A bright white thread of electricity cut through the clouds and lit the otherwise dark, wet night as a car barreled through the gridlocked traffic, sending waves of puddles splashing from uneven pavement with each bump. The steady thump of the windshield wipers kept tempo with the muffled sound of the siren blaring from the exterior of the car and the flashing lights on the roof reflected off the falling rain back at its occupants. The car pitched sharply to the left, tires sliding slightly on the wet pavement and sending three of its passengers to grip at handholds to brace themselves.

"Jesus, Holtz, slow down," Abby said through gritted teeth as their blonde driver took another sharp turn. "I want to catch a ghost, not become one."

"I'm going the speed limit," she replied, peeking under her hand at the speedometer.

"Limits are for dry roads and better visibility." Erin spoke up from the backseat.

Holtzmann ignored them, and gunned the engine when traffic broke, opening the road for a long stretch. They were heading out of the city, to a private residence where the new owners had reported being attacked by, what sounded like a class 4 apparition. At least that's how it had sounded from Kevin's very vague message he'd scratched into a post-it note before hanging up the phone. He'd come a long way since the early days of his being their receptionist, yet he still left much to be desired from his position. But, he was family, despite his incompetence. So, they kept him around.

"Anyone call the owner back and see what we're walking into here?" Abby asked, turning slightly to face the backseat.

"Would have if Kevin'd taken a callback number," Patty replied, "We're lucky he got an address."

"Yeah, let's hope we don't end up in the middle of nowhere this time." Erin added.

"I'll talk to him again," Abby sighed.

"So, no clue what we're getting into?" Erin asked.

"All the note said was that a woman's husband was attacked in her basement a week after purchasing the house."

"Attacked, like injury causing physical kinda thing?" Patty asked.

"I'm not sure, but we need to be prepared for anything. Erin and I will take point, and Patty, I want you and Holtzmann monitoring every reading you can get while we talk to the owner. I don't want anything sneaking up on us while we try and gather more information."

Head nods went around the group as they fell into a comfortable silence, each one mentally preparing themselves for what they might encounter.

A short while later, they spotted the address from the note on a tall stone pillar of a large steel gate. Holtzmann flipped off the lights and sirens and let out a low whistle as she pulled the car up to the gate.

"Fancy," she said aloud as she rolled the window down, instantly soaking her arm as she reached out and buzzed the intercom.

"Hello?" a female voice crackled through the box.

"You call about a ghost?" Holtzmann said back.

Without another word the intercom buzzed and the gate slowly opened. Holtzmann quickly rolled up her window and pulled the car through the gate and up the long driveway.

"Whoa," Erin said, leaning forward in her seat to peer out the windshield at the house as they approached.

"Yup, this place is definitely haunted." Holtzmann said, putting the car in park and leaning over the steering wheel to look.

The house appeared to be a two-story old Victorian Gothic structure made of dark stone with pointed windows and tall pillars lining the surrounding patio. A single amber colored light shone through the sheer curtains of a lower level window was the only sign that anyone lived there at all. An exterior light switched on, illuminating a stream of rain water cascading down from the steep gables onto the steps.

"This place is Spooky Yo," Patty said quietly, waiting for one of the others to make the first move to exit the vehicle.

"Hey guys," Holtzmann announced, pulling at her door handle, "just try and, ya know, get in there before the packs take in too much water. Trust me, you don't want that kind of jolt."

"Seriously?!" Patty groaned.

The engineer grinned and stepped out into the rain, jogging around the back of the hearse to open the back door. They made quick work of grabbing their equipment from the "Pack Rack" and carrying them under the safety of the awning before putting them on. Once they were fully situated, Abby knocked on the door, half wondering why the woman who'd spoken on the intercom wasn't already waiting for them at the door. Instead it took a full minute before the door slowly opened, revealing a young, frail looking brunette.

