What Would I Give…?
A Ghostbusters: Hellbent Back story by Nora Satterwhite
It was during another routine ghost busting assignment, the Ghostbusters were sent to a forty-story building out on 1 Central Park West, where they received a call about a very demonic disturbance up on the 14th floor of a famous hotel tower. What the Ghostbusters didn't realize is they were being followed by a mysterious spirit, a female spirit that is, who seemed to be somewhat fascinated by the men; but for some reason, she has been keeping a very close eye on only one of the other Ghostbuster, and that's none other than Dr. Raymond Stantz.
The spirit followed the Ghostbusters toward their next assignment on 5th and Canal, until she started to suddenly sense something very unusual from what's inside the forty-story building. The Ghostbusters, it would seem, are about to confront something more terrifying and more evil than those they have captured in the past. Something in which could possibly hold the ability to destroy another spirit just like this female ghost... and probably the Ghostbusters as well. So, the spirit stayed behind as she watches the Ghostbusters enter through the building, but she then whispered an amusing but untranslatable prayer, possibly a prayer of protection for the Ghostbusters as they go on their business.
Upstairs in the 14th floor, the Ghostbusters searched and scanned through almost each hallway, looking for the disturbance. Egon Spengler, the brains of the operation, immediately picked up a reading from his PKE scanner right in front of an office space just on the far end of the third hallway. He slowly opened the door and looked around finding nothing at first, until he suddenly started to hear a faint, yet disturbing voice coming from the exact center of the office. Egon then slowly crept toward the location of the voice while he contacts his colleagues at the same time.
"Ray, Peter, Winston, I'm just at the far northwest of the hall," He said. "Get over here right away!"
Just about five minutes later, Peter Venkman, Winston Zeddemore, and Ray Stantz all arrived toward Egon's location; then they started to hear the faint voice as well.
"Whoa. What do you think it is, Spengs?" Ray asked with an excited tone.
"From these readings and the faint whisperings," Egon replied. "I'd say we're about to deal with a Class VII demon poltergeist."
"Like the kind that possessed Peter here, some time ago?" Winston stated, giggling a bit.
"Hey it's not my fault you guys were still out checking over some old bat's house." Peter replied, disturbed.
Then, the voices were heard again.
"Shh... It seems to be getting louder." Egon said.
"It even sounds like... chanting." Ray replied. "You know, like a church service."
"I think we get it Ray." Peter replied.
So the Ghostbusters, led by Egon, all started to tiptoe toward the exact center of the office space. There, they all found a robed figure levitating over the middle of the room, and it was indeed chanting out unusual and indescribable quotes. At first, the Ghostbusters stood there waiting to see if it would make any movements, until the figure finally stopped its chanting and slowly turned to face the 'busters, for it somehow sensed their presence. This entity however, seemed to look beyond more than just something from the grave.
Where the face should be, the specter only showed absolutely nothing but smoke-like effects coming throughout the hood of its robe. Its aura shone blood red as its entire robe, itself, dripped of actual blood itself. Then, by the disturbing sound of its ghastly voice, it didn't sound too pleasing, but sounded as though it wanted something... or someone for that matter.
"... Where is she?" It asked with a disturbed tone.
The Ghostbusters all looked at each other, confused.
"Where is she hiding?" The entity asked once more, now sounding impatient.
The Ghostbusters didn't reply, until Ray finally did. "... Who?"
Suddenly, the ghost raised its arms and flicked them around, causing it to create a vibrant surge all around the office, which caused the Ghostbusters to stumble. The surge shattered all of the glass windows, doors, and bits of the structure itself, like an earthquake. Then the ghost, with an impatient and violent tone in its voice, spoke once more.
"Do not test me foolish mortals, my master grows weary of your despicable ways! I ask you once more, where is the location of Her?"
Ray then replied, hoping to end this charade. "W-We don't know what you're talking about. Honest."
But as the impatient spirit rose up its arms once more to cast another spell, the Ghostbusters all fired their particle streams at the mysterious ghost. But then, in all its fury, the ghost started to summon smaller demons, which looked more like swarming human-like bats, but they started to charge toward the 'busters. Then the robed specter used its supernatural powers to create fire igniting all around its hands and started to touch the corners of the office space.
