Chapter 10 - EctoOverloader
I couldn't help but be on edge the entire afternoon. With my parents out of the house, my best friend and my girlfriend (still weird to think that – but in a good way) with me, I should have been happy. But instead I was worried and stressed. I kept imagining my parents bursting in the door, guns blazing, but that was stupid, they didn't know my secret, and even if they did, they'd still love me. I couldn't help that little voice in my head that whispered about my doubts.
But you know how much they hate ghosts. Imagine their reaction if they find out Public Ghost Enemy Number One is their son? It whispered in the back of my mind as I tried to watch TV with Sam and Tucker.
They've figured it out before remember? The alternate realities that was created when Freakshow used the reality gauntlet, and when Dan appeared. I argued.
Yes, but with Dan, they didn't even have a chance to react, and they have only ever seen you destroy things, they don't realise the good you do. It said.
That was oddly positive for you. I frowned slightly in confusion.
Oh don't push it, this is rare – it won't happen again so don't get used to it buddy. It replied and I couldn't help but smile.
I am afraid of what will happen if they find out though. What will they do? All they've talked about these past two years has been how they're going to dissect and destroy me. I said glumly, instinctively tightening my hold on Sam's shoulders, pulling her closer to me. She shot me a curious look but I just shook my head and she turned her attention back to the TV.
They won't react positively, I mean you kept it from them for so long and have been blatantly lying to their faces for two years so I don't think it will go down well at all. The voice said to me. I sighed deeply.
This won't be fun. I thought.
Not at all.
A few hours later I felt my ghost sense go off. Sam, Tucker and I were in the Kitchen eating food, my parents still hadn't returned and we had made ourselves something to eat. I was just about to take a large mouthful of bolognaise when a shiver ran down my spine and the misty blue fog rolled out of my mouth.
"Uh, guys?" I said, causing my friends to looks up right as the fog disappeared.
"Go. Oh and dude?" Tucker's voice made me pause before I left the room. I glanced over my shoulder at him. "Can I have your food?" I rolled my eyes and nodded. Tucker eagerly grabbed my plate and began to eat while I darted out of the kitchen and into the living room.
"Going ghost!" I said as I transformed. The rings formed around my waist and washed over my body. I closed my eyes and smiled in pleasure. When I opened my eyes, they were a toxic green. I pushed off the ground and phased through the ceiling. I emerged above my house and looked around me.
"The ghost has got to be around here somewhere…" I muttered to myself. This was risky, flying out into the open as Danny Phantom while my parents were out hunting me, but who knows what ghost it was, I couldn't tell this time, so they could be dangerous or not. But it couldn't hurt to check.
Well it could hurt – a fair bit actually. The little voice spoke up once again. I groaned.
Oh do you ever shut up? You make me feel like I'm going crazy. I replied as I began to fly, keeping my eyes open for the ghost.
I'm a part of your mind moron, I'm always going to be here, even if I make you feel crazy. It said to me, and even though it was a part of my mind, I seriously thought it sounded cocky. I sighed and shook my head, returning my attention to the world around me. The sun had gone down and stars were beginning to dot the sky, their twinkling lights bright to my super sight. I looked away from the sky and down the earth, eyes scanning the ground for ghosts. A slight buzzing noise caught my attention and instinctively I dove down, narrowly avoiding the glowing knife that flew through the air, right where I had been mere seconds before. I spun around, recognising the skull-headed blade instantly. Second time today…will he ever give up?
"Skulker." I growled, facing the ghostly robotic hunter.
"Hello, Ghost Child. Your pelt is long overdue to hang on my wall!" Skulker said, a malicious smile creeping along his face. "Ready to lose?" He asked me.
"Funny." I snickered. "I was about to ask you the same thing." I readied myself as Skulker's expression morphed into one of anger. He threw himself at me and I darted upwards, twisting into a front flip and blasting the ghost in the back with my plasma ray. He cried out as he was pushed to the ground, creating a Skulker-shaped crater in the middle of the street. I grinned cockily at the hunter as he rose from the ground and looked up at me.
