EARTHQUAKE SHAKE

Filed by Jason Knetge, GBWC Field Agent
GBI Case File No. GBWC-2007-25/321

March 22, 2007
11:00 AM
Ghostbusters Omnibus Timeline Year Twenty-Five
A gentle breeze blew in through the garage doors of the Ghostbusters West Coast Headquarters, past Client Administrator Rose Prevost. She sipped on a can of soda tranquilly as she stared out at the view. Everyone on the team had to admit that, for California, March was one of the most pleasant times of the year.

Chelsea Aberdeen Baugh, another Client Administrator and wife of CEO Fritz Baugh, came up to join her.

"So, what's up?" Chelsea asked in a friendly voice.

Rose finished taking a sip of her soda. "Oh, not much. Just thought I'd take a break." Truth to tell, business had been light enough this week to let the team take things slow.

A silver Toyota pulled up in front of the warehouse. A young man wearing shorts and a T-shirt stepped out of the car, his face framed by big bushy mutton chops. It was Jason Knetge, still considered a newbie by most of his co-workers.

"Sorry I'm late to work, but I had to get some breakfast." Jason held up a brown bag printed with the words "Burrito Express" and began to pull out the contents.

"One would think you'd be sick of burritos by now. I mean that's what you've have for breakfast every time you get here," Rose said, lifting her glass to her lips.

Jason took a big bite of his burrito. "What can I say?" he inquired around the mouthful of grub. "It's the food of the gods! "

"But don't you get tired of the same thing all the time?" said Chelsea, covering her mouth in disgust. The very thought of one breakfast over and over every single day sickened her.

"It's not always the same thing." Jason pointed to the nearly finished burrito in his hand. "This week it's eggs and bacon, last week it was meat and cheese, and the week before that they were homemade."

Rose and Chelsea both rolled their eyes as Jason swallowed the last bites of his breakfast. "So where's everyone else?"

Chelsea pointed back to the office. "Fritz is doing some paperwork and Jeff will still be at Nightsquad until tomorrow."

Rose picked up the conversation. "Jeremy and Aidan went out on a bust. Andy is still upstairs sleeping and Kyle is in the danger room."

Jason's face lit up for a second. "Oh. Well then, I guess I'll join him in there." Truth to tell, Jason preferred to lift weights with Kyle because he was the perfect person to spot for him. Jason rushed by the two women as he headed for the danger room.

Rose turned to Chelsea. "I'm worried about Kyle. He acts OK on the outside but he still seems troubled on the inside."

Chelsea nodded her head in agreement, recalling a memory from her past. "It's hard losing someone you love. But everyone's got to deal with it in their own way."


On his way to the danger room, Jason spotted Rachel, the GBWC's ghostly janitor. She was coming downstairs after cleaning Mr. Whiskers' cat box, a job that she particularly hated, especially when the old kitty litter stuck to her ectoplasm. She was still amazed at how fast that specific chore had made it onto her to-do list.

"Hey, Rachel, you OK? You look a little blue."

"Heh, a heh-heh-heh, hilarious," replied Rachel, a bit of fatigue in her voice. Once upon a time, her energy and perkiness had never failed. But after last Christmas... "To tell you the truth, I am getting a little tired of having to clean up every little mess around here!"

Jason cocked an eyebrow. "But aren't you the maid?"

Rachel held up a correcting finger. "You mean maintenance personnel." She crossed her arms for emphasis. "But with all the messes around here, you'd think I was a slave!" She let out a sigh. "Maybe I just need a drink. I haven't had a chance to visit some of the ghost bars in a couple of weeks."

Jason raised an eyebrow. "Wow, Rachel. I didn't know that you were so dead tired."

Jason could tell that his attempt to cheer Rachel up was working by the slight smile that was forming on her face. "How original. I've only heard THAT pun, let me think, about three times in the past week or so." She resumed her journey towards the dumpster-- she had learned the hard way that kitty waste does NOT go into the toilet.

Jason suddenly got one of his infamous "idea looks". "Hey, maybe I can help you out today and you can get some time to yourself."

Rachel couldn't help the hopeful look that crossed her face. "Really? You'd help me?"

"Sure! Just so long as nothing big happens today, I'd be happy to help."

As soon as Jason finished his sentence, a low rumbling began. Rachel looked around in panic. "The hell--?"
The rumbling increased in volume as the the building began to shake. Twenty-three years of California instincts kicked in As the covers to the florescent light fixtures begin to fall, and the thought of getting under the table popped into the young Ghostbuster's head. Meanwhile, in the garage, the severe shaking caused the metal door Rose and Chelsea were standing under to fall. The two women jumped out of the way amd took cover on the floor as the steel frame slammed shut. Fritz stumbled out of his office examining his PKE meter. "Chelsea?!" His attention shifted as his gaze fell upon his wife lying on the ground. The small device fell to the floor as he rushed to her side. Some of the lockers along the wall toppled over as ceiling tiles fell. The severe shaking slowed down as the loud rumble slowly fell silent.

