Synopsis: The base story of Power Trip is that Peter has encountered an entity who's purpose was to infect him with a piece of itself. And basically, the energy embedded within Peter begins to grow and affect his personality and his behavior. It feeds off of anger and adrenaline and leads Peter to have nightmares, lose sleep and become more of a night owl, and eventually more unpredictable and violent. Although the guys figure out what's happening, and restrain Peter in a cage in the basement for his own safety, their realization comes too late.
In this part, after attempts to get Peter's ghost possession problem resolved fails, Peter has broken out of his confinement and made his way up to the rooftop of a skyscraper. He was waiting for the arrival of the demon which has been controlling him. The guys show up, naturally, and save the day, stopping the demon from entering this world, and attempting to save Peter. Lots of melodrama. Then a nice Peter/Janine moment after Peter regains consciousness back at the fire hall. And yes, I had meant to have Peter and Janine do it like bunnies on the roof as part of a ritual. Never did write that part.
A Big Fight on a Rooftop
Something began to slide through the opening which made ray and Winston swear and sent shivers down my back.
Peter only smiled crookedly and basked in the immense shadow of the portal.
Two streams exploded upwards, slamming into the portal which hung open like an ugly torn black gash above the skyscraper. Two more streams sliced through the air along the rooftop, headed straight for Peter.
His reaction floored me. He looked right at me with hate, and he just froze. I remember seeing his eyes lock with mine and widen in disbelief as he fully realized what I meant to do. What passed through them in that brief instant was the knowledge that I, Spengs, had no intention of backing down, and that he had been cocky and arrogant… and sloppy. I watched the streams engulf him in slow motion. As they hit, his whole body arched, caught in the powerful beams, and my stomach knotted as his head tilted back farther than what I thought was humanly possible.
Peter and the creature above, screamed in unison. Instead of writhing in inhuman agony, as most demons caught in the streams would do, it reached out with every ounce of its considerable strength towards Peter.
A hand like thing was groping through the beams for him, getting closer. Peter's face was twisted in agony, his teeth clenched tight together, his eyes ground shut, brows furrowed. But he made no sound.
What Peter didn't know was that we had set the two beams to his frequency. That in fact, or at least in theory, we were encasing him in a protective shell, meant to temporarily shield him from his bond with the demon, and hold Peter at the same time. We couldn't capture the demon while it was so closely bonded with Peter. They were both drawing and feeding off of each others power, like some sort of closed circuit.
Given no other alternative, if we had to take him down, we would. But only as a excruciating last resort. I knew I could never go on being a ghostbuster if I had to kill my best friend. And if he died, he would die thinking that I had meant to kill him. I could never live with that.
X X X
The intense light abruptly disappeared as the trap snapped shut.
The moment the trap closed, Winston and I pulled our shots and released the triggers of our throwers.
Peter dropped like a stone.
I jammed my thrower ruthlessly into its holder and skidded to my knees beside the now motionless brown jumpsuit. I remember Winston doing the same as he grabbed for his radio, pressed the button, and yelled "Now! Get up here now!"
Peter lay sprawled flat on his back, arms and legs splayed as if he were a discarded doll, his head flopped loosely to one side. Something was terribly wrong, unreal. He was too still. His lips were parted, but where the brown suit should have been rising and falling, there was only stillness. "Dammit Peter!" I growled. "No!"
"They'll be here any second Egon. It's not too late. We can do this m'man. Okay, tilt his head back."
Winston's sharp command snapped me out of my shock, as he ripped the zipper down and peeled back the jumpsuit. Peter's head rocked slightly from side to side as Winston readied him.
Somehow, I regained some of my control, separating myself from my emotions, and I went through the motions we had so carefully prepared for. I reached under Peter's chin, tilted his head back, pinched his nose with my thumb and forefinger, sealed my lips around his, and blew. He was already cold, clammy, his lips and skin taking on a bluish tinge.
We had expected this outcome. And prepared for it. But I hadn't allowed myself to think it could actually happen. Peter hadn't been himself in weeks. He hadn't slept properly, or eaten properly. But he still had energy. In fact he seemed to be gaining strength, more and more of it recently as the days passed.
We'd figured out that it was actually growing inside of him, and that it was, in fact, the only thing keeping him upright at all. Ray and I had theorized that the distinct possibility existed that once we captured the demon, all that energy would be released… and Peter would simply die.
Winston counted aloud. With both hands, he began thrusting down hard against Peter's chest… one, two, three, four, five. I breathed.
We only repeated the procedure five times before the paramedics crowded down around the still lifeless form of Peter and pushed us away. I stumbled up onto my feet and watched helplessly.
Oh god, I'd killed him.
