The Ultimate Enemy

by DJSkywalker

First published

The ultimate ghost has returned to seek his revenge on the one defeated him, but circumstances arise that once again imprison him, but with horrifying results. Now with his heart and emotions restored, he must come to terms with his new life.

For ten grand years, the world trembled at the very mention of my name. My presence sent women and children running and caused men to openly weep at their imminent demise. I was once the greatest, but I was defeated by myself. I thought I could defeat him and make my future glorious, but I failed.

I was going to make Phantom pay for leaving me at the mercy of Clockwork and the Observers. I was going to remake my future. But fate once again intervened, sending me somewhere far past the ghost zone. It was awful at first, but when I saw how this new world's creatures trembled before me... I just couldn't deny my want for destruction of these pathetic creatures.

If only it had been so easy...

I do not own My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic nor Danny Phantom. This is made for entertainment only and not to infringe on any copyrights.

Chapter One

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How long has it been?

A day? A month? Maybe even years.

Years trapped in these chains. I could see that being the case. It has felt like ages in this unforgiving dungeon. I had given up ideas of escaping long ago. My every movement was restricted, even unable to eat.

Not that I needed to eat, but the familiar feeling was nice. Nice was not something I normally cared for. I didn’t care much for anything, really. Not since I gave up my humanity.

I had it all at one point. The entire world, trembling at the very mention of my name. It would have brought me joy if I could have felt such a thing. Not much was left to tremble, thinking about it. Only a few pockets of humanity had survived, and that was only because I just hadn’t gotten to them.

Of course, there just had to be a stubborn group. My old home: Amity Park. It always came back to that place, didn’t it? Where ghosts and ghouls roamed, creating the perfect area for defense. Years and years of hauntings and ghost attacks had made its people ready for someone like me.

Or so they had hoped.

Took me ten years, but I finally destroyed the last greatest line of defense humanity had. With Amity gone, there was nothing to stand in my way.

Except my past.

Clockwork just had to interfere, him and the blasted Observers. Because they feared me, I had to be eliminated. But how do you beat the unbeatable? I’ll grudgingly admit they were smart about solving that problem: by destroying him before he could become unbeatable. Time travel always did seem like a problem to me, even long before I became a ghost.

There was an old saying: the past will always come back to haunt you. Little did I know that it became literal for me. My fourteen year old self found a way to the future and vowed to make sure I never happened.

Well, I couldn’t just let that go, could I? I needed to exist. It’s all I do… besides destroy. I trapped my past self in the future while I went back in time to make sure I happened. I made sure everything was set: cheating the test, keeping Jazz out of sight, and making sure the old Nasty Burger restaurant was set to explode. I was so close.

How did the past change so much? To this day, I still look back on it and try to understand where the changes began. I was certain that everything had happened just as it should have. So where did it go so wrong?

Perhaps I shouldn’t have gotten a little arrogant at the end. Maybe if I hadn’t let my past self trap me in that blasted thermos I could have finished making my future bleak. As it should be. Ten long years, gone in a single moment.

I realized I only had myself to blame. Literally, it was myself I hated. Didn’t even know how I could feel hatred, but it didn’t matter. I would return to show my younger self that you don’t mess with this Phantom.

Took me longer than I would like to admit to break out of that thermos. A few years, but it didn’t matter. When I was free from my imprisonment, of course Clockwork tried to stop me, but it was futile. I existed outside of time and space, making his powers worthless against me. He was so shocked when he tried to stop time and I still wailed on him. Both iterations: pounding him and using my wail.

I decided not to kill him, he does keep time in check after all. That’s something that would have been a threat to me. The least of those as possible was good for me.

Exiting the Ghost Zone was much easier than in my own future, since no one bothered keeping tabs on them in what I found to be a ‘time of peace’. And what did I find standing in the middle of Amity Park? A statue to me… well, the me of this time line. Large, unimposing, and holding the world in his hand.

I found it… oddly irritating. The world in his hand and yet he chooses to let them run his life. Well, I was gonna have to change that. It was time for a little payback.

I found a newspaper stand (slightly surprised they still existed) and found I was only trapped for about six years. And it was a special date. I remember smiling when I found that my younger alternate would be at some geek convention that day as well.

Happy thirtieth to me.

Didn’t take long to find the Amity Convention Center, geeks of every kind going to… Ghost Con…

And they wondered why I despised humanity? Honestly, I would have given up right there even with my human half.

A convention to celebrate ghosts… they are just asking to be destroyed now, aren’t they? Humanity, pitiful.

I remember striding into the convention like I owned the place. Wasn’t too far from the truth because once I had destroyed my alternate, the world would be mine. Can’t remember too much about the actual convention, didn’t care enough to keep anything in memory. Though there was some stoned fool who thought I was in a “Dark Danny” costume. His parent’s shouldn’t be expecting him home again… ever. I don’t think the janitor was very happy when he went to the bathroom to clean.

As I strode by the multitude of stands, something glinting in the faint sunlight let in by the skylights caught my eye. When I looked, I was about ready to start blasting. Someone dared to have a Fenton Thermos for sale at their stand. I decided to have a… talk with the seller. I walked up to the stand and grabbed the thermos in my hand.

“Where did you get this?” I asked, looking down at the measly merchant. He most certainly wasn’t from the States, the accent and the crazy hair being prime evidence. Someone had been touching the coffee too much, I figured. He was jittery and unfocused, his talking getting on my nerve as soon as he started talking.

“Oh oh, you likey? Hmm, you likey da thermos? Creeper find in Creeper house, I did! You want buy thermos? You likey thermos to buy?”

