Categories > Cartoons > Danny Phantom > The Wielder

Half Truths

by slickboy444 0 reviews

Category: Danny Phantom - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Crossover - Warnings: [V] - Published: 2008-07-04 - Updated: 2008-07-05 - 5210 words - Complete

The Wielder
Chapter 7: Half-Truths


Amity Park Plaza Hotel – Inside Irons Limousine

The ride to the hotel was silent for the most part. Once Danny and Sam agreed to go with Ian, he summoned a limo from Kenneth’s hotel that picked them up within fifteen minutes. While inside the car, Ian didn’t take his eyes off Danny and Sam the whole time. His stoic gaze still sent chills down their spines, but they had faced scarier things before. This was no different. What made complicated was that it wasn’t a ghost or entity they were fighting. This was an ancient relic that may or may not have anything to do with ghosts. At least with ghosts they’re easy to tell apart. This Ian Nottingham and his boss, Kenneth Irons, for that matter were a mystery to them. For all they knew they could be worse, but Sam made her decision and that was that.

She still had doubts though. Danny was right to be suspicious of this guy because she couldn’t afford to. She was the one the Witchblade had chosen. She was the wielder who held its power. If there was any truth to Ian’s claim that the power would take control of her and harm those she cared for most, she had to do something about it. But if Ian was lying and was just using her, she trusted Danny to be there like he always had.

For him, this was more daunting than fighting a ghost. This was saving his best friend. He didn’t care how ancient or powerful this Witchblade was, if it did anything to hurt Sam he would help her defeat it. At the same time, if what this guy was telling her was an outright lie he would make sure he paid for it. Nobody was going to hurt Sam on his watch. She meant too much to him. She meant more than he ever could have imagined.

“We’re almost there,” said Ian, finally breaking the silence, “Mr. Irons says he needs a little more time. Until then, we’ll wait outside the pent house.”

“Just what exactly is he going to use to help me?” asked Sam, “It’s not some freaky ritual that involves animal sacrifice, is it?”

“That’s not for me to say,” said Ian, “I only do what Mr. Irons tells me to do. The details are none of my business.”

“Just out of curiosity, what exactly do you do for this guy anyways? Are you his assistant or something?” asked Danny, “Because I’ve never heard of an assistant who does menial jobs with a sword.”

“That, my boy, would be none of your business,” said Ian strongly, “All you need to know is that Mr. Irons has tasked me with taking on this very important matter. The Witchblade is a serious threat and he trusts only me to deal with it directly.”

“Does he trust you to deal with ghosts too? Because you seemed pretty comfortable with that sword,” pushed Danny.

Ian cast the young boy a menacing glare. He was trying to find out if he was lying. That was abundantly clear. But he was smarter than that. This kid was fourteen for crying out loud. There was no way he was going to let him of all people get the better of him.

“We’re here,” he said flatly, “No more questions.”

As they pulled up to the front entrance, Danny and Sam exchanged glances. Clearly, Ian was not going to give them anymore information than he wanted to. Even if he was lying, he wasn’t going to drop them any hints. Hopefully, Tucker and Jazz would have better luck on their end. At this point, they were their only other hope.

Fenton Works – Tucker and Jazz

Upon arriving at Danny’s house, Tucker rushed upstairs to find Jazz hard at work on another paper. Again he was out of breath, but shook it off and explained to her their situation. While she had been aware of Sam’s new powers to some extent, she hadn’t been told the full story by Danny or anybody for that matter. It was an intriguing story to say the least. For once it didn’t involve ghosts. As a girl who studied history on the side, it was quite a revelation to learn that an ancient legend was true.

“So if I understand what you’re telling me, this Witchblade is some sort of living supernatural weapon that was formed by primordial forces and bonds to a female wielder,” she summarized.

“That’s the cliff-notes version,” said Tucker, “Nobody seems to know that much about this thing. I couldn’t even find anything about it on the web.”

“Is that why you trusted this Ian guy?” said Jazz, “He sounds like con-man.”

“That’s why Danny sent me here. He figured if anybody could find something on this thing it would be you.”

