by Robert Teague
This story was written for the entertainment of Danny Phantom fans, and no copyright infringement is intended. This story may be reproduced, provided no changes are made, and you let me know.
I've had this story in mind for a long time, and am glad to finally finish and post it. It has nothing to do with my "Ember Trilogy". It's designed to be more like an episode. "Ember's Sacrifice" is still bogged down in writer's block and plot issues.
The student body of Casper High was assembled in the gym. Principal Ishiyama and Mr. Lancer were at the podium.
"Well, class," said Mr. Lancer, "The dance is coming up in a few weeks, and we're going to need a band to play. Any ideas?"
Everybody looked around, but nobody said anything. Finally a few hands were raised and some suggestions were made.
"No, we can't afford those bands," said Principal Ishiyama, "We need somebody who works cheap but is talented."
Danny Fenton looked at his friends Tucker Foley and Samantha (Sam) Manson. "Well, I can think of one band that fits..." he said with a smile.
They looked at him, eyes wide with questions. Unfortunately, Mr. Lancer heard him.
"Well, Mr. Fenton, since you seem to know someone, we'll put you in charge of getting them," said Mr. Lancer.
"WHAT! No! I didn't mean..." Danny started.
"Class dismissed," said Principal Ishiyama, and the meeting broke up.
"Hey, Fenton, you'd better have a good band, or you know what will happen," said Dash Baxter, pounding his fist into his other palm. His cronies grinned.
"Oh, great..." said Danny, putting his face in his hands.
"Good work, Danny," said Sam.
"Who did you have in mind, anyway?" asked Tucker.
"Ember. But I was just making a joke!" said Danny.
"Well, it wasn't very funny. Who are we going to get?" asked Sam.
"We?" said Danny, surprised.
"Well, duh, we're your friends. We'll help," she answered.
"That's right," added Tucker, nodding.
"Thanks, guys," said Danny, smiling. He stood up. "Well, let's think about it. We still have the rest of the day's classes to get to."
After school they reconvened at the Nasty Burger.
"Any ideas?" asked Danny.
"Not from me," said Sam, taking a bite of salad.
"We could try some local garage bands," said Tucker.
"Okay, but how do we find them?" asked Danny.
"Go around town and listen for noise coming from garages," said Tucker.
Danny shrugged. "Works for me."
"I guess it's as good as anything," said Sam.
Soon they got on their scooters, and began traveling the streets of Amity Park. The search took them several days, and the dance was only two weeks away. They met with success in finding some bands, but struck out with the offer with all of them.
"We just got out of that place last year," they were told, "And nothing is gonna make us go back, even for just one night, and even for money."
When the last band refused the offer, they headed back to Danny's house, and went to his room.
"Well, now what?" he said, sitting on the bed. "I bet Dash is practicing up using my head as a punching bag as we speak."
"It's not as bad as all that," said Sam, putting her hand on Danny's shoulder, "Don't worry, we'll find somebody."
Alas, Sam's prediction did not come true. They tried every band in Amity Park, but none were interested. And now the dance was only a week away.
Saturday morning found the three of them in the Fenton's basement. The Ghost Portal was open, and Danny had just gone ghost.
"ARE YOU INSANE?" yelled Sam, "You can't seriously be thinking of asking her!"
"I know it will be tough, but I'm out of options. And I really don't want Dash to use me as a punching bag for his daily workout," said Danny.
"That might be the easier thing to do," said Tucker.
"No, we can handle Ember. We have before, and we will again," said Danny. "I'll be back soon."
"But..." said Sam, holding up her hand. But Danny was through the portal and gone.
Once in the Ghost Zone, Danny got his bearings and headed in the general direction of Skulker's Lair. He thought Ember might live... um... make her home near it.
He spent some time searching, but had no luck. He spotted a couple of ghosts, and decided to ask them. Getting closer, he saw by the way they were dressed they had probably died in the 19th century.
"Uh, excuse me," he said, getting their attention.
"Oh, you're that 'halfa' chap, aren't you?" asked one, gesturing with his cane.
"Yeah. I need some directions. I'm looking for Ember McLane. Do you know where I can find her?" he asked.
"Mmmm... not sure I know her. Reggie?" said the one he had addressed, looking at his companion.
"You mean the child who dresses indecently and makes that horrible wailing on her instrument?" asked Reggie.
Danny grinned. "That sounds right," he said.
"Her door is in that direction," said Reggie, pointing with his cane. "You can't miss it."
