by Jeff Morris

Chapter One Chapter Two Chapter Three Chapter Four Chapter Five Chapter Six Chapter Seven Chapter Eight Chapter Nine Chapter Ten



It was too nice to stay completely cooped up in a musty old firehouse, so Janine had opened the first floor windows to let the March breeze glide through. The air smelled fresh and just wet enough to be tolerable. You could almost feel the world on the verge of waking up from its cold slumber, about to rise up and explode with warm, wonderful life.

Janine smiled to herself as she finished up Dr. Venkman’s latest missive to DIC. They’d made the fatal mistake of letting him see the storyboards for the next season of “The Real Ghostbusters”, and Peter had literally hit the roof. His letter roared with outrage, disgust and not‑so‑veiled threats that if they knew what was good for them, they’d get that Straczynski guy back as soon as possible.

Janine had thoughtfully added several comments about the milquetoast appearance and personality of the animated show’s receptionist that Dr. V. had somehow forgotten to make. No harm done.

There had been the usual long litany of religious fanatics, crazies, aluminum siding and basement waterproofing salesmen, both at the door and on the phone. Janine had dispatched them with her usual crisp, efficient ways, though she was kinder than she was usually disposed to be.

She glanced up at the clock; was it eleven already? The guys had already left when she’d come in this morning at eight, tracking down a few class fours in Brooklyn. That blasted artistic ghost was still causing trouble in her former apartment, forever promising that she’d leave “after a few more illos for Starlog”. Peter had sworn that this time she went into the containment, no ifs, ands, or buts. Then they’d gotten a call about a ghost at the Long Island Lakeside Theatre that was disrupting a charity benefit. Peter had groused about how long it would take to get there, but the promise of a hefty payment—on the spot—had been too much to resist.

Sitting back and sipping at her tea—it was too warm and nice for coffee—Janine smiled to herself as she thought back about the wonderful dream she’d had last night. Even now, the details were sketchy and vague, but the overall feeling she’d gotten upon awakening was one of peace and happiness. For some reason, she had an overwhelming sense of rightness all morning--that everything was going to work out for the best. She idly wished she could have dreams like that one all the time.

Hmmm. They should be getting back before too long. She grabbed the telephone and placed a big order at the local deli, the one where ever since they’d captured a few poltergeists, they’d gotten delivery within fifteen minutes no matter what. And a 15 percent discount, too...

The doors to the firehouse creaked open on cue; Janine grabbed a few airborne sheets of paper and smiled as ECTO‑1 coughed and rattled its way inside. Ray, as always, was the first one out of the car, proudly displaying four smoking traps. “Gee, Janine, you should have been there!” he exulted. “Two full‑torsos down at the Bridge, the Brooklyn artist, and then we caught a class three on the way back at a computer store!”

“Good timing,” she said, then frowned. “Ray, I didn’t get any calls about a ghost in a computer store.”

“Coincidence,” called Winston, who was lugging a huge box out of the back end of ECTO. “I had the guys stop there on the way back, and it just so happened...”

“No problem,” she assured him. “I ordered lunch, guys—it should be here by the time you’ve gotten cleaned up. So what happened on Long Island?”

“I don’t wanna talk about it,” Peter grumped. “We travel all that way to get there, and when we show up, they tell us they’ve changed their mind and they don’t want the ghost trapped after all.”

“Gosh, Pete,” Ray said. “After all, it was Harry Chapin...”

“... and he’d already raised fifty‑five thousand dollars from the time held appeared and started playing...” added Winston.

11 ... so can you really blame them?” Ray concluded as he handed Janine the receipts on his way downstairs; ever since that near overload the other day, either he or Egon personally inspected the containment at every opportunity.

“And then we had to visit that computer store,” Peter yawned. “What are you going to do with that computer, anyway? I mean, you’ve always used Janine’s in the past.”

“Wanted one of my own,” the big man grinned. “What do you think, Janine? Top of the line, perfect for word processing, and a three‑year guarantee to boot!”

“That’s great, Winston.” She looked at the box, which apparently contained the entire package—it must have set him back a considerable amount. “Uhh ... what are you going to do with it, anyway?”

Winston smiled happily. “I got to thinking about trying my hand at some creative writing, that’s all. Maybe I could write a book about us, all our adventures and stuff like that. Who knows? I might even get good at it!”

