Phantoms in the Stone Ocean - SparksInTheFuture (2024)

Chapter 1: Changing the Course of History


Disclaimer: I do not claim property rights to either Jojo's Bizarre Adventure or Danny Phantom. They each belong to their respective copyright holders. Nor do I claim any rights to songs, bands or other affiliated titles that make the names of canonical or OC Stands. This is just a fun fan project and I hope you enjoy.

Chapter Text

Long Now was a place that most would consider noisy. With the theme of a clock tower filled with every model of watch or clock imaginable? The ticking sound provided a white noise that its master, Clockwork, the ghost of time appreciated while he worked. At least, under most circ*mstances. Right now, was…not the case. In fact, for the first time in many eons, complete silence reigned throughout his lair. While the temporal spectre cycled back and forth across his many viewing dials. Trying to locate the source of his newest pains.

It was initially nothing that he wanted to concern himself with, a single chance, one in a trillion that he could see in the many splintering fragments that made up possible futures. An innocent woman imprisoned unfairly, a father sent to his deathbed and a struggle that both sides throw everything into. Yet it would inevitably create the worst result. Where time sped up to the point of becoming incomprehensible, even to him. The universe and its parallel of the Infinite Realms could not take such a wild swing in the speed of light. A complete collapse of all that will ever be known. The big crunch. A resetting of the entire universe. Clockwork could not see beyond the veil of the heat death of the universe. Even he had no idea what would happen come the end of all things. But it was naturally something billions and billions of years away. This one chance had the end occur in just under five years.

It was not the existence of the possible future that concerned Clockwork, no he had seen and carefully guided the timeline around many apocalyptic futures in his time. Fragmentary and minuscule chances he only ever had to nudge to the left or right to avoid. To satisfy that smaller and more private obsession of his that not even the Observants knew about. He wanted to create better futures, not just ensure the continuation of time. Hence why this problem was grating against the very fabric of his core.

It was growing, like a disease across the other timelines. The existence of whatever being had caused this disastrous future was distorting all the timelines around it. And the more of this future that was created, the more it would spread. There was not much time until even the Observants would take notice and likely force him to take more drastic action. Such brutish methods he personally never agreed with.

“Oh, the woes of the Joestar bloodline.” Clockwork sighed aloud to himself, viewing a figure he had learned to become familiar with over the last decade.
“Sometimes there is no outrunning the retributions of blood. Dr Jotaro Kujo.” He watched this man since he was a teenager, ending the biggest stain on his family’s legacy. He followed all the Joestars through their lives, as trouble was intrinsically linked with their existence. It was only natural that the events that ended the universe followed his daughter. Jolyne Cujoh. When it came down to the most critical decision in 2011. Clockwork watched through his viewing dials, a man who had already sacrificed everything to keep his daughter safe make exactly one more. The ocean claimed his lifeless body as the sun raced through the sky in a blinding streak of light.

Clockwork was not a cruel ghost. Cold and calculating? Indeed. Has put the needs of the masses above an individual? More times than he dared count. But he would not ask a man to make a decision he couldn’t. The blind instinct to protect and care for will win out over any cold and logical decision, especially under the circ*mstances the man would find himself in. No, if Clockwork were to fix this growing threat, then he would have to get his hands dirty and change the course of history himself. If he did it exactly right, then the Observants would not be aware he did anything at all.
“I am overdue for a doctor’s visit.” He mused to himself, taking one of his medallions off the wall and preparing himself for the portal generation.
“Time, out.” The pulse rippled out from him, as he vanished behind the spinning clock hands. Despite the now-frozen state of time, the clocks in Long Now continued to tick.

Jotaro Kujo, one of the most powerful Stand Users in existence. Was a tired, tired man. He aspired to keep his life as an agent of the Speedwagon Foundation separate from his home life, but only now was he acknowledging he had never lived a home life. It was all worth it, in his eyes. Because at least Jolyne had gotten to live a semi-normal life, as none of his enemies even knew she and his wife existed.

Well…mostly worth it. He frowned to himself, a pen in his hand as he sat at the desk of some sleazy motel. 4 whole hours away from home where Jolyne was likely asleep (was it 2 am already?), glowering down upon the divorce documents that had been passive-aggressively emailed to him by his…soon to be ex-wife.
“…the empty bed was finally too much for her.” He decided, putting the pen down and leaning back on his chair, taking off his hat to run a hand through his short black hair. Despite his usual attitude towards most women, he took to Claudia Davidson (now Kujo) because she was one of the few women who didn’t swoon over his presence. It was a sharpness of mind and spirit that convinced him to date and eventually marry her. He remembered the night Jolyne was born so clearly, such a tiny soul. A nearly silent part of him awed he had contributed to her existence. A very deep and powerful protective instinct had surfaced before he knew it. He had to keep her safe, from everything that could potentially hurt her.

He was high on the list. It was why he was so scarce throughout her life. Some part of him hoped that maybe one day, she will understand why he could not be a part of her life. He frequently wished that Star Platinum’s attacks could deal with it. Hating him for the rest of her life was the preferable option-

Jotaro’s body stiffened minutely and it was enough to drag his thoughts out of the past. The world had suddenly fallen completely silent around him like he had stopped time. He was aware, but he couldn't move, so it definitely couldn't be the result of Star Platinum: The World. If it wasn’t for the twitch of his fingers and flicker of life in his eyes, one couldn’t tell he was aware of time being frozen at all.

“Awareness even in stopped time is a rare ability indeed, Dr Kujo.” His first instinct was to call this entity a Stand. It’s not like he had many other points of reference. It had blue skin, most of its body was covered by a purple cloak where the hood was pulled up, leaving only a pair of red eyes (a noticeable scar down one of them) exposed. Instead of legs, a whispy tail flowed down from the waist. The creature glowed faintly, casting odd shadows on the walls that only added to the ethereal nature of the meeting. Oh, and the clocks. There were so many clocks. At least six watches spread over both arms, a stopwatch on the end of the staff it (he?) was carrying. Another watch hanging from the belt around his waist. A clockwork cog acted as a brooch fastening his cloak in place. Even a grandfather clock seemingly built into his stomach.

Great, another time-themed Stand, that appeared to be overriding even Star Platinum.

“Despite what you may believe, Dr Kujo, I am neither a Stand nor a threat.” The entity assured him, gliding silently across the room, and dropping something around his neck. The man wound up stumbling forward a little, finding that somehow, he had already been halfway to getting out his chair.

Star Platinum manifested in a burst almost automatically, the muscular Stand growling at the foreign presence, but did not make itself any more of a threat. As Jotaro was only weary.

“You already know me. But I currently know nothing about who or what you are.” He grunted as the entity nodded sagely. Jotaro raised an eyebrow as his form shifted from a relatively young-looking man to old and decrepit, sporting a long white beard.

“Of course, of course. I am the ghost known as Clockwork, the Master of Time.” The…ghost, introduced himself, making a little flourish with his staff as he did so. The claim only caused Jotaro to raise an eyebrow at the spectre.

“A ghost? You don’t appear like the one I already met.” Suspicion had crept into his tone and Clockwork hummed.

“Reimi Sugimoto, it is unfortunate when a human dies at such a young age. But she did not qualify as a true ghost until she crossed over. Her spirit simply lingered in the place that allowed her to. She has since integrated well into the Infinite Realms where the dead call their home.” Clockwork answered without skipping a beat, and Jotaro frowned at him in response.

“As fascinating as I find this conversation, you’re not here to catch me up on the people who’ve departed.” It was a statement about as blunt as usual. He could have sworn the ghost rolled his eyes, and the lack of pupils and irises did not make it harder to tell.

“Correct. I am here to inform you that your attempts are going to fail. The daughter, Jolyne Cujoh, whom you have kept out of this side of your life for so long?” He gestured to Star Platinum, who narrowed its eyes at him in a glare.
“It will catch up in 2011 and will result in the end of the universe as we know it.”

Jotaro tensed, narrowing his eyes in a low glare. This thing had somehow decided it could come in here and tell him that every attempt to protect his daughter was all for nothing?
“Strangely enough, I don’t believe what you’re telling me.”

“I would expect as much, considering how difficult it is for a stranger to gain your trust, Dr Kujo. But I also have no reason to lie. It is my calling to preserve the timeline and I will do it by any means necessary. Whatever entity will be created in the events of 2011 is creating a ripple effect that is growing across other futures. Soon, there will be no other future except for the worst possible outcome.” Clockwork responded, sweeping his staff, and showing just a glimpse of the future that he had seen. The ocean in a chaotic whirlpool, the sun streaking across the sky at an impossible speed.

Jotaro saw multiple bodies floating, decaying rapidly in the sea at that moment, more than just his own. He could barely recognise the corpse of his daughter. As quickly as the vision came, it left, but Jotaro still looked much paler than normal. Almost sick to his stomach. He was a dead man, has been since he stopped his own heart at the age of seventeen.

But he knew when a Stand power had been used on him, Clockwork provided no such feeling. This was no mere Stand effect attempting to sway his mind by showing him an illusion of a future. This was real.

His shoulders started to slacken, and Star Platinum sank back under his skin. The man let out a defeated sigh and nodded.
“Can I at least know how this happened?”

Clockwork hummed, looking like he was debating, though this was already drastically changing history. If anything, he should know what must be avoided.
“Your daughter was wrongfully accused of first-degree murder and a hit and run charge. It was her boyfriend that was driving the car at the time, but he found it more appropriate to pin the blame on her and get off freely. She attempted to fight for her innocence, but it was a futile effort, and she was given the maximum sentence of 15 years in Green Dolphin Street prison. Where an old acquaintance of Dio Brando worked. When you arrived there trying to break her out, your memories and Stand were stolen from you. Which gave them access to Dio’s journal. And the inevitable future will come to pass. If this is to be avoided, you must act. Now. Or else it will come down to me forcing you to decide something no father should ever have to. Your daughter, or the future of the universe.”

Jotaro growled, hating that this was how he was being encouraged to interact with his daughter more. Because his attempts didn’t mean sh*t in the end.
“…what do I need to do?”

The stranger, Clockwork didn’t make any real suggestions in the end, other than what he believed was necessary and vanished. To which, Jotaro decided to sleep on his decision. It wasn’t like he could do much at 2 in the morning and charged up on a lot of emotions he pushed down. But finally, he did think of a single solution, and perhaps it would finally do some good. But it would require planning, quite a bit of planning in fact. Hence why he was now at a bookshop scrolling through different options for blank books and journals. He had to be prepared on the off chance that he would not be around to educate Jolyne on the way this side of his life worked.

He was almost happy he never destroyed the Stand Arrow that he gained from Morioh. There were a couple of shards that he hid in his study, in his desk. Maybe deep down, he always knew that this day would come. If Jolyne never awoke a Stand naturally (the fever she had back when she was a little girl was something that scared him deeply. Thankfully, she never talked about finding a new invisible friend with some strange and inexplicable power after she recovered), there would at least be a reliable way she could awaken a Stand on purpose. But merely the ability to gain and wield a Stand would not be enough.

She needed information, lists of people she can contact in case of an emergency, explanations for the logistical side of Stands and warning signs to look out for in case she was being hunted. The Journal he was going to write his impromptu guide to owning a Stand and being a member of the Joestar Bloodline had to be nondescript by default. Make sure it was unlikely to be stolen as there was “obviously” nothing of value. Cheap, but well-used and durable. Finally, he managed to pick up a brown journal that was leatherbound with a strap to keep it closed. Thick enough to write down everything. Perfect.

Next, he would probably need to withdraw money from his bank account so she could afford the essentials if she needed to travel. He was a marine biologist with a doctorate, and his more hazardous work with the Speedwagon Foundation was always richly accounted for with plenty of pay. Money had seldom been an issue for him. He would have to figure out how much money to withdraw and hide in a backpack later.

Unfortunately, this was the nature of messing with the stream of time. As it was sheer coincidence that Jotaro was easy to spot in public, with his massive size and unusual hat. Another person had spotted him, almost spat out the drink they were carrying and quickly backed out of the store, just begging the fellow Stand User hadn’t noticed him. His Stand was certainly not combat-oriented after all. Just a good little fly for information gathering. But he walked into THE Jotaro Kujo by complete accident!? This had to be a dream!

The smaller man ducked into a side alley, keeping watch for if the man had left the building.

“Y-Yeah guys I am being serious! Jotaro Kujo! Just milling around a bookstore! What do I do?”

“You best not be lying, follow him but do not engage. If we can figure out where he lives, then he would have just made our lives so much easier.”

The unseen figure, hidden in a safe place put his phone down and interlocked his fingers with a sinister grin spreading over his face.

“Did you hear that brothers? Our years of searching are over, Lord Dio will be so proud. Organise yourselves. We have a Joestar to collect what is rightfully ours from.”

Clockwork, now back in Long Now, watched over the timeline as he always did. The way that it was changing was so rapid and far beyond the scope he had seen before.

“Such is the nature of changing history…hm?” He frowned, focusing in on a specific point in time. It used to be a scene he was well familiar with, a decaying old hospital on the edge of Amity Park, where it would be used as a makeshift "quarantine" area by a pair of ghosts with harmful intent towards the children they would keep. Normally, it would have been a single boy who fought these two on his own. As he had protected his home for many months. The second Halfa that history had ever created.

But this time it was different, now a girl fought alongside him instead, green and black hair, silvery web designs sewn into her blue shirt and jeans and threads forming a small storm around her. Condensing into fists that wildly lashed out at their unseen opponent.
“Now this is a surprise. But, one that might just be welcomed…”

Chapter 2: Times are Changing


Jolyne learns the hard way why Jotaro's absentee role in her life may have been the better option. But her permission for ignorance has also run out, and finds herself becoming involved with her bloodline's legacy whether she wants to or not.


A.K.A I work damn hard for that Mature rating. Although I don't believe I have gone overboard as of yet.
There's a small list of warnings for this chapter but hopefully, they shouldn't be too major.

- Mentions of cheating on spouses (do not worry it's not true)
- Absentee parents
- Blood and (minor) injury
- Infection/illness
- Home invasion
- Running away from home/separation/getting lost.

Sorry Danny Phantom fandom, there's not much of any DP action in this chapter. But the crossover should really pick up from chapter 3 onwards!

Chapter Text

Jolyne was sure family dinners with a member who had just come out of prison was less awkward than this. Not that she could blame the hurt glower that her mother was making across the table at a father who had done a disappearing act most of her life. Hell, even she was glaring at him whenever she looked up from her chicken and potatoes. What the f*ck possessed her Dad to show up out of the blue like this asking to talk about “something important” after a dinner together? He wasn’t even acting like anything was wrong! Just sitting there going through his food like not a damn thing was out of place.

She couldn’t remember the last time she had wanted to punch someone in the face as hard as right now. Believe her, she had gotten into her fair share of fights that ended with at least one broken nose. Her father, on the other hand, seemed to be ignoring the holes she was trying to burn into his skull.

“Claudia.” He spoke after a long pause.
“I’ve signed the divorce papers, and already split our assets evenly between us. You don’t need to ask me to pay child support, I’ve already arranged it.”

She watched her mother raise an eyebrow into the cover of her brunette bangs.
“I honestly thought you’d protest more, Jotaro.”

“Circ*mstances have changed with my line of work.” The man’s tone had barely changed, nor had his general composure.
“So it’s probably better if we separated.” There was something unspoken that Jolyne could sense hanging in the air, but what it was she couldn’t tell.
“I just need to talk to Jolyne in private. Because it will affect her too.”

The statement was so unexpected by the teenager that she nearly choked on her fork, coughing a few times to fix her father with a wide-eyed stare.
“The f*ck do you mean you old bastard!?”

“Jojo! We don’t use that language at the table!” Claudia scolded, but the words fell on deaf ears.

“Yare yare daze, I’m only 36,” Jotaro responded flatly.
“When I’m in my 40’s you get permission to call me old.”

Jolyne only huffed, deciding tense silence was so much better than her dad attempting to tell dad jokes. It was only then that she realised that he hadn’t even answered the question of how it will affect her.
“What did you mean, “affect me”?” She tried again, forcibly keeping swear words out of her sentence.

“…it’s not something that’s easily discussed over dinner. Wait until we’re done and I’ll tell you everything in my study.” Jolyne read the tone that he responded with as “we are done talking about this”, and she grumbled in response. Not like she could protest now.

She spent the rest of that meal trying to murder her already cooked chicken.

The dishes were washed, dried, and stacked away in silence with her mother at her side. At least, Jotaro had taken the emptied plates to the island of their minimalistic kitchen and cleaned the food off them. Disposing of the waste in a special bin they have for compost. It made good fertiliser for the garden or whatever mom said.

“…do I have to?” Jolyne asked, staring through the white plywood of their drawers rather than at it with a cleaned and dried plate in one of her hands.
“For all I know, he could have nothing to say to me at all.”

“As…distant as your father is, Jojo.” Her mother responded with a small frown, she sounded uncertain. Like she was trying to convince herself as much as she was her daughter.
“When he speaks like that and asks for things directly, it’s not something to ignore.”

“How’d you even meet him?”

“Not the point, he’s in his study.”

“He said he would be.” Jolyne heard her mom chuckle, and if anything, that was a slightly positive note for the night.

“I can deal with the rest of this, Jojo. Go see your father.” She said it with relatively good spirits, but Jolyne knew an order when she heard one and hesitantly, she stepped away from the kitchen. May as well just rip the bandaid off while it was fresh. Right?

Aside from her muted footsteps on the polished wood floor, and the steady stream of water from the sink in the kitchen, the house was silent. It was a simple and modest building, with only one storey and an attic. Relatively modern, but Jolyne always despaired at the lack of windows. A few of the friends she ever managed to make had entire damn walls made of glass, she thought that was cool. She remembered more than a few occasions where the home just made her feel trapped.

She was in the main hallway now. At the end on the left, that was dad’s study. She was never allowed to go in there.

“Sharp objects.” Her father grunted at her nine-year-old form as he stepped out from behind it.
“I don’t want you hurting yourself. So, promise me you won’t go in there.”

“OK, daddy.” Her younger and dejected voice echoed back to him.

What the hell kind of marine biologist would need enough sharp objects in his home to worry about his daughter getting hurt on them? Sounds like a bald-faced lie now that she thought back on it. Like how much else could he have been lying about?

He was never home, to the point where him being here was invasive. Even when he was home, he was cold and distant. The number of happy memories she had with him? Jolyne could count them on one finger. Her classmates took notice of that through the years. Kids were the worst.

“Your daddy doesn’t love you!”

“Bet he found a younger and prettier woman and dropped your mom like a hot coal.”

“If I was your dad, I’d be embarrassed of you too.”

Her fist clenched reflexively, the memories of breaking that assholes nose rang loud in her ears, even though it was two years ago now. In her musing of the past, she didn’t even notice when she almost bumped into the door to her Dad’s study.

…ripping a band-aid off? She felt like she was waiting for amputation in the civil war.

Well, she couldn’t put it off any longer. So her hand slowly came up until the wood echoed with a few knocks.

“Jolyne. You can come in.” Her father’s voice came from the other side.

Jolyne turned the knob, finding it was unlocked. He locked it whenever he was out, even when he was in. The door creaked open…

She was not expecting the scene she was presented with. Compared to the somewhat minimalist style of the rest of her house, her dad’s study was a clusterf*ck. Files and books littered the place in semi-organised stacks. She had no idea what any of them were, not at a glance. He had multiple computers as well, a landline where post-it-notes were haphazardly stuck around with what she could only presume were phone numbers or codes. A large corkboard took up half of the wall on the right side. Supporting a huge map where papers and photos were stuck to various places. Several of which were even in America. And almost as if to say that yes, he was a marine biologist? A fish tank, hosting several species that swam around completely carefree. Oblivious to the conspiracy theorist den they lived in.

What the Hell is my Dad involved in? The thought appeared in her brain and refused to go away. This had to be a joke! Her dad wasn’t some kind of detective his degree was marine biology! He wasn’t…he couldn’t be…was this to cover something else up?
He did all this to cover up a…girlfriend?

Speaking of her father, he was standing there. In all his 6’5* glory. Jesus her dad was a giant. Strangely, his hat was sitting on the desk beside him and his hair looked unkempt. Almost giving him a bedraggled appearance. Something she wasn’t used to seeing on him.

They stood there for a long minute, just staring each other down like they were telepathically trying to decide who should be the first to speak. But eventually, Jotaro broke the silence.

“You dyed your hair.”

In the worst way possible. It was the same flat and uncaring tone she remembered so fondly from him. Her cheeks flushed involuntarily, and her frayed nerves took the statement as an insult or disapproval.

“It’s been like this for three months! Deal with it, I like my hair like this! Why do you even care!? You wanted to pull me aside to berate my choices you old-!“ Jotaro raised his hand in a stop motion, and almost instinctively her protests died on her tongue.

“That was off-topic, sorry. I did ask you to come here for something entirely different.” Jolyne was seething at him, just raise your voice. Do something show some kind of emotion. Every word out of his mouth just sounded so practised.
“There’s a part of my life I have kept hidden from you, for a long time.”

“Yeah, that much is obvious.” She growled at him, starting to see red.
“I mean it must have been so important if you were running around in Japan while I was dying of a fever.” For the first time, she saw her dad flinch. It was this mute, almost imperceptible movement. A slight twitch of the eye and his gaze switching to the floor for a moment.

Jolyne counted it as a savage victory for a 15-year-old who barely knew him.

“It was imperative I was away when that happened. You were vulnerable.”

“Vulnerable my ass!” Jolyne snapped back, barely restraining her voice as she was reaching the limits of her patience.
“Just tell me her name and get it over with!”

“…what?” His brows furrowed, if Jolyne had been in a better state of mind she probably would have deduced it was genuine confusion. But it was too late to go back now.

“The name of the woman you’ve been cheating on mom with you slimy bastar-“ Her accusation was cut off in a sudden yelp when her world was quite literally, turned upside down. She was hanging upside down in the air, her braided green ponytail swinging wildly while she struggled in vain to right herself. When she looked up (down?) at where she could feel her ankle being squeezed, she felt for the first time the icy grip of terror.

She was looking up at a transparent, flickering figure. Holding up her entire body with just a single hand. Its see-through skin was a rich shade of purple with some blues to accent. White gloves covered both muscular hands and only a tunic gave it modesty. Black hair flowed wildly around the creature. It stared straight at her with almost luminous purple eyes in a way that couldn’t possibly be construed as not threatening.

I’m going to die!

Then she was put back down again, gently, and released. Her lower half thumped unceremoniously against the floor while the entity sank back into her father.

“W-What the, what the Hell was that thing!?” She shouted the first semi-rational question she could come up with.

“…you can see them?” Jotaro hummed, looking thoughtful.
“Was it that fever you had before?...either way it will make this easier.”

“How could I not see it that thing was bigger than you!”

“Stands are invisible to anyone who does not possess one themselves.” Jolyne spluttered indignantly in response to her Dad’s explanation.


“I didn’t name them. But the fact that you can see my Stand without owning one yourself? The potential to gain one must be strong.” On top of her direct blood relation to him.
“This is what I have hidden from you, and your mother.” His expression turned sour.
“Yare yare, I can understand why you would come to that conclusion, but I’m not your great grandfather. I haven’t cheated on your mother, and I have no intention of starting.”

“…” Jolyne was in shock, with all the new information flooding her brain it was hard to not be. The easier explanation she came to turned out to be false and dad was…what? Superhuman? What the ever-living Hell was going on?

Jotaro sighed, moving down onto one knee and putting a hand on his daughter’s shoulder. She looked…afraid. Of him? Of the life he was about to introduce her to? He couldn’t tell anymore.
“This is why I stayed out of your life as much as possible. I’m not the only one with this ability, and not everyone who has a Stand uses it for benign reasons. These powers are dangerous, Jolyne. You have the perfect cover to hide from the law, from consequences. They’re virtually untraceable.” His gaze flickered to the corkboard on the wall next to them.
“Which is why I work for the Speedwagon Foundation. Fighting people whom no one else can.”

Jolyne looked away from him, honestly trying to process all of what she was being told.

“And my line of work breeds enemies Jolyne, which is only made worse by our bloodline. The Joestar Lineage.” She could see a shadow passing over his eyes, the hand on her shoulder flexed a little.
“People who wouldn’t hesitate to hurt or even kill your mother to get to me. But if they saw that birthmark on your neck…they’d never stop hunting you down.” Something cold seized Jolyne again, just the idea of someone hating her existence enough to want her dead. And for what? Something she had no control over?
“I kept myself away from you, so you didn’t have to worry, about any of this. Have something close to a normal childhood but…I can’t. I can’t outrun it forever, and it’s catching up to you already.”

Jolyne watched him with wide eyes as he pulled away from her and walked over, fishing something out that was hidden behind the piles of work that he kept in his room. It was a backpack, relatively small, but packed. Had he been expecting this to happen?

“It’s a precaution for now. But just in case, this is packed with everything you need to survive on your own for a while. In case something happens to me. Be very careful about what’s in the left side pocket. If it scratches you it-“

It all happened so fast, one moment everything seemed to be at least semi-normal. The next? There was a large rumble of something outside the house, and threatening baying of what only vaguely sounded like large canines.

“Jotaro! You’re cornered in there, we hope you know that! You either come out or I send Diamond Dogs in after you!”

Jolyne stiffened at the sound of a voice that was not there to talk and watched her father growl.
“Damnit, of course now.” He walked over to the desk like it was the most casual situation in the world and fixed his hat on his head, handing off the backpack to Jolyne.
“Go out the side door. Make a break for the park and then the woods behind it. Run as far in as you can and hide. If I, and I alone, do not come to find you in four hours, if anyone else finds you at all, keep running. Whatever you do, do not be seen and do not let anyone catch you. You understand?”

Shaking, Jolyne nodded a few times.

“Good, these people will not hesitate to kill you. Now go.”

She turned around and bolted almost immediately, slinging the pack over her shoulders while she headed for the side door.
“Yare yare daze.” She could hear her father distantly while he stepped out of his office.
“Why did it have to be so soon?”

Jolyne was panicking while she scampered through the house, finding the side door so she could get it open. At least their fence was small enough for her to jump easily. But the sight of who was storming their home made her freeze up.

At least 3 or four people. All of which gave her the biggest “stranger danger” alarm. All dressed outlandishly, to the point where spotting them in a crowd would be laughably easy. Was that a mohawk? And a floral shirt? What the heck. But her dad was currently towering over every single one of them, looking more enraged than she could ever remember. From this distance, she couldn’t make out what they were saying properly, but they sounded like threats which were all bouncing off her Dad’s demeanour. He didn’t seem the least bit intimidated.

Jolyne’s attention was soon dragged to the appearance of multiple large dogs though. At least…they looked like dogs. Just like with the entity that her dad created, they were transparent. Flickering in and out of her vision. It almost looked like they were made of crystal, or precious stones, with eyes that burned red. They paced as a pack of six or seven (she couldn’t count properly) around one of the intruders, growling and snapping their jaws at her dad.

Her Dads…Stand appeared after a beat and that was the moment all Hell broke loose. The hounds howled and charged, the large purple man responded with a battle cry and his punch crumbled one of the hounds into dust. But several more leapt upon the Stand and Jolyne’s eyes widened at the blood that splashed the concrete from sizable bite wounds that appeared on her father’s arms and torso. His clothing was ripped, and he staggered back. But if anything, this only encouraged him to fight back harder.

The teen ran off, unable to look at the battle any longer. She was clumsier than she wanted to be, and one of the crystal hounds flickered its ear to where she had left.

…where the Hell was he? It’s been ages! It’s not like the sounds of fighting were still going too, they died out well over an hour ago. There was only so long she could squint at warning signs of paper wasp nest sightings in the area before her nerves took her over. Paper Wasps shouldn’t even be a problem at this time of year. Yet here Jolyne was, deep into the wooded wetlands behind her local park. Crouched behind a bush and wondering what the Hell was going on. Despite her best attempts, her brain was simply refusing to wrap itself around whatever insanity her dad had just dragged her into.

“If this was so important why would you keep it from me?” Normal childhood be damned, this was like forgetting to build a fence around your kids play area because there was a sheer drop on the other side!
“Damnit, old man. You owe me, so much after this.” She grunted to herself, hugging her legs to her chest. She was still quivering. Adrenaline was still wreaking havoc on her bloodstream and she would have passed out if she wasn’t still pissing herself with fear. She could deal with bullies and assholes any day of the week, but these assholes had f*cking superpowers! What was she supposed to do!?

“The police are going to laugh me out of the station if I report this…should I just…keep running?” What kind of solution was that even supposed to be? She was so lost, she hated it!

She was brought out of her musings by the sound of a twig snapping. Her breathing hitched, and she froze, pressing herself further against the leaves of the bush. Yeah, footsteps. More than a few of them, like a pack of wolves…oh no.

Peeking out of the corner, trying to make sure she couldn’t be seen. Her fears were confirmed, it was one of the guys who raided her house before. And now his pack of weird ghost dogs were padding about sniffing at the area. A second person was with him, one that Jolyne didn’t recognise. But if he was with that guy, then there was no way he was a friend.

“Are you completely sure there was a girl running out of the house? I didn’t see sh*t.”

“My Diamond Dogs won’t pass up anything. It smelled a girl, there was a f*ckin’ girl OK? She’s around here somewhere. Just look around alright. The bosses are gonna kill us if we let anything slip now.”

Bosses? Jolyne echoed with confusion. They were taking orders from someone. But who? Dad didn’t mention anyone to reference as a boss. What did they even want?

The sound of growling and snapping from behind her made the teen stop dead. She didn’t even have to turn back to know one of the weird hounds had spotted her.

“There! Over there!” One of the men shouted. Maybe all that adrenaline was good for something after all. Jolyne turned for deeper into the forest and ran.

“You think you can escape Diamond Dogs, you brat!? Sic ‘er!” The baying and echoed howling rang in her ears, as well as the thundering of the whole pack chasing her down.

f*ck! f*ck f*ck f*ck f*ck f*ck!

The fact that she had been sheltered more than a few feet away would only give her so much of a head start. It had barely even been 50 minutes of mad sprinting through the dark woods blindly before she felt snapping jaws dig into her shoulder and she fell forward with a scream. The weight of the crystal dog on top of her pulling her to the left and she fell heavily onto her side.

Pain exploded in her left thigh as she landed on something heavy. A rock? No, it was sharp, like a point. She didn’t get to dwell on it because the stragglers in the pack were catching up, and this hound was trying to pin her. Threatening more bites if she didn’t comply. She struggled anyway, snarling and pushing back against the crystalline animal.

“Get OFF ME!” She wailed, swinging blindly. She never actually hit the creature. But somehow it was sent flying with a yelp of surprise and pain anyway. The moment the weight was lifted off her Jolyne scrambled to her feet. Her injured leg screamed in protest. No use trying to outrun them now.

“f*ck! That bitch has a Stand!” Why did the man’s voice now sound like he was forcing it through a broken jaw?

The other hounds were getting closer, and the one she just judo threw (somehow??) was getting back up. Her back against the trunk of a tree, she did the only thing she could and start climbing. The cold jaws of a hound only barely missing her ankle.

Now all seven of them were around the base of the trunk, jumping against it to try and reach her and barking up a storm. She was just short of hyperventilating, haphazardly testing for safe branches to get higher up. She tried to ignore the weird buzzing noise in her ears.

“Listen here you little brat.” The man growled. Ah yes, mohawk. So he had this…Stand.
“You either come down willingly, or I have Diamond Dogs pull you down! Easy or hard, all down to you little missy!” He was taunting her, that made her angry.

What the Hell was that buzzing?! It was damn annoying and…oh. She flattened herself against the trunk, staring at the large nest of wasps buzzing around towards the end of the branch. Testing the branch, it bent easily to her weight. Maybe it was rotten. That was when an idea formed in her brain. Dangerous, she didn’t know if she was allergic to wasp stings after all but…better than going with him.

Taking a deep breath, Jolyne inched out on the branch and looked down at the grown man scowling at her. He didn’t want to climb up after her, she was going to use that. With only a beat of hesitation, she opened her mouth and responded to his threat.
“I don’t think so! Come up and get me bitch!”

The veins popping out of his head alone made antagonising him worth it alone.
“Y-You!-DIAMOND DOGS!” The Stand howled and jumped, trying to snap at her legs and pull her down. Jolyne pulled back against the trunk hastily and its jaws snapped around the vulnerable branch instead, pulling it…and the nest to the ground.

It exploded with spectacular fashion, even in the darkness, and the buzzing sound became overpowering as thousands of angry, angry wasps flew out in their swarm, seeking revenge on the Stand User who had destroyed their home.

The night was filled with terrified screaming, as the stranger flailed madly to keep the angry wasps away from him. They swarmed the guy with no mercy, and several of his wolf pack vanished from the distraction.

Jolyne leapt from the tree where she had been and rolled to a hint, already experiencing multiple stings of her own from straggling wasps. Her leg felt like it was on fire, but she kept moving. Running blindly even as the general noises from her mayhem got fainter and fainter. It was only when the dirt and leaf litter on her feet started to gain gravel…possibly hours later, as the sun was beginning to break the horizon did, she find a car park. A roadside gas station? How long had she been moving?

She was too exhausted to try and guess, but fortune was finally, finally giving her a good break today. A truck with a cover on its back. The owner was probably still inside the station or somewhere else. No idea where it was going, but there was no way she could go home. With or without people trying to find her.

She pushed herself towards the truck, trying to remain unseen, and slid inside amongst the dirty crates and trade boxes. A space just big enough for her to fit into and finally, passed out.

She had no idea how much time had passed since she had fallen unconscious. But it was hot in the back of the truck she had stowed away in. Her leg was still throbbing with ungodly amounts of pain. And there was a steady thrum underneath her. The truck was moving. At least, she was left with just enough room to sit up, but the dim world swayed dizzily as she did so, and her stomach lurched as a great middle finger to her already horrible condition.

She hadn’t eaten anything at all since dinner time. Considering her daring escape she should be starving. But the thought of eating anything made her want to hurl. That was when she remembered the fact she had fallen on something when she was running. Digging around in her pack, she raised an eyebrow when she felt and pulled out a flashlight.

“sh*t, how prepared were you?” She asked herself quietly, flicking the torch on and focusing the beam on where she felt most of the pain.

Forget feeling sick, she was going to be sick holy sh*t something was sticking out her thigh. Panic set in, and she hurried to pull it out, even knowing it was generally a bad idea. She bit down a yelp as it slid out, though not without slicing a little more of her flesh on the way out. She was bleeding from there profusely now.

“Wait wait f*ck what if it's infected?” What was she even stabbed with? It didn’t feel like a rock it was…smooth. Like metal? Rubbing the blood off the item, it was indeed metallic, like a fragment of a blade or point. What the Hell?

“Be very careful about what’s in the left side pocket.“ The memory of what her father said echoed in her mind and slowly, she reached for the left side pocket where this item was supposedly kept.

…nothing was in there. But it was the perfect size for what was previously in her thigh.

“I must have fallen on it while I was running…but why was I supposed to be careful about it?” She wondered to herself, feeling another wave of nausea. A flash of heat moved through and settled in. Feverish. She was getting feverish damnit.

“Getting sick…at a time like this…great work…f*ckin’ Cujoh.”

If you asked Jolyne if she remembered the next four days, she would honestly tell you that no. She had no clue what happened. Between hastily bandaging her wound repeatedly, trying to manage the increasingly bad fever and stowing away in secret on as many different vehicles as she could manage. Time passed in a complete blur. The only thing she knew for certain in that time was that there was no way in Hell she could be in Florida anymore. The weather got colder and less humid. So, she could only presume she had been travelling north. It was making her illness worse.

The last day or so of her fugitive life she was drifting in and out of consciousness. Hidden away on the back of a pickup and hugging her backpack against her chest like it was a lifeline. She could feel herself fading fast.

All of that and an infected stab wound is how I die. It’s pathetic.

She was starting to lean out of the side of the pickup as a sign drifted by. Forcing herself to read it through her hazy state of mind.

Amity Park. It read in big, bold, red letters. While green text swirled up and down next to it in a cheerful manner…were those scorch marks at the edges of the sign?
A nice place to live!

The black spots in her eyes danced like butterflies as her vision went dark. The fuzzy image of a blue arm and something pulled her back into the pickup before she could fall out of it. It was weird, the most precarious position of her entire life and she felt…

----> To be Continued ---->

Chapter 3: Disobeying the Doctor's Orders - Part 1


Jolyne finally wakes up to find herself in Amity Park, and it takes her no time at all to get tangled up in the town's ghost problems.


Oh look, the crossover is actually a crossover now. The only warning I really need to provide is mild body horror. Because Jolyne's Stand cannot exist without being a prime source of it. A good chunk of Danny's part in the chapter is lifted directly from the episode this takes place in, so I apologise for that. Otherwise, enjoy the story.

For those who will not be aware, this is set during the Danny Phantom season 2 episode "Doctors Disorders" (episode 2).

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

The world came back into focus slowly. There were a few blissful moments where the teen just existed without any worries. Where almost the last week was just one very vivid and scary nightmare. Any second, she was going to wake up in her bed like absolutely nothing happened, and she can go about a perfectly normal day.

Her sense of touch rudely informed her of reality. Because her still wounded thigh felt like it was on fire. With the confirmation she had still stabbed herself, came everything else in vivid detail and blindly, Jolyne reached up to try and sit up. She recognised the bed was something closer to a simple cot you lie patients on, but the area didn’t look like a hospital. More like a clinic.

The world began to spin dizzily again, Jolyne letting out an involuntary whine at the sensation. The sound of footsteps rang in her ears and the next thing she knew there was a hand pushing her back down.

“Sorry kid, not yet. Sounds like you need another dose of painkillers. Just stay here.” A feminine, older voice assured and hurried away. Jolyne just lay there, waiting for the rest of her senses to figure stuff out. After blinking a few times, she found that yeah, she was in a clinic like she first assumed. It seemed small, but well looked after and thoroughly sterile. She had a sheet over her body that she decided to pull back.

She wasn’t in the orange tank top and khaki pants like normal. Instead, a simple clean T-shirt and shorts of varying blue tones. She could see the neat bandaging on her left thigh that indicated someone had bandaged her wound for her. When she reached up at the stinging sensation on her shoulder, she frowned. There were bandages there too.

Did she forget about being attacked by those rock…dog…things when she was running back in Florida? What did he call them…Diamond Dogs? Weird name.

“Looks like you’re up anyway.” The voice made her jump, and Jolyne snapped her view towards the new person. The person stepped back, surprised a little.
“Easy easy, I don’t bite.” She tried her best to soothe, carrying a tray with water and a few pills on it.

Now that she could get a good look at the woman, Jolyne couldn’t help but raise an eyebrow at her. She was kind of short, and portly in frame as well. With soft brown shoulder-length hair flowing freely. Caucasian, a couple of laugh lines around her mouth and misty Gray-blue eyes. Overall, Jolyne couldn’t have it in her to register the woman as a threat. Though she kept a careful eye on her until she set the tray at the bedside table and turned to face Jolyne with a soft look. Like she was used to dealing with teens in her situation.

“Have to say, you gave a friend of mine a pretty big scare. Was coming through Amity Park to deliver some supplies when there’s a girl passed out in the back of his truck, looking like she tried to get in a knife fight with a wolf pack.”

Jolyne carefully decided to not react to that, considering she…kind of did.

“That and the fact you look like you haven’t seen a shower in days and were travelling with a temperature of 102?” The woman paused for a bit, before shaking her head with a sigh.
“Name’s Barbara. Run a clinic as a charity service. Mostly for people who can’t afford hospitals. The homeless, runaways, low-income folk. You know.”

Jolyne looked her up and down, nodding slowly as she explained herself.
“R-Right. Then you’re the one who helped bandage me up huh?”

Barbara nodded and Jolyne’s only response was to look away from her. Somewhat embarrassed she needed this much help from someone. What if she got them hurt because she helped her? For all she knew, those people who had attacked in Florida were still after her. If they managed to find her dad of all people, then she couldn’t have shaken them, forever right?

…she was starting to see the logic behind why Dad never interacted with her as a kid. Damn it all.

“You’re going to give me a name? I’ll need it for paperwork.” There was a moment where Jolyne panicked, debating on whether it was a good idea to give Barbara her real name. Her caution outweighed her candour.

“I-Irene. My name is Irene.” She settled on a name quickly, similar sounding to her own yet different enough that no one would probably think twice about the similarity. Barbara raised an eyebrow at her.

“No surname?”

“N-No ma’am…”

Barbara sighed and shook her head.
“Just call me Barbara. Formalities ain’t my thing. Honestly, what is our world coming to? Kids getting kicked out of their own homes. Guessing from the accent you’ve come far up north. I’ll phone in with the local shelter and see if they have any beds available OK? But if you’re going out, I’d wait until morning. Ghost attacks are more frequent at night.”

Jolyne blinked at her.
“Ghost attacks?” She couldn’t quite keep the incredulous “sounds like a prank” tone out of her voice. Barbara chuckled at her apparent ignorance.

“Don’t you know where you are kid? Amity Park, Illinois. The most haunted town in America. You’ll know a ghost when you see one.” The older woman leaned back against the wall and sighed.
“In my humble opinion, the town would be a lot more dangerous without that ghost kid protecting us. Lotta people walking around claiming he’s a monster, but outside of a few incidents he never really means harm…ah. I lost you.” Barbara sighed.
“Alright, I’ll go make those calls now. Feel free to make yourself comfortable alright?” And just like that, Jolyne was left alone with her thoughts again.

She made it up as far as Illinois. She was basically on the other end of the country in only a few days. Maybe she really could take a small break here, or at least gather herself so she could figure out just what the Hell she was supposed to do now. Looking down at the bedside table where the painkillers and water lay untouched, there was her backpack there. It didn’t look like it had been opened while she was unconscious too, so that was a plus. Maybe she could find a place to start rummaging through it for real and see what dad had stashed away for her.

Though she would have to sort herself out in a place where Barbara or other people weren’t likely to see.

“Hello? Amity Shelter? Yes, I’m calling you about a patient that was admitted into my clinic several hours ago- “

Jolyne perked up, blinking rapidly at the door. She…she shouldn’t be able to hear something from that distance, right? The door should be muffling the conversation too much. But she could hear it like she was standing right next to Barbara.
“The Hell? My hearing can’t be this good.”

“She says her name is Irene, I think she might have run away from home. Carl, you know the delivery driver. Found her in the back of his pickup with a high fever and a few wounds-”

That was when she noticed something, after a moment of staring. It was so easy to overlook considering it was white against creamy white manilla flooring. Was that…string?

“-Yes, I’ll ask some questions about her situation and contact the police if it's necessary. Thank you.” Her eyes traced the line slowly, afraid of the increasingly clear answer to what was happening considering it was coming right back to her bed.

Up the bedpost.

And underneath the bandaging that protected the stab wound on her thigh.

Almost like a creature that had noticed a predator stare at them, the thread quickly pulled itself back, retreating entirely underneath the bandage and going still.

Half of Jolyne wanted to pretend she never saw anything. But the other half argued she needed to see what was happening to the wound site now that there was something awfully long, worm-like, and alive there. She felt genuine fear and a little bit of light-headedness at the concept of finding a nesting colony of like…worms or some sh*t living in her stab wound. She pushed through it stubbornly in favour of gently finding the edge and undoing her bandages.

The more she did so, the more she noticed the small lines accenting up from the rest of her skin, like veins arranged in all the wrong positions and pushing up. Occasionally she watched a line twitch and move. An itch was growing on the bare skin underneath and it was becoming hard to resist stopping to scratch. Until the last layer finally came away with a few fresh patches of blood.

How she had not fainted in response to the sight before her was nothing short of a miracle. Because there were probably grown men who would have.

Her former wound looked like an infestation site where an untold number of these long worm-things were wiggling about. Dipping into and out of her skin in a way where Jolyne experienced no pain whatsoever aside from a minor itch. She was so sure she had turned a similar shade of white to the bedsheets.

Oh f*ck are those worms!? She asked herself, quivering slightly with the idea of being infested like this. God she was going to be sick!
Where does one end and the next begin!?

Maybe out of sheer desperation to understand what was happening and call for Barbara to ask what kind of medicines she’d be needing to deal with this, she reached down and grabbed onto the end of one with a certain zeal and pulled.

She almost yelped when she felt her skin pull in accordance like she was pulling closed a stitch, the individual threads binding closer together. The ‘worm’ she had grabbed squirmed a little in her grip but otherwise came away easily. The sheer length of it disturbed her. Like this was just one big and long one instead of multiple.

…was more of her skin and flesh turning into this? What the actual Hell was happening?

The worm was surprisingly thin, for a living creature anyway. She was surprised to not feel anything like skin or slime from this thing instead it was…silky?

No, not silky. Silk. She remembered the texture of silk easily. As she rubbed the mystery item between her fingers, she realised that this wasn’t a worm at all. This was a thread of silk string.

“String? What the Hell, I’m creating string?” She found that it carried the scent of soap too, the brands she often used too. It was just…creepy.

When she let go of the string too, it didn’t flop down lifelessly. It coiled absently in the air, expanding, and contracting like a muscle that she was flexing. Frowning, she thought.
Move left.

She watched the string drift to the left a little.
Move right.

The string swayed right.

“Am I…controlling it?”

As if to show her how wrong she was, the strings in her thigh all surged up at once. She let out a little yelp as the strings began to clump together, turning an interesting shade of blue before her eyes.

She was staring at a green, pupil-less eye, staring right back at her.

“Irene?” Barbara’s voice on the other side of the door startled Jolyne even more and just like that, the creature fled back into the skin on her thigh.
“Are you alright in there?” She opened the door, and Jolyne tensed, expecting a scream and a lot of questions about the many strings stitching the wound on her thigh closed.

“You took your bandage off? Wait.” Barbara moved towards her, and Jolyne was starting to experience a strong fight or flight instinct.
“You’re healing faster than I expected.”


Barbara rubbed her thumb over the patch where the string-creature had made itself at home. But did not attempt asking about it.
“A little rough, but its healed over completely.”

Jolyne asked herself again, unable to believe what she was hearing.
Can Barbara…not see it?

“R-Right the shelter. They have a bed for you. But I wouldn’t recommend going now. You’ll be out during the night. So, if you need to, you can sleep here tonight. I’m trusting you with this OK. You seem like a good kid.” Still unable to believe any of what was happening to her, Jolyne just nodded dumbly.
“Good. I’ll check up on you before I close for the night.”

When she was left alone again. Jolyne didn’t hesitate to make herself scarce. Changing into the clothes her dad packed (simple boots, jeans and a blue t-shirt with silver spiderweb designs, a grey hoodie to keep herself warm) and forcing the window open with her new, bizarre power.

“Seriously, just what the Hell are you supposed to be?” She asked the thin air around her while she walked down the street, knowing that this weird thing now living…on her? Inside her? Would somehow be able to hear and respond. It did when she was in the clinic earlier.
“Evil spirit or something? Because I’m not interested in whatever demon contract you got.”

