Chapter 6 - Phantom MIA
Sam was freaking out. Danny had been missing for two days! They had stayed at Danny's house to use the Lab to increase the radius of the tracking device. She hadn't slept in hours, too worried to even think about sleeping yet. Sam yawned and stretched, rolling her neck to try and work the kinks that were forming there.
"Sam, you need sleep." A voice from the doorway said. Sam glanced over and saw Blaize standing at the foot of the stairs into the Ghost Lab. She looked like she hadn't slept at all either (yeah, ghosts need to sleep, I believe this has been mentioned before), her flaming hair was flickering dully and her shoulders were dropping. She had taken off her heels a few hours ago so she could walk around without making as much noise. Tucker had fallen asleep in his chair around 8pm and Blaize had carried him upstairs to the couch. It was now 1am in the morning and Sam was terrified. Who knows what the GIW were doing to Danny! Sam took a deep breath and calmed down. Danny had been through worse, he could make it through this.
"I can't sleep Blaize. Danny is my best friend, I'm too worried. I'll try sleep later." Sam replied to Blaize who walked over to Sam and sat in the chair next to her.
"You like him, don't you?" Blaize asked her quietly. Sam froze. Quick, say something, deny it, tell her you only think of him as a friend – DO SOMETHING! Her panicked mind was telling her, but what she actually said was much different.
"Yeah, I really do." Sam blinked, shocked at what she'd just said. Blaize merely smiled.
"It's okay, I understand. I believe he likes you too." She said, touching Sam on the arm, Blaize's skin was cool to touch. Sam smiled at her.
"You think so?" She whispered. Blaize nodded.
"And when we find him, you better tell him, cause he'll tell you the same thing, believe me." Blaize patted her arm before removing her hand. Sam nodded, still unsure whether she'd tell Danny how she felt or not. Sam let loose another giant yawn. Blaize smiled at her.
"Get some sleep Sam, I'll watch the monitor for a while." She said kindly. Sam hesitated before nodding. She was no use to Danny sleep deprived, no matter how worried she was. Sam walked slowly up the stairs that lead to the kitchen, wandered through the living room, where Tucker was unconscious snoring loud enough to be mistaken for a storm, and made her way upstairs. By the time she got to Danny's room she was exhausted. She walked into his closet and pulled out one of his shirts. She slipped out of her jeans and singlet and slid Danny's shirt over her head. She pulled it up to her face and sniffed it. It smelt like him. Sam walked to Danny's bed and pulled back the covers, sliding under the warm sheets before laying her head on the soft pillow that still held Danny's scent. She breathed in deep and felt tears prick her eyes.
"I'll find you Danny. No matter what, I'll find you." She whispered an oath before she fell asleep, her dreams filled with Danny's smiling face staring down at her. Little did she know that Danny was dreaming of the same thing.
Sam's face haunted my dreams – and made me miss her all the more. When I first closed my eyes, the white room being replaced with darkness, I immediately went to sleep. My dream started in the middle of a grassy green field, which I soon recognised as my Lair in the Ghost Zone. I was standing by myself, staring up at the swirling colours of the Ghost Zone's sky when I heard a slight noise behind me. I looked over my shoulder to see what had attracted my attention, and froze. Sam was standing a few meters behind me, her face showing that she was in as much shock as me.
"Sam." I whispered, turning to face her completely. A smile began to grow on her face and I was finally able to move. I ran as fast as I could across the grass, so fast that I would look like a blur to anyone around me. I reached her in a second and wrapped my arms around her, holding her close to me, inhaling her familiar lavender scent. I breathed in deeply and finally smiled properly as I buried my face in her neck.
"Danny! I've been so worried!" Sam said, her voice slightly muffled as her face was pressed into my chest. My only response was to hold her tighter against me, as if I was afraid she'd disappear when I let go (which I was).
"I've missed you Sam. It's killing me to be away from you – and Tucker." I quickly added (hey, dream or not, I don't want to embarrass myself, or her). "Are you okay?" I asked her, leaning back a little bit so I could look her in the eyes. "How has everyone – are you wearing my shirt?" I looked down and saw she was wearing one of my shirts like a dress. She glanced down at herself, her cheeks flushing red. I grinned at her when she looked back up at me.
"Uh, yes?" Sam said with a shy smile. I chuckled and she smacked my arm. "Hey! I didn't have any pyjamas!" She laughed.
"I miss you." I said quietly, never taking my eyes off her face. I couldn't get enough of her. I feared that if I didn't memorise every little thing about her it might fade (though I doubt I could ever forget her). I reached up and tucked the small strand of hair that was in her eye out of her face.
"I miss you too." She whispered back, leaning into my hand, her eyes closing.
"I wish this wasn't a dream." I muttered.
"Me too." She replied. I sighed.
"Wait, you're dreaming too?" I asked her. She opened her eyes and nodded.
"Yeah, this is my dream." She said. I shook my head.
"This is my dream." I said, confused. Sam frowned.
"Whose dream is this then?" She asked. My eyes widened.
"Wait a minute; remember how I had that joined dream with Clockwork – when I was discovering my telepathic powers, and how he reached for me with his mind or whatever?" Sam nodded. "What if this is like that?" I asked her, getting excited. "What if this is both our dreams?" Sam smiled.
"What's the last thing you remember Danny?" She asked me. My smile faded. "What is it?" She placed her hand on my chest. I shook my head.
"I was being interrogated by the Guys in White." I said, my voice shaky. "They, uh, electrocuted me." Sam gasped.
"Oh my God Danny." She whispered, her hand sliding up my chest and around my neck as she hugged me. Once again, I buried my face in her hair and let loose a shaky breath.
"And what's the last thing you remember Sam?" I said, letting her go.
"Monitoring the tr – uh, I mean in the Ghost Lab trying to find you, then Blaize telling me to go to bed." Sam said. I smiled again at her.
"Then we must be sharing the dream, like I did with Clockwork when he wanted to tell me about becoming King; we're both here at the same time!" I laughed, grabbing her around the waist, lifting her above me and spinning in a circle. Wow, this is so cliché but no wonder they do it in the movies, this is fun I thought as I set Sam back on the ground. She smiled at me, her violet eyes sparkling.