"Thanks, guys," he said.
"Don't mention it," said the other.
Danny flew in the direction indicated. As he went farther, the doors became more numerous. But none of them gave an indication Ember was behind it.
"BEWARE!" said a familiar voice behind him.
Danny turned. "Box Ghost. Should have figured I'd run into you."
"And now you will feel the wrath of my boxes!" shouted the Box Ghost. He raised his hands and they glowed, but nothing else happened. He looked around, confused.
"Let me guess," said Danny, grinning, "You left your boxes at home."
"Uh, yeah, I guess I did," said the other, frowning.
"I'll make a deal with you," said Danny, "I'll 'beware' of you, this time, if you'll tell me where to find Ember McLane."
"Why do you want her? She never has any boxes," said the Box Ghost.
"Do we have a deal, or what?" asked Danny, getting annoyed.
The Box Ghost thought about it for a minute. "Okay. She lives that way, about a hundred doors down."
"Thanks," said Danny, and turned his back on the other ghost.
"BEWARE!" came the sudden shout behind him.
"AAAAHHHH!" yelled Danny, and took off in the direction indicated. He found it hard to keep from laughing.
The Box Ghost watched the Halfa fly off, feeling proud of himself.
Danny kept count of the doors he passed, and the ninety-third proved to be the one he wanted. It was painted with blue and pink flames.
He went up to it, and raised his hand to knock.
"Hey, dipstick! I heard you were looking for me!" said a familiar female voice behind him.
He turned, and there was Ember, wearing her normal concert outfit, guitar ready for use. She had a nasty smile on her face.
"Yeah, I have a--" said Danny.
"Save it, because I don't want it!" said Ember, and hit a chord. Waves of pink energy emerged from the guitar, blowing Danny away from her.
"Hey! I just want--" he started.
"I bet you do!" said Ember, and changed the setting on her guitar. She hit another chord,and a Ghostly Fist flew at Danny.
He put up a shield and deflected it. "Will you stop it? I'm not going to hurt you!"
"Because I'm gonna hurt you first!" she retorted, and launched another fist at him.
This time he went intangible, and the fist flew through him without harm.
He held his hands apart, and a bar of green energy appeared between them. He grasped the ends and threw it at Ember. It wrapped around her, trapping her arms against her sides.
"Let me go! Let me GO!" she yelled. "I'll destroy you!"
He flew up to her, and she bared her teeth at him.
"I'll let you go if you stop attacking me and listen," he said.
"I don't want to listen to you! I hate you!" she hissed.
"Even when I'm offering you a job?" he asked.
It took a second for that to sink in, and when it did she stopped struggling and stared at him.
"A job? You mean a gig?" she asked.
"A MUSICAL gig?" she clarified.
"That's right," he said.
She was quiet for a moment, then started struggling again. "NO! This is some stupid Halfa trick! YOU would never offer ME a gig!"
"Hey, just because I've had to stop you from taking over the world... twice... doesn't mean I don't respect your talents as a musician!" said Danny.
"You're lying! Let me go! Why are you tormenting me? What do you really want?" she said, kicking at him.
He easily avoided the blow. "All I want is to offer you a gig!"
She stopped struggling and looked at him. "You're serious."
"YES!" Danny said, exasperated, "That's what I've been trying to tell you!"
She looked away, considering. "Okay," she finally said, "I'll listen. But I'm not going to promise anything."
"That's fair," answered Danny.
"Then get this off of me," she said.
Danny touched the band, and it dissolved in a shower of green sparks.
Ember moved her guitar to carrying position, and flew to her door. She opened it, and looked back at Danny. "You coming?"
"Uh, yeah," he answered, and joined her.
When the door closed behind them, a ghost neither knew was there turned visible. It was long and black, with red eyes, sharp teeth and even sharper claws. One could barely tell it was female. It was the true form of Penelope Spectra.
She had been hanging around Ember because the latter was a teen, and miserable because she had no place to play and sing. Now Spectra was concerned she was losing her meal ticket.
She decided to find out what was going on before taking action. She turned invisible again, and cautiously phased through the door.
"Sorry for the mess," Ember was saying. She took off the guitar and leaned it against the wall.
Danny looked around. The room was about twenty by twenty, with a ten foot ceiling. There were Ember concert posters on the walls, and a stack of magazines with her picture on the cover sat in a corner. A small desk was covered in song sheets and lyric pages.
