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Life Forces and Leeches

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New York City was in the grip of rolling blackouts, each blackout lasting longer than the last. While the city teetered between darkness and light on the chilly autumn night the four ever vigilant Ghostbusters were at work trying to analyze the situation, not only to keep the city from going dark but to keep their containment unit from failing and flooding the darkened streets with countless ghosts who only seek to terrorize anyone and everything they encounter.

"Another power surge." Dr. Ray Stantz observed as the lights inside the firehouse flickered briefly before resuming normal illumination. Inside the station only the lights to rec room and lab on the second floor were on; hoping that the less power being used could somehow aid in keeping the entire building from going out. "We better found the source of the power interferences fast. If all of New York loses power... I don't even want to think of the chaos we'd have to endure!"

"We're working on it." Dr. Egon Spengler reminded his colleague as he meticulously studied the city map that had been marked with dozens of red pushpins. Each pin marking the location of a confirmed power failure.

"Well, work faster!" Dr. Peter Venkman grumbled as he walked up the stairs with a glowing flashlight under his face, giving his features and eerily shadowed facade. "I don't think our forefathers fought and died for this country to have us catching ghosts by candle light. And Egon, please pick your toys. I almost tripped over an oxygen tank on the steps."

Egon gave Peter an far from amused glance before returning his focus to the map. The small office that Egon normally used as his lab had been remodeled and converted into a crude, yet well stocked, medical bay in the event of work related injury or illness.

Ray looked down at his watch noting the time. "Any word from Winston yet?"

"Nothing." Peter replied as he clicked off the flashlight. He took a seat at the small table on the far side of the room and propped his feet up on the neighboring chair. "He's probably still trying to get through traffic, between our lovely construction crew tearing up every block in the neighborhood and with the signals dropping in and out with the blackouts, he could be struck anywhere in Manhattan."

"Hope he doesn't get stranded." Ray lamented bitterly as the lights flickered once again. "We need him to get back here with the final PKE samples before we can even begin to narrow down the source of the interference."

"Remind me again Ray," Peter gave his more empathetic colleague an indifferent stare. "why are we looking into blackouts? That's a job for professional electricians, not Ghostbusters who dabble in wiring only when necessary."

"Because Egon and I don't believe that these power outages are being caused by some flaw in the power grid or a loose wire, we believe that what we're witnessing is the end result of a electromagnetic sycophantic phantasm; possibly class four or greater."

"A... what?" Peter hated it when Ray spoke with technical jargon, especially since he also had a bad habit of speaking very fast when he was excited. "I need you to repeat everything you just said; except use smaller words and speak slower."

Ray shot Peter a smug grin before summarizing the theory. "A ghost that feeds off of electricity, either for sustenance or to manifest itself."

"...Meaning?" Peter still wasn't up to speed and was losing interest.

"It means," Egon interjected with a strong voice. "we're dealing an energy leech. A specter or spirit who is currently feeding itself on the city's power grid."

"Oh. Well, why didn't you say so?"

Ray leaned away from the map to look at Peter with the smugness still plastered on his face. "I did."

Egon turned his head toward the staircase as he heard the garage door open and Ecto-1 back into the fire house. "Winston made it back."

"Finally!" Peter blurted as he leaned back in his chair. "Yo, Winston! Give us some good news!"

"I could do that," Winston replied as he jogged up the stairs and met his three fellow Ghostbusters in the rec room. "but depending on what you consider 'good' I might end lying to you."

"What about humor?" Peter asked quickly. "Can you at least humor me?"

"Doubt it." Winston handed the PKE meter to Egon dejectedly. "But maybe this can give us something to work with."

Egon processed through the recorded data collected on the meter and compared it to the already collected data samples. It didn't take the keen eyed physicist long to compile, analyze and process the information. Placing one final red pushpin onto the map Egon noticed a pattern and grabbed a black marker.

"Ray, hand me the projector film."

"Here ya' go." Ray pulled the thin, transparent plastic sheet of film out from under the stack of multiple maps of the city and the state that had been collected over the years for various purposes in tracking down ghosts with the most efficient routes. "Find something?"

"I believe so." Egon held the transparent film over the map and used the marker to trace a distinct pattern that formed between the pins, connecting all together in an unbroken line. "Does this look familiar to you, Ray?"

"It sure does." Ray's tone lowered as the bleak image made itself present. "We might be in trouble."

