From the files of Dr. Fritz V. Baugh, Official Historian
Additional material by Jeremy Hicks, GBWC North Team
GBI Case File No. GBWC-2004-22/100
From the files of Dr. Fritz V. Baugh, Official Historian
Additional material by Jeremy Hicks, GBWC North Team
GBI Case File No. GBWC-2004-22/100
Twelve brave (or is it foolish? Perhaps both...) men now strode through the corridors of the mysterious construct. They had just ditched the flimsy plastic raincoats that had protected them (theoretically) from the torrential downpour outside (though a couple of them had wrung out the water as best they could, carefully folded them back up, and placed them back into their utility belts).
All twelve were dressed in flight suits of identical cut, and all were stylized to have their last names emblazoned on patches on their left chests.
All but one was a member of the Ghostbusters West Coast Division
Williams, Joey--Parapsychologist. The CEO of the GBWC
Venkman, Peter--Parapsychologist and Psychologist. One of the famous founders of Ghostbusters International, and backer of the GBWC. It was not his usual place to go into action with this team, but the crisis was just that big...
Stevens, Kyle--Medical Doctor. One of the leaders of the group.
Lipsyte, John--A budding Latent Psychic.
Kong, Peter--Former animator, and inheritor of a ghost busting legacy of his own.
Hicks, Jeremy--Jack of all trades.
Harness, Andy--veteran Ghostbuster who splits his time as CEO of the East Tennessee franchise.
Griffiths,Robert--Engineer. One of the more sensible members of the group.
Daniels, Ron--Parapsycholgist. Leader of the short-lived NOMAD team, now the GBWC's "Mobile Agent"
Nash,Jeff--Occultist. Harness likes to call him "Mister Creepy"
Chad,Micheal--Former game designer and all around good luck charm. Nicknamed "Mister Clutch"
Baugh,Fritz--Physicist. Considered by most the brains of the outfit.
Their flight suits were of an identical khaki tan color except Venkman's--he was wearing his familiar brown flight suit with greenish-blue trim on the cuffs and collar. Venkman and Chad's pant legs weren't tucked into their boots either. The familiar "no-ghost" logo was on everyone's right shoulders, though only Venkman's had the legendary red circle and slash--the rest had the design in neon orange. In a move unusual for all of them save Jeff, Jeremy, and Robert, all were wearing the GBI standard black heavy work gloves.
All but Jeff wore identical work boots. Jeff was the also the only one not bearing a Mark 4 Proton Pack, the latest version of the ubiquitous Ghostbusting weapon (and greatly resembling the same design Venkman's comrades Stantz and Spengler devised back in 1983). Jeff instead weilded a smaller weapon of his own recent design, the Proton Rail Gun
Ron and Robert each had a set of Ecto Goggles perched atop his head.
All had their weapons drawn except Fritz, who was studying a small device that looked like an amped up pocket calculator with a couple of blinking swing-arms at the side--the Model 3.0 of the PKE meter.
"Are you actually able to pick up anything on that?" Joey asked. "I'd think a place like this would fry its circuits like a doughnut at Krispy Kreme..."
"I've had to turn the PK energy level sensors completely off." Fritz responded. "Right now, only the movement of PKE flow is being tracked--which will hopefully give us some warning should we run into...company."
"And there's always company." Ron helpfully added.
"You know my ancestors kicked the Egyptians' ass once?" Jeremy asked John.
"I looked it up: my name Hicks is derived from 'Hyksos'...who invaded Egypt and ran it for like a couple of centuries."
"What the bloody hell does that have to do with this?" Robert asked.
"Nothing" Jeremy shrugged. "Just trying to make some small talk...break the tension..."
Fritz's eyebrows moved closer together.
"I've seen that look on Egon's face enough times..." Venkman noted, gripping his thrower tighter. "What you got?"
"PKE vergence. Two O'clock..."
"But it's past ten..." Chad deadpanned.
"Oh hell..." Joey said as a familiar greyish smoke started to appear.
"Form a circle!" Kyle barked. "We can't let him get behind us!!!"
Like the well-oiled machine they now were, the team moved into position, all throwers (including Fritz's) armed and ready.
