- July 13th, 2017, 9:07 pm
It was a quiet day at the firehouse for the Ghostbusters. There hadn't been any calls for the past two days. Peter was watching t.v., Egon was working on some random equipment, Winston was working on Ecto-1, Slimer was busy devouring most of the food in the kitchen, Janine was still typing on the computer, and Ray was just leaving to go to the comic store to get the latest issue of the new Captain Steel series.
"I'm head to the store now," Ray said as he walked out of the firehouse. Ray hailed a cab which he then took to the comic store. After exiting the cab, Ray was about to walk into the store when a voice behind him said, "Don't try to call for help. No one can help you, not even your friends." Before Ray could turn around, a rag was place over his nose and mouth which only muffled his calls for help. He soon became dizzy as he inhaled a substance soaked into the rag. Before he knew it, his vision became blurry and then the world around him became dark.
Back the firehouse, they guys were starting to worry when Ray didn't come back. It had been nearly 2 hours since Ray left for the comic store. An hour later, they decided to go to the police. Upon explaining to the police, they were questioned by Lieutenant Frump, a man who they had encountered on a couple of occasions.
"Are you sure that he is missing," Lieutenant Frump questioned the three Ghostbusters. "He could just gone to the library to read and could have fallen asleep their."
"Yes we're sure," Peter explained. "Ray said as he as bought his comic, he would head home straight away."
"Listen," Frump told them. "If he has not returned home within 24 hours, come back here and we will do what we can to find us. If he does happen to return to y'all firehouse, give us a call."
"We will make sure to do that," Winston replied.
Ray slowly regained consciousness only to find himself tied to the arms and legs of a chair in a small, dark room. Suddenly his attention was drawn to a figure, who had just walked into the room. The figure made his way over to Ray and turned the only light fixture in the room, which was a small light bulb that hung from the ceiling. Ray was glad he could see somewhat of his surroundings until he came face to face with his captor. It was none other than Walter Peck, a man, who the Ghostbusters had run into on a few occasions.
"Remember me Dr. Stantz," Peck said as he stared into Ray's eyes. "I bet your wondering why you are here. I plan to use you to destroy the Ghostbusters."
"I'm not going to do anything you say Peck," Ray stated. He then spit into Peck's which lead to him being knocked to the floor when Peck punched him. His head was throbbing with pain as the back of his head hit the cold, hard floor.
"That should teach you some manners," Peck replied back. "Now lets get to business." Peck without mercy began to punch Ray. Ray did the best he could to not show any sign of pain, but after 20 minutes of being punched, he began to let out screams of torment. Peck just smiled as he showed his true self, which was a cruel, merciless man. After the beating stopped, Peck cut the ropes binding Ray to the chair. Ray fell out of the chair onto the cold floor, and soon he was being kicked all over his body. After Peck stopped, he left Ray to just huddle in a dark corner with shackles binding his wrists and ankles to the wall As Ray huddled in the dark corner, he hoped that the guys would find him soon.
"I know you'll find me guys but hurry please," Ray said to himself as he hoped to be rescue soon.
It had been 24 hours since Ray went missing and the guys were starting to worry. It was around one o'clock when they arrived at the police station where they filed a missing persons report.
"We will do our best to find your friend," Lieutenant Frump told the Ghostbusters.
"Thanks," Winston stated. "If there is any changes, just call us."
"Will do," Frump replied back.
Ray was completely exhausted when Peck walked back into the room. Throughout the night, Ray got very little sleep due to the fact that Peck would just dump a bucket of ice water onto Ray when he started doze off. From head to toe, Ray still wet from the last time, he was soaked with ice water, which around midnight.
"How has my guest been throughout the night," Peck asked in a taunting voice. He then kicked Ray to make sure that he was awake. Peck took the shackles off and yanked Ray up off the floor and dragged him across the room to a tub of ice water. Ray began to struggle as his head was dunked down into the water. When he was pulled out of the water, he was nearly gasping for air. "I think we should send some pictures to show your friends how fun your having. Maybe by the end of this week or the week after that." Peck stated. Soon Ray was being dunked into the tub of water before pulled out for air, after being dunked in the water several times, Peck tied Ray back into the chair as Peck took several pictures of Ray's current condition. After printing the pictures out, Peck left the room to drop off the pictures at the firehouse.
Janine had walked into the firehouse, when she noticed a small envelope laying on the floor of the firehouse. Upon opening up the envelope, she found several pictures inside. What she saw on the pictures made her nearly pass out, but immediately hurried upstairs to show the guys.
"What you got there Janine," Egon asked her when he saw the envelope in her hands.
"You guys better hope that the police find Ray soon," Janine told the three guys.
"Why do say that," Peter asked in a curious but still worried voice.
Janine immediately place the envelope on the dining table. When they saw the pictures, they were just as shocked as Janine was when she first saw the pictures.
"Who would do something like this to Ray," Winston stated. The guys were all extremely worried more than they were before about Ray.
"I don't know," Peter replied back. "But who ever is behind this is going to pay. Ray has always been like a little brother to me. I just hope that we find him before its too late."
"Don't worry Peter," Janine reassured him. "We'll find him in time."
Ray had completely lost track of time by the end of the first week of his captivity. During that time, Peck would either punch him in the face, kick him, or dunk his head in a tub of ice water. Ray was feeling weaker than before due to the lack of sleep, since Peck would just dump ice water on him to keep him from falling asleep. Even after all that, Ray still had high hopes of being rescued soon.
"I'd stop hoping to be rescued," Peck taunted him. "Your so called friends have probably hired someone else to replace you. They've forgotten about."
