Chapter 5: The Torn Prince

When I say Dennis was at Cyrus's mansion, I don't mean the glass one. I doubt Cyrus ever really lived there, it doesn't seem his style, so I'm assuming he had another house.


Dennis stood outside his apartment building, pacing impatiently. Cyrus had said that he'd be picking him up tonight, so Dennis waited anxiously for his employer, already wanting the night to be over. He was edgy and paranoid lately, more so than usual. His normally haunted dreams had been strangely calm and eerie last night as he dreamed of the Withered Lover. He awoke with an overwhelming sensation of guilt, and idly wondered if captured ghosts could still haunt people's dreams.

A shiny red sportscar pulled up to the building, knocking Dennis free from his train of thoughts. He had never seen the car before and wondered who owned it. To say he was surprised when Cyrus Kriticos stepped out of the vehicle was quite an understatement.

"What's with the shiny wheels?" Dennis asked, knowing nothing about cars he had no idea what Cyrus was driving around in, but it looked impressive.

"Just a small ploy to bring our next ghost out in the open. He was quite a car fanatic." Cyrus explained, moving into the backseat and motioning for Dennis to follow. He did so without question, eyeing the driver in front.

"So, which one of Casper's friends are we catching tonight?" Dennis asked once they were on their way.

Cyrus, who was not amused, answered, "The Torn Prince. A high school jock whose pride wouldn't let him turn down a challenge to a drag race. He would have been better scraping up his shattered dignity in the end."

"But then you wouldn't get your ghost." Dennis pointed out, staring out the window.

"Too true, it's a good thing for us that he accelerated when he should have braked." Cyrus's lips curved slightly. Dennis just nodded and looked out the window. They eventually stopped at the side of the road on a turnoff, Dennis first thought something might have broken down but then remembered the ghost liked car racing and knew they were in the right spot. Dennis thought he recognized the place but couldn't be sure. He got out and started walking around, trying to figure out where they were. Tonight he didn't feel like talking or even interacting with anyone. His heart hurt from Jessica and he couldn't get the image of Gene's eyes out of his head. They were so sad and pleading, and all because of him.

He stood alone on the sidewalk and stared ahead as the men behind him prepared the immense machines and equipment they needed. The road they were on was dangerous, it zigged and zagged and they had pulled over just around an extremely sharp turn that went around a huge hill. After a few minutes Cyrus approached him impatiently.

"Dennis, we're almost ready, quit standing around." Cyrus ordered, then turned back to his precious containment cube. Dennis sighed and walked back to him.

"I'm not getting anything Cyrus, I don't think he's around." Dennis said, knowing it was not what the man wanted to hear.

"If he's not here now, he's been here recently. There was a four car pile up here five days ago, nobody knows what happened. I know for a fact that it was our Torn Prince." Cyrus reached into his pocket, "I need to know where he is." He tossed a set of car keys toward Dennis.

Dennis caught them and spasmed as images flashed through his mind, ~|~Cars, girls, sports, gotta be the best, sharp turn, speed it up, he's slowing down, crash, fire, I lost, everyone loses, no one can make that turn, crash after crash, death after death. ~|~

Dennis dropped the keys and gasped for breath. "Oh god, a lot of people have died here."

"Yes, they have. Now where is he?" Cyrus demanded.

Dennis continued to draw in deep breaths, "No, I mean more people are gonna die if we don't get out of here. He's ..." He never finished his sentence.

The sound of squealing tires suddenly hit everyone's ears. They looked up in time to see a black car come flying around the corner at top speed. It headed straight for the group of men and machines and as it sped closer Dennis saw that it had no driver.

Cyrus's men scattered everywhere. The car ploughed one of them down, crushing him beneath the wheels. Then the vehicle stopped, reversed, and ran the man over again. As everyone ran for protection the car did figure eights in the road and then stopped, setting its sight on a new target.

Dennis and Cyrus were beside Cyrus's new sportscar, watching the carnage. Suddenly Dennis got a flash and closed his eyes to see it better. An explosion, a big one. Looking at the driverless car in the road, revving its engine, Dennis knew what was going to happen. He grabbed Cyrus's arm and pulled him back behind the car.

"We gotta move!" He shouted, practically throwing Cyrus to the ground as he crouched down and covered his head with his arms. No sooner had he gotten to cover than the black car sped forward and slammed into one of Cyrus's trucks. The truck and car were totalled and both burst into flames. Dennis looked up to see flaming wreckage where he and Cyrus had been only moments before.

"Thank you Dennis," Cyrus said almost sincerely as he got up and dusted himself off.

One of Cyrus's men approached and reported, "The playback machine's destroyed. Unless he stays willingly there's no way to keep the ghost here or from hurting anyone else."

Cyrus was more agitated than scared, "Damn it, we need him tonight."

Dennis wasn't worried about the ghost leaving, he wished it would, he was worried about it killing everyone before it decided to leave. He knew something had to be done before the Torn Prince tore up a few more people. He got up and took a deep breath, finding he had courage hidden away somewhere. Yelling to Cyrus he jumped into the sportscar, "Get that cube ready, now!"

Cyrus looked confused for a moment, then smiled as he saw Dennis start the car and pull away. "You heard him. Get it ready!"

Dennis tore out of the area, away from the wreckage, having no idea what he was doing. He purposely squealed the tires as he went around the impossibly sharp turn and then u-turned once he reached the other side of the pass. "Come on you son-of-a-bitch, come and get me." He whispered as he stopped the car and put on his spectral viewers. The Torn Prince was flying toward him, bat in hand.

