Chapter 34:
A.P. Confidential

AN: Okay, the same basic warnings apply from last chapter. There will be brief discussions of extreme violence, and, if you know the Phandom, you know what it's gonna mostly be. I don't even know how to tell you to avoid it, other than to just skip over all the scenes with the geeks, I guess. Though, the one with them near the end of the chapter is alright. There is also a small mention of religion. It's in with the violent stuff. So, again, don't like, don't read.

Okie-Doke! On with the show! I hope you enjoy! :)

"Darn it!" Tucker shouted, as he lost for the fourth time. He and the other kids were taking turns playing a racing video game, in the FentonWorks living room, while they waited for Jazz and the Fenton parents to get ready for their first-ever, fully-disclosed, ghost-kid movie night.

"BOO!" Ellie shouted suddenly, jumping up out of the screen.

Tucker shrieked in surprise, as the others in the room laughed. Then, the techno-geek recomposed himself. "Hey! She's cheating! That's not fair!"

"All's fair in love and war, Sergeant Toadstool," Danny grinned evilly.

"Sergeant To-" Tucker paused, eyes widening, as he remembered Ellie's attic tea party the previous Monday. "Wait a minute! How'd you know about that!" He shouted, as his cackling friend ran off. "Danny!" He shouted, chasing after him. The others just stayed back and laughed. "Danny! How did you know!?"

Two hours before...

It was Saturday afternoon. Danny sat in his bedroom, trying to catch up on the homework that would be due that Monday, as his friends were in their own homes, likely doing the same. It was especially important, since Valerie was the only one who had turned anything in in the past week. Their group might not be the most studious, but they really did their best to turn something in every day. Even if it was incomplete or horribly-done.

After struggling with a way-too-complicated, are-you-sure-this-is-eleventh-grade-math equation for twenty minutes, he finally gave up. He threw his pencil across the room in aggravation, plopping his head in his hands to ease his oncoming headache. He finally looked up, when he realized he'd never heard the pencil hit anything. Looking around, he found it frozen in the air, not two feet from him.

"Hello, child."

"Clockwork," Danny smiled. "Finally decide to let me know about my delusions?" He jabbed, grinning.

"What, you didn't watch Tucker's videos?" The ghost raised an eyebrow, though he already knew the answer.

"He took video?" The teen asked miserably. That was not a good sign.

"Of course, mine is better quality," The time-ghost admitted, as a clock face appeared behind him, the hands spinning to reveal a window into the happenings of only a few days before, in the very room they were in.

"Gumbo! Floodgates are on a roller coaster to Pluto, and I don't like Monopoly!"

The present-day Danny just watched his non-lucid counterpart, for several moments. It was so much worse than the others had said. "...Why was I playing pirates in my underwear?"

"Turquoise flutes play hopscotch on a trampoline! It's raining over Denver! Don't forget the marmalade!"

"I'm afraid even I don't know the answer to that," The old ghost replied. "I thought you might like to know that there will be a very important news broadcast, tonight, and it will answer your questions about having to live with Vlad."

"~Home on garage sale lane! Forfeit the cabbage, and wash a pretty vase!~" Past-Danny sang, in the background.

"Really? And, you can't just tell me what it's going to say?" Present-Danny wondered aloud, even though he knew the answer. For some unknown reason, Clockwork found it funny to mess with him.

"Imbecilic manatees stole the t-bone from a space-farmer! Gimme back my clown fish, Tater-Man!"

"Now, where would be the fun in that?" The old ghost smirked.

"Charred horseshoes aren't for gambling!"

"Though, the real reason I wanted you to know," Clockwork continued, "is because, if your parents intend to adopt Ellie, they will need to talk to the man who will be speaking at City Hall. Keep in mind, he is trustworthy. I just wanted to make sure you turn on the news, before you begin your movie night."

"Why would they need his help?" The boy wondered.

"Ranch of love-bubbles. Mango of shoes. These are my topiary nightmares."

"She's a clone," The Stopwatch replied, as though it should explain everything.