“Really? He said that?” she said, blushing a little.

“Well…not in so many words, but yeah,” said Tucker, rubbing the back of his neck.

Jazz smiled. She knew Danny probably never said it directly. Chances were he phrased it in some immature analogy about her study habits and intelligence. But that didn’t matter to her. She knew that was just his way of expressing himself.

“Then grab a book and we’ll get started,” said Jazz, walking towards her overstuffed bookcase, “You’re in luck. I just happened to have some old books on mythology I got from the library. I planned on using them for a paper about the mechanics of intercultural communication through the telling off…”

“Jazz…” groaned Tucker, “Please don’t give me the details. Let’s just get to work. We’re working on a time limit here.”

“Oops, sorry,” she said sheepishly, “Don’t worry, I won’t let you guys down!”

Tucker sighed and began helping her sort through some books. Jazz was nice and all, but sometimes her approach to fighting ghosts was off. It had been that way ever since she unofficially joined their team. While there were times she was a big help, old habits die hard. This was one area, however, where her skills as an all around brainiac should come in handy. If the Witchblade had any secrets, they were going to find out before it was too late.

Kenneth Iron’s Pent House

After confirming the arrival of the wielder, Kenneth Irons stepped up work on Vlad’s machine. So far his plan was working perfectly. The girl fell for his ruse hook, line, and sinker. Even with the power of the Witchblade, she was still just a gullible teenage girl. Putting the fear of loss in her was far more effective than trying to fight her. Now she was more willing to cooperate. And if all went accordingly, the power of the Witchblade would be his tonight.

Vlad had to admit he was impressed. Kenneth may be rough around the edges, but he was smart. He was able to get his adversary to work for him and not against him. It wasn’t quite as poetic as besting them in the heat of battle, but it worked. It was far more preferable than dragging this deal out anymore. He was already tired of Kenneth’s presence and the constant scrutiny of that Notthingham character. Hopefully the compensation he promised would be worth it. And if he betrayed him, he was well-prepared for that too.

“Are we ready, Vlad?” asked Kenneth as he watched Vlad load a series of programs onto the main console.

“Just about,” answered Vlad, “Bear with me, I had to integrate this into my prototype energy draining gauntlet.”

“But you’ve tested this thing, right?”

“Yes, but only on ghosts. I’ve never tried it on something like the Witchblade. But seeing as how the last experiment showed that it reacts to ecto-energy, the same should apply here. All you need to do is put it on, power it up, and start draining. The glove will do the rest.”

“Sounds simple enough,” said Kenneth as he looked down at the glove, “And what of the wielder? What affect will it have on her?”

“If I had to guess, it probably won’t be pleasant. But since when have you ever cared about that?”

“Just making sure,” he said ominously, “I plan on leaving no loose ends.”

“Me neither,” said Vlad with a half grin.

Vlad watched as Kenneth tried on the oversized gauntlet, which had a series of wires running from it into several machines. It was amazing that it took this much hardware to calibrate this one gauntlet, but if his last experiment showed him anything it was that the Witchblade required special treatment. Not only did it take up a lot of energy, it took a different kind of force to get it to cooperate. In comparison to most other artifacts, it was very stubborn. But that would all change very soon.

“One more thing, Vlad,” said Kenneth, “I want you to make yourself scarce once I invite our guests in. I know your history with Danny Phantom and don’t want it to interfere. As far as they’re concerned, you and I have never been involved.”

“I understand. But just in case, I’ll stand close by in case something goes wrong. Wouldn’t want anything to mess this up now would we?”

“For your sake, I hope not.”

“Oh enough with the petty threats, Kenneth!” scoffed Vlad, “I’ve come this far, haven’t I?”

“Doesn’t mean you won’t screw me over.”

“I could say the same for you. But seeing as how neither of us has a choice, that shouldn’t be a problem now should it?”

As much as Irons would have liked to believe that, he was too much a realist. He suspected Vlad was up to something, but he didn’t come this far to back down now. He was so close to the power of the Witchblade he could feel it in his bones. A lifetime of hardship was building towards this moment. This was more than just taking what he believed was rightfully his. This was destiny. Nothing was going to stop it now.