Like I said, wanted to blast him out of existence right there. But information like that would have been necessary. If he had a thermos, how many others had one? Know thy enemy, the old saying went.

“Where. Did you. Get this?” I repeated with a little extra force.

“I find. Creeper find in special place.” Special place? He gasped and grabbed the thermos from me and pulled a strange package out from underneath the stand. “No, is no good to sell like dis. Thermos need drink. Need good something. Creeper throw in Ectolytezer. Creeper own creation. Not know how, but Creeper make. Good for ghosts. Very good.”

He handed me back the thermos, now filled with a gloppy green substance. I gave it a small sniff and could tell it was filled with ghostly energy. Where did that strange person find such raw energy? It shouldn’t have been possible to acquire that.

“Go on, go on!” he urged. “Drink, drink! You like, you’ll like. Creeper assures. Customer satisfaction is Creeper creed.”

Odd for such a creed, being that he was odder than most ghosts I had met. What harm could a little drink cause? I was the most powerful ghost to ever live, I had nothing to worry about.

I really need to get that arrogance in check, it constantly bites me in the butt.

Just taking that one little sip made me clutch my chest, a cold pain searing through my body. I looked to the shop keep who was smiling like he had won the blasted lottery! That crafty little…

“Creeper keep customers satisfied. Creeper promise Phantom peace. Trust in Creeper, Phantom going to like where he’s going.” He chuckles… creepily as I fell to my knees.

“I feel… cold,” was all I could say before everything went black.

When I awoke, I was atop a mountain. The winds howled around me, snow blustering and blowing, whipping my cape like a frenzy. I was bewildered; odd for me. What was odder was I wasn’t cold… at all. Most wouldn’t find that weird, but ghosts can feel cold in environments like this. Only ghosts formed in such an environment would be able to handle such weather, and I most certainly was not one of those. Not something I couldn’t get over, but I should have at least felt a little chill.

I figured it out rather quickly when a wolf thought I would be a good lunch. My ghost ray froze the animal solid. Cryokinetic abilities were a new on me; not unwanted, but certainly a nice surprise. First some electrokinesis during my early years, then pyrokinesis when I absorbed Plasmius, and finally cryokinesis from a strange drink. Why did it feel familiar? Did someone make a videogame of that or something?

Didn’t matter, I suppose. I needed to find out where I was. Taking flight from the mountain top, I could see lights in the distance. Civilization, the first one I would bring down. I still would have said it was a nice birthday gift.

Upon arriving, I found it to be a large city made of what appeared to be some form of crystal. But that’s not what I enjoyed about the sight. It was seeing it’s inhabitants, trudging through gloom and doom, watched over by what looked to be a dark king. Brought a smile to my face seeing these… ponies? Odd, I admitted, but there were stranger ghosts than these living creatures. But seeing those ponies in chains, working like the mules they were just seemed right.

Oh, but what was that? Two flying ponies, with horns… girliest thing I had ever seen but...ooh, they were attacking the evil ruler. Interesting, a coup d’etat perhaps? Never did ask, but I simply wanted to observe that conflict. Hmm, the king was putting up an admirable fight, certainly some spunk in him. But the rebels, they had plenty of their own. Ha, ponies with magic? At least that’s what it had appeared to be. It wasn’t ecto energy, that was certain. I would have been able to sense it if it was.

As I watched, I came to the understanding that I certainly was not on Earth anymore. No, there was no such place as this in either the real world or the ghost zone. An alien world, perhaps in a different dimension altogether. How… enticing.

And down went the white one. Intriguing, the blue one seemed rather upset. Must have been either a lover or a relative. I assumed the closest would be a sister. Then… now that was something. A darker energy consumed the smaller one, giving her a lot of power. But still the king blasted her away. Oh, the other was awakening, looked like the blue one’s power dissipated as well. How strange.

And then the two rose high into the sky, crossed their horns and attacked the king with all their might. I could hear his screams from my high view; it didn’t sound pleasant. Not pleasant at all. Oh, but he wasn’t going down easy. His body was destroyed into shadow and just as the ice consumed him, it took the entire city as well. Now that was a show; the villain took a win in the end. Taking his slaves and kingdom with him to the grave; admirable, those two will never forget that loss.

The two flew off into the distance, not looking very victorious. They vanquished the villain, but at a mighty cost. I floated down to where the grand city was only minutes prior and found nothing had been left.

I marveled a little at the efficiency. There was no winner in that battle. But that left me wondering something: despite that show, what was I meant to do now? I pondered this as I flew in the opposite direction of the what I presumed to be sisters. There was no Phantom here for me to take revenge upon. I existed outside of time and space and no longer restricted to my original world.

It gave me… potential. Sure, I could have focused on returning to my world for revenge, but then again, there was nothing saying I could have had my fun with the populace on this world. If so many could be enslaved by one of their own, certainly wouldn’t be too hard to put some terror and destruction into their bland lives.

Oh, I remember those next couple years being bountiful. I started small, haunting small, out of the way villages. It was almost too easy. Simple spooks ended some of the ponies prematurely. Every trick in the book was brand new to them and it made smile at the destruction I caused. I eventually moved to the cities, not large or bustling ones like I had known, but they were larger than the villages.

But I couldn’t simply haunt these creatures to death. I had to step it up a few notches. How? Simple: I blew up a city.

I decided to make it easy on my self, so I went to the center of the city. Making sure they could all see me (because everyone needs an audience before doing something magnificent), I used my old repulsion field to turn the town into a crater. Nothing survived, disintegrating the instant the field hit it.

Of course, this caught the attention of the rulers of the country. Turned out that the ponies from that day in the crystal city were the princesses of the country I had been haunting. And they did not appreciate me killing several thousand of their subjects. They were mad, very mad, and wanted me to “pay for my crimes”. As if they could stop me.