"Don't worry about it, my room is worse," said Danny.
Ember smiled briefly. "So, tell me about this gig."
"It's not much. My school is having a dance next Saturday, and needs a band," he said.
"And what's in it for me?" she asked, crossing her arms while floating in the middle of the room.
"Five hundred dollars," answered Danny.
Ember laughed. "Money doesn't work here. I want something else."
"Like what?" asked Danny, a frown crossing his face.
"Unrestricted access to the real world," she answered.
"I can't promise that. The portal isn't mine," he said.
"Forget it, then," she said, "That's what I want."
Danny thought for a moment, then shrugged. "Okay. I just thought you might appreciate a chance to play and maybe start your career again." He turned to go.
Her bluff called, Ember spoke up. "Wait. Okay, something else, then."
Danny smiled to himself. He was in charge of the negotiations now.
"Tell you what-- play this gig straight, no tricks or mind control spells, and I won't destroy you, ormake you come back here when its over. I might even help you with your career," said Danny.
"All right, that's fair," she answered.
"And I suggest you take the money. You'll need it for your career," he added.
Ember nodded. "You're right, I hadn't thought of that."
"Provided you don't try anything. And what about your spells?" he asked.
"That's easy enough to stop. All I have to do is turn this knob to 'off'," she answered, picking up the guitar and doing so.
Ms. Spectra grinned to herself. THAT was what she needed to hear! She phased back out the door, and took off in a specific direction.
Danny looked around the room again, a puzzled look on his face.
"What is it?" asked Ember, "You looking for something?"
"It's just... I thought your place would be bigger," he replied.
She looked puzzled in her turn, then suddenly light dawned. "I get it. You expected more rooms."
"Yeah," he said, looking at her.
"Well, I don't sleep, so I don't need a bedroom. I don't eat, so I don't need a kitchen or a dining room, and I don't... uh... need to go, so I don't need a bathroom. I keep makeup over there." She pointed to where a mirror was on a wall above a shelf with makeup, a brush and a comb on it. A sink was below it.
"That makes sense, I guess..." said Danny. "How long has it been since you've had someplace to sing?" he asked, changing the subject abruptly.
"Far too long," sighed Ember. Then she got a faraway expression. "I'll need to get the band back together for a few rehearsals. I've written some new songs in the meantime." She looked at Danny. "I need to see where we'll be playing. Get an idea of the acoustics of the room and see what we have for setup."
"Okay, we can go there now," answered Danny.
"Really?" asked Ember, surprised at how quickly he agreed. "You'll take me to the real world now?"
"Sure. Trust has to start somewhere," said Danny.
"Trust? You would trust me? Even after what I've done to you and your world?" she asked, now shocked.
"Ember, I never thought you were that bad of a ghost. And I'm giving you an opportunity to prove it," he answered.
She nodded slowly. "I'm still not sure I trust you, though," she said.
Danny grinned. "Like I said, trust has to start somewhere. I'll try to make sure you come around."
"Okay, but you have your work cut out for you as well," she retorted, but was smiling. "Let's go, then."
"Not going to take your guitar?" asked Danny, when she moved towards the door without it.
"Nah. Unless you think I'll need it...?" she said.
"You shouldn't. We won't be there that long," answered Danny.
"Okay, then." She opened the door and flew out, Danny following closely.
"Let's see... the Fenton Portal is that way," said Danny, pointing. He flew in the direction indicated, and Ember flew beside him.
Something occurred to Danny. "Oh, my friends Sam and Tucker will be waiting for us. You need to apologize to Sam."
Ember drew up short. "Apologize? What did I do to him?"
"Her. Sam is a her. She's the one you made me fall in love with," said Danny.
Ember thought. "The Goth girl?"
"Yeah. We're best friends, and that could have ruined things for us," he said.
"I'd think she would appreciate what I did, then," answered Ember.
"Nope. When, and if, we do fall in love, it won't be because of a spell," said Danny.
Ember rolled her eyes. "Okay, then, if that's what it takes to get to perform, so be it."
They continued on the journey.
Meanwhile, Ms. Spectra was nearing her destination. It was another door, this one with all kinds of electronic junk piled around it. She phased through the door, and looked around. It seemed no one was home.
She went over to a file cabinet and began rifling through a drawer, obviously looking for something specific. She hissed in pleasure as she found the file she wanted. She opened it and scanned the pages within.