"Yeah, I know that, -"

"Shingles fried the warhorses!" Past-Danny interrupted.

"- But, -"

"This is my Friend! My Friend! Pickle-Friend!" The boy in the time-portal shouted, waving around a stuffed puppy and running in circles.

"She has no paperwork. As far as the U.S. government knows, she doesn't exist. That could be a serious problem," Clockwork explained.

"Oh," Present-Danny said, finally catching on. And, with that, Danny's most-confusing friend disappeared.


"Trophies on the rhombus have no metallic dolphins to shave!"

"Well, at least, take him with you!" The present-day teen shouted, almost-irritably, gesturing to the embarrassing time-window.



The portal closed, and Danny jumped and squeaked, as his pencil hit the wall behind him, loudly. He'd forgotten about that.


"Kids, are you ready to start the movie?" Maddie asked, entering the room with two bowls of popcorn. Her eldest daughter and husband followed with more, since Jack got his own, which was bigger than the others.

"Oh, yeah!" Danny said, still running from Tucker. He ducked under his friend's arms, jumped the back of the couch, plopped down, and grabbed the remote, jostling some popcorn out of his older sister's bowl.

"Hey!" She shouted.

"Clockwork said we needed to turn on the news, before we start movie night. Something big's going to happen," He said, switching on the TV and flipping to the local news channel, even though it was a few minutes early.

Several confused noises rose around the room. "That time-guy from yesterday?" Ellie asked, looking up at him, as the others gathered around.

"Yeah. He said that the guy who's about to talk will help us with adopting Ellie, since Vlad never made any record of her ever existing. He said we can trust him, though I'm not sure if that means ghost-wise or clone-wise."

"Could be both," Tucker suggested.

"Could be neither," Sam and Valerie pointed out at the same time, cautiously.

"Just, be careful," The goth girl added, turning to the Fenton Parents.

"We will," Maddie assured, stooping to hug her youngest daughter.

"Hey, Clockwork wouldn't steer us wrong," Danny smiled. "He might think being cryptic and confusing people is funny, but he is one of the good guys." They couldn't argue with that. Well, not those of them who knew the old Stopwatch.

The group got into place, most of the kids moving to the floor, while the Fenton parents sat on the couch, next to Jazz. Ellie climbed up with them, happily sandwiched between her new parents, just as the news finally came on, the 'Ghost-Watch Special' logo playing.

"This just in," Shelly Makamoto announced, appearing on the screen. "Vlad Masters Arrested."

"WHAT!?" Nearly everyone in town shouted, as the video cut away to show their former mayor being lead to a police vehicle, in handcuffs.

"That's right, folks. The mayor of Amity Park has been caught in possession of a massive bomb. Last night, Masters revealed in a maniacal rant that the device was going to be used to destroy the city, if local paranormal-scientist and ghost-hunter, Maddie Fenton, along with her son, Daniel, refused to leave their family and live with him."

The group in FentonWorks, along with the rest of the city, stared at their screens, aghast. Suddenly, the news cut to footage from the apparent take-down, the night before.

"I WILL HAVE THEM!" Vlad cried, obviously much more unstable than he'd been when the children had seen him the previous Sunday. Though, they supposed it was possible he had just been hiding it well. The cheese-head was on the roof of City Hall, clinging to the flag pole atop the building, with one hand. In the other, he held some kind of remote, with a big, red button on it. It did not look good. "THEY WILL BE MINE! OR, THEY WILL BE NO ONE'S!"

"THE BOMB'S BEEN DEACTIVATED! TAKE HIM DOWN! TAKE HIM DOWN!" A man off-screen shouted. The footage cut, as the crazed-up fruitloop was tackled by several armed soldiers.

"Boy, Shelly," Lance Thunder began, grinning dimwittedly, as the camera zoomed out to show him sitting next to the female reporter. "I can't think of a reason someone wouldn't want to live with a billionaire."

