FLIP SIDE WAR
From the files of Dr. Fritz V. Baugh, GBWC CEO
GBI Case File No. GBI-2007-25/310
From the files of Dr. Fritz V. Baugh, GBWC CEO
GBI Case File No. GBI-2007-25/310
"This is the address..." Aidan Munroe said, squinting at the paper in his hand.
"What was this place called again?" Jason Knetge asked.
" 'The Furrperson Home For Cats' " Rose Prevost replied, adjusting the blue and orange flight suit she still wasn't totally comfortable wearing. "The proprietor was a lady named 'Felina Furrperson'."
"That has got to be an alias..." Mick Nielson said, stomping out his cigarette as he got out of the converted SWAT van's driver seat.
"She'd had to have mental problems either way." Aidan remarked as Jason opened the back of the van and pulled out the proton packs. "Because if that's her real name the years of teasing and swirlies probably did their job..."
"I definitely picked the wrong day to go on a case..." Rose rolled her eyes.
He picked up his sword, and strode briskly to the room bearing a strange mark--a square with an X and an O inscribed within it--and waited.
"Enter..." a smooth voice called after a few seconds.
Inside, the Necromancer was waiting. Not in the trench coat he usually wore, but in a smock bearing a design of an inward-twisting spiral. "You look troubled, my friend..."
"You did not feel it?" the Soultracker asked.
"I've been extracting vis." the Necromancer replied, setting down the forceps he was holding. "Perhaps I missed something..." He stared into space, and made a few gestures. "Ars Intellego Vim...Hm..."
"You do feel it." The Soultracker replied. "Something evil...."
The Necromancer rubbed his large, leathery chin. "Yes...I hate that. There might be something in town more dangerous and evil than I am...Ars Intellego Manium..."
The Soultracker turned and started to leave. "It is something I must find and destroy..."
"I gave you no leave." The Necromancer spat.
"Forgive me, Master...but I must. This may have the answers I need...to the strange feeling of unease that has only grown these last few months..."
The Necromancer grinned a wide, toothy Cheshire grin as the Soultracker left. Memory fragments, perhaps? This could be perfect. My new enemies are moving into exactly the position I want them in...
And this new event...hm... His grin fell as he contemplated. This feels...familiar...Like...yes...
There were the wailing of scores of cats. Two terrified women ran out of the house, dozens of cats following behind them.
And behind them was a ten-foot tall Budgie
"I really really picked the wrong day to go on a case..." Rose griped, arming her particle thrower.
"I bet Dr. Venkman is just beside himself." Jeremy Hicks chuckled as he watched the screen.
"Beep beep beep!!!" Otter, the team's engineer, called out jokingly. "Wide Load coming through!"
"It's too bad I'm going to make sure Rose and I lose your paychecks from now on!" a pitched female voice retorted.
Chelsea Aberdeen Baugh rolled into the room in the wheelchair her disabled husband usually used. Her abdomen was very swollen.
"Wow." Jeremy remarked. "You really do look like you're ready to go at any time."
"Due date is October 1st." she replied. "I pretty literally could have this baby at any time. And believe me, I'm ready...oh, Boy, am I ready..."
"But Chelsea..." Jeremy quipped. "You can't until Rose gets back, because someone has to answer the phone!"
Thankfully, she chuckled at that instead of picking up something and throwing it at him.
Jeremy shook his head as he turned back to the computer screen. For a moment, he was lost in the memory of the day he met her in the elevator at the LA Sedgewick. Four and a half years younger, and exasperated with her evasive friend "Doc". Who, Jeremy admitted, he thought was a stuck up jerk at their first meeting. "She is a babe...what is she doing with that weirdo?" he remember thinking to himself...
Of course it worked out for the best. Jeremy found his own chance at love. And that stuck up, evasive, jerky weirdo "Doc" was both the father of Chelsea's baby and one of Jeremy's best friends.
"So how much fun do you think they're all having right now?" Otter asked.
"THIS JOB DEFINITELY AIN'T WORTH ELEVEN FIVE A YEAR!!!"
"Where's a giant cat when you need one?" Aidan muttered under his breath.
"I dunno...maybe it's the 'about to have a baby' thing...I keep thinking how next spring it'll be five years since this all started." Chelsea explained.
"I was just thinking about that myself." Jeremy admitted. "I wonder how ol'Joey and Peter are doing now. Been a while since we heard from them..."
"I remember how Joey hired me..." Otter said excitedly. "He just kind of ran into me when he and Fritters were driving around in the ECTO-1N." He paused. "And I do mean 'ran into'. Literally. He plowed the box I was sleeping in with the ECTO."
Chelsea nodded. "I'm surprised Williams isn't here trying to get in on the hype with Dr. Venkman's son's big debut."