Peter hopped out his chair and casually strolled over to where Ray, Egon and Winston were standing to look at the map for himself. "Why's that? It's just a 'T' with a loop on the top. I've seen it all over the Egyptian exhibit at the museum."

"But do you even know what the symbol means, Peter?" Ray inquired with a heavy tone.

"I don't study. Remember?"

"This 'T' with a loop, as you so bluntly put it," Ray explained bleakly. "is an 'Ankh'. In Egyptian culture this symbol represented eternal life and regeneration."

Winston was intrigued more by Ray's sudden change in demeanor than the symbol itself. "I don't understand, did I miss something?"

Egon marked a red 'x' on the map at the top of the of the 'T' of the Ankh with a grimace. "I believe our energy leech is honing in on a very powerful source of electricity."

Winston looked at the red 'x' and let his shoulders sag with disappointment. "Oh no."

Ray bowed his head and stared at the desk. "Yeah."

"Let me guess." Peter barely glanced over the map, just the reactions of his colleagues told him everything he needed to know. "It's coming for us. It's going after the containment unit."

Egon capped the red marker and tossed it on the desk. "And it's going to siphon every volt of electricity we have."

"Wait a minute, hold on." Peter put his hands to his face in frustration. "Tell me something Egon, why is this 'energy leech' coming after us after all of the years? If it wants our power why didn't it come after us as soon as we built the damn thing years ago? What's so special about it now?"

Egon pondered the question for a silent moment before offering his only logical theory. "Perhaps this energy leech has evolved. Perhaps its original source of fuel came from a source that predates electricity."

"I think you nailed it," Ray lifted his head and watched as the lights overhead dimmed suddenly, a low groan from the emergency generator kicking on gave the four Ghostbusters an idea of how limited their power supply had become. "I bet with all of the construction going on through the city that several dormant spirits have been stirred up. And our own renovations to the firehouse may have acted like an invitation. This is where our energy leech comes into play."

Egon easily followed Ray's train of thought. "A spirit that had become benign while the city developed could potentially have originated in an era before electricity was common. If that's the case then this spirit more than likely fueled itself by feeding off the naturally occurring electrical impulses of the human body. And someone being drained by this leech in an era where medicine was still in its infancy could easily be dismissed as a death caused by an ailment or injury, not a ghost. With a population as big as New York this is the perfect feeding ground for such an entity."

"But the human body can only generate so much electricity in comparison to an entire city. A city that never sleeps."

"Or to the power of the containment grid alone."

The lights flickered with varying levels of illumination before finally going dark. The red tinted emergency lights kicked on as the emergency generator struggled to power the containment unit with the energy leech now actively trying to drain power directly from the source.

"I think it's here." Peter noted as he clicked back on his flashlight. "How do we contain something that can feed off the containment grid?"

"We don't." Ray replied as he looked at Peter through the red lights. "We need to find a way to remove it from this building entirely."

"Ray's right." Egon was in full agreement. "I'm not sure if a trap will be able to hold it long enough to transport it elsewhere though."

Winston had an idea of his own. "Or we could just destroy it."

"Destroy a ghost?" Peter was dubious of the concept.

"Why not? We know enough about the molecular structure of these ghosts that I'm sure we could find a way to eliminate it."

"But to actually destroy something..." Ray was occasionally too sensitive for his own good at times. "ghost or not, I don't think we have the authority or right to do that."

"But Ray," Winston offered him peace of mind. "this energy leech could hurt people. It's already damaging the city by taking its power. What if it doesn't stop with us? What if it goes after another place that has an abundance of electricity, like a hospital?"

"He's right Ray." Egon sided with Winston as the low groan of the generator echoed through the building. "I'm not fond of the idea of destruction myself, but in this case we can make an exception. We have to destroy the leech."

Peter flashed the light into Ray's face which caused him to raise a hand and shield his eyes from the sudden brightness. "Then let's stop wasting time and get to wasting that little bastard."

"Right." Ray pushed the flashlight down and away from his face. "We need to get to the containment unit and set up every trap we have. Hopefully that will be enough to lure it out and we can zap it with our proton streams."

"Good plan, 'killer'." Peter teased as he led the way down the stairs. "Let's move!"

As Peter marched down the stairs Ray, Egon and Winston followed close by. With the only bright light emanating from Peter's flashlight it was difficult to move without stumbling on the steps as they made their way down the first floor and over to the second stairwell that connects to the basement. Not to mention all of the building supplies and recently purchased equipment that had yet to be put in its proper place.

