Danny Phantom Fan Fiction ❯ Danny Phantom: Facing the Future ❯ Danny Phantom: Facing the Future - Part 2 ( Chapter 2 )

[ A - All Readers ]

Danny Phantom: Facing the Future
Part 2
By Aaron
The large waiting room outside Tucker's office was deathly silent, save for the rapid clicking of a keyboard and the occasional phone ring. Danny, Sam and Valerie sat side by side just outside the door, waiting patiently for “Mayor Foley” to grace them with his presence. But after a few minutes, Danny looked over and noticed Sam wringing her hands nervously.
“Sam?” he whispered as he reached over and gently put his hand on her shoulder, “Are you okay?”
“I…I don't know,” Sam replied, her voice trembling slightly as she looked over at him, “Danny, I want to say something, but you're probably going to think I'm crazy.”
“Hey,” Danny tried to sound encouraging as he placed his hand on her cheek, “Come on. What is it?”
“Well, it's just that…” Sam needed to pause for a moment and gather her thoughts before she looked up into Danny's eyes again, “Danny, there was something seriously not right about those two ghosts we just ran into.”
“`Not right'? As opposed to what?”
“Well, you saw the coat that female ghost was wearing?” Sam said, still somewhat in shock, “Danny, that was MY coat.”
“What are you talking about?” Danny asked, starting to get confused.
“I mean the design on that coat she was wearing. That's mine,” Sam replied, “I've had that design in my head for the last three years. The flames, the skull, even the barbed wire design on the sleeves. I know how this sounds, but she was wearing it. It was the exact same design, right down to the last stitch. How is that possible? And why would she attack Valerie and then save her? And why were they both talking like they knew you?”
“I don't know,” was all Danny could say as he put his arm around her. So far, the morning's events had left him confused as well. All he knew for sure was that Sam Manson was not the kind of person to spook easily and when she did, it was no small thing.
“Danny, I don't like this,” Sam stated, “I could feel it. There was something really creepy about those two. Who WERE they?”
“Excuse me, Mr. Foley?” Tucker's secretary announced through her intercom, her buxom physique every bit as seductive as her voice, “Mr. Fenton, Ms. Manson and Ms. Gray are waiting for you.”
“Excellent, Tanya. Show them in,” Tucker announced back.
“The mayor will see you now,” Tanya stated as Valerie headed for the door, followed by Danny and Sam. Valerie entered first as Sam and Danny paused to take another look at Tucker's voluptuous secretary, who merely went back to her computer work.
“He's reeeeally milking this whole `mayor' thing, isn't he?” Sam noted more than a little cynically to Danny.
“Trust me,” Danny replied, rolling his eyes as they entered Tucker's office, “You have NO idea.”
“Hey guys,” Tucker greeted happily as he sat back in his chair, his voice still with a hint of smugness, “So…what have you guys been doing today?”
“What have WE been doing while you've been sitting around all morning with your feet up on your desk?” Danny shot back sarcastically, “We've been getting our clocks cleaned by those two ghosts who attacked the Guys in White.”
“They're here?” Tucker immediately sat up and took notice.
“Oh, they're here, alright,” Valerie replied, tossing her backpack onto Tucker's desk, “Just look what one of them did to my armor. She scrapped all my weapons. It'll take at least a week to get back up to full specs.”
“Not to mention that they flash froze and nearly flash fried me,” Danny added, “We just thought, as our `kind, benevolent' mayor, you might want to get involved for the sake of our town to let us know who we're dealing with here?”
“You know, you really get snippy whenever you lose a fight,” Tucker noted as he reached over to the intercom, “Tanya, be a dear and put me through on the secure line, would you please?”
“Yes sir,” Tanya's seductive voice replied and a special light on Tucker's office phone began to flash as he picked up the receiver.
“Hello, Vid?” Tucker spoke with a cocky smile, “Could you get a hold of Download and Thrash and meet us at the bunker please? We've got something to look into.”
