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
"So where are we going?" Mick asked their mysterious rescuer, Victor Ulforce.
"We're almost there." Ulforce answered.
"I was afraid of that. Mick grumbled. "Back home this ain't exactly the best part of town. Add to that..." he trailed off.
If Ulforce made any note of the broken thought, he didn't say so. "Here." he pointed.
Jason's eyes went wide. "Station Company No. 23!!!" This is perfect!!!"
"I'm not following..." Rose shook her head.
"Station 23 is where--well, the real Station 23, back in LA--is where they filmed the interiors in the two Ghostbusters movies." Jason explained. "I always wondered why we never bought the place..."
"Well, Fritz said when the team formed it was way too big." Mick noted, nevertheless smirking with agreement. "They had like a dozen members."
"And the boss is right--there's no way all of them would have fit in this place." Rose added. She'd been hired just before the massive, two-subteam version of the GBWC fell apart, and the thought of all of them trying to squeeze into a place like this was an unpleasant one.
Ulforce looked around a time or two. "Follow me." With that, he flew through the wall.
"I love being a ghost!" Jason cried exuberantly, and followed.
"We'll be sure to tell Rachel you said that." Mick rolled his eyes.
"We definitely need to have a little talk about Mister Ulforce if we get a chance." Rose said quickly. "Alone."
"You noticed too?" Aidan quipped.
"Not now." Mick shook his head. "First law of crisis is only panic about one thing at a time. Victor Ulforce is not high on the panic list right now."
The team of Ghostbusters were led to the basement of the delapidated firehouse; for a half second, it looked a little odd to them not to see a high voltage laser containment grid there. It was just a basement.
But what they saw down there was another shock: "Ellie?!" Rose exclaimed.
Mick, Jason, and Aidan's jaws all dropped. She was dressed similarly to Ullforce--wearing a jacket and work pants that resembled a Ghostbusters New York uniform--but though she was solid, and not shimmering in blue light, she was otherwise a perfect match for the team's "Spirit Liason", the entity they still usually called Rachel Leavenworth.
"Look what I found." Ulforce said simply, removing his visor again, and picking out some more slime residue.
"We met last year." Rose said. "I was dressed up like a witch, but..."
Ellie's eyes went wide. "You found Ghostbusters?! From the human world?! But how..."
Aidan chuckled a little uncomfortably. "Well, we're kind of a little in the dark about that ourselves..."
He felt himself thrown roughly to the floor, and through the fog of nausea and the cocoon of green slime that was containing him, he heard voices...
"Wow! What a ride!!! I wanna do it again--it makes me feel the way I did when I rode the Tilt-A-Whirl without a seat belt!!!" the voice like Roland's said.
"Settle down, Roland." the voice like Garrett's chided.
"What the f*** did you guys come back already for?!" an angry female voice with a deep Brooklyn accent demanded. "You found Egon already?"
"Well, not quite. But we did get a real helpful clue..." the voice like Kylie's said.
Venkman felt himself dragged up off the floor, and the slime covering his face was roughly pulled off.
"Hey, watch the hair!" he protested. "Baldness runs in my Dad's side of the family, you know, and I will send the Rogaine bills to you if I have to!!!"
"Meat Venkman!!!" Peoplebuster Roland said proudly.
"I thought his name was Pete Venkman." Peoplebuster Garrett rolled his eyes. "And we did that joke already today."
Venkman had been at Peoplebusters Central once, twenty-one years before. It didn't look any more pleasant now. The four Extreme Peoplebusters he'd already became way too aquainted with, but they weren't alone: four other sets of eyes were now examining him with various degrees of disgust and dispassion in them.
A skeletal form in a wheelchair was glancing back and forth at Venkman and a device in his hand, a skull on a stick. He had the same hollow eye sockets Venkman remembered from Peoplebuster Egon, but if his shaggy brownish hair, peg leg, and dark blue flight suit trimmed in orange didn't clue him in who this was "supposed" to be, the name tag reading "Baugh" would do the trick.
Sitting in the lap of the mockery of GBWC CEO Fritz Baugh, was a disembodied head, a similar mockery of Dr. Baugh's wife, Chelsea.
But more jarring, in Venkman's eyes, was the freakishly large, muscularly built man wearing a flight suit in Winston's colors. All his exposed "skin" was solid black, like a creation of shade, similar to Peoplebuster Roland. It has to be Peoplebuster Winston... Venkman told himself. Sixteen years ago...when Winston was hit with the Peoplebuster slime...
