Fan-Fic Friday: A Grand-Goofy Movie!

I apologize to those who were excited to see a new episode of Arrow: Green Lantern this week. We will return to our regularly scheduled programming soon.

To explain today’s post, which is a huge break from what I normally do, you would have to know something about my family. My wife, my 2 year old, and myself are all obsessed with The Goofy Movie from 1995. The worst culprit would have to be my wife. Whereas I have fond memories of singing the songs and laughing with my brother about the movie, I was always more of a Goof Troop fan. My daughter has recently discovered the show and loves initiating Davenport Dance Parties whenever Powerline is on the screen. This of course leads into An Extremely Goofy Movie, the less successful sequel that follows Max (and Goofy) to college. My wife is a little less enthusiastic about this one, but Willow doesn’t know the difference between Powerline and Disco yet, but musical taste is reserved for 3 year olds, so I’m told.

That being said, I’ve always wanted to see the trilogy completed, and even more so now that Willow has entered our lives. Through A Goofy Movie, An Extremely Goofy Movie, cameos in Ducktales (the reboot), and some Christmas thing my daughter found on Disney+, we’ve only been given snippets of what came after and the road for the Goof family. What we’ve been given has shown that Max appreciates his dad more and more as he got older and that gave me an idea.

In my scenario, Max is in his late 20’s and, like his father, his spouse is nowhere to be seen. Max, the rocking out, skateboarding, extreme sports-junky is now a father to the very serious (think the kid from Pagemaster) very school-driven 8 year old little girl, Maz (or Mazzy).

One more thing before it starts: If Disney wants this, I’m totally willing to sell out. Give me a call, I’m sure you can use your Super Computers to find my phone number.


Opens on Maximilian Goof, late 20’s, knocking on a bedroom door decorated in little girl things.

Maz Goof is in her room and doing her homework.

Max- “Hey kiddo, it’s summer vacation, what are you working on?”

Maz- “I bartered with the children in the grade above me for their assignments. I’m getting a headstart on next year’s homework.”

Maz- “Wouldn’t you rather go outside or play with your friends?”

Maz- frowning- “Father, friends consume time that could be better applied to study.”

Max frowns, and an idea suddenly strikes him. – “I’ll bet I can teach you something.” He smiles at his cleverness. “A physics lesson!”

Maz- “Is this some plot to engage me in ‘fun’?”

Max- “Well, yes, but you might also learn something.”

Maz- “Very well, father.”

Cut to Max giving pointers on skateboarding and Maz speaking to it’s dangers with percentages. Max skates off screen and we hear the classic Goofy Scream.

The next scene is Goofy running through a hospital and to a room. Max is in a full body cast and Maz is thanking him for the very important lesson.

Maz hugs her grandfather and gives a clever explanation when Goofy asks what happened.

Maz- “Father taught me what happens when a small mass at high velocity collides with a much larger mass that is stationary.”

Goofy raises an eyebrow at Max who gestures at the broken skateboard and says, “I crashed.”

Max asks Maz to get him something from the vending machine as a ploy to get Goofy alone.

Max- “Dad, I need you to watch Maz. She’s too young to go without someone and I’m not moving anywhere for 4 to 6 weeks.”

Goofy- “Max, I dunno, son. I’ve always been a little…”

Max smiles- “Goofy?”

Goofy returns the smile- “Well, yah. And Maz is just a little…”

Max- “No, she’s way too serious. That’s why you have to take her. She needs to learn that it’s ok to have fun. That it’s ok to be Goofy!”

Goofy- “Well, I don’t know what little girls like to do…”

Max- pulls out a slip of paper, aged, folded- “I already figured that out.”

Goofy unfolds the paper and the biggest, Goofy-est grin spreads across his face and a tear comes to one of his eyes.

Goofy straightens and pushes the paper back toward Max who refuses it- “Really? This is really something that she should do with her father.”

Max nods- “Really. I would love to take her, but she won’t learn what she really needs to learn with me. Besides,” he shrugs as much as his body cast will let him, “I’m not going anywhere for a while.”

Goofy- “But what about you, son? I can’t leave you here all alone.”

Right then the nurse walks in and Max’s eyes light up. She’s “Disney-attractive.”

Max- “I’ll be alright.”

Goofy catches on and let’s out a “hyuck.”

The camera zooms in on the paper, it’s a map, and a corner of it is circled.

It reads, Lake Destiny.


On the one hand, this seems very “The Force Awakens is really A New Hope in disguise,” but while we would be revisiting much of the first movie the idea and spirit behind this are entirely different.

In the original, Goofy was trying to connect with his son who, seemingly, hated him. In this, Maz knows and loves her grandfather, she just doesn’t understand how to just enjoy life. Goofy will struggle with that and getting her to relax and enjoy herself while also struggling with his fears of not being the “Max” type of parental figure. The goal of the movie is for him to realize he needs to be his own type of Grandpa while Maz needs to learn what it means to be a Goof.

All with tons of cameos, musical numbers, and easter eggs from the first movie.

FanFic Friday – Arrow: Green Lantern Part 3

John was resting on the floor of his new house, just outside of Metropolis, with Lyla spooning against him. There were boxes scattered around the room with the nearest one acting as a table for two glasses of wine and a half-eaten box of pizza.

“The kids fell asleep harder than I expected them to,” he commented.

Lyla nodded. “When you said they could decorate their new rooms however they wanted it was game over. I’ve never seen them work that hard before.”

John wrapped his arm around Lyla, but before he could tuck his hand under her, she looked again at the ring that seemed to be permanently affixed to his finger.

“J’onn said it was a weapon?” she asked.

John smirked. “A weapon, but a lot like a crowbar can be a weapon when you need it to be. That last two nights it seems to be talking to me in my sleep and teaching me more about it.”

Lyla was suddenly concerned. “It’s reading your thoughts?”

John shook his head, “Not really. It seems to only want to teach me about itself. I think that for the ring to work, we have to be partners who are entirely in sync. The more I learn about it, the better it works for me.” He could see that his words weren’t making much sense to his wife, so he decided to show her instead. “Watch.”

He let Lyla sit up so that he could reposition himself before stretching his arm forward. A beam of green light came out of his ring and created an orb around a slice of pizza. The tension that had been building up in his brow released as his confidence grew and the slice lifted into the air before gliding into Lyla’s hand.

She took a bite as John relaxed and smiled. “We are totally going to get fatter with that thing.”

A movement at the front door caught their attention as J’onn J’onzz passed through it with his Martian abilities. He was wearing his Martian Manhunter suit but was still in his human guise.

“I apologize for the interruption, but you are in danger.”

Years of conditioning as both a soldier and member of Team Arrow had his hand out and aiming a green and glowing construct of a pistol at the Martian. Lyla had a similar reaction and was holding an actual pistol on the hero. They both lowered their weapons, and John’s disappeared back into the ring as he did.

“Danger? From what?” Lyla asked.

“Something is coming for you, John,” he explained. “Something you aren’t ready for yet.”

Diggle smirked and brought the gun construct back into existence. “I don’t know, I’ve been practicing.”

“While that is impressive,” J’onn explained, “this thing that is coming for you went toe to toe with Supergirl. Running today will protect your family and help you in your fight tomorrow.”

Lyla climbed to her feet as her husband followed. “J’onn, what is this thing?”

“It calls itself a Manhunter.”

“Like you?” Diggle asked.

“No,” Lyla answered as her mind began recalling information from her time as the Harbinger. “The Manhunters were the sworn enemies of the Green Lanterns.”

John raised an eyebrow. “You know that, but you don’t know what my ring is capable of?”

“My knowledge as Harbinger was only given to me on a need to know basis. Knowing your enemy was more important to the Monitor than knowing your allies. The Monitor didn’t want me running into Manhunters, whereas the Green Lanterns would have been on my side.”

“Great,” John exclaimed. “Then we know more about them then they know about us.”

Lyla shook her head. “I’ve told you everything I know already. They hunt the Green Lanterns and I was to avoid them.” She looked John in the eyes. “John, I had access to multiversal power and the Monitor told me to avoid them.”

Diggle turned to his Martian friend. “J’onn, are Lyla and the kids safe here?

“No, John,” Lyla argued, knowing where her husband was going with this. “We’re coming with you.”

“Lyla,” J’onn spoke up, “the Manhunter is tracking the amplified power of John’s will. If he leaves, you and your children will remain entirely safe.”

“This thing fought Supergirl, Lyla,” John hugged and kissed her. “This is strategy 101. I can’t fight this thing if I’m worried about protecting you.”
Suddenly the ring spoke up, in Lyla’s voice, “Power at 10%.”

“Wait,” John’s frustration was obvious. “This thing needs to be charged? How do I do that?”

A beam of energy leapt from the ring and a portal of light opened in the wall. Floating from it was a large green lantern, similar to those he had taken camping with his stepfather years ago.

Lyla’s voice continued from the ring, “Place your ring against the lantern and you will know what to say.”

“I’ve heard about this, but never seen it,” J’onn J’onzz looked almost giddy with excitement. “I have dreamed of this since I was a child.”

Diggle placed his fist against the lantern as it floated in front of him and the ring was right, he did know the words.”

“In Brightest Day, in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight. May those who worship evil’s might, beware my power: Green Lantern’s Light.”

The ring flashed and the lantern receded back into the portal. The portal disappeared.

“You can call upon the pocket dimension to access your power battery at any time,” the ring explained. “Ring Power is now 100%.”

“Woah,” Lyla said and John noticed that she was looking him up and down. That was when he realized that the ring had dressed him in his newest uniform.

“Cool, huh?”

“From vigilante to complete superhero,” she smiled. “Oliver would be proud.”

