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Chapter 4 - Strange Things

(1 of 5)
4 yrs ago, Dimmsdale tragically lost 10-year-old Timmy Turner. Now, it's covered by a darkness that's killing magic. Resurrected, Timmy returns to save the city, the world, and maybe even discover the truth about his death....

Chapter 4 - Strange Things

Chapter 4 - Strange Things

Stepping off the teleporter and entering the living room of his house, Timmy set aside his staff and sighed tiredly. Cosmo plopped himself onto the couch, hugging the Reverse Doll charm in his arms. Wanda flew off to join him, snuggling up against the throw pillows sleepily. The boy watched them with a grin, arms folded over his chest.

"Good idea. Let's all rest up. Later tonight, we're gonna finish clearing out the industrial district of Dimmsdale. We only have three warehouses left to clean up and then that area will become a safe zone again!" he told the fairies cheerfully. He headed upstairs for a change in clothing as the couple watched him leave.

"So soon?" Wanda asked once he came back downstairs in a fresh set of his standard pink shirt, hat, and jeans, "Why not do it tomorrow? We all could use a break from destroying those traps." She yawned and blinked slowly as Timmy reached for a small blanket draped over the back of the sofa and carefully pulled it over her. "Between traveling around by foot, smashing traps, healing up and laying waste to criminals on the way home, we all get pretty exhausted." she added, bringing the point home by promptly falling asleep when she finished. Cosmo paused in playing with the charm to look at her sleeping form, then up at the teen.

"She kinda has a point." he remarked and gave a little yawn of his own as Timmy sat on the floor before them. The godchild sighed and rested his cheek on one fist, studying his green-haired godparent. The corner of his mouth twitched into another smile as he reached out to muss up the fairy's hair, the style Cosmo wore it in so similar to his own it was almost funny.

"I suppose, but I feel fine." he murmured and brightened, "How's this? You and Wanda stay here and catch some z's, and I'll go search out the last three targets." Cosmo shook his head and started trying to fix his hair with one free hand, the other arm hugging 'Pete' close to his body.

"Nah, that won't work. The Timmy Sense will go off the minute you find a trap and you know we can't ignore that." the fairy replied and rubbed one eye drowsily before yawning again. The teen stood and headed for the windows, lowering the blinds as he made a face at the comment.

"I don't see why you guys still worry about my 'safety'." he muttered as he fiddled with the cords, "Not like I can die of anything. I stand beyond Death's reach, remember?"

"Like that's gonna stop us from caring?" Cosmo grumbled and crawled under the blanket with Wanda. Timmy didn't answer to that, frozen at one window and staring in horror at the police car parked at the end of the driveway. One of the officers was already walking up the path to his house!

"Oh crud!" he murmured and looked back at the fairies in a panic, "Guys! I wish-!" Both of them were fast asleep, tired from the training and the trap-hunting from earlier that day. "Darn it!" Timmy hurried to them, gathered up several pillows and placed them around the couple as a screen. There was a knock at the door and he winced. Why? What possessed local law enforcement to bother with this place now? He ran a hand through his hair absently, felt the cap still on his head and quickly hurled it away into a corner of the room. No sense in triggering memories; the town was messed up as it was already with the abundance of anti-magic gear.

Another knock and Timmy took a deep breath to calm himself. He formed several stories in his head and carefully opened the door. He glanced out warily at the officer.

"Can I help you?" he asked cautiously. The officer smiled at him, but it seemed strangely fake, as though the effort of smiling brightly was difficult to do.

"Hello there, young man! Are your parents home?" he asked in return. Timmy shifted his stance to block the man's view of the house interior as much as possible.

"They're napping." he answered shortly, resisting the urge to glower at the older man, "They were very tired from unpacking and I told them they could sleep while I finished up." He glanced at the parked vehicle, then turned his gaze back towards the officer. "They won't be happy to wake up and find cops all over the place."

"We won't be long." the officer made a half-hearted attempt to reassure him, "So, why aren't you in school, uh...?" He waited patiently for Timmy to fill in the gap. The boy's eyes narrowed in suspicion. Maybe Wanda hadn't been too far off the mark about Vicky's nosiness.

