THE SUBWAY OF DOOM
Filed by Mick Nielson, GBWC
GBI Case File No. GBWC-2010-29/400
That was the only word that Fritz Baugh could sift through his mind, although there was chaos happening no more than a few feet away from him, all he could do was stare at the body on the ground, and his brain simply couldn’t process anything else.
“No. Not another one…”
“FRITZ! What do we do!?” Someone shouted to him, blasting along with the others, but their opponent just simply couldn’t be halted… He wasn’t even fighting them anymore, he simply extended his hands to the sky and, much like a mime, yanked his hands down as though he were pulling something… and he did.
With a deafening ‘THOOM!’ sound, a hole ripped through the sky, and a portal opened, emitting a blinding blue light that slammed down around the man who started it all, and he cackled insanely as his eyes began to glow even brighter red than before… From the pit behind him, dozens of spirits burst up from the fire below, and swarmed all around him, blending with the swirling vortex that spun, connected to the sky through the portal now.
Somewhere, someone was shouting helplessly.
“We have to stop him or he’s going to destroy everything!”
Fritz felt something strike him
Ghostbusters Omnibus Timeline Year Twenty-Eight
Three Days Earlier...
“Ow.” Fritz said, looking up from his work. His wife, Chelsea stood there, glaring at him.
“Are you listening? You have to stop him or he’s going to destroy everything!” She insisted, pointing to the living room of the apartment.
Fritz looked past her in the direction of her pointing, and saw the new kitten they’d gotten. Fritz’s excuse was that he was getting it for Abby, as he'd always had cats around when he was a kid, so he figured now was the appropriate time. Plus he liked having cats around--he was notorious for doting on Maggie and Mister Whiskers, Kyle Stevens' cats who lived at GBCentral West.
He’d settled on a little black one, in part because of the common wisdom that black cats don’t get adopted as much due to ancient superstititions about them. There was also the fact that it amused him because of the superstitions--”If it really is a Hell Beast like the superstitions say, who better to find out that the Ghostbusters, right?”
Though, given the current situation, he was starting to re-think it, because the cat was ripping a hole in the sofa cushion while pulling its claws, as Abby watched from her high-chair and giggled in delight. “Kicky!!!” she squealed, not quite forming the word “kitty” properly.
Fritz quickly rolled out into the living room, smacking his hands together. “Hey! OFF!” He shouted, grabbing at the kitten and placing it on his lap, looking into its big, shiny yellow eyes that now emitted sadness at Fritz. It meowed mournfully.
“I told you, I’m done disciplining that cat, you do it, or it's gotta go, and somehow I don’t think Abby will like that very much, now that she’s grown so attached to it.” Chelsea said, following her husband out into the living room. “And the catbox—how can one little kitten make such stinky…”
“Look at him though.” He said, holding it up so she could look at its eyes. “He knows he did wrong. Plus, he’s adorable, how could you be angry with him?”
Chelsea rolled her eyes. “Man devotes his life to science and catching ghosts, and he’s POWERLESS against a little black kitten…” She said, going to answer the now ringing phone in the kitchen. “Baugh residence.” she said, only a little annoyed. “Yeah, hold on a second.”
Fritz instinctively rolled his way into the kitchen, where the phone was, the kitten trying to eat his fingers and purring loudly. “For me?”
“Of course.” His spouse said, handing it over to him.
“Doctor Baugh.” He said, putting the phone to his ear.
“How official sounding.” Jason said, chuckling slightly at the other end.
Fritz rolled his eyes. “What can I help you with, Jason? It’s my day off you know.”
“Yeah, we do know that, but unfortunately, we need your presence at the office…”
“Well it's-” He started, but was cut off as someone else snatched the phone. Mick Nielson’s voice came through after that, quick and to the point.
“We got an artifact here that’s part of an end-of-the-world scenario, and we need everyone here to figure out what to do with it.”
“Oh good, end of the world… Which scenario is it?”
“What, like we got numbers for ‘em?” Nielson asked.
“Actually we do, for instance, had Gozer’s return actually succeeded-”
“Let’s just call it number 42.” Mick interrupted him.
“Actually they go up to 193.” Fritz corrected him. “In either event, I’ll be down shortly, I’ll expect a full report on the situation BEFORE I get there though.”
“Gotcha boss.” Mick said, and then hung up.