He nodded to his wife and gave her another kiss before sneaking into their kid’s rooms and kissing them as well. Once the pleasantries were gone, he and the Martian made their way out of the house.

With a smirk on his face, John leapt into the air and flew into the night sky over Metropolis.

FanFic Friday: Arrow- Green Lantern Part 2

“Alex, I’m at the crash site and I’m not picking up anything special in any of the spectrums that I can see in.” She put her hands on her hips and let out a sigh that lifted her bangs.

Alex’s voice came over the comm in Supergirl’s ear. “If we’re lucky it’s just another random meteor, but I don’t think National City has ever had a meteor land near it that wasn’t something ominous.”

“That’s the understatement of the year,” Kara laughed. “I’ll move in for a closer look.”

The crater itself was mostly empty except for a large red puddle that Kara suddenly found herself hoping wasn’t someone that the meteor had landed on. She dismissed that thought when she saw the small lines of silver crisscrossing the puddle. Without anything coming through on her vision checks, Kara tried her other senses. Her ears soon picked up a news broadcast that seemed to get amplifed by the proximity to the crash site. The sound of a weather anchor that Kara knew well enough professionally to recognize by his voice came to her attention. No sooner did she recognize his voice than the puddle began to shift.

Almost faster than she could see, the puddle took the form of the weatherman.

“I have an ominous feeling that you’re not really Weatherman Phil of National City News.”

An odd staff of alternating red and silver formed between his hands.

“I seek the Green Lantern of Sector 2841. No man escapes the Manhunters.”

Kara suddenly remembers something from her childhood. She’s heard of the Green Lanterns but hadn’t heard anything about them since before she left Krypton.

“There are no Green Lanterns on Earth that I know of.” She waved, “Sorry to waste your time. I guess you can go now.”

“You cannot hide him from me.” He twisted and aimed the tip of the staff in her direction. “No man escapes the Manhunters.”

“I heard you the first time,” she put her hands in front of her hoping to still any of his aggression. “We don’t need to fight. I can probably help you.”

A beam of red and black fired from the staff’s tip and would have struck Kara if she hadn’t moved aside at the last second. Continuing her movement, she sped at the thing calling itself a Manhunter and slammed him back into the crater.

He was up as quickly as he went down, spinning the staff and hitting Supergirl in the waist. She was tossed into the air where she caught herself and hovered above him.

“You cannot stop me. No man can escape the Manhunters.”

With hits like those, she figured he could take a concentrated blast of her heat vision. He managed to catch it on his staff, but it was only the distraction. As Kara continued to fire with her eyes, she also flew at the Manhunter at incredible speed, driving both of her fists into his chin and toward the ground.

The Manhunter created a new crater and didn’t rise nearly as quickly as he had the first time.

“I’m not a man and I’m not looking to escape. You’re coming with me.”

She reached down to grab him by his collar but his body went liquid again and he flowed over her and behind her, bringing his staff up to choke Supergirl while driving his foot into the back of her knee. She fell to the ground gasping as she fought for breath. It was rare for her to meet someone who was strong enough to choke her.

She spun as quickly as she could. A brief cyclone was kicked up in the dirt and the Manhunter was thrown away. Kara didn’t slow her assault, rushing at him and trading blows with superhuman speeds. For every blow she managed to land, so did the Manhunter. Unfortunately, the Manhunter didn’t seem to be tiring or slowing, whereas she worried that she would. Whatever he was, it wasn’t organic. He was some sort of machine.

When one blow managed to put some space between them, Kara noticed his eyes flash green before his body went rigid.

“Target located.” He launched into the air and began flying east at supersonic speeds.

“Oh no you don’t,” Kara shot into the air after him.

She lost him outside of the Great Plains.

“Alex,” she spoke into her comms. “We need to find out who this planet’s Green Lantern is ASAP.”

“What’s a Green Lantern?” Alex asked.

“I’m not sure, but they’re in for a rude visitor.”

FanFic Friday: Arrow – Green Lantern

CW Introduction:
“My name is John Diggle. For 8 years, I protected Star City with the Green Arrow. When he died, I thought my time as a hero was over, but a meteorite carrying a powerful weapon had other ideas. I am no longer Star City’s Spartan. Now I defend my family, my planet, and my sector with a new name. I am the Green Lantern.”

John’s face was bathed in an emerald light as he looked down at the thing inside the case. It was round and flat on top and the case held it by the bottom. The top had an image carved into it that John was ashamed to admit reminded him of a Tie Fighter from Star Wars.
Sending out a quick prayer that the object wasn’t radioactive, John reached for it.
A bright pulse of green light burst from the thing before it floated out of the case and hovered in front of him.
“John Diggle,” a voice was being emitted from the object that, on closer inspection and out of it’s case, he could see that it looked like some sort of ring. “You have demonstrated outstanding bravery and incredible will-power.” A lance of the same green light coming from the ring seemed to solidify and leap toward John. It wrapped around his free hand and straightened his fingers. Gently, the ring floated forward and placed itself on his finger.
“Welcome to the Green Lantern Corp.”
“Corp?” John wasn’t unfamiliar with the term. “Did I just get conscripted?”

An hour later, John was sitting on the back of the van that his body had just dented. The doors were open and he wasn’t alone.
“Thanks for coming over so fast,” he said. “I would have called one of the other aliens I know, but just saying that still kind of blows my mind. Besides, they were kids when they stopped being aliens and according to my new memories, you’ve been around the block.”
J’onn J’onzz smiled and shook his head. “No thanks are required, I don’t think they would have been able to provide much assistance anyway.”
“So,” John pressed, “you know what it is?”
“I’ve heard of it but have never seen one.” He pointed at the ring still attached to John’s hand. “That ring is the weapon of the Green Lanterns.”
“That’s what it said,” John was excited that J’onn knew what it was. “It said that I was now part of the Green Lantern Corp. What is that? Some sort of military?”
J’onn shook his head. “Kind of. They are more like intergalactic police.” He frowned. “I haven’t heard of them in over a hundred years. There are stories that they would be the protective force in the universe, but something must have happened.”
“Why do you say that?”
J’onn shrugged. “My people, the Dominators, and Crisis all happened and we haven’t seen one. You would think that at least one of those conflicts would have been worth notice by the intergalactic police.”
John sighed. “You called this a weapon. What is it? And why did I get picked?”
“Well,” John stood up and put his hands in his pockets, “the stories say that a Green Lantern’s ring worked by harnessing the user’s will-power. Tehy could create solid constructs out of the light with just their minds. The stories spoke of a Martian Green Lantern who used his to create a full suit of battle armor and a full compliment of weapons.” He crossed his arms. “A tool like that could make you as powerful as Supergirl.”
“Then why did it come to me and not her?” John was struggling to understand why some space weapon would find any value in a random guy from Star City.
“John, of what I know about you, you’re a man of conviction and tactical awareness. You go into battle with your family on your mind and never back down. That when paired with your background with the Green Arrow and the military makes you a powerful force for justice and good.” He smiled. “I think the ring chose you because you’re the only choice it could have made.”
John smiled. “Thanks, J’onn, I appreciate that, I do, but I still don’t know what I am supposed to do with it.”
“Try it out,” J’onn replied.
“How do I do that?” John asked.
To his surprise, the Martian wasn’t the one who answered.
“My power source is will. Through focus and concentration, you can make me do anything.”
“Lyla?” John had heard his wife’s voice come from the ring.
“No,” Lyla’s voice replied. “I am the artificial intelligence housed inside of the ring. I chose a voice you trust and respect.”
“That’s just weird.”
“Said the man who just fought an alien god a week ago,” J’onn smirked.
“Ok,” John conceded. “Fair enough. So, I just will it? Like the Force or something?”
“This is not space magic,” the ring said. “This is space science.”
John remembered what J’onn had said about the powerful Martian Green Lantern. and closed his eyes.
“Well, I’ll be damned,” J’onn said quietly.
When Diggle opened his eyes, there was a green aura around him. Looking down he was wearing a glowing set of armor and could feel a mask over his face.
“Ring,” he said, “can you give tactical readouts based on what I’m looking at?”
“Yes,” was all the reply it gave.
His mask grew green lenses and suddenly everything that he looked directly at had a label.
He looked at J’onn J’onzz.
“Green Martian. J’onn J’onzz. 246 Earth years in age. Private Investigator. Former Head of the DEO.”
When he looked at his van it gave him the make and model and a list of all current and previous owners. When he looked at his house it did the same thing.
Reaching down, he grabbed the van’s back bumper and lifted it. The back of the van lifted off of the ground without any effort.
“I’m super strong?” John asked excitedly.
“No,” the ring replied. “You are human. The green light of will-power is encompassing your body and you are directing it to lift the car.”
“But,” John asked to clarify, “for all intents and purposes that’s the same as being super strong, right?”
“Correct.”
He put the van back down and turned to J’onn, lowering his arms to his side. “Ok, punch me.”
“Punch you?” the Martian asked.
“Yeah,” John was grinning. “Hit me with your alien strength. Don’t go easy on me.”
“I don’t know, John. I don’t think we should start risking your death as the first test. The ring might not be able to handle it.”
“The ring,” Lyla’s voice spoke up, “most certainly can handle it, J’onn J’onzz.”
Diggle shrugged as if to say, “See?”
“Very well,” J’onn said. With speed that matched that of the Flash, J’onn swung at Diggle’s chin.
His head turned with the punch but stayed firmly attached to the rest of his body.
Smiling, Diggle said, “I didn’t even feel it. That is so cool.” He held up his hand in a fist. “Ring, what else can I do?”
“Would you care to fly?”
“Oh, hell yes.”

FanFic Fridays! Green Lantern

I’m looking to start a new blog series here, where I will be posting a new chapter to a fan-fiction here on the blog every Friday. Today’s post will be a little light, just to give you an idea of where this first one is going.

