The red clock now reads 03:05. The two teens are lying on their backs on the long side of the bed. For the past hour, Danny and Valerie have tried to kill some time in their silent cube, by telling each other jokes and anecdotes. But now they are starting to get bored, and Valerie's thoughts drift back to her earlier plan to kick in the window, in order to get out.
She stands up from the bed. 'What are you doing?' Danny asks as he goes to sit up straight.
'I think we've been here doing nothing long enough. I'm going try something,' she answers as she walks up to the window.
'But I thought we were gonna wait until we got something from the wall?' Danny retorts, standing up too.
'Might be so,' Valerie answers, while pressing her nose against the glass, 'but how do we know something is even going to come? Maybe my letter lied and we're just left to die here.' That was a bit harsh, she realized. But she has another motive: she needs to go to the toilet. Badly. And as one look around the room could tell her, there are no sanitary facilities in the tiny area. She steps back from the window. The glass appears to be pretty thick. It's going to take a lot of strength to kick through that. But if it means they can get out of there sooner, she'll gladly do it.
Danny looks at the clock. 'That might be true, but it's only been an hour. We should at least wait a day; we don't even know how quick these things will arrive!'
Valerie looks at the ground. 'Yeah, but I-' She's interrupted by the sound of the mechanical door opening. Both teens look up surprised.
'See,' Danny says, looking back at Valerie, 'patience pays off.'
Behind the door are two objects: A sledgehammer and something the size and colour of an iPhone. On top of the latter are two buttons: A green one and a white one. The small black device is lying on top of an envelope, marked with Danny's name. The sledgehammer only has a name tag attached to it: Valerie. They both take their respective gifts out of the space.
This time, Valerie is prepared for the closing of the lid, and tries to keep it open. But it's forced closed with such a strength she's scared her fingers will get crushed if she keeps holding it. 'So, that's not an option either,' she comments sarcastically. 'Aren't you going to open your letter?' Valerie asks Danny confused.
He's staring at a piece of paper that was taped to the back of his odd device, alongside with the envelope. She steps behind him to read along, but is surprised to notice that this one is again empty. 'Empty again?'
Danny turns his head agitated. The text is again printed in ecto-ink; he suspects he'll get used to reading the radiant pink rather quickly the coming days.
The green button takes away all ecto-energy in a meters range. The white one gives it back.
Danny's tempted to try the device, but if it really does what the paper claims it to, there's a good chance it will result in something way too suspicious for Valerie to ignore. He realizes she's still looking at him, wondering what could be so interesting about an empty paper. 'Could you please not read along behind my back?'
'Why not? It's not like it says anything.'
'That's true, but…,' Danny starts, glancing for a moment at the ceiling, 'but what if it had? You didn't let me read your letter either.'
Valerie groans. She supposes that's fair, but it's still stupid to not read his letters. She's the one with the battle suit after all, with or without weapons, so it'd be better for her to have all information available. Of course she can't admit that to Danny. Maybe she'll have to say it anyway in the future, but for now it's better not to. Not with the stingy atmosphere. So she just keeps silent while he opens his envelope.
For the third time, brightly coloured letters greet Danny from the paper.
Greetings Phantom! Yes, I know who you are... How? Too bad you'll never know... However, I sent you an item that will help you. It is attached to this message. Use it wisely!
a loyal Phan, Illuso
'So? What does it say?' Valerie asks. She may not read along with him, but that won't keep her from getting as much information on the situation as she can. She notices Danny starts scratching the back of his neck. He usually only does that when he's nervous. Is he hiding something from her?
'Uhm…. It's empty again,' he answers. He could of course reveal a bit of what he actually read, since Valerie isn't reading along, but if she would find out later that it's 'empty' it will raise more questions than the letter answers now.
He takes another look at the device. It really isn't much more than a metal slate with two buttons. 'Aren't you going to try it out?' Valerie asks.
'Well I would… but what if it's not useful? What if it only hurts me?' Danny answers. Technically, he thinks, it's not a lie.
Valerie inspects the device a little closer. 'Hmm, good point.' She turns around to face the window. 'But I sure am gonna try out this baby!' She carries the sledgehammer to the other side of the room and holds it with both hands on one end. In one smooth sling the hammer hits the glass. For a moment the loud sound of glass falling fills the room. Then there's silence.