Fritz spun his chair around, only to find himself caught in the paralyzing gaze of his angry wife, holding Abby. “Don’t even TRY to tell me you’re going to the office…” She said. “This is your first day off in a week, and I have plans with Onni and Nikki.”
Fritz tried to come up with a response that wouldn’t earn him a punch… Abby in Chelsea’s arms was only a SLIGHT guarantee of protection… So he simply lifted the kittten in front of his head before he explained.
After around 45 minutes of L.A. traffic, Fritz made his way through the front door of the GBWC headquarters. He’d simply thrown a coat on over his sweatshirt and jeans from home, which only made him feel out of his element, which was either a suit, or his uniform. “So?” He asked Rose, who looked up from her magazine at him.
“Where is everyone? I thought this was an emergency.”
“I dunno, they all blew in here in a huff and took that… whatever it was… down to the lab.”
As Fritz headed for the stairs, Mick came sliding down the fire pole, landing next to Fritz as he passed by, a book clutched under his arm. “Welcome to work, boss.” He said in sly fashion, and held the door after passing through.
“Enough suspense, what is it?”
“Well, lets just say its part of a set, and I hope you brought your Fedora and bullwhip…”
Fritz stopped in the middle of the hallway. “What?”
Mick stopped, rolling his eyes. “God, you science guys are all so un-educated in pop culture.”
“I present, one of the lost Sankara stones.” Mick said, holding it up so Fritz could look at it.
“Fascinating…” He said, taking it and turning the brown stone over in his hands. “You’re sure its authentic?”
“You tell me…” Mick said, producing ANOTHER one and holding it next to its brother, which made both stones suddenly illuminate in Fritz’s hands.
“You said that already.” Jeff said, sitting on one of the tables next to Mick.
“Well its double fascinating I guess.” Jason said.
“Have you guys called the others?” Fritz asked.
“Tried, no callbacks yet though.” Jeff said, getting off the table. “No reason to panic yet though.”
“Speak for yourself…” Mick said, shaking his head.
“Why? What’s the problem?” Fritz said, afraid he already knew the answer.
“Well… I’m sure you at least have HEARD of the Sankara legend. Right?” Mick asked.
“Good, that’ll save some time.” Mick said.
“Well, I haven’t heard anything beyond that Indiana Jones movie.”
“ugh!” Mick groaned. “Basically, it goes like this… In India, back in ancient times, a Holy Man named Sankara was told by Shiva to climb to the top of Mt. Masoovia, where he encountered the God. Shiva told him to go forth and combat evil where he found it. In order to do so, he gave him Five rocks, endowed with the powers of Shiva, and they would allow Sankara to harness Shiva’s power for his mission.”
“So… If the rocks are meant to combat evil, then why should we be worried?” Jason asked.
“Because the ROCKS wont fight the evil, the wielder will.” Jeff said. “Sankara had a mission, the rocks are just a source of power.”
Fritz nodded, scratching his chin. “So if someone of ILL intent gets these stones, they could use the power for… Other things.”
“Exactly.” Mick said.
“Well, this still doesn’t justify any emergency.” Fritz said.
“I agree.” Jeff said. “I think we shoulda just called Belmont to lock these things up in his vault.”
“Which I ALSO agree with, but the problem is, someone has the OTHER three stones already.”
Fritz raised his eyebrow. “How do you know?”
“You guys should read the news…” He said, plopping the paper down in front of them. Fritz picked it up and looked at the article that Mick had circled, and his eyebrows went up. “See what I mean?” Mick asked.
“Yes. This is indeed troubling…” Fritz said, looking up from the paper, which told of a heist from the Indian Mythology exhibit at the museum. “Where did you find these stones?”
Jeff stepped up now. “We found them down in the subways actually, we were down there on a bust, routine job at first, but we ran across some VAMPIRES. These guys weren’t exactly ordinary ones either, they could fly, they were vicious as all hell, and they were wearing ceremonial garb.”
“Somehow I don’t think they were working for the Lord of L.A.” Fritz said, mostly to himself. “Any leads on where they came from?”
“None, the rest of them disappeared down a side tunnel while we were dealing with the ones that attacked us. The stones were in the bag that one of them dropped, looks like they were on their way down with it.”
“Good thing you didn’t pursue them then.”
“Why not? I was all for it.” Jason said.