My powers far exceeded theirs. I put them in their place fairly easily. I didn’t have to hold back on them like I did my past-self. I wanted to exist back then after all. No worries about it then.

Something strange happened, though. They pulled out these six strange gems, floating them around. They all looked like ordinary gems, save for one that looked like a six-pointed star. They began to glow in golden aura, I couldn’t sense what kind of energy was being used. The sisters poured in their own energy and fired an actual rainbow at me. It was so unexpected that I didn’t move in time to get away from the blast. Being a ghost has its advantages, though. I turned intangible just as the rainbow hit.

I felt the need to smirk, but something was wrong. I was untouchable, nothing should be affecting me at all. Yet, the strange magic was burning me. I saw smoke coming off my intangible form, the rainbow beginning to wrap around me. I let out a roar as I was consumed by the magic.

Something was surging into me, something unwanted and unneeded. When my vision was no longer consumed by rainbows, I had to look up at the two ponies. My body felt… smaller, less powerful,… NO!

“Sister,” I overheard the blue one through my delirium. “He was not sealed in stone nor banished. How hath this occurred?”

“We know not,” the white replied. “But we must take more drastic actions to prevent this monster from harming our little ponies.” I shakily lifted my head to meet her cold eyes. My face felt longer, was that natural? “For thy crimes against Equestria,” So that was the name of the country. “We, Celestia, Princess of the Sun, and Luna, Princess of the Moon, sentence thee to banishment from our land. Thy will suffer dearly for harming our subjects in the depths of the great prison, Tartarus. Doth thee have any last words?”

“I feel… why do I feel?” I glared at the pony princesses. “What did you do to me?!”

“We know not, tis never happened with prior use of the Elements of Harmony. However, if thy suffers from this form, then tis well deserved. Farewell, Phantom.”

I began to sink into the ground below, as if the planet was consuming me. There was too much pain for me to cry out or declare that I would return. But I swore that there would be recompense for my imprisonment.

I knew not how long ago that was, but I was certain it was many, many years ago. It felt like it had been that long. I had long since accepted my prison. I was trapped in chains, constricting ever limb from moving even the slightest bit. I felt a little pride that I was trapped so fully; they took no chances. Guess I had put them in a fearful state.

And why not? I was often called the ‘Ultimate Enemy’ during my glory days.

A sound rang in my ears, making my eyes open in an instant. I couldn’t see through the darkness, but I knew that was the sound of metal against metal. Something had opened my cell; I was no longer alone in there. Something crashed on to the shackle restricting my left arm. My eyes shifted and I saw a strange face. It seemed similar to a monkey, but in such a world that I was living in, I could have been very wrong.

“Who are you?” I asked, cringing inwardly at my new voice. It just wasn’t right to my ears.

“I am your savior, young one,” he responded. Certainly a ‘he’. And ‘young one’? I could feel the need to laugh, but who knows how long this creature had been down here. He was slamming a rock on my chains, sending out sparks that allowed me to see more. I saw shackles on his wrists, making it sure to me that he was a prisoner in this dreadful hole as well. “I am Lord Tirek, a fellow prisoner. But now is a time to rejoice. The guardian of this realm has disappeared, making this the prime time to escape.”

“Why help me?” A valid question.

“I have heard of your reputation. I was skeptic, but this many seals means you scared the alicorn princesses highly. That means you will be a worthy ally.”

“And if I were to refuse your offer?”

“I doubt you pose much threat to me, boy.”

So little you know. I allowed him to continue to destroy my shackles and chains. One by one, my limbs were freed, dropping to the ground like stones. When the final clamp around my midsection was freed, I slumped to the cold, stone floor.

I hated the feeling. I hated feeling.

“Come, up we go.” He hefted me on to his back, revealing to me that he was a form of monkey-centaur. Intriguing to say the least. We moved cautiously through the dank caves that made up Tartarus. I never saw much outside of my cell, but I could tell that this was no happy wonderland. It looked like the Underworld from that movie based on a Greek hero; filled with death and certainly not welcoming to the living. A perfect place for ghosts to mingle, but I sense not a single one within. Odd.

We exited through a large cave opening, looking like the maw of a large stone monster. For all I knew, it could have been at one point in time. A world of magic held many mysteries. Upon exiting, the sunlight burst into my eyes, making me shield my face.

It was at that point that I finally got a good look at my body. It was nothing like I was used to. It was pure white, completely covered in fur and… I couldn’t believe it. I wasn’t just different… I was unrecognizable. I was one of them!

I was a pony, covered from hoof to hoof in pure white fur. A black mangled mess of a mane fell into my face and I looked back to see the same could be said of my tail. Having a tail was the actually the best part of the experience. Tails are very handy I would find out later. But the absolute worst part?

I was short. Much shorter than an adult of the pony species. My voice, the strange feelings… NO! I… I… I was a colt!

I clambered off my rescuer, frantically looking at every aspect of my new form. I felt fear, disgust, anger, hatred, sadness, IT WAS TOO MUCH. And I succinctly summed it all up in my all too familiar fourteen year old voice.

“This SUCKS!” Yep, completely rational for an adult to say that.

“And now, for you to repay me,” Tirek said, walking up to me. “You will work for me and help me get back the power that is rightfully mine. If you refuse, then I will simply take your magic and leave you for when Cerberus returns. You’ll make an excellent chew toy-slash-treat.”

Did he just…? I turned to give him a cold glare. “Let’s get one thing straight, Tirek. I work for no one. Especially not some freak’s animal breeding project gone awry.”

“And what are you going to do about it colt?!” he laughs. “You are no threat to me! What could you possibly do to stop me?”

