From the files of Dr. Fritz V. Baugh, GBWC CEO
GBI Case File No. GBWC-2006-24/211
"I totally agree with Andy--let's do it again!!!" Jeremy Hicks shouted excitedly. He sniffed the air, eyes glowing red under his cracked eyeglasses.
"You landed on my head, you ass!!!" a muffled voice came from under Fritz's wheelchair.
"Not now, Dear..." Fritz Baugh replied, ignoring it. He kicked at a the ground with the peg attached to his right knee and looked around. "Now this is interesting..."
"Vhat do you tink dis place is?" Kyle Stevens asked out loud, brandishing cutlery. His surgical scrubs were clean, and everyone knew what that meant--he was anxious to change that.
"Beats the crap outa me..." Jeff Nash replied, the flames in his empty eyesockets smoldering. "Last thing I remember is trying to catch that meat...and then there was that whammy..."
"WHAMMY!!!" Jeremy cried. He started singing Do you really want to hurt me?
"Some nerve, Ellie causing trouble on Life Day..." Andy mused, sucking his pinkie. "October 31, Holiest day of the year..."
"Spirits of darkness..." Fritz mused, the dark holes where his eyes should be opening wide. "This place practically reeks of meat!!!"
The rest of the team looked at him.
"You mean..." Andy replied. "We've somehow entered a meat plane? One of the Epimethean worlds?"
"It appears so, Andrew, I...OUCH!!!" Fritz reached under his rump and pulled out an angry looking female head by the scruff of her strawberry blonde hair. "WOULD YOU CALM DOWN?!" he yelled at her.
"YOU TRY BEING STUCK UP AGAINST YOUR SMELLY ASS!!!" the head shouted back.
Kyle and Jeremy perked up. "You smell it too?" Jeremy asked. Kyle licked his lips, fangs gleaming as he nodded.
"Fritz's ass?" the head asked.
"BLOOD!!!" Jeremy and Kyle shouted in unison, each distorting and changing--Jeremy into a monstrous mix of a gargoyle and a Doberman Pinscher, Kyle into a giant bat.
"Are you sure we should be letting them run around?" Andy asked. "We need to figure out how to get back to Los Diablos..."
"Let them have their fun..." Fritz chuckled, brandishing his slime gun. "If Jeremy and Kyle run into any trouble, they'll handle it like a Peoplebuster should..."
"Dunno, Dirk...maybe this is more SVU turf or something..." she heard a voice saying.
Those voices sound odd...they sound... she thought to herself as she opened her eyes. Human!
"She's wakin' up, Fox!" a closer voice said.
When she opened her eyes, she couldn't believe what she saw--two humans! Standing out in the open, flashing lights all around! Didn't they know how dangerous that was?! She cried out in shock, and tried to run for somewhere to hide.
"Hey hey hey..." the closer human said, grabbing her. Since it was a human, with a material grip, she couldn't go through it like she could ectoplasm...and he was stronger than her...she couldn't move. "You're safe now, Miss...I'm Vance Dirkman, this is Zachary Fox. We're with the LAPD...we're cops!"
"C...cops?" it sunk in, the impossibility making her head swim. "Wh...why would humans be working for the cops?"
"Because other than a few German Shepards, no animal would put up with the working conditions..." Fox quipped. "Are you all right Miss?"
She leaned against a wall, nodding...and realized that the wall, too, was matter! "I...I'm confused...where am I?"
"Perishing Park? I'm still in Los Diablos?!"
"Pershing Park, Los Angeles, Ma'am." Dirkman replied, smiling at her. "We were nearby when we saw some funny lights--we figured we'd better take a look."
"Like we would get through Halloween without it, right?" Fox cracked. "You might say Dirk and I have become semi-acquainted with unusual stuff. If the LAPD put together an official Occult Crimes Unit, we'd probably be it...though we ain't no Ghostbusters, I assure you..."
"Ghostbusters?!" she shouted, shocked. The word was one she'd heard before, in hushed tones...and she was on a world of matter? Dare she hope? "You have Ghostbusters here?!"
"For the last three and a half years..." Dirk replied. "Except for a few months in late '04..."
"I need to see the Ghostbusters." she said, standing up, now looking far less confused and frightened.
"I think their dwarf will like you too..." Fox shrugged, as Dirk led the mysterious woman to their squad car.
"You think Ellie has this kind of power?" Andy asked, sucking his pinky.
"You must be kidding." Fritz snorted derisively. "She doesn't have that knowledge--either mystical or scientific."