For those who aren’t prepared, my Fan-fictions will contain spoilers for the shows, movies, or books they are borrowed from.

For example: Today’s first post is going to be a continuation of the recently concluded CW show, Arrow. With tons of spoilers that include (mostly focus on) things from the series finale.

You’ve been warned.

Arrow: Green Lantern

Standard CW Intro Monologue:

“My name is John Diggle. For 8 years, I protected Star City with the Green Arrow. When he died, I thought my time as a hero was over, but a meteorite carrying a powerful weapon had other ideas. I am no longer Star City’s Spartan. Now I defend my family, my planet, and my sector with a new name. I am the Green Lantern.”

Peek under the hood!

In the last two months, my post that received the most interest was Alien: Legion, focusing on my notes and process in writing a fanfiction. I don’t know if it was because everyone got to see under the hood or if there’s a ton of interest in Alien fanfic (please comment and let me know), but I figured I’d hedge my bets and start posting some more “mid-process” stuff.

So, stay tuned! I’m working on a bunch of projects and can’t wait to hear what you think.

Also, if I’m entirely wrong, and you just want more Alien fanfic stuff, let me know. It’s way better than wasting my time showing you under the hood when all you really wanted was acid blood and no one hearing you scream.

Ghostbusters: Des Moines- Episode 7

Before you jump in on Episode 7, why not read the rest first. Click Here to do that!

 

The fact that the Des Moines Ghostbusters were becoming overwhelmed with work was an understatement. Since the chairman had unsuccessfully tried to eliminate Cynthia Palmer from the playing field, the reports of spiritual activity had skyrocketed.

In the time that the Chairman made his brief appearance in their lives, the Ghostbusters had been sleeping in shifts to handle the overflow of spirits. They had been lucky that most of the ghouls and slimers had been located within the Des Moines Metro Area, but they were also very aware of the fact that this wasn’t a good thing. The more ghosts in the Des Moines Metro was indicative of Erra and the Seven consolidating their power.

Regina was the first to ask if whether or not this volume of spiritual energy had always existed and if they were only just now noticing it as the rest of Iowa began to adopt the PKE Meter phone application. Simon answered that by explaining that the application wasn’t their only detection method and that they had been able to pick of the city’s residual PKE reading before the app had existed. The app was mostly valuable in the fact that it pinpointed where spikes in that residual energy manifested, helping the Ghostbusters to find specific incursions from the spirit world. Unfortunately, this wasn’t a scenario of a tool doing its job too well, and was more a situation in which the city’s level of PKE was steadily climbing without any end in sight.

Which was why, exhausted and without options, Cynthia had organized a conference call with the franchise headquarters in New York City.

The Des Moines squad was huddled around a table in the small conference room that came with their rented office. Cynthia had only just finished pleading her case for support when a snarky voice on the other line replied.

“What this sounds like to me, Ms. Penner-“

“It’s ‘Palmer’,” Cynthia stated for the third time.

“Right, Palmer,” the voice replied, “What this sounds like to me, Ms. Palmer, is that your team isn’t strategizing properly. Instead of hunting down every spook in Iowa,” the voice paused before adding, “What even is Iowa? Is that a state?” When they didn’t dignify his obvious barb at their state with a response, the voice continued. “Instead of hunting down every ghost in Iowa, why not use that wonder app that your team put together to classify the nasty threats first. The low level threats can wait until you’ve nailed down this…uh…what did you call him?”

“Erra,” Jordan supplied.

“Erra? That doesn’t sound so bad. Not like a Gozer or a Tiamat. More like a small mistake you can handle with white out or an eraser.”

His voice grew distant as he leaned away from the phone.

“Ray, have you ever heard of beast that goes by the name of Erra?”

“Oh yeah, Peter!” An excited voice could be heard from further away. “Really nasty guy. If I recall, Marduk chose to relinquish his throne to Erra instead of dealing with him.”

The first voice, Peter, grew louder as he returned to the phone. “I just consulted with my spiritual liason, and he said that you could easily take out this Erra guy without any support.”

Cynthia’s head hit the table.

“Listen,” Peter continued. “Kick Erra’s ass, break for coffee, and then spend you’re newly found spare time cleaning up his left overs. If you’re lucky, most of the residual PKE should leave with him when they see you beat up the big guy.”

“So,” Regina asked, a hint of pleading tone in her voice, “you’re not going to send anyone to help us?”

“We’re not heartless, sweetheart,” Peter let out a sigh. “If it gets any worse, we’ll consider it. I’m sure Louis is around here and he’s been itching to put the proton pack back on for years.” His voice suddenly took on a hurried pattered. “Anyway, have a nice day, call back really soon. Don’t be a stranger. Bye!”

The line went dead.

“That man,” Regina said, “is an asshole.”

“He’s one of the original,” Jordan gave as way of an explanation.

“He’s still an asshole,” Cynthia replied, lifting her head.

The entire team were still in their jumpsuits, covered in sweat, grime, and slime. They were running on fumes.

“The asshole has a point, though,” Regina added. “Why aren’t we classifying them and hitting the biggest ones first?”

Simon reached across the table and hit a button on the projector, turning it on. As it warmed up, the glow of a computer desktop came to life on the wall.

Clicking his laptop’s mouse a few times, Simon brought up a graph.

“We are doing exactly that,” he explained. On the screen, the graph showed a steady increase in paranormal activity, reaching upwards toward a thousand pings from the application. “Everything below the red line at the 550 mark is being postponed until we’ve handled Erra and found your brother.”

While everything below the red line was quite a lot of activity, everything above it was almost just as busy.

Jordan waved his hand at the graph. “Have we shown the New York guys this graph? That level of PKE can’t go unnoticed. It’s astronomical.”

“Actually, we did,” Cynthia answered. “Their exact response was, ‘We’ve handled more with less, come back when it’s literally astronomical.’”

Regina shook her head. “We are entirely on our own.”

Cynthia nodded and then rubbed her eyes. Leaning back in her chair, she stared up at the data on the screen before turning to Jordan.

“What’s the God Threshold? Where on this scale would Erra sit?”

Jordan nodded at Simon who proceeded to make more clicks with the mouse until the graph zoomed out to half the size that it was. At the top of the screen was another red line that wasn’t labeled. “Everything below that mark answers to everything about the mark,” Simon explained. “Erra would sit,” he waved his hand about, “somewhere above that line.”

Cynthia was acutely aware that there were no pings from the PKE application that reached above the God Threshold line.

“Absolutely nothing has been reported above that line?” She asked. “Is it possible that something is wrong with the app?”

Simon shook his head, “The app is more than capable of picking up on god level psychokinetic energy.”

“Then we need to change our game plan. Erra is either hiding someplace where we don’t have enough smartphones or he’s found a way to hide his PKE. Any ideas?”

“The app is limited to the sensors in a standard smart phone. That means that the app won’t work well in places that block those signals and also that their range is limited,” explained Simon. “That would include large metal structures, as they can also interfere with readings.” He shrugged, “We’re looking for large empty spaces, spaces with little to no people, and spaces with lots of metal.

Sarcastically, Regina remarked, “Well, that really narrows it down in the middle of a city.”

“In a way, it does,” Cynthia replied. “Erra won’t be anywhere without too many people. The Seven require chaos to distract us so that Erra can do his work, that means he will be where the people are. He won’t be in the rural areas either, for the same reason. Erra is consolidating power, that means he’s most likely in the city and using some large metal structure as his hideout.”

Simon nodded, “I agree with that assessment.”

“Then what do we do now?” Jordan asked.

“We split up,” Cynthia stood and leaned over the table. “We need to hit every warehouse, every factory, stadium, and theater. Every structure that is large enough to disrupt cellphone signals.” She pointed at Jordan and Simon. “You two cover east and south Des Moines, while Regina and I will cover north and west. Don’t use the app, we need real PKE Meters in the field on this.”

 

Jordan and Simon took the van while Cynthia and Regina took Cynthia’s pickup truck. Just to be on the safe side, each team took two proton packs and two slime blowers with them. They had already covered most of the area between the East Village and the State Fair Grounds before deciding to move south and into the more industrial areas of southside Des Moines.

The job for the day was meticulous at best. They had decided to skip over the larger metal buildings that had full parking lots as it was unlikely that the app wouldn’t be able to pick up something and not report with that many people in the location. That left plenty to be searched, though. Most of that area of the southside was industrial lots and older buildings that either were, or used to be, factories.

They found nothing. Absolutely nothing. They weren’t even getting readings on some of the older buildings that should have had some sort of residual haunting on them. It was frustrating work.

After much consideration, Jordan told Simon to turn the van around. It was a little after noon, and they both felt that they’d earned a lunch at the local Zombie Burger.

Simon pulled into a parking lot for a train yard to turn the van around. As they slowly arced the van back toward the exit, Jordan’s PKE Meter let out a quick beep.

“What was that?” Simon put the brakes on.

Jordan stared at the PKE Meter, waiting for the blip to return. When it didn’t, he stuck the Meter out the window and waved it back and forth. Suddenly, another beep went out. “Looks like something small in the train yard.” He pulled the Meter back in, looked at it, and frowned. “It’s a Class 1 at best. Skip it.”

Simon returned the frown. “We’ve been out here for hours with nothing to show for it, and I’d like to stretch my legs.”

Jordan shrugged. “If Simon wants to strap on a heavy ass proton pack, who am I to argue. Very well, good sir. Lead the way.”

Before they put on their packs, they went up to the train yard office and introduced themselves.

“Is this for real?” The only guy in the office asked. He was older and wearing coveralls as he sat behind the desk. He looked at the Ghostbusters over his glasses as he spoke.