Unnoticed behind her, a wisp of smoke emerged from somewhere, and began to grow and take shape. It formed white hair, granny glasses, and a long coat. It was Technus.
"Finding what you need?" he asked the other ghost.
She dropped the file and turned, hissing, claws at the ready.
"Oh, Penny, I didn't know it was you," said Technus.
"Nicolai," she responded, and picked up the file. "I needed to find out something about Ember McLane's guitar."
"I made it for her, so you've come to the right place," he said.
"The sound it puts out affects human emotions, right?" she asked.
"That's right. It can be adjusted to affect any specific emotion," he answered.
"Including misery?" she asked.
"Yes. Here, let me show you," he said, holding out his hand.
She gave him the file, and he looked through it and stopped at a particular diagram. She moved around so she was looking over his shoulder.
"See these two knobs?" he said, pointing, "Just turn them so the pointers are away from each other, and next time she plays it, everyone in the room will be miserable."
"Perfect!" she exclaimed.
"What are you planning to do?" he asked.
"The Halfa wants Ember to perform at his school dance. When things are going well, I'll set the guitar to misery, absorb all I can from the students, and use it to destroy him!" she explained.
"A good plan, with the element of surprise," Technus commented.
"And even if something goes wrong, I can make sure he blames McLane for the trouble, he'll destroy her, and we'll have less competition for power!" she said, excited.
Technus grinned. "I like it! Just be sure to come get me when the Halfa is gone, and we can rule the world together!"
She ran her hand down his cheek. "Wouldn't have it any other way," she said in a sultry voice. I'd better get back and see what's going on." She turned and left Technus' home.
As she approached Ember's door, Spectra turned invisible. She phased through the door, and was surprised to find nobody there. The guitar still sat where Ember had left it.
She phased back outside and looked around. There they were, moving away from the door. She grinned to herself. "Oh, this is too perfect," she thought.
Back inside she examined the guitar, finding the knobs Technus had shown her on the diagram. Putting the guitar back in the same spot, she phased into it, making it glow green for a few seconds. She would have to wait a week before she could act, but if there is anything a ghost learns, it's patience. After all, Eternity stretched before her.
Danny and Ember emerged from the Fenton portal to find Sam and Tucker playing cards.
"I'm baaaack..." he said, landing and returning to human mode.
Ember landed beside him and looked around the lab with suspicion. She could sense there were powerful forces here that could destroy her with little trouble.
"Ember, this is Tucker and Sam, my best friends," said Danny as they approached. They were looking at Ember with equal suspicion.
Ember nodded at them, then addressed Sam directly. "I want to apologize for that love spell." she said, "I needed to keep him busy, but I guess it didn't work anyway."
Sam and Tucker looked at each other. "Uh, okay, apology accepted," said Sam, nodding.
Ember nodded in her turn, dismissing the subject entirely.
"You're really going to trust her?" asked Tucker.
"She's trusting us. Notice she doesn't have her guitar," answered Danny.
"But don't get any ideas," said Ember, holding up a green-glowing hand, "I can still defend myself if I need to."
Tucker held up his hands. "Okay, okay, calm down. I didn't mean anything by it."
"Let's not start fighting now," said Sam, "But I do want to know why she's here."
"She wanted to check out the gym, see how it sounds," answered Danny.
"Makes sense," said Tucker, "Let's go."
To avoid Danny's parents, Ember left through the roof, and met the trio outside. As they walked along the sidewalk, an uncomfortable silence settled on them.
"Wouldn't it be faster to fly?" asked Ember.
"Yeah," agreed Danny, "But it's not common knowledge you're a ghost, and I think we should keep that quiet."
"I guess you're right," said Ember. "I'm surprised; you're smarter than you seem to be."
Danny gave an embarrassed grin, while Sam narrowed her eyes at the ghost.
When they got to the school, they found the gym locked, as it was Saturday. But that was no problem for them. They phased inside and made sure nobody, like the janitor, was there.
Ember looked around, then flew around the room, getting an idea of the layout and size.
"Where's the stage going to be?" she asked from overhead.
"Oh, it'll be set up about here," said Sam, walking to one side and spreading her arms. Ember landed beside her and looked around. She cupped her hands to her mouth and gave a shout. She listened to the echoes, and nodded to herself.
"The acoustics are better than I thought they would be," she commented, "My band can work with this."
"Glad to hear it. Is that all you needed to know?" asked Danny.
