Well, I bring Phantoms of the Heart, the third volume of my DP fanfic. Phantoms of the Heart will explore Danny's relationships as at the same time, explore his universe, the elemtns added to it in this fic and it will lampshade some light on Technus' plans.
The first story of "Phantoms of the Heart" is Phantom Traveler, a 3 issues story arc plus a one shot that will be focusing on one of Danny's most important relationships: his relatonship with his loved sister Jazz (the prelude , marks the begining of a love triangle sotry arc, let's face it is the cliche we love to see the most, we cannot live without seen that drama and the sexual tension) It will also focus on the Ghost-zombie incident, or more like its sequels, and we'll see something that has been said before in DPU, Danmy going all Supernatural/Scoody-Doo Gang/Hack-Slash hunting ghosts outside of Amity Park, 'cause truly he needs the change of scenery.
It will also explore some of Danny's darkest corners of his mind. While Danny is about 99% always a good guy who does not kill, there is a 1%, of him, maybe more, maybe less, that at times certainly wishes he could kill his enemies and finish them once and for all. At the end of this story, we'll see a glimpse of a different side of Danny that is usually hidden but that is certantly there. In this story we'll see how far can he be pushed before failing out of character, what his real limits are.
Chapter 19.1 Phantoms of the Heart:
Phantom Traveler, Prelude.
4:48 PM UTC
Fenton Works, Danny's room.
Danny wakes up in his room with an awful headache three hours after a long ghost-zombie hunt with his team. He and his friends had been hunting a small group of ghost-zombies since the morning managing to capture or kill most of them but when it seemed that they had finally got the last one corned and ready for capture, it starts shaking as if it was having a seizure while glowing green merely moments before it explodes due to the instability of its nanites, with power enough to blow up the ten story building they corned it in. Luckily the building was empty and set for demolition, and Danny managed to zap his friends out in time, just seconds before it exploded but unfortunate enough he gets caught in the explosion as he couldn't teleport himself out with them, neither on time.
Not being able to teleport himself and others at the same time was a problem that he never cared to solve before as he had only had this very fast growing power for the last month and never thought of it as an inconvenience, but after today's experience he sure was going to work on that as soon as he could get on his feet.
When he opens his eyes, he sees a orange blur right next to him in his bed. As everything gets clear around him, he recognizes the blurry figure laying next to him.
- Feeling any better? - asked Valerie sitting next to him on his bed, peeling an apple.
- If by better you mean if I had an awful nightmare with a Hellhound eating my face only to wake up feeling as if a fifty ton building just fell on my face, which actually happened, then yes - he answers with his usual sarcasm, sitting on his bed.
- And how are we in the whole ghost powers department? - she asks offering him a slice of apple.
- I'm feeling better - answers biting the slice of fruit. - Why'd you ask?
- 'Cuz you couldn't zap yourself after you zapped us, which is why you got a building in your face - she point biting her apple.
- That's not about my powers being broken - replies almost in a evasive way.
- Well, you never displayed teleportation until they got broken, which is ironical when you think about it. Your ghost core breaks but you hey, you got new powers and tricks because of that - she points. - Also you've come very dependent of it ever since you got it, so not getting out of there in time is kinda worrying for us.
- Dependent? I'm not dependent of it!
- Oh please, at first you didn't know how to use it properly and now it's become pretty much your dick signature move.
- My dick signature move? - asks Danny not knowing what she meant.
- You know. You disappear whenever someone is talking to you, or appear out of nowhere inside people's butt startling everyone - she explains.
- That's not-
- And there is always the other way around, when you zap people away without any warning - she says cutting him off.
- That's not a dick thing. - He answers.
- You say that because you don't know how it feels like to talk to someone who disappears in the middle of a conversation - claims Valerie leaving Danny with no argument.
- …Ok… Maybe it is a bit of a dick thing, but I'm not dependent of it. - States getting out of his bed. - Where is everyone anyway? - asked, not seeing his sister or the rest of his friends.
- They're down town hunting a giant ghost crab.
- Without me?!
- You were knocked out.
- Saving you - he points out.
- Yeah, well you are not going.
- On a hunt? Why wouldn't I?
- I don't know, maybe because your powers are unpredictable now, or because you got a building on your head just a few hours ago, or maybe because you are not yourself lately and you are not at your best.
- Why would you guys think that?
- Look, everything is weird with you now, up is down, down is sideways and sideways is in the inside. And-you just said that we are at war with the ghost zone. What's up with that? - she asked confused and concerned by her friend's erratic behavior.
- Well for that same reason I can't sit down and do nothing! - He states emphatically. - If a ghost is attacking the city in then I mist go there stop it.
- Ha, and Jazz here said you weren't yourself - she laughs. - So, are you sure you feel ready to hunt? - she asked with a sly grin.
- Hey, do you wanna go hunting, or do you wanna stay alone with me in my room?
They both make silence as they blush, getting an… awkward feeling.
- I… should have thought that better… - states Danny avoiding eye contact.
- Yeah… I… I better suit up. - Valerie said summoning her hunting suit.
- Me too - Danny said going ghost, getting greeted by his suit.
- Hello sir, good to you see back. The vitals analysis says your ready to go.
- Great - Danny answers in a thought.
- Have I said I love the new suit?
- Well, I do. You can say is a whole new you. Maybe you could introduce me with your tailor one day?
- Maybe - he says to Valerie, the only person who hasn't bothered him in the last month about his new ghost suit of unknown origin and questioned him how did he get it.
Flying out through the window, the race each other till the rendezvous point, to see who is faster.
A few minutes later they meet with the rest of the Team Phantom down town at the ducks, where they were fighting a giant crab-like ghost monster with four tentacles in each claw and its mouth. Danny arrives just a few seconds before Valerie, this holding himself, something he wouldn't mention.
The team fought that creature futilely, with little success in harming it. It was not until Danny arrived that it was defeated, when he freezes it from the inside out and shatters it with his ghostly wail.
As soon as the ghost is destroyed, Danny returns to his room, leaving as fast as he came, barely talking to his friends and avoiding any news media or reporter, specially Lance Thunder, Vlad Plasmius' vessel, who wages a media war against him.
Danny Phantom Unlimited Chapter 19 Phantoms of the Heart: Phantom Traveler, Part 1 of 3 Teaser Salem, Massachusetts
Two weeks ago.
11:35 PM Local time
In Salem, a young girl with long black, filthy and grassy hair covering most of her face, and pale skin colder than the chilling air of autumn, wearing a black and green cheerleader uniform hauls out of the woods into the streets with a death look in her eyes, walking slowly and dragging her steps.
She wanders with no direction avoiding any contact with any person that came close to her until she finally arrives at a house where a group of teenagers just like her are throwing a party.
Acting as if she owns the place, she walks into the house getting stopped by the host of the party. One of his guests quickly jokes about her unkempt condition while he flirts with her at the same, yet the girl doesn't respond to either the jokes or the compliments, instead she asks for food claiming in faint voice to be hungry.
"I… hunger" she says slightly louder.
"Food? I got food," says the guy reaching a bowl of nachos for her. "Well, they're nachos but… they're food." Claims with the bowl in her face.
"No… I hunger… you!" she yells before biting off his neck in a sudden movement.
The poor kid who was expecting to finally lose his virginity tonight, was shrieking in pain as this Jane Doe chew his neck off with her green jagged teeth. The blood gush falls everywhere bathing her as well as those standing around, staring in shock and horror to this foul and unexpected act.
Afraid they might be next, all the guests try to run out of the house screaming for help, but as soon as they step outside of the house they find themselves surrounded by a swarm of zombie-looking creatures. They are ghost-zombies, not that they knew what they were anyway, this is a new specie. In that moment the girl goes ghost-zombie with two green energy rings moving up and down around her, turning into an awful, slender and large green horned monster, with a ghoulish appearance, huge fangs, claws and shreds of skin hanging on her arms and legs, barely keeping some traits of her feminine figure such as her small waist, her large breast, lher ong legs now with scales and her well shaped butt.
The rest of the ghost-zombies go ghost as well, turning into the most awful creatures they all had seen. They jump on the guests, feasting on them. They all scream in fear and pain, some of them get drawn in their own blood, not for too long though, as they would all die that night two minutes before midnight.
First Act: Road Trip
In Amity Park. 05:26 PM UTC Danny flies into his room and falls on his bed after a tiresome ghost zombie hunt that took all morning and a rcent fight with a giant ghost crab with tentacles, turning on his radio with a hand shake and tuning a radio station playing hits from the 90's he has become a fan of in the last years. He puts on his headphones hoping to clear his mind from all the madness and troubles he had had in his life lately while listens the song "Pardon me" by an old grunge band named "Incubus" which is followed by "Serve the Servants" from the legendary grunge band Nirvana. Ironically, the reason Danny likes these songs is because they, somehow, mirror his life lately almost as a perfct soundtrack for it, yet they help him to forget about his problems, as if they weren't real, and give him a quiet moment in which he could feel just like any normal teenager with no worries other than his poor grades and lack of money and a job rather than the safety of the world, something he really needed, but the song soon gets cut off in the middle by a police announcement about several cheerleaders and football players gone missing on Salem, Massachusetts.
The announcement catches his attention, quickly he turns on the volume.
"… according to some eye witnesses, green glowing ghoulish creatures attacked the cheerleader squad from Leonidas High School in Salem, Massachusetts. Reports indicate these are the same creatures that appeared in the suburbs attacking young revelers two weeks ago. The police is still trying to crack the case, but so far they have got nothing to work with, no clues, hints or any indications of any kind, and no theories have been released yet, still the locals got some of their own. Some believe this to be a gang related using costumes, others that this is the beginning of the "zombie apocalypse"…"
"You heard that Gas?" Danny asked to his new ghost suit's ghostly A.I.
"The zombie thing?" Asks with its newly downloaded British accent which made feel Danny like if he was talking to a butler. "Yes, but you don't really think it has something to do with a zombie apocalypse going down, do you?"
"More like a ghost-zombie apocalypse to me. Guess you know what that means?"
"Time for a road trip, sir?"
"Time for a road trip. Pack up your stuff buddy."
"I am your stuff, sir."
"Yes, you sure are."
Danny picks up his traveling shoulder bag and takes everything he needs for his journey into mystery, everything since clothing, toothbrush, till his Fenton ghost hunting gear even though it was now unnecessary if not useless since he already had gadgets like those and more built in his suit, that are even more cutting edge than his parents' technology, and runs down stairs almost crashing with his sister Jazz.
"Oh, oh, oh, oh… Where are you going with that hurry and what's that bag for?" She inquires.
Danny mulls for a few seconds and decides to tell her about his case.
"Ok, I'm going on a hunt in… Salem… Massachusetts
"What?! A hunt?"
"Don't worry, is not a witch hunt. I heard some news on the radio about some missing cheerleaders and what clearly is a swarm of ghozbies haunting the town, and it sounded like a case to me, one that could cheer me up. Got it? 'Cheer me up'? 'Cuz they're cheerleaders and, oh, forget it…"
"Ok, so you are going on a hunt out of the city--out of the state alone and… did you even bother to ask mom and dad if you could leave the state--the city, or even if you could take the car?"
"…So… do you wanna come with me?" He asked trying to avoid her question.
"Just what I thought," she says peeved, with her arm folded and glaring at him.
"But… are you coming with me?"
"Does it look like I'm staying?" she asks walking up stairs, into her room looking for her traveling gear.
"Ah… Yes, it does." He answers.
"Well I'm not."
"Ok, looks like it is road trip time."
Outside of Amity Park.
06:36 PM Local time
Much to Danny's dislike, Jazz tells their parents' about their case before hitting the road and about him almost taking off alone and without permission, which caused him to get sat down first. All the same to him, he takes on the road with his sister not caring about how upset their parents were at him for almost leaving without saying, after all he had bigger things in his mind going on right now.
Things that easily fade away while driving the Fenton RV. With his hands on the wheel he forgets about his parents discontent about this new found habit of his of taking the family car or the Specter Speeder without permission to go out hunting on his own on different states, he forgets about the pressures of being the only superhero in the world, of school, his problems with Sam, his broken powers, even about the ghosts he goes out to hunt. While driving he feels he can leave behind every burden and worry, everything is peaceful and simple, just as flying. All he has to do is keep moving forward, further, faster until he can't.
Pressing the accelerator pedal he speeds up at 76 Miles per hour running down the highway and breaking the speed limit over thirty miles, with the radio playing "Who do you love?" while he sings along.
Sitting next to him in the passenger's seat is Jazz, concerned about her little brother and all the changes he's been going through lately.
