ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE
Original Story By Bo Holbrook and Ben King
Adapted by Fritz Baugh
GBI Case File GBNS-2003-21/918
Faintly lit candles gleamed in the oppressive darkness of a deep, twisted cavern.
Night had already swept the world outside, but night was eternal within the tortured bowels of that catacomb. Such a place was perfect for the evil of the world to muster.
Amidst this spot of forever blackness they thronged. Kneeling about an unhallowed symbol resembling an infinity sign they bowed.
Most of them were only children, teenagers. Their garments were uniformly black, with lots of leather and lace (especially, but not only, on the ladies). To a one, all were pale, and most having that paleness augmented by white makeup. If their hair wasn't naturally dark, it was dyed black. And all of the girls--and many of the boys--were wearing black lipstick and nail polish.
Upon the central emblem stood their leader. He was garbed, as they were, in Goth style, but he alone wore a black druidic robe, it's decor accommodating his authority. Red handprints all about his torso, great bone spikes that protruded from his sleeves, and upon his chest he bore the same fiery, red token as the symbol he stood upon.
All motion in the circle came to a sudden halt, and a sudden uniformed chant arose from the entire assembly:
"Verbum ex ille striga!
Their chanting came to a sudden end, but its echo rang on through the cavern and to the outside, then perished into silence. The leader raised his hand (complete with black fingerless glove) and finally spoke to his throng.
"Deathflow...I understand you have something for the circle?" He uttered in a cold monotone. A disciple that knelt immediately before him stood up and took a small stride towards his master.
"We have collected all that is necessary to fulfill our plot, Lord Vega" "Deathflow" (another emaciated Goth kid) said slowly, his voice being much more natural than his master's, "So...like, when can we get the party started?"
Their ringleader emitted a low chuckle, sounding more like a strangled dog making one last attempt to laugh before dying.
"As it has been said, this circle has been gathered to fulfill a vision...a vision of eradication of all those who oppose us, and create a world where the darkness rules the stupid, and we, the chosen, will rule in the name of that darkness." The gaunt boy paused. "Years ago, the usurpers claimed our god, and since that day, it has been our goal to destroy them, and bring about our god's return. He will rule again, making the world we want exist again. It pleases me to hear you say we are finally prepared to make our revenge, but what proof do you have?"
Deathflow turned about. "Hey, Darklust, Bloodpool, let him in, will yah?"
A reedy kid carrying a box was allowed in. He only looked flush compared to the Goth-painted group, and that wasn't by much. He had greasy hair, thick glasses, and was wearing a blue t-shirt. His face's expression was fearful, and his beady eyes darted in all directions. As he was hurried along towards the ring the sound of glass and other unknown paraphernalia was heard rattling inside his parcel. He was soon conveyed to the circle's edge, and suddenly was forced inside it. The boy stumbled a bit, then looked up and he saw the ringleader standing before him. He whimpered a bit then swallowed hard.
Lord Vega sneered at the stunted youth before him. "What is this?"
"The instrument of our revenge, my lord," said Deathflow.
"You must be joking," he breathed, "How can this little whelp be the tool of our uprising?" Vega bent slightly, then peeled open the top of the boy's box. "What have you got in here, my lad?"
"Y-y-you guys needed s-s-someone to build you a bomb, right?" stammered the boy. The dark lord observed the contents of the box. It contained many vials of various chemicals, a couple of fuse boxes, and a various electrical components. Lord Vega grabbed a sheaf of notes from inside the box. "I h-h-heard you guys were involved with something big," explained the youth, "and I was hoping I could be a part of it."
"This is my friend, Billy," said Deathflow, "he is the one who got us all of these items, and he also agreed to build the bombs for us."
Lord Vega peered up at Billy from over the notes. "What is this paper?" he asked.
"Oh, those are my instructions," said Billy, "I wrote them in case I forgot something while constructing these things. I tend to be a l-little absent minded at times."
"How thorough are they?" Lord Vega asked.
"Step by step, I like to be as thorough as I can. I am kind of a perfectionist when it comes to demolition."
"Well, I suppose we won't be needing you then, will we?" Lord Vega said blithely.
Before Billy realized what he meant by that it was too late. A knife flashed from Lord Vega's hand, plunging into poor Billy's throat. The doomed youth attempted to scream, but no such utterance could be made. Billy looked over at his friend with desperate eyes.
Deathflow could only watch on in silent, discrete horror as the life was squeezed out of his companion. Blood trickled and spurted from Billy's wounds, and it sizzled into brown vapor as it pattered down upon the emblem beneath his feet.