"We just moved." the teen growled, "Please leave. My parents really don't like strangers." The officer matched his suspicious glare and Timmy gave himself a mental kick. He was losing his cool too quickly. Not good. He was too out of practice with lying to adults. "I'm enrolling as soon as they finish resting. My name is Timothy Neogene. Can you please go now?!" he hissed, gripping the doorknob tightly. The expression only grew on the older man's face.

"I'd like to meet your parents, son. You know, to welcome them to Dimmsdale. That's not a problem, is it?" he remarked casually, relaxing a tiny bit now that he no longer had to maintain the illusion of joviality. Timmy tried his best not to flinch at those words.

"Fine. But you have to wait outside. The place is a mess of packing boxes and there's nowhere for you to sit." he muttered and retreated, locking the door quickly. "Great, now what? Cosmo and Wanda are too tired to pretend to be my parents, and those cops won't leave until they see I have them." he sighed and looked around desperately for something that could help him. His eyes fell on the staff resting against the wall near the teleporter room and a crazy idea bloomed in his mind. "Or they find something more important to deal with!"

Timmy ran for the back door, pausing to grab the slender wooden pole along the way. Bursting out into the backyard, he scanned it quickly; open and clear of witnesses, perfect. He turned his eyes on the neighborhood itself, searching for something to use as a distraction. Something he could set on fire without hurting anyone. A group of trash cans set by the road just seemed to scream 'Burn me!' Timmy grinned, spinning the staff in his left hand as a circle of light bloomed at his feet.

"Excellent! Cops bail to check out a trash fire and I can make a run for industrial Dimmsdale!" he exclaimed and abruptly pulled the staff before him in a horizontal position, free hand slamming the open palm against the pole as part of the release of mana, "Make it count! Lightning!" A bolt shot down from a sphere of violet mana high above the cans, igniting the garbage in a near explosive display of magic. Timmy winced and tapped his fingertip against his two front teeth. "Whoops.... Guess I overdid that one." he murmured and blinked as the sirens of the patrol car started up. Seconds later, it was racing off towards the fire. Timmy took that as a cue to run, dashing for the alleys of the neighborhood.


Getting to the industrial district had been easier said than done. There were more truancy officers prowling the town than before, and Timmy had several close calls evading both them and routine patrol cars for Dimmsdale's police force. Once he tried to distract a group of officers with a quick Stone Blast spell, but the magic circle flickered and died at his feet, a sign that he was near a magic nullifier. He was forced to crouch in the alley and wait until the group finished their small chat and returned to their patrols.

Now, panting by one of the three targets warehouses, he took the time to puzzle over the surge of traps and devices that infested Dimmsdale. During the four years Timmy spent in New York recovering, studying magic and training, Caleb, the ancient living android, had sent a number of spy cameras into Dimmsdale to see how the town was faring. The first year brought a wealth of information for them; the Turners had decided to stay in the town despite their sorrow, hoping to rebuild their lives in honor of their son, the jungle gym was taken down after the police finished their investigation, and the playground itself was named after him as a memorial.

Timmy had spent the majority of the year trying to wish the events undone, but none of those wishes could be granted. If Cosmo and Wanda were to try, the consequences would echo through time and space, affecting more lives than the original sequence had altered. To stop Death from coming after Timmy would not only break one of the most important of Da Rules, but drain the fairies of every speck of magical energy, reducing them to nothing but fairy dust. If by some miracle they survived the attempt, they would end up revealing themselves to the world once their magic weakened to the point of making disguises useless. Timmy might have survived as well, but the injury would have rendered him paralyzed or in a vegetative state. And stopping Death would create a dangerous ripple in the Veil Between Life And Death, tearing Danny Fenton to shreds from its force, as the defender of the Veil kept its balance so delicately.

It took many days of explaining for a ten-year-old mind to understand it all, but in the end Timmy finally accepted the fact that his old life was gone forever. It had not been easy.

