Several days later, Vlad paced back and forth, in his regular human form and locked in a cell of Amity Park Prison, while reading a newspaper; more exactly, The Daily Planet, focusing on an article by Clark Kent.
"After several days of research and heated arguments, scientists and law agencies finally declared that both Daniel 'Danny Phantom' Fenton and Vladimir 'Plasmius' Masters can't be considered ghosts, but meta-humans with ghostly abilities. Because of this statement, The Guys in White, the government-sponsored spectral investigation and capture's agency, aren't allowed to keep custody or perform experiments on them."
Vlad sighed in relief when reading what probably was the only bright side on his situation. Jack and Maddie, as well as several other experts, performed a few tests on both him and Danny on the last days; their diagnosis saved both him and his young enemy from being treated as frogs in a high school's lab. Any research done on them would be performed under strict surveillance and following international laws, and, in Danny's case, only if he allowed it.
"Daniel had been declared free of any charges presented against him because of property damage and other collateral effects of his battles, partially because of evidence found in Masters' files, proving the boy efforts to protect his hometown. These files also revealed several illegal actions performed by Masters on the last 20 years, including attempts of human cloning and the use of his abilities to influence, terrorize, and even control important business people and politicians."
Vlad groaned in annoyance; his own technology was used against him! He still wondered about how anyone could enter his system, even with the court's authorization; when Superman was asked about knowing how this was done, he simply replied 'That's a very good Question' and gave no more comments.
"Masters' company, DALV Industries, was acquired in its totality this morning by Wayne Corp. The company's CEO, Bruce Wayne, declared that there would be no firing of any Masters' former employees, but assured it would be a major investigation to find out those who willingly helped their boss on his illegal deeds and act in consequence. Wayne also declared that Jack and Madeleine Fenton, Daniel's parents and Amity's paranormal experts, will be at charge of DALV's scientific division, and Damon Gray, the father of Valerie 'The Red Huntress' Gray, and certified security expert, will be the Security Chief of said area."
Vlad tossed the paper after reading that paragraph. He never considered Wayne a threat; he always considered him a softie and a spoiled rich boy, unable to do anything slightly intelligent against him; more than anyone else, Vlad should have known that appearances could be deceiving.
"It's time, Mister Masters."
Vlad turned when hearing the prison's warden, aside several armed guards (many of them using ecto-blasters designed by Jack and Maddie), talking to him and unlocking the gate. Vlad looked at his waist, and cursed Jack for the millionth time; he had modified one of his inventions, The Specter Deflector, so Vlad could use it without being hurt but blocking his powers entirely. On top of that, the device was covered with a thin layer of Promethium, the world's most resistant metal, so even someone with Superman's strength would have several problems to break it without hurting the former billionaire; and, finally, the deflector still worked its usual way so no ghost could touch Vlad, eliminating the possibility of one of his spectral minions helping him get rid of it.
Vlad walked out of the cell and got handcuffed. As the guards walked him out of the prison to the special transport that would take him to his final residence, Vlad remembered another paragraph of the article he just had read.
"Masters will be transferred today to Belle Reeve Prison, where he will be locked with the proper security measures. Also, in a related note, General Zod, who had been in said facility since his defeat and capture, will be disposed properly today as well…"
Zod hit one of his cell's walls in fury, despite the aching feeling on his knuckles. Just like Vlad, he was wearing a modified Specter Deflector, with the same characteristics and causing a similar effect, thanks to its regular power source being replaced by, ironically, the same piece of kryptonite that Masters acquired to battle Superman. For extra security, the alien's cell had a large shielded lamp on it, constantly bathing the villain with the same light specter of a red sun, which rendered a kryptonian as vulnerable as a regular man.
"Come on, Zod, it's time to go."
The general turned and glared murderously at Superman, and then at Danny Phantom, who was just aside, both of them folding arms and keeping a serious expression. The elder hero opened the gate, and then Danny entered the cell, dragging Zod out. Even if the Deflector's effect was modified to focus mainly on Zod, Superman still felt a minor weakness when being next to it; on the bright side, it also gave Danny a slight power boost, making Zod's escape an impossible task.
"You'll pay for this humiliation, kid," Zod growled at Danny as he and Superman escorted him through the prison's corridors, "and you, Kal-El, I can assure you…"
"Don't make any promises, Zod," Danny cut him, "I doubt you'll be around to really make them effective."
"Silly boy; I'll find my way out of The Phantom Zone as before!"
"Who said you were going back there? By the way, here on Earth is better known as Ghost Zone." Superman cleared without stopping their march, "And yes, you are right about something; you obviously can find a way out of there, just like the ghosts that regularly attack Phantom's town, so you'll go to a different kind of prison."
"No prison on this pathetic planet can hold me forever!" Zod snapped at the heroes. Superman and Danny gave each other a knowing look, and Danny got a smug tone.
"And we don't want you here either, so we are kicking you out."
The trio finally arrived at the prison yard, surrounded by armed guards, and, in the middle of it, besides the warden, there were other three figures, all of them using green and black uniforms with a ring-like symbol at the chest, and white gloves, plus each wearing a green ring. One was obviously human, an Afro-American, but the other two weren't; one was pretty large, pink colored, and his face looked a lot like a hippo's, while the other was a purple skinned female with black hair and pointy ears.