Otter looked wistful. "Yeah....I remember the days when I had all those girls hanging all over me like Oscar does now..."
"Yeah. Nineteen Never." Chelsea rolled her eyes.
Mick held up the smoking ghost trap. "Believe me...that thing was something to be frightened of."
Aidan picked at the hole the giant budgie had pecked in his flight suit. "Man...and this was a brand new suit..." Thankfully, it had only pecked the suit.
"You guys wouldn't be interested in giving any of these adorable kitties a new home, would you?" Furrperson asked eagerly.
"Erm...we have a couple of cats already." Jason replied sheepishly. "And we really need to get going to feed them. They get cranky when they're not fed on time!"
The Ghostbusters made their goodbyes and beat a hasty exit.
"Good save, Jason." Rose complimented him.
"Yeah." Mick agreed. "That lady gave me the major creeps. It's like every cliche about weird cat ladies come to life."
"It could be worse." Jason cracked. "Halle Berry could have been involved."
"I think the movies proved that 'Halle Berry' and 'Cat Ladies' are concepts that don't mix in this universe, so yeah..." Aidan agreed, stowing the proton packs. "Can we get moving?"
"You think KRAP is going to carry Mood Slime's concert?" Jason asked. "We know they've been giving away lots of free CD's..."
"Who cares?" Aidan retorted. "We get the Pay Per View free at GB Central West."
"The perks of having the new star's Dad as our boss." Rose rolled her eyes. "I think I'll sit that one out, thanks--not really my music."
"Yeah, yeah, Weird Al is God, we know..." Mick started to chuckle...
Before he noticed the tornado following them down the freeway.
"WHAT THE FUCK?!" Jason and Aidan shouted in unison.
Mick had the presence of mind to flip on the siren when he slammed the accellerator.
The tornado accelerated to keep up with him.
"Oh shit..." Mick muttered. "Rose! Call home!!!"
Rose grabbed the microphone on the dashboard radio. "ECTO-WC to GB Central West! Come in!!!"
"That's Rose!" Otter pointed out helpfully as Jeremy ran and grabbed the microphone.
"This is HQ--I hear you, Rose! What's up?"
"I'm not sure I believe this either, but we're being chased down the Beverly Hills Parkway by a tornado!"
"They're being chased by Zorro's horse?" Otter asked.
"No! A real tornado!!!" Rose replied, exasperated. "You know, big swirly cloud? Takes your house to Oz and drops it on the Wicked Witch of the East?"
"You know, that Good Witch was kinda hot..." Otter quipped.
"Hang on..." Jeremy said. "I'm calling Fritz and Andy down here now..."
Aidan looked back at the instrument panel he was sitting at. "This is the damnedest thing...there's no barometric pressure differential...which is damn peculiar considering there's a fucking tornado about two hundred feet behind us!!!"
Mick gritted his teeth. His blood went cold as a semi-truck blocked his path...instinct took over and he slammed the brakes to avoid hitting it...
...Allowing the unnatural weather phenomenon to scoop up the ECTO-WC, Ghostbusters and all.
Fritz and Andy came into the room briskly. Chelsea and Otter told them what had happened hurriedly as Jeremy tried a few more times, in vain, to reach their comrades.
"What was that last thing Aidan said?" Chelsea asked.
"He said the tornado wasn't causing any barometric pressure differential." Otter replied. "Which is bullshit--a tornado is caused by rapidly dropping barometric pressure differentials. You can't have a tornado without a change in pressure! It's scientifically impossible!!!"
"Science doesn't always apply in our line of work, Otter." Andy pointed out.
"A tornado without a barometric pressure drop..." Fritz scratched his head. "This sounds familiar somehow..."
"It does?" Jeremy asked.
"I'm not saying anymore until I access the TOBIN database." Fritz shook his head, moving to the computer console in his office.
...And vanish as quickly as it came.
This was what I felt...and it's gone. And yet....there is something else...I feel another evil...perhaps it was...
He jumped from the building he was perched on, and vanished into nothingness.
"I'm gonna be siiiiiiiiiick!!!" she heard someone--she wasn't sure if it was Jason or Aidan--shout.
The tumbling came to an abrupt stop, accompanied by a crunching noise; she couldn't tell how much time had passed, and for all she knew she had passed out.
"Rose! Aidan! Jason! You still with me?" Mick shouted.
Still thinks like a team leader... Rose remarked to herself. "Not so loud, Mick. I was trying to sleep over here..."
"I feel like the trunk of a taxi cab." Aidan said.
"Points for a bit of originality." Jason admitted.
"I've seen the trunk of a taxi. There's no comparison."
"What about you, Jason?"
"Let's do it again!"
Mick and Aidan looked out the window. It was dark outside, but at least they saw what looked to be buildings of a style they were used to.
