell hard on his bed. His panic didn't die down though. "Guys! I….it...just"
"Danny, calm down. It's okay. We're here to help." Tucker sat on Danny's bed, and put a hand on his knee. "Best friends don't leave best friends to deal with sudden mutations on their own." Danny looked over at Sam who nodded her agreement.
"We're not going anywhere."
"W-what am I?" Danny's choice cracked. "I'm not–not completely human anymore. I can–I can tell. I can feel it when I change. So what am I?" Sam and Tucker shared a concerned look.
"We'll have to figure that out together." Tucker scooted closer to Danny, and elbowed him lightly. "I'm sure your parents have something that can tell us what's going on."
"Y-yeah. You're right." Danny nodded.
Tucker handed him a small acrylic pin. It looked like a classic alien head, and the bottom said 'out of this world.'
"I thought you were gonna stop with the pins for a while Tuck?"
"After everything that happened, I think this is a justified purchase." Tucker said with a shrug. "Plus Sam brought you a couple things too." Sam stuck her tongue out at Tucker before tossing a plastic shopping bag at Danny.
"Here. For your collection." Danny looked inside and saw four 'Ghostie Energy' cans in bright colors.
"Thanks. You guys rock." Danny smiled softly at his two best friends, and gave Tucker a half-hug. "Let me put these away, then we can raid the fridge downstairs."
Getting downstairs proved to be a slight challenge, when Danny's left leg suddenly fell through the second step. He almost fell all the way down, luckily Sam and Tucker had fast enough reflexes to catch him before any real damage was done.
Danny's parents were both in the kitchen working on some new project. It looked like a handheld computer of some kind. "Hey Dad, we're gonna get some snacks from the fridge and play some video games in the living room, okay?"
"Alright Danno. Just try not to make a mess okay?" Dad looked up from the blueprints he was studying.
"Sure thing Dad." Danny flashed a smile at his Dad as he opened the fridge up.
"Danny, could you Thank your friend for calling an ambulance for you after your accident, for me?" Mom had her goggles pulled down but Danny could still tell she was looking directly at him.
"Okay. Guys my mom says thanks." Danny said distractedly as he grabbed more snack foods from the cabinets.
"No, your other friend. The athletic one." Dad chimed in while writing a note.
"Athletic one?..." Danny almost dropped his armload of snacks when he realized who his parents were talking about. Then it hit him, he realized the one thing he had been trying not to think about. Kwan. Saw everything. Kwan saw what happened to him! "You mean Kwan?" Danny managed to choke out. "He's not really a friend. He was probably here looking for Jazz."
"Still. Make sure to thank him for us." Mom smiled sadly. "I don't know what we would have done if he hadn't called for an ambulance." She shuddered, and Danny nodded.
"Yeah okay." Danny nudged Tucker on the arm and handed him some of the snacks. "We'll be in the living room. We might head back upstairs in a little while though."
"Alright. You kids have fun!" Dad said, with a slightly distracted wave.
Meanwhile, Kwan tried not to think about everything that had happened at the Fenton's. Over the past few days he had been mainly attempting to pretend that it hadn't happened, and that he has been in no way involved. Although that didn't really happen, because The A-List inadvertently "adopted" Jazz into their group...at least tentatively.
Kwan looked up as Dash entered through his front door, dragging along a slightly confused looking Jazz. "Hey, Kwan." Dash tossed a football softly at him. "You wanna hang? The other girls already packed an entire picnic." Kwan couldn't help but grin at that.
"That sounds great actually. But, when did Star have the time to pack a picnic?" Kwan and Dash both knew that Paulina wouldn't pack anything herself unless she was forced to, and Val was absolute trash in the kitchen. Dash shrugged.
"No clue. 'Lina just called me about half an hour ago, and asked if we could all hang and have a picnic, I said sure, got Jazz, and now I'm grabbing you." Dash grinned as they started making their way toward their usual picnic spot in the park. (Luckily Kwan lived close by.)
As they reached the picnic spot the rest of the girls were all doing their own things. Star was weaving together flower crowns, Paulina was reading a fashion magazine, and Valerie was laying on her back on the picnic blanket, watching the clouds.
"Hey! Did we miss anything exciting?" Kwan skipped a little bit as they got closer.
"Nah. Star made PB&Js for everyone except 'Lina." Val said, sitting up to make room on the picnic blanket.
"No worries though! I made her a very nice sunflower butter and honey sandwich." Star dropped the flower crown she was working on and leaned over to hug Paulina.
"You guys do this kinda thing often then?" Jazz asked as she sat down.
"Not all the time, but whenever we get the chance." Kwan told her, he sat next to her and smiled. "How's your brother doing?" He didn't want to think about all the things that happened, but he did want to make sure that the Fentons were all doing alright.
"He's doing better, thanks for asking. He's back to kicking me out of his room, only talking to his friends. So that's a big plus." Jazz gave a half-hearted shrug.
"I'm so glad things are getting better!" Star beamed. "If you need anyone to talk to, you're welcome to talk with us." As if to prove her point, Star placed the crown she'd been working on, on top of Jazz's head.
Kwan looked over at Dash and Paulina, he knew those two worked hard to make sure the A-List was only the most popular kids in Casper High. Dash looked uneasy, and Paulina looked like she was working out who could possibly be bumped out of the group. While Jazz and Star kept talking about the picnic, Kwan pulled Dash and Paulina aside to discuss it.
"Guys. I think it's fine. We don't have to be an exclusive group. Plus, we all know that Jazz is cool. No one would question her hanging with us." Kwan kept his voice low.
"It's not her that we're concerned about." Dash admitted softly. "Her parents really take her down the social ladder." The football star sighed. "I just don't know if she's got enough to stand on her own in the social climate."
"Plus she's just a tad nerdy." Paulina wrinkled her nose. "We don't want nerds. That takes us from the A-List, to like… the F-List."
"Guys. She isn't that nerdy. Plus we've all needed her help with homework plenty of times." Kwan defended. "She's good at moving between social groups anyway. So we don't have to make her an official A-Lister. We just need to be open to talking with her in public." Dash and Paulina still looked unconvinced. "We have been hanging with her for the past few days already. We brought her along on a picnic for goodness sakes! Get a grip! We're the only ones who care about social standing!" It took everything in him not to yell. Kwan had to stop and take a deep breath, otherwise he might have snapped.
"Kwan. We can let her join peripherally. Anything more than that and...you know how it is." Dash held his hands up in surrender sign of mock surrender.
"Dash. You're my best friend. I would jump off a bridge for you." Kwan narrowed his eyes. "But if you're lying to me. If you don't put your best effort into making this work out. I'll step down and let her take my spot on the A-List." Kwan didn't know where this was coming from, but he did recognize that Jazz needed friends. Especially right now.
"I'll do my best. Let's get back to the picnic and have some fun." Dash lightly punched Kwan on the arm, and Kwan relaxed. He knew Dash would keep his word, he may have overreacted a bit.
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Endless Cartoon intro’s: 18/♾
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Read here, or on AO3! Word count: 3293 Possible trigger warnings: Danny’s death is referenced, as is that of other ghosts.
He let himself fall to the ground, phasing through it and stopping himself just in time not to facepalm on sewer water.
“Ghost or no, I’m not getting that on myself” he muttered out loud. He was sure he had lost his parents, he didn’t think they would follow him into the sewers.
But apparently he thought wrong, as he heard the metal sound of the manhole getting opened a couple of feet from him. He started flying again, turning invisible and phasing slightly through the ground once more, ready to flee if necessary, but he couldn’t help but stay to look at them, hoping to see… he didn’t know what, exactly, but he didn’t want to miss it. He thought maybe they’d let something slip, or at least he’d see their new tech in action.
He saw them look his way, scanning their surroundings, most likely in search of his presence. They walked around for a bit, with Danny on their trail, before deciding to split up, his father going back on the streets where they came from and his mom staying in the sewers walking around.
“Jack, dear, everything as expected?” he heard his mom suddenly say. They were probably talking via intercoms, having upgraded their basic equipment over the years, as well as their ghost hunting tech.
‘What does that mean?’ Danny wondered to himself. He didn’t hear the response, but something told him he had better run away from there, far from her. As soon as he actually moved away and phased through the concrete and was back on the street, he was met by his father’s eyes looking directly at him, a smug smile on his face.
Danny looked at his hands to make sure he was still invisible and as he found nothing, he shot a questioning look to his dad, before turning the other ways and flying up to run somewhere safe -or at the very least, safer than there-, instead he found himself face first onto a ghost shield, tumbling back a couple of feet and turning visible again.
“Great…” Danny muttered out loud and found himself asking his dad “Can curiosity kill the cat, if the cat already died?” His father looked at the boy confused, obviously not understanding the contest of Danny’s joke and why it was absolutely hilarious. At least, to Danny it was.