"Had enough yet Skulker, or you want me to kick your ass again?" I said, crossing my arms. Skulker roared in anger and pushed off the ground, firing weapons as he did so. I dodged the bullets and knives that came flying towards me and dove straight for the ghost, my hands beginning to glow as I did so. We flew towards each other and collided mid-air. The strength of our collision sent us both flying back in the direction we came from. Skulker landed once more on the street, creating another crater a few yards away from the original. I, on the other hand, wasn't so lucky. I smashed into a building, sinking a meter deep into the concrete wall. My vision went blurry for a moment but I soon recovered. Groaning, I pulled myself from the Danny shaped hole in the wall and floated out into the open, running my fingers through my hair and dislodging the tiny bits of concrete that were stuck in my snow white locks. Glancing over my shoulder I chuckled as I saw the dent I had left in the building. I shook my head and returned my attention to Skulker who was beginning to stand up. I readied myself for his next attack, but his next move surprised me. Instead of charging at me, weapons raised, he raised his eyebrow (weird that a robot ghost can do that…) and smirked.
"Looks like you have your hands full Ghost Boy." He said as he started to turn invisible. "Until next time…" He faded away completely as he finished his sentence. I frowned.
"What the hell did that mean?" I muttered to myself. Suddenly I felt a prickle on the back of my neck. Uh oh. I turned and sure enough, my parents were standing there, Mum was holding the Fenton Weasel (which I still disliked, should've stayed a vacuum cleaner…) that brought back bad memories, but it was what Dad was holding that sent chills down my spine. The Fenton Ecto-Overloader. I quickly hid my panic, I didn't want my parents to know that Phantom knew what that weapon did.
"Inviso-Bill!" Dad yelled. I facepalmed. Uh, I thought that name was finished when I defeated Pariah…
"Uh, Jack, I believe it is Danny Phantom." My super hearing picked up Mum's whisper to Dad.
"Oh, right. I mean Danny Phantom! Stop right there!" He shouted again. I rolled my eyes.
"And why would I do that when I know you're going to try and shoot me with that…thing." I said nonchalantly as I gestured lazily to the weapon in his hands as if I knew nothing about it. "And not to mention I'm actually not moving at all." I raised my eyebrow and crossed my arms, feigning confidence even though the sight of the Ecto-Overloader set my teeth on edge. Dad raised said weapon and aimed it at me.
"Because…um, I don't have a clever quip!" He shouted. Well that made total sense. I thought wryly. I loved my Dad but he definitely wasn't the brightest crayon in the pack. I realised the weapon was pointed at me and my eyes widened. My Dad may be a terrible shot, but I couldn't take the chance that he would actually hit me with that thing; my life (well half -life) as I knew it would be over. I heard a slight noise coming from the weapon and dove out of the way mere seconds before the Overloader shot a beam of red energy towards me. The beam narrowly missed me, passing so close I felt the wind brush against my side. It continued on and hit a large billboard that was atop a building ten houses down from where I was. The billboard wobbled dangerously, but I didn't have time to worry about an unstable billboard yet.
"Whoa! That was close." I said, my eyes wide.
"Danny!" I heard a familiar voice shout out. My eyes snapped towards the direction from which the voice came from. I froze when I saw who had called my name. Sam and Tucker had come running out of my house when they heard my parents' voices and were directly underneath the badly wobbling billboard. I heard a snap and as I watched, the billboard slowly toppled over, falling down towards the street, gaining speed as it fell. I gasped and shot forward, flying as fast as I could towards the two people who were standing right underneath the falling sign. I willed myself to fly faster. My legs became my ghost tail and my hair was flattened against my head as a burst of speed made me shoot forward so fast that I felt like I was nothing more than a blur to the human eye. In seconds I was between my best friends and the billboard that would surely crush them. I raised my arms, palms skyward and braced for impact. The giant billboard crashed onto my shoulders and hands, pushing me down towards the ground. I pushed against it with all my strength, a cry of frustration and determination leaving my lips. I could feel perspiration form on my forehead as I struggled to stop the sign. I felt the billboard slow until it finally came to a standstill. I opened my eyes and looked down. Sam and Tucker were less than a meter below me. I grinned down at them, a single drop of shimmering sweat dropped off my chin. It landed on the ground in front of Sam who glanced at it.
