Chapter 8 - Breakout
Chaos erupted around me as the building shook and alarms sounded. I flew to the door, all hopes of meditation gone. I hesitated half a second before turning invisible then intangible and sticking my head through the wall. Looking left and right I saw a crowd of GIW Agents running towards the room I was being held in.
"A ghost is loose in Headquarters! Check Phantom is still in his holding quarters!" The guy in front yelled to Harrison. I smiled. They're going to get a shock. I leant back, pulling my head out of the wall and floated up to the ceiling, flattening myself against the roof and looking down just as the door burst open and a bunch of bald, middle-aged men ran into the room.
"Call Agents L and K, Phantom has escaped!" The guy who had spoken earlier said to the dark haired man on his right. The dark haired man nodded and grabbed his cell and dialled a number. Time to take my leave, I smirked to myself as I phased through the ceiling, leaving the Agents standing in the room scratching their heads. I ended up on a floor above the level in which I was being held. The floor was just a giant room with little cubicles set in even intervals throughout the area. Glancing around, I saw a bunch of people in white suits and dresses running around, paperwork was flying off the desk and computers appeared to be attacking some of the people. Computers attacking people? Why does that sound so familiar? I thought absently as I quickly dodged a red haired lady who was running for an elevator on the other side of the floor. I shrugged and flew upwards, once again phasing through the ceiling. I found myself on yet again another floor; this one looked more like a high school science lab. Sure enough, this floor had mayhem erupting too, this time it was boxes from science equipment that was creating a mess. I frowned. This is really weird, I thought as I continued to move up. The next level was just as crazy. Although instead of boxes and computers it was an ear piercing shriek that made my ears scream in agony. I clamped my hands to my ears and didn't hesitate on that floor. I shot upwards, phasing once more through the ceiling. How many fucking floors does this place have!? I thought as I passed through yet another bloody floor that was in chaos. I flew up and lo and behold, another mother fucking floor! I growled and dropped to the ground, becoming tangible and visible. This floor was entirely empty, but I had the strongest feeling to follow the corridor. I began to walk, my hearing sharp and my body ready for a fight. A rumbling was all the warning I got before the wall next to me exploded, showering me in concrete, plaster and metal. I turned intangible as a reflex, which probably saved my life (or AFTER-life, get it? Eh. Eh? Oh, shut up, I've been in captivity for almost a week; cut me some slack…not like my jokes were any good to begin with though…). When the dust and rubble cleared I couldn't help the giant smile that broke out on my face.
"SAM!" I shouted. The Spectre Speeder had crashed into the wall, busting a giant hole and seated inside were my two best friends, one who was leaping out of the flying vehicle as I moved forward (the other was struggling with his seatbelt – hey, at least he is road safe – well, sky safe). Sam threw herself into my arms, tears streaming down her face. I buried my face in her hair like I had so many times before and inhaled her familiar lavender smell. I tightened my arms around her, practically squishing her against me. I felt her nails dig slightly into my back as she held onto me as tight as she could, her face buried in my chest. I could feel her shake slightly as she hugged me.
"I'm here now." I whispered into her ear. She nodded into my chest. A moment later she leant back and looked up at me, her violet eyes shining. I lifted up my finger and trailed a line on her cheek.
"You have beautiful eyes." I whispered, smiling at her. She laughed breathlessly and smiled up at me.
"You look awful Danny." She said sadly, her smile fading. I knew what I looked like; sunken in cheeks, too skinny body, dirt covering me, and eyes that were duller than usual – not to mention the state of my clothes and hair. I sighed.
"I've looked worse." I joked. Sam's lips twitched and I knew she was fighting a smile. My eyes dropped from hers and rested on her lips. Before I could do anything else, I felt someone crash into me. Tucker had finally undone his seatbelt and was hugging me tightly. I laughed and hugged him back, happy to see my friends again. I realised something as Tucker released me.
"Wait, where's Blaize?" I asked them. "I sensed her, but I don't see her." I looked around and the feeling hit me again, like there was something else nearby. My Ghost Sense had felt different when I sensed Blaize. Then I realised what it was and I couldn't help but laugh.
"What?" Sam asked, tilting her head curiously.
"You bought along everyone." I snickered. Tucker smiled.
"Sam's idea. She figured that the ghosts of the Ghost Zone wouldn't be happy with their future King being taken by the Guys in White, especially the Ghost Council, so Blaize went ahead and told them what happened and within a day they had rallied a bunch of ghosts to help with the rescue mission." Tucker said as Sam stood by, smiling proudly.