Over the past two years things have changed a lot for Danny due to his identity being public now and his celebrity status. One of the many changes was Danny stretching his "jurisdiction" limits when it comes to ghost hunting, now going after ghosts in other cities and states every now and then with her and the team. Whenever they got word from a ghost case outside Amity Park that the G.I.W. or any other ghost hunters couldn't solve they would take care of it. But more often than before he started to go out all by himself without saying a word, and wouldn't return for days, doing that so often it became a habit now. This got even worse in the last month ever since the bomb, and this new trait of his has her worried more than any other of his changes, not just for not knowing where her little brother takes off to hunt alone but because he wouldn't stop doing it despite all the times his parents sat him down for it and she knows there is a reason for such behave, after all it was not really like him to take off without saying... or was it? Something about this need of sneaking out to fight ghost seems to her more as a cry for attention, as if something is troubling him and Jazz felt there was no better moment to know what that is but now.
"Danny. Danny!" yells Jazz. "Could you listen to me?"
"What? You want me to change the station?"
"No. I just… I think we need to talk."
"Oh my god, are you breaking up with me?" he asks sarcastically.
"I mean it" says staring at him with a serious look. "We have to talk."
"Well, now is not a good time."
"'Cause you want talk to me."
"Ok, what is it?" says turning down the music.
"Why do you keep doing it?"
"… Ah… Ok, I'm gonna need more clues here, 'cuz I kinda keep doing many things--I keep using the big boy potty. So… what is this about?"
"That's what I wanna know. This new habit of yours, sneaking out to go hunting ghosts behind our backs. Taking the RV or the SS to go out of state without even telling mom and dad, without even telling me! I mean, what is up with that?! You don't have to sneak out or keep things as a secret anymore and you don't need the car, you can fly."
"Do you really wanna have that conversation here? Right now?"
Danny moans exasperated leaning his head on the wheel, annoyed by his sister's questioning even though deep down, he knows she means well.
"Danny that's dangerous!"
"Just because I sneak up to hunt--"
"No that, that! Eyes on the road!" She yells. Quickly Danny lifts his head to look at the road and steer right the RV. "And yes, it is also dangerous and annoying how you always go behind our backs to hunt. Especially when you take the car! Why do you even do that? You can fly faster than this and you don't have to lie anymore!"
"Uh… is this about the car or about me sneaking out?"
"Both. Now answer me."
"Look, I get it might be annoying sometimes," he says looking at Jazz as he slows down, "but… I can't help it, ok? After years of ghost hunting behind our parent's back… it-it became my nature, ok? I can't help to keep secrets, to go hunting on their backs and not saying anything. I need that, it feels natural to me. It gives me a sense of... stability. I know it doesn't look like it, but there are some things about this non-secret identity thing that I don't like and I can't get use to… The thing is I liked ghost hunting better when it was a secret. I liked my life better when I had my secrets and keep them that way. When mom and dad knew nothing about my powers and I had to sneak out all the time, when they didn't have to worry about me fighting ghosts. I guess… I guess life made more sense then," he says prone. "I guess I do this because I wished some things where just the same. Just plane old secret ghost-hunting with secret identity, the normal to me… I miss that, and… I know this is weird but the further I get from them--from the city… the closer I feel to that."
'Danny, I… I didn't know you feel that way."
"That's because I never told you about it. But then again, I never share this kind of stuff with you or anyone, not even Sam. Actually I told you this now because… I feel you are the only person I can share this with, even though I didn't want to."
Is there when she realizes "…you trust me. You really trust me that much?"
"Uh, yeah. You are my big sister, who else do I have to trust my secrets and lean onto when I need help?"
"Aaawww… to think that three years ago you would call me a fink."
"Well I still call you a fink for ratting me on mom and dad. Which reminds me… ypu are a fink!"
"Now that's more like classic Danny," Jazz says pinching his right cheek.
"Hehe… The thing is… this is the only thing that makes sense to me now 'cause nothing else does, especially since the bomb, and with all that's going on now… I need to get away from that, I need something that makes sense. I need something to be like the old times. Or at least something I can call normal, (or maybe) a new normal. Something stable, and so far this is the best I got."
Unfortunately, Danny was caught in the wrong fan-fiction, because as those who had read this story so far may have notice this is not about sense, normal or anything like the old times.
"Hey, it's ok, I got it," said Jazz in a sympathizing tone, laying her hand on his right shoulder. "I wish some things were the same again too, you know? Having my little brother as the world most famous celebrity? I'm not getting use to that yet. Just do me a favor."
"Don't take the car without permission!" she yells. "You can fly at Mach 1 and zap anywhere you want, for god's sake. You don't need this... rolling pece of crap, we do."
"You don't know that. Driving is… relaxing, it helps me clean my mind."
"Since I can drive." And I can't fly just for the pleasure of it, he thinks.
"…Boys," she moans, with her arms crossed sinking in her seat.
"Also, I can only teleport myself to those places I have already been to. I can't got to somewhere I have never been, neither send somebody there."
"Not an excuse. How long until we get there?"
"About three more days. I can cut some time if I go at full speed… Which guessing by the look in your eyes, you don't want me to. But it's ok, I know you like the speed of Grandpa Fenton going to Sunday church."
"Oh great, three more days of confined and rolling passive-aggressiveness to look forward to. This road trip can't get any better."
Second Act: Road Rash
08:24 PM Local time
The sun goes down, the stars come out, the night takes over the sky over and it's time for our Fenton travelers to rest their weary heads after two hours of driving.
Danny parks the Fenton RV on the first motel he sees, one called No Tell Motel, with a glowing vacancy sign.
The two Fenton siblings walk into the motel reception to check themselves in, getting attended by the manager, a blonde lady in her mid forties with brown eyes, a few wrinkles around them and shapely body (for a woman of her age). As soon as they walk in Danny asks for a room.
"Sorry, we full up. Won't have room for..." she pauses for a second to look at her watch"...another 20 minutes. You wait?"
"The sign says there is a vacancy." points Jazz.
"The sign says a lot of things sweetie…" Says the manager over the strange muffed noises that come out of the walls. In that moment a red light on the wall behind her goes off with a noisy ringing. "Oh, we have premature departure. You can have room now. How long you want?"
"Just 'till tomorrow." Jazz answers.
"All night?" She whistles, checking them in. "Okay. Just wait while I get you new sheets."
"Well, who says Motel service is bad?" Danny jokes.
"You don't think...?"
"Well, what can I say? You insisted to come with me." Danny says mockingly. "Now we can't even get separate rooms 'cuz there's only one free... But no I don't think."
After changing the bedsheets and (barely) cleaning the room, the manager hands them the key to room B-23 on second floor.
"Here you got. You know you look like that guy from tv, the ghost superhero." Points the manager to Danny when handing him the keys.
"Wouldn't know what to say, I've never seen a ghost in my life," he replies.
The two brothers go to their room rather hastily, ignoring the noises coming from the walls.
"You know, I hate to share room with you." Danny says as they walk upstairs.
"I really don't like to share room with you or anyone."
"We've shared room before," points Jazz. "That shouldn't be a problem."
"Yeah we have, when I was like six and we lived a two rooms' apartment. Back when we had to share a single room, a single bathroom…"
"Back when we where closer and we shared more," she retorted with an ounce of nostalgia in her voice. "I don't see why we can't do that again. You just shared with me how you feel. I bet you never have that kind of convrsations with Sam."
"That's different, I don't have to smell you…"
"…besides we're in a cross-country ghost-zombie hunt, what's closer and more bonding than that?"
"You're right, we're like the freaking Winchester," Jazz replies sarcastically.
"Don't think is a good comparison. Sam wouldn't give a crap about Dean if dies, if you die, I…" Danny mulls for a few seconds and says "Let's keep going."
"Wait, if I die what?
He opens the door of their room hoping to finally rest, but instead he get shocked by the worst thing he could see.
"Oh, no… no, no-no-no-no!" Danny utters repeatedly when he sees the windows blocked with bricks. "You freaking kidding me?!"
"What's wrong with you now?"
"What's wrong with me? The reason I paid for a room is because it's supposed to have bigger windows than the RV so I won't have to--I hate to share room with you," he says again. "Hold me this," says handing her his bag.
"What? You hold your own stuff." She replies throwing it on the king-size bed. "What are you gonna do?"
"I'm gonna fix this," he said turning his hand into a pickaxe. "Watch, I'm putting an end to all this gassy craziness before it starts, with my Pickaxe Hand!"
"Gassy craziness? What are you talking about?"
Danny reaches over the wall saying "No more farts" as he pokes the wall.
"…Ok… I don't know what you are talking about or what's got into you now... Since when can you shape your hands anyway?"
"Ah, for while now."
"Yeah. Not too long to say it's an old trick but not so recently to say it's brand new." Answers, barely paying attention to his sister.
"Ok that's frustratingly vague, you can tell me when your life sucks so much you have to run away from it, but not when you get new powers?"
Danny pokes the brick wall a few times, merely scratching it.
"Is not working," she points with her arms folded.
"I know it doesn't work, I can see it doesn't work! This requires something else, something with a little more firepower" says shaping his hand back into a normal fist and releasing a small high pressured green ghost ray from it in a blowtorch manner. "Now step back, this might get filthy."
Jazz stares at him peeved still with her arms folded, thinking her little brother has already lost any ounce of sanity he had.
"I'm going to take a shower." Said irritated for all of her brother's nonsense.
"'K… If you find a serial killer waiting for you in there, just yell and I'll make his face look like Myer's mask," says cutting the bricks off the wall.
"…Sure." Jazz says taking her towels and a bathrobe and walking into the bathroom.
Locked in the restroom, inside the shower Jazz was finally alone with her thoughts and in this skeevy motel in the middle of the road, she was finally away from all the madness that engulfed her life just this week.
Turning on the faucet the water falls all over her head wetting her perfect strawberry blonde hair, running down to meet with all of her shapely body, falling down her swoopy breasts, getting lower onto her slim hips and flat belly then reaching her thin thighs and long legs finally covering all of her sultry body, a body that has drawn the attention from many boys and even a few girls in the past…
Inside the shower, she was hoping to clear her thoughts as she cleans her body and find a brief moment of peace, leave her mind completely blank, free from all the problems in her life, but all that free space would leave room for more questions about her brother Danny, questions like: where did he get that light suit from and why he would not tell them anything about it? What else does he have to hide? And even worst what does he mean with "we are at war with the ghost zone"?
As Danny's big sister Jazz can't help to feel worried about him, she is to look over him and ever since the bomb Danny has been acting strange, completely out of himself -more than before since he became a celebrity- and even though he claims to be all right about Las Vegas' incident, what he said earlier on the road proved otherwise, and now she can't help but feel he needs her help more than ever before. Her only problem is she doesn't know how to help him... No, she knows what to do, how to help him, but... how could she make thing like before?
Half an hour later when Jazz comes out of the bathroom with her bathrobe and a towel bundled on her head, Danny was nearly over with the window and the floor was a dusty mess.
"You done there?" She asks.
"Yes… Almost…" He answers covered on dust, pushing the wall with his shoulder, throwing it on top of a car parked below their room, setting off the alarm. "I'm gonna get something to eat." He says ignoring the car he just smashed.
"Could you bring me a…" Danny vanished without a trace before she could finish her sentence. "I hate when he does that. Is such a jerk thing."
Back in a near gas station with a convenience store named Gaz 'N' Zip where Danny stopped for gas an hour ago, he picks up food for him and his sister, or what he considers is food, namely chocolate bars, chocolate cookies, strawberry ice cream, vanilla ice cream, salty chips, Doritos, sodas, a white chocolate box, and other kinds of junk food and things with large amounts of sugar.
When walking on the fruit section to pick up something for Jazz, he sees a little boy messing with his big sister who was no more than two or three years older than her brother and remembers the time when he and his sister use to travel with their parents and the way he use to prank and mess with her all the time putting gum on her hair, itchy dust on her pillow and poke her arm on the road. On the other hand, she would also play along putting hot sauce in his food or turning off his night light and even putting pink dyer on his shampoo.
Danny recalls those fond moments with a smile and nostalgia wishing they could live those moments again since those were the good times, when everything was normal and their lives made sense.
Danny takes his "supplies" to the register attended by a skinny guy with curly hair and deadpan face named Steve.
"Hi Steve, uh, you don't have any pie or cake… or anything sugary… other than candies?"
"Sorry, no." He answers displeasing, drawling his words.
"I'm guessing you don't have a girlfriend, either," Danny asked sarcastically.
"Sorry, no," says the same way.
"Yeah… you sure are. I guess this is everything then."
