Chapter 2: Missions From Time
"Don't count me out just yet, Ghost Child! I'll be BACCCKKKKK!"
"Yeah, yeah, yeah." Danny muttered, screwing the cap back onto the Fenton Thermos as Technus's last words continued to echo through the streets. "And in the meantime, I'll need to find someone else to scream out their long-winded plans to the heavens."
"Don't worry, the Box Ghost should be along sometime to do that." Sam chuckled as the ghost teen landed on the ground next to her.
"Great. So I have that to look forward to." The boy muttered, Tucker folding his arms across his chest. "Great, yeah. Ghost caught. Disaster averted. Can we get out of here now? I'm hungry!" He cried pitifully, leaning on Danny's shoulder.
"Tuck, I'm pretty sure hungry is your default factory setting." He smirked, earning a punch in the arm while Sam laughed off to the side.
"Dear god, a factory of Tuckers. Somebody needs to burn that place down." She chuckled, Tucker whining off to the side as his two friends laughed.
"Alright, I'm about this close to eating one of you guys!" He growled out.
"Okay, okay, we're going." Sam muttered as Tucker began to drag her down the street. "You coming, Danny?" She called.
The halfa shook his head. "Nah, I got to get ol' Techno Freak back into the Ghost Zone." He sighed, throwing his friends one last goodbye before flying into the air.
The moon shone brightly, illuminating the streets and buildings as he passed. Not a cloud hung in the sky tonight, perfect for flying. Closing his eyes, Danny let the wind wrap around him as he flew through the air. Small strands of white hair licked his forehead as they brushed his skin, almost as if they were mimicking his own flight patterns.
The teen let out a small sigh of content as he watched the stars peek out through the inky black sky, pale in comparison to the moon which stained the sky a silvery-white. Glancing back down at the street, he noticed one of the nearby apartment windows spilling yellow light into the street.
In the window, a little girl no older than seven stared out at the night sky, large brown eyes meeting toxic green. She let out a giggle as she waved, Danny giving a small chuckle before waving back.
Suddenly, the window curtains parted further to reveal a woman grab the girl's arm and drag her away from the window. Sticking her head out, the woman quickly took notice of Danny. The teen gave a small wave, to which the woman curled her lip in disgust and forcefully slammed the window shut, the curtains falling back into place as the warm yellow light instantly died.
The teen couldn't suppress his sigh as he continued on his way, flying much slower than before. It had been around a year since Danny Phantom had first appeared in Amity and there was still a good number of people who thought of him as nothing more than putrid ectoplasmic filth, his parents included.
He tried not to think much of it, in fact, he tried to think of the exact opposite. Of all the people who actually did like him. Who appreciated everything he did for them. But still . . . it wouldn't hurt for people to give him a chance.
He never mentioned it, not even to Sam, Tucker or Jazz, but whenever his parents would point a gun at him or scream they were going to rip him apart "molecule by molecule", it made him wonder. Would they ever really accept him?
He knew his parents would never say those things if they new who it really was . . . . or at least, that's what he tried to convince himself. But the truth of the matter was that he wasn't entirely sure anymore. Over the course of the past few months, their obsession over Phantom had turned into what could only be called rage.
They hated his guts and wanted nothing more than to see him on a dissection table. And of course he knew just how much his parents loved him, but still . . . was their love for Fenton enough to cancel out their hatred for Phantom?
Every time the thought came to mind, he instantly pushed it back down again, determined to keep those kind of thoughts away, but every once in awhile they would resurface. Granted it was usually after his father pointed a gun at him, or his mother called him a monster, but they would bubble up, and stay up.
What if they ever found out? What would they say? Would they even say anything, or would they simply speak with their guns?
The teen let out a small huff of annoyance. He hadn't even seen his parents for around a week. They currently had a new ghost invention they simply had to finish, which meant they barely ever left the lab. In fact, the last time he had seen his father was last night when he snuck upstairs for a fudge refill.
Danny let out another sigh and ran a hand through his hair. He just had to hope the time never came where he actually did have to reveal his secret. He knew for a fact that the people who hated Phantom would only grow to hate him more, considering he had been lying for over a year. And he had no clue what the people who actually did liked him would say, considering most of them hated Fenton.
The teen let out a snort of anger. God, half the town hates Phantom while the other half hates Fenton. Gotta love it. He muttered to himself.