"Good idea Sam." I said, grinning at her. Her cheeks flushed pink. I concentrated for a second, listening and reaching out for the ghosts I felt nearby. "Oh wow, you really brought a lot with you." I said as I listed the ones I recognised off in my mind. Skulker, Blaize, Spectra, Bertrand, Ember, Technus, Box Ghost – well that explains the first three levels, I thought amused. Clockwork, Frostbite, Klemper, oh man I hope he doesn't come near me, Walker, Dora, Poindexter, Johnny, Kitty, Shadow, Lunch Lady, Pandora. "Jeez, is there anyone left in the Ghost Zone." I snickered. Sam and Tucker laughed.
"No idea, must be pretty empty." She confessed. I smiled. Our conversation was interrupted by a loud bang and a scream. My eyes widened. I knew that voice. "Blaize." I muttered. I looked to my friends. "Get in the Speeder, I'll see you outside." I said before shooting off faster than the speed of a bullet towards my ghostly friend. I squinted in the sudden daylight. After being inside for so long, sunlight felt like a spotlight shining directly into my eyes. I recovered quickly and continued to search for Blaize. When I rounded the corner and came to the front of the building I stopped dead in my tracks (hey, another 'dead' pun) at the sight before me. Ghosts were fighting Agents, and they appeared to be winning. Clockwork I knew must be stopping time because he kept disappearing and reappearing in different places, and every so often random Agents would disappear and I knew that they'd have fun in whatever time period he sent them to. My eyes searched for Blaize in the mayhem. I found her, fighting against someone that made my blood boil.
"Agent L." I growled under my breath. Blaize was laying on the ground, struggling to get up with Agent L standing a few feet away from her, a victorious smile on his face. A smoking weapon was in his hand, a weapon that looked like a smaller version of whatever they'd struck me with when they captured me. The asshole had obviously recreated the weapon so it would affect all ghosts. It must've been weaker though because it would have destroyed her with one shot if it was at the same power level that would affect me. My hands clenched into fists at my side as fury raced through my veins.
"How dare he harm my friends." I said, my voice dark. My eyes glowed brightly as I shot out across the field towards my friend, my legs forming a ghostly tail. I swerved around multiple fighting couples, managing to dodge a stream of ice Frostbite sent towards a human.
"Hello, Great One. It is good to see you free again." He said as he punched a dark skinned Agent in the face, sending him flying backwards.
"Good to be free Frostbite." I said to him as I flew past. I was so close to Blaize, a few more meters and I'd be there. Just as Agent L raised the weapon towards Blaize again, I reached them, managing to construct a shield around us both just as he fired the weapon. The blast created a thick smoke that wafted around us before disappearing. When the smoke was completely gone it revealed me standing above Blaize, my eyes glowing in anger.
"Hello again." I said, my voice low and deadly. Agent L's face paled as I smiled viciously.
"Phantom." He sneered, recovering quickly. "I thought you'd be hiding behind your posse of ghosts." I laughed, causing him to frown in confusion.
"You'd know all about hiding behind someone else." I replied, my voice light. "I on the other hand, would prefer to be out here, helping defend my friends." I gestured to the ghosts fighting around us. "And defend them I will." I growled, my voice losing its cheerful tone as I shifted into a fighting stance. Agent L scowled and raised his weapon. He fired it, shooting a bright ray towards me. I lifted my hand and caught the beam of energy in my palm, feeling the slight tingle as my powers activated, overtaking the weak ray. I raised my eyebrow at the Agent and smiled darkly. Agent L's eyes widened as he watched me catch the pink beam in my hand, and as he watched, the beam slowly changed from bright pink to a glowing neon green, the colour of my ghost rays. I felt my power seep into the ball of energy, multiplying it before I threw the ball towards Agent L. It hit him directly in the centre of his chest and sent him flying back. He crashed into the dirt, causing dust to fly up. I flew over and hovered above him, staring directly into his eyes. The blast wouldn't kill him, I knew that, but it would sure as hell have hurt.
"Now, here's a reminder, never ever hurt my friends again, or I'll make sure that the next time I shoot a plasma ray at you, it won't be as soft." I growled, my voice lethal. His blue eyes widened and I saw fear in them. I smiled victoriously. "And never try to keep me captive again, or you'll see what I really can do." I let my eyes flash at him, letting the Agent know I was serious. I looked over my shoulder at Blaize who was sitting on the ground staring at me. Leaving the Agent lying in the dust gasping for air, I flew over to my friend. I landed next to her and held out my hand.