“Cool!” the female voice could be heard blasting through the receiver. Danny and Sam could only look at each other in surprise.
“Vid, Download, Thra…Masters' Blasters?!” Danny blurted out, “You're actually keeping those three punks around?!”
“Tucker, what were you thinking?” Sam chimed in, sharing Danny's contempt.
“Look, don't put all the blame on him,” Valerie stated, “I kinda…sorta…knew about this too.”
“WHAT?!” Danny and Sam could only shout out in shock.
“C'mon guys, don't take it personally,” Tucker replied, trying to diffuse the situation, “Danny, face it, you belong to the world now. What are we going to do if you're on the other side of the planet one day and we need someone to watch our own backyard?”
“He's got a point, Danny,” Valerie added as Tucker walked over to a bookshelf along the far wall, “I mean, let's face it, your parents…well, let's just say they can only do so much.”
“Well, I guess I've got to go with you on that one,” Danny grudgingly agreed as Tucker pulled out a book to press a button on the back of the shelf. Suddenly, the wall beside the shelf pulled out and slid away, revealing a large metal elevator which Valerie led Danny and Sam into.
“Wait a minute,” Danny finally noted as the elevator doors closed, “Since when do you have a bunker?”
“Valerie helped me whip it up,” Tucker answered proudly as the elevator began its descent, “I figured, what with being mayor and all, it would be a good idea to stay on the pulse in case things got ugly. So we set up this as a headquarters to keep an eye on things and to roll out in case of trouble.”
“Gee, and to think this is taxpayer money that would have otherwise been wasted on petty things like economy, education, infrastructure…” Sam mentioned sarcastically as Danny noted her words with an amused grin.
“Hmm. You know, you two should have gotten together a long time ago…She's actually mellowed out a lot,” Tucker noted to Danny and Sam before whispering to Valerie as the elevator slowed to a stop and opened its doors, “Well, here we are. Welcome to one of the world's foremost…WHAT THE…?!?!?!”
All four could only stand in shock at the sight before them. Everything in the bunker had been completely dismantled, much like the Guys in White headquarters had been just the day before! Computers were crashed, weapons sabotaged, vehicles disabled! Without a thought, Tucker ran down the stairs, staring in utter horror at the technological carnage that lay in front of his eyes. Falling to his knees, he seemed able to do little more than whimper as his bottom lip trembled.
“Who did this?” Valerie asked, as she turned to Danny and Sam, who were still assessing the damage, “Do you think it was those two ghosts from earlier?”
Danny didn't answer at first, still looking around the giant room at all the devastation. Just then, he chanced to glance over at a nearby wall and his look instantly turned acid.
“I wouldn't bet against it,” he replied through gritted teeth as Sam and Valerie both glanced over to see what he was looking at. There, burned into the nearby wall, was the answer to their question. An answer that came in the form of a single word…
… … … …
At Fenton Works, Jazz was basically facing what had long become known as a normal day for her as she walked downstairs into the laboratory of Jack and Maddie Fenton.
“Jazz honey, is your brother around?” Maddie asked in her usual chipper demeanor.
“He went out with Sam about an hour ago,” Jazz replied, “I don't think he said when he'd be back.”
“Aw, that's too bad. I was hoping he could help us test out our latest invention,” Jack remarked as he turned around, brandishing what appeared to be a giant bazooka.
“Jack, we already discussed this…,” Maddie replied, trying to interject.
“I call it…Ecto-Bondo,” Jack continued, “This baby unloads a rubber grenade that just keeps ricocheting until it hits its target. It only explodes on contact with any ectoplasmic substance, trapping any ghost in a gummy mess from which there is no escape.”
“You know,” Jazz replied indignantly, “I really have to protest you using your own son as a guinea pig now that you know he's half-ghost. After all, he IS family.”
“Of course he's family,” Jack answered, completely missing the point of Jazz's argument, “And what better way to ensure a little father/son bonding time?”