"Your wrong," Ray stuttered as he tried to talk and ignore the fact that his clothes were still wet from the last time Peck dumped ice water on him. "My friends haven't forgotten me. They will find out where I am and you will be sent to jail." Peck only responded by grabbing a roll of duct tape and taping Ray's mouth shut. He then grabbed a crowbar, that he had placed beside the door, and began to swing at Ray with it. Ray could only wince in pain as his muffled screams came from the top of his lungs. He was relieved when Peck stopped, but he knew that the day wasn't over yet.
"I'll be back in an hour and then we will continue our fun," Peck stated in a taunting voice. Ray went back to huddle in the corner as he had done before. He was becoming weaker every day due to the fact that Peck gave him little water and wouldn't allow him to sleep. Ray knew that if he wasn't rescued soon, he could die.
Janine was busy typing at her desk when another envelope slipped through the mail slot. The guys had gone out on a call and would probably be out for a while. Just as she was about to go pick up the envelope and burn it, Lieutenant Frump walked in.
"Any leads as to where Ray might be," Janine asked. Deep down inside, she knew the answer was no.
"No leads yet," Frump informed her. "But that is not why I am here. Do you know a man by the name of Walter Peck?" he then questioned her.
"I wish I didn't," Janine answered back. "Are you saying he might have something do with Ray's disappearance?"
"It is a possibility," he replied back. "We are currently trying track him down. We will notify you guys of any changes."
"Thanks for stopping by Lieutenant," Janine said to man.
3 weeks later...
Weeks had gone by since Ray was kidnapped by Walter Peck and now Ray was almost about to give his hopes of being rescued from his captivity. Ray continued to endure lots of pain at the hands of Walter Peck in those weeks. He was still given very little water and was still not allowed to sleep a second of his captivity. One day during the third week of his captivity, Peck had broken Ray's right arm. Ray barely moved his right arm after that and would let the streams of tears run down the side of his face. He could barely see out of his left eye. Near the end of the first month, Peck decided to try a new approach. One day Peck walked into the room with knife in his hand and began make small cuts on Ray's arms. Blood seeped out of the cuts on his arms and dripped onto the floor. Peck put only cloths over the wounds as he didn't want his captive to die. When Peck stopped, Ray huddled in fear from Peck as he left the room.
Ray's hopes of being were gone after being held captive for a whole month. Ray was stilled kicked, punch, cut, starved, and dunked. Ray was covered with bruises from head to toe, cuts along the lengths of his right and left arms, and wet clothes. He had lost a lot of weight due to the lack of proper nutrients. Any attempt of him trying to escape was futile as he was still chained with shackles to the wall. For hours Ray would just sit on the floor while Peck would kick him all over his body and not be able to do anything.
"Ready for daily beating Dr. Stantz?" Peck asked as soon as he entered the room and grabbed the crowbar by the doorway and began hitting Ray without mercy as he had done before. From the number of beatings that Ray had received, he had nearly lost his voice. "After all the times I've tried to shut you guys down, I finally decided to take a different approach." Peck suddenly stopped beating Ray and suddenly grabbed Ray's neck. Ray was gasping for air as Peck strangled him. Upon the release of Peck's hands from Ray's neck, Ray was gasping for air as he had done when Peck dunked Ray's head in the tub of water. Before leaving the room, Peck grabbed Ray's head as slammed onto the cold, hard floor. Ray slowly watched as the world around him once again turned dark.
Peter, Egon, and Winston had just returned to the firehouse after chasing down a pair of Class 5 vapors when they got another call. Instead of being a call about a ghost, it was from Lieutenant Frump. He called to tell them that police got a lead as to where Ray was and who had kidnapped him.
"Thank you," Peter said over the phone. "We will be there asap."
"So what did they say," Winston asked Peter who had just hung up the phone.
"The police found a lead as to where Ray is," Peter explained to Winston. "We should go and meet the police."
After opening the garage doors, Ecto-1 drove out of the firehouse in the hurry to meet the police at the location where they thought Ray might be. Upon arriving at the scene, the guys and Janine exited Ecto-1 walked over to the barrier in front of an abandoned warehouse.
Ray was trying to fall asleep when Peck burst into the room and dumped a bucket of ice water on Ray. He then began to kick Ray all over his body causing Ray to Ray scream in pain as the beating continued.
"Your friends somehow found you," Peck informed Ray. "Unfortunately, they will be to late." Peck suddenly pulled a gun out from behind him and pointed the barrel of the gun at Ray's head. Ray shivered as the gun was pressed up against his forehead. Peck then moved the gun as soon as he heard footsteps coming closer and pointed it at Ray's torso. BANG! Ray suddenly gasped for air as the gun released the bullet from within its barrel and fired into Ray's torso. Blood was beginning to soak Ray's shirt around the gunshot wound when he heard voices call out his name.
"RAY" some voices yelled as Ray began to lose consciousness. Three figures came into his blurred view as his eyes started to close. Even though his vision was still blurry, he was able to make out the figures as his friends.
"GET THOSE PARAMEDICS DOWN HERE." one of them yelled. "Stay with us Ray."
Ray could barely open his eyes as he felt the shackles on his wrists and ankles come off and was place onto an object. He felt an oxygen masks being place over his nose and mouth while he was lifted into the back of an ambulance.
Peter, Winston, and Egon had just exited an old abandoned warehouse and watched as an ambulance drove to the hospital with their friend Ray inside. They followed the ambulance to the hospital where Janine was waiting outside. Ray was rushed inside on a stretcher. As the guys and Janine waited, they were all hoping that Ray would make it out of surgery alive. It was about an hour later when a doctor came into the waiting room and made her way over to the Ghostbusters and Janine.
"Are you guys the Ghostbuster," the doctor asked them. "My name is Doctor Helena Williams."
"Yes we are," Peter informed the doctor. "How is our friend Ray, Dr. Williams?" he then asked her.
