STUNTMAN MIKE

Filed by Mick Nielson, GBWC
GBI Case File No. GBWC-2007-25/221

May 2007
Ghostbusters Omnibus Timeline Year Twenty-Five
It was a bright breezy day in L.A. The smog levels were down to the lowest they had been in several months, the temperature was a balmy 80 degrees, no humidity. It was a very peaceful day… Except on a local police driving course.

Jason Knetge, recently hired employee of Ghostbusters WC was holding on for dear life in the passenger seat of a jet black, 69, Dodge Charger as it rocketed across the hot asphalt track. In the driver seat of the car was its owner, Mick Nielson, recent transferee from Ghostbusters South Coast and HUGE car enthusiast.

Even though Mick had technically been on the team for over a week and a half, he’d only recently been able to settle down in L.A. because of a minor side-trip to battle a world-killing deity called Shaade M’all. Because of the experience, he now sported gray streaks in his hair just above his ears. This was partially the reason why he’d agreed to give Jason a ride in the Charger this day…

As Mick careened around a rather sharp curve, squealing the tires dramatically and filling the car with the smell of burning rubber, Jason was beginning to wonder if asking for that ride would be the last decision he’d ever make.

“Um… Mick?” Jason said over the roar of the Charger’s engine. “Don’t you think it might be possible to slow up JUST a bit?”

Mick just grinned from the driver’s seat, placing sunglasses on his face as the vehicle came to face the direction of the sun.

“Yes Jason, its completely possible, but you know what they say about things that are possible…” He started, jerking the wheel to the left and applying the hand-brake to send the car spinning 180 degrees. “They don’t always happen.”

As he said this, he threw the car into reverse and stomped on the gas pedal, zooming backwards into the mock-up of a city street area of the track. Jason’s gaze shot to the rear windshield as building facades zoomed past the vehicle on either side.

“Mick, you doing this just to screw with me, aren’t you?”

Mick looked over at Jason, a hurt look on his face. “Why of course not, what would make you say such a thing?”

“Well your not even looking where your going now and we’re goin’ about 80.”

Mick shrugged. “No problem.” And slammed on the brakes, once again spinning the car 180 and screeched to a halt, only a few meters away from the edge of the track.

“Damn it…” Mick said, opening his door.

Jason slowly pried his hands off the dashboard and the handle on the roof respectively, unlatching the racing harness as he got out as well. “What? What’s wrong?”

Mick groaned and kicked the rear left tire, shaking his head at the edge of the track a few meters away. “I could’ve gotten MUCH closer than that.” He said.

Jason shrugged nervously. “Yeah… Well I suppose sometimes things don’t always go perfectly…”

Mick shook his head. “Nah, guess your right. Alright, lets go.”

Jason sighed. “Alright, back to HQ then?”

“Nope, we’re gonna do it again.”

“WHAT!?”

Dr. Fritz Baugh was just stepping in the front entrance of the HQ of Ghostbusters West Coast, holding the warehouse door open for Chelsea to enter behind him.

“Yes yes, make way for the scary pregnant woman or she’ll eat you.” Chelsea said… Only half kidding.

She and Fritz headed over to the receptionist desks and Rose waved to her.

“Hey Chelsea, how’re you feeling this morning?” She asked. However, she got no response but a tired eyed glare from the morning sickness afflicted mother-to-be. “Oh… I see…” Rose said, looking back down at her desk.

As she sat down, Fritz took the opportunity to run off to his task for the day. Bidding his new wife good day before heading to the garage area.

"Fritz!” An angry voice demanded as he entered the garage office.

For a moment, Fritz thought that Chelsea had followed him, then he saw Otter trotting over to him. “Oh, morning Otter, problems already?”

“No, no problems… But would you care to explain this to me…” He said, waving for the CEO to follow him.

As Otter pushed the garage door open, Fritz’s eyebrow arched in surprise and he adjusted his glasses, making sure he was seeing properly. “Oh, I see…”

Before them, were 13 white 2003 Ford Crown Vic’s, all parked neatly in rows inside the garage, the other West Coast vehicles were all now aligned on the back wall.

“Um… Your guess is as good as mine- Are those No-Ghost logos on the side?” Fritz said, noticing the orange Ghostbusters logos and lettering.

“Yes, yes they are…” Otter responded.

As the two of them stood there, the garage door opened and Mick’s Dodge Charger pulled in, parking in one of the available spots. He and Jason climbed out, Jason looking rather pale-faced now.

“Morning, boys” Mick said, spinning his keys as he approached.

“Say Mick, you happen to know anything about this?” Fritz asked.

“Bout what?”

Fritz blinked a few times, then indicated the interior of the garage. “Those maybe?”