The boy gave his final gasps, and soon he perished. The box he carried fell to floor with him. Some of the items inside were set loose about floor, but all was intact.
"Take the remains of this insignificant wretch and dispose of it in the sepulcher," Lord Vega commanded.
Two disciples swiftly came and conveyed Billy's corpse into some dark, unknown tunnel.
Lord Vega gathered the rogue items and put them neatly back inside the box. He picked it up and held it out to the disciple who had brought Billy to his demise. "Let that be a reminder," he said to him callously, "of what happens when you allow any untrustworthy outsiders into this place. We cannot allow knowledge of this circle leak to any who are not worthy of it. Don't look so mournful, just feel fortunate that we do not execute you next."
Deathflow peered down at the cardboard container. "I understand," he said, trying his best to conceal the sorrow that was swelling inside him. He took the parcel, its weight seeming much heavier than it should.
"You hold the fate of the world in your hands, try act a little more enthused for me, will you?" Lord Vega admonished. "Now get to work. Soon we shall end the lives of the non believers! Soon we shall have our revenge! Soon eternal darkness will reign in this world, and our kind will flourish once again!"
Deathflow nodded and feigned a smile.
September 18, 2003
Ghostbusters Omnibus Timeline Year Twenty One
A phone began ringing in the large, gloomy room.
"Hold on." He grumbled as he strode across the tiles to the desk and the telephone.
"Ghostbusters: Nightsquad, When the Ghostbusters are sleeping our pagers are beeping." He stifled a yawn as he spoke into the phone.
"Wide awake on the job eh?" The voice on the other end of the line commented with humour.
"Ray?" He spoke into the receiver.
"Yeah. How are you kids doing?"
"Fine, the jobs have gone from good to bad to good again, but we're managing." Bo said as he pulled yesterday's date off of the calendar.
"I'm glad to hear that, I'm sorry we had to dump our caseloads on you but with this conference would have been difficult to do the busts." Ray joked.
"Yeah, it's only California, just down the block." Bo joked. "So when do we get to see this palatial mansion Venkman claims to have, anyway?"
"Oh, it's definitely there, Bo." Ray chuckled back. "It's the first time Eric or the Twins have been here, though, and they keep getting lost. We keep finding them quick because, well, you never know what John and Eden will cook up if they're left unattended for more than ten minutes."
"If I hear any stories about explosions in Beverly Hills, I'll keep that in mind." Bo chuckled.
Ray Stantz, as well as the other long-time members of Ghostbusters New York (and their families), were in California, attending a paranormal enthusiast convention. They were also, in theory, visiting one of Ghostbusters International's newer franchises, the Ghostbusters West Coast (which had just become active in May of that year)
"Jen looking after Egon's experiments?" Ray asked.
"What do you think?" Bo asked sacrastically.
Ray laughed. "I know, I know, dumb question. She is a Spengler, after all." Ray noted with humour.
"Was there anything else?" Bo asked.
"Not really. You got to meet the guys from LA yet?" Ray replied.
"Not yet. I understand one of them was just here a few weeks ago, and I didn't get to meet him then, either. What's the matter, Ray? Afraid I'll scare'em out of GBI?" Bo asked with a bit of mischief in his voice.
"Well..." Ray replied, mocking indecisiveness about his answer.
"Yeah, that's what I thought." Bo asked as he leaned back in the chair. "So how's the whole shebang going, anyway?"
"It's going well, better then we expected. I just can't get over how young they are compared to when we started out. If we have the same number of new teams next year then we could be talking about a nation-wide business." Ray said.
"Then they'd have to declare us as the fourth emergency service." Bo joked.
Ray laughed. " Well, I've got to go, Bo--since the Missus is here, gonna spend some time with her while I can. Tell the others I said 'Hi' and all. Oh, and Egon says that the ectoplasmic residue resequencizer is set one level too high, so could you pass that onto Jen?"
"Sure, will do." Bo nodded.
"Well, if there's nothing you need to pass on the I guess I'll see you kids when we get back next Monday." Ray said.
"Just one thing, tell Venkman to wash his slimy jumpsuits before he leaves town, we had to buy a whole box of car fresheners to kill that smell." Bo joked.
"I'll tell him." Ray laughed and hung up.
Bo sighed and placed the receiver in it's cradle. He looked across at the ECTO-1X, his reflection was distorted in the curved surface of the car's windscreen. He stood up from the desk and walked over to the wooden doors at the front of the Firehouse. He pushed the smaller portal open and breathed in the cool Brooklyn night air. He sighed again and closed the door, for once he had everything he wanted: friends, a job and fame. Just as he was reaching for the lights, the phone began ringing.
