OPENING NIGHT
PART TWO

From the files of Fritz V. Baugh, Official Historian
with plot assistance from the entire GBWC team
GBI Case File GBWC-2003-21/001

Apartment of Kyle Stevens, Los Angeles California
April 18, 2003
Kyle awoke with a start. Maggie, one of his cats, was yowling for his attention.

He awoke bleary eyed...and realized his alarm was going off...I slept through my alarm?

His moment of panic calmed when he realized it had only been going off a few minutes--he wouldn't be late for his next shift at Stevens Point Hospital; heck, he'd managed a whole four hours of sleep in the bargain.

He sighed and got out of bed, only to grunt with disgust as his foot landed in something wet and smelly.

"MISTER WHISKERS!!!" he shouted angrily, but his other cat was nowhere to be seen.

Whiskers only craps like that when he's upset about something...Kyle reminded himself. He reached down to scrach Maggie's ears, and she pulled away and hissed. What the?

He knew that animals were sometimes sensitive to things that humans couldn't detect. He quickly ran about to make sure that the apartment wasn't on fire. No fire. No muggers. No UFOs hovering overhead.

What has got them all riled up?

He shrugged it off long enough to dress. But as he left the building, he couldn't shake the feeling.

This is not going to be a good night.

Anaheim
Pandemonium was the only way to describe it.

Everyone was screaming at once.

Jeremy Hicks was pushed, jostled, and then thrown into a chair, his stomach hitting the top of the theatre seat, knocking the wind out of him for a few seconds.

"Get out of my way, b#tch!!!" he heard someone shout, and then a scream from a voice he had already become familiar with. Chelsea?!

He saw her thrown just like he was, by some model of Hollywood cool so scared out of his gourd that he didn't care what or who got in his way, just so his pampered, overpaid butt could get to safety.

He vaulted over the seat to where the staggered Chelsea Aberdeen was shaking her head, her gorgeous purple dress dirtied and torn during the commotion. "You alright?"

She started to look around. "I'm fine, but...where's Fritz?"

"Damn it damn it all to Hell!!!" Jake Kong Senior shouted as a man who looked like Earring Magic Ken shoved him aside. "I'm an old man, you f***ing queer!!! How dare you!!!"

Peter Kong tried to reach his grandfather, but the panicked crowd pushed him further away.

"Peter!!!" he heard someone call, and instinctively turned.

"HuH?!" he turned and called back.

The tall woman he'd seen earlier--sitting next to the guy he thought would make a terrific Garfield--turned to look at him, just as confused. He didn't see "Garfield", but the blue haired boy was trying to drag the tall woman out of there.

"We gotta go, Mom!!! It's not safe in here!!!"

"But Peter..."

"Dad knows what he's doing!!! You know that better than anyone!!!"

It dawned on him that she wasn't talking to him at all--she meant "Pete"...Garfield...the guy who somehow bugged him because he seemed...familiar.

"Knows what he's doing"? What does he mean by that?

Jake Kong Senior felt himself grabbed once more, and pulled away from the aisle of panicked audience members. "Perhaps, sir, it might be best to wait until the rush is over with." a surprisingly calm voice told him. Two men had dragged him out of the fray, the one who addressed him so calmly peering through eyeglasses.

"Remind me not to get in line for the premiere of Nemo..." the other man deadpanned. "You all right, mister?"

"Pride's hurt more than anything else..." Jake admitted.

By now the bispectacled man was punching his cel phone. "Fritz?"

Fritz Baugh glanced back at Joey Williams for only a second. "What do you think I'm doing? I'm calling the f***ing police."

Officer Kirby picked up the phone.

"LAPD...uh-huh...uh-huh...sure. Listen, I don't know who you think you are, but this kind of stupid practical joke isn't funny and if I find out who this is I'll come down there and kick your a** myself!!! I've got muggings and drive-bys to worry about without any stupid prank calls!!! Good night!!!"

With that, Kirby slammed down the phone.

His friend Officer Muldoon overheard the whole thing. "What is it this time?"

"Goon called and said a jackal-headed monster in a hoodie was tearing up the Anaheim theatre...I swear, these retards and their crack..."

Muldoon got a good laugh. "But gee, Kirby, what if he was telling the truth?"