"Your friend was lucky to make it through surgery considering his injuries," Dr. Williams informed them as she revealed that Ray was still alive. "Should I list the injuries, I understand if you don't want to." she asked them in a calm, polite voice.
"Go ahead," Winston spoke up.
"Your friend received multiple injuries," Dr. Williams stated as she listed the number of injuries Ray had received during his captivity. "Those injuries consist of multiple bruises along his upper torso to his legs, signs of being handcuffed or shackled on his wrists and ankles, there was internal bleeding that we were able to stop, couple of broken ribs, and a minor skull fracture, malnutrition, dehydration, hypothermia, lack of sleep, cuts along both of his arms, his right arm was broken, and the most recent injury was a gunshot wound to the stomach."
"Can we see him?" Egon asked.
"Yes," Dr. Williams replied back. "We've placed him in the ICU so we can monitor his current critical condition. During the surgery, your friend went into a coma. Its up to your friend to decide if he wants to wake up. If you guys need anything else, don't be afraid to ask."
After watching Dr. Williams walk away, the guys and Janine quietly made their way into the ICU. Upon entering Ray's room, the noticed how different he looked from the last time they saw him shortly before his kidnapping. His skin was more pale as he laid in the hospital bed. Both of his eyes were close with his left eye swollen. His right arm was covered with white arm cast. There were also bruises on his neck from where had been strangled. A ventilator was being used to help him breathe, while other kinds of screens monitored his vital signs. The guys and Janine stayed in the room until visiting hours were up. After that, Janine went home and the guys went back to the firehouse. When Peter went upstairs to change, he found all his PJs covered with slime.
"SLIMER," Peter yelled. A little green ghost flew into the room upon hearing Peter yell. "Now is not the time to be doing stuff like this, Ray is currently in a hospital bed in a coma meaning that we don't know he will wake up. If you do this again, I will trap and put you in the containment unit myself."
Slimer immediately flew out of the bedroom and past Winston on the way out.
"You don't have take it out on the little guy," Winston told the dark haired man. "Its hard on all of us too."
"I wish I had shot Peck with a proton stream after what all he did to Ray," Peter explained. "He hurt Ray. Ever since I met Ray, he has been like a little brother to me. I have never let anyone try to hurt him."
"Ray will make it through this," Winston reassured him.
"You better be right," Peter replied back.
It had been a week since the guys had found Ray and 3 days since any of them had gone to stay with Ray. They had been catching Class 4 full torso apparitions to Class 7 vapors. When they finally got a quiet day, Peter was the one who went to the hospital to stay with Ray until visiting hours were over. It was hard to see Ray in his current condition. Peter almost killed Walter Peck when they found Ray, but Egon had told that it wasn't worth it and that they needed to focus on getting Ray to the hospital. Now that Ray was still alive seemed to be the only thing that mattered now. Ray was still in a coma with ventilator helping him breathe.
"You did great Tex," Peter said to his comatose friend. "You were able to hold on long enough for us to find you. We just need you to wake up Ray, just wake up Tex."
As he Peter sat in the chair beside Ray, he watched the heart monitor beep continuously as a line displayed Ray's current heart rate. Suddenly, the line went flat and an alarm sounded. Doctors and nurses rushed into the room immediately upon hearing the alarm go off. Dr. Williams was the last to enter the room.
"Mr. Venkman," Dr. Williams told him. "You need to leave the room."
"Is he going to die," Peter asked her in a worried voice. If Ray died, then he wouldn't know how to tell the others that Ray died.
"Not on my watch," Dr. Williams reassured. "We will do everything we can to keep him alive."
Peter waited outside the Ray's room in the ICU waiting and hoping that Ray wouldn't die. About 20 minutes of waiting, he had family asleep while sitting in one of the chairs in the hallway. It was an hour later when he was finally woken up by Dr. Williams.
"How is he, Dr. Williams?" Peter asked her.
"Your friend didn't die," Dr. Williams informed Peter of Ray's current condition. "His heart just stopped for a few minutes, but we were able to get it beating again."
"Thank you Dr. Williams," Peter thanked her. He then went back inside the room and looked at Ray. "You gave me quite the scare Tex." After a couple of hours, visiting hours were up. Peter had fallen asleep in the chair beside Ray's bed. Upon being woken up by Dr. Williams, Peter hailed a taxi which took him back to the firehouse.
"So how was Ray doing," Winston asked Peter in a curious voice.
"There hasn't been any changes yet," Peter informed him. "Where is Egon at?" he then asked Winston.
"Upstairs working on one of his weird inventions," Winston replied back. "Its late you know."
"Well I'm going to bed now," Peter stated and then started walking upstairs. After climbing in bed, Peter could only think about the events at that the hospital and how Ray almost died. Throughout the night, Peter would dream about the events but with Ray dying over and over again. By the time morning came, he hadn't gotten much sleep. Egon had gone to the hospital to visit with Ray, leaving only Peter and Winston to deal with any calls.
"You guys got a call about another ghost at the Sedgewick Hotel," Janine informed Peter and Winston as they slid down the pole and hoped into Ecto-1 and drove out of the firehouse.
Egon had just entered the ICU at the hospital where Ray was being kept at. Ray was stilling laying in the hospital bed with IV's going into his left arm. Egon had brought some diagrams of new designs for the containment unit, traps, and the proton packs.
"I'm thinking about making the packs more lighter," Egon stated as he looked over the designs. The room was almost completely silent as if Egon expected Ray to just answer back, save for the beeping of the heart monitor. "You know Peter was the one who was the most worried about you, considering he treats you like a brother than a friend."
Egon continued to stay at the hospital until lunch time. Upon leaving the hospital and arriving back at the firehouse, he found Peter trying blast Slimer with a proton stream.
"Egon help get the little spud into a trap," Peter asked the moment Egon entered back in the firehouse. "He slimed my bed for the last time."