“Yeah, you never know,” Peter nodded absently as he studied the letters Janine had typed up. “These look good. Like the way you made them more threatening. Get the one to Kenner done?”

“Just need to type it out, Dr. Venkman.” She had added a few paragraphs regarding that stupid Tully figure they’d replaced her own counterpart with. Stupid movies.

“Sounds good. Oh yeah, did Dana call?”

“Message and return number is on your desk. She liked the roses, by the way.”

“But I didn’t ... 11 A slow smile crossed his face as he paused on the stairwell between floors. “Thanks, Janine. Remind me to pay you someday.”

“Don’t worry, I will. Oh, Ray,” she called out as Stantz walked by, “Dr. Brown wants you to call her as soon as possible. She was hoping you’d agree to do a few guest lectures at Columbia next term. Apparently she and her students bullied Yaeger into approving it.” A knowing grin escaped her lips. “She said you could discuss it with her over dinner tonight, if you were interested.”

“Really? Wow, that’s neat!” Whistling to himself, Ray took the stairs two at a time towards the rec room. Janine smiled softly and returned to her terminal, only to find Egon standing behind it, looking oddly pensive ... ready to crawl out of his skin and fly away, now that she thought about it.

“What can I do for you, Egon?” she asked pleasantly. God, he was cute...

“Ahhh, Janine, I.... um, I was wondering...”


“I was, well, wondering if you’d, uh, you’d like to maybe go outtodinnerandmaybescmedancingtonightifyoudon’thaveanyplanseventhoughyouprobablydo.”

She peered over her glasses in disbelief. “What?”


She lifted up a hand. “Whoa. Slow down, Egon. Pause between words ... did you say dinner and dancing?”

Egon nodded his head furiously.

“With me?”

Another rapid nod.


His head was going to go flying off his neck at this rate.

She smiled brightly at him. “Egon, there is nothing in this world that I would rather do than go to dinner with you tonight ... and dance all night, too.”

His eyes widened, causing his glasses to ski down his nose. “You would? Really?”

“It’s what I’ve dreamed of, Egon.” God, he’s so cute when he’s flustered...

“Uhhh ... uhhh...Well! Great!” He shuffled his feet and started to head for the stairs, then paused and came back to the desk. Held been holding something behind him previously, and now he offered it to her: a long stemmed red rose. “I ... thought of you when I saw it today,” he said shyly.

“Egon...” Impulsively she jumped up and kissed his cheek. “It’s wonderful. Cane we go over to my place after work? So I can change?”

“Uh‑huh!” There went that head again...

At that very moment Ray’s scream shot like lightning from the basement. Egon and Janine raced to the stairs and scurried to the containment controls, where Ray stood trembling. Seconds later they were joined by Peter and Winston, both slightly out of breath from exertion.

“Ray, what is it?” Egon asked urgently.

“The readings...” Ray turned towards his friend and partner, face sheet white. “Look at the readings...”

The others waited as Spengler obeyed. When he looked up again, the scientist’s face was taut with tension. “We have a problem,” he announced.

“What?” Janine cried. “But how? I’ve been here since you left this morning, and I haven’t heard so much as a peep from down here!”

“What is it, Egon?” Peter demanded, growing increasingly uneasy.

“See for yourselves.” He pointed at one particular digital readout, then at the one below it. The second figure was significantly lower than the first.

“Which means...?” Winston prompted.

“The first readout shows the PKE level in the containment as of the last reading we took—yesterday morning, to be precise. The second is the current PKE level inside the containment.”

“But ... but...” Peter sputtered.

“There has been a significant drop in PKE levels over the past 24 hours,” Egon concluded.

“But we would have known if there was a breach!” Winston insisted.

“Maybe it wasn’t a breach,” Ray said softly, breaking out of his trance. “Maybe something ... found another way to get out...”

“It’d have to be a big something,” Peter remarked.

“A powerful something,” Janine agreed.

Egon took a deep breath and struggled to maintain his composure. “Gentlemen, Janine—there is only one entity that we’ve ever encountered that approximates the amount of escaped PKE.”

“And?” asked Janine.

Ray turned and looked at them all. “Samhain.”

The room darkened; instinctively, the Ghostbusters glanced up towards the basement window, to find that a cloud had obscured the sun…


Chapter One Chapter Two Chapter Three Chapter Four Chapter Five Chapter Six Chapter Seven Chapter Eight Chapter Nine Chapter Ten