"Cash or credit?" asks the cashier putting the "supplies" in a plastic bag.
"Sir, your sister has your parents' credit card," Gas reminds him.
"Cash." says Danny taking out his wallet.
"That would be 368 $."
"Keep the change" says giving him four hundred dollars. "Ok thanks and… good luck with the ladies… Steve." Danny says taking his bag and teleporting back to the motel room.
"…Wow…." mumbles the cashier drawling his words.
Back at the hotel room, he appears without any warning yelling at his sister.
"Hey Jazz, I'm here! I brought you some fruit! Hope you are wearing something! I really do," he whispers to himself turning around looking for his sister.
"No need to yell, I'm right here," she says in her blue pajamas walking out of the bathroom again.
"I brought you an apple" says throwing it at Jazz.
"Thanks. What's all that?" Asks looking at the ludicrous amount of candy and junk food he bought.
"That's my food. Except for the fruits. The rabbit food is yours."
"You call that food?" Asks surprised.
"Yep. Only the finest for the finest." Answers putting the bag on one of the two night tables in the room, the one on the right side of the bed, taking out the salad chips. "What do you call it?"
"I call that a heart attack in a plastic bag.
"Don't be so… ludicrous" says opening the chips.
"You know what that means, I'm impressed."
"Sixty percent of this is air… with salt. Hardly enough to cause me any health trouble." Or to make it any worst, he thinks.
"I'm sure dad said that once… too many, you got his genes and you've already exhibit way too much of him. You know, one day you'll look back and you'll wish you had eaten some of this," says biting her apple.
"'Cuz it made wonders for Eva."
"Cute. Anyhow, I made some research on the case while you were away," says sitting on the left side of the king size bed, taking her laptop from the night table on the left. "Turns out this is not just in Salem. A few similar cases of abduction where people claims to have seen green glowing zombies have been happening on cities and states near Amity Park for the last month, and they seem to have been migrating all the way to Salem where there is the largest number of raptures and attacks so far. And two weeks ago there was an attack, a girl was seen hauling on the streets with no path, wearing the school's cheerleading squad uniform. She seemed pretty much like a zombie though nobody really cared, most people thought she was cosplaying or something."
"Cosplaying? What's wrong with people?"
"I know. Then she walks into a party and according to neighbors, minutes later green zombies appeared out of nowhere when she walked in and surrounded the house, when the kids started running out like crazy they turned into ghosts. The rest… well, we've seen enough slasher and zombie movies to know where it was going"
"Wait. You made a research on the twenty minutes I was gone and came up with all this? What a nerd you are," he mocks with a smug smile.
Jazz glowering at him says "Ha, real mature Danny."
"So… why Salem? Why is it such a hot spot? I don't think the witches' history has anything to do with it. And why the cheerleaders? I can't come up with an answer for that. Not one that makes sense anyway," says sitting next to his sister.
"I know, it doesn't make any sense" agrees Jazz. "So I kept digging, and… I got nothing except that most of the abductions and sightings happened at night. Does it makes any sense to you?"
"Only if they're sunlight intolerant… or if they turn into ghozbies at midnight like a werewolf, which as far as the G.I.W. tests can tell, is not the case--that's right I got them bugged. What about the victims? Do they have anything in common or is it just random? Maybe there is somebody yanking the strings, controlling the ghozbies."
"You mean like Technus?"
"I don't think this is him. Attacking horny teenagers and cheerleaders is not his style, but neither was using zombies though, maybe if we can find a connection between the victims we can figure who is controlling the chompers."
"Why are you so convinced someone is controlling them?"
"Is the only thing that makes sense… barely. 'Cuz let me tell you, ghouls attacking cheerleaders doesn't make any sense, sounds like the lousy-ass plot for a comic. So, the only explanation I can come up with is that, someone somehow is able to control the zombies like Technus does killing for some pitty-ass vendetta. And if we can find something the victims had in common we can start a profile for our unsub."
"Using the brain, eh? Looking fort a pattern just like a real cop would do? Who is the nerd now?" says Jazz glad to see her brother using his brain and not his fists for a change.
"Give me a break, I just watched a whole season of 'Criminal Minds'. But that's gonna be my new angle now, using the brain rather than just slugout things."
"I see…" she says typing on her keyboard.
"You know me, always working the angles…" he yawns feeling tired. "Why don't you work on that while I… rest for a while? …All this driving got me tired," he yawns again. "You know, this road trip reminds me of the old days… when we used to travel with mom and dad… when things were normal…" he yawns falling asleep on his sister's shoulder.
"Yes, it is just like the old days." Jazz said with a smile looking at her little brother as he sleeps on her shoulder like he used to do as a child.
No Tell Motel
Danny wakes up from a sound sleep, in his motel room by the sunlight streaming into his room through the handmade window, on the same bed with his sister with his arm around her cuddling and moaning placidly with a wide smile whilst drooling on his pillow.
The moment he opens his eyes he gazes at his sister's orange hair and realizes among some things he is cuddling her. Quickly he jumps out of bed yelling disgusted, shocked and angry.
"Danny… what the hell…?" She asks waking up with half her brain still sleeping.
"I just woke up… in bed… with... you… and I was cuddling. Eeewww. This is exactly why I hate to share room with you" says angry and disgusted.
"Oh, grow up." Says stretching her arms.
"How am I ever going to un-remember this?
"Yeah… While you are on it… you got dry saliva on your chin," she points getting out of bed.
"What?" He asks touching his face. "Now that's nasty."
Danny and Jazz drive to the closest truck stop to breakfast before they get going again. While on the way Jazz becomes afflicted by an intense itching around her legs and thighs, and wouldn't stop scratching, specially her butt.
"Geez Jazz, you look like a monkey scratching your butt that way," points Danny holding his laugh as they walk into the dinner.
"Argh. I don't know what's wrong. I think I'm allergic to our soap…" retorted as she scratched her legs effusively. "Or maybe there was something in our bed. I knew we shouldn't trust that motel."
"Sure, it must be that. Probably nothing to do with your pants," he answers grinning proudly as they take a seat in a table next to a wall with a witch clock on it.
As they sit, Jazz asks "You--did you do something to my pants?!"
"Your pants? Oh, hell no! I would never do that."
"But you did something, didn't you?"
"Who's there to say Jazz? It's not like someone could see me dusting your panties with itching powder while you were in the shower," he answers almost laughing.
"You what?! Why would you do such thing?" She asked scratching inside her thighs.
"Do what? I didn't do anything." Says holding his laugh.
"Man, we're not kids anymore, Danny. We're not gonna start that crap up again."
"Start what up?"
"That... prank stuff. It's stupid, and it always escalates! Did you forget how it ended last time, didn't you?!"
"No, it didn't end as much as mom and dad had to intervene when I put Nair in your shampoo."
"And I made you look like a ghost by putting green ink your liquid body soap and mom and dad almost shoot you thinking you were a ghost."
"Yes, yes you did. Those were the days, weren't they? Really, good times those."
"Stupid time those! Why would you want that again?"
"Well, I felt... naughty, just like the old days."
"And your first thought, your first instinct was dust my underwear with itching powder?"
"Yep. So… what you gonna do now?" Asked with smug grin pulling a string from the witch clock on the wall making the witch laugh. "Mom is not here to stop me and rant about it."
"Oh is that so?" Asks turning off the witch.
Jazz leans glaring at him. "Then it's on!"
"No, now it's on," he said turning on the clock's laughing again.
"All right. Just remember you started it." Jazz warns him.
"Oh ho, bring it on baldy."
With those words they mark the overdue continuation of their last prank war being this fight the reason why their parents wouldn't take them on road trips more often -if not ever again- even though the family car is actually a (weaponized) Recreational Vehicle. This was the first time Danny had pranked her in almost eight years, and he was eager to see what she had for him, he wanted to go all the way through with it for long has been since these sibling have played with each other as brothers.
Soon after they sat down a brunette teenage waitress took their orders. They both asked for a portion of waffles and in the twenty minutes it took their order to be ready, Jazz goes to the RV to change her underwear and wash the itching powder off. Needles to say she was mad at Danny for doing such thing and was already planning her retaliation. Much to Danny's surprise, she put Fenton Super Glue in his waffles while he was looking at the waitress' rear, thus gluing his mouth.
"Yeah, that's what you get for looking at another girl's butt, lil' brother." Jazz says with a mug grin, turning on the witch clock so it would laugh at him. “Will you be eating those waffles?...say what you want, but I will be taking the waffles,” said as he mumbles muffed rants, taking Danny's portion.
Jazz and Danny get back rolling only this time Jazz was at the wheel sharing with Danny what she discovered last night while he slept after Danny unglued his mouth with his ghost powers and continue the research on her laptop using his suit's wi-fi (even though he wasn't transformed), trying to put some sense to these ghost-zombies attacks.
"So there is no real connection to the victims?" He asks sitting with his face in the laptop, typing hastily and with his mouth sore and his tongue peeled.
"Only one, most of the victims were at a party when they got attacked. Other than that, none that I could see," she answers. "The only victims with another connection besides loving parties are the cheerleaders and football players from Salem. They all attended to the same school and most of them where at that party I told about."
"Damn it! This can't be it. Hhhhmmm… what do cheerleaders and athletes have in common? I mean other than they would only have sex with each other of course…" he wonders getting a dirty look from his sister. "Well whatever it is, I'm sure is not their brains they ate them for."
"Maybe there isn't a connection. They're zombies after all. They don't think, they act based on instinct." Jazz points. "Or that's what every crappy zombie movie says anyway."
"So their instincts tell them to eat cheerleaders even if their one of them? Well that is winner."
"Hey is not an exact science."
"Yeah, but then why would they all migrate to this particular place?--Oh check out this, last night there was another ghozbie attack at another party in, wait for it… the middle of the woods."
"You kidding me?! How--? Why would they even--? …Who are the victims?"
"This time… horny teenagers from Salem. I think they're lowering their standard, not even wannabe cheerleaders."
"Could you be more specific?"
"I could but those are too many names."
"What were they doing in the middle of the woods?"
"One of the survivors-the only of the three survivors that can talk so far-says they were there to have a 'memorial party' for their lost friends when one of them. a cheerleader, came out of the threes followed by a horde of chompers behind just like the last time, and then, well you can imagine what comes next. Still think there's not a connection? 'Cuz I'm pretty sure that's not a coincidence that is pretty much the same modus operandi last horde used in the attack."
"Come take the wheel." Orders Jazz.
Danny gets up walking toward the driver seat asking "Why?"
"'Cause we need to get there fast and I don't want to break the speed the limit."
"So you ask me to do it? First you super-glue my mouth and now this? Who are you and what did you do with the real Jazz?--You know what? Forget it, I like you better."
"Yeah well, enjoy me as long as I last… That didn't sound as I mean it."
Danny laughs "I'm sure it didn't."
Phantoms of the Heart:
Phantom Traveler, Part 2 of 3
Third Act: Ghostly Touch
September 2, 12:45 PM Local time
Jazz and Danny arrive at Salem a day earlier, due to Danny powering the RV's ecto-converter with his own exceeding ghost energy, boosting the vehicle so it would run much faster than usual breaking the speed-limit driving over 210 miles per whenever there were no other cars in the road, though he kept the RV intangible most of the time, just in case.
As soon as they get to town, they look for the Chief Robert M. St. Pierre Police Headquarter, name given to the police station after the former Chief of police.
"My god Danny, you drive like dad!" Jazz claims as she gets out of the car with her legs shaking, glad to set foot on firm ground. "No, scratch that, you drive worse than dad."
"Oh please, I do not drive like dad, I kept the tires on the road all the time. The RV didn't jump not even once."
"You melted the tires on the ground. That's a huge difference" she replies exasperated.
"…See? That happened because I kept the car on the road, not jumping so there you have it. Dad would have kept the car jumping and bumping all the way up here." Danny says as they walk toward the station. "Besides that way was faster, that's what you wanted. You should thank me, sometimes I feel unappreciated by you."
"What can I say? Sometimes you make that a challenge of your own."
"And here I thought we had a bonding brotherly moment these days."
"Yeah right. Nothing says bonding moment like telling your sister how you feel and then starting a prank war."
"Exactly. Definitely I'm starting to love you more than the real Jazz."
The two Fenton keep arguing as they walk into the station looking for whoever was in charge of the ghost-zombie circus the station had turned into these past few weeks.
As soon as they step inside the building they see how the ghost-zombies had became the main priority of all the station, breaking havoc inside its wall.