"Dammit." Bo muttered angrily and walked over to the phone.
"Ghostbusters: Nightsquad, when the Ghostbusters are sleeping our pagers are beeping." Bo repeated, the phrase drilled into his head.
"I'd like to hire your services for tomorrow." The voice said.
"Okay, what's your name and address?" Bo asked as he looked for a notepad.
"I'd rather stay anonymous for now, I live at 237 Greymalkin Lane in Westchester." The voice said.
"Westchester? We'll have to do that in the afternoon as we're expecting some important business tomorrow morning."
"Very well." The voice said.
"See you tomorrow sir." Bo said.
"Yes, see you there." Bo placed the phone back down and finished scribbling down the details. Just to make sure they wouldn't be disturbed tonight, he switched on the answerphone and turned off the office lights, he then paused on the staircase to take a glance at the room, the ECTO-1X's eccentric roof design was highlighted in a combination of the neon sign and moonlight.
"Pain in the ass..." Bo muttered.
"I was eating a gyro sandwich walking down 8th Avenue, when a young'un came up to me, and said 'Brother you got something I can chew?'. Well I kept walking along, trying to make up a song about what to do, town now city nights and the Broadway lights are like a dream come true...
Good old New York!, New York!, so good they named it twice! New York! New York! All the scandal and advice! I love it! New York!, New York!, now isn't it a pity? What's the saying about New York City? New York, New York , New York, New York..."
The radio played out the song as Bo directed the ECTO-1X towards Hook and Ladder 8, it was midday but there was a strange mist that had covered the Greater New York area that morning.
"Well, now that we've got the nostalgia over with, let's go to the phones. And here's our first caller!" The DJ announced. The Firehouse was dead ahead, so Bo turned the radio off, he could see a few people moving about by the front doors. He pulled the large car onto the curbside and turned off the engine; he then stepped out of the car, locked it and approached the two teenagers in dark clothes standing outside the black double doors.
Damn Goth douche bags Bo grumbled to himself "Hey, what are you doing here?" The two kids looked up and him and started to run. "Hey!" Bo shouted and started to pursue them, but as soon as he turned the corner he stopped dead in his tracks, they were both gone. "Weird." He muttered and walked back to the entrance to the station.
"I'm pretty sure that's not how you do that..." he heard a low voice say in critical tones.
"Hey, Ghoul Boy..." another male voice, soaked in a Spanish accent, replied with annoyance. "I been bustin' ghosts for six years, you ain't even got six months, so shut up. I know what I'm doin'..."
Bo walked up to the desk. Eduardo Rivera was standing there, messing with a ghost trap. "Hey, Sanchez, you're putting the plug in backwards." he said nonchalantly.
"Told you." the other guy there said. He looked to be somewhere in between Bo and Eduardo's ages, with long dark hair and a goatee. His skin was pale, and he was dressed casually.
Bo snorted. "Those two Goth douche bags I chased away friends of yours?" he asked the pale man.
The pale guy shook his head. "All my friends are in Pennsylvania or LA." He gave Bo a quizzical stare. "You gotta be Bo Holbrook--Ron warned me about you."
Bo raised an eyebrow. "Ron Daniels? You're one of the newbies Dirty Sanchez here is baby-sitting?"
Eduardo said something in Spanish that, were it translated into English, would be unprintable. "I think I stuck the damn thing..." Eddie mumbled. "Hey!!! Roland!!! I need some help, here!!!" he shouted as he walked up the steps, still messing with the trap.
"No kidding." the pale guy rolled his eyes. "He named his baby Conchita--I still can't believe that." He reached out to shake Bo's hand. "Dr. Jeff Nash, Ghostbusters West Coast South Team."
As Ray had reminded Bo earlier, as a sort of "exchange" for the senior members of Ghostbusters New York being in California, two members of the GBWC had been sent to New York City during the conference.
"I, as you have already guessed, am the authentic, one and only, Legend." Bo replied, returning the handshake. He normally had a pretty good instinct for people, and his instinct was telling him this guy was someone he could probably get to like.
"The pictures don't do you justice." Jeff quipped. "No wonder you're the only guy who can beat Ron in the Pie Eating Contests at the GBI picnic..."
"I like pie." Bo retorted amiably. "What you think of the Big Apple?"
"It's...different." Jeff admitted. "Whole different vibe from LA. Fritz's been here before..."
" 'Fritz'?" Bo asked. "That the other guy from LA?"