"Almost..." said Ember, then she went over and examined the electrical outlets. "This'll do, too." She stood up. "Okay, we can go. I need to go find my band and get organized, do some rehearsals..."
On the walk back to Fenton Works, it was decided that Danny would come get her next Saturday morning for setup and a final rehearsal.
Ember disappeared through the portal, and Danny closed the Blast Doors behind her. All three gave a sigh.
"I still don't trust her, but I have to admit she played it straight," said Sam.
"Yeah, maybe this will turn out okay," added Tucker.
"I hope so," said Danny, "And I hope it will start something new."
"What do you mean?" asked Tucker.
"It would be great not to have her for an enemy any more," said Danny.
"Yeah, it would," agreed Sam, "I'm still going to operate on that old saying, "trust, but verify"."
The Saturday morning of the dance, Danny opened the blast doors of the Fenton Portal to find Ember and her band waiting. They flew in and landed by him. The other band members were the same trio that had been with her before. Ember's guitar was in carrying position on her back.
"Sorry, we couldn't wait," she explained, "It's been so long since we did a concert." She looked around. "Where are your friends?"
"At the gym. We did some looking, and have a surprise for you," said Danny with a grin.
Ember looked at him with suspicion. "What? You set a trap for us?"
Danny got a confused look. "Huh? No, if I was gonna do that, I'd do it here. Don't worry, I think you'll like it. Let's go."
Danny went ghost, turned invisible and intangible, and Ember's band did the same. They flew straight up through the house, and out the roof. They followed him to the school, and landed in a secluded spot where they returned to more human forms.
Danny held open the door as Ember and the band went inside. Looking at the stage, she was very surprised to see her banners draped overhead, and the cutouts on the side. They all went in that direction.
Members of the dance committee came over to greet them, Paulina among them.
"Wow, it really is you," she said, "I didn't know a loser like Danny could actually get a good band."
Ember glanced at Danny, who winced. "Uh, thanks, I think. We need to set up." She walked away, followed by the band.
"Hey, Fenton," came a familiar voice behind Danny. He turned toward it.
"I gotta admit, you came through," said Dash. "So you get off, this time." He pounded his fist into his hand, and walked away with Paulina, laughing.
As the band approached the stage, they found Sam on a ladder, adjusting lights, and Tucker at the sound board to one side, checking the microphones.
"Not a bad setup, for a school," said Ember to Tucker.
"Thanks. Let me know when you're ready, and we can do sound checks," said Tucker.
Ember nodded and went over to help the other band members set up. Sam came down from the ladder.
"Where did you find the concert banners and things?" Ember asked her, "I thought all that would've been destroyed."
"We found it in the storage room at the music store," Sam answered. "Tell the truth, they were happy to give it to us, since they needed the space."
That could have been taken as an insult, and in fact it was Sam's way of testing Ember's promise to be good. The ghost passed the test by nodding and turning her attention to other things.
Some time later, Mr. Lancer came over to Danny. "So, this is the band you got us, Mr. Fenton? I suppose I should have seen it coming. I can't say I approve."
This made Danny a bit angry. "Hey, YOU stuck me with the job of getting the band. You didn't bother to ask who they were, so if you don't like it, cancel and get someone else."
"Anger Management for Dummies, calm down, Fenton," said Mr. Lancer, holding up his hands, "I didn't mean anything by it. But she DID call me 'grampa'."
"That issue is between you and her," Danny answered, "I had nothing to do with it."
"Um, I suppose you're right. I'll speak to her," said Mr. Lancer, and headed for the stage.
"Miss... Ember, may I have a word?" Lancer said.
Ember came over and squatted down at the edge of the stage so they were eye to eye. "What do you want, grampa?"
Lancer spluttered, and everyone else in the gym did their best not to crack up, lest they fall afoul of the teacher's anger.
Lancer walked away without answering, and Ember stood up with a satisfied smirk on her face.
Sam walked up beside her and said in a low voice, "Thank you, that was too perfect!"
Ember eyed the human girl beside her for a few seconds, then flashed her a brief, genuine smile before returning attention to the band.
At 7 PM it was getting dark outside. The doors to the gym opened, and waiting students filed in. At 7:20 Ember's band started their first set. Sam, Tucker, and Danny were all wearing Fenton Phones, just to be safe. Nothing strange happened; Ember was keeping her promise.
Time went on, and the gym filled up. Everyone seemed to be having fun. Danny got several compliments on the band he'd gotten.