Fritz helped the two women stand. "You two all right?"

Rose brushed some dirt off her pants, " I'm OK. How about you?"

"I'm fine." Fritz then turned to Chelsea, a concerned look on his face. "Chelsea, are you all right? Does anything feel wrong..."

Chelsea cut him off. " I'm fine, but my butt may have a bruise."

Fritz smiled as a relieved feeling swept over him.

"What the hell was that?" Andy shouted. He walked to the edge of the upstairs balcony that overlooked the garage. Dressed only in a T-shirt and boxers he leaned over the rail. "If this is another one of Otter's experiments, I'm..."

He was cut off as Kyle Stevens came walking from the back of the room. "No, I'm pretty sure it was a earthquake. But I'm surprised it woke you up!"

With a frown, Andy replied, "Hell yeah, it woke me up! Damn thing flung me out of bed!"

Fritz glanced at Kyle. "Has the danger room..."

Kyle winced a little.

"Is it that bad?"

"Well, bad enough."

Fritz looked up at Andy. "You'd better get dressed. Looks like we have a lot of work ahead of us."

Andy shook his head. "Oh, no, I'm going back to bed to sleep off all this trama."

Fritz was about to say something before Kyle spoke up. " Sorry, Andy, but it sounds like you might have a concussion, so you're going to have to stay awake for twenty-four hours."

Andy gave Kyle the skunk eye as he turned, heading back to his room to get dressed, the whole time muttering blasphemous terms.

Rose looked over at Kyle with a slightly concerned expression. "Does he really have a concussion?"

Kyle merely smiled as he shook his head back and forth.

Rachel floated through the wall from the office area into the garage. Jason entered the garage through the open door as he wiped some slime from his arm.

"What happened to you?" Rose inquired.

"Nothing, we're fine," replied the young Ghostbuster with an apprehensive tone.

A loud cough interrupted the conversation and the group turned to see Dr. Otter, the Ghostbusters' head engineer, on his way over. As the little man came closer, he let out a sigh as tears started to form in his eyes.

"Otter, what's wrong?" Chelsea asked, her expression showing genuine concern.

"Well, I have some bad news and some worse news."

Fritz ran his fingers through his hair. "OK, what's the bad news?"

Otter hitchhiked his thumb towards the equipment room. "It seems that all the gear got damaged in the earthquake."

The team's eyes bulged as they all looked ready to upchuck their breakfast.

Fritz was almost hesitant to ask. "And the worse news?"

This time a tear ran down Otter's face. "My lab is a mess, and all my issues of Playboy are out of order on the floor under a heap of oily junk!" Otter turned back to face his lab just missing Rose's attempt to bop him. "It's going to take me all day to organize it!"

Fritz rubbed the the bridge of his nose. "OK... Otter, get started on cleaning up your lab."

Otter's face lit up. "Thanks... you guys are the best!" He quickly ran back to his lab before anyone could investigate the state of Fritz's sanity.

Chelsea looked at her husband strangely. "You're just going to let him go?"

Kyle gestured to the equipment room. "What about the gear? Don't forget it's broken."

Fritz pushed his glasses up. "Otter is no good to us if his mind isn't going to be on his work, and from the sounds of it his lab is in no shape to begin repairs."

Andy finally came downstairs. "So guys, what's the skinny?"

Jason turned to Andy. "All the equipment is busted, and so is Otter."

Andy let out a sigh and rubbed his temples. "Has anyone checked the ECU?"

Fritz picked up his PKE meter and fussed with the knobs. "Well I'm not getting anything, and if there was something wrong, the ECU sensors would tell us."

"So what's the plan, boss man?" Andy inquired.

Fritz took a deep breath. "Chelsea, you and Rose handle the office. Sometimes a massive quake can stir up paranormal activity."

As if on cue, the phones in the office began to ring. The two women went to the office, each with a forlorn look on her face. "Well, so much for our break!" Rose quipped.

Fritz turned to the team. "The rest of us are going to have to fix what equipment we can. Kyle, Andy, as soon as we get two packs and some traps ready, I'll need you two to head out in the ECTO-1N and get some of the calls."

Rachel let out a small "ahem". "What do you need me to do?"

Before Fritz could answer, Andy interrupted. "Clean, of course."

Rachel's shoulders sank. "What, this WHOLE place?"

"Hey, you're the one who wanted to be the janitor."

Rachel rose off the floor to protest but was halted by Fritz. "Sorry, Rachel, but Andy is right. We're no good as a franchise without equipment."

