The original idea isn't mine! It belongs to Teribane! Also, I don't own Danny Phantom! The series would be longer and still cranking out new episodes if I did, as Yu-Gi-Oh would if I owned that, which I don't.
Kaiba Seto, CEO of KaibaCorp, owner of the only three existing Blue Eyes White Dragon cards - or at least ones that were still intact - apparent reincarnation of a High Priest from ancient Egypt - although that was according to a complete nutcase, so he wasn't going to believe it just like that - and general all-around smartass, stalked through a corridor with his trench coat billowing behind him. Oh, and he was grumbling. Silently, maybe, not showing any sign of it to the bumbling scientists in front of him, but he was still grumbling.
This was ridiculous. They didn't have a separate building for their lab. There was a horrible, garish neon sign attached to the outside of their house. They believed in ghosts, for goodness sake, and that it was their duty to hunt them.
The things he did for his company
And he was doing it for his company. Ridiculous and insane these two might be, but they were geniuses. Perhaps it was because they were insane, since they kept doing things no sane man would even think of trying.
Amidst all their ludicrous ghost-hunting weapons, there was a gold-mine. There were things that could make KaibaCorp... well, not rich, or famous, since it already was those things. But even more so. And they had agreed to give him that technology, and any more in the vein that they invented in the future - apparently, unless it was ghost-related, it was of no use to them - in exchange for funding them, what for them must be a fortune but for him was a meager sum simply to be payed once a year. Nothing compared to what he would make with it.
Not that he was complaining.
Technically, now that he'd seen this technology, he could probably reproduce it. But the trouble, time, and money it would take to do so was a lot more than what the Fentons wanted. Besides, he preferred a definite yes to a probably.
All that should have been left was to sign the contract. But it was KaibaCorp policy to screen all their business partners and fundees thoroughly. Hence, the visit to the lab.
Shaking himself out of his thoughts, Kaiba glimpsed a black-haired boy, perhaps a year his junior, peering curiously at him out of the kitchen. Surprisingly enough, he didn't twitch when the CEO glared at him, although his eyes widened for a moment before he glared back. Kaiba smirked. Interesting.
"Mr. Kaiba, the lab is this way," Mrs. Fenton said, hovering anxiously in front of him. Although she wasn't afraid of him, specifically, either, just worried about whether the contract would go through - perhaps it ran in the family? In any case, Kaiba could respect such a woman. Even if he still thought she was crazy.
He proceeded down the stairs, glancing about the laboratory. He wasn't exactly impressed with what he saw - cluttered, messy, but as long as it got the work done..."And this," blathered the husband happily, "Is the Ghost Portal. It works on an ectoplasmic principle - which it pulls through from the other side - although for it to stay active it still needs some power from here. And then there's the filter-"
Kaiba rolled his eyes. And here we go with the ghosts again.
Conveniently enough, it was then the lights flickered and died. With a whine, the flickering green lights of the so-called "Ghost Portal" shrank into themselves and winked out.
There was silence. Then Kaiba asked, in a rather icy tone, "And what was that?"
Maddie frowned, glancing up at the dark ceiling of the lab. "That was AmityPark's electric lines going out again. We've been having some problems." Because of ghosts, she stopped herself from adding.
"You don't even have a backup generator." It didn't sound like a question, more a statement. A scathing one.
"In case you haven't noticed, we're broke. There was a reason we were looking for funding," Maddie said sweetly, reaching out for Jack's arm. Speaking of ghosts...
"Hm," the CEO grunted noncommittally, but he sounded vaguely impressed with her daring.
"I'll go upstairs and see if there's anything we can do. Would you mind staying here?" There! There was Jack, who sounded uncomfortably silent in the impending almost-argument. "We'll be back in a moment," Maddie added, dragging her husband upstairs.
She didn't bother to add a warning not to touch anything. First of all, she doubted he'd be that stupid, not if the rumours she'd heard about him designing at least a few of his company's inventions were true. Second, nothing would be happening until the power was back.
As soon as she had pulled Jack up to the second floor, she whirled on him. "Do not screw this up for us," she hissed quietly.
"What?" Jack queried, honestly confused.
"Yes, he doesn't believe in ghosts. He's not the first and probably not the last. We don't need him to believe in ghosts, and he's not going to be staying in AmityPark long enough for it to matter. And he's not the kind of person we can convince easily. You might end up making him decided we're more insane than he already thinks we are and then he'll leave."
Jack's mouth formed a small "o" shape and, reluctantly, he nodded. He didn't like not being able to share his interest with others, but if Maddie thought this was this important...
Still. "I don't like him."
Maddie sighed and reached up to rub her forehead. "Honestly? Neither do I. He's got an ego that should be far too big for a single body to contain, and I've heard some pretty bad stories about what happened to his predecessor. But it's this or military funding."