Grief threatened to overwhelm me, only to be replaced by a sudden rush of unexpected anger. Anger at Peter. Why? Why the hell did you do this? What were you thinking? My greatest fear was to lose my teammates, but to lose Peter at my own hands… and for what? Anger ran down my cheeks in a torrent as I watched the paramedics place two small paddles against his chest. I could not tear my eyes away.
Seconds felt like hours.
"Wait. Quiet." The paramedic held up one hand while straining to listen for a flicker of heartbeat.
"We got him."
It had been Winston's idea to call paramedics before heading into the building and have them standing by several floors down. I was glad of it. A collective sigh resounded from almost everyone on the rooftop. He was no where near out of danger yet, but not completely lost to us either.
Peter suddenly shuddered and gasped frantically for his first big breath of air.
His eyes suddenly flew open, full of hatred, and disorientation. Purest black. His left arm shot up with snakelike speed, grabbing one EMT by the shoulder. With an animal grunt, he heaved the EMT right up over himself and into the other EMT on his other side, sending both men sprawling across the gravel roof. It appeared that the energy had not completely dispersed, something I was rather grateful for at that moment.
Before anyone could react, Peter hauled himself onto his feet and launched himself across the roof until he stumbled into the corner edge of the rooftop, barely catching himself from going over. For a split second he stared straight down 50 floors to the streets below. Then he whirled around in a blind rage, panicked like a cornered animal, ready to scramble over the edge if we moved one inch.
"Peter!" Ray and Winston cried together. I was too shocked. My mouth refused to move. Janine still clung to my side, her fist curled tightly into the back of my suit.
"Stay away from me!" Peter gasped, his hair spiky and matted across his sweat drenched forehead. The adrenaline that pounded through him lasted only seconds as his battered body finally caved in. His shaking legs quickly gave way and he sank into the corner, still gripping the ledge behind and above him with one hand.
"Stay… the… fuck away." Desperation and defeat rang through. I could see the blackness of his wild eyes, still dilated and partially blinded by the daylight. I do not believe he ever actually focused on any of us, rather, stared unfocused at the ground ahead of him.
He wheezed, coughed, grabbed his chest, grimaced, and finally slid slowly down onto his side, wrapping his arms around himself. Blood ran down his face, pouring from his nose and several long cuts from our violent encounter. He shook violently, groaning, curling into a ball, a picture of abject misery.
It was Janine who made the first move. Without a word, she released herself from me, shrugged off her pack, and headed for the corner. She stopped and dropped down in front of him, reaching out for him. "Dr. Venkman", she pleaded gently. But Peter shrank back further, eyes shut tight, weakly shaking his head, whimpering "No… no… no… no."
"Peter", she demanded in her no nonsense, Janinest tone. "It's over. It's gone. You're safe."
He looked to be about two seconds from passing out from pain and shock, but he slowly raised his head.
He was aware enough for those words to mean something. Was the nightmare over?
Janine reached out and gripped his shoulder. "Come here Peter. It's all right now." For a flash I saw his eyes focus on hers, and recognition and desperate need for comfort flooded them.
With his last ounce of strength he crawled up onto Janine's lap and pitched forward against her. She embraced him, his head against her stomach, arms wrapped around her legs and hips. She rocked gently, brushing the hair back from the side of his face, her other arm rubbing down his back, quietly murmuring assurances. "Shhhhh. It's all over."
The moment Peter lost consciousness, his hand fell limply away.
"He's alive." It was Ray.
Not for long, I thought.
Janine looked up. Tears streaked her face and her bottom lip began to quiver. "He's so cold."
I turned to Ray and Winston, who now stood beside me, their faces mirroring my own, equal parts shock and panic. Janine had gone maternal. What had gone on between those two in our absence was anyone's guess.
The two paramedics recovered their senses and raced over to them.
X X X
Waking up from the nightmare
Voices. Distant and unclear.
Blackness. Quiet. Peace.
Pain. Screams twisted in a dark wind. Storms. High dangerous places. Flashes of burning light. Jumbles of frantic images. Terror.
I groaned inaudibly and jerked painfully away from the series of swirling nightmarish images and stumbled dumbly into something resembling a more peaceful semi-consciousness. They were more than nightmares. Had to be. They seemed so real. But I wasn't sure what was real and what was imagined right now. I had the strangest feeling that I hadn't known the difference for quite some time.
I hung in darkness as the world swam around me for ages, just out of reach, teasing me with the promise of quiet solid reality. Eventually the seas began to calm, and slowly I drifted back towards the land of my physical self. Still dark, but calm and quiet and peaceful.