She wasn’t surprised per se when the skin of her arm began to unravel under the hoodie (she could feel it and it was uncomfortable) and snake out of the end next to her wrist like an eel. Creeped out was a much more accurate statement.

You. The string formed a word she could read. Blinking, she looked around. But none of the few people around her seemed to be giving her a second glance.

“Uh, I don’t think I turn myself into silk. Are you looking for a spider?”

The string vibrated a little before more of it joined to create more cursive words.
Your Fighting Spirit. Protect you.

“…my ‘fighting spirit’?” This was starting to sound like a bad anime. Or corny superhero show.
“Is that why you’re invisible to everyone but me?”

Only seen if same power.

“Same power…” She echoed, finding her thoughts drifting back to the events of that night…with her father and those people who attacked them.

They have same power.

“Great, you can read my mind.”

I am you.

“And do “I” have a name?”

No. No name. Yet.

“…damn I have to name you?” Jolyne groaned, knowing she probably couldn’t just call it “String Monster”. That was just monumentally stupid. The other guy called his…power, Diamond Dogs though.

There was a noise that quickly distracted her from her would-be goal. A yell, echoing through the purple (seriously why is the sky purple here?) night sky. Followed quickly by a tree rustling violently with the force of someone crashing into it. Jolyne perked up with alarm and managed to take in the sight of a large school building, that’s what she assumed it was anyway.

And a glowing child hanging upside down from the branches of a nearby tree leaves clinging to his snowy white hair and toxic green eyes widening. Though not at Jolyne. Another girl was there, who also seemed to take no notice of the Florida-native.

Wait, was that glowing green sludge coating his body like a weird net?


The other girl let out a manic grin, and Jolyne took the distraction as a chance to duck behind the trunk of a different tree while she was still unnoticed.

“You should run.”

There was a weird echo to his voice that Jolyne hadn’t noticed before, the strings that had previously been communicating with her power were now tightening protectively around her wrist like it could sense danger. The echo made her head hurt a little too, setting all her nerves on edge.

An instinct obviously not shared by the other dark-haired girl as she happily bounded towards the luminous teenager.

“No, not toward me. Away! Run!” He clarified in a shout, holding out both of his hands in what Jolyne assumed was a stop motion. She blinked in disbelief when the teenager instead fired beams of green energy from his hands that the other girl (Paulina, probably) was incredibly lucky to duck under in time. Out of curiosity, Jolyne followed the beam of energy to wherever the intended target was.

Wow, that was a big mosquito.

Wow, that was a really big, glowing, visibly angry mosquito.

Which luckily, the beam of green energy the kid fired out of his hands struck dead centre and sent the monster flying back. Wisely, the other girl bolted once she saw the danger. Jolyne shrank further behind the trunk but continued to watch what was happening.

The kid’s glow turned brighter until he managed to vaporise the gunk that was immobilising him and he flew out of the way of a blast of slime from the end of the mosquito beast’s proboscis. His legs fusing into a long, misty tail while he did so. The giant mosquito gave chase, the smaller boy zigzagging around in the dark sky until he stopped in front of a telephone line.

He’s going to electrocute it.

“Bug.” He said, waiting until the very last moment to pull up and out of the way as the mosquito crashed headfirst into the powerlines. Even though it had been attacking the boy up until this point, Jolyne couldn’t help but wince a little. That had to hurt.

She was guessing the fact the giant mosquito exploded into thousands of regular-sized mosquitos was probably not an expected reaction. The boy looked visibly taken aback as the scattered insects gathered into a large cloud and flew en masse into the building behind them all.

Now he looked straight up unimpressed.
“Well, one down. A billion to go.” He groaned, shaking his head. Before he flew off, apparently remembering something and leaving Jolyne all alone, still reeling from everything she just witnessed.

“…right. That just happened.” She muttered, trying to process what she just saw. Were those…ghosts?

Danger. Her strings weaved the word in front of her eyes.
Danger! It accented a moment later with an exclamation point.

“What do you mean?”

Bug! Jolyne’s eyes widened, finally catching notice of a single point of glowing light that was approaching her hiding spot. One of those ghost(?) insects was flying towards her, a straggler in the group that had seen the first victim it could attack. Jolyne moved back with a small yelp, but the insect landed on her wrist, eyeing her skin hungrily.

It all happened faster than even Jolyne could process. One second it looked ready to bite her, and the next a blur of blue and grey colour had jumped out from her, and the crunching of oak caused the tree behind her to splinter and crack severely. Like a small but high-speed impact had almost punched a hole through it. Jolyne was left staring in horrified awe, at a blue and grey fist and arm that had jumped out of her own. Underneath the blue shell was an entire network of densely packed strings. Her body was enveloped in a cyan-coloured aura as well. But judging by the grass underneath her. It wasn’t giving off any light.

The arm slowly came away from where it impacted the tree, showing the splattered remains of the bug. A few of the legs twitched before it fell to the ground and dissolved entirely. The strings stopped creating anything past the shoulder, just several strings that attached to her own shoulder. The entity was disgusted by the green slime clinging to its fingers and shook it off, before unravelling itself back into her arm.

“…thanks.” She admitted after a beat.
Looks like my Spirit can protect me from those things but…
A closer look at the building revealed that it was in fact, a high school. “Casper High” the lettering on the front read.
Most of the kids in that place won’t have any.

“…yare yare dawa.” She grunted, surprised to hear herself quoting her father (at least somewhat) in this situation before looking at the few strings dancing around her free arm.
“How do you feel about breaking and entering?”

Danny was about as exhausted as normal coming to Casper High the next day. Fighting a giant ghost bug just to have it explode on him was bad enough, but he was already out hours after his curfew, so he had no choice but to return home before his parents found out. He assumed that he would have just lost the ghost bugs in the school anyway. Maybe they moved back to the Ghost Zone by themselves too. The halls were about the same, students walking by and hardly giving him a second glance.

Though as he was walking through to his first class, a smell wafted across his nose that caused it to wrinkle with displeasure. Tucker was spraying himself with…something. He didn’t know what it was, but he was not going to bet that it was anything that could be bought on the shelves.
“Phew, what is that smell?” The raven-haired teen asked, raising an arm to try and wave some of the stench away.

“This? It’s my new all over body spray!” Tucker responded eagerly, holding up a home-made can with writing he probably did himself on the front like a label.
“I made it myself! I call it “Foley, by Tucker Foley.” He explained, going to apply even more to himself.
“It combines with your natural odour to create a sweet, manly scent. That smells different to everyone who sniffs it!”

“Tuck, you smell like sweat and cookies.” Danny responded in a deadpan.

“By choice! The ladies will be swarming all over me.”

Danny opened his mouth to respond, but a small puff of blue mist escaped him instead. Scanning for the ghostly culprit turned up nothing, but he tensed anyway. It’s not like he’s never been lead on a wild goose chase before. The small swarm of ghost bugs flew by him unnoticed.

At the same time, Paulina was officially making her presence known, with half of the boys in the school all calling after her. She ignored them with a dreamy expression on her face.
“So many boys.” She hummed, opening her locker to show her Ghost Kid shrine.
“But only one you.” That was when something bit her, an unseen ghost bug sinking into her skin.
“Ow! Hey you blemished my flawless skin!” She frowned, rubbing the spot where she had been bitten as she walked by the nurse’s office.

When Sam, Danny and Tucker passed by, Tucker froze up. Staring wide-eyed at the nurse’s office and droning.

“Tucker?” Danny asked, moving over to his friend and waving a hand in front of his face. Tucker gave no response.
“Hello? What’s gotten into him?”

“This happens every time he gets near the nurse’s office,” Sam responded, glancing up at the sign.

“Nu-nu-nu-nurse!?” Tucker panicked, sweating profusely.

„This is a bad one, in a case like this, its best not to let him see,” Sam responded, getting a paper bag over his head.
“Come on Tuck, find a happy place.”

“R-Right right! I’m not passing a nurse’s office I’m passing a-a, modelling agency!” The moment they were past the nurse’s office Tucker pulled the bag off his head and breathed a sigh of relief.
“Thanks, Sam.”

“You’re afraid of the nurse’s office?” Danny asked, raising an eyebrow.

“Yes! Nurses offices, doctors’ offices, hospitals! Any place with sharp, pointy-sticky things and the smell of sick people.” Tucker pulled a face as he mentioned sick people. Sam, behind him, sniffed at the air and did her own disgusted expression.

“Urgh, speaking of sick smells, what is that? Gym socks and snickerdoodles?”

“Foley. By Tucker Foley.” Danny and Tucker chorused in sync, though Danny with a much flatter tone.

“It’s Tucker’s cologne-“ He paused as another puff of blue mist escaped his mouth and the three of them caught sight of Paulina. Who was…more radiant than usual, to say the least? She was even leaning forward and holding her midsection like she felt ill.

“Uh…is Paulina glowing?” Danny asked, staring.

“I know she’s supposed to have “flawless skin” but this is ridiculous.” Sam agreed.

“Ungh, I feel terrible…and disfigured! Stupid bug bite!” Paulina’s voice drifted down the hall.

“Bug bite?” Danny echoed, only then catching notice of one of the mosquito ghosts flying by, gaping at it until it flew over to and bit Jazz on the back of the head, causing his older sister to yelp, drop her books and smack the offended area.

Kwan and Star were both laughing until the two of them were also bitten and infected. And from there it just progressed. Until every student in the hallway was being swarmed by clouds of spectral insects.

“Oh no. Cover me, guys.” Danny told his two friends behind him. Kicking into his “hero mode” as Sam liked to call it.
“I’m going ghost!” Danny then ran into an unoccupied room, with Tucker and Sam guarding the door to make sure no one would walk in on him. He transformed into his ghost alter-ego in a flash of light, and then started flying around the whole school with his Thermos, sucking up any insects he found. He was standing next to Sam and Tucker again, turning back to his human self before he knew it.

“Well, that, is all of them.” He affirmed, holding up the Thermos…until one more flew by and phased into Sam’s shoulder. Causing her to hiss and slap where she had been “bitten”.
“Except one.”

Dash then went running by screaming, followed by an entire cloud of ghost bugs.
“Or more.” Before he ran after the blonde bully, watching as somehow Dash phased straight through the door to the boys’ bathroom. Which Danny opened after him.
“Hey Dash? Not that I care but, are you OK?” He asked, moving into the bathroom to where one of the stalls were closed and locked.

“I don’t feel so good.” He heard Dash moan from the other side of the door.

“Yeah, this always happens on Goulash Day.” Danny quipped. Trying to lighten the atmosphere a little. He barely had the time to dodge out the way of two ecto-beams burning a hole through the stall. He fell to the floor with a grunt.
“Although I’ve never seen goulash to that.”

The door exploded completely, and a glowing green Dash with red eyes and pointed ears stormed into view through the smoke.
“Get away!” He snarled in a much deeper and more gravelly voice. The next thing Danny knew he was being grabbed and thrown into an open toilet stall. Instinctively, he went Ghost again and flew up invisibly and intangibly through the roof, circling around to come down and tackle Dash from behind. The bully’s face met concrete, and Danny was already pulling him up by the front of his shirt with a fist drawn back before he could retaliate.

“Wish I could say I didn’t want to do this, but!” But then Dash transformed back to normal, and fell into the ghost teens arms, groaning in pain.
“Augh, I’m just one cheap shot away from a Semester full of payback.” Danny grunted to himself, carrying the ill jock out of the bathroom, likely to where all the other sick students were.

It was hours later, when the parents arrived, all gathered out in front of the gym doors where the mathematics teacher, Mr Falluca was standing in front, barring them from entering.

“Why can’t we see our children Mr Falluca? This is outrageous! They’re sick! They need us!” Maddie Fenton was the one who was voicing most of the parents' concerns, directly arguing with the poor math teacher.

“Now I understand your concern folks, but I have been instructed not to disseminate any information, at this time.” Mr Falluca responded, holding up his hands in what was supposed to be a placating gesture. This predictably had no effect.

“But you’re a teacher, it's your JOB to disseminate information!” Maddie shouted in response. All while Jack was crying at her side.

“Poor Jazz! She’s always been my favourite!” The man sobbed, blowing hard into a tissue and consequently, getting it covered. Before he handed it off to his son, standing right next to him, the whole time, without a second thought.
“Here you go Danny! Don’t lose this, it was your grandfathers!”

Danny took the item with visible hesitation, cringing in disgust at the fact it was somehow dripping.

“Hey Danny, check this out!” He was almost thankful that Tucker provided him with a distraction.

“What’s up?”

“Got another one.” Tucker opened his palm to reveal one of the glowing bugs just sitting absentmindedly on his palm. Danny jumped in response.

“Tucker! Get rid of that thing!”

“No no look!” Tucker protested, pointing at the insect.
“It won’t bite me or phase into my skin or anything!”

“That’s weird. I figured my ghost powers were protecting me. What’s protecting you?”

The ghost bug decided to fly off and ignore Tucker all together. They both managed to guess the cause in an instant.

“Foley, by Tucker Foley!” They both said in unison, grinning.

“Wow, it’s not just repelling. It’s a repellent!”

The doors then swung open to where all the sick students were being kept. The most, creepy, pale and bald man wearing a surgeon’s outfit walked through. His skin was almost grey, and his eyes weren’t visible underneath the red-tinted goggles he wore.

“Hello people, I’m Doctor Bert Rand.” He introduced himself, not even waving in his greeting.

“Are you from the government's disease control centre?” Maddie asked, glowering at him.

“Sure, let’s go with that!”

He then held out his arms as he started to explain the situation to the adults.
“I can assure you that your children are in good hands and will be transferred to the creepy abandoned hospital on the edge of town!”

“Under quarantine?” Maddie spoke up again, raising an eyebrow.

“Yes, let’s go with that too!”

“Oh yeah? And just why should we trust you?” Jack asked, leaning forward into the Doctors space like he was trying to be intimidating.

“Because I’m with the government and I can audit your taxes if you don’t.” The doctor responded without skipping a beat.

“We trust you.” Jack responded, quickly backing away again.

“Well, I don’t trust him.” Danny decided, the itch of his ghost core starting to grow. This man was a stranger, he didn’t know him. There was no way he could trust him with his people.
“Sam and Jazz are in that hospital; we’ve got to find out what’s going on.”

“Have a good time!” Tucker said, quickly turning around to walk away.

“Tucker, I said “we”.” Danny clarified, his annoyance starting to grow.

“You also said “hospital”.”

“Pfft, I go invisible, I go ghost. I’ll be in and out in no time. Just watch!”

A loud BANG disrupted the conversation and frightened everyone in the hall, even the doctor, who jumped a little in response. Before the sounds of scampering over in the ceiling.

“What was that!?” Tucker asked, quickly hiding behind Danny.
“Is there something in the ceiling?”

“GHOST!” Jack roared, pulling out one of the Fentons’ anti-ghost weaponry, much to the dismay and protests of Mr Falluca.

“Mr Fenton how many times do we have to tell you not to bring those to Casper High unless it’s a ghost emergency!”

Something in the gym broke, and multiple kids could be heard yelling in fear or flat out screaming.

“Op! Gotta get back to the kids!” Dr Bert Rand quickly bolted back inside, locking the gym door behind him as he did so.


“Oh, come on!”

Danny dragged him away from the panicking adults shouting at one another and hid in an empty room.
“Going ghost!” The rings of light travelled up and down his body, turning Danny Fenton into Danny Phantom for the third time that day. Phasing into the ceiling was pretty easy, heck. He regularly stashed ghost hunting equipment and emergency medical kits up here in places where the repairmen weren’t likely to look. But there was evidence of someone, or…something being up here and recently too.

Namely, one of the support beams that held up the second story was now caved in sideways. Barely holding itself together by a few splinters. The cracks in the wood and metal ran up and down. Whatever had hit it, it had a lot of force. Way more than a human could manage.
“Wait…is that?” He floated closer to look. Among the wreck of the beam was a small splatter of ectoplasm. The remains of a ghost bug were smeared on a spot.
“It attacked one of the ghost bugs? But why?”

That was when he noticed the hole in the ceiling, over the gym. Remains of plaster and wood were on the bottom, indicating that something had fallen through. When he peeked down, there was no indication of ghost danger. Just a girl being…helped off the ground. She was squirming pretty hard, however.

“Oh, you poor thing!” Dr Bert Rands voice floated up and Danny instinctively backed into the shadows again despite being invisible.
“Hm…I don’t remember you being among the population of infected teens before. But it's good that you came right to us!” Two large “people” in hazmat suits (ghosts. Danny could tell they were ghosts) pulled her to her feet as she trashed even harder.
“We’ll make sure you get all better!”

“The Hell!? I’m not sick f*ck off!” The teen shouted; a voice Danny wasn’t familiar with either. She had an easily recognisable face too, but once again Danny couldn’t remember seeing her anywhere.

Like seriously, there weren’t a lot of humans who walked around with green hair in Amity Park. For a moment, he considered changing back into Fenton and “conveniently” falling from the ceiling as well but…no. That was a dumb idea, even by his standards. One kid in the ceiling was suspicious, but two?

The mystery girl eventually stopped squirming, hissing, and pulling one of her legs closer to herself. He could see blood beginning to spot through the calf section of her jeans.

That was when something else caught his eye, wedged in the edge of where the hole was. For a moment, he fought to free it from the plaster. Until he could hold it in front of him to scrutinise.

String that was bleeding.


Oooooooh, Danny can see the strings from the as of yet unnamed Stone Free! I'll try to post part 2 as soon as possible. There wound up being a lot more words than I originally anticipated.

Chapter 4: Disobeying the Doctor's Orders - Part 2


Switching perspectives to see why Jolyne was in the ceiling, and discovering some of the more sinister intent behind the ghost virus.


G o d I still need to put a part 3 into this. I write too much. Same as before, will try to post the next chapter soon.

And just to be safe, I am going to be putting up a warning for general medical malpractice. Just to be safe. Other than that, enjoy the chapter!

Chapter Text

As it turns out, high school was many times easier to break into than break out of. Jolyne was sure that her new mystery helper was half the reason why though. As it turns out, a whole lot more than just a single limb on her body could be transformed into string at any one time. In fact, she wasn’t completely sure…but her current estimate was that about 60% of her body could be turned at any one time. The only real exception appeared to be her heart. If she tried to unravel close, her chest would just start burning after a few seconds. In other words? Keep that area protected.

“Urgh, it’s so dusty in here.” She muttered to herself, the entire ceiling was covered in a thin layer of grime and dirt, which made navigating it that much less hygienic. If she got to meet a shower in the next 24 hours no amount of hot water and excessive scrubbing will ever wash off the feeling this place was giving her.

The seemingly maintained weapons and medical kits hid in the ceiling probably did not help the atmosphere at all. It was like someone in the school was preparing for war.

Though aside from the creepy, dusty internal workings of the building she was hidden in, nothing happened for a good portion of the day. She had to come here exceedingly early on to make sure she could get in undetected. But that meant a lot of sitting around waiting for something to happen.

She was just about ready to give up and declare her day wasted when she heard screaming, which was only getting louder as more voices joined in until it was pandemonium. What the Hell?!

“sh*t! I must have missed it!” The only reason no ghost bugs may have attacked her so far is that they were already dispersed through where one would expect students and faculty to be during school hours. Which she wasn’t.

Though just as quickly as it came, it was also gone. Did someone manage to round up the insects anyway? Well damn…that was faster than she was expecting.

“…I’m gonna hang around. There’s gotta be someone in this place who knows what’s going on.” And she already knew exactly how her new companion could help her spy on people.

Let’s just say it was a good thing that stealing food from behind the cafeteria was hilariously easy to do now. Or else she would be going hungry right about now. She found that the idea of not eating at all helped bland food go down easier. Currently, she was nibbling on some leftovers while a string was dangling from in between a pair of plasterboards that made up the ceiling. Which gave her the kind of audio clarity that could only be matched by standing in the hall where everyone was.

If she wasn’t doing this for herself and already found this was possible. She wouldn’t be able to believe it otherwise.

“Gotta say, this is pretty nifty.” She muttered to herself, only pausing when a voice had reached her string.

“Hello people, I’m Dr Bert Rand.”

“Doctor huh? Guess that’s standard.” She muttered, pushing her little string further, feeling along the wall for support.

“Are you from the government’s disease control centre?” A woman’s voice, she heard her arguing with a teacher earlier. At least one person here has the brain to ask the right questions, it’s not like Jolyne is in any position to.

“Sure, let’s go with that!” The doctor’s voice responded almost cheerily, Jolyne almost chocked on her morsel. That was a yes or no question!

“Where the f*ck did this guy go to med school? He should know the CDC.” She was a teenager who hadn’t even graduated high school and she knew!

“I can assure you that your kids are in good hands and will be transferred to the creepy abandoned hospital on the edge of town.”

Red Flag #2 Her mysterious protector weaved next to her, and Jolyne nodded in agreement.

“Under quarantine?”

“Yes, let’s go with that too!”

“Oh yeah? And why should we trust you?”

“Because I’m with the government and I can audit your taxes if you don’t.”

“…we trust you.”

Jolyne bit down the urge to groan and roll her eyes. This was triggering so many alarm bells in her brain, why was no one else protesting?!

“Well, I don’t trust him.” Oh? That was a younger voice, one of the kids maybe?
“Sam and Jazz are in that hospital and we have got to find out what’s going on!”

“At least someone’s got their head screwed on the right way. Yare yare dawa.”

Why did she hear buzzing and why was it getting louder? Her spirit manifested itself, half of the torso, the head, and an arm. She could see heat burning behind those green shades. Oh, wait there!

Another one of those bugs! And it looked like it had its sights set on her as it flew up from the room, she was sitting above…so these creatures weren’t a hivemind.

Because her spirit friend was just as vicious as the first time. Attacking the insect with a hair’s width of time for the poor bastard to react. The crunch from the impact of the spirit’s fist against the support beam next to her was almost deafening, thanks to the several hours of relative quiet she had in comparison.

“GHOST!” A voice barked in her ear, thanks to the string still poking through and panic took over before she could calm herself. Jolyne turned and bolted, trying to remember where she made mental notes of exits so she could abort mission. The universe was quite happy to offer alternatives that were made specifically to spite her, however.

In the form of the floor being there one second, and then thin air being under her feet the next. There was a wail that died in her throat as light flooded her retinas and burned. Her whole world was thrown violently awry as the string that she hadn’t yet reeled in got caught on something and went taught, flipping her upside down and dangling by a single leg over the roof of the gym. Multiple teens were gaping up in shock and awe at her and where she was seemingly floating upside down in the air unassisted.

“Oh my! Did we miss one!?” The voice matched Dr Bert Rand, who had started running into the gym. Thinking quickly, Jolyne unravelled a part of her finger and swiped it above her. The thread zipped through the air and easily sliced through the string holding her up near the base where it was trapped. Gravity was unforgiving and the wind was punched out of her when she landed heavily on the ground. Her leg stung painfully. Like she had sliced into it with something sharp. More than a few youths around her were confused and snapping things that her disoriented brain couldn’t quite comprehend.

That was when she was unceremoniously hauled off her hands and knees and dangling in the air by two arms who had put her arms in a lock. Something that she took as a threat. Immediately thrashing and wiggling against their hold to break it. They felt, strangely cold for some reason, she had to force herself not to shiver in case they took it as a sign of fear.

“Oh, you poor thing!” She heard the doctor’s voice and found that her mental image of the man was scarily accurate for someone who didn’t know the first thing about medicine. Like he died of the plague back in the 1600s and decided that he wanted to get into modern medicine.
“Hm…I don’t remember you being among the population of infected teens before. But it's good that you came right to us!” Said with a clearly malicious smile and rubbing his hands together, just to complete the evil mad doctor look he had going on. All the while she was being dragged away from where she had landed towards where all the other teens were being piled into different vaguely ambulance-like vehicles.

“We’ll make sure you get all better!”

“The Hell!? I’m not sick f*ck off!” Jolyne protested angrily on instinct, now aware of the sickening feeling of “wrongness” that was creeping up on her. She could see her protector’s strings moving about just underneath the skin like they were ready to lash out at any moment.

She was in a serious amount of danger.

But her leg was protesting even harder now that she was thrashing so much, eventually, she was forced to stop and pull her wounded calf closer to her. There was blood beginning to seep into her jeans now. Like she didn’t bleed enough already.

“Now now child if you keep being violent the doctors may have to take more drastic measures.” Dr Bert Rand was approaching now, with something that she could only describe as “sharp and unwanted”. Jolyne’s instincts were kicked into overdrive.

“I’ll show you drastic measures!” Jolyne’s power manifested fully, a blue arm separating itself from hers and taking a swing at the closest threat. Which happened to be the guard on her right side. Her spirit’s fist collided hard with their head and they went flying a few meters away. Jolyne wrenched her hand out of the other’s grip. Her Spirit’s other arm jumped out to grapple and throw them. Damn this was an adrenaline rush.

But when she turned to start on the doctor, she blinked back a look of surprise, he just disappeared into thin air. Was that normal?!

There was a sharp prick in her neck a moment later that made her yelp and her guardian sent multiple punches that never connected with anything.

“You know I have lived a long time, but I haven’t seen anything like this before.” The doctor’s words gained a funny echo to them, Jolyne was starting to feel light-headed and dizzy, her legs giving out as she collapsed. f*ck, he just drugged her. When did he reappear?

“Maybe there is something different inside of you. We’ll see, sweet dreams!” He taunted. Darkness flooded her vision as the sedatives took hold.

From what Danny knew, the North Mercy hospital was active until around the mid-’60s. When Amity General Hospital was built newer, better and in a more convenient location. The old hospital was shut down due to a lack of funding and the land has been left to rot ever since. Why did he know this? Sam was the simple answer. She liked to read up on creepy and abandoned locations in Amity was the longer one.

Some part of him was inwardly amused at the lack of some letters on the sign, welcoming them to “No Mercy Hospital”. Being half-dead made him appreciate morbid humour all the more.

“AUGH!” He shouted with surprise and pain when he unexpectedly flew into a barrier that electrocuted him until he fell away, sprawled out on his stomach in front of Tucker. Who gave him a somewhat sheepish look and decided to once again, voice his fear of hospitals.

“Well, let’s just come back during visiting hours. Or perhaps, not at all!”

“We can’t do that Tucker.” Danny shot down immediately, picking himself up off the ground.
“The fact that the hospital has a ghost shield makes it even more suspicious!” For a moment he frowned to himself, thinking of what to do. Then an idea hit him.

“If I can’t get in like a ghost.” He decided, changing back into his human form.
“Then I’ll have to get in like a kid.”

They devised the plan within minutes and managed to find the front entrance to the hospital, which was strangely open enough for the two of them to get inside.
“OK just hang out here and wait for me.” The halfa reminded, glancing at Tucker.
“You got my mom’s Fenton Utility Weapon just in case?”

The answer was Tucker pulling…a silver and green roll of lipstick out of his pocket.
“It’s a lipstick and an ectoblaster! Because I’m worth it.” He added onto the end with a look Danny didn’t feel like reading at that moment.

“OK then.” He said, as he awkwardly maneuvered himself into Tucker’s arms, good thing he weighed so little. Tucker could carry him with only a little bit of strain.
“Let’s make this good.” He then played his part and went limp, Tucker carrying him over to the front door. Only stopping when a guard raised his hand to prevent access.

“This area is restricted. No admittance.” They spoke with an obvious ghostly echo in their voice.

“But my friend is sick! He needs to be in the hospital!” Tucker played along anyway, before blinking once.
“Him! Not me!”

“It’s alright guards, stand down!” It was Dr Bert Rand, had he just been standing at the door the entire time?
“Has this young man been exhibiting any…ghost-like symptoms?” The doctor asked.

Danny, unimpressed, made himself flicker out of visibility for a moment before turning to normal again. The doctor moved forward, Tucker quickly handed him over and Danny decided to play up his role a little, groaning as the Doctor caught and picked him up.

“Oh no, you poor sick human child! It’s worse than I thought!” Unseen to both boys, the doctor gave a thumbs up to a shadow in the window a few floors up. Who did the same back to him and vanished as the doctor headed inside. Leaving Tucker alone with the guards.

“So…” Tucker spoke up after an awkward pause.
“What’s the skizzle, fizzles?”

At some point, Danny felt that he had been taken up a floor and was put into a wheelchair. With the doctor pushing him down the Hall, he felt it was safe to at least crack open an eye and see what was going on. All down the rundown hall, it was populated with the teens from his school. All glowing, green-skinned and moaning. Routinely they were floating, turning invisible, intangible or having puffs of ghost sense escaping them. As they passed Dash, green beams of energy shot out of his eyes and destroyed the TV that he had been watching.

“Daarn! Right at the part where he says, ‘you complete me’.” He groaned, holding his face in his hands with dismay.

At one point, a teen cloaked in intangibility ran by an arm out in front of him.

“Now now son! Must know how to control those powers!” Dr Bert Rand called after the teen, leaving Danny alone in the wheelchair. He waited for a second to see if the doctor was still gone. Then Danny got up and started walking when he didn’t.

He went on past even more teens struggling with ghost powers until he noticed Kwan. The jock blinked and looked up at him.
“Fenton? You’re in here too?” Danny jumped back as one Kwan suddenly became two. And then even more.
“Four, six, eight.” All the Kwans asked, speaking in sync.
“Who do we appreciate!? Us! Us!” That was when he seemed to take notice he just produced seven clones of himself and screamed, the team of Kwans running in different directions.
“AH! Run! Run for our lives!” Leaving Danny, in the middle of the Hall, looking upset.

“Are you kidding? I have been trying to do that trick for months, that is so wrong!”

“Hello, nurse?” A familiar voice echoed, and Danny immediately moved in its direction.
“Feeling a little lightheaded, literally!”

“Jazz?” Danny asked, coming across a jar of green, misty ectoplasm sitting on a gurney. Why was his sister’s voice coming from it? He jumped when some of the mist condensed and formed Jazz’s head, looking rightfully freaked out.

He had so many things to yell, but someone screaming took priority.

“I’m going-!” He then remembered he was doing it in front of his sister and moved her jar so she wasn’t staring at him.
“- ghost!” Danny Phantom took his place and the halfa shot off, tracking down the source of the scream.

He found what he assumed was the right room, and phased in through the wall.
“Did someone need some help?” He glanced behind him and was almost surprised at who he found.
“Paulina! Er, it is Paulina, right?”

“You came for me!” Paulina beamed in response, the curtain next to her pulled back and a much grumpier Sam was there.

“He didn’t come for you; he came for me!”

“U-Uh hi…miss.” He started, quickly flying down in front of Paulina.
“Can you excuse me for a minute?” He quickly ducked behind the curtain and drew it for some privacy with Sam. She looked good…about as good as one could be when their skin was glowing uranium green and floating a foot off the ground.
“Sam are you alright? I heard a scream!”

“Yeah, that was me. You would scream too if you were stuck in a sleepover with her!”

“Actually I, kind of doubt that.”

“Yoohoo? Ghost boy? Are you done talking to the unpopular girl yet?” Paulina called. When he turned back to Sam, she was already multiple more feet above him, and Danny quickly pulled her to the ground again.

“Uh, heh, be right there!” He called over, giving Sam an ‘I’m so sorry’ look before flying back over to Paulina’s side. Sam, lack of gravity spiting her tonight, was pressed against the ceiling in no time.


Paulina burped out another ghost sense as Danny landed next to her.
“Ew, what is this!?” She asked, disgusted by the chill she got in her lungs.

“It’s called a Ghost Sense.” Danny explained automatically, gasping a little puff of vapour himself.
“See? It lets you know a ghost is near!”

“Like you.” Paulina concluded dreamily. Danny at this point wanted to keep this on track.

“That bug bite gave you ghost powers. Didn’t anybody explain anything to you?” He asked with a raised eyebrow.

“No, they just brought me in here, took a few tests and stuck me in this room next to Susie Nobody over there,” Paulina responded, pointing at Sam.

“For the record.” The other teen spoke up, glowering down at her.
“I can hear everything you’re saying.”

“Hold that thought.” Danny said, flying up to help Sam back down off the ceiling again.

“As much as I hate to admit it, she is right about one thing. I don’t know what they’re doing at this hospital.” Sam admitted while Danny started tying down her legs with a bedsheet.
“Nobody’s talking to us, nobody’s helping us.”

That was when Dr Bert Rand walked into the room, with a face mask on and a canister of something wheeled in beside him. It released a thin green mist into the room. Paulina had next to nothing in the way of defence and slumped against her bedsheets instantly.

“Oh, poor little teen! You’re tired, aren’t you?” He asked, walking past her, and continuing to release more gas into the room. It crept under the curtain and surrounded the two other occupants of the room. Sam yawned, growing drowsy in seconds. She yawned, suddenly losing track of what she was saying.

“Hnn, so, sleepy.” She mumbled, going limp on her bed.

“Sam!? Paulina?” Danny straightened, trying to stay alert but feeling a heaviness pressing down on his ectoplasmic core. Tiredness was setting in at an alarming pace.
“I’m getting tired. The gas is affecting me?” He asked himself, holding a hand to his head and trying to keep himself upright.

“Of course, child that’s the point!” The doctor pulled away the curtain and revealed himself, Danny whirling around to face him but the world spun dizzily in response.
“You didn’t think this was an actual hospital did you?” His visage took on a much more familiar, ghostly form.

“You’re Penelope Spectra’s assistant! Bertrand!” Danny realised, but then blinked as the name left his mouth.
“Bert, Rand. Bertrand, how did I miss that?” He asked, his legs couldn’t hold him up anymore and he collapsed. Bertrand leering over him as he did so.

“Why don’t you mull that over in your last two seconds of consciousness?” He sneered behind his mask.

“Tucker’s right…hospitals stink.” He groaned, his core finally going dormant with the rest of him. Falling onto his side and letting an unconscious Danny Fenton replace him.

Jolyne’s situation just seemed to get weirder by the day. She was sure she had just been…abducted by something disguising itself as a doctor, for what purpose? She had no idea. She didn’t even know where she was, outside of the idea being maybe the abandoned hospital that was mentioned while she was hiding in the roof.

But waking up to a blaster…gun-like…thing being pointed at her from her would-be roommate. Her glowing, green and panting roommate, was a little bit more extreme than she was expecting. The other teen kept a hard gaze on her, her back pressed against the wall while she glared. Jolyne just staring back in unending confusion.

“Talk. Now.” The teen demanded, to which Jolyne just gave her a flat look.

“About what? The fact you’re probably too young to be carrying an open-carry firearms licence. Would a gun licence even cover what you’re pointing at me?” There was a pause that Jolyne had to clarify.
“Wait do they need a licence in Illinois?”

“About what the heck you are!” The girl snapped back at her, growling.
“I heard what the other students were saying about you! You sent one of the guards flying without even touching them! And my equipment keeps picking up something about you! Are you some kind of ghost!?”

Jolyne looked downright offended.
“Do I look dead to you!?” But that was when she faltered, going back over what the girl said and realising she talked about her Spirit…thing.
“Wait…you can see this?” She asked, allowing a portion of her arm to start unravelling. The strings coiling and twisting in the air like snakes.

It was almost comical to see how quickly her roommate paled upon seeing Jolyne’s ‘party trick’. Going an interesting shade of lime.
“Ack! That’s just nasty put it away! Why is it even flickering like that EW!”

Jolyne’s strings pulled back and reassembled into her arm again. She fought the urge to grin in a sh*t-eating manner. Hey, at least it got her to put the gun down.

“OK, I have seen a LOT of ghosts in my time. But they never do anything like THAT! Just, what...who are you?! You don’t even live in Amity Park!”

“Yeah, I don’t. Guess you could say I was passing through and then got caught up in this mess.” Jolyne admitted, gesturing to the dilapidated room around them.
“As for the power I…I don’t know, not sure. I think it’s called something but, I’ve only had it a few days.” She admitted, more self-conscious now. Slowly, the girl put her gun away entirely.

“So…some kind of mutant…that happens to get a ping on a ghost radar.”

“Not even the weirdest thing about me.”

“I doubt that but OK.” The other girl sat on her bed, as Jolyne pushed herself to sit up and tilt her head a little. Now that neither of them was freaking out, she could see there was a hint of darker skin under the green glow. Her luminous green eyes were looking Jolyne up and down.
“So…who are you? Like, name. I can’t call you “worm mutant” forever.”

“You first…and they’re strings actually. Not worms. Feels like silk when you touch them.” Jolyne corrected almost on impulse. The other girl elected to not comment on that.

“…Valerie. Valerie Gray. There. Now you?”

“Jolyne…” Huh, why did she give her real name without even thinking?! Well…too late to go back and fix it now.
“Jolyne Cujoh.”

Jolyne…Cujoh.” Valerie echoed back, her brows creasing together.
“Let me guess, people call you Jojo.”

“Anyone who tries gets my foot in their ass.” Jolyne immediately growled back, expression stormy.
“Only my mom gets to call me that.”

Valerie raised her hands in the “don’t shoot” gesture.
“Alright alright, Jolyne it is!”

With a huff, Jolyne got off the bed and started pacing about the room.
“How long was I out?”

“About an hour since you were brought in here. The clocks don’t work in here, so if you’re looking for more accuracy I can’t.” Valerie huffed, folding her arms.
“Besides, we’re alone up here on the 4th floor anyway. Since we’re apparently “dangerous” to the other patients here.” Jolyne because she attacked the guards directly and Valerie…because her Red Huntress equipment was being moody. It is designed to completely ignore the wearer. Or else her ecto-signature from all her weapons would be enough to turn the suit on itself. The same could not be said from all the other infected students.

Though she found it weird that Jolyne gave off enough of a signature to pick up on, but the suit was confused on if she was a threat. How could you even do that?
“…why were you in the roof of the school anyway?”

The green-haired girl paused, her movements stilling in front of Valerie for a moment.
“Uh…I was kinda walking around at night last night. A big cloud of something buzzing and glowing was moving into the school. One of them tried to bite me but my powers are pretty effective pest control.”

Valerie raised an eyebrow but invited her to continue.

“…I dunno, I just figured you all weren’t going to be protected like I was… just too late to help, I guess.”

By this time, Jolyne had started moving again and was now hovering by the door. That was locked, apparently fiddling with it.
“You’re not going to get anywhere with that. It’s locked.”

“I know just give me a second!” Jolyne grunted back, stubbornly pressing even more against the door. That was when Valerie noticed the writhing strings flickering in and out of visibility pushing into and trying to unlock the locking mechanism. Why it would flicker between being visible and invisible to her was a mystery she didn’t want to ask about. But her eyebrows shot up when she heard a small ‘click’ and Jolyne tested the door. Finding it now swung open a little when she pushed.

“See? Just took enough convincing!”

“How…just.” Valerie blinked rapidly.
“How did you do that?”

“Thank my strings.” The girl responded, grinning.
“Wanna blow this joint?”

Valerie looked down at her legs, frowning as they turned intangible and started to sink through the bed. She pulled them up before they could.
“I’d like to, but the place is crawling with guard patrols and I’m just gonna slow you down.” She admitted, blushing a toxic green.
“Just…get to the bottom of this. Maybe there’s a way to cure everyone.”

Jolyne could only nod, understanding that her newfound friend(?) wasn’t in any condition to leave.
“Alright, I’ll find out what’s going on, beat down whoever’s responsible and come back for you. Hang tight.” She snickered as Valerie started floating upwards of her own accord.

“I can’t do much else!”

Jesus, Valerie was not joking about the guard patrols. Jolyne was having to dodge one every few minutes. On top of that, they must have just walked into the room to find Valerie alone. Because she was now having to use her strings power to give her a heightened level of awareness just to predict when the next pair of guards were coming and then duck into an empty room to hide from them until they left. Sure, she could just attack every patrol that wandered into her path, but brazenly beating up everything that moved would just tire her out and fast. She didn’t even know how well her power was built to last, or how much raw combat potential it had outside of just forming arms to punch people with.

And yet another new benefit to her odd powers. Parkour. She found that there was truly little that could stop her in her tracks for long when she had a living safety net or harness hanging around inside her waiting to be summoned. It could even be used to send her flying forward at much higher speeds than just her legs alone could manage. It was invigorating on some deeply personal level.

That was not what she was trying to focus on, an office. An operating room, anywhere where she could get some information on this weird-ass disease and stop it from hurting anyone else. If she could just find the stairs or somewhere important.

“Well look at that, up for five minutes and you’re wandering already!” Jolyne stiffened at the sound of an annoyingly familiar voice and turned, scowling at the sight of Dr Bert Rand. Just leering at her with his hands clasped together.
“Unfortunately, patients shouldn’t be leaving their assigned rooms, especially if they have a history of attacking doctors.”

Jolyne snarled at him in response, her Spirit manifesting partially in the form of its head, torso and left arm.
“As if you’re some f*cking doctor, the only thing I know for sure is that you’re not helping a damn kid in this building! What the Hell are you?!” She snapped at him, fully prepared to just try her luck at attacking him a second time. She had to blink back a look of surprise and confusion when instead the man’s form shifted into something much smaller. But more smartly dressed with a white curl to his hair.

Oh, and he was glowing, every inch of him. With the kind of energy that made her hair stand on end. Hovering above her, the Spirit attached to her grew much more aggressive, like it was only exaggerating the minute alarm bells in her mind. He was floating about a foot off the ground as well and Jolyne took an alarmed step back. With a quick mental comparison to Valerie, yeah. She could only assume this was what a natural ghost looked like.
“So you could see through me? Pretty unusual, most of the people in this town are laughably easy to fool. But enough about that, it’s time for your appointment kid!” The ghost told her, ill intent filling the entire hall. Jolyne only responded with her Guardian’s fist.

“ORA!” The Stand itself bellowed a war cry. Only barely missing the ghost and sending a spiderweb of cracks racing all over the wall instead.

“Yeah?! Well, I’m gonna revoke your medical licence!” Jolyne snapped back, only faltering when she realised that the ghost had disappeared. Again. She did hear the laughter echoing around her, using the old hall to make it impossible to tell where they were.

Almost on its own, Jolyne’s body produced a few more strings that hung idly in the air around her. Like her power could sense the growing unease she had.

“And how are you supposed to do that child? You can’t even see me, let alone beat me!” One of her strings quivered without warning, an intense chill spreading through from where that string was connected to her body. But it was already too late for her to act on whatever information this could have been because the heavy weight of a large feline had pushed her to the floor and pinned her there. She let out a furious scream and her guardian tried to attack, but the fist only travelled through thin air. Crushing the ground next to her.

“You know, humans are just so predictable. Now, you can either give up and come along willingly, or we do things the hard way.”

“If I had an arm free, I’d be showing you how to say “f*ck off” in Naples with a gesture.” Jolyne gasped after those words left her mouth, feeling something tighten around her torso. Her arms became pinned against her sides and back, she tried to wiggle. But the material constricted even harder until it was difficult to breathe. Leather and metal clinked and creaked in her ears. The material wasn’t exactly soft either, rubbing against her skin in a way that was surely irritating it.

When the ghost shifted back into human form again and hauled her to her feet and then off the ground, she discovered, with intense dismay, that somehow, he had gotten a straitjacket on her. It covered most of her upper body and made moving her arms virtually impossible. Her legs swayed a little bit thanks to the lack of ground. In a panic, she tried to summon her guardian again, but not even when it was halfway out something twitched against her back and a powerful electrical voltage coursed through her. She had to bite her tongue to avoid screaming.

“Well, it was made to shut down ghost powers, but it seems it works on yours well enough!”

This was a sh*t situation and it just kept getting worse, didn’t it?

Danny had no idea how long he was out for, but he woke up in the feel of a human body and a dull headache. The fact he couldn’t move was a fast way to tell that something was wrong and the boy groaned, trying to push the fog of unconsciousness back and wake up fully.

“Urgh, where am I?” He asked, mostly to himself. When he opened his eyes, he didn’t see Sam’s bed or the curtain, but the lights of an operating room were bearing down on him. He yelped, going alert and seeing he was being held down by luminous green belts over his torso and legs. Keeping him tied down against the metal table in the run-down building.

He grunted, pulling left and right as he struggled to try and free himself from the restraints. But his Ghost Core was alarmingly unresponsive. No matter how much he called to it no transformation would occur. And well…he wasn’t particularly good at escaping while he was human.

“Save it, kid!” Bertrand had entered the room, floating a few feet off the ground and…carrying someone else? No, Danny recognised her immediately. The green-haired girl from this afternoon back at Casper High. Now she was in a straitjacket and alternating between hyperventilating in Bertrand's grip and thrashing wildly to escape. Her struggles were only causing the periods where she had to still and get her breath back.

Just a simple glance told Danny she wasn’t even infected by the ghost bugs. She still wasn’t displaying any symptoms. In fact, she was more lively than all the other Casper High students put together right now.

“Those restraints are ghost proof! You and this little lady here-“ The girl in question tried to kick at Bertrand, but her angle made hitting him nearly impossible.
“-are in for the duration!” He declared, carelessly throwing the girl to the floor next to the end of the gurney. She grunted with the impact but struggled to try and get up without the use of her arms and hands.

Danny glanced beside him, gulping at many, many sharp tools on display next to him. Bertrand floated away with an annoyingly smug look on his face, and Danny forcibly pushed himself up as much as he could. Now frustrated.

“Somebody tell me what’s happening here!” He shouted, the female beside him finally managed to get up without falling over and decided then and there to join in.

“Yeah, some f*cking information would be real nice!”

As if on cue, the lights blared much stronger than before, nearly blinding Danny in the process. The black shape he managed to see was familiar though, and perhaps he should have expected it.

After all, wherever Bertrand was, his mistress was rarely far behind.

“Allow me.” The shadowy, flowing shape purred above them, the mystery girl let out a startled yelp at the reveal, stumbling back and falling right back onto her ass where she started.
“You know how we therapists like to talk it all out!”

“Woah what the f*ck happened to you!?” The mystery girl shouted, not even attempting to shy away from some colourful language, while Danny just glared at a familiar foe.


Chapter 5: Disobeying the Doctor's Orders - Part 3 Finale


Spectra has returned and unveils her plans about the ghost virus. A Stand gets named, ghosts get ora'd. And both Jolyne and Danny are surprised to learn there is someone else in the world like them. And in Danny's case. Isn't a crazed up fruitloop.


A very late Merry Christmas and slightly less late happy new year everyone! I finally come out with the first chapter of 2021! Let's hope it can at least be a little better than in 2020.

Some more warnings for the chapter ahead.
- Mild torture scene
- More bullying.
- Probably a little more body horror that isn't because of Stone Free this time.

I mean come on guys. Spectra. She's basically her own warning label.

Other than that, here's hoping you enjoy the chapter!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Tucker had been left standing outside of the hospitals main entrance for some time, where the two ghost guards continued to float out the front. They hadn’t left there, even though Danny had been in there for over an hour. The lone teen frowned him his hidden position in the bushes. It wasn’t even exactly like they were kicking him off the property either. He had been there, and they knew it but made no attempt to make him go anywhere.

He was starting to get sick of crouching outside of the hospital for ages on end. And began to weigh up his options.
“Spooky hospital.” Check.
“Ghosts guarding the joint.” Check.
“Still. No signs that Danny is in any real danger.” With any amount of luck maybe he could just slip away from the hospital completely unnoticed and never have to come anywhere near here again! Danny was half ghost surely, he could handle himself-

“Let me go!”

