As Danny looked around the city he found himself feeling a mix of being freaked out and impressed at how familiar everything was. If it weren’t for all the creatures walking around, he could swear the place was another city on earth, a foregoing low tech one but still.
Tom marveled at how little a human in Perim would know about the place, Najerin hadn’t been kidding when he said Danny was a special case on coming to Perim; right now they were just wondering the streets. Tom was just explaining about Porting to Perim from earth.
“So let me get this straight, you can be in two places at once?”
Tom nodded, “Earth self and Chaotic self, it’s pretty cool.”
“Wish I could do that.” Danny moaned, remembering the battle he had with Pariah the ghost king, the only time he could ever replicate himself in a fight. Tom gave a small laugh, not knowing what was going through his friend’s mind.
“I can’t tell you how many times I wished the same thing. One of me on earth while the other is in Perim is one thing, but if I could be in two battle domes at the same time or at school and the arcade on earth, that would be interesting.”
Danny wondered otherwise, he had some experience being two people at once, his human half and his ghost half being separate had caused him some problems that time around. But that might have something to do with his personality getting split as well as his human and ghost halves.
A shiver of cold and burst of blue mist from his mouth caused him to flinch, eyes instinctively looking for any signs of trouble. Tom noticed the sudden silence between them, “Are you ok?”
Danny shrugged, seeing nothing out of the ordinary, as far as being on another world full of strange creatures could be called out of the ordinary, “yeah… I’m ok.”
Tom wondered if he should change the subject when he heard someone call his name. He looked in surprise as he saw Kaz running up to them.
Kaz gasped as he stopped to catch his breath, “Tom. You won’t believe what just happened.”
“Friend of yours?” Danny asked.
Kaz looked at Danny just noticing him, His eyes widened, “Tom do you have a twin I don’t know about?”
Tom shook his head, smiling, “The resemblance is uncanny right?”
Kaz nodded, shaking his head suddenly, the urgency in his voice was back, “Tom this is serious, I found a new creature at Broken edge.”
Tom’s eyes widened with excitement, “Where? What happened?”
Ren ran deep into the Forest of life, a place brimming with natural energy in the overworld. The very trees felt like towering beings watching the forest, strong and alive as they thrived on the energy here. Ren’s nose twitched as she moved, feeling stronger with every stride. She smiled to herself, stopping in the branches of a tall tree.
“Got to remember to come back here,” she said to herself, “with all the energy around here I could easily make a reserve for later.”
She smiled at the thought, closing her eyes and reaching out with her powers. The forest felt like a carpet of living pale energy, flowing regularly up and outwards. What wasn’t used by the plants traveled to new places. Spreading to the far reaches of Perim, a natural energy indeed.
But she could feel others. Spots as powerful as this one, a similar yellow-green energy to the west felt free and light, a soft red one not too far off to the south felt rippling and powerful, and one orange energy that felt stoic yet ever moving where it needed to be. They all were flowing, regulating life wherever they originated and flowing to places all over. The flows were all mixed up and tangled like strings with no directions and yet they didn’t touch. As Ren read the flow she noticed this and realized there was a faint sound connected with the flows, something she could only hear while watching the flow closely. Something was wrong here.
She concentrated harder trying to make sense of it, these energies were important, originating from different points to maintain the life of Perim, but there were places that were…vanishing?
Her power detected something traces of a fifth power, a dark one that touched each somewhere, seeming to come from nowhere. The energy of the forest blocking her from getting a clear view. She opened her eyes, frowning, something stirred in her memory from the last time she was in Perim, by her timeline it was only perhaps ten years ago. She thought back to it, thinking, remembering…
The pale blue of the overworld, flowing like water; bright red of the underworld, powerful as fire; wispy yellow of the Mipedians, bright as the sun and fluttering like the winds; and finally the rippling orange of the Dainians, solid and orderly as earth.
The tribes had settled there, and soon their squabbles had emerged like opposites, fire against water, wind against earth, and soon the battles became inevitable; settling into an unsteady balance where no one would take Perim completely.
Back then these four energies harmonized with each other to support the life of all Perim, despite its warring tribes, and now…they were starting to fall apart.
“Where did that fifth energy come from?” she took off making mental notes, the source of the blue energy had shifted a little since the last time she was here, perhaps the others had too. She needed to know where they all originated now, and where they fell apart. Most importantly she needed to know more about that black energy, the one that felt like a lack of will and understanding, a void to everything that mattered.
Danny and Tom listened to Kaz’s story with mixed results.
A ghost out on Broken edge, Danny was a bit glad to hear about it. It meant his ghost half wouldn’t be considered farfetched to anyone who saw him, but the description just didn’t add up, it sounded more like one of those ghosts that barely had any power to their name, the little blobs were often used as servants by more powerful ghosts or wander around like little parasites. Usually until they faded from existence or gained proper forms of their own.