Well well well...as if there was every any real doubt who the intruders were, right? the familiar voice, dripping with evil glee, boomed around them.
"The Ravisher!" Andy snarled.
"Where's Cath, Snurf?" Venkman barked, his normally smooth voice pitched with anger.
Aw, does your wife know how concerned you are about another woman, Doctor Vee?" the Ravisher teased. "You got her her first gig, right? Hooked her up with Jonny-Boy? Heh...bet you regret that now, don't you?"
And then the Ravisher appeared, and lunged at Venkman.
But Venkman and the two Ghostbusters right next to him--Joey and Peter--were faster. Three proton beams smashed into the Ravisher, driving him back. He snarled, and started to run. "Bite me!!!"
"Son of a bitch!!!" Venkman shouted, and took off after the creature. Joey, Peter, and Kyle, the ones closest to him--and propelled, perhaps, by their own distinct memories of the Ravisher's murderous rampage a year ago--tore off also.
But before anyone else could move, there was a loud grinding noise--and a featureless stone door appeared, blocking off the corridor that the Ravisher and the four Ghostbusters had just gone down.
"Shit." Fritz said simply.
"This is startin' to feel more like a trap all the time..." Ron muttered.
"Door? I don't see no stinkin' door!!!" Andy whooped, and fired his thrower.
All of the others joined in.
After thirty seconds, Fritz's voice broke in. "Switch off!"
"F***!!!" Andy cursed as he went closer to the door. "Not even a damn scratch!"
Jeff pulled out his walkie-talkie. "Nash to Williams, Venkman, Kong, or Stevens...do you copy?" After repeating the message about four times, he quit. "Either they can't hear me or...they can't hear me."
Ron turned to Fritz. "With Williams gone, you're in charge Dr. B. What's the next move?"
"We don't have much choice but to continue." Fritz shook his head, attaching his thrower to his belt and pulling his PKE meter back out. "Hopefully, we can catch up with Doctor Venkman and the others later."
Jeremy looked around. For the second time that evening, he could've sworn somebody called his name. But noone was there.
Two bird-headed guards appeared. "You shall not pass."
"You sub creatures will not impede me!!!" the terror dog replied, simply charging and knocking them over.
Before they could get up or otherwise act, the terror dog was gone, already running into the depths of the pyramid in search of his prey.
They slowed considerably when they came into a room with a firey pit at the bottom, spanned only by a rather narrow bridge.
"Oh, man...I feel like I'm in a comic book..." Peter exclaimed.
"You're kidding?" Joey asked.
"No! This is just like a scene in the Carl Barks classic, Donald Duck and the Asscrack of Doom...they got into this room with a narrow bridge over burning lava, and when they were halfway across the bridge started to crumble..."
Just then, Peter's footfall produced a loud cracking noise.
"You and your big mouth!!!" Joey cried. "Run for it!!!"
The four Ghostbusters took off for the other side as fast as they could manage, the bridge falling into the inferno behind them.
But it wasn't going to be fast enough.
Kyle had to jump to grab the platform at the far wall (a large, solid rampart built into it)...Venkman in turn had nothing to grab onto but Kyle Stevens. Joey had to grab Venkman, and Peter Kong dangled only a few feet over the lava.
"Damn, Kong...what the hell have you been eating?" Joey grunted.
"Peter....you need to climb up..." Kyle grunted, sweat pouring down his face. "I can't hold all of you for very long..."
"Doctor Vee...you all right?" Joey asked.
"I'm fine." Venkman deadpanned. He was actually in pretty good shape for a man pushing fifty. But he was still a man pushing fifty with two guys wearing heavy proton packs dangling from his legs.
Peter Kong scrabbled his way up his three comrades with as much haste as he could manage. He only stopped to exhale for a few seconds before crying. "Joey! You're next!"
Kyle's face was turning a very ugly shade of red as Joey made his way up over him and Venkman. When he reached the top, the two of them hauled Kyle and Venkman both at once.
The foursome sat and exhaled for a few minutes. "One thing is for sure...even if the others were following us, we're cut off now..." Kyle noted.
"I don't think they were" Peter replied. "There was a door that came down right when I got by--unless they blasted through it..."