Kirby laughed back. "Then Ghostbusters needs to open up a west coast branch office--monsters still ain't our jurisdiction!" They backslapped each other, and headed off to raid the coffee and doughnuts.

"Unsurprisingly, that went nowhere." Fritz flatly informed Joey and Jake.

"You're taking this well." Joey surmised.

"Panic will get us nowhere." Fritz replied. "And I don't exactly see you screaming and drooling either."

"I'm a trained parapsychologist!" Joey informed him. "This is just the sort of thing I've waited for my whole professional life!!!"

Jake looked at them, suddenly impressed. "You two fellers remind me of some guys my boy Junior knew..."

Jon Dennison could feel the hot breath of his attacker, now standing only inches away from him.

"W...why are you doing this?" Dennison pleaded.

"You damned fool...you really are stupid..." the creature snorted back. "But that's why you hire people who can actually think, steal their ideas, and then take the credit for them. Leaving them with nothing. One of them comes up with the idea for a blockbuster...and you kick them to the curb like yesterday's trash."

"Well, guess who's leaving this place in a black baggie today, Jonny-boy?"

"I...listen, I don't know what you think I've done!"

The Ravisher backhanded Dennison hard. It waited until Dennison had more or less recovered his wits again, and knew he was looking. "You still didn't figure it out. Tard." the Ravisher put one taloned hand over his right eye. "Here's a hint, dumba**..."

Dennison inhaled hard, his eyes widening with horrified realization. "S...Snurf?" he gasped weakly.

The Ravisher's mouth opened to a toothy grin. "Heh heh heh...I told you you'd regret firing me..." He grabbed Dennison and hoisted him off the floor.

"You know, you really need to put some more feeling into that. I'm just not reading the hate here." a smooth voice cut in.

The Ravisher turned to see a man with brown hair nonchalantly leaning against a theatre seat.

"Do you mind??? I'm trying to get my revenge here!!!"

"P...Pete...what are you doing?" Dennison called weakly. "Get away...he'll..."

Peter Venkman lazily pulled a cigarette out of his jacket, lit it, inhaled, and blew a huge cloud of smoke at the furious Ravisher. "What? It's not me he's mad at..."

Near the back of the theatre, Fritz and Joey looked back as they were helping Jake to the exit. "That man must be the king of the fools..." Fritz remarked.

Joey's jaw dropped. "Do you know who that guy is? He's Peter Venkman--the Ghostbuster!!!"

Jake Senior looked with a start. "Holy crap!!! It is!!! My son worked with him a couple times..."

"Your son? Is he..."

"Jake Kong, Junior."

Joey and Fritz looked at each other. "Never heard of him." Joey answered honestly.

Jake sighed and rolled his eyes. "Not many have anymore..."

They hustled Jake to the back door of the theatre. Peter was there with Dana and Oscar.

"Grandpa!" You all right?" Peter asked naturally enough.

"I'm fine, Petey...fine..." he indicated Joey and Fritz. "These two fellers brought me to safety like they'd been doin' it for years. And speakin' as one who did..."

"My husband!" Dana broke in. "Have you seen him? He's..."

"Doctor Venkman was down there trying to distract the monster" Joey responded, as he knew who she was talking about. He tried not to stare at her either, not just because she was quite attractive, but because he knew who she was: She must be Dana Barrett....the avatar of Zuul... Like Venkman, a person of no small stature in parapsychology circles.

"Oh my God..." Dana gasped. "That IDIOT!!!"

"How do you know who he is?" Oscar asked Joey suspiciously.

"I'm a PhD in parapsychology myself. Doctor Venkman is a legend in the field."

Peter was putting two and two together. "Peter Venkman!!! No wonder he looked familiar!!! I was just trying to think of an actor or something--not one of my Pop's old friends!"

"I would surmise that Doctor Venkman, then, is trying to distract the creature from Mister Dennison, possibly with intent to allow someone else to obtain medical attention for him." Fritz mused, adjusting his glasses.

Oscar couldn't help but chuckle. "He talks like Uncle Egon..."

Joey cracked his knuckles. "Then I say maybe we go give Doctor Venkman a hand. Any body with me?"

Peter stepped forward. "That sleazebag can't kill Jon while I can do anything about it."

Fritz just nodded and grunted an agreeing sound. "Fritz!!!" a female voice called.

They turned to see Jeremy and Chelsea run up to them, the latter grabbing Fritz and hugging him. He didn't look completely comfortable. "I was worried that that thing..."