"We have fourteen traps at our disposal," Egon kept careful stock of all of their equipment. "we need to place them through the building, lure the leech away from the containment unit."

"Then what?" Peter shined his light up to his face again. "Corner it and open fire? We still have to get it somewhere outside so we can destroy it without destroying ourselves."

"We'll detonate the trap." Egon's tone was firm as he revealed the next phase in the plan. "Whichever trap hold the leech will be the one we manually detonate before it has a chance to escape."

"How long do we have before it detonates?" Peter was wisely on edge. "I don't want to be caught in the blast range."

"He does ask a very good question." Winston was glad, for once, that Peter spoke up.

"Approximately six seconds." Egon calculated as he grabbed two traps from their storage compartments next to the containment unit. "Remember, spread them out to lure the leech away from the unit."

"Yeah, right." Peter clicked off the flashlight as he grabbed two traps of his own. "Let's get started."

As the four Ghostbusters proceeded to strategically lay out the traps all through the firehouse the generator continued its struggle to keep minimal power flowing through the old building. The red emergency lights proceeded to flicker and dull just as the standard lights had done just prior to lose all power.

Traps were laid out in the basement, leading up the stairs and through the garage on the first floor. Setting the traps in a closer proximity on the first floor once they were clear of the basement was all it took to generate a very inviting surge of power to entice the destructive leech from the containment grid. The generator was no longer working as hard to keep the building powered as the leech was drawn from the basement.

"Hey look!" Ray pointed to a trap sitting on the staircase leading out of the basement. A surge of energy was gathering around the trap which then jumped to the next trap in a staticy bolt of energy "It's working! It's following the traps!"

"Good." Egon wisely took a step back from the trap nearest his position. "Keep your eye on it. As soon as it settles in a trap we need to stomp on its power switch. I can overload the trap's electrical grid fairly quickly and get back before it detonates."

"How big will the explosion be, Egon?" Ray was getting understandably nervous.

"Given the size of the trap and the recorded energy levels of the leech I estimate the resulting explosion to encompass a radius of at least sixteen feet."

"You can run that fast?"

"Impending death can be a great motivator."

Peter and Winston remained in the basement as they kept a look out for the leech. If it returned to the containment unit they were prepared to take it out, even if it meant having to get up close and personal with the menacing little spirit.

"Think this will work?" Winston asked quietly.

"Not a chance." Peter casually leaned back against the containment unit as he stared at the traps with an expressionless face. "Even if we do manage to catch it I doubt if we'll be able to blow it up without one of getting caught in the aftermath."

"Good point." Winston grabbed the flashlight that Peter had been using. "I'm going to go upstairs, see if Ray and Egon have seen anything."

"I'll be here." Peter never stopped staring at the traps on the floor.

As Winston exited the basement, the flashlight beam guiding his footsteps, the red gloom of the emergency lights basked over the basement and gave it an eerie glow. The sound of the groaning generator didn't do anything to ease the uneasiness that Peter was feeling as he stood idle on look out.

A static surge filled the air as sharp jolt of electrical discharge echoed through the brick and mortar room. The leech was heading back to the basement.

"Hey Peter, it's coming back your way!" Winston called down. "Ray and Egon are going to try to juice up the traps and bring it back up here, don't let it get too close to the containment unit."

"Oh, great..." Peter was on guard, his eye drawn to the static aura that surrounded a nearby trap. "You're not fooled, are you?"

The ghost didn't respond, at least not verbally, as it bounced back and forth between two traps.

"Didn't think so." Peter approached the trap and nudged it with his boot. "Want some power?" He bent down and put his hand over the trap. "Try me. I'm full of electricity."

The leech wrapped wisps of electrical energy around Peter's outstretched hand as it were trying to get a sample.

"That's right." Picking up the trap Peter eyed the control panel. "Let's see what you got!"

Pulling open the small control panel he easily tore out the wire responsible for an emergency shut down in the event of a power surge before boosting the output. The leech enjoyed the massive boost in electrical flow and tried to climb inside the trap.

"Want in?" Peter put his foot over the switch on the ground. "Go on, it's all yours!" Stomping down on the switch the trap opened, the leech pooled itself inside and immediately smoke began to pool. Looking back at the containment unit Peter realized he was too close and the explosion could compromise the paranormal prison. "Shit..."