"I'm glad this is real Danny." Sam said, her hands around the back of my neck. I nodded in agreement. "But we need to talk. Do you have any idea where you are?" She asked me. I shook my head this time.
"No, all I know is everything is white and my room is being guarded by a huge guy called Harrison and that I can't use my invisibility cause of a metal band around my anklet, but I'm going to try use my other powers tomorrow. I know I can use my telepathy, I've used it on Agent L and his daughter Marti." I told her. Sam frowned.
"Agent L has a daughter?" She sounded shocked. I laughed.
"Yep, I was surprised too." I grinned. "She's actually really nice. She had Harrison carry me back to my room."
"Wait, why did you have to be carried?" Sam interjected. I hesitated, unsure whether I should tell her. I decided to be truthful.
"When they had me electrocuted during the interrogation, Agent L kept it going for ages, about fifteen minutes, maybe more. I passed out after fifteen and when I came to it was off. I couldn't stand, let alone walk so when Marti untied me she told Harrison to carry me back to the room I'm being held in and she then sat with me until I was properly awake. She actually isn't too bad. She was horrified at what her father did to me." I said to Sam, reliving the memory as I spoke. I shuddered remembering the pain. I told her the rest of it, why they tortured me and how they wanted me to wear the cuffs. Sam gave me a sympathetic look, her thumb gently stroking the back of my neck. Her sympathetic look changed to one of anger.
"If I ever get my hands on that son of a –"
"Sam! You can't pick a fight with them!" I exclaimed, tightening my arms around her. "They will kill you in a heartbeat. Promise me you won't provoke them." After a moment the fire in her eyes dulled and she nodded.
"Okay. I won't provoke a fight. But if I get the chance when we break into their Headquarters I am so kicking their asses with the ecto-guns." She smiled.
"Oh now that smile was evil." I snickered. Sam laughed and shook her head. Silence enveloped us, then I had an idea. I began to sway, imagining that there was music playing. Sure enough, the faint sound of soft music filled the area. She giggled, a sound that seemed very girly, but yet very adorable. I pulled her in closer and she laid her head against my chest. I smiled and rested my head atop of hers. The soft scent of lavender filled my nose, making me feel at peace. Sam's hands that were around my neck slowly began twisting the small tendrils of hair that were touching her fingers. I smiled and turned my face into her hair again, the silky strands feeling great against my cheek. We swayed with the music, forgetting the problems that were in the outside world and focusing on what was happening here and now. After a few minutes Sam shifted and looked up at me, her bright eyes sad. I had the strongest urge to kiss her, to feel that spark that ignited every time we were together. Why not? I'm not going to see her for a while, and if the GIW have their way, I never will. My gaze travelled from her eyes to her plump, pink lips that were parted slightly. I heard her heartbeat increase as I slowly leaned down. Our lips were inches apart when Sam spoke.
"Danny, will I remember this when I wake up?" She whispered.
"I hope so." I murmured as I closed the distance between our mouths. To say I felt sparks would be an understatement. Sam ran her fingers through my hair as my arms tightened around her waist, lifting her slightly off the ground. My lips parted hers as she tangled her fingers in my hair. She moaned and deepened the kiss, my tongue flicking against hers. Shivers ran down my spine as my hands clutched her shirt (my shirt) and pulled her closer to me; her body fitting against mine like the missing piece of my jigsaw puzzle. Too soon, we broke apart, slightly breathless but smiling. Sam raised her head, her bright eyes peering at me through dark lashes. I smiled and rested my forehead against hers.
"What was that for?" She asked softly. I leant back and looked her in the eyes.
"Because I don't know if I'll ever get the chance to do it again." I said honestly, reaching up to caress her face. Sam sighed and leaned into my hand, a single tear sliding down her cheek. I wiped it away with a kiss. "Please don't cry. I have faith that you'll find me." I said, causing her to open bright eyes that were swimming with unshed tears. "I believe in you Sam, I've always believed in you, even when I didn't believe in myself." I said, brushing another strand of hair from her eyes. I glanced around and saw a tree a few meters away. Taking her hand I led her there and sat down, letting go of her hand to pat the grass next to me. When I saw my arm, I realised I was still in my human form. I hoped I was still Phantom outside my dream. She sat beside me and looked at me.
"When I was under Freakshow's control you were the only one who believed that I could be saved, that I was still...me." I said, smiling kindly at her. "You've always been there for me, helping me even when it put you in danger." I took her hand in mine, rubbing my thumb in small circles across the back of her hand. She smiled at me.
"You've always been there for me too Danny. You've saved me countless times, both as Phantom and Fenton; Phantom by saving me from ghosts, and Fenton by being my best friend." She said, her voice filled with gratitude. I squeezed her hand. Suddenly, I felt a tug in my chest. I jumped from the shock of it, letting go of Sam and standing up.
"Danny? Are you okay?" Sam asked, rising to her feet. I shook my head.
"I think I'm waking up." I said as another tug, causing me to stumble. Sam grabbed my arm
"No! You can't leave." She said, holding onto me tightly. "I don't know when I'll see you again!" She teared up once more. I've never seen Sam cry this much, I thought to myself, sadness filling me. I turned to her and enveloped her in my arms.
"I'll be back, Sam. I promise you this, I will find you, no matter what, I'll always find you." I whispered to her, my face buried in her hair once more. She wrapped her arms around me tightly, holding me close to her. I heard her breathe in deeply and I knew she was inhaling my scent; I knew this because I was doing the same thing to her. I felt another tug and I knew I only had a moment. I leaned back and pressed my lips against hers in a frantic, last minute kiss. I pulled back as another, stronger tug dragged me back another step.
"Goodbye Sam." I whispered as my body started to fade and darkness began to replace Phantom Island. Just before everything was completely black, I heard her speak.
"Goodbye Danny." Her whisper was carried along with me as I woke up, and even as I opened my eyes, I could still hear her voice ringing in my ears. Marti was standing above me with Harrison right behind her.
"Danny, please wake up. My father and – oh I mean, the Agents' want to see you." She said softly. I blinked, clearing my blurry vision. I sat up, running my fingers through my hair and yawning.