Of course, he would never tell any of this to Sam or Tucker, or God forbid, Jazz. There was no point. They could never understand what it was like. Having such a crushing secret on your shoulders at all times, never able to confess for fear of . . . well of everything. Who knows what he could lose if he ever told anybody?
So he kept quiet. He smiled and played along, and he was getting pretty good at it, considering even Jazz wasn't able to pick up on his thoughts. Yet even though he never voiced them, those thoughts were still there. Festering in the back of his mind, stirring, waiting.
Combing through his thoughts, the teen never realized when he neared his house until a bright blue blast shot towards him. He yelped and dove underneath it right before it could hit his chest.
Blinking out of his stupor, he whipped around to the source of the blast and let out a sigh. "Of course." He growled out, slamming his palm into his face.
"Found you, Whelp! No escaping this time! This time your pelt will be mine and I will finally b-"
Skulker's rant was cut off as a bright green blast slammed into the concrete below his feet, sending him flying backwards.
Danny rolled his eyes as he dove down. "Am I like, the only interesting thing in your life or something, cause you seriously need to get a hobby!" He shouted, rearing back a fist before slamming it into Skulker's chest, the ghost flying backwards.
Before he could fly after him, Danny was stopped by the Thermos rattling in his hand. He let out a sigh and clipped it to his waist. "Shut up, Technus. I have to go deal with Buffalo Bill over there." He muttered before shooting over.
Flying through the air, he gasped as a large barrage of missiles shot up, diving straight for him. Narrowing his eyes, the teen dove towards the ground, pulling up right before hitting the ground, three of the missiles exploding on impact.
Twisting around onto his back, Danny fired two blasts from his hands, destroying another two more missiles. Unfortunately, the sixth missile reared its head as it shot through the smoke and slammed into Danny's chest, sending the teen crashing to the ground.
Clenching his fists, the teen watched Skulker soar back into the air, blue blasts raining down from his cannons. Lifting his arms over his head, a liquid green shield seeped out from his palms, encasing him in a glowing green shield, the blasts absorbing into the dome.
Dropping down, Skulker rammed his fist into the shield, the dome shattering at the strength behind the blow. Feet skidding across the asphalt at the attack, Danny raised his head and gasped as Skulker's hand shot out, wrapping around his neck.
He grunted and struggled against the ghost's grip before glaring down at him. "What's the matter with you, child? You're lacking in your witty banter." The ghost sniped.
"Not in the mood."
"Pity. Nevertheless, I plan on savoring this hunt before your friend, Plasmius ruins everything." He snarled.
"He's not my friend." Danny growled before his face scrunched up in confusion. "Wait? Ruin every-what are you talking about?"
Skulker rolled his eyes. "Of course you don't know. You don't know anything."
"That nut-job, Plasmius, stole the Infi-Map and ran off to who-knows-where. He could throw the entire Ghost Zone out of whack!" He let out a huff of annoyance when Danny threw him another look of confusion.
"Look, there's a reason the Infi-Map is guarded by Frostbite and the Far-Frozen. It's so the map doesn't fall into the hands of a psycho. And now it's fallen into the hands of one of the biggest psychos in the Zone!" He growled.
"That means trouble for both our worlds." He stated before a glowing green blade appeared from his arm, quickly leaning the side into Danny's neck. "So I might as well enjoy this." He grinned.
Danny narrowed his eyes and reared his leg back, kicking Skulker in the chest, sending him stumbling backwards.
"Look, I don't really understand what's going on, but-" He fired a large blue blast at the ghost, encasing him in a block of ice. "-I don't need you breathing down my back as I try and figure this out." He murmured before turning away.
The Infi-Map? I thought that moron learned his lesson the last time he tried to steal it. He mused to himself. What is that fruitloop planning?
Before he could dwell on it anymore, a loud cracking filled the air. Whipping around, Danny let out a groan of frustration as the ice around Skulker shattered into a million pieces and clattered to the floor, revealing the furious ghost inside.
Danny narrowed his eyes and shifted into a defensive stance once more, Skulker slowly stalking towards him.
"Enough of this."
Both ghosts quickly turned their gazes to the sky as they watched the newcomer land on the ground between the two. He had pale blue skin which was mostly covered by a long flowing purple cape. His eyes were a deep shade of red and one had a long scar passing through it.
"Clockwork?" Danny asked in surprise, not knowing the ghost to venture far from his castle unless the situation called for it, and a fight with Skulker didn't really read as world news.
