"You can't blame me for this," said Danny. "Literally, you can't blame me for our plan working too well." There was a high-pitched whine from his end of the Fenton Phones, and a small explosion.
Jazz pinched the bridge of her nose. "I know, I know, I'm not trying to play the blame game, but you need to get back here. You're the only one who can handle the ghosts."
"I'm not–" Danny broke off, briefly. "I'm not going to be able to take care of the ghosts. I promised them that they could have cake if they stayed away from the hunters. They did, and Ember helped even more. I can't go back on that promise now!"
"Okay, but the hunters are coming here. What are we going to do about the ghosts then? Even if we convince them they're all in costume, they're too good as costumes! It would be too cool!"
"I think you're still overestimating the coolness of costumes," said Tucker. "It's an easy mistake to make, I know I–"
"Miss Fenton? Jasmine? Oh, there you are," said Mr. Lancer, sounding relieved. "No one had seen you since you went to talk to the ghosts, and– What's wrong?"
Jazz scrubbed her hands over her face and stepped out of the little cubby the end of the row of lockers formed with the oddly-bent corner of the wall. "We got the two shows to give up, but they're coming here instead, for, I don't know, cake as a consolation prize. I don't– I don't know what to do about the ghosts. They'll be here in less than fifteen minutes. I don't know what to do."
"Oh," said Mr. Lancer. "Twelfth Night, we're in it now."
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Forums - Community Alerts - Paranormal Investigators - Community Cake Day
12th Knight (OP): The paranormal investigators are coming to the Community Cake Day. The ghosts are at Community Cake Day. What do we do?"
Cynosure: I can't believe you're posting on the forums while this is going on.
12th Knight: I am a desperate man.
JACK FENTON: THEY'RE AT THE CAKE DAY? DOn'T WORRY WE"LL savE YUl! #
JACK FENTON: AND EaT ACKE!
Mr. Lancer looked up from his phone. "In retrospect, I feel as if I should have known better than to ask advice from the internet."
"Jazz," said Danny, "why did Dad pull out his phone, shout cake, and start running away?"
Jazz would not hold her breath until she fainted. She wasn't even sure that was a thing people could do.
"Okay," said Sam, "ignoring that disturbing comment and why Jazz didn't answer, I– Tucker, what are you doing?"
"He got in again! How did he get in again?"
"Jazz, are they going to cake day? Why are they going to cake day? They cannot be at cake day!"
Tubahater: Could you maybe disguise the ghosts?
The Smart Twin: As what? With what? There's no way they're going to look like anything but ghosts.
CasperQueen: There's always the drama stuff, I guess, assuming it wasn't all destroyed when a certain someone fell into it, like a loser.
Lovestheshow: oooh yeah, I love that trope
Lovestheshow: the one where a character dresses up like a crappy version of themselves
Lovestheshow: yes please tell me you're going to do it!
"Oh, heck," said Tucker, "Nost actually has a point. How is it that the guy who thinks the whole thing is an ARG has a point?"
At this, Jazz pulled out her own phone. "Does he have a point?" she asked.
"Anyone want to fill me in?" asked Danny. "Kind of busy flying."
West of West: Unfortunately, I know for a fact that people are stupid and blind enough to fall for this.
Point25Back: aren't you supposed to be whipping butter nerd?
"Why are all my students on their phones when they're supposed to be baking?" asked Lancer.
"You're on your phone," pointed out Jazz.
West of West: Aren't you supposed to be banned
Nobineryginger: oh ye dude i get you theres all sorts of great tropes like that my faves the one where everyone is dressed the same at a party and so when the baddies try to find the heroes they gotta unmask everyone but its all just normal people its like a switcheroo so sweet
"I can't believe it, they do have a point," said Jazz, out loud.
"Please, can someone fill me in? At least on what I can do? I'm still trying to distract, but– Ah! I can disengage whenever you want me!"