"Wow!!!" Peoplebuster Ray exclaimed. "He looks just like the real Winston now!!!"
Janine?! Venkman swallowed his tongue. What the shit?! He'd seen the Flip Side version of Janine on his previous trip...but she had screamed and run in fear at the sight of the three Ghostbusters. It was like some soft, pliable mockery of the real woman (which only hindsight made clear how accurate it was at the time).
This one was more like some kind of amped up parody of Janine as they'd first met her. Instead of Cindy Lauper with a chip on her shoulder, more like Joan Jett with perpetual PMS.
And then a different insight dawned on him as he looked around: Where's the rest of them? "Egon", "Ray", and "Me"?
"This is a very interesting development." Peoplebuster Fritz mused. "With this we may have a bargaining chip that Epimetheus can't refuse..."
Epimetheus? "Bargaining chip? This ain't gonna involve getting plunked into a roulette wheel, will it?"
"Don't give me ideas." Peoplebuster Janine snarled.
"Down, girl." Peoplebuster Winston said, putting a reassuring hand on her shoulder. "We're gonna get them back--and we can't hurt this Venkman too badly until we do."
"Thanks for the reassurance." Venkman deadpanned.
"The dimensional shunt was a complete success." Fritz verified.
"What about the possiblity that some meat beings were brought into our world when we transitted? You said it was a possiblity." Eduardo asked.
"I don't know and I really don't care" Fritz replied brusquely.
"We need to make sure Epimetheus knows we have this Ghostbuster." Peoplebuster Winston said. "And in the meantime, somebody's gotta keep an eye on Meat Venkman."
"I think there's a perfect candidate." Janine smirked. "REMILS!!!" she shouted.
A portly, bald little man wearing shabby clothes that might have once been regal came flying eagarly through the floor. "Yousa calls meesa, Miss Janine, Ma'am?"
" 'Remils'?" Venkman said incredulously. "What the f***?"
The bald man's eyes went wide. "PEE-TAH!!!" he shouted joyfully and started to kiss Venkman.
"You are an evil woman, Melnitz." Kylie said approvingly.
"I know." Janine said proudly.
"Aw, wait a damn minute..." Venkman protested. " 'Remils'? That ain't even trying! It's just Slimer's name spelled backwards! What kind of retard came up with this idea?"
"Yousa not my Pee-tah..." Remils said, stroking Venkman's face in a creepy manner. "But yousa do until Missa Janine and Massa Winston get him back!"
"I changed my mind. There's heroic sacrifice to save human lives, but this is too much!" Venkman whined. "Send me back home! Continue attacking Central Park and everything if you have to!"
Egon and Janine looked at each other. "I'm gonna take it his news ain't good either..." she said.
Winston, Ray, Liz, and two of the younger Ghostbusters--Eduardo and Kylie--got out of the car, all looking glum.
"Peter's gone." Ray shook his head. "We tried to get some readings, but with so many people around, there's no telling if they were any good."
"I tried boosting the PK signature with a spell." Liz added. "An old Creo Vim effect."
"And it did help." Ray nodded, holding out his PKE Meter.
Egon took it and started to examine it, scrolling through some screens. "There was another complication when you were gone."
"Great." Kylie deadpanned. "How could this get any worse?"
"At just about the same time the video feed went screwy, Fritz Baugh in LA got a call from his team on the field." Janine explained. "Their truck was being chased by a tornado. With no atmospheric pressure change."
"The exact same effect that accompanied transits to the Peoplebuster dimension in 1986 and 1991." Kylie finished.
"I'm bettin' this ain't a coincidence, is it?" Eduardo asked rhetorically.
"Hm...." Egon's brow furrowed.
"What you got, Egon?" Ray asked.
Egon didn't answer--he just turned and headed for the stairs.
"Egon?" Ray asked.
"I need to compare this signature to something. But I'm not saying any more until I do." Egon answered enigmantically.
"The aura was very curious." Liz mused. "It felt strangely...Faerie in nature..."
"Roland and Garrett stay at the concert?" Janine asked. Eduardo nodded as Kylie and Ray headed off to follow Egon.
"They were helping Dana with Jess--she's completely freaked out. Plus of course they still had family or a date there..." Eduardo answered. "Oh...er...one more thing...Jeff jumped in the portal as it closed. He's gone too."
