“C’mon Danny, wouldn’t it be cool to be able to be the first person to greet an entire new world?” Sam’s voice was barely able to be made out over the repeated clicking of her camera, a polaroid she had gotten when she started insisting it was more fun than her phones built in camera.
“I don’t know Sam, if my mom and dad couldn’t get it to work why should I be able to?”
“Please,” Tucker snorted. “No offense, but your parents are idiots.”
“Danny, when’s the last time they even remembered to make you and Jazz dinner?” Sam reasoned.
“Okay, fair. Still doesn’t mean I should blindly walk into the gates of hell.”
“Danny, it's a portal to the underworld, stop being dramatic.” She sighed.
“While I’m all in favor of Danny going in there, I will admit that ‘portal to the underworld’ and ‘gates to hell’ are practically the same thing.”
Sam shot them both a look. “Okay, are you too going to keep wussing out? Because I’m going to go home and waste my weekend on tumblr if nothing interesting is going to happen.”
“Gasp, Sam, are you saying you only come to my house for the freak show? I’m hurt.”
“Yeah yeah, get your ass in that portal Fenton.” Sam interrupted his attempt at saying ‘fine’ by ripping the decal of his dad of the chest of his hazard suit. “Here. We don’t want the ghosts first impression of humanity to be that. ”
“Thanks.” Danny said with a shaky smile. And with a brave sigh he placed his first foot into the portal. Then the next. Then the next. And suddenly he was giving a real smile for Sam as she took photos of him doing triumphant posies. Until he slipt over that dumb wire.
Suddenly he felt his hand connect with something protruding from the wall through his glove. And then there was a siren and bliding flashing red lights.
“Danny!” Sam’s scream wasn’t necessary, he was already running like hell out of that portal. Then he tripped on that dumb wire again.
He was sprawled on the ground, the siren drowning out the sound of his friends shouts when the portal fired up.
Then, his own screaming was drowning everything out.
He couldn’t focus on his throat going raw from screaming, because the only thing he felt was every atom of his body being caught on fire. Or at least, that’s what it felt like.
Even though he was in an immense amount of pain, he still realized he was being electrocuted. And he vaguely remembered his parents telling him the voltage this thing was being powered by. And that there was no way he was going to survive this.
So he laid there, screaming over the yelling of his concerned friends in agony as his molecular structure was rearranged.
Danny woke from his nightmare with a start. His chest heaved heavily as he blindly grasped for his phone and scanned it for the time. 6:12. He let out a soft groan as he flopped back down onto his pillows. He wasn’t even going to bother trying to fall back asleep tonight. Maybe he’d take the extra 30 minutes to actually take a shower this morning. It might wake him up more. Plus he hadn’t really had the energy to do it lately, and even though his friends were too polite to say it, he stunk. Okay, they weren’t actually polite, more like guilty. No one could ever describe Sam Manson as polite.
Showering and getting dressed done with, he checked the time again and sighed noticing it was still only 6:30, and remembering that he didn’t have to leave until 7. Maybe he could actually make breakfast today. His stomach growled happily at the thought. Man, healing from being electrocuted made you surprisingly hungry.
“Danny?” Jazz called hesitantly at seeing him in the kitchen. “Are you… making breakfast?”
“No, Jazz I’m standing over a pan of eggs on the stove at 6:45 in the morning because it’s a hobby of mine.” He replied sarcastically.
“You don't have to be snarky,” She said with a sniff. But then her face softened.
“Hey, what are you making that face for? I made some for you too you know.” For some reason that just seemed to make it worse.
“What? What’s wrong? Shit Jazz, it's just fried eggs.”
“Danny you just haven’t really been the same since the portal. It's really nice to see you actually showering and eating breakfast.” Jazz still looked like she was going to cry, but at least she was smiling now.
“Yeah, okay. Just take your eggs Jazz.” He mumbled.
Danny had missed school for one full week after the portal accident. His parents thought it was a miracle. The ghost portal powering up, not him surviving. They thought that was pretty nice, though.
He hadn’t gone to the hospital, his parents were more than well equipped to handle an electrocuted teenager, and he was pretty thankful for that. He didn’t mind them as much as Tucker did, but hospitals did make him uneasy. Still, it did make his teachers mad that he had missed school for a week and didn’t even have any sort of medical form or doctor’s note to back up that he had been electrocuted. The scars running up and down his legs and arms were apparently enough proof though, because they didn’t make much of a fuss about it after he showed them. They had actually been pretty easy on him in the fews day he’s been back. Mr. Lancer even actually told Dash off when he saw the football player shove him into a locker. Danny had no idea how long it was going to last, but he was going to appreciate it while it did.
So, it was a relatively cheerful Danny that created his friends and the point where all of their paths to school connected.