"Yeah." Jeff answered. "Dr. Fritz Baugh-- North Team, Official Historian. He handles all the Spengler stuff in our outfit. Including romancing the secretary."
Bo laughed. "Separation anxieties...wasn't he one of the ones who was just here like a week ago?"
Jeff nodded. "Yeah. He was practically on the plane back when Venkman called and told him to stay in Manhattan...he wasn't real happy. Not here right now, though--Belmont from Arcane Division swooped in and drug him off."
"Poor, poor man..." Bo rolled his eyes. Just then, the phone rang.
Roland Jackson ran down the stairs. Unlike Eduardo, he was dressed in a standard tan Ghostbuster flight suit, complete with name tag reading "JACKSON" He grabbed the phone. "Ghostbusters...yes Ma'am. We'll be right there." He scrawled some notes down. "We'll be right there." He set down the phone and hit the button adorning the desk normally occupied by Janine Spengler.
"Madre Dios!!!" Eduardo cried, sliding down the fire pole, Kylie Griffin close behind. Within moments, the door to the firehouse's small elevator opened to admit Garrett Miller to the garage.
"Got a call on Staten Island." Roland told them, pretending not to notice the dirty looks and rude gestures Garrett and Bo were giving each other. "Jeff, think you can hold things down here?"
"Not a problem." Jeff replied simply.
"And if there are any more calls, I can get them." Bo added.
"Lord help us..." Garrett mumbled.
"Garrett..." Roland admonished.
A few moments later, the ECTO-1 had fired up and roared out of the firehouse.
"So you just here to pick fights?' Jeff asked.
"I still can't believe the Professor lets a guy in a wheel chair be a Ghostbuster..." Bo replied. "Actually, I'm here to pick up Slimer--he's supposed to participate in a little experiment Jen's running for her uncle..."
Then someone started knocking on the door. "Is...is anybody here? I just saw the Ghostbuster leave and I was worried that I missed them..."
"You did." Jeff replied.
"Great, so who do I go to to get rid of my ghost?" The man asked.
"You could try Ghostbusters: Nightsquad over in Brooklyn." Bo said deadpan. "I can even take you there." Bo said. "That's my car outside--the big black one?"
"You're telling me you're one of those Nightservice?" The man stumbled.
"NightSQUAD." Bo retorted.
"Stay cool, Holbrook." Jeff waved, as he and the customer walked outside.
"You too, Nash." Bo nodded.
Outside, Bo opened the ECTO-1X's doors, and directed the customer to get inside.
"Buckle up." Bo said.
"What?" The man asked, before he got a reply Bo threw the car into the mid day traffic. "Slow down! Slow down!" The man gripped onto the dashboard, his knuckles had turned white.
"Didn't catch your name." Bo said, he was accustomed to his own driving style.
"Web...Webster, John Webster." He shuddered as a checker cab shot by.
"What do you need us for?" Bo asked as he shot through a intersection just as the light changed from green to red.
"I've...I've got a ghost problem." He held onto the dashboard for dear life.
"No shit Sherlock, what type of ghost?" Bo asked as he eventually got the car onto the Brooklyn Bridge.
"I don't know! Moves things about, hides things, writes on the walls." The man shouted in panic.
"Sounds like you've got yourself a poltergeist. We're doing a special on those this week." Bo said as he pulled the car off the bridge and down into the suburbs of Brooklyn.
Oh Shit. I forgot Slimer. Bo realized.
Brooklyn, New York
"So Chere, are you seeing anyone?" The man asked in a Cajun accent. Jen Spengler wore an expression of annoyance at the man as she glanced at him from her notemaking. He had been walking along the street, glanced in the open customer door and crossed over to her.
"Yes Actually." She replied in a cold tone, giving him the same look her uncle reserved for spoiled fungus samples.
"Ah well P'tite, me t'ink you have a good man." The man said as he flipped a card in his hand, it was the Jack of Hearts.
"He is a very good man."
"'Ow long have you been working for de Ghos'busders?" His cajun accent broke "Ghostbusters" into two words.
"About six years." She said as she turned back to here work.
"Dat so? Don't it get boring when you 'ave not'ing to do?"
"It never gets boring." She said, as if to prove her point the doors of the Firehouse opened quickly and the ECTO-1X thundered in, skidding to a halt only inches from the Cajun masher's leg. He looked down at the fender, frowned and looked one last time at Jen before leaving.
"Well P'tite, me tink it never get boring here no?" He asked as he walked towards the door.
"Never." She said, she head the door close quietly while Bo got out of the car.
