"Did we ever hear from Fritz or Roland?" Jeff asked. The ECTO-1X had already crossed the Bridge, and were nearing the former World Trade Center site.
"They'll be along when they can." Vincent answered enigmatically. "They had some problem with the equipment they were mounting on the ECTO-2..."
The car shook as a massive explosion erupted behind them. Several cars that had been passing by were thrown into nearby buildings or were sent hurling ahead of the ECTO-1X. A checker cab smashed into the roadway to the left of the Cadillac while a red Chrysler sailed over their heads and exploded in a fireball as it smashed into the tower.
"Sonofa..." Bo shouted as he slammed on the brakes. The car slid sideways and came to a halt.
They all got out of the car and examined the scene. Jen gasped as they looked behind the vehicle Cars just a few feet back had shattered windows and the state of damage became progressively worse until it reached the completely destroyed cars at the edge of the fire.
"What did that?" Ernie shouted over the noise. There were people screaming as they ran.
"Sooo Ghostbustersss." A voice hissed from above. The six Ghostbusters turned and looked up at the monsterous parody of the Twin Towers. A green glow surrounding a dark figure could be seen on the top of the tower. "You've decided to take up our challenge." The intermixed voices of the Witch and the spirit of Halloween mocked them.
"No, we're here for the sightseeing." Shades shouted back in sarcasm.
"Still have a sense of humor about the destruction of something you hold dear?" It hissed.
"They'll rebuild the Towers. Eventually. But you aren't going to be around to see that!" Jen shouted at the Hain Witch.
"I doubt it." It hissed. "We're more powerful then ever before. We no longer abide by the same rules. No more dimensions, no more Halloween!!! We are eternal!"
"Over our dead bodies!" Ernie shouted.
"I think that can easily be arranged." The Hain Witch's eyes flashed yellow, and it started to fire bolts of yellow fire at them.
Belmont howled a spell in return, the fireballs splashing off of a mystic forcefield.
"You seek to use your feeble magick against me?" the Hain Witch cackled. "I'm so amused by this I may destroy you with little pain..."
"Retreat!" Bo shouted. They ducked behind the ECTO-1X, crouching to talk with more ease.
"Good going, Ernie." Bo grumbled; Ernie's face flushed a little in shame.
"Even Belmont's not gonna be able to hold that back long..." Jeff noted.
"So what's the plan again?" Shades asked as a car nearby exploded.
"We blast the bitch." Bo said eagerly, he held up his gun while he wore a mischevious grin.
"Short..." Ernie said.
"To the point..." Jen commented.
"I like it." Shades said as he pulled his proton gun free from it's holster. The other three followed his example and they stood up. Jen, Bo, and Jeff walked down the left hand side of the car while Ernie and Shades walked down the right hand side. As soon as they had passed the radiator grill they shortened the gap between them and continued to walk towards the tower.
The strain was showing on Vincent's face. The shield started to buckle and distort. "Jeff--get Gandalf out of there!!!" Bo shouted.
Just as the field faded at last, Jeff pulled Vincent out of the way before the next fussilade destroyed him. They retreated behind the ECTO-1X, to give Belmont a moment to recover.
"On Three. ONE!" Bo shouted.
"Two!" Jen shouted.
"Three!" Ernie shouted.
"Fire!" Shades shouted and they commenced their attack, a beam of protons left each barrel and snaked towards the Hain Witch and wrapped themselves around it's unnatural figure, the Hain Witch simply stood there and laughed.
"You mortal fools, do you think you can defeat the combined powers of the Blair Witch and the spirit of Halloween?" It asked in a mocking tone. The four Ghostbusters continued to fire.
"Err Bo, I don't think the frontal attack is working." Ernie said as he tightened his grip on his particle thrower.
"Increase the power!" Jen shouted over the noise. The four beams' intensity increased and became harder to handle, but the barrage still simply rolled off the smug Hain Witch.
"Bo! They're overheating!" Shades shouted.
"Cease fire!" Bo shouted, the four beams ceased, smoke drifted up from the barrels, the very tips of them were blackened and melted. Being the older Mark 1 proton pack designs, they weren't equipped with the safety cut-off of the newer Mark 4 design.