The room suddenly began to slowly catch fire.
While the Ghostbusters fought off some of the demon swarmers, Peter noticed the fire being ignited across the room, as well as the robed specter escaping.
"Guys, it's getting away!" He cried.
So the men finally escaped out of the office, following the ghost as it then summoned a blazing trail of fire behind. The Ghostbusters stopped for a moment as the flames rose in front of them, blocking their path. Egon then developed an idea.
"We need to reconfigure the ghost's route;" He said. "Ray and I will take the western corridor of the hall while Peter and Winston take the north hall. That way, if my calculations are correct, we'll corner the ghost by the approximate time it reaches the elevators, which by the way-"
"We get it Egon," Peter interrupted. "Let's go already before the building catches more on fire!"
So the Ghostbusters finally split up.
Meanwhile, outside the building, the mysterious spirit, who has been mostly hiding within an alley away from the crowd of people, who had been witnessing the structure of the building which started to demolish; from the strange but powerful pulse of energy shaking through the 14th floor, to the moment when smoke started to come through the building. The spirit, at first, thought it might have been the Ghostbusters causing some damage, but she actually felt the demolition is being caused by something else. But the spirit knew deep within she fears the worst is yet to come.
Back inside, the robed entity stopped toward an elevator; then it quickly looked around to see that no one was behind or to be seen. Then it started to prepare itself for escape as it starts to chant out a somewhat mystical prayer in order to leave. The floorboard underneath the specter started to glow a misty red aura, like it was preparing to open for the ghost itself; but suddenly, an electrical stream of light coiled all around the robed entity, lassoing the creature in place.
"I got it!" It was the Ghostbusters.
"Peter, get the traps in position!" Egon cried.
Then as the ghost loosened itself to escape, Winston threw in a capture stream to keep the ghost tangled in the particle beams. Peter then finally rolled out the ghost trap and opened it; the light beacon shone right underneath the robed creature, causing it to not just suck in the entire thing, itself, but is now… burning it?
"RRRAAAAAAAAARRRRGGGHH!" It roared with rage. "THE HEAVENS' LIGHT; IT BURNS!"
Suddenly, its hand reached out and quickly grabbed Ray by the collar of his uniform, who was just taking a study of the creature with his ecto-goggles. But what was more fascinating was that the ghost was able to physically touch Ray, as though it were human.
"RELEASE ME OR THIS BOY SUFFERS THE SAME FATE AS I!" The ghost cried, gripping onto Ray very tightly by the collar of his uniform as it continued to be sucked into the ghost trap.
"Quick, get him out of there!" Egon cried.
Winston then grabs hold of Ray, while Peter fired his Neutrona Wand at the ghost. Winston pulled with all his might to get Ray straight away from the ghost trap, as well as the wrangled ghost. Ray then pulled out a miniaturized neutron gun from the lower right hand side of the proton pack and fired at the ghost's hand, careful not to blast his own face as well. The creature finally let go, but a small portion of the blast slightly burned Ray's lower cheekbone as he was finally pulled away by Winston.
Then, as the robed creature was finally sucked into the trap, it started to summon more of those demons, but these started to come out of the floorboards of the 14th floor.
"Close the trap! Now!" Egon cried.
Winston quickly stomped onto the trap mechanism and the trap finally sucked in the entire robed specter, and instantly closed up. The ghost was now fully trapped inside.
But then, as the capture fully completed, the Ghostbusters now face a much bigger problem; it seems the demons in which the specter summoned a moment ago were actually fire demons. The creatures scattered all around the floor, setting each section on fire, as though they were summoned to rid the Ghostbusters permanently… and they were.
"Come on, we have to get out of here!" Egon cried.
So then the Ghostbusters all started to escape the now burning 14th floor, destroying every demon they encounter at the same time as well. But as they were nearing an exit, flames in front of them burst through the ground, and a fire element demon popped up like a jack-in-the-box, blocking their exit. Quickly, the Ghostbusters blasted the creature to nothing and started to find another way out.