“Real enough, sir,” Simon answered. “We believe that a spiritual entity has taken up residence in your train yard. We certain that it’s probably nothing, but we would like your permission to check it out.”

“A ghost is in the yard?”

Jordan nodded.

“Are you guys going to bill me or anything?”

Simon shook his head. “This is part of a larger investigation that the city has hired us to check out.”

The yard manager shrugged, pushed his glasses back up to their place, and turned back to his newspaper that he had been reading when the guys had come in. “Knock yourselves out and don’t break anything.”

They thanked him but were pretty sure that he wasn’t listening to them anymore.

The yard consisted of mostly large train cars resting and awaiting pickup from the trains that would pass through. The guys stepped over several pairs of tracks and followed the PKE Meter from car to car until the signal was at its strongest.

“This one,” Jordan said, before adding, “It is still registering as a Class 1. I’m not entirely sure that we’ll even see it manifest.”

Simon prepared his proton pack while Jordan grabbed the handle to the train car door and tugged the door open.

Simon, prepared to blast anything that came out at them, tensed. When nothing happened, he stepped closer to look in and was joined by Jordan.

In the back left corner of the train car was a small purple glow, no bigger than a softball.

Jordan heaved himself into the car and helped Simon up into it. Once they were both in the car, Jordan pulled the PKE Meter back out and aimed it at the purple haze. He stepped closer to it, trying to make out what it was while Simon kept his neutrino wand at the ready.

When Jordan was close enough to see what it was, he let out a snort. “It’s a kitten.”

Simon stepped a little closer and, now that Jordan had said what it was, realized that he could make it out too. It was the ghost of a small kitten, glowing purple as it slept in the corner of the boxcar.

Jordan leaned forward and stroked the top of its head, waking the little kitten up as he did so. It let out a wide yawn and looked from Jordan to Simon and back to Jordan.

“This is probably some cat that used to live in the train yard,” Jordan explained. “I wonder how old the yard is. Well, it doesn’t really matter. History is filled with beloved pets staying on long after they’ve died. Life was such a simple path of love and be loved that they didn’t know how to stop. Kind of sad really.”

Simon frowned. “That’s it? Just a kitten?”

“Just a kitten,” Jordan agreed. “Class 1 and a complete waste of time, because I’m not going to blast a…” Jordan stopped as he saw Simon raise his neutrino wand. “What are you doing?”

“Jordan, get back!”

Jordan was so engrossed in recalling historic facts, that he hadn’t realized that the kitten had grown to almost three times its original diminutive size. He jumped back and looked at the PKE Meter.

“That’s impossible.”

“What is?” Simon demanded.

“He just grew to a Class 3, and he’s not stopping.” Jordan put away the PKE Meter and drew his own neutrino wand.

Simon frowned, “Is it starting to looking like a…cougar…or something?”

Jordan was suddenly lost in memory, trying to remember when someone had last mentioned a cougar. It was on the tip of his tongue.

And then it hit him.

“Not a cougar.” He flipped a switch on the side of his neutrino wand and let the whine of the proton pack fill the train car. “A panther.”

“What?” Simon flipped the same switch. The ghost cat was now getting to be taller than both of them. “Why a panther?”

“One of the Seven was referred to as a ‘Furious Panther’.”

Simon gulped and looked from the cat, to Jordan, and then back to the cat. “Furious?”

The phantom kitten turned Ghost Panther seemed to have finished its growth at around the size of a large van. It turned to face them and let out a roar that sent saliva and slime flying everywhere.

“Fire!” Jordan shouted. Both Ghostbusters shot their proton wands at the Ghost Panther and were rewarded as the Ghost Panther flinched in obvious pain. His flinch was massive, and the entire boxcar shook as the Ghost Panther slammed into the side.

The Ghost Panther recovered quickly, flexing and sending waves of energy reflecting back at the Ghostbusters. The energy lifted them off of their feet and sent them backward and out of the train car.

They managed to twist enough to land on their sides, saving their backs from the pain of crashing into the ground. Of course, it didn’t save their shoulders or the rest of their bodies as the impact was felt throughout their bones. The air rushed from their lungs as they landed and they were struggling to get up as the large purple Ghost Panther launched itself out of the train car and onto Simon, pinning him to the ground.

The Panther’s teeth wasted no time in trying to bite Simon’s head completely off. Simon only barely managed to avoid the decapitation by slamming the side of the neutrino wand into the cat’s mouth and putting all of his effort into pushing the head away from him. If he could get any sort of leverage, he might have twisted the wand and used the proton stream to send the Ghost Panther packing, but the feline was too heavy. Already Simon could feel how he was losing his life or death game of reverse tug-of-war.

A blast of energy hit the Ghost Panther in the side and sent him rolling off of and away from Simon. As Jordan continued to fire on the Jungle Book reject, Simon got to his feet and opened fire as well. Together they continued to pummel the Ghost Panther with as much energy as their Proton Packs could put out, not letting up for an instance.

With another roar, the Ghost Panther pulled the same trick that it had pulled in the train car. It flexed and another wave of energy arced out and slammed into the Ghostbusters. This time they were ready for it enough to brace their feet, but it still sent their proton streams shooting off into the sky and sent them scooting back about five or six feet.

The Panther let out another roar at them, obviously more annoyed than hurt, before taking off away from them. They watched as it ran toward the edge of the train yard and jumped the fence, causing a car to swerve and hit the fence as it took to running the streets.

Without saying a word, Jordan and Simon ran as quickly as they could to the van. When they got there, Jordan flipped open his cellphone and texted Cynthia as Simon peeled out of the gravel parking lot of the train yard and took off after the Ghost Panther.

Jordan snickered, “I don’t know why I even bothered texting Cynthia.”

Simon frowned as they took a corner and shot Jordan a look, “Why?”

“She’s terrified of cats. Her grandmother had somewhere around thirty of the things and there was always at least one that wasn’t in a good mood.”

“Then it’s great that you texted her,” Simon smiled. “I’m going to love seeing her freak out.”

Simon’s ingenuity had built a docking station into the dashboard of the Ghostbusters Van. Jordan hadn’t been entirely sure why until this very moment. He slammed the PKE Meter into it on Simon’s instruction and watched as a repurposed heads-up display showed the PKE Meter screen in a larger reflection on the middle of the windshield.

“He’s headed toward the East Village,” Jordan noticed.

“Not if we can stop him first,” Simon pointed ahead of the van. “There he is.”

Simon pressed his foot on the gas and rocketed them toward the Ghost Panther. It was well into an almost forty mile per hour gallop that the van was making progress on, but even with the sirens the traffic was making it difficult to close the gap.

Jordan climbed into the back where his pack had landed in a heap with Simon’s, and grabbed it before returning to his seat up front. Throwing one of the straps over the back of his seat, he grabbed the wand and leaned out of the open window of the van.

Pressing the right button, a proton stream leapt from his wand and in the general direction of the Ghost Panther. It didn’t even seem to notice as the beam flashed over it’s right side and hit a stop sign, incinerating it.

Jordan raised the wand higher and tried to sight down it’s emitter. The moment that the spirited feline was in his imaginary sights, he fired again.

The blast was closer this time, but the Ghost Panther twisted unexpectedly and the proton stream slammed into the pavement blasting chunks of it everywhere and instantly melting a huge hole into the road.

Simon swerved the van, only narrowly missing the newly formed pothole and was struck with a thought.

“If we can get in front of it, I can hit it with the van-trap.”

Jordan shook his head. “It wouldn’t be happy with us in front of it. We need to corral it somewhere, first.”

Simon nodded. “He seemed to flinch away from that last blast, maybe we can use the wands to direct him toward Pete Crivaro Park.”

Jordan rolled his eyes, “I’ll tell Cynthia it was your idea when the city calls wanting their potholes filled.”

Jordan fired again, this time not trying to hit the Ghost Panther so much as steer it. The blast hit the pavement to the left of the beast and the Ghostbusters were rewarded with the turning of the giant cat to the right.

Another blast directly behind the Ghost Panther sent the purple spirit into a slightly faster sprint. Simon adjusted the velocity of the van accordingly and they continued in this manner for another mile or so before they were outside of Pete Crivaro Park.

“Get out,” Simon demanded abruptly as the Ghost Panther entered the park.

“What?” Jordan was confused.

“Get out. I’ll park the van at the other end of the park and you can push him toward it. I’ll have the van set up and ready to trap him.”

“You going to stop the van first? Or do I have to tuck and roll with a proton pack?”

Simon rolled his eyes and pulled over at the edge of the park, right where the Ghost Panther had entered it. Jordan jumped out and pulled the proton pack off of the back of his seat. Sliding it on, he jogged after the oversized kitten.

Once Jordan was clear of the van, Simon peeled out of the parking lot and began circling to the north side of the park. Once there he found a place where he could reverse the van so that the back end was facing the park. Once the van was in place, he ran out to join his companion.

As he approached, he saw Jordan battling the Ghost Panther with a fury of his own. Each blast kept hitting the beast in its flank causing it to yelp, jump and turn to find a new means of attack. While the giant cat might not have noticed, it was evident to Simon that Jordan was successfully pushing the Ghost Panther toward the north end of the park.

Simon was running up behind the Panther when it seemed to take notice of him. Turning, it decided that maybe this new plaything wasn’t going to bite back as much. It lunged at Simon, but this time, Simon was prepared with his neutrino wand at the ready.

Blasting him in the face, the cat went tumbling back toward Jordan and in the wrong direction. The Ghost Panther recovered quickly, getting up and then smacking Jordan with its massive paw. Jordan flew across the park and landed in the sand of a small playground.

