Chapter 12: Allusions
The streets were quiet and empty, all businesses being closed for the night and their owners in their homes, sound sleep, something that Danny was extremely grateful for as he and Sam flew down the road.
After their earlier confrontation with the Guys in White, everyone had been even more determined to find Danielle, not wanting to take any chances with those jerks so close by. They had lucked out when they had overheard that almost all of the Guys in White's equipment had been damaged by the huge spike in energy that they had seen earlier. Unfortunately for them, they were in a similar position.
Upon returning to the ship, Danny was able to help Jazz and Tucker assess the damage done to the ship. They were fortunate that the actual ship and guidance system had held up well enough that they could still fly with minimal to no damage. However, the same could not be said for the tracking equipment.
All of the ships defense equipment had been shut down, which meant it wasn't completely useless, as well as most of their handheld equipment. Valarie's tracking devices, which were thankfully made of Ghost Tech and therefore much more durable to ectoplasmic based attacks, had survived.
As soon as Danny heard this, he felt a sense of hope rise in their venture; they were finally one step ahead of the Guys in White and had a chance to find Danielle, now.
"We'll wait until night hits, and then we'll head out to find her," Danny said confidently.
The moment that the sky became dark, Team Phantom was on the hunt. Valarie's tracker led them all the way across the city from where they had first landed to a smaller, more urban area filled with shops. As they hovered over the area, it was decided that Danny and Sam should go alone to try to talk to her, though everyone was against it, especially considering that there now six ectoplasmic entities in the area instead of two.
"If Danielle is down there, and there are that many ghosts are down there, it means one of two things; either it's completely safe and there's no danger down there-"
"Or that Danielle's in a lot more danger then she realizes," Sam said as she transformed into her ghost form. Danny nodded his head, following suite.
"All the more reason why you should let us go with you guys," Valarie said, the others nodding their heads. "Just in case."
"Sorry guys, but we need to do this one by ourselves."
The two halfas didn't wait for a response, though they knew their friends wouldn't follow, as they turned intangible and slipped out of the ship, tracker in hand. As they came to a stop where the ectoenergy signals were being emitted from, Danny could feel his eye twitch and his jaw dropped in disbelief while Sam could only bring her hand up and shake her head.
"Le Café Apparition? Seriously?" Danny commented, pocketing the tracking device. "Ok, seriously, could they make it any more obvious that there are ghosts here?"
"I know, I know. Let's just get in here and find Danielle."
"Alright. Stay on your guard," Danny said. Sam nodded her head as they turned intangible once more and slipped through the window, pausing to float around in the center of the café for a few seconds, waiting for something to happen. Having grown up in a home with anti-ghost technology, not to mention the little problem that they had at Madam Daemons shop, Danny wanted to take every precaution possible.
The two teens looked around the room, taking in their surroundings, but found nothing out of the ordinary. Not even a slight tingle from their Ghost Sense.
"Something's not right," Sam said. Danny nodded his head, eyes still darting round the room uselessly as he tried to find anything that seemed right or wrong. Danny began reaching for his pocket to grab the tracker and check again, but stopped as a pink blast shot out of the dark toward them.
Danny and Sam quickly dove out of the way, hands charged to fire at whatever it was that was shooting at them, but nothing came out for them until a second shot fired, this time from behind. Danny jumped away, avoiding the blast before shooting one of his own back at the mysterious attacker. His attack hit nothing, frustrating him.
"You see anything yet, Sam?" he asked, looking around him. Sam quickly backed up, her back against his as she too searched around for the source of the random attacks.
"Nothing. And this is really starting to make me paranoid," she admitted. A third pink blast fired at them, quickly followed by a forth, and then a fifth. Soon, blasts were coming at them from every direction, leaving the couple barely any time to react, but luckily they were fast enough to avoid them.
Then, suddenly, the blast stopped, leaving them in the quiet once more, though neither dropped their guard as they kept their eyes moving about, waiting for something to happen again. Danny was beginning to get nervous and wondering if they shouldn't head back outside where it was safer, but before he could voice this to Sam, his eyes grew wide, as did hers as the room began to light up with small pink dots that he knew for sure were ectoenergy, though they looked strangely like eyes balls, sitting there menacingly, just watching them.
"Don't move, Sam," he warned, though it was completely unnecessary as she pressed her back even more into his.
"Do you think they're gonna attack us?" she asked quietly.
"I'm not sure. They could be like mini bombs that go off when they're touched," he mused. However, as the first ball flew at him as high speed, he quickly abandoned that thought. "Or not! Shield!"
