Family Issues

Captive Audience

Elevator doors opened in a dark room, admitting Vlad Plasmius into his secret lab, the lights activating with his arrival.

"Who knew using my position as Mayor to disguise my plots would involve so much paperwork," the hybrid said with a sigh as he paced towards the pod containing his perfect son. The clone was identical to Daniel's ghost form, but that would change once the chemical arrived.

"Once my minions return from their assignments, I will be one step closer to achieving my destiny."

He placed a black glove on the glass surface, focusing on his sleeping son. "Soon my perfect family will be complete."

A hologram of Maddie appeared behind him. "Skulker and Technus are approaching the portal, sweetcakes."

Plasmius turned with a surprised expression.

"Already? That was fast." He flashed a fanged grin. "No matter. Everything is going according to plan."

Skulker and Technus were flying through the Ghost Zone towards Plasmius' portal. Their hostages were still unconscious and wrapped as they were towed behind the ghosts.

Unfortunately for the hunter but amusing for the scientist, the humans weren't the only thing behind them.

"For the last time you infernal woman, I told you to wait at the island!"

"And I'm telling you I'm not going, tin can. I'm coming with you so Big Daddy doesn't keep you away from me!" The infernal woman shouted back.

Skulker sighed in aggravating defeat. He knew Ember was right, but her complaints weren't making his job any easier. And his partner's failed attempts at holding his laughter were not helping either.

"Stop laughing you monologuing twerp or I swear I'll..." A missile launcher exited his left shoulder, the threat was quite clear.

The three ghosts halted their flight at this turn of event.

Technus kept a neutral expression but he disapproved the hunter's lack of emotional control.

"Just because you're frustrated that Plasmius is cutting into your time with your girlfriend does not mean you can take it out on me."

Ember placed a hand on her boyfriend's right shoulder. "He's right you know." The weapon receded into the armor. "Let's just finish your job so you can make up for all the time we missed together." She gave him a sly smile.

Registering Ember's words, Skulker wrapped his fixed right arm around her waist.

"Well then; onward to Plasmius."

The activation of the rockets was so sudden, Ember could only scream at the take-off.

Technus shook his head at his partner's newfound eagerness. He then looked at the wrapped female.

"Looks like getting slammed into a wall is not something you humans can brush off easily," he said. "Your bodies are pathetic but your minds on the other hand; your technology is impressive for the most part." He began to fly to the lab at top speed. "Now it's time for you to serve your purpose."

Plasmius tapped his foot as he waited in front of the closed portal. Ever since Klemper found his way to his portal some time ago, Plasmius modified it so only himself and his associates could enter from the other side.

The doors hissed as they slid open, shining the green glow into the lab.

"You had better have a good reason for- Oh." Plasmius cut his rant short when he saw a wobbly Ember alongside Skulker.

"Warn a girl next time, will ya?" Ember chastised her boyfriend.

Flying at high speeds is not really a problem for ghosts; mainly due to the fact they usually know they'll be going that fast. When they don't know; well...

"I think I'm going to sick," Ember said nauseously.

Skulker walked toward a large, empty cage as the diva emptied her stomach.

Plasmius turned away from the spectacle in disgust.

"Typical. Every time I have something to look good, it gets ruined." He glanced to where the big oaf was laying. "And as usual, when something gets ruined, Jack Fenton is involved." He narrowed his eyes into a hateful glare. "Getting rid of you will be the second happiest day of my life. Marrying Maddie will be my most happy memory obviously."

"Talking to yourself? That's not a good sign for your mental health," said Technus' voice.

Turning towards the portal, Plasmius saw Technus carrying Maddie over his shoulder.

"What the cheese logs?! What is she doing here?!" He shouted as he stomped his way to Technus.

"She was in the lab when we raided it," Technus explained. "We took her so the ghost boy didn't suspect you."

The hybrid's glare remained, but now it was more of an I'm extremely annoyed glare instead of an I'm about to blast you glare.

"Very well," Plasmius said. Straightening his posture, he clasped his hands behind his back. "Place her alongside her idiotic counterpart. Did you at least manage to get the files?"

Technus used his free hand to fish out the file from his pocket. "Who do you think I am? The Box Ghost?"

Said ghost popped his head out the portal.

"I have feelings too you know," he announced before being blasted by Plasmius. "Ow!"

"How did he get past my security?!" Plasmius wondered. "That idiot Klemper better not show his face around here or I swear I'll-"

Seeing Technus holding out the disk, Plasmius calmed himself and took it.

"Ahem. Yes, thank you Technus. Your efforts will be rewarded."

