Slimed! Part 2:
The newly minted Ghostbuster Van had sirens that Regina could see herself learning to enjoy, but at that moment, the shrill whine was only a hum in the back of her mind as she prepared herself for taking on the Possessor.
The van pulled into the parking lot at the Wallace Building and Simon was suddenly unlocking the metal grating lining the walls.
From the front, Cynthia called out to him, “Jordan and I will carry the proton packs and the traps. I want you and Regina to have the slime packs.”
“Will it work against the things he summons?” Regina asked as Simon helped her into her slime pack.
“Yes, but not like the proton packs.” He straightened his glasses as Jordan helped him into his slime pack. “The slime is positively charged, so it should neutralize the negatively charged entities.”
“What does ‘neutralize’ mean?”
“The force that mobilizes them, either the Possessor or a soul that he has enlisted, will lose its physical form. It won’t be easy for it to build a new one. As far as you’re concerned, it’ll be long gone.”
That was good enough for Regina. She helped Jordan into his proton pack and they all climbed out of the back of the van.
Simon showed Regina how to use the slime pack. “Just pull this lever up here. You’ll get more distance the farther back you pull it. It only has about 30 yards of pressure.”
“What happens when I run out of slime?”
Simon shook his head. “This is just like your Ghost Mace. The slime is duplicates itself. If you find that your streams are weak, just give it a minute.” Simon was suddenly worried. “Oh, and think happy thoughts.”
“Really?” She smirked, thinking Simon was joking.
Simon nodded. “Yes. The slime is generated by emotions. It might self-replicate, but that doesn’t mean that it inherits the same mood. It absorbs the moods around it, but if there are strong enough emotions that are contradictory to what is in the rest of the tank, the slime could…turn.”
Jordan joined them. “The baddest. Instead of hurting Bluto, you’re feeding spinach to Popeye.”
“Happy thoughts,” Regina gave a thumbs up to them. “Got it.”
Cynthia came around from the front, and Regina helped her into her proton pack.
“So,” Jordan said, “what’s the plan?”
“That,” Cynthia pointed down the street where police cars were racing toward them. Their lights and sirens on. None of them had noticed the new sirens, as they had already grown accustomed to the sound in their new van.
“As it turns out,” Cynthia continued, “we have city contracts, and I was able to leverage that to get local law enforcement to help us with our situation.”
“You’re a goddess,” Jordan said through a wide grin.
“Don’t go malevolent, or we might have to slime you next.” Simon added without a hint of mirth.
Cynthia smirked. “You can try.”
The police cars pulled in next to the van, and the first officer stepped out and walked up to meet the Ghostbusters.
“What do you need from us?”
Cynthia pointed at the Wallace Building. “We need Brent Allen out of that building. We’d prefer it if you could bring him to the back of our van, but if he struggles at all leave him to us.”
“While the city might have signed off on this, it doesn’t change the fact that I can’t arrest someone without probable cause.”
Jordan stepped up. “You’re only bringing him out here for questioning. Besides, he’s impersonating a state official. That’s very illegal, last I checked.”
The officer nodded. “I can work with that. We’ll get him out here.” He turned and started up the sidewalk and toward the building with his men.
Simon added quickly. “He’s dangerous. Try not to…spook him.”
Cynthia rolled her eyes.
To all of their surprise, the police were in the building for less than a minute before they were walking out with Brent Allen between them. He wasn’t handcuffed or resisting, he was only walking with the police as they directed him toward the Ghostbusters.
“What can I do for the Ghostbusters?”
Cynthia stepped forward. “You can exit the man you’re currently possessing and allow us to detain you for questioning.” Her hands gripped her neutrino wand with white knuckles.
“I don’t know about possessions, but I do know that I won’t let you detain me.” Before the Ghostbusters could argue, he added, “You can ask me anything you like, though.”
“Where’s my brother?” Regina demanded.
“Excuse me?” Brent looked confused.