‘Not the time for jokes!’ he thought as he turned intangible again to escape towards the sewers, but as he hit his face against the shield again, he realised that it went all the way around.
He saw his mom cheekly smiling at him before turning around and going back the way she came from, most likely to meet with his dad.
He floated back up, sitting on the street with his arms and legs crossed, and pouting.
“Pouting? Really?” his mother’s voice caught his attention, but he refused to look at her. Getting out of those things was annoying and he really didn’t want to be vivisected by his parents. Or dissected. He was technically a ghost, but also not really, and ghosts are not dead bodies so which one would be more correct? As he wondered his mom continued talking to him “What are you? 5?”
“I’ll have you know” he pointed at himself with his thumb “I am almost of age” Danny announced.
“It’s not like you’ll actually age past 14, ghost” his dad intervened “you’re a ghost!”
Danny stayed silent for a moment, looking at him and then floated to his eye level “Astute observation like alway, Jack” it was always weird having to refer to his parents with their first names, but after a good almost 4 years it became second nature, even a little hard not to mix it up and call them by their names when he was their son, and ‘mom’ and ‘dad’ when he was Phantom.
His dad seemed to take his obvious sarcasm as a genuine compliment and smiled proudly, as his mom shook her head and put a hand on her husband’s shoulder.
“You’re coming with us” as the words left his mom’s mouth, his mood worsened, the air getting colder by the second. His parents visibly noticed. He never meant to do it, but it was hard to control how much cold he emitted, especially when in distress. Some sort of defense mechanism, Sam had once offered as an explanation.
While he was floating, his parents took the opportunity to slide the bottom of a ghost cage under him. Danny recognised it; it was made of ectoranium, impossible to phase through for any ghost. Or, well, half-ghosts, as it were. How his parents got their hands on it, Danny didn’t know.
He sat back down, the same position as before, pout ever present on his face, and the rest of the cage appeared around him.
“You gave up easy” ‘almost too easy’ was left unsaid, but clearly implied. She was wary of what she probably believed to be unusual behaviour for the ghost child, and really. Who could blame her?
“Yeah, well, it’s not like I could’ve gotten out of here, anyway, right now” Danny shrugged, but keeping his face glowering, eyes just a tint of toxic green too much.
“Contrary to popular belief,” he decided to add, as his parents started lifting the cage -complete with its own ghost shield- to carry him to the familiar RV “And by popular opinion I mean, specifically, your opinion” the halfa turned to glare at the two adults holding his temporary prison, no real malice behind it “I am neither dumb, nor do I want to hurt humans!” he huffed, having had this conversation with his folks too many times to count.
Danny realized that carrying him in a metal cage was not going to be a good experience, the RV being pretty far away from his point of capture, so he started floating a bit. Not too much to hit the metal roof, but enough to take off the weight of his ecto-body.
A thought entered his mind, so he ignored his dad’s questioning look, probably in relation to his act of altruism towards his capturers, to ask “Why a cage?” he didn’t really expect an answer, and when neither of his parents answered he let out a heavy breath, a little disappointed.
Then, Danny heard his mom sigh and saw her shake her head as she asked for clarification “What do you mean, ghost?”
“Well, isn’t a cage a little… I don’t know… primitive? Couldn’t you have captured me with one of your Fenton Thermoses?” to Danny it seemed more work than it was worth. The Thermos would contain him and he would be much easier to carry.
“We wanted to keep you under observation” his dad butted in, making Danny turn to look at him.
“What if I just turn invisible? Can’t really observe me if you can’t see me” he smirked as he thought of turning invisible just to piss them off.
But his dad kept smiling, and even without checking, he was almost certain that his mom was doing the same. They had found him before, when he was invisible. Ergo: they had something to track him down with.
His own grin was wiped off of his face as the realization of them being several steps ahead hit him, as he began assessing their tech, everything they had with them, everything that could be new.
‘Man, I should really pay more attention when they talk about their new inventions’ he scolded himself for being so careless.
That was when he saw it. “Your goggles” he shook his head ‘The lenses are green, how did I miss that?’ Danny chastised himself for not noticing it in time.
“What is it? Heat signature? Ectoplasmic residue? A bit of both?” The look on their faces was one of confusion and mild astonishment. His dad opened his mouth, but before he could utter a word, probably about to give Danny an honest response, his mom answered him “We won’t tell you how our weapons work. It would be giving you a way to work around them” she glared at him, a silent threat not to try anything stupid.
“So I was right on the money. It’s a bit of both, isn’t it?” he put his hands down, floating a bit more to put himself in a more comfortable position “Man, you guys are good!” he chuckled, then sighed loudly when his eyes landed back on the cage’s bars.
“Well, I’m taking a nap” a yawn escaped his mouth before he could catch it, watering his eyes a bit “Wake me up when you need me” he rolled to the side and, using his forearm and hand as a makeshift cushion, he closed his eyes, hoping he could drift off to sleep.
But his peace was short lived, as he heard his mother groan not more than a few minutes later. He opened one of his eyes to look at her, and as lucidely as possible addressed her.
“What?” he asked.
“You can drop the act, stop trying to pretend you’re human”
“Maddie, I don’t know if you noticed, but it’s about…” he made a point to look at the sky, as if assessing the time. He could, if he wanted, with just a bit more time. But not at that moment “ass o’clock in the morning!” he emphasized his point by turning around and looking the other way “I’m tired and I want to sleep. So” he yawned again “if you do not require my services” he said, with as much of a posh english accent he could master “I’m going to take a power nap”
It seemed that his parents really didn’t want him to sleep, as his attempt to slumber was once again interrupted by his mom speaking, as the cage was lowered in the backseat of the RV “You’re a ghost” she simply stated.
Danny stayed silent for a second, then sighed. He had been doing that a lot that day “And you’re a human” he hoped she would understand that stating the obvious wasn’t going to help her with whatever she needed from him.
“You don’t need to sleep” she stated, once again, as if it was an undeniable, scientific truth she gathered studying ghosts, and not a prejudice developed after years of conjectures.
Danny gave up on trying to catch some shut eye. He would have to take a nap during lunch the next day, because at that point he was sure it was going to be another all-nighter. He stayed laying down, with his back towards the cage’s floor and his hands behind his head, still floating a little. It made him feel more comfortable, as a ghost, to be above ground instead of touching it. He thought it had to do with the change in weight that came with his body changing from meat to ectoplasm, but he couldn’t be sure.
He closed his eyes, but didn’t try to fall asleep, as his dad started driving “If I wasn’t already dead, I’m sure your driving would kill me” he complained to himself. His breath hitched, as the vehicle swayed all of a sudden, the motion causing a startled noise to exit his mouth and his eyes to open.
“Why do you put that much effort in seeming human? It won’t work with us” his mom didn’t even turn around to look at him. Danny wouldn’t lie and say it never hurts to be treated like that from his parents, but he knew they would change their point of view in a heartbeat if he revealed himself. After all, he had lived it.
But he never did. The cons had always outweighed the pros, the pain he would bring them to see what they unconsciously did wasn’t worth it. They would fret, and worry, and blame themselves for everything. Danny didn’t want that. He didn’t want to see the look in their eyes when they realized how much they had involuntarily hurt him.
“What do you mean?” he tiredly decided to ask his mom.
“You know what I mean,” his mom replied, completely useful. Danny raised an eyebrow at her, awaiting clarification.
She sighed “I mean” she said harshly “the breathing. The saying you want to-to- to sleep!” she sounded utterly done with the whole situation “I don’t understand what benefits you get from keeping up the charade, seeing as it won’t work” she unfatised the last words, making it clear for Danny that they didn’t buy whatever they thought he was selling.
He looked at her, closed his eyes for a moment and inhaled “Do you want an actual answer you will listen to? You will consider what I say, even if it doesn’t align with what you think you know about ghosts?” he knew they weren’t going to. They were stuck in their way, too obsessed with being right to even consider that something was different, twisting every bit of evidence they got to fit their beliefs.
His parents shared a glance. His dad had seemed more willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. He never wanted to prove that ghosts were evil -after all, why would someone wish for inherently evil things to exist?- no, he just had always wanted to get rid of those that were, and for a while it was all of them. But a lot of things happened over the years, he met a lot of ghosts that didn’t fit the mold they created with speculations.
His mom, Danny knew, was the same. But she was also in denial. She didn’t want her entire worldview to change, because the unknown was scary.
‘Wow’ Danny thought ‘I’ve been hanging out with Jazz too much’
He saw his father smile and turn to look at the road in front of him, as did his mother, but she wasn’t smiling. She had her arms crossed and looked at Danny from the rearview mirror.
“We’ll humour you” she simply stated.
‘Well… It’s a start’ Danny wasn’t going to look a gifted horse in the mouth.