"I'm up, I'm up." I muttered, swinging my legs off the bed and standing. As I took a deep breath, I smelt the lingering scent of lavender and couldn't help but smile as I remembered my night with Sam in my dream.
"Why are you smiling?" Marti asked me curiously. I shook my head, still taking deep breaths in my nose. She and Harrison were completely oblivious to the lavender scent that was all I could smell.
"No reason." I replied. Marti nodded and led the way out into the hallway. The sweet scent stayed with me, even as I left the room walking to what I knew would cause me pain, the smell of lavender still comforted me and gave me strength.
Sam awoke with a smile on her face. She couldn't remember why at first, but then the dream came rushing back to her. She sat up with a gasp. Throwing back the covers, Sam jumped out of bed and darted out into the hallway, jumping down the stairs and running into the kitchen. Her watch said it was eight thirty so she knew they'd all be in either the kitchen or the Ghost Lab. She didn't care that she was still dressed only in Danny's shirt, or that she could still smell him even though they were apart. They weren't in the living room or the kitchen.
"Guys! Where are you?" She shouted, leaping down the stairs into the Ghost Lab, her long, dark hair trailing behind her. She found them by the computers in the Lab, Blaize still monitoring the tracking device's signal and Tucker clicking away at the keyboard. They both looked up as she ran into the room, her hair messy and her eyes wild.
"Sam, what is it? Are you okay?" Blaize asked, standing up. Sam nodded, a smile breaking out on her face.
"Danny came to me in my dream." She said. Tucker's fingers froze on the keyboard. He dashed over to Sam, looking her straight in the eyes.
"Are you serious?" He asked her, his voice hopeful. "As in the way he and Clockwork did the other night?" Sam nodded eagerly.
"Yes!" She exclaimed. Blaize clapped happily and floated up into the air with a twirl.
"Oh thank God." Blaize said, sighing in relief. Can't believe she's the twin of Ember, they're so different Sam thought. She was soon distracted by Tucker.
"What happened? What did he say?" He asked her, leaning in, his eyes eager. Sam sobered up as she told them what happened and what they talked about. When she got to the part where he had kissed her she paused. Do I tell them?
"He kissed you didn't he?" Blaize asked her. Sam looked to her sharply.
"Are you telepathic too?" She asked, suspicious immediately – she couldn't help feeling suspicious of people she didn't know well, especially gorgeous ghost girls who were close to Danny. Blaize shook her head, automatically causing Sam to calm down and lower her bristles.
"No, I don't have any special powers sadly, only the basics." She said, her voice soft. Sam felt sympathy for her; she knew what it was like to feel weak. "But he kissed you, yes?" He asked again. Sam felt her cheeks flush red. Tucker grinned.
"Yeah, he did." She said, smiling shyly.
"Told you he liked you!" Both Tucker and Blaize said in unison. Then their excitement about her and Danny's kissed passed and they realised what she had said.
"Wait, Danny was tortured?" Blaize asked quietly, dropping down slowly until she landed on the ground without a noise. Sam nodded sadly.
"They strapped him to a chair and electrocuted him for information." She said, her voice shaking as she remembered the pained look on Danny's face. Tucker frowned.
"We have to find him." He said. Sam looked at him. "I mean, fast Sam, like putting the computer into overdrive and getting all the gear ready and figuring out how we are gonna rescue him. I mean where do we get the blueprints for a maximum security facility on short notice without doing anything severely illegal?" Tucker asked, frustrated. Blaize cleared her throat.
"Uh, I may know someone." She said with a faint smile. Sam looked at her, puzzled.
"Please, Technus we need those blueprints!" Blaize said to the mullet-haired ghost an hour later.
"I, Technus, will not assist the Ghost Child! He who has foiled my plans one too many times!" Technus said, crossing his arms. "He shall not be freed to foil my next plan for when I, Technus will use computers and succeed in world domination!"
"Really dude? Don't you remember, shouting out your name and what you're going or not going to do is so Technus 1.0?" Tucker said with a smirk. Technus glared at him.
"If you weren't in the confines of that contraption, I would make you regret–" He was interrupted by Blaize clearing her throat and frowning at him.
"Technus, do you not remember who I am and what the Council has recently announced?" Blaize asked him, her voice filled with authority. Technus hesitated before speaking.
"Oh, ah yes. Well, I might consider helping." He said. "As it would be…mutually beneficial." He coughed and glanced around. "Okay." He finally agreed.
"Thank you –"
"I, Technus 2.0, shall break into the –"
"Technus!" Blaize barked. Technus broke off, a sheepish look on his face.
"Sorry." He mumbled. Blaize nodded.
"Get the blueprints to us as soon as possible please. It's very important. Danny's life depends on it, and you know what the Council will do to you if they find out you failed to help the Ghost King when he needed it." Blaize said, her voice lowering and sounding threatening. Technus paled (who knew a ghost could pale?) and nodded quickly. Whatever the Council does must be terrifying Sam thought as she watched Technus.
"I shall get on it now Blaize McLain." He said, turning and flying into the door behind him that lead to his lair. When he was gone Blaize turned to Sam and Tucker with a brilliant smile.
"Wow, that was awesome Blaize!" Sam said, grinning at the flame-haired ghost. Blaize nodded.
"Yep, I did get some things in similar with my sister." She winked at them.
"Yeah, hotness included." He whispered. Sam elbowed him as Blaize giggled.
"Tuck, you know ghosts have great hearing, even if we are inside the Spectre Speeder, right?" Sam whispered to him. Tucker blushed.
"Yeah, uh I knew that. I was mentioning the flaming hair." He said quickly. It didn't stop the girls from laughing though.
"Okay, let's get back to the Ghost Lab, we have left the monitor long enough, even if it is synced up to Tucker's PDA." Sam said. The other two nodded in agreement. Sam pulled back on the steering lever to turn the Speeder around. Suddenly, a ghost zipped by the Speeder, making Tucker to shriek and jump, crashing into Sam and causing her to pull the steering lever, sending them flying towards Blaize. She yelped and turned intangible a moment before the Speeder flew right where she was. When Sam finally regained control she and Blaize glared at Tucker.