"Well, Lance, if he's that crazy, I can think of a few," She replied, through her teeth. She was obviously irritated by her co-host, though she tried to hide it behind a fake grin. "Along with Masters' arrest, I doubt many will be disappointed to know that the G.I.W. have been shut down, for good," She continued, her genuine smile returning.

"That's right, people of Amity Park," Lance picked up. "According to what was found in their own database, the Loonies In White aren't even a real government agency. They're just a group of people who hate ghosts, and all things paranormal. And, those 'Anti-Ecto Acts' they've been quoting aren't from U.S. law. They're from their own crazy, club rules. Man, these people need a real hobby. I suggest fly-fishing."

"These people were using their illegally-gained power over this city to block all ghost-related information from leaving," Shelly continued, outraged. "No one's looked into the ghost attacks or the G.I.W.'s violent and dangerous behavior, despite innumerable reports, because they've been stopping all reports about them from getting anywhere."

"And, they've been telling the authorities in the city that everything's already been reported, and that only they've been given permission to handle it," Lance added.

"They've been using the cover of government agents and the threat of auditing taxes to keep us from questioning them too much." Shelly continued, obviously annoyed by the interruption. "And, all the while, they were more dangerous than the ghosts they claimed to protect us from! Just listen to this:"

The screen cut to a live feed from outside City Hall. There, on the front steps of the building, stood a group of soldiers, several ghosts, including Skulker, and The Geek Squad. A highly-decorated Marine stepped up to the mic. "Ladies and Gentleman, I am General Michael T. Holloway, Sr., of the United States Marines," He began, seriously. "I advise any children, and those of you with weak hearts and stomachs to leave the area, or change the channel. What I have to share with you is incredibly disturbing." He paused, giving everyone a chance to comply.

"Wait," Danny said. "Michael Holloway? That's Mikey's dad!?"

"Oh, yeah. I forgot he was a General," Sam commented, off-handedly.

"You knew!?" Several people in the room asked, bewildered.

"He was at one of my parents' stupid, dinner parties!" She half-defended.

"Guys! Listen!" Tucker shouted, pointing to the TV.

"I regret to inform you that we've all been duped, by a group of people who want nothing more than to completely destroy an entire species," The General continued darkly. "The G.I.W. are not a government agency. They are paranormal-hunters, who have had proof, since before the attacks started, that most ghosts are peaceful, by nature. But, instead of trying to make contact with this newly-discovered species, they decided to hate them for not being human, and turn them into an enemy.

"They stole Fenton technology, using it to create their own portal into the Ghost Zone. Then, they had their scientists devise a machine which, when active, would cause any ghost within range of the signal it puts out to become extremely aggravated." A picture of the machine appeared on the projector screen, behind him. "They rigged this machine to release most of its signal just inside the Ghost Zone. And, they continued this plot, even after two more man-made portals to the Ghost Zone were activated in the city of Amity Park, all of them within reach of their malicious machine. Any and all ghosts who have come near the portals to our world have had to go through this assault on their senses, before arriving here. Few have managed to resist its call to violence. They wanted us to believe that all ghosts were evil, so no one would argue when they tried to destroy the Ghost Zone, completely."

He paused, motioning towards Skulker and the other ghosts behind him. "But, as soon as the device was destroyed, they were proven wrong. At least, in my eyes, and the eyes of the men who stand here with me, today. The G.I.W. had captured hundreds of ghosts, experimenting on and dissecting many of them, fully-conscious and without anesthetic." Some none-too-pretty images appeared on the screen. Several people vomited, and a few fainted. All of the crowd seemed absolutely disgusted, and most doubted they would sleep well, that night. True, ghosts were a bit of a nuisance, and they'd always been dangerous. But, not one human in Amity Park had ever been killed in a ghost attack. Actually, hundreds of human lives had been saved from both ghostly and non-ghostly disasters, by Danny Phantom. Most of the humans would be happy enough, if the creatures just stayed in their own world. But, no one deserved that.