That was Danny’s voice, unmistakably, coming from inside the hospital. Tucker paled a little but tried to rationalise his way out of it.

“OK that was Danny, but still, not technically a cry for help!”

“HELP!” Danny’s voice shouted again, louder than before; Tucker flinched but pressed on stubbornly.

“Still, technically, not a cry for me!”

“TUCKER!” Danny practically screamed at the top of his lungs and Tucker groaned.

“Aw, man…” The Fenton Utility weapon came out of his pocket, and his home-made cologne soon after, where he stood proud.

The ghost guards looked up as Tucker moved from his hiding spot towards them with an unusually determined look on his face. They just glanced between one another, confused on if they should do anything for a moment. Before Tucker only smirked and began generously applying his body spray. The acrid odour filled the air around them and the two ghosts started to cough rapidly, apparently, it smelled just as bad to them as it did to humans.

Tucker was not as sympathetic to their situation.

“Oh please, you’re ghosts! Do you have any idea what you smell like?” He asked, before pointing the bright green lipstick at the two ghosts and firing. He wasn’t quite expecting the strength of the recoil and he was sent flying back. A beam of energy blasting the two guards right off the platform and leaving a smoking hole in the door. Tucker grunted and pulled himself up off the floor and looked down at the still smoking utility weapon. Feeling a surge of sudden confidence in his systems.
“Don’t worry Danny! The cavalry’s coming! Whether he wants to or not.” Before he headed inside the now-vacant front door.

The entrance was practically deserted inside and finding a way to the floor above was easy. Just to be safe, Tucker got his hands on a mask and surgeon’s apron. Gulping a little before he opened the door to the ward where all the infected teens were being kept.

“Ah!” He jumped back a little with a yelp as one of his fellow nerd kids floated through the floor in front of him.

“Tucker? Is that you?” Sam’s voice echoed from the hall, but Tucker couldn’t see the goth.

“Sam? Is that you?” He echoed back, looking around for her.
“Where are you?”

“Up here.” He traced where her voice was coming from and looked up…only to find her floating spread-eagled against the ceiling.

“Sam?!” He asked with disbelief, pulling his mask down.
“Ha, and you call me an airhead!”

“You know you should really stop and consider all the vile things I could do to you from up here.”

Tucker immediately pressed himself against the wall.
“I think Danny’s really in trouble! Have you seen him?” He couldn’t exactly help but watch as Sam twisted her arms in mid-air to awkwardly push herself along the ceiling to get closer to him.

“Urgh, a while ago. But I fell asleep! By the time I woke up he was gone. There’s something evil happening here.”

“It’s a hospital, Sam, there’s always something evil happening here.” Tucker huffed, throwing away his garments in the nearest bin.
“We have to find Danny.”

“Unfortunately, I think “we” means “you” I’m pretty useless, and there are cameras and guards everywhere.” Sam told him, trying to move a little more freely but finding her levitation as unwilling to cooperate as ever. But that was when Tucker managed to spy a closed air vent duct that was conveniently large enough for him to get inside.

“But not in there! Hey, open that vent!” He pointed it out eagerly, Sam glancing at the vent in question before pulling it open. The rusted and corroded bolts had almost no resistance before they gave and came loose.

Tucker, meanwhile, had been wrestling with an IV drip that looked weirdly filled with ectoplasm. Fashioning the ends into small lassos, he threw the ends up to loop around Sam’s feet. She came down from the ceiling with a little yelp as she did so. When she was closer to the floor, Tucker tied the IV drips around the stand, now letting Sam float awkwardly like a helium balloon tied on a string.

The goth was visibly unhappy with the arrangement but didn’t get much chance to argue as Tucker grabbed onto a spare chair and pushed it against the wall so he could climb into the vent. Before he left though, he turned around and gave Sam a sheepish look.

“If I’m not back soon just, float there OK?”

Sam returned the order with a flat look, but he turned around and climbed deeper into the vent system anyway.

“What do you want?!” Danny growled at the floating shadow, almost forgetting the audience he currently had in the form of the mystery girl looking between him and the spectre.

‘They know each other?’ She wasn’t sure how a teenager…that looked weirdly familiar to her. Would know about this ghost, but maybe that was a good thing.
‘I can’t just sit here and look pretty until they decide to let me go. This damn straitjacket, it’s going to electrocute me if I try and summon my spirit.’ That much she knew but blinked a look of surprise when a little thread of her string wiggled in front of her eye, having separated from a portion of her cheek to stay discreet.
‘One of my strings? But I’m not being electrocuted…is the single thread not strong enough to register?’

Maybe…maybe she could try and pull the mechanisms keeping this damn thing on her without needing to create the larger entity at all. She just had to stay relatively quiet and maybe multitask if any questions came to her.

A string, two strings, three strings. One at a time, keep it slow….

Meanwhile, the conversation continued, and Jolyne strained to listen in and pay attention to both tasks at once.

“What everybody wants Danny.” The shade responded, confirming both knew one another and it wasn’t just the boy. His name was Danny.
“And for me, that means being beautiful!” Urgh, shallow bitch. Jolyne yelped and pulled her strings back underneath her restraints when she felt the shade pick her up with a startling amount of ease. Pushing both forward to a closed cabinet that Jolyne could see a large pipe leading into the top. She was dropped again a few feet away, just as roughly as the last time.

“Ack! You hag!” Jolyne hissed, pushing herself up onto one knee.

“Now, good children do need to wait their turn.” The shadowy figure hummed, Jolyne getting fixed by a particularly malicious grin. She could only snarl back wordlessly, deeply disturbed in her core. Her guardian, unable to manifest fully, crawled underneath the surface of her skin.
‘Not now, just a little longer…’

“Yeah, I don’t think I need to listen to any adult when they look like a bunch of cinders decided to start floating.”

To give herself some credit. She saw that ghost twitch like she just slapped them across the face. It was gratifying for sure. For a moment, she floated away from Danny and started to approach her. Jolyne’s almost automatic response was pressing herself a little more against the wall and urging her spirit to hurry it up back there. But she stopped before the spectre could encroach too much on her personal space and took on an almost smug expression, leaning her shadowy chin on the bridge of her clawed fingers.

“Oh, so much disrespect towards authority. So much anger. Let me guess honey. Broken living situation?”

“Spectra don’t you dare-“ Danny growled warningly, but Spectra ignored him. Considering his lack of threat.

The distinct flinch that ran through the girl underneath her was as much confirmation as an outright “yes”. Oh, the misery would have tasted delicious had it not been so thoroughly tainted with new waves of raw anger.

“And judging by the state of you, I would say either kicked out of home or a runaway. Oh, honey, you’re quite a small fish in a big and very dark sea, aren’t you?” Jolyne could tell it wasn’t pity, just sad*stic glee and superiority masquerading as pity.

Her tense moment of silence was not a victory she was willing to give the shadow.
“D-Don’t patronise me.” She hated to hear how her voice wavered with her confidence, and her efforts were in vain just to rub it in. Spectra floating away with a victorious smirk adorning her features. Jolyne was left against the wall and stewing in significant amounts of hatred.

She was going to ruin this bitch.

“And before I got ‘sidetracked’. It’s why I’m assembling this!” Spectra proudly threw open the doors to a metal cabinet with a metal pipe connecting to the top. Jolyne’s eyes almost widened at the sight of what looked to be an artificial body with flaming red hair, purple triangular earrings hung from her ears. Wearing a two-piece, skin-tight suit made of black and green with high heel boots. Her Spirit bristled under her skin at the sight of it.

“A brand new me! Fashioned from only the best teen genetics.” She boasted, grinning.

“And the ghost bugs? The ‘virus’?” Danny pressed on, seeing as Spectra was now focused on him, better keep that focus. He wasn’t going to get the other occupant hurt.

“All part of my plan. I needed to get the children away from the adults, all in one place!” Spectra floated over to a rounded steel door in the wall, pressing a button on the side that allowed it to slide back, revealing the ominous glowing lights within.
“So I can siphon away the best qualities of each of them! Jazzs brain, Dashs muscles, Paulinas nearly flawless skin!”

“Nearly flawless?” Danny echoed with a raised eyebrow.

“She has a mole, isn’t it obvious?” Probably the most normal tone that Spectra had taken since she revealed herself, giving Danny a flat look in response. The teen she was holding captive just blinked at her.

“I had to treat them all with my little ghost virus to get them all in one place!”

“And the ghost powers?” The green-haired mystery girl perked up a little at the mention of the virus. He knew about them.

“A side effect.” Spectra responded dismissively, floating over to the end of the boy’s gurney.
“At some point, the powers will be too much and they’ll all burn out, into little withered husks! Won’t that make a great class photo?” The attempt at humour was lost on both teens present.

“Y-You’re a murderer!” Jolyne was aghast at just how insane this ghost was. There had to be at least a hundred kids in this place and she knowingly infected all of them knowing that her created disease was fatal!
“What makes you think you can get away with any of this?!”

“Oh, but I already have!” Spectra chirped in response, wheeling the captured boy towards the ominous contraption in front of them, leaving Jolyne alone, still thrashing on the floor.
“And you Danny, you’re the grand prize! I need your DNA to lock my perfect body together, so it never burns out, and never grows old! How helpful are you!”

“And what about her?” Danny finally found an opportunity to speak up about the one unknown occupant, who glared hotly at him from where she was still bound.

“Now that is an interesting case, something I haven’t seen before. And as a ghost as old as I am, that’s impressive! But what can I say, freaks of a feather must flock together!” Spectra cackled before pushing Danny fully into the machine and pressing the “on” button. The machinery whirred to life and closed on the boy. Leaving Jolyne alone in the room with a ghost who didn’t think twice about premeditated murder.

Danny, inside the machine and fearing what Spectra might do to that girl if they were left alone together, continued to squirm hard. But these restraints were tight. There was no way he was going to break himself free in time. So maybe…
“If needs Fenton DNA that badly.” He realised, remembering what had been occupying his human forms pocket this whole time.
“Maybe I can provide a substitute!”

“Now, where were we?” The ghost asked with a sly grin, floating over, and getting right in Jolyne’s personal space. Her back was once again pressed hard against the wall.
“Oh right! Sitting down and talking out all your little problems! After all, that’s what Casper High used to pay me for!”

“You’re f*cked up six ways to Sunday and you want to talk about my issues?!” Jolyne shot back aggressively. Even then, she couldn’t deny feeling a slight pang of fear clawing at her conscious. All the hairs on the back of her neck were standing up. Instincts screamed at her to get out.

“Whatever you say about me, dear. I wouldn’t quite be so inclined to listen to a ceiling rat made out of thread.” Spectra took great pleasure in watching the girl freeze at her insult.
“No matter how special you think you are, you’re really just a freaky little kid. With a freaky little party trick.” Oh, that misery was truly a delight.

“Your misery feels almost as good as the boys. Is that why you’re so far from home, honey? Your parents found out about what a freak you really are and kicked you out?”

That statement had Jolyne seeing red like nothing ever has before.
“Don’t you dare talk about my family like that you bitch!”

“And who’s stopping me?” Spectra sneered.

"I bet you're so proud of your f*cked-up plan to get a makeover huh. Well, no amount of crap covering your form is going to change the ugly f*cking hag you are inside." The moment those words left the teen’s mouth she could almost sense the line she had just crossed. The lights in the derelict building flickered ominously. It almost looked like the shadowy mass of Spectra’s form had grown darker. Which made the increased strength of her glowing eyes stand out even more.

“You know? I was originally going to be a little gentler about this, but if you’re insisting on being so rude.” Her claws had grown longer, and it was with an almost invisible speed that they wrapped hard around the throat of the teen underneath her. Jolyne let out a choked off cry, her eyes almost bulging with the unexpected action and beginning to struggle as she felt the points of spectra’s fingers digging into her skin. Enough to draw blood.

Though another feeling overtook the pain of being caught in a chokehold. Like Spectra had grabbed onto something unnamed within her that was fighting just as hard to be let go of. Though its efforts proved to be just as fruitless. As Spectra began to pull though, she could feel that thing underneath her skin being forcefully pulled away with it. Her protector was thrashing with a new level of fury underneath her skin. Did…did the ghost just grab her by her spirit? And well, said Spirit looked just as surprised and confused as her.

Jolyne and her power didn’t get the chance to dwell on this, as whatever mechanism the straitjacket used to electrocute her sensed the (forced) display of spiritual energy and went wild. The teen let out a choked off cry and was forced to go ramrod straight as electricity burned all over. It was her Spirit who started howling with a mixture of rage and agony for her, in a voice that was almost identical to her own. With Spectra’s clawed hand still gripped tight around its neck, it had defaulted to both its hands grappling with the arm to try and force a release. It was just about the only thing they could do, with how badly they were convulsing.

Spectra didn’t seem to care about the agony she was causing the teen, in fact, she happily drank up the swell of painful emotions that Jolyne was spilling into the environment. She’d never held a human soul like this before. They were normally such fickle and…incorporeal things, wiggling between the fingers. Yet this one was so physical it was almost a separate entity, humanoid just like the body she pulled it from (interesting, the girl was somehow conscious through all this). It was fixing her with an emotion streaked somewhere between intense pain and unbridled hatred.
“Ooohoho, this is something brand new! Your soul is so vibrant, what could you have possibly done to achieve something like this? Is it even genetic?” The power that she held was incredible, and just like when she first met the boy, it was so raw and unrefined. Perhaps this was a very recent development.

But when she looked down, her Core almost froze up due to the shock. Because all the convulsing and flailing of the girl underneath her had dislodged a bit of the cloth covering her neck. Emblazoned and deeper pink than the pale skin surrounding it, raised above the surrounding area was a birthmark. A 5-pointed star.

Just like him. In her revelation, Spectra’s grip had loosened on the Soul. It pulled away violently and returned to the teen who finally felt the straitjacket stop attacking her. Jolyne collapsed to the side, twitching, and coughing uncontrollably, gasping for air.

“Urgh, of every family in the Zone why did you have to be descended from them?” The smoky ghost snarled, clawing a hand through her wispy hair. Though the machine she had shoved the boy behind lit up, and green smoke began to pour out of the container where the unfinished body lay. Spectra looked elated.
“Excellent! No matter! I’ve accomplished what I needed to! Perhaps you’ll be a good enough scapegoat.” She cackled, floating over to the door and pulling the boy out (she would have caught his weirdly happy expression if she wasn’t reeling from earlier).

There was a moment of ‘deer in the headlights’ before the boy’s brain kicked into gear.
“I mean-you fiend!” Spectra ignored him completely and went over to retrieve her new “completed” body. After holding it up in the air she dived into it. Allowing her form to take up shape like she was fitting into a costume. The empty eyeholes filled with her malicious greens and she flew out of the room, laughing even more evilly as she went.

For a moment it was just the two teens left alone in the dark, the only sound coming from Jolyne rolling over and groaning. Curling in on herself to try and control her twitching legs.

Then the gate over the ceiling vent was kicked open, and from the opening dropped Tucker.
“Hello, models!” He greeted, holding his arms out before he realised that his fantasy wasn’t what he should be worried about.
“I-I mean Danny! You’re OK!” He corrected himself, running over to the side of the gurney.

“Tucker! You broke into the hospital!” Danny grinned in response, before thinking over what he just said.
“You, broke into a hospital?”

“Please stop saying the word “hospital”. Because I will run and leave you here to perish.” But Tucker was already taking a step back and activating the utility weapon he had been supplied with. Shooting out the buckles holding Danny down. The halfa let out a whoop of excitement and jumped up, almost immediately shifting into his ghost form, joyed at the freedom.

Then he remembered the other occupant in the room and whirled around to find her. He couldn’t help but feel relief as she was facing away from him and Tucker. But the smell of singed flesh invaded his nostrils and his fear of the girl seeing him transform was replaced with concern over her wellbeing.

“Tucker, help me out here!” He floated over and landed next to where the girl lay, breathing ragged and shivering. The moment he bent down he could see the attempts she had already made to wiggle out of the restraints Bertrand had put her in, but it hadn’t been completely successful. Tucker appeared beside him a moment later and bent down, helping him undo the straps holding the bindings together.

“I don’t remember her going to our school dude.”

“She’s the one who fell out of the ceiling back at Casper. I saw Bertrand dragging her away.” That’s where he recognised her from.

“I don’t…go to your school.” The girl groaned, starting to move and force herself into a sitting position. She looked very relieved to have the damn straitjacket finally come off. She panted, struggling to her feet, and leaning on the wall to get her sense of balance back.
“…thanks.” She breathed, glancing between the two of them. Before her eyes landed on the ghostly boy and she jumped back, her eyes going wide with surprise.
“It’s you!”

“Me?” Danny responded, caught between playing dumb and being genuinely confused.
“A-I-Uh. Y-You are mistaken! C-Citizen!” He decided to play dumb.

The green-haired girl just blinked at him, but shook her head, talk about this later.
“We don’t have time to talk about this, people are going to get hurt, I’ll keep your secrets.” Before she breathed in, raising her right arm and Danny watched in a mixture of awe and horror as said arm began to quite literally, unravel. Exposing holes in her skin where more string lay waiting to come loose. Tucker yelped behind him. It was the same kind of string that he saw back at the high school.
“If you can keep mine.” Then it wound itself up again until the strings transformed themselves back into her arm as if it had never happened.

It took a second for Danny to comprehend what he had just seen; his ghost sense hadn’t even reacted to give him an easy answer. But no matter how hard he analysed the girl in front of him? There was no sense of malice to latch onto.

She was just trying to help them.
“Okay.” He nodded, deciding to place some trust in this mystery girl for now. Despite the rising discomfort in his Core.
“Let’s go.”

Bertrand found something to add to his small list of human inventions he truly despised. The accursed television was broadcasting an old musical, and it had the worst singing that ever assaulted his ears. Apparently? The human next to him had hearing issues.

“Ahhh, when she sings “wind beneath my wings”? I just go to pieces.” Dash sighed with a dreamy expression. Bertrand just rolled his eyes with a growl.

“What’s up doc?” He jumped at the sound of an all too familiar voice that sounded from the Hallway. And there Danny Phantom was floating and unhappy to see him again.

“You-!” He didn’t get the chance to say much more as Danny had already shot a beam of ecto energy from his hand that sent the assistant soaring into a wall. By the time he looked back up, the girl had appeared beside the halfa. Her unusual Soul burning underneath her skin.

Bertrand saw red, and his shapeshifting abilities took hold.

“What the fu-“ Jolyne gaped, aghast as he started to shift and form. Seeing the ghost’s skin literally bubbling like a soup that had been left on the boil for too long until he had mutated into an enormous zombie surgeon, complete with his head cracking apart to reveal a brain inside.

Dash, who had been on the couch this whole time, stood up and wisely fled screaming.

Danny tensed a little, his protective obsession flaring in his core when he recognised the intent to fight. But his new mystery helper refused to back down, instead, some of her weird string ability began to manifest. The threads coiling in the air around her like snakes.
“Getting bigger just makes it easier to bring down!”

Tucker immediately raised his utility weapon in an attempt at a response.
“Don’t move! This both moisturises, and repairs damage from the wind and sun!”

Jolyne wasn’t quite sure what he wanted to accomplish with that, because the weapon was unceremoniously thrown out of his hands not moments later. Bouncing across the floor to where a student she vaguely recognised was staggering along in a daze. Apparently, she took ominously glowing lipstick as the perfect colour for her and raised the still primed blaster to her face.

“Paulina-I mean what’s your name NO!” The ghost boy shouted and dived. All while the larger ghost began to advance on the now disarmed human. Now or never, Jolyne decided.

With a battle-cry, she threw herself at the ghost and almost bowled him over. The arms of her Spirit manifesting beside her to start throwing a flurry of punches. More than a few managed to land directly on Bertrand's mutant face.

She hadn’t been aware at the time, but a slew of “ora” had started to spill out of her mouth while she attacked. Almost on an instinct.

One of her fists passed through thin air and then she landed heavily on the floor, her Spirit manifesting a little more to try and cushion the fall.
“You should give up, human. Whatever kind of freak you are.” Bertrand spat. Although his insult was…difficult to take seriously now.

“Try looking less like a Frankenstein’s monster! You’ll not sound like a hypocrite!” Jolyne shot back with a snarl, Bertrand’s face went a deeper shade of green and he vanished into thin air again.

“Damnit, this f*cking trick again.” She grunted, getting back up and trying to locate where the invisible menace had disappeared to this time. Once again, something cold passed by a thread just hanging idly in the air and Jolyne shuddered on instinct.

Wait. She threw out more strings until it looked like the section of the hall was covered in the web of an exceptionally large spider.

“You’re so predictable! That won’t help-!”

“ORA!” Bertrand had manifested and was just a moment too slow to see Jolyne’s power jump out from her back and drive its fist into his face. He yelped, his nose cracking the floor heavily underneath him. Which was shortly followed up by another round of lightning-fast and surprisingly strong punches. His form wavered a little, but he forced himself to hold onto his large and intimidating form.

“H-How? How did you see through that?!” He demanded, confused, and a little scared at how much someone who wasn’t even a ghost managed to hurt him.

“Simple, there’s a reason why the “fool me once” proverb only goes as far as twice. You dumbass.” The green-haired teen snarled back at him, but she was looking a little worn down herself.
Damnit, I’ve been using this power almost non-stop today. I don’t know how much longer I can last.

Bertrand was almost looming over her and made a grab for the girl when he was interrupted, blasted in the chest and right back into the wall, where he finally couldn’t hold onto his form anymore and changed back into his normal human one.

“Dude, your bedside manner reeks. I think we need to send you back to nursing school!” Phantom had shown up again and shot a beam of white-blue energy out of a cylindrical device that he held in his hand. Catching Bertrand in his ray and trapping him inside, the ghost screaming all the while. He had just finished putting the cap on when the two were reminded of the other threat they had yet to put down.

“Very impressive you two, but a bit late I’m afraid!” And their Spectra was, in all the glory of her new body.

“I AM in a modelling agency!” Tucker cried, looking way too happy to see the spectre. Something that Jolyne did not feel like commenting on now.

“It’s nice, right? Smart, beautiful, deadly?”

“Stolen more like!” Jolyne shot back, manifesting the true extent of her Spirit for the first time.
“Come on bitch! I’ll show you how they flip you off in Naples!” Probably a bad move, because Spectra almost immediately responded by firing a beam of purple energy from her hand that wrapped around her spirit and threw it down the hall. It was a weird sensation, the phantom squeeze and then pull as she followed her soul and broke a gurney under the force of her impact. No sooner had the girl problem been thrown away, the energy hand grappled Danny by the leg and pulled him up, slamming him into the ground.

Tucker, finally snapping out of the trance of seeing a remarkably attractive woman, ran for the lipstick to fire at the ghost, but Spectra dodged it by dropping to the ground. But this gave Danny the time to get back up and ram her down the hall. Yet another gurney became a victim in the scuffle as a small horde of Kwans scattered like frightened chickens. A jar fell into Spectra’s lap containing a familiar voice.

“I can’t feel my toes!”

“Let’s see if you feel this!” Spectra got up, and threw Jazz’s jar across the hall, the afflicted human inside screaming in terror as she went.


“I got it!” One of the Kwans raised their arms and caught the Jazz-jar, holding it like a football.
“Go long, other Kwans!” The duplicates started running down like they were playing an actual game of football. Despite Danny turning invisible and intangible and running through all the Kwan duplicates, the one holding Jazz still managed to throw before he could take it off him.

Jolyne, meanwhile, had managed to get herself back up after crashing and saw the jar (with a human head?!) soaring across the air and kicked herself into action.
“I got it!” Her string shot out of her fingers, catching the jar in midair and pulling it until it was safe in her hands.

“Ah! Thanks! Whoever you are!”

“Don’t mention it!” She ran up, passing the jar of human consciousness off to Tucker as she ran by.

“…uh…hi Jazz.”

“Is this a bad time to tell you that your fly is down?”

The younger ghost was very relieved to see that his sister was alright and charged at Spectra again. Only to be caught and electrocuted until his legs gave out and he collapsed on the floor instead. Spectra’s boot slammed into his chest to pin him there, even if he grabbed onto her ankle to try and push back. It was still a lot of force.

Jolyne throwing herself at the ex-therapist didn’t accomplish much either. The ghost backhanded her once she was in range and Jolyne yelped as she was thrown backwards. The wall she hit completely crumbled under the force. Showering old plaster and brick all over her. She managed to stagger to her feet, leaning on the caved-in wall and battered significantly. Coughing dust out of her lungs, and some deep part of her began to worry when she saw the glow in Spectra’s eyes growing in intensity.

“Ah, your DNA is finally kicking in!” The glow spread from her eyes until her entire body’s aura was burning with ecto-energy.
“Which means I should be all-powerful in 3, 2, 1!” The glow began to grow solid it was so powerful, expanding, becoming ever more dangerous until…

Jolyne couldn’t help but blink back a look of absolute shock at the utter size that she became in the blink of an eye. Before it quickly turned to the desperate wheezing of someone who found the scene before her far too funny for words. Judging by the horrified and slack-jawed expression on her face? Spectra had not been expecting a massive change of body type to be quite so big and…square? She didn’t even fit into her clothes anymore.

“What?! What happened!? Why do I suddenly feel like blathering on about ghosts? And why do I feel like eating fudge? Lots and lots of fudge?”

“Those are genetic traits?” Jolyne couldn’t help but ask, beyond confused herself now. But Danny looked like the cat who finally caught the canary and then ate it in front of the owner for extra smug points.

“You wanted Fenton DNA! Unfortunately, you got it…courtesy of my dad’s nose.” Jolyne gagged upon hearing how the kid cheated Spectra’s game. But then felt like full-on hurling once the transformation took hold and the rather gross form of a heap of mucus looking vaguely like the failed Spectra body took her place.

Understandably, the ghost started screaming in horror at the body she was occupying.

“There’s a “you blew it” pun in here somewhere but? I’d rather not.” Danny grunted getting up from the floor.

“f*cking brutal. Nice.” Jolyne was leaning on the broken wall, guffawing at just how badly Spectra’s plan had backfired on her.

The giant snot pile given consciousness screeched with rage, flinging herself at Danny and grappling him by the neck, where he was thrashing to escape.
“You’re doomed, kid! And you know what? So are your friends! Now that those bugs have dug into them, there’s nothing that can get ‘em out!”

Tucker’s face hardened a little in response.
“That’s what she thinks!” He turned around and ran off somewhere.

“Will you please, GET OFF ME!” The halfa shouted, pushing up to punch Spectra in the face. His hand came away coated in a layer of mucus because it just sunk into her face instead.
“…you know, if my life wasn’t at stake I’d hurl right now.” Spectra lunged at him, and Jolyne interrupted with a swing from her Spirit.

“Don’t forget this is two on one!” Spectra, stuck to the ceiling from her mucus looked more enraged than ever.

“OK that’s it, let’s BOOGIE!” Jolyne made a face at the proclamation.

“See? That’s the kind of pun I was avoiding with the whole “blew it” comment.” Danny pointed out, though Spectra still lunged at them again anyway.


While the two were trying to defeat the mutant Spectra, Tucker had crawled back into the vents, trying to find the controls for the air vent he had seen earlier.
“Bingo!” It barely even took a minute and took out his signature body spray.
“Whoever said odour isn’t everything, never met Tucker Foley!” He aimed the spray at the centre of the AC Unit and changed the control to its maximum setting.
“Here goes!”


Danny and Jolyne quickly found that the transformation Spectra had undergone, while hilarious and humiliating for the ghost in question, was quickly turning against them. All the physical blows were being almost seamlessly absorbed by the sentient mass. Even the high-speed flurries that Jolyne’s powers gave her access too. Not to mention the fists of her guardian would come back coated in the gross substance and made her gag in response. Even Danny’s beams of ecto energy only served to briefly cook the substance that Spectra was composed of.

It was a disgusting smell.

Even Jolyne using her threads to sever limbs only served as a temporary benefit. Since the mass that was lost could just be reabsorbed and the limb grew back like nothing happened. Spectra swung as Danny attempted to fly in and take another shot at her. And he impacted a disposal bin where the contents spilled everywhere. When Jolyne tried to stop her approach with an uppercut from her Guardian, the ghost just grabbed her arm and threw her up, breaking the ceiling and making the world spin dangerously. Almost automatically, a few strings flew out to wrap around different parts and leave her dangling in the air, looking significantly worse for wear.

When she went to wipe her mouth, her saliva came away mixed with blood. Not to mention the good portion of her arm was now also covered in broken glass from the lamp she shattered and old cobwebs.
Damnit! What are we missing!? At this point, they were getting their ass kicked by a snot monster and they weren’t any closer to stopping these ghost bugs from killing anyone.
We need to stop her and free everyone, somehow!

Pieces of stone and brick were caught in her strings and the cobwebs they were covered in, suspended freely over the still air.


“Any last words?” Spectra asked, as one of Jolyne’s weakened strings snapped and she fell in a bruised heap on the floor next to Danny. She was looming over the two of them, and Jolyne tensed. Before something, odd happened.

She couldn’t help but wrinkle her nose at a weird stench that was blowing through from the air conditioning. Marsh mud and Twinkies? What the hell kind of combination was that?

“Uh, yeah do you smell gym shorts and gingersnaps?” The ghost boy asked, sounding genuinely confused himself.

“Actually, I smell tennis shoes and fudge-nutters,” Spectra responded, blanching.
“Urgh! What is that ghastly odour!?”

Jolyne just dropped her jaw at what happened next, insects. All the ones that had infected the students around the area were fleeing from the smell like it was a repellent. Almost instantly were the ill and ghostly teens returning to normal! Spectra looked like she had just been slapped in the face. More than she already had been.

“What?! How is this possible?!”

In the ghost’s confusion. Jolyne got back up and grinned, making a silent gesture of “may I do the honours?”. Danny was quite happy to give this round to her and went to chase down and Thermos the fleeing bugs.

“Hey, Snot-for-Brains.” Spectra whirled around, to see Jolyne just standing there on her own and with her ability manifested. Cracking its knuckles eagerly.
“I think I finally found it. A name, for this power.” The girl started to walk forward, tall, and proud despite how many places she was bleeding from. The latest reversal had tilted Spectra way off-axis because now she was just backing away with an attempt at a growl of defiance.
“Ya hear me? Stone Free. That’s its name.”

Oh, how the tables turn because now it was Jolyne who had all the power and Spectra looked caught between livid and terrified. Her newly named ability surged forward, with all its strength into a blindly fast attack rush, screaming its battle cry the whole time.

Spectra was under such force that she went splat all over the room, piles of goop splashing the walls and ceiling while Jolyne shook it off her hands and Stone Free. The ghost boy returned not a moment later, looking almost impressed.

“Wow, not bad.”

“Not bad yourself.” She responded, watching him float around and sucking up the remnants of Spectra’s goop. Just then Tucker had come running back from where he had disappeared off to.

“Way to come in with the clutch Tuck!” The ghost boy grinned, giving him a high five, although Jolyne was more focused on the ceiling where she could see someone losing their grip on a tile.

“Yeah! How about that? First trip to a hospital and I’m the only one who didn’t get hurt!”

“Watch out!” Jolyne saw the black-haired girl slip and start falling, she pushed the human boy to the side a little and Stone Free jumped out to catch the girl.

Sam yelped but blinked with surprise when she was safely caught and gently let down by what looked like thin air but felt like a person.
“You OK?” The other girl had asked. The goth was too dumbfounded to do anything else but nod.
“Uh…yeah, just going to go and, get my boot.”

“…ah wait sh*t hang on-!” She looked like she just remembered something and turned around to go look for some stairs.
“I’ll be back in a minute just get everyone off this property!”

“Who’s she?” Sam asked, watching her disappear around a corner.

“No idea, but she was with Danny when I found him.” Tucker supplied.

“You know…I never got to ask,” Danny responded, shifting back into Danny Fenton and landing lightly on the floor.
“But Spectra was targeting her too. She didn’t feel like a halfa but…” Was she still like him?

Jolyne had ascended three flights of stairs in record time, looking around for Valerie to make sure she was OK.
“Valerie! Hey Valerie! Are you up here!? Managed to figure out how to cure everyone!” She shouted while she searched.

“That’s great and all but, could use your help here!” She was surprised to hear Valerie shout back, but at least her voice didn’t echo anymore. Which was probably a good sign. Jolyne picked up the pace until she found the room the two of them had been locked in together.

And found Valerie still on the old bed, grabbing at her leg and trying in vain to pull it out of where it had been phased into the bed. Jolyne bit her tongue to force herself not to laugh. Though she did move over.
“Need a hand?” She asked, snickering at the heat rising in Valerie’s face.

“Tell anyone about this and you’re dead!”

“My lips are sealed I swear! Now hold still.” Jolyne responded, summoning Stone Free and carefully ripping up the bed and springs around Valerie’s trapped ankle. The springs inside the bed had been digging and even managed to break the skin in a few places.
“You uh…might need a tetanus shot. Later.” She winced, carefully taking an arm around her shoulders, and helping Valerie keep her weight off one leg.

“That’s rich, considering you look like you’ve been run over.”

“And someone had the good graces to then back up over me?” Jolyne joked in response, now beginning the journey back down so they could get out the entrance and finally leave the creepy as f*ck hospital.

“What the Hell Happened?”

“Honestly? I still don’t understand it all.”

The two of them walked in silence for a little bit after that. A worry had started to grow in Jolyne’s stomach, knowing that Valerie knew her real name. All the craziness of the last day had almost allowed her to forget why she was even here at all.

Hence why she stopped before they descended the final flight of stairs to the first floor. Valerie made a confused grunt and gave Jolyne look.
“Val…you can’t tell anyone my real name. At least not for now.” She watched the eyebrow go up.


“Please, just call me Irene. Just Irene. I need to make sure.”

“What the heck are you talking about!?”

“Please Valerie.” To her credit, she was almost surprised to hear the genuine fear and pleading in her voice. Before she growled and shook her head.

“Alright, fine! But as soon as possible you better tell me everything about you, got it!?”

Jolyne sighed but nodded. Considering this was a big ask of someone who was practically a stranger? She probably owed Valerie a lot for keeping her identity a secret.
“Alright, I promise.”

The previously infected students had spilled out into the grounds around the hospital. Several had called their parents, and by the time Jolyne and Valerie had come out the entrance several cars were already parked, and parents were happily reunited with their cured kid. Jolyne managed to spot the kid she had been held prisoner with when Spectra had electrocuted her.

She forcefully suppressed a shudder at the memory, and hoped that wasn’t about to be a common occurrence.

“Val!” A man’s voice shouted, and someone Jolyne could only assume was her dad ran up and hugged her. Valerie hugged back almost immediately.


“Val, are you alright? You’re limping I was so worried.”

“Daddy, I’m fine.”

“Who’s this?” Finally, the man had taken notice of her, just standing off to the side. Jolyne looked like a deer in the headlights and just blinked, before managing to get her brain in working order.

“O-Oh me. I’m Irene, uh, sir.” She introduced herself, with her fake name. Again.
“K-Kind of got roped into this, went up the building further and uh…f-found your daughter.” She admitted, blushing.
“Helped her down the stairs.”

“Irene’s a friend,” Valerie assured afterwards. The man frowned at her, but somehow, she detected more worry than anything else.

“Right, right yes. Just call me Damon. You look hurt so stay here. I have a first aid kit in my trunk.”

And that was in short, how someone else’s dad whom she barely knew fussed over her for well over half an hour. Bandaging up all the injuries she had sustained in the fight against Spectra. She had yet to answer the question on if she was more durable than the average human thanks to Stone Free. Valerie wound up giving her an address to the apartment that she and her dad stayed in, while also fully threatening to track Jolyne down herself if she didn’t get the story and went back home with her father.

Jolyne grunted to herself.
“Yare yare dawa.” She only sat down, thoroughly bandaged and cleaned up and watching the teens reuniting with her parents.

…she missed her mom. Hell, even her Dad would be enough in this kind of situation. The fact she was nowhere near Florida and all alone was settling like a heavy stone in her core.

“Hey.” She heard a familiar voice spoke up, and the three other kids she recognised from earlier had found where she was resting. Great. More people she had to talk to.

“Yare yare dawa.” She sighed again. A catchphrase she was using more and more often as of late.
“I got a lot of explaining to do. Don’t I?”


Stand: Stone Free
Stand Master: Jolyne Cujoh

Power: A
Speed: B
Range: C
Durability: A
Precision: C
Potential: A

Stand Ability: Though not as powerful, its physical abilities take some inspiration from her father's Star Platinum. Able to deliver a flurry of strong blows in rapid succession. Its main ability is changing parts of Jolyne's body into strings which can serve a variety of purposes. Currently, up to 70% of her can be converted into string at any one time before she runs the risk of injuring herself.

Stand name Origin: Stone Free - Jimi Hendrix's 1967 Album Are You Experienced

Yes, I am aware this chapter is absolutely massive as well. Nearly 8k words. I don't think I will be posting chapters of this length often though so don't worry. I just really wanted to get this episode finished and out of the way. Until next time though!

Chapter 6: Explanations and Agreements


See guys? I can indeed, go one chapter without literally everything being on fire. There is also, the absolute miracle where I don't think I need to put any warnings on this chapter either. A little on the shorter side, but downtime is pretty necessary.

I am very sorry for my upload being so delayed compared to normal. Between applying for an honours program, organising for my graduation and other life things it's been hard to maintain drive to write for this chapter. But I will try to return to a regular uploading schedule soon. Until next time, enjoy the chapter!

Chapter Text

The last night had been exhausting for everyone involved, but the small mercies of it happening on a Friday hit hard, because at least Danny didn’t have to force himself to get up early. He still did when flashes of the events last night raced through his brain. Right, he needed to find the girl whom he still didn’t know the name of.

His Ghost Core stirred a little with unease at the thought. She was not a normal human, but she also wasn’t a ghost. Or even a Halfa like him. Yet she still threw herself at Bertrand and Spectra without any ghost hunting equipment…and she still held her own. Just who or what was she?

The acknowledgement that she had helped him and the students of Casper High while knowing almost none of them clashed with just how easily she could also hurt someone in Amity Park. Heck, she could be anywhere in Amity right now. His Core didn’t know whether to place her as a friend or a potential threat. Danny groaned, scratching at the mess of his raven hair. He knew the only way to resolve the unease he felt was to talk to her and find out what her deal was. But he had never gotten an idea of where she lived if that was anywhere in Amity Park.

“She’s gotta be somewhere around here. I can cover every inch of Amity Park in like, 10 minutes!”

As it turned out? She was more difficult to find than Danny had first anticipated. He must have flown all over town several times over in his ghost form trying to locate the green-haired mystery woman. They had never gotten her name and he was starting to resent that. It’s like she didn’t even live in Amity Park-!

Danny went back over the train of thought he was having and facepalmed. She had a southern accent; she couldn’t be anywhere near Amity Park normally. So maybe she didn’t have a home, he was searching the residential areas!
“If she hasn’t got a home though, where could she be?” He knew that Amity Park had homeless shelters, a lot of people tended to suffer property damage while they lived here thanks to the ghost attacks. But he had already poked his head in several of those places and she hadn’t appeared even there.

Unless…was she staying away from those areas on purpose? She did have a few unusual powers in her own right. The memory of what Spectra had said while they were locked in that room together was dredged up to replay.
“Let me guess. Broken living situation?”

He started to fly over the side streets and alleyways, perfect little nooks for someone looking to hide from the world. His Core had only become more agitated in the ideas that she may have run here from a home who rejected her. The urge to help and protect had come back, but with the lack of anything else to focus on? There was an alley that started to stand out a little to him.

Because as he passed over it, there was a chill that settled in his ectoplasmic lungs. Almost like his ghost sense has triggered. But he knew it couldn’t be an actual ghost. That tended to harbour a more powerful, freezing claw in his chest until misty clouds spewed from his mouth. Here it was only settling at a slight discomfort in his lungs. He was sure that if he had been fighting a ghost, or just more preoccupied in general it would have escaped his notice completely.

But he looked down at the alley that was creating the odd sensation. He found a streak of green that was much brighter than the dumpster it was next to. He flew down, slowly dropping his invisibility as he got closer until he confirmed it was indeed, that same mystery girl from last night. She was curled up, using a backpack as a pillow, and sleeping under some newspapers and unused trash bags for warmth.

His Core twisted painfully; she was homeless. But he didn’t get to dwell on the fact too much as she suddenly jumped awake. The blue arm of her odd superpower jumping out of her body with preparation to strike. Yelping, Danny dropped his invisibility fully and threw up his hands in the “don’t shoot!” maneuver.

“Hey, wait its just me!” He flinched, finding that the fist had stopped just a moment from his face and gently pulled back, as the girl fought to get herself into a sitting position.

“sh*t, sorry. I didn’t see you properly.” She apologised, looking away as the entity was pulled back inside her.
“Guessing you’re looking for those explanations huh?”

“Well, I mean yes but…are you…is this where you?” The Halfa asked, continuously scrambling for the most appropriate way to ask if someone had been chased out of their own home.

“Look it's complicated alright? This was just a marginally safer dumpster to sleep behind than like…most other dumpsters.” She grumbled; he could see the pink creeping into her cheeks. Was she embarrassed?



“My name.” He clarified, rubbing the back of his neck.
“It’s Danny, Danny Phantom…although most of the town keeps calling me Invis-o-bill.”

There was a beat that passed of absolute silence, almost like the girl was trying to size him up for the truth of his claim, before she fought to suppress a snicker. She failed, badly.

“Oh, f*ck that’s awful.” She said, smirking a little through her giggles.
“Guessing that was not intentional.”

“No,” Danny responded flatly.
“What about you though? We never got your name.” He could see her stop completely and then frown, almost like she was weighing something up. In his eyes, it only cemented the fact further that she was running from something, how she ended up in Amity Park was still a mystery though.
“H-Hey if it's too dangerous for you to share-“

“Jolyne.” She clarified after a moment.
“My name is Jolyne Cujoh and... thanks, for helping me out last night. I didn’t know sh*t about what was going on there. If it wasn’t for you, I don’t know if I could have fought them off on my own.”

The name poked vaguely at Danny’s memory, but he couldn’t properly place where he heard it before. So for now, he elected to ignore the feeling.
“You were kind of a help yourself, normally I come out of fights with way more-“ He stopped mid-sentence when he heard a stomach growl in loud protest. The girl looked down and blushed furiously. When had she eaten last?

“Actually, let’s get you some food first, I have a feeling you need it. Hang on, I got some friends I can call.”

“Dude when was the last time you ate?” Being elbowed behind the fallen tree they were using as a makeshift table caused Tucker to yelp and glare in Sam’s direction. Their mystery guest didn’t seem to care much about the question and just kept drilling through her third Nasty Burger.

Looking back on it, Danny couldn’t connect the girl who expressed clear hesitancy about the local fast-food joint and had to be convinced that the restaurant wasn’t self-aware about how bad they were. To the kid who had probably eaten three times the rest of them.

They had found the designated spot that Danny often used to train when it wasn’t convenient to do it in his parents’ lab. Hence why many of the trees had burns from ectoplasmic blasts or had been completely toppled over. Just like the one they were currently sitting around.

Danny, in Phantom form, managed to find her wandering around the streets the next morning, looking even more hungry then lost. Hence why they agreed to talk over a meal of Nasty Burger.

Jolyne, as they had found out she was called a few hours ago. Swallowed her latest bite of burger and ruminated over the question.
“Depends. Properly or at all?”

The only answer that she got was a trio of vaguely horrified looks from the teens across from her. She didn’t even pause long enough to sense the mood was changing because she continued regardless.

“Because the last thing I ate before this period had to be leftovers, I stole from your highschool yesterday when I was hiding in the roof, still debating on if I should apologise for that.” She hummed, then added.
“But if we’re talking the last time, I had a proper meal it would be…uh…” She stopped to count off something on her fingers.
“Six days ago now. Damn, almost a week?”

There was an extended pause between the four kids, and Danny couldn’t tell if Jolyne was oblivious to the awkward silence or knew about it and just wasn’t sure how to break it.

“S-So…” Tucker attempted, rubbing the back of his neck awkwardly.
“Jolyne Cujoh huh? Some name.”

“My dad’s Japanese, can’t exactly help the surname.” She responded flatly, electing to return to her half-finished meal.
“Americanising the spelling was about as far as I wanted to go.” She couldn’t deny her feelings for her dad had just become a lot more complicated. Only now was she getting any time to even begin to process the events of that night. Just…how much had her Dad been hiding from her?

“But Jolyne Cujoh.” Tucker continued.
“You’re telling me no one calls you Jojo?”

“My mom gets to call me Jojo, and no one else.” Jolyne’s tone became venomous, Tucker shrank away from her almost automatically.
“Or else I leave them with a bloody nose.”

“Jolyne it is then!”

“And where is your mom? Or dad for that matter? Any family at all?” Sam could see the opening and decided to dig in. The girl across from her shifted uncomfortably, suddenly finding the dirt under her nails fascinating as she was drumming her fingers against the wood.

“I don’t know where they are, or if they’re even OK,” Jolyne admitted, sighing.
“The last I saw of them was the day I had to run.”

Team Phantom all stiffened a little, and the mood became significantly more sombre again.

“You’re really out here all by yourself?” Danny asked, a little more quiet than usual.

“…yeah. I am.” She confirmed.

“Can you tell us what happened?” He watched Jolyne shift a little where she was sitting and hum.

“I don’t know how much you’re going to believe me if I do.”

“We do fight ghosts on an almost daily basis. At this point? We’re ready to believe anything.” Sam assured.

There was a moment where Jolyne looked between the three of them, trying to access how truthful they were being. Before she relented.
“Alright, but you guys better tell me what’s going on with the three of you.”

“Sounds like a fair trade to me.” Danny agreed, leaning forward a little.

“Well…I guess everything started when my mom asked for a divorce with my dad.”

“You’re right, that’s pretty unbelievable,” Tucker said almost immediately upon the story concluding. Sam took almost no time to elbow him in the side again.

“…yeah, don’t exactly blame you. I wasn’t sure what to believe. Even after I gained Stone Free.”

“Who?” Sam asked with a raised eyebrow.

“Remember when I said that my body can unravel itself into silk?” She demonstrated, turning one of her fingers into a mass of string that floated around freely in midair. Jolyne would admit, it was kind of funny to watch as some of the colour drains out of Tucker and Sam’s faces as she did so. Even Danny looked intrigued by this. Reaching out almost on instinct to snatch one of the white threads out of the air. Rolling the substance between his fingers, Danny discovered that it did indeed feel just like a loose thread of silk.

“Weird, not like any ghost power I’ve seen before.”

“I don’t think it’s a ghost power, but if the strings pack themselves densely together. They’ll turn into this.” She weaved the strings together, watching as the gathering grew and shifted until they morphed into her guardian. The blue and cyan-clad Stone Free.
“I remember my Dad calling it something but…I can’t remember what it is. But hey, I think Stone Free is a good name for mine.”

