Two years ago, Eddie and I had invented the Ecto-Porter. Well, okay, Eddie had already done most of the work, I only helped a little. But we couldn't take full credit, as we had been working off of Egon and Dr. Stantz's designs. But we had added an emergency feature of our own: D Mode.
The Ecto-Porter was actually an adjustable device. It had two different settings, S and D. S Mode was the normal default setting that Eddie and I had preset the guns to. "S" stood for Send, or Specter. It was for the ordinary ghost handling procedure. Not that we'd meant for the Ecto-Porters to take the place of the proton packs, trap, and the containment unit. We had merely invented it in the event of a primal force, such as Armageddon. The Ecto-Porter wasn't efficient as the unit (unless of course, the grid was shut down), but it worked better on bigger entities which rarely escaped the ghost dimension.
But there was another secret setting. Jeremy, Graham, nor Dexter knew of it. Only Eddie and I did, and we'd developed it only in the event of an emergency. D Mode stood for Destroy. It could make an apparition cease to exist whatsoever. But there was a risk to using the D setting. It generated a beam so powerful that the Ecto-Porter would fizzle out and be a useless piece of equipment. However, the price of an Ecto-Porter was more than enough to pay for Jeremy's life.
So without another moment's hesitation, I opened the secret panel on the side of the gun. Behind it was a small red button labeled D. I gulped and pressed it. Then I yelled, "Everyone get out of the way!"
All of the guys scrambled behind me. I raised my arms, took aim at the large shrouded ghost, tightly shut my eyes, and squeezed the trigger.
The end of the gun emitted a large red beam, so powerful that I (and everyone behind me) was knocked off their feet by the impact. The red beam shot out hit Armageddon like a fist, forcing him backward. He wailed in pain as the energy touched him. The beam sprouted root hairs and transformed into a red glowing net, enveloping him inside.
"NOOOOOO!" shrieked Armageddon as, with one final crimson glow, he and the net disappeared. There was a final flash of light and a boom. Then, it was over.
For a long time, I just stood there in stunned silence, gawking at the place where the spirit had been, not believing that I had actually done it. Finally, a little voice spoke up behind me. "Is he gone?"
I slowly turned around to find Kendra Zeddemore staring up at me earnestly with her gigantic brown eyes. I smiled and let out a breath I hadn't been aware I was holding. "Yes, Kendra. It's over."
She grinned and let out a whoop. "We did it!"
"Of course we did!" exclaimed Eddie giddily. "We're the Next Generation Ghostbusters! We can do anything!" He turned to me and said, "I can't believe I forgot about the D setting on the Ecto-Porter."
"Yeah, well, I guess this gun's useless," I replied, looking at the now crackling and steaming weapon in my hand. "Sorry, Graham."
"That's alright," said Graham. "I'd give up anything for Jeremy."
I gasped. "Jeremy!" I tossed the broken gun over my shoulder and knelt down on the ground next to Jeremy's body. He was just lying there. He wasn't moving or anything. Was he?...Could he possibly be?...No. He couldn't be. "Please don't leave me," I whispered.
A groaned issued from Jeremy's throat. I sighed with relief. "Oh thank God! He's alive!"
"Yeah, but is his brain fried?" Eddie asked. Man, he is just so positive.
"Jeremy? Jeremy, please say something," I said frantically, taking his hand. "Please be alright."
Jeremy's head slightly rolled and his eyes popped open, revealing his gorgeous sea blue eyes. He blinked several times and his eyes focused on me. "Are we dead?" he asked, slightly dazed.
I let out a relieved laugh. "No, we're not dead. We're just fine!"
He smiled a little as his other hand joined the two that were already together. "That's good. For a second, I thought I'd died and you were an angel come to take me to Heaven."
I rolled my eyes in mock exasperation and scoffed. "How many girls did that line work on, Venkman?"
He grinned full on and brushed some hair that had fallen out of my ponytail out of my face. "Just one so far."
I smiled too and gazed into those crystal clear eyes of his. I don't mean to sound like some lovesick, hormone-driven, teenage girl, but I just adore his eyes. They're so beautiful.
The spell was broken as I heard Eddie behind me clear his throat and say, "Uh, guys? Don't mean to break up the moment, but the clock's tickin' and we kinda need to get out of here...like now."
"Right!" I said, jumping up. "We've got to get back to the third dimension before the portal closes. Come on, everyone!"
"There it is, guys! Up ahead!" Jeremy shouted, pointing at the technicolor spiral hovering in midair.
"Hurry, guys!" Eddie called, looking at his watch. "It's going to close any second!"
"It is closing!" Kendra gasped.
Sure enough, the portal was indeed starting to shrink. "Fly fast!" I cried.