“What’s got you in such a good mood?” Sam laughed.
“I don’t know, can’t a guy be happy for once?” Danny grinned back.
“Well, yeah a normal guy can, but you were literally just electrocuted to death a week ago.” Tucker snorted.
“I told you guys,” Danny said “I didn’t die.”
“Yeah sure, you’re not a ghost and Sam’s not a vampire.”
“I’m not a vampire though?” Sam said confused.
“One day you two will stop trying to hide your status as supernatural entities from me, and I cannot wait to go on rad adventures as your trusty human sidekick.” Tucker sighed.
The school day was fine, Danny dropped a few beakers in science and tripped a lot, but that’s nerve damage for you. He was still resolutely telling himself it was nerve damage, and the fact that his hands seemed to disappear for that split second before the beaker fell, or that it felt like he was falling into rather than onto the floor meant nothing. Well, up until he walked through the vending machine on his way towards the door after the final bell had rung. Then his friends stopped accepting that.
“Danny, seriously, I think something weird happened to you when that portal turned on. We need to try and figure out exactly what it is!” Sam whispered fervently as she pulled him in the direction of her house.
“C’mon guys, you’re just seeing things.”
“Danny, listen. We all know there’s no way you should have survived that.” Tucker said seriously. He cut Danny off as he started to argue. “What did you say the portal was again? 1,000 volts?”
“1,250.” Danny whispered back.
“And at what voltage do most electricity related deaths occur?” While this might not have been general knowledge for most people, Danny had grown up with a lab in his basement and scientists as parents. Stuff like this came as naturally to him as breathing.
“Yeah, I think this is more than just a case of your guardian angel deciding to intervene. Something happened when you pressed that button, Danny. And we’re going to find out.” Sam said resolutely.
“So, this is your way of finding out what happened to me?” Danny asked as he dodged another crumpled ball of paper. He was in Sam’s room surrounded by the little balls.
“Danny! Stop dodging! We need to see if you can get the paper to go through you.” Sam yelled, throwing another.
“Yeah and how exactly is that supposed to work again?”
“All we know is that for some reason, you somehow managed to make yourself intangible today and walk through a vending machine. And if we’re correct, you’ve been doing that every time you’ve dropped something ever since you went into the portal.” Tucker said.
“And now we’re trying to replicate that. So just like, focus on the idea of the paper going through you or something.”
So Danny did. He closed his eyes with a sigh and felt his friend repeatedly throwing paper balls at him and tried to focus on getting them to stop. He tried to imagine them no longer connecting with his body and suddenly he no longer felt anything. He opened his eyes after a few seconds and saw the balls hovering an inch or so away from him, surrounded in a green glow. He had seen that exact shade enough to recognize it as ectoplasm green. He let out a gasp of surprise and the paper feel, the glow disappearing along with the levitation.
“Okay…” Sam said weakly. “Not exactly what we were going for but it's something.”
“Yeah.” Tucker agreed. “Something.”
Danny, for his part, couldn't find it in himself to say anything.
“So, what does this mean?” Danny questioned after they all sat down on Sam’s bed, Danny feeling exceptionally drained and Tucker and Sam definitely needing to sit down after having witnessed their best friend harness green energy to stop their paper ball attack.
“Maybe the portal infused ectoplasm in you?” Sam suggested.
“That would make sense…” I’ve been around ectoplasm a lot, probably even eaten plenty of it, but I think I remember helping my parents with a theory about how it takes some sort of power to activate the ectoplasm. Thermal energy or electricity would probably be the easiest examples. It’s basically the whole principle behind how the portal works.”
“Maybe you’re half ghost now.” Tucker snorted.
“Yeah, catch me transforming into my ghost-sona guys. I’ll have a catchphrase too. Goin’ ghost!” His friends didn’t even have time to laugh as the room was suddenly overtaken by a flash of blinding white light.
“Oh my god.” Sam and Tucker muttered at the same time. “Danny you…”
“What? What’s wrong?” Sam wordlessly pulled out her phone and gave it to Danny with the camera open. The person on the screen looked nothing like him.
His hair was a dull white, and his body was so pale the soft green glow around him stood out starkly. His nasa t shirt and jeans had been replaced by the hazmat suit he had been wearing when he went into the portal, but the colors were reversed. But what stood out the most were his eyes.
They were glowing such a bright ecto green that it was hard to look at them, even through the phone screen, for more than a few moments at a time. He realized that green glow around him was actually coming from them and not just his body in general. They looked kinda terrifying in all honesty.
“Well,” Danny said. “As far as ghost-sonas go I guess this isn’t to bad?” And with another flash of blinding light he was back to normal. And exhausted. He passed out before he could answer any of his friends questions