She watched the sentinel silently give her a thumbs up and a little smirk. The construct enjoyed the name just as much as she did.

“Heh, think she likes my tastes.”

“Yeah, but I don’t see anything, other than your finger disappearing into thin air,” Tucker admitted, and Sam nodded along with him, agreeing on the point.

“It’s a bit creepy, but I think I’ve seen worse.”

“So, you can’t see her?” Jolyne raised an eyebrow, remembering that Valerie could see her strings.

“I can,” Danny admitted, tilting his head quizzically at his friends.
“Why can’t you?”

“Maybe your ghost powers let you see something we can’t?” Sam suggested, almost immediately. Considering that was usually their go-to explanation whenever Danny did things that weren’t completely normal for humans.

Danny shivered a little, and little swirls of unusually cold air were stuck to the roof of his mouth.
“I’m sensing something, but it's like my Core doesn’t know if it’s a ghost or not.”

“OK but, are we ignoring the fact the weird kinda-ghost is named after a Jimmi Hendrix song?” Jolyne went hilariously pink at Tucker pointing out an inspiration for her power, and the blue Spirit immediately reached over and took the red hat off Tucker's head, the kid yelped, looking up and seeing the indents of something holding onto the front of it. It was dropped back onto his head before he could say anything about it and Stone Free was pulled back into Jolyne’s body.

“I know it sounds weird I thought it sounded cool OK don’t judge me!”

“No no, I still think it’s a cool name I just had to point it out!”

Sam and Danny were both trying, hard to keep a straight face. Even if it took a minute for Jolyne to somewhat get over the embarrassment of being caught out.

“So…a constantly invisible ghost that does weird things to you and lives inside of you?”

“I’m sure she’s the reason I’ve been able to walk away from being thrown into multiple walls. Hurt like a bitch, but I’m still walking!” Jolyne allowed a beat to go by, before backing the conversation up a little.

“Wow, how long have you even had these powers of yours? Sounds like a while.” Sam asked, raising an eyebrow. A year or two, at least. Her eyebrow went even higher when Jolyne proceeded to make a thoughtful expression and count on her fingers. Several times.

“Five…maybe six days?”

“WHAT?!” All three Team Phantom members shouted at once.

“No fair! It took me a month to get a basic hang of my powers!” Jolyne could only give the scandalised Halfa a useless shrug.

“I don’t know how this works! Just that I need to stay alive…But seriously, mind explaining the “ghost powers” thing a bit? I’m still lost on that.”

Team Phantom all looked between one another, but Danny gave a subtle signal he was OK telling the new girl. She already shared a lot of intimate details about herself, plenty of which showed she was in danger if she went public herself. Their secret was safe with her, and hers was safe with them.

“I’m half-ghost,” Danny admitted, getting the hardest part to swallow out of the way first. Jolyne hummed, looking like she was attempting to put aside her own ideas for the time being.

“Half ghost?”

“The ghosts call me a Halfa. Someone who’s half dead and half alive.”

She was sure that if she had been drinking something, Jolyne would have spat it out.
“How the f*ck can you be half-dead?! Isn’t that like, something you can’t really sit on the fence with?”

“We…don’t like to think about it,” Sam admitted, shifting uncomfortably.

“An accident in his parent’s basem*nt lab. We saw the whole thing.” Tucker added. At least to her credit, Jolyne winced with copious sympathy for their situation.

“f*cking yikes…can I…ask how?”

Danny started to blush a little, rubbing the back of his neck now in response.

“Ah yeah uh, its kind of embarrassing I…tripped over a loose wire in the ghost portal that my parents were building and…it turned out there was an on button on the inside of it? When I fell forward, I pressed it and, well I do not recommend having an entire dimension open on top of you.”

Yeah, Jolyne would have probably focused more on the near-death experience if it wasn’t for one detail.
“Wait ghost portal?”

“Yeah, it’s…kind of why the towns been flooded with ghosts. I just put them back where they came from whenever they start terrorising the people here.”

“You have a portal into the afterlife in your basem*nt?”

Wait, that probably would sound unbelievable to people who didn’t live in Amity Park.

“Uh…yeah. My parents are ghost hunters, they kinda built it?”

Jolyne hit the old wood of the fallen tree with her head and groaned into it for a long and dramatic moment.

“I can’t believe the portal to purgatory is being guarded by Schrödinger’s teenager.”

Tucker let out an involuntary snort next to him, and Danny shot him a disgruntled look.

“What? You got to admit that was a good one dude.”

“Sorry, sorry this is just…a lot. f*ck and I thought my dad secretly being a superpowered agent was hard to swallow.”

“Speaking of that,” Danny spoke up, deciding to change the subject.
“What are you going to do? The last you said, people might still be after you because of your dad. Not to mention he’s missing?”

“…I don’t know…I’ve already run to the other end of the country, and even then, I don’t know how much time that will buy me,” Jolyne admitted with a sigh, shaking her head.
“But I don’t want to just run for the rest of my life either! If I do…doesn’t that just mean they’ve started controlling every part of…however long that I’ll have left to live?”

“…” The other three teens looked between one another, unsure of how to input their thoughts into the matter. Telling her to leave Amity Park and keep living in fear of these people felt unreasonably cruel, but Danny already had enough on his hands thanks to the ghosts. If they attacked her father while he was home, that was probably more than enough of an indication that they were willing to throw innocent people under the bus to get what they want. But he couldn’t pin the blame on Jolyne for the actions of the people chasing her…right?

“Look if you want me gone, I understand,” Jolyne admitted, hugging her arms close to her chest.
“These ghosts are already making your lives Hell, and I don’t want to add onto that.”

“But that means you’re also going to try and take these people on by yourself. Who all have more experience, resources and power than you?” Sam pointed out, causing Jolyne to tense a little.

“I know I’ll-! I’ll think of something!”

“What’d you say your dad’s name was again? Jotaro Kujo?” Tucker interrupted, his PDA was in his hands and it seemed he was already typing something in.

“Dr Jotaro Kujo.”

“Dr Jotaro Kujo, Florida. Got it.” Tucker responded, adding a few more terms into his search and seeing the results narrow down. It took a few seconds of scrolling but he did find something that seemed to match what he was looking for.
“This the house invasion you told us about?”

Jolyne blinked and leaned forward, squinting at the small screen that she had been presented with by the tech nerd to get a better look. It appeared to be a news article dated only 4 days ago, with an image of an awfully familiar house and a few pictures of her family, she included.

Mysterious Home Incident Leads to Disappearance of Local Father and Daughter

Residents in a local seaside county are still reeling from a report of violence that occurred in a suburban neighbourhood only a few days ago. A family had been attacked at 8:42 PM on the 8th of October and has led to the disappearances of two individuals. The only member of the family to still be present on the scene by the time law enforcement arrived, Claudia Cujoh had sustained serious injuries but is now in a stable condition. The two other members of the family were since reported missing and have not been located. Dr Jotaro Kujo, age 36 and single child Jolyne Cujoh, age 15. Police are requesting information on both individuals, although currently no charges have been brought to light. Jolyne Cujoh has only been noted for a single charge of-

Jolyne decided to stop reading before she could get too reminded of some of her choices. Sure, she had started to regret stealing a car last year, but were they using that to try and implicate her in this?

“…you stole a car?” Tucker had turned the article back towards himself and blinked in surprise when he learned she had a record.

“And I got two months in juvie for it. What’s your problem?” Jolyne spat back, suddenly defensive. Tucker quickly threw up his hands.

“Not judging! It was just…surprising.”

Jolyne huffed and looked away.
“I was acting out alright? Dad was home that week and…shut up it was a bad idea and I know that.” She had stolen that car trying to get his attention, but he didn’t even show up to bail her out. Now they were using that against her.
“And now it sounds like I’m the one who hurt my mom!”

“Well, considering what they have to go on…” Sam trailed off as she noticed the glare Jolyne was shooting her across the table.

“No one is saying you did do it,” Danny spoke up, trying to clarify before the distraught teenager would get angry.
“It’s just even you said you had trouble seeing what was going on at the time.”

Jolyne growled but didn’t argue.
“Yeah yeah…I know. Damnit.” She went back to leaning on the stump, rubbing her temples and trying to think of what to do next.
“I don’t want to just keep running all over the country. Who knows what those bastards can do that I can’t? Plus…they’ll have everything on their side.” She couldn’t run forever, she just couldn’t. The only thing she did know was that somehow, she had to find out what happened to her father.

But if she stayed here…she didn’t want to drag other people into the sh*t she had been thrown into herself. She could be putting so many people in danger.

f*ck was this how dad felt?

“Yare yare dawa.” She groaned, only now recognising how much she had been using that phrase lately.
“I keep saying that. f*ckin’.”

“What does it even mean?” Tucker piped up, understanding it surely wasn’t Esperanto. It was kind of funny to see how red Jolyne turned in response though.

“U-Uh…Dad, taught it to me…sorta. I heard him say “yare yare daze” a lot as a kid and started parroting it? Means “give me a break” or whatever. It's Japanese but I had to use the feminine article. Which is “yare yare dawa”…guess I thought it was cool at the time.” She muttered, almost tripping over her own words.
“I stopped using it after dad stopped wanting anything to do with me. But…” It was just something she started to say again. Wasn’t even sure why.

There was another long beat of silence before Jolyne decided to finally bite the bullet.
“Look, I’m gonna cause trouble for you. So if you want me gone I’ll-”

“No!” Danny spoke up before she could finish. His Core jumped almost automatically at the idea of leaving Jolyne to fend for herself, it clashed painfully with his protective Obsession. And at the same time…it kind of felt good, having someone else around who had powers like him, even if they weren’t ghost powers. The only person he had up until now was that Crazed Up Fruitloop Vlad. Valerie as the Red Huntress may provide some help, but the support was complicated by their history…and Valerie still being all too happy to train the anti-ghost weaponry on him, even if there were more dangerous ghosts around. To have someone, anyone who used their powers for abject good like he did was a breath of fresh air he never knew he needed.

Of course, there was no way he was going to voice that here and now. So instead, his brain scrambled to find a more reasonable means to convince Jolyne to stay.
“I-I mean you said it yourself, right? You’re going to have a really difficult time trying to go it alone. A-And at least here, there’s so much weird in Amity Park no one is going to look twice.”

Jolyne blinked back a look of surprise, she wasn’t sure what she was expecting, but being flat out told they’d help her was probably not one of those outcomes.

“Danny?” Sam blinked owlishly at her friend; she hadn’t ever seen him so willing to bring a new person into the group. Somewhere deep inside, a discomfort itched. She still couldn’t bring herself to fully trust this girl, but she pushed down the feeling in favour of being supportive. For now.

“A-Are you really sure about this?” Jolyne asked, glancing between the three of them.

“Well, if Danny trusts you, so can I.” Tucker threw his own two cents into the mix, before leaning forward with what was…an attempt, at a suave look.
“And if we’re friends. That means I can show you all the best hangout spots. They don’t call me TF for “Too Fine” for nothing!”

Jolyne just gave him a flat look, folding her arms.
“Please never flirt with me again.”

“Worth a shot.”

“It really wasn’t.”

“Thanks, Tucker,” Danny grumbled, trying to steer the conversation back on track.
“But seriously, what’s your say?”

“…I’m not gonna f*cking run, not from those bastards,” Jolyne responded, feeling the resolve inside growing.
“I’m gonna get my dad back, no matter what. So!” She looked up, nodding multiple times as she solidified the deal in her head.
“I’ll help you with your home’s ghost problem, and you guys help me track my father down?”

“Deal.” Danny extended a hand, and Jolyne took it, sealing their agreement with a firm shake.

“Welcome to Amity Park.”

“Heh, thanks, Spooky.”

Chapter 7: The Perks of being a Stand User


Jolyne finally delves into what she had brought from Florida as she runs into Valerie. Some questions are answered, and a familiar face, unfortunately, catches up.


I am very, very sorry for being over two weeks late to the deadline. I actually have gotten back into university as I was accepted into my program. But in no way does this mean that I am going to be abandoning this fic. Thank you all for being patient with me! Enjoy.

Chapter Text

The shadows cast long and deep as the sun began to sink beyond the hills. Twilight in Amity Park was an odd phenomenon, as the promise of night would usually bring ghosts to haunt the streets in the place of people. Humans knew well to steer clear. Hence why Jolyne was making a serious effort to find a place to wait out the night. Hopefully, she wouldn’t be bothered by ghosts, behind a dumpster and covered in newspapers was effective for hiding her, but she could feel the knots of discomfort that persisted in her spine from sleeping on the ground. She did not want to be sleeping on the street again.

She left Team Phantom several hours ago now and had managed to “borrow” a blank book and a pen from a stationery store that was just reaching closing time. Not like anyone would make a massive fuss over two single pieces of inventory missing. The book was folded on itself to a blank page that Jolyne was currently tapping a pen against, trying to think of what to write. She had about a million thoughts but not nearly enough understanding to put those thoughts to paper. It was borderline maddening.

Eventually, she found her hand tracing letters at the top of the first page, almost of its own accord:

Ideas for not dying and somehow finding dad:

Probably a little on the nose, but at this point she couldn’t think of anything else for a title. She watched from the corner of her eye as strings snaked out from under her sleeve and Stone Free made herself known, weaving some suggestions in the air around her. She had started to notice in the past hour or so that the weave of words was strangely indicative of her own handwriting.

Fight lesson?

“You mean like, martial arts training?”

She watched Stone Free create a tick mark to replace the suggestion and she looked down at her mostly empty page.

  • Learn proper martial arts or self-defence.

She had managed to get by on quick wit and quicker punches. But inwardly Jolyne knew that those kinds of tactics had a limited shelf life. The moment that anyone caught onto her just winging it and hoping for the best? Her hastily laid plans and abilities would fall apart with no effort at all. She needed a more solid foundation. Some lessons in martial arts or other self-defence techniques would definitely be a step in the right direction.

Though the thought gave her another note to add to that list.

  • Learn more about Stone Free and its powers

She was not the only person with abilities like these, she already knew that just from her father being able to suspend her in midair with a force she could only kind-of see. She still bore the scars from where those crystalline hounds had latched onto and bitten her. She couldn’t afford to think she was the only one, or the peak of what these powers had to offer. Either in the short or the long term, it was going to get her killed. So she couldn’t become complacent, she had to find ways to get better. Thankfully, she probably already secured a way to improve her powers. Danny, with his unusual situation probably didn’t have many sparring partners after all.

The food from earlier was starting to run out though, considering she hadn’t eaten properly in a week. She could already feel hunger starting to creep up on her again. As good as the Nasty Burger tasted. It probably wasn’t going to be a sustainable way to live in the long run soooo…

  • Find sustainable way to have balanced diet for active teenager.

Need money. Stone Free pointed out, after a second’s pause.

Food not free. Damn, they had a point too. When did she start thinking like this? She sounded like someone who was already over eighteen and trying to live a healthy lifestyle on their own for the first time.

Sure, she had a group of people after her head for reasons she was struggling to understand but that was besides the point.

“Yare yare dawa. Mom would be so proud right now.” She remarked aloud to herself, an unnamed bitterness settling into the pit of her stomach. She still didn’t know of any updates to her mom’s condition back in Florida. It was scary, being on the other side of the country while she could be dying in a hospital. And people were suspecting that it was her fault.

  • Find a way to make money.

She’s been carrying around the bag that Jotaro packed for her this whole time. Up until now there’s hardly been a chance to look inside it except for bandages to wrap her (now gone) leg wound. She really didn’t know what she was carrying around in there, even if her dad wasn’t exactly the type to buy a gun-

For some unexplained reason, Jolyne found herself completely stalling. In the twilight hours of the business district there were still shops that were open, or just closing. She honesty couldn’t remember if it was normal to play music, but a radio was turned on and tuned into a song that sounded weirdly like new age vaporwave. Something that she would have turned her nose up at.

She named her power after a rock song from the 60s and 70s. That was probably enough to tell you what her favourite genres were like.

But the presence of this weird tune wiped away anything that she had previously been worrying or scheming over. Almost like she had never had those thoughts in the first place. Huh…should she be feeling so…giddy? Completely at ease, despite the obvious danger of being out in the streets with night fast approaching. But any thought about how this was unnatural was drowned out by the foreign comfort as quickly as her mind would make them.

But the spell of complete bliss ended abruptly when strings burst out of her arm and pierced the speakers that the song was coming through, breaking the radio and cutting off the source of the weird effect. Her brain jumped to 100 from a standstill and her heartbeat thrummed violently in her chest, With multiple of Stone Free’s strings floating around her freely and seemingly vibrating with anticipation of an unseen threat.

Even though she had been meters away, and normal people would have no idea why the radio suddenly stopped working, Jolyne didn’t want to be anywhere near the ensuing commotion and picked up the pace until Stone Free slowly calmed down off its enraged state.

“What did you do that for?” She hissed into the thin air, knowing her power would hear and understand what it was asking her regardless.
“We’re trying to lay low not start breaking other people’s property.”

Don’t like the music. Stone Free weaved in front of her, the silk beginning to vibrate subtly again.
Feels strange.

“How?” She asked, confused as to why the reaction from her power was so…violent.

Don’t know. Just don’t like.

“Great…I’ll stay away from radios then.” She grumbled in response.

Good. After that, the thread retreated under her clothing again, but she could still feel some of the thread refusing to completely return to her body, instead curling protectively around her forearm like it was prepared for another attack…or crappy radio.

Her attention elsewhere, Jolyne grunted when she bumped into someone else unexpectedly. Backing away and looking up, the Cujoh froze mid apology when she saw a familiar face in Amity Park.


“It’s you!” It apparently took Valerie a second to recognise her as well, but her face hardened immediately even as Jolyne tried to back away.

“Oh no you don’t!” Valerie reached out and grabbed onto her wrist, and Jolyne consciously forced Stone Free not to react or treat this as a threat.
“You still owe me an explanation for what happened yesterday alright!? I helped you, now you’re upholding your end of the bargain!”

Jolyne nodded until the other girl let go. And she deflated a little.
“Alright alright, I’ll tell you everything I know. Where?...” She trailed off, suddenly wondering why Valerie was even out so late. Or where she even lived.

“…urgh, we’ll go to my home. But don’t tell my dad anything I told you! Especially about the equipment!”

“You literally already covered for me! Just…remember to call me Irene around your dad, OK?”

That was a dinner she was never going to repeat. Jolyne couldn’t believe that somehow, she had managed to find a dinner even more awkward than the one she had last week. Although maybe the absolute chaos of what came after coloured her view on that moment a lot more. Damon had insisted on Jolyne (or “Irene” as he knew her) staying for the meal once he understood she was homeless and living on the streets. Jolyne had tried to politely refuse, she honestly didn’t want to burden him. Her protests fell on deaf ears.

The cooking was great, but she spent most of that time dodging or stone walling questions that could even marginally relate to her personal life. She wasn’t sure if the air was getting too awkward or if Damon had started to catch on that she was not comfortable talking about her situation but eventually that conversation was dropped in favour of asking Valerie if she’s still feeling OK after the mysterious illness incident. Somehow, he didn’t believe that it was a ghost virus. Calling it biologically impossible.

Jolyne bit her tongue and did her best to maintain an unreadable expression while her thoughts moved in the direction of one specific ‘biological impossibility’.

The two girls excused themselves quickly, and Jolyne was virtually dragged into Valerie’s room by the forearm. It looked perfectly normal, if a little spartan and rundown. This was a nasty part of town though and Jolyne decided not to ask about why she was living in such a bad area.

“Alright, the walls are kinda thin, so don’t raise your voice too much if you don’t want my dad to hear you. Talk. Where did you come from, and what is going on with you?”

This was the second time today she was going to be explaining this, Jolyne groaned and steeled her nerves and throat for the oncoming exposition dump.


To be fair, she did make this version a little more abridged than the one that she told to Danny and his friends. Though she made a point of not leaving anything essential out, eventually even explaining why she was inside the school roof the next day.

“I was looking for those ghost bugs I…was outside the night before and saw the cloud of ‘em heading in. A couple of them tried to infect me but Stone Free took care of them pretty quick.”

“Woah woah hold on.” Valerie, who had up until this point tried to stay quiet.
“Stone Free? What?”

“Oh I…I named my string thing. I didn’t want to just keep calling her a Spirit in my head or something. Stone Free sounded like a fit.” Jolyne defended, going a little red in the face once again.

“It sounds dumb.”

“It does not!”

“It doesn’t even sound like a name for something that makes string!”

“What was I supposed to do call it String Monster?!” Valerie snorted, Jolyne narrowed her eyes.

“Sorry. Sorry…can I call it “Rock Rights”?”


Valerie leaned back, going from joking to contemplative within a matter of seconds.
“Weird. I don’t even doubt anything you’re saying.”

This caused Jolyne to raise an eyebrow. She was certain Valerie would at least voice some doubts, she’s not seen anywhere near as much as the trio she befriended.


“I mean I can’t see those strings when you make them anymore, or the thing you’re describing. But I could see them before and…” Valerie trailed off, and her right leg shifted a little bit.
“I can see a part of where that dog thing bit you. I know a bite mark when I see one.”

The wayward Cujoh instinctively reached up to trace where the mark had been made, humming.
“Well…yeah. That’s the story so far. I ran away from a home that was being invaded because a dad I barely interact with said so. I’m on the other side of the country and people think I caused what happened to my mom and dad…I think it’s kinda bad. But at least here I’ll blend in with all the other weird stuff. At least for a little while. “

Valerie glanced next to where Jolyne was sitting on the floor, with the full backpack leaning on the wall.
“Have you even looked in that yet?”

“I got a bit distracted with trying not to die. I know there’s a torch in there and I pulled out a new shirt.”

“So you haven’t unpacked it yet.”

“Yeah. Why?”

“Don’t you want to see what your dad put in it? Sounds like he was preparing for something before you had to haul butt out of there early.” Before she looked back at the Florida-native who looked unsure.
“Besides, you ain’t in danger right now are you? Who knows when your next chance will be?”

Jolyne tensed a little, her expression unchanging.
“I…I don’t know. This is my dad we’re talking about, I already learned so many things in one night that I’m not sure I wanted. What if it just gets worse?”

“Worse than it is already.”

“Sh-Shut up.” Jolyne huffed, folding her arms.
“You know what I mean!”

Val only kept her flat expression, until she groaned in frustration.
“Alright alright I’ll open the damn bag! But you’re helping me put all this sh*t back got it?”

“Girl I asked for it.”

Jolyne was almost impressed with what her dad had managed to cram into this pack, or maybe she should be concerned.
“…this is more reasonable than I was expecting.” She admitted, multiple changes of clothes for warm and cold weather, a small but fully stocked first aid kit that came with an instruction manual for how to treat just about any wound that wouldn’t immediately require hospitalisation. A high-powered torch, another kit and book relating to basic survival in the wilds. The thing that caught Jolyne most off guard was almost 5000 dollars of cash. All in different bills that could easily last her months.
“I mean he had a piece of metal in one of the pockets that apparently gave me superpowers. As well as almost killed me in the process.” She still had that little piece as well. She had just come back from cleaning her blood off it. The damn thing was metal and coloured weirdly yellow in places where it wasn’t sharp and chrome.

“Remind me not to handle that.” Valerie hummed, probably only half joking as she started to poke around in the now empty pack.


“Hey, you missed something.” Jolyne looked over to find that Valerie was pulling journal or notebook out of the backpack as well. Maybe inside a pocket she forgot to check? The thing was leatherbound, and about as nondescript as one could get. It didn’t even appear to have a title or any identifying markers on it.

“Huh, it does kinda look like something my dad would own.” She frowned, moving over to start poking around herself. For a good minute she couldn’t feel anything within the confines of the pack. But then her fingers brushed something like a small bump against one of the sides. Pausing, Jolyne felt around a little more inside to find that there was an almost invisible zipper. A secret pocket?

Curiosity got the better of her, peeling it down to fish the small object out. She raised her eyebrow at the USB drive like item that she held in her hand when the object came out. The port looked a little lopsided and janky, and the main body was coloured a mixture of deep blues and reds. Just like the journal, she couldn’t find any kind of brand or even a label. In fact all she did manage to find was a small engraving on one side.

Dr. Jotaro Kujo, Jan. 17-18th 1988,
7:32pm – 12:07am

1988? Counting back the years…her dad had to be what? 17 at the time? What the Hell was this thing? And why was it so well hidden? Glancing back, Valerie seemed to be distracted with looking at the book and everything else. So Jolyne put the thing back and zipped it up again. Some deeper instinct told her to keep it a secret.

“Seastar?” Valerie frowned quizzically, oblivious to the discovery Jolyne had made. But the name made Jolyne perk up. Memories surfacing for the first time in a while.

“My dad used to call me that…before he left.”

“Then I guess this journal is for you, because now it makes some sorta sense.” That made an eyebrow fly up in response. Jolyne held out a hand in request to hand it over, which Valerie did. There was a moment where Jolyne hesitated, wondering if she genuinely wanted to read this. Her thoughts steeled; she might just not have a choice. Though there was a note in front of the first page, apparently what Valerie had been reading, so she took it off and opened it up.

Jotaro’s handwriting was as recognisable as ever. Neat and uniform, all in English but containing just a few hints at the other language he knew fluently.


If you’re reading this, then I’m dead or we’ve been separated. Either way, I knew this was going to happen. Sooner or later. I’ve tried to allow you to live a normal life, but it seems those efforts were in vain. I wanted to explain so much more but, I can only hope you’ll understand in time, because not being there for you is the biggest regret of my life.

The bloodline that you belong to is a dangerous one, enemies have been at our backs trying to eliminate us for years. Not the least because of my contributions. Those enemies have likely caught up to you already, but I trust that you’re strong enough to fight back. I can’t fit the history of our lineage into this journal. But I’ll do what I can to give you something to go on.

If you’ve used the item in that pocket, then you’ve become aware of a secondary world. I’ve been working with the Speedwagon Foundation to keep tabs on people like me, and now like you as well. Sometimes I’ve been called to fight the ones who go rogue. It’s not work I enjoy, I’m alienating us even more, but it’s necessary.

Trust the being that you can manifest, it exists to protect you. Stay safe and give anyone trying to take you down Hell.

I’ve always cherished you. And I’ll be damned before I stop.

  • Dad

She hadn’t realised that her emotions were creeping up on her until a small tear stained the edge of the paper. Why was she feeling?...
“…damnit…why do you go and make things complicated.” She breathed to hide the jump of pitch her voice had taken on, rubbing her other eye with her sleeve. Valerie’s hand on her shoulder made her jump a little, but the other teen had taken on a slightly softer expression than usual.

“Hey. You’re looking a bit roughed up, I’ll see if dad will let you sleep the night on our couch.” That was all she heard before Valerie got up and walked away, leaving Jolyne alone with her thoughts and a journal that her father believed may just be his last piece of writing before his possible death.

“…alright, I’ve got some reading to do tonight.”

Sleeping on the couch was kind of uncomfortable, but Jolyne didn’t exactly care much considering she spent the night before sleeping in the streets. Any kind of cushioning was a blessing. Damon was more than compassionate enough to allow her to crash on their couch. So Jolyne naturally, used the opportunity to curl up on a corner, grab the torch with Stone Free’s strings and get to reading Jotaro’s journal.

As it turns out? There was some surprisingly useful information inside that thing, such as just what the f*ck Stone Free was. Jotaro called it a Stand (and immediately clarified he did not come up with the name) and described them to be the physical manifestation of an individuals fighting spirit, the will to survive and thrive against any odds. Due to the individualised nature of Stands, each one would come to have a wildly different appearance and ability depending on the person.

For some reason Jolyne felt quite relieved that there wasn’t going to secretly be another 100 Stone Frees running around in the world. It made her Stand feel stronger for some reason.

The worrying part for her, was the information that this manifestation or projection or…whatever was apparently prone to attracting others of its kind.

Research hasn’t pinpointed the exact cause yet. But for some unknown reason Stand Users appear to attract one another almost on instinct. This can work both for and against you. The chance to build allies and a network with those willing to support you, but it can also bring enemies looking to hurt you in equal measure.

It was good to know that not all Stand Users were evil and she was some weird exception, but at the same time it confirmed some element of chance in who she met and what their reaction would be. Just dealing with Spectra and Bertrand had been painful enough, and she already promised to help hunt ghosts in exchange for help tracking her father down. Could she handle Stand Users on top of that?

Do not expect to survive entirely on your own. As strong as you and your Stand may end up being, you’re still human. You will still have shortcomings that need to be balanced out by others. Find people you trust, and people who trust you. Build camaraderie and learn how to cover for one another.

“Damnit, I can’t stop hearing the stupid journal in his voice.” She realised with a groan, feeling she had probably already mastered the exact, lecturing tone as well. Just made things worse.
“I mean, I already got s few friends. But they ain’t Stand Users like me…the f*ck am I supposed to do? Stab other people with the rock?”

The information in her mind flashed that not everyone could bear a Stand, some people were not going to be able to overcome the required force and die trying to form one…like her grandmother almost did. Something that she wished she didn’t know.
“Scratch that.”

Not comfortable with potential murder. Stone Free weaved their agreement.

Jotaro hasn’t mentioned anything about Stands having a level of sentience yet. Although Stone Free also said quite openly they were also one in the same? Maybe it was just the specific ability Jolyne was granted that allowed for this weird pseudo-communication between Stand and Master.

Then again, she hadn’t read the entire book yet. Just the first couple of chapters before she put it away and tried to catch some sleep. Which hey, she accomplished. And with better results than sleeping on concrete. That was a win in her books.

The sound of the stairs creaking alerted Jolyne to Valerie coming down, looking dishevelled and still trying to wrestle her bed hair under control. Jolyne had just given up with hers.
“Morning.” Valerie yawned, blinking a few times in Jolyne’s direction.
“Sleep alright?”

“Well enough, yeah. Better than concrete.” She responded, sitting up a little straighter.
“Look, thanks for letting me sleep here but…I don’t know how many times I can do this safely.”

“Girl there ain’t much I don’t look at daily that scares me.”

“Scaring you isn’t what I’m worried about.” The pause that resulted from that statement lasted a few minutes longer than even Jolyne wanted it to. Before Valerie gave her best attempt at a reassuring smile.

“Trust me, I can look after myself just fine. What were you planning on doing today? Because I got work.”

“Exploring, trying understand how to get around here.” She would need to figure that out, getting around fast was a good idea. It remained yet to be seen if her version of “fast” could be a knock-off Spiderman.
“It’d be great if I could understand where everything is and the fastest way to get there.”

“Well, Nasty Burger is a big landmark here. Especially with teenagers. As good a place to start as any. Lucky for you, I work there.”

“Is this a sneaky way of asking me to walk with you?”

“Are you gonna condemn me to a commute of boredom?”

“Real funny…fine.” She saw Valerie grin victoriously.

“Great! Get some breakfast we’re leaving in half an hour.”

It was a surprisingly warm morning, Jolyne was enjoying it immensely. Florida didn’t usually get really cold weather at this time of the year.
“I keep telling you this is the first time I haven’t felt like I needed a scarf all week.” She was joking, but small talk was doing a lot to distract her.

Namely from that f*cking music that people were playing, most of the adults around them were looking weirdly out of it. Jolyne was avoiding it like the plague because all of Stone Free’s subsequent responses were as violent as the first. Luckily, Valerie didn’t seem to have noticed the strange discomfort.

“No way, it’s not even that cold.”

“Most people back home would be wearing second layers if it was like this.”

“Wow, that’s weak.”

“Bet you roll over and cry during my summers-“ Jolyne yelped, realising she had just walked into someone.
“Ah, sorry!” Before she blinked, seeing the adult hadn’t even noticed her, let alone responded to her apology. They just leaned against the telephone poll with a dazed look on their face.

“Weird, I don’t even think he blinked.” Valerie frowned, waiting for Jolyne to catch up.
“You know, the managers have been playing that song a lot on the in-store radio. All the kids hate it, but my manager flips out if anyone tries to change the station.” She added, as the Florida teen fell in step beside her.
“Think it’s a generation thing?”

“Ah…I dunno. Maybe?” Jolyne responded after a moment of hesitation, remembering that not even Stone Free knew why it was upset by the melody.
“I don’t like it either…”

Somehow, most of the way was uneventful. They were so close, just one more block and Jolyne could have fooled herself into thinking this would be a relatively normal day. But she paused suddenly, stopping dead in her tracks. For some reason she was just overwhelmed with the sensation of being watched, hungrily. Like some unseen predator was targeting her.

“Jolyne?” Valerie asked, stopping once they noticed she was walking alone.

Growling, harsh like a wind chime in a storm. The scrape of crystalised claw against the pavement.

“sh*t.” Jolyne turned and it was weaving expertly through the crowd to remain unnoticed. One of those crystal dogs from back in Florida.
How the f*ck did it find me this fast?!

The blue hound bared its crystal teeth and snarled, lunging at her on a hunter’s impulse.
“Get down!” Jolyne didn’t exactly give Valerie the chance to dive on her own, because she virtually threw her to the ground. The hound sailed over her by only inches, its claws digging marks into the pavement under it as it struggled to stop.

Thankfully, it looked like the marks were visible, even if it wasn’t. Jolyne was vaguely aware of someone screaming “Ghost!” and the whole street erupted into chaos. Valerie’s own eyes widened as Jolyne got off her and saw the dog was preparing another lunge.

“What the?! A Ghost!?”

“A Stand! One of the dog f*ckers from last week!” It’s head and shoulders lowered, and Jolyne turned.
“Run!” Virtually dragging Valerie with her as the hound gave chase, barking and snarling, snapping at their heels.

“Why can’t I see it!?” Valerie yelled in a panic, repeatedly trying to catch glimpses of their pursuer, and failing.

“Stands can only be seen by other Stand Users!” Jolyne shouted back. The hound snapped at her left, and naturally she went right.
It’s not doing a good job at hitting us…I got a bad feeling.

She forced herself to stop suddenly, coming face to face with an awfully familiar, truly angry man. His mohawk was still messy. Covered in the remnants of wasp stings and allowing his pack of crystal hounds to manifest fully. It had been herding her towards the rest of the pack, with Valerie in tow.

The man was panting, glaring at Jolyne with a level of hatred she didn’t think was possible and nursing a nasty bruise on his jaw as he snarled at her.
“There you are, you little bitch.”

----> To be continued ---->

Chapter 8: Diamond Dogs - Part 1


I am very sorry for getting this out so late, but happy (late) Easter to all my valued readers! Hope things are going well for you!

Also, needless to say, Stone Ocean animated got announced a few days ago and this author is hyped to absolute Hell and back. PART 6 BABY WOO!

So sit back, relax, and enjoy our first official Stand Battle of the fic.

Chapter warnings:
- Violence more canon-typical towards Jojo's Bizarre Adventure
- Blood and injury as a result
- Mauling

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

“There you are, you little bitch.”

“You.” Jolyne’s answer came out in the form of a low snarl. Even though it had been a week, several near-death experiences and seeing him at an entirely different time of day. She recognised the man’s face and Stand anywhere. It was the exact same man, his hair looked messier, his jaw looked a little more crooked than before and his clothing may have changed. But that aura of malice hadn’t, he was glaring at her like he was trying to burn a hole through the teenage Joestar. The hounds bayed and snapped their jaws at her, pacing around their prey. They were waiting for orders, unable to act of their own accord.
“How the f*ck did you get here so fast?”

The man’s lips twisted into a vicious grin like she had asked an extremely stupid question.
“It’s the ability of my Stand girlie! Diamond Dogs! No matter where you go, no matter how much you run. Once my Stand has your ‘scent’ there’s nowhere you can hide!” The Stand User proclaimed with extreme pride, radiating the kind of confidence that told Jolyne he believed he already won. She was going to wipe that smile off his smug face.

“Damn, and here I thought it would take me a minute to figure out your parlour trick.”

“Last chance kid.” The man spoke louder with a growl, holding out his hand.
“Either you hand over what your daddy was so desperate to keep away and come quietly or, I have permission to drag you back to Florida in trash bags.

The reaction was something immediate, a complete rejection of coming quietly. Almost like her very blood was screaming at her not to let this man come anywhere near her dad’s journal or the USB drive. Her father’s voice echoed in her mind, a phrase she knew she never heard him say before.
“Don’t let them take it.”

“Val, go. Now.” The girl’s voice had become a harsh order while Stone Free activated, shooting out of the tips of her fingers so they could act like sentient whips.
“This is going to get ugly.”


“Now!” Valerie almost flinched at the new look developing in Jolyne’s eyes. Quiet acceptance that she might just become a killer today.

“…” Valerie turned and ran without another protest. Leaving Jolyne alone in the now-empty street.

But the moment she could, Valerie ducked into a side street and knelt, unslinging her bag and holding up her watch. This was most definitely going to make her late for her job. But between that or possibly being complicit in the death of a girl around her age?
“This ain’t my usual job, but I am not leaving that to deal with itself.”

Something inside caused her to freeze, her finger hovering over the button that would activate her Red Huntress suit. Why, was she willing to risk her job for a girl she met two days ago? Not exactly like she couldn’t look after herself either if a few of the things she heard from the other students after the ghost virus incident was cured was anything to go by. Somehow Jolyne knew damn well how to fight.

Her fear was enough understanding though. Somehow these… ‘Stands’ triggered her sensors on her suit, almost like they were ghosts or at least ghost-like. Enough for the suit to confuse them for one. But Jolyne was undoubtedly alive, she could see the way she breathed in and out, the way she reacted to things with undeniable emotion and the warmth in her hands.

So what is going to happen if she dies?

It was a question that she was uncomfortable with, in the way that most humans couldn’t grapple with the concept of death. Even then, she left the intricate understanding of how ghosts’ function to her benefactor and the Fentons. She just needed to know how to shoot them. But if Jolyne somehow…checked the boxes for turning into a ghost when she was killed. The idea of staring down the scope of an ectoplasmic remnant of a girl she was starting to consider a real friend shook her more than she thought possible.

The morbid curiosity got shaken from Valerie’s mind at a shout (“ora”?) and she hit the button. The Red Huntress suit burst to life and wrapped around her. That unmistakable thrum of power that said she would be able to fight back. The hoverboard slid out and Valerie became airborne, zooming back with an ectogun already whirring to life in her hand.

What the f*ck is with these Joestars and making everything harder for themselves? Something Jason couldn’t help but wonder, finding their positions somewhat ironic, and reflecting on the reasons why. After all…this was a role reversal on how he awakened his own Stand.

Jason Grant was not someone that would be called smart or even all that strong-willed. He was your common street thug, and he embraced that even from when all his teachers said he wouldn’t get anywhere in life with his attitude.

Well, his teachers could get f*cked. Because it was exactly this “attitude” that manifested his Stand at the ripe old age of 18 back in the ’90s. It was a gang war in the streets of Brooklyn you see, things were getting really bad, and he was somewhat far down on the ladder. An easy target for someone wanting to demonstrate power. The gun held against his head and he saw his life flash before his eyes. There was a click, and for a brief second the world went black like he never even got to hear the gun go off.

But seconds later it turned out it never did because the fangs of an obedient, mindless, crystal dog were digging its sharp and monstrous teeth into the rival member who was trying to kill him. A man that was soon mauled to death as six more manifested and ganged up to take him down with ruthless efficiency. The poor bastard probably didn’t even see what had killed him, all except for Jason’s mildly confused face. As it turns out, these large wolf monsters listened for his commands, mental or audible, followed everything he ever wanted them to do without question. An easy f*cking job for sure the next few weeks. Crime spree after violent beatdown after bank robbery. He was having the time of his f*cking life with this strange power he manifested.

He called it Diamond Dogs, they looked like it. And like obedient dogs, anyone who pissed him off never saw the light of day again. No matter where people ran, no matter where they hid, he could find them, and he could shred them if he so felt like it.

But he was just never allowed to have any fun. Because these f*ckers knocked on his door calling themselves some Wagon Foundation or whatever, claiming they had concrete links to his crime spree and unless he registered his “Stand” as they called it and stopped having such flagrant disregard for national and international laws they would have to resort to some more drastic measures.

He was officially declared a rogue Stand User within the next few hours. It was then he discovered that yes indeed, he was far from the only person who had a Stand. A few fights, more close calls and near arrests happened. These Speedwagon Foundation f*ckers really knew how to bother a guy trying to live their life.

There was someone who was there though, coming to him in that troubled period with an offer. Because the Speedwagon Foundation wasn’t the only group that existed. This group whom Jason never got a proper name for hated everything to do with the damned Foundation and everything they stood for. In fact, they told him they wanted to bring it down. If he offered his Stand to the cause, they would be more than happy to turn a blind eye to whatever crimes he performed on the lesser.

How could he have possibly refused? He started to do jobs for them, tracking down undercover agents and letting Diamond Dogs have their way with them. It was some thrilling f*cking work; he could tell you. But he was surprised when the group’s own personal boogieman became his next target.

Jotaro Kujo. Grandson of Joseph Joestar and great-great-Grandson of the original Jonathan Joestar. The way some of these people talked about him, the man was a demon who came up to the mortal world because he was bored. Many had family members or friends who had been taken down by the Speedwagon Foundation purely because of him. He would never, never, admit he was happy he had gone with several other Stand Users to track the man down and capture him. Because for some reason completely beyond him the guys at the top wanted Jotaro alive. It was their funeral, but somehow, they managed it. He was…incredibly surprised he didn’t get more wounded from the direct fight. The man and his Stand lived up to their reputation for sure. He felt the attack rush through multiple of his Diamond Dogs. It caused the old instinct of well and truly fearing for one’s life to surface for the first time in what felt like years.

But just as quickly as it began it was over. Attacking from behind was a cheap but effective tactic. The massive man tensed, eyes widening with apparent surprise and shoved forward by an unseen force digging jagged claw into his unprotected spine. At the same time, Star Platnium’s form began to flicker like a buggy TV, and it lost the strength to remain upright and collapsing to the pavement. Jason couldn’t help but raise an eyebrow watching it fall apart in front of his eyes. Until the massive, ultra-large threat of the time-stopping Stand looked much more like just an average jar filled with glittery, flowing sands. The last true Stardust Crusader turned into literal stardust.

Jotaro was on the ground, twitching minutely and letting out a garbled snarl of something that Jason couldn’t pick up on. But the wild look in the man’s eyes was all the threat that he needed to understand. A wish for a swift and very painful death on the people who dared attack his family. The man lifted a shaky limb with extreme effort before it was slammed into the ground again by the large, monstrous Stand on top of him. It kind of reminded Jason of some weird cross between a porcupine and one of those killer doctors you’d see in bad horror movies. The jagged claws twisted where they were currently lodged in the marine biologists back. Eliciting a groan of agony from the man underneath. He was limp on the ground, completely incapacitated.

He couldn’t remember seeing the Stand before, among any of the other Stand Users he had met in this misfit gang. Could this be, one of the superiors?

“Good work. Search the property. Incapacitate anyone you find.” The orders came through on a phone in his hand. He heard it from the two others sent to confront Jotaro Kujo with him. Jason grunted and sent his pack Stand around to sniff at various places and pick up any living scents.

Apparently, this man had a wife, but she was evidently not a Stand User and didn’t even see as one of the other men attacked and knocked her unconscious in the kitchen. But there was something else that surprised Jason when his Stand picked it up. Only a few hours later as the home was laden with a lot of scents. Sometimes they were difficult for his Stand to pick out and track specific ones until they were virtually alone and stood out against the environment. When the hounds started to investigate further out a few hours after Jotaro had already been taken away and the neighbours called the police did something different finally stand out from the rest of the area around it. A scent, a new one too. Not belonging to the woman or Jotaro.

This man was supposed to hate women. Did he have a kid?? Either way, he had orders, hopefully, whoever this was had even the smallest bit of sense and would just come quietly.

Well…considering the stings he was still nursing and the new bruise on his jaw. No. No, she wasn’t. He hadn’t been expecting a girl, a teenage girl cowering behind a bush and looking ready to bolt at the first sign of danger. He sent the other Stand User he had been with at the time back to go and report and gave chase himself when she fled, along with his Diamond Dogs. A tiny part of him felt bad, up until a familiar birthmark showed itself when his lead dog in his Stand managed to pounce on the girl. In its vision, he could see the Joestar Birthmark emblazoned on her left shoulder. Jotaro Kujo really did have offspring. She was thrashing underneath the Stand and yelling, up until something blindingly fast shot out and decked his Stand in the face and hard. The Stand was sent flying with a loud yap of pain and crashed into a tree. And damn Jotaro must have worn him down more than he had initially assumed because a sickening crack could be heard, and blood flew out his mouth not long after. Hard enough to hurt for sure.

The bitch had a Stand. One that clearly took after her father.

He didn’t manage to catch her, instead, she had gotten a wasp nest to explode on him and got him covered in the angered stinging insects while she fled in the distraction. By the time he had been helped of the infuriated cloud with backup, there was no longer any way to track her on foot.

His bosses were furious that he let potential leverage over Jotaro Kujo get away, he hadn’t even died trying to stop her. The girl even used her Stand blind, panicked instinct which demonstrated she had no clue how to use one. And he let her escape. He was sure the special ability of his Diamond Dogs was the only reason he hadn’t been killed for his quote “incompetence” unquote. She was a slippery little bitch, who humiliated him in front of his peers and superiors and she was going to either come back to Florida in whatever restraints were necessary or in a body bag. That much was clear.

Begrudgingly, he was impressed at just how far she managed to go after he was patched up by some other rogue Stand Users and sent out to collect her impromptu bounty. It had only been around four days since she ran away but somehow, he had to track her down across half the f*cking country. All the way from coastal Florida to close to the border between Illinois and Wisconsin. How she managed to smuggle her way across three states was borderline a miracle.

Which was how he was here, now. Looking down the green-haired teenager with his pack Stand ready to kill. She refused to come quietly, as he had predicted. In fact, he raised an eyebrow a little as her cyan aura flared to life. A clear sign she was intending to use her Stand. Considering the raw power that Jason had gotten used to expecting from the Joestar Bloodline he was ready for just about anything but raised an eyebrow when it looked like the teen in front of him started producing silk like a human spider instead.

Compared to being able to stop time itself? This was significantly less impressive. Jason guffawed at the display, unable to take it seriously.
“Your Stand power is making string appear! That’s a f*cking riot! End this Diamond Dogs!” His pack howled and charged, but the enemy Stand User was unphased.

“There’s your first mistake,” Jolyne called Stone Free and the string weaved her Stand’s upper body together, immediately taking a swing at the closest Diamond Dogs.

The impact made a distinctive cracking sound that rang around the area, thin fractures spiderwebbed out from Stone Free’s fist as one of the hounds was sent flying and turned into shrapnel that showered its packmates. But no sooner than that had the assault started. The teenage Cujoh grunted and dove to the side, hitting the pavement as another one of the Diamond Dogs snapped at her from the side and crashed into a third member.

Damnit I can’t just stand here and attack them all by myself! I’m not fast enough to fend them off alone! She realised quickly, only barely able to parry the bite of another hound and countered with Stone Free’s coming down hard on its spine. But the first Diamond Dog that she had dispatched was already starting to reform.
They can regenerate too? sh*t!