Every member of Salem's police force in uniform or plainclothes from every division, was working on the case and hardly anyone would take their eyes away from the boards and folders with pictures of the victims, crime scenes and out-of-focus pictures of the ghost-zombies taken with phones by the witnesses. Hardly anyone was paying attention to them, luckily for them a female police Officer had second free to attend them.
"Hello kids, can I help you with something? - asks female Officer, a 5, 6 foot tall black woman with huge green eyes and a sturdy complexion and short hair. The woman somehow reminds Danny of an older version Valerie which then reminds him of his awkward conversation with her before leaving town.
"Yeah, I'm special agent Padalecki, this special agent Ackles" Danny says to the Officer getting a weird and confused look from his sister and a peeved stare from the Officer. "We're here to help with the ghost-zombie case."
"Aha, if you kids are with the FBI, then I'm with the Cirque du Soleil over here. Look kid we are too busy to be goofing around over here with you two, so if you had your fun then please leave before I put in jail for impersonating an FBI agent."
"…Well, I tried. Looks like Hollywood lied to me again!" says Danny.
"Look kid we really don't have time to be playing with clowns like you, and… wait a minute I think I know you" says the Officer taking a better look at his face. "You are that ghost kid from tv, aren't you?"
"Well technically I'm a man now and I don't have my own tv show anymore, thanks to some idiots from the channel, but yes I'm Danny Phantom!" Claims loudly with his fists in his waist, calling attention from everyone in the room for just a few seconds. "And this is my sister Jazz, she is human, not important" he says demeaning her as a sidekick in a derisive way, just for the pleasure of pissing her off.
"Hey! That is rude" Jazz says.
"Oh my! My kid loves you, he idolizes you."
"Ha-ha… well thanks…" he says blushed.
"I'm guessing you guys are actually here for these, "ghsot-zombies" you said?"
"I call them ghozbies for short… or chompers, but yeah."
"Ghozbies? So that's a thing, eh? And here I thought the news was scrapping the bottom of the barrel with the headlines."
"Yes, and how do we call you…?" asks Jazz.
"I'm Officer Rambeau, Monica Rambeau. But you can call me Monique. Everyone does."
"Ok, eh, could you take us to your boss?" inquires Danny. "Tell him or her you got some… specialized help for this case."
"Sure thing, sweetie. Come with me."
Officer Rambeau takes them to the office of the Chief Rick Grimes, who is yelling at the Mayor on the phone, who called looking for good news to make the parents and citizens feel better. The words are so loud that can be heard across the hallway.
"…well tell the parents I have every man and woman in every division working to hunt freaking zombies that are invisible and appear out of nowhere and fade away the same way! Tell the news that the police department has now become the Ghost Busters department and all we need to crack this case is Ash Williams' help! Is that enough of a good news to you, sir?!"
Mad and frustrated like he has never been, he slams the phone on his ebony desk repeatedly.
"You kids wait at the door here for a moment. I'll try to chill him up."
The Officer walks into the office to inform her boss about their presence. She takes a few minutes first trying to calm him down.
"She gets you nervous" points Jazz. "Does she reminds you of someone?"
"You guys can come in" says Officer Rambeau.
Danny and Jazz step into the office where the Chief had already calmed down and greets them kind and cheerfully, shaking their hands very hard.
"It's an honor to meet you, eh sir." Says shaking Danny's hand.
"Sir? That's what I'm talking about, respect." Danny says with a huge smile.
"Well I must say, when Officer Rambeau here told me we were getting special help I thought it was those government types, what's their name?
"The Guys in White?" asks Danny.
"Yeah, what's their name?"
"The Guys in White."
"Yes, them, who are they?" asks the Chief again.
"The Guys in White are named the Guys in White. That's their name" explains Danny. "And I wouldn't expect too much from them. I've been kicking their ass since I was fourteen. Frankly we are more qualified for this task than they are" he states in assured of his words, almost sounding overconfident to Jazz.
"Big words coming from such a young man" points Chief Rick. "I like to see that."
"Hell yeah. So what do you got so far?"
"Cutting straight to chase, eh? I like that too. So far the only thing we got is a bunch of eaten horny kids and a bigger lot of angry parents raging for answers and jackal reporters middling trying to uncover some sort of stupid cover up theory that doesn't exist or… I don't know what they came up with now. Every time we get a case with this many dead bodies they think it's a conspiracy."
"That happens when you grow watching Bourne Supremacy" Danny jokes.
The Chief shares with Danny and Jazz everything they got so far and names Officer Monica Rambeau as special "ghost hunter liaison" for this case, and tasks her with helping them for anything they might need. He was also kind enough to let them use the former police station in the 17 street as their personal headquarter so they wouldn't have to stay in a motel room or the RV, something they were very grateful for, all the had to do was moving their bed from the RV to one of the manny empty offices.
The former police station was long abandoned since 1992 and was currently undergoing through some repairs to be used again but even though it wasn't ready, it was good enough for them to stay as long as they need.
That same afternoon they go see the survivors of the last ghost-zombie attack. Two of them were in coma and the only one who would be of any help was the only cheerleader left, Stacy Blair.
All her life Stacy has been a bit of a living cliché: a pretty natural with big blue eyes, loved by every guy at school, and hated by all girls except those who secretly love her the same as the guys. When hitting puberty she would become the classic blond bombshell who would become head of the cheerleader squad, becoming the most popular girl with a reputation that would often be in the fringes. But, unlike most blond clichés, she was not dumb, instead she was one of the smartest girls at school, something she didn't even have to strive for. To this Danny could argue that she was a blonde and actually popular version of Jazz to which she replies "I'm not a slut", but then again being now the sole survivor of a real life "horror film" surely didn't make any good for her "real life cliché" status.
They fly to her apartment downtown where she was alone with her single mother who was scared to death for the recent events and decided to leave Salem for good, to someplace free of ghosts. "Good luck trying to find that now" thinks Danny.
Once there Danny asks "So, how do you wanna play this? Good cop. Bad cop?" before knocking the door.
"We're not… you know what? You can play bad cop."
When the door opens they introduce themselves and ask to talk with Stacy about the incident, the mother refuses to let her talk with them but Danny wasn't in the mood to get a no for an answer, so he phases himself and his sister into the apartment.
"What are-? How did you get in here?" Asks the mother.
"What part of I'm Danny Freaking Phantom you didn't get… ma'am?"
"Mrs. Blair, I get this is difficult but we really need to talk to your daughter" Jazz says talking polite and sympathetic, completely different from her brother.
"It's ok mom…" Says Stacy walking downstairs. "I'll talk to them."
"Sweetie you don't have to--"
"I do, mom."
Stacy insists in talking to them much against her mother's will, who agrees to leave the living room grudgingly, moving into the kitchen. With the mother gone, the daughter starts talking with the Fentons.
"I'll tell you everything I told the police" she says.
"Ha. No, we read that in your statement, what about you telling us what you didn't tell the police?" Danny answers in a rude manner surprising even Jazz.
"Like what?" Asks Stacy.
"Like what were you doing there in the first place?" Jazz asks kindly.
"Seriously, a party in the woods two weeks right after. Half your classmates got chomped during a party? What were you thinking?!" He asks.
"You weren't thinking. A party in the woods? Can guys be any more of a cliche?--Don't answer that."
"That's… a good point, but still beside the point Danny." Jazz says.
"You're not going to let that go, are you?" Jazz asks.
"Ok, I'll make the questions" she says. "Stacy, tell us exactly what happened last night?"
"I was there to have sex."
"Well that's blunt honest" Danny points, "good to see she doesn't mind to be... open."
"Ok, what else happened last night?" Asks Jazz.
"But cut the obvious part. Tell us something useful."
"Like what? The only thing I didn't tell them was that I was… that I was there to have sex with… my best friend's boyfriend… because I thought she was" she says keeping herself from crying, with a lump in her throat.
"Uh, but at least you waited till she was dead… or half dead" Danny jokes.
"Danny, shut up!" Orders Jazz, glaring. "Please continue. Who was this friend of yours?"
"That's the one appeared out of nowhere, right?" Asks Danny.
"Yes. All this time we thought they were all dead and then… they appear out of the blue… and eat us all and…" Stacy begins to cry uncontrollably, with huge tears tuning down her cherry-cheeks. She covers her face in shame.
"Wait, that means you were having sex with the zombie chick's boyfriend, right?"
"How could I call myself her friend when the first thing I do when she dies is going to a party to sleep with her boyfriend? We know since kindergarten, we shared everything! You know for a second there I stopped and I told to myself 'why am I doing this?' And I felt like the worst friend ever, like I was worth shit."
"We'll… you were just loyal to your friendship. You just were… oversharing stuff, in this case her boyfriend," Danny says. "Though… you should have probably asked first, I think that's what up set her."
"What are you talking about?" Asked Jazz.
"I think I got our first clue, I'll tell you later. Anything else you might have forgotten in your statement?"
"No" she cried.
"Do you know anyone who might have a grudge against you and your party friends? Anyone who might seem good with computer stuff or… murdery?
"That could be narrowed down to the entire A.V. club, the science club and the Goth club."
"The Goth club?" Jazz asked.
"Yes, we got so many of them wandering around the school the principal thought it was a good idea to give them their own club. I think that's an excuse to lock them away in a room so we wouldn't have to put out with them in the halls." Stacy explains to them.
"Wow, and here I thought Principal Ishiyama was a Japanese female version of Kim Jong," says Danny laughing.
Before leaving Jazz asks one more time "You sure there isn't anything else? Anything can help us."
"…chain marks… I-I'm not sure… but I think she hand chain marks in her hands and heels"
"Chain marks?" They ask.
"I'm not sure, but I saw some weird marks on her before… before she turned into that thing," she cried.
"If that's the case, that means she probably was held captive, she was a prisoner, which could confirms your theory that there is someone behind all this attacks." Jazz retorted. "Maybe he or she keeps them locked down and chained until--"
"Gutsy wants out," Danny cuts her off blurtting another bad joke.
"Oh my gosh. You--you think somebody is forcing her to do this? You think someone is torturing her?!"
Danny answers to her query. "That's what we're trying to find out."
"…do you know if the police found my phone?" She asks. "I lost it last night."
"No but I'll give it to you if I found it."
"Eh, who planned this party?" Jazz pondered.
"I-I don't know. I found out about it by one of those text messages that people sends so many times that no one knows where it started."
"Well whoever it was, sure is modest enough to not brag about this… killer party." Danny jokes.…
Exasperated and painstakingly Jazz asks him to stop. "Danny just don't."
"If that's it… then I guess we gotta go now. Eh, whatever you may need, you can ask me anytime" he says to Stacy, "we're at the old police station. Anything just say my name. Here is my card."
"I just told you I don't have a phone."
"Use the house phone. Damn kids today," Danny says.
Danny hands her a presentation card with his phone number and the words "Danny Phantom Full Time Superhero!" written on green with black background.
"Wait, since when do you have presentation cards?" Inquired Jazz.
"Since I realized cool and important people do, and I'm the most important and coolest person in the world," says with a smirk.
"Ok…" Stacy says a second before Danny teleports himself and Jazz back to the old police station.
"All right, that was one of the most awkward and… weirdest interrogations we've had, and we've had quite some."
"No kidding, I felt so bad I couldn't even go and be full bad cop with her." Danny says.
"Danny you were being bad everything."
"Says you. Anyway I think I got a clue. What she said about Janet showing up when she was having sex with her boyfriend, what if she was appeared there because of that?"
"Like if she or somebody (assuming she is controlled) was waiting for that exactly? What are the odds?" Inquires Jazz.
"Maybe. Or maybe… it was because she felt guilty for doing that and maybe she sensed that guilt and went after her. Some ghost tend feed on emotions, you know? Maybe it worked as a beacon for her and her new chomper pals."
"Ok, so your theory is that either our unsub was waiting for Stacy to sleep with Janet's boyfriend to send her there so she'll have a reason to eat them all (which she didn't)… or that she sensed them having sex and went there to kill them by her own will taking her ghost-zombified friends with her?… It actually makes sense."
"Really? 'Cause I feel like my head just exploded trying to beat some sense into that?"
"That happens when you don't use your brain too often."
"Ouch. Ouch. That was rude."
"Well you started it."
Fourth Act: A cat in a box.
Two days pass without any sign of a ghost-zombie in the city, the police department keeps working hard to crack the case but not even with the new clues Danny gave them they seem to have any progress in the investigation.
The only thing they have so far is half the school's senior students dead or missing, a swarm of ghost-zombie hybrids on the loose and well hidden, and a possibly murderous party planner that might or might not be the one controlling the ghost-zombies to eat the students following some personal agenda.