"They better be rewarded. I don't do charity," the self-proclaimed Master of Technology informed as he placed the female hunter in the cage.

Plasmius gazed at the disk in his hand. "Finally, after all this time I shall have everything that I have been denied all this years."

The fog clouding her senses was starting to clear up. The first thing she noticed was the pain. Her body ached with every movement. The second thing she noticed the hard surface she was lying on.

She thought she was in her lab. Lying on the floor due to a failure of one of her husband's inventions. The thought was short lived however; for when she opened her eyes, Maddie Fenton realized she was inside a cage in a lab that was not her own.

It was dark. Very dark. Not the good kind like when he blacked out after winning the national fudge eating competition for the fifth time in a row and breaking his previous record by ten pounds.

No; this was the bad kind of darkness. The kind that would swallow you whole and never let you see the light again.

"Wake up," a familiar voice whispered.]

But he wasn't lost yet. His light wasn't gone and he will follow it out of the darkness.

"Please, I need you to wake up," the voice pleaded.

Light began to replace the darkness until it vanished completely. The light itself slowly vanished, the surroundings were blurry as his eyes adjusted.

It was then that Jack Fenton smiled when the image of his wife came into focus.

Jack and Maddie had inspected the cage they were trapped in. It was similar to the cages that were used by circus Gothica before they were shut down.

"Any luck yet Jack?"

Her husband stood on the other side of the cage.

"Nothing," Jack replied with a grim expression. "We've check every inch of this stupid box and there's nothing to indicate a door or a gate. It's like we just went through the bars themselves, but that's ridiculous."

A light bulb went up in Maddie's head. "Or maybe not!" She grinned.

"You got something, Maddie?"

Maddie began to pace. "Yeah. You said that it's like we went through the bars. I think we did. Don't you remember? The lab was attacked by ghost. They must have brought us here."

"But why would a bunch of filthy ghosts take us hostage?" Jack questioned.

"So you could witness my greatest triumph, that's why," a voice said.

Both hunters turned towards the voice.

"The Wisconsin Ghost!" They both yelled in unison when they saw the blue skinned specter that has placed their family in danger so many times in the past.

The ghost chuckled at their reactions.

"After all we've been through, you still haven't learned my name?" Plasmius 'tsk' as he approached the cage. "That's just rude, don't you think?" He flashed his fangs in Maddie's direction. "My name is Plasmius, Vlad Plasmius."

"I don't care what you call yourself you creep!" Maddie shouted.

"We'll never call you the same name as my college pal," Jack stated. "Now let us out of here so we can tear you apart molecule by molecule!"

Plasmius frowned at the useless threat and fired a magenta eye beam at the big oaf, sending him crashing into the bars.

"Nobody asked for your opinion, you imbecile." Plasmius growled.

Taking a calming breath, he crossed his hands behind his back. "Still... even imbeciles have their uses."

Jack got to his feet, leaning on the bars, his wife by his side. Both hunters glared at their captor as he walked to a console a few feet away.

"The reason I say that," he continued as he activated the console. "Is because thanks to your screw-ups; I now have this."

A spotlight illuminated a capsule hidden in the shadows. Both Fentons gasped as they saw Danny Phantom apparently sleeping inside of it.

"You captured the Ghost Boy too?!" Jack questioned.

Maddie stared at the capsule in surprise. The ghost boy was a hard ghost to capture. It's been able to elude her and her husband for two years after all.

"Not quite." Plasmius chuckled darkly.

Both Fentons were in disbelief. Is it the ghost boy or not?

Plasmius tapped the capsule. "This young man is a clone of young Phantom."

"A clone? Jack bellowed. "That's impossible."

"Even if it were true," Maddie said, crossing her arms. "The risk for destabilization is too high for long term research. The clone would only last a few months at best."

Plasmius smirked at her, an evil glint in his eyes.

"That used to be a problem my dear-" Maddie reeled back, horrified at the implications. Plamius looked back at his son. "-but not anymore."

The capsule hissed as it opened, releasing a chilling mist into the room. The expectant father grinned as he witnessed his son's birth. His family was almost complete.

The Fentons looked on in curiosity and caution. A perfect clone is considered theoretically impossible; not to mention incredibly unethical.

The mist cleared, giving a perfect view of the clone. The boy's physique was identical to Phantom's. His height and build was the same and didn't seem to have defects. His hair hung in front of him, the same way it does to the original, but the clone's hair was also longer in the back, similar to a mullet.

But the biggest difference between original and copy, besides the inverted colors of the jumpsuit was that instead of having tanned skin like Phantom did, the clone's skin was a sickly shade of blue.