"You okay?" I asked her softly as she took my hand and stood up. She nodded and smiled.
"Thanks to you." She glanced behind me to the now-unconscious Agent L before looking back to me. "That was incredible. How did you catch that beam!?" She laughed breathlessly in amazement. I shrugged.
"I don't know. I just knew I could." I smiled at her. She threw herself into my arms, hugging me tightly. I laughed and hugged her back, her flaming hair tickling my cheek. After a moment I released Blaize and returned my attention back to the ongoing fights around us. Being able to turn invisible and intangible helped in fights, but these guys were ghost hunters and so they had weapons that would be able to harm us even if we were intangible. Even as I watched, I saw the GIW take down several of my…friends? Some were my enemies, but they were here to help, does that make them friends? Frenemies? I shook my head, now was not the time to ponder such thoughts, now was the time for action. I saw Ember shot from the sky, tangled in a glowing blue net; Walker was hit with a stun gun which left him lying in the dust; Poindexter, who was flying on Dora-in-her-dragon-form's back, was knocked off and sent flying across the open space in which the fights were taking place. I snarled.
"I've got to stop this." I muttered. I flew fast towards the middle of the brawl, once again dodging fighting humans and angry ghosts. I headed straight for the back of the skirmish, floated up high and yelled to all the ghosts around me, knowing the humans would react too slowly.
"EVERYONE, GET BACK!" I shouted to them. After half a moment's hesitation as they recognised my voice, they all bolted, each of them knowing exactly what I was going to do. The GIW Operatives looked around in confusion as their opponents disappeared without a word; a moment later they reappeared behind me. Clockwork obviously helped move people faster as I saw several ghosts with his trademark medallion around their necks. I braced myself, legs slightly spread out behind me, my arms out wide as if I was leaning against a wall and took a deep breath. As I let it out, an unearthly shriek erupted from my mouth, complete with waves of ecto energy that had the strength of a tidal wave, knocking the GIW off their feet. They flew back, hitting either the wall of the building, cannoning into another Agent, trees or just the ground. A ghostly moaning accompanied the waves of green energy, a moan that I knew set human's teeth on edge. It sounded creepy, like the stuff from your worst nightmares, at least that's what my friends described it as and I believed them when I saw people's faces. It was a noise you couldn't escape, even if you weren't in the way of the ecto energy waves you were still frozen by the unearthly shrieking that filled your body with fright and sadness – it was a noise of pure terror. It was also my most powerful attack, not one single enemy having been able to withstand my Ghostly Wail, not even Dark Dan Phantom. I kept up my Ghostly Wail until all the Operatives were unconscious or too injured to attack again. As I let it die, I sighed and smiled faintly at my handiwork. I turned to the army of ghosts behind me and smiled again.
"Thank you all for coming here to help me escape." I said, my voice sounding louder and more powerful than it usually did. "I have recently been told that I am the Heir to the Throne of the Ghost Zone, and your future King. You have all proved yourselves loyal beyond comparison today as you are here and you fought for me." I said to them, meeting each ghosts eyes (shit there were a lot of them!) individually. "I know that most of you enjoy attacking me, and I must admit, it is pretty entertaining – gives me something to do of an afternoon… and morning... and night." I snickered, causing many ghosts to chuckle.
"With you being the King of the Ghost Zone, you will be even more of a prize to hang on my trophy wall Ghost Child." Skulker's familiar voice called out. My eyes immediately moved to the well-known hunter's robotic face. I grinned.
"Good to know some things never change." I said, nodding to him. In Skulker's eyes I saw a flash of something, something I'd only seen once before in his eyes. Respect. My senses tingled as someone approached us. I spun around, already in a fighting stance in mid-air. I let myself relax once I realised who it was. Behind me I felt the ghosts prickle and ready themselves for a fight. I held up my hand without turning around.
"Halt. She won't hurt me." I said. "Stand down." I ordered. They all immediately followed my command, even Ember, Skulker and Technus and many of my other 'frenemies' or acquaintances. I floated down to Marti, landing softly on the ground in front of her. Her turquoise eyes were wide as she stared at me and the massive crowd of ghosts behind me. I grinned at her. "Hey Marti." I said.
"Hey." She whispered, her eyes darting towards the ghosts. I chuckled.
"They won't hurt you Marti." I said. "Trust me." She returned her gaze to me.