I can’t believe I have to say this old shtick again, but I suppose nostalgia has its perks. “I’m going ghost!” That old ring of energy appears around the center of my body and slowly begins to go up and down. I could feel my old body, my hands, my feet, but greatest of all was my power!

Tirek gasped, backing away as I stood back to normal in front of him. I examined my ghostly form, seeing nothing was wrong with my pale false-skin. I looked in a puddle near my feet and saw that my red-eyes had returned to the green they were when I had begun my ghostly quests. Odd.

“Wh-what are you?!” the centaur asked in fear.

Heh, I smirked at his fear. It was a familiar feeling I relished in of seeing them be afraid of me. “I am Dan Phantom, Tirek,” I smiled evil, lighting my hand with ecto energy. “And I don’t need you anymore.” I blasted him off the cliff, falling into the depths below. I looked over the edge, not seeing anything through the tree coverage. I smirk, before something painful catches in my chest. The hoop appears again and I am forced back into a colt.

“Erg,” I snarled weakly. “Looks like I can’t sustain my true form. That’s gonna be a pain for a while.” I looked out at the setting sun, an uncertain future ahead of me. “Just watch out Princesses, the Ultimate Enemy is coming back.”

Chapter Two

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I reiterate my earlier point: this sucks!

I wandered for who-knows-how-long through the decrepit wilderness. I had no food, no water, no shelter, and almost everything I came across wanting to make me into lunch. Each time I had to ‘go ghost’ to get rid of them, draining my body even further.

That mortal coil was absolutely horrid. It was everything I had removed oh so long ago. I shouldn’t have had to deal with the need to consume in order to exist.

And that was the worst part of this form. It needed nourishment to exist. I had hoped that if I simply allowed it to wither away, but something so easy wouldn’t work. I felt so weak, so much pain. It was futile; my two bodies were linked. If my, ugh, pony form were to cease to exist, so would my true form.

To exist, I would have to be half-colt, half-ghost… how pathetic.

Tartarus must have been truly out of the way, as I had yet to pass a single settlement through my trek. I’m certain that I had been walking for months, possibly even a year. All it took was finding a stream every few days and eating a few bushes to keep going. Disgusting, I know, but you do what you must to survive.

It was odd that it remained night for what seemed like a week. How could such a thing occur? If and when I find out, the answer better not be magic or I was gonna put the hurt on someone. During that time, I tested out my ghost powers, seeing how far I could push my weak little body. To say I was disappointed would have been an understatement. I could only keep my true form for five minutes, and that was pushing myself. At least I was able to use my full powers in that form with no apparent decrease.

Using them in my normal form, however… Ugh, it was sickening how weak and pathetic I was. Intangibility, invisibility, some flight, and the weakest ghost ray imaginable. Barely left a burn mark on a tree. I didn’t have my strength, my stamina, even my reflexes felt dulled. If this was truly my punishment, I was going to really destroy those sisters for doing this to me.

Hmm, now where I have found myself? I thought to myself, looking over the darkened trees and surroundings. This place felt strangely… unnatural. I remembered seeing those pegasi pushing clouds and actually making the weather, so it was obvious that the ponies had control over nature here. But this forest, it didn’t feel like everywhere else. Could it be that there are places where the ponies could not control? Of course nature wouldn’t bow down to such pathetic creatures. But it will bow down to me.

There was also a sense of familiarity in the area. Is it possible that this place has a supernatural connection as well? Faint traces of ectoplasmic energy are in the trees. Perhaps the site of an ancient ghost portal? Or maybe this was the home of a ghost at one point… or the current home of ghosts. Now that would be handy. If I could find a way into the Ghost Zone from here, then there may be a way to find the tools I need to rid myself of this pathetic form. A calming thought… darn it! More emotions, disgusting!

I walked for about an hour more through the forest, nothing seeming to be special save for the atmosphere. No signs of sentient life. Sure there were some vermin roaming, a bear here or there, but nothing to write home about… not that I had such a home to write to… or any want to write home.

There was a strange feeling on my cheek so I lifted my hoof to wipe it off. I looked and saw that my hoof was wet where it touched my cheek. I was… crying?! Why on earth was I crying?! Was… was it thinking of home? I have no home… but I did. I had… a family… friends… loved ones… NO! No, I cast those away a long time ago! I don’t need emotions! They are a hinderance; a weakness!

I forcefully wiped the tears away, sickened by them. I shook my head to clear it of those disgusting thoughts and focused on walking again. I don’t need others, I don’t need anything, I am all that I will ever need.

And without any warning, I was propelled to this side by an unseen force and pushed hard against a tree. I let out a little yelp (pitiful) on contact. I opened my eye and discovered to have be trapped by a net… and ecto net!

“How…?” I whispered. A figure emerged from the trees and… what was I looking at? It was a pony, that I was certain, but something was off about her (definitely a ‘her’ from the muzzle shape). Ah, that was it. Her eyes; they weren’t looking in the same direction. One seemed to wobble off. Grey fur, blonde hair, and… ah, wings on the sides. A pegasus, how quaint.

“Oh my gosh! I am so sorry, little colt,” she said, her voice kind of like a teenage girl (human that is). It was fairly sweet, but I cringed and gritted my teeth at her calling me a colt. Sure, I am one, but that didn’t mean I wanted it rubbed in. She trotted right up to me and began to pull on the net. “I didn’t know anypony else was out here. Sorry about this, I just don’t know what went wrong.”

Once I was freed, I fell to my stomach with an “Oof”. I got up on my hooves and dusted my coat off. My fur was a nice white and I wanted to keep it that way. Appearances are important. As much as I wanted to destroy that pony, if she was here then that meant civilization wasn’t too far away. If I got rid of her, others might come looking and attention was the last thing I wanted at that moment.