Tom frowned for another reason. Technically nearly everything in Perim was scan able for something, be they local, objects that could be used as battle gear, locations themselves and of course the crystallized rings known as mugic. But this ghost thing, if it didn’t show up as a creature it could be something else, something dangerous. Like a certain other thing he had come across the first time he had scanned Prexxor chasm.
“Are you sure it never showed up on your scanner?”
“Of course I’m sure,” Kaz was close to exploding, “the thing was right in front of us and it still didn’t register. Not only that, I tried scanning it and got nothing. Nothing! That’s just crazy!”
Tom held his hands up, “Ok, ok, I’m just asking that’s all.”
“Kaz, did it say anything to you?” Danny asked, “Spout any plans or rant on about something, anything at all?”
The other boys looked at him, puzzled. Kaz thought a minute, “Well…it said something about hearing breaking, and then it went on about replacement, after I thought I had a scan of the thing I didn’t want to stick around to find out what that meant.”
Danny nodded, folding his arms and thinking this over, “So it wants to replace people…find a host maybe?”
Kaz shivered at the idea, “Like I said, I didn’t stick around to find out.”
Tom got a worried look on his face, “You sure nothing else was strange around there? Nothing…destroyed?”
Kaz knew Tom was thinking of the Blithe from Prexxor chasm almost a year ago, how that huge thing destroyed everything in its path with no reason or remorse like a disease. He shook his head, “Everything looked normal even after the thing got there. No damage.”
Tom was glad to hear that much at least, still this was something he wanted to look into.
“Maybe Najerin should know about this, in case that thing is more dangerous than we thought.” Tom stood up, “He should still be in the palace right now.”
Kaz cocked his head to one side, “Wait, you know exactly where Najerin is for once?”
Danny stood up as well, reminding the other boys of his presence, stuffing his hands in his pockets, “Najerin asked Tom to keep an eye on me. Long story, remind me to tell you later. Right now I think Tom’s right; a ghost wanting to replace someone is never a good thing.”
Maxxor had his hands crossed as he heard out Najerin’s every word, the blue creature waited calmly in his seat as his leader digested the information he had offered. Finally the green tattooed creature leaned back in his chair with a heavy sigh.
“Alright then, Najerin, if you can trust this Ren creature then I can grant her permission to move through the Overworld.” He closed his eyes a moment, “And as to the human with no scanner, he can stay here for now. But know that anything that happens to him is not my responsibility.”
The blue muge nodded, “I don’t expect anything more or less. Thank you for understanding Maxxor.”
The overworld ruler smiled, “I’ve never had a reason to doubt you old friend.”
Najerin sighed, touching his forehead as if suddenly very tired, yet he had a smile on his aged face, “Old friend, I had just gotten used to her calling me a child again.”
“You mean to say she is older than you are?” Maxxor asked sounding surprised.
The muge shook his head, “I did say she could time travel somewhat, though it’s quite complicated, when I first met her she was only ten years my elder, and as with the other times I have seen her, she seems to have aged only minutes compared to the years I have gained. Currently she still looks around the same age as Tomas and his friends, yet she still calls me Kid.”
Maxxor’s face became unreadable, “If she’s anything like Roden and his time caves, then it’s a wonder she has no tribe of her own.”
Najerin glanced towards the door, already he could sense a trio of humans coming down the hall, “I asked her about that once; she said that she would rather be a fence sitter when the situation has no right or wrong.”
Maxxor raised his brow, confused. Najerin stood up heading for the door, “At least, that’s how she put it.
“And now it seems that now you’ll be meeting young Danny.” He opened up the door to reveal three surprised humans, Tom with his hand in the air as if he was about to knock but never got the chance.
Najerin gave them a small smile, “come on inside Daniel, I’ve already finished filling Maxxor in on your predicament. Now Tom, if there’s something you wish to bring to my attention, it’ll have to be in private.”
Tom nodded, letting it slide; Danny and Kaz however looked at each other with shock.
“Um, Tom, how did he do that?” Danny asked.
His doppelganger shrugged, “I’ve given up trying to figure it out.”
Danny had gone ghost, he always found it nice to go flying when he couldn’t sleep, lazing on the wind and floating among stars in the late hours. It helped him relax in ways he couldn’t explain.
He sighed in pleasure as all cares washed away from him, green glowing eyes turned to a sky filled with stars. Not a cloud in sight and a pale thin crescent of a moon overhead. He soon settled himself on the roof of the palace looking out over the landscape beyond the walls and the bright sky.
“Wish I had a telescope. This sky is awesome.” He sighed, thinking about the conversation he had with Maxxor. The huge green creature had reminded him a bit of his dad back home, well in size anyway. Aside from being surprised at how much he looked like tom, (Danny had a feeling that was going to happen a lot.) the green creature had made a clear point of how even though he was granting Danny a place to stay safe in Perim, anything that happened to Danny was to be his own fault and no one else. No one was going to be asked to watch him for any reason whatsoever, even at the request of a good friend such as Najerin.