"Ah!" Dennis screamed and covered his head as the windshield caved in from the strike of the bat. Reaching down he put the car in drive and hoped Cyrus was ready with the cube. With his head still down he put his foot on the gas and raced away. He looked behind him and saw the Torn Prince smiling; when he looked in the rearview mirror he saw nothing. The ghost flew after him and Dennis punched it around the turn, barely making it.

Looking up he saw the cube in the middle of the road, men were around it checking it over. He beeped the horn to get them to move. He headed straight for the cube putting his foot to the floor. Turning around he saw the Torn Prince was still in pursuit. He was close to the containment cube. A little more, a little more .. He turned at the last second and slammed on the brake. Behind him the ghost was unable to stop or turn and slammed into the containment cube with enough force that it shook. Expecting to be able to pass through it, the Torn Prince was confused long enough when it couldn't that the doors shut behind him.

Dennis braked as hard as he could but couldn't stop the car from diving into a ditch. He struck hard but it could have been worse. Luckily the car was very well safety equipped and the airbag erupted as soon as the brakes were pressed too hard. He opened the door and stumbled out, very dazed but alive. When he looked up he saw Cyrus heading towards him, leisurely, accompanied by one of his crew of 'ghostbusters'.

"Very well done Dennis, I'm impressed. I might just give you a bonus." Cyrus said, then turned to look at the containment cube where the Torn Prince struggled for freedom. Dennis smirked at the thought and took his painkillers out of his pocket; he really needed a few right now. Cyrus saw this but said nothing for the moment. He began to walk away and motioned for Dennis to follow.

"You know Dennis we should really talk. I'm very curious about your psychic powers. Even after this is done I may have some very rewarding uses for you and your talents." Cyrus said. Dennis nodded, knowing the only reason Cyrus was finally really speaking to him was because he had just proven himself. By saving Cyrus's life and then capturing the ghost he had just shown that he was invaluable and could be an asset to Cyrus. "What are you doing now?"

Dennis was surprised and scratched his head, "Uh, nothing. I don't have any plans."

"Good. My men can finish up here. Come with me to my home, we'll talk." Cyrus said and Dennis followed him as he led the way to the car. He stopped at the containment cube and stared as the Torn Prince shook the walls by slamming his bat against the glass. Cyrus knew it wouldn't break but admired its will for freedom.

"Beautiful, isn't he?" Cyrus asked suddenly.

Dennis was a little taken aback by the question, "Well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder." He muttered as he walked toward the car. Just as he reached for the door handle he heard tires squealing loudly in the distance and coming towards them. Cyrus moved out the car quickly and both men looked toward the containment cube. The Torn Prince still struggled inside desperately. They each looked at each other, wondering if perhaps the ghost could still control objects while captured.

"Maybe it's just a joyrider." Dennis offered as an old Buick sped into view and towards them.

"I had this road closed very tightly." Cyrus assured him as they both waited to see what the car would do.

The black vehicle braked hard when it reached the location of the ghost hunters and two people hurried out. A man and woman. They were in their late twenties and seemed very determined. The man came rushing up to Cyrus as the woman took a moment to study everything around her; the fires, men, and containment cube.

"You have to stop this Mr. Kriticos, now!" The man demanded.

Cyrus looked disgusted, "Who are you and how the hell did you get in here?"

"Damen Fletcher and this is Kalina. We broke through your little road block a few miles back. You can't do this, it's like slavery." Damen said adamantly.

"Slavery indeed. We are doing nothing of the sort." Cyrus said, brushing past him to his car once more.

"Capturing human beings and using them for your own ends, I'd call that slavery." Kalina pointed out.

"Human beings? These people are dead, I think they gave up their rights upon departure." Dennis said pointing toward the containment cube.

"Dead or alive they have thoughts and feelings. This is wrong!" Kalina's eyes glazed with determination.

"How do you know they feel anything?" Dennis asked, putting doubt into her even though he knew that supernatural beings indeed did feel things, "Besides, even if they do these are dangerous human beings. We could be saving a lot of people."

"Good point Dennis. Now let's be off. Michael," Cyrus called to one of his men, "Take care of these two will you? See they don't bother me again."

"Get back here. You can't just walk away from this Cyrus!" Damen yelled as the millionaire walked away.

Cyrus stopped in his tracks and looked to the man, seemingly deep in thought, "Yes, you know you're quite right. I can't walk away, I firmly plan on driving."

Dennis actually laughed. Cyrus sneered in Damen's face and then got into his car, very satisfied.

"If word gets out on this it could ruin you, have you thought of that?" Kalina asked as she pushed back by the security men.

" 'If word gets out'? Lady, if any news reporter were to hear that ghosts are real, dangerous and Cyrus Kriticos has a couple, then that reporter and their source would look like quacks."

"Very well said Dennis. Now hurry up, we really must be going." Cyrus ushered him forward. Dennis mock waved to the couple being led away and got in the car.

The drive back to Cyrus's was pleasant and Dennis found himself feeling more and more comfortable with the millionaire. Eventually he began to think he may even be able to consider Cyrus a friend. He hadn't had a friend in a long time, and he hoped it could be true.

Well, this has taken me awhile. I'm sorry about the wait but I'm working on several stories right now and I'm writing a screenplay so I've been pretty busy. Thanks to all my reviewers, you guys are awesome. I'm outtie, Goody.