“Are you alright?” she asked me.

“I am perfectly alright, miss.” I missed my true voice. The voice I used then reminded me too much of the one who had sealed me in a thermos. “Just a little shook up.” Not a complete lie.

“I am very sorry for this. I thought a ghost was over here.”

Wait, a ghost?! “A ghost? Why would there be any ghosts?” Perhaps this mare would prove useful after all.

She nodded happily. “Uh huh! Ponies say that ghosts roam the Everfree forest because it’s almost always night in here! I came out here to practice my ghost catching equipment!”

“Ghost catching equipment?”

“Mhmm!” She showed me a metal cannon which had no doubt fired that net at me. It looked… it looked just as if Jack Fenton had made it! How could that be? “I made it myself! Sorry for shooting you again, but you should probably head on back to Ponyville.” She pointed in the direction she came from. “It’s back that way. And don’t worry, I won’t tell nopony I found you out here. Playing hooky from school was something even I did every now and again. Just don’t make it a habit, okay?”

I nodded, a little surprised by her helpfulness. “Thanks, miss…?”

“Oh! My name’s Derpy! Derpy Hooves.” There was a beeping noise from her saddlebag and she pulled out… is that Jack’s ghost detector?! “Ooh, there’s another ghost nearby! Sorry kiddo, but it’s time to hunt ghosts! Bye bye!” She clumsily flew off into the forest, nearly crashing into a few trees before she was out of my sight.

...I knew this world had its crazies but I had hoped I wouldn’t run into a pony ghost hunter. That could be detrimental… if she wasn’t as incompetent as the Fentons. So, Ponyville, eh? I walked in the direction she had suggested and, after about ten minutes or so, I was on the outskirts of a village. It was primitive, that was for sure, still using thatched roofs and wooden buildings. In one word, I would call it colorful; almost every building was a different bright color, making this town seem to be the happiest in the realm.

It was sickening to look at!

But it was no doubt the only town for miles. I should know, walked for over a year and never found a single trace of any. Wandering through the town, not much was different up close. Still sickening sweet colored.

“Ugh,” I groaned. It was far too bright that day. Stupid sun. I shielded my eyes with a hoof, looking at the sky and… is… is that a castle? No wait… three? I could see three castles?! Why are there three castles?! Two of them were obviously in the town, but the third seemed to have been built into the side of a far off mountain. Was that highest level castle then?

The two in town were complete opposites. One was obviously a dark castle, with pointy spires and gargoyles. Why are there always gargoyles? It must have been some dark, evil creature’s castle. I liked it.

The other was just plain stupid. It looked like someone failed trying to turn a tree into a crystal castle. Had these weird things hanging from it and just sparkled in the sunlight.A do-gooder's if ever saw one. I didn’t like it.

But that distant castle… that’s where they were. I couldn’t tell how, but I knew they were there. That was the sisters’ castle. My goal was in reach, but… not like this. No, I was close, but in the form I was, there would be no way I could take them out.

But just because I couldn’t get the drop on them now… didn’t mean I shouldn’t stick around. This ‘Ponyville’ was the perfect place for me to settle in to plan my return. It may have been the ugliest thing I had ever seen, but that would just make it so much sweeter when I destroyed it. Being this close also meant I would be able to get any news on the rulers as I could.

Only one problem… I was a colt… a young, little, colt. There was no way I could afford any kind of living here. I couldn’t exactly purchase a house, get rent money, or anything. Maybe an orphanage? ...Burn that with Greek fire. No, if I was going to making this a… ‘home’ for the time being, I needed to be comfortable but with plenty of privacy.

“HEY, YOU THERE!!” I am startled out of my chest at the high-pitch screech that assaults my ears. I turn and see a very pink pony waving frantically at me. “WAIT FOR ME!!”

Why do I have this new feeling of a dire sense of dread?

Chapter Three

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So… as I’ve recently discovered there is in fact a welcoming party to this town… And it comes in the form of a hyperactive, pink pony… with a party cannon.

I wish I was making that up.

I think the only comprehensive thing I got out of her was that her name was Pinkie Pie. I completely lost track of time as I was dragged all over. I think she was telling me every little detail about the town and trying to introduce me to everyone (‘everypony’ is just stupid). In the end, I found myself in a what appeared to be a bakery, in the midst of a party.

“...and then I said ‘Oatmeal?! Are you crazy?!” the pink pony said… completely unaware I hadn’t heard a single word she said. “Soooo~, enjoy the party! I know it’s not your ‘Welcome to Ponyville’ party, but since I was throwing Nyx’s birthday party today, I might as well let you hang with ponies your own age! Have fun~!” She bounced off into the far kitchen, leaving me staring blankly into space.

“What… in the ex-Ghost King’s name… just happened?” I slowly said, trying to recuperate my mind after it was so messed up by that pony. Taking a few deep breaths, I decided to inspect my surroundings. There were foals all about, roughly the same size as me.

Definitely not the same age, I thought with a twinge of humor.

The main attraction seemed to be a black-as-night unicorn filly. I could tell because she was the one blowing out the candles. I assumed that was the ‘Nyx’ the pink menace mentioned. Four other fillies were with her. One was an orange furred, purple maned pegasus, the other a yellow earth pony with red hair. Another was a unicorn with a purple swirled mane and white fur and the final was a light grey earth pony with scarlet hair.

What an odd set of friends. Then again, who was I to speak? I used to be friends with an eco-goth and a techno geek.