"Who the fuck was that?" He asked, as he closed his door, a note of jealousy had crept into his voice.
"Just some Cajun from upstate, no need to worry yourself." She said as she put the clipboard down, she glanced at the man as he tenderly got himself out of the passenger seat, he was shaking like a leaf. "Bo? Didn't we discuss how fast you drive when we had a customer in the car?" She asked.
"I kept it under 70." Bo shrugged.
"Hi, I'm Jen Spengler, I trust that my colleague hasn't hurt you in any way?" She sideglanced Bo before she walked over to the man.
"I'll live." He said.
"What can Nightsquad do for you?" She asked.
"I believe that your colleague has already diagnosed my problem." He said, Jen raised her eyebrows and turned to Bo, he shrugged and simply said:
"Well, we usually need a 24 hour preparation time, how badly are they affecting you?" Jen asked.
"They keep moving around my furniture. They've scared away my little girl's nanny and they make a mess of the kitchen." The man said.
"Do you have a teenager in your household?" Jen asked. The man looked surprised and then he replied:
"Yes...why?" The man asked.
"Sometimes poltergeist like activity is caused by heightened emotion stress if a member of a family is going through that period of their life. Try to talk to them, smooth over what happened, that should cause the activity to stop, if however it continues then don't fail to call us," Jen reached over Bo's desk and picked up one of the business cards, she then handed it to the man, "Between 6AM and 6PM the answering machine is switched on."
"Thanks." The man nodded towards both of them and left, once he closed the door Bo walked up behind Jen and wrapped his arms around her.
"What would I ever do without you?" He asked with a grin.
"Become a slob." She said affectionately, they shared the embrace and then kissed.
"If you're gonna do that then get a room and spare the rest of us from the public spectacle." "Ecto" Ernie Slaughter replied dryly as he crossed the garage.
"He's only jealous because he can't get a date." Bo smirked, not letting go of Jen.
"Hey, Lori's actually talking to me this week, so shut up." Ernie said matter-of-factly.
"Can I?" Bo asked quietly.
"Just this once." Jen smiled as she rolled her eyes. Bo picked up a beercan from his desk. The pitch might not have gotten him a tryout with the Yankees, but it sent the can sailing through the air, bouncing squarely off of Ernie's head.
After stumbling from the shock, he turned abruptly to Bo. "You!" He said with a voice that sounded like it was possessed.
"Uh-oh." Bo breathed.
"I think he's finally snapped." Jen said, she turned to face Bo. "You'd better run." He nodded and started off towards the staircase, followed by Ernie.
"PREPARE TO DIE HOLBROOK!" Ernie shouted as he chased after Bo. Jen watched as they ran up the stairs.
"You two stop it, agghh!" Ian "Shades" McPherson screamed; there was a mighty crash upstairs and Jen shook her head.
"Boys." She said and walked over to the customer door, stood in the small alcove. She breathed in some of the cool air and sighed. She had her place. She looked at the closed down store across the street and frowned, she thought she could see faces watching her in the window. But as soon as he walked towards the store the faces disappeared. When she walked back, she saw what could have been mistaken for a face, though she swore she had seen a pair of faces. Something fluttered on a building next to the store, Jen walked over and pulled the piece of paper from a nail. It read:
"The day the dream ends, is a day for much rejoicing."
Jen frowned at the paper and began to stuff it into her pocket, she paused, there was a second line of text written on the bottom of the page in smaller font.
"Verbum ex ille striga?" Jen frowned and folded the paper and placed it in her pocket.
The sun was setting and the first lights were appearing in the New York skyline. Jen looked to where, only two years before, the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center stood. It brought back more than one memory...the general fear and horror surrounding that day. The more personal fear that had gripped her upon learning that her uncle had been attending a conference that fateful day...
She pushed that thought from her mind. Egon was safe, no more worse for the wear than the times he'd been blasted into other dimensions or possessed.
Jen had taken up going up to the roof and simply staring at the skyline as a way to sort her thoughts. If they were in a real jumble, she sat on the ledge with a coat over her flight suit. Nearby, a siren started to wail and she could just see red and white flashing nearby. Jen barely noticed the sound of the elevator and the door sliding open. She registered a pair of boots crunch on the light layer of gravel that covered the roof.
"Jen?" It was Bo, he had a leather jacket over his flight suit; like her, a small cloud of condensation rose from his lips and dispersed into the pre-autumn sky.
"Yes Bo?" She turned to face him.
"Why are you cooped up here?" He asked.
"Thinking." She said, he crossed the roof and sat down on the ledge next to her.