Outside The Pent House

Upon their arrival, Danny and Sam spent the next two hours waiting impatiently outside the pent house entrance. While Sam sat on a chair staring at the floor, Danny paced restlessly. He kept checking his cell phone, hoping that Tucker and Jazz would call. He knew asking them to research an ancient legend with the window of only a few hours was unrealistic at best, but it was better than just blindly trusting this guy. It didn’t help that Ian wouldn’t take his eyes of them.

Ian Nottingham was equally anxious. His master told him they were in the final stages of calibrating the machine that would transfer the power of the Witchblade from Sam to a more fitting wielder. They just needed time to make arrangements. His instructions were to remain on guard and not to engage either of them unless he heard otherwise. And if either one of them had second thoughts, he was to do whatever was necessary to keep them here.

“Still no word from Jazz and Tucker,” said Danny in a frustrated tone, “They better hurry up. There’s no telling how much longer this guy’s gonna be.”

“Don’t remind me,” groaned Sam, who kept looking anxiously down at the Witchblade, “At least we have options. If they don’t come through, maybe Irons will. It is his artifact after all.”

“Do you really believe that, Sam?” asked Danny skeptically, “Or is that just fear talking?”

“It’s not fear. It’s…”

But Sam stopped herself right there. Who was she kidding? She was afraid. There was no way around it. Even as someone who had seen the toughest, meanest creatures of the Ghost Zone she was scared of what may happen to her because of the Witchblade.

“Okay, maybe I am little scared. It’s just that this thing feels like it’s a part of me. Even if it is going to drive me crazy the idea of losing it makes me nervous.”

“That or maybe it’s trying to tell you something,” suggested Danny, “It’s alive, remember?”

“I know. But should I believe it?”

Danny stopped pacing and sat down next to Sam. The Witchblade was nothing like his ghost powers. At least they didn’t have a mind of their own. He couldn’t imagine what was going through Sam’s head right now, but he was going to be there for her through this whole thing.

“Look, neither one of us really understands what’s going on with this thing. But I wouldn’t trust the guy in the trench coat anymore than the ancient thing on your arm.”

Sam looked up at Ian, who was still as stoic as ever. He didn’t comment on what was said. He just stood there, staring at her the same way he did when he first saw her. It still made her skin crawl, giving her all the more reason to take Danny’s advice seriously.

She reached over and took his hand in hers. She then gave it a squeeze and cast him a smile. Scared or not, having him by her side made all the difference in the world. Maybe after this mess was over with she could come clean and tell him how she felt. Of course, she thought about that every time it seemed like they weren’t going to come out of something intact and every time she chickened out.

Danny smiled back and stayed with her, helping to keep her calm. For a moment they ignored Ian’s presence. He just sat with her and waited, knowing that each passing second chipped away at their chances to turn back.

Finally, the doors to the pent house opened and Kenneth Irons stepped out.

“It’s time,” he said, “Are you ready, Miss Manson?”

Sam swallowed her nervousness and nodded. The man before her didn’t look quite as imposing as Ian Nottingham, but he seemed every bit as suspicious.

“Then follow me,” said Kenneth, “Your friend may come too.”

“Wait, I have questions…” said Sam.

“And I’ll answer them,” said Kenneth, “In the meantime, let me show you how I’ll be helping you.”

He wasted no time in getting to the point. It was Kenneth’s way of doing business. Sam and Danny exchanged glances. They were still worried, but with no word from Tucker or Jazz they had no choice but to go along.

But as they entered the pent house, Vlad Masters made a quick exit from the pent house by phasing through the wall and slipping into the stairwell. This set off Danny’s ghost sense and he swiftly turned towards his right where he thought it came from. But Vlad was too quick. The feeling was gone before he could make sense of it.

“Is everything okay, boy?” asked Ian, trying to rush him in.

“Yeah…everything’s fine,” he lied, “Just thought I saw something, that’s all.”