Other foals ran around, playing the different party games or enjoying the snack assortments. I was the only one hanging off to the side, of course because I had no intention of partaking in such infantile attractions. I needed to get back to my priorities, specifically acquiring a base of operations within the town. But how? A foal couldn’t own a house or pay rent. I highly doubted there were any employment options for a colt like I was stuck as, not that I had any intention to work for a living.

“Hey there.” I was brought out of my thoughts upon those words. I looked and saw a unicorn mare standing next to me. Her coat was of the lighter lavender with a mane of straight purple, though a lighter variant striped through it as well. Even her eyes were purple. As if there weren’t enough purple already. “Not one for the party scene, huh?”

Finally someone with a straight mind. “Not really,” I told her. “I prefer to just… observe.”

“I’m more of an introvert myself, too.” She outstretched her hoof. “My name is Amethyst Star, but my friends call me Sparkler. What’s your name?”

Though I wasn’t too keen on ‘making friends’, I needed to keep up appearances. I put my hoof against hers. “Dan...ny. Danny. That’s my name.”

“Danny?” she asked, her eyebrow rose slightly. “That’s a strange name.”

I… I had no proper reply to that. Many had called my name odd over the years, but a pony calling it strange? That would hurt my pride if I had any… crap! Pride just came in… and boy does it sting!

She must have noticed my inner cringing because she apologized immediately. “Oh, sorry. Didn’t mean to be rude, just never heard a name like that.”

“No,” I said slowly, lifting up my hoof. “Just… it’s nothing. Believe me, I’ve heard it before.”

“Oh,” Sparkler replied simply. There was a few moments of silence between us before she spoke again. “Sorry about Pinkie Pie. She just gets so excited when meeting new ponies. Why don’t I show you around town? Slowly this time. It would get us both out of here.”

I thought that over for a few moments, deciding it would be to my best benefit to know my location’s secrets. I could calculate a town map in my mind and keep it for reference. “That sounds… nice,” I nearly had to force out. “Let’s go.”

“Allons-y,” Sparkler said as we trotted out the door.


“It’s Prench for ‘let’s go’. I studied it at school when I was little and it stuck with me. Not quite sure why, but it sure is fun to say.”

“Uh… huh, ok.” Don’t question it, Dan. Mortals have strange quirks.

It was a relatively pleasant jot through the town of Ponyville. Sparkler would point out certain spots or attractions as we walked, occasionally waving to some other ponies she knew or was friends with. There were many different stores and shops through the small town. A clothing store, a the remains library tree (arguably my favorite spot), and shop for quills and sofas? Is it possible to make a living off selling only two things? ... Nevermind, not worth the thought process.

Then it was time that we came upon the giant, crystal, tree castle. “And this is Castle Harmonious. This is where Princess Twilight and her Court of Friendship can be found. They meet here and spread the magic of friendship wherever it is needed!” Sparkler explained to me.

I, honestly and truly, felt like vomitting from what I had just heard. It was just so sickly sweet and disgusting that I felt physically ill. It took almost all I had to keep from losing my non-existent lunch in front of my tour guide.

“How… nice,” I forced out of myself. I looked around for the other castle and pointed at it. “What about that one?”

Sparkler turned around and saw where I was pointing. “Oh, that’s Night Stone Castle. It used to be the home of Nightmare Moon when she returned to curse Equestria into an endless night.” Is that what happened that week? “Thankfully, she was stopped and depowered. Now, it’s currently under development by Princess Twilight to become a school of higher learning.”

Well, at least that’s something, I suppose. I may have been an evil and heartless person, but I did have a certain aspect of respect for those of higher intellect. Of course, I kept some of the greatest minds alive to serve me in developing new abilities. The Ghostly Wail was one the greatest products of their research.

“I like that one,” I commented, getting a look from the ‘older’ mare.

“Well, I suppose a colt would go for the scarier castle.” Sexist much? “Come on, still a few things left to show you.” Our conversation of castle stopped there and we walked back into the town proper.

Sparkler pointed out a few other locations, such as the market, the way to the local farms, and we stopped at Town Hall. We walked up to a large wooden board off to the side of the government building. “And this is the Event Board. Since Ponyville is still a small town, we rely on this to get the word out about upcoming events. Stargazing club meetings, book clubs, local announcements, and even farm stocks show up on here.”

Well that would be handy with keeping up on current events. I was looking over the board when something caught my eye in the middle. I walked forward and lifted the few posters covering the one I was looking at and my eyes widened at the sight. It was a poster saying that a pony in town would be taking in observers for...

“A ghost portal?!” I did my very best not to shriek. I just couldn’t believe my eyes. There was a pony in this backwater town that had the parts to make a working ghost portal. It could have been my ticket to getting my powers back!

Sparkler groaned a little and took down the poster. “I can’t believe this was put up here.”

Wait, did she know? “Hey, I think we should go check that out. A ghost portal sounds...awesome!” Yes, I believe that was the common cool term used for something like this.

“I don’t think that would be a good idea, Danny. It really isn’t something that’s very important.”

Maybe not to you! “Aw come on, Sparkler. Let’s go check it out! I’m sure it would be fun!” Heh, this play acting is getting easier. Perhaps this would work to my advantage in the end.

It took a little more convincing, but Sparkler relented in the end and we ended up walking back through town. After about a half-hour of walking, we stopped at house in the outer areas of Ponyville. Sparkler didn’t even knock and walked right in.

I like her style, I thought wryly. I followed her inside and down a flight of steps to the basement. Immediately I was surprised by the interior. It looked eerily similar to the old Fenton lab. Different pieces of equipment and tools littered the floor… along with scraps of food on the counters. But there, in the back wall, was the familiar tunnel that could break into the world unseen by mortal eyes. A tried and true ghost portal was right in front of me. Sure, it wasn’t turned on, but just the sight was a glimmer of hope for me to get rid of emotions like hope again.