“Have you ever considered I’m not faking it?” that elicited a chuckle from his mom “Yeah, sure” she said sarcastically “You don’t need to breathe, why would you?”
“I’m not sure” Danny answered honestly “I’ve thought about it, though” he, Jazz and Sam had that conversation once, when he was still scared of not being completely human. When he hadn’t quite accepted everything that had happened.
“That’s your answer? ‘I don’t know, but I’m not faking it’?” his dad said, incredulous.
“I can give you some theories I have,” he offered. He won’t let that afternoon of oversharing insecurities with his -at the time- wanna-be-psychologist sister go to waste.
“Sure” they said at the same time, his dad with a curious note to his voice, while his mom just sounded wary.
“Well…” he thought about where to start. He could pull out the big guns, but was it really worth it to lay bare his doubts in front of his parents? He decided that maybe it was, if he could change their opinions like that.
“The most probable thing is I do it out of habit” he shrugged “even though I don’t need it, I’ve been doing it for 14 years, so it’s hard to just… not. Somethings I catch myself not breathing and I panic, before remembering that it’s not a big deal” which was something that Tucker always made fun of him for, but after it always got a good laugh out of all of them.
He waited for his parents to say something, but they didn’t comment, so he kept going “The other theory I had for a while, which was mostly before I stopped aging, was that it was a subconscious thing” he heard his father mutter under his breath “Aging?”
“Yeah, I kept aging for a while, but I don’t know if you could actually call it that. I think that since I died before finishing puberty I… Involuntarily kept changing my body to look like I was still, somehow, going through puberty”
“What made you stop?” His father seemed much more interested in all that than his mom, who just looked skeptical. He answered anyway.
“I noticed that ghosts weren’t supposed to change. Seeing how young Youngblood is, how long Dorothea has been a ghost even though she’s been one since the 12th century made me realize that” it had been a little painful, Dora had actually been very supportive and helpful about it. Clockwork tried to help, but he didn’t really understand with his whole ‘being all ages at the same time’ thing he had going on.
“I was in denial. About the whole ‘being dead’ thing. When I accepted that it was it. I wasn’t going to get a driver’s licence. I wasn’t going to be old enough to drink. I wouldn’t graduate. That’s when I stopped aging” it wasn’t a lie per se, sure. It was true that he did age for a while before accepting the fact that, partially, he was a ghost and nothing could change that. But he would still be able to achieve some of the things he wouldn’t be able to do if he was fully a ghost.
Sure, he had given up on being an astronaut, certain that he couldn’t pass any medical exam, but at the end of the day, he could go up to see the stars every time he wanted. Basically everything else on his list was doable.
“So,” his mom’s voice brought him back from his daydreaming “you’re saying you remember your time being alive?” she sounded like she hadn’t believed a single thing that came out of his mouth, but like the sole thought of something like that being possible was intriguing at the very least.
“Some ghosts do, other don’t” he yawned, a very high-pitched sound coming out of his mouth at the end “Word of advice though, it’s generally considered very rude to ask a ghost anything to do with their time as a living person or, and I cannot stress this enough, about their death. Unless they’re the ones starting that kind of conversation” Danny decided to warn them. He knew some ghosts wouldn’t do anything if someone asks, but they’d most likely get their day ruined. Others could just try to harm them for such queries.
“And why is that?” His mom’s tone of voice made that question sound like a little bit of a challenge, but Danny wasn’t kidding. It was a sensitive topic, one that even he found difficult to talk about, even with his friends.
“Because happy people don’t become ghosts” his voice was flat, void of emotion and low enough that for a second he wondered if his parents even heard him.
Then his dad spoke up “I’m sorry kiddo. Must’ve been awful” his mom looked like she wanted to argue, but didn’t really have it in her heart. After all, ghost or not, he still looked like a teen, and everyone would be heartbroken when confronted with the idea of someone so young, not only dying, be having such a horrible life, or dying in such a traumatic way that they become a ghost.
Youngblood came to Danny’s mind. He didn’t think he ever wanted to know.
The rest of the ride was suffered in silence by both parties. Despite his desire to rest, Danny couldn’t fall asleep after having had such a conversation with his parents. He wasn’t delusional enough to think that one simple conversation was going to fix things, but he still hoped that it could be a start.
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Thinking about ghosts attacking the town or something and Maddie looking at Danny holding an ectogun, fighting with them but with none of their cheery enthusiasm for ghost hunting and instead with tired eyes and grim determination, and seeing a child soldier she help make in the place of her son.
Just idk something about Maddie and Jack’s naive and irresponsible gung ho violence vs Danny’s reluctant grit and not seeing the cost of innocence before it’s too late. You wanted your kids to follow in the family business didn’t you? Are you happy now?
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The Amity Park Haunting Part 3: Raising Your Spirits
The town of Amity Park is under attack by ghosts, but everyone knows that by now. For dozens of years, Amity Park citizens cowered away in their homes, hoping that they wouldn’t get haunted, until a hero rose up to fight against the ghosts, a hero by the name of Jason Baxter. As things begin to die down and the town returns to normal, Jason is suddenly murdered by a mystery ghost. Now, the torch has been passed on to his irresponsible, and newly orphaned son, Dash. To complete his ghost fighting training, Dash is taken in by the Fenton family, none other than his father’s former partners, as they teach him how to uphold his father’s legacy, but they unwittingly are harboring a ghost in their midst.
It’s day two of Dash living in the Fenton house and he is already getting more attention than Danny believes he deserves. But as his parents are distracted with their training, Danny is free to test out the limits of his powers against a new adversary: the famed ghost hunter, Skulker, who pledges to hunt down and kill Danny.
What a Day
The breakfast table is surprisingly empty as I sit and eat my breakfast, likely because Mom and Dash went to report their progress to the mayor this morning at 7 am, meaning that he’ll likely get to skip out on his morning classes. “The perks of being the town hero I guess...” I stir my cereal around in the bowl, watching it get soggy as my thoughts wander to yesterday’s events. I found out after I woke up that my dad suffered a concussion from the blow and my mother sprained her wrist, and though both of them were lucky to have gotten out with such mild injuries, they’ve still been put out of commission by the mayor for two weeks. Mom is at city hall now to contest that order, but I doubt it’ll be overturned. In any case, it gives the two of them a lot more time to train Dash, especially if they want him to be a ruthless ghost hunter like Jason. But, for some reason, my interaction with Dash yesterday is bugging me.
Why didn’t he shoot me?
I finally snap out of my thoughts, looking down at the mostly disintegrated cereal in my bowl, and toss it in the sink before heading to get ready, when I run into Jazz as she races down the stairs with a binder full of loose papers. “Watch out, Danny! I have to get to school.”
“What for?” I ask.
“My science club had to change rooms because the attack yesterday damaged property and now our meeting time moved from morning to afternoon!” She explains while racing around the room and collecting her things, before booking it out the door without so much as a goodbye.
“See you later?” I roll my eyes, turning and heading up the stairs to get ready for school. I leave the house about thirty minutes later and when I walk out the door, I see Sam and Tucker waiting for me at the bottom of the stairs. “H-Hey.”
“Hey,” Tucker replies, but Sam remains turned away with her arms crossed, not wanting to make eye contact with me. I don’t say another word as I walk down the stairs to meet them. Keeping pace with their walking speed, we head towards the school, me not daring to say a word with out prompting.
“We heard that you got sick yesterday,” Tucker leads into a long string of questioning, like he always does. “Is it from the day before? You know, when...” he pauses, trying to think of how to put his words.
“It...” I don’t want to lie, so I don’t say anything more, just keeping my eyes glued to the sidewalk beneath me as I continue walking. On the opposite side of Tucker, who acts as a buffer between us, Sam scoffs, not hiding her annoyance.
“Of course he has nothing to say.”
“Sam...” Tucker scolds, though I doubt it’ll do anything. “He said he would tell us when he’s ready.”
“And when is that gonna be?” Sam stops in her tracks and we all follow her lead. “Danny, w-we saw... heard your screams. You were...” she can’t finish, which genuinely surprises me. Even more surprising are the tears that streak down her face as she cups her mouth, horrified and traumatized by what she saw. Tucker grabs Sam by the arm and pulls her into a hug, trying to comfort her in all of the ways that I’d failed.
“I’m sorry,” I can’t say anything to relieve their stress, all because of my fear. I’m a fucking coward. I clench my fists in frustration, secretly wanting them to ream me out.
“Danny, we just want to know what’s going on,” Tucker concludes. “We thought that you died in there and... we blamed ourselves.”
Hit that nail right on the head.
“I am just...” I try to tell them, force the words from my mouth, but all I can do is speak in sentence fragments. “I’m so damn confused right now. And I know that you guys wouldn’t understand cause I don’t even fucking understand. But...”