"Look!!!" Jeremy cried, pointing to a giant jack-o-lantern.
"They worship Samhain here?" Jeff said incredulously.
"I wouldn't have thought meat would be that sophisticated." Andy added. "This is most odd..."
"It is Life Day..." Kyle noted. At least his surgical scrubs weren't clean anymore. "De Feast of Samhain. Maybe even meat knows his power."
"All I know is that I'm still hungry." Jeremy groused, licking his lips loudly.
"Let's find some more food..." Kyle agreed.
"IS YOUR STOMACH ALL YOU THINK ABOUT!?!?" Chelsea shrieked.
"We need to find out more..." Fritz mused. "This place seems vaguely reminiscent of Los Diablos...maybe we can use that. If nothing else...I'm curious to see what is at their counterpart of our headquarters..."
There was a witch in purple there passing candy out to some strangely-dressed goblins. One was wearing a costume that made him look like the comic character Bizarro, but in red and blue instead of purple and blue. Others looked like princesses, or the villains in Kaiju Monsters (a series of cheap live action shows that had been popular for the last thirteen years).
After the goblins left, Fox and Dirk took her up to the witch. She sighed. "I guess I just have to say it--dropping off or picking up?"
"I guess dropping off, Miss Rose." Fox answered. "We found this woman in Pershing Park after some funny lights in the sky..."
The Rose witch looked at her...her eyes went wide. "I hate to use another old movie line, but you better take her inside..."
"Something wrong?" Dirk asked.
"I don't know..." the witch replied.
"You...work with the Ghostbusters?" the newcomer asked, hesitantly.
"For two years..." the witch replied.
Fox seemed preoccupied with a small device that started buzzing from his pocket. "Yeah...we'll be right there." He looked up at Dirk. "Homicide downtown, and we drew the short straw."
"Take care." Dirk smiled at her, and she felt herself unwittingly...blushing. She didn't meet too many fellow humans in her life, never mind male ones that smiled at her like that.
"I don't know what to make of this..." the witch shook her head. "I'm Rose Prevost, the Client Administrator, and we really need you to see..."
The newcomer shrieked in fear as two faces she was quite familiar with entered the front room. "Is this some kind of trap?! The Dark Warlock--here?!"
"Dark Warlock?" the male of the two asked, looking confused.
Her head started spinning..."But you're...you look alive"
"I can attest to that." the strawberry blonde woman with him.
"And you..." the mystery woman shook her head. "You look alive too! And you have your whole body!"
The man who looked like the Dark Warlock cocked an eyebrow at the witch. "This what the police were here about?" The witch nodded.
Then the most unbelievable thing of all occurred. A ghost appeared from the next room, phasing through the wall much like a solid would back in the ectoworld...
...And the translucent blue woman was wearing her own face.
The world spun all around her, and went dark...
"I guess it's a good thing we didn't try to trick or treat tonight..." a Southern-tinged second voice added.
"In our business, Halloween is Code Red, like the day after Thanksgiving back in retail..." the voice of the Dark Warlock noted, leading to a chuckle from his female companion.
"Which reminds me, Will sent a picture of Talena in her costume. It's adorable..." the Warlock's companion noted.
She opened her eyes and, at this point, wasn't totally surprised to see the whole evil crew she knew. But like the one she mistook for the Warlock...they were all...alive.
"You will have to forgive us..." the one who looked like the Fire Ninja said. "But you look an awful lot like a friend of ours--a dead one."
"I prefer the term 'Mortality Challenged'..." the most shocking one of all quipped, nervousness more that obvious in her voice.
"I...I could say the same thing about you guys...the looking like some dead people I know thing..."
"You are radiating a significant amount of epsilon particles." The one who looked like the Warlock noted, holding a small device. "I surmise you recently traveled here from another dimension."
"I was hoping to find..." the newcomer said hesitantly. "I was hoping to find the Ghostbusters..."
"You found us." The one who looked like the Keymaster replied. "We're the Ghostbusters West Coast."
"This is the Epimethean world!!!"
The rest of them looked at each other.
She sighed and shrank back in the chair, looking at the transparent blue entity that looked like her. "I've heard stories about this place--where the natural order...or at least the order in my world...is inverted. Where I come from, the ghosts run the place and the humans...they call us meat and solids, and they hunt us down. And you look just like the ones I was running from when I got here--the Peoplebusters West Coast."