"Williams to Baugh, Daniels, Harness, or anybody...yo? Anybody?" Joey tried on his walkie-talkie.
"PK could be playing havoc with radio transmissions..." Venkman speculated. "And don't tell Egon I said that, or he'll think I actually listen to him..." he flashed his famous cheshire grin briefly.
Joey finally got up. "Playtime's over, Ghostbusters...we got a bitch to smoke..."
"Be careful..." she'd told them, almost perfunctorally. It didn't seem enough, but she couldn't think of anything else. Shortly after she'd joined GBI, she'd read an essay by the company's very first Client Administrator, Janine Melnitz Spengler, and it had warned her: In the words of Tom Petty, "The waiting is the hardest part". Your heart's just not gonna beat again until that ECTO-1 comes sliding back through the door, your boys back safe and sound.
"So true..." she signed aloud, noting to herself that Spengler could have identified with her as much as anybody...
Chelsea was dressed in her own Ghostbuster flight suit--the tan one with the neon orange logo identical to the ones worn by the team on the field. Complete with boots and utility belt, the only thing she was missing was a proton pack--and one sat at her desk in easy reach, ready for use if need be.
Sitting next to the desk was Otter, who was working on the team's toaster--it hadn't worked since the earthquake earlier in the evening. "You think they could build things better than this..." he was muttering. "Maybe I ought to design my own toaster...show them all..."
They were both so on edge by the evening's events that the ringing of the phone startled them. Chelsea muttered a curse and grabbed the reciever. "Ghostbusters....I'm sorry, but due to the current emergency I cannot accept any calls at this time..."
"Chelsea? This is Dana Venkman...Peter's wife? We met at the premiere?"
Chelsea did a double take. "Mrs. Venkman? Oh...um...of course....sorry...I've got a lot to deal with right now. Um...Dr. Venkman isn't available...I..."
"He's out in the middle of it, isn't he?" Chelsea heard Dana exhale with exasperation on the other end. "I was afraid of that, but not surprised...I just got woke up by my daughter, who's up watching movies a lot later than she should..."
"Yeah...it has to be almost three AM on the East Coast..."
Dana made a bemused noise. " 'Mom, CNN says all hell's breaking lose in LA...what's to bet Dad's smack dab in the middle of it?' Sure enough..."
"It's in their nature to go charging into danger, I guess..." Chelsea nodded.
"Oh, the stories I could tell you..." Dana laughed. "Did Peter leave any messages? Say anything before he left?"
"Well, if I don't hear from them by midnight local time I'm supposed to call Professor Spengler and Doctor Stantz and give them a full report of the situation." She paused. "And that if his wife calls, to tell you he loves you, Oscar, and Jessica, and he's sorry he forgot to take the trash out before he left."
Chelsea could practically hear Dana shaking her head. "That jerk..."
"Does...does it ever get easier, Mrs. Venkman?"
"I asked Janine the same thing--she's logged a lot more hours at worrying than me--and I guess the only answer is...you adjust. Being in love with a Ghostbuster is like being in love with a firefighter or a cop--there's always the danger that not everyone's going to make it back. Which makes every moment you do get together all the more precious."
Chelsea closed her eyes and exhaled. "Thanks, Mrs. Venkman...somehow that helps..."
"I hope so...listen, I better go....but when that no-good husband of mine shows up there, have him call me. Pronto."
"Will do, Ma'am"
"Crap in a hat..." Jeremy muttered.
The corridor branched off in two seperate directions; there was nothing of note within sight either way.
"Well, what's your call, Fritters?" Andy asked.
"There's no PK variances either way..." Fritz noted. "We split into two teams and go both ways--meet back here in an hour."
"Divide and conquer..." Jeff sniffed. "That's how they do it in all the monster movies..."
"There's still eight of us, making groups of four for each way--and we know four Ghostbusters can still do a lot of damage." Ron countered. "We just don't split any further."
"Agreed." Fritz said. "Ron, Jeremy, John, you're with me--we'll take the left corridor."
"You and your leftist leanings..." Ron teased.
Fritz wasn't in any mood to respond. "Andy, you take Chad, Jeff, and Robert down the right corridor."