“Oh, I don't know. A baseball game or a trip to an amusement park sound like viable alternatives,” a new voice suddenly chimed in behind them as all three Fentons whirled around. Sure enough, emerging behind them through the door of the weapons vault was the same male ghost who had destroyed not only the headquarters of the Guys in White, but had just recently helped wipe out Tucker's new bunker.
“A ghost? In our lab?” Maddie exclaimed in surprise, “How could you have possibly gotten past our security systems?”
“Yeah, that's already being handled,” the male ghost replied as his female counterpart was upstairs, facing off against enough lasers and missiles to start a war in a small country.
“Oh sure, give ME the easy job,” she muttered sarcastically as she let fly with dozens of the same strands of Ghost Rays that she had used against Valerie earlier. Meanwhile, the male continued his face off with the Fentons in the lab.
“Sorry about this,” he explained, “We had to do a little re-wiring on your weapons to keep you busy for a while. Trust me, it's for your own good.”
“EAT RUBBERY CONFINEMENT, ECTO-SCUM!!!” Jack called out as he raised his new Ecto-Bondo weapon to his shoulder!
“So much for dialogue. Eh…worth a shot,” the ghost said with a shrug as he entered his phasing form, allowing the ball to pass harmlessly through him as Jack fired! What came next was a comedy of destruction as the ball continued bouncing off the laboratory walls, allowing nothing to stand in its way! It knocked out the stands of the Specter Speeder, causing it to crash onto its side! It smashed all the weapons on the tables, sending debris flying everywhere! Jack, Maddie and Jazz could only duck for cover as the ball then smashed through the beaker stands, sending the beakers crashing to the table and spraying them all with ectoplasmic material! The same ectoplasmic material that now made them targets as the ball bounced back, exploding on contact with their ecto-stained clothes and trapping them all inside a green, gummy shell!
“Well…at least it works,” Jack said with a shrug as Maddie and Jazz struggled to pull free. The ghost, meanwhile could only look on dumbfounded as he at last became tangible again.
“Look, I'm really…re-really sorry…that this had to…,” he tried to say as he couldn't keep himself from snickering, “We…we really are trying to…”
That was all he could get out before he suddenly began howling with laughter at what had just happened. In fact, he was laughing so hard he couldn't stay in the air anymore. The only way he could get out was to stumble up the stairs where the female ghost was waiting to greet him, standing among a collage of twisted metal and wiring that was once the Fenton Works defense system.
“So…that bad, huh?” she asked as he reached the top of the stairs. The male ghost could only nod as he let out let out another burst of laughter. The female merely sighed and followed her giggling partner out.
“Ungh! Unnngh! Well, add THIS to the list of things I'd rather not be doing today,” Jazz commented as she continued to struggle against the rubbery shell.
“Don't worry Jazz! I'll get us out of this!” Jack announced as he dove his head down and bit off a huge mouthful of the gelatinous mass, eating it like taffy, “Mmmm. And to think Maddie, you laughed when I said we should make this stuff lime flavored!”
Meanwhile, still looking on from the Ghost Zone, Clockwork seemed to be keeping a close watch on the two mysterious ghosts.
“It's good that he has a chance to laugh now,” he thought out loud, noting the male ghost's earlier giggle fit, “because he won't get many more of them for a while.”
Just then, the rattling that had been so faint earlier, became louder as he looked back into the dark corner. But even more, he could hear a new sound. Almost like whispering.
“…think you're keeping me here…? I'll get out, you hear me…? I'll get ooooouuuuut!!!”
… … … …
“My motherboards…my processors…my modems…my anti-virus programs…,” Tucker could only kneel beside his disabled computers and sniffle before he began bawling uncontrollably, “YOU WERE ALL SO YOOOOUUUUNG!!!”
Danny, Sam and Valerie however, were focused on being more serious at the moment as Valerie examined one of the computers while Danny and Sam continued assessing the damage.