He gently pulled her off of him. "I'm afraid reassurance is premature--there's still a man needing our help. Mister Hicks, keep an eye on her for me..."

"Fritz..." she pleaded.

"Bite that, Doc." Jeremy replied. "I'm good with my hands--I'm in for the rescue too." he turned at Chelsea and winked. "Can't let Doc and Joey be the big heroes, right?"

Fritz handed her his glasses. "I'll be as careful as possible. I promise."

"We'll keep an eye on her, Doctor." Jake volunteered. Fifteen year old Oscar seemed to perk up a little with the thought.

Joey Williams, Peter Kong, Fritz Baugh, and Jeremy Hicks exchanged one look of grim determination.

Peter Venkman blew a big smoke ring into the face of the increasingly angry Ravisher. "So what did ol' Jonny do to you anyway? Bag your sister?"

Ravisher roared and dropped Dennison. Then he studied Venkman with a bit of puzzlement. "Don't I...scare you?"

"Pshoot. After hundred foot marshmallow men and Godzilla-sized octopus monsters you're small potatoes, Ravishing."

"Um...Ravisher. I'm called Ravisher. THE Ravisher..." The four men crept closer. "So do we just jump in and..." Peter started.

Fritz held up a hand. "No. We need a plan, and an opporunity."

"Did I say I cared?" Venkman replied to the stewing creature nonchalantly He kept fiddling with his cigarette...truth to tell, he was frightened out of his gourd, and years of conditioned reflex were compelling his hand to reach to his right shoulder, but at the moment it'd do no good...I wish I had Ol' Betsy right now...this guy'd be scary enough with her. But at least he dropped Dennison. Now if I can just get him away...

Jeremy looked at the situation. "He's pretty fixed on that other guy, but if we could distract him further."

Joey grinned. "Leave that to me."

"And we'll try to get Jon out of there..." Peter summarized. Fritz only nodded with agreement. "

Heck..." Venkman was telling Ravisher. "My teenage step son is scarier than you, Ed. Or my old secretary--I tell you, during certain times of the month I just wanted to hide in the basement. Don't know how my pal Egon puts up with that."

"Um..." Ravisher tried to break in. "Waking up every morning for years with a layer of green slime all over me--that, my hyena friend, is scary...You are not."

"I think you're being too generous, Doctor Venkman." the voice of Joey Williams broke in.

"Who's this jackass?" Ravisher snarled.

"Dunno. Hope not a theatre critic." Venkman responded, deadpan.

"Personally, I've always thought Disney's live action shows sucked, but you take the taco, Pal." Joey continued, looking at Ravisher. As he talked, he walked nonchalantly over to Venkman "I mean, sh**, at this rate you'll be busted back to wearing the Pluto costume on the midway."

Ravisher snarled louder, taking a step closer to Venkman and Joey. "Do you know who I am, you mortal fools?! I am the servant of Lord Atrocity, and Chosen by Anubis!!!"

"And you think I care why?" Joey snorted. "God, you're worse than I thought. You'll be lucky to be an elf in the Small Small World Ride..."

That did it. Ravisher howled and lunged.

Joey and Venkman ran.

The Ravisher roared, and lumbered off in pursuit.

Peter, Jeremy, and Fritz ran to the stage, where Dennison was bleeding.

"Hang on, Jon...we'll get you out of here..." Peter tried to assure his friend and coworker.

"I'm not a medical doctor, but moving a critically injured patient without professional supervision is considered highly ill advised." Fritz said, removing his jacket and placing it around Dennison's wound.

"Leaving him here for the monster to finish him off would be even more 'ill advised'" Jeremy pointed out.

"True enough." Fritz agreed.

"Pretty good job, Kid..." Venkman said as he and Joey ran.

"Thanks..coming from you that means a lot..." Joey admitted, honestly.

They ran behind a dumpster, and panted for a few seconds.

"I mean it...that takes a lot of guts..."

"I..." Joey hesitated, not wanting to sound like he was trying to kiss ass too hard, but felt he had to be honest. "I'm a trained parapsychologist myself, Doctor Venkman...this is just the sort of thing I always wanted to do..."

Venkman peeked around the corner. "I don't see Ed the Hyena anywhere." With that, he picked up a garbage can and threw it, causing loud, harsh metallic echoes to reverberate through the alleyway. "So what's your name, anyway, kid?"