Before they could lose all of the progress that Jordan had accomplished, Simon ran around the Ghost Panther and took up Jordan’s former position, blasting and directing the beast until his companion could join him again.

Once Jordan was beside him, they still had another 100 yards to go.

Struggling to keep the stream constantly hitting the Ghost Panther, Simon shouted, “We aren’t anywhere near close enough for the trap.”

Jordan nodded and shouted at the Ghost Panther, “Let’s dance!”

Another roar brought with it another wave of energy, but the two Ghostbusters had been grown accustomed to this old trick already and ignored the wave as it pressed against them and tried to send them careening away from the giant cat.

Surprising both of them, the Ghost Panther did something that neither of them could have expected. It leapt straight up and into the air, using its undead ability to soar above them before coming down at both of them with paws outstretched and its jaw wide open.

Jumping away from each other, Simon and Jordan turned their wands at precisely the same moment and blasted the Ghost Panther in each of its sides as it came down right on top of where they were.

The combined effort from both sides had the unexpected result of helping them get a tether of proton stream around the beast for the first time in their battle. They had it, but it was a weak hold at best.

“There’s no way,” Simon was yelling, “that we’ll be able to walk him closer to the van without losing breaking the proton stream.”

Before Jordan could ask what Simon suggested that they do, he threw a glance up at where the van was to gauge the distance in his mind.

“Hey Simon,” he yelled back to his friend.

“What?”

“Did you forget to put the parking brake on?”

Simon looked up to where the van had been parked and saw it rolling right toward them. He was about to scream to get out of the way when he saw the brake lights come on and the back door fly open.

“Did somebody call for backup?” Regina yelled with a smile.

She hopped out of the van just as Cynthia was stepping up beside the lever that would activate the giant trap that the van could become.

“Ready when you are boys,” she yelled.

As one, Jordan and Simon yelled, “Do it!”

The rear end of the van shown like a spotlight across the park as energies shot from the back of it and grabbed at the spirit that they were wrestling.

Walking with the Ghost Panther and keeping their streams on it, they marched the beast right into the maw of their van.

Once the Ghost Panther was in, Cynthia released the trap lever and yanked Regina out of the way as the doors to the back of the van automatically slammed shut.

“Was that a giant cat?” Cynthia asked.

Jordan smiled. “Yup.”

“Actually,” Simon corrected, “it was a demigod that works in collaboration with Erra. The ‘Furious Panther’ out of the Seven.”

“So, a big cat?”

He frowned and then nodded.

“More importantly,” Simon continued, “they’ve discovered how to disperse their unused PKE energy to obtain camouflage.”

Cynthia frowned and looked at Jordan.

“This thing was registering as a Class 1 until we woke it up. Then it gathered itself together and was turned into that thing in the back of the van,” he clarified.

“They can hide?” Regina asked.

Simon nodded. “Our job seems to have suddenly become much more difficult.”

Ghostbusters: Des Moines- Ep 6: Blast from the Past

Episode 6: “Blast from the Past”

The TV cut to an ad for the Ghostbusters that had just began making waves in Des Moines.

Daniel Carter grimaced as Cynthia Palmer stepped into the screen holding a cell phone while wearing her Ghostbuster uniform. She pointed at the screen.

“If you go into your application store, you can search ‘Ghostbuster Neighborhood Watch.’ Once you’ve downloaded the app, you’ll be helping us to locate spiritual dangers throughout the city.” She pocketed the phone and added. “We’re on the hunt for major spikes in spiritual activity and your help will give us the edge we need to find what we’re looking for.”

A Ghostbuster with a nametag that read “Ross” pointed at the screen and energetically said, “Only you can save the city! Be a Ghostbuster and download our app today!”

Dan clicked the remote to change the channel. After everything that he had been through, he couldn’t stand Cynthia Palmer and liked the idea of making her disappear with a click.

Instead, the remote clicked, but the channel didn’t change. He hit the button again a few times, but nothing happened. He sighed, trying to think of where he had last seen AAA batteries in his small apartment.

That’s when he also noticed that Cynthia’s face was expanding on the screen as if she was about to climb out and ruin his life all over again. Growing to fill the entire thing. Dan leaned forward and reached toward the screen as if he could reach out and strangle his old friend.

A knock at the door reminded him that his television wasn’t going to start ejecting people from it. Hell, it was a console television from the early nineties.

Dan grabbed his crutches and used them to hop with his one foot to the door. When he answered the door, Daniel found a white bearded gentleman dressed in a business suit.

“Hello, Daniel,” the man stuck out his hand. Dan glared at it, but didn’t accept the handshake. “I’m here about an urgent matter. Might I come in?”

“Who are you?”

“I think that I’m someone who can help you get what you desire.”

Dan’s glare turned into a frown. “How does what I want become an urgent matter?”

The older man smiled a toothy grin. “Urgent to me, fortuitous for yourself.”

“And you seem to know what I want?”

“I do,” he answered. “Would you let me in if I told you that I could help you rain Hell down on Cynthia Palmer?”

For the first time in a long time, Dan felt the edges of his mouth curl up. He hopped out of the way of the door and allowed the older gentleman to enter.

“My name,” he said as he took Dan’s seat in front of the console television, “is Martin Murray.”

“Tell me Martin,” Dan sat on the console tv and left his crutches leaning against the nearby wall, “what can you do about Cynthia Palmer?”

“Absolutely nothing,” Martin frowned. “Unfortunately, my efforts against her have been met with resistance.” His frown was replaced with a smile that made Dan feel uneasy. “But I can help you do what I couldn’t.”

“How’s that?”

Martin reached into his suit jacket and pulled out a pill bottle and a flask.

“Take both of these and you’ll be able to ruin her life.” He handed them to Dan who proceeded to look them over.

“And these are?”

Martin raised an eyebrow. “A pill to kill you and an elixir to revive you.”

“How is my dying supposed to hurt Cynthia Palmer?”

Martin shook his head. “The flask will bring you back. Bigger and stronger. You’ll be able to destroy her and everything she’s built.”

“And then what?”

“Whatever you want. I’m building a new world and people with the gifts I’m giving you will rule it.” Martin stood and walked to the door. “Drink the flask first, it won’t taste good. Negatively charged slime never does. Then take the pill. The effects should be quick, so get comfortable.” He opened the door and stood half in the apartment as he said. “Then hunt down and destroy Cynthia Palmer.”

Martin Murray shut the door behind himself, and Dan set the pill bottle down. He twisted the cap and sniffed. The smell wasn’t bad or good, but the something about the smell reminded him of that day in Afghanistan.

Sergeant Palmer was asked to assign patrol detail and had chosen Private First Class Daniel Carter to accompany her on the morning rounds. He had only been a few days from his tour ending, and was looking forward to the flight to Germany before heading home.

When their truck had been hit by the IED, Dan was surprised that he had come out of it unscathed. He got out of the vehicle and was immediately ducking enemy fire. Diving back into the truck, he saw that the Sergeant hadn’t moved. Shaking her a few times, she was alive, but unconscious.

He pulled her from the truck on the side with the least amount of gunfire hitting the truck. The whole time he was radioing in their position and the attack. Looking around the truck, he couldn’t see where the gunfire was coming from, but he knew he wasn’t getting anywhere if he had to drag Sergeant.

When she started to wake up, he told her as much. “I can get back on foot, I’ll get help.”

“No,” she sat up and grunted. Her eyes told him that Palmer was concussed. “Return fire. Keep them back.”

Dan shook his head. “I can get there. Stay here.”

“Private, that’s an order. Do not leave.”

He ignored her and ran away from the truck. Gunfire peppered the ground around him as he ran. Dan pulled his pistol and returned fire, but the movement slowed him down.

He made it about thirty yards when he saw another truck that must have been sent to answer his radio call. Dan started waving his arms in between shots over his shoulder at the invisible combatants.

Then he stepped on another IED. His layover in Germany didn’t happen.

If Cynthia Palmer hadn’t assigned him, if she hadn’t been injured, and if she hadn’t been right, he would still have his leg.

He drank the flask. While the taste was about as subdued as the smell, the effect was immediate. Dan’s rage only seemed to grown inside him. As he finished the flask, all he could think about was destroying Cynthia Palmer. It was the reason that he was still alive.

Alive? Through his rage, he remembered the pill. The flask would revive him, but the pill would kill him. Whatever transformation these tools were going to do to Dan’s body he just didn’t care. That Murray fellow told him this is how he would get his revenge on Cynthia.

Without thinking about it, he popped the lid on the pill bottle and swallowed the only pill that was inside.

Nothing happened immediately. Dan hadn’t expected it to. Even with his rage, he knew pills still had to dissolve to be of any use. So he waited and thought on ways to destroy his old Sergeant.

He didn’t have to wait long, and after about three minutes his chest suddenly felt too small for his heart. The beating of his heart grew louder and he could feel the pressure throughout his whole body as his ticker struggled to keep beating.

It was a struggle that it wouldn’t win.

Daniel Carter died.

A minute later, his soul, charged by the negatively charged slime, tore itself from his corpse and looked down on to his body.

Rage filled him as he realized that the only way he would get his vengeance on Cynthia Palmer, a Ghostbuster, was to become a ghost. She had cost him his leg, and now she had cost him his life.

With a roar of fury that shattered the windows, Dan’s ghost launched himself out of the apartment and into the city.

 

“I think that went well,” Regina said as they left the studio.

Jordan nodded. “Especially for our first televised appearance. We should think about doing a commercial,” he shrugged. “Might get us more calls.”

“If this app takes off,” Simon said, “than we won’t need to do any advertising. It’ll be assigning us jobs on a regular basis.”

They were unloading their equipment into the van, handing it off to Simon to load into the appropriate cages.