"Sounds good to me." Andy nodded. "Hear that, Robbie? You get to work for me for a little bit..."
"Bloody saints preserve..." Robert muttered good-naturedly.
Fritz took a moment to show Jeff how he'd configured his PKE meter (so that Jeff's wouldn't overload either) and the two teams of Ghostbusters moved down their respective corridors.
"What?" Ron asked.
"I thought I had a reading behind us...but either it was a glitch or it stopped moving..."
Ron pulled down his EctoVisor and peered back. "I'm not seeing anything...either it was a glitch or it backed off..."
Jeremy looked back an extra time as they moved on.
"Nothing..." Robert replied. "I assume you're not picking up anything, either?"
"You assume correct." Jeff replied.
Chad chuckled. "Dudes, you keep forgetting, you are with Mister Clutch. Ain't nothin' bad gonna happen when you're with me..."
At precisely that moment, there was a click from somewhere on the floor.
"I don't like the sound of that..." Andy got out right before the floor dropped out from under them.
The four Ghostbusters slid down some kind of inclined passageway, finally coming after a hundred scream filled yards into a slime-filled pit. The slime wasn't deep--no more than a foot--but was enough to break their fall. And drench them completely.
" 'Ain't nothin' bad gonna happen when you're with me'..." Andy mimicked Chad in a mocking voice.
"Oh hell..." Jeff exhaled, as he realized they weren't alone in the room.
Floating above it all, looking at them with utter disdain, was a vaguely man-like creature--though it was a man about seven feet tall clad in ornate copper armor. Greyish skin showed through the few parts of his body the armor did not cover. A large sword, apparently of the same copperish composition as his armor, was slung over his back. He finished the muffin he was eating and emitted a deep, booming laugh.
"I am called Herr Geistimann..." he finally spoke, in a voice tinged with a German accent. "In the name of Anubis, the Lord of Atrocity and Death, I bid you...GLWK!!!"
Whatever pompous speech Geistimann was plotting was shortened by the proton blast that flew right into his open mouth.
Andy lowered his thrower. "You expectin' us to worship you or any other Lord of Atrocity or whatever, you came to the wrong place, Hot Dog."
Anubis...Jeff was saying to himself. A lot of pieces are starting to fit together... and Ye Gods does it look bad for our team...
"You pathetic mortal fool!!! I am like unto a god, and you disrespect me thus?"
"Not the first..." Andy smirked.
The giant creature flew toward the Ghostbusters, reaching back and drawing his sword as he did so.
He was undoubtedly looking to skewere Andy, but his blow was met by the ignition of Andy Harness's Proton Sabre.
"Andy!!!" Chad cried.
"Wanna sword fight, Hot Dog? Suits me just fine..."
"I am one of the finest swordsmen in five dimensions...I have bested interdimensional champions..."
"And I owned the schoolyard at plastic light saber fights." Andy sneered back, for all the world looking like he was really bored. "If you fight was well as you yack, I may be in trouble--but that remains to be seen, huh?"
Robert was looking around. "There has to be a way out of here..."
"Dude, we are not leaving Andy behind." Chad said.
"I never said we were--but better take a second and find the escape route while Andy keeps that bugger occupied, don't you think?"
"Looks like that way..." Jeff pointed, toward a ladder at the far end of the room leading to an opening. Then he saw something he didn't like on his meter. "Chad, don't..."
But before Jeff could say anything further a slimy tentacle shot out of the slime, grabbed Chad's leg, and dragged him under.
"I forgot to mention..." Herr Geistimann smirked. "I am not the only adversary in this room...it is the residence of a Spawn of Apep..."
"Apep...Apophis the Dragon, great; first we got Darth Vader and Jeb Skywalker fighting over there, now we got the trash monster...my life is like a frickin' movie..." Jeff complained.
He had point, with Venkman and Peter right behind, Kyle taking up rearguard.
"I wish I'd had time to calibrate a meter the same way Fritz did..." Kyle said. "It'd be nice to have some idea if we were about to be attacked again or not..."
Peter sneezed loudly. "I bet something's nearby..."
"You sound so certain." Venkman replied.
