APOCRYPHA:
KEEPING IT REAL

By Fritz Baugh

Notes
This story provided much of the first part of Return of the Jersey Turnpike Terror; it was written before the full concepts of the Timeline gelled. It is actually in continuity with some prior Apocrypha stories, such as "Future Shocks", "Til The Night Closes In", and "Charlie Takes the Fifth"
1998
GT+T New York Station 67
"Heads down, Torgo!!!" Garrett Miller shouted, firing a shot from his ion blaster.

Eduardo Rivera muttered a curse and ducked. Garrett's beam caught the Class Five on Eduardo's tail--a blue ghost wearing a ball cap--at a glance, sending the spirit ( tongue perpetually sticking out of it's mouth) flying.

"Duh, Hey!!! That's not fun!!!" the entity howled in pain.

"You'll probably like this even less, Senor Asshole Ghost..." Eduardo bit back, blasting the blue ghost, holding it fast in a confinement beam. "Where the Hell's Kylie? This muchaco is ready to get flushed."

"She and Roland went after the other two, I...sonofabitch!!!" This as a pink arm reached through the floor and upended Garrett's wheelchair. The impact when he hit the floor jarred the proton core on his thrower loose, sending it rolling away about five feet.

The pink ghost--identical to it's fellow, save it's larger arms and painter's cap--leered maniacally at Garrett. Garrett knew the look well--the look of every bully who thought he had an advantage due to Garrett's unfortunate congenital handicap. But more than one sucker's found out how wrong they were...

Garrett reached back to extract another core from his Proton Pack when the pink ghost lunged at him. Garrett dropped the gun and caught him, the two grappling. The ghost was pretty strong, but Garrett Miller's upper body strength was nothing to slouch at either (that was one more lesson the bullies usually learned)

Roland Jackson was studying his PKE meter, Kylie Griffin right beside him, proton pistol armed. He pointed toward a box of phone books. Kylie kicked the box and the third ghost flew out--red in color, wearing a large, straw hat. "Don't hurt me don't hurt me don't hurt me!!!" it started to whine.

"Don't sweat it. It only hurts for a few moments" Kylie smirked, catching it in a proton beam.

Roland fired his own thrower, catching it in his own confinement stream. "Throw the trap!!!" he ordered calmly.

She switched off her blaster, and pulled the round ghost trap off of her backpack. A few seconds later, screaming "A whoo whoo whoo..." the red ghost was sucked inside.

Just about then, they heard Eduardo screaming Spanish insults.

"Maybe we better check on Eduardo..." Kylie grimaced. "He's probably in over his fool head again..."

"But the other ghost..." Roland started to say, though Kylie had already moved off. He still wasn't sure it was because deep down she harbored some secret longing for Eduardo Rivera, or because she relished the thought of saving his ass and lording it over him. Again. I guess it isn't impossible for it to be both, actually...

"Eddie!!!" she exclaimed as she ran up.

"Throw the fucking trap!!!" he screamed. "It's trying to get away!!!"

"With language like that I'm not sure I should."

"THROW THE FUCKING TRAP POR FAVOR!!!"

She smirked and threw the trap, quickly confining the blue ghost.

Garrett, meanwhile, had the pink ghost in a full Nelson. "Say Uncle, Sheet Breath!!! Say it!!!"

The pink ghost grunted and exploded into a cloud of pink ectoplasm.

It recongealed, and threw an obscene gesture toward Garrett---just before Eduardo and Kylie zapped and trapped it.

Garrett sneered with disgust. "Little buttfucker slimed me!!!" he said as he wiped the bright pink slime off of himself.

Kylie and Eduardo helped him into his chair, the former then retrieving the discarded proton core.

"Where's Roland?" Garrett asked Kylie.

"He's still going after the last ghost."

Garrett rolled off "Then we better get moving!!! Put it in gear, Torgo!!!"

"DON'T CALL ME TORGO!!!" Eduardo yelled as they ran (and rolled)

Roland barely dodged the box that the fourth ghost--being orange with a derby--pushed down. It crashed to the ground scattering phone books everywhere.

"If there's something weird at the phone company, who they gonna call?" Eduardo bantered.