"Huh, even your sweat glows like you do." She said casually, but I could tell that the whole billboard-almost-falling-on-her-and-Tucker thing had scared her. Partly cause her hand was shaking as she tucked her dark hair behind her ear and partly because I could feel her thoughts. I smiled and pushed up again, flying into the sky with the billboard on my shoulders. When I reached the top of the building it originally fell off, I turned intangible and let it fall onto the roof. I sighed in relief and began to fly back to check on Sam and Tucker, but I had completely forgotten why the sign fell in the first place.
"BONZAI!" My Dad yelled. I gasped as a red hot beam of energy hit me directly above my core. I screamed as I felt pain tear through my body, making my fingers twitch and my head ache. But what hurt the most was my core – it felt like it was being electrocuted. My back arched and I felt my entire body shake uncontrollably. Instinctively, I pushed with my mind, and following an impulse, I waved my hand out in front of me as if I were opening a curtain and in response, the pain stopped. I opened my eyes as my lungs gasped for air and looked quickly to my parents. I soon realised why the pain had stopped – somehow everyone had been pushed back, including Tucker and Sam. They were all laying on the ground several meters away from where they had originally been. Each of them were awake, but dazed. I didn't have any time to wonder what had happened, all I knew was that I had to get out of there before my parents decided to shoot me again – and I had to hide because if that weapon did what it was designed to do, then I was in big, big trouble. I saw Sam and Tucker sit up and look at me, their eyes wide.
Guys, I gotta move! If that weapon does work, it's going to kick in any moment now. I spoke in their minds, trying to hide my panic.
We get it, go! Meet at my house Danny. Sam replied in my mind. I nodded once before turning invisible and flying off as fast as my aching body could manage. I knew my parents weapon worked because my invisibility faded without my consent just as I got to Sam's. I phased through her roof and into her room, but accidentally slipped through the floor as I failed to turn tangible again. Grumbling, I floated intangibly in mid-air while I waited for my best friends to get here. Luckily for me, Sam lived only a few streets from me and so they were here within ten minutes. I could tell they ran from my house to here because of their heavy breathing and the sweat pouring down Tucker's face (hey we were really fit, but the kid still hated running).
"Danny, why are you floating?" Tucker asked me in-between gasps for air. I put my feet on the ground – and fell right through the floor again. I floated back up with a scowl on my face.
"I can safely say their weapon works." I said. Suddenly, I felt a tingle and my body became heavy. Uh oh. Gravity came back to me all at once and I fell to the ground, landing hard on my stomach. "Gravity's back." I mumbled from where my face was pressed into the floor.
"Hey look on the bright side Danny." Sam said causing me to look up at her. She had a smile on her face. Since when does she look on the bright side, she's a Goth? I thought to myself. "You're tangible again." Ah, there it is. Smart ass comments were Sam's forte. I couldn't help but grin as she and Tucker helped pull me to my feet. Just as they yanked on my arms to help me up, my body became super light and with a small shriek, I was launched into the air.
"Dude you sounded like a girl." Tucker snorted with laughter. I frowned at him from where I was pressed against the roof.
"Says the boy who still sleeps with a teddy." I retorted, raising an eyebrow and crossing my arms with a cocky grin. Tucker's cheeks flushed pink and Sam started laughing.
"You still sleep with a teddy!?" She guffawed. Tucker scowled.
"Mr Fuzzywinkles doesn't sleep with me!" He said. "He sleeps in the bed next to me." I couldn't help myself, soon enough I was laughing along with Sam, and Tucker soon joined us in our hysteria. Once we sobered up, the more serious topics came up.
"Okay how the hell do I get down? My powers are going wacky." I said. "Man those weapons can suck." I reached out my arms, stretching my hands towards Tucker and Sam who were standing on her bed and desk trying to reach me. Sam was the first to grab my hand and as she did, my body became heavy once more. "Oh no." Was all I managed to say before I fell on top of Sam, causing us to both crash onto the bed. Last minute quick thinking stopped me from landing fully on her and hurting us both. I laughed as I looked down at her. "Well this day is getting quite interesting, especially if this keeps happening." I said with a smile. Sam nodded, her cheeks faintly tinted pink. My gaze lowered from her glistening violet eyes and to her lips. Just as I began to lean in, Tucker cleared his throat. I jumped, pulling myself away from Sam and sitting up, her following my lead soon after. My face felt hot and I knew I was blushing.