"He's our only ghost who will let us study him Peter," Egon explained. He had told Peter so many times that he was just about to let Peter actually trap Slimer for once. "What would Ray say if he were here?" Egon asked Peter.
"Don't even think about bring Ray into the conversation," Peter argued with the dark haired scientist. "He's the last thing I want to think about. If it wasn't for Walter Peck, Ray wouldn't be in a coma and in the hospital."
"It is hard on all of us Peter," Egon reassured him.
"YOU DON'T THINK I KNOW THAT," Peter yelled in a voice full of anger. "I JUST HOPE PECK ROTS IN JAIL, AFTER EVERYTHING HE DID TO RAY. YOU KNOW WHAT, HOW ABOUT YOU JUST SHUT UP EGON." Peter immediately stormed upstairs as Egon stood there watching. Winston came up from the basement after having deposited some ghosts into the containment unit.
"Was that Peter I heard yelling," Winston asked Egon in a curious voice. Having heard the yelling was something that didn't normally happened at the firehouse.
"Yes it was," Egon answered back. "You heading to the hospital?"
"Yes I am," Winston informed him.
Egon watched as Winston walked out the front door of the firehouse.
The ICU was quiet as Winston made his way to Ray's room. He didn't know what to say to his unconscious friend, but he knew that is was just as hard on him as it was with Egon and Peter to see Ray in his current condition.
"Hey Ray," Winston said as he sat in the chair beside Ray's hospital bed. "You got to wake up soon. We are worried about you, Peter was actually yelling at Egon earlier today. You being in a coma is taking its toll on all of us, especially Peter. He nearly killed Peck when we found you, but Egon stopped him from doing so."
Winston paused for a couple of minutes and let the room fall silent except for the beeping of the monitors that Ray was hooked up to. For the rest of his time there in the hospital room, Winston was thinking about all the good times they had with Ray. By the time visiting hours were up, Winston left a card that he had brought with him and set it down on the bedside table to the left side of Ray's hospital bed.
"We are here for you and we will help you get past the trauma you went through," Winston said before walking out of the hospital room.
It had now been two weeks since Ray had been found and there hadn't been huge improvements in his condition except the fact that he was taken off the ventilator. While the guys were out on calls, Janine would bring flowers and leave them on the bedside table to lighten up the hospital room. It was bear the end of the week when the guys were able to find time to stay with Ray. Peter had gone to the hospital leaving Egon and Winston to take care of depositing the recent ghosts that they caught into the containment unit. Ray was still laying in the hospital bed like before. The signs of sleep deprivation still showed as dark bags underneath his eyes. It was good to see Ray breathing on his own again, but it was still painful to see him in a coma. As Peter sat the bedside chair, he held onto Ray's hand as if Ray were a little child trying to get out of their parent's grip.
"Come on Tex," Peter said in a soft, quiet voice. "You have to wake up. Sooner or later, the Ghostbusters might not be able to function with out you. If you would just wake up."
Peter stopped talking and allowed silence to fill the semi-quiet hospital room. He put hands on his face and let out a long sigh. As he sat in the chair, he began to fall close his eyes when...
"Peter," said a weak, soft voice.
Peter immediately looked up to see Ray with his eyes open. Ray still looked tired even though he was awake now.
"Welcome back Tex," Peter said to his friend.
Ray saw darkness as he began to regain consciousness. Slowly he opened his eyes to find himself in a white painted room with Peter sitting in a chair to his left side.
"Peter," Ray signaled his friend in a weak, soft voice.
"Welcome back Tex," Peter replied back. Peter ran his hand through Ray's dark hair.
"Where am I," Ray asked with a weak voice.
"You're in the hospital," Peter explained to his friend and comrade. "You've been in coma for the past two weeks Ray." he finished explaining. He paused for a couple of minutes before asking, "What is the last thing you remember?"
Ray only stared into thin air as after hearing Peter's question. He suddenly started breathing fast. Peter climbed into the hospital and pulled Ray close to him.
"Ray," Peter calmly spoke to his friend. "Forget that I even asked. After all that you went through, I'm not going ask about. If want to talk about it, just tell me."
"I don't want to talk about it," Ray informed his friend. "Not now, not ever."
"I'm going to step out into the hallway for few minutes," Peter informed Ray. "I'm going to call the guys and Janine, and tell them that you're awake. You're going to have to talk about what happened eventually."
Ray watched Peter stepped out into the hallway. After seeing the door shut, Ray slowly sat up in the bed and stared into thin air.
The moment Peter stepped out into the hallway, he ran into Dr. Williams.
"Dr. Williams," Peter greeted her in the hallway. "Ray woke up."
"I'm glad to hear that Mr. Venkman," Dr. Williams told him. "I have to check on other patients first, but then I will come and do evaluation of his current condition."
"Thank you," Peter thanked her. He then made his way over to a pay phone and dialed the number for the firehouse.
ring ring ring
Janine was type at her desk when the phone rang, while Egon and Winston were upstairs running test on Slimer for the fourth time in one day.
"Ghostbusters whaddaya want," Janine answered the phone in her usual rude voice. "Oh hi Dr. V." She then changed her tone after hearing that it was Peter on the other end of the line and let Peter on his side of the phone talk for a minute. "Ok I'll them. We will be there shortly. Bye."
"Who was that Janine," Winston asked upon walking downstairs.
"It was Peter," Janine informed him on who she was talking to on the phone. "He said Ray just woke up from his coma."
"I'll go get Egon," Winston replied back. He then ran upstairs to the lab where Egon was working on a experiment he was conducting on Slimer. "Hey Egon, Peter called and said Ray awoke from his coma."