"I knew that much," He said sarcastically. "Anything particular?" He asked.
"Just how things are, had a different set of events happened, I might be stuck in a lab somewhere." She gestured at the skyline. "Or how you might have gone on as a mechanic, repairing vehicles and never even given the slightest chance of inventing something of your own."
"Yeah, but things aren't like that."
"It's just sobering to think now and again," She turned to face him, "What could have happened to us, had we not been in the right places at the right times on that Thanksgiving Day?"
"Frankly my dear, I couldn't give a fuck." Bo said in a bad impression of Clark Gable and he leaned over to hug her, she leaned towards him to accept the hug, and they remained like that for nearly half an hour before they finally decided to go back indoors.
The Morning of September 19th
Bo stood up from his desk. The grey light from the dawn was flooding into the garage of the Nightsquad Firehouse; he stretched his arms and yawned--having slept six hours the previous night he thought he'd be more awake, but no such luck.
The rest of the team was still asleep so he'd decided he'd man the office in case someone decided to call. No-one did.
He reached forward and picked an invoice that had been placed on the desk a few days before, it was a fax from Professor Spengler. He had requested that Nightsquad test out a new piece of equipment that he'd been working on. The device, in theory, would allow a Ghostbuster to hold a ghost in a type of suspended animation. However the machine was still in theory, and hadn't been tested when the original Ghostbusters had gone on the conference.
Bo smirked with satisfaction to himself. Egon wants US to test this thing. Not Dirty Sanchez and Wheelchair Boy. US.
Egon had already told them to use Slimer in the test--the reason Bo'd visited Ghostbusters Central the day before (and forgot about). Bo relaxed in his chair, he leaning up momentarily to switch on the nearby radio.
"It's 7:53 and it's time for the news update, let's go to Arnie in the traffic copter..."
"Well Mike, it's already starting to get bad on 5th Avenue, traffic is slow due to a burst water main, there's some construction work on the FDR which has traffic backed up for several blocks. Traffic in most areas is moving smoothly and quickly." The traffic reporter said.
"Thanks Arnie, and now for the weather...a cold front is slowly moving in from the North Atlantic, you better take a sweater with you when you go out to work today because by mid-afternoon there's gonna be a real chill in the air. And now the news..." The DJ announced.
"Thanks Mike, today NYPD officials were left baffled when thieves broke into a chemical lab and stole reasonably harmless chemicals..."
"Wait, 'reasonably harmless'?" The DJ asked in surprise. "We gonna have to call Homeland Security on this or something?"
"Well, potentially the chemicals could be used for explosives, but not on their own."
"Sounds like something my ex-wife would do, and if you're listening Sheryl, Mikey loves you..." The DJ joked.
"Ouch...And in local news, the Ghostbuster franchise called 'Nightsquad' has had yet another success, fighting and trapping a pesky ghost that was wreaking havoc in Macy's."
"That's the thing Daryl, no-one seems to give the Ghostbusters any slack...but then again, if I dressed like that, I wouldn't be given any either...here's one for you boys in grey..." The DJ announced.
"If there's something strange, in your neighbourhood. Who ya gonna call? GHOSTBUSTERS! If there's something weir..." Bo shut of the radio. He smirked as a idea formed in his mind...he reached forward for the small switch on his desk that activated the alarm, he picked it up and held it in his hand.
Should I? Or should I let them sleep in? He thought. He then grinned maliciously and pressed the metal button on the switch down. Suddenly the bell began to ring loudly in the small Firehouse. Eventually three very tired looking Ghostbusters, in disheveled jumpsuits slid down the firepole and ran to the ECTO-1X, once they found that Bo wasn't in the driver's seat they walked into his office.
"Is it a call?" Ernie asked, still half asleep.
"No." Bo said bluntly.
"An intruding demon?" Jen asked.
"No." Bo said again.
"The apocalypse?" Shades asked.
"Double no." Bo said. They suddenly looked at each other and took on an aggressive pose.
"Then what the hell is it?" Ernie asked.
"You woke us up at," Ernie looked at his watch to make sure, "8 in the morning for a weapon test?" He nearly shrieked.
"Yes." Bo replied bluntly.
"Then why didn't you say so? Most of us would have got up early anyway." Shades retorted, Ernie threw him an accusing glance.
"Meh." Bo shrugged and got up. "We need to grab something from Uncle Egon's shack first..."