Cynthia had unloaded most of her equipment when she noticed that her PKE Meter wasn’t anywhere in sight.

“Shoot,” she said. “Hey guys, I’ll be right back.” She hooked her thumb over her shoulder. I left my PKE Meter at the coffee table.”

Jordan shook his head. “One little tv-spot and suddenly our little warrior is forgetting her equipment. I thought it would take longer for the spotlight to blind you.”

Cynthia hit him in the arm. “You’re hilarious. I’ll be right back.”

Running back into the building, she hopped into the elevator for the ride to the television station’s floor.

Once she was back in the studio and had explained her predicament to the receptionist, he waved her back.

The PKE Meter was right where she thought it would be, sitting on the edge of table where the coffee was served. As she reached for it, Cynthia jumped as it suddenly came to life, the antennae on it lighting up as they spread out.

“What the hell?”

She grabbed it off of the table and grabbed her Ghost Mace from her belt at the same time.

“You won’t need that,” a familiar voice said from behind her.

Cynthia spun around, bringing the Ghost Mace up as she did, but she never got a chance to use it. A spectral hand grabbed her wrist while another grabbed her throat.

Recognition lit Cynthia’s eyes up. “Private?”

“Hey Sarge,” he smiled, but it was bitter. “Saw your news spot. Great work, but I think I can do better.”

As he said it, Cynthia realized that her wrist wasn’t being held anymore, so much as Private Carter’s spectral blue wrist had begun to merge with her own. Within seconds, his spiritual presence had slid into her physical form. Cynthia couldn’t move at all as Dan started taking control of her body.

“You know what they say,” he said with a mix of her voice and his own, “possession is 9/10ths of the law.”

 

Back at the van, Simon waited patiently for Cynthia to return so he could close of the grating over where the PKE Meters hung.

When she finally made it back to the van, she looked up at him, leaned a bit to see his entire chest, and then handed him the PKE Meter. The screen was broken on it.

“What happened to it?”

Cynthia shrugged. “I don’t know. Got up there and they seemed to be having some sort of celebration. I think it got bounced around during that.” She leaned again, and Simon looked down at his chest to see if he had something on it. Just the nametag on his jumpsuit.

“Is there something on me?”

Cynthia shook her head, “Nah, Franco. I thought I saw something, but just the light playing tricks.”

“Franco? Since when do you call me Franco?”

She shrugged. “I was thinking while I was in the elevator, that if we’re going to take this to the next level we need to be working on our branding. The people see our nametags, we should use them to address each other.”

Simon frowned, but it made sense. “Ok…Palmer.”

For some reason that was outside of Simon’s understanding, Cynthia cringed when he said her name, as if she had been physically hurt by it.

He locked the cage and hopped down from the van, “Are you alright?”

“Yeah,” she paused as if struggling to remember, “Simon. I think the elevator might have messed with my head.”

“Or something like that,” he added skeptically. “Are you driving?”

Cynthia reached into her jumpsuit pocket and fished out the keys, “Sure.”

The ride back to their headquarters on wasn’t a long one. The office building where they hung their jumpsuits was only a mile from the television station, but Cynthia took her time, every now and then she seemed confused by a turn, but when Jordan asked her about it, she smiled and said, “Don’t worry about it, Ross, I’m just lost in thought.”

“Just don’t be lost in Des Moines,” he chuckled. “Some of us have things to do.”

When they pulled in, Cynthia tossed him the keys and said, “I’m not feeling the best. Think I’ll head home for the rest of the day.”

Jordan nodded. “Sure thing. If we need you, we’ll call.”

Climbing into her pickup truck, Cynthia angled the mirror down to look into her eyes.

“Stop trying to block your memories from me,” Dan growled into the mirror. “If I get discovered, I will kill your friends.”

“Listen to me, Dan,” Cynthia was looking back at her own face in the mirror, but she wasn’t seeing herself, she was seeing the spectral former Private First Class. “I don’t know why you’re doing this, or why you’re so,” she gasped as she felt the emotions radiating off of his soul, “angry, but this can’t end well for you. The best case scenario is you ending up inside our containment unit, while worst case has me screaming inside of my own body and annoying the hell out of you until you finally leave.”

“Or,” Dan countered. “Me listening to your agonizing screams as I dismantle your life piece by piece before a distraught Cynthia Palmer, former Ghostbuster, is found hanging in her apartment.” He shrugged, “Besides, can’t you feel the exchange taking place?” In the mirror, Dan’s spectral image glowed a brighter blue and shimmered. “The longer I am in your body, the more I take from you.” He smiled menacingly. “I’m absorbing your soul. You’ll be around long enough to watch your life fall apart, and then you won’t exist anymore.”

“You’re an idiot, they won’t believe you’re me.”

“They already bought it.” He paused for a minute. “Wait a second, one of your thoughts just drifted into my mind.” Dan took the keys out of the ignition and got out of the car.

“What are you doing?” Cynthia demanded from inside her own head. Shock hit her as she saw what he was planning to do. “No, you can’t.”

Dan walked back into the office.

“Forget something?” Regina asked.

“Yup,” he punched her across face and kicked Simon in the gut as he stood up.

“Cynthia, what are you doing?” Jordan came running forward. Dan threw a stapler at him forcing him to duck.

“Ross,” Dan was trying to find something in Cynthia’s memory to use against him. He was coming up empty. Cynthia had respect for this friend. Hurting him would hurt her. “It’s time you became what you hunt.”

Cynthia’s body walked to the caged lockers and, with strength that surprised the rest of the Ghostbusters, tore the lock off of her own. She put on the pack and wasted no time drawing the neutrino wand and launching a stream at Jordan.

He only barely was able to step out of the way in time and dove toward Simon.

Simon grabbed his arm, “She’s possessed.”

A proton stream blasted the desk and they each grabbed Regina’s arms and tugged her toward the back office.

“No shit, Sherlock,” Regina replied.

“We are leading her toward the Containment Unit,” Simon continued, ignoring Regina.

Jordan’s face blanched. “That’s bad. Very bad.”

Simon nodded.

“We need to stop her.”

Simon joined Regina this time as they looked at Jordan with dumbfounded expressions.

Another proton stream almost took off Regina’s head.

“Come on back, guys,” Not-Cynthia’s voice sing-songed to them. “I only want to kill you and undo everything you’ve built.”

“We have no choice,” Jordan said. “If we don’t go to the back room, we’re going to know what it’s like to be busted.”

Simon nodded and led the way through the secured door and into the room workshop where he stored all of his prototypes and the containment unit.

“Is there anything in here that we can use?” Regina asked.

Simon shook his head. “No, nothing in here is complete.”

“And we don’t want to hurt Cynthia,” Jordan added. “We need slime.”

Regina suddenly remembered her Ghost Mace.

“I’ve got an idea.” She pointed at the door. “When she…it…whatever comes in here, distract her.”

As if her words commanded it, a proton stream blew the door to splinters. They all ducked as Cynthia walked in.

“Um,” Regina waved in Cynthia’s direction, “I said I need a distraction…”

Jordan’s eyes went wide, “But she has a nuclear accelerator attached to her back.”

Simon rolled his eyes, stood up and grabbed some parts off of the work bench and shrugged. “Hey, you’re using that proton pack all wrong.”

He raised the parts up in a gesture that made it look like he was going to use them to shoot at her.

Cynthia spun the wand toward him and shouted, “Is this better?” before launching a proton stream at him.

He only barely jumped out of the way, but it was enough of a distraction for Regina to sneak up behind Cynthia switch off her proton pack and soak the back of her head in the mace slime.

Cynthia roared in pain as the positively charged slime tried to overwhelm Dan’s spectral energy.

He roared again and turned to flee but was halted as Jordan and Regina held onto the proton pack.

Cynthia’s head turned around unnaturally to face them both and in it they didn’t see Cynthia anymore. Her face had morphed into that of a man. She slipped out of the pack before her head twisted forward again and she flew back the way she had come and out of the building.

“Well,” Simon said, “that was new.”

 

Cynthia hid inside her own mind while the wounded Dan flew through the air. When he finally came to a stop, gripping her head and howling into the air, they were in a small one bedroom apartment.

On the floor next to a large console television was a body laying face down. It had only one leg.

“So,” Cynthia asked, “this is your apartment then?”

A demon like roar escaped from her mouth again, and Cynthia noticed something.

“Do you feel that?” She asked Dan. “That slime you were hit with is giving me back my strength.”

Using her will, she confronted Dan.

They were still in her mind, but to each of them it looked like they were in the desert, facing each other on a long dirt road.

Afghanistan.

Cynthia looked down at herself to see she was wearing her Army fatigues.

“Well, that’s different.” She looked across at Dan to see that he was in his fatigues, too. On closer examination, she could tell that he was hurt. It wasn’t his injury from when he was last in Afghanistan, instead he had burn marks all over his head, mostly toward the back where the slime had hit. As for his actual injury, his leg was still there. In spectral form his wound was nonexistent.

“I had years of rehab!” Dan shouted at her. “All because you ordered me along on that patrol!”

From seemingly nowhere, he drew a pistol and aimed it at her.

“You were injured, Private, because you can’t follow a simple order.” Suddenly Cynthia realized that she was holding a proton pack wand. She flipped a switch on it. “If you had spent the last decade focusing on building a life instead of hating me, you might have been happy.” She spun a dial on the side. “I’m sorry that your life went to shit, but I’m done letting you ruin mine.”

“No more talking!” Dan shouted, and began firing at her.

Cynthia flinched before realizing that the gun wasn’t actually firing. It clicked, over and over, but no bullets fired from the gun.

Dan looked at the pistol with rage before throwing it to the side and charging Cynthia.

“I don’t think so,” Cynthia shouted and then flipped the final switch.