"My Dad literally had a nose for ghosts..." Peter replied, referring to his father, the second tier Ghost Buster Jake Kong Jr. "He could more sniff them out. I guess that's why I sneeze sometimes when a powerful ghost is around..."
"Handy trick." Venkman smirked. "Thank goodness I don't have anything like that or I would've spent the entire Eighties with a runny nose." They'd heard the stories by now of Venkman's love/hate relationship with the New York Ghostbusters' resident pet ghost Slimer.
Kyle stiffened. "I hear something..."
They noticed the hallway ended in another opening, and the light play of flickering flames could be seen through it. There was another noise...chanting, in a language none of them could understand...
"Where's Professor Spengler when you need him?" Joey quipped. "Kyle, you and I take it SWAT style--just like Mister Zeddemore put in the manual..."
Kyle nodded, and the two West Coast Ghostbusters flanked the entranceway, Peter and Venkman moving into place beside Kyle and Joey, respectively. Joey nodded at Kyle, and the two rounded the entranceway, the other two Ghostbusters close behind.
What greeted them was a large chamber, with numerous torches illuminating it. There was a circle of chanting, bird-headed creatures around the center of the room.
And in the center...
"Mother puss bucket..." Venkman snarled.
It was actually a pleasant fragrance...lilting and inviting.
"Like some kind of perfume..." Jeremy noted.
"It is similar in some ways to Spectral Seduction Number Five..." Fritz mused, causing the other three Ghostbusters to look at him.
He cleared his throat. "What? I got Chelsea some for Christmas..."
Ron couldn't help but chuckled audibly. "What does the meter say, Doctor Spectral Seduction?"
Fritz's brow narrowed. "There's definitely something in the chamber up ahead..."
They went into a larger room. There was a large tub of water with steam coming out of it...the steam carried the same pleasant scent they'd detected earlier.
"Hm..." came a female voice.
Four throwers were at the ready.
A woman rose out of the waters, her body shimmering with the water--and nothing else to cover her sensually proportioned physique.
All four gulped at once.
She opened her eyes, to regard them with a heavy-lidded stare as the pushed back a stray lock of wet black hair. "Don't you gentlemen know..." she playfully scolded, her voice carrying a vaguely German accent "That it's rude to interrupt a lady while she's bathing?"
It's Isabel all over again... Fritz suddenly thought. Use of sexuality to cause a distraction while she...
He couldn't finish the thought before the winds started to blow in the room.
The woman made a gesture, and in a flash (literally) she was dry and a purple body suit was covering her body (though very tightly...) "Call me Frau Geistimann, little boys, and both Lord Anubis and I bid you greeting..."
The winds howled stronger. Ron was hurled across the room straight into one of the pools. Fritz hit one of the walls hard, albeit back first. And Jeremy was thrown back out the very door they came into.
Frau Geistimann laughed. "Fools...it's only a reflection of how pathetic the Master's lap dog is that he had any trouble with you..."
Her laughter was cut short as a proton beam slammed her from behind. John Lipsyte, who had managed to keep his footing by grabbing one of the support columns, fired the shot. "I normally don't like to neutronize a lady, but I'm not sure you qualify as a lady..."
"Verdammt subcreature..." Frau Geistimann snarled. "You need to learn some manners..." With that, a blast of energy flew from her left hand. John managed to dodge it, which was good--it blew a hole through the masonry that wouldn't have looked very good on him.
Fritz pulled himself off the floor painfully...then he realized there were some unpleasant pops and sizzles coming from his back. He grabbed the indicator clipped to the left side of his belt. "The impact damaged my pack...Damn..." he muttered as he saw the series of red lights blinking across the display.
Ron pulled himself out of the pool...thankfully, it wasn't very deep, so he was able to get out without ditching his proton pack (as more than one Ghostbuster, including Fritz, had discovered over the years, swimming with a sixty-pound proton pack on your back was almost impossible). "Thought it was wet enough outside..." Ron grumbled.
"Ron! Help John--I need a minute to fix my pack!!!" Fritz shouted at him.
"On it!!!" Ron nodded, jumping out of the pool, thrower ready. Unbidden, for a wistful moment, he wished his NOMAD teammates were there...but the last he knew, one had dropped off the face of the Earth to deal with his curse, one returned to England, and the last was enriching himself (or trying to...) in Vegas. He had bonded with the West Coast guys over the last year, to be sure, but they'd never be his family in the way the NOMAD boys were.