“Well, had they set a trap for you all, they would now be in possession of ALL the stones.” Fritz said.
Jason scowled. “Well, these might be the stones that were stolen from the museum, they might not even HAVE the other three.”
“I checked, the museum stones were taken over a week ago, no chance they wouldn’t have immediately gone underground with those puppies after all the effort to nab them.” Mick said. “So, we need to contact Vincent, get these bad boys locked up.”
“Then our first stop should be the museum.” Fritz said. Jeff and Mick, you two will head back down to the subway tunnels, but DO NOT go after the Vampires, just look around the entrance to the tunnels, see if you can find anything that will tell us who they are, or even where they came from. Jason and I will head to the museum to see if there’s any clues there.”
“God, why do we always get the shit details?” Mick asked, kicking aside some mold-covered stones on the floor of the tunnel. The flashlight illuminated the path ahead, but only barely.
“Because we set ourselves up as the Detectives of the group, Mick…” Jeff said, checking behind them every so often.
“Its not like we printed up business cards, we just solved that Jekyll and Hyde case…”
“Doesn’t matter, we’re branded for life now…” Jeff said bitterly.
The two had chosen civilian clothes over their uniforms, so that if they were discovered, they would be less conspicuous. Mick in his trench coat, Jeff in his hoodie, both armed with Proton Rail guns rather than the bulky Proton Packs. They made their way to the spot they’d encountered the Vampires, and began their search.
“Ah damnit…” Jeff said, prompting Mick to turn to him. “We gotta go see the LAPD…”
“Well that’s never a good sign… What is it?” Mick asked, shining his flashlight on the spot Jeff was looking.
“It’s a piece of clothing with a symbol on it.” Jeff said, holding it up to Mick. “Recognize it?”
Mick stopped, raising an eyebrow. “Shit…”
“Yeah. We’d better look up the missing persons reports. Fast.”
The two booked it for the entrance.
Meanwhile, Fritz and Jason were on their way out of the museum, a dead end.
“Well, at least we know none of them are involved.” Jason said, getting into the driver’s seat of the Ecto Cruiser.
“Yes. That narrows it down significantly…” Fritz said sarcastically. “Now we just have to investigate the other 8 or 9 million people in L.A.”
“Ah come on boss, we’ll get to the bottom of this. And look on the bright side-”
“Don’t you DARE say it cant get worse. We’re Ghostbusters, Jason… it can ALWAYS get worse.”
Just then, as if on cue, the radio squawked at them. “Ecto C-3, come in.” Jeff’s voice said.
“Ecto C-3 go.” Jason said, picking up the receiver.
“You guys should probably get back to Headquarters and guard the stones personally.”
“Why? What’d you guys find?” Jason asked.
“Lets just say we’ve hit the ‘shit just got real’ portion of this case.” Jeff said.
The Police were decidedly unhappy with handing over missing persons reports to the Ghostbusters, especially since they were not exactly on the best of terms with the LAPD, Mick had mouthed off to them on more than one occasion, Jeff tended to snap peoples’ necks, and Jason in the running for having earned the most parking tickets of all time in L.A., not to mention his last name was apparently a red flag. He never did tell the others why, but it apparently had something to do with his parents doing some “wild things” back in the 60’s…
“I still don’t think you guys need to be looking through our files… Hell, if I had my way, you’d all be brought up on charges for the things you do.” The officer said, handing over the stack of boxes containing the missing persons reports for the last few weeks.
“Well, that’s why I love that big, beefy Austrian sitting in the Governor’s mansion.” Mick said, patting the officer on the shoulder. “Just loves him some Ghostbustin’, doesn’t he?”
“Yeah well, not for much longer, chuckles…” One of the cops mumbled.
The group made their way to the small conference room they’d ‘borrowed’ for their investigations, and quickly went to work, sorting through the files and separating them based on the locations of the abductions. They began to see a pattern.
“Looks to me like there’s been about… 10 disappearances in the general area between the Museum and the Subways we found the Vampires in…” Jeff said, quickly counting his pile of folders.
“Well that’s a good start. Any relations between the victims?” Mick asked, picking up two of the folders.
“Doesn’t seem to be.” Jeff said, shaking his head as he glanced through page after page.
Mick frowned. “What are you talking about? They’re all virgins.”