"Hello," Abby extended her hand, "I'm Doctor Abby Yates. These are Doctors Gilbert, and Holtzmann, and our team historian Patty. Did you call about a ghost problem?"

"I guess so. At least that's what I think it is. I didn't know who else to call."

"We were told someone was attacked," Erin said, trying to distract the woman from Holtzmann and Patty preparing the PKE meter. "Was that you?"

"My husband," she answered, then seemed to shake herself out of her own thoughts, "I'm sorry. Please come inside. It's pouring out here."

The Ghostbusters followed the woman inside the house to the lit room they'd seen from outside. She motioned for them to sit, but they refused, eager to get on with their scan of the house.

"This house has been in my family for generations," she began, "I inherited it six months ago, when my grandfather died. As far as I know, nobody has lived here since the 40s though. We moved in a few months ago, and began renovations. That's when it started."

"What started?" Erin urged her on.

"Just strange things at first. Sounds from different areas of the house. From the basement, mostly. Then things would go missing and show up somewhere else. Then two weeks ago, Michael started having nightmares. Serious nightmares where he would wake up like he was fighting something but nothing was ever there. Two days ago, I was in the kitchen when I heard him yelling, calling for help from the basement. When I got to the doorway, I saw…I'm not really sure what I saw. Something threw him down the stairs."

"You're sure he didn't just fall?" Abby asked.

"I'm positive. Something lifted him in the air before throwing him with force down the basement stairs. My husband may never walk again because of whatever that thing did. I just want it gone."

"We'll do everything we can to get any paranormal entities out of your house," Abby encouraged, "But I think it would be safer if you left us here alone to do it. These things tend to not want to be caught, and being nearby can be very dangerous."

"Ok, sure." The woman stood then hesitated, "Just, be careful in the basement. We think it was used as a laboratory of some sort years and years ago. We haven't been able to remove any of the old equipment out of there. I get the feeling that's why this, whatever it is, doesn't want anyone down there."

Erin and Holtzmann shared a look of intrigue as Abby thanked the woman for her warning and walked her to the front door. She came back a short time later armed with her proton wand, ready to get started.

"Dibs on the basement!" Holtzmann said immediately, handing the PKE meter to Patty and retrieving her own wand.

"Damn," Patty swore, knowing she had just been volunteered by association.

"Let's start at the top and move our way down," Abby instructed, "we'll hit the basement together once we've cleared the rest of the house."

"Alright," Holtzmann groaned, rolling her eyes.

"Stop it," Patty replied, earning a smirk from the engineer before she set off into the next room with Abby and Erin on her heels.

It didn't take long for them to clear the top floor, containing three bedrooms and two bathrooms, and the ground level living room, den and kitchen.

"Anything?" Abby asked as she and Erin rejoined Patty and Holtzmann in the den.

"Not a damn thing," Patty answered, "Not a single abnormal reading on anything."

"That doesn't make any sense," Erin said, deep in thought, "Even if an apparition, strong enough to throw a grown man, hadn't made an appearance in days, there should still some residual energy left behind that our equipment would pick up."

"Unless it never left the basement," Holtzmann replied.

"I supposed it's possible," Abby agreed, "The PKE meter didn't start picking up Gertrude Aldridge until she'd already manifested and leaving the basement she'd been in."

"So, to the basement then?" Holtzmann beamed.

"Basement," Abby confirmed.

Despite Holtzmann's excitement to explore a haunted laboratory, she let Abby open the door and lead the way down the first few steps before following her in. Erin flipped a switch before entering, lighting the room with a single amber bulb hanging in the middle of the room from bare wires. The dim light revealed three walls lined with workbenches covered with various beakers and Bunsen burners under a thick layer of grimy dust.

Abby stopped when the light came on, scanning the area and looking to Erin and the PKE meter in her hand. Without needing to hear the question in Abby's eyes, Erin shook her head. So far, their equipment showed nothing.