She needed to find a way to get all of them together, maybe that way she can cause enough damage to stop them from coming back. Or kill off the Stand User. But how the hell could she do that!? The last two hounds were sitting back and letting the rest of the pack trying to rip her apart, probably for the sole purpose of defending their Master if any attacks approached him.

“ORAORAORAORAORAORAORA!” Stone Free let out its battle cry, splintering a third Diamond Dogs underneath its attack rush. But claws and fang dug into her side as the last had ambushed her while she was busy. She collapsed bodily on the ground, Stone Free attempting to throw the Stand off her like the first time. But two more of the Diamond Dogs that had finished reforming charged and bit into the woven material Stone Free was made from.

Jolyne bit her tongue to avoid crying out as large wounds opened themselves up in her forearms where Stone Free was trying to pry the two Diamond Dogs off. All while Jolyne herself was kicking at the third Diamond Dogs trying to rip her midsection open.
f*ck f*ck f*ck f*ck-!

“Paws off you freaks!” A familiar voice roared, and a beam of lavender energy struck the pack Stand dead on. It forced them to finally let go of her and slide back with a loud snarl.
“Yeah, that’s what you get!”

Valerie? Jolyne looked up and blinked at a skin-tight red suit with a helmet, a hoverboard attached to its feet. But it was almost instinctive that Jolyne knew it was indeed Valerie. She knew that voice anywhere. Stone Free weaved itself back into her and Jolyne outstretched her fingers, firing off a string from the end that coiled around the front of the board and pulled. Probably should have given a warning, because the unexpected weight threw off the rider’s balance. But Jolyne found a hand reaching out for her to grab onto and she took it, swinging up onto the hoverboard just behind the red-clad figure.
“I thought I told you to run!”

“Ooooh Hell no! I am not letting you face off against that by yourself!” The red-clad vigilante snapped back without even a second thought.

That’s Valerie alright. Jolyne confirmed, expression as deadpan on the outside as she sounded internally.
“Wait can you see the Stand?” The question quickly went unanswered as the enemy Stand barked and snarled, jumping repeatedly at the hoverboard to bring it down. Valerie yelped, swerving out of the way of the crystal hounds with only moderate success.

“Who the f*ck!? This ain’t your f*cking fight you spandex bitch! Get back here!” The man roared, clearly infuriated by the interruption. But Jolyne didn’t feel like paying too much attention to him at the current moment.

“Get us out of here! He’s got an advantage out in the open!” It was almost instinctive for her to yelp and grab on when Valerie kicked the board into gear, only for a hound to finally get high enough to bite down on the edge like it was trying to imitate an angered shark. Stone Free was quick to manifest and stomp down on the invading Stand, shattering the head and causing the body to fall back down on the ground.

With one of the rockets that kept the board airborne smoking noticeably, they fled the area. Jolyne using her good arm to cling for dear life to Valerie’s back and hope she stayed stable.

“DAMNIT!” She heard the man they were escaping scream after the retreating visage.

“Just hold still!”

“I said I’m fine, it’s just stiff!”

“And you’re going to lose your arm if you keep trying to act tough now give it here.” Jolyne snarled and gave up trying to argue with her impromptu teammate. Valerie pulling her red mask down so she had to stare the other teen in the eyes while angrily trying to proclaim that she mauled and heavily bleeding arm was perfectly fine and just a flesh wound and she could f*cking handle it just made the whole act even harder. She had the funny feeling Valerie damn well knew it.

The board had been trashed in the assault and the 5 or 6 blocks of distance that it managed to put between them and their attacker was just about all it was able to give them before the Red Huntress (Jolyne had to bite her tongue to stop herself making a snarky comment about the alias) landed on a rooftop. Currently, she had Jolyne’s wounded forearm in a death grip while taking out a small canister of something that she couldn’t identify and spraying it on the open wound.

Jolyne hissed involuntarily as the spray caused an immediate and powerful burning sensation, and the area flared up, red and irritated. But the bleeding seemed to stem all on its own, as well as the clink of several tiny crystals from where they may have been broken off in the thrashing.
“Ow f*ck!”

“You’re welcome! This isn’t even the strong stuff! But it’ll get contaminants out and speed up healing a bit.” Valerie huffed, moving it back under her suit.

“Where do you even get all this stuff? You don’t exactly have the living situation to throw money around.” Jolyne grunted, experimentally rolling her arm, seeing Stone Free dutifully setting to work and stitching the larger open marks closed with its Ability.

“Yeah well, I used to.” The tone in Valerie’s voice went very sour suddenly, as she pulled the headpiece up over her head again.
“But then some ghost came and ruined my life, got my dad fired from his job. So now I hunt ghosts to stop the same thing happening to other people in this town!”

“You know what, I’m not even going to ask. Not while we’ve still got someone else trying to kill me.”

“What is even up with him?! My sensors keep picking up some weird shapes, but I can’t see them.”

“Like I said. That’s a Stand, called it Diamond Dogs.” Jolyne paused, finding herself gripping her arm just a little tighter.
“And its special ability is tracking, no matter what distance. It’s not going to take him long to catch up, even hiding out up here.”

“Aw come ON!” Jolyne only watched with a flat expression as Valerie threw her hands up.
“I’m going to be late for my job over this!”

“Then why did you come back!? I didn’t want your help!”

She was surprised that there wasn’t a response for a good minute or so, she couldn’t exactly see the expression that Valerie had underneath the helmet, but somehow Jolyne still felt it was scrambling for an explanation.
“U-Uh…” She responded.
“I-I…I just…I don’t know OK!?”

“What do you mean you don’t-!?” Jolyne froze as a loud howl was slowly growing louder in the distance.
“Urgh, we don’t have time for this! Just, I need to think of something!”

Think Cujoh think! Dad and his stupid book did it have anything in there about fighting other Stands?! She was wracking her brain trying to come up with anything that could be helpful for this situation. And the reminder that she was running out of time certainly didn’t help matters.

Then a specific passage just…stood out in her mind's eye. Almost as if she was reading it again for the first time.

There is no such thing as an invincible Stand, no matter what some are going to brag. Yours, mine, allies, and foes will all have weaknesses, blind spots, and misconceptions about their abilities. The goal of a Stand battle is not a war of attrition, it’s detective work. Be the first to understand the weak link in the chain and exploit it.

Weakness…this damn Stand had to have something it was missing, somewhere. There had to be a weakness that she could discover and exploit.
“Damnit, there’s not going to be any time to experiment either.” If the man gained an understanding that her strings were a part of her body and would be easy to damage when alone it was all over.

The first few hounds rounded the corner at the end of the street, glinting in the late morning light with a snarl. All heads boring holes into space behind a billboard that Jolyne and Valerie had wedged themselves into to hide. The strings of Stone Free manifested, vibrating in the air around her like it could sense the threat approaching.
“We’re out of time.”

“What do we do? My board is trashed we’re not going to be able to get away again.” Valerie hissed, and Jolyne rubbed at her temples and internally screamed at her racing pulse to calm down.

“All I know is that attacking the Stand one at a time won’t do much of anything. I destroy them and he barely flinches! We need to…destroy several of them at once somehow?” The only problem with that idea was getting them to bunch up and hold still. Because no doubt this asshole also knew multiple dogs being destroyed at the same time would hurt way more. There had to be a way to trick them!

The door to the roof banged open, and their adversary emerged. Must have sprinted the whole way to get there, because he was still panting heavily and leaning against the door frame. That didn’t stop his entourage of mineral attack dogs from spreading out at his mental command. Jolyne found herself backing up almost on instinct, and Valerie was looking wildly between her and the enemy Stand User.

“You could have made this so f*ckin’ easy.” He growled as he stalked closer, Jolyne flinched as she felt the back of her foot hitting the edge of the roof. They were well and truly trapped now.
“Just stayed down and come quietly. But no, all this running around and trying to hide. I’m going to enjoy killing you.”

“Don’t you dare,” Valerie growled, stepping up and aiming her ectogun at him, the mechanical whir signalling that it was charged and ready to fire. The man just looked unimpressed if anything at all.

“Sic her.” Three of the dogs split off from the back and threw themselves at Valerie, who yelped and fired, hitting one of the hounds in the shoulder but the other two were quick to jump and bite at her gun arm, pulling her to the ground with alarmingly little effort. The Red Huntress shouted and thrashed, trying to throw the Stand off, but even with the assistance of her visor, she could only barely see the shapes of the beasts pinning her down.

Jolyne didn’t get any time to help, or even shout as the other four hounds rushed her in unison. The first one was bearing down on her in the blink of an eye, having leapt into the air. Stone Free jumped out of her to throw a punch back, but she felt paws on her collarbone and a push. Before she knew what was happening, she was staring up at the sun and blue sky, and the bared fangs of one of the Diamond Dogs coming down just above her.

Her stomach flipped with intense vertigo and the sensation of free fall; Valerie’s wail of horror barely audible over the rushing wind as she plummeted. Stone Free’s fist manifested on pure instinct to break the enemy Stand before it could bite her again. It rained down around her in shards and almost too late was the panicked tossing out of strings from any part of her body she could manage, grabbing onto anything that could potentially slow her fall.

The ground raced to meet her faster than she liked, and even if the damage wasn’t lethal the air was still punched hard from her lungs. For a moment she just lay there limply on the ground she probably just cracked, wheezing for precious oxygen. Her mouth was flooded with the taste of copper, strings from her attempt to catch herself still hung off dumpsters, windowsills, and ledges in a chaotic mess. Looking like something a drunk spider would try to build.

It felt like an eternity, but Jolyne eventually managed to force herself to roll over onto her stomach and push herself up on her hands and knees. Something felt broken or at least cracked.
“H-How the f*ck?” How the Hell did she survive that? That must have been at least 3 stories if not four. She should be a stain on the pavement right now.

There was noise from the end of the alley that she had just fallen into, and as much as Jolyne would have wanted it to be a concerned citizen who just watched a teenager almost die. She was damn well sure it was anything but. Quickly proven true, by the glinting of light catching the Diamond Dogs Stand as four of them paced at the edge of the alley, knowing full well their prey was now completely trapped and wounded, having nowhere left to run.

“End of the line, kid.” The Stand Master’s voice echoed through all four iterations of the Stand at once, creating an unnerving echo effect.
“Kill her.” They charged without hesitation at the order.

It was all Jolyne could do to cover her head and brace for impact.

----> To be continued --->


Stand: Diamond Dogs
Stand Master: Jason Grant
Power - B
Durability - A
Range - A
Speed - C
Precision - D
Potential - C

Stand Description: A Hive Stand made up of 6-7 members of a pack depending on the overall fitness of the Stand Master. Each specimen appears to model after a dire wolf in size and temperament, made up of rough crystalline bodies in various shades of blue and glowing red eyes when the Stand Master is irritated or has issued an attack order. Moreso, each hound-like Stand looks like a geode of crystals that has taken on the form of a canine and only maintains the rough size and shape. They are not very powerful on their own, but it takes felling more than half of their number to begin affecting the Stand Master itself. These individual constructs appear to have a rudimentary intelligence as well, and can occasionally coordinate group attacks with the help of the Stand Master. By far the most dangerous aspect of Diamond Dogs is the ability to track targets over long stretches of terrain and "hunt" without growing tired for days, even weeks.

Stand Name Origin: "Diamond Dogs" - David Bowie's 1974 Album of the same name


Sorry to end this on a cliffhanger, it's cheap but effective, I will admit.

Hope to see you there.

Chapter 9: Diamond Dogs - Part 2


The encounter with Jason Grant and Diamond Dogs draws to a head, and meanwhile, forces stir from the shadows with their sights on the young Joestar.


I have, literally no excuse for taking 9 months to post a chapter. I'm very sorry about the length of time it's taken and thank you all for being so patient with me. It's been a very chaotic time on my end, but without further ado, here's the chapter!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

“End of the line, kid.” The Stand Master’s voice echoed through all four iterations of the Stand at once, creating an unnerving echo effect.
“Kill her.” They charged without hesitation at the order.

It was all Jolyne could do to cover her head and brace for impact.

For a few brief seconds, it was probably the scariest experience in Jolyne’s entire life. But as those seconds passed, what happened next was unexpected. The screaming and howling as something just barely passed overhead and went careening into a stack of boxes. Jolyne cracked an eye open and was met with a strange sight.

The hounds all stumbling around in a daze, their claws and fangs snapping at thin air around her. It was like they had suddenly gone completely blind. One of them moved in her direction and passed her by entirely, all she had to do was move to the left a little to avoid them bumping into her!

“What?” She blinked with confusion, seeing the previously insurmountable threat suddenly acting like they were drunk. Just what…what gives?

“What the? Where the Hell are you!? I can smell you!” The man’s voice echoed through the small group of wolves all staggering in confusion around.
“Your scent is here! Why am I not biting anything!?” The Stand was beginning to show the stress and frustration of its Master with the hounds biting at the thin air around them, vigour steadily increasing.

“They…can’t see me?” Jolyne finally realised, blinking with confusion over the new information. But how was this even happening? It’s not like she was splattered all over the block! She half expected that she should have been with the length of the fall she-

The fall.

When I used Stone Free to try and catch myself… Looking down, she confirmed that the strings that had tried to weave a safety net for her and failed were still scattered haphazardly around her, littering the dirty side street. That was when the full force of her discovery hit her.

This Stand was so keen with smell because it was blind as sh*t. It was cripplingly over-reliant on being able to detect an enemy Stand User by their scent. That’s why they couldn’t locate her anymore, her Strings smelled the same as she did because they were made from her own body.

So, what they were running around in was a dense cloud of where it feels like she should be.

As she pushed herself back onto her feet, Jolyne narrowly ducked out of the way of another hound getting dangerously close to her side with its fangs. Stone Free’s arm manifested and threw a punch to splinter the Stand instance against a wall.

The other three Stand versions that were still intact immediately rounded on her, in hindsight, probably not the best idea to keep attacking them one at a time.
“Found you!” The trio lunged at her with renewed determination. Jolyne yelped and responded by pulling her strings back inside herself and throwing them haphazardly upwards. She yanked herself into the air with way more force than she thought she could create, and nearly threw herself right over the rooftop instead of onto it. The priceless expression on the enemy Stand User was more than worth her heart jumping into her throat though as she angled to launch herself at him, with as much push as she could get.

“ORA!” She wound up bellowing herself, instead of her Stand, swinging with her bare fist to his jaw. Just a feint, knock him down for a minute so she could do something with the new information. Her own fist screamed in protest as it threw the kinetic force into the face of her assailant…that better not have broken anything.

But from the way that the guy crumpled to the floor underneath her, he hadn’t been expecting the raw punch at all either. But that wasn’t going to keep him or his Stand down for long. So, pushing herself along on the adrenaline, she rushed to Valerie’s side to help her up from where she had previously been making a vain attempt at covering her head. The Red Huntress looked just as surprised to see her up and walking, and somehow back on the roof after having just seen the greenette go flying over.
“How are you still alive!?” Valerie almost yelled at her once she recognised the hands trying to pull her up did not belong to the angry mohawk man.
“Did you just knock him out?!”

“No idea and not for long! You trust me!?”

She did not wait for an answer. And strings coiled around Valerie’s waist like she was speedrunning creating a harness. And without any delay, Jolyne threw them both off the rooftop, much to Valerie’s terrified protests. It was a lot of screaming at the top of the other girl’s lungs, right into Jolynes's left ear. Trying to ignore it, Strings flew out of her wrists onto the first thing that she could swing off. Which just so happened to be a flagpole. With both hands, she grabbed onto the small collection of threads and prayed this works.

Spiderman comics don’t fail me now! She felt her strings go taught, and her stomach dropped into her pelvis with the sudden halting of gravity. The strain from the pull was unbelievable on her already battered muscles and nerves, but miraculously she held on until the arc reached its peak and she finally let go.

There was a split second where everything was forgotten in the face of complete weightlessness and momentum severing her from gravity. Just the instinctive feeling of ‘holy sh*t I’m flying!’. An indescribable spark of euphoria.

Though the moment was as fleeting as could be, and just as her momentum was about to be stopped entirely Jolyne threw out another selection of strings to wrap around something else and send her forward in a second wide arc. There were stumbling blocks, courtesy of a technique she only thought to use on the spot out of desperation. But she found a rhythm, Valerie finally stopped screaming, but was clinging to her like a lifeline and shaking.

“IT WORKED BUT THIS IS HARDER THAN IT LOOKS!” Finally, there wasn’t anything that could keep the height up and Jolyne was forced to land, but the stunt had already gotten quite a few cities blocks between the two of them and their attacker. The two of them came to a staggering halt, with Jolyne nearly falling over before her strings uncoiled from Valerie to let her down properly. If Jolyne could see under that hood she wore, Valerie would probably look quite pale after that near-death conga line of experiences.

“W-What are we going to do!? That guy and his…weird, dog, things won’t stop coming!” Valerie’s voice had jumped an octave mid-sentence, while Jolyne was doubled over and panting. She was really starting to run out of stamina.
“And you look ready to pass out!”

“I have an idea, figured out something but…I can’t beat him by myself.” The Stand User admitted after a beat, looking up at Valerie with a hardened expression.
“Can you? Help, that is. I think I know how to beat him. But we’ll need to head out of the city limits.”

The pause that hung in the air for a few seconds almost made Jolyne fear the answer, but eventually, Valerie sighed and nodded.
“Alright. What do we need to do?”

“You got a weapon that specializes in ‘f*ck anything in that general direction’?”

The sun had been crawling through the sky for some time, looks like they had spent all morning being chased around by that asshole, around early afternoon. How a ghost hadn’t attacked yet was a miracle, but that currently wasn’t what she was worried about now.

She was the one that the enemy was after, so she was being the bait. Standing out in the middle of a clearing, seemingly alone. But she knew that Valerie was up a tree, with a rather terrifying-looking ecto-bazooka. Where exactly Val had been hiding the damn thing Jolyne had no idea, but it was going to come in useful now. Four strings snaked out from Jolynes legs as far as she could get them in every direction without jeopardising the integrity of her muscles. All she had to do was get early warning of the inevitable approach of their opponent…and hope that he hadn’t already figured out what caused the strange phenomenon in the side alley. This was sort of dependent on his ignorance.

“…damn…do you think I hit him too hard?” The minutes were passing by, and the anticipation was turning to confusion. Where was the guy? She didn’t hit him anywhere near hard enough to kill him, right? Though she tensed moments later, with vibrations too strong to be a forest animal registering on the end of one of her strings. Pulling them all back, the man stalked into the clearing just as Jolyne was starting to back down for some more space.

He looked no less furious than any instance before and nursing the definite result of her earlier blow. His jaw was now misshapen and swollen with more than a few angry red marks blooming across his cheek. He was fixing her with the kind of look that was trying to burn a hole through her skull for existing. Jolyne tensed, he just needed to summon his Stand. All seven of them. They could beat him.

“I’m just about out of patience with you.” He growled. All Jolyne did in response was fix him with a defiant look.

“Good, I must be doing something right if it’s annoying you.” Antagonizing these people was never going to be a less stupid decision, but it was also not going to be any less vindicating to see them explode over her taunting.

“I’m going to enjoy the look on your daddy’s face when I drag your corpse back to Florida. What do you think he’s going to do first?”

If she was being honest, Jolyne had no idea what her dad would do if that came to be.
“Honestly? All I can say is carnage.” She responded, huffing.
“But here we are anyway, right? Not to talk, come on.” The arms of her Stand grew from her back, Stone Free glaring at the man through its sunglasses to mirror the emotions of her Stand User.
“Unless you’re just some sh*thead with no teeth!”

In any other situation, he may have paused just a moment to think about the brazen challenge when they had the upper hand so many times before. But the kid really knew how to push buttons and with the near week of tracking the girl down across half of the East Coast. The man could never be more eager to tear this teenager apart.

His first and last mistake, as all seven of the hounds recklessly charged the girl at once.

The sound of something coming to life and whipping through the air registered in his mind. And Jolynes scent exploded within the vision of his Stand again, managing to blind even him directly.
“Ack! What?!”

Jolynes strings wrapped hard around each of the Stand instances, like a living carpet of very angry snakes, she huffed, but the smirk beginning to line her features said it all.
“You didn’t manage to figure it out by now? Damn, you must be dumber than I thought. Your Stand, relies on scent to track your targets. And to attack, in most cases that won’t mean much to a rival Stand User but.” Jolyne lifted one side of her jumper and exposed the fact she only had half of a stomach now.
“My Stand is made from my own body, and it carries my scent. No matter how far away from me the string gets! You walked right into it!”

The enemy Stand User, with bulging eyes was frozen to the spot, bound physically just as much as he was spiritually. Diamond Dogs snarled in an echoing frenzy and thrashed, but the strings held with fierce determination.

“I am so f*cking done, with all of this running away and hiding,” Jolyne growled, Stone Free manifesting fully this time to hover beside its Master. Every bit as excited for the beatdown as her.
“Whoever the Hell sent you and ruined my life, I’m coming for them. And I start it all with you!” The pack Stand screeched as she tossed it into the air with a boost from her Stand.

From her position in the trees, a flash of metal and the sound of Valerie’s larger ecto-weaponry powered up.
“End of the line, dog boy!”

There was a beam of lavender energy hitting one side of the trapped Stand and almost melting straight through the crystal that stood in its way. Internally, Valerie had to force herself not to cringe at the agonized howling that came not from Diamond dogs, but right from its Master. Human, far too human compared to the spectres she normally fought. But the wailing in agony was joined quickly by the bellowing scream of rage that tore from Jolynes already raw throat as Stone Free burst from the aura surrounding the teenager.

“ORAORAORAORAORAORA!” The other side, not being assaulted by the violet plasma was being violently pummelled by the machine-gun speed punches of the rival Stand. Their assailant convulsed violently, blows reflecting all over due to the sheer amount of damage his Stand was suffering all at once.

With a final, titanic scream and potent uppercut, the entire pack of Diamond Dogs shattered, raining down all around the clearing in countless tiny shards. Jolyne almost had to shield her eyes as the early afternoon sun glinted back up at her from the crystals. A few seconds later, she heard a kind of meaty thud as the man collapsed in a heap. More bruised and broken than she had ever seen anything in her life before. For a single, dread-filled moment, Jolyne almost feared that she had just committed murder. The justification of self-defense was a minute and far away voice in the back of her mind.

f*ck, she was fifteen.

That whole train of thought was interrupted just as quickly as it surfaced by the agonized wheeze of the bloody heap on the ground twitching, chest expanding with more than a few noises that made Jolyne cringe internally.

“Holy f*ck he’s still alive.”

“B-Bitch…f*ck…” The voice was just about as mangled as he was, but Jolynes mood swung right back again to anger, and Stone Frees arm hauled him off the ground.

“Still running your f*cking mouth!? Well, maybe it can tell us something useful!” She felt the man flinch running up her fingers from her Stand, and honestly, it felt good after the Hell she had been put through thanks to him.

“I’m n-not…telling you…nothing!” He grunted in response, but it was easy to tell how much the man was currently pissing himself with fear.

“Why you…” Stone Free began to pull back its other fist, almost intending to deal the finishing blow.

“Jolyne stop!” Valerie’s voice finally snapped her out of her rage and forced her to pause. There was a moment where she glanced over in the Huntress's direction, only to find her in the process of removing her hood.
“He’s not worth it.” Something more existed in the air between them, remaining unspoken. But slowly, Stone Frees other arm lowered, sparing the man’s life for now.

“You better not make me regret this decision, talk. Now. Who are you, what the f*ck kind of people is hiring you to pull this off, what do you want with my sh*tty excuse of a dad, and why the Hell did you drag me into it?!” Jolyne demanded, standing over the man in the most threatening pose that she could manage now, despite the sore muscles she felt all over and the weariness of being forced to use her Stand in such an extensive capacity. She needed answers and needed them now.

The man coughed, using the one semi-stable arm that he had to push himself up against a tree and glower hatefully in response. Surprisingly, that was about the extent of his threatening gestures.

“Dragged you into it? Nah, kid. You’ve been involved in this sh*t since the day you crawled out your mommy’s womb. Mark on yer neck is all the proof you need.”

Valerie watched Jolynes hand shoot up to where the mark on her neck was hidden by her jumper, the man's crooked grin only grew wider.
"You don't even know how f*cked you are! Haha! Do you really think I'm the only one who's going to be coming after you!? There's a lot more where I came from!"

The confirmation there would be others like him coming to hunt the teen down spawned two very different reactions in the girls present. Jolyne was the picture of unbridled fury, her fists clenched so hard her knuckles had gone white and the minute tremble in all her limbs was an exhausted attempt to restrain herself from seeing how easily she could pancake a human head with her Stand. So, what if there were more!? The only person who was allowed to beat up her deadbeat old man was her! Messing with her family, hurting her mother, kidnapping her dad, and framing her for the entire thing already made them unforgivable. At this point, they were just dumping fuel on a bonfire.

“I’m going to ask you once, and you better give me the answer I want. Where is my dad and what the f*ck are you doing with him?”

“Like Hell if I know! I haven’t seen him since we took him down!”


“You want him!? You’ll need to get through some real tough sh*t first!”

Oblivious to the shouting match going on next to her, Valerie felt her heart drop into her stomach when the man mentioned how so many more like him could be out there. Amity Park already dealt with too many ghosts to count. People were happy for them to be hunted down and exterminated, they weren’t even remotely human after all. Even the elusive Ghost Boy. But that was a tangent of personal issues she wasn’t willing to bring up here and now, even to herself.

Unlike ghosts, Stand Users were all too human. Despite their humanity, this guy well demonstrated they were willing to hurt and even kill people if they got in the way of…whatever they wanted with Jolyne. Their unusual properties meant that police forces would be worthless in combating any of them. Even if their anti-ghost weaponry worked against them, Valerie doubted many Hunters would be willing to attack living humans the same way they attacked ghosts.

It left her at a very uncomfortable moral crossroads she didn’t know how to deal with. But Jolyne finally snapped her out of her internal dialogue.

“Let them come for all I care. You screwed up my life, I’ll make sure you f*ckers regret it.” Jolyne raised her chin with a look of cold, hardened steel boring into the defeated Stand User.
“You get it!? This means war!”

“Y-You…” The man looked almost surprised at the clear defiance raised within the teenager. Stumbling as his grip on the tree trunk slipped his grasp.
“You’re insane!”

Stone Free burst from her body and swung one final time. A loud crack echoing through the wooded park for miles.

“You really just dumped his ass in a river?” Valerie asked, forcibly sitting Jolyne down against the sidewalk as the sun drifted lazily into the early afternoon hours. Thankfully, her Red Huntress suit kept her well protected from the assault of the Diamond Dogs. As she eventually found out it was named. Jolyne never had any such protection, and how more people didn’t stop to ask if the greenette needed a hospital blew her away.

Amity must be more oblivious than she thought.

“Technically he fainted after I broke the tree he was leaning on. And I didn’t feel like checking to make sure he was dead. So, I just picked him up with Stone Free and found the nearest-ack!” Jolyne paused her explanation, hissing with pain as more cotton and strange smelling concoctions were being plastered over her worse bite marks and bruises.

“Careful with that! sh*t!”

“Hey, this kind of has to hurt! Otherwise, it’s not working! And then you’ll be neck-deep in it.” Valerie snapped back, forcibly holding Jolyne still while she tried to worm away from the first aid.
“What is this? The third time someone has patched you up in a week. If this is on the regular, you better get used to it.”

A silence fell over the two girls after that, with Valerie wordlessly cleaning out and bandaging the various spots while Jolyne sat behind a dumpster to keep the two of them out of sight. A long silence, but far from a comfortable one. Both had a lot to think about after the encounter, neither was sure of how to process it.

“…they’re not going to stop. Are they…” Valerie eventually sighed, not needing to clarify what she was talking about as Jolyne shook her head slowly.

“No…no they won’t. I have something they want, or maybe I am something they’re scared of. As long as I’m around…I…” She trailed off, her eyes going cloudy while she contemplated just how close she came to killing someone today.

She never considered taking a life, but it looked like it was becoming inevitable. But these people, whatever they wanted with her. They were the key to finding her dad, and whatever happened to him. She had to know, what their history was. Why the star-shaped birthmark on her neck was so special. Enough to warrant people being killed for it.

A memory of a recent event flashed in her mind, with Spectra dropping her and backing away in what seemed like fear. Was it so important that even ghosts knew about it?

“…sorry, by the way. About making you miss work.”

“Don’t worry about it, my boss was…way more lenient than I thought he would be,” Valerie admitted with a frown.
“Usually he’s up my butt for even thinking about being late. But he gave me the rest of the day off, paid too. I could hear that weird song that has all the adults spacing out around me in the background too.” Valerie cringed.
“Dad never stops listening to it…alright. Pull your shirt up.”


“I need to check your back stupid!” Jolyne forced the feeling of hesitation down, knowing exactly what Valerie might think if she saw some parts of her back, but she well knew that there was not going to be any budging now and slowly, lifted her shirt and twisted to expose her back.

She could feel the staring through the back of her skull, and boring into the long lines of burn marks and ectoplasm traces that came from Valerie's canon.

“…you didn’t tell me that attacking the net would hurt you.” After several minutes of awkward, tense silence the words finally spilled from Valerie's mouth, the stare she was being given wasn’t quite accusatory or angry. More so just…betrayed.

Jolynes own expression settled into something more akin to unreadable. She shifted, feeling the bandages and strange gauze slide against her wounded skin.

“Not much…in the grand scheme of things.”

“If I didn’t have med supplies stashed around every nook and cranny of Amity then you could be dying right now-!”

“I know!” Jolyne shouted over the top of her, which caused yet another lapse of silence where neither girl felt confident enough to look the other in the eye. Jolyne forced herself to breathe and continue.

“I know, it was stupid, and you didn’t want to hurt me, and it was a dumb gamble but…it was all I could think of at the time. And if you knew that firing at my strings was going to hurt me like this then maybe you wouldn’t have agreed in the first place and…I didn’t know what else to do.” She admitted, pulling her legs up to wrap her arms around.

“I know I always sound angry or like I know exactly what I’m doing but that’s to hide the fact that I am scared out of my f*cking mind. And now apparently, I’m being hunted for something my dad did and it was always going to be like this just because I was born it!... I don’t know what to do.”

Valerie watched Jolyne slowly curling into herself, her breathing growing harder and more frequent while her body shook. Somewhere in the back of her mind, the Red Huntress found herself noting that Jolyne got emotional when she was exhausted.

“Hey. Hey, look at me. Jolyne.” Valerie reached out and did her best to give a consoling touch around all those large areas that can only really recover with time now. The other teen looked up and somehow managed to make herself look smaller than normal.
Damn, a kid shouldn’t be going through this…

“It's hard, I know. In other ways, I can’t even start to imagine what it's like but. Your part of Amity Park now, and we Amity Girls gotta stick together, right? I’m not letting you fight all this by yourself.” She somehow managed a smile.
“You can count on the Red Huntress to bail ya out of trouble!” Valerie held out a hand.

Jolyne hesitated but went over her options. Realistically, she needed all the help she could get. And Valerie has already proven herself before as a powerful ally.
“Alright, thanks. Valerie.” She responded, taking the hand and shaking it.

“Please, friends call me Val.”

The place looked like it was long abandoned, spiderwebs and dust coated the floor in a thick layer. The woman huffed as she leaned against one of the many crates that lined the aging walls. Like many others in this little splinter group, Morgan hated being made to hide in these shadowy corners among the filth and trash. Like rats. But if there was anything that she could begrudgingly give the Speedwagon Foundation credit for, it was being damn thorough. Any place that was more well kept than this old storage unit would likely draw their attention.

Sometimes the ability to attract other Stand Users by nature was the most inconvenient thing. That being said…it also did have certain perks. Like this group of like-minded individuals. People who saw the rest of the world for the dirt they were and how the strong needed to stamp out the weak for humanity to survive.

Speaking of dirt. That was currently what was being dragged through the ability her own Stand held, looking like a goddamn mess. The arms of her own avatar pulling him up out of a sparking pit she opened in the floor. Why the whole area now stank of a muddy river was beyond her.

“Honestly Jason, a teenager. Managed to do this to you?” She mocked, raising an eyebrow with a thin masquerade of concern.

“Shut yer f*ckin’ mouth, b-bitch.” His voice was warped by the broken jaw, and she was sure there was teeth missing. This child has had a Stand for less than a week…and she was capable of this much damage? The rumour of just how powerful these Joestars could be felt just the smallest bit more real now.

“I don’t believe I’ll need to.” She responded, leaning down to grab him by the back of his shirt to pull him up. Though it didn’t look like he was going to stand.
“…you’re soaking wet.”

“That’s enough, Chell.” A new voice interrupted them, the woman flinched and dropped Jason again with a dull thud and wheeze of protest from the man. Twirling on her heel, she came face to face with one of her…benefactors.

Despite the intimidation she knew him to have, the man was deceptively short. With a hunched-over appearance and one eye that was permanently closed. Balding and portly. He was practically the epitome of an unthreatening human being. So, to Morgan, she never understood the appearance of the Stand he was gifted by the Arrow.

It was more than large enough for him to sit comfortably on one of its shoulders after all. A massive hulk in a torn-up surgeon gown, most of its face was hidden behind the beak-like construct of a plague doctor mask. Each of its fingers ended in a spine easily a metre long, save for the ring finger on the right hand, which was snapped off.

Every time she saw the location of that missing spine, she couldn’t help but shudder.

“Did you get the location, Jason?” The short man asked, leaning forward from his position on top of his own Stand. The Stand Master of Diamond Dogs looked utterly petrified and scrambled into a semi-straight position.

“A-Amity Park, sir! Some bumf*ck town in Illinois. The Kujo girl is held up there.” He answered as best he could, staring hard at the floor.

A crooked smile eventually creeped into the man’s expression upon hearing this. Finally, she could only assume he was thinking. The idiot does his job for once.
“Amity Park? What a strange place to go…very well, you’re dismissed.”

Morgan raised an eyebrow, and beside her the wounded Stand User quickly had all his colour leave his face.
“W-Wait! I-I can still be useful!”

“No no. We’re quite alright, all we need is the drive the Kujo child has with her. You’ve already served what we needed.”


“Ms. Chell, if you will. We have a guest to entertain.” Oh…she had been waiting to do this for so long. Ever since the co*cky piece of sh*t was admitted into this group.

“Of course! Just a moment!” She chirped, turning back to the squirming and sweating mess on the floor.
“I would say I’m sorry about this, but I would have to regret it.” Morgan admitted, raising her arms and calling upon her Stands power.

“MORG-aagggh.“ He never got to finish his sentence, as his head was shoved into a pit that had opened in front of him. By the time it closed, his neck hadn’t made it all the way through, and Morgan watched as his body slumped to the floor.

Her benefactor was already moving deeper into the facility, and she hurried to catch up with him.
“What was this? About a drive?” She decided to ask, as a kind of test. She was important to their core function after all. With a Stand ability as useful as portal generation. She wasn’t quite so expendable. At least, that is what she liked to believe.

“Just a minor setback, everything will finally fall back into place when we obtain it. Although…how it occurred in the first place still…eludes us.” The other Stand User hummed as they moved down the stairs, Morgan’s fingers found strands of her soft auburn hair to twirl between her manicured nails.

Even if she didn’t want to show weakness, she was worrying her bottom lip between her teeth as they approached their guest. To the point where she tasted the cherry lip balm, she applied regularly to it. The bottom and smoothed concrete hit her feet before she knew it. She was sure that her benefactor knew the routes of the underground section like the back of his own hand. All she had to do was follow in the hulk of a Stands wake.

“P-Pardon me for speaking out of turn, but. Isn’t it a concern for another Joestar to be in our way? As much as I hated that guy…he knew his way around fighting with a Stand…and if she really is Jotaro’s daughter-“ She flinched and fought to suppress her yelp when the massive Stands fist suddenly raced out to slam into the concrete next to her. It left spiraling cracks in the foundation.

“…she will not be a problem. In due time, my dear.” The Stand Master chided, almost like he was oblivious to the destruction his Stand caused.
“Mind not Bodyjar, though, a rather impressive swing, isn’t it?”

She nodded wordlessly, understanding the metaphorical ice under her feet was growing thin.

Finally, they stopped at a door after many more turns. Despite the knowledge, some deeper part of her stilled. But her benefactor strode forward, and his Stand pushed the wooden frame until it swung open.

They were met with a single chair, a body slumped against it and staring blankly at the floor in front of him. A light shone dimly from overhead, illuminating the unkempt raven hair and long coat that had become heavily muddied to the point of many of its decals no longer being distinguishable.

Morgan forced herself to remember the catatonic man was known for freezing the flow of time. Just like the man some of these people seemed to worship. If she remembered, his name meant God in Italian or…whatever.

Though the term catatonic was probably not accurate. Her eyes wandered over to the only other object in the room, a small table, where a jar lay conspicuously on top. The dust shimmering with gold and amethyst colours swirled inside like a sandstorm confined to the glass container. Occasionally, something like an eye formed in the stardust before it returned to its rapid shifting.

Another Stand effect, and probably one she hated the idea of even more than Bodyjar.

“Bring the Stand closer dear, we need to chat.” It sounded like a request, but Morgan hurried over to grab the jar before anything could be questioned. It looked very pretty in her hands, but slowly, she walked towards the vacant man sitting in the chair. From the different angle, she could see the missing spine from Bodyjar, burrowed at least a good 20 centimetres in his back. Dangerously close to his spinal cord.

The body twitched when she was less than a metre away, and she froze, her nails almost digging into the glass in her hands. Her benefactor didn’t seem the least bit bothered, his massive Stand letting him onto the ground where he leaned on a cane he extended from where it normally stayed on his belt.

“How are you liking the accommodations, Mr. Kujo?” He asked as Jotaro Kujo blinked a few times, mobility was still robbed of him, but at the current depth, that spine was burrowed into him? He should at least be able to speak and move his head somewhat.
“I do apologise for the rough treatment, it's not normal for us to have company after all.”

Jotaro lifted his head the smallest amount, hearing and feeling the several loud cracks it made to do so. There was a fire in his eyes that Morgan rarely saw in anyone these days. It took all her willpower to stay rooted to the spot. Any further or closer to him and all Hell is likely to break loose. His jaw squared as he glowered across from him. Where an annoyingly smug face stared back.

“What makes you think this interaction will be any different.” He growled, still managing to sound intimidating despite his situation. At their mercy.
“You’ve only tried 5 different times this week.” He was incredibly hard to read. Even at the best of times, and despite the many bruises and cuts all over his body he was a steel trap for the information her benefactors were looking for. The only reason they went after the girl in the first place.

Every time conversation turned to her…

“We believe your daughter might be a player in our little game too hm? Her hideaway took some locating but, she’ll be joining us soon.”

That sentence changed his entire demeanor, looking outright enraged at the mention of the girl. That had to confirm it, she was his kid.

“From everything we know about you, I honestly believed you held too much disdain for women to ever have a child. But here we are, and clearly, she’s taken after you. If the state our last friend came back in was any indication. Even had the gall to escalate our game to war. If you could believe it. Did you have to name her Jolyne…Jolyne Kujo, I supposed the tradition does have to stand, doesn’t it? Jojo. Though I believe you would save us so much trouble if you gave up this façade now.”

“Don’t you f*cking touch her.” His voice came out in a heated snarl, just short of a roar.
“Or I swear I’ll-“

“You’ll do what?” The man chortled.
“In case you haven’t noticed, this is hardly a position to be making any demands from. The both of you are committing the worst sin of this little game.” The man leaned forward on his cane until they were almost uncomfortably close.
“We’re not to be underestimated.”

“The only one who is committing that sin here is you.” Jotaro’s response came as swift as it was venomous.
“Because you’re right, she’s a Jojo. Jonathan Joestars blood is in her veins. No matter how young or naive you think she is.”

Quiet resolution burned in his soul, he knew his daughter had already found strong allies and a powerful Stand. He hated for the passing of the torch to be this early, but she had already grabbed it and run. His very blood told her she was ready for the cruel reality of this world.
“The Hell she’s about to unleash is something you’ll never see coming.”


Stand: Diamond Dogs
Stand Master: Jason Grant
Stand Namesake: Song title as well as an album title by David Bowie, released on the 24th of May 1974


Power - B
Durability - A
Range - A
Speed - C
Precision - D
Potential - C

Stand Description: A Hive Stand made up of 6-7 members of a pack depending on the overall fitness of the Stand Master. Each specimen appears to model after a dire wolf in size and temperament, made up of rough crystalline bodies in various shades of blue and glowing red eyes when the Stand Master is irritated or has issued an attack order. Moreso, each hound-like Stand looks like a geode of crystals that has taken on the form of a canine and only maintains the rough size and shape. They are not very powerful on their own, but it takes felling more than half of their number to begin affecting the Stand Master itself. These individual constructs appear to have a rudimentary intelligence as well, and can occasionally coordinate group attacks with the help of the Stand Master. By far the most dangerous aspect of Diamond Dogs is the ability to track targets over long stretches of terrain and "hunt" without growing tired for days, even weeks.

Stand Weakness: The amazing sense of smell is a double-edged sword, while at long-distance provides an almost perfect tracking ability to the point of being impossible to avoid, large collections of the smell spread across an area will disorient and confuse the Stand and their Stand Master, leaving them vulnerable to attack.


Set up many things in this chapter, it has taken way too long but I am happy. I will try to get back into a regular update schedule now that I'm posting again. Next time, we're doing Pirate Radio! Season 2, Episode 3 of Danny Phantom.

Chapter 10: Radio Commandeering Part 1


The strange music continues to snowball and eventually come to a head as at the same time, a little pirate captain called Youngblood and his skeleton crew start making repeated appearances to harass our heroes and make off with unusual booty. What could be happening now?


I am so sorry for leaving the work abandoned for so long. A combination of university and work had left me roughed up, to say the least for a while. Only recently have I started to get my motivation back. I'm not certain if I can stick with an updated schedule. But I will try my best. Thank you so much for being so patient and sticking around with me!

On with the show!

Chapter Text

“I still don’t see why the move is necessary, Gloria.” One of the very few protests that Ermes had the heart to go through. Even she was surprised at how willingly she just went along packing her bags and uprooting her entire life just because of some…new building vacancy 4 hours up the country. Just what the Hell was an Illinois anyway?

Yes, that was a joke, she did good enough at geography to understand the states in her home country. The sentiment underlying the thought, however, was not quite so. Florida was all she ever knew, and even more so for Gloria. While she had seen her elder sibling getting more and more tense as of late, she couldn’t understand why precisely.

An image flashed through her mind, a cold body on the pavement, the flash of someone leaving the scene and a scream so like her own echoing into the night. The box in her arms she had to fight to keep upright as she stumbled. Thankfully, Gloria had her back turned, still absorbed in taking inventory, which allowed Ermes to save face without explanation.

“Because Ermes, the move was a good deal. Save us rent and it’s a new area.” There was something in there that Ermes could detect, something her sibling wasn’t telling her.

Then again, she hadn’t been completely honest either. Maybe the local banks were getting bigger sticks up their asses for all she knew.

“Plus, its always a chance to make some new friends. And don’t even try and talk your way out of that one. You’ve been a loner just about as long as you’ve been walking. Some other teenagers your age would do you some good.”

Alright Mom!”

It was a banter they fell into naturally at this point. But Ermes’ mind wandered to other places. Specially, weird f*cking dreams. Sure, the human mind was a damn drug trip at the best of times. But these had been recurring…not quite nightmares? If she were being honest, they were too nonsensical to even be nightmares. Kind of like the events of a movie that had been splintered and re-arranged in all the wrong ways, creating a confusing mess of characters and threads of story that began and ended abruptly or just became completely forgotten in the wake of all the other bullsh*t.

It was always themed around a prison for some reason too, or some similar form of confinement that left her feeling sweaty and claustrophobic when she woke up. Not to mention the one other thing that was common. Spider webs and butterflies. Or at least…she thought they were spider webs. White, and going on forever with no end or beginning. The butterfly wasn’t exactly “real” either. More like an image that was just plastered everywhere.

No matter what, she couldn’t shake the feeling that things were just…not right. Something had changed in places and ways she couldn’t identify and well. It had set Ermes off kilter for weeks. Hopefully, she managed to hide the discomfort from Gloria because how the f*ck was she even meant to explain what was going on? They didn’t even make sense to her.

Maybe…this out of the blue relocation was a part of this weird sh*t?

“-mes, Ermes!” Snapped out of her dazed musings by Gloria, Ermes blinked several times as she finally realised she was no longer holding the box and had just been staring at the back of their car for at least the last few minutes.
“I asked if you were done. Anything else you can think of?”

“Yeah yeah I hear you, I’m done I swear.”

“Good, come on through we need to start moving!”

Unbeknownst to either sibling, a creature lurked behind from the depths of an alleyway, uncanny fixation trained on the younger. Despite it bearing no eyes, just bundles of what almost appeared to be nerve endings and neurons. Or especially spongey coral. Four small protrusions twitched, as if mini propellors were taking on the identity of eyes and ears.


Danny’s Core had been humming merrily in his chest from the moment he managed to drag his telescopes up to the roof of the Fenton Ops Centre. Clear nights with shooting stars and relatively low ghost activity was a rare occurrence nowadays, and he took every opportunity to do his stargazing hobby.

It paid to feel normal, even for just a moment.

“Ah, clear skies and a new moon. Perfect night to stargaze.” He stretched and cracked his neck, going back to adjusting his telescope.

“I’m doing more star snoozing than anything else.” Sam complained, lowering her eye from her own telescope, glowering at the radio set behind her.
“Is there anything else to listen to? That music is making me yawn.”

“Seconded.” Jolyne had come up to join them earlier in the night and had been growing increasingly twitchy as the song went on. Which considering it had been playing in repeat since she arrived…didn’t help matters at all. Anymore and the Stand User might just wrap herself up in a cocoon at the very top of the broadcasting pylon where she was hanging from and be done with it all.
“Pleeease change it. I feel like I want to crawl out of my own skin.” She complained, Danny could virtually see her Stand running around under the surface.

“Stone Free giving you trouble?”

“It’s been breaking every radio I come across for the last two days! Because all they play is this trash!”

Tucker frowned, having been changing station to station while the conversation happened around him. Every single new station he tuned into was playing the exact same vapour drone on loop.

“Survery results are in, that is a no.” This only made Jolyne groan even louder.

“Then just turn it off!” Stone Free was slowly but surely trying to separate itself from her and winding up a swing.

Danny turned and stood to try and help deal with the situation, but the Ops Centre rumbling dangerously underneath them almost caused the squad of teenagers to trip over. Thankfully, it at least allowed Jolyne to pull Stone Free back inside her, and the radio was promptly shut off or completely drowned out by the-

“Is that the goddamn Flying Dutchman?” That was really the only word to describe it now. An entire green and brown, floating pirate ship, complete with wear and tear of a life on rough seas. Green canons fired anchors onto the Ops Centre pylon, missing Jolyne by inches as she yelped and jumped onto the roof instead. Tucker and Sam ducked behind Danny quickly as Jolyne rolled onto her stomach and jumped up.