Mick turned and looked at the cruisers. “Oh those.” He said, grinning. “Your welcome.”

“Care to explain a bit?”

Mick shrugged as he put his keys into his pocket. “Well ya know, I figured I’d get you guys something as a token of my appreciation for having me on the team.”

“By… Giving us cars?” Fritz said, confused.

“Well yeah, I figure, this way, you don’t waste as much gas as you would with the SWAT vans or the Cadillac and if your out in the field and need reinforcements, just have a couple busters fire up one of these beauties and zoom off to the rescue.”

Fritz nodded. “Well no doubt it was a good thought, but I don’t think the budget-”

“Ah, but see, that’s the best part, it didn’t come from the budget, all these came from a distribution house and I purchased them myself.”

Otter stepped up now. “So… This is what your gonna do for your job when your not busting?”

“Yeah, pretty much.” Mick said, nodding.

“Alright, I’m good with it then!” Otter said cheerfully, clapping him on the shoulder as he went to check on the vans.

As Fritz was about to continue the conversation, the call alert went off. “I suppose we’ll discuss it later then… For now though, looks like your first job just got called in.”

Andy Harness zipped up his jumpsuit as he headed for the front desk. He’d been catching a nap in his office when the alarm had gone off and was slightly irked about it. As he crossed the main entrance, Andy saw Fritz, Mick and Jason heading over to the desk as well.

“So its time to take Mick out with us?”

Fritz nodded as Rose handed him the paperwork. “Yeah, I figured you could take him out, show him the ropes of our town.”

Mick stepped up. “Yeah, I’m looking forward to this, just promise you’ll be gentle during my first time, Andy.” He said, chuckling as the three Ghostbusters headed back towards the garage.

After the questions about the vehicles and Mick re-stating his explanation for their being there, the trio were inside one of the new cruisers, heading for the location of the reported disturbance.

The call had come from Universal Studios management, apparently, the last few weeks hadn’t been going very smoothly on the set of their latest blockbuster sequel
‘Cop Chase III’. Andy, in the passenger seat, looked through the paperwork and read the report to himself.

“Huh… Stunt scenes have been getting screwed up by a mysterious car appearing in the middle of the courses and causing the film cars to crash. At first they assumed it was a break-in scenario, but when the car’s tire tracks were inspected by police, they were found to not be made of rubber, but of ‘a certain un-identified goo’.” Andy said with a laugh.

Mick shook his head. “Ya know… It just occurred to me that not too long ago, that report would have seemed very strange to me…” He sighed. “So anyway, where are most of the disturbances taking place?”

Andy flipped back to page one. “The back-lot mostly. In the suburban area, the dock façade and the New York street sets.” He explained as Mick piloted the car into the Universal entrance.

Andy held up his I.D. and the guard waved them through, directing them to the production management offices.

A few moments later, in his office, Donald Holcomb, Producer, was pacing in front of his desk nervously. He’d just seen the latest budget numbers for ‘Cop Chase III’ and they were SEVERELY over-budget because of the accidents. So when the Ghostbusters knocked on his office door, he practically flew to open it.

“Thank you for coming gentlemen. I assume my secretary explained the situation to you?”

Andy glanced at Mick and motioned for him to answer the question. Mick shrugged and stepped forward.

“Yes sir she did, it says that you’ve been having problems during the filming of your latest movie.”

The pudgy man nodded. “Yes, ‘Cop Chase III’ is the name.” He said.

Mick resisted the urge to roll his eyes at the stupidity of the title and just nodded. “Yes, and apparently there’s some ‘Phantom Car’ that has been harassing your stuntmen, correct?”

Again, the man nodded, beginning to pace once more. “Yes, this damn thing has been running our cars off the road, slamming them into building fronts and even trying to cause head-on collisions! If the problem isn’t fixed, the stuntmen are going to strike!”

Mick nodded. “Hmmm… Well how about you show us the site of the last incident.”

The Ecto-Cruiser followed the manager’s golf cart out to the set, which was currently in preparation for the next scene. Mick, Andy and Jason stood off to the side as Holcomb fetched the Director.

“Not bad sofar, Mick.” Andy said, nodding.

Jason began looking around at the equipment as Mick and Andy spoke, he investigated one of the cameras that was ready. He’d often wondered about movies, never had much experience looking behind the scenes of one though, so it intrigued him. He pushed one of the buttons on the top of the camera and the can on top popped open suddenly. Jason stifled a panicked shout as film began falling out, unraveling onto the ground, in the bright sunlight.

Andy glanced over just in time to see Jason push the button and his eye twitched as the film shot out. He hurried over to him, but was too late to do anything preventative.

“Jason! Don’t touch! What did we talk about?!” Andy said, angrily pulling him away from the camera and acting casually as the Director stalked over to them.