"Most of the injured fled, assisted by other ghosts," The General continued. "But, many stayed to help in the fight. At least one of the ghosts on stage with me now, would've been considered a villain, only yesterday. But, today, I can confidently tell you that these ghosts are heroes. They fought alongside myself and my men to take down the G.I.W., saving the lives of their people, as well as all of ours."

A reporter in the crowd spoke up. "How did they save us?"

"The Ghost Zone and our world are interconnected. They create a balance with each other. If one is destroyed, the other will go with it. If the G.I.W. had succeeded in their plans, none of us would be standing here, right now. In fact, several of the ghosts who helped us were lost in the battle to take the G.I.W. down, only hours ago. Many were destroyed fleeing or saving the lives of the soldiers who came to rescue them." Those on the stage (as well as a few in the crowd,) removed their hats and bowed their heads, in reverence to their lost comrades. It didn't matter that they'd only known each other for such a short time. Battling a deadly enemy, alongside a stranger, - Putting your life in their hands, and theirs in yours, even for a moment, - It was a lot different than chatting it up with the new guy, at work.

"How did the G.I.W. intend to destroy the Ghost Zone?" Another reporter asked.

"The G.I.W. have been using their ill-gotten pull in this town to spy on everyone here. By now, I'm sure you've heard of Vlad masters' arrest, and his plans to destroy the town." Several people in the crowd, who hadn't heard, gasped. "The G.I.W. had plans to steal his device, amplify its power, and release it into the ghosts' world."

"General Holloway," A female reporter called. "Were you involved in the capture of Vlad Masters? Can you tell us how these conspiracies were uncovered?"

"I was. And, I can. But, I think these three would be better suited to explain. These are the young men who uncovered both incidents. Lester Schwartz, Clark Reuben, and my son, Michael Holloway, Jr." He stepped aside, motioning for the Geek Squad to step forward. The boys seemed too shy to move. But, after taking another look at the disgusting images still on the screen, a new resolve shone in Clark's eyes. He approached the mic, his friends finally finding the courage to follow.

"It all began, two weeks ago, when we overheard several G.I.W. agents talking about two teenagers getting hit by stray shots from one of their weapons." The green-eyed boy started. "They claimed the kids had been uninjured, but we clearly heard the so-called 'agents' also say that the weapon was untested and experimental. They had no idea of what long-term effects it would have on a human."

Les stepped forward, now. "We've always suspected that something was off about these people. But, at first, we assumed that the danger citizens were in was caused by the ghosts, and the G.I.W. were just doing their best in a difficult situation. We hoped that what seemed like it was their fault was just taken out of context. But, when they saw two civilians hit by an experimental device, not knowing what would happen, and had no remorse, there was no question. We began looking into the group."

Back in FentonWorks, Sam gasped. "It was me!"

"WHAT!?" The others shouted, again.

"It was last Friday, while Danny was fighting Technus! I saw one of the agents - Er, fake-agents - aiming for Danny!"

"How did you get hit, then!?" Mrs. Fenton asked.

"Because, I left my blaster in my backpack, so I panicked, and threw a rock at his head! He fell down, and the thing went off! It didn't hurt. Just flashed and scared me. I've been hit with ecto-blasts before, so I just assumed..." She trailed off.

"Then, who was the other person who got hit?" Tucker asked, concerned, as Maddie stooped down next to Sam, to check the girl over.

"I- I don't know! I thought I heard the thing go off twice, but I didn't see anybody else around!"

Valerie gasped. "Wait! Desiree!"

"Huh?" The others asked.

"Wednesday! Sam and I told everybody at school that Danny was acting all loopy, because Desiree cast a spell on him! Dash Baxter asked if we'd seen Phantom! He said no one had seen him since he fought Technus, last Friday! But, Technus was the only ghost that Danny fought, that day!"

"Then, the person who got hit must be one of the people who saw Danny fighting Technus!" Jazz reasoned.

"But, I didn't see anybody else, either," Danny said. "Just Sam, Tucker, some agents, and two guys in a news helicopter."