“Well, here it is,” Sparkler said, lacking any happy emotion. Perhaps she was worth my time, after all. “A ‘ghost portal’. Can we go now?”

“Are you kidding?! I want to see it work!” I started looking around, hoping to find the plug that would activate it.

“It doesn’t work,” Sparkler said.

I stopped and looked at her. “What?”

“It doesn’t work. It will never work because there is no such thing as the ghost zone. There’s no such things as ghosts.” Oh, how wrong you are on both accounts.

“Of course there are ghosts!” a familiar happy voice came from the top of the stairs. I noticed that it was Derpy walking down the steps, looking happy. “Well what do you know? You’re the colt from the forest!” She looked at Sparkler with a little bit of scolding. “Have you been going off about how ghosts don’t exist again? I keep telling you, Sparkler, that this ghost portal will work! I’m sure of it!”

“But Aunt Derpy!” Aunt? Well, that explains how we just barged in. “You don’t have anything to prove from your hobby! You need to give up this stupid obsession!”

“It’s not stupid! I’ll prove it to you once I get my ghost portal up and running,” Derpy asserted.

“I believe in her,” I spoke up. “I… I’ve seen ghosts! I know they exist.” Not lying, and everyone knows it.

Derpy gasped and flew towards me, picking my tiny body up in a hug as she twirled in the air. “I can’t believe it! A fellow believer!! Thank you so much… uh, I never got your name, actually.”

“Danny,” I wheezed from her tight hug. “Danny Fenton.”

“That’s a strange name,” she said happily, nuzzling my cheek. Is possible to be insulted when cuddled? ...I’m going to say yes. “Oh well, at least it’s good to have another ghost believer in the house! I know we’re going to be the best of friends!”

Did… did she say friends? I just made a friend…


Chapter Four

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It took several minutes for Derpy to finally release me from her hug. It’s amazing that despite her small stature, she had as much strength behind her hooves as Jack Fenton. How is that even possible? I may never know.

“Well… thanks for not breaking my spine,” I told her. Seems I had my wit with me again. Now that was something I did miss about emotions. It always came in handy when I needed it, and no doubt it would be needed in this candy coated world.

“No problemo!” Derpy said with a smile. “So you’re a fellow ghost believer, huh? That’s great! Hey, maybe we could work together in finishing my portal! That would be amazing!”

“Help finish the portal?” I parroted. I couldn’t believe it. It was like being handed the greatest treat in the world right on a silver platter. How could I resist? “That’d be awesome! I’d love to help!”

“Yay!!” Derpy exclaimed, flying around happily. “I’ve got a new science buddy! Best day ever!”

Sparkler, however, wasn’t looking very enthusiastic. “Auntie, aren’t you going a little overboard? I mean, how do you expect a little colt to help you build a portal to something that doesn’t exist? You haven’t even talked to his parents about this.”

Why did I cringe when she said that? ...stupid mortal emotions. “The ghost zone does exist!” I asserted, surprising the two mares. I really should have kept my mouth shut, but no. I ended up speaking again. “I’ve been there!”

Derpy gasped and Sparkler’s eyes widened considerably. “Y-y-you’ve been to the ghost zone?!” the wall-eyed mare asked.

“Several times. I’ve even seen the ghosts that live there.” And destroyed quite a few of them. I smiled inwardly at remembering when I freed the Ghost King, Pariah Dark, only to destroy him. It was a hard fought battle, but of course I eliminated him as a potential threat. Didn’t need some ghost getting desperate enough to release the king of ghosts on me.

“You’ve got to be kidding,” Sparkler whispered. “Seriously, there’s no such things as ghosts! There’s no ghost zone! Maybe you were dreaming?”

“It was no dream!” I stomped my hoof down… why do I feel like that looked cute? “I’ve been to the ghost zone!”

“Look Danny,” Sparkler said, trying to sound sweet, yet stern. “Dreams can feel very real, but that doesn’t mean--”

“It’s real, blast you!” I shouted angrily. Wow, I haven’t felt true rage in a long time. I kinda like it. “I’ve seen the ghost zone. I’ve been in the ghost zone. I’ve seen the ghosts. I’ve felt the ghosts. I’ve been attacked by the ghosts! The ghost zone is very real, so get used to it!”

Sparkler and Derpy blinked at my sudden outburst. Wow, that felt good to say. It’s been so long that I’ve ever met a ghost skeptic. After everything that happened in Amity Park, no one could say ghosts didn’t exist. Ghost hunting became an actual, legitimate profession! Anyone who rejected the idea was living in denial.

“Wow,” Derpy said, astonished. “I’ve never seen somepony so adamant about ghosts…” And that was I found myself wrapped in another hug. “I just know we’re gonna be the bestest buddies ever!!” she said excitedly as she twirled around with me in her grasp.

Sparkler walked over to us once Derpy has let me go. “Okay, Danny. If you say you’ve seen the ghost zone, then I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. Sorry for getting stern with you.”

Oh lord, she gave in so easily. These ponies really are weak willed. Disappointing. Oh well, better keep playing the part.

“No problem, Sparkler. Sorry I got mad, just a little tough on non-believers, I suppose.” Ugh, that left a horrible taste in my mouth.

Sparkler smiled, but another voice came from the top of the stairs before she could say anything. “Mommy! Sparkler! Dinner’s ready!”

“Oh goody!” Derpy gushed. “Food time!”

“I was starting to get a little peckish,” Sparkler admitted.

