Hello there! This will be my first multi-chapter fic. Please review!
I don't own Danny Phantom. The rights for that belong to Nickelodeon.
Chapter 1: An Assembly
It was supposed to be a safety assembly. One that Danny had actually approved of. Even looked forward to, a little bit. Casper High desperately needed a plan for when ghosts attacked, and it certainly would have been nice if the staff and students had actually learned how to handle the weaker ghosts. As it was the 'plan' was run around screaming until Phantom showed up, and apart from Sam, Tucker, Jazz, Valerie, and, of course, Danny himself, the only one who had shown anything akin to competence when faced with a ghost was Mr Lancer.
So, yeah. Danny had been looking forward to the assembly. Anything that took some of the pressure off of him, right?
It had started off well enough for a school assembly. Principal Ishiyama had gone over ghost attack evacuation and lock down procedures. They weren't overwhelmingly brilliant, but they were pretty straightforward, and far better than nothing. The school had bought a ghost shield, and had installed it in the gym. It wasn't nearly large enough to cover the whole school, but Danny was cautiously optimistic about its ability to deter ghosts and protect the student body.
But this was Danny's life. Nothing in it ever went well for long.
And of course the school had decided to invite Amity Park's premier (only) official ghost hunters.
Danny had known that his parents were going to come. How could he not? He lived with them. He had just hoped that they would be reasonable about the whole thing. More than hoped. He had asked his mother what they had planned. So he knew that right now, they were supposed to be demonstrating safe use of Fenton Wrist-Rays, inviting students down to take shots at targets set up across the gym, passing out fliers for lessons, talking about how to hide from or otherwise avoid ghosts.
They were doing none of those things.
Instead of doing what they had planned, instead of doing what Danny would have liked them to do, they were rambling on about their ghost weapons. All of which they had apparently brought with them. To school. They had already gone through all the ones that Danny was comfortable using in battle, and now he and his friends were amusing themselves by classing the weapons as 'disturbing,' and 'vaguely horrifying.'
"Horrifying," said Danny without hesitation as his mother pulled out something that looked like a three neon-pink didgeridoos taped together.
"I'd call it that just for the color," said Sam.
"What does it do?" asked Tucker.
"Mom's saying," said Danny.
"Yeah, but even I can't parse her technobable." He paused. "I can barely hear her technobable. Doesn't she realize that no one is listening anymore?" He gestured to the chattering students seated on the bleachers below them. The three of them were seated at the very top.
Danny shrugged. "It screws with strand communication and plasmic ectosignature reception. Basically paralyzes everything downstream from where it hits," he explained. "Like if there was something that'd temporarily sever your nerves."
"That doesn't sound too bad, unless it hit your head, or something."
"Yeah, until you remember that the those two things are typically what determines what a ghost's body looks like and whether or not it sticks together. Slowly disintegrating a person? Horrifying."
"Sounds like something you should get rid of," said Sam, darkly.
"I would," muttered Danny, "but I already get rid of so much other stuff."
"Yeah. I've got seven categories for FentonWorks stuff. Actually useful, useless, useful for ghost fighting, disturbing, vaguely horrifying, avoid at all costs, and destroy immediately. Oh, and the bonus ones that can apply to anything, 'unnecessarily painful,' and 'unnecessarily dangerous.' Jazz and I only mess with stuff from the last two categories. Because, honestly? Most of the stuff they make is disturbing or worse."
"Harsh," said Tucker.
"But true. I love them, but Ancients, if they'd at least safety check half of this stuff- hold it."
"I don't recognize that one," he said, pointing at the third to last weapon on the cart. It was awfully sleek for something new, and the hairs on the back of Danny's neck were standing up just looking at it. "Hey, Jazz." He poked his sister, who looked up, annoyed, from her book. "Do you recognize that?"
"No," said Jazz, slowly. "I don't. It must be new. Or maybe really old?"
"Looking like that?"
"Is it really that weird that you don't know what it is? I mean, its like, one, out of fifty," asked Sam.
"Remember that time your parents took you shopping and made you try on all the floral dresses in the store? And then bought them? So they could threaten to make you wear them?"
"Okay, okay. Burned into my memory. I get it."
"But they brought it to school, how bad could it be?"
"Tucker, for real, man?"
"Last week we sabotaged something that was supposed to cause ghosts to spontaneously combust," said Jazz. "Before that it was the addictive light bulb."
"I'm so glad that was theoretically unsound to begin with."
"And the thing that made ghosts think their obsessions were under attack. Why they keep trying to make that, I can't even begin to understand."
"Don't forget the whole 'let's plant blood blossoms in the garden this year' debacle."
"That was last month, though."
"I'm so glad I had an allergic reaction to the seed oil."
"Shhh, they're about take it out now."
The group of four turned their attention back to the adult Fentons. Jack was taking the sleek, silver gun from its place on the cart. It looked rather small in his hands, but they all knew that Jack Fenton's massive frame tended to warp perspective.
"And now!" said the large man in his booming voice. "For the moment you've all been waiting for! The grand finale!"
This had the effect of drawing the attention of the other students, and bringing the noise level down to a dull roar. Jack grinned widely.
"This here is the best thing we've made since the Fenton Portal!"