"Seriously Tucker? We are in the Ghost Zone! There are literally ghosts EVERYWHERE!" Sam yelled at him. Tucker flinched.
"Sorry it just took me by surprise. Sorry guys." He replied guiltily. Blaize rolled her eyes and flew off in the direction of the Ghost Portal. Sam sighed and followed her, ignoring Tucker's pathetic explanations as to why he had shrieked like a girl.
"Finally!" Sam exclaimed as she drove the Spectre Speeder through the Ghost Portal and into the Fenton's basement. "Now Tucker, can you do me a favour?" She asked him, interrupting his rant. He nodded as she jumped out of the Spectre Speeder and walking over to where Blaize was hovering. "Shut up." Blaize started laughing while Tucker glared at them both.
"Ha-ha. You're so funny girls." He said as he climbed out after Sam.
"Oh we know we are." Sam said, holding up her hand towards Blaize who raised her own hand and high-fived her. Tucker rolled his eyes, but couldn't hide the smile on his face.
"Okay, back to the monitors." Tucker said, walking over and taking his seat at the Lab's computer. Sam opened her mouth but was interrupted by a ringing.
"What is that?" Blaize asked. Sam looked wide-eyed at Tucker.
"The phone." She said before darting upstairs. Sam looked around frantically for the phone. She finally spotted it on the coffee table. Lunging for the phone, she managed to answer it moments before it would have stopped.
"Hello?" She answered breathlessly.
"Hello? Sam? Is that you?" Maddie Fenton's voice replied.
"Uh, yes Mrs Fenton." Sam said. Shit, what are they calling for?
"Where's Danny?" Maddie asked.
"He's uh, in the shower." Sam replied. Huh, that was good thinking.
"Oh, okay. Well can you tell him that we won't be back for a few more days? We discovered there's a ghost hunting convention in Miami!" Maddie squealed in excitement.
"Hey Mads, you talking to Danny!" I heard Mr Fenton call out in the background.
"No Jack, it's Sam, Danny's in the shower." Maddie yelled back.
"Okay! Is the fudge in the fridge?" Jack hollered. Jeez, it's a wonder the Fenton's aren't deaf.
"Third shelf!" Maddie shouted. "Okay, where was I?" She asked, turning her attention back to Sam.
"Ghost hunting convention in Miami?" Sam prompted.
"Oh yes! Well, the convention goes for two weeks, but it has all the worlds' ghost hunters in one place, so it will be full of ghost weaponry and information about all different kinds of ghosts! Maybe one of them holds the key to destroying that destructive Danny Phantom." Maddie said, saying Danny's name like it was toxic. Sam swallowed roughly.
"So you won't be back until two weeks from now?" Sam asked, just trying to make sure.
"Yep, tell Danny that we're sorry, you and Tucker are welcome to stay with him, actually we'd prefer it if you did, prevent him from burning the house down." Maddie laughed. "No seriously, Danny can't cook, he'll most likely burn down the house." Maddie said seriously. Now it was Sam's turn to laugh.
"Don't worry Mrs Fenton, I'll make sure the house isn't destroyed and I'll keep Danny out of the kitchen." She said, sobering up. If he gets back, no when he gets back. Don't think negatively Sam, think positively. Sam snorted at the thought. A Goth, thinking positively, maybe I'm not such a Goth anymore, Sam thought, feeling amused.
"Well thank you Sam, tell Danny we love him and we will see him in two weeks." Maddie said then hung up before Sam could say anything.
"Huh, well that makes things a little easier." She said to herself. Walking back downstairs she saw Tucker was eagerly clicking on the computers mouse. "Mr and Mrs Fenton aren't going to be back for about two weeks. Ghost hunting convention in Miami." Sam said as she approached Tucker.
"That's great!" Blaize said from across the room. Sam nodded.
"That's one thing off our shoulders, now on to finding Danny." She walked up behind Tucker. "Anything new?"
"The tracker has begun to find him, like it has actually made a ten mile radius as to where he is."
"That's good news." Sam said. We're getting there Danny, hold on.
I was sick and tired of the GIW and I'd only been here three days, at least I think it was three days. Time passed strangely while I was here. I slept immediately after I returned to the room after my 'interrogations' which doubled as torture sessions. Agent L just liked to hold down the button on that cursed chair because he liked to cause me pain. No, seriously, that's the truth, I had looked into his mind.
Today I was led to a huge room, that for the first time in ages, wasn't white, it was a light grey colour and filled with dummies that were set up unevenly in the back left corner. The right wall was all one giant mirror – my guess was that it doubled as a window for me to be observed. Sure enough, when I listened I heard heartbeats behind it. Set up throughout the room were targets and objects hanging from the ceiling. I groaned as I realised what the room was.
"A training room? Seriously?" I muttered to myself. I had tried not to start talking to myself – but when being held in solitude and being physically abused each day, you sometimes can't help it. Marti had been talking to me less and less, I didn't know why but I understood. Harrison pointed at the room and I knew he wanted me to go in (seriously, did this guy ever talk?!) He was kind (or scared) enough not to touch me, except when I had to be carried back to 'my' room (which was pretty often sadly). I stepped over the threshold into the room and jumped as the door slammed shut behind me. I walked cautiously into the room. When I neared the middle, a panel on the wall opposite me slid across, revealing two shadows. Instinctively I shifted into a battle stance. Then Marti stepped into the room, her blonde locks in a tight braid. If they expected me to drop my guard, they were to be disappointed. She was nice, it didn't mean that I trusted her. Then I saw who the second shadow was and I scowled. My scowl deepened as Agent L walked into the room behind her.
"Phantom, today we will be assessing your powers and abilities." He said.
"Oh really?" I snorted. "I haven't eaten in what I'm guessing is three days, I highly doubt I'll be doing much." I wasn't lying, I was STARVING! They didn't think ghosts had to eat, but man do we need food. Most of us eat more than adolescent humans.
"Ghosts don't need food." Agent L replied. I rolled my eyes.
"Shows how much you know." I scoffed. He scowled at me.
"Martina! Take off his ankle cuff." He ordered. I froze as Marti pulled a key from her pocket and proceeded to remove the metal band around my foot. As soon as it was off I felt relief seep into my bones, along with the feeling of power. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. As I let it out my eyes snapped open, glowing brighter than they had in days. I lightly pushed off the ground and hovered in the air.