Ian looked at him suspiciously, but remained silent. This kid was too perceptive for his own good. If he kept making scenes like this he may have to rethink Kenneth’s non-violent policy. But as long as he went along with everything, he could care less what he thought.

As Sam and Danny followed Mr. Irons inside, they took note of his poise. On the surface, he seemed like a normal rich man. He was dressed in an expensive business suit, no doubt imported from some fancy foreign designer. He also bore the poise and confidence of a multi-billionaire businessman. Sam knew the signs and so did Danny. He didn’t seem as dark as Vlad Masters, but there was definitely something to him. And just as they expected, Kenneth put on the face of a friendly businessman.

“I must say it’s quite an honor to have the chosen wielder of the Witchblade in my presence,” he said with a respectful greeting, “I’ve had this relic for years and this is the first time it’s taken to someone so strongly.”

“Uh thanks,” said Sam, trying not to sound too freaked out, “And just so we’re clear, I didn’t take this thing. It came to me. How it did that I’m still trying to figure out.”

“It’s okay. I believe you,” said Irons, “But before we go any further, allow me to formally introduce myself. My name is Kenneth Irons, founder and CEO of Irons Industries.”

“Nice to meet you, Mr. Irons,” said Sam, shaking his hand.

“My colleague, Ian, has told me so much about you. He says you and the Witchblade have become quite the pair.”

“Yeah, about that…were you the one who sent him to fight us?” said Danny in an apprehensive tone, “Because no offense, but sending a crony with a sword doesn’t do well for first impressions.”

Kenneth responded with a light-hearted laugh. For a kid his age, he sure tried to be tough. But as always, Kenneth remained cool under pressure.

“I won’t deny my actions were a tad brash. All I can say is please accept my apologies. You have to understand that the Witchblade is a dangerous and powerful weapon. I had to act fast or risk losing the relic altogether.”

“Guess it wasn’t fast enough,” muttered Sam.

“Indeed,” said Kenneth, “But before I go any further I want to assure you that I only intended to retrieve the Witchblade, not harm you or your ghostly friend here.”

“That’s another thing!” said Danny, still not convinced, “Why were you spying on us? And how do we know we can trust you if you already know my secret?”

“That was another mistake,” he explained, “I sent Ian out to look for signs of the Witchblade. I had no way of knowing the wielder would be friends with the resident ghost boy. But rest assured your secret is safe with me.”

“Somehow I don’t find that too comforting,” said Danny.

This kid was starting to annoy him. Danny was understandably suspicious and rightfully so. His secret identity was clearly very important to him. Too bad it meant nothing to Kenneth. He just stared down the young man and smiled ominously.

“It’ll have to do. But enough with the past. Let’s focus on the task at hand. I understand you got my message from Ian about the dangers of the Witchblade.”

“Oh yes…some danger,” said Sam bitterly, “You say this thing really drives people mad?”

“It does. Believe me, I know. As you may have already guessed, I’m somewhat a history buff. My father was a renowned archeologist who specialized in artifacts like the Witchblade. The treasures he uncovered have been in my family for nearly a century and I have taken it upon myself to protect these treasures and the power they hold. And the Witchblade is one of my most coveted possessions.”

“Not that I wouldn’t love giving it back to you, but we’re kind of stuck together,” said Sam, showing him the gauntlet, “How exactly do you plan to separate us?”

Kenneth grinned. Her willingness to believe him was strong. Ian must have told her a pretty convincing story about the so-called dangers of the Witchblade. Her gullibility would be his ultimate triumph.

“Come…I’ll show you,” he told them.

With Ian still watching them from behind, Danny and Sam followed Kenneth into the opulent living room where Kenneth had set everything up. All the furniture and fancy decorations had been pushed to the side and the central area was dominated by several large computer consoles that were powered by an array of generators that were laid out around the perimeter of the room. It was pretty elaborate, resembling the machinery that Danny’s parents used to run the Fenton Works. Sam was a little unnerved by the scale, but Ian and Kenneth pushed her on.

“As you can see, I’ve been working on a way to control the Witchblade for some time,” he said, “I had these components shipped here shortly after the relic got out. They weren’t specifically designed for a task such as this, but it should do the job.”