Well. Danny certainly hoped that it wasn't going to be as painful as the portal. Mutters around the gym showed that other people weren't too sure how to feel about a thing that was being compared to something that many blamed for the preponderance of ghosts in Amity Park.
"Its been a special project of ours," added Maddie cheerily. "A top secret project." This attracted the attention of the high schoolers once again.
"Yeah! So that those pesky ghosts don't sabotage it!"
Danny cringed internally.
"We've been working on it for months, so now I'd like to present to you the-"
Like they needed a machine to do that.
"Jack, honey, I thought we had agreed that we can't call it that."
Maddie gave in to Jack's puppy dog eyes and waved her husband on.
This is of course when Danny's ghost sense went off. He sighed, heavily. Of course a ghost would come and bother this assembly. "Hey, guys, I just got a chill."
"Want backup?" asked Jazz.
"Nah, just cover for me," said Danny even as he dropped down to the lower, in-between section of the bleachers, and crawled into the gap between that and the seat in front of them.
"Hey, ten bucks says it's Technus," he heard Tucker say above him as he climbed down the metal bars behind the bleachers.
His parents were still talking, but he was having trouble hearing them now that he was back here. Something about how ghosts were monsters who couldn't feel pain, or joy or anything. He tuned them out. It was more important to find somewhere inconspicuous to change, and get whatever ghost it was to leave. He'd thought about changing behind the bleacher, but with the way that the bleachers were constructed, everyone would see the light from his rings, and he really was trying to be better about that.
He got to the gym floor, went out the maintenance door, and looked up and down the hallway, listening carefully for anyone who might be watching. Then he changed, turned invisible and floated up and back though the wall into the gym.
He had just passed the intercom speaker when the thing made an awful, squawking sound. He whirled, ready to fight, but it was still just a speaker.
"Wazzup that's going down my home bros!"
Danny slapped himself in the face. Oh my gosh, he was even worse than before.
"I, Technus, master of all things electronic and beeping, am in the housy-house!"
Fine. So Technus was either in the intercom, or in the PA room. The first was harder to check, harder to deal with overall, actually, although Danny didn't know why Technus would want to posses the school's intercom system, so Danny decided to check the PA room first. So he flew in that direction-
-Only to run face first into the brand new ghost shield.
He was so surprised that he lost his hold on his invisibility. Of course someone had turned on the shield- … Or not? No one was standing anywhere near the generator.
Instinctively, he dropped several feet to avoid getting hit by an ectoblast. Technus? No. His parents.
"Hahahahahaha! I have you trapped in with the humans now, ghost child! The hunters! As you would say, you're all tied up! Hahahaha! You shouldn't have connected the master on-off switch to the principal's room! Now I will be free to-!" Another ectoblast hit the speaker. Danny could have groaned at the poor timing. Technus's propensity towards shouting out his plans is what made him an easy fight. If he didn't know what Technus was doing, this would be very tedious even after he got out.
Danny dodged another blast. At least they hadn't used the new gun yet. "Look, can you guys stop? I only came here to- Ouch!" He scowled and flickered out of visibility. He didn't want to power down the ghost shield- it would keep Technus out of the gym- so he had to find a place to change back to human and then sneak out.
"Quick, Jack, get the Fenton Revealer!"
Heck, that was the one that expunged invisibility. Maybe the locker rooms? Yeah, that would work. Assuming that nobody was making out, or hiding in there. Like they usually did during an assembly. But he didn't really have time to think of a better spot. His mom's finger was on the trigger of the new gun, and he really didn't want to find out what it did. He rocketed towards the boy's locker room.
And smacked into the ghost shield again.
(He didn't understand why his parents had made it so hard to see! The ones that glowed green worked just fine!)
He didn't loose invisibility this time, but he was shocked. Figuratively speaking. The shield wasn't supposed to be here, at least according to Principal Ishiyama's presentation. He quickly estimated the curve of the shield. If it was here, then most of the student body was outside of it.
This had Technus written all over it.
Jack hit the button on the Fenton Revealer, and Danny immediately took evasive action. His mother was too good a shot for him to do anything else. He really, really did not want to get hit by that new gun, especially when he discovered that the blasts it fired were an awful shade of puce.
Except note that most of the school had run off, taking shelter in the locker rooms or behind the bleachers. Most. Not all. For reasons he could not quite comprehend, a certain subset of the school population (aka Danny's class and a few other idiots) had chosen to run towards the people firing guns. The Fenton's weapons were designed not to hurt humans, but everyone in Amity Park knew how often their prototypes malfunctioned.
Sam, Tucker, and Jazz were nearby, too, but they were his team. Also, they were doing something productive: trying to get close enough to the shield generator to shut it off. Unlike the others, who were just giving him extra anxiety.
Then it happened. Danny had been bobbing up and down to avoid the blasts, trying to stay away from the students, but he lingered in one spot a moment too long. He caught movement out of the corner of his eye- a person, although he had no idea who- when at the same time, on the opposite side, Maddie fired.
He couldn't move. If he did whoever was behind him would get hit. As much as Danny didn't want to find out what it would do to him, he didn't want to take the risk that his parents hadn't quite 'human-proofed' the new weapon.
The sickly red bolt hit him dead on.