“Would you like to stay for dinner, Danny?” Derpy asked me. My stomach answered for me, letting out a loud growl. Wow, it’s been a long time since that had happened. The mares giggled at me and, thankfully, I didn’t blush or feel embarrassment. Hopefully that blasted emotion takes its time. I could do without that forever. “Come on, let’s get some food!”

We walked up the stairs, took me a couple of tries, but I got it after stumbling three times. Going down is easy, coming back up is where the problem lies. Derpy and Sparkler were already sitting down when I finally made it up and discovered the source of the earlier voice. It was a young unicorn filly with a blonde mane reminiscent of Derpy’s, but with a purple coat. I immediately realized that this was why she had called Derpy “Mommy”. This was Derpy’s child… quaint.

“Oh, hello!” the filly waved, setting down the plates and food at the table. Able to use levitation so young, admirable. I had learned long ago that unicorns were the main users of magic, able to use many different spells varying from levitation to teleportation. Very intriguing subject. “Who are you?”

“I’m Danny,” I greeted with a smile. I would have had to force it, but the smell of her cooking was really delectable.

“He’s going to be eating with us, muffin,” Derpy said affectionately.

“Oh, ok!” She set another plate for me. “I’m Dinky, nice to meet you.”

“Likewise,” I said, taking a seat in front of the plate.

“I hope you like zucchini!” Dinky said, setting down a casserole. Well, being friends with a vegetarian did have its benefits, after all. I could stomach even the worst of vegetables… except coleslaw. There was just something wrong with that stuff.

It was rather intriguing seeing these three serve out the meal. It was like a conveyor belt; Dinky would grab a plate and put a slice of casserole on it before passing it to Derpy. She would pour on a helping of carrots then passed it to Sparkler who added a serving of green beans. The first plate was put in front of me as they continued the automation until everyone had their plate filled with food. While I did want to eat, I was just so intrigued by the family dynamic that I sat and watched the whole process in full.

Then the strangest thing happened. Derpy, Sparkler and Dinky put their hooves together and closed their eyes before speaking in unison, “Thank you for the food.” They opened their eyes and started to eat.

What had I just witnessed? Did… did the ponies actually have a system of faith? Or was it just respect like the Japanese practiced? Hmm, it probably didn’t matter. Time to fill that ache in my stomach!

In practically a blink of an eye, I scarfed down everything on my plate. I don’t know how I didn’t make a mess, considering I wasn’t using utensils or anything, but I ended up completely cleaning my plate spotless. And I was still hungry.

“Seconds, please!” I announced, only to get blank looks. I noticed that they had barely touched their food and were staring at me with wide-eyes. “What?”

“Wow!” Dinky awed. “You must really like my cooking.”

“Maybe I shouldn’t have dragged you from the party,” Sparkler said wryly. “Should’ve made sure you got something to eat before we left.”

“It’s good for a growing colt to have an appetite,” Derpy said with a smile. She took my plate and refilled it. I took my time with it though, since most of the empty feeling in my gut was gone.

“So Danny,” Sparkler began, taking a quick bite of casserole. “Tell us a little about yourself.”

Crud. I knew this was coming. I can’t tell them much or else they’ll get suspicious. Alright Phantom, just play your cards right. “What do you want to know?” I asked innocently, picking at my food.

“What does your cutie mark mean?” Dinky asked.

My what? Cutie mark? ...wait, is that what those pictures on pony flanks are called? Well that’s stupid. I looked down at my flank and saw a strange image. It was a green ghost with an “F” emblazoned within. The very symbol of my family’s Fenton Works.

“What a strange picture,” Sparkler said, looking at it with narrowed eyes. “I don’t think I could place that anywhere.”

“It’s… it’s the symbol of my family’s business. I’m from a family of…” Should I tell them? Hmm, so many decisions. They’re gonna wonder why I left off right there, so I need to come up with something. Well, perhaps a little honesty will help in the long run. It could be to my benefit. “I’m from a family of ghost hunters.”

Derpy did a spit take from her water. “You what?! You’re a ghost hunter’s son?!”

Even Sparkler was surprised. “Well… that explains a few things.”

“That’s so cool!” Dinky cheered.

“I’d love to meet your parents, Danny,” Derpy said, calming herself down. “I’d love to see what they’ve accomplished.”

Ugh, I just had to cringe again.

“Speaking of which,” Sparkler, finishing her last bite, “we’d better get Danny home. Don’t want his parents to worry.” She turned to me. “So where’d you move to, kid? I can get you there in no time.”

Curse these emotions! Everytime they mention my family… wait… no, this, this could be just what I need! This could be my shelter! It has everything I need: access to special equipment, ignorant housemates, and is close enough to keep an eye on the princesses. Now Phantom, to play one of the oldest tricks in the book: the pitiful orphan.

“I haven’t moved anywhere,” I said, lacing a bit of sadness into my voice. It hurt my returned pride, but this was for my own good. “I just wandered into town.”

Even Derpy looked at me weird, and that’s saying something. “Wandered in? But what about your parents?”

Okay, Phantom, time to seal the deal. “My parents… my family… they’re gone. There was an accident and…”

Sparkler and Derpy gasped. If I wasn’t trying to play the part, there would have been a nice little smirk on my muzzle. If only that tear in my eye was roleplay.

“Oh you poor little colt,” Derpy cooed, wiping a tear from her eye. It’s always the ‘poor little child’ or ‘I’m sorry’. Jeez, it’s irritating!

Sparkler looked at Derpy for a moment before turning to her cousin. “Hey Dinky, why don’t you take Danny to the living room? Show him some of your toys or watch television.”

“Ok!” Dinky said, getting out of her chair and practically dragging me out of the room.

Only one thing bothered me, though. “Wait, you have television?”