“Well, we could have the basic systems back up and running in a couple hours. But to get back up to 100 percent could take days. So I called off the Blasters. No point in bringing them in if we've got nothing for them to use,” Valerie stated, turning to Danny, who seemed lost in thought, “So…who do think these two are? Do you think they might be connected to Vlad? I mean, we haven't seen him since after the asteroid.”
“No…this isn't Vlad's style,” Danny replied, still looking very thoughtful, “I mean, hit and run…everything disabled, but nothing destroyed…scrawling apologies on the walls…not to mention that if it was him, he'd want us to know it. These two…it's almost like they're trying to make sure we DON'T know who they are.”
It was then that Danny looked over to see Sam looking worried. And he couldn't help but feel a little worried himself. She hadn't been herself since they had run into those two strange ghosts. And just seeing the concern on her face was enough to make him want to find out what was going on.
“Uh, Danny? I just thought of something,” Valerie mentioned, shaking Danny out of this train of thought, “If these ghosts are targeting major ghost-hunting places, don't you think we should be checking on…?”
“THE FENTON WORKS!!!” Danny cut her off, wanting to kick himself for not thinking of it sooner as he ran over and grabbed Tucker by the collar of his sweater.
“Come on!” he continued, dragging Tucker back to the elevator, “This isn't over yet!”
“Ooohhh, be strong, my little ones!” Tucker sobbed as he called over to his damaged computers, “I will bring you back to me soon!”
But Tucker's emotions quickly changed from sadness to fear, being forced to get to the Fenton Works on Valerie's rocket sled while Danny carried Sam in his arms, both of them flying at top speed. All Tucker could do was hold Valerie tightly around the waist and bury his face into her backpack.
“Are we dead yet?” his muffled voice could be heard asking.
“Not yet!” Valerie answered, starting to get annoyed.
“Tucker, this isn't a stretch limo! Deal with it!” Valerie shot back, “This thing wasn't built for getting there in style! It was built for getting there fast! So just shut up and hang on, okay?”
“So, uh…anybody here got a plan in case we run into those two again?” Sam asked, sounding a little nervous, “I mean, no offense, Valerie, but just ONE of them kicked your butt and that was when you HAD weapons. And Danny, I really hate to say it, but you didn't do much better. So what are we going to do?”
“We'll worry about it when we get there,” Danny replied simply. As far as he was concerned, he didn't have time to be thinking ahead. All that mattered was getting back to his home.
Within minutes, the four of them had arrived at Fenton Works. And Danny wasted no time putting Sam down and bursting through the door, only to see the main floor of his house looking like a war zone. All the internal security weapons had either been pulled out or smashed in and the house seemed eerily silent. Just then, he heard a painful groan that could only be Jack's voice.
“DAD!” he cried out, flying down the hall and into the kitchen at top speed just in time to see Maddie helping Jack up the stairs, “Mom, is he okay? What happened to him?!”
“Uuuuuunnnh…lime…”was all Jack could shudder as he clutched his stomach.
“It's a long story, Honey,” Maddie answered as Sam, Tucker and Valerie ran into the kitchen, “Oh, good. Could you kids do us a big favor and help Jazz clean up in the lab? I have to take Danny's father to the hospital to get his stomach pumped.”
Danny and the others could only look on perplexed as Maddie helped a groaning Jack out the kitchen and down the hall.
“I'd like to actually go through an entire week without hearing that,” Danny commented, “I really would.”
But seconds later, more important matters caught their attention and they all hurried downstairs. Cleaning up the lab was already well underway as Jazz was busy sweeping up beakers and metal shards from the damaged weapons.
“Jazz, what happened? Who did this?” Danny asked, hurrying to find answers, “Was it two ghosts with their faces covered?”
“Well, yes and no,” Jazz commented, tossing a quick glare at Jack's latest weapon, “You might say they had a little help.”