"Maybe the news crew caught it," Ellie suggested.

"Maybe so," Her new mother agreed. "Danny, if you're feeling up to it, maybe you should go take a look at those tapes, after the people in the news studio have gone home, tonight."

"...Are you telling me to use my powers to break into a building?"

"Yes. I am." She pulled out some type of mini-scanner, running it up and down in front of the goth girl. "Sam seems to be alright," She noted. "But, I would feel a lot better if we knew what to watch out for. I would rather see the actual device, but I doubt the G.I.W. left anything in one piece. They likely destroyed everything incriminating, when the authorities arrived. So, this is our best bet. Besides, I wouldn't want you anywhere near there. Who knows what kind of booby-traps they left behind."

"Okay, then," The blue-eyed teen agreed, somewhat dazed. It was an awful lot to take in, and there was still more coming.

"Why didn't you report the incident to the authorities?" The second reporter piped up, back at City Hall.

"We intended to, but hoped to get some kind of proof, first," Mike explained. "We never did. But, by the next day, we'd seen enough to know that these people had near-complete control over the information that came in and out of our town. Reporting it, without finding a way to go over their heads, would have done no good. It would only serve to alert the G.I.W. to what we knew and what we were trying to do." No need to mention anything about looking into the Fentons, or about Danny's... condition. It might put him in danger.

"Who were the kids who got hit?"

"We don't know," Les replied darkly. "We weren't there when it happened, and no one was able to find any records of it in what's left of the G.I.W.'s database. If there were any, they were likely destroyed."

Team Phantom breathed a collective sigh of relief. At least, they didn't have to worry about the entire town knowing about Sam. That meant their main problem would be finding the other person who'd been hit.

"How did you find out about the mayor?"

"That was, actually, by accident," Mike admitted. "While we were looking into the incident with the G.I.W., -" He resisted the urge to glance back at Skulker. He didn't want to put the ghost in danger. Masters/Plasmius was powerful, in either form. And, he couldn't reveal that the man was half ghost. Not yet. His father had advised them to keep that part under wraps, until they knew how people would react. It could result in attempts on the man's life, - Er, half-life? - before his trial. "- we overheard some ghosts talking about Masters' plan," He lied.

"If the ghosts aren't evil, and they knew about the bomb, why didn't they do anything to stop it?" One reporter asked accusingly. Clark was on her, like feathers on an evil, demonic chicken.

"Because, Masters ghost-proofed the bomb, in case Phantom tried to stop him. And, they couldn't go to the humans, because no one would've believed them, even if they'd managed to find someone who wouldn't run away screaming," The green-eyed boy half-lied, (he was getting good at that,) with an authority that didn't match his short stature, or his baby-face. His expression was almost comical, but it shut the reporter up.

In truth, none of the ghosts had known about the bomb. Not even Skulker. The boys had only found out, while they were spying on the unstable mayor, with their drone. And, they'd still only managed to figure that out, when they read about the G.I.W.'s plan's to steal Masters' device.

"Who were the ghosts you overheard?"

The teens looked at each other. "We would rather not divulge that information, for their own safety," Les replied, firmly, just as Mike's father had advised.

"When did you learn of the G.I.W.'s plans to destroy the ghosts' world?"

"Wednesday. Standing outside of their base, hoping to see something that would give us a clue, Clark's laptop connected to their wifi. Apparently, they'd sent out the information to everyone on their network, and suddenly some of their files were downloading themselves to Clark's computer. Apparently, anyone with a wifi-enabled device could've gotten the same information, had they been within range. Their near-nonexistent security was just another clue that they weren't with the government," Mike half-lied. Using their wifi to get to their database was bad enough, and was just barely admissible in court. No need to mention the whole technically-illegal hacking thing. They hadn't even told the General about that part, though they assumed he already knew. "The data we received was incomplete, but the implications they made were enough for my father to get a search warrant. When he and his men arrived at the G.I.W.'s base, the people inside refused to let them in. When the soldiers pressed, the agents became violent," Mike explained.