Speaking of Skulker, the ghost was practically quaking in his ecto-suit as he gazed back at the Master of Time, holding his hands up in defense. "Hey, now. I don't want any trouble." He said nervously.
"Then leave." Clockwork growled out, leaving no room for argument. At said words, Skulker turned tail and zoomed out of the area faster than Danny actually thought physically possible.
Turning back towards the boy, Clockwork answered the question he knew to come. "Do not fear, you would have won that fight anyway. I merely sped up the process." He said in his usual monotone voice as he stared down at the boy, who's mouth was still open, having just been about to voice said question.
He blinked for a moment before folding his arms across his chest. "You know, you could at least let me ask the question before you answer it." He mumbled.
Clockwork merely rolled his eyes before pressing a button on his staff. In a flash of light, the two ghosts were instantly transported up to Danny's bedroom. The teen glanced around at his new surroundings before letting out a sigh as he transformed back into Fenton. "You couldn't just do this from the beginning?"
Danny turned towards his hip and noticed the Fenton Thermos and its captive were nowhere to be seen. "Do not fear. " Clockwork interjected. "I've already disposed of Technus. He's back in the Ghost Zone."
Danny let out a small chuckle. "Thanks. You wouldn't mind keeping him in there, would ya'?" He sighed, taking a seat on his bed.
The ghost ignored him in favor of leaning closer. "The Infi-Map was stolen."
Danny nodded. "Yeah, Skulker mentioned something about that. What's Plasmius planning anyway? I'm sure you already know."
"Nothing good." Clockwork stated gravely as he raised his hand and waved it at the empty air, a large swirling green portal appearing. "Nothing good at all." He said, disappearing into the portal.
Danny stared at the portal awkwardly before scrunching up his face. "Uhh . . . . . . . . . . . was I meant to hear the rest of that story?" He asked, walking closer.
Shrugging his shoulders, knowing full well his guardian would never put him in danger, he hopped through the portal, landing on the hard floor of Clockwork's domain.
"It appears Plasmius has been doing some reading on a certain world."
Whipping his head around, he jumped as Clockwork appeared behind him. He groaned and placed a hand to his frantically beating heart. "You know, a bell would do wonders for you." He grumbled, watching as Clockwork transformed into a small child as he floated over to one of the swirling mirrors. "A world with an insurmountable supply of magic and power." He explained.
"Magic? Are we talking Disney or Harry Potter?"
Clockwork let out an irritable sigh, but continued nonetheless. "Plasmius stole the Infi-Map and traveled to this world. There, he plans on using his powers to take over the land. And I believe he has already made a powerful ally. One that could mean the downfall of the world and its inhabitants."
Danny's eyes widened in shock before he groaned and rubbed the bridge of his nose. "Alright, Vlad. You've done some crazy shit in your lifetime, but I think this takes the crazy cake."
Clockwork chose not to respond as he morphed back into his original form and flew across the room, grabbing a small piece of paper before rolling it up into a scroll. "The inhabitants of this world already have a strong defense system, but one can only do so much against a foreign enemy with strange new weapons." He explained.
"They will not be able to defend themselves against Vlad and his power. That along with the fact that he will undoubtedly enlist the help of other enemies from that world and this one, he will be unstoppable." He stated.
"And if he gains even a fraction of the power that new world holds, not even you will be able to stop him from conquering this world as well." He finished with a grave look.
Danny's eyes widened as he placed a hand to his head and wrapped the other around his stomach. And to think this day started out so good . . .
He let out a groan and quickly sat down on one of the frozen clock cogs that lay dormant on the ground. He shook his head as a question popped into his head. "Wait, what do you expect me to do about it?" He asked.
"Unless the inhabitants of this world are warned about Vlad and his impending power, their world will fall. And in turn, yours will as well." He stated as he continued to mill around the room, picking up different supplies as he did.
Danny stared down at his hands as he began to process everything the ghost was saying before whipping his head up. "Hold on! So . . . . you want me, a fifteen-year-old kid, to travel to a different world . . . by myself . . . . and convince them all that a crazed half ghost half human hybrid has traveled there to conquer them, and then use whatever power he collects to take over my world as well?" He stated slowly, staring at the ghost as if he were joking.