Several students started chanting "EmBER! EmBER! EmBER!", and the ghost girl's electric blue hair flared up. She got an evil grin for a moment, then saw Danny glaring at her. She shrugged, and started the next song.
After that one, they took a break. They didn't really need one, of course, as they were not tired from the set. But they scheduled breaks to keep the pretense of being human.
"What was THAT about?" Danny asked Ember, arms crossed.
"Hey, I can't help it!" she protested, "When people chant my name, I absorb the power. I can't stop doing it any more than you can stop your heart from beating."
"Okay, then, I believe you," said Danny, "But remember, I'm watching."
"I made a promise, and I'll keep it," answered Ember, "This gig is too important to me to blow it."
Sam put her hand on Danny's shoulder. "Let's go outside and get some fresh air."
"Good idea," said Tucker, and the three of them left.
Inside the guitar, Penelope Spectra decided to strike when the next set started. She found the 'OFF/ON' switch and turned it on. Then she located the knobs Technus had pointed out, and faded back inside to wait.
Outside, Danny, Sam, and Tucker found the picnic tables near the gym already occupied by other students, and had to walk halfway across the grounds to find an empty one.
"Well, what do you guys think?" asked Danny as they sat down.
"She's keeping her promise," said Sam.
"Yeah, I haven't seen anything suspicious yet," added Tucker.
"Me either, and that worries me," said Danny.
"Paranoid much?" asked Sam with a smirk, "She's playing straight with us, and we're ready if she changes her mind, so let's try to relax and enjoy the evening as much as we can."
The break over, the band returned to the stage, and Ember picked up her guitar. She started the set with her most famous song, "Remember". About halfway through it, Ms. Spectra turned the knobs, and waves of dark purple energy washed over the crowd, making them all miserable.
Ember didn't notice; her eyes were closed as she sang and played, and the music was too loud for her to hear the moans and groans from the kids who had been dancing.
Feeling the energy of misery hit her, Ms. Spectra took it all in. She began to grow in power, and flew out of the guitar. Over the heads of the students, she grinned as she continued to grow stronger.
Ember continued to play and sing-- the stage lights meant she couldn't see anything, and the music that she couldn't hear anything, until a loud voice carried to her over it.
"AT LAST! I HAVE THE POWER I NEED!" shouted Spectra.
Ember's music faltered and stopped. She jumped off the stage and looked up to see the black ghost still taking in the energy. None of the kids or teachers were paying any attention to what was going on; they were too miserable.
"What are YOU doing here?" Ember shouted.
"Why, what do you think?" answered Spectra with a grin, "Getting power from the students to destroy the Halfa! And it's all thanks to you!"
Ember looked at her guitar, and saw the 'spells' switch had been turned on. This was the distraction Spectra wanted. She flew down, razor-sharp claws at the ready. Ember looked up just in time to feel the pain of the claws as they raked down her body. She screamed and tried to back away. Spectra followed, taking another slash. Ember turned away from her, trying to protect her injuries, and Spectra slashed her down the back. Ember screamed again, and fell down. Green ectoplasm was pouring from her wounds. She lay still.
Spectra looked at Ember's band, and they all disappeared in a puff of smoke. "Good boys," she said, and took off back to the upper part of the gym to wait for the Halfa.
At the picnic table the three friends heard the music start.
"Time to get back in, I guess," said Tucker, but he continued to sit. All three listened to the song.
"That IS a good song," said Danny.
"Yeah, she does play good stuff," said Sam.
Suddenly the music stopped in mid-song, and they heard a couple of screams. A puff of blue smoke came from Danny's mouth.
"I'M GOING GHOST!" shouted Danny, transforming. He flew toward the gym, followed closely by his friends. Inside, they were shocked to find the attendees sitting and lying around, crying, moaning and groaning.
"What's going on?" asked Sam.
"A collaboration," answered a familiar voice from above.
They looked up to see Spectra in her true form, an evil grin on her face. "Ember provided the means, and the class provided the power. Now I will take my revenge on you, Halfa!"
She flew at Danny, who phased back outdoors. She followed closely.
Tucker and Sam ran back outside to watch.
Spectra kept trying to get close enough to slash Danny with her claws, while he used his shield and ghost ray to keep her away. As the battle raged on, Danny grew tired while Spectra was fresh as a daisy.
"You can't win this time," she taunted, "I'm still getting energy from the students!"