Jazz mentions the possibility of Technus being the one behind these attacks, but this is way too out of his style to be him even with all the changes in his methods says Danny, and there was not a trace of his ecto-signature anywhere in the town or the signal he uses to control them, so Danny rules him out as a suspect.
Having no suspects and no more clues to work with, each night Danny spent in Salem he would duplicate himself and patrol the city watching those places where the ghost-zombies were seen the most and the backwoods where they were last seen, during the day he and Jazz would split their time between work and pranking each other, with the score so far as a tie with Danny hiding a three days dead fish under her bed and replacing her honey essence shampoo with actual honey, and Jazz turning the car radio's volume all the way up while he was filling the tank and then turning off the radio, startling Danny with a Japanese Goth song when he turns it on and replacing his Coke with soy sauce during lunch.
Using his suit's ghost scanners he tries to find the ghost-zombies but there is nothing the suit can trace, not even the slightest trace of ecto-energy from them. Due to their flawed nature, they produce low ghost energy that burns out faster than a real ghost or hybrid's ghost energy, leaving nothing behind as if they were never there -in this aspect, they seemed more of a ghost than a real one-, the same case is with their nanites' energy, that until they start malfunctioning and overloading turning the ghost-zombies into walking bombs. Fortunately for them, this hasn't happened yet.
Tonight Danny would get bored of patrolling and investigating this case having no progress, so he flies back to their temporal H.Q. back at the old police station, where he and his sister sleep in beds given to them by the police from what Danny insist is a murder house -instead of their own which he couldn't rip out from the RV-, and finds Jazz sitting in a desk still doing research in her laptop.
"Still working in the computer?"
"Nerd. What can you possibly find there that we don't know already?"
"I would give you a smart answer if you weren't right" replies closing her laptop and getting away from the table with a hand full of papers. "There is nothing there I can find to solve this case, except for… boom! This" she says rubbing the handful of papers in his face.
Danny grabs and eyes the paper sheets with names and addresses asking "What am I looking at?"
"This is a list of every abandoned warehouse, building or any other similar place that could be used to hold hostages. If the girl had chain marks as she said, she and the others must be held prisoners somewhere, somewhere isolated…"
"…as every movie and tv show teaches to all those wannabe criminals out there-"
"That's-Would you stop it with the movie thing? This isn't a tv show, this here, this is real life."
"Don't think so. I'm very pop cult savvy now. You are the nerd of this team, I have to be the cool one."
"Wait, Tuck is the nerd of the team."
"Not talking about the Team Phantom, I'm talking about these team, our team, just the two of us. We're the freaking Fenton, we're Team Fenton."
"Aaawww, how cute, you think we're a team of our own" she says hugging her little brother very hard.
"Jazz… I can't breathe…" says tapping her back.
Jazz let's go of her little brother. "Sorry. Anyway I think we should rest and check those places tomorrow."
"Sure." Agrees Danny getting his air back.
"Why hasn't the police done this yet?"
"They did check some places but… they don't have the man power to check all this places or the equipment to find ghosts… zombies."
"So is up to us…" says with a grave voice tilting his head with his hands on his waist. "You know that would have been dramatic if I was wearing sunglasses."
"My glob…" she says exasperated, going to her bed.
09:35 AM Local Time.
At the next morning, when walking into Jazz' "room" Danny finds her sleeping face down with her head buried deep in her pillow, her snoring usually hard is muffed by it. Jazz couldn't help to oversleep for all the hard work she did but Danny's powers would keep him from doing that as he only needed to rest four hours a day, unless he wanted to sleep more. This time he didn't want to oversleep, he wanted to be done with this case as soon as possible, to get the one behind these attacks and get over with the ghost-zombies for once and for all. For that reason, Danny got up an hour ago, after a night of almost no sleeping -though this time it was not because of his powers, but his problems he wouldn't sleep- and decided it was time for Jazz to wake up too.
Setting his phone at full volume he plays "Psychosocial" on her ear startling her and waking her up abruptly.
In a swift movement, she turns around with an ecto-gun she kept hidden down her pillow pointing at Danny.
Danny was surprised and glad to see his sister was prepared to fight ghost at any moment even in her sleep, since he knew better than no one that they can attack at any time. "Nice reflexes! Better the hair" says throwing her a towel at her face. "Time to shower we got empty warehouses to check."
"Argh, what's wrong she you?!" asked taking the towel off her face. "I could have shoot you."
"Yes, yes you could. That's good, it could have been other ghost."
"You are crazy."
"Yeah. RV. Bathroom. Now. Chop chop."
"When did you become the one who tells me to take a shower?" Inquires getting out of bed.
"What can I say sis'? I'm not a little kid anymore. Time to become a man and take of my responsibilities. In this case you."
"Aha, how do I know this isn't some prank and you want me in the bathroom again to put god know what in my panties?"
"Ok, you got me. Now you won't shower and you'll have to smell like skunk all day. Because a joke it's always fun the second time."
Jazz moans saying "This better not be a joke."
"Hey, would I lie? Ah, by the way Officer Rambeau called, she said there was another team of ghost hunter here for the case too, I think we should check in and see who they are."
"You don't think…"
"No, you know I don't."
10:26 AM Local Time
In the walls of the local hospital, two of the victims of the last ghost-zombie attack lay in bed in a comatose state, guarded by two police officers each one.
This attack left only three survivors, one of them the blond bombshell cheerleader Stacy Blair who aside from her emotional trauma and a few cuts and scratches on her knees was unharmed. The other two were Dylan Marmel and Robert Paulsen, who whereas they were luckier than their friends, they weren't lucky enough to escape the wrath of the ghost-zombies unharmed as Blair.
So severe is their state that she might as well be the one survivor should any of them not wake up, and truth be told the doctors don't have any real hope of that happening any time soon, if not any time at all.
Today before leaving town for good, Stacy goes to the hospital to see her friends to apologize with them since they wouldn't be there if not for her. She apologizes with Dylan who was like a big brother to her their entire life and who didn't want to go to the party in the first place since he knew it was a bad idea to go not knowing who was behind it, but went with her anyway because she knew he couldn't say no to her and she needed him as a driver. She apologizes to Rob, her best friend's boyfriend whom she seduced that night with her allure and booze only to know what her friend was getting every night and so she can cross him off her list.
Truly, if it wasn't because of her Dylan would be hale and hearty and so would Robert…
It is truth that sometimes she was what some people might say a bitch, but Stacy never wanted any of this to happen, and now she is to pay the price of her actions.
She cries before their bed and tells them how guilty she feels for everything, even Janet, but her whimper is cut off by an intelligible mumbling from Dylan.
"Oh my God, Dylan! You are alive!" She yells in joy and wide wonder.
Trying to understand what he says she puts her ear near his mouth.
His final words to his long life friend were "… miserable… whore…"
Before she feels the sting of those words she feels how he bites out her ear with his teeth in a sudden movement.
Her scream tears the silence of the hospital.
She falls on the ground covering her wound, she tries to run but her legs won't answer, the fear paralyzes her body, barely able to crawl away from his bed as he squirms with green foam pouring out of his mouth, his skin turning paler and greener by the second. It was not until she stumbles with Robert's bed that she sees he is the same.
In that very second the two police Officers that were guarding the room bustle in with their guns aiming at Dylan and Robert. It takes them a few seconds to process everything that is happening and react: for the moment they enter the room Dylan has already jumped over Stacy placing his hands inside her mouth to open it with his new found superhuman strength, dislocating her jaw causing her pain as she has never felt, her screaming was like nothing they've ever heard. Carving his growing nails in her tongue and gummy, slowly he begins tearing her mouth and removing half her head bare handed quickly turning off her awful screaming and killing her long life friend. Her body drops on the floor, the blood pouring from it as her heart still beats, creating a wide blood pool on the floor.
Scared they start firing at will taking Robert down when he jumps over them but not killing him. It is until Dylan turns his attention to the officers that one of them shoots him in the head effectively killing him and then shooting at Robert when he got up again.
Everything happened so fast, but for this policemen this moment will last forever.
Danny and Jazz walk into the hospital guided by Officer Rambeau to the crime scene where there coroners were taking pictures of the bodies stepping in the few blood-free spots on the floor. The gore in the scene was more than anything they had seen so far and it was downright despicable.
In sight of such act, Jazz who always talks and talks would only say a faint "Oh my God…" while covering her mouth.
"Ok, I wanna know what happened here?" Asked Danny.
"Well, that's what we're trying to figure out, we had two men here but they can barely speak. Come here." Officer Rambeau says taking him to the two police officers who shot at Dylan and Robert.
"So you two saw everything?" He asked to two policemen guarding the room.
"Y-Yes…" mumbles one of them.
"Ok… can you tell me what happened?"
"It was so horrible…" the other says.
"So unspeakable… they were there sleeping and then… they were those… green…monsters…"
"And the poor girl… the way it had its hands inside her mouth, the way she screamed… I never heard anything like it."
"How am I ever going to unsee that again?!"
"Ok, so they got traumatized." Danny points out.
"You would also be traumatized if you se what we just saw in the footage." A coroner says handing him touch screen with feed from the room.
"This is second time somebody hands me one of this. Doesn't bother me but it's weird" he says playing the video where he sees how the only survivors of the last ghost-zombie attack die.
"Wow… that was… what just happened?"
"Well, that's what we're trying to figure out and we were expecting you oh-great-expert to tell us what happened." Officer Rambeau say.
"Well I got now idea. They have been in here for days now, right?"
"Yes, almost three weeks."
"And no one noticed anything weird?"
"No. So far they did everything that comatose people does."
"The transition time for a human after a ghozbie bite can be different. Some people transform immediately, some others in hours even a few days, but I've never seen anyone taking this long to transform. It seems like… if someone or something was defying it."
"Ok why and why would they transform now into… those things?" She asks.
"I don't know. I have theory. The victim Stacy, said something that makes me think maybe they can sense feelings like remorse and pain and it works as a beacon for them. Maybe she came here 'cause she felt bad and it triggered the transformation."
"That's your opinion? They killed her because she felt bad?… I'll have to ask to our other experts."
"Oh yeah, eh… who are those other experts you were talking about?"
52 Hexes Diner.
11:14 AM Local Time.
After leaving the hospital Danny and Jazz go looking for these other "experts" Officer Rambeau was talking about, and when he saw their multicolored van he knew right away who they are and his natural reaction, the only thing he could say was an angry "Son of a bitch!"
The two brothers walk into the diner when they find two of the most despicable human beings Danny has ever crossed path with: Andy and Fran from The Groovy Gang and the Scaredy Cat.
Walking towards them from behind, he slaps Andy the skinny blond male member of the gang in the chest and takes a seat in their table.
Exasperatedly he asks "Ok what the hell are you doing here you… you…?"
"What are you doing here?" Asked Jazz calmed, before Danny could finish his question."
"What are we doing here? We're ghost hunters. We're hunting these ghost-zombies just like you are." Fran, the chubby redhead female member of the gang says adjusting her glasses.
"No, no, no… what you are is a complete disgrace for human kind and a constant shame for hunters around the world." Danny says angrily. "So this is how it's gonna be: you are leaving town now, and will never step in, at least not while I'm here working, are we clear?"
"No, we're not. Why would we leave?" The blond male asks. 'Just because you said so? Well I'm not scared of you of big 'ghost hero'" he says lifting his shirt enough to unveil his belly showing a small ecto-gun in his pants
"What am I supposed to be impressed for? For that lady gun in your… let's say pants or that treasure tail you got over there?" Danny asks.
"Look, we're not leaving because you said so." The redhead says.
"Yeah, you are you no who to tell us what to do? You are not our boss, what you gonna do?"
"Last time I saw you I said I will blow your knees, both of you and then I will call PETA to take away you Vegas show cat."
"…You are his big sister, why do you let him do that?" The skinny guy asks to Jazz.
"Well, he hasn't done anything yet, except giving you a fair warning." She answers arm crossed.
"What she said. I've given you enough warnings after all the annoyance you've caused me-"
"That's not-" the read head cuts him off getting cut off herself by him.
"Shut up! Now listen to me you fame-whores, you're leaving this town and this case before somebody else gets hurt because of your incompetence. Why? Because I said so."
"Well, that was lovely, Danny" Jazz says curious to see how would the conversation end up.
"Oh please, we have done more for this ghost-zombie crisis in this last month than you." The blond says.
"Ok, explain yourself." Jazz inquired.
"Can I do it?" Andy asked to his partner Fran.
"Why not both?" The redhead says.
"Amazon me bitches!" They say together with a huge smirk.
Exasperated, Danny takes a deep breathe and says "… I will shoot you… bitches…" answers Danny pointing at them.