"Because you're the King." She said quietly. I sighed and nodded.
"Yes, well I will be when I turn 18." I said to her. She shook her head in disbelief.
"I knew there was something about you. You're more powerful than you let on." She smiled at me, her eyes filled with approval and respect. I winked.
"Yep. I'm the most powerful ghost that has ever been, not meaning to brag." I snickered, a cocky smile on my face.
"I call bullshit, dipstick!" A voice called out from the ghosts behind me. I laughed and shook my head.
"Shut up Ember!" I shouted back, snickers following my response. I looked at Marti, a smile still on my face. She giggled and rolled her eyes. "Thank you Marti, without you I'd still be in shackles – literally." I grinned. Marti smiled kindly at me.
"That's what I do for nice people – well, you're a ghost, but ghosts do count as people right? I mean you act like people, but since you're not alive do you still call yourselves people?" She started to ramble. I held up my hand, stopping her rant. She broke off, her cheeks tinged red.
"Well Marti, remember this. You have made a friend for life." I said, bowing slightly. She laughed at the irony of my words. When I straightened up she threw her arms around my neck. I hesitated a second before hugging her back. Someone behind me cleared their throat and I smiled widely as I recognised the scent and the sound of her heartbeat. I released Marti and turned around to face Sam who was standing with Tucker in front of the Spectre Speeder. Huh, didn't even pay attention to that approaching – not like it's silent. I thought amused as my friends approached me. When they reached us I introduced them.
"Sam, Tucker, this is Marti, she helped me escape." I said, smiling at my new blonde friend who held out her hand to shake theirs. Tucker (of course) was the first to take her hand.
"Why, hello my fair maiden; I'm Tucker, Tucker Foley, that's TF, for Too Fine." He winked at her after saying his usual – and awful – pick up line. Marti smiled cautiously and shook his hand.
"Nice to meet you." She said kindly, giggling as she did so. Tucker must've thought I was because his pick-up line was so good, but I knew what she was thinking; she found it very very corny. Sam was next to introduce herself while Tucker's cheeks went red and he looked like he was going to pass out.
"Breathe dude." I whispered in his ear. He nodded and took deep breaths as I rolled my eyes. "How is it I have the ghost powers and you're the weird kid?" I asked rhetorically, grinning at my best friend. I returned my attention to Sam and Marti who were giving each other strange looks.
"I'm Sam." Sam said, holding out her hand to Marti while looking her up and down, taking in her porcelain skin, blonde curls, blue eyes and white jeans and white singlet.
"Marti." Marti said, her voice sounding tense. She was doing the same thing, looking at Sam's long, straight black hair, her ivory skin and violet eyes, her black and purple midriff-revealing shirt that showed off her purple belly piercing, her ripped black jeans and leather boots. I felt tension in the air between the two girls as they released hands. Tentatively reaching for their minds my eyes widened and I took a step forwards, standing next to the girls.
"Hey." I said, dragging out the y. "It's good to see you two getting along." I joked, putting my arms around both of their shoulders. I gave them both a quick squeeze before letting go, shooting Sam a meaningful look that said 'chill'. Both the girls were glaring at each other, and I found that strange, they'd only just met! But when I had looked into their minds, I had seen what it was. They were jealous of the other. Sam was jealous because Marti and I were friends and that Marti was really pretty, and Marti was jealous of Sam because Sam had…me. I blinked, still reeling from the fact that both these girls liked me. But it was no question whom I liked more, I mean, sure Marti was pretty and funny and kind and I liked her a lot, but as a friend. With Sam it was completely different. When I was with her every one of my nerves was on overdrive and electricity sparked between us and I felt…complete with her around. I shifted my weight, and realised I was standing beside her. I looked at Sam and smiled, happy to be free. Instinctively I reached for her hand, entwining my fingers with hers. She glanced down at our hands then looked up at me face, a radiant smile on her lips. Marti made a small sighing noise and I looked at her. She looked a little sad, but happy too.
"I'm happy you're free Danny, but you better go, my father might wake up soon, and the others might recognise me." She said, glancing over her shoulder. I nodded.
"Don't let them know you helped Marti, go, now." I said to her. I let go of Sam's hand to hug her tightly. "I'll keep in touch." I whispered in her ear. She nodded into my chest and wrapped her arms around my waist, squeezing me to her. As we let go, she smiled at me before turning and running off into the Headquarters of the Guys in White. I turned back to my friends and the ghosts behind me and smiled.
"Let's go home."