Danny carefully makes his way around the shards to look into the new space. It's a lot bigger than the room they are now in… but it's also really empty. In the wall most opposite to him and Valerie are five doors, and a bit more in their direction, against the right wall, stands what looks like a big oven. Relatively close to them is another door on the right wall. They can't see what's in the leftmost of the room, due to the position of the window frame.
Valerie runs over to the bed, takes the sheet, and throws it over the remaining glass shards in the frame. She throws the sledgehammer into the other room, and takes a leap and jumps through the window. Then she immediately runs to check all new doors, to see if any of them open.
Danny calmly climbs over the frame too. When in the other room, he turns around to try and unlock the door for the room they've been in this day. Luckily, the key is already stuck in the lock. All Danny has to do is turn it open, which he does. He pushes against the door, and it smoothly swings open… just in time for Danny to notice the metal lid open once again. 'Hey Valerie!' he calls out, 'we've got mail!'
Valerie had found a toilet very fast. The second door she'd tried had the familiar red/white lock on it, and so she had sprinted inside for sweet relief. Happily she noted that there even was toilet paper. 'Even my kidnapper isn't that cruel,' she noted to herself.
Just when she gets back, she hears Danny yelling. She runs over to the old room, bursts through the door, and stops at the door in the wall.
This time there are three items lying in the space. By far the biggest one is what seems like a hula-hoop, or a smaller version of the Ghost Catcher without the feathers and the standard. Again, an envelope addressed to Danny is attached to its edge. The other two items, which lay on top of the green glowing web spun inside the big round device, are more easily recognizable: The first is a Specter -Deflector, the second a box which smells like it contains some sort of food. The box also has an envelope, addressed to 'both', the Deflector is clear of papers.
Valerie takes out the box and the metal belt, while Danny pulls out the giant circular thing. He carefully places it on the floor, and while Valerie's busy reading and investigating the stuff she took, he takes the phone-shaped device and, bracing himself for the worst, pushes the green button.
A strong electrical current shoots through his body, and Danny clamps his teeth together. It only lasts half a second though. After that, he feels strangely empty, as if some part of him has disappeared. He concentrates on the cold feeling that usually comes with his ghost-half, and is content to find that he can't find it. If his theory is correct, that means that the Deflector won't shock him now if Valerie makes him wear it – and he knows she will. He puts the black device back in his pocket. If he'd lose it now, he'd be completely powerless with no means to restore it.
'Danny,' Valerie comments, interrupting his thoughts, 'do you have any idea what this is?' She pushes the Deflector in his hands. 'It looks like one of your parents inventions.'
Danny happily notices that he was right. Even though he's holding the belt, the only thing he feels is a light buzzing or vibrating feeling in the hand that holds the Deflector. Much better than the harsh shocks he's grown to expect.
'It's a, ah, a belt that uhh…,' His hand slides from his neck down. He just now realized that he could lie to Valerie, so she won't make him wear the Deflector. But then he does have to come up with a convincing lie. And being dishonest never was his forte. 'It's a belt that… uhm… let's you know when a ghost is near. Yes, that's exactly what it does,' he answers, stumbling over his words as he gives the belt back to Valerie.
She raises an eyebrow, and looks Danny straight in the eyes. 'Really? And how does it tell you a ghost is near, then?' she asks, not believing a word he just said.
'It starts beeping,' Danny mutters.
'Hmmm.' Valerie holds eye contact with Danny, who shuffles under her gaze, uncomfortable with the blatant lie he told but not willing to admit it. Finally she looks away. 'In that case, I'll wear it.' She clicks the belt around her waist, over her clothing. 'Now let's go see what's in the box.' Danny only nods.
Valerie takes the box and sits down on the mattress, Danny following quickly. First, Valerie takes the envelope from the top of the box. She opens it and holds the paper out for them both to see.
I am going to enjoy this immensely.
But for now, enjoy the waffles.
Sincerely, A fan of both.
Danny and Valerie finish reading at the same time. They both turn their head to the other, a questioning look present in their eyes.
'Well, guess we have some waffles now,' Valerie says as she takes the lid off the box. And indeed, five gold-brown waffles stacked on top of each other greet them from the small container, with a bottle of syrup next to them. The smell is delicious, and Danny, who hasn't eaten in at least five hours, suddenly realizes that he's feeling pretty hungry. 'I don't know about you,' he says, 'but I'm taking one.'