"As I thought, this was… you're leaving this case? Great to hear that. Good to see you again Andy," she says tapping him in the back while leaving the table with her brother.
Back at the old police station Jazz and Danny "Amazon" Andy and Fran and what they saw was beyond anything they can think of their own.
"They wrote a book? You are telling me that the hippie clowns of the Groovy Gang that are completely unaware that we're no longer in the 70's, wrote a book? What did they use, a writing machine?" Danny asks in shock.
"Not just any book, is the book about… fighting ghost zombies." Jazz says reading her laptop.
"Let me see that," he says taking her laptop. "I can't believe this, How to Fight Ghost-zombies: A Guide of prevention or survival in case the Ghost-Zombie Apocalypse arrives?"
"Yep, that makes it official, if there is a book on how to survive that then it is a real threat now."
"This isn't even any original stuff they just like copy-pasted whatever they liked from the 'G.I.W.'s Ghost fighting guide' and that other 'How to fight zombies' book."
"Yeah, well nobody cares, it's been in the New York Times list of best seller for three weeks now."
"That's it, I gonna catch them all now."
"You say that because of what happened at the hospital or because you don't like the Groovy Gang?"
"I hate those guys! Every time we cross path they would not only get in our way and ruin our hunting but their stupid cat will also bite me in places I shouldn't be bitten by cats and that I didn't even know I have. So yes, it's because I hate them and because of the hospital thing."
"And how are you gonna do that? We barely got time to scour three warehouses."
"Which is why I sent a clone to each of those locations when Officer Monique called in."
"You can split that much? Why didn't you that since the begging?"
"I wanted to spend more time with you."
"Yeah right, you had planned another joke, didn't you?
"Beside the point, none of those places had anything. That leaves us with one option, we'll have to ask people around like we should've done when we first came here, and I bet all my money-"
"-that our unsub… is in the Goth club… Damn it I really need to get a pair sunglasses for this moments. It make them more dramatic"
"…You kidding me? The Goths are the zombie masters? How did you ever jump to that conclusion?"
"You can blame Hollywood, sis'."
Danny Phantom Unlimited
Phantoms of the Heart:
Phantom Traveler, Part 3 of 3
Fifth Act: It all comes truth.
Leonidas High School.
September 5, 02:12 PM
Jazz and Danny walk into the School's Goth Club, a dark room with tons of Goth clichéd decoration: a roof painted to resemble the night sky, tombstones and coffins-like furniture and many other things Danny knew Sam would love.
All of the members were the typical black over-wearing and gloomy students, some of them wearing fish nets or trench coats and all of them wearing sunglasses.
"You know who wears sunglasses inside? Blind people… and douchebags." Danny says.
Jazz nodded her head. "Good point."
They both step inside the room and turn on the light much to the Goths dislike. With the light on he sees their plates are full of ultra-recyclo-vegetarian food.
Danny steps inside, his nose getting struck by a powerful odor.
"Patchouli, yeah, mixed with depression… and sweat, so much sweat. Yikes, no wonder you got locked up, I can smell your misery… from meat deprivation." Danny says. "No wonder you never smile."
One of the Goths jumps to talk about the goodness of vegetarianism saying "Meat is--" but Danny cuts him off as soon as he started talking.
"Spare me the lecture buddy. I got a girlfriend like you and she ain't got any progress with me, and she has more leverage tha you. Jazz, give them the talk while I phase around looking for any hiden equipment of magic item."
While Danny searches the room for any hidden piece of equipment or or magic instrument that might be used to control the ghost-zombies, Jazz proceeds to question the non-cooperative Goth students of Salem. After half an hour of questioning they leave empty handed and move to the next club, the science club where all they got was a lot of insults in words not even Jazz could understand and where Danny's final words were "I can understand why you are so miserable, is from the sex deprivation, but trust me it keeps getting better."
"Really? Again the same deprivation joke?" Jazz asks.
"Hey, if it ain't broken don't fix it."
After questioning every student in Salem's high school that hated the victims enough to kill them getting no clues whatsoever, Danny and Jazz get a call from the police station about the results from the coroner's autopsy. Danny asked about the blood analysis result from both Robert and Dylan which had an impressive low level of iron.
"Does that say anything to you?" Jazz inquired.
"I not sure. I have a theory but… I need more evidence, further analysis… I need a 'living' chomper and a lab to study it."
Jazz roars in laughter. "Ha-ha ha-he, hu-oh… oh, you serious? You mean like… you want to study them on your own… like… mom?"
"Yeah. That could give us an edge, you know? If we could get our hands on one of them and dissect them, we could know how do they work, how and what are they made of? Am not hoping to find a cure but, maybe a better way to fight them, or not having to fight them at all."
"Wow, you… wow… every day you sound more like mom and dad." Jazz points. "I… just keep driving. I'd like the results on my own."
After going to the morgue to see the complete results of the autopsy they head back to the old police station. While Danny was driving Jazz kept digging about the Groovy Gang's book in her laptop.
"You still reading about that crap?" He asks.
"Yep, check this out, remember that I told you about chompers attacking other states?"
"Yeah, you said they were all moving to Salem."
"Well, turns out that they didn't only publish a book about how to fight them, during the last three weeks they've been going to wherever the ghozbies appear and apparently they do manage to get rid of them by using their tactics."
"Yeah right. …And?
"And? Maybe their stuff does work. Maybe they are finally onto something."
"Wait a minute, are you saying that we should give those punkers this case and leave them hunt the ghost-zombies? Are you out of your mind?!"
"I'm not saying we should give up the case, but maybe they could help us."
"…You are off your rocker, is that it? Those posers are a virtual 'who's who' of who can't catch ghosts, and you say we should ask them for advice hunting ghost-zombies?"
"Well, that ain't exactly our department. That is still a new--"
"Let me stop you right there, Jazz. They are ghosts, that's what we hunt, is what we the Fenton do, the family business, we hunt and shoot down green transparent and gooey things that leave ectoplasm wherever they go, saving people. Now this 'new' species is nothing new to us, nothing we haven't seen before, these hybrids--they're not even like me or Dani, not even Plasmius. Maybe they were humans once but not anymore, they're more ghost than human, the only difference between these hybrids and any other ghosts from the Ghost Zone besides their sweet teeth for human flesh is that they're uglier, meaner and meaner. Maybe they act like zombies, maybe they were humans before, heck maybe that part is what makes them act like that craving for human flesh to get some humanity back and maybe some else is using them as a weapon or maybe not, but at the end of the day they're still ghosts and we are the Fenton, we don't ask other people for advice on how to hunt them, we teach them."
"Wow, you had that speech prepared for quite some time now, didn't you?
Danny avoids eye contact with his sister saying "…Can't say, won't deny."
"I'd like to go to the girls' room and vomit up breakfast now."
"Besides I don't think they'd be too willing to help us, remember their tiger?"
"What's wrong with it? I mean other than not having balls."
"I put a fish inside Fran's purse when she wasn't looking," explained with a grin.
"Danny why did you do that? I had already put cat pheromone on Andy's vest."
"Cat's pheromone? Do I wanna know?" He laughs.
The Fenton brothers laugh at their devilries done to the obnoxious Groovy Gang putting their Scaredy Cat against them while these are chased out of their van by this. Andy and Fran lean on the door frightened for how their usually tame and coward white tiger pounces over them on sight for no apparent reason.
"Tinkers, what the heck is wrong with him now?" Andy asked with his hand in his racing heart.
"Aaggh, I think I know. Somebody put a dead fish in my purse-I thought we had this conversation before, no more prank wars!" Fran sounded raging against her teammate. "They always escalate and get our cat against us."
"Hey don't look at me, I didn't do that."
"Then who… Fentons! They couldn't take the fact that we're better at handling this crisis than them and tried to put our cat against us."
"Are you sure? Isn't that jumping to conclusions?"
"Beside the point, we should get to work. This town needs our help, not the Fentons' help."
"I-I don't know, maybe… we should leave this case to them."
"Franny, think about it, the last three cases we got lucky, they all either exploded when we lured out of town or were to weak to actually do anything, but what if they don't explode this time? What if they what if they actually fight back?"
"Andy, don't be so ludicrous, we've read every book about fighting zombies and we have been hunting ghosts our entire lives. The math is just perfect."
"They've fought bigger monsters."
"But they don't know as much about zombies as we do. Or as much about ghosts. When the ghsot-zombies appear who they're gonna call? Groovy Gang and the Scaredy Cat."
"Yes… I guess you're right. Though I think we need a better name for our cat."
Former police station used as H.Q. by the Team Fenton.
Jazz walks in soaked in chocolate milk followed by Danny who was roaring in laughter by his latest prank, floating behind her.
"Oh man, I can believe it worked." He laughed.
"How could you do that? How could you even change all the water in the RV's shower for chocolate milk?"
"I don't know. Chocolate milk bending?"
"I said this was going to end bad Danny and you earned--and I did warn you before it all started, now you'll see the consequences and I'll laugh last," she fumed pointing at him.
"Really? It doesn't look like that. But is really sweet of you to think that way," says putting his arm around her shoulder and kissing his sister's cheek. "Though in my defense you gave me the idea this morning when I told you to shower."
"Sir, there is an incoming call from Officer Rambeau, it seems urgent."
"Reroute it to my phone. I'll put her on speaker," he answers with his thought, taking his phone out. "Shhh, we got a phone call form Monica."
"Danny! Come to the downtown now! There is a swarm of ghost-zombies attacking people and--!"
"Oh my god."
"Ok, you take, a shower, I'm going ghost to save the day," said Danny as he transforms.
"But--" before she could argue, Danny vanishes. "Damn it Danny, stop doing that!!"
Danny appears in the sky above Salem's downtown where Officer Rambeau says the ghost-zombies are attacking people.
He hurls at them with ease unsheathing his arm-swords, lunging between them and riving them in half striking their torsos with his energy charged blades. The split bodies fall on the road with their green insides spreading all over the place as more and more ghost-zombies appear focusing their attention on Danny and the more they come, the more savage he fights them. The ghost-zombies go ghost transforming into even more hideous monsters.
The people form Salem runs away sacred of them, but some are outrun by those ghost-zombies that didn't attack Danny. For some of them the ghost-zombies are too many to run away from and as Danny keeps smiting them he soon realizes they have become too much for him as well. This make him angry, his anger makes his power bubble up, he is coveted by this growing and overwhelming feeling, he wants to give into that rage, let his power boil up, burn them with hate but he remembers for his own safety and health he can't allow himself such pleasant weakness and for a second he hesitates. That split of a second was all the ghost-zombies needed to strike back and a giant green fist delivers the blow right in Danny's face with devastating force.
The neural system-linked suit blocks the pain receptors of its user, Danny, saving him from a pain that easily reaches "10 Worst Possible" on the built in pain scale. Its healing functions working with Danny's healing powers help him to recover much faster than he could without it quickly stopping the bleeding of his nose and mouth and getting him back on track. Without his ghost-hunting battle suit he would have been knocked out and gone human with that blow, Lucky me, he thinks.
Quickly, Danny phases into the ground escaping from the foot of a hulking ghost-zombie aiming to trample his head only to phase back up shooting a large streaming green ghost ray with power enough to scorch the hulking ghost-zombie to its bones, the remains fall steaming green.
He faces the horde of ghost-zombies, all of them in their ghost form with the myriad pf shapes and sizes of actual ghosts from the Ghost Zone, some of them sill resembling to a zombie only but greener if not uglier, with fangs and shreds of skin falling off, others with more a monstrous appearance as most ghosts tend to look like.
He pulls out all of his claws and blades, his guillotine blades (or lateral blades as the manual calls them), his energy push-blades, his knee-pads spikes and his hidden shoe knives. "Gas, what do you think I should dance?"
"You're facing a though crowd here sir, I'd recommend you try some Krav Maga rough them up first. You know what that is don't you?"
"Sam told me about it, she wanted to try some but she didn't have stomach for it, she doesn't have too much of a stomach really. Me on the other, I loved it just didn't have the time to learn," he admited.
"Then a mastery of Kravmaga for the, uh, would it be right to say gentleman? No it wouldn't."
In half a second the suit downloads in Danny's brain and body all the knowledge, training and techniques of Krav Maga, the Israeli fighting style used for soldiers in the battle field, a very aggressive fighting style that worked perfectly against a large number of attackers like Danny's facing now. The first principle of the Krav Maga is to avoid confrontation, this he couldn't do, and when that is not an option he must engage and eliminate the threat in the shortest and most direct way possible striking with a fair amount of force, this he clould do rather eagerly and in this case that meant all his force. With the abilities and experience, of a real Krav Maga fighter Danny jumps and strikes first with his spiky knee pad in the face of the largest ghost-zombie pining through its brain.