“Survey says, Going Ghost!” Danny swapped into his ghost form, floating up to meet as multiple skeleton pirates (or were they ghost skeletons dressed as pirates?) landed heavily on the roof, drawing cutlasses to fight. Stone Free appeared in full, raising their fists as Jolyne prepared to start swinging herself.

That was when the ringing of metal slamming into wood echoed out, drawing everyone’s attention up to what Phantom assumed would be the ships captain. A little more confusing was the fact said captain looked so…small? Green eyes and hair, pale skin and wearing the black and green costume of a pirate captain.

“Avast, man, what's the word?” Well, he started out on point, but seemed to forget his lines halfway through and looked pleadingly towards a parrot made entirely out of bones, even the wings. It sported a little bandana as it squawked at him.

“Scurvy dogs. Rwark!”

“Right. Avast, ye scurvy dogs! Prepare to be boarded by Captain Youngblood and his skeleton crew!”

Neither teenage vigilante looked very impressed.
“They don’t look like much.” Jolyne responded bluntly, staring at one that just seemed to be absent-mindedly spinning its own head. Stone Free immediately socked it, sending the head flying.

Phantom meanwhile, flew up to meet Youngblood head on.
“Hey isn’t it past your bedtime, kid?”

Youngblood went even greener in the face than he already was and responded by turning his hook into a metal slingshot, firing a red beam of energy from it and hitting Phantom square in the chest.
“Don't call me kid! I'm mature beyond me years!” He yelled, not showing his supposed maturity by stamping his peg leg in the air and blowing a raspberry. Jolyne, already occupied by at least three skeletons all trying to cut her to far worse ribbons with their cutlasses couldn’t stop one from slipping through and cutting through the wiring keeping the Fenton Ghost generator in place. Which was thrown to another pirate.

“How dare ye attack me crew, scurvy dog!” Youngblood yelled, firing a second beam. Jolyne turned, and it basically nailed her right in the side.

“AH THAT sh*t BURNS!” She yelled, grabbing at the searing mark on her shoulder.

“Ooooh, what does ‘sh*t’ mean!? Is it a pirate word!?” Youngblood’s entire attitude changed upon hearing the curse word, turning eagerly to the skeleton parrot.

They were far less enthused about the ghost child learning it, and shook its head rapidly.
“The shield! Rawk!”

“Oh oh right! Fall back me harties! We've got, uh. Got, uh. What's the word?”


“Ha!” Youngblood barked a laugh, pointing at the bird.
“You said booty!”

All the other pirates started joining in, sans one, who was still panicked and searching for their lost head.

At this point, Phantom had finally gotten himself to recover from the stunning blast and blinked once at what one of the pirates had in their hands.
“Hey! My dads ghost shield generator!” He yelled, trying to chase down the pirate. Only for him to be intercepted by a cannonball fired out of Youngblood’s peg leg. Sam and Tucker winced at Phantom hitting the roof of the Ops Centre with a hard thud. The cannonball bounced once and came to a forceful stop, tearing up some of the metal of the roof. By the time either he or Jolyne were able to get up again, the ship and the stolen generator had vanished entirely.

“Well…that sucked…got any burn cream?” Jolyne asked with a grunt, rubbing the piece of raw skin on her shoulder.

Sam was…not very sympathetic about the whole situation.
“Nice going mateys. You just got your butts handed to you by Short John Silver. And Jolyne may have just taught him his first swear word.” Phantom huffed, floating up and setting himself down on his feet.

“Hey considering he just took my dad's ghost shield, you think maybe you could be a little sympathetic, like Tucker.” Tucker was a little too busy snickering over something.

“What!? He said booty!”

Both Jolyne and Phantom only gave him a flat look in response.
“Come on, time to break out the first aid kit…again.”

The morning wasn’t much better for morale. Danny virtually spent the entire morning explaining to Sam and Tucker what had happened the next morning, and by the fact he also spied some dangling strings following them around, Jolyne was likely listening in and doing her trick of hiding in the ceiling again.

“I don't get it. The ghost shield's gone, and it barely registers a blip on the parental radar.” Danny threw his hands up in the air, clearly frustrated by the lack of response.
“It’s like my whole family have been turned into zombies!”

“My parents have been acting kind of flaky, too. All they do is listen to that new age vapor drone that's playing on every station.” Sam noted, thoughtful.
“Normally they’re on my back about every little thing in my life, but I walked out in my usual wear and not even a blink from my mom.”

Tucker hummed in response, voicing his own thoughts. “Tell me about it. My folks crank it 24/7. Must be a generational thing.”

Jolyne’s string twisted and coiled in front of them, her voice filtering through around them like the other end of a tin can phone.
“Streets aren’t looking much better. Every adult I pass walks around like their brain just fell out. Not even counting whatever about this stupid music causes Stone Free to freee-ack!” Danny watched the string convulse and quickly retreat into the ceiling where he could hear scuffling. A few other students around him also perked up, thinking they’re hearing a rat. The dreaded vapour drone was in their heads now?! They could hear the stupid tune!

“Oh great! Now its stuck in my head!” Tucker whined loudly, pulling his hat further down on his head.

“Wait you hear it too?” Sam raised an eyebrow.

“Then it’s not us?” The trio of teens looked between each other, and then at the open gymnasium doors with posters advertising an audition for Casper High’s radio DJ. Jolyne’s string wobbled down to greet them.

“Turn that sh*t off! I’m not touching the gym with a ten-foot pole!” Jolyne’s voice yelled.

“Not just because you fell through the roof last time?” Sam asked with a raised eyebrow.

“Just get on it!”

Students were lined up on one side of the gym, leading up to a booth with a small radio station that had only recently been completed, Mr. Lancer was manning the station, serenely waving his fingers back and forth like he was conducting an orchestra. Clearly not even their teachers had escaped the strange brain rot taking over Amity Park’s adult population.
“Since we announced our new school radio station an anonymous donor has been kind enough to provide us with these promotional, and incredibly soothing, vinyl albums.” He explained, holding up said album for all the students in the gym to see. The image on front was of a stylized river moving through rolling hills and a few pine trees scattered about. In rainbow lettering the record identified itself as Sounds to Relax to Vapour Drone.

“Vinyl? What is this, the stone age?” Tucker almost immediately turned his nose up at the idea.

“Of course, you kids should feel free to, as you might say, ‘bust out your own freaky beats’.” Either his head was too far in the clouds, or he just didn’t care at the several students cringing in disgust at a teachers botched attempt to use their slang.
“As long as they're not too freaky or too, uh, beaty.”

Dash and Kwan glanced at each other, before Danny almost threw both aside.
“Sweet! Where do I sign up to yank this crud off the air?” He asked eagerly, yanking the set headphones off Mr. Lancer, and placing them on his own head. Also scratching the vinyl off being played any more.

(Somewhere above everyone, Jolyne sagged with visible relief once her own Stand wasn’t trying to claw its way out of her body).

The popular clique outside the door all stared at him instead, clearly annoyed by his enthusiasm.
“Fenton, a DJ? Yeah right. Who would ever listen to you?” Dash growled, staring down his nose at one of his most common targets. Danny, indignant, puffed up in response, grabbing onto the microphone.

“I'll show you who will listen. What do we want?!”

A nearly oppressive, awkward silence filled the gym.

“Um, this is the part where you said good music. What do we want?!” Danny tried again, only Sam and Tucker seemed even willing to try and speak up.

“Um, good music?” They tried, hesitantly. To absolutely no success, instead, Dash just shoved Danny out the way and pulled the microphone up himself.

“What do we want?!” He roared.

“Good music!” The whole gymnasium cheered in response.

“When do we want it?” Dash yelled again, grinning. Only.

“Now!” Youngblood was the one who answered instead, his skeleton crew flickering into the visible spectrum, much to the horror of the students around them. People started to scream and scatter in all directions, including Mr. Lancer and Dash. Danny, on the other hand, just levelled the child ghost a flat look. Thankfully, this did leave Danny to his own devices in the radio booth.
“Being ignored does, occasionally, have its advantages. Going ghost!” A bright flash of white light and Phantom was already zooming out.

“Avast, ye bilge rats!” Youngblood suddenly paused.
“Bilge rats is right, isn't it?” He consulted his skeleton parrot, who nodded a few times in confirmation.
“Our plunder lies afore!” Following the pirate captain into the weight room, Phantom could only blink at the pirates stealing…treadmills and exercise bikes? A weird thing for skeletons to steal, but he could work with that.

“Hate to break this to you guys, but you need muscles to build them.” The pirates turned around in shock before charging at him, though considering their level of coordination. Phantom knocked the first two aside easily, before spinning the third one around and ripping both their arms from the sockets. Swatting the ghost aside into their crewmates.

That took care of the grunts, time to go round two with their make-believe captain.
“Another playdate with Captain Kidd.” It was kind of funny watching Youngblood grind his teeth together, until he started firing out hooks like they were some kind of musket ball. It was easy to at least duck and weave his way through the first few shots, but a tricky positioning had forced him to turn intangible in hopes of avoiding it.

The hook grabbed him by the foot anyway and he flew back with a yell, ebbed into the wall and very much trapped there.
“Hey! What’s the deal with this thing!?” He yelled, frantically pulling at his trapped limb to no avail. Not even trying to turn his leg intangible worked.

Satisfied that the Halfa was occupied, Youngblood turned around and yelled to his crew.
“Get the stuff and let's go!”

Jolyne finally burst into the gym weight room just as the tail of the last ghost was vanishing through the ceiling. Where she also saw the predicament Phantom was in.
“Don’t worry about me just go!”

The Joestar nodded once, opening a window and virtually wall parkouring her way to the roof. Only to find no trace of the ghosts as before.
“Oh, come on, this isn’t fair!” She yelled, throwing her strings into the environment hoping to pick up a temperature change.

Still nothing.

“They’re gone, damn kid knows how to play hide and seek.” With no other leads to go on, Jolyne sighed and pulled her strings back, reforming her body fully and carefully climbing down the building back through the window she had opened. Phantom had finally pulled himself free and blasted the offending hook for good measure.


“I got human eyes Spooky, what do you think?”

There wasn’t really another choice except to return home after the school day ended, Jolyne looked even more sour than everyone else, having to spend her entire day up in the ceiling so she wouldn’t get harassed by cops.

If the cops were even bothering to do their jobs, she wasn’t certain on that front considering all the weirdness that had been happening lately. In a particularly sour mood, Jolyne felt that weird, invasive feeling crawling up her spine again and Stone Free reacted with all the hostility that she had come to expect in response to that music. She barely even blinked when a thread unlatched itself from her arm and raced out, spearing a handheld radio a hotdog stand owner was holding up as they passed by. The poor man helped, wondering why there was suddenly wires sticking out where the speaker was.

“Still don’t know why she’s doing that?” Danny asked with a raised eyebrow, as Jolyne pulled the string back.

“Stone Free doesn’t exactly talk normally. All she told me is that its “a threat”.” Jolyne sighed in response, articulating the Stand with air quotes.

“Wow, your taste in music must be very restrictive.” Jolyne responded to that remark by punching Tucker in the arm.

“She’s never reacted to any other song like this! It’s just that one!” Her defensive gestures only seemed to be further exacerbated by an ice cream truck speeding by, being followed by a hoarded of children. Then seconds later, another one did, blasting that godawful music again, with a similar horde of older adults. Jolyne only watched them go by with a look of sheer, unabashed confusion on her face.

“Has anyone ever told you guys that your city is weird? Even without the constant ghost attacks?”

“Specifically in that way? No.”

Jolyne forced deep breaths and rubbed the bridge of her nose, trying to calm down.
“Look. Trying to fight my own Stand to stop her jumping out and destroying property for no reason is painful and exhausting. And that stunt the ghost pirates pulled with the gym exercise equipment isn’t helping my mood either.”

Tucker tilted his head as well, seemingly thinking about something.
“What would ghosts even want with exercise equipment? They can’t exactly use it for themselves.”

“And with them stealing my dad’s ghost shield generator too. These things must be connected to the lousy music, right?” Danny folded his arms.
“I mean, there has to be some reason Stone Free acts up so often around it.” But a very different idea was forming in Sam’s mind.

“We have to counteract it somehow. Send some real music out into the airwaves.” Jolyne only blinked at her owlishly, like the goth had grown a second head.

“How is that supposed to help?” Sam appeared to ignore this question however, gasping in sudden delight.

“We should start our own radio station!”

The Halfa only rolled his eyes. If Jolyne was reading the room correctly, this was far from the first time Sam had suggested something outlandish or seemingly unrelated to the problem at hand.”
“And where would we get the equipment to do that?”

Cheerfully, Sam pointed up towards the Ops Centre hanging over Fentonworks.

“No way.”

Fate seemed to be determined to spite Danny today, as Sam was not taking no for an answer the four of them had already been pushed into the Fenton kitchen to ask Danny’s parents.
“Mom, dad! I really wanna use the emergency Ops Centre to start a radio station!” He yelled, already expecting outraged or chiding responses from his family.

There wasn’t any response at all. So, Jolyne cautiously peeked her head into the room. Only to find that aside from the squad of teens, the house seemed completely empty.

“Uh…this normal?” She asked, looking around.

“One word of advice, never, open, the fridge.” Danny said almost instantly, and Jolyne tacitly decided it was better to just not ask.

“That’s a yes though!” Sam chirped to the side, which Jolyne also ignored. Danny looked down at an out of place brochure on the table, seeing a sticky note attached to the front.

Danny –

Your mother, sister and I are on a weekend get-away fun cruise.

We are sure you will take charge and act responsibly.


Mom and Dad

He frowned, this didn’t sound even remotely like his mom or dad. Not with the way his ghost powers and ghost fighting had been affecting his grades. Peeling the sticky note off, Danny only got further confused by the name of the cruise on front.
“M.Bersback Cruise Lines? Weird. They went on a fun cruise with Jazz? Who isn't fun in the least? You know what this means.”

“That your folks are acting real out of character in a way that’s ringing like 40 alarm bells, and we need to investigate?” Jolyne asked in a deadpan but was virtually drowned out by Sam’s happy squeal.

”We have free access to the Ops Centre!”

“Yare yare daw-A!” Jolyne yelped as they were being dragged up the stairs and-, ah f*ck they were going to the Ops Centre. Sam virtually kicked down the door with her boot, watching with a grin at the state-of-the-art broadcasting technology all around them.

“Cool, they left it open for us!”

“Guys take this seriously!” Danny shouted over the top of Sam, and Tucker who looked just as enthused.
“The music, the pirate ghosts, my parents, and now this cruise ship? Something weird is going on and we need to get to the bottom of it.”

Jolyne looked just as antsy to understand just what the Hell was going on in this town. But Tucker only waved the concern off.

“So your family's takin' a cruise. What's the worst that could happen?” Jolyne slapped her face hard enough to leave a mark.

“That statement will blow up in our faces later, and if it does, I will find a way to hit you with Stone Free so hard you’ll be launched into orbit.”

Tucker was sweating a little at school the next day, he was also now holding a brochure for M.Bersback Cruise Lines in his hands. Like a frankly alarming amount of kids at the school were currently doing. Even though Sam looked to be absolutely over the moon at the news though.

“S-So…Your parents ditched you too?” Tucker asked after clearing his throat.

“Yep, my parents are gone. And just because I like saying it, I'll say it again my parents are gone!” There was no real sign that Jolyne was in the building today though, and some part of Danny was thankful for that. Knowing the situation she was in, there was no way she would react well to the casual way that most of the students around them (Sam included) were reacting to their parents going missing.

“It's like this cruise is attracting every adult in town. And my sister who, thinks she's an adult.” Once again, Sam dismissed his concern with a handwave.

“Think of it as the hand pushing the Party on the air.”

“Party? What party?” Danny echoed with a raised eyebrow, Sam grinned, unfolding a piece of paper and holding it up proudly for him to see. Somehow she had already come up with a logo

“Providing Alternate Radio To You!” She stated proudly, before entering into a cheer.
“P.A.R.T.Y!” And Tucker came in with the other half.

“We Ain't got no alibi!”

“You already designed a logo?” There had to be something in the water, or maybe the crud music was affecting more than just Jolyne. Tucker only held up a bag of Nasty Burger like he was showing it off.

“And I got our first sponsor. Plus all the Nasty burgers I can eat!”

"Guys come on! Something suspicious about this cruise! You can do you whole P.A.R.T.Y after we figure out what’s happening! I can't focus on the party with my parents out of town.” Danny snapped back, grabbing both the paper slip and the bag of Nasty Burger and depositing it into a nearby trashcan.

“I can.” Sam shrugged as they began to walk away. Though Dash and Kwan were fast to pick out the freshly dumped letter out of the trash, mistaking the advertisem*nt as an invitation to an actual party at the Fenton household.

“Woo-Hoo! Party at Fenton's!” Kwan cheered excitedly and high-fiving his fellow popular kid, before they both seemed to get the same idea. In time, the two jocks agreed.

“Crash and trash!”

As everyone else was gearing up for a night of fun, Danny and Jolyne were planning to do anything but. Jolyne touched down at the docks, Phantom hovering just overhead. Stone Free bubbled under her skin, agitated by the constant drone of the music blasting from the cruise ship on the dock.

“So what’s the plan. In and out quietly?” She asked, peeking her head over the a stack of barrels they were currently hidden behind. All of the collected adults were standing on the open deck, eerily still with smiling faces. Including what Jolyne assumed were Danny’s family. Other adults were walking up the dock, but in a way that reminded Jolyne more of cattle than people.

“Looks like they’re still at port, so we’re not too late.” Phantom nodded.
“The cruise is suspicious, but there’s nothing concrete, not so far anyway. We sneak on, look around. If there’s anything that confirms that there’s real bad news.”

“Then we wreck the joint and get the adults to safety.” Jolyne finished for him with a nod, pulling her hoodie up.
“Lead the way Phantom.” The Halfa nodded, winding up to fly them both silently onto the vessel. He unfortunately didn’t make it more than halfway before abruptly slamming his face into some kind of green barrier. The threads that he was hanging onto to transport Jolyne places went taught as Jolyne could pass through it (though not painlessly) and she hit the edge of the dock with a dazed groan.
“The Hell!?”

Phantom tried to push himself against the barrier a few more times, before finally the problem clicked.

“Wait this is my dad’s ghost shield!”

“Ye catch on quick for a land lover!”

Phantom whipped around to where Youngblood was smirking, along with his parrot and three of his pirates. The parrot skeleton was quick to correct the term though.

“It's lubber.”

“It's lubber? That makes no sense!” The ghost child complained loudly, sending the skeleton minions after Phantom. By this point though, they were relatively easy to read. The Halfa weaved through them with ease, and Jolyne pulled them out of the sky with Stone Free’s strings.

Now right in Youngblood’s face, Phantom grabbed bunches of the smaller ghosts coat and pulled him in.
“Ok, pewee, talk. Tell me what you want with these people or I'll-“ Quickly realising he didn’t actually know what would work as a good threat, he scrambled for the first thought that came to his head.
“I'll spank you or something!”

“I’d love to see you try!” Youngblood taunted; his eyes glowing red until they blasted out beams that hit Phantom square in the chin. With a yell of pain, Phantom was forced to release the ghost, but the beam refused to stop. Not until he had been pushed several feet away from Youngblood. By the time the pirate captain was done, his eyes were billowing red smoke.

The ghosts were still mostly distracted with Phantom, and Jolyne took the opportunity to make her way closer to the loading where adults were still boarding, seemingly paying no attention whatsoever to the fight going on overhead. Then she took a step back as the cruise liner flickered once, twice, thrice. And finally settled on its real form of the ghostly pirate ship from the theft of the ghost shield.
“Somehow I am not surprised.” She muttered to herself, before looking down at the lower decks where holes were open for canons that seemed to be missing, easily large enough for her to squeeze inside even without the use of her Stand.
“…no. No that’s such a dumb idea, not even-“

“Arrrg! There's another radio station jamming our transmission. Weigh anchor and set sail! Smartly there swabbies!” Youngblood shouted, several of the pirate crew around him saluting before flying down to start manning the canons. Looks like they still weren’t paying attention to her.

“Great, this snot nose punk can get people to follow orders, but I can't?” Phantom groaned.

“You just need to know the right words. Watch, Fire!” Jolyne clapped her hands over her ears as three deafening booms rang out and flashes of red energy exploded overhead. Phantom was able to just barely dodge the first two shots, but the third sent him flying. The ship was already starting to move as Phantom was knocked out of the air and Jolyne set her extremely stupid half-baked plan into motion.

“Oh no you don’t!” Several of her strings were thrown out, latching onto the lower deck as invisibility took over both herself and the ship. Finally managing to scramble her way inside as the ship lifted off into the skies.

Back on the docks, Phantom groaned and climbed out of the pile of barrels he bowled over with his landing, gaping at the fact that once again, the ghost ship was nowhere to be found.

“Well one thing’s for sure, it's going to be awfully quiet at my house tonight…wait.” He blinked once, suddenly realising that he shouldn’t be alone on the docks.
“Where’s Jolyne-, wait don’t tell me.” His eyes widened suddenly.
“She’s on the ship!?”

Chapter 11: Radio Commandeering Part 2


Youngblood's plan comes to fruition and an old foe resurfaces.


An absolute monster of a chapter for you all! As a treat. And an apology for taking so long to update initially haha... I will likely be slowing down a little after this point in order to avoid burnout. But that is now Pirate Radio complete. Which means a Jojo centric few chapters next!

Chapter Text

“This was a dumb idea, this was a dumb idea, this was a-sh*t!” Jolyne cursed inwardly, ducking behind a crate as some skeleton pirates floated by. That stupid music was playing constantly and while it was muffled significantly through what Jolyne presumed was multiple layers below her, it made Stone Free especially prickly and prone to reacting. With the ghost shield surrounding the ship attacking her if the Stand tried a little too hard to fight its way out? This was exceptionally perilous. There was no telling how easily she could protect herself if she got into a fight or how long she could tolerate Stone Free manifesting.
“I…I gotta figure out where they’re hiding the shield, disable it somehow.” Hacking was already well off the table; she didn’t have the first idea of programming or engineering. The only real thing she could think to do about the ghost shield was using Stone Free to grab onto as many wires as she could find, rip them out and hope for the best.

The only real problem in the plan was figuring out just where the Hell the shield even was. If it was already down where the hypnotised adults were, that was screwed before she even started. Stone Free would go berserk if she got anywhere near the music being blasted, and she’d rather not be found as a stowaway writhing on the floor while her Stand throws hands with anything that moves. However, she was already getting the feeling that she was accomplishing nothing but wandering around in circles.
“Damnit, why does the ship's interior look like a maze? Is this a ghost thing?” Maybe she should be leaving a trail using Stone Free, that way she could at least tell if she’s been sneaking her way through the same quarters more than once. Would that even work in this situation? It was a ghost ship, after all, maybe the interior was capable of just infinitely repeating itself without ever technically going back over old ground.

Before she could get too lost in theorizing over the geometry of ghost locations, some noise started to filter through. It was muffled and quiet, but she could just make it out.

“I thought you said you took over every station brat!”

“But we diiiid! I told me crew to distribute the records! The new station isn’t using them!”

“Of course, the jamming broadcast comes from the travesty belonging to Baby-Pop and his family.”

One of those voices was Youngblood, Jolyne was more than pissed enough to know the sound of the one she wanted to put through a wall. The other voice was older though, female. It was accompanied by the irritated strumming of an electric guitar that set all the hairs on Jolyne’s body standing on end. Stone Free seemed to only grow even more agitated.
“Not now, the ship is still shielded.” She reminded the Stand, and the string markings starting to push out against her arms slowly settled and receded, for now. The older ghost talking had to be the one responsible for the music then, for Stone Free to be reacting like that.

“Two of them in the same room doesn’t bode well for me. My ability to hit a ghost using Stone Free relies on getting the drop…damnit! What can I do here?”

“You!” Jolyne jumped, whipping around to see the parrot skeleton giving her just as much of a wide-eyed stare back. For a good moment they just froze there, before Jolyne finally got her brain to kickstart back into gear again and she made a wild grab for the ghost parrot. Her fist closed hard around bone and the undead avian let out a startled shriek she cut off halfway, forcing its beak closed.

“Oh no you don’T-“ There was a deafening boom from a guitar chord from behind, the layers of sound physically knocking her right off her feet and landing heavily on her side. The parrot went spinning out of her hands, squealing wildly until it crashed beak-first into the wall.

“Yarrrg! A stowaway?! On my ship?!” Youngblood appeared overhead in her vision while Jolyne was still dazed and trying to right herself.
“That is what we call it right?”

“Just get me off the wall!” The parrot yelled back, still trying to pull his beak free of the wood plank he was stuck in.

“Well, well, what do we have here?” The other voice asked as Jolyne was starting to sit up.
“You aren’t part of Baby-Pop’s usual entourage.”

When Jolyne looked up, she was met with a ghost who seemed surprisingly like her in terms of age. Maybe a few years older. The ghost was pale and wore punk attire mixed in with her pirate aesthetic, skulls were even carved into her platform boots. Underneath a pirate hat was blue hair that flickered almost like a living flame. In her hands was a pink and blue guitar covered in flame motifs. The appearance nipped at the back of her mind as familiar somehow, though she couldn’t place it. The ghost narrowed her eyes, leaning forward with a quizzical hum.

“No wait, I do remember Penelope Spectra saying something about this…punk girl with, ‘a very lively soul’ who can turn herself into silly string? Gotta say I can appreciate the hair.” The older ghost hummed with a smirk as Jolyne finally stood.

“You knew Spectra?”

“When you scrap with Phantom on the regular? Girls gonna talk Caterpillar.”

Jolyne narrowed her eyes with a heated glare, taking a single step back and prepared to spring.

“Then you’re the one who’s been behind that music that’s been blaring all over town.” It wasn’t exactly a hard conclusion to come to. Even if the music that was causing such vitriol in Stone Free seemed far out of the ghost’s lane.
“Because I really don’t appreciate your trash tastes.”

The flaming ghost’s eye twitched. Wow, these guys were sensitive.

“Not my best work, but whatever keeps the geezers satiated long enough to get what Youngblood needs.” The ghost strummed her guitar a few times before raising her free hand.
“The name’s Ember kid! And pretty soon that’s all you’re gonna remember!”

sh*t! Think of something fast! Was the only thought racing through Jolyne’s mind. She’d never be able to dodge or fight back fast enough! Well…maybe there was one thing she could still do.

Man, this was going to suck.

“ORA!” She pushed Stone Free out fully, biting back the scream of pain threatening to tear its way out her throat as the Ghost Shield around the ship went haywire and attacked the Stand User. Not eager to waste even a second, the Stand grit its teeth through the arching lightning and swung down, splintering the wood under the force and virtually causing an explosion of ghostly wood chipping and dust. The shockwave caused by the impact knocked both Ember and Youngblood off balance enough for Stone Free to return to Jolyne’s subconscious and release the Ghost Shields effects. She took off running without a second thought, hopefully giving her enough distance between the ghost and human to at least formulate some kind of strategy.

“Me precious ship!” Youngblood could vaguely be heard screaming, genuinely outraged.

That won’t keep them there long! I can’t match them blow for blow, not by myself! There has to be something I can do, at least to get these ghosts off my damn back! A blast of red sailed over her head, just barely missing her by inches as she slid around a corner.

“Arg! I missed me shot!” Youngblood shouted.
“After ‘er crew!”

Something cold pressed in around her wrist and pulled her back before she could stop herself. Jolyne almost went head over heels and crashed into the floor with a heavy thud. Her nose was invaded with the stench of rotting meat and decay. One of the skeleton pirates (ffff*ck they smelled awful) must have made a grab at Youngblood’s order. Jolyne yelled and kicked fiercely, only for another pirate to come in and haul her up, the Stand User continued to shout and thrash, but her legs only phased through them as the skeleton turned himself intangible.

Maybe the skeletons couldn’t talk, because Youngblood got all in her face.
“If yer willing to make a mess of me ship! I’ll make a deckhand of ye until yer fingers don’t exist no more!” The little pirate threatened, Jolyne just sneered at him in response.

“Sorry brat, not a fan of playing pretend. 'Specially with a kid who doesn’t know when to knock it off.”

“Aw yeah!?” She watched green flush into Youngblood’s face.
“We be pirates, but we be ghost pirates too! Swabby! Overshadow the girl!”

Jolyne didn’t know what “Overshadow” meant, but she was already wincing in preparation. A few seconds passed and nothing happened. She could hear the pretty distinct rattling of bones though, and Youngblood’s face morphed into one of confusion.

“What ’cha mean you don’t wanna?”

More rattling bones.

“You didn’t even need yer head!”

Rattle rattle

Maybe this was the one that she sent on a goose chase after its own head when the Ghost Shield was stolen. She had left an impression.

“Well, you can draw on ‘er face or something while you’re Overshadowing her! She won’t even remember you doing it!”

That sounded an awful lot like-

It was cold. A flash from the corner of her eye and the transparent skeleton pirate sank into her and vanished. The chilled sensation was accompanied by the world going fuzzy and unfocused like she was trapped inside a glacier.

It was too cold, there was frost in her lungs something unwanted was forcing itself into her mind.

Laying over the top, trying to force her down.

She started to kick and struggle again, more desperate this time.

There was the imagery of water filling her lungs.

Could this thing drown her in her own head?

Get it out.

Get it out.

Get out of me.

The foreign presence flashed with confusion.

How are you still awake?

The cold was being stabbed at. Threads of silk pushing against it, gleaming cyan and enraged.

You don’t belong here.

Get out!

Get out!


Ember and Youngblood yelled, ducking to each side as the ghost trying to Overshadow the stowaway was sent flying out of the body at breakneck speed. The ghostly green clashing harshly with weaving cyan. The half-formed Stone Free sank back into their User while glowering furiously at the outside world, and Jolyne sagged with exhaustion.

“Well…that makes things more complicated.” Ember huffed, as Jolyne forced herself to lift her head and meet the musical ghost’s glare.

“Don’t, try that again.”

“You don’t tell me what to do!” Ember stepped forward with a strum of her guitar as Youngblood was prepared to blow another raspberry.

“We’ll deal with you later. Once that other station has been taken off the airwaves.” There was a powerful burst, almost punching the wind right out of Jolyne’s lungs. When the skeletons let go of her, the girl slumped to the floor, unconscious.

“Uh...she, OK?” Youngblood floated over and cautiously poked her a few times.

“Won’t keep her down for long, I just, need to confirm something.” Ember bent down, bunching up the Stand User’s hoodie and pulling back. Her lips pressed into a thin line when she saw the star birthmark.
“Great. I’m never going to hear the end of this.”

“You know, not getting invited to a party is one thing,” Danny told himself with a complete deadpan expression when his house finally came into view.

Well, it had come into view from all the way up the street because of the flashing lights and blasting music that probably could be heard for blocks around.

“But why is the party at MY HOUSE!?” It was like his house had become a den for every A-Lister in Casper High to start trashing the place. Were those soda stains on the walls!? Danny didn’t even know how to respond to what he was seeing, what caused so many people to think that he was hosting a party-

“I knew that acronym was a bad idea.” He cursed, ducking, and weaving his way through the increasingly out-of-control crowd until he found the speakers and pulled the plug.

Why was the music not stopping?

If it's not coming from the Stereo, then where?

“You're listening to the PARTY, fiercely independent radio, one hundred percent free of corporate influence!” Sam’s voice filtered through the music in a brief break between tracks. Danny immediately booked it upstairs and onto the roof, making his way into the Ops Centre, just as Tucker was delivering a plug for Nasty Burger.

“Except for this, brought to you by Nasty Burger. Nasty is one letter away from tasty!”

“Wait!” Danny yelled from behind before they could continue.
“Guys. you've got to stop the broadcast; the party downstairs is getting out of control!”

The two looked between each other for a second, almost in disbelief over the news.
“There’s a party downstairs!?” Tucker sounded elated, bouncing on his heels.

“My house is currently neon colours like it's at a rave downstairs! How can you not tell!?”

“Hello Danny, we’ve been busy manning PARTY’s premier broadcast all night!” Sam responded, pulling out a recognisable vinyl album and fishing the disk out of the packaging. The vapour drone set?

“You took a vapour drone promo disk?” Danny asked with a raised eyebrow as Sam set it down on the turntable with a wicked grin.

“It makes great scratch fodder!” She responded, giving it a few cursory scratches to demonstrate.

“-eave your kids-“ Danny froze when he heard a snippet of conversation.

“Hold up hold up, play that backwards. And slowly.” It seemed he wasn’t the only one who heard it because Sam had paused her scratching and started to carefully wind the vinyl in reverse.

“Leave your kids, come to the cruise. Leave your kids, come to the cruise. Leave your kids,-” A female voice droned over and over on the reversed audio, the trio sharing looks of outright concern.

“Subliminal advertising?” Sam frowned, setting her headset on the desk in front of her.

“No. Mind control.” Danny concluded with folded arms.

Maybe…maybe that’s why Stone Free got all up in arms about the music whenever they were close enough for Jolyne to hear it. It could interpret the reversed audio. On a subconscious level, Jolyne had been aware the music was trying to control people.

Tucker was in the middle of ruminating on the new information, puzzling a question out.
“Using music to control people. Why does that sound so familiar?”

The entire Ops Centre rumbled on unsteady feet before Danny could give him an answer. A heavy fog settled over the windows and Danny felt the icy mist of his Ghost Sense escaping his mouth. It was Youngblood’s ship again, and this time with a familiar face manning the deck.

“That's right, Poppins. Ember's back and ready to rock!” The music ghost blasted a power chord from her guitar, violently shaking the entire Ops Centre with the three teens inside, near deafened by the volume. A second power chord was simply too much to maintain their centre of gravity, and none were able to maintain their balance, falling heavily to the floor. Sam yelped as the brochure fell beside her and finally, she decided to scrutinise the title on the cruise advertisem*nt.

“M.Bersback-, Ember’s Back!” She almost sounded frustrated that none of them had picked this up earlier.
“That’s not even a hint, it’s a billboard!”

“We really need to pay more attention to these kinds of things huh?” Tucker asked sheepishly from where he was getting up off the floor.

“I hate to say I told you so, but I told you so.” Danny huffed, vindicated at last.
“Going ghost!” The white rings were summoned into existence, travelling up and down his body until Phantom replaced Fenton. The halfa wasted no time, flying right through the roof and gunning for the ship as fast as he could go.

“Wasting your time, wannabe!” He heard Ember taunt, just before he impacted the hard surface of the ghost shield once again. Man, if he kept this up, he was going to find out if ghosts could suffer from concussions.

“Na na nana na!” Youngblood cackled, pulling a face at Phantom before he briefly looked to his skeleton parrot assistant, who was only fixing him with an unimpressed look in return.
“I-I mean, aarrgg!”

Phantom loosed a growl of frustration, before flying up higher to repeatedly blast at the shield with his Ecto Beams.

Predictably, it was about as effective as every other time he tried to destroy a ghost shield. That didn’t stop him from continuing to try, almost entirely to spite the two ghosts gloating at him from inside.
“What, is the music career going so poorly that you've had to pick up babysitting jobs on the side?” He snarked, refusing to let up on one of his beams. Even though it was evidently beyond useless at this point.

“I guess you could say we share the same opinion of adults-“ Ember gave him a smug look while Youngblood flew up beside her.

“Hate ‘em!” They both chimed together, as Ember started to casually strum her instrument.

“So, Youngblood here helps me haul away the over-30 so I can, you know, take over the world and stuff. And I provide him with a power source for his fleet of ships. And let’s just say, this little friend of yours will make a sweet disguise for my comeback tour!” That made Phantom go rigid.

“Let her go.” His form glitched slightly, the shadows in the night growing longer.
“Jolyne is part of My Haunt.”

“You know the rules of the Zone Baby-Pop, finders’ keepers. Only problem with the whole plan is, with your radio station jamming my frequency, I can't hypnotize any more adults! And let’s not even talk about what I’ll need to make the punk girl ready for Overshadowing. ”

“I can help with that!” Youngblood responded cheerfully, pointing his hook towards Phantom.

Cannonballs exploded out from the side of the ship, deafening booms roared as Phantom weaved his way through the blasts. His tail grew even longer, the cannonballs passing through him harmlessly until one was on a curved trajectory. The Halfa let out a cry, sent flying by the blast until he phased through the roof and back onto the floor of the Ops Centre, shifting back into Danny.

He sat up suddenly, gasping air back into his lungs.
“Activate the defence systems!”


“I don’t know! Just start pushing buttons!”

With no better instructions to go off, the trio just started slapping anything that looked vaguely like a button in the entire centre. Lights were switched on and off, an alarm started and then stopped blaring in the face of a few seconds, a weathervane popped out of the top antenna and even a small billboard with Jack Fenton’s face slapped onto it. However, that was quickly shot off by yet another cannonball. Vaguely, Danny heard shrieks of fright from downstairs and the crashing of something vaguely glass-like falling to the floor. The pirate ship rammed into the Ops Centre before he could think any further on it.

In the chaos, Sam yelped as she was thrown to the floor, accidentally grabbing onto the turntable with the vapour drone promo disk on it and harshly scratching it. To everyone’s surprise, pink soundwaves burst out of the radio antenna above them, forcing the ship back at least a good few blocks. Danny, who had managed to drag himself over to the window to stand up, just gaped in awe at what he managed to get a look at.

“Whoa! Sam, what did you do?”

“Struck a blow for independent radio!” Sam cheered, pumping her fist enthusiastically. Tucker looked just as eager to take advantage of the new discovery.

“Well, don't just stand there! Throw it into heavy rotation! And work in a plug for Nasty Burger, I promised them ten hits an hour!” Right, couldn’t forget the Nasty Burger sponsorship, how did he even get that in the first place?

Sam grinned menacingly, leaning low over the turntable, headset pressed against one of her ears and scratching like her life depended on it. More pink soundwaves rushed out of the TV antenna, pushing the pirate ship back even further. Ember and Youngblood inside stumbled, looking over the groups of hypnotized adults and realising their supply wouldn’t be able to overpower the new complication.

“We need more power! I can't lure more adults aboard if I can't broadcast my music.” Ember shouted at Youngblood and his pirate assistant, stealing a brief glance towards another little…pet project of hers.

Jolyne was coiled up under a glowing pink barrier of Embers ectoplasmic shield, in a fetal position and trying desperately to block the hypnotising music out. Hands clapped over her ears and nails digging into the skin so hard they were scratching her temples. With another grunt, Stone Free burst from the confines of the Stand User, various parts of her body unravelling to give the psychic being form. With a roar the Stand let a flurry of punches fly, desperately trying to free her User.

Jolyne screamed in response, the Ghost Shield attacking her relentlessly until Stone Free ran out of stamina to continue.

This had been continuing for at least the last half an hour. They had even gotten close to breaking the shield multiple times. Ember having to repeatedly reinforce it.
“Along with that problem.”

“Then we'll have to bring them in the old-fashioned way, like pirates.” The bird assistant decided, turning intangible and flying up through the ceiling until he had the steering wheel in his talons, pushing it hard to the left. A series of squawks had different skeleton pirates leaping from the sides of the ship and flying into various homes, grabbing any adult they could find and flying off. It was after only seconds that they were flying away with dozens of men and women, all screaming in fear at the large drop below them.

Shocked, many of the A-listers were running out into the street, gaping at the retreating forms of their own family members.

“Hey, they got my parents!” Paulina yelled, pointing up to the kidnapped adults. Dash was just standing there with his jaw hanging open as he could just barely squint and see the form of his own folks high in the sky.

“Mine too!”

“Cool, party at Dash's house!” Kwan had…clearly not properly understood that it was probably not a good idea to yell something like that. Enraged, Paulina shoved him.

“Like, what is wrong with you?”

“Hey, watch it!” Dash snarled once Kwan had nearly tripped into him, pushing him back against another jock. Getting more and more short-tempered until essentially a domino effect had started, with all the A-Listers yelling and pushing each other. Danny, with Sam and Tucker at his flanks, looked down at the gathering chaos that was rapidly escalating into a full-on street brawl.

“I need to get our parents back!”

“How? You can't pass through the ghost shield on that pirate ship!” Challenged Sam, pointing up to where the ghost ship was raising the shield.

“Maybe Danny Phantom can't but Danny Fenton can.” He responded, turning to run inside and dig around for a megaphone.

Back on the ground, the brawl was in full swing, until a screeching noise made the A-Listers freeze and look up. Danny was standing on the roof of Fentonworks, a megaphone in his hands as he yelled through it down at them.
“Listen up people! If you want your parents back, you're going to have to follow my lead!”

“Why should we follow you, Fentoad?” He heard Dash yell back almost immediately, and Danny only rolled his eyes in response.

“You're right, Dash. Let's follow the other kid who comes from a family of ghost hunters and knows how to work all their gear!” He responded, voice almost dripping with sarcasm. Dash shut his mouth, looking away with a frown. He had hit the nail right on the head with that comeback.
“No takers? All right then who's with me!?” The teenagers below him all cheered, on board with everything.

“Wow, Danny. How'd you do that?” Sam asked him, awed.

“Just have to know the right words.”

After herding the students back into the base of his house (and internally cringing at the broken chandelier). Danny stood above them all from the second floor, dishing out orders.
“Paulina, you're good with makeup. I need you to disguise Tucker as an adult, so he can get aboard the pirate ship and disable it from within.”

Paulina saluted in response, grabbing Tucker by the wrist.
“Ay-ay, Captain though you still have no shot with me.”

Electing to ignore that last comment as Paulina dragged Tucker away, Danny got to talking through a walkie-talkie to Sam, manning the turntable in the Ops Centre.
“Sam, keep scratching. It's our only weapon against that ghost ship.” He then moved over to Kwan, handing him a Fenton Ghost Fisher, the jock activating the weapon and the gleaming wishing wire, complete with hook and ready to swing.
“Kwan you're on defence. Protect Sam and keep her on the air. Dash, you're with me on offence. We're going to spring the adults from the pirate ship.” He finished, handing Dash a Fenton Rod, the weapon was garish but effective.

“So, I get to hit people?” Dash asked eagerly, his eyes almost shining.

“Oh yeah!” Danny yelped, Dash suddenly bawling up the front of his shirt.
“Not me!” Dash did at least have the awareness to look sheepish and let him go.

“Sorry, old habits.”

Danny moved, handing out more weapons and getting people dressed in the protective jumpsuits that seemed to be in never-ending supply from his parents’ lab.
“OK people, Let's move!”

Just in time too, Tucker and Paulina had gotten finished in record time. Tucker was somehow dressed to look like a man in his 60s, complete with an older sweater and cane.
“Nice look Tuck.” Danny snickered, as Tucker only groaned in response.

“Never gonna live this down. Am I?”

Now all that was left was to spring their plan into action. They had snuck Tucker down a few blocks to sell the bait. Doing his best to impersonate the age he was disguised as, Tucker hobbled along using his new cane for support until he stopped at Fentonworks, shaking his cane up at the building and wheezing a lot for effect.
“Hey, you kids! Turn that music down! I'm an adult, you know! A strong able-bodied adult!” After the cane was slammed back on the pavement, a few ghosts appeared in his peripheral vision. The tech kid let out a shriek as he was swept right off his feet and up towards the ship.

Danny hummed, watching the entire event through binoculars until Tucker vanished into the ship.
“The fish has swallowed the bait.” Sam nodded, with the rest of the A-Listers. Kwan stood beside her with his own defence team, holding his Fenton Ghost Fisher in his hand.

“But how do we get our offence up to the pirate ship?” She asked, tilting her head.

“I just have to think like a Fenton. Now if I were my dad where would I put the secret control panel for the Ops centre? Some place I would see every time I come here.” Danny’s eyes suddenly lit up, as he raced downstairs to the fridge. He pushed aside the large leg of ham his dad kept in there and found exactly the large red button he was looking for.
“Yep, next to the ham!”

“Defence system activated. Also, the ham has spoiled!” The automated voice sounded as the whole house started to flash red. Danny wasn’t quite sure what to think about that second part. So instead, he bolted back up to the Ops Centre as the house below it started to rumble, cables detached from the roof. Steel beams reformed and a blimp shot from the top of the Ops Centre, inflating until Jack’s face was displayed proudly on the side.

“Now your dad's only the second biggest blimp in the family.” Sam joked as Danny came to her side. The blimp lifted off, flying towards the ghost ship.

Inside said ship, Tucker was dragged in by the two ghost pirates who had picked him up, where Ember was casually strumming on her guitar. She perked up as Tucker was presented to them, and apparently, his disguise worked as not even a hint of recognition flashed through her eyes.

“Oh, fresh fuel! Strap the geezer in while I keep this crew motivated!” She thumbed a spare exercise bike while she returned to strumming. A power chord timed to a huge jet of fire rising out of the engine. Tucker was seated on the bike, and he started to peddle to keep up the illusion. Somehow, he was seated right next to his own parents, who stared blankly ahead and kept peddling themselves.

Cautiously, Tucker looked around to make sure no one was focused on them and then leaned over the side a little to try and talk to his folks.
“Mom, Dad it's me, Tucker! You're under a spell. And looking really trim. Maybe you guys should exercise more often.” He blinked the thought out of his head and refocused on the task at hand.
“Now if I was a ghost shield where would I be?” Probably where the giant blue fire was pouring out. Op, yeah there it was! Beeping on the main engine.
“Ah-ha!” But that was when he noticed the pink glow of something next to it.

“Wait…is that?” Jolyne was panting underneath, covered in sweat, and clearly experiencing some brain fog.

“Ship ahoy! All hands on deck!” Youngblood yelled from above, presumably on deck and Ember left entirely, moving up through the hatch in the ceiling. The Ops Centre blimp was flying straight at them, several of the pirate skeletons bolting to battle stations as it continued to come closer. Danny, gripping the steering wheel with a certain determination knew he had to get as close as possible for this to work. But first, scattering the pirate ship’s defence.

“Steady as she goes and... fire!” Sam scratched the records to his right, causing a sonic blast from the radio dish on the Ops Centre that shoved the pirate ship back even further. In retaliation, the cannons fired several rounds of explosive ecto-blast. With a yelp, Danny pressed a button to activate the shield, reflective shielding rounded out the bottom of the Ops Centre, causing the shots to bounce off it harmlessly.

In retaliation, Danny rammed the blimp into the top of the ghost shield protecting the pirate ship. The object was at least somewhat large enough to crash through the shield and into the mast and sails overhead, crashing the black flag and sails down onto the pirates below. Including Ember and Youngblood. Youngblood’s hook sliced through the fabric, and he burst through, yelling up at the blimp in rage.
“Hey, quit it!”

Tucker, with the pirates thoroughly occupied, had snuck over to the ghost shield and was rapidly inputting the needed combination to deactivate it.
“Ghost shield shut down in 60, 59, 58, 57…” He counted down to himself, before running over to the pink shield.

“Jolyne!? Hey, it's me, Tucker! You in there?!” He asked, virtually pressing his face against the Stand Users’ cage. She blinked at him, exhausted and confused.