"Man does that feel good." I said to myself as I did a slow backflip mid-air, stretching my aching muscles.
"Phantom." Agent L's voice made me turn my attention back to him. I was now floating upside down, glaring at the man I had come to despise. I felt his fear as he looked into my glowing eyes and I grinned. Now my powers were back he was terrified.
"Yes Agent?" I asked mockingly, crossing my legs and arms as I raised my eyebrows. He scowled but his daughter his a smile.
"Turn upright, you are to begin the demonstration."
"And what do I get out of it?" I asked, rolling over onto my stomach and resting my chin on my hands, a parody of me resting on a couch.
"Less pain." He growled. I sighed.
"Throw a burger or four in there and I'll get like a puppy." I said, half-joking (not kidding, I'd do it that's how hungry I was).
"Fine. You get a meal, if you demonstrate your powers to a satisfactory level." Agent L said, crossing his arms. I sighed.
"Whatever, as long as I get some food." I replied, flipping over and landing lightly on the ground again.
"Flight – check." Marti said with a snicker as she wrote it down on her ever-present clipboard that I knew had almost every detail they knew of me written on it (which, to my pride and joy) was very low. Agent L and Marti walked over to the panel and Agent L pressed a button on his cuff, causing a door to slide open. As it closed I sighed and pushed off the ground, rising into the air. I couldn't help but feel good (well, as good as I can be in captivity), I always did while flying.
"You are to hit each target as it passes." Marti's voice crackled over the speakers. I sighed.
"Man this better be worth it." I muttered as my hands began to glow bright. So no Ghostly Wail, telepathy, telekinesis, cryokinesis or anything else I didn't tell them, I reminded myself mentally. Well telepathy would be okay, but I didn't want to risk it. Only use ghost ray, invisibility, intangibility and if the situation arises, overshadowing. I smiled as the first target moved into my vision. "This is going to be so easy." The target was hanging from the roof and in the shape of a person (really, are they trying to make me look evil?!) and moving towards me. It would appear to be fast for a human, but for me, with my (literal) inhuman reflexes, it felt like it was coming at me as slow as a human walking. I lifted my arm and pointed at the target, a beam of green energy shooting from my hand and hitting the humanoid target shattering it with ease. As soon as that target was gone, three more took its place, moving towards me from three different angles. I launched three fireballs in quick succession, each hitting their intended targets and burning them to ash in seconds. My hearing picked up someone speaking in the 'hidden' room.
"Make it more difficult, he looks like he is doing this with ease." I recognised Agent K's voice and snickered. This is easy. I thought as I destroyed another five. Honestly, it's no wonder it took them two years to design a weapon that would even weaken me – and it took multiple shots for that to happen I thought as more targets appeared in front of me. But these targets were different, they were flying, moved swifter and came at me at random, and there was twelve of them. I sighed. Looks like they meant it when they said make it a bit more difficult. I sighed. I hate this, I feel like a circus animal. But a circus animal would be treated better. I shot up into the air, the twelve targets following me.
"Who knew they made flying ones?" I said to myself as I turned and faced them. Holding out my hands I aimed every finger at a target, and then looked at the last two. I concentrated, waiting til they were closer before I shot ectorays out of each finger (thumbs included) and my eyes. The twelve targets burst into rubble. For a moment nothing happened and I frowned, knowing something was going to be fired at me. As I turned in a slow circle, I heard the faintest ticking noise behind me. Moving fast, I spun and shot an ectobeam at the rocket flying toward me, making it explode. To avoid the debris around me, I turned intangible, letting the metal shards fall through me to land harmlessly on the ground.
"That the best you got?" I said, turning to the window/mirror, crossing my arms and shooting them a cocky smile. My answer was three missiles heading for me. I leapt to action, instinct from years of fighting and dodging my parents failed (or working) experiments taking over. I flew straight towards one of the rockets, my fist held out in front of me like Superman. My hand slammed into the projectile, the entire nose caving in. Before it could explode, I threw myself into a backflip, kicking the broken missile into the second rocket. I turned intangible the moment after I felt my foot hit the rocket, once again, avoiding debris. I didn't have time to congratulate myself, instead of waiting to see the remnants of the first two rockets I zoomed off, the third and final rocket close behind. Two down, one to go. Coming up in front of me was a wall, so I couldn't fly further but I had an idea. Suddenly, I dropped down and flipped onto my back at the same time, I threw a fireball that hit the rocket, causing it to catch fire. Before it could explode, the flaming rocket crashed into the wall. I snorted.
"Skulker's weapons are better." I rolled my eyes. "Not that I'd ever tell him that." I snickered as I thought of the ghostly robotic-bodied hunter. "His ego doesn't need to be bigger."
"Danny Phantom, we will now be testing – oh, uh, observing your agility and speed." Marti's voice came across the speakers once more. I sighed.
"I'm just a labrat." I muttered to myself. A mechanical whirring echoed in the room as miniature barricades, hoops and other strange objects appeared throughout the room. I sighed and began my 'demonstration' which I knew was really an opportunity for them to see what I could do, and eventually find my weaknesses. Not that they'll ever find those. I smirked. To my pride, I didn't have many, except the ones that all ghosts have, like ectoranium. I spiralled through the rings and hoops, twisting my body in an arch as I navigated the obstacle course. I didn't show them how flexible I truly was or how fast I could really fly, as I did with everything else, I only gave them the basics. I flew slowly, the speed of a lesser ghost, like the Box Ghost and didn't contort myself, even when the gaps between the obstacles were practically non-existent. After twenty minutes of flying and dodging obstacles, I was ready to drop. Having not eaten for over three days, not having much sleep and lots of continuous movement did not help my exhaustion – and I was bored! I had gotten sick of the obstacle course less than five minutes in; it was too repetitive and way too easy. Finally, the GIW Operatives must have gotten bored as well because Marti's voice sounded out over the crackly microphone, causing me to pause mid-air, my body tense.
"Obstacle course test is complete." She said and all the rings and barricades disappeared, melting back into the walls, floor and ceiling, leaving the room looking like they'd never even been there. It was silent for a moment then the wall panel slid across again, revealing Marti, Agent L and Agent K. I scowled and crossed my arms.
