Danny Fenton's tragic end sparked off a series of deaths. Eventually, the halfa's death was avenged,but it's not the end that matters--it's the journey. Who made it?
Format inspired by the Star Trek: The Next Generation novel Imzadi by Peter David.
These Are the Killed
A Danny Phantom Fanfiction
By Jade Dixon
She would never escape the blood now; it would stain her hands until the day she died--and perhaps beyond. She wept; not with distress, guilt, or even grief, but instead with an overwhelming sense of relief. It was over now, finally she could rest.
Just like Vlad Masters could rest, forever wearing a Fenton Specter-Deflector around his waist, and a bullet in his skull...
Just like Tucker Foley could rest, electrocuted by a prototype super-PDA that had an electrical fault...
Just like Maddie and Jack Fenton could rest, may they turn into the ghosts they had so despised and get a taste of their own medicine...
...but not like Danny Fenton, who would never be able to rest--betrayed by all those he loved.
Twenty-Four Hours before The End
Alcohol had flowed freely at the party, but Vlad Masters was a master of self-control. While he always had a glass in hand, and the glass was always full, it was never actually depleted. It was a prop, nothing more or less, but it had served its purpose well.
As evidenced by the nubile young woman who had plastered herself all over him. Far beyond the point of "tipsy", she assumed the man she was, ahem, seducing was just as plastered as she was. The stench of alchohol on her breath was mildly repulsive, but her other--attributes--more than made up for it, he smirked in his own head.
The moment they made it through the door her hands were immediately fumbling for his belt, although it seemed to be giving her some trouble. He stepped out of their embrace for a moment, giving his eager little nymph a gallant smile while he opened his mouth to offer her his assistance.
He never had a chance to figure out what he noticed first: the slight tingle that began to sweep through him from the Spector-Deflector she had just finished attaching, or the triumphant smirk on her face.
He never did notice the gun, with the silencer attached to its nozzle, nestled in her hand. By then the bullet had already gone through his brain.
And the man who had started all these deaths in motion was the final one to fall to the ground, never to rise again.
Slaughter of Innocents
One week before Penultimate
"Hey, Sam! How's it going?" Tucker asked as the former goth opened the door to her apartment.
She looked tired, was the first thing he noticed as she smiled her own greeting and let him in with the usual pleasantries of being "fine". Her black hair was loose for once, reaching down just past her shoulders, and she brushed at it irritably as it got in her face on the way to the kitchenette. Instead of her normal darkly coloured and form-fitting clothes, the girl was wearing a loose white t-shirt and a pair of sleeping shorts. And unless he missed his guess completely, he was pretty sure he'd seen that her eyes were bloodshot before she'd turned her back to him. She wasn't taking care of herself again.
Not that he couldn't understand that, given what had just happened.
"Beer?" she asked casually as she opened the the door to her fridge, the light turning on merrily despite the somber mood between the two of them.
"Sure," Tucker replied lightly, trying to think of how to bring the subject up without raising his friend's anger, but unable to decide on something. He settled for a light probe to broach the silence that had descended as he accepted and opened the drink while Sam did the same.
"Did you hear about Mr. Fenton?"
"Yeah," she muttered with her eyes lidded, fiddling with the tab of her can as she leaned against her kitchen counter.
Well. That was helpful. He tried another light probe. "Poor Jasmine..."
Samantha just snorted with disdain. "From what I hear, she refused to even see him on his death bed. I hardly think she wants your pity. Maybe she's even celebrating." The sneer in her voice sent chills down his spine, and concern filled him as she suddenly chugged back a mouthful of her own beer. He still tried to approach the subject diplomatically, though.
"I guess she hasn't forgiven them yet then," he murmured as he leaned against the doorjamb, feeling suddenly tired. An echo of old grief weighed on him, but for Sam's sake he was willing to set it aside until he was alone.
"Have you?" she snarled, and Tucker was surprised she wasn't breathing fire from the heat in her voice. "After what they did?! They deserved what they got."