After that first year, though, fewer camera signals were coming out of Dimmsdale; less and less information was returning to New York. Caleb grew more concerned with each passing month that resulted in signal loss. Finally, he sent a single camera with a sensor on it and both Caleb and an older Timmy Turner waited, watching the readouts on a giant screen that made up one-fourth of the Archive's secret conference room. When the camera flew into Dimmsdale's city limits, the graph nose-dived and the picture that they watched was of the airborne camera's final moments before it impacted the streets.

Caleb explained afterwards what might have happened. In the time after Timmy's death, someone or something began covering the town with a strange barrier that nullified anything and everything that used magic. The sensor was measuring magical activity, and it had died once it penetrated that invisible barrier.

Timmy, Cosmo and Wanda had just been ostracized....

The boy shook himself out of his memories and tucked himself deeper into the shadows of a stack of shipping crates, waiting for the patrolling guards of the Blubber Nuggets warehouse to pass far enough to be safe. He looked down at himself and sighed; why didn't he think to change clothes a second time? Pink was too eye-catching and far too risky to wear in public, at least the way he was wearing it now. He looked up at the changing of the guards, then quietly slipped through a newly opened window, dropping softly to the floor in a crouched position, something he learned from stealth training with Cousin Danny. Timmy smiled briefly at that, remembering the amount of help his cousin had given him so that he could get back to his hometown.

Once it was determined that returning to Dimmsdale as he was would not do him or the fairies any good, Caleb and Danny decided to do something to help Timmy get home safely. The idea of an anti-magic barrier surrounding his hometown had riled up the young immortal in a way that Timmy himself had not thought was possible, and he threw himself into magical training to gain the strength to free the city. While he practiced, Danny Phantom made the first sweep of Dimmsdale, deploying ghostly force to destroy many of the devices that were generating the barrier in the suburbs and middle-class neighborhoods. He would have made a second sweep, but he feared the city would contact his parents in attempts to get rid of him and the trip to California would leave Amity Park unprotected.

For Timmy, the first sweep was good enough as a starting point. He made a plan; return to Dimmsdale and begin a systematic destruction of the anti-magic barrier. As long as it was up, anyone in Dimmsdale with a fairy godparent would be unable to make wishes or have them granted. For the sake of preventing another accident that took his life before his fairies could help, Timmy would become Dimmsdale's hero and restore magic to the town.

Before returning to Amity Park, Danny gave Timmy one of the devices he had destroyed. It had the name 'D. Crocker' etched into the casing. The halfa told him that he had seen many similar gadgets planted all over the area he had gone through. Timmy had stared at the crushed device in his hands, baffled. It was a fairy trap, he was sure of it. But, all of the traps his old elementary teacher, Denzel Crocker, ever made were hobbled together out of random parts and the few more technologically advanced gadgets he used were cumbersome, self-foiling things. These new devices were far more advanced and more dangerous-looking.

Which led Timmy to his present day situation of searching his hip pouch for something other than the anti-magic radar to help him destroy the device in the building. Security within the warehouse was normal enough, nothing too alarming beyond the noise of forklifts rushing around, carting goods, and crewers moving crates for shipment. Hidden behind a veritable mountain of crates, the teen pulled the PDA-like device from its case clipped to his belt and studied it with a frown.

"Man, I can't believe I forgot my other stuff!" he murmured in frustration, "Without the rest of my gear, I won't be able to knock out the guards or hit a magic nullifier from a distance!" He gripped the staff in one hand, memorized the location of the device on radar, then took a deep breath as he slipped the radar away. Well, he'd just have to be more careful and figure out another way to smash the traps.

Darting among the stacks of crates and shipping boxes, pausing only to listen and watch for guard movement, Timmy made his way to the location of the anti-magic device. The constant motion of trucks and forklifts presented him with a new problem; moving past all of that to reach the general area of the device was going to be a pain. He muttered angrily to himself as he began scaling one of the piles of crates, leaping from stack to stack as quietly as he could to get to the highest point in the building. Crocker often put traps somewhere in the open, and Timmy could get a good view of the area from a high point. He just had to be sure that he wasn't spotted by someone in the office room that overlooked the warehouse for that same purpose. Once perched on a sufficiently situated catwalk, he took the time to look over his aerial route, surprised momentarily by the distances between a few of his jumps.