They both shuddered. Little to no freedom in what they made, full rights to their inventions automatically gone, and well, call Maddie naive but she didn't want things she built with her own hands causing the deaths of other people. Ghosts were different, they were already dead and they were all, with no exceptions, evil. But innocent people, who had joined the army for an education or to help their families, and just happened to be unlucky enough to be on the recieving end of a gun - a gun with her technology...
No. Not an option.
"No matter how much I dislike him, at least I know he won't use it for weapons," she said, gesturing towards the lab. "He was the one to change his company over to gaming, after all. And he'll be giving us free reign, more or less. We'll still be able to work on our ghost-hunting."
She paused as her husband groaned, agreeing slowly. "What I'm more worried about is that the Portal was open. Didn't we leave it locked?"
Jack closed his eyes, thinking. "That is weird. I could've sworn..."He stopped, shaking his head. "Might as well see if we can do anything about the power."
Kaiba watched out of the corner of his vision as the duo escaped upstairs, his eyes already adapting to the darkness. A perfect opportunity to look around without them jumping at his heels like sheepdogs.
He turned to the desk, glancing curiously down at the objects on it. Scraps of metal, wires, one or two containers full of that strange green fluid that seemed to be glowing slightly even in the black, and, strangely enough, an open thermos. He peered into it carefully, deciding not to risk touching it - mechanical, wired insides, although he couldn't even begin to guess at the point. Perhaps it was supposed to be a miniature drink heater?
Shifting his gaze upwards, he stared in perplexity at the guns hung on the wall, insides in various states of construction. More of their ghost-hunting toys. He snorted.
He swished around and strode over to... the "Ghost Portal," if he wasn't mistaken - smirking. At the risk of repeating himself, how ridiculous. But he couldn't help be drawn to it. Whatever it actually did, it had looked intriguing, with its flashy green lights and swirling patterns.
He couldn't help thinking that Mokuba would have loved all this ghost nonsense. His little brother wouldn't have been able to restrain himself from poking around, and there would probably be explosions by now.
His smirk softened minutely. Mokuba had been very tired, and Kaiba had only been able to extract a promise from him to remain at the hotel and rest in return for another, that Kaiba himself would report on anything even remotely interesting. It wasn't that hard of a promise to make.
Kaiba leaned into the Portal's mouth as something caught his eye.
"Is that an on-off button? What is it doing inside the -"
The lights turned on suddenly, the glare burning his night-adapted eyes. He winced internally, lifting his arm to shield –
He didn't even have time to flinch before the Ghost Portal blazed to glowing green life around him.
A certain Danny Fenton jumped as a wisp of cold air forced itself from his mouth, dropping his pencil onto the page of math problems he'd been struggling with. He sat up, gaze flicking around suspiciously - another ghost? But he'd only just gotten rid of the last one!
Well, he knew it was nothing on the roof. His parents had gone up there a few minutes ago, to see if they could figure out anything with the power. Not that he'd noticed - it wasn't dark yet, a nice sunny afternoon, so he'd been sitting by the window to do his homework.
He sighed miserably. Such a great day, and he was stuck inside, doing, of all things, algebra.
Anyways! He'd have heard some fuss if the ghost was up there with them. So that left two things - it hadn't reached here yet, or - it was in the lab.
He frowned down at the lab's door. Come to think of it, he'd felt a sort of weird... echo from there at the same time as his ghost sense.
Muffled swearing drifted up. Well, that clinched it. He had to go take a look.
Slipping from the chair, he looked warily at the ceiling again. He wasn't going to risk going ghost yet, not unless he had no alternative. Padding silently to the door, he opened it and -It was that company guy. The one who'd glared at him in this disturbing, hostile way, and then seemed to approve of the way he hadn't reacted by running away with a girly scream.
Danny had fought ghosts. He'd battled an almost omnipotent king. He'd fought himself as an evil overlord in the future, and that was something he'd rather not discuss again thank you very much. A glare wasn't going to scare him. Although he had been somewhat interested by the fact that the guy was about his age, and already working full-time - and, if he'd heard his mother correctly, actually owned a company. Himself.
And now this same person was leaning against a wall, cursing, clutching at his side. There were weird green burns on his dramatic white trench coat thing - can we say "I'm looking for attention!" anyone? - smoke rising from it.
Danny glanced at the glowing, just-turned-back-on Ghost Portal, back at the teenager, then at the Portal again. Slowly, his mind connected the dots. Oh no, he moaned silently, don't tell me...
"Hey, are you alright?" he called out.
The brunette started, straightening and almost all signs of pain disappearing from his face. He glared up at Danny on the stairs, and started to snarl, "I -"
It sounded sort of slurred. He growled, turned his head to the side to spit blood out of his mouth - Danny realizing he'd bitten his tongue hard to keep from screaming as the Portal turned on - and repeated, "I am fine."
This was immediately contradicted when he suddenly fell straight through the wall.