"Here we go!" Abby shouted, aiming at the cardboard cutout of a ghost that Erin and Patty had rigged up (It turned out Patty was pretty handy with scissors). She jammed her thumb on the trigger of the proton pack and was blown to the other side of the alley from the sheer force, but she couldn't figure out how to turn it off either.

"I guess she's not bending her knees enough, right?" Patty asked Erin. Holtzmann jogged back to where Erin and Patty stood against the wall, shouting over the noise.

"She's doing a marvellous impression of a deflating balloon, we just got to let her ride it out until she's outta juice!"

"She's corkscrewing me!" Abby yelled above the din of the pack.

"Abby! I'll make some adjustments!" Holtzmann shouted back.

"It's like fighting a Gator!"


After several minutes the proton stream shuddered out and died, leaving Abby lying on the floor, exhausted. The others crowded around her.

"That was awesome!" Abby said, wincing as she sat up. They others could see why, she was covered with scratches and grazes from being tossed around by the proton pack. Erin and Patty helped Abby stand, while Holtz grabbed the pack, and they walked up the stairs to their business headquarters, where Holtz stuffed around with her machines, and Erin's complex physics workings covered the whiteboards that Abby had "borrowed" from the Kenneth P Higgins Institute of Science.

Erin hauled the medical kit over to where Abby sat and started applying antiseptic to her numerous cuts, which took quite a long time considering how much protective gear Abby was wearing during the test. Abby, exhausted from her ordeal, drifted to sleep, just as the phone rang for a second time that day, the first time being the one that Kevin had hung up on.

"Patty! Phone, can you get it, please?" She called across the floor, quietly.

Patty nodded and reached for the phone. "This place have a name?" She asked.

Erin nodded and said her usual Conductors of the Metaphysical Examination, wondering why Patty didn't know that before mentally facepalming and remembering that she'd only been part of the team for about three hours.

"Yep, right away. Address? Thanks, bye!" Patty said.

Holtzmann looked up from the proton pack she'd been working on; in one hour she'd fixed the problem with the original pack and created another. "Was that the delivery company?" She asked, "I'm waiting for my order of fire extinguishers."

"Holtzmann? Ordering fire extinguishers?" Erin asked, confused.

"You guys, we got one! Orphanage, midtown. Let's go!" Patty exclaimed.

"Damn, the car isn't ready..." Holtz said to herself as she picked up her bag.

"What?" Patty asked, overhearing her mumbling.

"Nothing. I'll grab the car!" Holtz ran out of the restaurant.

Erin gently woke up Abby, who jerked awake once she found out they'd got a call.

Patty, Erin and Abby waited at the door of the restaurant, then piled into the hearse when it screamed around the corner.

"Where'm I going?" Holtz asked.

"Um, are you sure you have a valid driver's licence?" Erin asked, clinging to the back of Holtzmann's seat as they went tightly around a corner.

They parked outside the big, white building and got out, Patty armed with the PKE metre, Holtzmann with the ghost trap, and Erin and Abby each with a proton pack.

"Hey, did y'all know that this was where the Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano camped one night in 1526? It's like, coincidence!"

They cautiously walked through the unmowed grass to the front door, which opened before they even reached it, and someone shoved a girl out, then chucked a heavy metal thing at her, which shattered on the ground.

"'Scuse us ma'am, did you call about a ghost?" Abby called. The girl looked up and all four of them glanced curiously at her; tall, long brown hair, blue eyes, freckles, nothing anyone would look at twice.

The door opened fully and revealed a middle aged woman with ruby red lips and matching eyeliner. "Took your time, didn't you?" She snarled, "I won't pay you, you know. I don't even know if there's one in there, but the brats have been screaming and I need my sleep!"

"Sorry mam, we tried to get here as quickly as possible-" Erin started, but the woman disappeared, leaving the door open.

Abby turned to the others, like a general organising her troops.

"Alright, it doesn't matter too much about the money now, this'll be more like a test run for the new packs, Holtz and Patty will stick with someone who does have a pack, press the red trigger to fire. You all have your walkies, use 'em to alert the rest of the group to any sighting of something unusual. Let's go!" She said.

"You know, we should totally make that a thing. A "Let's go" to start each bust." Patty mused, following Abby into the house. Erin and Holtz lingered at the door, while Holtz explained some last minute tips. They turned to the door and caught a glimpse of the girl, slipping inside with the pieces of the metal thing in her hands.