The two teen threw their hands out, creating a domed shield around them in just barely enough time to keep from getting hit. This only seemed to egg on their attacker as each of the laser like bullets pounded against the barrier, quickly being followed up by another from the same spot. The sound was deafening as each one thumped against the shield, taking more and more effort to hold solid.
Danny wasn't sure how much longer this would go on or if they could hold off the attack for much longer. He could feel himself straining to hold up his half of it and could faintly hear Sam doing the same. He knew he had to come up with a plan soon, but what could he do? He had no idea where the enemy was and they were outnumbered and surrounded. The best he could hope for was to give Sam and opening so she could escape, and pray they she made it. It wasn't a sound plan in the slightest but it would have to do.
Danny opened his mouth to tell her his plan, but was cut off as Sam screamed in terror. Danny's head turned to her to see that black mist starting to come up from the floor around her. Looking down at his own feet in horror, Danny could feel his own terror rising as the mist wrapped around his legs, slowly creeping up his body. His head whipped around wildly as he looked for anything that he could do to escape, but saw nothing as the feeling in his legs suddenly gave away to a strange sense of numbness.
As the mist crawled up his body, taking away more and more of his senses, Danny came to the frightening realization that there was literally nothing he could do but succumb to the power of his own known enemy. As he lost feeling in his fingers, he arms dropping limply, the shield dropped instantly, meaning that Sam too could no longer keep up the protection. To his surprise, the energy shots that had attacked them earlier ceased, thought Danny hardly noticed this as the mist finally made its way past his neck, consuming him fully as it took his eyesight and plunged him into numb darkness.
Danielle could feel her spine tingling again, her eyes shifting from side to side in her peripheral anxiously as if she were waiting for something to attack her. She had been feeling more and more nervous as they travelled deeper and deeper into the Catacombs, and was nearly shaking from the various things her mind tried to convince her were waiting for her.
The last half hour of torture was starting weigh heavily on her, and she repeatedly asked herself how Alex and Josh were staying as calm as they were. Sure, nothing had happened so far, but she had a very strong feeling that something was going to happen very soon, and they terrified her more than the actual waiting did.
Cujo could sense his master's distress, and wanted to do something to reassure her that everything was ok, but with how weak he was and considering where they were, he knew anything that he did would just be counterproductive at this point.
A loud moan suddenly echoed around them, resulting in Danielle jumping forward and bumping into Alex, nearly toppling him over.
"Will you chill, already?" Jekyll said irritably as he kept moving. "I already told you nothing was gonna happen as long as you didn't try and attack anything."
"That's not exactly a comfort, you know," she said back, her body shaking as she continued to follow Alex after he righted himself. "Are you sure that nothing can come near us? I'm positive that I felt something touching me earlier."
"For the last time, there's nothing there. Now shut up."
Danielle didn't say anything else as they walked, praying that he was right as she tried to ignore the moaning that was slowly fading away from them. This helped her ease up a bit, though she still clutched her torch tightly. They walked in an eerie silence as even the void around her grew silent; their footsteps even disappeared in it, until the silence was broke as an ear shattering scream pierced the air.
Danielle jumped at the sudden noise, her body shaking rapidly as her heart rate shot up. She barely contained her own scream as she looked around, noticing that the scream had shaken Alex as well. She didn't know how much more of this she could take, but before she could think about it any further, a sudden pressure, much like the one she felt earlier, grabbed her shoulder, only this time it was much tighter.
Danielle screamed, turning around and shooting an ectodisk into darkness on reflex. The two boys turned around to look at her in horror as her mind started to process what she had just done, completely forgetting about the pressure that she still felt on her shoulders. Everyone stopped moving, their breath held as they all looked around behind for any sign of anything. Jekyll was the first to hear it as he began to step backwards.
"Run," he said quietly at first taking more steps before breaking out into a full run and shouting, "RUN!"
Danielle and Alex took off after him at full speed, the adrenaline pumping in their bodies helping them to ignore the heavy gravity that they felt. The feet tapped rapidly against the ground, fear pumping in their veins.
Danielle could hear the sounds of laughing, moaning and various forms of screaming coming from behind her and pushed herself even harder to get away, her mind not even registering that the weight that had been on her shoulders had vanished when she started running. Panic raced through her mind, and, against her better judgment, caused her to look behind her to see what it was that was chasing her. Unfortunately for her, she failed to see the small dip in the path, causing her to trip and fall forward, her torch flying out of her hand as it bounced away and extinguished.
Danielle's eyes grew wide as she sudden found herself consumed by darkness, no longer seeing Alex's torch or hear his footsteps. Pushing herself up, she prepared to continue to run, only to feel a sudden force slam into her, knocking her to the ground again. Her head began to whip around wildly as she tried to stand again, only to find herself on the ground once more.