"General Zod," the human said in an all-business tone, "as you had been declared a planetary-level threat, I, John Stewart, and my companions, Katma-Tui and Kilowog, by the power invested into us by The Green Lantern Corps, and with authorization of the USA government and the UN, will proceed to transfer you to a special imprisonment facility, located in planet Daxam, on a red sun's solar system, during the whole time of your life sentence."
Zod paled, realizing how his escape attempt had turned from really hard to nearly impossible. Danny and Superman moved away from him as Kilowog, the large Green Lantern, shot an energy beam from his power ring, trapping Zod inside a large sphere for his transportation.
"Please, tell the Guardians we are very thankful for their cooperation." Superman said to John, who nodded at him and then turned at Danny, who was visibly nervous; even if he and Superman had seen each other on an almost daily basis since the Amity's incident, he still felt intimidated at the idea of meeting some of the most powerful and famous heroes ever.
"Keep the good job, kid." John said in a half-kind, half-severe tone.
"Yes, Mister Lantern… or Mister Green, or… oh, man I just screwed myself." Danny slapped his forehead in frustration, but relaxed a little when noticing the elder heroes smiling at him, and Katma-Tui, the female alien, chuckling a little.
"Enough chatting, poozers," Kilowog got everyone's attention as his ring formed a link with the sphere.
"Yes, we have to go now," Katma-Tui nodded at John and Superman, and, a moment later, the three Corps, with Kilowog transporting the sphere, flew away from the prison, with Katma-Tui waving bye to both Superman and Danny.
"I met a pretty alien girl… Tucker is going to freak out." Danny chuckled slightly, and then felt Superman's hand on his shoulder.
"We'll better leave as well; I'll return later when Vlad arrives." Superman informed Danny, who nodded in agreement; he had seen enough of Vlad, and if he couldn't see him for the rest of his life will still be too soon. After saying good bye to the warden and guards, Danny and Superman headed to Amity.
"By the way, Danny, how are things at home?" Superman asked his young companion.
"Better than I thought," Danny shrugged yet conserved a little smile, "Jazz, Tucker, Sam and I explained everything to my parents, and they felt a little uncomfortable at first because of all the times they tried to hunt me, but after I told them I had no harsh feelings and was already planning to tell them my secret anyway, they relaxed a lot and now are back to their normal selves; I just hope my dad doesn't ask me to help him test every single weapon he invents," Danny rolled his eyes but his good mood was unchanged.
"I still have some problems at school with all the guys asking things to me and Valerie; they want to see me using my powers and her showing her skills, talk about my battles, and stuff like that. Jazz, Sam and Tucker are getting a lot of the same, but I think Tuck doesn't really care since most of the people asking stuff to him are girls. On the bright side, my teachers are very understanding about my situation, even those who still doesn't fully accept me, so they'll consider my ghost hunting activities when grading and giving me homework, plus Dash, who was my personal bully, stopped torturing me and now he and the other jocks are trying to be civil with me and about every nerd, geek, or Goth; sure, Dash still calls me names, but I guess it's because of the force of habit, and at least now he doesn't do it for insulting. Now, if I can get Paulina to stop harassing me at every possible chance, then maybe I'll be able to graduate without going crazy or her receiving a beating from Valerie."
"And how are things with Valerie?"
"Well, we now have to deal with the whole 'lack of private life' issues, but we are handling it just fine; being able to turn invisible or fly away when a lot of groupies surround us is a major advantage here," Danny commented, "and Mister Gray, well, he accepted me pretty well before knowing about my powers, and is quite tolerant, so things are going fine with him… despite the fact he yesterday installed a ghost alarm on Valerie's room, just in case."
Superman chuckled a little at Danny's slight frown when saying the last part. The hero then noticed Amity Park at a distance, and motioned Danny to stop, so they stayed hovering one in front of the other.
"I must return to Metropolis now, Danny, but I first have to give you something," Superman took a little card out from a pocket hidden on his cape, and handled it to Danny, who gasped when reading it.
"A Justice League's membership?"
"A honorary one, at least until you turn 18," Superman informed him, "I'll call you or your parents later for more details, but I can tell that, as a honorary member, you have full right to use our training facilities, plus you'll receive a communicator to ask for help whenever needing it. And, if still interested, once you turn 18 you'll be able to join us as a full time member."
Danny stared at the card for a few moments, speechless, and then looked up at Superman with a bright expression.
"Of course I will! Thanks, for everything, Mister…!"
"Please, call me Kal," Superman extended his hand, "that's how my friends call me."
"Okay, Kal." Danny shook Superman's hand, still not fully believing what was happening to him.
A few minutes later, at the entrance of Amity Park Mall…
"Look, up in the sky!" Star pointed at a distance, getting everyone's attention.
"It's a bird?" Kwan asked as focusing his sight.
"It's a plane." A random guy said.
"No; it's Fenturd," Dash shook his head, and slapped his forehead, "I mean, Fenton, or Phantom! God, I must stop doing that!"