"Coming," Egon answered back. He immediately stopped what he was doing and grabbed his coats before turning off the lights. Traffic was quiet as Winston Ecto-1 to the hospital. Upon arriving at the hospital, they immediately made their way to Ray's room. Ray was still hooked up to the various monitors.
"Its great to know that you are awake," Janine told Ray in a happy voice.
"How are you feeling," Winston asked his fellow comrade.
"I'm ready to go back to the firehouse," Ray informed his friends.
"Well Dr. Williams wants to keep you here over night for any observations," Egon explained to his friend. "Peter is going to stay here with you."
"Ok," Ray agreed. Ray felt safe knowing that his friend who actually treated him like a brother unlike his real brother. Ever since his parents died in a plane crash, the guys had been his family since then. By nightfall, Egon, Janine, and Winston had left the hospital while Peter stayed with Ray to keep him company. Ray had fallen asleep shortly after the others had left the hospital. Peter stayed awake for as long as he could before falling asleep himself after three hours. During the night he had woken up to find himself in the same, small room that he had been held captive in for nearly two months. He found himself chained to the wall as well before his attention was focused on a antagonizing voice.
"You are worthless thing," Peck stated as he suddenly came into Ray's view.
"How are you here," Ray asked. "You can't be here."
"But I am," Peck stated. "Your friends are so happy to know that you are in pain."
"Not true," Ray insisted.
"See yourself," Peck showed him. Peter, Winston, Egon, Janine, and Slimer suddenly came into the room.
"Please help me guys," Ray pleaded.
"Why should help you," Winston asked him in a mocking voice.
"How pathetic you are," Peter joined Winston in mocking him as well. "Begging like a dog wanting to come in from being out in the rain. I don't even know why I was ever friends with. You are such a pathetic loser. I hope you rot in your captivity."
"After all," Egon then joined in. "You're such a disgrace to the Ghostbusters."
"We would be better off without," Janine added.
Slimer revealed a gun hidden behind him and immediately handed it to Peck. Peck loaded the gun and pointed the barrel of the gun straight at Ray's forehead.
"Like they said," Peck said to him. "You really are a weak, worthless disgrace to your former friends."
Ray shot up and found himself in the hospital bed with Peter sitting in the chair next to him still. The look of Peter's face showed that he was worried. He looked at Ray who was now breathing heavily. He climbed onto the hospital bed and held Ray's head on his shoulder like an older brother trying to care fore his little brother.
"Its okay Ray," Peter comforted his friend. "Wanna tell me about it?" He asked in a curious, but still worried voice.
"N...n...no," Ray stuttered as he tried calm down. "I...I don't w...w...want to." Ray said as he e still stuttered to get the words out of his mouth. Peter only continued to calm Ray down again until Ray was asleep once more. It was by morning that Ray was completely sound asleep with Peter back in the chair again sleeping as well. When Dr. Williams came into the room toward the middle of the day, Ray had already woken back up.
"How are you feeling today Mr. Stantz," Dr. Williams asked him as she preformed a check-up on Ray.
"I feeling a little tired still," Ray answered back in response to her question. "I am just ready to get out of here."
"Well," Dr. Williams began to say. "Since you still have a broken arm and bruising, I'm going to suggest taking it easy. That means no going on any busts or trying to do things on your own in the meantime. Besides that, you are free to go."
"Thank you Dr. Williams," Ray said as he thanked her. After Peter had checked Ray out of the hospital, he and Ray made their way out to the parking lot where Egon, Janine, Winston, and Slimer were waiting for them. Peter had his arm around Ray's shoulder while Ray was having to use a cane as to keep himself balanced. Upon entering the car, Peter immediately explained to the others what Dr. Williams had told Ray.
"You still remember what Dr. Williams told you Ray," Janine asked him. She immediately noticed that Ray had fallen asleep. "Never mind." she told herself.
"Did he not get enough sleep last night," Winston asked Peter.
"During the night," Peter explained. "Ray woke up after having a nightmare. I tried to ask what it was about, but he didn't want to talk about. It took almost all night for me to get him to calm down and back to sleep."
For the rest of the ride back to the firehouse, everything was quiet as to let Ray sleep. The moment the Ecto-1 pulled into the garage, Peter softly nudged Ray until he began to slowly open his eyes.
"We're at the firehouse Tex," Peter informed Ray. Ray wobbled a little bit as he got out of the vehicle. Peter put Ray's arms around his shoulder while Ray got his balance along with the use of his cane. Peter helped Ray upstairs and into the sleeping quarters where Ray put on his pajamas and slowly climbed into bed. For the rest of the day, Ray slept all the way into the morning of the next day.
Ray woke up to find himself in the in the same dark room. He noticed the open door and attempted to make a break for it. Before he could reach the door, it suddenly slammed shut. Shackles immediately chained Ray to the wall before Peck walked out of the shadows. Peck held a knife in his hand and began to walk towards Ray.
"Please don't hurt me," Ray begged. Sweat was dripping down his face as his adrenaline rushed.
"Well too bad," Peck mockingly replied back. He began to cut Ray's arms before jabbing the knife into Ray's stomach.
Ray suddenly shot up straight in his bed before checking to make sure that he was actually awake. He was now breathing heavily as he look around the sleeping quarters to see the empty beds of his friends. He looked over at the clock beside his bed to see that it was nearly six in morning. With the empty beds, Ray probably figured that the guys had gone out on a call. Shortly before the guys returned to the firehouse, Ray had already gone back to sleep hoping to get what little sleep he could get.
It was around nine o'clock in the morning when Ray walked out the sleeping quarters and into the dining area, which were both located on the second floor. The sound the cane hitting the floorboards alerted the guys that Ray was awake. Peter, Winston, and Egon turned around to see Ray walking into the dining room before sitting down at the table.
"Sleep well last night," Peter asked with a worried voice. He was worried, because he immediately notice the bags underneath Ray's eyes.