Jeremy, the fastest flyer, zipped through first, followed by Eddie, then Graham with Kendra under the crook of his arm. Dexter went in next, and finally I managed to scooch in just as the portal was closing up.
Then we went back through the cross dimensional tunnel and through the portal at the other and came tumbling out back into the kitchen of our firehouse. "Yes!" exclaimed Eddie, jumping up and pumping his fist into the air. "We did it!"
"Straight up!" Jeremy laughed, then he grimaced as he clenched his leg. "Ow."
"What is it?" I asked, worried, as I crawled over to him.
"Aw, it's just this stupid leg," said Jeremy, waving me down. "I don't suppose you have some gizmo that could fix this, do?"
I laughed. "Sorry, not yet." Then I paused, thinking about something. "Um, Jeremy? Remember that thing you said before?"
Jeremy froze, his cheeks turning red. "Uh...yeah. Yeah, I do."
"Well...did you...mean it?" I asked tentatively. My heart was racing a hundred miles an hour.
Jeremy stared at me for a second, then slowly nodded. "Yeah. I did."
I felt a slow silly grin spreading across my face. "That's good. Because I...I do, too."
Jeremy grinned as he leaned in and kissed me, long and steady.
"Eddie," said Graham, turning to him, a stern expression on his face. "What the hell were you thinking? Bringing Kendra into a place like that? You crazy or something, man?"
"I'm sorry, G-man, but she made me bring her," Eddie said quickly. "And you should have seen her back there with the proton pack. She was a nat-"
"You let her have a proton pack?" Graham exclaimed.
Eddie clapped his hand to his forehead. "Look, dude, the point is, she's okay. And, she's also really good at catching ghosts. Took to it like a duck to water. She saved me back there. She really wants to be a Ghostbuster. I say we should let her."
"Well...I don't know," said Graham slowly.
"We could use the extra help, Graham," I pointed out.
"Please, Grammy?" Kendra pleaded, giving her older brother a puppy dog face.
Graham sighed. "Alright. You can be a Ghostbuster...but you better be careful!"
"Yahoo!" screeched Kendra, jumping for joy.
Suddenly, I heard a soft moan from next to the splitter. Everybody looked over to see that it was...Sally lying unconscious in a puddle of pink goo?
"Sally!" Eddie exclaimed, rushing over to her. He helped her sit up. "Oh gosh, are you okay?"
"Uh...I think so..." said Sally unsurely. She looked up at Eddie confusedly. "Where am I?...And who are you?"
"Oh," said Eddie, looking slightly crestfallen. "You don't remember?"
"The last thing I remember was picketing at my "Save the Dolphins" protest," Sally replied.
"Why am I not surprised?" Jeremy whispered to me.
"You've had a violent, prolonged transformative episode," Eddie explained. "Do you feel alright, Miss Eckert?"
"Groovy," Sally said, a little dazedly. "Um, how do you know my name?"
"It's a long story," said Eddie. "I'm Eddie Stantz."
Sally smiled at him warmly. "Nice to meet you."
It was a few hours later. Sally was going to be alright. Apparently, Eddie and Kendra had been able to exorcise the demon out of her. Now, Eddie was taking Sally to a cafe to talk things over. Maybe it was just my imagination, but I think Sally had a little thing for him.
Graham, Kendra, and Jeremy had gone to the Zeddemore's for dinner. Mrs. Zeddemore sure can cook. They had invited me along, but I had politely said no. I had decided to go home to Mom and Egon and have dinner with them for once.
I had been coming down the stairs when suddenly, the door opened and in came Mom and Egon. "Hey," I said, a little surprised. "I was just about to come home. What are you guys doing here?"
"Alice, we need to talk about something," said Mom gravely.
That's when I saw it. The rings under their eyes, as if they hadn't slept in a while. Plus Mom's eyelids were red and puffy, like she'd been crying. But mostly, I saw the haunted look in their eyes. They were scared.
"What is it, Mom?" I asked nervously.
Mom looked up at Egon, then looked back at me. She took a deep breath and uttered three words that would change our lives forever:
"Alice, I'm pregnant."
I was shocked. I couldn't even say anything at first. I just stared at the two of them in disbelief.
Mom was pregnant. Mom, a forty six year old woman, was going to have a baby. I couldn't even wrap my mind around it.
Finally I knew I had to say something. "I think we need to have a family conference...now."
To be continued...
Sorry, but it's not over yet! It might be a while before I publish the new story. I still have to work out the plot and stuff. And if anyone's confused as to why it's such a big deal that Jennifer's having a baby, well, apparently when you're over thirty five, there's an increased chance that the baby will be...er...gosh, I'm trying to be PC here, uh...intellectually challenged. Yeah, I'm gonna go now.