"At least he is trying." Sam smirked at Tucker and Valerie, who chuckled a little without losing sight of Danny, who landed next to them a moment later.
"So, Danny, what happened?" Valerie asked after giving him a fast welcome kiss.
"The short version is that Green Lantern and two of his companions took Zod to an alien jail, Vlad will arrive to Belle Reeve in a couple of hours, and Superman made me an honorary leaguer." Danny showed the card to his girlfriend and best friends, who gasped when looking at it, just like every teen around hearing the conversation.
"Danny, this is amazing!" Sam hardly could keep her usual Goth emotionless expression because of the excitement, "Hey, you think you can get me Hawkgirl and Black Canary's autographs?"
"And Wonder Woman and Vixen's too?" Valerie added.
"And their phone numbers, please!" Tucker said in excitement, getting soft glaring from his friends, "Hey, I'm a hormone-driven teenager, remember?"
"Tucker, all they are grown-up women, and I'm sure most of them are already involved with someone." Danny replied.
"Guess you're right," Tucker sighed, but his expression brightened immediately, "Hey, I'm sure you'll meet the Teen Titans! Probably Starfire, Raven or Bumblebee is available… ouch!" Tucker was cut by Sam and Val slapping the back of his head.
"I give up." Danny sighed as rolling his eyes. Valerie then linked arms with him, and kissed his cheek.
"Well, forget about that; now, it's time to celebrate our parents' new jobs and your membership as well." Valerie said, making Danny to smile widely at her.
"Yeah, and there's any way better than enjoying a good movie and stuffing ourselves with junk food?" Sam pointed as she and Tucker walked aside the couple, and the group waved hello to Dash, Kwan and Star, who were heading somewhere else.
"Here we go again," Tucker commented while Sam and Danny rolled their eyes and Valerie frowned a little. Paulina dashed in front of the group, her eyes wide-open, and panting.
"Please, Danny, you can stop torturing me!" Paulina practically begged, "I know you like me, so why keep hanging around with the loser squad and dating a had-been-popular?"
"You know we are here, right?" Valerie said as she and Sam narrowed their eyes.
"And the had-been-popular girl is already more popular than you, being a daring ghost huntress dating Amity's golden boy," Tucker pointed as getting a smug look that made both Sam and the couple to relax a little and smile.
"Actually, now I think about it, we're the most popular guys in Amity," Sam said slyly, "not that we are looking for that, but most people like us."
Paulina's right eye twitched at the Goth's words, knowing she was right.
"Okay, bad choice of words," Paulina got a deep breath, "But seriously, Danny, I'm the love of your life…"
"Correction, Paulina; I thought you WERE the love of my life; you know, WERE, past tense of the 'I no longer care' verb," Danny cut the girl's speech, "I mean no harm to you, and I'll protect you if necessary, as I do with everyone else, but that's all; you eliminated the other feeling by insulting and rejecting me several times plus being mean with Valerie when her father lost his job, and how you still keep insulting my friends and talking bad about them even when they are present. Now, if you excuse us, we have a movie to catch."
Danny, still linking arms with Valerie, passed aside Paulina, with Tucker and Sam at the other side, leaving the Latina girl just standing there. Tucker then looked over his shoulder, and sighed.
"She is going to insist."
"You know what that means," Danny offered his free arm to Sam, who nodded and linked arms with both him and Tucker. Then, Danny made the four of them intangible, as Paulina tried desperately to grab him and making a fool of her self in the process.
"No, Danny, wait! All those insults weren't for real! I was just playing hard to get, honestly! And Val, you can go back to the A-List! Manson, forgive me, please! Foley, I'll kiss you if you convince Danny! HAVE MERCY!"
At Clockwork's headquarters, the time ghost, grinning, watched the mall scene at his monitor, with Danielle sitting next to him, the girl chuckling and eating popcorn.
"Who said there was nothing good on TV?"
So, Tucker, what do you think? (Excellent, dude!) So, you liked it? (Of course I liked it! I mean, besides having a lot of good lines, I got the attention of several girls and Paulina was begging for kissing me! Now, add a new scene with the alien babe and me, and the story will be perfect!) Two words, Tucker; cold shower!
Anyway, as we said when starting the story, we had several characters here, besides Danny and company, that I don't own either. (Yes; we had Superman/Kal-El/Clark Kent, General Zod, The Green Lantern Corps, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen and Perry White, plus mentioning Lex Luthor, The Question, Bruce Wayne/Batman, Wonder Woman, Vixen, Hawkgirl, Black Canary, Aquaman, The Justice League, The Guardians, Jor-El, The Teen Titans, and some things and places copyrighted by DC comics and Warner Brothers. We also had references to Star Wars, created by George Lucas; to Jimmy Neutron, copyrighted by DNA Productions and Nickelodeon; and mentions of E.T., Alf and Marvin Martian, who Ramiro doesn't own as well.)
Thanks to anyone who read and reviewed this story. (And please, review a last time before leaving.) Thanks, Tucker.
So long, everybody, and… (Let the force be with you!) Tucker… (Sorry; continue, please).
Keep the good writing.