"Keep distracting them for now, but be ready to, uh," she looked up at Mr. Lancer, "be yourself but not be yourself again, and to say that you're a different yourself than the yourself they met."
"I hate that I understood that," said Danny.
"Okay," said Jazz, "we need the drama class."
[Video starts, showing a crowd of people of various ages in a school cafeteria. Most of the people are either children or middle aged. There are several people sitting at the front of the room. Static obscures many of their features, but they all appear to be glowing and have odd skin tones. The video is shaky.
WOMAN #1: Damn, I should have gotten a better camera, this one is spazzing out. But the phone one is bad, too…
The angle of the camera changes slightly, and shows a low-angle profile of a woman.
WOMAN #2: Bought it out of town?
WOMAN #1: Yeah, why?
WOMAN #2: Takes a while for them to get used to the ectoplasm. Give it a week and it'll be fine.
WOMAN #1: That doesn't help much now. I wanted to film Ashley breaking a world record.
WOMAN #2: I'm sure someone else is filming, too. You could ask around, later.
A door in the corner of the cafeteria opens, and the camera turns towards them. A group of teenagers comes out. One of them, a girl with long red hair and a large amount of flour on her shirt, is carrying a megaphone.
TEENAGER: Hello, Amity Park! I know you're looking forward to cake, but we have an additional surprise for you all. This is now a costume party! The drama class will be bringing you your costumes shortly. Thank you for cooperating and making this Community Cake Day a success.
The teenager lowers the microphone, and joins the other teenagers, who have started swarming the glowing people.
WOMAN #2: When was the last time you checked the forums?
Danny dropped through the ceiling into the bathroom and transformed. He pulled back on the fake hazmat and grimaced as he noticed a tear. Maybe he could– Could he do a partial? He'd never done a partial like that before on purpose–
"There you are!" shouted Jazz.
"Oh gosh," said Danny. "This is the boy's ba–"
"That doesn't matter! Come on!"
"But there's a tear–"
Jazz shrieked in frustration and shoved a fake Danny Phantom top at him. The gloves and belt were sewn on, and it looked very crooked.
"Where did this even come from?" he whispered. "Did you make this?"
"No, there were about fifty of them backstage of the theater, but no one fit this one. It's too small."
Danny, who had gotten it on over his head with no effort, glared at her, but then the rest of her words sank in. "Fifty? Why does the drama class have fifty of these?"
"I don't want to know, do you? If it makes you feel better, it was right next to the surplus Ember stuff."
It did not make Danny feel better.
Even so, he let Jazz continue to herd him into the cafeteria and then sit him between Lunch Lady (dusted in flour and looking very pleased with herself) and Kitty, which was really unfair, he thought. At least it wasn't between Spectra and Skulker.
"Jazz," said Danny, eyeing the cafeteria. "Do you want to tell me the plan, now?"
"I would also like to know the plan," said Kitty, who was currently wearing cat ears and badly done facepaint.
"You're all just people dressing up as ghosts," said Jazz, "like mascots. Because it will get you free cake. Danny, you're not the same person they ran into earlier, got it? You're someone different."
Danny definitely needed a few quiet minutes to process all this, but it almost, sort of, kind of, made sense. "We're making them think everyone is a fake. Just more fake ghosts. Not even original fake ghosts."
"Yeah," said Jazz.
"But– But what about Mom and Dad? You know what they're like."
"Don't worry about it," said Jazz.
"I'm worrying about it."
"I'm worrying about it, too, actually," said Sam, who sounded very out of breath. "Any of you guys seen Val and Dani yet?"
"No," said Danny. They must still be at the hospital.
"Listen," said Jazz, "someone else will take care of it. You just sit here and eat cake."
"Isn't that what Marie Antoinette said?" asked Danny.
Jazz made a face. "You really do only know the one historical quote, don't you?"
"Heh, she's got you there," said Kitty.
"And you do need to eat more," said Lunch Lady, pinching his cheek.
"Fine," said Danny, "but don't blame me when things go wrong with whatever you're planning!"