Still, his landing wasn't as graceful as he'd normally have accomplished--he hit an awning, was flipped across a street, and landing in a bathtub filled with dingy water and an undead honeymooning couple.
Triple botch on that roll... Jeff mused to himself.
"Eeeek! A pervert!!!" the female half of the couple screamed. She was a skeleton in a blonde wig, and held her hands up over her chest like she had something to hide.
The male of the couple was pale, muscular, missing some teeth, and wearing a Boo York Trolls jersey, which seemed a bit incongrous on an otherwise naked body. "I'll murdalize the bum!!!" the jock shouted, and grabbed Jeff.
It's yellow, bloodshot eyes went wide.
His corpse bride screamed.
With that, the duo scrambled out of the tub and ran, the jock sobbing in the blonde skeleton's arms.
"Well, now that was the second wierdest experience I've ever had in a hotel room." Jeff deadpanned.
Jeff started to get up out of the bathtub--but realized that the contents had frozen. "What the f***? I didn't use my power...what..."
With a bit of exertion, he extricated himself from the icy mess. I realize I never asked the Professor how the 'Flip Side' might mess up a guy who already had paranormal power...our world didn't seem to give 'Bizarro Jeff' much to worry about last year, but dimensional physics isn't always fair...
He started to gently tap the wall, until his hand sent through it. I gotta get moving before the Peoplebusters show up here...I'm not gonna have any element of surprise if they catch me... Jeff looked through the wall. Laying in the hallway, underneath a sign reading "Sedgewick", was an entity in a bellhop uniform.
"Of course..." Jeff muttered. "At least it isn't the London Sedgewick. Gods know what kind of diseases that place would give me..."
The entity's bloodshot eyes went wide when it finally noticed Jeff. It took a long, deep drag off the doobie it was holding, and then started to do a Butthead laugh. "Huh huhuhuhuh huh huhhuhuhuhuh..."
"Pardon me." Jeff said, flying past the bellhop.
"Huh huh huhuhuhuh...say hello to Remils for me, Dude..."
"That's what the witness said--the tornado 'snatched them up' just over there." Fox pointed.
Fritz was studying his PKE Meter. "I'm definitely getting a strong epsilon signature, indicating a dimensional transit."
"They really have been sent to the Flip Side, haven't they?" Jeremy asked.
"I won't know for sure until I send these readings to the Professor, but it looks that way." Fritz nodded glumly.
Not far away, in the shadows, they were being watched.
They were there before....when I tried to send Tohnloq to his just reward... the Soultracker mused to itself. There are...strange auras about both of them.
The Soultracker stiffened. The sensation like ice water, the same as before.
What I am feeling...is not here!!!
Accept Download from pke3_01.gbwc.net?
ProfESpengler: Data received, Fritz. Stand by.
Veedramon: Yes, Sir.
Egon had pulled out an old PKE Meter--a "Model 2.0", the type he'd used from late 1983 (shortly after the Gozer case) then throughout the entire operating lifespan of the original Ghostbusters team; it was only when the Extreme Ghostbusters formed that he retired the design (and even then, the "Model 2.1" used the same casing)
"I bet I know what that is..." Ray realized. "The meter you had when Professor Epimetheus disappeared."
Egon held up his meter. "I'll have to analyze the data, but I may have gotten a reading on the configuration of the exact dimensional shunt. One way or another, I do not think we have seen the last of Professor Ian Epimetheus."
"Then why not when we started up?" Kylie asked. "You know we would have helped with whatever you needed."
"By then, some of the...neglect of the previous six years had taken their toll on the data." Egon shook his head. "And it wasn't until GBI was fully reconstituted that I would have the resources to follow up. The use of dimensional portal technology is extremely expensive."
"But now you have a fresh reading!" Ray realized.
"Correct." Egon nodded. "But first, we have to be certain it's the same dimension. I need to compare the data with the earlier reading to prevent any rash action." He pushed a few buttons, causing a few more beeps and chirps.
Egon's brow furrowed. "The readings are completely different. The epsilon signatures aren't synchronized, and..." He stroked his chin.
Send File epimetheus_1991 to pke3_01.gbwc.net
A few minutes passed.
"What is it?" Ray asked.
Egon didn't answer.
"Professor Epimetheus may have been sent through time, is that what you're saying?" Kylie asked.