Jeff looked at him blankly. “…What? Where’s it say that?” He asked, snatching back the folder.
“Doesn’t have to, look at the pictures, you can tell.”
Jeff looked through the pictures, and odd as it seemed… Mick did have a point, the victims all seemed to look as though they were probably virgins. “Well, we should probably look into the Kali Cult, see if Virgins are part of the ritual.”
The reasoning that led the two Ghostbusters to the file rooms of the LAPD, was that Jeff had discovered a piece of clothing from one of the Vamps they’d fought down in the subway, and on the clothing was the symbol of Kali, an Indian Goddess of Death. A VAMPIRE Goddess to boot. Their knowledge of the Occult (and common sense) led them to the theory that because the group only had 3 stones, they would need human sacrifices in order to get Kali to help them unlock the power inside them.
Mick began to flip through his book on Indian Mythology, quickly checking to make sure none of the cops were going to be disturbing them anytime soon. “Well, I’m not seeing anything about sacrifices to Kali being part of her M.O.”
“Know anyone who could help us out?” Jeff asked.
Mick stopped a moment, looking at Jeff, who was giving Mick a funny look. “You’re not suggesting who I think you are…”
Mick groaned, pulling out his phone. “I hate this guy…”
“I hate you guys…” Spike said, slamming the crypt door angrily.
Mick turned to Jeff and shrugged, motioning to the door. Jeff rolled his eyes, stepped forward and kicked it off its hinges. Inside, the blonde haired Vampire turned on them angrily and bared his fangs, stepping up to them as though he was going to attack. Mick just laughed.
“What’re you laughing at, you bloody poof!?” Spike demanded.
“Oh nothing much, just you. Like you’re actually gonna DO something to us?”
“I’ll rip you limb from limb!” He said, but didn’t move.
The two Ghostbusters waited, looked at each other and shrugged. “What’s the matter, buddy?” Mick asked, then snapped his fingers. “Oh right, that um… that thing in your noggin, right?” He asked, tapping Spike on the head, prompting him to angrily swat at Mick’s hand.
“Hey now, don’t get too surly or I might think you’re trying to harm me.” Jeff said, smirking.
“Oh whatever… That what you came in here to do? Make fun of me cuz I got this sodding chip in in my brain?” Spike asked, sitting on his old armchair and flipping off the television he’d been watching.
“No, information actually.”
“Yeah, and I’ll be helping you… why? Out of the EVIL-ness of my heart?”
“No, how about the greeney-ness of our money?” Mick asked, producing a wad of bills, which got Spike’s attention.
“Well lookit all that lovely paper you’ve got there…” He said, getting up and walking over to take it.
Mick held the money back though. “Answers first.”
“Alright, shoot.” Spike said, suddenly very cooperative as he lit up a smoke.
“Gang of Vampires popped up recently, worshipping Kali. Know anything about them?”
“Oh those blokes… They hide out in the subways.” He said, then reached for the money, which Mick once again held back.
“We know that part already, skip to the next chapter.” Mick said, waving the money around. “Maybe like why they’re looking for the stones when only a MORTAL can utilize the power in them?”
Spike sighed, annoyed. “Word is they’re workin’ for some big-wig magician guy. He shares some spooky uber powers with the Vamps, they give him some muscle until he becomes the new big bad in town, kills YOU lot and takes over the world.” He finished.
“The usual drill…” Jeff said, leaning against one of the cement supports. “So basically these cultists are a bunch of hired guns?” Jeff asked.
“Worse, they’re fanatics.” Spike corrected him. “They’re real old fashioned kinda guys, like to worship the old Demons and Demigods, but Kali is a big favorite for em, as you may have noticed already.”
“Yeah, we have.” Jeff said, holding up the symbol on the shredded clothing, Spike chuckled.
“Well, some baddie out there’s got himself the Sankara stones then? Better clear outta town then.” He said. “I wouldn’t want meself getting caught in the crossfire.”
Jeff shoved Spike back, and Spike angrily growled and went to bite him, but cried out in pain, clutching his head in agony before he could even get close. Spike collapsed against the chair, shaking his head to get rid of the headache.
“Come on, he’s given us all we’re gonna get.” Mick said, tossing the wad of cash onto the table nearby. “Thanks for the help.”
“Sod off.” Spike said, collecting the money as they left him alone.