Cynthia waved Regina back and stepped forward. “If you’re not what we think you are, would you mind taking a painless and simple test?”
Before he could answer, Regina stepped forward again and shot the Ghost Mace into his face.
It came out of the can much like normal Mace would. Spraying in an arc and hitting his face in a steady stream. Except this wasn’t mace, it was positively charged slime.
Cynthia would have reprimanded Regina, but she didn’t have time.
Brent’s face stretched, his jaw reaching down to his chest as his eyes swelled and a scream of paranormal proportions echoed across the city.
As one, the police officers all drew their guns and aimed it at the possessed Brent Allen.
“Put your guns down,” Simon yelled. “They wouldn’t do anything anyway.”
None of the officers lowered their guns, but they also didn’t start shooting. The Ghostbusters all accepted that as a sign of restraint.
“Well,” Cynthia said, “what are you waiting for.” She pushed Regina forward. “Soak him!”
Regina raised her hose and pulled the lever. Slime shot in a solid stream directly at the possessed man. Like he was attached to wires that they couldn’t see, he shot into the sky in a high arc and came back down closer to the boarded up glass doors of the Wallace Building. The maneuver put about thirty yards between the Ghostbusters and the spirit.
As one they started running toward him until he let out another howl. His jaw stretched again, going further down his chest, and energy rolled from him in waves. As it did, it carried with it two more spirits.
The ghosts were both corpulent men beyond realistic measures and were wearing torn business suits. They glowed a faint blue hue. Their presence stopped the Ghostbusters’ charge, but only for a moment.
“We’ve got this,” Jordan said with a wink. He shot up at the nearest former politician, and the spirit dove out of the way of the proton stream. “Incredibly nimble for his size,” he mumbled before adding, “Slime the possessor and these guys should disappear.”
Simon and Regina ran at Brent the Possessor and pulled on the large slime levers again. He lifted off of the ground again and spiraled out of the path of the streams.
“Widen your stream,” Simon pointed at a dial on the side of the hose and Regina did as he said.
The result was immediate and similar to turning a shower head from jet to wide. The stream panned horizontally and made it harder for Brent to avoid the pink mess.
To her surprise, Regina got the first hit as the Possessor twisted to avoid Simon’s wide spray and went through Regina’s, which she had turned vertical. Going through it, he collapsed to the ground and shuddered, the pavement cracking underneath him as he fought to hold onto his position in Brent’s body.
“I need to get to the truck,” Simon called. “You got this?”
Regina nodded and turned the dial and the slime being projected returned to the jet setting again. She focused all of her attention on getting the Possessor soaked. Fueled by her need for information about her brother, she was aiming to drown the ghost in the good vibes the slime was permeated with.
As his body continued to convulse, suddenly the possessor was making barking noises as his mouth stretched open again. With a final shudder, Brent Allen vomited the possessor up and into the sky where it floated, looking like a large bat-winged demon in a bright yellow hue. Horns curled behind its ears, and its fangs dripped menacingly.
Giving one last roar at the Ghostbusters and Police, it turned and launched into the sky.
Or at least tried to.
Jordan had been correct. The animating spirit behind the ghosts that he and Cynthia had been wrestling with had been the Possessor. When he was gone, they had vanished, allowing the other two Ghostbusters to join them with the Possessor.
Two proton streams shot into the sky and wrapped around the feet of the demon-looking Possessor. Together, they dragged the spirit towards the back of the Ghostbusters’ new van.
“Don’t look at the van,” he yelled as they entered the range of the still-untested giant trap. Remembering the Police, he yelled it again in their direction.
The spirit pulled and jerked in the grasp of the proton streams, but Cynthia and Jordan were working like a well-oiled machine. As one would get pulled, the other would pull harder. They worked like that, back and forth, until Jordan was standing almost at the van.
“Now?” He asked through gritted teeth.