"Happy?" I asked them, not moving from where I was hovering. Agent K looked at his partner.
"It was adequate." He replied, his face stony. I rolled my eyes. I'd like to see you do better you pompous prick.
"Now we have our final test for today." Agent L said. I refrained from saying a snarky comment, the prospect of food all that was stopping me from being a douche. I tilted my head in confusion.
"Final test? I thought it was just agility, speed and target shooting." I frowned. I wasn't the only one confused as I saw Marti looking curiously at her father too. Agent L looked at his partner and smiled. This doesn't look good. A little voice in my head whispered
Nah shit Sherlock! What part of this situation screams 'good'? I replied. Being held captive by the governments' crappy ghost hunters? Or what about the lack of food and the horrid treatment? I paused. Wow did I really just say horrid?
Yeah, you really did, the little voice said to me.
Oh shut up. I retorted. Oh my God. I'm having a mental conversation with myself. I'm seriously going crazy. I thought, shaking my head in exasperation.
Yeah you really are.
Shut up! You're in my mind you have to listen to me! I mentally shouted back.
No, it replied. I groaned.
"Jeez, who knew I was so stubborn." I muttered to myself as I continued to float in mid-air.
Seriously, stop talking, you're really annoying.
I am you moron, so if I'm annoying, then so are you.
Ugh, little voice in my head, SHH!
"Danny Phantom." Agent K's voice snapped me from my mental argument. He and Agent L had been whispering among themselves, and had obviously excluded Marti because she still looked confused whereas her father and his partner looked determined. "How fast can you heal?" He asked me. I froze.
"Uh, pretty fast." I said, trying to be as vague as possible, while being honest. I don't like where this is going, the little voice was back again, this time it sounded fearful.
For once I agree with you. I replied, frowning at the GIQ Agents.
"Why does it matter?" I asked, knowing I was going to hate the answer. "I'll bet I'm going to regret asking that." I whispered to myself. Agent L reached into his pocket and pulled out what looked like a remote for a TV. I moved back slightly, becoming even more wary than before (if that was even possible – and speaking of which, why is it always Agent L who has the %$# *!& remotes!).
"Because we will be able to see how true your answer is." Agent K replied. I frowned in confusion. It only took me a moment to understand, but by then it was too late. Agent L's finger pressed down on a red button (seriously, another red button?! How many could they possibly have?!) and I heard a noise behind me. I spun around, my eyes widening just as a gun the size of my bed at home appeared from the wall behind me and fired a beam of red hot energy that hit me directly above my core. I gasped as I felt the heat from the weapon burn my chest and arms. The strength of the blast threw me off balance and I dropped to the ground, my wounds already healing even as I fell. I smashed to the ground and cried out in pain. I had landed directly on the metal shards from the rockets I had destroyed. Pinpricks of pain appeared all over my body, but they paled in comparison to the pain I now felt in my ribs. A huge shard of metal had sunk into my right side, I could feel it buried deep within my torso, sending agonizing pain through my body whenever I moved or breathed. I lay on my side, gasping for air, my hands clutching at my side, but they were slipping in something warm and wet. I looked down and saw that there was green ectoplasmic blood covering my palms. Shit, shit, shit, this is insanely painful, holy crap. I thought, my mind cloudy with pain. The miniature cuts and scrapes that were along my body were already healing, new skin growing and covering the damaged skin. I forced myself to sit up, breathing through the pain. It seemed with each breath I took the pain seemed to lessen, but I think I was just getting used to it. I kept my left hand pressed against the wound in an attempt to stop the blood flow. God, this hurts more than the time Johnny 13 and his Shadow ran me over with his motorcycle. I groaned as I pushed myself to my knees and rose to my feet. I will be strong, I will not cry. I was determined not to be seen as weak, especially in front of these stuck up, ghost hunting morons. I straightened up and glared at them, my hand still pressed to my side.
"Happy?" I growled, reaching up and pulling a tiny fragment of metal from my cheek, the cut healing within seconds. Agent L smiled.
"Very." He replied. My eyes glowed bright as my anger increased. He was enjoying my pain. Jeez, I knew he was messed up before but this is just plain sick, I thought. I felt the skin under my left hand move and I glanced down. The blood had stopped and the skin was regrowing, healing itself— but there was one problem. The shard was still inside me. I stifled a groan as I removed my hand from my waist, revealing to the GIW that the skin underneath was unmarked except for a tiny white line that was disappearing even as they watched. My gaze was drawn to Marti who was (excuse the pun) as pale as a ghost. Her hand was shaking as she wrote something down on her clipboard. She looks terrified, I thought.
"Martina, put Phantom's Omega Destabiliser Band on." Agent K said, turning away from me and walking back towards the panel, Agent L close behind.
"Guess that's a dismissal." I murmured to myself.
"Yeah, it seems like it." Marti said as she pulled the ankle band out of her pocket and knelt down. I would move my foot to make it easier for her, but it hurt to move. I felt her hands on my left ankle and the sudden absence of my powers hit me. It felt like my body had become heavier and slower – which was true. Marti stood back up and I looked at her but she avoided my gaze. She walked over to the large door through which I had entered the room and knocked once. As it was with the other door, Harrison opened it within seconds. I knew I was meant to follow her, but that meant moving, and moving meant pain. I looked down and saw a few drops of ectoplasm on the ground. They can't have a sample of my blood, I thought. I glanced around, making sure that no-one was looking then I listened for heartbeats behind the wall, but there were none. I returned my gaze to the ectoplasm on the floor and concentrated. It was much easier when I didn't have the power restraint on my ankle, but I managed to use my telekinesis to move the ectoplasm together and separate everything that wasn't my blood from it. I held out my hand and the ball of blood flew to me, hovering above my open palm. I clenched my hand in a fist around it and pushed the ectoplasm against my suit where the rest of the blood from my shard wound was. I gasped as pain flooded my body, making me hunch over and causing my knees to buckle, but I didn't let myself fall. I saw Marti turn and I straightened up, my face impassive.