Defending himself with a hand-to-hand combat technique designed to neutralize opponents swiftly and decisively targeting the most vulnerable areas felt somehow fitting and worked perfectly against this kind of enemies, the kind he shouldn't show any mercy at all.
The suit's tactical analysis software pointed out the different weak points in the different ghost-zombies, all of them with an anatomy of their own, but all of them with common weaknesses: the knees, the groins and the head. These he would strike eagerly with his fists, claws and blades.
Face to face with a chomper three times his size with arms at least twice larger as his and bulkier than Dash, he jumps and uses a fish hooking attack, placing his clawed fingers within its already large and dislocated open mouth tearing it apart with ease spreading a green ghost-blood shed around him and on himself, then finishing off the monster by stabbing its head with his energy push blades.
Each monster he attacked was over in a matter of seconds, but as fast as he could smite them, it wasn't enough to diminish their number.
"Gas, how many of them are. Left?"
"I haven't displayed the threat counter for a reason sir, and it's for your own health."
"Oh great. Just that bad? What does the tactical analysis program says?"
"-dance?" They both asks together.
"That ought to be a glitch sir. I'll send a report to Mr. M requesting for an upgrade to solve this problem."
Danny jumps over the head of another oversized ghost-zombie with so-very nimble movements, holding its head and them blowing it with a white ghost ray from both hands. "You know it would be a lot easier if I could just… let things go like I did with the Hellhounds," he points out.
"It sure would sir. It would also be a good way to ruin me in the process thus becoming a living bomb."
"Or there is the other side in which you lose all your powers and is like going back to season one."
Graciously, he swings and ducks the attacks of ten ghost-zombies cutting them in half or striking their head with his knees and elbows. "Right… don't you mean going back to score one?"
"That too, sir."
"Yeah but--is that… is it me or some one is playing music?" He asks listening a faint melody on the distance.
"I can hear it too sir. And it appears they can too, also they seem to have cease their attacks."
"Wait, that voice, you don't think it's--"
"I think it is her. And I think they will--"
"Oh God, I hope no."
Some of the ghost-zombie stop moving and in that moment Danny begins to feel a striking pain in his chest, the bone splinter near his heart was aching. A piercing pain so strong he was lucky it took this long. Now he was panting and all he could feel could feel was the splinters in his lunges piercing. In this moment of weakness the ghost-zombies strike back hitting harder than before.
But the worst… the worst part was yet to come.
Sixth Act: Stand by my side.
Thirty minutes ago.
After taming their docile and cowardly cat, The Groovy Gang claims their van back minutes before hearing about the new ghost-zombies attack.
"You heard that Andy? We must prepare ourselves. Set the equipment." Fran says.
The Groovy Gang and the Scaredy Cat arrives to the were Danny fights the ghost-zombies, armed with a plan they have used before and proved successful. A plan not even Danny's master mind could conceive.
Using the most powerful weapon of all they manage to tame and freeze the ghost-zombies, this weapon is the power of dance for now, as then, this simple truth: all zombies are dancers by nature. And so, they dance in perfect sync a choreography they've never danced before not even as humans demonstrating their supernatural dance skills while Danny stares in awe and shock unable to understand what is happening.
"Ok, I guess that was not a glitch after all. Looks like the program was right when saying 'Dance' to fight the ghost-zombies just like--"
"Don't. Say. A word."
Chief Robert M. St. Pierre Police Headquarter, Salem, Massachusetts.
Hours after the ghost-zombie attack which ended with them dancing until their nanites ran out of energy…
"Remarkable! You managed to get rid of those foul creatures by… dancing!" Says Chief Rick Grimes congratulating the Groovy Gang.
"Yes we did, sir. Thank you very much." Fran says.
"How did you that?" He asks.
"Well sir if you read our book 'How to fight Ghost-Zombies', you'll see that as all zombies do, they have a unique weakness and is that they all love to dance." Fran explains.
"Oh is that so?" Danny asked angrily busting into the office, slamming the door against the wall.
"Yeah well, you just saw it worked." Andy says.
"What I saw was the biggest display of stupidity ever since the 80's. And I've been there plenty of times!"
"You are just jealous because we saved the city and your butt today," Fran says.
"Oh-ho, right. Silly me. What was I thinking? I completely forgot to thank you for, what? Saving my life by Dancing with the Abominations?! What was I thinking. Oh yeah, what the hell was that?!"
"That is efficiency." Andy answers.
"Something you should learn."
"Yeah, by the two who that put who in 'who can't catch a ghost'. You might be able to fool them but you ain't fooling me."
"Fool? You think that we are, like, controlling them or something? That's ridiculous," Fran points out."
"Yeah, I guess you're right. It takes brain to control brainless creatures. Yet, it's funny that you mention that since I never brought that up, don't you think?"
"Enough! These two managed to save the city --without violence-- stopping another tragedy li--" Chief Rick says.
"You're right, that's enough. Since you are so fancy with them and how they managed to dance the ghozbies to death, then maybe they should lead this investigation. Maybe they can make the responsible for all these crimes dance out to the police station and confess."
"Oh please. The only responsible for the atrocities of today are those ecto-zombies and they have already died--" Fran says getting cut off by Danny.
"Then I guess there is nothing else here for me to do here," he says glowering at everyone in the Chief's office. "And since the so called experts think there is nothing else to do here, then I guess I can finally leave this miserable town," says slamming the door behind him and flying out of the station in his human self.
"Sir are you all right, you seem… agitated." Gasper asks while Danny flies to the old police station.
"Agitated? I'm mad! Explain to me how does an entire swarm of chompers gets control with music?!"
"Ember did it."
"Ember is different. Ember has powers."
While flying he feels again that piercing pain in his chest around his heart.
"Well, maybe they can be control by music. Remember what Jazz said, there is still much we don't know about them." "Yeah, but 'all zombies loveto dance?'"
Danny lands in a convenience store taking a bottle of water to swallow his pills to ease the increasing pain in his chest. The Vicodin soon begins to have effect on him dwindling his pain and anger.
"You know sir sir, even in your human form your healing factor will burn the drugs out of your system much faster than usual."
"…You think I overreacted back there?" Asks while paying the store manager and walking out of the store.
"Totally, sir. You had a real child's tantrum."
Danny sighs. "That's what I thought… I just. Aaaarrrgghh. I can deal with the fact that someone else saves me… sometimes. But them! Using music to make the ghozbies dance? What the hell?"
"It's ok sir, just let it all out. Just don't do it in your ghost form, it seems the bone splinters cause the more damage when you go ghost than when you're human."
"Yeah well I won't have to. If they think they can handle this, that this case is over. I'm out, pack up your stuff, we're going back home tonight."
Danny flies into the police station looking for his sister Jazz and explains her everything that happened.
"We're leaving?! But--but what happened with all those things you said in the car about--"
"Forget it. The case is over! And no, this is not a joke. Pack up your stuff we're leaving right now."
Danny drives the Fenton RV outside of Salem still mad for what just happened that afternoon.
"I can't believe this. First--"
"Shut up! I don't want to talk about it."
"Don't you tell me to shut up!"
"I said I don't want to talk about it. Just forget it. Let's pretend it didn't happen."
"Well I can't do that. Danny we didn't even solve half the case," she points out.
"Well why don't we let that to the meddling kids?! They handled the ghozbie swarm pretty well when all I did was getting my butt kicked."
"So that's it? Things get hard, things get rough and you just quit it, eh? Since when do you do that?"
"What?" "I'm not runing away, I'm stepping back to see the whole picture." "But you said--" "I know what Isaid, that was a diversion." "...I don't understand."
"Of course you don't. Try to see thing this way: the victims, they all loved parties. Most of them were jocks and cheerleaders. The typical horror film victims who get slashed while having sex except this time there is no final girl and the only survivor are left in coma. All the attacks happened so suddenly with no warning. They just appear, eat and leave. You'd believe there would be a connection on the victims other than being jerks and bitches, right?"
"…Yes, but try to keep it clean."
"But, let's stop thinking a cop, let's think as murder that can control the chompers, I could finally take on people who hurt me, but tall that people? And then they all began to yank people from town to town creating chaos."
"So? Not all murders have logic, some of them are just ramdom." "Yeah, but then again, whoever stops that chaos would be a hero, and who do we know shows up and makes them dance to their second death, thus earning the title of hero? The Groovy Gang. They send monsters to create chaos, then they stop it and pose as heroes and get to the top of New York's best sellers. And of course they didn't think somebody else knews they can be controlled." "How did you jump to that conclusion?" "No need to praise me, I'm just a man, not Superman."
"Ok... let's assume they are behind all this, how are they doing it?"
"Maybe one of the chompers followed them home and they kept it, then they experimented on it until they got it to do what they wanted. Probably they use them as their butlers too."
"Ghost-Zombie butlers? Really?"
"What? They can't complain about their live sucking sucking jobs 'cause as ghosts and zombies they ain't got any."
"That aside… to hide a swarm like that--"
"You only got to put them in invisible and tell them to stay away until is dinner time."
"There is one more thing we're forgetting," she points out. "The guys at the hospital."
"Way ahead of you sis', remeber they had almost 0 iron in their blood? Well I checked all the hospital records from all the cities the chompers attacked and were saved byt the Groovy Gang. There was at least one in each case. The last town before Salem had actually three survivors, and all of them comatose since the attack. But what really unettles me is that all of them have the same iron level in their blood system which is alarmingly close to zero." "But what does that mean?"
"My theory, which I had sice our little hunt the morning before we left, is that this nanites work asa viru, and to reproduce themselves they use the iron in our blood to create more nanites and spread airborne."
"Create more nanobots? What for?"
"So they can infect anyone who is near them, really I thought you were the smart one."
"If that was the case, everyone in the hospital could be infected." "And all they need is the signal to be activated."
"Wait, then what are we doing here?"
"I'm putting you at a safe distance,"
"You're gonna stay here. I should have never brought you to this case in the first place. The ghost-zombies are to dangerous for you."
"Your are not coming, you can get hurt. You're my sister and I'm supposed to look after you. That's what I do, watch ove my old pain-in-the ass sister"
"Danny that's cute from you that you try to protect me like that but I'm as bit as hunter as you are. I can take care of myself and--" before she could finish her sentence Danny vanishes without any warning. "DAMN IT DANNY, STOP DOING THAT DICK MOVEMENT ON ME! Is not fun anymore!"
Seventh Act: Outbreak.
Danny appears in the middle of the hospital, and as he feared, almost all of the patients were infected with the ghost-zombie nanites and now he finds himself surrounded by "chompers" hurling at him with their mouths wide open with large fangs and longs sprawling forked tongues, growling and hissing.
Completely calm, he bows down pressing a button in his wristband touch-screen to pull out his mechanical spider legs slashing the heads of all the ghost-zombies running at him, pining them through their mouths.
"Gas, call the police station, the Chief, Monica, anyone! Now!"
"On it sir, but… you should go outside."
Danny floats out of the hospital only to realize things were much worse than he even imagined. "Wow… good thing I didn't bring Jazz here."
Hundreds ghost-zombies were running amok on the streets chomping people.
Unsheathing his arm-swords he jumps in and severs six ghost-zombies chasing a group of teenagers.
He keeps severing chompers in the street as they chase humans trying to remain unexalted and puts the few citizens he saves on top of the hospital, hoping it be far enough from their reach and locks them inside a force field made with portable cubic ghost-shields generators, similar to those of the G.I.W., stored in his utility belt. "Boy, this thing really comes in handy. How could I live all those years without one of this?"
"Sir, no one is picking up at the police station."
He teleports himself back to the police station leaving six clones behind to keep fighting. Inside the station everything was a complete chaos, tables were upside down, gore and ectoplasm was spread all over the walls and the floor, along with human and ghost-zombie bodies, all of them either eviscerated or with their heads blown off and dismembered.
"Gas, search for any human life form, they can't be all dead."
"Done, there are four human life forms in the building, three hiding in the morgue -God knows why would they hide there- and one right behind you."
"What?" He quickly turns around with his fists charged ready to open fire only to face a shining ecto-gun pointing right between his eyes held by a beautiful and slender redhead. "Jazz, what the hell are you doing in here? I told you to stay put in the RV."
"And let you get all the fun? No-uh, besides I am your big sister, I'm the one supposed to look after you. These things are too dangerous and I don't want you to get hurt."
"That's why you keep pointing your ecto-gun at my face?"
"Sorry." Jazz says putting her gun back in her holster.
"How did you get here so fast anyway?"