"How did you discover the device that supposedly makes ghosts belligerent?"

"Records of it were in the information we received from the G.I.W.'s database," Clark responded.

"So, have you actually been inside the G.I.W.'s base?"

"No. We stood in the trees, just outside of it. Their security was terrible, so the main problem we had was remaining unnoticed. We had only hoped to see or overhear something that could help. But, God must've been looking out for us, because we got exactly what we needed to put a stop to this madness," Les answered.

The screen cut back to the studio. "So, all this time, the ghosts just needed a Snickers bar?" Lance said, seeming almost disappointed. Shelly nearly choked on her coffee.

"Uh, Lance," The cameraman's disembodied voice called.


"We're live."

"...Oh... Oops," He said, adjusting his hair and tie.

"Well, with ghosts like Danny Phantom around, I think we can all agree that not all ghosts are evil," Shelly picked up, catching her breath and regaining her composure.

"Not sure I would trust just any ghost, but I sure hope things'll calm down, now that the G.I.W.'s angry-machine is out of commission," Lance noted, leaning in to be center of the screen, his chair bumping against Shelly's. The newswoman glared at him.

"That's right, Lance," She said, bumping him back, his chair flying out of the camera's view.



"No fair!" Lance whined, from somewhere off-screen.

The anchorwoman grinned, innocently, claiming the center of the desk. "Well, if what the General says is correct, it looks like Amity Park may be the first city to become allies with ghosts. How's that for exciting? I wonder how things will go, now that the rest of the world will actually hear about our paranormal activity. Hopefully, there'll be more on that, later. For now, I'm Shelly Makamoto, -"

"- And, I'm Lance Thunder! -" The male newscaster called, still out of sight.

"- And, this has been Ghost-Watch."


Danny switched off the TV, as he and the others stared at the blank screen, their mouths agape. "...So... What do we do, now?" Tucker finally asked.

"...Anybody want pizza?" Jack offered. Several affirmatives rang out around the room.

"But, how are the cops gonna hold Vlad, if he can just walk through walls?" Ellie wondered aloud, trying to hide her anxiety.

Suddenly, the chill that came with a ghostly presence filled the room. Everyone went for the nearest weapon, (some of which were their own hands,) out of reflex. "That won't be a problem."

"Clockwork!" The first three members of Team Phantom shouted.

"So, tell me, again, why you couldn't just tell me all this, earlier?" Danny asked. He was ignored.

"Your 'Geek Squad' knows that Vlad is a half-ghost," The old time-keeper informed, instead.

"WHAT!?" The people in the room shouted, for the third time in the past hour.

"So, all of his, erm, accommodations are resistant to both humans and ghosts." The others looked relived.

"So, we don't have to worry about him coming back?" Ellie asked hopefully.

"No, child. He's gone, for good." The little girl relaxed, and hugged her new brother. "The geeks also know that Danny and Ellie are ghosts."


"But, they're under the impression that you're full-ghosts, and are completely unaware of your secret identities. For now."

"Again, you couldn't tell me this sooner, why?"

"Because, it could have upset the timeline."

"How would me knowing two hours sooner effect anything?"

"...Alright. Maybe I just like messing with you. Besides, if you'd known about the videos at the news station sooner, you might've tried to gain access earlier than you should." The boy opened his mouth to protest, but was interrupted. "And, even if I'd told you only part of the situation, it wouldn't have made any sense, without knowing the rest."

"To be fair, it doesn't make too much sense, knowing all of it," Tucker pointed out.

"...So, what should we do about the geeks?" Sam asked, concerned.

"Nothing." Again, the people in the room seemed ready to protest. But, before they could, another time portal opened before them, flashing through moments from the past week. The kids were clearly involved in some of them, but had absolutely no idea that the geeks had been there. And, poor Danny didn't remember any of it.


"So, which is it? Is a person, who says they're a spy, a real spy or a fake spy?"

"We're going to need more information."


"I know what I saw."