“What the hell could possibly be so bad that you can’t tell us?” Tucker shouts, still clutching Sam as she rests on his chest like lump of clay.
“If you’d just let me figure that out for myself then I would tell you!” I yell back, releasing my pent up anger from everything that has been happening onto them. “I need you guys to trust and support me right now! I need you guys to be my friends!”
“Well what about what we need from you?” Sam regains her strength, the cold anger of her voice just as terrifying as the other two times I’d heard it.
“I think I get to be selfish now,” I tell her and march off, not feeling particularly angry at them, more so myself for being like this to my best friends. Once I get to school, I put my things away in my locker and head straight to class, not waiting for them to join me. As soon as I get to English class, though, I kick myself for not having my friends for support when Mr. Lancer comes up to me.
“Mr. Fenton,” his voice echoes throughout the room in a taunting manor, as if begging me to act out. I turn around to face my teacher, noticing how intimidating he is as he stands over me, and struggle to come up with an excuse for whatever it is he’s yelling at me for. “You promised me last week that you would turn in your ghost safety protocol form.”
“Uh...” I try to think of something to say, but Lancer cuts me off.
“Yesterday we had a ghost attack, as I’m sure you’ve heard,” he lectures. “If you would have been at school, you would have detention right now.”
“But I don’t?” I ask in surprise.
“I’m still debating it,” Lancer replies, walking past me towards his desk in preparation to start class. “Have it turned in by tomorrow morning. And I expect you to be on your best behavior today.” He glares at me, prompting me to shuffle into my seat, where I stay seated quietly for the remainder of the class, avoiding eye contact with Sam and Tucker the entire time. After the bell rings and Lancer finishes assigning us the literature homework, I book it as fast as I can out of the classroom, but am stopped at the door by a terrifying force of strength that knocks be back before I am able to make my escape.
“Fenton.” I don’t even have to look up to know who is blocking my path. Just as I am about to respond, Mr. Lancer interjects.
“Is there a problem here?” I don’t even turn around to face my teacher, swallowing my pride and peering up into the face of my enemy, who glares back at me.
“S-sorry, Dash,” I stutter before nudging past the jock and rushing as fast as I can down the halls, feeling his eyes burning through the back of my skull as I scurry towards my next class.
After a few more miserable classes and a lunch period spent in an empty classroom, I am finally allowed to go home, deciding to walk back with Jazz for the first time in a while. “How was school?” She asks, and I know full well that she is wondering if Dash and I had another fight.
“Fine,” I say, but immediately regret it, as if my body is begging me to vent to her about my problems. “I just got reamed out by both my best friends and my teacher.”
“Wh-why?” She seems completely stunned by my admission.
“Well, Lancer almost gave me detention for not turning in my ghost attack form thing,” I begin, not stopping the words as they flow out of my mouth. “I know I should’ve had mom and dad sign it, but I don’t want to bother them with this with everything that’s been going on.” I pause, wondering when Jazz is going to scold me for ‘neglecting my responsibilities’ or something like that, but when I look over at her, she has her eyes trained forward, waiting for me to continue. “Um... and Sam and Tucker... they’re angry with me. And honestly I don’t blame them. After everything that they’ve been through I would be pissed at me too, but...” I sigh, unable to finish what I was thinking. “Are you really not gonna say anything?”
“Do you want to know what I really think?” She asks and I nod in response. “It was stupid of you to neglect your responsibilities just because you wanted to protect Mom and Dad’s feelings. I mean, it’s not like they’ve stopped fighting ghosts just because Jason died.” She makes a pretty good point. “And I don’t know what happened between you, Tucker, and Sam, but I do know what they said when they called me.”
“What do you mean when they called you?”
“They called me the night that you went missing for a while,” she starts. “When you went on your ‘walk’ around the neighborhood. They didn’t tell me any details, but they said that you might have gotten hurt and wanted to know if you were okay. When I told them that you were missing they seemed devastated, like they’d just lost you.” I stop walking, looking down at the ground with clenched fists.
“I know that,” I tell her through gritted teeth, my voice barely louder than a whisper. “I know how much I’m hurting them, but... they don’t know what I’m going through. They don’t understand what it’s like to be a—“ Oh my god, I almost told her.
“A what?” She doesn’t just let it go, which is pretty in line with her character but not exactly what I need right now.
“Nothing,” I brush her off. “My point is, I need time to figure things out. And...” Deep down, what I’m most worried about is that they’ll hate me when I tell them. “I just want this miserable day to be over.” We continue walking, the lull in the conversation making me feel a bit awkward.
“Um...” she seems to be choosing her words carefully. “Did something else happen today? Like with Dash?”
“Surprisingly no,” I laugh despite myself. “We only ever saw each other once, and that was hardly even an encounter compared to last time.”
“I’m still so pissed at that douchebag,” she says, clenching her jaw in anger. “He didn’t even wait to see if you were okay yesterday on the way to school; just darted off like a scared gazelle.” A flash of last night returns to me, Dash’s ‘feel better’ ringing through my ears. “God! What is his problem?”
“I was just wondering the same thing.” Our conversation sputters to a halt once we get home, where we can hear very loud and potentially dangerous banging noises coming from the backyard. We enter through the rear gate, looking to see what could possibly be making so much noise, and see our parents, as well as Dash, assembling what looks to be a target arena, with fake ghost cutouts to boot.
“Hey kids!” Mom yells, dropping a large steel barrel into Dad’s arms, who almost falls over due to the weight. She runs up to us and scoops us into a warm hug.
“Mom, be careful with your wrist,” Jazz scolds, trying to talk her way out of being crushed.
“Oh it’s fine, dear,” she says. “That coward mayor couldn’t be convinced though. So we’ve just been here.” Once mom releases us, we turn to watch Dad as he teaches Dash how to properly hold his gun.
“He’s here?” I ask, not taking my eyes off of them.
“Oh, yeah,” Mom says excitedly. “Dash gets to come home early from school everyday so that he can train. It’s part of the plan that the mayor put together for him. It’s so wonderful getting to train a newbie again. I remember when you two were kids just learning how to hold your ecto-blasters.” She sighs, reminiscing on the past.
“Okay, enough of that,” I say, turning my eyes away as Dash misses his shot, making him look around wildly at the shock of the recoil. “I’m gonna go do my homework. Oh, and I need you to sign something for me, Mom.” I don’t wait for a response before turning to head inside, pulling the form out of my backpack and setting it on the counter for her to sign, then steering out of the kitchen and trudging up the stairs towards my room, which has an impressive view of their backyard training session. I flop on my bed in exhaustion, feeling like I’ve aged a few years in just the span of three days and wondering if my heart can take anymore stress.
A New Threat
“Danny!” Mom yells from downstairs, breaking my attention away from my homework. I stand up from my desk and rush down to meet her in the kitchen, where Dash sits, recuperating from their intense drilling. He doesn’t even glance at me as I come into the room, which I am partially grateful for and partially annoyed about. “What’s this form here?” She asks, holding up the paper to me.
“Oh.” I scratch the back of my neck, glancing at Jazz who sits at the bar doing her homework, avoiding my gaze as well. “It’s the ghost attack protocol that our school has put in place. I just need you to sign it cause I have to turn it in tomorrow.”
“Hmm...” she mutters something inaudible under her breath as she reads, scanning every word to the letter. “What is this, Danny? ‘Leave all personal items and filter out of the classrooms in an orderly fashion, heading towards the streets and police barricades.’ That’s completely improper! What if the students were to run into the ghost?”
“Mom, I didn’t make up the rules—“
“If students stay inside the classrooms, doesn’t that then put them at more risk?” Dash asks, engaging in our conversation as if he has the right to butt in. “They could potentially be injured from the ghost, ghost hunters like yourselves, or even debris from the fight. Plus, being within the vicinity of the ghost puts you at more risk of being taken hostage or kidnapped, and ghosts can phase through anything so they could easily maneuver about the building to find targets and escape routes. Staying inside the building is likely only going to get people hurt, so it makes sense that they would want to get us as far away from the fighting as possible.” I stand there gaping at his words, trying to pick my mouth up off the floor as I look around to see my family’s reaction. Jazz sits stunned in her seat, glancing between Dash and my mom, who seems to be deep in thought, her expression unreadable, and Dash... he seems to have realized the gravity of his mistake, looking at me to help him rectify things.
Why do you always look at me for help? Goddamn my bleeding heart.
I turn towards mom, ready to defend Dash, for whatever reason, but before I can say anything, her face morphs into an obscure smile and she looks over at him with wild eyes. “How clever you are!” She laughs, her bloodshot eyes bulging from her head in interest, a look that dissuades me from speaking. “Oh! You are well on your way to becoming the finest hero this town has ever known! You’re acting just like your father would!” She beams at him stepping forward to pull him into a hug, leaving Jazz and I utterly floored. Dash gives her a light squeeze back, seeming a bit relieved, but something else is there. Something... sad, I just can’t figure out why. She pushes him away suddenly and returns to the counter, snatching the paper up and quickly signing on the line at the bottom, then hands it to me with a sweet smile, the craziness that she was displaying earlier vanished completely.