They continued slowly down the steps until they reached the landing and spread out through the room. Holtzmann scanned the equipment on the workbenches curiously and mentally cataloged what she saw, brain going into overdrive with ideas. If the lab hadn't been used since the 40s, it was anyone's guess as to what kind of scientific breakthroughs could have been sitting incomplete in the small dungeon of a room, forgotten by time.

"Well," Abby broke the silence, "If anything was here before, it's gone now."

"You think she imagined it?" Erin asked.

"Maybe he just fell," Patty added. "This place is definitely creepy enough to play tricks on your mind. Make you see things different from how it happened."

"Should we do one more sweep with the PKE meter just to be sure?" Erin asked.

"Can't hurt," Abby answered, and made her way back to the stairs with Erin and Patty trailing behind her.

"I'm gonna hang back here," Holtzmann stated. The silence pulled her eyes away from the gadgets on the workbench and she looked to her staring teammates. "What? Look guys, Science! Old science!"

"Alright Holtz," Abby sighed, "Just, don't touch anything alright."

Holtzmann slashed her finger across her chest in a cross you heart motion and lifted it into a two-fingered boy scout salute.

The rest of the team began their ascent up the stairs before Erin stopped and turned back to look down at the blonde. Something in her gut was telling her to stay. That it was a bad idea for anyone to be alone, even if their equipment had showed no signs of activity. Before she could voice her concerns, Abby stopped, three steps down from the door and turned slowly back.

"Do you feel that?" she asked quietly.

Erin froze, listening and focusing on the air around them. It was minute, but there was definitely something different. A heaviness had surrounded them, making it just slightly harder to breathe, like a rise in humidity.

"Uh, guys?"

Erin whipped her head to look back down at Holtzmann and immediately noticed the now visible moisture of her breath from her mouth as she stared back up at them. Suddenly the PKE meter in Patty's hand began whirling and a static crackle of white noise hissed through the two-way radios they'd added to their belts. Erin spun on her heel and led the quick stampede back down the steps to join Holtzmann. It was most definitely colder at the bottom of the stairs, making their eyes burn. The static from the radios turned to a high-pitched squeal and a shift in air pressure caused a moment of vertigo.

"Seems we're not alone after all," Holtzmann said, flexing her jaw to relieve her ears of the pressure.

The light in the center of the room suddenly burst, raining sparks and heated glass onto their heads and plunging them into darkness. Patty stepped back instinctively in surprise, bumping into the workbench. A loud crash of glass shattered against the floor, knocked from its place on the table, and the room burst into a brilliant blue light. The phosphorescent form of a woman surged out of the darkness, rushing them before their eyes could adjust and react. Holtzmann took the brunt of the blow, slamming into the wall, making her see stars. Before she could recover she was being lifted by her foot into the air.

"Hang on Holtz," Abby yelled as two streams of proton energy wrapped around the specter before it could reach the full height of the room.

The banshee let out a wail that made their ears ring at the contact and it released the engineer. Gravity took full effect and Holtzmann landed hard on her back, smashing glass and knocking dusty experiments over from the impact. Patty was at her side instantly helping her roll off the table to her feet. Holtzmann's feet gave out and she dropped to her knees with Patty dropping down with her.

"You alright?" Patty asked, risking a glance away from the screeching specter to her friend.

"Yeah," Holtzmann tried to catch her breath and shoved Patty's hands away, "help them."

Patty nodded and stood up, releasing her own proton stream to wrap around the ghost from the opposite side of the others. The demon wailed again, turning to look at the historian with glowing hollow eyes. In a burst of energy they'd never seen before, the phantom wrapped its glowing hands around the proton stream projecting from Patty's wand. Patty's eyes went wide in disbelief before she was ripped from her feet by her own grip on the wand. She landed hard on the concrete floor, sliding into Erin and Abby, knocking them over with her momentum.

"What the hell?" Abby swore, rolling as quickly a she could to her feet.

"That's…that's impossible!" Erin wheezed.