But Tucker could see the trembling in her hands, the shakiness of her voice, and knew that her rage was just a mask for her grief; grief they had both carried for years now.
God only knew that he carried his own anger, his own pain, but he knew that it wouldn't solve anything. And Sam needed him to be the one to guide her away from the dangerous edge she walked. If he weren't reasonable about the whole ordeal, especially after all these years, who else would be?
"Danny wouldn't have wanted it to be like this."
As if the words were a key, all of Sam's locked up emotions came spilling out.
"How could you possibly know what Danny would have wanted?! Danny's dead! And those bastards killed him! Jazz had the right idea distancing herself from those murderers, and you're nothing but a God-damned traitor for sympathizing with them!" Her whole body heaved from the screams she had let loose, and her beer can now rolled with a clatter along her floor, half of its remaining contents covering her living friend.
But the beer soaked into her shirt--Danny's shirt--too, as he moved to hold her when the screams turned to sobs, and she cried into his chest; nonsense and 'he's gone, he left us', over and over. He rubbed gentle circles on her back, and kissed the top her her head in comfort as she slowly calmed down. By the end she was apologizing to him; for her barbed words, for being such a mess, until her whispers eventually petered out and she pulled away, rubbing at her eyes.
"Why do you even put up with me anymore?" she asked in a tiny voice, miles away from the old Sam who didn't care what anybody else thought about her.
"Because we're friends, and that's what friends do," he replied with a grin, which she returned weakly. The silence between them grew, and it was tense because both knew that their friendship had weakened as they moved through high-school and had started their post-secondary education. Both knew that they were only really tied together now by the metaphorical ghost of Danny, by a sense of duty. Sam had isolated herself from the world when her best friend had died, while Tucker had grieved and eventually moved on. But he knew that Sam had not, and so he stayed by her side long after they probably would have drifted apart otherwise.
Tucker was her anchor to the world, and she didn't know what she would do without him. He helped her tame her anger, and was her last connection to Danny. The only other person whom she could possibly talk to about him was Jazz, but the older girl had gone off on her own shortly after Danny's death. They hadn't spoken in years.
As the awkward silence grew, Sam suddenly began to speak in an attempt to break the tension.
"Well, we're both pretty messy right now... I'm going to go change, if you want there's towels in the bathroom so you can clean up..." she babbled as she moved around him to get to her room.
"Hey!" she heard him call out from the living room, obviously foregoing the towels. "Is this the new SuperPDA5000XS?" There was a clatter as he shook the box. "Mind if I check it out?"
"Go right ahead!" she called to him through the door.
By the time she was done changing, Tucker was already dead. She stood over the body of her last friend, and felt a numbness begin to creep in. She knew at that moment, her life was over, even if her body continued to live for years more. She was alone now, and her mind was on the edge of a precipice. It wouldn't take much to just fall...
And all she could think was that Tucker was gone, and her last true exchange with him had been in anger.
Of all the things I've ever lost...
One Week Before the Slaughter of Innocents
"Maddie? Where are you, Maddie?" The grey-haired man called out weakly from his hospital bed. Time had not been kind to him, ravaging both his body and mind as the stress from his family breaking apart finally broke /him/.
Jack Fenton's wife had been dead for two years, and ever since he had started a steady decline into insanity. The nurses whispered amongst themselves that it had perhaps started earlier, but the stronger woman had been able to keep his head straight for him after their son had died. With her gone, and his daughter refusing to see him, there was nothing to stop his fall.
It was a gentle madness. He did not rage or get violent, but in some ways that made it harder to witness. The nurses, his only visitors, could not feel the least bit fear for the large man they took care of; they had nothing to give them distance.
He played with action figures, fighting off the ghosts that plagued Amity Park; he reverted to child-like behaviour like sleeping with a teddy-bear and sucking his thumb; he explained the function and steps for safe use of machines that were not there; he talked to "Jazzy-pants" and "Danny" and always always "Maddie". His child-like enthusiasm for his former profession had brought tears to the eyes of, and transfer requests from, more than one new nurse.