"Okay, that ain't normal." the teen remarked to himself and tilted his head to one side thoughtfully. Had his new immortality made him cocky? He frowned; no, because he'd been trying harder not to get caught in situations where he'd be forced to rely on it to get him through. Wouldn't want the citizens of Dimmsdale to freak out over a 'ghost' in their midst again. That in itself made him paranoid about the lethality of many things. He shrugged it off and looked around, pulling the radar free for another scan of the building. Caleb's little gadgets, though well-crafted, left quite a bit to be desired in their accuracy for pinpointing Crocker's devices. The android blamed Crocker's shoddy work on his anti-magic gear, the signals emitted were erratic at best and difficult to lock onto for tracking. Timmy suspected that the gear's nullifying abilities threw the magical locator for a loop the closer it got to the device.

"I'm playing Hot or Cold with Crocker's stupid fairy-hunting junk! Gah!" he complained and stuffed the radar back into its pouch. According to the second scan, the device was in a general location roughly twenty to thirty feet away from him, but whether he was on the same altitude as the trap was up in the air. Then there was the problem of figuring out which of the three types of traps this thing actually was; nullifier, capture, or destroyer. "Well, one way to find out...." Timmy sighed and held out his hand, focusing on calling up mana for a particular little trick he'd been teaching himself.

Light mana gathered over his open palm, coalescing into a sphere that glowed brightly and was rough the size of a softball, its aura of light spreading out several inches to illuminate large sections of a room. Once tossed free, the Light orb would either orbit the teen or float before him to light his path. Once, Timmy actually poked his staff into the ball and created an interesting torch; it was fun to jab that into Danny's room at night and startle the halfa.

Light orb completed, Timmy tossed it out into the air, murmuring a small spell to let it wander the area on its own. No sooner had it ventured down the catwalk than the ball simply evaporated into nothing. He raced after its last position to begin hunting down the nullifier and that's when he heard a strange humming. He halted and looked around, trying to pinpoint the source of the sound as well as the nullifier device. Shouts of surprise and alarm called his attention to the people below him on the warehouse floor; so much for keeping to the shadows, that Light orb caught the eyes of a lot of crewers.

"What is making that noise?" he muttered to himself and returned to searching for the nullifier. As long as he wasn't in 'mortal' danger, Wanda and Cosmo wouldn't appear because of their Timmy Senses going off, and the last thing he needed was them around and magic-less because of some nullifying trap left here by crazy old Crocker. Jumping from the catwalk onto a second one brought up a chorus of shouts and cheers from the men and women below him as security guards whistled fervently, sending officers scurrying for ladders and stairs to reach him. With an exasperated sigh, Timmy darted down the walkway, calling up another Light orb to pinpoint the nullifier.

This time it died just as it formed at his fingertips.

"Ha! I'm right on top of it!" Timmy cried in triumph and yelped in shock as something strange flew down at him. He ducked the blur of silver, then twisted around to see what it was. The object was spherical in shape, with a ring of black metal circling its middle and what looked like a butterfly net attached as an arm to the top of the sphere. It spun in the air and dove for him again, humming loudly as it managed to stay airborne without any sort of wings or jets. Timmy ducked again, covering his head as the basketball-sized oddity zipped by with the net now pointed downward. What the heck was that?!

Instinctively, Timmy called up the mana for a Lightning spell, but the dying magic circle at his feet reminded him that the nullifier was still nearby and the net-ball-thing made another swipe at him. This time, the teen lashed out with his staff, smacking it and sending it spinning away from him. He looked around himself, trying to locate the nullifier amidst the shouting of the men and women below and the barking orders of the security guards quickly advancing on him. Not good; a little more hectic activity added to this already outrageous mess and his fairy godparents will poof in to see what's up. Bending to hide his face and search for the nullifier, Timmy scrambled to get the device, disable it and then escape. This mission was going to be botched no matter what he did now.