"Peoplebusters...West Coast?!" the non-vampiric vampire butcher said. "You come from the Peoplebusters dimension?"
She nodded. "My name is Ellie...I don't really remember much else...I don't remember much of anything before 1930."
"The original Ghostbusters encountered the Peoplebusters back in 1986 and again in 1991." The Warlock started to explain to the others. "There was a strange tornado, and Dr. Venkman, Dr. Stantz, and Professor Spengler ended up in a dark reflection of New York nicknamed 'The Big Pumpkin'. They encountered three undead versions of themselves...but curiously enough, not Mister Zeddemore."
Ellie nodded. "In my world, you're Fritz Baugh, whom I know as a dark wizard...he sold his right leg and the body of his companion, Chelsea Aberdeen, for power from a watergod. Jeremy Hicks shares his body with a powerful terror dog called The Keymaster. Kyle Stevens is a vampire who likes to butcher his victims. Jeff Nash is a ninja who commands fire. And Andy Harness is the mastermind--a coldblooded schemer." Ellie shook her head.
"And you..." she looked at the ghost again. "You look like me. Except you're a ghost..."
"Nothing to say about me?" Rose, the woman in the witch costume, said.
Ellie shook her head.
"As I mentioned, there was no Peoplebuster Zeddemore..." the living Fritz noted. "The whole world is a funhouse reflection, but not a perfect one..."
"It does sound like Tales of the Bizarro World." Jeff nodded. "Fire ninja? I guess Bizarro Jeff takes more after Scorpion than Sub Zero..."
"But she said my counterpart is some sort of evil mastermind." Andy pointed out.
"Which means that some parts aren't different." Jeff quipped.
"My name's Rachel..." the ghost said. "But I picked that up later-my memory goes back about the same amount of time yours does."
"This would explain the strange readings I was getting." GB Fritz said. "The instruments had detected a dimensional rift...tell me, Miss Ellie...did anyone else come through with you?"
Ellie's eyes went wide. "Considering who was chasing me...I hope not!"
"It looks so...clean." Kyle snorted with disgust.
"It even smells clean..." Jeremy sneered, sniffing the air.
"I think it behooves us to investigate further..." Andy said firmly.
"It smells of meat here, Andrew..." Fritz told him. "Ellie is here. And worse...there's something vaguely..."
"Look!!!" Kyle shouted, pointing. It was a glowing sign in neon orange.
"The sign of the enemy! The defiers!" Jeremy added. "The ones who brought hope to the Big Pumpkin!!!"
"The Ghostbusters." Jeff finished.
Chelsea elbowed Fritz, and tugged at the nametag reading "ABERDEEN". "I really need to go on busts more often so I can wear this suit out and order a replacement with the right name on it..."
"We'll try to make sure you get slimed a time or two on the next job." Andy deadpanned.
Fritz looked at his Meter, which was now reacting. "There is an elevated PKE trace...and...hm..." he adjusted the meter. "There's a feedback pattern."
"Oh Hell..." Jeremy breathed.
"Candygram." a Terror Dog growled, and bowled him over.
Jeremy snarled as Kyle and Andy moved in, Kyle's butcher knife and Andy's slime gun at the ready. "This place stinks of...of..."
A sizzling beam hit Jeremy, knocking him back and changing him back to his normal ghost form.
Three meatbags stood there...but most shocking to the three Peoplebusters...they looked exactly like some kind of horrible, living versions of themselves.
Otter looked back and forth. "I knew I ate too much candy corn on the way..."
"You're a vaguely handsome bunch." the one who looked like Andy, but wearing a Notre Dame cap, drawled. "But we're out of Snickers. Come back next year."
"Vell now...dis is an interesting problem..." Kyle noted.
"I hate to break this too you, but this universe is only big enough for one of me." the blue clad Jeff told them.
"Aw, but here I was hoping to get to know you better." Jeff retorted, throwing a grappling line. "GET OVER HERE!!!"
Ghostbuster Jeff dodged the shot, and returned fire with a blast of blue energy.
"Our goal is Ellie." Fritz shouted. "I have her location!!!"
"WELL THEN GET US THERE, IDIOT!!!" Chelsea shrieked at him.
"Oh no you don't..." Ghostbuster Jeff started to interject, but was prevented from doing anything when Peoplebuster Jeff shot a stream of fire from his mouth.
Fritz and Chelsea vanished, wheelchair and all.
"I vonder how your blood vould taste..." Kyle said, licking his lips, eyeing his living counterpart hungrily. "Perhaps it vould even increase my power..."