Then, Ray spotted an exit just on the other side of the hallway; debris was now tearing apart and the smoke of the fire grew stronger and started to smell more deadly.
"Over there guys, break for it!" Ray cried, pointing at the exit.
Finally as quick as they could, the Ghostbusters all rushed toward the only other exit, escaping the fire. But then, the unexpected suddenly happened…
Ray's leg suddenly crashed through a very hollow portion of the burning floorboard, and now he's stuck! He called out for help, but the roaring sounds of the fire was too loud and parts of the ceiling fell right in front of Ray as he tries to lift his leg out of the floor. The other three Ghostbusters were now nowhere to be seen.
Suddenly, a fire demon appeared before Ray and prepared itself to attack, but it then just stood there for a moment and studied Ray. It smirked a little, as if it knows of Ray's fate; so then it started to leave him. Ray quickly looked above his head as he hears the ceiling right above him started to crumble! Ray somehow, felt an uneasy feeling in the pit of his stomach and started to cover his head just as soon as the ceiling started to collapse…
Outside the forty-story tower, crowds of people, police, and the fire department all gathered around, witnessing the destruction of the building. The 14th floor, as well as most other parts of the building burned so thorough like an inferno. The female ghost, meanwhile, continued to stay at the nearby alley, careful not to expose herself in front of the public as they watch, in horror, the building continue to burn.
Suddenly, the ghost felt all of her body slowly began to chill, and she easily took in a deep breath all at the same time; somehow, her body felt as though it absorbed something right through her. She didn't know what it was at first, until… she now felt a very deep, uneasy, and heartbreaking feeling that something… went deeply wrong.
The ghost watched as the 14th floor of the building suddenly explode into enormous flames, but then, with relief, she saw Peter Venkman, Egon Spengler, and Winston Zeddemore all finally escape the building safely.
"Whoa! I thought we'd never make it." Winston spoke.
"Yeah, but now the mayor's not gonna be happy about this," Peter replied. "Nor is he gonna believe that we didn't even start this fire."
"Wait a minute, where's Ray?!" Egon cried as he then noticed Ray's absence.
So the men quickly searched around and went through Ecto-1, but Ray was nowhere to be seen. Then, Winston looked back at the building, a thought occurred.
"He's still in there," He cried. "We've got to go back for him!"
But it was too late; almost the entire 14th floor was nearly destroyed by the fire.
The female spirit, who then noticed Ray's absence, gripped onto her body and realized what was wrong. She panicked at first, but then finally made a decision. The ghost instantly swooped out of the shadows of the alley and whizzed right passed the Ghostbusters, like a gust of wind. Then she finally swarms into the burning building.
"Did you guys just felt something?" Peter asked as he somehow felt a cold chill through his body.
Egon, Winston, and Peter looked at one another, all feeling a bit confused.
Inside the building, the ghost quickly searched around the bottom floors for Ray, but found nothing. Then she quickly flew up to the 14th floor, which still burned heavily. But instantly, she saw a gloved arm sticking out from a pile of burning debris on top of it; so the spirit rose up her arms and used her supernatural abilities to levitate up the pieces of the debris. She threw the burning pile right away and discovered that the arm was actually Ray! His body lay still, motionless and his leg was still stuck into the floor, which then started to crumble.
The floor suddenly broke open, and Ray's body started to fall in until the ghost immediately swooped down into the hole and finally grabbed Ray, physically by the waist and she easily slowed down the fall, landing right onto the next level of the building. Then, as she held tightly onto Ray, the ghost used her levitation abilities to keep Ray a little up in the air as she "carried" him towards an exit just on the other side of the hallway.
A few other floors later, the female spirit finally escaped the fiery building through the back doors of the lobby with the motionless body of Ray Stantz in her arms, and finally dragged him as far away from the destructive inferno as soon as possible.
She then laid him down onto the first corner of Central Park, where some sunlight shone brightly in the sky. The ghost checked over Ray as there had been some closely major damage to his body: the lower right cheekbone was still burned from the blast of the particle stream, cuts and most other fire burns appeared throughout his entire body, his leg bled slightly from being stuck onto the floorboard, most of his uniform and equipment were damaged a little, and he even has… no pulse?