A boson dart launched from her proton pack and hit Dan square in the chest.

Instantly, Cynthia was laying on the apartment floor coughing as blue spectral energy leapt from her chest. She climbed to her feet and saw that she was standing across the room from Dan’s ghost.

“I’m sorry that you were wounded,” Cynthia said softly, “but the wound didn’t ruin your life and neither did I. You ruined your life by focusing on hate and revenge instead of moving on.”

Dan’s face was contorted by the rage, and Cynthia could see her words weren’t having much effect.

“You can move on now, though,” she continued. “Let go of your hate and go find something for yourself in this new existence.”

“NO!” he flew at her.

Cynthia flinched and threw up her arms.

A crash made her open her eyes and she looked around to see that Simon, Regina, and Jordan had kicked in the door.

Proton streams wrangled Dan as a trap slid underneath him. Within seconds, Dan was in the trap and Jordan was looking over Cynthia.

“We need to make sure you’re healthy,” he explained. “Kinda saw your neck do some weird stuff that it shouldn’t do.”

“Holy crap!” Regina was exclaiming. “What happened?”

Cynthia pointed at the body on the floor and explained who he was and what had happened.

“He’s still fresh,” Simon observed. “He shouldn’t have been able to create a spiritual form yet. It takes time and the collection of energies.”

“He needed to culminate more emotional energy,” Jordan agreed.

“More slime?” Regina asked.

Jordan nodded.

“How did you guys find me?” Cynthia asked. “I didn’t even know Dan lived here.”

Regina smiled, “The app is working. Enough people have downloaded it that Simon was able to track you as you flew across the city.”

Regina’s watch buzzed and she took a look at it. “There’s something in here giving off a reading.”

Jordan drew his PKE Meter, but Cynthia snatched it out of his hand. She followed it to the console television where she found an unmarked pill bottle and a flask. The PKE Meter spiked when she waved it near the flask.

Picking it up, she overturned it until a blue slime dripped from it.

“Is that what I think it is?”

Jordan looked over her shoulder at the PKE Meter and then at the flask. “Looks like he chugged slime.”

Simon raised an eyebrow. “If he drank negatively charged slime, it might give his spirit enough power to coalesce at the sooner after death.”

“Where did he get it?” Regina asked.

Cynthia frowned. “Where do you think?” She crouched and inspected her former friend’s body. “He fell away from the television.” She eyed the chair. “Someone else was here. I’m willing to bet it was the Chairman.”

“But…why?” Regina asked.

“To distract us?” Jordan supplied. “Or take us out.”

Cynthia stood up and looked to her friends. “This is great news.”

“Why?” Simon asked.

Jordan smiled. “Because the night that we released the PKE App to the public is the same night that they sent a hitman after us.”

Regina caught on. “They’re scared of us?”

Cynthia nodded. “They’re scared of us.”

Ghostbusters: Des Moines- Episode 5 Slimed! Part 2

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.”

“That’s bad?”

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.”

“What?”

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.”

“Where’s Erra?”

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.”

GB:DM Episode 4-Slimed! Part 1

Episode 4: Slimed! Part 1

 

Regina was wearing a grey hoodie that had the “No Ghosts” logo over the left side of her chest. With an almost obsessive ferocity, she was regularly checking her watch as she walked east on Locust Avenue in Downtown Des Moines.

“Oh,” Simon had said, “almost like it’s undercover?”

Regina shrugged. “Undercover, or convenience, but can you do it?”

Simon tilted his head to the side as he ran through the possibilities. “Yeah, I could do it, but it wouldn’t have a lot of the functionality of the original P.K.E. Meters.”

“Such as?”

“It wouldn’t work with the goggles and you wouldn’t have the directional functionality.” He took off his glasses and started cleaning them. “The type of P.K.E. signature wouldn’t be measured either. You also wouldn’t be able to record the data.”

“Yeah, but it would still measure P.K.E. wherever I’m standing?”

Simon nodded. “That’s all it would do.”

That was a week ago, and today was the third day that Regina had been using her new phone case. It attached to the back of her phone as a flat black case except for the half of an orb that projected off of the back over where the camera was. The orb was clear, showing the internal antenna and LED’s wrapped and against the case. The case ran off of the battery from the phone and used the phone’s Near Field Communication technology to report to the phone numerical data on the nearby P.K.E. readings.

It reported all of those readings to a simple application that Simon made. The application also tied to Google Maps, putting a pin into any readings that were abnormal.

The final half of the smaller P.K.E. was entirely Regina’s doing. The watch she was wearing was a Pebble Smartwatch. Notifications that Regina wanted would be reported to the watch over Bluetooth. She had asked Simon to add a notification feature to his P.K.E. application. When the numerical P.K.E. data rises above whatever level Regina sets it at, her watch gives her notification.

All Regina has to do is walk around with her phone case turned on. The application will send any P.K.E. spikes as an alert to her watch. No more carrying around the bulky P.K.E. meter unless she needed it. Instead, Regina could walk around all of Des Moines with her hands in her pockets just waiting for it to vibrate that she had found something.

She could locate the Seven Sons of Sibitti. She could locate Erra.

Maybe she could even find her brother.

It was the entire reason that she was on the streets of Des Moines with her newly designed, and highly mobile, P.K.E. meter.

When Locust ended, directly in front of the Capital building, Regina turned north toward Grand. Once she crossed the block she paused in front of the Wallace Building to look at the Capital building. It was beautiful. A large golden dome on top of …

Bzzt!

Regina pulled her hands out of her pockets and took a look at her watch.

She turned around to face the golden-mirrored windows that covered the southern side of the Wallace Building. She began walking toward it.

Beneath the large windows was a set of doors. Regina walked in and another vibration came to the watch. She looked at the notification and read it.

PKE Reading: 151 Units.

She walked to the right toward a set of doors that were opened onto a large auditorium and the watch vibrated again.

PKE Reading: 110 Units.

The number had gone down and that meant that she was getting further away.

She turned around and walked to the set of doors that would have been on her left as she had entered. Another vibration let her know that she was going the right direction.

As she went through those doors, she found a long lobby with a view of the capital building to her left and on her right were historical moments and facts in Iowa agriculture, including an antique plow and a biofuel display showing an older gas pump filled with corn. The lobby was huge, but there was almost no one in it aside from two women sitting and talking on some of the chairs that were lined up along the windows.

It only took one more vibration before Regina pulled out her phone and looked at it directly. Walking forward, she saw that she was walking toward the Department of Agriculture. Regina cast another glance at her phone and watched the numbers on the P.K.E. app climb higher as she continued toward the office. She almost crashed right into several state employees as they stared at their own phones.

“Oh,” said the shorter woman. “Sorry,” she gestured toward Regina’s phone. “Pokemon Go? Are you Team Valor?”

“Huh?” Regina asked, genuinely confused. “What?”

The man she was with wore a grey flat cap and smiled pleasantly at both women. “My wife is talking about Pokemon Go. It looked like you were playing,” he held up his phone. “Like us.”

“Oh, no,” Regina showed the Ghostbusters symbol on the shoulder of her hoodie. “I’m a Ghostbusters, hunting ghosts.” She held up her own phone as if the P.K.E. meter application explained everything. “Have you seen anything strange or unusual?”

“You mean like a woman hunting ghosts?” the man in the flat cap replied with a wry smile. “No, nothing unusual. Good luck in your hunt.” His wife and he started off toward the glass doors.

Regina called over her shoulder. “Good luck with yours,” and continued following the strange readings she was getting.

As she came to the front of the Department of Agriculture office, a group of older gentlemen came out and started to walk past her.

The meter let out a shrill cry that made Regina and the men jump.

“Can we help you miss?” The man nearest her asked. He was about six inches taller than her and had a bald head and a goatee that was obviously colored.

He also sent the P.K.E. meter app into fits.

As it continued to beep loudly, he glanced down at the phone and then at Regina’s hoodie.

Regina wasn’t certain about much, but she was sure that this man was related to the Erra incident.

Anger flashed across her eyes as she demanded, “Where’s my brother?”

“A Ghostbuster? Welcome to the Wallace building, but,” he looked over his shoulder at the parking lot and the cars out there, “aren’t you supposed to be outside?”

As if his words had caused it, a car alarm began sounding in time with the P.K.E. meter.

His small smile was only overshadowed by the flash of orange spectral energy behind his eyes.

Regina had no time to pursue her line of questioning and turned and ran back out of the Wallace Building and out to the parking lot.

The couple that had been playing Pokemon Go were running from the only car in the small, street-facing, parking lot. Lights flashed inside of it in an eerie yellow and blue glow that shifted erratically.

As Regina made it to the car, the glowing burst out of the windows, shattering them in the process.

Standing directly in front of Regina were two spectral animations from the couple’s came.

Regina wasn’t sure what the blue one, shaped like a snake with a silver head wreathed in fins, was, but the yellow one was on merchandise and artwork across the world.

Pikachu let out a growl and lunged for Regina.

She suddenly realized that running toward the ghosts had been a horrible idea. Without a proton pack or a trap, there was literally nothing that she could do except run.

Well, and she dialed her phone.

“Get to the Wallace Building! Downtown! Bring an extra pack!” Since no one answered, Regina figured that the team could play the office voicemail at her funeral.

As Regina ran back toward the Wallace Building’s big glass doors, she saw that the group of men, including the one with the orange eyes, were standing outside.

“Oh no,” the possessed man shouted. “They are attacking us!” He raised his arms and the windows, every single window in the Wallace Building, exploded outward, showering glass all over as the men around him dove to the ground.

Regina did the same, dropping to be avoid the glass and the lightning and fire attacks coming from the Pokemon-disguised ghosts.