A shriek echoed in her left ear, scaring her as her ear rang in pain. A moan came from the opposite side, making her jump away from it as well. Laughter echoed around her as the creatures that she could not see, circled her relentless, speaking words her terrified mind couldn't comprehend as it raced around.
Danielle felt her knees grow weak as her body shook endlessly; she had never been this scared before, and didn't know what she was going to do as a sudden urge to scream for her mother and father built up in her chest. Closing her eyes and covering her ears, Danielle let the scream she felt fly from her lips without and attempt at restraint whatsoever.
The green waves shot from her mouth, a shrill scream of pure fear and madness firing off in all directions as she crumbled to the ground and prayed to the realms that her screams would drown out the sounds around her long enough to distract her from what was sure to be her demise.
Danny shot up, gasping in fright as he looked around the room. Large amounts of sweat ran down his bare chest as he ran his hands over his body and face, barely noticing as he traced over the scar on his right pectoral. Relief flooded him as he found that he was once again able to feel his body again. Taking a few deep breaths, Danny waited for his heart to calm down again before looking around the room, and nearly jumped in surprise at what he saw.
The blue walls were without a doubt familiar, as well as the Dumty Humpty posters, model rocket ship and furniture, including the bed he was laying on. His eyes drifted to the left, and he nearly shouted in joy at seeing Sam lying next to him, still sound asleep. Danny reached out to touch her cheek, but stopped as a loud crack of thunder shook the house around him, flashes of lightening streaking through the sky outside his window as rain smacked it relentlessly.
His eyes grew wide as he instinctively crawled off the bed, being sure to not make any unnecessary movements and wake up Sam. His footsteps were light, almost ghost-like, as he moved across the carpeted floor and toward his bedroom door. Another round of thunder shook around him, but Danny ignored it as he shuffled across the hall to the adjacent bedroom, stopping outside of the closed door.
Danny didn't know why he felt the urge to come to Danielle's room. He had done it hundreds of times, and the result was always the same; it was empty, void of any life whatsoever. And yet, here he stood as if he were waiting for something like a sign to tell him that it would be just like it always was, and that he didn't need to waste his time checking while his mind urged him to go in.
Raising a shaky hand, Danny grabbed the knob, waiting a few ticks as his heart beat against his chest, before turning it and pushing the door open.
Danny walked into the room, shock registering all over his face as a feeling of elation surged in him. There, lying in the small, twin sized bed was his daughter, snuggled up to her panda teddy bear. A light snore came from her, her chest rising and falling in succession of peaceful sleep. Her face was illuminated by the moon and stars nightlight that she always turned on during thunderstorms in an attempt to help her sleep better and forget her fear of them.
Danny took slow, shallow breaths as me walked over to her, falling to his knees at her bedside and staring at her. This couldn't be real. He was one hundred percent sure that this was not real. And yet, as he watched her sleeping form, waiting for her to vanish into thin air, she never did.
Reaching out a shaking hand, Danny lightly touched her cheek, softly rubbing it. Her skin had the same warm, soft feeling it always had, her hair the same shade of midnight black that his and Sam's had. Danny could feel the tears that came to his eyes as his bottom lip trembled. He couldn't believe it. She was real! She was real and was actually here!
Danny retracted his hand immediately as hid daughter began to stir in her sleep. They young girl groaned loudly as her eye slowing opened, staying unfocused for a moment before she spotted her father.
"Daddy?" she asked. Pushing herself up into a sitting position, she rubbed her eye but continued to watch him. "What's wrong?"
Danny said nothing as he pulled her into a hug, holding her tightly against him. He lightly stroked her hair as his body shook with sobs of relief, confusing her as she lay against his chest.
"You're here," he mumbled quietly. "You're here and you're ok. You don't know how happy I am that you're here."
"Of course I'm here, Dad," she said, pushing away from him lightly to look at him in confusion. "Where else would I be?"
"You…" Danny paused, still trying to recollect his thoughts over his joy. "You ran away. The night I got shot, you ran away, and we spent months looking for you, and for Cujo, and the Guys and White were after you, and we met this medium and then we were in New Orleans, and-"
"Whoa, Dad; calm down. I think you just had a bad dream," she said. Placing her small hand on his face, she stared into his identical blue eyes before saying, "I haven't gone anywhere. I'm right here, and I'm fine. I promise."
Danny smiled at her, though it quickly fell as the power went out after a particularly loud clap of thunder. Danny looked to see that the nightlight had gone out as well, and tensed up as he waited for Danielle to freak out over her fear. But as the moments ticked by, he was surprised to find that she hadn't reacted at all. In fact, she barely moved, only turning her head to look out the window.