Simon nodded and pulled a lever that was built into the outside wall of the van.
A loud hum began to build up as whatever machinations that Simon had modded the van with began to spin up. The inside of the van grew incredibly bright and the Ghostbusters all did their best to not look at the light. Jordan and Cynthia shortened their streams until the demon Possessor was bathed in the light.
They held him there until Simon shouted, “Release!”
They cut their streams and the Possessor was yanked into the back of the van. Simultaneously, Simon pressed the lever into the other direction and the doors slammed shut.
“Holy shit,” Jordan said. “Did that actually work?”
Simon raised an eyebrow. “Of course it worked.”
The van shuddered and then rocked as the ghost crashed around inside.
The Ghostbusters thanked the Police and Cynthia quickly explained how they would be containing the creature, as to assure the local PD that it wouldn’t be released again.
When she was done, she walked up to the Ghostbusters and smiled. “Well,” she looked at Regina. “I think you’ve got a few questions for that thing?”
Smiling, Regina led her way to the front of the van and climbed into the cab.
In the cab of the van, the Ghostbusters crammed in to get a good look through the faraday cage.
The ghost was starting to mellow out and shrank down from his demon form. When his size was back to something at least slightly more normal, he took on the shape of Regina’s brother, Blake.
“Oh, look. I found your brother.” He let out a long cackle.
“Who are you?” Jordan asked.
The ghost grinned and razor sharp teeth replaced Blake’s normal smile. “Is this what we’re doing now? Conversation?” He sighed. “I tried that earlier, remember? You sprayed me with Mace.”
“Well, this is what we’re doing, so, answer the damn question.” Regina barked.
The ghost took on Blake’s voice, “Hey sis, thanks for leaving me to burn in Hell.”
Regina slammed her hands against the faraday cage and Simon pulled her back while Jordan continued talking to the ghost.
“Answer the question, please.”
The ghost’s voice returned to its eerie echo. “You’re no fun.” He smiled a toothy smile again, “She’s fun, but you’re not.” He let out a long sigh. “There is no translation for my name in your language.”
“Try,” Cynthia growled.
“The closest that I can offer is ‘A Raging Lion.’”
Cynthia looked at Jordan and he nodded a confirmation. This ghost was one of the seven.
“Well, I think you’re our first, so we’ll call you ‘One,’” Jordan said.
One laughed. It was long and over the top. When he finally stopped and saw that the four Ghostbusters looked confused, he asked, “Are you being serious?”
“About what?” Cynthia asked.
“I’m not the first of the Seven that you’ve dispatched.”
He folded Blake’s arms. “You have taking out the…um…’Fearful Storm,’ would be the translation, and our soul-eater, ‘The Predator with the Open Mouth.” He leaned back on an invisible chair. “The Fearful Storm attacked you near where we were summoned. His job was to protect our discovery.” He waved his hands about. “The Soul-Eater has always been difficult to control. He had no purpose other than his own.”
“Why are you telling us this?” Cynthia demanded.
She was right to ask, the other Ghostbusters realized. He had no reason to help them. He was already captured and wasn’t going anywhere.
“Because there’s nothing you can do about it,” One answered. “The wheels have been turned.”
“Why were you in Brent Allen?” Cynthia continued questioning.
One smiled, “Wheels needed to be turned.”
“And where are the rest of the Seven?”
One shrugged. “I have not been informed. The Seven are agents of chaos. We stir the spiritual energies in preparation for the Rise of Erra.”
“I thought Erra was here already,” Cynthia stated.
One nodded. “Yes, but he has yet to make his,” he waved jazz hands, “entrance. He can’t do that until he has more power.”
One shook his head. “That isn’t your question to ask.” He smirked, obviously excited for what was coming next.
Cynthia touched Jordan’s arm, and they left the cab of the van and joined Regina and Simon.
“We won’t get too much more out of him,” Cynthia said before facing Regina. “There’s only one question left to ask. Are you ready for it?”