As soon as the female spirit checked over the condition, she now realized… Ray was dead. She began to weep tears at the moment, but then studied Ray's wounds a little more. She then saw through his body, the true cause of his death; his entire upper chest organs were crushed, possibly from the 14th floor's ceiling; it must have collapsed right onto him while his leg was stuck onto the floorboards.
The female spirit cried heavily now for the loss, feeling it was her own fault at first. No, she wouldn't thought of that; this ghost is actually much more than just some random spirit with supernatural powers, this is a Spiritual Guardian, a somewhat Ghost Witch to be exact, and this witch knows deep inside Raymond Stantz was not meant to die. She knew somehow, he holds a great purpose, of what it is she was not sure of just yet but definitely knows that Ray must be kept alive for that great destiny.
So, with strength building up from within, the Spirit Guardian started to chant and conjure spells, meditation, and other means of supernatural sorcery all around her and transferred them all into Ray's body. His burns and cuts started to slowly fade away, and the creaks of his ribcage were heard, sounding as though it was being reassembled. Then the Ghost Witch placed her hands onto her chest and breathed in, feeling her body extract out something right into her own hands.
She slowly rose up a pinkish orb hovering a few inches above her hands; and she whispered an unusual blessing upon the orb and gently, but slowly, placed it right in the center of Ray's chest, where his heart is located. The orb then sank right into his chest and it expanded all over, illuminating his entire chest cavity for a long moment until its light slowly disappeared into the body.
The ghost had successfully healed all of Ray's wounds, but somehow, something was wrong.
She studied over Ray's body once more, but found every single part of him in perfect condition; from the very cranial top of his skull to the soles of his feet.
Wait a minute, sole. Sole…? Soul! Of course, the one most valuable and more important part of life; the soul, Ray's soul! The feeling in which the ghost must've felt before she went to rescue Ray was actually his own soul being absorbed into her body.
Realizing what was missing, the Spirit Guardian grasped onto her chest as she then began to feel the presence of Ray's soul inside her. Then, she set herself atop Ray's body, kneeling upright and she started to close her eyes and slowly raised her arms in the air, showing a sign of appraisement. She softly whispered an enchanting prayer and gently grasped onto her chest all at the same time. A moment later, the female spirit gently lift up Ray's head from one side of his face, then opened his mouth; then she lowered her lips close to Ray's as well as she slowly starts to open her mouth. Then, a very bright white stream of aura slowly rose out of the spirit's mouth and entered into Ray's own mouth!
Soon after the strange white aura disappeared into Ray's mouth, the female ghost witch laid herself beside Ray's body, waiting to see if something would happen. She placed a hand onto his chest a moment later, but after the next couple of minutes… nothing happened.
… Thump-thump… thump-thump… thump-thump…
The ghost suddenly felt something start to beat.
…. Thump-thump… thump-thump… thump-thump…
It started to beat faintly, and then it started to feel a little faster and sounded louder.
… Thump-thump….thump-thump… thump-thump, thump-thump...
It was the beating of Ray's heart!
She had done it; the Ghost Witch has healed him, she has brought Ray Stantz back from the dead!
The female spirit now felt proud of what she had done, but then she starts to unusually gaze upon Ray as he now felt unconscious but is making a full recovery; the spirit now became mysteriously enchanted by even the very presence of Ray, himself. She gently rises up his face once more and she slowly began to softly caress the same one side as she continues to gaze listlessly upon him.
A few minutes later, Ray finally but slowly woke up.
He couldn't see clearly at first, but could've swore, he thought, he had just seen a woman; a female spirit upon his presence, and she's… smiling at him?
Suddenly, the Spirit Guardian started to hear sirens coming right to where both her and Ray are located. Feeling as though she knew what the strange sirens were the ghost immediately began to slither away, like a frightened serpent, leaving Ray behind. Then, a voice finally called out.
"Look! There he is!"