"Joey Williams, sir. Doctor Joey Williams."

Venkman threw another trash can. "I especially liked the Small Small World bit...I had a bad experience on that ride once, but still..."

"Why are..."

"We want him after us a little bit longer--if he goes back for Jon he's screwed." He turned back to Joey. "And call me Peter. Seeing as how we might be about to die together..."

The same billowing, eerie smoke from the theatre appeared all around them.

"Oh hell..." Joey muttered. "You couldn't have come to the premiere with a proton pack handy?"

"No. Brought my Platinum SuperCard instead--'don't leave home without it.' Lying a**holes..." Venkman smirked, reaching down to grab a curtain rod lying next to one of the dumpsters.

The Ravisher appeared, smoke snorting out of his muzzle. "You guys are in so much trouble..."

"Oh yeah, Ed?" Venkman shouted, now acting crazed. "You wanna get nuts? Let's get nuts!!!" He brandished the curtain rod like a light saber. "C'mon, Destroy me!!!"

Venkman swung the curtain rod. Ravisher grabbed it and hurled it a good thirty feet, causing it to smash into a newspaper box and destroy it. He grabbed Venkman and casually tossed him into the alley wall.

Venkman groaned and slumped to the ground.

While the Ravisher was gloating to itself over the fallen Venkman, Joey used the momentary pause to dump a trash can on the creature's head, covering it with the metal can. Joey slammed the can a few times, causing the monster to stagger for a moment. Joey kicked the can hard, sending the Ravisher into a pile of garbage.

Joey went over to the dazed Venkman. "Doct...Peter?"

"...i didn't do nuthin' to the cow, uncle alf...why'd it kick me..." Venkman muttered.

The Ravisher dissolved back into a cloud of ectoplasmic vapor...

...Then reassembled.

"Get the hell out of here, Williams..." Venkman hissed.

Ravisher backhanded Joey hard, staggering him--he then threw Joey to the ground next to Venkman.

Joey shook his head. "Any regrets, Peter?" Joey asked his new friend, looking at the looming, angry Ravisher.

"Not kissing my wife goodbye is starting to look like a good one..."

For a split second, Venkman's comment unleashed a flood of regret in Joey's mind. Gina...I never got to fix things with Gina...and now it's too....

Ravisher roared and reared back a claw.

The two men waited.

Ravisher stopped himself. "Screw that. Jonny-boy's my target, here, and he's as good as dead already."

They all heard it, the sound of sirens getting closer to the area.

The Ravisher turned to the two woozy parapsychologists. "They're too late. I messed Jonny up too bad for some monkey boy doctor to put back together again!!! You losers failed...but it's been fun!!!"

With that, the Ravisher dissolved back into a cloud of ectoplasm before disappearing totally, the sound of his mocking laughter echoing in Joey and Venkman's ears...

The flood of calls from panicked theatregoers had been too much for the police to ignore, and an ambulance and several LAPD squad cars were now around the Anaheim theatre.

"Let me get this straight, some guy in a jackal costume attacked Mister Dennison, is that what you're saying?" one of the cops was asking Jeremy.

"That's right." he responded. It wasn't a costume, but I ain't tellin' you that...last thing I need's a night in the LAPD lock up for drug abuse...

Fritz, meanwhile, was being hugged hard for the second time that evening. After a few seconds of looking uncomfortable, he returned the embrace. "I told you I would be careful" he reminded Chelsea softly.

"I know, but..." her eyes were moist. She pulled his glasses out of her purse. "Here..."

"Thank you." he replied simply, a slight but heartfelt grin trying to intrude into the corners of his stern mouth.

"I think that your statement should be enough for now, Dr. Baugh, Miss Aberdeen...but try not to leave town for the next few days in case we need to contact you again." the cop interviewing them said.

"Not a problem." Fritz answered. "I don't have to be back at work until next Thursday morning."

The ambulance carrying the grievously wounded Jon Dennison was leaving, it's sirens wailing and lights blazing.

Dana Venkman kept looking around, the worry beginning to show on her face.

Oscar started to reassure her again. "He'll be okay, Mom...he knows what he's..."

Just about then, Peter Venkman and Joey Williams appeared , hobbling up to the assembled group of familiar faces. "Miss me?" Venkman smirked.