"Oh! Is it the Ectoplasmic Stasis Field?" Jen asked, her eyes brightening. "Uncle Egon's been talking about it for weeks!" She grinned from ear to ear. "He asked us to test it before he left." Then a mischievous glint came to her. "Which we would've done yesterday if someone hadn't forgotten the test subject."
"Yes, Sweetie, and I apologized for that already." Bo said, a look of amusement appeared on both Ernie and Shades' faces, but a mean glare from Bo immediately wiped it out. "We're leaving for the GBHQ in 20, make sure you've got your breakfast as we have a call out in Westchester to go to after the test." The three other Ghostbusters nodded in agreement and left.
"Ectoplasmic..." Ernie began.
"Ectoplasmic Stasis Field, or ESF. Uncle Egon had a theory that a device could be created that could contain a ghost without it being able to escape and it not being a ghost trap. It works along the same lines as a confinement stream, it's just that most of his previous tests failed." Jen explained.
"Why's that?" Shades asked.
"Mainly two reasons. The first that the device didn't have enough power...second, the device's field fluctuated too much and it would explode." Jen explained, both Shades and Ernie stared at her with wide eyes. "Oh don't worry, they tested it on open ground, it only destroyed a space the size of the Firehouse."
"Our Firehouse?" Ernie said in shock.
"No, the Ghostbusters' Firehouse." Jen replied as she walked upstairs.
"Why is it that we have to be in a business where half of the equipment either blows up, blows stuff up or sets things on fire?" Ernie asked.
"It's more fun that way." Shades replied as he shrugged and followed Jen; a few moments later Bo also joined them for breakfast.
"Okay, I'm booting up the primary generator." Jen said as she flicked a switch on a box the size of a shoe box. The device began to hum loudly, Jen then ran across the wide parking lot to the others who were placed strategically behind a wall, a pair of wires leading from the device disapeared over the wall. Jen neared the wall and vaulted over it. Ernie and Shades had their eyes scrunched shut while Bo simply watched with curiosity.
Slimer, the Ghostbusters' first catch back in 1983, and later their long-time mascot, was floating nearby. Bo looked at him with a bit of amusement...he was a little drippy, and smelled like rotton onions, but certainly nothing to provoke the legendary disdain Venkman had for him. Of course, he didn't spend every day for years sliming me, so maybe I'm biased.
"Okay Slimer, you see that box over there?" He pointed at the box that hummed and that several lights blinked on. Slimer looked towards it and turned back, and nodded as he babbled something acknowledging. "Well Slimer, I want you to fly towards the box, once the field is activated I want you to try your best to break free, you got it?" Bo asked.
Slimer saluted, babbled something that sounded vaguely like "Roger!", hugged Bo, then zoomed of towards the device.
"Eww, he slimed him." Ernie commented.
Slimer stopped half way. He looked confused. And started to babble nervously and slowly float back.
"Back-up plan." Jen said simply. Shades pulled a piece of fried chicken out of a paper bag and handed it to Bo, who hurled it over to the ESF.
"Ready...power source at 98...99...100%!" Jen shouted as she pressed several switches on the panel attached to the wires that led from the ESF. Slimer was contentedly eating the bait. "Goggles!" Jen shouted. Once everyone's eye protection was in place, she hit the final activation button.
As Nightsquad watched, a field of crisscrossed proton beams was created and steadied, Slimer pushed and pulled, but he couldn't break out of the field.
Jen watched the control panel, and exclaimed excitedly "It works! The ESF works!"
Suddenly, a small cloud of smoke started to pour out of the device and a red warning light on both it and the panel flashed rapidly. "What?! Everyone duck..."
She was interrupted as the device shook, and vanished in a huge yellow fireball that lit up the still gloomy lot. The wall in front of them shook as the shockwave hit it, a few seconds after the fireball ended, the chunks of parking lot rained down on them.
Once the chunks stopped raining, they looked over the wall and collectively gasped. Where the device had sat was indeed a Firehouse sized hole, a pair of charred black, smoking wires ran into the hole.
Several green splatters littering the blast crater blurped together back into Slimer, who nevertheless looked singed.
"Slimer?" Ernie asked as the ghost floated back over to them.
Slimer then started to shout gibberish at them and then stuck his tongue out, splattering them with ectoplasmic spit. "I'm sorry Slimer." Jen said.
"What the hell happened? It was working fine." Bo asked.
"The field er...burnt out the safety and overloaded." Jen grinned sheepishly.
"We could have been killed!" Ernie protested.
"No, I chose our positioning according to Uncle Egon's specifications, though according to his notes they never even got as far as seeing the field before it self destructed." Jen admitted, then stopped to jot down a couple of notes.