Danny took a quick look around the lab, assessing the damage. Just then, he noticed a pair of mechanical gloves off in the corner that somehow, miraculously survived the devastation.
“Well, looks like these held up pretty…YEEOOW!!!” Danny's words were cut off as surge of energy ripped through his body, sending him smashing into the far wall when he tried to touch the gloves! It was then that he heard Maddie's voice coming from the top of the stairs.
“Oh Danny, before we go, I was going to warn you! Don't touch those gloves in the corner, okay Sweetie?! They're designed to repel ghosts by feeding back their own ecto-energy against them! We don't want them to hurt you!”
“Uh…good safety tip, thanks Mrs. Fenton!” Sam called up the stairs as she helped a dazed Danny to his feet.
“Okay,” Danny groaned as he staggered back to the center of the lab, “Is there anything down here that's working that I can actually TOUCH?!”
“Doesn't look like it. What isn't smashed up looks like it was all disabled,” Tucker replied, suddenly feeling a lump in his throat, “Just like…my poor babies…”
“Focus, Tucker,” Valerie snapped, slapping him in the back of the head.
“Was that absolutely necessary?” Tucker snapped back.
“Well, if she hadn't, I would have,” Sam replied.
“Guys, can we all focus here?” Danny cut in, starting to feel very annoyed, “We've got to start finding some answers. So far, these ghosts have hit all the major ghost hunting forces. The most obvious reason would be because we would be able to either track them or fight them, but why? What are they up to that they don't want anyone else in on?”
“All good questions,” a familiar male voice echoed behind them. Danny and the others immediately whirled around to see the mysterious pair once again. But before either of them could react, the female ghost pulled a small mechanical cube from her pocket and pressed a button on the top. A second later, all five found themselves encased inside a sphere of energy!
“Too bad we can't give you any answers,” she concluded.
Acting on instinct, Danny and the others could only respond to the first thought that entered their minds. Sam, Tucker and Jazz tried to push on the sphere, with no effect. Even an armored punch from Valerie and a blast of ecto-rays from Danny had no effect on their prison!
“Slight improvement on the Ghost Shield,” the male ghost explained, “Not only does it seal in ecto-energy, this one seals in all biological life forms, ecto or otherwise.”
“Actually, that's…not a bad idea,” Valerie thought out loud, “But how do they know all this stuff?”
“Who ARE you?” Danny asked desperately, “Why are you doing this?”
“Who we are is on a need-to-know basis,” the female replied, setting the cube on a nearby lab table, “And you don't need to know.”
“As for why we're doing this, let's just say there's a party coming to town,” the male ghost said turning to leave with the female before looking over his shoulder once more, “And none of you are invited.”
“What's that supposed to mean? HEY!” Danny called out, but his words went ignored as the pair phased outside and flew off.
“Come on!” the female ghost called as they flew off at top speed, “It's going to go down any minute! We've cut this WAY too close!”
“I'm right behind you!” the male ghost called back.
“Great. Now what?” Danny thought out loud, “We're trapped here and they're flying off to do who-knows-what! This whole thing is crazy! We still don't know anything! It's like they keep pulling ahead and we're stuck in quicksand!”
“Hmmm,” was Tucker's only reply as he thought hard for a moment, “Actually, there might be a way we can get caught up.”
Danny and the girls looked on curiously as Tucker took a few moments rummaging through one of the side pouches on his backpack. Then, he pulled out a small box and lifted the lid.
“Recognize this?” Tucker announced as the others moved in for a closer look.
“That's one of Vlad's old spy cameras,” Danny noted immediately.
“Yeah, we found one a few weeks ago,” Tucker explained, “I've been tinkering around with it. It's just a theory, but if this shield only seals up anything organic, then MAYBE…”
“…the spy camera can pass through it since it's mechanical,” Jazz chimed in, finishing Tucker's thought.