"I slept ok," Ray lied to his friend. In fact, he had been plagued with nightmares for most of the night. Ray was about to put some food on a plate when Peter beat it to him. He then looked at Peter and said to him, "I could have done that myself Peter."
"With just one arm," Peter added while reminding Ray about his broken right arm, which was till in the arm sling. "Did you get any sleep last night, because it looks like you didn't." Peter asked him with a worried voice.
"Like I already told you guys," Ray reminded his friends of what he already said. "I did sleep last night." Ray never spoke word after that. Before anyone could change the conversation, the alarm bell went off. Peter, Winston, and Egon jumped up and ran to the firepole. "Wait up guys," Ray told them. "I'm coming too." He began to walk down the stairs when he was stopped by Winston.
"No Ray," Winston replied back. "Dr. Williams said to take it easy and that means not to go on any busts."
"But I..." Ray began to say before being interrupted by Egon.
"Just take it easy," Egon interrupted Ray mid-sentence. "Taking it easy will be the most logical thing to do Ray."
"Call is from 63rd and East," Janine told the guys. After watching the guys hope into Ecto-1, Ray watched as Ecto-1 drove out of the garage. "I know its hard not being able to go out on the busts right now, but..."
"But what," Ray interrupted her. "I feel useless now." He told her. Be then walked back up the stairs and back into the sleeping quarters. As he laid down on his bed, his eyes began to feel heavy as sleep began to take control over him as he started to fall asleep. Unknowingly, Janine had came into the sleeping quarters and propped Ray's right arm up, which was still encased in a long arm cast and arm sling. After that, Ray continued to sleep when he began to stir.
Ray found himself tied to a chair and was drenched with ice water. He shivered as he felt the cold air of the dark room only added to the pain he was feeling. Peck was standing over him with a hose in his left hand.
"Ready to give up you worthless piece of trash," Peck asked him.
"Never," Ray told him. Then next thing he knew was that he was sprayed with a jet stream of water.
"You should," Peck replied back. "Your friends agree with me." Ray immediately noticed Peter, Winston, Egon, and Janine coming towards Ray. Peck cutting the bindings tying Ray to the chair and immediately pushed him to the floor. Ray watched as his friends began kicking him all over his body. When the kicking stopped, Peck grabbed Ray's neck with both hands and began strangling him. "I will haunt you for the rest of your life Stantz and no matter how hard you try, I will always be there to cause you pain."
Ray was gasping for air when he woke up from his nightmare. He was drenched with sweat as he sat up in his bed. He immediately decided to keep himself awake by splashing some water in his face. As he swung his legs over to where they were hanging off the side of his head. Ray then grabbed his cane and stood up. His legs wobbled as he began to feel dizziness overcome him for a few seconds. As he made his way into the bathroom, Ray slowly walked over to the sink where he turned on the faucet. With his left hand, Ray began to splash water in his face. After turning off the faucet, Ray was hit with another wave of dizziness that was worse than the previous one. After drying his face and walked out of the bathroom, Ray felt weak all of sudden. Halfway between the bathroom and bedroom, Ray was hit with the biggest wave of dizziness yet. His legs suddenly began to crumble beneath him as he began to lose consciousness and the world around him went dark.
The guys had just returned to firehouse in Ecto-1. They each had a trap that was steaming as they exited the vehicle. They had yet to unload the packs from the back of the vehicle.
"How did it go guys," Janine asked them.
"We had trouble casting a pesky Class 5 full torso animator," Egon explained.
"How's Ray doing," Winston asked.
"Considering you guys didn't let him go," Janine answered back. "He's been quiet. You'll could have taken him with you and just had him stay in the car."
"But still," Peter added.
Everyone raced upstairs after hearing the thump coming from upstairs. They immediately found Ray lying unconscious on the floor.
"Janine get a wet rag with some ice that we put on his forehead," Peter said to the secretary. As Janine went to grab a rag from the kitchen, the guys had to gently pick up Ray off the floor and carry him to the sleeping quarters. The moment Janine returned with the rag, Peter carefully placed the rag on Ray's forehead and waited as he watched over Ray like an over protective older brother.
Ray slowly began to open his eyes to find himself in his bed with Peter sitting in a chair next to the bed. His head was pounding with pain as he sat up.
"What happened," Ray asked while rubbing the back of his head. "Last thing I remember was that I was going back to the bedroom when I blacked out."
"We found you lying unconscious on the floor," Peter explained to his friend. "How are you feeling?" he asked his friend with a worried voice.
"Besides the headache that I have," Ray answered back in response. "I'm feeling just fine."
"Ray," Peter began to say. "I want you to tell me what Peck did to you. I don't want you to deal with this for the rest of your night."
"Never gonna happen Peter," Ray told his friend with a firm voice.
"The others aren't here," Peter replied back. "Janine went home while Egon and Winston went on call."
"I already told you no," Ray said as he tried to block out what Peter was asking. Tears were starting to form from the corners of his eyes as he tried to forget about what had happened to him at the hands of Walter Peck.
"Why don't you want to talk about what happened," Peter asked as he began to worry when he saw the tears forming from the corners of Ray's eyes. "If you continue to do this, you will find yourself alone one day. I care for you as a brother and you know that Ray. Please, I won't tell the others until you want to tell them."
"Its too painful," Ray replied back. The tears that were forming from the corners of his eyes were now running down his cheeks to his chin.
"Please just tell me about what happened," Peter asked again for the final time.
"Where do you want me to start," Ray then asked upon opening his eyes. Tears still ran down the side of his face as he waited for Peter to respond.
"Just start from the beginning," Peter said to his friend with a calm voice.