Then slowly, methodically, a single sound began to penetrate the darkness. A soft sound. I locked onto it until it became familiar. The turning of pages? Slowly, I tried to open my eyes. Someone had glued them together. My left one felt odd... wouldn't budge. I heaved the other heavy lid until I finally managed to peel it open. For all my efforts, all I could get was a tiny sliver of light. Where was I? Was I dead? Na. Couldn't be sure about that but I mentally crossed all my fingers and tried to focus on wherever the hell it was that I was now. Wherever it was, at least it was quiet.
It took several minutes of lying quietly for me to search out my body and locate various limbs. Didn't seem to have the strength to move any of it yet, but it all seemed to be there, attached. Unfortunately, it also all seemed to be hurting, a hell of a lot. I felt like one gigantic bruise.
Gritting my mental teeth against the pain, I started the process of ever so gently rolling my head to my right, towards the sound, so slowly I'm sure, that unless someone was watching they probably would have missed it. Even from such a small movement, the room spun, my stomach roiled, and the muscles in my neck complained fiercely.
My good eye finally focused a little onto a fuzzy form. Human. Someone was sitting beside my… bed? Aha, gotta be a hospital. Alright, we're cooking with gas now.
I parted my lips and tried to form words. Anything would do. Nadda. Damn.
And shit, that hurt. My lips were chapped and sore, and a cut burned on my lower lip. My mouth was the Sahara, pasty, parched, and generally unpleasant in taste. I swallowed against the dryness and tried again. All that came out was a weak groan, a very undignified unmanly pathetic whimper. But that did it. It was enough.
The pages abruptly stopped turning. It was a red haired figure that dropped the magazine and leaned in, reaching across my face and brushing lightly down across my temple and cheek with a small soft hand. Ray? No way. Rays hands couldn't be that soft.
Didn't matter who it was. I reveled in the touch, and leaned into it for all I was worth, which probably amounted to about zilch at the moment. But the hands were warm, and human and real. Please don't let go.
"Peter," a voice said softly.
The best I could do was return was a soft moan through a throat that felt like I'd swallowed sandpaper and washed it down with hydrochloric acid.
"Peter. You're awake!" Another hand slipped around my right hand and squeezed lightly. "It's okay, Doctor Venkman. You're home."
Home? I opened my eye another millimeter and mouthed the word. That won me a small smile and a reassuring nod from… Janine. I was back in the firehouse, in my own bed. I opened my mouth again and Janine leaned in closer. "Wa... ter." It was barely even a whisper.
She nodded and reached back to my bedside table and brought a glass with a straw, apparently expecting my arrival at any time.
X X X
With monumental effort I rolled away from Janine, onto my side, and tossed my cookies. I would have been mortified… if the wall of pain hadn't slammed into my side as a result of the motion and the heaving. Broken ribs I figured, and a quite few of them by the feel of it. After an eternity of dry heaving miserably, things began to settle, and I realized that Janine was now sitting on the bed, partially draped over me, her hand on my sweat drenched forehead. When I finally stilled, she eased me back onto my back. Rolling back was only slightly less painful but this time I had the advantage of taking short in and out breaths in the traditional birthing technique to help me through it. It took several minutes to settle and gather myself back up and calm my breathing back down to normal.
"Oohhh this sucks… M'sorry." I whispered. I blinked up at her. She smiled.
"Oh, it's alright, Dr. V. We're used to cleaning up after you." She paused and grimaced. "Though you're not usually quite so gross."
My already flushed face grew hotter. Time for a change of subject. Time for a witty Venkman remark. She was still sitting beside me, and it dawned on me.
"Hey," I mumbled, "never thought I'd get you in bed with…"
The world screeched to a stop.
A twelve ton truck filled with a dozen memories of sounds, touch, and tastes, and emotions, hit me all at once.
Janine suddenly leaped off the bed as if she had a five alarm fire under her ass. I just stared at her with my one eye and my mouth gaping. She could see me remembering, and her face flushed scarlet. Then she leaned in, her nose almost touching mine. The unmistakable promise of murder in her eyes should have scared the living shit out of me right there and then, but I was trapped in a muddle of surreal images… a tidy little house in the burbs… happy little redheads with green eyes screeching in delight… and it was already doing a thorough job of scaring the living shit out of me. The sound of her stern voice snapped me back into the present.
"It… never… happened," she growled.
I shook my head fractionally, giving the only safe answer I could.
Like hell it didn't. We would talk about this later. Oh boy would we talk about this later. No way Janine would be able to keep this, the crime of the century, bottled up for long. This was huge. This was titanic. She was going to need therapy.
Hell. So was I.
Oh dear god. Egon would know. There was no hiding a disaster of this magnitude from Brainiac. He knew me too well, and Janine too, and he'd know the minute we were all in the same room that something had happened. And then…
Then he would kill me.