"It's possible." Ray nodded. "Though not all temporal events necessarily involve time travel, per se." He sighed. "Now I really wish we had a speed dial to Delphia or Professor..." he stopped. "Professor...dammit, why am I blanking on his name all of a sudden?"
Egon went back to the monitor. "We will have to leave that for another time, pardon the phrase. I'm now comparing Fritz's reading with the one's you took, Ray... The epsilon sine wave shows a deviation of 2%." he finally pronounced. "I screened it for residue of Elizabeth's PK trace, which may have distorted the signal due to her spell, and the deviation declines to nil."
"So yeah, Peter and Jeff have gone to whereever Mick and the others went." Ray nodded.
"Great. So what do we do with this, then?" Kylie asked.
Ray and Egon exhanged an enigmatic smirk. "I know you just can't wait to fire it up." Ray told him.
"A real Ghostbuster proton pack...." Ulforce mused, clearly wanting to pick it up and try it out. "This is incredible. I never thought I'd see one up close like this!"
"Yeah, well, don't touch it." Aidan said.
Mick was just finishing his relaying of the day's events. "...And here I thought the giant budgie was going to be the low point of the day, right?"
Ellie seemed to be paying rather rapt attention to Mick. "Sorry I'm such bad company."
Mick startled. "That's not what I...oh...okay...yeah, that was a joke."
Rose and Jason looked at each other. "Oh boy...we didn't have Mick yet last Halloween." Rose noted. "I guess all things considered we should have expected this..."
Jason shook his head. "Ay-yi-yi...if we tell Andy and J, Mick'll never hear the end of it..." He then slowly grinned at the thought.
"Last time we saw you, Ellie..." Rose spoke up. "You were being chased by the Peoplebusters West Coast. You said you'd only 'heard of' the Ghostbusters. Now you are one?"
Ellie nodded. "Once I got back to Los Diablos, I ran into..." she looked sideways, a cloud coming into her expression. "Victor. I wasn't sure I could trust him at first, until he introduced me to the Professor."
"The Professor?" Jason asked. "Egon Spengler?"
Ellie shook her head. "The leader of the Flip Side Ghostbusters. Professor Ian Epimetheus."
The entities shrieked "PEOPLE!!! AHHH!!!"
At the main desk, the decaying counterpart of Morton P. Grout was arguing with a panicked customer. "I keep telling you, there is no such thing as people! It's all mass hysteria!"
Jeff tsked. "Wow. Your toupee is even worse than the real Grout's."
The customer screamed "I'M CALLING THE PEOPLEBUSTERS!!!" as he ran away.
"Now look what you've done, you...you...Hooligan!" Flip Side Grout snarled. "Those idiots always make a mess!!!"
"Don't worry--I was just leaving." Jeff said, truthfully.
Jeff got outside, and melted into the shadows, berating himself for being so "public" at the Flip Side Sedgewick. But the disorientation of the dimensional jump was fading, and he was back on his game.
The Extreme Peoplebusters grabbed Venkman....I know where they are, probably, but I gotta remember: I'm outnumbered, and don't have any weapons. Not even an N-Saber. Though from what the old case files said, that stuff wouldn't work here anyway. Ye Gods, this place sucks.
I can guess that the rest of the New York crew will try to figure out a way to get here...but how much time will that take? How much time does Venkman have before they...well, I don't even know what they want with him.
Jeff smirked. This is gonna be the ultimate test of my ninja abilities...I love it!
Jeff jumped and spun around, assuming a defensive posture. Okay...maybe I'm not at the top of my game yet...
The man watched Jeff with an open, disarming expression on his aged, lined face, which was topped by snowy white hair. Peeking out from under his dark trenchcoat was an approximation of a tan Ghostbusters New York uniform; more significantly, the red seal of GBNY was affixed to his lapel.
"I know you're probably rather disoriented." the man continued, pleasantly. "Welcome to, as a friend of a former student of mine once put it, the 'Flip Side of the Spiritual Divide'. I'm Ian Epimetheus, and I'm here to help you."
Liz Hawthorne Stantz created by OgreBBQ.
I am so going to Hell for putting King Remils in a story. He came from one of Marvel UK's stupidest stories, in issue 22 of their RGB comic.
Some material excerpted from "Pandora's Box, Part 4" Written by Fritz Baugh, based off an unfinished story by Barry Peterson.
Soultracker created by Kyle Stevens; developed by Fritz Baugh