REDCAP GIVES YOU WINGS
Filed by Mike Devicente, GBWC Reservist
GBI Case File No. GBWC-2009-27/324
The Ecto cruiser slowly chugged its way
into its parking pace within the warehouse. The passengers
departed, all tired and haggard looking, and hung their proton
packs against the wall.
“I don’t know about you guys,
but I need some serious carbs.” Mike Devicente said as he
unzipped his jumpsuit and hung it neatly before making a
beeline to the kitchen.
“Whatever.” Mick gave a sneer
and slumped past the front desk, where Rose was going over
some of the client’s receipts.
“Training not going
well?” Rose asked, perhaps teasing at the
“Awful.” Mick gave a full body sigh. “This kid
can’t even run. Once we had to stop and drag his fat ass up by
the shoulders to the 13th floor.”
“I know, and have you
seen him eat? We may as well hire Slimer as a paranormal
researcher.” Rose looked over her shoulder, where she was
certain she heard a box of cocoa crunchies give off a crumpled
death rattle. “You know, maybe it’d help if you put him on a
diet and exercise program. If you told him it was part of his
training he’d probably do it. Fritz got him out of the lab by
telling him it was company policy for rookies only to spend 30
minutes a day there…”
Mick gave a sideways smirk.
“Well, whatever you wanna do it’s not my problem now. I’m
gonna grab a shower and one of those cherry-flavored Sam Adams
Fritz keeps in the fridge. Give the kid over to Jason for a
bit. He’d love the power trip.”
Jason loomed over Mike as the
rookie Ghostbuster played with the last remnants of the Cocoa
Crunchie cereal pieces, moving them around into a neat little
hill peaking at the center of the bowl.
“Why don’t you
just devour that like you devour everything else?” Jason
criticized as he crossed his arms.
Mike pointed up his
chin and said “This is the last bit of cereal in the house.
I’ve got to make sure that this bowl is absolutely perfect.”
He smoothed out the sides of the cereal mountain, and
carefully poured the milk in through a small gap in the corner
of the bowl. “Excellent.” He took a gleeful
“Well, Mike. The word is you’re having a hard
time keeping up on missions, so you and I are going to hit the
gym.” Jason put a hand on Mike’s shoulder. “Get on some loose
“Don’t got none.” Mike said
between bites of cereal.
“Really?” Jason scratched his
head. “No t-shirts? Loose jeans? No sweat pants?”
got a pair of corduroys that are kinda sweaty.” Mike crunched.
Jason shook his head. “Okay, well, I’m going to have
to loan you some of mine then.”
“Geez, are these things made
of cotton or spandex?” Mike complained as they walked their
way into the nearby gymnasium, tugging at the waistline to the
pair of sweat pants Jason let him borrow.
his head. “What part of ‘overweight’ don’t you understand?”
Jason led Mike to a bench press and had him lay across. “I
think you’re just the right body type for some weight
training, as soon as we lose that belly fat, you’ll be
Ghostbustin’ material in no time. Now let’s see three sets of
Mike raised the barbell and lowered it over his
chest. “One…two…three…” Some silence.
“Seriously? You can only do three? C’mon,
my grandma can do at least ten.”
“Your grandma should
probably be helping me.” Mike rested the barbell over his
belly and put his arms behind his head.
hurt?” Jason asked, pointing at the barbell.
gave a shrug, keeping the barbell balanced over his
Jason cringed “I’m officially intimidated:
I’ve got to try and reduce the belly of steel.”
got anything to drink?” Mike asked with a flutter of his eyes,
hoping it was already time to take a break.
“If I get
you a fruit smoothie, will you promise to start taking this
more seriously?” Jason said with a stern tone of
“Oh, I promise coach, I promise.” Mike
With a grunt, Jason lifted the barbell off
Mike’s stomach and began to move towards the juice bar,
shaking his head. Mike sat up and stretched. He tilted his
neck on one side. That’s when he saw him. He was a little
white-haired jiminy man only about three feet tall. He wore a
red suit with a red fedora. “Awful dressed up for a day at the
gym, aren’t you?” Mike quipped.