He angrily pushed the thought out of his head and with a loud war whoop, caught Frau Geistimann in a cross fire.
Fritz looked at the damaged connections in his pack. While certainly not an actual engineer like Robert or Otter, like any Ghostbuster he'd been trained in basic maintenance of the Mark Four--and having studied the blueprints and the underlying principles of the proton pack's operation, probably understood it better than most of his other comrades. I can duct tape the conduit back together... he mused to himself, pulling a roll of the stuff out of his utility belt. But it won't hold long...and I have to keep an eye on the temperature in the cyclotron...
He looked around the room. I don't know how long Ron and John can keep her occupied...where in the world did Jeremy get off to?
He had only seen pictures of one before, but never one in real life. And it was heading straight for him, ablly dodging the proton bursts he shot at it. It was almost right on top of him when he nailed it right in the chest, sending it flying. He turned and almost ran into a wall that hadn't been there a moment ago.
A Terror Dog
“Oh s***,” Jeremy thought as the Terror dog got back on its feet, getting an almost bemused look on its face.
All of a sudden, a voice rang out in his head, “So, you are the chosen one for me? I would not waste my time on one such as you, but it is ordained to be.”
It then dawned on Jeremy that his entire life had come to this: him becoming what he was protecting others from, the catalyst for the end of the world.
“Bring it on, bitch.”
The insuing battle was hard, but short lived. Jeremy fired more proton vollies at the Terror Dog, but like before, it dodged them with ease. Then he had a thought, he would unhook the trap from his pack, aim the opening away from him, and hit the activation switch, hopefully blinding the dog long enough for Jeremy to zap'n'trap it.
The plan worked half way. He got the trap unhooked and aimed, but the Dog rammed him in the chest, causing Jeremy to drop the trap and snapping his chest strap. Jeremy again shot the Dog in the chest, this time keeping a steady stream on it.
“I'll get you in a trap yet”, he said out loud.
“Then you are a bigger fool than I thought before. Yet smarter than my last host...”, the Terror Dog thought out loud.
Just then, the computer controlled coolant system kicked in. The lcd on the blaster read 45 seconds till it could be used again.
The Terror Dog got up and smiled again, then charged at him.
Jeremy flailed for the neutrona saber he'd brought with him on a whim, pulling it off his belt, igniting it, and stabbing the monster in it's barrelled chest.
The beast howled, knocking the saber out of his grip; it clattered against one of the side walls.
Jeremy was out of time and options other than trying to pummel it into submission were out of the question. He knew he had lost, and the world was going to pay for his failure. Then everything went black...
Standing beside the altar, leading the chant, was a man wearing an ornate costume, black with golden accessories cast in an Egyptian theme, a glowing red scarab on its chest.
"He looks like Gerald Butler..." Kyle muttered.
"Who the hell's Gerald Butler?" Joey retorted
"I'll tell you later..."
Also standing beside the altar was the Ravisher, no longer wearing his hoodie, instead bearing Egyptian-style garb of his own.
And tied to the altar, dressed in a skimpy costume like something out of Cleopatra, was actress Catharine Bartholomew.
"Cath!!!" Venkman shouted. "Hang on--we're here!!!"
"Peter?!" Catharine shouted hoarsely, in surprise and hope. She'd given up screaming for help hours ago, but now...
The cult leader turned to the Ghostbusters. "Interlopers...you know not what you interrupt..." the man said in a deep voice. "Followers of Anubis, destroy them..."
"Oh hell..." Peter cursed as the bird creatures turned away from the ritual and moved toward them.
"The Sacrifice is at hand..." the black-garbed man said, turning back toward the Ravisher and Catharine. "The power of the Eye of Apophis will be consecrated with the blood of the Sacrifice, and within one turning of Ra's eye all will be one with Anubis..."
The Ravisher raised a talon. "Sorry, toots...we had our fun, but now it's time to go. Say hi to Jonny-Boy for me..."
Catharine Bartholomew screamed as the raised talon fell, headed for her exposed throat...