"Well, your parent's weapon definitely does work, but didn't they say it only lasted for how long?" Tucker said, shooting me a smirk but not saying anything in relation to Sam and me.
"An hour." I replied.
"How long's it been so far?" Sam asked.
"Fifteen minutes." I said. All three of us simultaneously let out a groan.
"Forty-five minutes of avoiding your family, classmates and everyone who doesn't know your secret." Tucker said, taking a seat on the desk chair and spinning around.
"So everyone." Sam summarised. I groaned and flopped back on the bed.
"This is going to be an interesting evening." I said. I felt a chill spread out from my core and my eyes began to tingle. A moment later, twin beams of ice shot out of my eyes and struck Sam's ceiling. Sam and Tucker gasped as ice spread down from her roof, covering every object in a cold, blue blanket. I tried shutting it off but I couldn't. Closing my eyes did nothing but give me a freezing headache. A few seconds later it stopped and I looked around at the damage I'd caused. Every surface in Sam's room was coated in blue ice, even her bed, desk and candles – the tiny flames frozen in place. It looked like an inside winter wonderland. Sam, Tuck and I weren't frozen as the ice had gone underneath us, but it was still a strange feeling. Sam giggled and I looked at her, eyes wide. This was not a sound we heard often. A snowflake had fallen on the tip of her nose.
"A snowflake?" Tucker said, his voice astonished. Suddenly we were surrounded by hundreds of little snowflakes falling from Sam's ceiling.
"You made it snow in my room!" Sam said incredulously.
"Don't be, this is amazing!" She exclaimed, smiling widely as she looked up at the falling snow. I took this moment to gaze unabashedly at her. Her long black hair was covered in tiny snowflakes that made her hair seem even darker than before and her violet eyes were filled with sparkles and laughter. This was a side of Sam she never let anyone but Tucker and I see; the happy, joyful side of Samantha Manson. She was so beautiful, and I don't think she realised how much she meant to me.
"One question." Tucker interrupted my staring. I shook my head slightly and looked at him. The look on his face made me realise he had seen me staring. "How do we get it to stop?"
"That…is an excellent question." I stated. Before I could reply, my hearing picked up a faint noise. I paled as I glanced at the wall that faced the street.
"Danny? What is it?" Sam asked, resting her hand on my arm.
"My parents are looking for me." I felt heat flush my body as anger and sadness pulsated through me. Sam jerked her hand away from my arm quickly, causing me to look curiously at her.
"Sam? What is it?" I asked, echoing her earlier question. Her face was shocked.
"Your skin was hot." She said, looking down at her hand and then at my arm.
"I'm Phantom right now, but even when human my skin is colder than a normal person." I said.
"Dude, look!" Tuck said, pointing at the ice on the walls. I followed his arm and my eyes widened. The ice was melting, but it was melting strangely. Instead of becoming water, it just disappeared as if it was never there, and the room was becoming warmer. Instead of feeling like a meatlocker, it now felt like a living room with the fire blazing.
"You're doing it Danny." Sam said, looking at the ice. Glancing down I watched as a small circle of the ice around me melted. The circle then grew and spread out across the room, melting the ice and leaving the room feeling warm and cosy. I stared wide-eyed at my hands.
"What the hell was that?" Tucker burst out after a moment's silence. I raised my eyes to his.
"I have no idea. My core is ice, I shouldn't be able to do that." I replied.
"Danny!" Sam suddenly exclaimed. Her eyes were scanning me but before I could ask what she was looking at she looked away, almost as if she was searching for something. Oh, duh. I must be invisible.
"I'm right here Sam." I said. "I haven't moved." They both jumped when my voice came out of nowhere. They relaxed when my body became visible again. Just as I was about to smile at them, my body became lighter and I felt myself float up to the ceiling once more, this time much quicker than the last.