“Oh, they make us wear
this,” the man replied in a lilting voice. He reached into his
suit pocket and pulled out a short, thin can, the same red
color as his suit. “It’s to promote the latest energy drink on
the market: Redcap. Here’s a sample.” He thrust the can into
Mike’s hands and examined it closer.
“Wow, there’s more
caffeine in this than the morning staff at a news
“Precisely my boy. Imagine carrying around a
product that makes you appear health conscious, but actually
has the same sugar content as 6 sodas….”
Mike gave a
grin. “That’s for me.” He flicked the tab of the can open and
downed half the contents down his throat. He belched. “Not
The man unfolded a flyer and handed it to Mike.
“Here’s a list of distributors. I’ve got to go spread the
malnutritious word.” He chortled as he skipped off.
Mike scratched his head, thinking the jiminy man was
rather strange. He shrugged and continued to down his new
energy drink prize.
“So, how’s the kid’s new exercise regiment
coming?” Rose asked Jason, while picking at a donut between
“Fantastic, Rose. He’s got all this
new energy. I’ve got no idea where it came from. He’s gone up
to benching 3 sets with 200 lbs in only a couple
Rose looked over his shoulder at Mike, who was
flopping left and right trying to squeeze his arms out of the
straps of his proton pack, and clicked her tongue. “He doesn’t
look any better, though. In fact, I think he’s actually gained
“Ah, you just don’t understand the
Mike panted after he managed to
wrestle his way out of his proton pack. He approached the desk
and took a donut from Rose’s box. Jason caught him on the
“Hold on there, Mike. You’re not hungry for
donut. You’re hungry for lean pocket.” Jason brandished the
low fat microwave pastry in question before Mike. He sneered
and replied. “I’m hungry for donut.” He stuffed the donut into
his mouth, then, after a pause, snatched the lean pocket and
swallowed it as well.
“That thing was still frozen you
know.” Jason said amidst counting his fingers to see if they
were all still there.
“Well, maybe your hand warmed it
a little bit.” Mike dug a can of Redcap from his pocket and
downed it all in a single gulp before tossing the can over his
shoulder, letting it roll at Jason’s feet. “I’m feeling great
today. How about a trip to the gym?”
Jason gave a yawn.
“Gosh Mike, I’m feeling kinda bushed today. I was hoping I’d
get to catch up on some sleep.”
“Suit yourself.” Mike
unzipped his jumpsuit. Underneath it was a bright red track
suit he had bought for himself a couple weeks before. Despite
how loose fitting it was, it could not contain the belly blob
stretching the spandex waistband in the front to breaking.
Mike didn’t stand still long enough for any criticisms,
though, bolting off the instant his uniform hit the ground.
Jason bent down and picked up the empty can.
that?” Rose asked, standing up from her desk.
new fangled energy drink. Mike’s been drinking ‘em like a
Rose began to read the contents of this can.
“Shoot, no wonder he’s getting fatter. There’s a ton of
caffeine and sugar in this thing.” A hand pulled the can from
Rose’s grip. The hand belonged to Fritz. He scanned the can
with a PKE meter which turned red-hot the instant it neared
the energy drink.
“That’s not all that’s in this
Jason and Rose watched
as Fritz hooked the can to diodes and put it into a wooden
case with a glass window, moving away to fine tune dials on a
transmitter box. “Even without its liquid contents, this can
is radiating with PKE. Jason, where does Mike get his supply
Jason gave a shrug. “You know he says he
gets them from the store across the street, but I’ve never
Fritz pulled a dusty book from a nearby
shelf and began to flip through the pages. “I know I’ve seen
the term ‘Redcap’ before…”
Jason shook his head. “This
is unbelievable…All I wanted to do was get the guy a little
exercise…Hey, Rose. Did you notice Mike behaving at all
“‘At all strangely’ is the only way that
guy ever acts.” Rose popped a wad of gum in her mouth.