"What kind of sick, sadistic bastard are you?" Ghostbuster Kyle responded, not liking the look of Peoplebuster Kyle's bloody scrubs. He's a butcher...and a vampire? I was a surgeon...my dead love Gen was a vampire...it's like some obscene parody of me...
"Otter get out of here!!!" Ghostbuster Andy shouted, firing a proton beam at Peoplebuster Andy. It missed, and blew a hole in the reception desk.
Peoplebuster Andy returned fire, a blast of slime coming too close for Ghostbuster Andy's comfort.
"I guess it makes sense..." PB Andy smirked. "This whole city is like some living parody of Los Diablos...why not have living parodies of us? Fascinating...I'll have to reread Mister Zeddemore's files on this place..."
"WE'LL HAVE TIME FOR THAT LATER!!!" Chelsea shrieked in answer.
"I think this has been too much information..." the last being in the room quipped. Fritz actually was a little surprised at this one.
"An ectoplasmic version of Ellie?" he cocked what passed for an eyebrow. "I'll have to make sure Andrew learns of this..." he continued with an ominous smirk.
If Rachel still had skin, it'd be crawling by now.
"I'm willing to entertain that this is a misunderstanding..." the living Fritz said, his gaze firm as he kept his particle thrower trained on his counterpart. "If so, stand down, and we can try to resolve this situation peacefully."
"There has been a misunderstanding, Meatbag..." Fritz smirked, throwing an energy beam from his left hand. "If you thought we wanted a peaceful solution, that is..."
Ghostbuster Fritz fell back, his body distorting and shrinking.
The living Chelsea uttered a very unladylike word and fired.
"Run, Ellie!!!" Rachel shouted, gesturing at her counterpart.
"I didn't miss your rack that much..." Fritz sneered, throwing another energy blast, this time hitting Ghostbuster Chelsea.
"I ALWAYS THOUGHT YOU WERE AN ASS MAN!!!" Chelsea shrieked.
"Oh go make yourself useful..." Fritz retorted, hurling her at her counterpart. The head clonked into the other Chelsea's sending the already staggered Ghostbuster version to the floor.
Peoplebuster Fritz reached down and grabbed his Chelsea's head. "I REALLY DID HAVE A NICE ASS, DIDN'T I?"
Fritz smirked fondly and slobberingly kissed the disembodied head.
Then he stood back up, with murder in his eyes. He howled ferally, and transformed into his Terror Dog mode.
"Oh fuck..." Ghostbuster Jeremy inhaled. "I had my fill of Terror Dogs years ago..." He considered his options...and ran.
"AWOOOOOOO!!!!" Peoplebuster Jeremy replied, and ran after him.
A flaming blade appeared out of Peoplebuster Jeff's hand. "The ice ninja you resemble learned that my skill with a sword is nothing to laugh at, Meatbag..."
"Shut up and fight." GB Jeff snarled, charging his opponent.
A few clashes, and GB Jeff had a new concern If his sword is generated by his PKE...shouldn't the neutrona sword be doing some damage to it? Or is he just that powerful? And if so...how could Bizarro Jeff really be that much more powerful than I am?!
"Perhaps I vill even Embrace you..." PB Kyle guffawed. "Von't that get a great laugh?"
"Hah hah." GB Kyle replied flatly, firing the now solar-charged beam at his counterpart. PB Kyle howled and flew back, running behind the ECTO-1N. GB Kyle stopped firing. If I damaged that Joey and Robert would make a special trip out here to kick my ass.
"Sunlight?" PB Kyle fumed (literally) from the other side of the car. "You shot me vith sunlight?! Do you have any idea how much that hurts?!"
GB Kyle paused. The issue of whether a proton beam "hurt" his spectral or undead opponents was one he tried to avoid. He had been a surgeon..."First do no harm" was the first tenet of the Hippocratic Oath...It's not like Anubis or Orus ever cared how much they hurt people...
PB Kyle leaped from the other side of the car and tackled his living counterpart, knocking him down and the proton gun from his hand. "I prefer inflicting pain to causing it--maybe ve're not so different after all!!!"
"We will have what we came for..." PB Andy said.
"No you won't." GB Andy replied.
"No, you won't."
"Won't!" PB Andy fumed. "I keep telling you, we won't have what we...wait a second...
"Gets'm every time!" GB Andy whooped, firing.