“It's worth a try,” Tucker said, pulling out one of his PDA's and activating the spy camera, “It still won't get us out of here, but it might be enough to keep an eye on those two and maybe we can get some new info.”
“So what are we waiting for?!” Danny exclaimed, feeling more than a little impatient. Tucker needed no further encouragement and it only took him a few seconds to tap into the spy camera with his PDA and send it flying.
“Okay, here goes,” he announced, programming the camera to fly through the shield. And sure enough, true to Tucker's theory, the spy camera passed through the shield without incident.
“YES!” they all shouted as the spy camera took off up the stairs and into the sky outside Fenton Works. It took a few more seconds of searching until Tucker could just barely make out the image of two figures off on the horizon.
“It looks like they're…heading out of town,” Tucker noted curiously, “Moving pretty fast too.”
“Well, punch it Tuck!” Danny ordered, “We've gotta find out what's going on!”
Tucker immediately programmed the camera for pursuit. Fortunately, he had taken the time to increase its speed. It managed to catch up in just a few moments, but Tucker was careful to maintain a safe distance behind. After all, the camera may have been small, but it wasn't invisible and they couldn't take any chances of it being spotted. The two mystery ghosts, meanwhile, continued their flight in silence. Wherever they were going, they seemed pretty intent on getting there fast. It wasn't long before they'd reached the woods outside of Amity Park and a few minutes later, they found a small clearing where they landed. Tucker would fly the camera in behind them, programming it to watch from the safety of a large tree.
“Well, it won't be long now,” the female ghost could be heard to say, “You ready?”
“Ready as I'll ever be,” the male replied. But a moment later, he held out his hand to the female ghost who instantly picked up on his hint and reached back to hold it warmly. Meanwhile, Danny and the others could only look on in curiosity.
“This is just getting weirder,” Jazz noted as they looked on, “What are they waiting for?”
“I don't know,” Danny replied, looking like he could burn a hole right through the screen of Tucker's PDA with his gaze, “But I've got a feeling we won't have to wait long to find out.”
Unfortunately, Danny couldn't have been more correct. Because still keeping a close eye on the mysterious pair, the enigmatic Clockwork gave a stern gaze.
“So…they've finally arrived,” he noted as he raised his staff, opening a rift to Earth and tossing in a mysterious object. Meanwhile, Danny and the others could only watch the event unfold on Tucker's PDA as the rift opened in front of the two mystery ghosts.
“I recognize that,” Danny said, now even more confused, “That's one of Clockwork's time portals. Clockwork…what does he have to do with this?”
However, Danny's question would be answered all too quickly as the portal stayed open just long enough for the object Clockwork threw into it to pass through into the clearing.
“It looks like…a Fenton Thermos?” Sam noted, still unsure of what it meant. But one look and Danny understood Clockwork's involvement all too well.
“No…” he whispered under his breath, “It can't be…”
“Danny? What's wrong…?” Valerie started to ask, but was cut off as Tucker's PDA screen flashed green. The Fenton Thermos Clockwork threw into the portal had exploded in rage of ecto-energy, looking almost like a miniature nuclear explosion! The two mysterious ghosts seemed to effortlessly stand their ground against the force of the blast, although the female held the male's hand a little tighter. Meanwhile, Danny could only look on stunned as a figure began to emerge from the settling green smoke. After all, he knew exactly who was coming. Tucker, Sam and Jazz could only gasp in shock a few moments later as the figure stepped forward. However, Valerie was still in the dark mostly.
“Wait a minute. Who…or WHAT…is THAT?” she asked, as curious as she was astonished.
“That…” Danny replied, feeling a cold fear gripping his heart, “…is the worst day of my life.”
Danny had every right to feel as terrified as he did. No sooner did the words escape his lips than the twisted grin of Dark Danny, his evil future self, appeared on Tucker's PDA screen, emitting a sinister chuckle before making his first raspy declaration.
“He's baaaa-aaaaaaaack.”