When Clockwork's face remained stoic as ever, the teen scoffed and threw his hands into the air. "Fine! Why not?! In fact, let's throw in the fact that I was electrocuted by an invention my ghost hunting parents made that gave me ghost powers, which allow me to fly around my town every day and save it from a bunch of ghosts bent on world domination while still trying to survive my sophomore year of high school!"
"Are you kidding?! They'll send me to the loony bin, or whatever the equivalent of that is in their world." He muttered before blinking in realization. "Hang on, didn't they used to execute crazy people back in the day? Do people still do that?! Oh, GOD! THEY'RE GONNA' KILL ME!"
Clockwork rolled his eyes. "Daniel, calm down. Your main priority is making sure Vlad does not succeed in his plans." He explained before flying closer.
"But in this world, you will have to make a choice. You will have to decide whether to enlist the help of the other inhabitants of this world, or to face Plasmius alone. Know that whatever you choose will have rippling consequences in the future of both that world and yours, so choose wisely." He explained.
Danny scrunched his face in confusion. "Can I even trust the people in that world? I mean, what are they going to do when they discover I'm part ghost?" He asked.
Clockwork blinked slowly as he transformed into an old man. "I'm afraid I cannot answer that, Daniel. You must decide what to do on your own." He stated, Danny turning his head away with a sigh as he closed his eyes.
"I understand . . . . but . . . . what about my friends? And my parents?! Granted it'd probably take them a couple days to figure out I was missing if not for Jazz, but they'll all totally freak when they realize-"
Clockwork nodded. "Do not worry about your parents, I will deal with that problem. As for your friends, I will contact your sister, who will, in turn, pass the message to Sam and Tucker." He explained.
Danny lowered his gaze and placed his hands into his pockets. "I. . .I don't know if I can do this, Clockwork." He confessed. "Keeping a town safe is one thing, but an entire world? I . . . I-I . . ." He started, only to trail off. "Besides, I already have to deal with one world that doesn't trust me. I'd rather not increase that number by hopping around dimensions." He murmured, dark black hair falling into his face.
He blinked open his eyes when he felt a hand gently rest on his shoulder. "Daniel, I know this seems overwhelming. But trust me when I say you are capable of defeating him. I know how strong you are, you know how strong you are, and Vlad knows how strong you are." He stated.
"That is why he fled to that world. Because without the power he can gain there, he knows in time, you will overcome him." He explained.
"Well, yeah but-"
Clockwork placed a hand underneath the boy's chin and lifted his head to stare him in the eye. "You can do this."
Danny hesitated before he gave a small smile and nodded in understanding.
Moving back over to the far end of the room, Clockwork picked up the supplies he had been gathering before and promptly disappeared. Danny furrowed his brow and twisted his head around as he tried to locate the man.
He jumped out of his seat when the ghost reappeared behind him, holding a familiar purple backpack.
"Seriously! Some string and a bell would make a nice necklace for you! You should really look into it and . . . . is that my backpack?"
"Well it's not like you use it for textbooks."
" . . . . . touche."
Clockwork let a small smirk fall onto his face as he passed the bag to the boy. "Don't open the bag until after you've arrived in Equestria." He explained, watching as Danny gave a small chuckle. "I'm guessing that's the name of the world I'm about to invade?"
Clockwork nodded his head before waving his hand at one of the mirrors. The shimmering surface was replaced with a swirling white light.
Danny lowered his gaze for a moment before twisting around and wrapping his arms around Clockwork's waist. The ghost blinked for a moment before returning the hug, promptly guiding the boy over to the portal.
Danny closed his eyes and took a deep breath before leaping into the swirling white light.
Sunlight streamed in through the trees above, shining brightly into Danny's eyes. He let out a groan and shifted slightly, his muscles tense and heavy. He quickly blinked the confusion out of his eyes as he remembered what he had been assigned with.
Shaking his head, he groaned as he rubbed the fogginess away from his eyes with the back of his hoof and-wait! Hoof?!
He glanced down and saw that instead of a hand, he had a dark black hoof. He gasped and jolted upright, only to fall back down to the side as he tried and failed to stand up. Quickly trying to calm his beating heart, he whipped his head around to gaze at his surroundings.
He appeared to be in the middle of a forest. Sunlight shone in through the thick leaves of the trees, illuminating the grass where he sat in a golden-green light. Large clumps of dark green bushes lines with black thorns could be seen as well as several different vines that sprouted up from the ground and curled over at the tips, and a little ways off, Danny could make out what appeared to be a small pond.