"Nobody, if we don't do something about it..." Garrett finished, both Ghostbusters drawing a bead on the pink ghost.

Roland smirked, readying his own gun. "On three..." he barked.

"THREE!!!" all four shouted in unison, four beams slamming into the orange ghost.

"This sucks!!! This isn't fair!!! We will avenge!!! We will..."

The orange ghost vanished into the trap.

"Get sucked into the trap like a good little ghostie." Kylie observed.

The four whooped and carried on.

An hour later the familiar shape of the ECTO-1 was cruising through Manhattan toward the 30th street offices, a former firehouse, known as Ghostbuster Central. Roland was driving, as usual, and Eduardo and Garrett were having one of their usual deep, intellectual conversations...

"You mean you never noticed it?" Eduardo was saying incredulously. "I mean, it's so obvious: just lower the voice about maybe half an octave...The Brain sounds almost exactly like the Professor!!!"

"And Doctor Stantz sounds like Pinky, then?" Kylie suddenly interjected. "You'd have to be about as dumb as Pinky to think that..."

Roland raised an eyebrow...Kylie had gone into the first session of Parapsychology 101 with such an obvious crush on it's teacher...she had any hopes dashed quickly when a certain redhead with a Brooklyn accent sashayed into the class, but still...he figured that's why she jumped into the conversation so harshly.

"Doctor Stantz sounds more like Fred from Scooby Doo..." Garrett deadpanned. "I dunno, Kylie...I think Torgo has a little bit of a point...though what I was thinking is that Doctor Vee sounds like Garfield"

Roland rolled his eyes. "Make it stop..."

"And you sometimes sound just like that guy who was Will Smith's straight man on Fresh Prince..." Garrett said mischievously.

"I do not!!!" Roland yelled.

"Hey!!! Over there!!!" Eduardo shouted, pointing off to the left. "99 cent Whoppers at the Burger King!!! And we hadn't had lunch yet!!!"

Roland sighed in relief. "All opposed?"

No sound.

The ECTO-1 turned into the Burger King, Garrett and Eduardo chanting "Food fight!!!"

Someone saw them turn into the Burger King. His hollow blue eyes suddenly sparkled.

With hate.

He had dirty blond hair and a straggly beard, with an enormous, hooked nose. He appeared to be dressed in what looked, at first glance, to be the tattered remnants of a safari outfit.

"It's them..." his voice snarled. He turned and ducked into an alley.

In the alley sat a decrepit Model T with wheels missing. There was snoring coming from one of the two refrigerator boxes sitting next to the dead car, and a pair of decaying boots sticking out of the bottom.

As the man approached, a squirrel monkey in a beany with a propeller on top screeched angrily and threw its feces at him.

The dirty blond man screamed at the monkey, and it hid under the Tin Lizzie's dashboard, still hissing and growling.

The blond man kicked on the box. "Eddie!!! Wake your ass up!!!"

There was some woozy grumbles, and the occupant of the box emerged. He was just as dirty, with a reddish-brown beard just as unkempt and straggly. He was in what looked to be the remains of some sort of aviator costume a designed for someone at least fifty pounds heavier. "Wha...what's got you in a knot, Jake? McShane's gestapo sweeping this street again?"

"Quit with the stupid jokes, Eddie!!!" the blond man screamed. "We have our golden opportunity laid before us!!!"

Eddie blinked. "You found the Powerball winner when you were digging for lunch?"

"Even better, my friend..." the taller man responded, grinning maniacally. "We have our chance to defeat the impostors..."

Eddie rolled his eyes. Not that again...

"I'm serious this time!!! I just saw their clown car pull into the Burger King!!! Grab your gear and get moving!!!"

The monkey hit him with another piece of feces.

Eddie was trying hard not to laugh.

"Four Whoppers with everything" Garrett told the counter girl, winking at her, then turning to the others. "So what do you guys want?"

"Madre dios, Senor Pigboy..." Eduardo sniffed. "I doubt Slimer would eat four of those in one sitting."

"Slimer's already dead and doesn't grow anymore." Garrett retorted. "Brooklyn Heights needs his strength to save the world from ethereal ickies. And other things." he grinned leadingly at the cashier.