Rushing to the first floor of the fire house with the trap in his hands he called out to his colleagues. "Get back!"

"Peter!" Ray saw what Peter was holding and feared for his friend's life. All instincts kicked in as he moved in on Peter, snatched away the trap and threw it as hard as he possibly could across the room.

It seemed to unfold in slow motion. As the trap sailed across the garage a high pitched whine sounded off just a millisecond before the trap exploded in a thunderous rage that sent metal shrapnel flying in all directions, and a massive pulse of electromagnetic energy swept through the building. The pulse was strong enough to send Winston, Egon and Peter flying backward and landing with a heavy 'thud' on the garage floor. Ray however was too close to the blast radius and suffered a severe shock to his system.

Smoke filled the garage as the emergency lights turned off and the normal lighting returned. The emergency generator powered off as full power had been restored to, not just the building, but to every other building in the city as the energy leech had been eliminated in a swift blast.

"Ray?!" Egon sat up on the floor and looked over to where he had last seen the bold occultist. "Answer me!"

Through the wafting smoke Peter spied the sprawled form of Ray laying on his side on the floor, smoking bits of metal and charred wires were littered all around him. "There!" Scrambling to his feet he rushed over to Ray and rolled him from his side and onto his back. "Ray? Ray, come on! Wake up!"

Ray didn't move, he didn't respond.

Egon and Winston kneeled down beside Ray as Peter pushed up the sleeve on Ray's jumpsuit to check his radial pulse. "Oh, shit! No pulse!"

Winston put his hand on Ray's chest and felt no movement. "He's not breathing either!"

Egon took control over the situation. "Full cardiac arrest. Move him into the office."

"The office?" Peter was a little confused.

"It's now a medical wing, remember?" Winston put his arm under Ray's shoulder and lifted him up from the ground. "Give me a hand."

Peter grabbed onto Ray's legs and lifted in unison with Winston. Egon led the way through the smoke into the small triage area. The sound of metal being crunched under heavy boots was enough to make their hair stand on end. The acrid smell of smoke was as irritating to breath in as it was to see through.

"Lay him on the table." Egon instructed as he opened a large rolling cart and pulled out a pair of sterile latex gloves. "I was hoping we'd have this room completed before it was occupied. I was also hoping we'd have a chance to take a refresher course in emergency first aid."

Winston unzipped Ray's jumpsuit while Peter kept his fingers pressed to the side of Ray's neck.

"Peter, any change?" Egon asked as he opened the glass door of the large medicine cabinet on the wall.

"Still nothing." Peter let go of Ray's wrist. "Come on. Breathe!"

"Winston, breathe for him." Egon continued to give orders as he selected a specific vial of medication from the rest. "Use the ambu-bag. Peter, start chest compressions."

Winston secured the small green tinted pump and mask over Ray's face as he began to manually force air into Ray's lungs, making the arrested man take in the much needed breath. Ray's chest and abdomen rose and fell with each artificial breath.

Peter laced laced his fingers together and placed his hands on top Ray's chest. As he began the compressions Winston kept count and squeezed the pump in perfect rhythm.

"The shockwave was strong enough to stop his heart." Egon explained in an almost chilling tone as he filled a syringe with the chosen medication. "We need to stimulate his heart and get him to a hospital in the possible event that he's suffering from other internal damage." Stepping over to the left of Peter, who was still performing the life saving compressions, Egon pulled down the fabric of Ray's black t-shirt and exposed the skin of his upper chest. "I need to inject this directly into his heart."

"I hope you know what you're doing..." Peter almost whispered as he reluctantly lifted his hands away from Ray's chest.

Egon forcefully and accurately inserted the needle through Ray's chest, piercing the flesh and muscle, and injected the adrenaline into the stilled heart. As he retracted the syringe the three men watched and waited for any sign of Ray reacting to the drug.

"Come on Ray..." Peter practically growled as he watched his friend laying on the table, completely still with the exception of the artificial breaths being forced into his lungs. "Come back to us."

As time painfully crawled by at an impossibly slow pace Peter lost his patience and resumed chest compressions.

Egon lifted Ray's arm and pressed his fingers into his wrist. He counted the pulse as it beat in perfect rhythm with the compressions that Peter was administering to Ray's chest.

Ray was pale, his face drawn and expressionless. Seeing someone who was so lively, always brimming with energy on death's door was haunting.