Rose turned up the radio, which was now broadcasting nothing but static. Aidan took a look at the instruments. He shook his head. "The whole panel is crazy...maybe the Professor or even Fritz could make sense of this, but not me."
Within a minute, they had donned their proton packs and warily left the ECTO-WC, guns at the ready.
Jason took a quick look underneath. "Well, no witches under here..."
They heard a scream.
They turned to see two lumpy purple entities looking at them with utter horror. "PEOPLE!!!" they shouted, and ran away, like they were scared out of their wits.
"Now there's something you don't see every day." Jason quipped.
"Would you stop that?!" Mick snarled at him. Jason just grinned sheepishly.
"Maybe they know where we are!" Rose pointed out. "And why we're here!"
"Worth a shot." Mick admitted. "Go!"
The four Ghostbusters took off after the entities. They chased them around a corner...
...and found themselves in a shopping mall. But it was a shopping mall full of ghosts.
The entire crowd silenced the second the four Ghostbusters appeared, and turned to stare at them, fear and disgust in their eyes.
"PEOPLE!!!" they screamed, and the scene became chaos incarnate as the entities were literally trampling each other to get away.
Jason spotted it first. One of the ad signs in the mall.
A generic-looking blond man covered by a neon orange circle and slash, with text reading "Peoplebusters. Totally Ready To Believe You. KL5-PBWC"
"Oh Hell." All four said in unison.
The news barely registered with Jeremy as they waited for Fritz to finish his search. Plus Kyle's cats. Maggie and Mister Whiskers, were sitting in front of the screen washing their butts anyway. Compared to our bad day, that's nothing
"Oh Hell..." they heard Fritz exhale.
"When I hear a Deist say that, I know it's bad." Andy quipped.
"Two files. GBNY-1986-4/402. GBNY-1991-9/205. Both incidents record a tornado with no barometric pressure differential. In the first, Doctor Stantz, Doctor Venkman, and Professor Spengler were dimensionally shunted to another dimensional plane. In the second, three beings from that plane were shunted to ours."
Andy's eyes went wide. "Oh Hell...this is ringing a bell now. We didn't detect anything like that last Halloween, but we weren't looking..."
"You don't mean..." Chelsea inhaled.
Fritz adjusted his glasses. "Based on these read-outs, and the Founder's case files, I would say it's at least extremely possible that Mick, Jason, Aidan, and Rose were shunted to the Flip Side, the home dimension of the Peoplebusters."
"They're these ghost duplicates of the Ghostbusters from...." Jason started to answer excitedly.
"I know what the fucking Peoplebusters are!" Mick shouted back, a little angry.
Rose looked around nervously. "We met some Peoplebuster versions of some of our guys last Halloween. Andy, Kyle, Jeremy, Jeff...and Fritz and Chelsea with her as some kind of shrieking disembodied head. The creepiest part, though, was the living version of Rachel. Her name was Ellie and everything..."
"Does anyone else hear a siren?" Aidan interrupted.
A giant monster truck pulled up to the front of the mall. It was black, and had the same neon orange logo as the poster--the license plate read "PROTO-WC".
"Man, and they're efficient, too!" Jason griped. "Why couldn't that be one way they weren't opposite from us?!"
One door of the PROTO-WC was kicked off the vehicle from within. A loud growl accompanied it. "It's about time! It's been too quiet lately!!!"
"Dammit, Knetge! How many times has the Boss told you not to rip off the doors! Those cost us to replace, you know!!!"
"Blow it out your ass, Nielson!"
"Oh shit." Mick and Jason said in unison.
The two Peoplebusters were, indeed, the apparent Flip Side versions of Mick and Jason. PB Mick looked like the same sort of "zombie" that Rose too well remembered from last year's festivities...PB Jason was massive, muscular, and had stitching on his face and bolts on his neck.
"Am I seeing things, Jason, or do those meats look kinda familiar?" PB Mick pointed out.
"Like I fucking care." PB Jason snarled, swinging his slime thrower around.
"Scatter!" Aidan shouted. "If that shit hits you..."
The four Ghostbusters ducked for cover as the two Peoplebusters started laying out a heavy fire of gooey green slime.
"What would our beams do to them?" Jason asked Rose.
"As I recall from what Janine said, not much of anything." Rose replied.
"Hey...was that Munroe I saw?" PB Mick guffawed. "By the Great Witch, it's fun to see a version of him in one piece!"
"Oh. Good. I was wondering where 'I' was..." Aidan rolled his eyes. I'm trying to remember the case file...the ineffectiveness of our proton packs has to do with the electrostatic properties of Flip Side ectoplasm, but what...
Something hit PB Jason on the back of the head, hard, with a loud clang.
"Wow. I ducked just in time." PB Mick observed excitedly.
PB Jason turned and howled indignantly, spraying the area the offending item came from with slime.