"Come on, come on! Where is it?" he muttered in frustration, running his fingers along the edges of the catwalk in the search. There! He brushed against something that was attached to the underside of the walkway. Jumping to his feet, Timmy gripped his staff in both hands, then slammed the end of the pole against the floor. The force jarred the nullifier loose, and a second slam sent it tumbling to the warehouse floor. "Heads up! Out of the way!" Timmy yelled down as the textbook-sized array of mini-dishes plummeted to its doom. People scattered as it smashed to pieces against the concrete. "One down, one to go. Why the heck didn't the radar pick up this other thing?!" he grumbled, turning his attention back to the flying sphere just as it made another dive at him.

The brief lapse it took to find the nullifier and dispose of it was all it took for the sphere to lock on and dive at the source of magical energy. Timmy barely had the time to knock it away with another swipe of the staff, but the force he used put him off balance. Amid cries of shock and horror from all the people watching him, he toppled over the rail of the catwalk as the sphere spun away momentarily, then was downed by one of the guards.

Concrete hurt. A lot. Timmy managed only barely to keep conscious as one of the workers rushed to his side and began yelling out orders. He could just about make out some of the words; somebody was to call 911, somebody else had to get a first aid kit, someone else check what the heck it was that had attacked him to begin with. Sticky and warm. There was a sticky warmth that was spreading beneath him and a pounding headache that made him want to cry.

"Owww...." he managed to groan, coughing as the same warmth rose up his throat.

"Hang on, kid. Help's coming. Good Lord, it's a miracle you're still alive after that fall!" the crewer told him in amazement, but Timmy looked past him at the clouds of pink and green smoke that burst into view high above the crowds. Wanda and Cosmo; they must have had their senses go off the moment he was pushed from the catwalk. Timmy managed a frown, turning his focus back on the man kneeling by him.

"Is the... device... gone?" he murmured brokenly. The crewer looked puzzled and he took that as a good sign. Well, now was as good a time as any to see if he got the hang of that second-level spell. "Light of mana... heal these... savage wounds...! Heal!" he whispered and the circle of light bloomed beneath him, mana spinning around his body and repairing the worst of his injuries. The group of men and women pulled back in shock and awe as Timmy lay still for a moment, then flipped back onto his feet, spitting out a mouthful of blood. "Yuck! I am never getting used to that either!" he yelled in irritation and winced as his muscles complained about the sudden motion, "And I guess I need more practice with that spell. Oww...." He smiled suddenly. "But hey, I should thank your security guys for taking out that weird fairy trap for me." he added brightly and waved up at his fairy godparents. They both seemed to wilt in relief, then held up their wands in preparation for a wish.

"That's impossible! You've completely recovered?! How?! What the hell are you?!" the crowd of people shouted in alarm. Timmy only grinned wider at them, ignoring the current mess he was in.

"I am known as The One Who Stands Beyond Death's Reach!" he declared with a laugh, "No matter what happens to me, I can never die!" He shifted his weight to jump back into the shadows of the stacks of crates. "But, you won't remember any of this in a bit." he finished, "I wish everyone here but the three of us forgot what happened!" With that, he leaped back out of view. Cosmo and Wanda waved their wands in concert, the stars shining as they granted the wish. They poofed out of sight once they were done, leaving behind a very confused group of people.

"What's this?" one of the men asked in confusion, staring down at the spatter of blood left behind on the concrete. They gathered around it, puzzled.

Safe in the darkness of several hundred yet-to-be-shipped crates, Timmy sat back against the wall of the building and cast Heal a second time, closing his eyes out of exhaustion. Going after that anti-magic device on his own so soon after practice had been a bad idea, doubly so now that there was a new type of gadget out there that the radar couldn't pick up.

"I told you." Wanda murmured and the boy laughed softly.

"You'd think after everything we've been through together I would have learned to listen to you." Timmy replied and partially opened his eyes, looking over at the fairy couple, "How are you guys feeling?"

"Squishy!" Cosmo declared happily and began poking himself, singing the word over and over. Wanda shook her head, but smiled at the antic anyway.

"A lot better than you from the looks of things. Let's get out of here, Timmy, and get you into bed for some rest." she suggested. The teen nodded in agreement.

"Good idea. First, I wish my clothes were clean again." he sighed and the fairies poofed his outfit into perfect condition, "Now, I wish we were at home." Another poof of magic smoke and nothing remained in the darkness after that.


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