"Wait a minute!" Egon quickly put a hand over top of Peter's hands to still the controlled rhythm. "I felt a beat between compressions."

Peter took his hands away and pressed his fingers against Ray's neck. "That's it Ray, come back to us buddy."

Slowly but surely a pulse began beating away beneath both Peter and Egon's fingertips as Ray's heart began to beat on its own again.

"We have him." Egon announced with a faint smile. "His heart's beating."

Winston pulled away the ambu-bag and let our a very relieved sigh. "Way to go man! That's it!"

Peter stepped back from the table and pressed a hand to his sweaty forehead. "I'm going to go call an ambulance." His voice was shaking but still firm as he spoke.

It didn't take long for the paramedics to arrive at the firehouse, it took them even less time to load the revived but still unconscious man onto a stretcher and wheel him into the back of the ambulance. Winston started up Ecto-1 with the intent to follow, but he wasn't going to leave without Egon or Peter.

"Let's go man, I don't want Ray to wake up without us." Winston called out to his missing colleagues.

"I'll get Peter." Egon volunteered as he stepped over the debris on the floor.

Egon began checking the firehouse for Peter, sweeping all the floors and checking each room, unsure of where he disappeared to after calling 911. It was unlike Peter to be so quiet, let alone completely absent when someone he cared about was injured or sick.

"Peter? Peter, where are you? We need to go." Egon couldn't find Peter anywhere inside the building. The only place left to look was the roof of the old firehouse. A place that the four Ghostbusters would often find solace after a particularly harrowing call. Climbing the small ladder in the corner of the rec room Egon pushed the trapdoor in the ceiling opened and spied Peter standing alone near the edge of the roof. "Peter, are you okay? We need to get going."

"I'm fine." Peter lied as he stared down from the roof at the flashing lights of the ambulance parked below. He closed his eyes when he saw the gurney with Ray being loaded into the back.

"No you're not." Egon joined Peter at the edge of the roof, he too looked down. "What's on your mind?"

"It should have been me."

"What should have been you?" Egon could sense the distress in Peter's voice.

"I'm the one that should've been blown up. I'm the one who got impatient and rigged the trap to explode. I'm the one who didn't think... I just acted. Charged ahead like damn rampaging bull!"

"Peter, you do know that if you had actually been the one injured in the blast that Ray would be feeling just as guilty as you, right? No one was supposed to get hurt, it was an accident. The leech was too unpredictable."

Peter just gave Egon a solemn glance as his shoulders sagged heavily.

"Ray will be okay, you know that. And I do know that Ray does not want to see you harboring guilt over what happened to him. The energy leech was destroyed, the containment unit was protected and Ray is alive." Putting his hand on Peter's shoulder he coaxed him to return to the roof hatch and walk downstairs to meet up with Winston. "Come on. Tonight we need to be with Ray. Tomorrow you can help us clean up the garage."

"Great, I love shrapnel between my fingertips." Peter snarked as he descended the ladder. "Now I really do wish it was me who was blown up!"

"Keep going." Egon only just managed to hide his smile. "We can always try blowing you up again someday."

"Gee, thanks Egon! You're a real pal!"

Rushing down to the first floor Peter and Egon caught sight of the ambulance doors shutting with Ray inside. Joining Winston inside the car Peter and Egon watched as the ambulance carrying Ray rolled down the street to the hospital.

"Another day, another bust." Peter sighed as the thought of seeing Ray so close to death was still affecting him. "What a way to make a living."

Winston started the car. "And it's the only life I can imagine Ray loving. Let's go see how he's doing."

The hospital was unusually quiet and calm that night. The waiting room was practically empty, giving the three Ghostbusters plenty of privacy as they waited for an update on Ray's condition. Just as Peter thought he was going to lose his mind and tear apart every aged magazine sitting on the coffee table at the center of the room, a doctor in blue scrubs walked through the large double doors and approached the trio with a confident look on his face.

"Are you three here for Mr. Stantz?"

"DOCTOR Stantz." Peter corrected with an icy tone. "And yes, we're his next of kin. I'm Dr. Venkman. This is Dr. Spengler and Mr. Zeddemore."

"I'm Dr. Robinson." The good doctor introduced himself with a firm handshake. He was in his late thirties, tall and blond. "Your friend suffered from full cardiac arrest; which I understand you were able to successfully resuscitate him before the paramedics arrived. In due part to the CPR he has suffered two fractured ribs, but other than that he's suffering from no physical injuries. We'd like to keep him overnight for observations but I don't expect any complications."