"Ouch!" I rubbed my head where it had whacked Sam's crystal chandelier. My friends snickered from below me and I shot them a glare which soon turned into my ghost ray. "Oops! Sorry guys." I smiled sheepishly as Tucker picked himself off the floor where he had dove when my blast had struck his chair. A chill ran down my spine and a breath of mist floated out of my mouth. This ghost sense felt weird though; it didn't feel like a ghost was near. I rolled my eyes. Even my ghost sense is fucked up. Soon enough I was hiccupping like crazy and with each hiccup my ghost sense would roll off my tongue.
"This – hiccup – is – hiccup – ridiculous!" I exclaimed, my sides hurting from hiccupping so much. Tucker and Sam were losing it with laughter. Sam was crying and Tucker was laying on the floor. I was still plastered to the ceiling with my ghost-sense-hiccups driving me crazy. Suddenly, a sharp pain erupted through my head, starting at my temples and spreading fast. I cried out and grabbed my head, my hiccups forgotten for the time being.
"Danny!" Sam and Tucker said in unison. I barely heard them through the noise in my mind.
I can't believe he said that—
I'm the best thing that ever walked his earth, like no joke.
Ugh why does Mr Lancer have to assign homework on the weekends! What a son of a—
I cheated, I cheated, I cheated oh my God what do I do?! I can't tell her, but I can't keep it a secret!
What a loser, can't even catch a softball.
That Ghost Boy must be around here somewhere. The Ecto-Locater says he is nearby. Must be weakened by the Ecto-Overloader, although the frequency needs to be adjusted…
This is insane, what's going to happen to him?!
Please be okay Danny, nothing can happen to you, I don't know what I'd do without you...
Finally the overflow of thoughts subsided and I found myself on the floor again, this time with my head in Sam's lap and my hand clasped in hers. I sighed as I looked up at her.
"I cannot wait until I'm in control of my powers again." I said quietly. "Telepathy isn't that fun when it's out of control." I gave my friends a wry smile. I sat up as I heard footsteps on floorboards. "Your parents." I hissed at Sam. Her eyes widened and she looked around anxiously.
"They can't find the Ghost Boy in my bedroom! They already think I'm on the road to 'troubled teenhood', even without the Ghost Boy in the picture." Sam gasped as she stood up hastily. I lurched to my feet, tripping slightly as my left foot turned intangible. I yanked it out of the floor before it could solidify and leave me trapped. My body was in a strange state where I was too heavy to fly, but too light to walk like a human. I was in an in-between state where I was taking large, high steps like astronauts take while walking on the moon. It made it quite difficult to move quickly, especially when random parts of my body would become intangible like my legs, feet and even my fingers! What really creeped Tuck and Sam out was when my head decided to turn invisible, making me look like the Headless Horseman Ghost (who actually does exist and is friendlier than the stories made him out to be – another misunderstood ghost, like yours truly!).
"Danny, quick out the window!" Tucker said as he unlatched the window and opened it wide. I barely hesitated before launching myself out the window, praying I would be able to fly, even if for only a minute. Luck was with me (for the first time in weeks) and I was able to gain enough control over my powers to glide down to the ground. The landing wasn't as lucky as my legs turned intangible and sent me tumbling head over heels. As I picked myself up, I heard Sam's parents open her bedroom door.
"Sammykins why is your window open so wide?" Pamela's voice reached my ears.
"I wanted to smell the scent of nature." Sam said, her voice sounding stubborn even as she answered the simplest of questions.
"Samantha, this is why we let you buy the candles. You don't want to get sick now, I've heard the flu has been going around."
"Don't call me Samantha." Sam answered automatically. "And I prefer the real thing, even if the candles are nice." She said. I rolled my eyes. Sam's parents didn't understand her at all. Didn't know she loved black and purple instead of pink and yellow, loved bats not butterflies and would rather curl up with a good book instead of attending one of her parents' socialite gatherings. I sighed but quickly darted behind the bushes as Sam's Dad appeared and closed the window. A chill ran down my spine and another round of ghost sense-hiccups erupted from my mouth.
"Oh – hiccup- man. When – hiccup – will this – hiccup – end!" I groaned, sinking to the ground. Wait, I'm not moving. I looked down and saw my legs were phasing through the ground. I let loose a little yip and flew up, hovering above the ground until my flight gave out and I landed flat on my back. I sat up and shook leaves from my hair.
"Well that sucked."
