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#unfinished im sorry fsljfsfs
datawyrms · 2 months ago
Changed Hunt
For Phic Phight 2021! (not completely finished but AAAAfinshnowwww) lowkey Dannymay Day 2 Portal, as well
"That portal is awesome!" Sam says. "Would be so cool if it worked."
Danny goes down into the lab that night to try a few things—it doesn't quite go as he planned.(aka a no one knows au) (Dey’s prompt!)
Danny really wished Sam and Tucker had stayed a bit longer that day. With them around, maybe he wouldn’t have wandered in that portal like an idiot. In his own defense, how could he have known that little panel in there had been an on switch? Who’d put that inside a reality tearing portal device? Jack and Maddie Fenton, apparently. He was just lucky the thing hadn’t killed him! Or at least, managed to overdo it to the point he...survived somehow? He hadn’t really decided what that portal had done exactly. Waking in a pained heap, bathed in a haunting green glow from the now active portal was confusing enough. Looking up and seeing a stranger in the reflective panel nearby just made it worse. Of course he didn’t take it well, or know what to think. If he’d become a ghost, his parents would freak. Fixing their portal by turning into some...evil human hating creature probably wasn't in the plan. At least his terror somehow managed to get him to become human again. Heartbeat and everything. He hoped it had just been a weird one off, or he’d imagined it from trauma. Until he started falling through things. He died so hard  that he got his life back? The portal only managed to kill half of him? He was dead but ‘imitating humans’ was his specialty? Some human that just got to use his ‘soul’ or whatever to be a ghost early? Sam and Tucker might have had guesses- but he knew one thing right away. Whatever happened, he wasn’t all human anymore. He couldn’t tell them. What if they decided that was just too weird? What if they blamed themselves for not being there- thought they’d killed him? It wasn’t worth the risk. Besides, he couldn’t let Mom and Dad find out, so he’d be trying to hide any of the new weirdness anyway. Might as well just always do it. Maybe the weird new abilities would just go away. They hadn’t. They just forced him to think about it to keep both feet on the ground. He could deal.
Until other ghosts started showing up. Ghosts that actually knew how to be ghosts, terrifying powers and all. Ghosts that seemed to know what he was. He’d nearly jumped out of his skin when a green woman in a hairnet tapped him on the shoulder and asked who ‘changed the menu’. There was a lot of screaming and running away at that, considering she was floating and well. Obviously some sort of dead person. Freaky Fenton attracts freaky ghosts. Of course. She didn’t buy his claim of not knowing why the menu wasn’t exactly the same as fifty years ago (why would he? That’s a lot of years!) and thought setting ovens on fire and throwing them at him was a fair answer! So apparently Mom and Dad were totally right about ghosts being completely terrifying monsters that he should run away from very quickly. Which he did. He only ran into two walls he meant to go through, even. Just more reasons to never, ever tell anyone he might be like that crazed ghost lady. Mom and Dad proving their inventions actually did work sometimes was just icing on the ‘i’m so screwed’ cake. Ghosts exist, they fought one, and the school got shuttered for a week from excessive damage via flying appliance. Fun.
It was dumb to pretend that was a one off thing. It was stupid to think he could keep hiding what happened that day. Even if it felt safer, even if he just wanted to keep denying the portal was open so she could keep pretending it hadn’t done anything to him. Maybe if someone knew, he wouldn’t be hopelessly trapped by a huge glowing robot. Running didn’t work on this one like it did the older ghost lady. He tried, he really did, but the self proclaimed hunter kept tracking him down. Even when he transformed into the strange ghost version of himself he failed to dissuade the robot. Punching metal still hurt as a ghost, and so did getting pelted with little missiles. So much for intangibility being an advantage.
“You’re lucky that you’re a rare creature, whelp. Otherwise I’d be disappointed by how little effort hunting you took.”