Despite his apparent happiness, his physical body was deteriorating, and nothing they did seemed to be able to slow it down. He was dying right in front of their eyes, and they could do nothing to help the gentle giant.
The night nurse heard his cry for his dearly departed wife, but ignored it with long practice. If she went in, it would get him excited and take him even longer to get to sleep. With his fragile condition he needed the rest more than he needed the company.
Eventually he did quiet down, and she turned her thoughts to other things, completely forgetting about him for the time being.
"I'm here, Jack," the woman at the window responded with a gentle smile. Jack Fenton looked up, and saw his wife wreathed in beautiful sunlight. "You don't need to keep yelling."
The big man bounded from the bed--or at least, he tried to bounce up from the bed. All he managed was to raise his head from the pillow a bit, before slumping down in exhaustion.
Confusion danced across Jack's face as he tried to figure out what was restraining him. "Maddie, I can't get up!" He squirmed a bit, but found no position to provide him with the leverage he sought. "What going on?" And because he wouldn't be Jack Fenton otherwise, "Is it a ghost?"
Maddie--beautiful Maddie!--grimaced briefly before leaving the window to stand at his bedside. A light breeze came in through the window she had left ajar. He shivered in the cool air.
"No," she whispered kindly, stroking his hair back from his forehead. "No ghost. It's been six years since you've fought any ghosts. And now the only ghosts you'll fight will be your brethren." Jack didn't understand her words, but she looked so happy that he couldn't help but smile back.
His wife walked around his bed, and fiddled with one of the machines monitoring his health. Then she returned to his side, pulling out one of his pillows, fluffing in slowly as she spoke to him again.
"You're dying, Jack. A slow wasting death that will leave you with many many regrets as you cling to this world. You will become a ghost at the rate you're dwindling."
Panic shot through the man. His mind might not have been clear, but he knew one thing above all others: he hated ghosts.
"Never!" he declared fiercely, adrenaline giving him a fire in his eyes that he'd lacked for months. "I'd rather die now, than risk that happening!" Something stirred his memory--was there someone else he had known who had become a ghost? No details came, nothing but a blanketting grief that forced him to close his eyes and weep silently as his energy left him.
He never saw the cruel grin that curled one side of his visitor's mouth as she placed the pillow she'd been playing with over his face. He didn't have the energy left to fight as he slowly suffocated to death. No alarms sounded, for they had already been deactivated.
"I was hoping you'd say that," the woman whispered as she exited out the open window, into the night unseen.
Two years before "Of all the things I've ever lost..."
It was a professional courtesy, Valerie kept telling herself, that had her coming to this particular woman's funeral.
Madeline "Maddie" Fenton was dead. Ghost-hunter extraordinaire, survived by husband Jack and daughter Jasmine.
The woman could almost have been considered a role-model, if Valerie hadn't lost all respect for the Fentons four years ago.
The anger still simmered beneath the surface as she looked over the faces of the other attendees.
Jack Fenton, front and centre, balling his eyes out one moment, and vowing revenge the next. Revenge against who, Valerie didn't know, because the woman had been mugged, and, as far as the vigilante ghost-hunter knew, there were no witness, and no leads.
Jasmine, of course, but not at her father's side. Rumour had it the girl had moved out as soon as she could, the rift between her and her parents never diminishing. She was present, but at the back of the room, blank and distant, almost as if this was a funeral for someone she barely knew, and not her own mother.
Vlad Masters, his face a stoic mask as looked at the casket of the woman he loved. Once, she would have felt sympathy for him, the man who had sponsored her as she began her career, but there had been something... off... about him after Danny had died. An inappropriate glee he always failed to completely suppress in her presence that had led to her distancing herself from him.
Danny's death. Danny's accident was the official story. Supposedly playing around with one of his parents unfinished prototypes and getting himself fatally injured. Valerie wasn't buying it.
Lots of rumours spread after the fact, as they were want to do in a small town like Amity Park. But one had caught Valerie's attention, one that sounded just a bit too plausible for the reactions of those involved.