“Don’t you mean, in theory?” said Danny as he looked over some of the machines, “How exactly does this stuff work anyways?”

“With this,” said Kenneth as he picked up the high tech gauntlet Vlad integrated into these machines, “Years of research on the Witchblade has led me to many discoveries about its power. While I’ve never been able to completely unlock its potential, I have uncovered a number of ways to tap the power within.”

“In other words you’ve never done this before,” said Sam, who easily read between the lines.

“No,” affirmed Kenneth, “But if you want to rid yourself of this cursed relic, this device is your only chance.”

It did little to ease Sam’s concerns. Looking over the machine, she could only speculate how it worked. Being around the Fenton Works gave her a certain appreciation for high-tech gizmos, but more often than not they didn’t work as planned especially the first time around. She felt like a guinea pig for some rich man’s experiment. But Irons wasn’t giving her much of a choice.

“Okay…” she said, “Let’s get this over with.”

“Gladly,” said Irons with a grin, “Just make yourself comfortable while I power the machine up. You’ll be Witchblade-free and on your way home within a half-hour.”

Sam managed a slight smile, hiding a myriad of uncertainties. She looked down at the gauntlet, which was yelling at her not to go through with this. She didn’t know if it was trying to protect her or just its own well-being. Nothing could be more confusing. If she listened to the Witchblade it may still make her go crazy. If she listened to Kenneth Irons his machine might not work or he may just be messing with her. There were so many ways this could go wrong. There seemed to be no way out of it.

Danny tried to keep her calm while hiding his own concerns. Irons may be optimistic, but there was still something about him he didn’t like. He couldn’t make a move because Ian Nottingham was right behind them still wielding that same sword he used in their last fight. It was all on Tucker and Jazz now. If they didn’t find something soon, the truth may come too late.

‘Hurry Jazz. We’re running out of time.’

Fenton Works – Tucker and Jazz

For two hours straight, Jazz had been pouring over every book on mythology and ancient legends she had. She was like a machine, sifting through page after page of historical jargon that may or may not be true to begin with. There was little to be said about the Witchblade other than what they already knew. For a weapon that supposedly altered the course of history, it kept a pretty low profile. But they were close to something. She could feel it. There was definitely something about this Witchblade that went beyond mere legend. She just had to find out what it was.

Tucker helped along the way, running to the library and picking up as many books he could carry and combing the internet for any other clues. Unlike Jazz, he didn’t have the crack research skills that allowed her to focus while reading over endless text. After the first hour his eyelids were already getting heavy. He either needed a nap or some coffee.

“Any luck, Jazz?” said Tucker with a tired yawn.

“Not yet, but we’re definitely on the right track,” said Jazz as she jotted down more notes.

“That’s what you said an hour ago!” he groaned, “What makes you think we’ll discover anything in a bunch of library books that we haven’t already found already?”

“Well maybe if you did more than just Google it you might find something else.”

“You do things your way, I’ll stick to what I do best,” justified Tucker.

“Be serious, Tucker!” exclaimed Jazz, “Danny and Sam are counting on us! And I’m beginning to think that guy in the trench coat wasn’t telling the full story.”

“I could have told him that.”

“Intuition isn’t proof,” said Jazz, “There’s evidence out there. We just have to find it.”

Tucker groaned and turned back to his computer screen. He must have looked at a hundred websites by now and none of them said anything new. Even if they did have something on the Witchblade all it said was it was just some ancient weapon that was the offspring between the Darkness and the Angeles. There was nothing on what it did to the wielder. But he kept at it, knowing Danny and Sam were running out of time.

Jazz tossed aside another book and picked out one from the bottom of the pile. This one caught her eye because of how old it was. But it wasn’t so much the age of the book that got her attention as much as the name of the author.

“Hey Tucker, what was the name of that guy you said found the Witchblade?” she asked.

“Kenneth Irons. Why?”

“See for yourself,” she said, tossing him the book.