Regina didn’t answer and stomped back to the van. Climbing into the cab, she shut the door behind her.
“Hey sis,” One said in Blake’s voice. “Welcome back.”
“Where is Blake?”
“Right here, silly.”
“Where is my brother?”
“I told you the first time,” One leaned forward. “He’s burning in what your small fleshy existence would refer to as Hell.”
Regina smiled. “You’re forgetting that I was there. Somebody possessed him. Where did he go?”
Blake’s face stopped smiling. “Erra used him as a doorway. Many spirits left through your brother, but only the final one wears his flesh.”
“Erra has him?”
“This sense of identity that you attach to his flesh is silly. Erra is in possession of your brother’s body, but it is very likely that his spirit has been devoured or released during the Great Exodus.”
Regina gulped. “Great Exodus?”
One pinched the bridge of his nose in exasperation. “When your brother puked up spirits.” He sighed and leaned back against his invisible chair again. “Either way, your best chance of getting your brother back is to find Erra.” One snickered. “Good luck. He’s a god with a penchant for destruction. Your brother is likely batting for my team.”
“Where is Erra?”
One furrowed Blake’s brow. “I can feel him. He is close. That is all I know.”
Regina leaned toward the passenger side door and rolled down the window. “Hey Simon, is the portable containment unit installed?”
“Yes,” Simon called back. “Purple button.”
“Thanks,” she immediately located the purple button and slammed her hand down on it.
One of the sides of the faraday cage popped open and a bright light emitted from a piece of the machinery there. The machine was larger and looked like a series of three red-painted lockers welded together. The bright light was arrived with a pop in Regina’s ears as the air pressure in the van changed. Much as with the van previously, the bright light pulled at the ghost. One howled, fighting it, but was more resigned this time than he had been when the van had collected him.
The Ghostbusters all sat around their ‘conference room’ table, which was more of a small table in their break room, but it served their purposes.
“So, we’ve caught three of the Seven?” Jordan asked.
Regina nodded. “If we can trust an ancient and evil entity.”
Simon nodded. “I do. He’s powerful and cocky. I trust everything he said because he thinks we can’t do anything about it.”
“And he might be right,” Cynthia added. “We only found One because Regina was walking around blindly following PKE readings.”
Regina nodded. “Isn’t there a way that we all can do that?”
Cynthia folded her arms. “Four people covering all of the Des Moines Metro? We’ll never find him. That’s not being pessimistic, that’s being factual.”
“Why only four of us?” Simon asked raising an eyebrow.
“What?” Cynthia was confused.
“Well, why can’t the whole city search for us as well?”
Jordan’s eyes lit up. “I just read about this in a book.” He ran to his cubicle and then came directly back, tossing a worn copy of a book on the table. The name was Broken Nights, by Matthew Davenport, and the cover was a mix of blacks and purples with some sort of vigilante standing on a car with rage in his eyes.
“It’s a novel about a superhero. He designs an application so that anyone who downloads it can use it to report crimes.”
Simon nodded. “That’s exactly where I was going with this. We take the PKE app that I made for Regina to KCWI and do a special on Great Day. Once we tell everyone in the city that they can be Junior Ghostbusters just by downloaded the application, we’ll have the entire city helping us.”
Regina shook her head. “It won’t work. The app needs the case attachment.”
Simon shook his head. “We’ll do a scaled down version of the app. It’ll scan wireless, carrier signals, and every other sensor on the phones. It won’t be anywhere near as powerful as your app, but with the whole city running it…”
“We’ll know every PKE spike in the entire city,” Cynthia mumbled.
Simon nodded and high-fived Jordan who was waiting patiently with his hand out.
“We’re the only Ghostbusters in the Midwest,” Cynthia said louder. “If we get the everyone using this application, we’ll be busier than we ever could have hoped.”
“Well,” Simon slowly stood up, “then I had better get to work.”