"Stupid thunderstorm," she grumbled.
"Uh, Danielle, are you ok?" he asked.
"Dad, I already told you, I fine," she replied, rolling her eyes.
"It's just…your nightlight went out."
"Yeah, I know. But the backup generator will kick in soon, right?"
"Well yeah, but…you're not scared? Usually, when that happens during a storm, you scream bloody murder and cling to your mom or me all night."
Danielle laughed, shaking her head at his ridiculous explanation. "Dad, please. That's absurd. Thunderstorms aren't scary. I've fought way scary stuff then that. Why would I be scared of a little thunder and lightning?"
Danny could feel the color drain from his face as he stared at the smile on her face, dread filling his very being as his mind caught up to him.
"This isn't real…" he whispered to himself. Turning his head, Danny looked around the entire room, backing away from her. Standing, he began to spin wildly around and search the room, confusing Danielle at his odd behavior.
"This isn't real!" he shouted, looking back at her, hurt on his face before it quickly changed to anger. "None of this is real! You…you're not real!"
Danielle's eyes grew wide in fright as she looked at the angry glow in his eyes which had changed from blue to green. "Daddy, you're scaring me."
"No! Get out of my head," Danny cried out as his hands started to glow green.
The frightened look on Danielle's face dropped and turned into a devious smirk as she threw the covers back and jumped to her feet. A hand came to her hip as she glanced over him, completely ignoring his furious expression.
"You're right, it's not real. Though, I must say that I'm surprised. I didn't think you'd figure it out; most people don't. Seems your mind found a way to give you a clue to let you know this wasn't real so you could escape. Too bad there is no escape."
"We'll see about that," Danny said, building his energy, shouting, "Now get out of my head!" before releasing it all in a giant concussive blast. The entire room was bathed in light, everything vanishing, Danielle included, as it was obliterated and wiped away in an instant. Danny's body soon began to fade as the darkness returned, swallowing him up once more.
Danny gasped loudly as his eyes shot up and looked around. He eyes shot up to the low light hanging above him, is dim fluorescent shine bathing the room. Looking down, Danny found that he was once again in his ghost form, his black and white outfit glowing with his ghostly aura.
Turning to his left, Danny found his girlfriend, hanging limply as she was suspended in the air, eyes closed. Danny tried to move toward her, but found his body unresponsive as he jerked in her direction, only to find resistance. Confused, Danny began to struggle harder, but still his body did not move a single inch, remaining floating off the floor much like Sam.
"Damn it," he grumbled. "Why can't I move!?"
"Don't bother." Danny looked up, watching as a dark haired man walked into the light before him, his eyes glowing a shining blue color. His hand was held out in front of him, long string connected to each finger that glowed the same blue as his eyes. Following the lines from his fingers, Danny finally understood why he couldn't move and why he was floating aimlessly without the use of his powers. The strings were wrapped around his entire body which was illuminated with the blue glow that seemed to have him paralyzed. Looking to his left, Danny could see the same strings and glow coming off of Sam. "Struggle as you might, you won't free yourself nor your girlfriend."
"We'll see about that, buddy," Danny challenged, eyes changing to blue as he prepared to fire ice from his eyes.
"I'd advise that you not do that if you want to find Danielle."
Danny instantly stopped his attack as shock ran through him and his eyes changed back to normal. "Danielle!? Where is she!? What have you done to her!?"
"She's not here, but I can promise you that she's safe. And as long as you stay quiet long enough for my wife to deal with the Guys in White, you'll be safe too."
Danny head was beginning to spin as he tried to take in all this information, and though he trusted what this man was telling him, he couldn't help asking, "Just who are you guys?"
"My name is Matthew, but you can call me Geppetto. And I'm a demi-ghost, just like you."
To be Continued…
So, really quick, for everyone who had read this, I know I haven't mention Danielle's fear of thunderstorms in the main story, the reason being that I put it as an extra chapter in the story, 1 Human Plus Two Halfas Equals a Family EXTRAS. It's the very first chapter, and I added it to this story because I needed a good way for Danny to figure out that the allusion he was in wasn't real, and the best way to do that was by using something that only he or his family would know about Danielle.
Feel free to read that as well as the other chapters if you'd like, but it's not necessary as I've provided enough information about it here in this chapter. However, there are a few things that are mentioned in that story that will be referenced in this main series as well as connect to it, which will include characters, memories and so further. That being said, as I mentioned, it's not necessary to read them, but when they come up, if you want more information about it, then just head to the other story to read about it.
Anyway, hope you enjoyed and all that jazz, and I'll see you guys later.