The rumour went that the Fentons had been out ghost-hunting--well it was their profession. Supposedly one of their ghost-detectors had malfunctioned, and picked up /Danny/. And Jack Fenton, as was usual, had shot first with intents to ask questions later.
But there was no later.
No, no later. Just an empty desk in their classroom. Just a goth whose anger started to burn cold and hot at the slightest provocation. Just a geek who stopped living, and just shut down as he tried to assimilate the loss of his friend. Just an upperclassman, a sister who quietly requested that her teachers never refer to her by her family name ever again.
And just a vigilante ghost-hunter who lost the one boy she thought might be able to understand her.
Everyone involved was mum on the subject, either too guilty or too grieved. But Valerie did manage to track down one single solitary piece of information that sent a chill down her spine when combined with Vlad Master's glee.
DALV Enterprises had provided a prototype ghost-detector to the Fentons to test the day before Danny died.
Maybe she was looking into things too much, but Danny had never liked Vlad, and she often got the feeling that the dislike was mutual. But... to set up a murder?
She had no proof. She didn't even have anything to go to the police with, considering the supposed detector wasn't even involved in Danny's "accident"...
But she'd keep her eyes open. And hope that one day, Justice would be served.
Four Years Before Turning Point
The funeral for Daniel Fenton was a circus.
His father was a wreck, already thinning under the strain of guilt, looking only at his hands and not responding as people offered their condolences.
Maddie stood beside her husband, eyes red-rimmed from the endless crying she had been doing. But her cheeks were dry now as she stared blankly ahead, also not responding to condolences as she wished for the agony to be over.
Jasmine, Tucker, and Sam stood on the other side of the room. They grieved in a private clique, unwilling to interact with those they blamed for Danny's death. Their angry stares kept anyone from approaching them.
Vlad Masters was the gracious 'host', who listened to stories from relatives and "friends" who came to pay their respects to the dead boy.
Classmates filled the seats, those who genuinely felt a loss, and those who selfishly took advantage of the time off school.
Ghosts, acting as human as they could, observed silently the human ritual of passing for a boy who was half their kin. For all the trouble he had caused them, they had half hoped that he would reappear a full ghost so that his vibrant essence would live on in at least some manner.
He hadn't. He had truly passed on.
The priest stood at the podium, and said generic words that did the life of Daniel Fenton no justice, but none who knew him well enough to speak were willing.
For then the truth would come out. The whole, horrifying, truth.
Four days before Dearly Beloved
It had been monstrously simple to setup. "Dear" Jack trusted his best-buddy "Vladdie" unquestioningly. Going to the idiot with his concerns about a new "super-ghost" that had been causing havoc in Wisconsin but had moved to Amity Park merely seeded the idea. Holograms of "normal" people turning into ghosts set up the idea that the "super-ghost" could disguise itself as anyone, that no one could be trusted.
Providing Jack with a recently developed "ghost detector" was the icing on the cake. Oh, it detected ghosts alright, but only ones that had a particular anomoly in their ectoplasmic signature.
Vlad had no intentions of turning into Plasmius until his plan reached fruition. Only one "Halfa" would be detected by that very specialized scanner.
Danny never stood a chance.
Vlad watch from the distance, his vultures carrying cameras that transmitted the entire thing for his viewing pleasure.
"AHA! Gotchyou now, ghost-scum!"
"You can run, but you can't hiiiiide~!"
Danny hung his head as he flew down an alley only to have his parents appear at either end once he'd reached the centre.
"You have got to be kidding me," he muttered to himself, clutching the thermos he'd been bringing home to empty into the Ghost Zone.
Pasting on a bright smile, he addressed them.
"Hi, Mr and Mrs Fenton! Lovely day isn't it? I'm just going to keep flying by, but it was sure lovely to see yo...erk!"
He'd never liked to Fenton Peeler. Given his own dual-nature, there was something nasty about it, something sinister that his parents' other useful but relatively harmless inventions had never had.
It was made to /harm/.
Agony sliced through his side, and he fell from the sky, impacting on the alley floor with a crunch that would have killed him in and of itself in his human form. The pain only increased, and he lost his concentration, transforming back into his human form just as Tucker and Sam caught up to him.