Tucker caught it and looked at it. Sure enough, the author stated was Kenneth Irons. It was a big hard to make out since the cover and pages were pretty worn, but it definitely caught their attention. Either nobody took good care of this book or Kenneth Irons was older than he said he was.

“Irons? Maybe it’s his father or something?” suggested Tucker.

“I don’t think so. Look on the back page,” said Jazz.

Tucker did as she asked and to his surprise, there was a picture of the author. It showed a dated photo of Kenneth Irons with a caption below that said the photo was taken back in the 1920s. Now he was really intrigued. Immediately, Tucker did a search on the computer for Kenneth Irons. The first match led him to the website of Irons Industries and sure enough, there was a photo of Irons on the front page. The resemblance was more than uncanny. It was impossible.

“Wow…he must exercise a lot,” said Tucker.

“That or there’s something else going on here!” said Jazz as she took the book from him, “Maybe the guy in the picture and the guy Danny and Sam are meeting with right now are one in the same.”

“That’s impossible! He’d have to be over a hundred years old or something,” said Tucker, “Besides, it says on his website that he’s Kenneth Irons Jr.”

“Just because the internet says it doesn’t make it true,” said Jazz, “Let’s see what the real Irons has to say about the dangers of the Witchblade.”

Jazz opened the book and began rapidly skimming the pages. Tucker got up and read with her, noticing that the text was just as dated as the pages. Whoever wrote this definitely wrote it back around the turn of the century. That only added to the weirdness level because if the Kenneth Irons in the picture was the same Kenneth Irons who was allegedly trying to help them, then something was definitely off here.

Tucker could barely keep up as Jazz thumbed through page after page, spending no more than a second on each. She was close to the answers. She could feel it. There was so much information to digest. But they only needed that one piece that would help them save Danny and Sam.

Finally, she got to a part that mentioned the Witchblade. She stopped thumbing through the pages and read intently, quickly finding a passage that seemed to have what they were looking for.

“From the diary of Kenneth Irons,” she read, “I have confirmed what I suspected all along. The lost diaries of Joan of Arc reveals that the Witchblade is not only real, it is more powerful than even my father could have imagined. It was said that on the battlefield, her sword came to life. With it, she led the French into battle and it protected her from countless onslaughts.”

“Sounds like the Witchblade to me,” said Tucker.

“There’s more,” said Jazz as she read on, “A soldier was documented as asking her about her seemingly godly power to wield weapons. She said she had a gift that came to her early in life. It bonded with her and nourished her will to fight injustice. The soldier then asked how she could wield such power. She responded by saying ‘It chose me for a reason. It saw in me the good it needed to carry out God’s will. Without that good, it would have slain me the moment I touched it.’”

“That still doesn’t mean it’s not dangerous,” said Tucker, “Remember what happened to Joan of Arc? She was burned at the stake!”

“I know! I’m looking!” she said as she scanned rapidly.

Jazz read more passages, which told more of Joan of Arc’s exploits. Then she got to the end where Kenneth mentioned her last diary entry that was written the day before she was executed.

“Oh my gosh! Listen to this!” exclaimed Jazz, “It says ‘They captured me and tried to break my will. But I wouldn’t let them. They wanted my power. But they can’t have it. They’ll never have it. The blade left me last night. It left because I made it. I couldn’t let it fall into the wrong hands. And I knew it would listen to me because it must. The blade can never disobey the wielder. My fate is sealed. But that of the Witchblade is just beginning.’”

This was the evidence they were looking for. It confirmed what they suspected. Kenneth Irons was lying. His own writings proved that.

“So…the Witchblade isn’t dangerous?” surmised Tucker.

“I wouldn’t say that, but it has to obey the wielder,” said Jazz, “Joan of Arc wasn’t driven mad by it. She let it go! Irons is trying to trick Sam to do the same!”

“Oh man,” said Tucker, rubbing his head, “If it weren’t such a smart plan I might be shocked.”

“Save it for later!” said Jazz as she closed the book, “Call Danny and tell him Irons is lying! He has to stop him before it’s too late!”


Up next: The truth comes out and the fight over the Witchblade comes to a head.
Sign up to rate and review this story