She heard a burbling noise, and looked over to see what she immediately realized was her husband, also progressed along his personal aging process--in the opposite direction. He was now a pudgy infant with a fringe of reddish-brown curls. She couldn't help note that the baby was contemplating his own left foot with confusion and wonder.
"When I said I wanted to have your baby and grow old with you, this ain't what I meant..." she sighed ruefully, unbuckling her proton pack--because otherwise the weight wouldn't even let her move. Bizarro Fritz can cast time spells...like the real Fritz and his interest in temporal physics...Jeff's right, this stuff really is Bizarro World...
"What do they want with you, anyway?" Rachel asked her counterpart. "I mean, I'm on good terms with the Ghostbusters...while the Peoplebusters want your head on a pike? That doesn't make much sense..."
"Like we keep saying--not everything on the Flip Side is exactly like the real world, or even a direct opposite. Like there was no Peoplebuster Winston...or me..." Rose pointed out.
"But there is a Peoplebuster Winston Zeddemore." Ellie interjected. "I was too in shock earlier to mention it, but he..."
There was a blast of light. Peoplebuster Fritz and his floating wheelchair appeared.
Rose fired her proton pistol.
A stream of slime returned fire from his chair, overpowering the proton stream and hitting Rose, knocking her back.
"I TOLD YOU NOT TO SPRAY AT OTHER WOMEN!!!" the Chelsea head shrieked.
"Now, Ellie...you're coming with us..." Fritz snarled.
Rachel body-checked him, knocking him off the chair and onto the floor.
"Get Rose out of that goop!!!" Rachel shouted.
Otter started to pry her loose--Ellie, meanwhile, grabbed Rose's gun. "Over my dead body you son of a bitch."
"I can arrange that..." Fritz smirked, raising one gloved finger. "My temporal spells appear to be quite effective on meat...you age normally in this realm..." A light played around the end of the finger. "I will have all of you in diapers before you can even blink."
Then there was a flash of light.
"I do believe this is the part where I incinerate you..." PB Jeff gloated, opening his mouth. Flame started to dance in his throat...
Then there was a flash of light.
Then there was a flash of light.
Peoplebuster Kyle laughed, and his long fangs appeared, ready to drink...
Then there was a flash of light.
He gritted his teeth, clutched his thrower closer...
Then there was a flash of light in the room.
"Yale? That you? That how guys fart in your dimension?"
Andy looked up, gun at ready.
There was no sign of his dead counterpart.
He carefully moved to find his comrades--or his other enemies.
Fritz had regained his natural age too (though Chelsea couldn't help wish, for a second, that it'd stopped somewhere before 33 1/2). "What happened?" she asked as she helped him up.
"Your guess is as good as mine. We need to find the others."
"You were a cute baby..." she smirked as she re-donned her pack.
"And you'll be a beautiful grandmother." he replied, adjusting his glasses.
"He was about to crispy fry me..." Jeff finished. "Then poof, Bizarro Jeff was gone."
"Along with Ellie..." Rose shook her head, sadly. "I just hope she gets away from those thugs..."
"She'll be okay." Otter noted. "She still has your proton pistol."
"The upstairs instruments show the epsilon particles slowly dissipated." Fritz explained, looking at some print-outs. "I don't know what brought them here...but whatever it was, when the energy faded, it sent them back."
"Lucky for us." Jeremy shook his head. "I swear I'm not even going to joke about a craving for Milk Bones ever again..."
"But what brought them here in the first place?" Kyle asked.
"It is Halloween..." Jeff reminded them. "The ley line network does strange shit on Halloween. It may have been one of those things--I guess we'll never know."
"I was about to crispy fry the impostor..." Jeff finished. "Then poof, we were back in Perishing Park."
"And worse, Ellie got away." Chelsea said, somewhat subdued by the experience. Nobody expected it to last long. "Stupid meat gun..."
"The flow of Manium energy that took us there faded." Fritz explained, looking at some entrails. "I don't know what brought us there...but whatever it was, when the energy faded, it brought us back."
"Lucky for them." Jeremy grunted, savagely devouring an entire box of Milk Bones.
"But vhat sent us there in the first place?" Kyle asked.
"It is Life Day..." Jeff reminded them. "The ley line network does strange shit on Life Day. It may have been one of those things--I guess we'll never know."
Ghostbusters West Coast Division Created by Andy Harness and Vincent Belmont
The Peoplebuster concept comes from the Real Ghostbusters episode "Flip Side" (RGB-175001;#402), written by Tony Marino