Before his fingers can even brush the top waffle, Valerie grasps his pulse. 'Wait. How do we know they're safe to eat? I mean,' she holds up the letter, 'look at this. The person who wrote this doesn't really seem to like us.'
'What do you mean she doesn't like us? She sent us waffles!' Danny replies, irritated. Okay, maybe Valerie had a point, but he sincerely doubted someone would send them poisoned waffles, of all things.
'Well,' Valerie starts, 'the first sentence is practically a written evil laugh, the second is sadist, and the third seems really foreshadowing.'
Danny rolls his eyes. Caution was good, but this way they would never get out.
'Then she goes and says she's a fan of ours. If you ask me, I think there's something wrong with this- Danny!'
'Whout?' Danny replies with a full mouth. While Valerie was talking and inspecting the letter, Danny took one of the waffles with his free hand and had taken a big bite out of it. He swallows. 'It doesn't taste poisoned.'
'Oh, because you would know what poison tastes like,' Valerie retorts, hands on her hips. She stands up and faces Danny. 'If you want to spend your days sick in this stupid room, fine. But I'm planning to escape, and waffles don't fit in that plan.'
She walks to the door, fumbles with it until it opens (it's harder without a handle) and angrily stomps out, slamming the poor door shut behind her.
'Come on, Valerie!' Danny shouts after her, as he sees her walking to the other side of the next room through the window. But she ignores him. She'll protect him from ghosts, but she won't protect him from his own stupidity. She stiffly goes on investigating the other four doors on the far end of the room – the first one she already knows.
Danny sighs, and takes another bite from his waffle. He looks around the room at the all the stuff lying around. He didn't like being in a fight with Valerie, but now at least he had a chance to inspect the hula-hoop a bit further. He tears the envelope off and opens it. After one quick glance he averts his eyes to the ceiling. 'Of course. When ísn't is ecto-ink,' he whispers to himself, careful not to let Valerie hear him. But he'll still have to read it to get what the device will do.
My advice: get out here ASAP.
I'm giving you a copier. It allows you to fully copy yourself into two, unlike the Dreamcatcher, with your true personality. I suggest to remain human in one copy and go ghost in another. Good luck.
The writing style of this letter was way different from the last one. In opposite to that one, this writer seemed to have put some more thought into the item they'd sent him.
He lifts the big circle from the floor. He tries to stick his hand through, as he had done with the Dreamcatcher, but he just hits some odd feeling rope. Then he remembers he still has all his ecto energy stored in the small device in his pocket.
He really should come up with a name for that thing. He smiles, as he thinks about how his parents probably would've called it: The Fenton Specter Sucker! Or something like that. He decides to refer to it by that name from now on, both because it makes him smile and because he can't come up with another name so quickly at the moment.
Either way, he takes it out of his pants, while he puts the half-eaten waffle back in the box with his other hand. Carefully, he pushes the white button. The effect is immediate. A cold wave washes over him, which raises all his hairs on end. But oddly enough it's actually a pleasant experience, as if he's finally meeting an old friend again and he's exactly like he remembers. He doesn't need to look for the presence of his ghost half this time: the feeling of the cold core is evidence enough.
He again tries to stick his hand through the web in the hula-hoop. This time, the same thing as with his parents' invention happens. On the other side of the web, Danny's own hand sticks out, next to a translucent, gloved one. 'Okay, this one works,' Danny comments.
He looks at the text again. He could make a copy of himself, but that probably wouldn't be such a good idea at the moment. He – or, if he were to split, Phantom – could easily be noticed by Valerie sooner or later, and Danny'd hate to see what would happen next. He only could stay invisible for so long. On top of that, there's also that side-effect that splitting himself up has: every clone is formed with half of the power of the original. If any of them would come across a powerful ghost, it'd be harder to defeat it.
Danny shoves the device underneath the bed, along with the letter. He's not going to use that for now. Then he looks outside the window again. Valerie is still standing at the other side of the room, arms crossed. He can hear her soft complaining from the room he's in. She kicks at one of the doors, groans as it does nothing.
Danny sighs again. He had the feeling he wasn't going to get out of this for a while.
Hello everyone! Thanks for the reviews, they literally all help me to write this story :) Also: The characters opinion does not represent mine. They might find waffles anoying and irritating, I found them hilarious XD.
Sorry to Shin Obin: your suggestion was a bit too vague to turn into an interesting story point, and as the author, I do still have the right to deny any submissions. I try not to though.