As his life-giving blood pooled beneath him, his senses started to fade away. He could hear raised voices and arguing, but couldn't make out the individual words. He could muzzily make out the image of Tucker and Sam--blurs of yellow and black--arguing with smears of orange and blue.
As everything faded to black, a small smile came to his face. His parents knew his secret now. Once he got out of hospital, he wouldn't need to worry about deceiving them anymore. And it didn't hurt that bad now, maybe...
he wouldn't even...
By the time Sam and Tucker managed to convince the Fentons that the "super-ghost" was actually "InvisoBill", and that "InvisoBill" was their son, it was too late.
Too late for them all.
Three Months After The End
Jasmine Fenton sat quietly at the table, her hands folded neatly on the surface, and let none of her turmoil show.
There was a buzz as the door opened, and she looked up to see Samantha Manson escorted into the room. The dark-haired girl had shadows under her eyes, deep deep shadows that told a tale of sleepless nights. Like Jasmine, this girl had known no peace since the death of Danny.
Sam sat down across from her, and for a moment, there was only silence. Then:
"Why? Why did you do it? Why did you kill them all?"
"I only killed Vlad Masters. I confessed. What else matters?"
Jasmine slammed her hand down on the table, the sound echoing through the small starkly lit room of the psychiatric centre. She leaned forward dangerously, her eyes glinting with fury.
"Oh, you killed him alright, and I know you--I know I'll never find a shred of evidence about the rest--but I know it was you.
"Why. Why did my parents and Tucker have to die, too? Didn't my parents suffer enough with their guilt? For God's sake, wasn't Tucker just as much a victim as you were?!"
Silence echoed between them, broken only by Jasmine's heavy breathing as she got herself under control.
"It's funny," Sam murmured, a small smile twitching her lips as she looked down at her chained hands. "It's funny, that I spent my youth hunting ghosts, only to wind up haunted by one myself."
For one brief beautiful and terrible second, Jasmine thought /Danny/, only to clamp down hard on the reaction. Danny had never reappeared as a full ghost. Her contacts in the Ghost Zone confirmed it--every time she asked.
"Danny's not a ghost, Sam. You can't blame him for this."
The girl laughed. It wasn't sane.
"Oh he haunts me, he haunts me with his absence! I wake up, and cry over the fact that I will never see him in my college classes. I eat something new, and can't help but ponder whether he'd have even been willing to try it. A guy asks me out, and I get angry/, because /he never had the chance.
"Ghosts seek vengeance. I thought if I gave him his, he'd leave me alone.
"Do you hear that?!" she screamed at the ceiling. "I avenged you! I gave you what you needed! Now leave me alone! Leave me all alone..." She raised her feet to the edge of her chair, curling into a fetal ball, and cried into her arms, sobbing brokenly. "Why won't he leave me alone?"
The guard reappeared at the door, and Jasmine nodded in acknowledgement. She hadn't gotten what she needed, she thought to herself as she rose and exited the room without another word.
'But sometimes, we don't get what we need,' she acknowledged as the door closed on the girl, who had had such a bright future, sobbing out her internal agony.
She walked out of the institute and into the bright sunshine.
Her husband was waiting for her, and she let him slide an arm around her waist as they walked away.
Their daughter was waiting at home for them, with the sitter.
Even with all the losses she'd endured, all of them so very unnecessary...
Life went on.
These are the killed.
(By me) --
Morton, Baker, early friends of mine.
Joe Bernstein. 3 Indians.
A blacksmith when I was twelve, with a knife.
5 Indians in self defence (behind a very safe rock).
One man who bit me during a robbery.
Brady, Hindman, Beckwith, Joe Clark,
Deputy Jim Carlyle, Deputy Sheriff J. W. Bell.
And Bob Ollinger. A rabid cat
birds during practice,
These are the killed.
(By them) --
Charlie, Tom O'Folliard
Angela D's split arm,
and Pat Garrett
sliced off my head.
Blood a necklace on me all my life.