It was the Ghostbusters; Peter, Winston, and Egon all swarm out of Ecto-1 as the men parked her across from the Columbus Memorial Statue and turned off her sirens. Each of them helped Ray up to his feet as well as they started to notice something very unusual about him.
"Ray, what happened?" Egon asked. "We've looked everywhere for you as soon as the fire department deteriorate the flames, but you were nowhere to be found."
At first, Ray didn't speak as he was still feeling a little dizzy from his near-death experience; but all he could remember was the female ghost he saw earlier as he first woke up. So finally, he started to reply.
"… I-I don't know what exactly… happened… but the last thing I remembered… was the entire ceiling collapsing right on top of me while my leg was stuck in the floor. Then I finally woke up… here? But then I saw something in front of me as I woke up; it was a beautiful woman, but it… was a ghost. A-At least… that's what I thought it was."
Peter, Winston, and Egon stared at each other, with disgusted looks on their faces.
"Ray, are you sure you were only dreaming that… dream again?" Peter asked. "Because if you did, then don't tell me."
"No, I swear this was REAL!" Ray replied.
"Sure it was."
Then Winston noticed something on Ray's face.
"Ray, your face," He cried. "That burn mark from the proton blast, it's gone!"
Sure enough, Ray's face was entirely healed from the burn. Egon quickly took a scan around Ray with his PKE meter and found a small portion of ectoplasm mostly on his chest.
"Hmm… Maybe Ray did come in contact with something after the building's demolition from the fire." He said. "We'll have to go back to the lab and do some research."
Then, just as the Ghostbusters prepared to leave, Ray suddenly starts to lose balance of his legs and started to fall back to the ground!
"Ray!" Winston cried as he helped Ray back up to his feet. "Dude, are you okay?"
"Ugh… I-I don't know…" Ray replied, feeling a little woozy as he was still recovering from his near-death experience. "… Whoa. I-It felt like… I haven't walked in… years?"
"'Walked in years'?" Egon asked. "Hold on. You said you were collapsed by falling debris of the hotel ceiling, and you woke up here by the presence of a female spirit; and now your legs feel numb?"
"And what's that supposed to mean, Egon?" Peter asked.
Silence broke out for a moment, until Egon finally explained. "Gentlemen, I believe Ray, and I know this might sound illogical to do so after such a tragic event; but I think Ray… has just been… resurrected."
"WHAT?!" Peter, Winston, and Ray cried.
"Ray has been brought back to life; raised from the dead, itself. It would seem that this mysterious female apparition apparently saved Ray here, from extraordinary means of eternal slumber."
"Why would a ghost save a Ghostbuster?" Peter asked.
"Funny you asked Peter, but incidentally… we don't know. Possible means of usage for destruction in the future, perhaps-?"
"Or maybe this mystery ghost felt Ray doesn't deserve to die." Winston replied. "And for that, we should thank her."
"… Yeah… thank her." Ray replied, somehow feeling a little strange from inside his heart.
"Did this ghost do anything else to you as you first saw her?" Egon asked.
"I don't… think so; all I could remember was that she was… smiling…"
"Smiling, Ray?" Peter asked as well.
"Yeah, it was like she was… happy to see me?"
Silence broke out once more.
"Aw… Somebody's got a little thing for you Ray," Peter teased. "And it's real too."
"Peter, knock it off." Ray replied, disturbed by Peter's joke.
"Still, why would this spirit save you from death?" Egon asked. "And for what purpose does this ghost want from you?"
"Whatever the case, let's go back to headquarters." Winston replied.
Then, as the Ghostbusters all walked back toward Ecto-1, Ray looked back for a moment as he then saw something glow in the distance. It looked like a feminine figure at first, but Ray felt it was possibly something else, like a lamppost or some other incandescent light shining from the far distance. Then Ray started to touch his cheekbone from where the burn mark was healed, and then he starts to touch his other cheek, feeling where the ghost had been caressing him.
Who was this ghost? Where did she come from? All these questions buzzed around Ray, but he mostly began to feel all warm and fuzzy from inside, feeling this mystery ghost had done something good for him. Or perhaps he has fallen in love?