Shakily raising himself up, he was about to walk over when he noticed he had gained an additional two limbs.
He scrunched up his face in confusion. "Walking on all fours? What am I? A cow?" He asked himself as he took a tentative step forward, then another, and another. After realizing that it was similar to the motion of crawling, Danny slowly made his way over to the pond.
Staring down at the reflection, Danny gasped at what he saw.
He was what he could only assume to be a small horse. He had black hooves that faded into a pure white coat, except for the tips of his ears, which were as black as his mane and tail. Both colors drastically contrasted with the icy blue of his eyes. But what caught his attention was that on his rear, there was a tattoo of a white shooting star in the middle of a black patch one could assume signified the night sky.
He blinked in shock at his appearance before remembering the backpack Clockwork had given him.
Removing it from his back, he opened it to reveal a rolled up map, a brown sack that jingled when touched, a roll of gauze and a small note. Picking up the note, Danny saw that it was from Clockwork.
As you've probably noticed, you are no longer human. You are, in fact a pony. A colt to be exact.
Equestria is a mythical world of ponies, dragons and monsters. Upon entering the world, your body morphed to match the other inhabitants. Do not fear, once you leave, your body will revert back to its original form.
The map you have with you is a map of Equestria. Locate where you are and travel to the closest village. There, you can begin to gather information about the world and try to discover where Vlad might have ended up.
You also have a small brown bag filled with gold coins and gems. Those gold coins are called bits, the currency of Equestria. Make sure to stay sheltered and fed. You will need to keep up your strength to complete your assignment.
Remember, you will have to decide whether to share your secret or not, and be cautious. For while there are some in this world who will accept you, I cannot speak for the rest.
Be smart and do what you do best, Daniel.
Danny sighed as he folded up the note and placed it back in the bag. He lifted his gaze up to the sky, staring up at the pale blue sky behind the thick canopy leaves. "How am I gonna do this?" He mumbled to himself.
Quickly snapping back into focus, he reached into his bag and pulled out the map Clockwork had left him.
Unfurling it, his eyes widened at how large Equestria was. He let out a groan and shut his eyes. "This is going to be like finding a fruitloop in a box of FRUITLOOPS!" He shouted to nobody in particular.
Turning back to the map, he tried to locate where he currently was. Due to the dark ambiance of the forest, he could only infer he was in the Everfree Forest.
The closest village seemed to be a place called Ponyville. He snickered at the name. "Seriously?"
Glancing down at the rest of the map, he began to smirk and chuckle until they became full blown laughs as he stared at the names of the places including Manehatten, Fillydelphia and Las Pegasus.
Wiping away the tears, he took a deep breath and placed the map back into the bag before hoisting it over his shoulder. According to the map, Ponyville was on the outskirts of the forest. Taking a deep breath, Danny pushed through the bushes and began his trek.
After a few moments of stumbling, slipping and a good amount of cursing, he finally began to get the hang of walking on all fours.
Around half an hour passed before Danny noticed the sun setting at a much quicker pace than back home. Freaky world. He grumbled to himself as he continued walking. As he did, he began to notice that the birds had stopped singing and the occasional squirrels that crossed his path were no longer there.
Strange. He thought to himself as he continued walking. He tensed when the snap of a twig filled the air before he shook his head. Calm down, Fenton. You're starting to get just as paranoid as your dad. He muttered angrily before continuing.
Suddenly a loud growling made him freeze once more and flatten his ears as he whipped around.
After finding nothing, he let out a small nervous chuckle. "Maybe threatening growls mean something entirely different in this world, like 'how ya' doing? We're not going to rip your face off.'" He murmured to himself, silently praying his thoughts were correct.
But Danny's prayers were not ones to usually be answered as the growling filled the air again. Whipping around, Danny caught sight of a pair of glowing green eyes. Make that two-NO . . .three-NO. . . FIVE pairs of glowing green eyes.
He gulped as large creatures began to slowly stalk out of the shadows. Their bodies were made entirely out of wood and resembled the physique of wolves.
As the five creatures stalked closer and closer, Danny could feel his core get colder and colder. Narrowing his eyes, he growled at the wolves before reaching down into his core. "Let's see how this goes." Danny muttered.
A bright white ring burst out from his waist, splitting apart as they traveled up and down his body, changing him into a completely different pony.