“There you go, honey,” she beams, sliding the paper into my hands when I don’t immediately take it. “You should thank Dash, otherwise I wouldn’t have signed this. Though I do still think I should be going over ghost safety procedures with Principal Ishiyama.” She turns away from the three of us and pulls out her phone, all the while muttering under her breath, rehearsing what she’s going to say to the principal. I turn back towards Dash, who sways where he stands, staring down at his shoes as he kicks them out anxiously.
“Uh,” I begin, not sure what I’m going to say. He looks up at me expectantly, seemingly prepared for me to lash out at him, but I don’t plan to. “Thanks.” I leave the room without waiting to see his response, my pride getting the better of me, but stop at the base of the stairs to look back, watching Mom and Dad as they set up more machinery outdoors, and feeling a pang of jealousy as Dash joins them.
Just as I am about to go up the stairs again, I feel the shiver run down my spine, fully expecting to have an attack like last time, and try to make it to the bathroom before anyone can see me, but only a small amount of smoke leaves my body this time, coming out in a small plume and immediately dissipating. It somewhat reminds me of when that Tentacle Ghost flew by me in the parking lot, almost as if my body picks up on the presence of other ghosts and alerts me. Wanting to test my theory, I lock the bathroom door in a rush, leaving me alone to focus all of my attention on turning into my ghost form, but nothing happens.
Come on. Why isn’t it working? I open my eyes, looking into the bathroom mirror at my, surprisingly, disappointed face, but I ignore my internal concerns, shaking my head as I refocus. Maybe I can cue it up somehow. I close my eyes again, concentrating as hard as I can on the image of me becoming my ghost self.
“Turn on ghost form!” I say. It doesn’t work. “Go, go ghost form!” Another failed attempt. “Come on ghosty! Uh, I’m turning ghost! I am going to become a ghost. Let me die.” I grasp my hands on the bathroom sink and let out a long, irritated groan. In a last ditch effort, I lift my head and think of one more phrase that might trigger the transformation. “I’m going ghost!” I suddenly feel my body start to tingle, and again my torso is encompassed by the bright blue light, this time, though, I watch myself transform through the mirror. My body starts to shift into the other form, starting at my waist and progressively working down towards my toes and up towards my head at once, all the while, the tingling sensation continues, spreading throughout my body as I change, once the transformation is complete, I stand in the white boots of the jumpsuit that my parents designed specifically for me, tugging at the fabric on my arms in assurance. “Of course I would have such a stupid ass catch phrase.” I sigh, settling to worry about that later.
I jump into the air a few times, trying to force my tail to form, then test out my phasing power as I float in midair, trying to gauge my speed and how capable I am with my abilities. This is actually pretty cool. Once I’ve had my fun with my powers, I focus as hard as I can and phase through the wall with no complications, emerging onto a backroad and regretting my decision immediately when a couple spots me and runs off screaming. Damn. At least it was just those guys. I focus as hard as I can and reform my legs, dropping down onto the concrete gracefully and feeling very proud of myself at the simple achievement. I don’t get much time to gloat though, because in the next instant, I hear a loud whirring sound followed by a gust of wind and electricity that whirs by my head in a bright green ball, nicking my shoulder and ripping through my jumpsuit as it passes by me, leaving me with a small gash. I whip around, looking for the source of the blast, when my attention is caught by a strange figure standing on the building across the street.
“Hello, Ghost Child.” He smiles dangerously at me with his metallic arm raised and a blaster protruding from the forearm, clearly indicating that he is the one who took the shot. “Come out and greet your audience, they’re all waiting.” I nervously step out of the alleyway and into a small crowd of people who have formed at the base of the building. They stand in awe below Skulker’s perch, parting cautiously as I make my way towards the red bricked building.
What are you idiots doing? Run away!
“I am Skulker,” he declares raising his arms theatrically as the crowd stares on in awe. “The greatest ghost hunter the world has ever known.” He turns to level his gun at me, making the crowd around me stiffen, but they still don’t leave. “And I plan to mount your head on my wall.” Everyone around us bursts into raucous applause, but I can’t help but be distracted.
Skulker. Why does that name sound familiar?
My parents burst through the door to answer my question, holding their blasters and aiming them towards me. “Skulker! What are you doing? Shoot the ghost!” My mom cries out to him, but he just rolls his eyes.
“But what would be the fun in that?” Skulker’s arm transforms into a claw looking thing and a giant net shoots out from it, collecting me within itself and forcing me off the ground to confront him. “I want a challenge. Can you offer that to me?” I can’t help but stare at the hulking brute in front of me. With an entire body made of metal, it forces me to wonder how he managed to survive getting his flesh replaced with hardware, and what kind of beast could’ve dealt so much damage.
“Stop playing games with it and kill it!” Dad yells from the ground, but Skulker completely ignores him, focusing only on me, with his glazed over eyes being the only indicator of his humanity.
“It seems that I will have to slay you before they can,” he smiles, his teeth covered in aluminum caps.
That’s right, Skulker is the guy who deemed himself my parents’ rival. I didn’t recognize him without any skin, though. Why is he targeting me? I’m hardly a threat to him, so what kind of challenge could I pose?
“That shouldn’t be a problem,” my self-defeatist retort takes him aback. “Aren’t you guys banned from fighting ghosts on order of the mayor?” I turn to look at them, a shit-earring grin plastered on my face, and the crowd follows suit. Both of them bristle at the attention, knowing that word has likely already made it to the mayor, and Mom drops her weapon.
“We will get you, ghost fiend!” she shouts before grabbing Dad by the collar and pulling him inside. I breathe a sigh of relief at their departure, but don’t have the time to relax, due to my metallic adversary holding me hostage.
“Now, I will give you a head start,” Skulker explains, then the net rips apart from the bottom, allowing me to escape and fly as quickly away from the area as possible. I manage to hide behind a dumpster as I try to collect my thoughts and calm my beating heart, but as the adrenaline dies down, I am quickly reminded of my injured shoulder. When I look it over, all I can see is bright green blood oozing out from the cut, a deep gash that might require stitches from the looks of it. The blood runs down my arm, staining the cloth bright green, despite my attempts to wipe it off.
“It’s official, folks, I am, in fact, dead.” I clamp my hand on my shoulder to slow the bleeding and continue holding onto it as I try to put as much distance between me and Skulker as I can.
After being chased around by Skulker for most of the afternoon, I wind up resting between two inconspicuous buildings on the bad side of town, though the events that lead me to wind up here are a bit hazy. It’s a strange feeling, being tired when you’re dead; it’s not as though I’m out of breath or that I’m sore, my body just feels like it is being slowly drained of energy the more that I move. To make matters worse, my wound only seems to be draining my powers faster, though it seems to be healing relatively well for how deep it was. In a desperate attempt to further protect my self by escaping from this endless cycle of fleeing Skulker and his arsenal, I try to come up with a plan. Skulker doesn’t know that I can transform back into a human, so now is the perfect time. I just have to make sure that he isn’t around here anywhere. As I scan my surroundings, careful not to be spotted by anyone, I hear a strange giggling sound come from behind me and startle in place, worried that Skulker, or my parents for that matter, might have found me.
“Ffff...” the voice coos and I spin around, terrified, eyes landing on a slumped over figure in the corner of one of the buildings, the bright blonde hair an unmistakable feature.
“Dash?” My eyes widen in concern as he whips his head up to look at me, as if he hadn’t realized that I am here. For a moment, he just stares at me, a blank expression on his face, but something washes over him and his face transforms into over-exaggerated shock.
“Fenton!” He gasps, but I’m the one left shook to my core. Forcing myself to stay calm, I try to come up with an excuse as I float closer to him, but he cuts me off. “What are you wearing? Some kinda costume? You got green eyes man!”
Hold on... does he not recognize me?
“Uh, Dash are you alright?” I ask him as I take in the surrounding area, dropping out of my tail and onto the ground with my human legs. There are bottles of beer scattered around him, all of them empty, and his breath reeks of alcohol. “Did you drink all of these yourself?”
“Fenton,” he doesn’t respond but his demeanor is so casual and friendly compared to how he normally is that I can only assume that he is completely wasted. He reaches up to grab me, pulling me down to his level and staring me in the eyes. “Are you wearing contacts? Your eyes are glowing man.”
“What are you doing here, Dash?” I try to push him off of me but he holds me down with the strength of bodybuilder.
“I needed to come here to buy alcohol,” he admits. “Never been here before and got lost, so I just started drinking.”