Peter felt an incredible weight lift from his shoulders. "So he can come home tomorrow?"

"I believe so, yes."

"Can we see him?"

"He's still unconscious," Dr. Robinson didn't sound too alarmed. "but you may see him. Maybe you can bring him around. We'd like to ask a few questions to check for any sign of possible concussion before he leaves, anyway."

"Great. Lead the way, Doc." Peter insisted as his impatience mounted.

Dr. Robinson showed the three Ghostbusters to the room where Ray was being monitored. A nurse was in the room taking note of his current condition. A quietly beeping heart monitor was a much needed confirmation to see that Ray was in fact still alive. An oxygen mask was placed over his nose and mouth, the interior of the plastic fogging over with his escaping breaths.

"I can give you ten minutes." Dr. Robinson motioned for the nurse to follow as he left the four Ghostbusters alone together.

Egon had snuck in his PKE meter and was now discreetly scanning Ray's body. "No abnormal readings. The leech itself never made an direct contact with his body." Pocketing the meter he picked up Ray's wrist and counted the pulse. "His pulse is normal and much stronger than previously noted."

Winston gave Egon a smarmy stare. "We can see that Egon, we have giant monitors and displays hooked up to him."

Egon let go of Ray's arm and cleared his throat awkwardly. "It never hurts to have a second opinion."

Peter stood at the end of Ray's bed and looked at the display on the heart monitor. "Do you think he can hear us?" Just as Peter asked the question there was a sudden increase of the heart rate on display. "I'll take that as a 'yes'."

"Ray? Are you awake?" Egon asked softly as he watched Ray's eyes beginning to move around beneath his closed eyelids.

"Wake up." Winston encouraged. "You know you got rid of that leech for us, right?"

Ray's eyes fluttered open and slowly focused in on the faces of his friends surrounding him. "Hi guys." His voice was muffled by the mask. "You okay?"

"Us?" Peter was almost floored by Ray's question. "We're fine. You're the one who tried to play hero by diving onto a live grenade."

"Did it work?"

"Yes, it worked." Peter took a seat beside Ray. "Never do that again. Take my word for it, if I'm going to run around with a bomb then let me blow myself up. No one else should get hurt."

Ray gave Peter an odd look before responding. "I'll keep that in mind."

"Look," Peter turned to Egon. "why don't you and Winston go back to the firehouse? I'll stay here and if anything changes I'll call."

"Are you sure?" Winston didn't want to leave either of his teammates behind.

"Yeah, go on."

Egon gave Winston a look that told him to take Peter's advice and leave the two men alone. "We'll be back in the morning. Get some rest Ray, I want to run some tests on you as soon as you feel up to it."

"See you tomorrow Ray. Glad you pulled through."

With Egon and Winston gone Peter felt less vulnerable as he sat with Ray. Tension filled with air along with silence as Peter struggled to find his words.

"You know Ray," Peter finally found his voice, which sounded much more somber than he had anticipated. "it's my fault you were caught in the blast. I'm the one who-"

"Peter," Ray pulled the oxygen mask from his face. "it's okay. It was an accident. I remember."

"But I'm the one who-"

"Who rigged the trap to explode, like we had already planned." Ray laughed a little. "It's too bad none of us had a plan for getting away from the trap before it exploded."

"So... It's Egon's fault?"

Ray laughed a little harder only to flinch at his sore ribs. "It's nobodies fault."

"Well that's no fun."

"Neither is staying in a hospital." Ray reminded him, knowing that it might still sting a little. "Never had a fun time whenever I've been laid up."

"It could be fun. All I have to is find us a couple of cute nurses and-"

"No, Peter."

"Fine. Have it your way."

"Going to stay all night?"

"If you want me to."

Ray nodded sleepily.

"Alright." Peter took a seat in the chair beside Ray's bed. "Hopefully by the time you get discharged Egon and Winston will have the garage all cleaned up and we won't have to do anything."

"Sounds good to me." Before he replaced his mask Ray gave Peter a comforting thought. "Thanks for saving me."

"No problem. Being in danger is kind of the norm for us. Just don't make a habit out of it!" Peter gave Ray one final admission of guilt. "Now I understand why you were so hesitant to destroy it. You never know what or who get destroyed along with it..."

-The End