"Dude, do you have any idea how crazy that sounds?"

"I know what I saw."


"And, why would they need a tank?"

"I dunno- 'Delusional'. I heard 'delusional'."

"And, Gray said 'mind'. Some kind of gas that effects the brain, do you think?"

"Wait. Did he just say 'cockroaches'?"

"And, 'sick'. I definitely heard 'sick'."


"Guys, I-"

"She was stuck in a tree!"

"Hit the deck!"




"It's definitely interesting. And, she goes by 'Ellie', now."

"Buffalo Kid."

"That's nice, Danny."

The group in FentonWorks watched, in horror, as Danny's head spun around backwards, to look at a thoroughly-terrified Clark.


"But, judging by Danny's behavior the past few days, I'm worried that whoever it is might've already completed the device. And, I'm afraid they might've tested it on Danny."


"What did you see? The sooner we know, the sooner we can start on making it right."

"...I think Danny Fenton is a ghost."


"Please, Danny. If they're threatening you, we can protect you."

"Well, we know some people who can protect you.".


"Just... know that you can come to us... Okay?"


"So, you saw the Ghost-Boy, Monday?"

"Yeah, nobody's seen Phantom, since Friday. Do you guys know where he is?"


"I don't trust those girls."

"None of us do, Mike. But, we gotta have proof, before we can do anything."

"I don't have proof. But, I might know somewhere we can find some."


The portal cut to Valerie and Sam fighting Skulker. Suddenly, while their backs were turned, Lester appeared from under a desk. He ran forward, grabbing Danny and sprinting for the door.

"How- How do you do this sort of thing?"

"Marshmallow army in the trapezoid bicycle. Helicopter angels ride the monster whales."


"Maltese acorns bid for the honeycomb crowns... Honeycomb crowns."

"Honeycomb crowns. Right. ...Best. Day. EVER!"


The portal cut away, again. This time, to Boxy's attack on gym class. Danny was sitting down in the floor, right in the middle of the fight. Then, Mikey dove into him, saving him from a particularly nasty ecto-blast.


"She still lead him straight to where Danny was."

"Not to mention, the rest of the Juniors."

"If he's sick, he's likely in a weakened state. Wouldn't it have been better to call Manson to wherever she was?"

"If she was running, there was no telling where she would be, by the time Manson got to her location from the time of the call. Manson, on the other hand, would likely still be in the gym, since she wasn't running from a ghost. It's also possible that Gray didn't even know Manson was here, and was simply running for her life. Your theory is good, Mike. I hope you're wrong, but it is good. But, I'm not going to condemn them, until I know, for certain, that they're a danger to Danny. If they're really not involved, it's incredibly possible that they're victims in all this."


"Alright, Mr. Schwartz. What the heck happened?"

"We were in P.E., when Gray crashes through the doors, being chased by The Box Ghost, of all creatures. Everyone starts running and screaming. Clark, Mike, Danny, and I hid behind the bleachers, and saw Stu passed out on the other side of the room. I guess he fainted. Then, he woke up, screamed, ran into the door frame, and left. Meanwhile, Manson and Gray are in the middle of the room, dodging blasts from the ghost. Clark and Mike left their ecto-weapons in their bags, in the locker room. Danny likely had some, but everyone knows he's terrified of ghosts. I had mine on me, but couldn't find a way to help, without getting fried."


"I hate to admit it, but I think he's right. But, are we sure we can't go to Mr. Lancer?"

"I want to. I have no doubt he'd be on our side. But, if he tells us to leave this alone, things could take a very bad turn. We're just going to have to be men about this. And, real men take risks, outside of strategy games. Especially, when it involves protecting a friend."


"Where is the ghost-child?"

"I- I don't know what you're talking about."

"Don't play dumb, with me. I know he was with you, earlier."


"Yes! My employer is growing impatient with me! Tell me where he is!"


"Are you sure this is gonna work?"

"No. But, what other choice do we have? We can't just let him run loose."

"Especially when he's after Danny."