Abby and Patty descended downstairs to the basement, which was filled with shelves set up like supermarket aisles and hundreds of boxes. Abby turned down one aisle and Patty went down another. Suddenly the PKE meter, held by Patty, lit up with various clickings and whirring. Abby was still startled every time it did that, despite the fact it was the fourth time it'd happened.

"Hey, uh, Abby?" Patty's voice from two shelves over said, shaking, "There's something you might wanna see here…"

Abby rushed over, her heart racing faster than she'd run down the stairs when she heard that the restaurant was having a sale on wontons. She rounded a shelf containing boxes of assorted books, and saw Patty staring, transfixed, at the blue mist in front of her, in which the vague shape of a man in a suit was forming.

"Patty, get down!" Abby yelled, aimed the proton wand, bent her knees and jammed her thumb on the trigger. Patty ducked and jogged back to Abby, watching as the ghost struggled to get free of the proton stream.

"It's not strong enough!" She yelled, feeling the pack on her back starting to shake. There was an explosion at the end of the proton wand, and the stream disappeared, and the ghost, now free, flew up to the ceiling, and with one last contemptuous look, disappeared.

"Holtz is gonna be pissed." Abby said, shaking her head and looking at the burnt out proton wand, the metal warped and melted, "Come on, we gotta get it!". She scrambled up the stairs.

"Aw man, this is crazier than Kanye!" Patty muttered, but followed Abby anyway.

Meanwhile, Holtzmann and Erin had decided to go upstairs instead, up three flights of profoundly steep stairs.

"Tell me we're at the top, how high is this building?" Erin groaned as they walked out onto a floor.

"Five stories, we're on the fourth." Holtz replied, peering up the stairwell, "Why? Getting hot?" She winked. Erin turned red.

Both froze when they heard a distant clicking sound, like electricity. Erin turned to Holtzmann and tilted her head towards the nearest room.

"You go there, I'm gonna check out down here. I'm with in yelling distance if you need me for anything!" Holtz as she turned down the corridor, grinning at Erin's obviously confused blush from before.

Erin was so easy, she thought, just a well timed wink and she turned as red as a sunburned lobster. She smiled, but it soon dropped from her face when she heard several clicks and a quiet agitated swearing from the door at the end of the hall. It didn't quite sound like Patty's description of "A weird sparking thing", but she walked closer, just in case it was the ghost.

She prodded open the door, hugging the ghost trap to her and peered inside.

The two small room's walls were plastered with homemade posters, of famous scientists, diagrams of atoms and several pieces of paper taped together to form a massive periodic table across another wall, while the final wall had a small window and whiteboard. What interested her most though, was the massive table in the middle of the room, covered with scrap metal and junk, tools scattered amongst the debris and three blowtorches. Holtz was very impressed, she only had two.

That was all she could see before a swift figure collided with her, pinning her to the ground with a thick sheet of aluminium and putting her body weight onto it, effectively trapping Holtzmann's arms and legs beneath it.

Holtz saw her mystery assailant was the girl from earlier. Her long brown plait was starting to fall out.

"Oh," She mumbled, "I thought you might have been the police. She's threatened to call them before." She stood up and leaned the aluminium sheet against the wall, and held out her hand to help Holtzmann up.

"So, that's how you greet people, huh?" Holtz smirked and the girl smiled a small smile back.

"No, I just thought you were a policeman or psychologist or something. Marie, the woman who was at the door, she's the head here, says I'm crazy and need to be locked up."

"Well, I mean, you're looking at the woman who people tried to put in a psych ward but keeps on getting out somehow." Holtz kept up her casual attitude, looking at the blackened edge of the table.

"We-e-el, it might have had something to do with the small to medium explosion that took place this morning…" She looked down at her feet.

"Explosion? Now you're speaking my lingo"

"Yeah, I'm trying to make a small cyclotron, but something must've gone wrong," she said, walking towards her table and showing Holtz the broken pieces, "I'm Tesla by the way, Tesla Smith, named after Nikola Tesla, Serbian-American, mechanical engineer, electrical engineer, physicist, futurist." Tesla didn't know what it was about her, but she had decided to trust this woman wholeheartedly.

Holtz looked at her.

"You know, the common, polite thing to do when someone tells you their name is to introduce yourself." Tesla said pointedly.

"Dr Jillian Holtzmann, just Holtzmann, generally." Holtz said, picking up each piece of the machine and examining it. She turned to the rest of the room.

"Guess you're not one of those girls with posters of male celebrities…" Holtz said, looking at the massive periodic table, each period a separate piece of A4 paper.

"Nope," Tesla said proudly, "Unless Sir Isaac Newton and the crew are considered celebrities nowadays, which I doubt." She cringed. "Oh god, did I really say that? Ignore me."