“Dash, you shouldn’t be wandering around down here, especially if you don’t know where you’re going. Someone could try to mug you, or murder you, or kidnap you.”
“Ha!” He bellows right in my ear. “I would love to see them try that.”
“You’re the new symbol of hope for Amity Park, you can’t be running around recklessly like this,” I scold him, making his eyes change into a sad, darkened shell of their former selves.
“I know,” he admits, surprising me a little. “Ha. I thought maybe I could escape you Fentons for a bit. Your parents are so damn obsessed with ghost hunting!” He hangs his head, covering his face with his hands as he continues to ramble, and I can do nothing but watch the events unfold, equally confused and troubled by this side of Dash that I’ve never seen. “Why’d it have to be me? Why do I have to replace him? Damn. He’d be so disappointed in me right now, would probably knock me upside the head and tell me to suck it up. It’s my responsibility now.” He goes silent and for a moment, I can do nothing but stare at him with wide eyes, genuinely shocked that he feels comfortable enough to tell this to me, of all people. “Danny, you—”
A thunderous clanging sound cuts him off, and we both look back towards the main road, trying to deduce what’s going on, when I quickly realize that I’d been chatting away my opportunity to escape from that psychopath. I whip my head towards Dash, who looks at me with droopy eyes, as he is clearly on the verge of passing out. I can’t transform back in front of him. He’ll definitely notice something’s off if I do.
“Ugh, I don’t feel good.” I ignore his muttering and rush over to peer out around the side of the building, looking towards where the sound is coming from, to see Skulker pounding the concrete in underneath his feet as he walks, likely trying to conserve fuel for his thrusters.
“Dash,” I spring back over to him, putting my hands on his shoulders and bringing his attention back to me. “Listen, something is coming for us and we need to get out of here, okay?”
“I don’t have time to explain, but I need you to stand up,” I direct, pulling at his arms to try to get him to move, but he remains seated. “Dash—“
“I know you’re here, child,” Skulker’s voice sounds much closer to us, which incites a panic inside of me. “This has been quite the chase, I will admit, but you are nowhere near powerful enough to stop me. And I will keep hunting you until one of us is erased from this earth. Make this easier on yourself and stop running.” His words hit me hard, leaving me stunned in fear as I cling to the limp Dash’s sleeve, unable to think properly, unable to come up with a plan. I’ve almost resigned myself to my fate when I feel a hand on my forearm, and look down to see Dash pushing me off of him.
“Just go,” he whispers, head sagging towards the ground in defeat, as if he understands perfectly what I am feeling.
Why? You hate me, Dash, so why aren’t you being the selfish prick that you always are? Why aren’t you trying to protect yourself? His words ignite something in me, and I feel myself regaining the will to fight again. I look down at him as he rests limply against the cold concrete floor and realize what I have to do. Just focus on protecting him. Don’t worry about yourself right now. I lean down and grab Dash around the waist, heaving him onto my shoulder and almost collapsing at his weight.
“What are you doing?” He whines but doesn’t move a muscle to oppose me. “I don’t want to be carried.”
“We have to get out of here Dash,” I hear the metal footfalls of my opponent closing in and I feel my resolve strengthen. I can’t fly away while carrying him. He’s too heavy. But if I could just transform back... “Please just stay still, I’m gonna try something.” I try my hardest to float myself into the air, hovering mere inches off the ground so that I can make my attempt at phasing through the wall. If I can just make it through here, I’ll have bought us some time. I put all of my strength into phasing both of us at once, feeling my body shift in a different way than I had before, then force the power through Dash as I hold him up. “Dash, hang on.” He doesn’t respond, instead just grabbing onto the back of my jumpsuit, assuring me that he is listening.
Skulker’s footsteps begin to shake the ground, indicating that he’s only a few steps away from noticing us, so, abandoning my sense of caution, I plunge forward into the wall ahead of us, collapsing to my knees once I make it through with Dash still hanging onto my clothes, his grip far tighter from the traumatic turn of events. “Oh... god... I’m gonna be sick.” Dash releases my back to cover his mouth and I move quickly, trying to get him away from me before he pukes, setting him on the ground as gently as I can without breaking my back. “Ugh...” he groans in agony, still suppressing his vomit, while I rest on my hands and knees a few paces away from him.
“Are you okay?” I ask him after I’ve recovered enough, but he doesn’t respond, and when I look up at him, he’s slumped against the wall, unmoving. “Dash?” I cry out, weakly crawling over to check his condition, but my arms fail me and I collapse right in front of him. With all of the excitement, I hadn’t realized how exhausted I was, but now, my body is completely unable to sustain the ghost form any longer and I transform back into Danny Fenton. For a moment, I worry that I might faint, but I manage to remain conscious as I stumble over to check on Dash. He’s still breathing and he has a pulse when I check for one, but he’s completely passed out, likely because of a combination of the alcohol and the rush of adrenaline that he just experienced. Relieved, I sit down next to him on the wall, a flurry of questions running through my head.
Why is he even out here? Doesn’t he know how dangerous it is? And is Skulker going to find us? I don’t hear his footsteps anymore, so he must’ve passed by. Did he see us? No. If he had, he’d be here by now. But how the heck am I gonna get this dumbass home?
I feel Dash stir on my back, and his breathing becomes softer, alerting me that he is awake. “What are you doing?” He asks coldly.
Looks like the beer wore off.
“You were passed out in an alley on the west side,” I explain. “So I’m carrying you home.”
“Put me down.” I bend over and set his legs down and he staggers away from me, but quickly reaches a hand out, grabbing onto my shoulder to steady himself when he almost falls. He doesn’t remove it when he regains his balance, instead leaning in slightly, as if he wants to use me as a crutch.
“I’ll help you.”
“...I don’t need you,” he looks away, frustration building on his face as he leans on me for support, but I don’t respond, just letting us continue on in comfortable silence, the sunset lighting our way home.
Thank you all so much for reading! I’ve loved writing this series so much and I’m happy to see that people want to read it. So thank you again!
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Danny Phantom Road To Reign Storm Reviews: Prisoners of Love or Danny Phantom Said Fuck The Police
Hello all you happy people and welcome back to my look at Danny Phantom and the episodes building up to my faviorite episode of all time, Reign Storm. This one’s a bit of a schedule change: I originally planned for the next one up to be Public Enemies but eventually realized it just didn’t feel quite right covering it while entirely skipping Walker’s first episode: Sure i’d skipped Skulker’s introduction despite him showing up twice in this arc,.. but with Skulker while he’s a great character and vital to several episodes, his first apperance really isn’t important to getting why he obsses over danny. He saw a powerful, unique ghost and wants to mount him on his wall. It’s not a bad motive, there’s a reason why Kraven the hunter is one of the most beloved spider-man villians and one of the villians i’ve seen the most expies of in animation by a wide margin and Skulker’s a great take on the concept that makes it wholly the shows own. But his history with Danny dosen’t really impact the story or cause any big changes. In contrast while Walker only has three starring episodes, his actions in his second with Public Enemies upend the status quo and utterly change things for our hero in a way that’s never undone entirely. And he does all of that BECAUSE of what happens in this episode, so it felt weird to just skip it so here we are: i’m adding an episode to the arc and doing two in august to help make up for it.
So with that we pick up a few episodes before last time: no real story beats to get into, so join me under the cut as our hero does a jailbreak while his dad whizzes on his sister-in-law’s rhubarb.
We open in the Fenton Lab as Danny walks in and, as he tends to do, Jack shows of his latest invention: the Specter Speeder, a flying car designed for traveling in the Ghost Zone. And for getting some nachos from the convience store at 2am when you don’t want to wake your wife for keys to the RV. It has weapons, scanning equipment and a jumbo cupholder.
But while Jack was working on his sweet ride he forgot something important: his anniversary. Maddie TRIES to clue him in on it, but this being Jack that’s about as effective as putting Garfield on a diet and she’s soon rightfully pissed at him, saying there’s more to life than ghosts.
Now normally i’d hate this kind of plot: The “I forgot our anniversary” plot is such a fucking trite cliche, especially in shows like this that have a dumbass his more attractive and capable wife. This episode however.. makes it work shockingly well. For starters, it’s couched more in character than just banking on Jack being stupid and Maddie not being stupid. Jack has a tendency series wide to get obessed with whatever new gadget he’s made to catch ghosts and really get showy with it, so him forgetting their annviersary not out of malice or stupidity but just because he was hung up on his latest neat toy makes perfect sense. Likewise Maddie has a decent reason to be angry as while it is a cliche to forget your wedding annviersary in media it dosen’t make it any less of a dick move to, and SHE remembered it despite being as obessive about their work and ghosts in general. In fact she comes in nice, it’s only when i’ts both clear he forgot and dosen’t seem to care he forgot she gets pissed and that’s fair. It’s set up realistically as this show can manage and it works.