“Tu…Tucker? Where?” She asked, her voice sounding remarkably unsteady. She grimaced, hissing in pain as Stone Free’s strings once again started to unravel. Tucker could only see parts of her body going hazy and he creased his eyebrows together in concern.

“You don’t look so good.”

“Music…hurts...can’t…keep fighting it.” Her eyes were unfocused. Right! The music affected Jolyne too.

“But this music only affects adults! Unless…” He did spy Jazz among the crowd as well, just as hypnotized as the adults. Maybe it came down to mindset? Jolyne was here on her own and being hunted if she was being forced to think in a more adult-like way. Stone Free was the only thing keeping her in control. And with the ghost shield, it was even harder to fight.
“Hang on, I’m sure I got something! Is there anything you can do to your ears in the meantime?!”

“T-Try…trying.” Jolyne screwed her eyes shut and concentrated, fighting to get her Stand to listen to her.

Back on the blimp, Danny and the rest of the offence team had gathered above the Ops Centre, prepared to take on the pirates and get their families back. Danny, perched about as far as he could get without falling held his Fenton Rod in hand.
“On my signal... Now!” He shouted, and the offence team threw the top half of the gadget forward, digging into the wood of the main mast. They jumped and entered a swing, phasing harmlessly through the ghost shield. Danny, Dash, and Star were even able to kick two skeleton pirates as they landed roughly. Danny rolled until he got up and started to pull on his Ghost Core for more power
“Now I'm going-OW!” Electricity raced along his body, and he collapsed again.
“Can't change- ghost shield.” Bad idea, that was decidedly a bad idea. Dash luckily jumped over, throwing out a Jack-o-Nine Tails to wrap up and electrocute at least three pirates, exploding into plumes of smoke. Fighting erupted all around him, as various kids in the offence team started to beat any ghost that got close to them with the Fenton Rod.

Some of them were especially enthusiastic about it. The cheerleader Star spun her rod like a cheerleading staff, improvising a chant on the spot.
“Ready? Ok! We hate pirates, yes, we do! We hate pirates, how 'bout you?!”

Danny, knowing he couldn’t use his powers while the shield was still active, had taken to beating the ghosts with his own human strength, just as he had backed into Dash. The two of them now stood back-to-back. “You're one brave geek, Fenton. When I'm whaling on you tomorrow, I'll be whaling on a hero. But I will be whaling on you.” A strange thing to admit when they were in the middle of a fight, but OK.

“Really Dash?” He asked, slamming the Fenton Rod into a pirate, and dissolving it into smoke.
“I thought this would have at least earned me a single day off!”

“Danny!” He heard Paulina and whipped around to face her, she was throwing a skateboard towards him, which he jumped on and rode along, thrashing no less than six more skeletons on his way along. Though of course, this was only going well for so long.

A blast of soundwaves hit him right in the chest, knocking Danny off his board and onto the ground, he rolled a few feet, knocking into the rest of the offence team like a bowling ball to pins.

“The only one rocking this boat is me!” Ember snarled; her pirate hat barely able to contain the flames of her hair licking at the air. Another power chord was blasted from her guitar and trapped the offence team in a pink ecto bubble. Danny and several of the other kids started banging on the shield but to no avail.

Youngbloods hook went through and pulled Danny out forcefully, separating him from the rest of the group.
“Time to walk the plank, shark bait.”

“Almost got it! Just hang on!” Tucker pleaded, Jolyne curled in on herself even harder, her ears having woven over themselves to provide some small shield against the music. Tucker was using one of the many smaller pieces of ghost equipment that he and Sam regularly “borrowed” from Fenton Works. A small wrist laser was currently firing a concentrated beam at the shield keeping the Stand User trapped. The constant meddling of the shield was causing it to flicker.

All while the ghost shield shut down was counting down behind him.

  1. 19. 18.

Finally, the shield flickered completely out of existence, allowing Jolyne to stagger to her feet.

“Don’t mention it.”

“Fight?” Tucker, just pointed above him. Jolyne nodded and was already running to get the Hell out of there. She had a certain wannabe rock star she was going to beat the ever-living sh*t out of.

  1. 16. 15.

Danny was pushed to the edge of the plank. Great, the ghost shield was still up and the only way to save himself would be taking himself out of the fight until it did go down. Would his schoolmates even last that long? Tucker was never able to say how long it would take to bring the shield down!

Youngblood took a swing, forcing Danny to step back even further until one of his feet threatened to slide off the plank entirely. A second swing was all it took for him to lose his footing. The intense vertigo of falling was soon making his stomach flip as he plummeted with a scream, several of the Casper High students yelling had increased to a cacophony of fear watching Danny go over.

Jolyne, pushing the trap door leading below decks open, only saw a blur of black and orange going over. Her heart leapt into her throat, already knowing instinctively it was Danny.

All she could see was red.

1. 0. The stolen machine in the ship’s bowels finally powered down, the shield starting to dissolve from the crows’ nest. Though Ember and Youngblood were too busy looking for where Danny had fallen to notice.

“So, where's the splat?” Ember asked with a raised eyebrow, completely oblivious to the enraged Stand User charging at her full speed, not until Danny in Phantom form rose up, fists gleaming with his Core’s energy.

“ORA!” Stone Free swung at the same time as Phantom fired a beam of energy from his hands, knocking Ember and Jolyne overboard as Youngblood was thrown back.

“Jolyne!” Phantom swung around, only to see Jolyne hanging from the side of the ship, secured to it by her Stand ability.

“Go after Youngblood! I got a score to settle with Ember!” She yelled at him back, deciding to trust her with this, Phantom nodded and turned back to Youngblood, who was just getting back up. His hook turned into a cutlass, and Phantom picked up his own sword from one of the destroyed pirates.

“Bring it on, snotnose.”

Youngblood and Phantom charged at each other, swords clashing and the two flying up from the deck until they landed on the mast where the remnants of the torn sail hung limp and lifeless. There they continued to fight, though Phantom had the distinct feeling that he was only surviving because Youngblood had exactly his level of sword fighting skill and experience.

That being none whatsoever, and they were both making it up as they went along. Youngblood took a wild sweep, and Danny yelped, forcing his ectoplasmic midsection to turn almost jelly-like.

The sword went right through him harmlessly, and his stomach reformed with nothing more than a thought.

Youngblood snarled, switching both his hand and leg into pistols which were already charging with energy.

“Oh come o-“


The waters of one of the Great Lakes stretched out far below the ship, at least enough that Jolyne wouldn’t have to worry too hard about becoming a stain on the pavement should the worst happen. Because as it worked out? Fighting an opponent who could fly was very hard when you had limited space to work with yourself.

“Alright Caterpillar, you’ve really gone and made me mad.” Ember growled, strumming another power chord on her guitar as Jolyne swung to the side to avoid it.

There’s no way I can get close enough while she’s using that guitar. I have to disable it somehow! An idea formed in her mind, and she just hoped that it would work. If that guitar turned out to be stronger than normal, it would fall apart in seconds.

“I don’t notice any difference! Stone Free!” She yelled her Stand manifesting as she used the ship she was hanging off of to push forward with all the might her legs would allow. Stone Free followed from behind swinging a right hook at Ember.

The ghost just huffed in response, going intangible and Jolyne sailed right through her.
“Really kid? I am a ghost.”

She fell for the bait. And just as Ember was allowing herself to become tangible again Jolyne loosed her strings and wrapped them around the guitars, with the force of gravity and a strong pull-


The strings came loose just as Ember noticed the ploys, Jolyne shot more of her Stand ability from her leg to wrap around the loose planks of the ships and was hanging upside down, triumphantly displaying the snapped guitar chords in your hand.
“A ghost, and a moron.”

Ember looked down in disbelief at her now disabled weapon and went a vibrant shade of blue. Her senses seemed to come back a moment later and her entire eyes lit up red.

“No one.” Her hair exploded out into an array of uncontrollable fire and Jolyne hissed at the proximity to the blaze.
“Messes with MY MUSIC!” Ember screamed, and Jolyne could scarcely even blink before the ghost was above her.

All the air was punched out of her lungs at once as the useless instrument was turned into a blunt-force weapon. Somewhere deep inside, something shifted in her. The force from the blow snapped the strings tethering Jolyne to the pirate ship, and unable to force more air into her lungs, she plummeted helplessly into the seas below. Ember hot on her heels and ready to continue the beating.

Danny winced, hitting the mast of the ship as he was thrown back by the force of the blast. The ship rocked dangerously, and he was vaguely aware of Ember screaming something below, seemingly enraged.

The mast was smoking in the spots where Youngblood had missed him though. Hm.

“Come on! I should be an easy target by now!” Danny shouted; Youngblood blasted him again just as Danny ducked behind the part of the mast holding the crows nest. It, along with the rest of the mast burst into unstable blue flames. For good measure, Danny shot it with his own ecto-beam, hitting Youngblood straight on the head and disabling him. At least for now. With the captain taken care of at least for now, he flew down to the captive Casper High students and released them, countering Ember’s ecto-signature with his own.
“Everyone OK!?” He asked, almost frantic.

“Oh look, it's the ghost boy!” Pauline gushed in response, OK. Looks like his people were fine. They were fine.

“Hey, where's Fenton?” Dash asked, snapping him from a brief Obsession spiral.

“He's safe. Saw a splash as I was coming up, should be swimming to the docks as we speak.” Phantom responded, before waving them over.
“Come on! Your parents should be this way!”

When he and Dash kicked the door down, to see all the collected adults having gotten off their various exercise equipment. Looks like knocking out the ghost shield and all the damage to the ship had also cut the power to the music keeping them in a trance. They were all very confused and a little freaked out being somewhere they didn’t remember.

“Wow, looks like a PTA health club.” He heard Dash comment next to him. Before Phantom puffed his chest and decided once again, he should take charge.

“Everyone! Over here! Way out is this way!” He waved them over to the door, before flying out, watching the former prisoners filtering out onto the deck.

Youngblood, still dazed and getting up from where he was laid out on the mast, gaped in shock to see his power sources rushing out onto the open air of his ship's deck.
“Arrgh! Me prisoners are escaping!”

“Then what's powering the ship?!” The parrot assistant and he looked at one another before gravity started to catch up to the now powerless ship.

Damnit! f*ck! Jolyne wheezed internally; she could feel the wind whipping around her as she was mercilessly pulled down to the seas below. All her limbs had gone numb and unresponsive. Already the ship was too far away to grab for. All she could do was beg her body to inhale before she hit the water. Or else she was about to drown.

I can’t die here! Not like this! Ember was still gleaming red and prepared to take a second swing, but the cold shock of water hit her back. Jolyne let out a strangled cry as she slipped beneath the waves and instantly something flashed through her mind. Of a time and a life she never lived. But it all felt so real.

Face me, Father Pucci! The ocean of Florida’s waters was just as cold, as she stared down a rapidly approaching blur of certain death. She could vaguely hear someone behind her screaming, already too far away and muffled by the sea to make anything out.

It sounded terrified.

And so alone.

The vision ended as soon as it came, her head forcefully breaking above the massive lake where Ember was coming down on top of her.

Her lungs still refused to function.

Spots were invading her vision.

Everything was going dark.

She didn’t want to die.


Breathe you bitch!



Finally, air was forced into her lungs. It came in an odd, almost wheezing kind of sound but something else entirely flowed in with it. Energy ran rapidly through her numb limbs, spiking them with a strange pins and needles sensation. Ripples formed along the water in unstable and pulsing waves.

Above her, Ember froze completely as the human below her forced in a breath, the air and very world around her seemed to ring in time, and the rippling water around the Stand User started to spark unstable with some kind of electrical energy. Her very Core almost screamed danger at the sight of it.

“What the?!”

Almost sluggishly, Jolyne forced herself to raise one of her arms, Stone Free’s strings shooting out and somehow bringing volumes of water with them above the surface. Static exploded along the forms of unstable tendrils. Almost like the strange electricity was forcing the water to form to her Stand ability.

Get AWAY! Jolyne swung, and the rippling water effect followed. Ember screamed with a mixture of fear and pain as the water tendrils slammed into her, throwing the ghost into the docks.

What is this stuff!? I can’t phase myself through it! Ember was so distracted by the unknown power that she didn’t notice one of the support pillars holding the docks up until she had been slammed into it back first, cracking the wood. The electricity continued to attack the ghost even after the unstable tendrils suddenly burst, the water slipping harmlessly back into the lake.

Wheezing, Ember decided that it was better to leave and come back another time. Whatever that power was, it damn hurt to get hit by it. She floated up, still coughing water and squeezing out her soaked cape.

“Not sticking around for this. See you on the flip side.” Her hair engulfed her in flames, and she fled, leaving Jolyne to float on the surface of the water, fighting to get her breathing under control properly. The rippling faded, along with the electricity.

With the ship falling out of the sky, Phantom had nowhere near enough time to ferry everyone back and forth safely. The only choice he had was to push his shared flight about as far as it will go.
“Everyone, huddle together now!” Paulina practically threw herself on him, nearly knocking the ghost kid off balance.

“With you? It's my dream come true!”

“Seriously, you do know I’m a ghost, right? Dead kid?” Phantom deadpanned in response, OK, that was really starting to get annoying. He’d need to find a way to deal with that, at least when it came to the middle of dire situations. With all his strength his core could muster. Phantom pushed energy to the surface as more people gathered around him. His eyes lit up fully with their green glow and slowly gravity released its hold on both him and all the people hanging onto him.

The ship continued its collision course into the lake, while Phantom and the collection of his people slowed and floated unstable over one of the wooden docks. Finally unable to maintain his strength any longer, Phantom groaned and released his abilities. The large cluster of people all hit the dock and fell into a pile. Wearily, Phantom floated invisibly over to the stack of containers at the edge to transform back into Fenton. He let out a breath he didn’t even know he was holding, limbs shaking.

But everyone was alive, they were safe.

“What happened? Where are we?” Jazz was the first to completely come back to her senses, shaking her head and looking up with a few blinks. Many of the other adults were catching up mentally as well, Jack especially looked confused by the turn of events.

“And why do I suddenly feel like I have buns of steel?” He asked, showing his backside. Maddie seemed over the moon at the news.

“At last! I mean I love you just the way you are!” She suddenly backpeddled, jumping up to hug her husband around the neck and hang off him a little.

“Eewww!” Jazz stuck her tongue out at the display.

Danny looked down, briefly panicking when he saw Jolyne waving for help and swimming over. He quickly bent down and offered a hand to haul her onto the dock. A brief spark passed between them while Jolyne was still soaking wet. He yelped like he had just received a static shock.

“You know that stunt was dumb right?” He huffed, shaking his hand out.

“Yeah yeah. I know, I kind of panicked.” Jolyne sighed in response, twisting her hair to squeeze it out.
“But I feel. Weirdly energised for some reason.” Her feet suddenly wobbled and she almost collapsed, Danny racing out to catch her and sling an arm over his shoulders.
“Or not.”

“Where’s Ember?”

“Ran off before I could get my money’s worth…I think.” She frowned.
“She hit me in the chest and I don’t remember too much after that.” Danny frowned at her but elected not to say anything more.

“Hey, is everyone ok?” He asked, still supporting Jolyne when he saw Dash storming up to him, with a real pissed-off look. Danny’s eyes widened when he was looking ready to swing.

To his surprise. Jolyne jumped in front of him.

“The Hell are you doing!?”

“He ditched us in the middle of a fight!” Dash shouted back, pointing at Danny accusingly. If anything, Danny looked downright offended at the idea.
“That’s the last time I listen to him! Get out of the way ceiling rat!”

“Ditched you?! You mean getting thrown off the f*cking ship!?” Jolyne shot back, raising her voice even louder as she stepped closer to the bully, just daring him to make her move.
“I saw what happened, dumbass! What was he going to just walk through two arms and pissed ghosts?!” The two stared each other down, daring the other to move first. Until Dash eventually relented and stalked away.
“Whatever, I’m out of here.”

“Hey, nice jumpsuit, kid! You too! And you! And- wait a minute! Danny, did you use the emergency Ops Centre while were away?” Jack watched the other kids go and find their own parents. Both he and Maddie stared over at their son disapprovingly, who started to sweat nervously.

“Uh, whatever would give you that idea?” Conveniently, the Ops Centre floated down from above, and Sam used the speaker system to yell out.

“Hi, Danny! Thanks for letting us use the Ops Centre!” His parents glared, and Danny levelled it at Sam. Who at least had the awareness to respond with an expression of embarrassment.

“Look it wasn’t his fault!” Jolyne spoke up, and that was when both parents turned to look at her.
“Using that…thing-” She glanced briefly at the huge blimp.
“- would have been the only way to spring a rescue mission in the first place! It was an emergency thing being used in an emergency time!”

Maddie blinked at her, looking considerate.
“Well…you do have a point I suppose…who are you again?”

“U-Uh.” Jolyne took a step back.

“Just a new friend Mom!” Danny covered quickly.

“Oooh, that’s wonderful honey. How about we get home then, we need to put the Ops Centre back anyway.”

Sam, Danny and Tucker all looked at each other, even more nervous than before.

“So, I'm grounded for a month while I clean up the damage from the party.” Danny sighed a broom in hand and sweeping up the remnants of the broken chandelier. The place had been thoroughly trashed by the party that had gone on last night. Thankfully, Danny was at least allowed to accept help from Sam, Tucker, and Jolyne.

Granted, Jolyne was currently on the cleanest part of the couch wrapped up in a blanket and borrowing some of Jazz’s spare clothes while hers were being washed and hung out to dry in the backyard. Maddie took one look at the fact she was still dripping wet and freezing and virtually forbade her from helping until they were certain she wasn’t going to catch a cold from the impromptu swimming lesson.

It took a little bit of dancing around the fact that Jolyne didn’t have parents to contact, but eventually, the senior Fentons gave up and just let her hang around. Maybe making the correct assumption that it was a touchy subject.

“Look at the bright side Danny, at least we brought back some decent radio to this town.” Sam perked up, cleaning stains off the wall.

“That wasn’t exactly the problem in the first place but OK.” Jolyne deadpanned from the couch, before pausing to sneeze loudly and groan, curling up more.
“Where did my energy from earlier go? Feel like sh*t.” She flinched when Tucker belched loudly, holding his stomach, and looking the slightest bit green in the face.

“Man, I got serious heartburn from eating all those Nasty Burgers!”

“Tuck. That is what tends to happen when you eat nothing but fast food for several hours.” Danny responded, before turning to the ceiling with a thoughtful expression on his face.
“Still, I can't help wondering why Youngblood didn't abandon ship?” The question made Tucker snicker in response, holding up his PDA.

“Didn't I tell you? After we escaped. I used my PDA to kick in the backup power on the ghost shield and set it in reverse. They're not going anywhere.”

Deep at the bottom of the great lake, the Parrot Assistant was pecking frantically at the active ghost shield, now trapping him inside with Youngblood.
“Let me out of here! Let me out!”

Youngblood just floated beside him and watched the fish swim on by, seemingly oblivious to the presence of the two ghosts.
“Actually, it be more like 'Ahoy Matey! I'm marooned on this island!”

“Oh, shut your gob, you twit!”

“How the f*ck did you get a live recording of them?” Jolyne asked with a raised eyebrow.

“A magician never reveals his secrets.” Sam and Danny were both wheezing at the parrot’s misery in the background while Tucker turned off his PDA and put it back in his back pocket. Out of the corner of her eye, Jolyne was able to spy the retreating form of Jazz going out the back, seemingly trying to wave her over.

“Gonna catch a bit of fresh air if you guys don’t mind?” She asked.

“Mom’s not going to let you help us until your clothes are dry anyway. Go ahead.” Danny waved her off with a nod, and Jolyne stood up to follow Jazz.

She was sitting on the steps leading down to the Fenton’s small garden, and taking the initiative, Jolyne moved over next to her to sit down as well.


“Hey.” The redhead responded, leaning back.
“I saw what you did for my brother on the docks. With Dash and our parents, thanks.”

“Don’t mention it.” Jolyne curled in on herself a little, she didn’t exactly know this person, despite her being an older sibling to Danny.
“Not like I was going to stand there and let him take more blame than he’d get already. The reasoning was kinda bull.”

“Yeah, it kind of was.” Jazz agreed.
“Jasmine Fenton, by the way. But most people just call me Jazz.” Jolyne went silent, but the girl seemed nothing but patient.

“You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to. Whenever you’re ready.”

“…Jolyne Kujo. Danny’d probably let it slip anyway.” Jazz nodded.

“Well, nice to meet you too, Jolyne. And, if you need anything, I’m always here. I cover for Danny a lot regardless.”

Jolyne had to play that back a bit before she suddenly froze and snapped her neck to look up at Jazz.
“Wait you-!?”

“He’ll tell me when he’s ready. And besides, even if he never does, I’m…I’m proud of him.” She laughed softly, looking up.
“And I can tell already that he trusts you so. You’re welcome here, any time, and I’ll try to keep my parents off both your backs.”

She must think I’m a Halfa, or at least in the same boat as Danny. To be honest, she kind of was. Even if they still had no idea where exactly a Stand fell in terms of the supernatural, they picked up enough on ghost-hunting systems to get attacked anyway.

But she could feel somehow that the support was genuine, and Jolyne flushed the smallest bit pink at the thought. She never had any siblings, was this what having an elder sister felt like?

“Yeah…yeah thanks.”

The Infinite Realms stretched on in the manner of its namesake, hosting countless thousands of islands and Lairs. One amongst the many was a Victorian-styled mansion, its counterpart in the real world having been burnt to the ground for over a century. The Lair was even complete with the large estate and grounds maintained by the creations of the Lairs’ owner. A ghost who occupied the mansion tapped his foot impatiently, swirling pomegranate wine (an Infinite Realm specialty) in his hand with a certain zeal.

“Hey, he’s been staring at that thing for hours. She’s certainly safe by now.” The spectre hummed with a frown, taking a sip.

Another ghost beside him only shrugged in response, fiddling with a bowler hat and his ghostly tail swished back and forth.

“You know exactly how he is whenever one of his descendants ends up in a fight. Family is what ties him to the Infinite Realms most after all. Like a true gentleman.”

“Ah Speedwagon, never change.”

“And you haven’t changed a bit, Zeppeli!” The door to the central library slammed open, and Speedwagon nearly flew into the ceiling with a startled screech.

A truly massive figure stood there, almost panting with a wild look in his eyes. Sparks of energy trailed off his form and let off a warmth seldom seen in the Infinite Realms.

“Z-Zeppeli…she did it. She used Hamon.” The ghost wheezed, almost vibrating with excited energy.

Baron Will Anthonio Zeppeli choked on the wine he was sipping.

Chapter 12: An Instance of Gravity and a Highway to Hell: Part 1


A strangely familiar face settles into Amity Park and gets introduced to all its weirdness within 5 minutes of being there.

Then an unrelated bizarre event occurs, and living becomes an increasingly dangerous state to navigate. Gravity continues to work its magic.


Oh boy, here we go. It is time to have a Jobro make their official debut.

For the love of everything holy though. PLEASE pay attention to the chapter warnings before we proceed.
- Major content warnings for subjects of self-harm
- Major content warnings for subjects of suicide.

If you find these subjects to be potentially upsetting or triggering. I do not blame you whatsoever if you would prefer to skip. I will hopefully provide a safe-for-work summary of the events once this arc has concluded for anyone who prefers to skip. If you want to read ahead anyway, please look out for any **** markings. And you can use them to safely skip any graphic depictions.

Thank you, stay safe and enjoy.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Every breath was agony, the intake of air forcibly shifted by the weight piercing her stomach and the unusual centre of gravity that came with dangling from a hook like a f*cked-up piece of meat. Ermes forced herself to keep breathing through it anyway, even as the slash marks in her breasts continued to leak fresh red on the sunbaked dirt of the prison courtyard. Vaguely, she was aware of people screaming her name.

How did she get into this situation? Ermes wracked her brain for answers but found she drew a frustrating blank. She couldn’t even remember where she was or what she was doing before now.

“If I sell this liver on the black market. It will compensate for the remaining dollars.” The voice that spoke was from above, maintaining an ethereal echo that lacked any emotion or passion as if it was a robot speaking and not a person. They were stealing her liver? The f*ck? Well…that explained a lot and nothing at the same time.

“Bastard!” A shout could be heard, and something vaguely akin to firing bullets.

They passed right through her assailant as if they weren’t even there, and the hook caught something vital inside her.

“I am the shadow of Ermes’ conscious. You cannot attack me.” The hook finally pierced her through fully, her side exploding into a gruesome display of gore and her still twitching orga-


“ACK-THE HELL!?” Ermes yowled as her head collided hard with the window of the passenger side door, temporarily making her see white spots dancing in her vision while she blinked rapidly. Remembering her dream, Ermes went bolt upright against the seat and made frantic patting motions around her stomach. There was a tense second where she honestly believed she was about to find a gaping wound in her midsection and a conspicuously missing vital organ.

Her stomach remained completely unchanged; her hands came away clean. By all accounts, it was merely a strangely vivid nightmare.

But why did it feel so real?

“Sorry, Ermes!” Gloria looked like she was struggling to regain control of their car.
“A deer jumped onto the road, I had to swerve to avoid it.” They finally straightened out again as her sister leaned back against the driver’s seat, sighing.
“But either way, it didn’t sound like I was interrupting anything good. The nightmares again?”

Ermes didn’t respond, volunteering instead to cross her arms and lean back harder against her seat.
“It’s nothing, don’t worry about it.” How the Hell was she supposed to explain anything like what she’s been seeing in these dreams? They were feeling less and less like just her unconscious mind going to weird places. They had a single throughline.

The dream version of her always worked with the information Gloria was dead and had been for a while.

Of course, there was always the butterflies that somehow permeated every premonition. Ermes had no idea what to even start to think about them though.

“You know, I’m really starting to worry about you Ermes. These “nightmares” have been going on for weeks. And you never tell me about what happens in them. I’m starting to wonder if we need to take you to see a doctor.”

“There’s nothing wrong with me!”

“We don’t know that yet!”

The trip from there dissolved into an uncomfortable and tense silence, with neither sibling willing to break the stalemate that was discussing Ermes’ continued nightmares, nor the subject matter contained therein. Ermes simply turned away, leaning back against the car seat, and watching the trees race on by until something distinctly not of nature caught her eye.

It was a billboard, seemingly welcoming drivers to the borders of a city called Amity Park. She couldn’t see anything resembling a population marker, but the buildings in the distance at least suggested the place was a small city in size, or potentially a tiny bit smaller. Something else focused Ermes’ attention and she sat up straighter, leaning forward to try and confirm what she was seeing for herself.

“Are those burn marks on the welcome sign?” She asked with a raised eyebrow. None of them appeared to be smoking, so at least they weren’t fresh. But indeed, several marks on the Amity Park sign contrasted the quote hilariously.

A Nice Place to Live! It read boldly, while several segments were torched to an ugly charcoal shade of grey. Gloria tutted from the driver’s seat as they went by.

“Vandals I’m assuming, people with nothing but time on their hands.”

And firebombs, apparently. Although Ermes elected to keep that observation to herself. Finally turning off the highway and into town, Ermes watched quiet suburbs roll on by. The kids playing beside the street, people walking dogs and couples taking a stroll looked normal enough to her. Something about the town just…sat wrong with her. Even if she couldn’t place her finger on it yet.

The buildings grew taller, the streets wider and more complex as they passed from the suburbs into the business districts of the city. Gloria, focused on the GPS guiding the sisters to their new home missed a lot that had Ermes frequently raising her eyebrows. A lot of white vans and other vehicles were parked all over the place, and shops and locations had been cordoned off with tape. She even spied a few agents wheeling away what appeared to be entire stacks of records, vinyls, and CDs being loaded into the back of a truck. From a distance, Ermes couldn’t tell what exactly was being hauled away like some thrift store men in black routine.

Every single one of them was wearing white uniforms and were bald, obvious earpieces trailing in a chord from their head. As if to lend even more credence to her observation.

“Jesus, the Hell happened here?”

The car slowed to a halt, and Ermes had to look up to see what had caused the holdup. To her surprise, another one of those agents had flagged the car down and was approaching them with a clipboard in hand. Her eyes quickly flashed over the stranger, but the fact she couldn’t see any obvious weapon on him did nothing to ease the tension in her heart.

Gloria rolled the window down, sitting just the tiniest bit straighter when the agent leaned forward, inspecting the two women with an unreadable expression behind his dark sunglasses.

“Name and destination?” He asked, only making Gloria even more uncomfortable.

“I’m sorry, do you have a badge? Are you with the police?” As much as she sounded even and unbothered, Ermes saw the way her older sister’s jaw tightened minutely. To their surprise, the agent complied and pulled out…something that resembled a badge. Though what agency it was meant to be from was not one that Ermes even remotely recognised.

“Agent K of the Ghost Investigation Ward.” That sounded like some kind of bad prank.

“Cleaning up in the aftermath of an ecto-entity breach. All Amity Park Citizens are to be screened to pass through the business district while cleanup is ongoing.” This sounded like an even worse prank.

“Sounds like a heap of sh*t.”

“Ermes!” Gloria scolded her, but not before the agent furrowed his brows together in an expression that Ermes could only guess was an accompanying eye narrow.


“We’re moving in. A vacant restaurant and housing combo on the corner of Warden Street.” It at least seemed like this “Agent K” guy was willing to let the comment slide for now. He nodded and conversed some more with her sister. Ermes kept an eye trained on him the whole time. Aside from the weirdness about an ecto-entity or whatever it was called, the procedure at least looked normal. Not that Ermes had much way to tell, never had a reason to get stopped by any government area before.

“Agent O, scan.” The agent waved a colleague over, who took some unknown device in his hand and swept up and down the car once.

After a moment, it seemed to turn up nothing and the white-clad stranger nodded towards his colleague.
“You’re free to go. Take two more left turns and a right and you’ll be at your destination. Report any unusual activity to the head office on Central Way.” Agent K instructed, finally stepping back, and letting them leave.

“Well…they were pleasant.” Ermes sneered as the window was rolled back up and they continued along.
“Whatever they were smoking, I want some. You ever heard of a Ghost Investigation Ward?”

“I can’t say I have.”

“Think if we report them imitating a federal officer we’ll get a few bucks out of it?”


“Oh come on it was a joke!”

Despite the stern tone that Gloria initially had, Ermes smirked triumphantly at the smile that was threatening to break through her sister’s stony demeanour.

“And for that, you’re carrying the heavy boxes. Madam comedian.”

“Me and my big damn mouth.” Ermes groaned out loud, hauling yet another large box from the back of their car into the corner store that will now be her home. At least until she moves out. If she even moves out. At the very least the street looked quiet and relatively quaint, although considering it was about 10 pm right now, it was hard to tell what normal traffic would be like.

“I’ll still be handling the kitchenware Ermes. We’ll be closed for at least a few days while we’re setting up, so take the time to look around a bit and get your bearings OK?”

“Yeaaaah yeah, I hear ya.” Ermes waved her sister off while Gloria disappeared into the kitchen behind the counter. The entire bottom floor of their new home was covered in a fine layer of dust, likely from an extended period of disuse. Perhaps at the most, it would take the pair a day or so to sweep up and look presentable. The upstairs would thankfully be a home only, and Ermes would have permission to go nuts with whatever she wanted in her new room.

The thought made Ermes pause, turning up to the sky with a frown present on her face and eyes shining with contemplation.
I’m thinking about setting up a bedroom in a city I don’t know halfway across the country. Her eyebrows furrowed together, digging around internally to discern what exactly it was she was feeling. It should be trepidation, right? The fear that you were stranded with none of the familiar to ground you in the moment.
So why do I feel…content? Not even just content, at ease. Safe even, like she was exactly where she was meant to be.

A sound from the alley next to her made Ermes freeze in place, snapping her attention to the shadows that hid a large dumpster. The trash visible was rustling ever-so-slightly, only further highlighted by the faintest traces of a soft glow wafting from within. Ermes narrowed her eyes at it with suspicion, feeling the growing of an ominous presence.

“…goddamnit, what kind of-“ She ran inside, dropping off the box in her hands and reaching out blindly in the dark of the home for any kind of weapon. The only thing she managed to find was a broom, but she resolved to hold it high as if it were a club.
“Better not be some f*cked up-, we got a raccoon in the trash outside!” She shouted to Gloria, even if she wasn’t going to get a response.

Logic dictated it likely wasn’t a raccoon, but that was the only thing that came to mind.

That dumbass stuff those Men in Black wannabes were talking about, the ghosts… Ermes thought to herself while she approached, broom raised with the cautious intent to strike. The rustling trash had gotten louder and more pronounced, the glow also filtering stronger between the cracks.
That can’t be real. There’s no such thing as ghosts.

The rustling paused for just a second, and Ermes sucked in a breath before taking a decent swing at the side of the dumpster. There was a metallic clang! that reverberated all around the alley.

For a split second, she wondered if this was some weird hallucination. The sound echoed for a good moment or two with no activity. Even the light had vanished completely, almost like it never existed in the first place.

“…ha…haha, see? Nothing to fear. Just some kinda rat-“ A flash of green jumped out seemingly from nowhere and Ermes fell back with a yelp of fright, all but dropping the broom on the pavement beside her. The green shape bowled her over and landed in a chaotic heap in her lap.

Arf! Arf arf! Her eyes went wide at the bundle of brilliant, emerald-coloured fur that was currently beaming up at her.

“A-A dog?” The puppy yapped at her, wagging its tail furiously. God, not a single thought was going on in that head, what with the way it was tilting with its head, purple tongue lolling out and bright red eyes staring up at her adoringly.

“What the Hell kinda dog are you meant to be anyway?” She picked the puppy up (wow it was so light) by its front legs and gave it a scrutinising once over. There was no breed coming to mind, even discounting the fact it was bright green and glowing. The dog’s floppy ears pricked up suddenly, most likely at a sound that humans couldn’t hear, it barked a few times and for just a moment Ermes couldn’t feel its minute weight at all. Startled, the Florida native scrambled to her feet and turned around in a frantic search for the dog.

It was nowhere to be seen like the puppy had vanished into thin air in front of her.
“W-What the fuc-“ Something cold passed through her, giving her the uncanny impression someone had just walked over her nonexistent grave. Veins grew into the edges of her vision as the foggy impression settled.

“Found, you! Salvation! At last!” Something chimed wordlessly in the air around her, cold and sinister, filled with malicious intent.

And then as quickly as it came, the feeling was gone. Ermes blinked several times, almost trying to clear the strange haze that passed over for a second.

“What…what was that?” She wondered to herself, once again surveying the alley to find that nothing was out of the ordinary. Even the ghost dog from earlier was still nowhere to be seen.
“…I’m losing my goddamn mind…fine, sleeping on a mattress it is.” Ermes decided with a sigh, bending down to pick up the broom she had dropped in the commotion.

Her soul was still dormant, and unable to show her the vein-like coral bleeding into her skin in grotesque ribbons. Highway to Hell had chosen and settled into its next victim, and a single vein reached out off the surface of the teenager to coil around and pick up a shard of glass lying unseen in the shadows of the dumpster.
“Will reach Heaven…this time…this girl…will give me my release.”

When Ermes awoke the next morning, it was slow and courtesy of the sun being a right bitch. Not to mention the bed frame wasn’t assembled yet, and it left the mattress feeling uncomfortably hard as she twisted to find a more comfortable spot and decent shelter from the harsh rays of the morning sun. Her right wrist twinged painfully as it was dragged across the pillow in her tossing and turning, and she became very aware of the heavy smell of iron suddenly invading her nose.

…was her pillow wet?

Between the temptation of sleeping in longer and growing concern, Ermes found that fear was well winning out in that regard. f*ck it. Against all her better judgement, she sat up in bed and rubbed at her eyes with her left hand to look down at where she could smell what she was strongly starting to suspect was blood. Was she on a period maybe? Damnit, she thought she was keeping track of that thing-


All her thoughts came to a screeching halt once she saw the state of her right wrist, and the red that was spilling haphazardly all over her arm, as if incensed by the mere fact Ermes had taken notice of the injury…her wrist changed from a dull throb to a sharp and stabbing pain. Several fresh drops of blood spilled onto the mattress below.

Wh- What the f*ck!? The lazy morning quickly became a mad rush as Ermes fought the covers off her legs and bolted to the bathroom, wrestling in a panic to get the tap on as water started to flow. She hastily shoved her arm under the stream, rubbing furiously to get the new wound completely clean so she could inspect it.
Was this the dog from last night!? Did he scratch me and I just didn’t notice!? It felt like an age, but eventually, she was able to clean away most of the bleeding to inspect the original wound.

“N-No…” Sweat beaded on her forehead as she observed three neat, thin lines etched into the soft flesh of her wrist. Two of them were even crossed to make an X marking that stopped just before the skin transitioned into the sides of her palm.
“It can’t be the dog, there’s no animal on Earth that can make scratches like this naturally.” She didn’t remember making these. She didn’t remember even having the intention to do this. The alleyway last night to her bed was a straight goddamn line!

“These are…self-harming cuts? But I don’t…I didn’t make these…what the Hell is happening?” Was she having memory issues?! sh*t!
“In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue! Mickey Mouse’s birthday is November 18th!” Ermes recited to herself in a moment of panic, close to yelling at the mirror in front of her. Her own face just panted back to her, and she growled, looking down and forcing her breathing to slow until she calmed down.

No…there’s nothing wrong with my memory. Why exactly she decided to recite those two specific bits of random information was anyone’s guess. But it confirmed to her that she wasn’t misremembering events. Or at least she hoped to God she wasn’t.

“I need to clean this up and bandage it. Before I get an infection.” Ermes decided shakily, reaching up to fumble around for a first aid kit. Just focus on what you can do for now, worry about the memory gaps and apparently unconscious self-destructive tendencies later. Should she try to hide the scratches and eventual scarring?

f*ck, what was Gloria going to think? That thought was banished from her mind almost as fast as she was able to conjure it because no, Gloria was not about to find this and think it is what it clearly looks like because it is not damn it.

The bandaging passed in silence, disinfecting the thin lines of open flesh to make sure it wouldn’t get even worse, going around her wrist once, twice, securing it with a safety pin. Now she just needs to find something to…continue as if nothing happened. Because nothing happened.

Ermes marched into her room, face settled into a stony wall of determination until she found the box that contained her spare changes of clothing, as well as an assortment of other fashion items. If she was so far up north now might be the time to start investing in warmer attire for the coming winter. Florida fashion just wouldn’t cut it when snow started coming down. Eventually, though, she did manage to find what exactly it was she was looking for and pulled it free from under a pair of sneakers she had packed away. A long sweatband that could easily fit over half her forearm.
“Not much, but it’ll have to do until I can figure out just what caused this.”


It took a little bit of fiddling to make sure it fit properly and hid the bandaging well, but soon enough it was like there was nothing to hide in the first place. The nerves did little to stop her from constantly fiddling with the new fashion accessory regardless.

Maybe it was a better idea to skip out and buy some food instead of sitting through the most tense breakfast hoping Gloria didn’t see through her attempts to act normal. She, did tell Ermes to go out and start looking around. Familiarise herself with the neighbourhood? Would she buy that? Man, she really hated going behind her sister’s back like this.

“Sorry Gloria. I’ll be back soon.” She muttered as she slipped out the door, not quite able to catch the raised eyebrow from the stairs of her sister catching her sneaking out.

Amity Park was a weird f*cking place to live apparently. At least, that was the impression Ermes was getting as she trudged along the side of the road, staring up and around at the buildings now in fresh daylight. It really highlighted the fact that all the buildings seemed very patchwork. Not in the kind of cute aesthetic way either. This felt much closer to the buildings being damaged almost constantly, and never quite having enough identical materials lying around to replace what was broken. Was the place just disaster-prone or something?

Well, if she went back over the events of yesterday. There were those Guys in White, and then that bright green dog that seemingly vanished into thin air. Didn’t those guys mention something about ghosts?

Did she meet a ghost dog last night? Had she been attacked by some kind of ghost while she was asleep? But why would it leave the scars it did?

So many questions, and not nearly enough answers.


Wait why was the world tilting? The whole world suddenly spun dizzily on its axis and Ermes found her feet refusing to work properly, she stumbled with a grunt onto the open road, only seeming to return to normal when the blaring of a horn roared in her ears. A car swerved to avoid hitting her and continued, the owner yelling insults at her out the open window. Only then did the dizzy and stiff feeling in all her limbs pass.


“Damnit! What the Hell!?” That wasn’t normal that couldn’t have been normal. Was she losing her f*cking marbles?! That was when she finally saw something that shouldn’t be there, pinkish red standing out against her darker skin.

With trembling hands, she brought her whole arms up to see the veins of transparent coral flickering in and out of visibility running all over her. As if some kind of alien infection had settled in and was intent on choking the life out of her. There were even small feelers that reminded Ermes of the blades of a propellor waving around in the air.

“Close…so close…too strong…need it…need it…” An unknown voice reverberated around her before it seemingly faded out, and the coral formations with it. She looked completely normal again, but that did almost nothing to stop the way her stomach dropped out like a stone.

She was being possessed by some alien monster. That was the only explanation. That or she had already gone insane, and this was her descent into losing all touch with reality. Which of those possibilities was objectively worse?

Ermes got up again, shivering a little and trying so, so hard to pretend that she had seen nothing at all.
There must be some kind of explanation for this. Even if she couldn’t even begin to think about that solution, there had to be some reason this was all happening. It…it looked like whatever was happening really wanted to hurt or even kill her. That was now two inexplicable instances of damage or an attempt on her life that she couldn’t remember even wanting.

No matter what. I will find a way to overcome you. I still have someone I care about too much to die. You damn parasite.

Just as Ermes was leaving the area, a white car pulled over on the side of the street and two familiar agents stepped out. Agent O was already pulling out his scanner device with a hum as it beeped a few times here and there, trace readings of ectoplasmic energy hanging in the air around the street as if some fresh activity was only just left there.

“These readings are smaller than what we would expect from the activity in Amity Park, Agent K.” He reported, tapping on the side of the machine as if to try and correct the erroneous readings. Of course, no such change occurred. If anything, the readings only decreased slightly, to the point where there was no longer a trail they could effectively pick up.
“We cannot pinpoint it as any of the regular ectoplasmic scum that invades this town.”

“Then we may be dealing with a ghost that is newly formed, or still in the process of forming fully.” Agent K responded, scrubbing at the sidewalk to try and get any sample that could be sent back to the GIW labs for further testing and identification. The way his eyebrows twitched under the dark sunglasses betrayed that there was almost nothing to collect, very unlike what the Ghost Investigation Ward was accustomed to dealing with.
“Damn creature, whatever it is, it’s left little trace to where it has gone. No matter.” He stood back up, cracking his neck. The prepubescent spectre that had come to settle into this town and claim Amity Park as its own Haunt may continuously outpace their every attempt at capturing the Specimen, but that was far from the only ecto-entity that had crossed their guns. Many others are still being dissected in labs to this day.

Ghosts had no conscious thought or intelligence, of course. Every single one was completely malicious and willing to harm any living beings they came across. Nothing more than simple imprints on the consciousness of beings already long dead, acting out their final moments repeatedly while also going above and beyond to drag down anything that got in their way.

A thought process that was completely sound and held no contradictions whatsoever.

It was why the Ghost Investigation Ward existed, to exterminate these creatures and to protect humanity from all ecto-entities. Agent K had even heard whisperings from the higher-ups about plans to destroy the zone these ghosts came from. Only once that wretched Ghost Zone was destroyed, humanity would be safe.

“No matter where it hides or what form it takes, no ecto-entity can outrun the Ghost Investigation Ward forever.”

She had been going in circles. For hours. The sun was already hanging low in the distance, casting long shadows that only seemed to make the surrounding town even darker and more foreboding and Ermes was no closer to getting the answers she so desperately needed or the solution to expunge…whatever had gotten its grubby paws on her. She had barely stopped to eat and drink all day and was getting so damn close to the end of her rope.

Why hadn’t she fed or watered herself today? Because even while constantly on the move accidents just kept happening around her. Several of those accidents had resulted in new bruises and scrapes that would be extremely awkward for her to explain to Gloria when she eventually gave up and went home for the day.


Several times pieces of scaffolding had seemingly broken and almost fell on her, someone’s dog had managed to pull themselves off the lead and chase her at least a good 2 city blocks before the owner caught up and apologised profusely and explained their pet normally wasn’t like that, another near miss with a car that came from control of her body seemingly being pulled away from her for a second.

The worst one was where Ermes seemingly blacked out for a moment, and the next thing she knew the jagged edges of a broken glass bottle was pressing into her shoulder blade just far enough to cause blood to spot through her clothes. She had screamed in fear and thrown the broken bottle hard enough for it to shatter against a wall and just ran for her life. Even if there wasn’t really any point to the action because the thing that was causing her harm was still very much attached to her.


At this point, she was convinced that it was messing with her for the Hell of it.

However when she went back to that area. Who knows maybe the place would have clues for what this thing was or how to get rid of it, at least that was what she told herself. Instead, however, she found yet another reason to be very afraid of what was going on, and how she still had no goddamn idea how to stop it.

She recognised those Men in Black wannabes from last night, with the still white suits and seemingly picking up the broken shards of the glass bottle she just woke up trying to do impromptu heart surgery with mere minutes before. What the f*ck? Did these creeps have nothing better to do than follow some stressed teenager around!?

Wait. Is it because of this parasite thing?
They don’t…they don’t think I’m a ghost, do they? Yesterday she didn’t even know the Ghost Investigation Ward existed, and she still doesn’t quite know if they’re a legitimate government agency or not. Either way, something in the back of her mind just screamed at her that they would be far more harm than help if she approached them about her current issues.

She turned tail and ran like any anti-authority teenager and had been really hoping the last hour put a good amount of distance between her and them. There wasn’t much of a way for her to tell now. Whatever higher being was hearing her prayer, they better give her this for once in their life.

Then something interesting happened, it shouldn’t make sense. There was a flash of bright blue that caught her eye and time seemed to slow. A butterfly out at an odd time of day, gleaming blue and green with tiny flashes of pink in its delicate wings.

Is that…it looks familiar… She didn’t even know why, her legs were moving before she was aware of it, but the butterfly started to turn. She followed it without even a moment’s hesitation. Pretty sure this was how people got kidnapped by the Fae. She…she had been seeing a lot of butterfly images in all her strange dreams recently. There was no way these could be connected right?
What am I doing? Some random ass insect isn’t going to help me. But her body was still moving regardless.

Turning a street, weaving down an alley, coming out to a place she didn’t quite know was familiar.

All is as it should be.

She blinked, and the weird insect was gone. It left her seemingly alone amid a relatively dead business district. There was no one here, how the Hell did any of that help!?

“Damnit! I just wasted time, what am I even meant to find here!?” Ermes hissed at herself, fully prepared to give up entirely and just go home-

“Why exactly did you want me here again?” An unfamiliar voice made her pause and look around frantically. The place was still as deserted as it was two seconds ago. The voice was young too, no older than she was herself. What would they be doing out at this time of the day in the business district of all places? Where even were they?