"Dad taught me how to drive, what do you think?"
"I think you are as stubborn as a Fenton."
"Yes, we sure are."
The two sibling stare at each other for a few seconds before Chief Rick shows up on the door roaring while running at them, green skinned. The head of the police department was turned into a ghost-zombie, and as he runs to eat Danny and Jazz, that head gets blown off by Officer Monique standing at the door severely wounded and fainting.
Twenty minutes later she wakes up in a cell with Jazz and Danny and explains them what happened after they left: they got a call from the hospital saying almost every patient was a ghost-zombie and that a group of them showed up at the station and took Andy and Fran away not without biting and mauling her partners infecting almost everyone. The first one to get bitten was Chief Rick.
"Oh my God… I can't believe this… I-I shot the Sheriff?"
"...Uh, but you didn't shoot the Deputy," Danny laughs with a smirk getting a serious look from Jazz.
"Oh my God, Kevin! My son! He must be scared to d--I have to go look for him! Please take me to my home!" She asks Danny.
Without a second thought Danny flies Officer Monique to her home while Jazz interrogates the other two Officers left.
They find the front door broken and the inside had sings of struggle, in the living room there were three ghost-zombie bodies with holes in their head.
"That's good. It means they weren't eaten, right? Where could they go?"
"The city is a complete chaos so they must be in our panic room upstairs," Monique explains them.
Danny floats with her up stairs and much to Monique's dismay, her husband was laying dead on the closed door surrounded by other two dead ghost-zombies. His head was blown off and his body had bite marks.
"He must have shot himself when got bitten," Danny theorizes. "I.. I am so sorry."
Monique holds her tears. "Take me inside. My son must be in there waiting for me. He must be scared."
Danny phases with Monique into her panic room where her eight years old kid sits crouched in a corner making strange noises.
"Kevin," she whispers.
Before she could get any close to her son, Danny takes her by the shoulder. "Hold on, there is something weird about him."
"What? What are you talking about?"
"I... see something that is not right."
And indeed, his lenses showed him something was wrong with little Kevin, but he had to see it with his own eyes. "Let me go first," says retracting his cowl.
As he leans closer to Kevin, he gets a chilling sensation in his stomach.
"Kevin… it's me, Danny Phantom. Your mom told me you are a big fan of mine."
The kid answers with nothing but noises.
"Come on, boy. Why don't you come here with me and your mom, I sign you an autograph, would you like that?"
Slowly, kevin turns around to stare at Danny with two big red glowing eyes.
His skin was green and his teeth were jagged, poor little Kevin was a ghost-zombie.
Ever since Danny saved the world, little Kevin Rambeau wanted to be like him, a half-ghost, a hero like him and now he was a halfa, but poor child, nothing human was on the other half, nothing but a monster that was now trying to eat his hero's face. Officer Monique Rambeau's house.
In the living room, Danny and Monique are engaged in the bitter argument about the future of her son.
"We need to talk about Kevin." "Please, please I beg you… tell me there is a cure for… this," she asks Danny blatantly.
"…I… I'm sorry but there isn't. The truth about ghost-zombies is… they're all crap. There is no cure for them. The only way to deal with them is by…" Danny was unable to say those words, he could barely speak there was no way he could say that to a mother in pain. That was a limit he didn't want and couldn't cross.
"The only way is what? What is it?"
Danny takes a deep breathe mustering the courage to say the words "The only way to deal with them is... by blowing their heads or beheading them…" Monique stares at him gasping in awe covering her mouth, "Even if their ghost half is torn apart, the human side is still left a zombie or with terrible celular damamge and would never make it past the twenty four hours, and there is no way to fix that."
"Even worst, the nanites in his bloodstream, they come with a very short life battery, and when they expire… they… usually explode."
"You are saying that…"
"I'm afraid so."
"I… I can't do that," she cries. Hearing those words, Monique knew what he had to do, and it was not pretty.
"… I… I'll do it…"
He takes Kevin to the kitchen while his mother sits crying, taking her gun with him. He couldn't believe what he had to do.
When Technus declared the war on the human world, when he first saw his ghost-zombies he knew things were bound to be… messy, and this war would take him down on a dark path, limits would be crossed by both sides, but never he thought it would come this far, but what he hated the most was that this was not even the begining for the real war was still to come.
"I really wish I didn't have to do this, Kevin."
The blast of the gun is heard from kitchen in the living room where a mother cries the death of her entire family in one night.
Eitght Act: Conclusion
Danny floats into the morgue looking for Jazz.
"Danny what happened? Where is Monique?"
"I… left her at home with her family. That's where she need to be right now."
"I guess you're right but… but why the long face?"
"Nothing. What did you learn from them?"
"Well, from all their gibberish I could set up a time line. Around 8:15 they got a call from the hospital, that's when everything went S.N.A.F.U."
"S.N.A.F.U.? What are you? A Navy Seal?" He breaks in.
She glares. "All patients had seizures, they started to turn green and then they transformed into big mean ghosts. About five minutes later they all came here, they didn't even got to send the Groovy Gang when a swarm of ghozbies showed up and took them away before they could dance. So what do you think?" "I don't know, a classic case where the monster turns against its creator? Maybe they got smart enought to get payback or maybe they planned to make a big move savinga city twice in a day but it backfired." "Where do you think they took them?"
"Ok, let's stop thinking as a cop, let's think a ghost-zombie. If had a grudge against a pair of dimwits who made me and my brothers dance, where would I take them?"
"Danny, this is a bad idea," Jazz says walking behind him in the darlness holding a flashlight.
"Hey, it was your idea, you're the one who said dance club."
"It was a joke! A very… bad joke. God, your influence is poisonus."
"Yeah, well it was a bad joke/good idea. Besides it's the best we got."
"How fitting the only dance club was having a 70's themed week."
"Nah, I preffer the 80's or the 90's," he says enlightening the hallway, "you know, any age with loudly music."
"Speaking of which… since when do you listen to Bob Marley?--And I want a straight answer this time."
"I was looking for new music to play in my head while I'm fighting, you know kind like my own soundtrack, and Val borrowed me some of hers."
"Hmm, you and Val seem to be getting too well lately, a lot if you ask me. How does Sam feel about that?"
"What? Why would Sam have any saying on who do I get to get along with? She's not my wife. Besides, is not like I would listen to her. I came to learn is better for my health if I don't. This powers; all her fault."
"Just saying, you and Val had a thing going on back in the days, and now that Sam is your girlfriend… She is the jealous type, you know? So she might get a little up set to see you fancing with your only ex… again."
"Since when do you care about my love life?"
"I am just doing my job. I'm watching out for my little bro, I don't wanna see you become the kind of jerk who cheats on his girlfriend instead of just being the kind of jerk that pisses his friends off."
"Hey, that's not being a jerk, I just show you my love by contrasting it with how much I can make you guys hate me."
Jazz stares at him mulling his words. "Do you even think before you think?"
"…just keep walking."
"Said Johnnie Walker."
"You say that like if I had a flask in my pockets all the time."
"Right, I forgot… you only do that on weekends," says sarcastically.
"Exactly… not like that's any of your business."
"For the record I actually like Valerie better than Sam. She can be a bit of a hypocrite sometimes. And way too bossy."
Danny nods his head agreeing with his sister. "No need to tell me."
"Wait, you're not gonna argue that I insulted your girlfriend? The woman you love."
"…Well, that's a stretch. You can't really call it an insult if it's a description."
"I thought-wow… So… you're saying your not happy with Sam?"
"I'm not saying that, I love her. I'm just saying that she is not… perfect. I never thought she was, she has her flaws as we all do, and is not like she would even try to change no matter how many times she gets me in trouble."
"Sounds to me like you guys need some counseling. You know, before things get out of control."
"What do you care anayway?!"
"I'm telling you, realtionships can be complicated and sometimes--"
"And you thought that you, that who hasn't had a boyfriend since ever, could give us relationships advices? Well if that doesn't spell irony, then--" their conversation gets interrupted by his ghost sense breaking in, indicating the presence of ghost zombies in the area. "I'm going ghost!" Said preparing to battle, illuminating the area with the intense white light from his suit. "Only two? Not sure if a relief or a downer," says seeing how many ghost-zombies were there.
In that moment every light in the dance floor gets turned on. The whole place enlighten with multiple colored lights and the ghost-zombies were standing in the middle of the dance floor.
"Oh god, these are my two favorite letters: e-z," states with a smug. "You can sit here, I don't need your hekp."
Danny claims with utmost confidence, if not arrogance, a second before the ghost-zombies go ghost revealing their most dreadful side.
Ten foot monsters with large muscles and razor sharp claws and fangs, with spiked tongues and long hair made of spines.
"On the other hand… a little help might come in handy. Jazz?"
"Well, these are you two favorite letters, right? You should tell them that," utters sarcastically.
"…you can be really mean sometimes."
"As I said, your influence is poisonus."
"Yeah, whatever. Never said I wanted or needed your help in the first place." Danny said bustling into the dance floor ready to fight, charging his energy blades
"I came here so I can take care of you. Watch over my little pain-in-the ass brother is what I do."
"Well guess what? I am not a little kid anymore," he says slaying the hand of the ogre-looking ghost-zombies. "For crying out loud! In just three months I'll be old enough to join the army."
"Wait, you're joining the army?"
Danny jumps avoiding the fists of the ghost-zombies and swings in the air between them with astonishing nimble movements cutting their left eyes with his arm-swords.
"That's not the point. What's the point? This is the point: I don't need you to babysit me anymore and I don't need your help." He states vim. "I'm a grown man and I can perfectly take care of my own without you--"
Danny argues about his sister meedling, always looking out for him as if he was still a child claming she didn't have to, but getting smacked in the face by a ghost-zombie does little to prove his point.
"Why, you're doing great on your own, I think you got them tired... of punching your face. You've clearly proven me that you don't need me."
"You know what? You are right, I don't." Says moving his legs in circle around his body without touching the ground, and then spining on one palm supporting his weight with his legs wide open using his shoes' hiden blades to keep the ghost-zombies at distance.
"Hey, that is break dance, that didn't exist until the 80's," Jazz points out.
He springs up back on his feet and stabs ghost-zombies in the torso getting his hands stuck inside them. They quickly tun their stomachs into large mouths with fangs and forked tongues to fire a devastating green ghost ray at point-blank range each one, sending Danny back to where Jazz was sitting.
"Are you gonna sit there or are you going to help me?"
"Well you told me to sit her because you didn't need me. Now unless I hear someone saying the words…"
Danny rushes into the dance floor again blocking the blows of his opponents with his swords and even, moving swiftly around them.
"Not the words I was waiting for!"
The ghost-zombies might had the upper hand in the strength and resistance department, but he was certain of something, he had the upper hand in speed and agility and he was going to use that on his favor.
With quick movements he jabs them using his blades to deliver deadlier blows gashing throug their think and rottid flesh, but the beasts won't fall down, instead their pain makes them angrier and stronger and once again he is flinged onto the wall where Jazz was sitting with a surprinsingly quick blow. "All right... for whatever it's worth... would help me?" "Sure, but I need you to say it first." "You really gonna waste my time on that?!"
"Ok, I think you learned your lesson," she says standing up for her little brother.
Full of spite, she rolls her right sleeve up unveiling a silver bracelet she had worn ever since she left home hidden beneath. This piece of jewelry was not a fancy adornment, when looked closely you can see it has the silver glimmering of something concocted by the Fenton.
This little piece of technology is one of their most dangerous inventions, as it is a re-invention of their most powerful weapon so far: the Ecto-Skeleton.
When "holstered" it resembles a heavy jewel encrusted bracelet, and whereas it didn't enhance her abilities one-hundred folds but ten folds instead, it was arguably one of the most powerful instrument a Fenton ever made, even more so since it didn't have the same flaws of the original design.
Presing the two knobs on side of the green jewel-like piece, the bracelet begins to release a green gleam on its joint lines which grows into a stream of green light that covers her, generating a body-hugginga armor in less than a second.
"Well if this isn't a declaration that we're a team of teenagers with attitude, I don't know what it is. Is that--?"
"The portable Ecto-Skeleton prototype mom and dad've been working on? Yes."
"And they gave it to you?"
"Dah. I'm more responsible than you, so what do you think?"
Now what really happened was…
"Jazz, I do not want you to take this wear-around Ecto-Skeleton," Maddie shouts out in the lab. "It might be functional now, but it's still a prototype and it needs more testing and if you ruin this prototype I'll blah blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah, BLAH BLAH BLAH!"
"She said something about being carefull with it when I take it out," Jazz said to Danny. "Now, lets wipe this chompers asses right now!"