Rachel knew he was right. Floating back down reluctantly, she turned and went through the wall... but not before saying, "I guess I'd better start on it now if I want to finish by next week. No, make that next millennium."

As the men started heading to the equipment room, Kyle gave Fritz and Andy a sidelong look. "You sure about that? It's an awful lot to clean."

"I know, but this is the more pressing matter," replied Fritz.

"Besides, the sooner we get this done the sooner, we can send Logan over there to help her," said Andy as he gestured to Jason. "Besides, how bad can it be?"

As Andy opened the door, a small wave of parts and pieces flowed out at his feet. All four men's heads fell in unison as they let out a loud groan .

Two hours later, in the office
"Ghostbusters, please hold, Ghostbusters, please hold, Ghostbusters, please hold, Ghostbusters, please hold, Ghostbusters, thank you for holding, how my I help you?" Rose scribbled down the info before handing it to Chelsea .

Grabbing the piece of paper, while still on the phone herself, she glanced at it for a second before continuing her conversation. "Looks like you guys have got another one."

The voice of Jeremy Hicks came over the phone. "Oh, come ON..."

"Yeah, Jeremy, I know, but Fritz and Andy both agreed that since you guys have the only working packs so far, you're going to have to handle most of the calls, at least till Andy and Kyle are ready to head out."

"How far are they from that?"

"Jason said it would take him a half hour to clear a path for the ECTO-1N, but once that's done Andy and Kyle are good to go."

"Well, that will be a relief. Jeremy out."

Chelsea hung up the phone and leaned back in her chair. Glancing over, she saw Rose just finishing up with the last customer. "Do I need to call Jeremy back?"

Rose gave a tired glance down at the papers. "Nah, Andy and Kyle can pick these ones up."

Rachel phased directly through the ceiling and sat down on one of the adjacent chairs mainly reserved for clients. " Oh brother."

"You OK? You look a little pale... er, paler then usual," said Chelsea, a definite sincerity in her voice.

Rachel looked slightly confused. "Huh?"

"She means you look a bit more transparent than normal," added Rose.

Rachel look down at her hands. "Oh that. I'm just getting tired. It takes energy to manifest and what with cleaning and all, I'm..."

"Exhausted? " said Chelsea, finishing Rachel's sentence to show that the feeling was mutual.

"Well, getting there."

"How much do you have left to do?" inquired Rose.

"Well, let's just say you can check the kitchen and bathroom off the list. I have to do the bedrooms next, and Kyle and Jason offered to help get all the weights in the danger room."

Chelsea voice perked up. "That reminds me, what was up with Jason's arm earlier?"

"That's right, he seemed a little embarrassed about it," Rose nodded.

Rachel smiled a little. "Oh, that. It's funny, really. During the earthquake , He wasn't thinking and tried to pull me to safety . I guess he likes playing the hero or something "

Chelsea and Rose both exchanged a glance before all three of them started cracking up .

Rachel tried to stifle her giggling. "No, it was kind of nice being thought of as a person instead of a spooky apparition."

For that brief while Rachel felt like she was just one of the girls but the relaxing moment was broken by the phone ringing.

"Here we go again," groaned Rose.

Thinking of all the work ahead of her and wishing the conversation could go on, she said, "Well, might as well start on the rooms so you all can sleep tonight."

Chelsea and Rose waved before she floated up through the ceiling.
The had day slowly drug on into the night . most of the staff of the GBWC had succumbed to the demands of their fatigued bodies , Fritz and Chelsea where in their bedroom . Rose ended up staying the night in her designated room while out in the rec room Kyle , Jason , Jeremy and Aidan were past out on the couch ,


The whole place was fast asleep save for Rachel who doggedly kept up with the task of cleaning . Being a ghost she didn't require sleep and how ever the constant activity of the day had taken it's toll in draining her .
She focused what strength she had keeping her necessary parts coherent to clean . Her disembodied face floated looking down at her disconnected hands . " oh well nothing a day off in a nice warm room won't fix " . She shut her eyes as her hands faded a bit and focused to bring them back .

Wasting no time she grabbed the handle of the nearby vacuum and headed into the ECU room . " last room to do "

A light coat of dust from the sealing covered the room . Plugging in the appliance she went to vacuuming around the ECU .

The end .
Questions? Comments? Go to the GBWC Message Board
Based on Ghostbusters Created by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis

Ghostbusters West Coast Division Created by Andy Harness and Vincent Belmont

Editing and html coding by Fritz Baugh
Ghostbusters West Coast Staff: Afterlife Of The Party, Fritz Baugh, Mike Devicente, egon901, Andy Harness, Jason Knetge, Miss Janine, Aidan Munroe, Mick Nielson, Kyle Stevens, TheRazorsEdge
#3805
Established 20090525m
Version 20210824t