“Because I have exactly one thing, I want to master using Stone Free by the end of the week. And you’re going to be my safety net.” That other voice was familiar enough to make Ermes’ head pound furiously. Was she dreaming again? That was the only place she could remember the sound of this person from.
“Besides, it’s been quiet all day, hasn’t it? Seems like after Ember's last stunt all your regular slap fighters are hiding in the Zone.” It couldn’t be. Could it? The voices were coming from above…her.

When Ermes finally looked up to the edge of the building she was standing under. There wasn’t any way to get a clear view of the teens from the angle she was standing from, but the view of twin buns just barely peeking from over the edge of the rooftop gave her an impossible sense of déjà vu.

Impossible, because she knew no one who wore their hair like that, yet it triggered her brain to start digging through all the half-formed and feverish memories from the multiple dreams of the last few weeks searching for that connection anyway.
I know that voice, I know this person somehow. I don’t remember why.

“Even so we shouldn’t be testing this out now. The Guys in White have been all over the place today for seemingly no reason!” The other voice echoed in this ethereal way that made all the hairs on Ermes’ neck stand on end. Next to the unfamiliar-familiar girl was a soft glow, not unlike that of the dog that she found last night and totally was not jump-scared by. This one however seemed larger and stronger than that dog, pulsating gently like it acted as the source’s heartbeat.

“I thought you said the Guys in White were ‘no big deal’ and that the last time you had to deal with them you just splashed mud on their suits. Who wears white into battle anyway?”

“They’re not smart but they’re persistent. And that makes them annoying.”

“Doesn’t really matter anyway. I can have quite a few strings out before my Stand will even come up on any ghost radars. Besides, don’t tell me you haven’t used your powers for stupid reasons too.”


“You can turn invisible and intangible! I’d bet my own soul you snuck into the girl’s bathroom at least once.”

“OK first off, why did Sam tell you that and second, how is that relevant!?”

“You either hang around to catch me doing my best Spider-Man impression or I do it with no backup plan.” Ermes couldn’t help but feel like she was eavesdropping on a private conversation where she was missing approximately 70% of the needed context. Even if the two voices weren’t exactly being very quiet or subtle. She jumped with a forced attempt to swallow a yelp when a flagpole on a skyscraper across the street clanged loudly and shook, before bending slightly under an unseen weight. What the Hell?

“Oh hey! I think that’s a new record for how far my String had gotten in one go!”

“If you fall, I hope you know I’ll make fun of you for it for the rest of your life.”

“Well, that is a problem for future me.”

What the Hell were they talking about? She couldn’t see any kind of string or anything resembling such. The Unfamiliar-Familiar girl had the front half of her shoes trailing over the edge of the building above and Ermes got the heart-stopping realisation that she was going to jump.

“H-Hey wait-!” Ermes raised her hand as if to call out, but the girl took some steps back, dropped into a dead sprint and leapt off the building with all the strength she could muster. Ermes’ eyes turned to saucers, and she was almost running to catch up to where the mystery girl was falling, but then something else entirely happened.

The girl’s arms suddenly tensed, and her fall was changed to a wide, sweeping arc as if she had been holding onto a slightly springy coil of rope that had suddenly been pulled taught. She sailed through the evening skyline with not a single f*ck to give, even letting out a whoop of excitement as she pulled a mid-air backflip and threw out one of her arms. Though Ermes guessed she just couldn’t see what had been thrown out, another outcropping nearby sagged a little as gravity once again caught the girl and pulled her into another swing.

Holy sh*t she really did look just like a Spider-Man. It was…almost amazing.
I’m watching a flying human.

“Looking cool Jojo!”

“I already told you not to call me that!”

“You want me yelling your real name out!?”

“Shut up!”

The banter was kind of funny to listen to, even while the girl sent out yet another invisible web to swing from. Impressive multitasking. Wait, she was getting a bit bigger- oh sh*t.

Ermes barely managed to take a panicked step back, just as the girl flew mere inches from her face at terminal velocity. Reflected in the evening sun was the transparent image of strings seemingly generated from her arms that she was holding onto like a grappling hook.

That wasn’t what caught Ermes’ attention, it was the eyes. Bright aquamarine and staring with every bit the shock and surprise that Ermes was sure she was giving back. Time seemed to slow to a crawl between the pair, a life they had never lived flashing in chaotic, discordant images. So much bloodshed, fear and anger that paradoxically held each other in images of familiarity and safety. Like Fate had worked unbelievably hard to create this single moment.

Drawn to one another like the inescapable pull of gravity.


Just as quickly as the name had come, it vanished, and time resumed as normal. The mystery girl let out a startled shriek as something that sounded suspiciously like a tense string snapping under the pressure rang out and she was sent flying head over heels chaotically.

“OH sh*t-“

“Hang on!” A black and white blur raced forward and grabbed the girl around the waist, having her dangle in midair upside down. It was another kid, this time seemingly treating gravity as more of a suggestion than a rule as he floated there, snapping his head around to face Ermes. His entire body glowed, but his eyes were by far the brightest thing on him, like a pair of toxic green headlamps.

The trio just stared at each other for a full minute of stunned silence, with the mystery woman growing increasingly red in the face for reasons Ermes didn’t want to debate to herself about. Then the two seeming mutants just up and vanished right into thin air. It took a few more seconds of her just standing in the middle of the street, struggling to process the events of the last few minutes before Ermes could finally convince herself to turn around and start walking at a decently fast pace back home.
I’m hallucinating. That must be it. I haven’t eaten all day. I need some f*cking sleep. I’m going HOME-

Phantom released a breath he didn’t even know he had been holding when the stranger just turned and basically ran off. That…that was something he really hoped wasn’t about to bite them in the butt later.
“You uh…you alright there Jolyne?” He asked, dropping their invisibility to look down where he was still holding Jolyne by her waist and dutifully turning her around to make sure the blood wouldn’t rush to her head.

The Stand User had her hands over her face, tomato red generously splashing the skin under her pale fingers. It looked like a small cut had opened itself along one of her arms where the strings had snapped. Granted, that looked like the last thing that was bothering her as she whined loudly.

“I changed my mind, drop me, please. I will never emotionally recover from this.” Yeah, that did look mortifying, to say the least.

“What even was that? One moment you were fine and the next your Stand just stopped working completely.”

“I don’t knoooow!”

“…just found yourself a new crush?”


“Your face is saying otherwise.” Stone Free partially manifested to slap him, which Danny just let himself turn partially intangible to avoid.

“Cheater.” Jolyne pouted at him, twisting around to look for the stranger and frowning when there was no sign of her.
“Where is she…I-“ She was thinking back over that downright bizarre moment between them. Sure, at the time she had been caught up in…all that. But now her memory was functioning properly…there was something else attached to the girl as well.
“Did you see anything attached to her?” She asked, looking back up at Phantom.

Danny frowned, going back over the encounter himself.
“Now that you mention it, it looked like some veins of some kind.” The temperature around them dropped minutely, a feeling Jolyne learned to associate with Phantom’s core getting agitated.
“Was she…one of the people who attacked you?”

“No, she wasn’t there that night. This…” Jolyne folded her arms, eyes growing harder.

“I know this sounds crazy, but that isn’t her Stand. It doesn’t give off the same feeling she does it’s. It's trying to hurt her.”

“What makes you say that?”

“Just trust me please.” Phantom raised an eyebrow at the new strain in Jolyne’s tone. Stand Users were a strange group of people, but Phantom could tell the concern in her voice was more than genuine. He finally set her down, and Jolyne was already moving to climb down the side of the building.

“Where are you going!?”

“There’s something I need to go get. I just…I hope I’m wrong about needing it.” Because if this funny feeling was right. That girl might not even last the night.


Stand: Highway to Hell
Stand Master: Unknown

Power: C
Speed: C
Range: A
Durability: C
Precision: C
Potential: C

Stand Ability: Highway to Hell's only combat ability is to share any damage self-inflicted by the Stand or its Master onto a current target that the Stand has latched onto.

Stand name Origin: "Highway to Hell" - ACDC's 1979 Album of the same name.

Chapter 13: An Instance of Gravity and a Highway to Hell: Part 2


Highway to Hell continues to grow stronger, and a desperate decision is made.


OK, much like the previous chapter the same warnings still apply in a major way.
- Major content warnings for subjects of self-harm
- Major content warnings for subjects of suicide.

And like with the previous chapter, skip if you do not feel comfortable with these subjects. If you insist on reading anyway, look for **** marks for scenes that could potentially be triggering.

Thank you for your time and enjoy. A SFW summary of this and the last chapter will be included at the end of this one.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

The world passed by in the dim evening moonlight as a blur of motion, Jolyne throwing out her strings and forcing gravity to release its hold for just a moment before she flipped to swing again. The activity was not generating the same glee that it did before however, now it was replaced entirely with a stone-cold feeling of anticipation, even dread. Why exactly she was this antsy to try and help a girl whom she had never met before was a mystery, yet that feeling just refused to leave. Even as she finally touched down on the building she desired.

Scaling down the side carefully until she reached Valerie’s window, Jolyne let out a grunt as she slowly but surely forced it open to a point, she could manoeuvre her way inside. Rarely, this was one of the nights that Valerie didn’t patrol as the Red Huntress and was instead sitting at her desk trying to do what looked to be math homework of some kind. When she stole a glance up at the sound of an opening window she jumped with a small yelp.

“How many times do I need to tell you to use the door!”

“Sorry, got an issue, no time.” Jolyne made a beeline for her stuff, that Val had been generous enough to let her keep in what was close to becoming their shared room at this point. It didn’t take long to fish out what she was looking for, careful not to accidentally cut herself on the it’s sharp edge. It already gave her Stone Free, she wasn’t in the mood to see what stabbing herself a second time would do.

The Stand Arrow fragment glinted in the lamplight, freshly clean of her blood and ready to be used again. Valerie looked between her and the metal artefact, stiffening with a new alertness.

“Isn’t that the thing that gave you…”

“Yeah, it did.”

“What are you doing? Jolyne?” Instead of answering, Jolyne frowned and slowly started to unravel the flesh of her palm and slightly down her wrist and arm. The threads wrapped flush against the point of the arrow and pulled in, weaving carefully into her wrist until a barely visible lump was present just under the surface. Hopefully the strings keeping it there would prevent the Fragment from jostling about or falling from her person to stab at some random passerby.

“Jolyne! What’s happening!?” Valerie asked a little louder, now standing up from her desk almost with a look of alarm at what she was doing.

“It’s a precaution I…I don’t know how to even start explaining what’s happening.” Jolyne responded, flexing her hand experimentally a few times to find no discomfort or pain was present. Huh…maybe she could do this for other small items in the future. Another use of her ability to file away for later.
“But someone is in danger, and something in me just knows she’s important.” There was the sound of Valerie standing up and Jolyne quickly turned.

“Wait-!” A huntress who objectively hated ghosts and her half ghost friend was objectively not a good combination, not in a situation like this. Not even counting any previous history that she might not know about.

“Why!?” Val was already halfway through grabbing her backpack and activating her equipment, fixing Jolyne with a pointed stare.
“You already said someone is in danger I’m not going to sit here and do nothing!”

“Because this is not the kind of fight you’re thinking of.” Jolyne finally retorted, trying to ignore the way Valerie looked taken aback by the statement.
“It’s not the usual kind of ghost. Or even the Stand User that we fought last time. This isn’t going to be a fight that can be won by going in guns blazing.” There was a brief moment of silence, Valerie continued her hard stare, but Jolyne refused to budge on the issue.

Eventually, Valerie relented, letting out a sigh and nodding.

“…if I’m not back in an hour, you have permission to start blasting.” It was probably a garbage compromise, but it was the best she could think of. As she ran back over to the window, Valerie grabbed onto her free arm.

“Don’t you dare die on me Jojo, I mean it.” How dare she, she almost looked smug about the reaction that accursed nickname got out of her.

Jolyne immediately retaliated by grappling the pillow off Valerie’s bed and throwing it at her with Stone Free, all while she was leaping out back into the night air.
“I’ll get you back for that damnit!”

Valerie watched the Stand User go for a moment, a small frown on her features before she went over to open her backpack and the Red Huntress equipment hidden inside, just waiting for her to call it. Seriously thinking about it, she still had no idea who had even given her this thing. Her eyebrows creased together, finding herself reflecting on the past few months as the Red Huntress. When was the last time she found herself needing to use something a little less lethal than the guns and bazookas that seemed to litter every inch of the suit. Did she even have anything to force a ghost to stop Overshadowing someone?

You think she’d at least have a ghost net or containment unit to capture and hold a specimen for her benefactor or…anything.
“Guns blazing…huh?”

It wasn’t as wrong as she wanted it to be.

The evening had gone just about as horribly as Ermes expected, crossing the threshold into their new home still pale and confused from the events of the entire day, and then more or less immediately ripped into by Gloria for leaving without telling her where she was. She could admit, it was kind of deserved, but that didn’t make the scolding any easier to swallow. Maybe somewhere inside, Gloria could just tell that whatever happened today had really bothered Ermes and she relented with a sigh.

And now here she was, lying face down on her mattress with a bowl of soup on the desk next to her. There was a good second or two of complete silence before she screamed about as loud as she could manage, voice only barely muffled by the pillow she was using to make sure she wouldn’t wake any potential neighbours she hadn’t met yet. The entire day had been a clusterf*ck of information she couldn’t even begin to process.

And somehow it was all circling back around to that girl with the wild green and black hair. Sure, damn near crashing into her because of some apparently invisible web slinging was one Hell of a first impression. Something deeper inside of Ermes itched that it was far more than that. She was so sure that, however briefly, a name had appeared in her mind. A name that belonged to that stranger with not even a hint of doubt. For some reason now, she couldn’t find the name anymore. Not like that would help much now anyway.

“…should I go out and look for her again?” She wondered aloud to herself, before craning her neck to stare out at the night sky, reflecting an odd purple tint instead of the deep indigo that she was accustomed to. Just another point on the list of things that were weird and a little off-putting about the town. Would another teenager even have the answers for just what the f*ck was happening to her? Hell, was there even a way to cure or…fix this? What if there wasn’t? What if this thing was going to cause trouble until the day it successfully kills her? That sure as Hell seemed to be what it was trying to do.

This entire line of thinking was not helping. Ermes became aware of a painful restricting feeling spreading through from her spine, kind of like a blood pressure monitor except applied to most of her body. She hadn’t even noticed her breathing growing a little harder and more laboured until she was standing up.

Hang on, she didn’t remember going to do that. Yet her entire perspective of the room had shifted to reflect that she was on her feet. Oh, sh*t not again.

When she looked down, Ermes almost froze at the vein-like structures that once again were covering her limbs from head to toe, now though, they were thicker. Almost reminding her of bramble with the way the feelers were blooming all over and digging into her skin. Neither did they flicker like dying lamp lights either, they looked entirely solid and even glowed with a subtle, purple aura.

f*ck, this isn’t good. The brambles closed tighter around her throat and made Ermes grunt, the blades felt sharp and just barely cut into her skin, blending into the colouration of whatever this strange creature was.
What’s caused it to go solid!? Or grow this much!? Her arms proved stiff and unwieldly, almost like the vein network of plant life was physically resisting any attempts she made to move of her own power. The brambles and feelers dug into her even harder, leaving angry red marks all over her attempts at resisting but eventually she powered through enough to grab onto one of the many branches squeezing her other arm.
It feels as solid as it looks!

Naturally compelled and feeling more than a little like her life was currently at stake, Ermes tugged on the squirming branch as hard as she could to try and force it away from her arm. The creature made an ungodly hissing noise and seemed to squeeze her even tighter. But that only encouraged even more violent pulling from the Florida-native. She was not letting this thing get a joyride on her. Not a second longer!

“Come on…stupid, plant. Get off me!” The feelers were cutting long and thin lines into her where they fought for purchase. It was only when the continued pulling restricted her ability to breathe more and more was Ermes finally forced to relent and let go of the creature. All her efforts rewarded her was a stinging shoulder and panicked wheezing.

“You won’t…do that again…” That same eerie voice that had been following her around all day sounded louder and clearer than ever. When Ermes snapped her head to the glass of the window and stared in horror at the face that crudely wove itself from the coral-like veins and brambles and hovered just above her. Almost like someone’s idea of an abstract art piece had come to life and was apparently trying to strangle her. Before she could think any further on just what the Hell she was meant to do the things stand in for ‘eyes’ narrowed a little, apparently very aware of the fact she could see it fully now.
“Not killing you…like that. Too easy…won’t go…with you.”

“What the f-, who…what are you?!” Her voice was strangled by the grip this thing had on her, but at this point she was too frustrated and angry to care.


“Was something once…remember feelings of…hatred. World had to suffer…like I did…tried to take a life…with my own death…didn’t work…they died…not me.” The presence roiled, and Ermes felt a cold chill run down her spine at hearing those words. This thing had killed someone. It killed someone and now it was trying to do the same thing to her f*ck.
“Sentenced…prison…then torn away…from rest of me.”

Her movements were stiff and janky, taking several seconds just to shakily plant one foot in front of the other. Not that anyone but her could likely see the reason as the thing started to forcefully move her down the stairs silently. Gloria must have already gone to bed or deeper into the house. Would she even be able to help in a situation like this? Not like that kind of question mattered, almost as if the thing could sense what she was thinking about, it tightened its grip on her neck just enough to stop her from calling for help.

Ermes desperately fought every step of the way, no matter how much the resistance hurt. Currently a little pain was very preferrable to wherever this thing was planning on taking her. But oblivious to the rising panic inside, the creature continued as the night chill settled in.
“Couldn’t move…speak…do anything. Maddening…no body…not anymore…then somehow…form settled, could move…escaped…no prison guards saw me leave…wanted to finish what I started…”

“And what does that have to do with me!?” Ermes snarled at the creature while it continued forcefully moving them down the street. Damnit she should have made a grab for a coat or something its so damn cold. The biting chill did nothing to help her fight against this thing, because the possessing Spirit didn’t seem to feel the cold at all.

“This feeling…like I was guided to you…you’d be the end to my search.” That sounded so, terrifyingly familiar it made Ermes go completely silent.
“If I end it with you…as proxy…I will have…my heaven.”


“f*ck THAT!” Ermes thrashed in its grip even harder. To her dismay, the creature seemed to walk her forward away from the tall buildings of the business district with renewed determination. This was a fight she was losing and badly, almost not able to catch the screeching of tires until a flash of white entered the corner of her vision. The creature shuddered in anticipation, accidentally relenting some of its grip on her as she frantically ducked behind a corner for cover. Considering the way these two clowns had been relentlessly stalking her all day, it didn’t take a genius to figure out they most likely weren’t here to help her with her current peril.

Those two men in black guys from earlier! One of them was already stepping out from their car, with something Ermes could only vaguely identify as a gun being pointed in her general direction. Her own eyes widened in response, a bolt of fear running through her.

They seriously weren’t about to shoot a kid, were they?

“Halt Ecto-Entity! In accordance with the Federal Anti-Ecto Control Act, Article 1, Section 1, Sub-section A, you're under arrest.”

There was only one real response that Ermes could give in return.
“Anti Ecto-what now?” The sound of the odd gun-like contraption whirring to signal it was being prepared to fire.

Oh sh*t, they were about to shoot a kid.

The trigger squeezed and instead of the deafening bang of a gun going off, it was more like the high-pitched scream of a blaster instead as toxic green flew overhead, missing her by inches but striking the possessing Spirit right in its abstract approximation of a face. It accompanied a burning smell that reminded Ermes a little too strongly of rotting citrus. The creature above her bellowed in pain, with an otherworldly screech that grated hard against her ears and brain. Instinctively, Ermes tensed with the expectation of receiving the same damage. The creature already said that it could do that much.

But nothing.
“I-I’m fine?” There was no burning sensation, or her face presumably getting cooked alive. The coral, vein-like structures had even shrunken a little to accommodate the creatures mad flailing.


That was when it clicked.
It only reflects damage onto me that it causes to itself. If the damage comes from an outside source, then it won’t hurt her whatsoever. In fact, damaging the thing gave her some control back.

“Freeze! You will be coming in for questioning!”

“As well as many painful experiments!”

Ermes turned and bolted, using the few moments of freedom she had to get the Hell out of there.

“Who the Hell yells about painful experiments! They can’t tell the difference between me and this f*ckin’ parasite trying to kill me!” The slightly worse outcome of this was that they could tell the difference and just didn’t care.

How could this get any worse!? Her entire world lurched painfully again as the parasite grew once again, forcibly wrestling for control of her limbs.

“I WILL get Heaven! Don’t care…how!” It hissed with rage, forcing her away from the situation. Apparently, it was not going to let her go.

Not until she could catch sight of a deserted bridge.

Oh f*ck no.

Jolyne growled with frustration to herself as she leapt from building to building in the dense night of the Amity Park skyline. Now that she had the item she ran to collect just to obey that weird itch in the back of her mind now she had no idea where that girl actually was or how to find her.
“Damnit, I should have figured this out before running off to get the fragment.” She chastised herself with irritation, eventually picking out Phantom’s on one of the lower rooftops trying to wave her down. It only took a small adjustment to her swings to land on the roof next to him.

“Any sign of her?”

“Nothing on my side yet, but the Guys in White are crawling all over the place.” The Halfa answered with folded arms.
“I’ve been swapping my forms all evening just to keep them off my trail.” The news had Jolyne pacing relentlessly in response, flexing the one hand that wasn’t preoccupied with keeping a hold of something.

“Stand Users don’t show up on ghost hunting equipment as easily as ghosts do. Takes longer for anything to really start hurting. But I don’t know how much of that, thing on her is still a Stand.” It was something Stone Free certainly responded to as a hostile entity, and so far she hadn’t seen Phantom’s Ghost Sense go off so close to it. But Amity Park was thickly layered with ectoplasm due to the portal in Fentonworks (and it apparently just naturally existed in a state of constant supernatural activity) and they still have no idea if that little point could affect the development of Stands in some way either. With little other way to get her mounting nervous energy out, Jolyne roared out some frustration while pulling on parts of her braid.
“We don’t have time for this!”

Both she and Phantom jumped in unison as a bright flash of toxic green lit up not too far away from them for just a split second. At least, Jolyne recognised the flash of an ecto-blaster being fired by now.
“Just about the only lead we have right now.” Phantom raised himself into the air, Jolyne tossing up some strings for him to grab onto. It was kind of like being carried by the tether line of a helicopter for her, except the weightlessness that allowed a ghost to fly was also spread to her. She was still getting used to the stomach-churning sensation of gravity simply ignoring one’s existence.

It didn’t take long for them to track down the source of the blaster fire, and by extension their intended teen as well. The parasitic Stand-like being had grown alarmingly in less than an hour, now angrily strangling about anywhere it could reach and forcing the girl into the more dangerous paths trying to avoid the Guys in White. Who had still refused to acknowledge her as a civilian in distress.


Jolyne’s heart stopped dead when she saw the chase was approaching a bridge, the sight of which made the stranger fight even harder than she was already to try and break free of the Stands influence.

“It’s going to force her to jump.” The temperature she felt through the strings wrapped around Phantom’s hand dropped suddenly and caused a full body shudder to rip through her involuntarily. A few of the lights on the building below them flickered a little.

“Not if I have anything to say about it.” The Spirit hissed, his ghost tail growing just the little bit longer. The Guys in White were closing in, and shakily, the girl was being made to climb up onto the railing on the metal structure.


“Phantom!” He didn’t even need any further elaboration as Phantom shot down at full speed, nearly throwing Jolyne forward with force.

“Go! I’ll keep the Guys in White busy!”

Jolyne pulled herself into a roll so she could recover from the slight drop and blow to her shoulder and bolt forward in a dead sprint for the other girl while Phantom raced ahead in a black and white blur.

At the much bigger and angrier ecto-signature, Operatives K and O whirled around to find Phantom already charging a blast in one of his palms. A beam of his energy, toned down enough so that he wouldn’t cause any serious damage, hit Operative K right in the stomach, slamming him into both Operative O and their ghost hunting vehicle. Jolyne ran past them basically unnoticed.

“Clearly, you have no idea what “serve and protect” means.” Phantom’s aura flashed dangerously while he charged another blast. The two operatives were remarkably quick to recover, especially now that the elusive “Invis-O-Bill” had come out of hiding.
“Freeze Invis-O-Bill! You’re under-”

“Yeah, yeah under arrest, seriously guys some new material would be great right about now.” He blasted their vehicle for a second time, just for good measure before flying low back into the network of the city. The million-dollar ghost who remained at large to this day clearly meant much more, because they chased Phantom down without a second hesitation.

Now it was just Jolyne, the enemy Stand and the person still being forcibly possessed by it. A pulse of Stand energy raced out into the environment from her, her cyan coloured aura blazing to life to clash hard with the sickly purple put off by the coral-like Stand.
“Let her go, now.” Making her voice as steady and forceful as possible, Stone Free partially weaved itself into existence to emphasise her threat.

“This one…mine!” The sentient Stand reverberated back, its grip tugging the stranger back and making them stagger. Dangerously close to falling.
“I will…find my way…to Heaven!”

“sh*t-f*ck! I’m not going out like this!” The other girl yelled, practically thrashing in its hold.


“Hey wait! You’re going to-!” Jolyne’s eyes widened as the struggle almost immediately caused the other girl to lose her balance entirely. Once again, the world slowed, but this time it was because she was watching her disappear over the edge. Something deep inside, almost primal surged up from within and she screamed as she watched it happened.

For some reason it was laced with grief.


Stone Free reacted to the lurch in her heart, and seconds later did Jolyne bolt into a dead sprint and leapt off the edge with not a second of hesitation. One arm reached out to the falling teen, strings unravelling in rapid succession and surging forward to grab onto the girl’s waist and legs and catch her like a less elastic bungee cord. All while strings exploded from her legs and midsection to make a mad scramble for any purchase she could find. When her threads were pulled taught it elicited a sharp intake and pained gasp as she felt the strain of being so much closer to her limits than she had dared go normally. A good half of her now haphazardly weaved around the metal structuring like a messed-up spider’s web. But the weight on her body was at least a good signal that she had successfully managed to catch the other girl before she could fall to a very grizzly fate. There was no way she could calculate the fall on the fly from this angle, but it had to be at least a lethal height if they continued the freefall past the point of no return.

Her strings were not quite as elastic as she wanted them to be, and from below she heard a pained wheeze that was all the wind getting knocked out of the stranger.

“Are you OK!?” She yelled down on instinct; it took a second for a response to float up from below.

“I WILL NEVER BE f*ckING OK!” Well at least she still felt like talking. Forcefully, Jolyne worked to start retracting the strings holding the other girl up and pull them closer together. She reached out with her other hand and yelled down.

“Grab on!” Despite the earlier protest, the girl desperately flailed upwards trying to grab onto her outstretched hand, until they were able to secure a clumsy kind of monkey grip. Almost in the same instance of contact, did the coral or vein-like structures race up her own limb with a vicious frenzy.


“You drop us…or come…with us!” The Stand roared, lashing out with some of its other vines to start…slashing at itself?

The effect was instantaneous, lines and jagged cuts were opening all over her body and Jolyne just barely forced the howl of pain down. Similar cuts were opening along the girl below her and she made that fact known.
“Not this again!” Remarkably, she could grit her teeth through the fresh wounds to yell up.
“Hey! This thing can only reflect damage if it does it to itself!” That made the Stand switch tactics, trying to lash out at Jolyne directly.

Jolyne forced in a breath, and remarkably the pain dulled in time, along with a few odd sparks of electricity enraging the enemy Stand even further. But just as quickly as it came it was also gone.

“Stone Free!” The arms of her own Stand were woven together from what little thread she could spare and entered a power struggle with the frenzied Stand. Their mounted defence was quickly proving to be ineffective, as her own Stand was being pushed further and further towards them, they were losing ground.


Phantom grunted, dodge rolling to the side to avoid the shot of another ecto-canon that Operatives K and O were firing at him. Being blasted right out of the sky was a bad idea, especially here. There was a slightly more pressing matter that he needed to attend to back at the bridge, all he had to think of was how to lose these two. They were way more persistent than he remembered them being.

“Halt Ecto-entity! And surrender for painful experimentation!” He could hear Operative K yelling through a microphone that presumably had amp speakers attached to the car somewhere. Not that Phantom was too interested in thinking about that now.

“New! Material! Seriously!” He yelled back, barely dodging yet another blast that whizzed past his head and only succeeded in shaking the dry wall off some poor guy’s apartment. How did their stupid weapons keep getting more dangerous? With a small growl of frustration, Phantom whirled around to fly backwards and fired another few beams from his hands, specifically aiming for that new ecto-gun to try and disable it.

He didn’t stay flying backwards long enough to check, but he heard metal imploding and one of the Guys in White cursing loudly.
“That’ll keep them busy.”

“Dangit! Extract code Alpha-Torrent-Major! Experimental firearms!” Agent K yelled, making Phantom quirk an eyebrow.

“Experimental?” He didn’t get to think much further on that as a nearly silent but explosively bright shot was just too fast for him to register, not until pain exploded in his side and he could barely hold back the scream of pain. Something white hot and burning punched a hole through his side and sent his Core scattering.

There was a second where he just blacked out entirely and didn’t come to until he had punched through the corner of a building or two and had his fall broken by the pavement below. He just lay there, ears ringing and trying to figure out exactly what had hit him until he managed to force himself to sit up.

A sizable hole had just opened itself up in his side, approximately as big as a golf ball and smoking around the edge of his ectoplasmic makeup. There was no doubt he would have bled out and died if he had been hit by that in human form at the time. That didn’t make being hit by it as a ghost any more pleasant. Headlights were rounding a corner, and, in a panic, he cloaked himself in both invisibility and intangibility. Though how well that could hide him from the Guys in White was debatable.

“There’s nowhere to run Phantom! Our Ecto-trackers are working like a charm!” Operative O’s voice could be heard as he pulled himself up a few ledges to get some distance between himself and the two Operatives. All while trying to stop his injury from bleeding all over the place and revealing his location anyway.
“There’s nowhere in this whole city that we can’t find you!”

“Oh great, my third biggest stalkers are out here going nuts over their new toys when I have the least amount of time for them.” Phantom grunted, rushing to try and think of a way out of this.

sh*t! I’m using so much of my own string just to hold us up. I don’t have anything left to give Stone Free more than the bare minimum! This was bad, she couldn’t afford to drop herself or the other teen. She had to think of something and fast. A few of her unprotected strings were already snapping, sending a feedback loop of pain that indicated she wouldn’t be able to hold them up under the assault for much longer.
Come on, there has to be something I’m missing!

This damn Stand wasn’t behaving anything like her own or Diamond Dogs, and didn’t seem to have any kind of goal outside of tunnelling this random civilian until it killed both of them. It didn’t even fit what a Stand was because it would kill the User too. Did this Stand even have a User!?

Maybe, maybe it didn’t. It was behaving more like a ghost than a Stand. A brief flash of what occurred on the ghost ship happened. Stone Free was able to kick out that one presence trying to invade her body. If this wasn’t this girl’s Stand, then maybe the same thing could work. Even though she had next to no reason to believe it either, Jolyne just…couldn’t bring herself to even entertain the idea of this being the girls Stand.

The colours gold and pink, and a humanoid shape would flash across her vision when she tried to imagine it, almost born of some strange instinct. Neither of those descriptions matched the enemy. It was a dangerous gamble, but they currently didn’t have much of another choice.

The sharpened feelers of the Stand sliced into Stone Free’s wrist as it tried to push past the stand, opening a set of lines along Jolynes own forearm in the same place, she forced herself to power through it lest she fear losing the remaining strength in her arm.
“O-Oi!” She yelled over the howling Stand, trying to get the attention of the other girl. She looked up, and once again green met a kind of steel grey. It was natural, but she looked so f*cking scared.
“I know how we can both walk away from this!” The fear wouldn’t be a problem, the will to fight and survive just had to win out. She wasn’t about to be the death of someone if she could help it.
“You have to trust me! Tell me you wanna live!” She used her remaining free hand to grab onto the girl below, the point of the Stand Arrow just barely hidden by the skin of her palm.

“How is that supposed to help asshole!? It’s a bit late for that!” The other girl yelled up.

“JUST DO IT!” Jolyne roared back, eyes blazing.
“Please trust me!” She could see exactly how taken aback the other girl was, disbelief and indignancy dancing in her expression. But they steeled the same way to mirror her own face.

“I’m not dying here. I still got someone waiting for me and I’m not leaving them alone now.” Her voice grew, a blend of determination and rage exploding fourth in a near visible blaze of yellow green.

Jolyne chose that moment to stab the arrow fragment right through the Latino’s palm. Clearly not expecting the acute, stabbing pain going right through the soft pad of her opened her mouth in a silent scream, probably of pain or betrayal. Jolyne couldn’t quite make out which was which. Yet just as it was with herself, the effect was almost instantaneous as the girl exploded into a violent blaze of actual green aura. In a way that almost reminded Jolyne of the cyan-coloured aura that rippled around her whenever Stone Free was summoned. All of a sudden the Stand’s tendrils were being forcibly removed from the both of them, the main “body” of the enemy being pushed further and further away from the host it was latching onto by an arm moving out of the other girl’s back.

The Stand was taller than hers, and bulkier too, with gold and pink patterns covering its humanoid body and something almost crown-like surrounding the head of the Spirit. On the surface its face looked impassive, although it wasn’t hard to see the rage stirring underneath.

“Y-You…like me…to!?” The enemy Stand choked out, just in time to watch the newly created Stand pull back its free fist and punch with such force that it created a shockwave from the impact. The only reason the bastard wasn’t sent flying was because the Stand still maintained a vice-like grip on its main body.

“OSHAAAA!” Finally letting go to take a second swing, the enemy Stand was sent flying in the blink of an eye into the river down below. Finally, they had a second to just breathe, and Jolyne let out the breath she didn’t even realise she had been holding.

“Holy f*ck that worked.”

“Come on Phantom, think of something.” The half ghost hissed at himself as the two men stepped out the car, the device keeping track of his location beeping ominously in hand. While the other had that extremely dangerous experimental weapon prepped and ready to fire. This was not going to end well if he didn’t get a solution going and now. Just as one of the White Suited agents came into his hiding spot he immediately pointed up and directly at Phantom.

“Up there! Fire!” His eyes widened and he dived to the side, grabbing onto the opposing building with wild abandon as the weapon barely missed him. The sound of the trigger being pulled, and another near-silent pulse shattered the brickwork he had previously been lying against.

How sensitive is that tracker!? It was still detecting him through two layers of attempting to conceal himself. He didn’t want to see if he could take a hit through intangibility either. Clearly, Operative K felt like being a broken record today.

“This is your final chance to be brought in without a fight! It may just delay your inevitable extermination for a few seconds!” Yeah absolutely not.
“The experimental tracker can detect a single ghost fly among a swarm of living ones! You will not be able to escape this time!”

If it really is that sensitive… Phantom thought with a frown, looking at the green now coating his hand.
Then maybe I can mess with it. He splashed his ectoplasm on the wall next to him and flew. Immediately the machine started to beep wildly. Instead of focusing directly on him, Operative K pointed to a spot in-between the ectoplasm handprint and Phantom in the air and yelled to fire again. The shot sailed past him.

Ha! It worked! Maybe he could afford to bleed for just a little more.
Have fun chasing ghosts for the rest of the night, I got a friend who needs me. The spectre grinned eagerly while he started leaving small points of his ectoplasm all over the next few alleys and streets. Practically until he made a continuous cloud of decoys that would have the Guys in White chasing their own tails until long after Phantom was already gone.

“What the f*ck is this!?” Naturally, the girl below her was panicking, waving her arms around and watching the green fiery aura follow her limbs.
“You-You did stab me!” When she noticed the new hole in her hand, still freshly dripping blood.
“What was that for!?”

“Ah…sorry?” Jolyne responded, a little pathetically. When she turned to the right to see her new Stand just…floating there, as if waiting for its next command she predictably, started screaming even louder. OK, this situation was starting to get just a little out of hand.

“Hey hey its fine! This one won’t hurt you!...I think.” Focus Jolyne, the strings holding the two girls suspended over the bridge started to wind in, Jolyne using them to climb up to a more manageable position. Once her feet were firmly on the metal supports holding the bridge up, she bent down to pull the other girl to safety and finally, was able to untangle her from Stone Free’s strings. The other girl slumped against the metal supports, presumably gasping for air to steady her racing heart, Stone Free certainly felt the hummingbird beating as it retreated to her body.

“That’s real assuring.” The other girl huffed, clearly unimpressed.
“Still got any answer for stabbing me?”

“I couldn’t think of anything else! It still saved your ass didn’t it!?” Jolyne snapped back in response, making her new companion do a double take in response.

“…I, guess it did.” She frowned, glancing over at the enigmatic being floating before her.
“What, is this thing?” She tilted her head curiously, then blinked in surprise when the entity mimicked her motion in the same hesitant manner.

“It’s, you. Technically?” Jolyne answered in response, though didn’t exactly sound as helpful as she wanted to be.
“I-I mean, I have one of these things too.” Stone Free manifested partially from her back as if in response, before growing to her full size and starting to flit nervously around the unnamed Spirit, simultaneously intrigued and nervous. The other Stand seemed impassive but had locked onto the other Stand with undivided attention. The other girl watched both, completely transfixed by the pair interacting.
“They’re called Stands, no I didn’t name them.” She cut off the other girl’s rising jab before it really had the chance to begin.
“They’re…like this manifestation of our soul? They protect us and do some weirdly specific things. Like, mine is called Stone Free-”

“The Jimmi Hendrix song?”

“Yes the Jimmi Hendrix song-, I just like it OK? She lets me turn myself into string, that’s what caught you as we went over.” She demonstrated, snickering a little at the colour draining out her face when patches and holes started to open in Jolyne’s arm. Electric blue strings waved about in the air before reforming into her hands.

“I’m…I’m not going to question that. As long as I don’t start doing sh*t like that.” Jolyne was about to answer that it was unlikely, but the sounds of something from below distracted them both. When they and their Stands looked down, the creature was surging up to attack them yet again.
“Damnit this thing doesn’t quit!”

Both Stone Free and the newly created Stand adopted a defensive stance as the creature lashed out a tendril to attack them, this time easily deflected by twin punches from the Stands. They worked in complete sync, like they had known each other for years.
“That felt great, actually.” Reflexively, the girl beside Jolyne was shaking out her hand, feeling the phantom strike race up her own limb like Jolyne had become used to.

“I will…have my…heaven!” The enemy roared; despite the fact it looked like it was starting to come undone under the extent of the damage it had already received. Jolyne only let off a particularly savage grin and gestured to the collapsing Stand as if it were an open doorway.

“After you.” She chirped, the shared spark in the eyes of her companion spoke volumes on its own.

“Why thank you, you’re too kind.” The other girl gave something close to a mock bow before Stone Free was pulled back, and the unnamed Stand took centre stage. With another deafening crack, the enemy borderline shattered under the force of this new Stand. With a bellowing roar, it unleashed a rush of punches that vaguely mirrored the guttural howl coming from the other girl. Not relenting until the enemy Stand had been destroyed.

There was a beat of silence that passed, still alert on the off chance something else felt like jumping out to continue the fight. But after the beat continued into a moment, nothing else happened. Jolyne finally allowed herself to breathe slower, her heartbeat slowing to a rest.
“Looks like that did the job. We should be good, for now.” Stone Free sank back into her and the unnamed Stand vanished not long after, presumably into its own other half.

“God I feel like I just ran several marathons.” The other girl groaned, wobbling just a little until Jolyne reached out to help keep her stable.

“You feeling OK?”

“Yeah I’m fine, just a bit woozy.”

“That’ll probably pass soon. Hopefully my friend comes back soon.” A lot of Jolyne’s body had gotten damaged in the fight once again, and she wasn’t certain how much mental energy she could spare dragging herself and her new friend(?) up to the bridge again. So there they sat for a good few minutes.

Two mostly strangers who looked like they had gotten into one Hell of a fight with a cougar, chilling under a bridge in the dead of night.

Despite what Jolyne was expecting, the silence wasn’t exactly uncomfortable. Quite the opposite in fact.
We just met, but I feel like I trust her already.

“Ermes.” Jolyne was snapped from her musing by the other girl voicing a name.
“My name is Ermes, Ermes Costello.” She finally introduced herself, holding out a hand to shake. Weirdly, that name sounded familiar and fitting, like she had already been introduced to this girl before. They certainly didn’t exchange names in the business district.
“Thanks for, saving my life I guess.”

A beat, and Jolyne took the hand to shake with a nod.
“Jolyne Cujoh.” She watched the girl-, Ermes blink a few times, presumably getting the same weird déjà vu that she had before.

“Weird, feels like I already knew that was your name.”

“Bizarre, right?” Ermes snorted in response, rubbing the bridge of her nose.

“Oh my God.”

“Jojo! You’re alright!?” A familiar voice asked despite having no owner, and Ermes jumped with a small shriek, her aura flared that yellow green colour and Jolyne had to hold a hand out to stop the Stand from acting on that fear.

“We’re cool we’re cool! Phantom!” The halfa in question faded into visibility, looking a little sheepish.
“I told you not to call me that!”

“But it rolls off the tongue!” Phantom whined in response, playing up the dramatics just a little.

“Real funny, can you get us back on the bridge?” Jolyne asked, pointing up. That was when she saw that Phantom was…holding onto his side?
“…you OK?”

“The Guys in White decided to test something new out on me.” He lifted the palm off his right side to see the thick and viscous ectoplasm he was made of pooling around an open wound.
“Managed to turn it back on them though, they’ll be chasing their own tail for a long while yet.”

“Alright, we’ll do this one at a time then.”

Ermes was surprisingly cool with getting phased through the bridge until she could set her feet on the concrete up top.

“Why not? Just add this to the list of weird sh*t since moving into this town.” She groaned as Phantom pulled up through the pavement as well.

“You did move into the Most Haunted Town in America.” Phantom hummed, gritting his teeth, and using his own ecto-beams to cauterise the wound in his side. Much to the displeasure of both girls.
“Ghosts phasing through things is pretty-ngh!, normal around here.”

“You sure you’re gonna be fine?” Jolyne tilted her head.

“It’ll clear up in a few hours, I’d just rather not bleed all over my bedsheets.”

“OK, fair enough.” Jolyne quite literally did not have a leg to stand on arguing against an attitude like that.

“So you’re gonna introduce me to Casper here or?” Ermes spoke up after a moment, glancing between the pair.

“Oh! Right, Ermes, this is Phantom. Phantom, Ermes.” Jolyne gestured between them to get them introduced.
“The town might call him a menace, but he’s on our side. I’ve been helping him with the ghost problem for…bit over a week.” Phantom floated a little closer to Ermes in the meantime, almost analysing her with those toxic green eyes of his.

“…you have a Stand too right? Like Jojo-“


“I know what I said. Like ‘refuses a nickname’ over here does. It feels different to that other thing that was attached to you.” He floated back a little, fully forming his ghost tail to think.
“Reminded me a bit more of a ghost now that I think about it.”

“U-Uh…yeah.” The unnamed Stand rose out of her to kind of hover next to Ermes without much prompting.
“You’re talking about this right?” Phantom changed his glance to the new Stand, floating around it a few times.

“Looks cool, know what it can do yet?”

“No idea.” Ermes shrugged, but Jolyne became fixated on something that she felt wasn’t there before.

“Uh…was that always there?” She asked, pointing at a pink sticker that had seemingly appeared out of thin air on the exact spot where Ermes had been stabbed by the arrow fragment, now rest back in Jolyne’s arm. It has a stylised lip symbol, with white arrows that resembled a recycling symbol. Ermes blinked and turned her palm to look and pick at the edge with her nail.

“Don’t think so? Hang on, almost got it…” She picked some more, until she managed to peel it off.
“Huh, that hole in my palm is gone too.” She frowned, trying to shake the sticker off her uninjured hand. When she looked back at her palm, another sticker was ready and waiting.

“You are not hallucinating.” Jolyne confirmed before Ermes could start freaking out about that specifically.
“I just saw it appear again too.”

“Same here.”

“What the Hell am I meant to do with stickers!? I get superpowers and its actual horse sh*t!” She was about to start ranting more when something about her hands gave her pause.

Specifically, the 6th finger that was now on her hand, with the sticker wrapped around it.
“…what-“ Starting to panic, she ripped the sticker off again and yelped when her extra finger was suddenly slammed into and fused with her index finger.
“ACK!” Accompanied by a little splatter of blood for effect.
“THAT-, f*ck!” Her hand twitched for a few seconds before finally going still.
“Ow…sh*t…not, not doing that again.”

The sticker disintegrated midair after a few seconds, whether this was because Ermes was no longer concentrating on it or by design was yet to be determined.
“Well at least they’re stickers that can do something?”

Phantom looked just a little miffed.
“Seriously, someone else who can duplicate things? I still can’t do that!”

Jolyne gave him what could approximately be called a comforting pat on the shoulder.
“It sucks to suck, Invis-O-Bill.” The glare that Phantom shot her could have probably burned a hole through her skull, but Jolyne just kept on smiling.

“Yeah well, seems like peeling the stickers off damages whatever was duplicated.” Ermes responded, experimentally flexing her hand a few times.
“Doesn’t feel broken, but its still sore.” She did look back to her Stand, as Stone Free started to float closer to the other psychic manifestation.
“I think I know what to call her now though. The stickers gave me an idea. Kiss.” She nodded.

“From now on, she’ll be Kiss.”

“Ooh ooh! Like the band!” Jolyne understood the inspiration immediately.

“Might as well stick with the theming, right?”

Stone Free and the newly named Kiss exchanged an excited high five, already getting along like a house on fire. Excitedly, Stone Free was showing off its own string-based abilities, weaving shapes in the air with the threads it borrowed from its master. With a soundless chuckle, Kiss pat the smaller Stand on the head a few times, Jolyne subsequently feeling the phantom sensation of a hand on her head for a second.

Watching the exchange was Phantom, virtually grinning with delight at an untold joke.
“Oh my God, your souls are mates.”

Ermes reached up and slapped him upside the head.


SFW Summary of chapters 12 - 13: Ermes Costello moves into Amity Park from Florida, unknowingly taking an enemy Stand along with her that attaches to and attacks her repeatedly. The Stand is only able to activate its ability under certain circ*mstances and both Jolyne and Phantom take notice of the enemy Stand. They both prepare to interfere with its plans to kill Ermes and grant her her own Stand in an effort to fight it. The Stand is eventually confronted under a bridge and finally destroyed. Ermes gains her Stand Kiss.

Stand: Kiss
Stand Master: Ermes Costello

Power: A
Speed: A
Range: C
Durability: A
Precision: A
Potential: A

Stand Ability: Kiss has the ability to produce Stickers from Ermes' palm. When these stickers attach to something it can produce an exact duplicate of that object. Though noticeably the objects duplicated cannot be too large in size. When the duplicated object has its sticker peeled off the two objects will fly and fuse back together again, causing damage in the process. The further apart the two objects are the more damage is caused. Ermes can duplicate organic matter as well as non-organic matter.

Stand name Origin: Kiss - Band formed in 1973

Phantoms in the Stone Ocean - SparksInTheFuture (2024)
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