When she got back up, all of the older men were gone. Most likely they had dove back into the building and took their possessed friend with them. Regina turned away from the building to see how close the Pokemon were and regretted it almost immediately.

Pikachu was only a few feet from her and was charging his energy for his next attack. The blue snake-thing was slithering toward her with its mouth wide open to bite.

A proton stream slammed into the snake-thing, holding it in place as a trap slid on its side directly next to Pikachu.

“Pikachu! I choose you!” Jordan shouted. The trap doors opened and Regina looked away as Pikachu was sucked inside.

Once the yellow bastard had been sucked up. Jordan and Cynthia collected the snake-thing in a similar manner.

A relieved Regina walked over to her teammates. “How did you guys get here so quickly?”

Jordan shrugged and pretended to flip his hair back. “You know, we were, like, in the neighborhood.”

Cynthia rolled her eyes. “He’s an idiot, but kind of right.” She nodded at Regina’s watch. “The app sends up an alert to each of our phones if it picks up a signal over 100 units.” She waved at the car with the shattered windows. “How did they manifest?”

Regina shook her head. “I was following that P.K.E. signal, and it brought me here,” she waved frantically at the Wallace Building. “It led me to a living and breathing man, except his eyes glowed, and I think he made these things appear.” She took a breath and then added, “What the hell is going on?”

Cynthia gestured at the Wallace Building. “Someone in there made these things?” She looked at Jordan whose eyes were wide. “Can people do that?”

He shook his head in reply, “Maybe, but I doubt that’s what this is.” He grinned, “I think we just found our first possessing entity.”

“Like pea-soup and spinning heads?” Regina asked. She couldn’t help but feel a little excited by the prospect.

“Exactly,” Jordan said. “I don’t think this is just any possessor, though.”

Cynthia shook her head. “It’s definitely one of the Seven.”

“Wait,” Regina was confused. “Why?”

Cynthia explained, “The possessing entity is inside a government employee and wanted you,” she pinched the logo on Regina’s hoodie, “a Ghostbuster, to be distracted. He knows who you are and he is positioning himself in a place of power.” She holstered her neutrino wand. “Also, while he could be some other,” Cynthia looked at Jordan with uncertainty as she almost confidently continued, “possessing entity, he revealed himself to you in a very showy fashion. That kind of behavior implies he hasn’t been in that body long.”

Jordan nodded. “My thoughts exactly.”

Regina was incredibly happy. She was looking for anything that would lead her to her brother, and one of the Seven, companions to Erra, would be exactly that.

Success!

“What are you waiting for?” Regina grabbed Cynthia’s arm. “Go get him.”

“We can’t,” Cynthia yanked her arm back.  “We can’t just trap him. We need to interrogate him if we want more information on the Seven and Erra. As far as I know, none of our equipment can do that.”

“Besides,” Jordan added, “this equipment would kill a normal person, and our possessor is wearing a living person.”

“Oh,” Regina’s disappointment was evident, “I hadn’t thought of that.” She was frustrated. “We finally have a clue and we can’t do anything to retrieve it.”

“That’s not true,” Jordan answered. “We can do things, I just don’t know what. Simon will have an idea. We still haven’t opened all of the equipment crates.” He lifted the traps that still smoked at the ends of their cables. “Let’s get these guys in the containment unit and see what Simon has to say.”

 

Back at the Ghostbusters: Des Moines Headquarters, Jordan explained the situation to Simon as Simon dug through crates and packing peanuts with a fervor.

Simon turned and tossed Regina a small, handheld canister.

“First things first, if you’re going to hunt down possessors without a proton pack, carry that with you.”

Regina looked it over. “What is it?”

“Think of it like Ghost Mace,” He handed out identical canisters to Cynthia and Jordan. “One shot of that will make any ghost think twice about coming at you.”

“What’s in it?” Cynthia looked at her canister. It had a no label, only a black and yellow caution stripe across it.

“That’s the next thing.” Simon dug lifted up another pack.

The pack was made up of three tanks. The outer tanks were smaller and silver while the tank in the middle was a military green with more black and yellow caution stickers across them. Where the neutrino wand would be on the proton pack was instead a high-tech looking emitter hose with a lever on top.

“Large concentrations of emotions create slime,” Simon explained. “That’s all ghosts really are, on a scientific level. They are just emotions that have found a way to become visible. The proud owner of a historic home becomes angry that his house is now used for tours. All of that negative emotion combines with other people’s emotions and then slime starts to coalesce. Then the spirit uses that slime to build a form, or to animate furniture.” Simon patted the pack with the tanks. “That slime doesn’t have to be negatively charged.”

“What happens when positive and negative slimes meet?” Regina asked.

“They cancel each other out.” He nodded toward the ‘Ghost Mace.’ “The Ghost Mace and this big pack are filled with regenerating positive slime. Hit a ghost with either of these and it’ll at least send it running.”

Jordan frowned. “What about ghosts charged by positive emotions? If the pack only has positive slime, how would we battle those?”

Cynthia slid her Ghost Mace into her pocket. “You want to be known as the Ghostbuster who killed Casper the Friendly Ghost?”

Jordan’s eyes went wide as he followed the idea out of the quantifiable and into the emotional. “Oh, of course. No, I wouldn’t want to hurt nice ghosts.”

Regina laughed.

Cynthia pointed at the new pack. “How does this help us with our current situation? We handled the animations with the proton packs.”

“But the possessor is still out there.” Simon crossed his arms. “If we soak possessed people with the positive slime, then they’ll eject the possessor.”

Regina was confused. “Why can’t we just use the proton streams? They worked on the goat.”

Simon nodded, “Well, we didn’t know any better at the time, but the streams damage was mitigated by the extra souls the Soul Eater had absorbed. Normal possessors have no means of increasing their powers, and the host takes all of the damage.”

“This is positive slime?” Regina asked while holding up her Ghost Mace.

Simon nodded.

Regina looked again at her Ghost Mace and mumbled, “Pocket exorcism.”

“Almost,” Simon added. “The Mace is more of a deterrent. It probably wouldn’t eject any possessors.”

“Alright,” Cynthia took over. “What’s our game plan? We can eject the possessor, but only if we get close. He can generate animations, and he’s probably going to be pretty powerful if he’s one of the Seven.”

“We also need to interrogate him, and we can’t do that with him in a trap.”

“Regina’s right,” Jordan said. “How do we do that?”

Simon thought on it for only a second. “Being a possessor might not be in his favor. He’s weaker in the body than when he’s out of it.”

“Still,” Cynthia paused before continuing. “How are we supposed to hold him without him escaping on his own?”

“Not to mention,” Regina added, “He’s in a State Building. We won’t be able to bring nuclear accelerators anywhere near them without getting arrested. We’re lucky the police didn’t arrest us today.”

Simon slowly dragged his hands over his face while holding his glasses. “I’ve got an idea of how to hold him, but I’ll need time,” he turned to Jordan and Cynthia, “and funds.”

It was Cynthia’s turn to frown. “We’ll talk.” She turned toward the rest of them, “Jordan, you’re our on-call Ghostbuster. Any calls coming in are yours. If you need help, I’ll join you. Regina,” she turned toward the newest Ghostbuster, “tail this possessor. We don’t even know his name. I want as much information as you can get before Simon is ready for us to make our move. Unless Jordan needs me, I’ll be here putting together our plan of attack.”

***

Regina spent the next few days gathering data on the possessor and the skin suit that he was wearing. She reported it all back to Cynthia, who incorporated the useful bits into her strategy to capture and interrogate the possessor.

The possessed man was Brent Allen and he was in charge of the Department of Natural Resources. Other than his position with the state, Brent didn’t have anything about him that made him seem like a great candidate for possession. Whatever had chosen to possess Brent had either chosen him specifically because he was a higher up official in the local government or it had been a completely random choice.

To be fair, Regina was disappointed. It had been three days of tailing Brent Allen and all she had been able to report of value was information that was already public knowledge.

In contrast, the rest of the team had made a ton of headway.

Those three days had resulted in Simon building his piece of the plan. In exchange for using a proton pack in one of their commercials, Karl’s Dealership in nearby Ankeny gave a used Chevy Express van. In the last few days, he had essentially rebuilt it into their company vehicle. The white van now had the decals sent with the rest of the franchise kit, but also had a bunch of new stuff attached to the roof.

“That’s not the best part,” Simon explained when Regina asked about it. He waved a hand at the opened back doors. Along the inner walls were equipment cages. “Those cages double as a faraday cage. When the van is completed, I’ll be able to remotely trigger a charge that will run through the cages.”

“And that will do…what exactly?”

Simon smiled. “The van will double as a really large trap that we can sit in.”

“Ghost interrogation room.”

“Exactly.”

Ghost sightings had slowed way down with only one call in those three days, so Jordan had spent most of that time helping Simon with the van.

Regina was sitting in the office and reading up on the Seven when Cynthia walked in. She was wearing her jumpsuit.

“The guys say that the van is ready, if you’re up for it, I think it’s time for us to interrogate a possessor.”

Regina suited up and headed toward the parking lot, Cynthia was already in the driver’s seat while Jordan and Simon loaded the last of the equipment into the cages.

“All good to go?” Regina asked as she climbed into the back with the guys.

Jordan smiled, “When I say that this is the most capable ghost catching mobile unit in the world, I’m really saying that if I was a ghost, it would be an honor to be capture by the people driving this vehicle.”

Regina returned his smile. “Well, alright then.”

Cynthia punched something on the dashboard and sirens were suddenly emitting from the top of the van. “Let’s save the city.”

“Or just the Wallace Building…” Simon added.

Excitement filled Regina’s veins as the van peeled out of the office park.

She was finally about to get some answers.

 

To Be Continued in Slimed! Part 2…