Great, flame head thought he was a disappointing freak. More pressing was the net the ghost had shot at him that he couldn’t struggle free of. Even drawing on his weird ghost side wouldn’t let him phase through it. “Pretty sure you can’t hunt endangered species!” He redoubled his effort as the ghost picked up the net, trying to trick himself that his swinging was making him feel ill, not the terror of being carried off by some monster that came through the portal just to hunt him down.
“Hah! If I didn’t take you ghost child, someone else would simply end you.” The blank green eyes stared into his own as the machine pulled him up higher. “You should be grateful to be part of my collection.”
Danny gulped, unsure if he should keep his attention on his captor or the fact they were getting closer to the swirling portal. “How about no thanks? Since you’re such a good samaritan and all. You can just let me go and forget all about uh...this.” Why couldn’t he just squeeze out of the net, or make the rest of him all weird like when his legs decided to vanish sometimes? Pulling with his gloved hands wasn’t working, and the glow just grew  brighter as the lump in his throat got thicker. “Please? You already said I was weak, if you let me go I’ll be stronger next time!” Okay, it was a stupid plea but he’d try anything right now to not get dragged to some ghost world.
“I’m not a catch and release sort of hunter.” The ghost chuckled as his prey shrank back with the denial.
“How can you be the ‘Greatest’ hunter if you just go after kids, huh?” Begging wasn’t working, so maybe getting him angry? He couldn’t go through there, what if being on the other side made him more like this thing, or the other weird green monsters? “More like lamest hunter.”
“Oh you’ll see the sort of creatures I normally hunt, ghost child. Once you join them.” Skulker shook the net hard, rattling what little bravado Danny had managed to gather up right back out of him.
So much for that hope. “This has got to be a mistake, just let me go!” The ghost didn’t answer him, and he couldn’t help closing his eyes when the mechanical monster fired up a jetpack and flew through that portal. It wasn’t as cold as he feared it would be, it wasn’t like the void of space. Just as green as the portal, still a swirling background to everything. He swore he saw faces and doors, but couldn’t keep looking for long. The combined movement of being dragged along with the spinning energy was stomach churning enough, and he had to deal with the fact he didn’t know anything about this place. Even if this ghost decided to let him go, where would he go? Was there even anything to navigate with? He certainly didn’t see anything useful like stars. Would all this green stuff just soak into him and make him not want to find home? Nothing here made sense! It was easier to curl up instead of struggling with the net to stretch out, and the stupid ghost couldn’t see how the tears welled in his eyes as he struggled not to cry.
He should have been braver, should have tried to watch more, but it’d been too much. The crunch of metal against stone jarred him out of his silent self berating, just to be even more confused. He was on an island? That just floated, because islands did that here. Islands that had forests on them, that grew out of what looked like rock. Sure, okay. At least it was a bit of a distraction from the fact he was trapped by some evil robot in a completely different reality! Well. It had been. Seeing the fact the ghost lived in some weird stone skull jutting out of a mountain made him snort despite himself.
“You said my puns were bad, and you live in that thing?” He was pretty sure the green mohawk monster was Skull-something anyway. Mostly tuned it out after he kept repeating the ‘greatest hunter’ bit. “Ghost Zone’s Greatest Halloween Decoration’s a more fitting title.”
“For a terrified whelp, you are very chatty.”
“I think I looped around from terrified when I saw how doomed I am.” He was just joking. Totally. He wasn’t goofing around to try and fend off the engulfing panic of never getting home, nope. Absolutely not. He tried to pay attention to the strange ‘skull mountain house thing’, but the fact it reminded him more like a zoo inside wasn’t helping. Massive, monstrous glowing ghosts leering out and snapping as they passed, smaller sorts that didn’t even look up and several empty cages stained green was not calming his nerves. He couldn’t even describe some ghosts, being such a confusing jumble of parts that didn’t remind him of anything. All he could tell was robo-hunter probably didn’t have any willing guests. Unwilling guests that looked far, far more powerful than anything he could dream of trying. He was so, so doomed. To the point that being tossed roughly in a similar cage was almost a relief so he wasn’t right beside the ghost anymore.