The clone slowly opened his eyes and revealed another difference. Instead of vibrant green eyes; they were a dark shade of scarlet.

Slowly, the clone stepped out of the capsule, its gaze never left its creator.

Plasmius grinned as his son stepped next to him. He turned towards his captives.

"Allow me to introduce my son, Dante Plasmius."

Dante grinned at his introduction. The smile was joyful from his perspective, but for the captives; the eyes and fangs made more of a predator ready to attack.

Maddie shook off her surprise. "So now that you have your son, what do want us for?"

"Simple, my dear. I want you at my side."

"What?!" She yelled in disgust. Marry a ghost? She thought. This guy is a fruit loop. Hmm, where did that come from?

"You're not laying a hand on my wife," Jack bellowed, snapping Maddie from her thoughts.

Plasmius sneered at the buffoon. "She won't be your wife once you're out of the way."

He aimed both his hands at the orange hunter, magenta energy gathered in his palms.

Dante mimicked his father, red energy ready to destroy his father's enemies.

Jack stood in front of his wife. They weren't aiming at her directly, but he'll ensure her safety one way or another.

Plasmius smiled wickedly at the display.

"Goodbye and good-" At that moment, the roof exploded.

The couple in the cage coughed as they tried to clear their lungs.

"What was that?" Maddie wondered as she stood up from the floor. Jack had protected her from debris.

"Maddie, look."

She turned towards her husband and gaped.

There was big hole in the roof of the lab and the crash had broken the bars of their cage. But the thing that had her attention was the rebuilt and modified Specter Speeder.

Before they could get their bearings, the Speeder opened and its occupants filed out.

Danny Phantom stepped out first, he called the coast clear. Well, as clear as clouds of debris could be. Jazz came out next. She had already activated her iconic Fenton Peeler.

Sam, Tucker and Danielle took up the rear. The two humans wore a Specter Deflector and were arm with Wrist Rays.

They had backpacks filled with more weapons. The five teens stayed near the Speeder, their eyes darted to every direction as they looked for Danny's parents and watched out for Plasmius.

"Jazz?" Maddie called out. The teens saw Maddie and Jack heading towards them.

Jazz ran to her parents and hugged them both. "You're alive. We're not too late," the girl cried.

"Of course we're alive, sweetie." Maddie smiled. "Sam, Tucker, what are you doing here? And with Phantom?" Fortunately for the teens, her tone was more curious than hostile.

Phantom stepped closer. "I'm glad you're safe Mo-Maddie." I almost called her Mom. Gotta be careful on that.

Before Maddie could contemplate the ghost boy's apparent concern for her, Phantom was blasted away by an ecto-blast.

"Late as usual, Daniel," Plasmius said as he emerged from a dust cloud, his hand still smoking. "You've never been able to stop me before, Daniel. What makes you think bringing your foolish friends will change anything?" Plamius gave a fanged smirk. "Especially when I have my son to deal with you."

A black boot stomped the floor behind Danny. He quickly turned and saw a scowling Dante.

Danny narrowed his eyes. "So you're Vlad's latest pet project huh?" Danny mocked. "Looks like he rushed it considering you look like a zombie with that skin color."

Dante's scowl deepened as his fists blazed with red energy. He wanted nothing more than to blast that idiot into ashes; but he had to wait for his father's command.

Danny's friends and sister stepped in line beside him, but their numbers didn't seemed to bother Dante.

Jack, Maddie and Danielle were further away from the others. The adults were aiming shotgun-like blasters at Plasmius and Danielle's fists were charged with green ecto-energy. Plasmius however, seemed unfazed and simply smiled with his own energy charged and ready to blast them to oblivion, especially two people in particular.

However before fighting could break out, a sharp whistling sound, as if an object was falling, was heard.

Everyone was confused as to what that noise was, where it was coming from, and why it sounded louder by the second.

"Kids? What's going on?" Maddie asked. She didn't look away from Plasmius, but her worried tone was clear.

"This is his idea of helping?!" Danielle shouted.

She turned to Danny with a serious expression."Put up a barrier around you and your friends; use as much energy as you have to so it doesn't break." Danielle stepped between Jack and Maddie and formed a green dome around them.

"What are you doing?" Maddie asked in a bitter and suspicious tone. She may be on the fence about Phantom's actions, but at least she had evidence on him while she knew nothing about this ghost girl.

"Saving your lives, that's what," Danielle snapped back. She glanced at Danny whose barrier was already in place.

Meanwhile the whistling sound got louder, harsher, closer.

Witnessing the scene in front of them, Vlad and Dante formed their own barriers and not a moment too soon cause in a single instant, the entire room was consumed by blinding light and deafening noise.

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