"You're a science chick, I like that." Holtzmann thought back to the previous day when she'd said the latter three words to Patty in the subway.

"Holtz!" Erin's panicked cry echoed down the hallway. Holtz tensed up instantly, and ran to the door, leaving Tesla standing awkwardly in the middle of the room.

"Come on!" Holtzmann impatiently waved over her shoulder for her to follow, and continued tearing down the hallway to Erin. Tesla picked up a thin metal pipe from a shelf on one wall, and followed determinedly, surprisingly fast.

The pair rounded a corner and nearly crashed into Erin, who'd shot the proton stream at the ghost, which was fighting hard to escape.

Only thing was, it was trying to drag Erin along with it.

"Holtz, hurry! We gotta get it!" She shouted.

Tesla watched as Holtz pushed the trap away from her, holding onto a small box with a single button on it, attached to miles of thin cord from the box that piled up at her feet. Tesla backed behind Holtzmann.

"Ready? Y'all about to see some cool science!" Holtz yelled, exhaled, pressed the button.

A white light sprung up, encompassing the ghost, which froze and stopped struggling.

Suddenly the proton stream, which had been holding the host captive, fizzled and died, letting go of the ghost.

"Oh, wuh-wuh"

No longer frozen or held down by the proton stream, the ghost dived for Erin, who covered her head with her hands and ran. The ghost advanced menacingly, cornering her.

Holtzmann tried to run to her aid, but got tangled in the remaining cord from the ghost trap, and promptly fell over, hitting the ground with a loud thud. Erin reached for her pack, only to find the wires that connected the proton wand to the actual pack were almost completely severed.

The ghost reached for Erin's foot. Tesla hurdled over Holtz, who was trying to untangle herself on the floor, holding the pipe she'd grabbed from her room like a baseball bat, aiming for the ghost.

"It's a ghost, that won't do anythi-" Holtz said, stopping.

Tesla swung the pipe at the ghost, which recoiled at the hit. Shaking it's head, it let out an inhuman shriek, and, still holding onto Erin's foot, soared through the ceiling.

Erin, being human, was not designed to go through roofs, and she fell to the ground, her MIT hoodie covered with ectoplasm. Tesla dropped the pipe and ran to untangle Holtz, pulling out her pocket knife and cutting the cords that bound her feet. Both rushed over to Erin on the floor.

"Ugh, Holtz, your nose is bleeding all over me!" Erin said, sitting up, "Holtz, seriously, I'm fine. Just bruises and," She lifted her arms and examined them with disgust, "Slimed, again!"

Holtzmann pulled her up, and took off the pack, handing it to Tesla who immediately sat down and looked over in with interest.

"There a bathroom 'round here?" Holtz asked Tesla.

"Around the corner, towels are in the closet to your left, I can grab some spare clothes if you want?" She said, without looking up.

Erin nodded gratefully, and headed towards the bathroom, Holtz followed but moments later reappeared with a wad of tissues on her nose. She sat down next to Tesla, who lifted the proton wand and looked it over closely.

"So," Holtz said nasally, due to the tissues, "Good hit."

The younger girl beamed at her.

"How come the ghost could be hit with that pipe? I didn't think anything could harm a ghost…"

"I was stuffing around trying to create a conductive coating, like a varnish, and I noticed that some of the gasses acted weirdly 'round it, like they bent away. You guys hunt ghosts?" Holtz gave an affirmative nod, "So I thought, what the hell, might even work, and, hey, turns out it repels ghosts."

"You do a lots of inventing? I mean, the cyclotron and now a conductive coating?"

"Oh, and a particle condenser." She smirked and stood. "Imma go get her some clothes real quick, I'll be back!"

There was a huffing, puffing sound from the stairwell, then Abby appeared, bent under the weight of the pack, followed by Patty.

"Holtz," Abby panted, "It's… it's here, we… saw it…"

"So did we. It tried to take Erin down with it. Or up, really, through the roof."

"Did you get it?" Patty asked.

"No, the proton pack failed on us," Holtz said, pointing to the pack and wand, "Gotta make some more modifications."

"Yeah, while we're on the topic of failing packs…" Abby held up the melted proton wand. Holtz grimaced.

"Neither of you hurt?" She checked.

"Nope, fit as a flying ant!" Patty said proudly, "What went on up here though?"

"I heard Erin calling me, so I went to check, and she'd caught it. Then, the pack failed and it went for her. I tried to get to her but I got tangled in the cord. Maybe I should make it cordless…" Holtz thought aloud, adjusting her glasses, mind whirring.