"And now, you shall die!" The Hain Witch shouted and lept from the tower, flipping an almost graceful arc to land on one knee. It's form was silhouetted against the flames, black as night save the yellow glow from its eyes. It raised its talons, and they glowed the same yellow.
"Err...Plan B?" Ernie asked.
"Plan B?" Jen asked, one of her eyebrows raised.
"Yes....RUN!!!" Shades shouted as the Hain Witch shot a massive blast at the Nightsquad members. As they ran, a large chunk of roadway exploded behind them and pieces of debris from the blast grazed Shades' arm and cut Bo's hand while they ran. They all lunged in behind the ECTO-1X as Bo jumped into the rear side door. They all flopped down around the rear door of the ECTO-1X, attempting to catch their breath.
"At what point.... Did we lose control here?!" Shades asked in annoyance, pulling off his sunglasses to inspect one of the lenses. A large crack split the lens in half.
"I didn't forsee this being so difficult...." Jen commented while still being out of breath. Suddenly Bo threw open the back hatch of the ECTO-1X.
"We are f***ing dead..." He growled. He grabbed the first aid kit as another blast hit the car, knocking the radar dish to the concrete.
"Your confidence is comforting, Bo." She said as she glowered at him.
"Yeah really." Jeff replied sarcastically. He was holding on to Vincent, who had apparently passed out. Ernie was sitting quietly and appeared to be contemplating something very deeply....
"He's right though, Chrismer, We just don't have the tools to kill it." She explained. The Hain Witch shot several blasts into the sky.
"What's the matter Ghostbusters?! The reality of your impending deaths becoming more apparrent now? At least have the courage to give us a decent fight before you die. Come to us." The Hain Witch mocked as it shot a few blasts off into Brooklyn.
Bo popped open the first aid kit and began taping up and sterilizing the cut on his hand "You know the way I see it if we're gonna get killed anyway we might as well just go all out in an attempt to kill that thing, send it to hell where it sure as f*** can't come back." He commented on the current situation, he was totally serious.
"I agree..... If that thing gets past us, it's not just New York that's gone. It's the whole damn world." Shades said in agreement.
"Right....." She also agreed. Shades reached into the first aid kit for some medical cotton and tape and began patching up his wound as Bo finished, Shades noticed the look on Ernie's face, the stern contemplative look.
"Ernie man, are you alright....." He asked, worry crept into his voice. Ernie didn't answer. Shades finished up on his arm, however he didn't take his eyes off of his friend.
"The ultimate sanction?" Jeff asked.
Bo nodded, and flipped open the panel covering his particle thrower's safety switch. "We do it. Five proton packs going off in unison should take that f***er out."
"Four." Jeff shook his head. "Mine's the new design--the destruct panel is locked, and I don't have the key for it."
"When we make our run, grab Gandalf and drive like f***." he handed Jeff the keys to the ECTO-1X. "And don't scratch my car." he added just as another of the Hain Witch's blasts hit it.
"Any last words, gang?" He said as he replaced the rest of the cotton in the first aid kit. Shades and Bo stood up, leaned against the rear of the ECTO-1X and shook hands. "I don't say this very often, because I got a reputation to maintain, but you guys are the best." He said, remembering some of the fonder memories the team had shared. The Hain Witch blew up several spots around the Ghostbusters, as they shook.
"I have a whole world to destroy, I'd like to finish up with you pitiful excuses for heroes..." The Hain Witch was becoming agitated with having to wait. Lightning streaked through the night air behind the Witch and lit up even more of the site. Bo looked at Shades and then looked at the Witch.
"If I was going to senselessly attack an unstoppable demon-god, You'd be my first choice to help." Shades said with a sly grin. Shades and Bo smiled at each other as Bo turned to Jen.
"I'll be waiting for you on the other side beautiful." He said as he looked at her fondly. Jen gave Bo a long regretful look and touched her hand to the side of his face as she fought back her tears.
"It's a shame you and I have to end our lives this way." She said in regret for all the things she'll never get to do, that they would never get to do. Jen and Bo grabbed hold of each other and exchanged a tight embrace.
"Death ain't gonna keep me from you." He said with a grin. Ernie broke his contemplative look and looked up at Jen and Bo, then Shades. He then turned to look at the Witch. Shades took up his Proton Gun.