He was just starting to enjoy himself and forget troubles for the night when he heard a creaking sound to his right. He turned in time to see a trap door open, and Maxxor himself came hopping out. Danny turned on his invisibility, not moving. Maxxor strode across the roof, sitting just near where Danny was. The green creature leaned back and looked up into the night, sighing.
Danny floated up into the air so as not to make any noise, a similar thought going through his head as back at Lake Ken-I-Po, and the last thing he needed was to end up being attacked by the leader of the overworld.
Maxxor stared off into the sky with a tired look. Danny wondered just how much stress it was to be a warrior and leader of the overworld all at once. The young half ghost couldn’t imagine it; the most he ever had to worry about was protecting his hometown from ghost attacks and keeping his grades up, while keeping people from finding out about his secret. And that was hard enough on a kid his age.
“I know you’re there,” Maxxor’s voice startled him, so badly his invisibility fizzled, “if you aren’t going to attack you can at least tell me what you’re doing up here.”
Danny turned to see the green creature was now sitting up, and staring in his direction; Danny dropped his invisibility and turned around rubbing the back of his neck, “Er, Hey, nice night for stargazing isn’t it?”
Maxxor’s eyes narrowed a bit as he eyed the young creature’s loose black and white clothes and scrawny form, the way he floated off the ground and a slight non-existent breeze ruffled his snow white hair. What intrigued him the most was the way the young creature was glowing, like a moon shining dimly in the night. Narrowed brown humanoid eyes then glanced into dragon slit glowing green ones searching, whoever this young creature was didn’t seem keen on a fight; that was good at least. Of course Maxxor had no intentions of letting his guard down.
“Who are you?”
The young creature rubbed the back of his neck, a nervous trait he had only ever seen in humans before. He hesitated, “D…Phantom. Just Phantom.”
Maxxor nodded, he’d be sure to remember that name, “Where are you from?”
Again Phantom hesitated, “Er, the Grassy plains?”
Maxxor raised his brow, obviously the creature was lying. He stood up looking the kid over, he wasn’t buggy enough to be a Danian, it was possible this kid was from the underworld, but they attacked rather than show they were nervous to an enemy; after that invisibility trick he’d seen and the kid’s eyes, it was equally possible that he could be a Mipedian. Yet as far as he could tell the kid didn’t have any scales, tail or anything lizard-like about him, not to mention he was wearing shoes. Mipedians don’t wear shoes.
Phantom landed softly on the roof giving a smile, “Actually I…can’t say. I just got here.”
This caught Maxxor a little off guard, “Got here as in…”
“That is I…I don’t really know how it happened.”
The young creature sounded sincere, not something he’d expect from an underworlder, or any attacker from any tribe. “Why are you here in Kiru city?”
Phantom started off slowly, giving a small smile, “Looked interesting, besides up here was the best place for stargazing on a night like this.”
The green creature thought this over, prefers stargazing to battling creatures he doesn’t know, what an odd youth, “Yes… Still…I can’t have intruders show up any time they like. If you’re not an Overworlder then I have to assume you’re with another tribe.”
Phantom cocked his head to one side looking confused, “Wait, there’s more than one tribe?”
Maxxor raised a brow; just how little did this young creature know? Even the humans who came for their games knew about Perim, Tribes, creatures, attacks, mugic, they sometimes seemed to know more about Perim than the creatures that lived there. But Phantom seemed to be claiming no such knowledge at all.
“How do you not…?”
“Maxxor there you are.” Behind him a white hawk like creature in green jerkin swooped in, pulling a scroll from his bag, “I apologize for the late hour Sire, but the girl said this was to be delivered at once.”
“A girl?” Maxxor asked flatly, he didn’t think one of the Overworld's best archers would make a delivery just because a human asked him too.
The bird man nodded, “A fox girl with a white face, called herself Ren. She said if you didn’t see it things would get out of hand.”
He handed his leader the scroll, pulling out a Spectral viewer, a battle gear that looks like a reptilian skull mask with a green spyglass through one eye. He peered through it looking around, nodding as he put it away. Maxxor assumed that meant Phantom was nowhere around.
Danny phased back into his room, reaching for his humanity and shifting back before slipping into the bed. Meeting Maxxor as Danny Fenton was frightening enough, meeting Maxxor as Danny Phantom might cause him some trouble. There were no doubts in his mind that Maxxor was going to have his subjects keep an eye out for a white haired creature that could float around.
“Well at least he doesn’t know that both Phantom and Danny are the same person…” he thought about that statement, “Same creature. Heh, better than being called a ghost I guess.”
He laughed at the thought, and turned over to fall asleep.