"Come on Danny. We have to get you back to your room." Marti said, still not meeting my eyes. I nodded. Taking a deep breath that caused pain to shoot through my body, I turned and walked slowly to the door, every step causing more and more agony. I walked past Marti and out into the hallway, Harrison following me like an ever-present shadow. It is so sad how I am getting to know my way around here I thought as I turned at an intersection without having to be directed. I could feel that Marti was even more distant than usual and I wanted to ask why, but I knew she wouldn't answer. I really want to know what she's thinking. I thought.
That's an invasion of privacy. The little voice in my head was back.
Only if I delve in deep, I'll only be skimming the surface, her current thoughts. I kinda want to know her opinion of what happened back there. I retorted. There was no reply. I reached out with my mind and lightly touched Marti's, just enough to know what she was currently thinking. Her thoughts flowed into my mind easily. Hey, I'm getting the hang of this power.
Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God. My father purposely injured him! Holy shit! He was going so well during the demonstration too. The way he was able to move at that speed was incredible! She sounded amazed, but even her mental voice was shaky. Then…oh my God. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Marti clench her hands together so tight that her knuckles went white. The way he hit the floor, on those metal and glass shards. I felt her horror as she recalled the memory. In my head I saw the scene from her point of view. There I was hovering when suddenly I was struck from the air and crashed to the ground. The cry of pain that came from me caused me to wince. It sounded awful. She had felt relief when I had slowly stood up, but worry too as she had seen the blood on my hands and the way I was hunched over. He still looks in pain. But he healed! I saw his skin grow over the cuts. I can't believe my dad did that to him. That was cruel and wrong. Why did he do that? I pulled myself from her mind; her erratic thoughts were causing my head to spin. Up ahead I saw the door that lead to the room I tried not to call mine. I sighed in relief then gasped in pain as that sigh caused the metal shard to move inside me. Marti looked at me sharply, her eyes narrowed. I faked a smile and nodded my head slightly. I was walking very slow, and I think they noticed (okay, I knew they noticed, mainly cause I heard Marti whisper "why is he walking so slow?" to Harrison a few minutes ago). Marti walked ahead of me, swiped her card against the keypad on the wall and pushed the door open. I shuffled through the doorway and immediately made my way to the bed. I gently lowered myself down onto the mattress, panting slightly as my side throbbed. I can't believe I healed with the shard inside me, how the hell am I going to get it out!? I had to figure something out, but that would have to wait until Marti and Harrison left.
"I'll be out in a moment Harrison." I heard Marti say to the guard. Then the door closed and I was once again alone with Marti. I looked up at her, lifting my left hand to my side. She still didn't look me in the eyes even as she stood by the door, her hands twisted together.
"Marti? Why are you here?" I asked her, my voice resigned. She finally raised her eyes to look at me and I was shocked to see they were filled with tears.
"I'm so sorry Danny." She said quietly. "I should've stopped them, or at least done something." She walked over and sat next to me on the bed. I chuckled but broke off when it became too painful.
"You couldn't have done anything Marti, seriously, it's okay." I said, smiling at her and letting my hand drop to my lap. She sighed.
"I know but I still feel bad." She replied. "Do you know what it's like to feel responsible for something?" She asked, looking at me, her eyes dark. I raised my eyebrows.
"Hello? You're talking to Danny Phantom, sole protector of Amity Park and the Ghost Zone; he who is single-handedly responsible for all ghosts in this realm and the next." I said. Is she being serious? She knows who I am; you think she'd know that I know a few things about responsibility. I thought.
I'm with you on that one. The little voice would not leave me alone! That's cause I'm part of you doofus.
You have to be with me, as you said, you're a part of me dumbass.
You just called yourself a dumbass.
And you called yourself a doofus, I think we're even. I replied. I shook my head.
"I have got to stop talking to myself." I murmured.
"What?" Marti said. I shook my head at her once again.
"Nothing." I replied. Marti shrugged.
"Yeah, I forgot that you do know about responsibility." She said, returning to the previous conversation.
"I know more about it than anyone, dead or alive." I said, my voice low and mysterious. She shot me a curious look but didn't say anything.
"I feel responsible for my father. He's always been…offstandish and kinda mean, but he gets the job done. At least that's what I've always been told; I just never knew that he tortured people to do it." She said sadly.
"Hey, you called ghosts 'people', like we actually matter." I said, smiling kindly at her. She chuckled.
"Well you are people, technically, even if you are dead." She said. "Oh, I'm sorry, that was mean –"
"It's true, it wasn't mean." I said, comforting her. She smiled at me.
"You're really nice. I was always taught that ghosts were just putrid protoplasm that has been given consciousness and had no real desires or feelings besides anger, rage and the craving to destroy people and—"
"Okay, okay, I get it." I interrupted her rant. She grinned and bumped me with her shoulder. Normally that wouldn't be a problem, but she just so happened to be sitting on my right side. I cried out in pain as her elbow hit right where the metal shard was.
"Out of everywhere to hit!" I gasped as agonizing pain flooded through my body, bringing tears to my eyes. My hands clutched at my side and hunched over, trying to relieve the pain.
"Oh my God! Danny! Are you okay? What happened?" Marti asked me, grabbing my shoulder. I shook my head, still gasping for air and wishing like hell that I could just pass out already. When the pain finally dulled down to a sharp throbbing and I was able to sit up again, I looked at Marti who was staring at me with a worried look on her face. I grimaced in pain and looked down, moving my hand from my side and seeing the blood on my palm. The metal shard had moved when she elbowed me and had broken the skin.
"Oh crap. Danny, what is that?" She said, pointing at my waist. As we watched, the cut healed over, the blood flow stopping. I raised my eyes to Marti.
"A wound." I replied. She rolled her eyes.
"Duh, but why is it bleeding now? You healed back in the room, and nothing bad happened just then." She said. I sighed.
"When I fell on those metal shards, one of them went into side, very deeply into my side I might add, and the skin healed over it." I said to her, groaning in pain. Marti stared wide-eyed at me.
"Are you saying, there's a metal shard inside you?!" She exclaimed, her eyes dropping from my face to my side. I nodded. "How the hell are you still alive? You managed to walk all the way from the training room to here without crying or passing out or anything! You didn't even complain once." She looked amazed and appalled at the same time.