"It's time..." He said as he switched it back on. Bo and Jen relinquished their hug.
"Indeed." Jen said, she shot a smile at Bo and then turned to the gruesome task ahead.
"Going down in the regular blaze of glory Shades?" Bo said with a mad, almost maniacal gleam in his eyes. "Ernie?" He realized Ernie wasn't with them anymore. "Ernie?!"
The other three Ghostbusters turned to see Ernie standing in front of the ECTO-1X.
"Ernie, what are you doing man? We got to do this...." Bo shouted
"Yes, It must be done Ernie." Jen said, a few starnds of blonde hair had fallen out of place and now hung over her face, she tried to brush them away.
"No..." Ernie repeated.
"Ernie, what's the matter man?" Shades asked, worried more then before. Ernie didn't remove his eyes from Witch's direction, he continued to stare at it.
"So this is it? This is your uprising? Pathetic." The Hain Witch sounded disgusted and crossed it's arms. Large dark clouds formed in the sky over the Witch and blotted out the stars.
"Shades, do me a favor...." Ernie began.
"Anything man." Shades said.
"Tell Lori that I'm sorry for what I'm going to do. Tell her I'll miss her." Ernie said. They all looked at Ernie, confused as to what he meant.
"And Bo..." Ernie began. Bo was slipping on his black leather gloves as Ernie spoke. "I want you all to get in the car and drive far away from here, I'm going to deal with the Witch myself." He spoke, his voice filled with hate.
"Ernie are you insane? You can't possibly take it on by yourself..." Jen spoke in surprise and horror at Ernie's plan. Ernie did exactly as they were planning to so, he pulled open the safety plate and jabbed the button, causing a play of sparks around the thrower's barrel, and a different, more ominous whine in the cyclotron.
"Ernie, No man, we go down, we go down together..." Shades protested as he put his sunglasses back on.
"How many times have I froze? How many times have you risked your lives for me without thinking twice, while I was snivelling in the corner like a coward? Now it's my turn." Ernie argued back.
"Ernie. Man..." Shades began.
"Bo, you were right, I was a pussy...but not anymore." Ernie smiled a little, it was almost forced.
"But Ernie!" Shades protested.
" 'Don't play the hero, BE the hero'..." Ernie shouted, as he charged the Hain Witch. "Bo, get them out of here. NOW!"
As quickly as possible, the rest of them piled into the damaged ECTO-1X, Jeff throwing the keys back to Bo. Shades, however, was still watching Ernie, a look of shock on his face.
"SHADES GODDAMMIT COME ON!" Bo shouted at Shades' back. Lightning began crashing around Ernie and the Ghostbusters in the car. "GET THE f*** IN HERE!"
"No man, He won't do it, He won't do it..." Shades shook his head as if what was happening around them was all in a dream. He didn't seem to be believing it.
"Shades, This is not the best time for this, the spot where we're sitting is going to be reduced to rubble in the next few moments!" Jen shouted from her window.
"No... He won't... He couldn't!" Shades shouted in protest.
"Dammit I don't give a rat's ass about your emotional attatchment to Ernie!" Bo threw open the passenger side door from the driver's seat. "GET THE F*** IN HERE! NOW!" Bo screamed from his seat, his face was flushed red with fury. Bo grabbed hold of Shades and dragged him into the car, shutting the door behind him. "Hold onto your asses people!!!" He hit the gas and the car flew forward.
Ernie had reached the Hain Witch and was looking it straight in its now fiery red eyes.
"So, the only member of Nightsquad left with the courage to face me? Do you not fear your imminent death? Perhaps I should torture you first, or turn you into one of my loyal minions." The Hain Witch mused.
"My ass." Ernie shouted, his voice filled with defiance.
"And what are you going to do? Those pathetic pop-guns you have cannot harm me!" It cackeled.
"No," Ernie began to smile, "but this can..." Ernie gritted his teeth and reached up grabbing the Hain Witch by it's tattered shroud, pulling it's neck down to eye level with him. Ernie thought to himself:
Shades...Jen...Lori...even Bo. This one's for you... Ernie laughed inside as he put the barrel of his gun to the Hain Witch's face and fired. At that moment, the cyclotron reached its critical mass. The last thing the Hain Witch saw before being surrounded in white, blinding light was "Ecto" Ernie Slaughter's defiant grin.
"AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!" It screamed in pain and covered it's eyes as the light engulfed them both. The massive explosion formed around Ernie and the Hain Witch, they both screamed in pain as the powerful blast engulfed them both and they disappeared within it's bright light.
One of the horrific towers desecrating Ground Zero buckled, distorted, and--much like the one that had been there before--crashed to the ground.
The shockwave, the combined violence of the proton explosion and the fall of the monster tower was beginning to catch up with the ECTO-1X. Jen shouted something that was lost to the roar of the explosion. Bo eyed a covered switch on the dashboard as Shades sat with a stunned look on his face.
Bo flipped up the plastic cover on the switch, labled "Nitrous" He flipped the switch and laid the gas pedal to the floor as the speedometer dropped off the scale.
Bo and Shades screamed the f-bomb as they were thrown back into their seats.
They screeched to a halt several blocks away. There was still flame and smoke billowing from the disaster site, and sirens cut through the night.
The three remaining members of Ghostbusters Nightsquad, battered and bruised, slowly stepped out of the car and surveyed the scene. For several minutes they remained silent, absorbed in the images and memories that clogged their senses.
Jeff stayed in the car, and just watched them, feeling for the first time like he was intruding even at that. He didn't know Ernie very well--they did. This was their grief.
"Shit." Bo breathed.
"We...we did it?" Shades asked uneasily.
"It would appear so..." Jen began.
"BITCH AIN'T STANDIN' NOW!!!" Bo howled at the disaster site, flipping it off with both hands, the angry expression meant to distract from the tears that were wanting to form in his eyes.
Then something shifted inside the burning wreckage.
The remaining Nightsquad members watched, with churning stomaches, as a gruesome, smoldering figure pulled free of the devastation.
"In all our combined centuries...no fool has ever caused us such insult!!!" it spat. "Not the Ghostbusters who thrice bound Samhain...not in their fourth meeting, when they tore him to nothingness...not even you, when you affronted the Blair Witch before..."
"SHIT!!!" Shades shouted, tears in his eyes, and fired on the creature.
Jen joined in.
Shade's beam hit the Witch in it's torso while Jen hit it in its deformed pumpkin head. It reared back, almost startled but then shot the two bolts at the Ghostbusters.
Jen was hit by one of the blasts from the Hain Witch, knocking her a good twenty feet across the pavement.
"JEN NO!" Bo made a run for Jen as the Hain Witch fired blasts all around him; by then Jeff had jumped back out of the ECTO-1X, and together he and Shades were delivering a volley of cover fire. Bo snatched up Jen with as much tenderness as the need for swiftness allowed, and dived behind the ECTO-1X with her.
"Oh shit, Jen are you okay..." Bo asked, his face wore an expression of horror.
"I... I'm fine... It just winded... Me... Thats all..." Jen gasped, she looked up at him. One of the lenses in her glasses was completely broken, her jumpsuit was smouldering in places. Jen attempted to get up but she collapsed unconcious against Bo as Shades and Jeff ducked in behind the ECTO-1X. Shades was clutching a new wound on his forearm, blood was staining his flightsuit crimson.
"We gotta do something to end this Bo... We're gonna get killed if we don't... We need a new plan." Shades spoke. Bo laid Jen's unconcious body in the back of the ECTO-1X, next to Belmont, and then shut the rear hatch. "Is she..." Shades asked, worried for his friend.
Bo grunted angrily. "No she ain't, but that thing didn't do her any favors."
"We gotta do something and do it quick." Jeff noted. "When Jen blasted the thing, it actually slowed it down."
"So what does that mean?" Shades asked.
"It just had a proton pack blow up in its face." Jeff answered. "I think it's more hurt than it wants to let on...but we gotta move quick, because otherwise it'll start to regenerate all the energy it lost." He glanced at the remaining tower. "And around here, with all the deathforce still lingering in the area, that won't take long."
"Ernie's sacrifice wasn't in vain after all..." it occured to Shades. "It gave us an opening..."
"Ghostbusters!!! We have had enough of this!!!" it shrieked. "Show yourselves, or we will turn your precious city into rubble!!!"