“I think I found it: Redcap.” Fritz read over the
entry. “In early English folklore it was a dwarvish beast with
an insatiable appetite known for cannibalizing enemies and
dying their hats red with their blood. Some of them used
wizardry to bound their souls to the ethereal plane upon death
and thrive by converting gluttonous human souls using tainted
food only its consumer can see.”
“So Mike is turning
into one of these Redcaps?” Jason scratched his
“If he isn’t one already,” Fritz replied.
“There’s nothing in the book about how to deal with the
non-living ones, or how to reverse the process.”
returned to the lab from the lockers, with a pair of proton
packs. “Well, anyway, we’ve got to find Mike and keep him
from, ugh, cannibalizing anyone, until we do figure out a
cure. You in?”
Fritz gave a shrug and shouldered the
other proton pack. “I’m in.”
The ecto cruiser came to a
halt at the corner store across the street from the gym, where
people were fleeing. “Ghostbusters, one side please.” Jason
declared as he ran the opposite direction of the fleeing mass
into the shop. Inside of the shop was a creature that looked
vaguely like a morbidly obese human being in a red jumpsuit,
holding piles of chocolate bars. It turned, showing stubby
pointed teeth and fat pink gums, while its red eyes glared
between a pair of stretched out wire rim glasses. Clearly Mike
was now fully transformed into a Redcap. In one fluid motion
the chocolate bars, wrapper and all, were stuffed down his
mouth and he turned, the ground thunderously rumbling as he
stamped slowly towards Jason.
As bad as the timing
was, Jason suddenly came to the realization that he couldn’t
shoot his former associate with the proton pack without
hurting him. He slowly backed away, stammering. “Now, Mike.
Let’s not do anything crazy. This is Jason we’re talking
about. You know, Jason. Your friend? Your…trainer?”
Mike roared and made a lunge for Jason, who darted out
of the store as fast as his legs could carry him. Fritz pulled
himself out of the Ecto cruiser. “So, what is the strategy,
“It’s called running for your life Fritz! I
don’t got time for a lesson!” Jason said rapidly as he dodged
cars to get across the street. Fritz looked up at the Redcap
version of Mike just as the beast ripped off the sliding door
and took a couple of bites out of the frame before tossing it
“I think I could train on the job…” Fritz
followed Jason as they dashed into the gym across the street.
Mike galumphed after them, stopping to consume anything on his
way from potted plants to hand weights. “It’s amazing,” Fritz
said. “He’s able to consume even inorganic matter.”
“Stop being fascinated and help me with this!” Jason
hobbled forward holding a 200 lb. barbell in his arms. Fritz
picked it up by the other end and the two swung the heavy
weight back and fourth to build up momentum as Mike closed in
“Now!” Jason and Fritz let fly with the
weight, allowing it to fly into the air before it fell with a
heavy thud over Mike’s torso. Mike fell back, pinned to the
ground by the heavy weight, his fat limbs flailing wildly as
they tried to get their massive master upright.
wiped the sweat off his brow. “Now that’s what I call a
“I hope he wasn’t seriously injured.” Fritz
“Oh, believe me. He’s just fine.”
“You two look like you could use a drink.” A voice
from directly behind Fritz and Jason said. As they turned
around they saw the jiminy man in the red suit, with a can of
redcap in his hand.
“So you’re the one behind this.”
Jason drew his neutrona wand. “You just made your first
mistake.” Jason fired, but the redcap raised his hand,
blocking the beam without even a flinch.
that isn’t going to work,” he chortled. “My presence on the
ethereal plane is tied to this gentleman. As long as he exists
in this form, nothing will be able to harm me.
then there is a way to reverse the process.” Fritz submitted.
“Well, if he were to will himself free of my
influence, but such a thing has never happened. I never yet
met a glutton strong enough to change their ways. Now, if I’m
not mistaken, I believe the two of you were running for your
lives…” The redcap walked over to Mike, giving the barbell on
his stomach a light push. The barbell rolled off Mike’s belly
and towards his mouth, where he snapped it in two with his
teeth and stood back up again.
“I think we’re gonna
need backup.” Jason nervously suggested.