His white coat was replaced with a pitch black one and his dark hooves were swapped for white ones. His icy blue eyes became a fiery green and his black mane and tail melted into a pearly white one. On his sides, large black wings sprouted from his back, the inner feathers a bright white, and a black horn appeared on his head, contrasting the white sea of hair it resided in.
Even the mark on his flank changed from a shooting star to his DP symbol inside a green flame that resembled his ecto-blast.
The wolves seemed confused for a moment before snarling at him once more.
Danny glanced down at his new wings before letting out a frustrated groan. "You're kidding me, right?!" He shouted in exasperation, only to yelp as he ducked under the outstretched claws of a wolf.
"Guess you're not."
As another wolf charged, Danny stepped to the side, kicking out with his back legs, hitting the wolf in the head, sending it stumbling backwards. Running past the other two wolves, the colt glared up at his horn. "So you're just not going to do anything, is that right?!" He shouted, gasping as he slid to a stop right in front of the last wolf.
The creature snarled before rearing back its claw, swiping it across Danny's cheek. He hissed and stumbled backwards before diving underneath the wolf's paws as he lunged. Twisting around onto his back, Danny kicked up with his hind legs, sending the wolf flying into the air.
He let out a small breath of relief, only to leap out of the way as another wolf charged for him. Before the creature could respond, Danny leapt onto the back of the wolf. It snarled and barked in anger as Danny slammed his front hooves down on the creature's head, feeling wood and twigs snap and shatter underneath his hooves as he leapt onto the next approaching wolf.
Before he could do the same, the wolf lowered its head and threw Danny into the air.
He let out a shout and unfurled his wings, trying his hardest to stay in the air as he flapped. To his surprise, he saw that he was maintaining a steady beat with his wings. He let a loose smile appear on his face. "Well, that's one appendage down."He said, glaring up at his horn.
Swooping back down, Danny curled his wings and rammed his head into the chest of one of the nearby wolves. THe two began to roll around on the grass as they both fought for control. Danny let out a shout of pain as he felt claws slash across his shoulder, ripping at flesh and muscle.
Pushing the creature away, Danny slid back against the grass, but the wolf wasn't letting go that easily. It leapt on top of the colt, pinning him down to the ground as he dug its claws into his chest and bared its splintered teeth, drool dripping onto the grass.
Danny grunted in pain as he tried to push the wolf off, only to gasp and shut his eyes as he watched it lung forward.
Suddenly, the sound of a large blast and a whimpering yelp filled his ears. He opened his eyes and watched the wolf stumble backwards, half of its face having been blown off.
Danny blinked in shock before turning up towards his still smoking horn. "Thanks." He breathed out as he twisted around and got back to his hooves.
As he stood, he winced and let out a small hiss of pain, watching as blood trickled down his shoulder and stained the grass underneath his hooves. He growled in annoyance as he turned back to face the wolves. They snarled and leapt forward.
Danny narrowed his eyes and slid underneath their paws, flying back into the air. Twisting around, he lit up his horn and fired a bright green blast at the ground underneath a pair of wolves, blowing them backwards. As they hit the ground, they exploded into nothing but leaves and sticks.
But the small victory meant little, considering three more wolves jumped up to take their place.
Diving back down, Danny fired his horn, hitting one of the creatures in the chest. He whipped around to face the other two, only to feel claws slash down on his nose, yelping as the blood sprayed into the air.
He grunted in pain as the two wolves leapt onto him, claws slashing at his wings and teeth clamping down on his hoof and neck. But before the wolf could make the killing bite, Danny felt his wings begin to glow.
Spreading them wide, he saw the wolves get blown backwards as his wings let out a large wave of green light.
Shaking the haziness out of the corners of his eyes, Danny groaned and shakily rose to his hooves. Realizing he wouldn't be able to win this fight with the amount of control he had over his new body, Danny ducked under another attack and began to run.
He grit his teeth as he placed pressure on his injured hoof but continued to run, the biting wind whipping around him as it pushed white locks of hair into his eyes.
He could feel his body shaking with exhaustion as he ran, but continued on, the sound of harsh barking and snarling driving him forward. The warm feeling of blood trickling down his chest could be felt through the harsh slices of wind as they blew past, but he quickly shook the thoughts out of his mind. He shut his eyes tightly as his lungs began to ache and his heart beat so loudly he was sure it would burst.
The sound of blood pumping in his ears was almost loud enough to drown out the sound of the raging ravine. Luckily, he opened his eyes just in time to stop himself from falling into the frothing waters.