Roland rolled his eyes and Kylie gagged. "More of Doctor Venkman's old cheap moves?" she sneered.

"Hey!!! These are my very own cheap moves!!!" Garrett responded

The cashier just rolled her eyes. This is exactly what my older sister at the sub shop had to go through...

The four Ghostbusters got seated and started to eat...

"Dammit...I said no pickles..." Eduardo groused.

"Just pick them off..." Kylie offered.

"It's the principle of the thing, Spooky...I..." Eduardo stopped, and wrinkled his nose. "What the hell is that smell?"

"Gross..." Roland remarked, suddenly noticing it himself.

Several other patrons were starting to make noise about the stench.

"Torgo, did you load your diaper again?" Garrett asked, unlike the other not stopping his eating yet.

"It isn't my fault this time!!!" Eduardo replied indignantly. "And don't call me Torgo!!!"

Just then a dirty squirrel monkey wearing a filthy vest and beany (with a propeller on top) jumped onto Garrett's head, howling and screeching. "Ow!!! Damn!!! Get it off me!!!" Garrett yelled. Then the monkey jumped off of him, grabbed a Whopper, and scampered under the table to devour it.

"Nobody move!!!" a pitched voice shouted, and the Ghostbusters turned to see two bums blocking the doorway. The two looked like they hadn't bathed in years. Literally. One had blond hair and a huge nose. The other was sporting an aviator cap and goggles.

"Uhhngh..." Kylie gagged. "I think we found the smell..."

The tall big-nosed man brandished what looked like some wierd combination steering wheel and camera in his hands, waving it maniacally as he ranted. "Today we get our revenge!!! Today we show that world that WE are the Ghostbusters and that Venkman ass and his friends are the impostors!!! Today..."

"Jake, I don't see that Venkman guy or the others nowheres..." the other guy interjected.

"Huh?" the taller man stopped, suddenly taking a look at his prey.

"Can we help you with something?" Roland asked calmly.

"Where the hell are the Ghostbusters!?" the blond man ranted. "We saw their stupid clown car pull into this place!!!"

"We're the Ghostbusters, Dumpster Breath." Garrett informed him, still wiping his face after the monkey's attack.

"You want something to eat?" Kylie asked simply "You look like you can use it..."

The man in the goggles lit up. "Well, now that you mention it..."

The taller man slapped him and screamed at him. "WE DON'T WANT THEIR PITY!!! WE WANT OUR REVENGE!!!"

"But Jaaaake..."

"Now where are they??? Venkman, Fat-ass, Supergeek, and the N..., um, African American one?! The real imposter Ghostbusters?!"

"You haven't been reading the newspapers, have you Muchacos?" Eduardo observed.

"Doctor Venkman and that team split up about five years ago." Roland continued, something starting to roll around in the back of his mind. "Professor Spengler..."

"Supergeek" Eduardo clarified, bringing a dirty look from Kylie.

"Professor Spengler formed our team a little while back. So you see...we are the Ghostbusters."

The tall bum took it in for a few seconds, then seemed to have some sort of seizure. "Impostor impostor Ghostbusters!? Will the indignity ever end?!"

The shorter bum started to back away. "Well, um, sorry to bug you but, maybe we better get going before the cops..."

"NO!!!" the tall man howled. "I WILL STILL GET MY REVENGE!!!" With that he aimed the steering wheel, and jammed on a button on one handle...

The device made a few little fizzling noises. Nothing else happened.

"JESUS MOTHERFUCKING BULLSHIT PIGFUCKING CHRIST!!!!" the blond bum screamed and slammed the device to the floor, clearly losing it.

The shorter man heard sirens starting to approach "We gotta split, Jake..." He whistled under the table. "Tracy Two?" The monkey run out, part of a Whopper bun still hanging from it's mouth.

"NO!!! THIS ISN'T FAIR!!! I'M THE REAL GHOSTBUSTER NOT THEM!!! I MUST HAVE MY REVENGE!!!" As the taller man continued ranting similarly, the shorter man dragged him off. The monkey stopped to bite the tall man on the butt as they left.

The four Ghostbusters just sat and looked at each other.

"Anybody have any idea on God's green Earth that was all about?" Garrett asked the other three.