We’ll get more on that in a second but first Danny accidently triggers the speeder during his parents fight and ends up in the Ghost Zone. We get our first good look at it too and it’s majestic and haunting: it has all the weird structures and shapes you’d expect but a nice touch that couldn’t of been easy to pull of is that it feels like the zone itself is alive: it’s always moving in some fashion, the parts don’t all feel like structures.. it just hs the unearthly, spooky feel you’d expect from an otherwordly realm filled with ghost.
It’s here Danny meets our antagonist, Walker. Walker is played by James Arnold Taylor aka...
I never would’ve guessed honestly either: the guy is a fucking chamelon when it comes to voice work and is really damn talented, and the fact he can voice a mildly whiny himbo, obi wan freaking kenobi, Harry Osborn, and so much more without sounding the same most of the time is freaking amazing. Don’t get me wrong there are still awesome va’s like John DiMaggio that have maybe two versions or Kristin Schaal and Jason Mantzokus who have about one, but can use said range or single voice in a variety of ways and contexts, i’m just saying it’s just as if not more impressive to be able to be a chameleon like James.
Walker is your standard hardass southren jailer type, and really represents most police as a whole: a stubborn, rules obessed, white faced ghoul whose willing to bend said rules to suit him and prosecute people who did nothing wrong, in this case Danny who just stumbled in. Danny wisely runs the fuck away but into more problems
Not with the plot though as this part only enhances what I was talking about: Maddie’s leaving but not because of the argument, though that helps, but because she has to visit her sister for “the divorce” and even left a cassarole. It’s also noticable that while she’s still understandably cold to Jack during this scene she’s not yelling at him any more: she knows better than to try and escalate things and that they can finish this when she gets back.
Hearing divorce scares the shit out of Danny thoguh who dosen’t have context for the fact that, unsuprisingly she’s not talking about divorcing jack, and is worried about his parents fighting. And this is the piece that truly pulls it all together: by putting poor Danny in the middle scared of his parents possible separation. It’s a relatable fear: while my parents divorce smacked me in the fucking face iwth how sudden it seemed, it’s just as likely for a kid’s parents to try and stay together for them and only make things worse, or to worry that some fighting means your parents might break up even when they really won’t.
Jazz asssures Danny he dosen’t have to worry but assumes Jack will do nothing and make it worse before it gets better. I... SO do not miss pre-my brother’s keeper jazz. I talked about this in my Bitter Reunions review, but she’s so fucking insufferable: I don’t MIND her having an ego and getting knocked down a peg by the fact she really DOSEN’T know everything, but the series did it far better once it stopped being her only character trait most of the time.
Thankfully this one is about her having a mental breakdown from the fact she’s WRONG: Jack is in fact rushing to go see Maddie and fix this... which from experince sometimes not letting a problem breathe IS an issue.. but this one was caused by Jack not being attentive or seeming to care about maddie, so rushing to her with a thoughtful gift in a big romantic gesture is a genuinely smart move. It also helps this work: unlike a lot of sitcom husbands who’d scramble to save their ass for saving asses sake, Jack GENUINELY cares he fucked up and wants to fix it, and is willing to go to great lengths to do so, AND already had a thoguhtful gift for her planned he just forgot about it. So he didn’t forget the annviersary all together, he just forgot it was today.
Danny decides to try and compensate by cleaning the house, leading to Jazz going to study at the library. Granted he’s vacuming on the ceeling but still he means well. He hits the lab next and finds it a wreck as you’d expect and after accidently hitting a thing with the ghost ray into the trash can, realizes he can use his rays to move stuff easily and just finger guns his way through it: it’s a fun sequence and clever too. Naturally though as you’d expect he accidently messes up and knocks a present into the ghost portal he left open because shut up and finds it was Jack’s. Oh boy.
Danny’s still rattled the next day at school, Tucker not helping by saying if they said divorce then it’s a problem though his attempt to walk it back after realizing they DID say it is hilarious “Did they say it twice?” It’s just so delightfully half assed. He decides that after school he HAS to go in after it.
So before we get to that it’s time for the subplot of Jack and Maddie in the south which as I tend to do when the two plots of an episode don’t intersect till the end, i’m going to cover all of now: We meet Maddie’s sister for the first and sadly only time. I won’t lie it is kinda disapointing we not only never see her sister again, but that Alicia is the ONLY family of the Fentons we see. It’d be intresting to see what say Jack or Maddies parents or any other siblings or any of their kids would think of the ghost stuff.
It dosen’t help that Alicia is pretty one note: your standard bitter divorced woman who don’t need no man sterotype whose trying to convince Maddie her husband sucks. What’s telling is that despite Jack’s inesntivity she still loves him and defends him from her sister.. and shows that the ghost obession isn’t at all just jack as she attacks a sheet thinking it’s a ghost only to find jack just got caught.
This segment is admitely the weaker part of the episode: while i’ts NOT without good stuff, including a running gag about whizzing on rubarb tha tprimarly works because rubarb is a funny word, it’s just kinda flat with Alicia again being a pretty common and annoying sterotype and the runtime being padde dwith Jack having to pee instead of talking with his wife. Just.. putting them in the south isn’t as funny as the writers thought it was is what i’m saying. Not a bad subplot, I just feel it could’ve been bettter and feels like wasted poteitial that the one time we see the Fenton’s extended family... i’ts Maddie’s sterotype of a sister in the generic backwoods complete with tabacco spitting.. though to their credit they DO combat the bad teeth stertoype by havnig one of the guys at the local corner store chastise anothe rwith them for making them look bad. It’s just weak stuff.’
So in the plot people actually care about, Danny decides to go into the unknownnnnn to find the gift, with Sam and Tucker working as mission control and Danny on headset, a setup we’d see a lot after this.
So Danny goes in and we get a better look at how awsome the place is and also find out a key characteristic when he opens a door: There’s near infinite realms here, which makes his quest daunting until Tucker, fiddling with the controls, finds out the Crusier has a “real world item” detector and uses it to help guide danny.
It’s here he finds out another key and wonderful characteristic: most of the realms are in fact the personal domains of various ghosts, where they go when he throws them back in. It’s a nice addition to the lore: it makes sense they wouldn’t just float around and it makes the ghost zone that much more dangerous: there’s no telling if he could run into one of his most dangerous eneimes where they have home field advantage. Thankfully instead he finds MY BOY The Box Ghost. Seriously I fucking love this guy, from Rob Paulsen’s doofy voice for him to his lame but endearing gimmick to his longshoreman outfit. He’s just an awesome example of the kind of c-list villian you’d scrape up from the bottom of marvel, but with the same endearing charm a lot of marvel’s c listers have.
Naturally the box present ended up in BG’s domain, but before danny can get it he’s caught off guard as some ghost cops pick Box Ghost up.. and then danny with some restraints, with Walker arresting him and taking his headset.
Danny of course isn’t pleased by this: his parents might get divorced, he’s going to jail, and he’s with a comedy character whose great to me but I can get would be a lot to put up with. THen he finds out the rest of his Rogues so far, Skulker, The Lunch Lady, Technius and Deserie are all there. The latter two don’t talk.. with Desriee I get it as her actress likely costs a decent amount , but Rob Paulsen is on the main cast so I don’t get why Techinus dosen’t.
Regardless Danny is processed with Walker generally being the smug controlling dick you’d expect and not you know, letting him simply take what’s rightfully his out despite the contraband being a problem., even making it illegal simply because it suits him. It shows who Walker REALLY is: like far too damn many real people in law informcent and the prison system he’s not in this for good reason, to keep dangerous people off the street or help the innocent.. he just wants to lock people up because he feels the Ghost Zone has no order, and someone has to impose it wether they want it or not. And the Ghost Zone HAS a natural order: each ghost has their own realm and genuinely sticks to it when their not bothering earth. If he really was a true student of order he’d of been rounding up the ghosts THERE and then imprisoning them. But he couldn’t give less of a shit about earth: all it does is give hi ma pretext to do what he’d do anyway: lock away any ghost he finds so he can have a sense of control. Just like so many corrupt assholes lock people away and use the fact they did something, even if it was an accident or a mistake, to abuse the shit out of them. I’m not sure if the commentary on prison or the police was intentional but boy does it feel fucking relevant even today and boy is it sad things have changed so little it’s still relevant.
So while this is going on Tucker decides Screw it, we need to go in after him and Sam is cautious, given how dangerous the ghost zone is.. but the prospect of Jazz wanting to go over her own personal notes convinces her right quick. The two procede to wonder around till the scanner picks up the present though we get a nice bit of them running into the dragon princess from the third episode.