"What happened to Erin?" Abby asked, gently steering Holtzmann back on topic.

"Oh yeah. Um, so there's this girl, Tesla, who hit it with a ghost-repelling pipe and-"

Patty interrupted, confused, "Ghost-repelling?"

"Yeah, she coated it with something and now it repels ghosts. Kick-ass science! Also did I mention that she built a particle condenser and cyclotron?"

Abby looked at her longtime friend, the crazy blonde engineer. She sighed.

"Why do I feel you're hinting at something?"

"Come on, Abs! I could use the help in the lab…" Holtz paused, "And one more person to help put out fires, I guess."

A few minutes later, Erin reappeared in black pants and a white t-shirt, with Tesla by her side, the two talking animatedly about physics.

The two joined the other women, and Tesla fell quiet.

"Tesla, Dr Abby Yates and Patty Tolan, historian. Abby and Patty, Tesla Smith." Holtz bowed and Erin did too, laughing as she followed Holtzmann's example. Tesla gave a nervous smile and looked at her feet.

"So, you like science?" Abby asked, gently.

Tesla's face lit up. "Did Ernest Rutherford discover alpha and beta particles?"

"That's a yes." Erin confirmed quickly, as Patty looked over to the others for translation.

"What type of science?" Abby continued.

"Ummm, mainly particle physics and chemistry… I make a lot of things, and, well, most of them work…"

Holtzmann beamed at the others.

"Would you mind if I just put the towels that Erin used in the wash quickly?" Tesla asked. The others had no objections, so she picked the, up and raced down the stairs.

"Soooo?" Holtzmann asked, elbowing Abby hopefully.

"Hey, I'm not the boss. I mean, I'm cool with it, she seems friendly, and smart, to say the least. You three decide." Abby replied.

"I could go for it. She definitely looks like Holtzmann's kinda gal." Patty put in.

Holtzmann looked imploringly at Erin.

"Well, if our packs are gonna get broken that much, and she can fix them, she seems like a good idea." Erin said slowly, smiling.

"Yesssss!" Holtz fistpumped excitedly and the others laughed at her enthusiasm.

"Wow, you're happier that a dog with two tails! What's happening?" Tesla asked as she jogged up the stairs, this time with no towels but a tray with biscuits and juice.

"Sorry, these were the only edible things I could find in the kitchen." She said apologetically, offering it to each woman.

Holtz grabbed five biscuits. "You know, how is she so thin when she eats like that?" Patty asked Erin.

"Do you like it here?" Abby asked Tesla, choosing a scotch finger biscuit.

"Mmmm… Don't mind it, though it could be much better. Why?" She asked, weary.

"You wanna be part of the team?" Holtz asked, smirking as Patty oped her mouth to say the exact same thing.

Tesla looked at each of the women in turn. They were all deadly serious, but with smiles. "You're serious?" She checked, making sure, chuckling a bit.

"May I never eat another Pringle if I lie." Holtzmann said.

"Seriously, I feel like it goes science, food, then us!" Patty said, indicating the order with her hands.

Tesla smiled.

Holtz helped Tesla assemble her small collection of items into a small bag while Erin, Patty and Abby returned the now broken equipment to the car.

Tesla's room was surprisingly small and plain compared to her workroom, barely two by three meters, with nothing in it except a small wardrobe and a bed that didn't look recently slept in.

"Mostly I sleep in the other room," She explained, hastily reaching into the wardrobe and stuffing a few clothes in her bag, along with a bag of toiletries. She checked her pocket for her phone and wallet, then led Holtz back to her wo workroom.

She reached into the drawer under the table and retrieved two bulky sketch pads and three full document wallets. "Blueprints." she told the Holtz.

Tesla grabbed the ghost-repelling pipe as she walked out of the room, walking with Holtz downstairs.


"HOLTZ, MAYBE SLOW DOWN A BIT? I WANT TO HUNT GHOSTS, NOT BE ONE!" Abby shouted in the passenger seat, over the Hits of the 80's CD Holtz was playing full volume. She turned the volume down, though her speed didn't decrease.

"Hey, guys, on our left we're going past the site of the first skyscraper in New York." Patty stated, pointing at the building. Tesla was fascinated with the dynamic between the group. She learned that Patty joined only that morning, and even though she'd been invited to the group barely a half-hour ago, they already treated her like an old friend. As they pulled up into the garage of a run-down Chinese restaurant, she mumbled along with a song she vaguely knew.

Erin, sitting on her right, smiled and wondered if the reason Holtzmann had so badly wanted to take Tesla was because she was reminded of herself as a kid.