They shook their heads in unison.

As the ECTO-1 rolled into Ghostbusters Central, a short but indomitable redheaded woman in her late thirties was wiping her green-trimmed, triangular glasses as she talked on the phone.

"...Pulled the same kinda thing at Katharyn's, Mom." They had all noticed her Brooklyn accent became more pronounced when she was talking to her family. "They built a volcano in her bathtub. 'Course she wasn't quite as upset by it---'Kind of nice to have kids building volcanoes in my house again'. You should've seen Egon turn red..." She nodded and made agreeing sounds as her mother spoke to her some more. "No, no, no...believe me, they rewire your toaster again, and they get banned from watching Bill Nye for a week--it's that simple. I keep tellin' you, Mom, call Katharyn for survival tips...she knows how to keep minds that precocious in check. And maybe offer her some tips--dealing with more than one high-strung kid at a time is HER new territory..." Some more talk back. "Look, Mom, I gotta go...Roland and the gang just got back. Love to Dad, allright? Bye..."

Janine Melnitz Spengler, Chief Financial and Customer Relations Adviser and Junior Acting Partner of Ghostbusters International, regarded her employees and wrinkled her nose. "What the hell have you been playing in? I thought the job was at the phone company, not the junkyard..."

Slimer appeared, and sniffed at the four Ghostbusters. He babbled something that sounded vaguely like "Whoppers?"

"A long story, Ma'am" Roland replied simply.

"Must be a good story. Garrett looks like a monkey peed on his head"

Garrett grimaced. "Everything but"

"Where's the Professor, Ma'am?" Roland asked her.

"Upstairs with the twins. What's up?"

"Something weird happened tonight...we think he might know something about it"

"Give me a sec to send these little twerps to their new home..." Kylie practically spat. She was getting past it slowly, but tonight she was Just Letting It Get To Her. Janine watched her go with one eye cocked, a mix of amusement, sympathy, concern, and ingrained nervousness on her face.

Eduardo grumbled "Must be that week or somethin'..." Janine shot him a dirty look to shut him up.

"All right, now...this is the good part..." Professor Egon Spengler, President and Senior Active Partner of Ghostbusters International, said in his most serious tones.

The two five year olds were transfixed, their eyes wide with anticipation.

Murray the Mantis opened the door to his apartment, still grumbling about the strange encounter with the Herb King...and did an exaggerated wild take

"SOMEONE'S REARRANGED THE FURNITURE IN MY APARTMENT!!!" Murray cried.

The screen cut to the Hypno-Snake, laughing hysterically "My brilliant revenge!!! Muh ha ha ha ha ha!!!"

The two kids and Egon were in stitches.

"No accounting for taste...." Eduardo sniffed.

At this point, Johnathan Christopher heaved a piece of popcorn at his sister.

"Do not throw popcorn at me!!!" Eden whined back.

"Does it hurt?" he teased, throwing another.

"That's enough..." Egon said sternly. "There will be no throwing of popcorn or any other food item this evening. Bill Nye is about to come on, and you mother made it quite clear that if you don't behave..."

"Receiving loud and clear, Pop." John Christopher replied, sitting up straight.

"Understood, Father." Eden chipped in.

Egon noticed the Ghostbusters standing in the rec room; he rubbed both the kids' heads affectionately as he got up. "Enjoy, children...this is a good one, but I've seen it three times already and it looks like the Ghostbusters want to talk." He turned just as John Christopher began to grin maniacally. "And don't forget I can deactivate any electrical appliance in the firehouse at will. Is that understood...Son?"

John Christopher laughed weakly. As soon as Egon turned, Eden stuck her tongue out at him.

"You look as though you have something on your mind." Egon asked the four, now back in the garage with Janine. "A problem with the job?"

"Nothing of the sort--pretty standard zap and trap..." Garrett smirked. "I already gave Mrs. S the payout--$8000 and free voice mail..."

"It's more...well...what happened after the job..." Roland clarified, then beginning the account of the strange encounter in the Burger King.

"A big nose, you said?" Janine asked.

"Yeah...we're talking Jimmy Durante schnoz action here..." Roland commented.

"Who's that?" Eduardo asked, clearly confused.