"Perfecting the art of slum clearance in the name of science." Ernie grinned. Both Shades and Bo whacked him on the back of the neck while Slimer tossed a slimeball at him. "Aghhh! I've been slimed!" He collapsed back. Bo looked at the hole and saw a small trail of smoke rising from the crater.
"Do you think anyone will notice?" He asked.
"What? In New York? Pieces of the city are getting blown up every week, forget about it." Shades said. "Besides, I thought people knew about the risks of property damage when we're around?" He grinned.
"I guess it's back to the drawing board for Uncle Egon." Jen said as she pocketed the notebook. She mused as, a few minutes later, the ECTO-1X, the remains of the equipment stowed away, was heading back to the Firehouse. "Well, we know that the ESF does in fact work, we just need to alter it slightly so that the safety circuit doesn't burn out, a few resistors should fix that. Uncle Egon built several in case a few blew and he needed to alter it." Jen explained.
"We have more of those table-sized nukes?!" Ernie shouted.
"Shut up Ernie, it's not like they're that much more dangerous then the one you wear on your back every day." Shades explained.
"Yeah...real positive thinking." Ernie fumed and sat back in his seat quickly. They eventually arrived at the old Firehouse and Bo stopped the car.
"Alright Slimer, you can go home. Good job." Bo said, handing Slimer a small box of doughnuts.
After devouring the doughnuts, Slimer phased through the side of the car and went into the building, pausing briefly to wave at Nightsquad. Then he phased through the door, leaving a trail of slime.
"Yuck. Bo, you better wash this window when we get home." Shades said.
That Afternoon (September 19th)
"So," Shades began while he leaned over the front seat to talk to Bo and Jen, "What have we got?" He asked with a eager grin.
The ECTO-1X was roaring down the highway. Concrete dividers and green highway signs flashed past as it drove deeper and deeper into New York State; the thick woods on either side made the view far different than the one they usually got.
"That's the weird thing, all the customer gave was the address, no indication as to what we have to bust." Jen said, recounting what Bo had told her.
"Oh." Shades replied, looking downtrodden. "Kinda weird though, usually they give us their name or vague description. Oh well." Shades dropped the subject as a green sign approached. "Salem Centre, 10 miles."
The ECTO-1X pulled into the quaint town of Salem Center. The town had cafes, two story offices, a few shops and boutiques, but mostly housing. Wrought-iron streetlamps flagged the roads and there was more greenery then in Downtown Manhattan.
"So what are we looking for again?" Shades asked.
"237 Greymalkin Lane." Bo replied, getting angrier. "Thing is, I can't find the fucking thing..."
Finally, after an hour of wandering around, Jen forced Bo to pull the car into a Krazy's, and she called Ghostbusters Central. She was surprised that a voice she didn't recognize answered.
"Er..who is this?" Jen asked, suspiciously.
"Who is this?" the voice replied.
"My name is Jen Spengler--I'm with Ghostbusters Nightsquad. Is Roland Jackson there?"
"Nightsquad? I met Bo yesterday--Jeff Nash, West Coast Division." the voice chuckled. "I can get him--what you need?"
"Maybe you can help--get on Mapquest and find this damn place we're looking for for the call. Salem Center, Westchester...237 Greymalkin Lane."
There was a long silence.
"237 Greymalkin Lane?" Jeff finally replied, a distinct amusement showing in his voice. "It doesn't exist--that's the address of Xavier's School for the Gifted in the X-Men comics. You've been pranked."
"Pranked?!" she said angrily. "Are you certain of this?!"
"Jen, I run a comic shop in what spare time I have. Trust me on this one."
Bo looked ready to throw his Clownburger when Jen reported her findings.
"Something's rotten in the state of Denmark." Shades said.
"Well that was good." Ernie commented as he pushed his food tray forward. "The Mystery Clown Spices do it again..."
"You eat like a horse." Shades retorted as he finished his soda. "So who do we bill?" He asked.
"Preferably we find the asshole who sent us on this wild goose chase and make him pay." Bo muttered.
"Unfortunately, the Ghostbusters do get the occasional prank call." Jen said with a sigh, as they got back into the ECTO-1X and drove off.
"Yeah but to get us out this far? If anything they would maybe have been calling us to a local place, unless..." Ernie started to say.
"Unless they wanted us away from HQ." Shades finished.
"Drive faster, Bo." Jen said simply.
Based on Ghostbusters Created by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis
Extreme Ghostbusters Created by Fil Barlow
Ghostbusters West Coast Division Created by Andy Harness and Vincent Belmont