"You'll have to try harder than that!" a voice came from behind PB Mick.
PB Jason turned and fired at the source of the voice, slamming PB Mick with a stream of slime.
"Dammit!!!" PB Mick shouted.
"Who in the world is..." Aidan started to say, echoing the thought everyone had on their minds.
"Behind you, Knetge!!!" the new--but, the four Ghostbusters realized, strangely familiar--voice called out. Both Jasons--and the other Ghostbusters--turned to the source of it. There was a human looking man floating in midair, his eyes obscured by a visor; he had shoulder length reddish-brown hair, and was wearing what looked to be, of all things, a tan Ghostbusters flight suit and a blue jacket, complete with the red logo of Ghostbusters New York on its left chest.
"ULFORCE!!!" The giant Frankenstein Jason snarled angrily (so far, actually, he didn't seem to have any other mood) and fired a shot from his slime thrower.
The target seemed to vanish in a blur of light, appearing about ten feet away from where PB Jason shot.
"Try again." the flying man said. "I would recommend..." he started to say, then hesitated
The hesitation cost him--PB Mick popped up and blasted him with a slime stream, throwing him into a wall and sticking him there.
"Heh. The Boss is gonna be thrilled when he gets back!" PB Mick gloated. "The only fish bigger than this guy would be Epimetheus himself!!!"
"Aw, Hell no!" Mick snarled. "We are not standing by and letting this happen!" he grabbed a food court tray and flung it at his Bizarro counterpart.
PB Mick dodged. "Hey, Meat, you may hurt someone with that!"
"That's the idea!" Mick shouted back.
Aidan snapped his fingers. "There might be a way! Rose--quick, dial your thrower to setting three!"
Jason, meanwhile, had fired a shot from his thrower, knocking a lighting fixture into his counterpart. Peoplebuster Jason snarled.
"You're a big one..." Jason had to admit.
"Yeah, yeah...I know." PB Jason replied. "I'm gonna enjoy blasting you, you ugly meat mockery. You took me away from my crosswords for this call!!!"
"Crosswords? You can do crosswords? This ain't fair!" Jason said as he dodged another slime blast.
PB Mick charged GB Mick, firing his slime gun. Mick managed to dodge the first volley of shots, but "This may not be the smartest thing I've ever done..."
Mick tripped over the trash can...and then realized he fell right through it.
"Now!!!" Aidan shouted. A red beam slammed into PB Mick.
"What the?!" both Micks said in unison.
PB Jason had grabbed a table and was about to smack GB Jason over the head with it...before a red energy beam grabbed him, too, fired by Rose.
"Can we even trap these guys, though?" Rose shouted.
"I don't know!" Aidan replied. "It may not be any more effective than trying to trap a human in a trap where we come from--so instead..." he pivoted his beam, shutting it off at the very last second, slamming Peoplebuster Mick into Peoplebuster Jason.
The impact knocked both Peoplebusters cold--or as close as something that was more or less a ghost could get.
"I remembered how the Professor explained it--ectoplasm is electrostaticly positive here, instead of negative. The positive beam has no effect on them--but the repulsion beam, setting three, does--at least a little kind of like setting five back home."
"Explain later." Rose chided, helping Mick up. "Help that guy who saved us, and let's get out of here before more of them show up! We know they have a Fritz, and an Andy, and a Jeff even if their Kyle is gone like ours!"
"Right!" Jason and Aidan said, going over to their would-be rescuer, stuck to the wall.
"Let us help you out of that, Sir!" Jason said.
"I can't believe I was caught so flat footed." the man grumbled. "I was just a little surprised, that's all--that some Ghostbusters, some real Ghostbusters, were here... How did that happen?"
"We aren't totally sure ourselves." Aidan admitted.
They finally got the man out of the slime, and he dropped to the ground.
The man pulled off his visor to dump some slime out of it. There was a quizzical look in his blue eyes as he scanned them.
They heard more sirens. "We don't have time for this." the man shook his head, putting his visor back on. "We need to get out of here--can you fly yet?"
"Fly?" Mick asked.
Jason jumped up...and hovered in mid-air. "Whoo-hoo! I knew there'd be an up side to this!!"
"I'll take that as a yes." the man smirked. "The name's Ulforce--Victor Ulforce--and you might say I'm a Ghostbusters of sorts myself. Now let's get out of here--I'm sure Professor Epimetheus will be very interested in meeting you."
Extreme Ghostbusters Created by Fil Barlow
Ghostbusters West Coast Division Created by Andy Harness and Vincent Belmont
Soultracker created by Kyle Stevens; developed by Fritz Baugh
The Furrperson Home For Cats and the giant Budgie were inspired by a story that appeared in Marvel UK's RGB#107, written by Jane Roome. I found out about it at NYGB Comicguide (Thanks to ECTO-1 for the information)