"Not as much as this will Ghost Punk." I froze as my father's voice echoed from behind me. "Turn around – slowly!" He said. I did as he asked, shifting so I was looking directly at him – well more specifically, a gun. It looked like the Fenton Ghost Shredder. Unlike the others, this weapons name suited it perfectly. Seeing it sent more chills down my spine, doubling those of the hiccups. I'd never seen it used, but if it worked (and Mum made it, so it probably does) it would destroy me in a heartbeat. I swallowed roughly, not daring to move until he was at least distracted. Without my ghost abilities I was powerless.
"Maddie he's over here!" He shouted and soon enough, with a rustling noise, my mother burst from the bushes, a maniacal grin on her face.
"Well done Jack!" She said happily, kissing Dad on the cheek. I grimaced. Ew. Mum looked at me and held up the Fenton Weasel. "You're ours now Phantom." Just as she was about to flick the capture button, my ghost powers acted up again, this time I'm pretty sure they saved my life. My telekinesis kicked in, exploding around me and sending my parents flying and leaves swirling. Mum and Dad landed a few meters away (softly, thank God – hey, I want them away from me, not hurt). Using their momentary lapse of concentration against them I turned and bolted, using what little control I had over telekinesis to push myself forward to run faster. I ran into several signposts and almost hit a car but I kept running until it malfunctioned on me too. I found myself in the park underneath a giant oak tree. I walked towards the huge tree and after a quick glance around, I grabbed hold of the trunk and hauled myself up it. Thanks to my still functioning super strength, I soon found myself hidden well inside the thick foliage of the branches. I found a particularly thick bough that was about a meter wide and almost as flat as the floor in my house (which actually isn't saying much…) and I settled myself comfortably, leaning against the tree trunk. Suddenly, two white rings appeared around my waist and transformed me into Danny Fenton. Not a moment after they disappeared they reappeared, once again turning me into Phantom again. This happened several times, during which the fucking hiccups came back! I glowered into the distance.
"When will this end?! My parent's said about an hour, how long has it been? Sam was the one keeping track." I muttered to myself. "It can't be long now."
"Three minutes and twenty-five seconds actually." A familiar voice said from in front of me, causing me to jump and almost fall from my precarious seating. A swirling vortex of blue energy appeared in front of me, accompanied with a giant clock hand. I grinned as I recognised the familiar time portal.
"Time In." A figure appeared in the vortex, growing larger and soon its features became recognisable.
"Clockwork." I smiled as the energy faded, leaving only me and my old friend behind.
"Hello Daniel." He said, his face morphing into that of his child self. My smile faded and I frowned quizzically at him.
"What are you doing here? Why aren't you back at your Tower watching over Time? You usually only show up if there's trouble." I said, rising to my feet. As I stood my foot turned intangible and phased through the branch. I yelped in shock and pulled my foot back up. As I gasped, my ghost sense went off, triggering my cryokinesis which caused ice to form all over my body that spread out along the branch I was standing on. Clockwork raised an eyebrow. I sighed and shook my head. "Yeah, I'm in a little trouble, but it should wear off soon. In three minutes and twenty-five seconds as you said." I said. Clockwork surprised me by shaking his head.
"Two minutes and thirteen seconds now." He said, his face completely deadpan. "Two minutes twelve seconds, two minutes eleven seconds, two minutes ten seconds, two minutes nine seconds." As he counted down, I couldn't help but snicker to myself (the Master of Time was sassy, who knew?) and shake my head at my friend.
"So why are you here Clockwork? I'm guessing it's not just for a friendly visit?" I said. Clockwork sighed.
"I am here to say I'm thankful you are okay and to tell you some news." He said. I cocked my head in interest. Just as Clockwork opened his mouth my hearing picked up a slight noise that instinctively sent me into motion. I lunged at Clockwork, knocking him backwards causing him to gasp in surprise, just as a blade came flying through the air. Good news, it missed my friend. Bad news, it hit me instead. I cried out in pain as the spinning circular blade ripped through my jumpsuit and buried itself in my abdomen. I landed on the frosted tree branch, my head hitting the hard bark, causing stars to burst into my vision. I felt my limbs go limp as shock flooded my system, causing me to shift my weight slightly. Seconds later my body slid off the edge of the branch, falling to the ground far below.