Mick shook his head at the others, offering his hand to the approaching filmmaker. “Hello, I’m Mick-”

But that was as far as he got before the stuck up man began talking in an obviously fake English accent. “Alright listen ‘ere… This is MY film, this is MY set. Is that understood?”

The Ghostbusters exchanged puzzled looks, then Mick nodded. “Yeah…” He said, lowering his hand.

“Good, because I’ll not have some ghost hunting nobodies spoiling my VISION!” He said, throwing his arms up in the air.

Just then an A.D. approached. “Um, excuse me Roland, but we’re ready to shoot the scene now.” He said.

Moments later, Andy, Jason and Mick watched as a car came careening around a corner and seemingly for no reason, smashed through a pie stand which was inexplicably in the middle of the road.

Andy furrowed his brow. “Huh… I didn’t know exploitation action movie sequels could be that deep…”

After calling cut, Roland came over to them once more. “So you see? My vision is so original, isn’t it?” He asked, but before they could answer, he held a hand up. “Of course it is! Alright… You may now go onto the set and do… whatever it is you people pretend to do for a living.” He said, throwing a scarf around his neck (regardless of it being hotter than hell) and practically pranced off.

Mick choked back a laugh as the three Ghostbusters moved out onto the set, to a roped off area behind one of the building facades, there, they saw the “tire” marks. Mick and Jason began taking samples and scanning with the PKE meter. “Well, its definitely ectoplasm, so we ARENT dealing with a crazed stuntman. We’re dealing with a crazed GHOST stuntman.” He said.

“How do you figure?” Andy asked. He had come to the same conclusion, but wanted to hear Mick’s response.

“Well…” Mick began, getting up and looking around the surrounding area. “The fact that this movie is the one being harassed and the fact that its ONLY bothering the stuntmen should be indication enough. I’m thinking that its probably someone who worked on one of the previous films and unfortunately didn’t come out of it too well.”

Andy nodded. “Very good, Mick. I left it out to see if you would catch it, but there WAS a man named Mike McGavin who was a stunt driver on the very first ‘Cop Chase’ film.”

“Did he die during production?” Mick asked, but Andy shook his head.

“Nope, worse, the studio fired him when he wrecked his car and then he slipped into a coma while receiving treatment afterwards, he never woke up from it.”

Mick nodded. “Well then I think the next step is to find out exactly where on the studio the crash that caused his death happened.” He said, walking with Andy and Jason back towards the crew.

As the group stepped out of the building facades though, a loud screeching sound rang out from behind them and Mick’s eyes went wide with recognition, he dove to his left, shoving Jason and Andy roughly towards a building doorway. Just as he did, a black muscle car blew past them, scraping against the doorframe and shooting sparks.

“Why the hell is there action going on!? I didn’t call for the next take!!!!” Roland shouted angrily. He quickly shut up however, as the car swerved dangerously close to him, smashing a camera right off of its dolly track.

The Ghostbusters scrambled back towards the cruiser as the muscle car sped by, its engine roaring loudly, almost sounding as though a lion was under the hood. Mick grinned as they dove into the car. Andy looked at him funny. “Was there something fun about that? I think I missed it.” He said.

Mick nodded as he stomped on the gas, taking off after it. “Yeah, that’s a ‘67 Charger, almost as good as mine…”

As the Ecto-Cruiser gave chase, Andy hit the lights and the siren, Mick pushed the pedal to the floor, gaining on the ghost driver. In the back, Jason wedged himself in a corner for dear life. How could this happen TWICE in one day?!

The black Charger roared down the asphalt track, tearing the pavement up as it made hard turns, leaving the tar of the road melted in its wake. As Mick drew nearer to the car ahead, flames belched from the exhaust pipe, forcing him to back off. “Okay, right about now would be a good time for SOMEONE to shoot at it!” Mick suggested, swerving to avoid the next flamethrower attack.

Andy quickly took the initiative and rolled the window down. “Jason, you go out the other side back there, shoot out the tires!” He shouted, leaning out the window.

As their proton beams stabbed at the ground near the car’s wheels, it expertly weaved to avoid the blasts and pulled a nearly 90 degree turn, zooming straight towards the main back-lot area. As they drew nearer to it, Jason and Andy continued to fire on the Charger, but Mick suddenly peeled off from the chase, heading back towards the film set.

“Um… You DO realize that the ghost is going THAT way, right?” Jason asked.

Mick just nodded. “Yup.”

“Care to explain why we’re giving up the chase?” Andy inquired.

“Well if we keep up the chase, its not going to end well. Someone is going to get flattened, or we’re going to end up flash fried. So I was thinking we’d try something else.” He said.