Meanwhile Danny gets thrown in with his Rogues, who prepare to do what you’d expect and pummel him.. except Danny points out the obvious: He’s not the enemy here. Sure he put them back in the ghost zone.. but Walker’s the one who put them in jail. Beating up Danny won’t change that, but working with him will.. THEN they can get him next time or go to earth to get him. Skulker agrees to this, which I like: it shows while he may be an obessive hunter he’s not a moron. It’s also likely tied into said obessive nature: he could get Danny in here: but there’d be no challenge and he woudln’t get to KEEP danny’s remains to mount proudly. It’d be pointlness.
So they do indeed team up, with Skulker and Danny faking a fight so Danny can get the guards near him, then Danny takes one of their capture batoon things and uses it, and proceeds to cause a riot, an awesome sequence where our protagnists plow through these assholes and eventually escape.
Danny still has to go back for the present though, and finds himself against Walker.. who easily flattens him, showing off WHY he’s been able to capture anyone and clearly intent to kill.
I kid... it is last minute but this is set up as Sam and Tucker accidently phase thorugh the prison wall> It’s also clever: the two’s arrival reveals that in the ghost zone Humans and Human objects take on ghost traits: not all the powers mind you just phasing. And while they likely can’t control it Danny’s had a month or two to practice and thus simply switches into human, grabs the present and stays intangible with it while Walker impotently grabs at him before heading out, having wrecked the prison, Walker’s sense of control and his day. Sadly though.. this is only the begning and while Walker swearing vengance isn’t NEW for a villian of the week.. how he does so will have massive effects on Danny’s life.
But first the wrap up. Danny arrives as Jack gives an earnest heartfelt speech to maddie about he am who he am but he does love her and is sorry, and in time to save his ass with the present. He also gets double allowance for this and gives teh donald duck esque reaction of “I had an allowance.
Danny thankfully also finds out the Divorce thing was not his parents getting a divorce: it’s merley his mom and the locals celebrating the 10th anniversary of his aunt’s divorce. Everyone celebrates, the present has been hollowed out by the box ghost, with Maddie and Jack naturally accepting that and we end on another whiz joke when Jazz offers Danny some rhubarb pie. Good stuff.
Prisoners of Love is a Solid Episode> While the subplot is just okay, it’s not bad and has one or two good gags, and the emotional core is excellent. Danny’s struggle with divorce, Jack being genuinely repentant, Maddie showing she genuinely loves and is comitted ot jack> it’s all great. I do wish we could’ve gotten more with Danny’s other foes so far, they mostly focused on Skulker and Lunch Lady, but what we got was a classic all the same
Next Month on Road to Reign Storm: Walker returns and makes good on his revenge with a scheme that destroys Danny’s life as ghosts are outed to the public.
Next Time on This Blog: it’s Donald Duck’s birthday so we’re having another special! Everybody Dance!
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I can't help but wonder how things would've been if they'd kept their original idea of having Plasmius as a vampire.
I mean, the plot could've taken such interesting turns!
As another Halfa, Vlad's motivations were based on his desire to have Maddie and Danny close, with him seeing Danny as his own son because they were the "same".
But how would his motivation have been had he remained a vampire as originally planned?
Vampires are famous for sucking blood. Would they have kept that? And imagine, what if Vlad's intentions towards Danny had been based on Plasmius preying on him rather than making him his son?
Something like Danny's ectoplasm-induced blood being a better energy source than regular blood and hence making Plasmius more powerful than ever?
And what would his backstory be?
Would he had always been a vampire and the only reason he and Danny crossed paths was because he called his parents to his house under the pretext of it being haunted, while in truth that was him preying on them?
Or would he still had been college friends with Jack and Maddie and they went on an unfortunate field trip to investigate somewhere that was supposedly haunted by ghosts, only for Vlad to be turned into a vampire, and hence blaming Jack for his condition and stealing Maddie away all over again?
There's just...so many possibilities there.
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Danny actually died. And the whole show is about how,
Sam & Tucker can't let go,
Jack & Maddie always ignore it every time someone mentions Danny's death and
Jazz also ignores the topic but after a massive breakdown she realizes that she, also can't let go.
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Chapter 10- Darkness Takes Over
After a few days had passed, I started acting very differently. Like, if I was a psychopath or something.
Every time I see someone in pain, I would laugh. If someone is hurting another person, I wouldn't help them. If Team Phantom got hurt, I would shrug and leave.
Of course, this didn't go unnoticed by the rest of the world.
They were concern and asked me if I was alright.
I 'smiled' and tell them that I was fine, always worked whenever I'm asked.
Needless to say, I was doing alright with Ruse through everything that has happened.
While she may or may not be with me, twenty-four-seven, I could feel her near me. Even if she was invisible, I would be able to detect her.
I walked around school as usual and sighed as I saw Team Phantom again.
'Sheesh, are these battles that pathetic to have all of them fighting?' I thought, walking to the opposite to avoid them.
However, fate just had to ruin me as Phantom saw me right before being smashed to the wall.
I muffled my laugh while clenching onto my stomach as I tried to walk away.
'Oh boy, I should've taken a picture!' I thought.
Then, I felt someone grabbing my shoulder, causing me to act out and flipped them to the ground.
It was Tucker, and he was petrified when I did that.
It shocked Sam and Phantom as they were done defeating the ghost.
"W-Whoa, we just wanted to talk!" Tucker said, trying to reassure me no harm.
I didn't let him go for a few moments but, reluctantly, did.
He sighed out of relief, but I didn't buy it.
"What now?" I asked sharply.
They didn't know what to say, so I began to walk away.
"W-Wait!" I heard Sam pleaded.
I groan and turned around.
"What?! I don't have all day!" I barked.
"We wanted to apologize the other day... We didn't mean to bother you," Phantom said, not looking at me.
I resisted the urge to roll my eyes, but they could clearly see that.
"Danny, can you ever forgive us?" Sam asked, no pleaded, again.
I darkly glared at them, not noticing the symbols glowing.
However, Phantom could see that, and he was shocked.
"D-Danny, why are your arms have glowing symbols?" Phantom asked, examining me.
Sam and Tucker were confused, but I knew he could only see them.
So, I decided to play dumb.
"What are you talking about?" I asked 'innocently.'
Sam and Tucker began to ask what Phantom was talking about, and that was my chance to escape.
Without them knowing, I disappeared, just 'poof.'
I managed to get near my house, but I didn't feel like entering.
'Why do I feel like I'm forgetting something?' I thought, before feeling Ruse's presence.
"Hey, Ruse," I mumbled, knowing that she would get angry.
"Damn it," I heard her say, making me smugly smiled.
I laughed and went inside.
I didn't say hello to my 'parents' or Jazz, and I just didn't care.
Once we were in my room, I felt the symbols glowing even brighter.
"Hey, Ruse, what you say if we went on a little field trip?" I randomly asked.
This surprised her, but she said that I'll be fine as long as I don't have to that school.
I smirk darkly, and with that, I felt more powerful now than ever...
*In Danny's mind*
Real Danny POV
"W-Where am I?" I asked out loud, looking at the supposed 'void' I'm in.
"Where's my family?! Sam, Tucker?! Phantom?! Anyone??!!" I shouted, panicking.
"What is going on???"
"Hello, Danny," I heard a voice said.
I turned and saw... another me?
Before I could finish my sentence, I was punched in the stomach, making me choke.
I fell to the ground, and let the darkness consume me into the unconscious.
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Danny's refusal to tell his family about his secret hits differently when you remember the life he's lived so far before the accident.
Don't get me wrong, not telling your ghost-hunting parents in fear of being dissected by them is a VERY good reason not to tell them you're half-ghost.
But what I mean is that Danny's always been an outcast.
In school he's treated as if he were the geek plague or something, even when he's the more "normal" one of the trio. Sam is an outspoken Goth who follows a diet no one quite gets. And Tucker is a kid who loves technology to a... let's say, worrying extent and who tries, and fails miserably, to be cool and a ladies' man.
Danny... Danny's a sweet if a little awkward kid—who's unfortunate enough to have ghost-hunting parents in a setting where people don't believe in ghosts (yet).
In other words, before the accident, Danny didn't have many places he belonged to. People didn't genuinely appreciate him.
The only characters who genuinely love Danny from the beginning are his family (crazy as it may be) and his friends. His other allies would come much later in the series.
So telling his secret to his family, under the very possible circumstances of being hunted and disowned by his loved ones, could have meant losing some of the very few people who accept him for who he is.
In fact, this also makes me think that the only reason Sam and Tucker know Danny's secret is precisely because they were there when it happened. Had Danny been alone during the accident, I wholeheartedly believe he wouldn't have told Sam and Tucker either in fear of losing their friendship too.
That's why Jazz's role is so important in the show. Because she was the first person Danny loves to know about his secret and she still loved him back despite of it. Even after finding the truth, Jazz's company was still Danny's safe, albeit nosy, haven. The accident didn't change that.
Because that's Danny's journey: finding who he is and a place to belong now that he has ghost powers.
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