First task was struggling free of the no longer glowing net (deactivated somehow? weird.) which wasn’t too hard, but just left him in his freaky ghost form, in a cage, in the middle of who knew where. The Ghost Zone, that’s what they kept calling it. Not Earth. Fantastic! That’s enough to get a C-, but not enough to get him out of this cage. Reaching through the bars was out, the unexpected shock had him rubbing his hand and grumbling to how having some invisible field between the bars was just unfair. At least let him see it before hurting him more. Now what? Grasping that feeling that let him walk through walls wasn’t letting him through the cage floor, just like how the net wouldn’t let him out.  Floating just reminded him of getting dragged here. So that was it. Why did he have to get stupid dying powers? They didn’t even do anything useful!
Stressing out and not finding a way out was an exhausting way to spend a few hours. He kept thinking of new problems, like he didn’t have enough already. When the robot wandered past, he almost grabbed the bars to get closer. “Hey! Screw head!”
The ghost actually looked at him, the stern face looking more confused than anything.
“Yeah you! You know I’m gonna like, starve to death in here, right?” Danny had no idea how he was managing to say something he was very terrified of coming true like it was a joke. “Kind of a waste, don’t ya think?”
“You will be fine, ghost child. Your pleas for freedom won’t fool me.”
“Wanna bet? Maybe we’re so rare because we all starve to death in this dumb ghost world or whatever.” That and there probably weren’t too many people dumb enough to get shocked to...sort of death. “That and like, you’re some freaky machine man, you probably don’t know anything about eating to start with.”
Skulker kept staring at him, as if doing that would suddenly reveal all his secrets. “Well I prefer live specimens, but I suppose I could always do with another rug.”
Oh gross! “Seriously? Do I look like rug material to you?”
“Wall art?”
Yup, he was gagging now. The very idea a ghost would want to do that just made his spine want to shake right out of him with disgust. “I’d be way out of place, all of the other ghosts here look like animals! You’ll just gross all your hunter buddies out.” Maybe if he pretended to be some know it all like Jazz the ghost would...reconsider making him into wall art? Uurk. What was his life that he even needed to think that?
At least that got the metal monster pondering, massive hand scratching at his chin. “I do wonder if your pelt would only show half of your nature.”
“How about we don’t test that and say we did.” He’d seen some of the knives on the way in and did not want any of them near him thank you very much. Not that he had much of a choice- oh man he really, really did not want to learn why Sam hated the fur industry this way. “Pretty sure I’d just die. More. Or something.”
“Oh, but you’ve seen the other pelts on the way in. They’ve still got enough of a spark to not melt to nothing ghost child. I’m not that sloppy.”
Oh so he could be barely aware wall art. Even better!  What would he do, skin him alive or just crush him? Both? “Humans don’t melt.” It was all he could think of blathering out. Don’t think about what the terrifying ghost guy can do Fenton, just don’t.
“True...unfortunately I don’t have another subject to test on.”
Score one for being a unique sort of freaky ghost kid. Maybe. “Soooo how about you just bring me back and rethink the whole uh. Hunting me thing.”
That just got Skulker laughing. “Not a chance whelp.”
“I’m not a whelp! I don’t even fit in with all your monster-things!” It had annoyed him, really. The other ghosts didn’t “I’m not some animal!” 
More chuckling, as if amused by a puppy chasing its tail. “Of course you are, with that stench of the human world on you.”
“You think I smell. With what nose, metalhead?”
“None of your business. Not to fear, any ghost here can tell you’re a hybrid. That human body you insist on wearing can be felt even when you’re in a superior form.”
Oh, was this a ghosts thinking humans were animals thing? Or was this a ghosts are kinda racist to different ghosts thing. Was there a difference? He probably should have paid more attention in civics. “Yeah well that ‘human body’ needs food.” He wasn’t even going to touch the idea that he was ‘wearing’ his own body, eeeeugh.
“I’ll figure out a solution to your hybrid failings, child. I won’t let a prize go that easily.”
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