Almost an hour later, Mick’s ‘69 Charger rolled up to the edge of the stunt track. Jason’s voice came over Mick’s headset. “So what makes you think he’ll even take the bait?” He asked.

Mick checked his mirrors again to make sure there was no blind spots. “Because he’s a gear-head… With a Charger. Nobody owning a Charger can resist matching it against another Charger.”

Andy chuckled as he climbed the ladder to his designated spot. “You speaking from experience?” He asked.

“Mick grinned, revving the engine a few times. “Well ya know… I have been known to race.”

Without warning, a deafening roar was heard and it echoed throughout the studio as the ‘67 Charger pulled up next to Mick, the spectral driver looked over at Mick, fire burning in his eyes. Mick grinned again, mockingly saluting him and revving his engine in response.

For a moment, nothing moved, both drivers locked eyes, neither budging, waiting for anything to trigger their race… Suddenly, Mick stomped on the accelerator and his car lurched forward, slamming him back in the seat as he sped off. A millisecond later, Stuntman Mike’s car rocketed forward, ripping a chunk of the road up behind it and lifting the front wheels off the ground briefly.

The Ghost Charger launched into the air and slammed back down hard, zooming forward and catching up to Mick instantly. Mick was thrown off by how quickly the Ghost Charger caught up and shifted gears quickly, speeding up as much as possible. Both engines roared loudly as the vehicles stayed neck-in-neck, zooming down the track.

As they rounded the first curve, the Ghost Charger came dangerously close to Mick’s, who was forced to ease back in order to avoid a collision. At that speed it wouldn’t just mess his car up… It would probably disintegrate the entire right side.

As the Ghost Charger swerved to the left, Mick let off the gas, allowing his car to fall back behind his opponent. The turn came up and Stuntman Mike was in the lead now, but because of the curve, he had to slow as well. So Mick moved to the left and stomped on the gas, yanking the wheel to the right with the curve and passing him on the inside like a slingshot. Mick pulled ahead as they neared the entrance to the back-lot area and swerved from side to side, blocking Mike from gaining the lead again.

The buildings of the back-lot swiftly approached and Mick glanced in his mirrors several times, making sure he didn’t lose his view of Mike. Waiting until the last possible moment, Mick eased off, letting Mike get clear and work his way forward. Suddenly, Mick slammed on the brakes and yanked the wheel to the side, spinning the car 180 and waving as Mike’s Charger zoomed past, between the two houses at the start of the back-lot… and right into Andy and Jason’s crossfire.

Andy and Jason blasted the Ghost Charger without mercy, making it screech out of control and slam into a concrete parking block, crushing the entire front of the car into the engine. Andy slid down the ladder, running up to the car and firing right through the window and hitting Mike. The Ghost roared in anger and tried zooming up through the roof, but was held fast by the proton beam. Jason snagged him as well, helping Andy hold him still.

Mick came sprinting up and tossed the trap onto the roof of Mike’s charger, wincing at the damage he’d done to the car before stomping on the pedal. The trap doors popped open and the two West Coast Ghostbusters peeled off their streams as Stuntman Mike’s spirit was sucked into the trap, the yellow and black doors snapping shut a moment later, beeping twice cheerily.

Ghostbusters: West Coast Headquarters:
The door to the garage was kicked open and the three West Coast GB’s strutted into the HQ main reception area, the trap slung over Mick’s shoulder as he whistled cheerfully.

“Did you have a good day at school?” Chelsea asked bitterly.

“Yes I did, mom!” Mick said, smiling. “I really learned a lot today and best of all… No homework!”

A few minutes later, Mick tossed the empty trap cartridge onto the rack by the door and headed back up the stairs from the ECU room. As he neared the top of the stairs, Fritz appeared, clapping him on the shoulder. “Nice work out there.” He said.

Mick eyed the bag slung on his shoulder. “Thanks… What’s that?” He asked, pointing at it.

Fritz swung it up and Mick caught it. “Open it up, find out.” He said, walking off towards his office.

Mick unzipped the bag and saw a blue jumpsuit inside with Orange trim on it, he smiled and pulled it out. “Well thanks, but who’s Nelson?”

Fritz froze, turning around. “What?! Damnit to hell, I told them-”

Mick laughed, shaking his head. “I’m just messing with you, thanks Fritz, I’ll do my best to earn it.”

“I’m sure you will. Just don’t punch any reporters or burn down any pubs. Wild-fires and tabloids are a LOT more of a problem in LA than they are in Florida.” He said, disappearing into his office.

Mick nodded and headed into the locker room. He found his locker and tossed his South Coast jumpsuit inside. He looked at it, a sad expression enveloped his face as the memories of the past year washed over him again. Just then, the call alarm went off and he sighed, zipping up his new West Coast uniform. "Okay… Here we go." He said, closing the locker door.

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