That gave Danny an idea. He turned and flew away from the gym. Spectra started to follow, then stopped. "Sorry, that won't work. I'm not getting too far from my power source," she called after him.
"Sam, Tuck," Danny called through his Fenton Phones, "Get back inside and find Ember. Try to persuade her to reverse the spell."
"Good idea," replied Sam, and they turned and went back inside.
They stepped over and around the affected people as they approached the stage. They found Ember lying unmoving in front of it in a puddle of ectoplasm, her guitar to the side. The two humans knelt beside her and saw what had been done.
"Danny, Spectra attacked her. She's in no shape to do anything," said Sam through the Fenton Phones..
"Then get the Fenton Thermos ready, cause I'm coming back in and she'll be right behind me," Danny replied.
"All right," he called to Spectra, "If I can't get you to follow me this way, then follow me that way and watch as I cut off your power source." He took off toward the gym at top speed.
"Oh, no you don't!" she shouted, and tried to get in the way. But Danny eluded her and phased through the wall into the gym. As he predicted, Spectra was close behind.
As he flew over the stage he shouted "NOW!"
Tucker activated the Thermos, and the beam hit Spectra dead on. She was screaming defiance as it sucked her inside. Tucker put the cap back on and made sure it was tight.
Danny came back around and landed beside them. "Good work, Tucker," he said.
Tucker looked proud. "How could you ever doubt me?"
Danny and Sam rolled their eyes, and turned attention to Ember. Danny joined with Sam kneeling beside the injured ghost.
"Ember?" Danny said softly, and put his hands on her shoulder and hip. He gently rolled her onto her back. When he removed his hands, they suddenly started glowing a bright blue.
"What the heck?" he asked, looking at them.
"What is that?" asked Tucker.
"I dunno," answered Danny.
Just then Ember opened her eyes. She saw his glowing hands and grimaced from the pain.
"I... didn't know... she was in my... guitar," she said with a strangled voice. "I kept my... end of the bargain... but you're... going to destroy... me anyway..."
She got a proud and defiant look on her face, spoiled a bit by the pain that was also evident in her expression.
"Go ahead and do it... dipstick..." she said, "But you'll be... the liar and... promise breaker... not me..."
Danny looked at the hard-rockin' ghost girl. "I don't think that's what this is," he said, indicating his blue-glowing hands.
"Do.. it...," said Ember, "Destroy me... don't make me... wait..." She closed her eyes.
Following his instincts, Danny put one hand on her forehead, the other on her belly. After a moment the blue glow spread and surrounded the injured ghost. The puddle of ectoplasm stirred, and began to return to Ember's body. When it was all back inside, the long cuts from Spectra's claws began to heal. The process took about ten minutes, but when it was over, even her concert outfit was no longer ripped.
The blue glow faded, and Danny removed his hands. "Ember? How do you feel?"
She opened her eyes. "I feel... fine..." she said with surprise. "You didn't destroy me?"
"He HEALED you," answered Tucker.
Ember sat up and looked at Danny. "How?"
"I dunno," he said, "But I guess since I have powers that can hurt ghosts, it makes sense I have one that can heal them."
"Why?" asked Ember, examining herself.
"Because I believed you," said Danny.
Ember floated up and put her feet under her as Danny returned to human form. She looked at him with an undeniable expression of gratitude.
"Now we need to do something about this," said Sam, gesturing at the miserable people.
"Got it covered," said Ember, picking up her guitar. She examined the settings, and said, "Okay, I found what she did. Just adjust these and..."
She hopped up on stage and took her position. The other members of her band reappeared, and the drummer started with the beat for "Remember". Ember struck the first few chords, and the audience suddenly jumped up and cheered.
The rest of the evening was a success, and nobody seemed to remember what had happened.
Back at Fenton Works, Danny opened the blast doors, and Ember's band disappeared back into the Ghost Zone.
"Got your pay?" Tucker asked Ember.
"Yep, right here," she replied, patting a pocket.
"This was great," said Ember, "Thank you all for the help." She looked at Danny. "And thank you for the chance."
"That's okay," grinned Danny, "I'm glad everything worked out."
Ember added, "And thanks for not destroying me... dipstick." But she was smiling.
"you're welcome, No-hit wonder," answered Danny.
Ember turned toward the Portal, and started to fly into it.
"Uh, Ember," said Danny, and she stopped to look at him. "Is this going to change anything between us?"
Ember gave him a sly look. "We'll see..." she said, and was gone. The blast doors closed behind her.