"Yeah, well, I have been through worse." I said. "It just usually isn't ongoing. Cause I heal fast the pain never lasts." I sighed.
"What are you going to do?"
"I don't know. I just have to move through it, I'm not sure if I can get it out." I said honestly. Marti's shoulders sagged. "But that doesn't matter. Are you okay? I know you're upset and I just want to make sure you're alright." I didn't want two of us to be depressed.
"You are strong." She said softly. I looked at her quizzically.
"I can lift immensely heavy things." I said slowly, feeling confused. How the hell does that relate to the shard? Marti rolled her eyes.
"I know that, I meant – wait, seriously? How heavy?" She shook her head. "Marti focus." She told herself before looking at me again. "I meant you're strong because you're able to cope with that pain and still be able to care about someone else." She shook her head with a smile. "You put others before yourself." I nodded.
"Yeah, I do. My friends matter more to me than myself. My friends and family are my main priority." I froze as I realised what I just told her. She looked at me.
"You have a family?" She asked me, her voice quiet.
"Yes, I do." I replied, my voice low. She leant back against the wall, her eyes wide as she took in the information.
"I didn't know ghosts had families." Marti said, shaking her head. I nodded.
"Yep, remember what I told you about Box Lunch?" Ew. "She's the daughter of two ghosts, oh well, she will be." I said, remembering that Box Lunch wasn't supposed to be born for another three years.
"Will be?" She asked, frowning at me.
"She's not born yet." I replied.
"Oh, when's the mother due?"
"Oh, she's not pregnant." Was all I said. It just made Marti look more and more confused. "All ghosts have families. One of my close ghost friends has a twin sister. Ghosts do have families. And as I said a few days ago, no one bothers to get to know a ghost, so how would they know facts? All humans have is assumptions about us." I glared at the wall across from us. Marti hesitated before resting her hand against my arm.
"I don't assume anything about you." She said softly. "I base my opinion on you from what I know. You're kind, strong and brave, you put others before yourself, you're smart, confident and you're not afraid to speak your mind." She smiled. I looked at her.
"I didn't know you actually paid attention." I said, surprised. She nodded and looked down.
"I like you Danny. You actually listen to what I say. And I'm sorry for being distant these past few days, I've just been afraid that my dad will know I'm talking to you and he'll get angry. But today I realised that I don't care. You're my friend and that's all that matters." She squeezed my arm gently. I grinned at her.
"Thanks Marti." I said, genuinely touched by how she considered me a friend. "And I think of you as a friend too." I replied honestly. She smiled. A knock sounded on the door and a moment later Harrison poked his head in. Marti sighed and nodded.
"I better get going now. I'll be back tomorrow." She said, standing up.
"Okay." I replied, smiling as she gave me a small wave and left the room. As soon as she was gone, I rose to my feet, slowly and painfully making my way to the bathroom. "Time to wash off this blood." I muttered to myself. I shut the door to the bathroom and groaned when I looked in the mirror. I looked like shit. The bright green colour of my eyes had lost their luminance and had dark rings under them; you could tell I hadn't eaten in a few days as my cheeks were slightly sunken in, and my hair was duller than usual, more like grey than snow white.
"Ugh, I haven't showered in days; I probably smell awful. Lucky ghosts don't sweat easily." I smiled grimly at my reflection. I walked over to the white shower cubicle and turned on the taps. The water that came out was cold; at least it felt cold to me even though the hot water tap was the only one that was on. I frowned. Reaching my hand under the water I saw steam rise off my skin. I placed my palm on the wall and saw ice spread out from under my hand. I gasped and quickly removed my hand from the wall. My core was working overtime to try and heal me, and by doing that was triggering my cryokinesis. I glanced up and saw there were no cameras in the bathroom.
"Lucky they have a sense of privacy, even if they have barely any humanity." I said to myself. Just to make sure I listened carefully for the tell-tale whirring of the cameras. When I heard nothing I nodded and finally allowed myself to relax for the first time in days. Even as I began to relax, my mind was going crazy. Why am I even fighting back? What's the point? There's nothing I can do. I can't escape here without help, and I don't think the tracking device is working, or else they can't find it so I'm screwed. I should just give up, not like I'm going to last very long in this place. I don't even know how long I've been here for! I thought, feeling incredibly depressed. There is no hope. I began to shiver, even though the hot water was filling the room with steam. Each time my body quivered my side throbbed even more.
"Why the hell am I cold!?" I exclaimed. "Ghosts don't get cold; the only time I got cold was when my cryokinesis was developing. But I've mastered that ability so it's not that." Just as I thought I was going to cry out from the pain and the cold, my body flooded with heat. It started from my chest and spread out to the tips of my fingers and the bottoms of my feet. Finally, I stopped shivering.
"What the hell was that?" I muttered, looking down at my arms curiously. Suddenly, I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders, making me feel light and happy. The depression that had taken me over for the past few days and peaked a few minutes ago had gone, leaving behind the feeling of peace. There is hope. I didn't give up when Pariah attacked my home, I didn't give up when I was trapped in Walker's prison, and I'm sure as hell not giving up now. As I said before, I've been through worse. I thought determinedly. I straightened up and stuck my hand under the water from the shower again. I quickly yanked my hand back out again as I felt the heat. I grinned to myself as I stepped inside the cubicle, the heat warming my aching muscles and flattening my hair against my forehead. I kept my suit on for three reasons:
I wanted to be ready incase they surprised me with a late night interrogation (at least I think it's night. I have no idea anymore)
I didn't have the energy to take it off
And it would hurt like a bitch to have to move too much
I lifted up my arms up, wincing as it caused pain in my side. I ran my fingers through my hair, shaking out the strands and attempting to clean it. There was no shampoo (which didn't shock me) but then again, they didn't have anything that would benefit me besides a bed, toilet and shower. Jerks. When it got to cleaning the blood off my side, I held my breath, trying not to make a noise as I ran my hands over the skin, rubbing the green blood off the material of my jumpsuit. When I finished I let out my breath in a whoosh, relief flooding my veins. I stayed in the shower for ages, just letting the hot water cascade down my face and thinking of those I had left behind.