"I had just gotten out of the cab in front of the comic book store when Peck kidnapped me," Ray said as he recounted his captivity. "He snuck up behind me and knocked me out and when I woke back up, I was in a dark room tied to a chair. He immediately began to punch me before cutting the ropes that tied me to the chair and put shackles on my wrists and ankles. Peck would dumping a bucket of ice water on me when ever I was about to fall asleep which only made me even more cold in that cold room. He would also drag me over to tub of ice water and dunk my head underneath. He would kick me as well as punch me and sometimes he w...would..." Ray began to breathe heavily as he tried to get the rest of his words out.
"You can do this Ray," Peter reassured his friend as he tried to calm him down.
"He would also beat with a crowbar," Ray continued to say as he continued to recount his captivity and torture at the hands of Walter Peck. "He also strangled me a one point. After a while, I had lost track of time. Peck even made small cuts along my arms. I got little to no food or water during my captivity so I lost some weight because of that. I guess before I went into a coma at the hospital, Peck must have shot me. I remember hearing someone call my name before I lost consciousness. That's all that I remember." He finished recounting the rest of his captivity before letting more tears run down the side of his cheeks. He buried his face into Peter's arms as he cried. "Even in my dreams, he continues to haunt me. He basically used me to try and destroy the Ghostbusters. He did all this too..." He began to say before Peter interrupted him.
"We will help you get through this," Peter interrupted Ray. "All of us, Ray. Whenever you have a nightmare, just talk to me about it. I don't want to see the person I consider anything close to a brother to be afraid of things like nightmares."
"Ok," Ray replied back. Peter then pulled Ray closer to him and gave him a hug. It took a bit before Ray had gotten so tired that he immediately fell asleep. Peter gently propped up Ray's right arm with a pillow. He then covered Ray up before going into the dining room.
It had been nearly a week since Ray had come home from the hospital following his one month of captivity/torture at the hands of Walter Peck and the two weeks that he was in a coma, Ray was still lingering with the trauma of the torture he experiencing. He was confined to the firehouse, but was still able to help with paperwork, calls, and emptying the traps in the containment unit. Ray kept to himself and rarely talked at all nor smiled. It was near the end of the week when the guys decided to talk about Ray.
"Is anyone else worried about Ray besides me," Peter asked Egon and Winston with a. worried voice.
"No you're not only one," Winston replied back. "Ray has been quiet."
"Not to mention that he doesn't get excited when we tell him about any new kinds of ghosts that we encounter," Egon added. "A couple days ago when we encountered those Class 7 full torso animators, he did seem as enthusiastic as he would have been before Peck nearly killed him."
"I'm just glad he is rotting in jail," Winston said to Peter and Egon.
"I bet Ray is going to be mad at us when he gets back from his therapy session," Egon said as he quickly changed the subject of their conversation.
"He didn't seem too happy when we told to take some therapy sessions," Peter implied as they continued to talk about Ray's recovery. "Hope he's doing ok right considering he insisted on going alone.
Ray stepped out of the cab in front of front of the Bellevue Hospital Center. For a moment, Ray almost thought about turning back and get back in the cab. He knew that if he didn't his friends would only make him come all they way back with one of them probably accompanying him. He slowly walked inside with each step, his cane stomped on the hard tile floor as he walked to the office. As walked up to the secretary's desk.
"My name is Ray Stantz," Ray said as he introduced himself to the secretary. "I have an appointment with Dr. Adams."
"Dr. Adams has been waiting for you," the woman replied back. She then pressed a button that buzzed before she spoke over a phone line into the room. "Dr. Adams, I have Mr. Stantz out here."
"Send him in," the voice of Dr. Adams replied back over the phone.
Ray then walked into the office where he found Dr. Adams sitting at his desk.
"Please sit," Dr. Adams said to Ray in a calm and polite voice as he motioned Ray over to a couch. "Its nice to meet you Mr. Stantz. I knew your friend Peter back in high school, which is why Peter recommended me. Where would you like to start, Mr. Stantz?"
"I think I rather head home now," Ray said. He then got up and started to make his way to the door.
"I've talked to many people who have similar experiences to what you went through," Dr. Adams reassured Ray. "One thing that I noticed was that they always never wanted to talk about their traumatic experience. So don't be afraid to talk about what happened. The point of these sessions is to help make things easier for you. Just tell me whatever you like to say."
Ray then walked back over to the couch and sat back down. He began shaking nervously as he tried so hard to forget his captivity once more. "Every night I try to forget about what happened only to see the man who tortured me in my dreams. He still continues to haunt me even when I'm awake."
"Don't let someone like this person keep you afraid all the time," Dr. Adams encouraged him. "I'm saying this, because I've been through your situation when I was in the army. You understand what I'm saying?"
"I understand," Ray answered back.
"I expect you to be back here next week on Saturday," Dr. Adams informed Ray of the days when the therapy sessions would take place.
The guys had just returned to the firehouse only to find Ray passed on the floor. Ray had bags underneath his eyes since his nightmares had started after he had woken up from his coma.
"Lets pick him up slowly guys," said Winston as they helped Ray to his feet. Ray had slightly woken up as the guys hauled him upstairs and into the sleeping quarters. "Who's turn is it to help him into his pajamas?" he then asked Egon and Peter.
"Its Egon's turn tonight," Peter said as he reminded them of the schedule they had set up to help get Ray back to his proper health. Egon stayed behind to help Ray into his constellation pajamas. Ray was soon back to asleep just as he was the way the guys found him. It was halfway into the night when Ray had yet another nightmare.
Peck had the same evil look on his face as he swung a crowbar, which would hit Ray each time. Ray was coughing up blood within the first 10 minutes of being beaten with the crowbar.
"I want you to help me shut down the Ghostbusters rather than destroy them," Peck taunted Ray before kicking him in the stomach.
"Never gonna happen," Ray protested. "I have use left your then," Peck told him and immediately pointed a gun at Ray's head.