"But, what if it can't hold him?"


"Guess that answers that question."


"...Is- ...Is he even stable?"

"I've heard of mood swings, but seriously..."

"How did this not show up, during the polls?"


"What's going on!? Where'd he go!?"

"I don't know!"

"What was that flash?"


"What do you children think you're doing!?"


"What was that?"

"Clark, what did you do!?"

"I'm stopping this madness, once and for all."

"...How can we help?"


The portal closed. "I can assure you that Mikey, Lester, and Clark are, in no way, a danger to your secret. In fact, they've already gone to incredible lengths, trying to protect you. Not as the town hero, but as just another kid from school. They were under the impression that you were in danger from the G.I.W., as well as your parents," Clockwork explained. "Though, like Miss Gray, now that they know of the existence of half-ghosts, it will not take long for them to discover that Danny Fenton and Danny Phantom are one and the same. And, once they know that, it will be only a short jump to Ellie."

"So, should we just tell them?"

"The choice is yours. They will keep your secret, regardless. Though, your team already includes eight people. Would eleven be so bad?" And, with that message out of the way, the annoying clock-man disappeared, again.

"...IS HE ALWAYS LIKE THAT?" Mr. Fenton asked, somewhat dazed.

"Yep," Three of the teens replied dryly.


"I dunno. Mike, Lester, and Clark did risk their lives to help me, and to save the town... Maybe I should see what they do, first."

"Well, it certainly would make talking to Mikey's father simpler. But, it's your choice, Sweetie," Mrs. Fenton said, kissing her son on the forehead.

"I like 'em," Ellie commented, floating up to hug her father's neck from behind, dangling from his shoulders.

Danny smiled. "I do, too. But, I'll figure it out, when I see them, Monday."

"I hear dat!" Tucker cried. "After all this drama and time-junk, I'm in serious need of some mindless TV! So, is movie night still on, or what?" He asked, looking to the Fenton parents.

Maddie thought about it a moment, noticing how dark it had grown, outside. "Well, it's getting pretty late..."

"Awwwww," The others in the room, including her husband, chorused.

"...But, I think we could squeeze in one movie." She smiled, as cheers erupted around her.

"Clark, what are you doing?" Mike asked, as his friend pulled up an image-editing program, on his laptop.

"Testing a theory," He replied, simply, importing a picture of their class from the school year book, and zooming in on Danny. His friends stood over each of his shoulders, as he inverted the image's colors.

The boys gasped, and stared.

Then, Lester took the device from his green-eyed friend. He closed the program, declined saving the file, turned off the wifi, and shut the computer off, before removing the battery. Then, he turned to his friends gravely. "This never leaves this room."

Clockwork floated in his lair, watching the three boys. Danny would come around to his secret becoming more widely-know, eventually. Though, the halfa was so full of surprises, it could happen in several ways. One of the possible timelines even involved a glowing, green asteroid.

"Everything is as it should be."

He turned to another time-window, which showed events that would take place, several hours in the future. In it, five curious people were packing for a trip, to a supposedly-haunted, little town, in Illinois.

"For now."

The End.

...No, it's not.

AN: Too wordy? Yeah, I was afraid of that...

Hey, everybody! :)

IT'S FINALLY OVER! ...Sorta...

Yeah. I know. But, I seriously think the next book will be the last in this series... Probably. Well, at least Danny's in his right mind, for the next one :)) So, I hope you'll all check out book three, The Critical Crew. (Stupid title. I know.)

Also, I know I'm 0/2 for good endings, but, hopefully, I'll make up for it with the third book. So, please stick around :))

For those of you wondering, (probably no one,) the scenes in Clockwork's flashback thingy were from chapters 14, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, and 35. (I think. I took a few out, so the list may not be perfect...) Though, you probably already knew where the last few were from :)

Also, I do not own Monopoly, or Snickers, or (just in case I haven't said this, already,) Fruitloops.

As always,
God bless, and I hope you enjoyed! :)
- Ellie