Bo smirked, realizing Jeff was right. "Hot damn...you can hear it getting desperate..."
"RAAARGH THAT'S IT, WE GROW TIRED OF WAITING!" It screamed. In a flash, the Witch then appeared atop the ECTO-1X and pointed an open palm at Shades.
"Holy..." Shades began to shout.
"YOU SHALL BE NEXT!!!" The Hain Witch unleashed powerful energy blasts from both hands; Bo and Jeff were knocked away...
Shades took the other blast point blank.
Bo got a vague impression that he had seen Shades' skeleton like he had been X-rayed...
Once the blast died and the smoke cleared Ian "Shades" McPherson was gone.
Bo's eyes widened, Shades' trademark sunglasses could be seen sitting in the middle of the small crater made by the energy blast, the cracked lense now had a chunk of glass missing from it, one of the metal arms melted out of shape.
"YOU BITCH!" Bo shouted in anguish and horror at what he'd just witnessed.
The Hain Witch leaned closer, a malicious grin spread on it's face.
His head was full of fuzz...but he heard the shouting...and noticed something that he would find no explaination for for some time: the air in the nearby area cooled some ten degrees.
The winds threatened to knock the ECTO-2 out of the sky. Roland was forced to back away from the scene of the battle
"Ars...perdo...vis..." Vincent chanted, Jeff right beside him.
As Bo fought, a faint sound could be heard above the roar of the pack. A strange shimmer had filled the air. The Hain Witch raised its claws and fired a blast of fire at Bo.
"F***...this is it." Bo thought, bracing himself, but he was left dumbfounded when he didn't feel any burning. He then slowly opened an eye and gasped, the fire had enveloped him, but wasn't burning him. When the fire died out Bo looked around, the was a small circle of pavement that he stood on that was concrete grey, a large area around that though had been charred black.
The Hain Witch simply stared at him, and Bo was sure he could see a look of similar dumbfoundment on the Witch's face.
Mister Wizard comes through again...Bo smirked.
Time seemed to slow down, and the sounds of the battle, chopper, and even New York seemed to have become silenced. A breeze too chilly for mid September blasted from the east.
"SHOOT HER, YOU IDIOT!!!" Vincent howled.
Bo grinned and immediately pressed the trigger. "Say hello to Adolf Hitler for me!" The beam was dazzling, in a white cascade of energy, the area lit up like a flare. Bo held his thumb on the button even though the kickback was slowly forcing him back towards the ECTO-1X. He cranked the power to whereever it would go and the Witch let out a blood curdling scream, beginning to disintigrate from the beam's power. The Super Pack's Proton Gun began to spark and give off smoke, then the barrel exploded. The pieces oddly seemed to bounce off of him. The cold wind blew Bo's hat off his head and it landed back against the ECTO-1X
"I CANNOT DIIEEEeeee......." The Hain Witch screamed, melting like the Wicked Witch in the Wizard of Oz.
"Maybe you can't die..." Jeff Chrismer shouted. "But you ain't gonna like where you're gonna be, either!!!" He hurled a trap into place.
Jeff stomped on the pedal. The Hain Witch was sucked, howling, into its innards, the yellow and black striped doors snapping into place behind it.
There was another ominous rumble....the second tower created by Samhain, like the first, like the true towers on that day of infamy, crumbled.
"Don't.... f***...with Nightsquad....." Bo said in between breaths. He stood there for a moment; a light breeze passed over the disaster area, shifting loose papers and the collar of Bo's flightsuit. Smoke drifted lazily into the sky, passing the glowing skyscrapers that lined Manhattan Island.
The aftermath of the Hain Witch's defeat was quiet. He could even hear the wind, not a single horn or siren could be heard from the city.
"Bo?" Jeff asked, picking up the trap.
"Make sure that's hooked up to a power unit, but don't let Roland empty that. It's going in my ECU as soon as I have one again." Bo grunted, picking up his hat and Shades' sunglasses. When he reached the car there was already a small crowd of people gathering to see if it was really over.
"Did they really do it??" A onlooker asked.
"I don't know, I don't see that monster anymore and the sky is clearing... they did it... they actually did it...." Another onlooker said. The crowd looked stunned but slowly a faint chant of "Ghostbusters" began to break out.