Ray awoke immediately back into reality. His breathing was erratic as he checked his surroundings.
"You okay Ray," Peter asked his friend.
"I'm okay," Ray reassured Peter.
"Another nightmare with Peck in it," Peter asked as he was wanting reassure Ray that Peck couldn't hurt him any more.
"What do you think Peter," Ray snapped at him.
"We are all worried about you Ray," Peter worried. "We all notice show you different you have been since you woke up and have come home from the hospital."
"So," Ray retorted back in response. "Ever since Peck tortured, I realized that there isn't anything to smile at. I think should just quit and go back to running my book store."
It had been nearly 3 days since Ray was seen around the firehouse considering the fact that decided to quit and had just reopened Ray's Occult. Peter, Winston, and Egon had just returned from another bust after fighting a Class 3 semi-anchored entity in Central Park. With Ray gone, things weren't the same anymore.
"Its still so hard to believe that Ray just decided to quit being a Ghostbusters," Winston implied. "Ray loved this job."
"Lets just give him time," Peter implied. "Maybe, he could just change his mind and come back." he inferred.
"So who is going to talk to him," Egon asked his colleges.
"I don't know," Peter doubted. "Last time I talked to Ray was when I tried to talk him out of his decision and didn't end well."
"What exactly did he say," Winston wondered.
"He said that he didn't want to talk to any of us ever again," Peter explained them.
"Seems unlikely that he will not talk to anyone that we ask to talk to him," Egon implied.
"I'd say we just wait and see what happens," Winston suggested considering what Ray said to Peter.
Ray stood behind the counter as counted the exact amount of change for a customer buying a book of the rarity of the most famous ghost sightings all over the world.
"Here you go ma'am," Ray told the young woman standing in front of him. Upon handing the woman her change, he watched as the young woman walked out through the front door of the book store. He immediately looked away when he saw Peter enter the store.
"I have nothing to say to you guys," Ray insisted. "I told you guys that my decision is final. The only reason why I still live at the firehouse is because I still have to pay mortgage on that place for the sake of you guys. Don't try to change my mind, because my answer is still no."
"Well we just got word that the new mayor is shutting us down," Peter informed Ray, who had walked into the back room ti search for a specific book. "They are giving us a week to close down."
"Good," Ray arrogantly replied back in response.
"You really have changed Ray," Peter stated. "I can barely recognize you anymore. I guess I should leave then. If you ever need to talk to any of us, don't be afraid to ask."
Ray watched as Peter left the store before looking down at his watch. He then went into the back room to sit down in a chair so that he could relax. He eventually had to get back to work when more customers came in.
Peter had just returned to the firehouse only find smoke filling the air inside. He immediately rushed downstairs to find Egon and Winston trying to fix the containment unit.
"What's happening," Peter asked them.
"The containment unit is shutting down and we can't find the problem," Winston informed him of the situation.
"Somehow all the ghosts within the unit have seemingly vanished," Egon explained. "We should have been alerted to this already, but we weren't."
"You're saying that all the ghosts we caught are there anymore," Peter quickly implied. "What are we going to do about the unit itself."
"Dismantle it," Egon replied back. "We won't be able maintain it after we go out of business. Its the only choice that we have right now."
"Lets get to work then," Winston said as they began to fix the the unit before taking apart.
During the months that followed the Ghostbusters going out of business, Ray had moved back into the firehouse and had decided to have building renrenovated from the bottom up. The basement had been expanded following the removal of the remains of what was once the containment unit. The garage had been renovated as well. Above all the changes around the firehouse, the renovations were the biggest changes. The biggest changes was Ray himself. He never stopped regretting his decision. He rarely took care of himself or spoke to anyone for the years that followed.
"What is it that you wanted to talk to me about Mr. Stantz," Dr. Adams asked him.
"Ever since the Ghostbusters went out of I business," Ray explained. "I've been regretting the fact that I pushed my friends away. I acted so arrogantly when my friend Peter told me that the Ghostbusters were being shut down permanently. I don't know what to do."
"Try to reconnect with your friends," Dr. Adams suggested to Ray. "They are probably waiting to here from you."
"I'll make sure to try," Ray said. After leaving Dr. Adams' office, Ray took a taxi all the way back to the firehouse. Upon arriving back at the firehouse, Ray went upstairs and grabbed can of beer from the fridge on the second floor. After finishing the can of beer, he threw it in the trash, which was overflowing with empty beer cans. Within two minutes, Ray was passed out on the couch with his cane leaning against the side table.
Egon had moved to Buffalo to open up his own lab in the tears following the dismantling of the Ghostbusters. It was early in the year of 2016 when his health began to decline and by February, he found himself lying in a hospital bed.
"Holtzman," Egon weakly said as he got the attention of his lab assistant, who was sitting beside the hospital bed.
"Right here Dr. Spengz," Holtzman replied back.
"You have your bags packed," He asked her.
"Yeah," Holtzman replied.
"I need you to go to New York," Egon informed her. "There is an old friend of mine who needs to be loomed after. His name is Ray Stantz, you find at Ray's Occult Books or at this address." He handed her a piece of paper with an address on it.
"I will make sure to do that," Holtzman replied back. Holtzman looked outside through the window to see rain fall from the sky. Upon glancing back over to Dr. Spengler, she saw his eyes close. Ever since she started working for him, he had treated her as if she were his own daughter. About an hour after leaving the hospital, Holtzman was on her way to the bus station.
"I need a bus ticket on the next bus route to New York City," Holtzman told the man behind the counter. Within an hour, the bus had arrived at the bus station. Holtzman sat in the first empty seat she could find and watched out the window as the bus pulled away from the bus station. She was now saying goodbye to Buffalo and saying hello to a new life in New York City.