Before they could fully recover, the specter gathered another burst of energy, glowing brightly before rushing forward at the three Ghostbusters. Suddenly the room exploded into a hot white light as the ghost trap popped open in the center of the room, creating a vortex beneath the wailing phantom. It spun around, reaching out at Holtzmann who leaned back away from its flailing hands and fired her proton wand, never removing her foot from the trap's pedal.

Three more streams joined into the fray the moment the others could regain their footing, pushing and pulling until the specter could no longer fight and was pulled into the depths of the canister and the room went dark with a solid clap of sealing metal. The instant silence was nearly as deafening as the screeching had been.

Their ears were ringing and they were all winded from the exertion.

"Holy shit," Abby gasped after a moment, "Is everyone alright? I can't see anything."

"Yeah," Erin replied from somewhere to her right.

"Yeah, I'm good," Patty added from her left, "Holtzy you alright?"

"Yeah," Holtzmann's voice was quiet across the room.

"You sure?" Abby picked up on her uncharacteristic tone and shuffled cautiously toward her. "You took a pretty good hit."

"Not my most graceful landing, but it was my first time flying."

Abby smiled in the dark glad there was still humor in her pained voice. They had all taken tumbles on busts and landing on your back with a proton pack strapped there was never a pleasant experience and Holtzmann had just taken two.

Finally, their eyes began to adjust to the red hue of the room cast by the glowing of their packs. They regrouped at the center of the room, visually looking over each other, then to the trap at their feet.

"That supposed to be doin that?" Patty asked, tilting her head at the canister.

"No," Abby and Holtz answered in unison.

The trap had just pulsed with a light glow before vibrating against the concrete and then going still.

"I vote we get that back to the firehouse and transferred into the containment unit ASAP," Erin suggested needlessly.

"Yeah, I'm can get on board with that idea," Patty agreed.

Holtzmann was already leaning over to pick the canister up when Abby noticed her wince and stopped her. Without a word to bring any attention to the engineer, Abby picked up the canister, reattached the pedal and motioned for Holtzmann to follow Patty and Erin up the stairs.

They made it back to the firehouse in record time. Twice more on the drive back the trap had vibrated in Abby's lap and each time she had braced herself for the ghostly woman inside to break out into her face. But the trap had held strong. When they arrived at the firehouse, they'd rushed upstairs with the trap and carefully transferred its resident into the containment unit with Holtzmann's expert precision. Once it was done, they watched the unit silently for a few moments.

"I really wish these lights worked Holtz," Erin voiced, staring up at the useless lights atop the unit.

"Safety lights…" Holtzmann began.

"Are for dudes," Erin and Abby both cut her off, "we know."

Holtzmann grinned at this then gingerly lowered herself to sit at her workbench. The double impact of her pack into her back, along with the hit the specter has landed that sent her into the wall in the first place had taken more of a toll on her than she'd first thought. Now that the adrenaline was wearing thin, she could feel every bruise forming under her jumpsuit.

Her friends were not as oblivious to her discomfort as she'd hoped. Thankfully to Holtzmann, they were tactful in not vocalizing their concerns, which was something Holtzmann was never really comfortable with. Abby had already taken on her protective mother hen role, taking the trap and doing the heavy lifting in transferring the entity into containment. Erin kept giving her sideways glances with unmistakable worry creasing her brows and quickly diverting her eyes when Holtzmann looked at her. Patty had yet to join them in the lab, instead unloading their gear from the car which Holtzmann also usually did.

"You okay?" Erin asked after Abby left the lab.

"Oh yeah, sure," Holtzmann answered with a grin, "You shoulda seen the other guy."

Erin rolled her eyes. She most definitely had seen the "other guy", and she was something truly amazing. Never before had they encountered an entity so strong that they'd worried the trap wouldn't hold it. It was terrifying, yet exciting. They had a new level of activity to study.

"You think she was the scientist?" Holtzmann asked, staring past Erin at the containment unit.