Dana ran up to him, looking equally ready to kiss him and throttle him. "Peter Charles Venkman, Do. Not. Do. That. Again." Then she kissed him.

"Aw, c'mon...I used to deal with guys like that every day..."

"You had a high-powered nuclear particle thrower when you did." she rebutted sternly.

"True enough..." he admitted, just as Oscar momentarily forgot he was a teenager and hugged his stepfather.

Fritz, Peter, and Jeremy were tending to Joey, meanwhile. "So how bad were you hit?" Jeremy asked.

"It could've been worse.." Joey admitted, grimacing as he sat on the curb. "The big stooge had us, then he just lit out...said 'Jonny-boy's as good as dead, anyway'..."

"Is that true?" Peter asked.

Fritz exhaled noticably. "The EMTs said he lost a lot of blood, from the original wound, and was probably concussed from the blunt blows he took. He's being taken to Stevens Point Hospital, where they will do what they can." His voice rose noticably. "I highly recommend that you and Doctor Venkman also be examined."

"I'm fine...ouch..." Joey tried to reassure, groaning as he got back up.

"Bulls***." Jeremy corrected.

"Doctor Baugh is right, Peter..." Dana told her husband. "I think I'd feel a lot better if somebody gave you the once-over..."

"I am not a licensed medical doctor, Doctor Venkman. However, it does not take one to see that you have been in something of an altercation...possibly a serious one."

Venkman looked at him and chuckled. "You sound like a buddy of mine..."

"I said the same thing..." Oscar agreed.

"You okay now, Grandpa?" Peter Kong asked Jake Senior.

"As soon as I get my pain pills I will, dammit...HEY!!!"

At that moment, Earring Magic Ken walked by. Jake grabbed hiim and belted him in the gut.

"Have some respect for your elders, Jerk!!!"

"Grandpa..." "NOW I feel better..." Jake beamed.

"There is no further debate, Doctor Venkman". Dana informed her husband sternly.

Aw man, if she's gone from the full name to "Doctor Venkman" she really IS pissed at him...Oscar thought to himself

"You and Doctor Williams are going to the hospital for a thorough check. I don't want you dying on my now, because I'm too mad at you to allow that to happen."

Venkman didn't even try to argue, just muttering "Yes, dear..."

"Oscar..." Dana turned to her son.

"Be right with you, Mom..." he turned back to Fritz, Peter, and Jeremy. "Thanks for haulin' my Dad's ass outa' the fire, guys. You're pretty cool--you remind me a lot of his Ghostbuster friends."

Peter shook his hand. "Considering the stories I've heard about them,that's a big compliment!!!"

"Hey, what about me?" Joey whined. "I'm the one who actually got chased by the monster!"

"This way, Mister Williams..." one the EMTs cut him off, leading him to the waiting ambulance. Joey and Oscar got inside; Dana and Venkman were already waiting. A few seconds later, it also sped away into the night.

"Should we go after them?" Chelsea asked Fritz.

"I don't see the point." he replied, simply.

"Man, after what we all just went through together?" Jeremy responded, a little perplexed.

"The hospital will probably be busy enough without us in the way."

"Fritz..."

"We can call in the morning to check their progress, Chelsea." he cut her off. "Right now, I'd say the best thing for us is to get back to the hotel."

Is it just me or does that dude have ice water running through his veins? Jeremy asked himself.

"I hate it, because Jon's a friend of mine, but Fritz is right." Peter broke in. "My Grandpa is way too old to handle this excitement..."

Jake protested, but Peter ignored him.

"...And I need to get him home too. Listen..." he pulled out a business card and gave it to Fritz. "That's my number--I don't have Joey's but I can get it from his friend Chuck. Call me tomorrow, deal?"

Chelsea chuckled at the card. "Nice Garfield drawing..."

Fritz took Peter's hand and shook it. "I think that will be agreeable, Mister Kong."

"Yeah." Jeremy agreed.

They walked into seperate directions. Logically, this had to be the end of the situation.

But as he walked with Fritz and Chelsea to their cars, Jeremy heard La Llarona's words in his head again...and somehow knew, with knowledge born of instinct instead of reason...

...That it wasn't even the end of the beginning.

To Be Continued

Questions? Comments? Visit the Ghostbusters West Coast or Ectozone Message Boards