Danny stared down into the water in despair, hearing the barking get louder and louder. Glancing to his sides, he noticed that one of his wings was still bleeding, the blood dripping off of his white feathers, staining them red as the liquid dripped onto the grass and slid into the white river waters.
He let out a shout of pain as he tried to flap the wing. Turning his head, he saw the wolves quickly getting closer and closer.
Taking a deep breath, Danny dove into the water, hearing the snap of teeth right by his ear before everything was consumed in roaring sound.
The cold water knocked the breath out of him as he made impact. He tried to regain focus and find the surface, but everything was swirling, including himself. The roaring of the river met his ears, making him question what was up and what was down.
As the water carried him farther and farther, he could feel the debris and stones flying through the water. With how fast the river was moving, he only had moments to avoid debris as it shot towards him.
His chest began to ache for air as he continued to try and fight the current. His wings curled in tightly against his sides as he aimlessly flailed in the water, desperate to make contact with something.
Finally, his head broke the surface. He took in large gulps of air as he tried to stay above the water. But once again, he was dragged back down. As he sank back down, he caught a stream of water in his mouth before it shot down into his lungs.
His body convulsed as he fought to remain calm. As he tried to find the surface once again, he felt a powerful blow to the side of his head as he hit one of the large boulders that lay submerged in the water.
Black and red dots dotted his vision as he fought to stay conscious.
After a few more panicked seconds of desperate flailing, his hoof latched onto something firm. Pulling himself forward, his head broke the surface with a splash as he desperately clung to the edge of the riverbank.
Pulling himself up, he tried taking a few steps away from the river. Instantly, as his foot connected with the grass, his legs buckled underneath him and he collapsed onto his side, violently hacking up mouthfuls of water.
Resting his head back down on the grass, he fought to drive back the black fogginess that swarmed the edges of his vision, but he realized it was another losing battle.
He vaguely felt bright warm rings wrap around him before his head lolled to the side and his world faded to black.
Vlad sat in silence as he began to process everything Chrysalis had just told of her defeat and banishment. "Hmmm . . . . it seems these ponies have been a bit of a nuisance for you and your kind." Vlad stated, the queen snorting in anger.
"A bit doesn't even begin to describe it."
Vlad stood up and walked over. "Then perhaps I can help you. You see, in my world I too have been bugged by a boy of great annoyance." He explained. "That is one of the reasons I have come to this world. If I can gain enough power to conquer this land, then I can crush the boy into submission and rule my own world as well."
Chrysalis narrowed his eyes at the stallion's proclamations, yet stayed silent as he continued. "But if taking over has proven a problem to you, then I might also find a challenge in it." He realized.
After a moment of though, his face suddenly contorted as he began to grin.
"So . . . . perhaps if we work together, we can conquer Equestria and rule together." He explained.
Chrysalis scoffed and began to laugh. "You?! What could you possibly bring to the table that could help me?" She asked.
Vlad grinned. "How about the fact I took out a horde of your subjects without so much as breaking a sweat." He said, Chrysalis giving him a warning growl at the comment. "Alright, well what if I told you I have access to the Ghost Zone." He said.
Chrysalis's eyes widened slightly before her turning back into a scowl. "Please, the Ghost Zone is nothing more than a myth."
"That is what I believed about this place." Vlad said with a smirk. "Yet here we are."
Chrysalis furrowed her brow in thought as Vlad continued to circle around her. "The way I think about it, with your army and knowledge of this world, along with my power and the ghosts of the Zone, this world can easily fall into out hooves." He explained.
Chrysalis narrowed her eyes as she stared down at the table. "I still don't trust you." She growled out.
Vlad rolled his eyes. "You don't have to trust me. Just fight with me. Together, we will be unstoppable."
Chrysalis rose up from the table and stared hard at the stallion. "And how do I know you won't betray me when you get what you want?" She growled out, stalking forward.
"Oh, please. I may be concerned with power, but that doesn't mean I don't retain a brain. While I'm conquering my world, I'll need somepony strong to watch over Equestria with an iron grip and not let it slip from our grasp, and who better than a Queen?" He stated, Chrysalis's eyes distant in thought.
She was pulled from her thoughts as Vlad extended out a hoof. "So . . . . partners?"
Chrysalis hesitated for a moment before a smile spread across her face and she roughly shook the outstretched hoof.