"What scientist?"

"The one whose lab we were in."

"I don't know Holtz. It's possible. She did seem to manifest only after you decided to stay and poke around while we cleared the rest of the house."

"I, do not poke science Erin." Holtzmann corrected, "I catalog and analyze."

"Okay, well maybe she didn't want you cataloging and analyzing her stuff."

Their conversation was interrupted as Abby returned with Patty at her side. She set a bottle of Advil and a bottle of Mountain Dew on the table in front of Holtzmann without a word and joined in where they'd left off.

"Patty's gonna do some digging and see if we can't find anything on that house. If there were any sort of substantial experiments going on down there, there's probably a record of it somewhere."

"Did you manage to ID anything down there Holtzy?" Patty asked, "that could help narrow it down some."

"Sorry Patty," Holtz shook her head, "Abby told me not to touch anything so I was waiting until you all left."

Abby rolled her eyes and asked, "What was going on with the trap?"

"Ah, I have a theory about that," Holtzmann tapped the now empty trap with a screwdriver. "We only have one. It's been used to catch forty-seven ghosts. Long story short, I think it's just outta juice."

"I thought you calibrated it and maintained it after every bust?" Erin asked curiously.

"I do, but even with maintenance, its gotta wear down eventually."

"So, no more capturing anything until you can build a new one?" Abby clarified.

"Don't fret Abs," she smiled end slid off her stool and motioned to a box behind her. "Little help Patty."

Patty rounded the table and lifted the box for the engineer to place on the table. Holtzmann reached inside and pulled out a few various pieces of steel and set them out in a small presentation. When she was done, she beamed brightly at the other three women, who all stared blankly between her and the metal.

"What is it?" Erin was the first to speak.

"Well, at the moment, its junk." Holtzmann grinned, earning another eye roll from Patty and a sigh from Abby.

"What's it going to be?"

"I'm glad you asked Erin! Once my shipment of Uranium and paperclips arrives, its going to be a new and improved portable containment unit, capable of holding not one, not two, but three ghosts at a time. Four if they're small. Like a cat. Or maybe a dog. A small one. Like a Pomeranian. Capable of holding three ghosts and one Pomeranian."

"A ghost Pomeranian?" Abby repeated flatly.

"I'm calling it the Schrodinger."

"The Schrodinger?" Erin questioned, "Why would you call it that?"

"Because Erin, one never knows if what's inside is dead, or alive. It's a mystery until the box is opened. Just like Schrodinger's cat."

"They're ghosts Holtz," Abby replied, "They're dead."

"Are you certain? Cause I'm fairly sure that thing we caught today was not just some standard dead ghost. Not alive obviously, but not quite dead either."

"I guess they aren't really dead until we turn them to slime," Patty added helpfully.

"Precisely," Holtz pointed the screwdriver at Patty in agreement.

"When is it going to be done?" Erin changed the subject.

"Depends on when my shipment gets here. Hopefully by the end of the week."

"Ok, am I the only one here concerned with who sells and delivers stuff like Uranium to people?" Patty interjected.

"And paperclips," Holtz added.

"Don't ask don't tell," Abby shrugged.

"Will the old trap hold until then?" Erin asked the engineer curiously.

"Probably."

"Probably?" Abby parroted back, "You're not sure?"

"I'm about ninety percent sure."

"What's the other ten percent?" Patty asked.

"If we get another one like the last one," Holtzmann shrugged, "To tell you the truth, I'm surprised it held her at all as charged up as she was when we put her in there."

"Speaking of charged up," Abby stepped in, "That was some next level stuff down there. What do you think got her so amped up and how come we didn't detect it until she was right on us?"

Holtzmann shrugged in response. None of them had the answer. The ghost from the basement laboratory was an anomaly. One they intended to study further, once they figured out how to contain it again.


Author's Note: This is my first fic. Please review and give me feedback! I want to know how I'm doing and your reviews will spur me on! Thanks!