Kylie rolled her eyes. "No taste for the classics."

Kylie produced the battered, dirty weapon the blond man had threatened them with.

Egon and Janine looked at each other. "I thought so..." she growled.

"You know who they were?" Roland asked expectantly.

"Jacob Kong and Edward Spencer" Egon answered flatly.

"Who?" Eduardo asked, confused again.

Janine rolled her eyes. "Back when we hit it big, these two con men or escaped mental patients or something showed up and loudly declared that they were joining the Ghostbusters. After Doctor Venkman pantsed Jake and threw them out of here, they started to make a lot of noise about how they were the Ghostbusters and Egon and the guys were just frauds."

"Thier fathers starred in a low-budget live-action children's show in the mid Seventies, which was indeed called 'Ghost Busters'." Egon interjected. "As soon as we found this out, Venkman made contact with the senior Kong and Spencer and gave them, well, a comfortable amount of money to sell the rights to us"

"But that wasn't enough for Jake." Janine continued. "He was jealous of the guys---Doctor Venkman especially---and put together these budget destablizor guns (Adonai knows how, as neither of those two seem to have the brains to screw in a lightbulb), and together with their gorilla--whom they let drive their car, let me inform you--went on a supposed crusade against a 'vast, otherworldly conspiracy'"

" 'Vast, otherworldly conspiracy'?" Garrett said, practically choking on the words, trying not to laugh too hard.

"They had some muckraking reporter pumping them up. I'm pretty sure Jake and her were doin' it on the side. Jessica something or other...she's on Fox News now..." Janine explained.

"She went after Peter after...well.." Egon started to say, breaking off.

Egon and Janine exchanged a meaningful look.

"What?" Kylie asked, genuinely curious now.

"One of their allies was...well, and I know this will sound bizarre, even to people dealing with ghosts, a blue-skinned woman who claimed she was from the future." Egon paused to let that sink in. "She...attempted to murder one of us as to prevent Jake and Eddie's inevitable embarrassment. You see...as it turns out, they did, indeed have a supernatural foe--a Class Five and his band of lightweight minions. The...um..."

"The truth is that Egon and the guys busted this 'Prime Evil' dork in about half an hour" Janine said, not without a bit of smug pride showing. "After that, Jake and Eddie were complete laughingstocks, and just kind of vanished from public view. We kinda wondered what happened to them after their gorilla killed himself..."

"So now we know." Garrett intoned with mock graveness.

"Whooooaaaa..." they heard coming in unison from upstairs. "Coooool..."

"Must be a good one." Janine smirked.

"Oh yes. It's the one where Bill Nye follows a blade of grass through a horse's digestive tract. the esophagus, the stomach, the small intestine--which is the best part, by the way--the colon..."

All of the four teenagers except Roland looked at each other and grimaced in disgust.

Roland was delighted. "That IS a good one...I can watch it again and again..."

"Once was enough for me." Janine rolled her eyes.

"I think once would be too much" Eduardo said, pantomiming throwing up.

Then the phone started ringing again.

"No no no no no..." Garrett growled. "That absolutely cannot be a call after this morning..."

"Ghostbusters." Janine answered with practiced expediency. "Hello? Hey, listen, if this is one of those obscene calls I...oh, sorry. No problem. Uh huh. Yeah. No, they'll be right there." She turned and glared at the four teenagers, who collectively rolled thier eyes and groaned. "Thanks for your call."

Roland sighed. "So what we got?"

"Laundromat on 53rd street--poltergeists hitting the sheets..."

"Aw, man...and with maybe kids around..." Eduardo deadpanned.

"Then I suggest you get on it." Egon said sternly.

"Sir yes sir!!!" the four said in unison and saluted him. He rolled his eyes and smirked approvingly as they piled into the ECTO-1 and left.

Janine went over to her husband and put her arm around his waist. That intense look was one she knew very well.

"This about Kong and Spencer?"

He pushed his glasses up with one finger. "It's bringing back a memory or two I'd rather not relive. After what nearly happened to..."

"Don't worry about that, Egon. That was twelve years ago. You heard what Roland and the others said--these two are even more of a pathetic joke than they were then. Far more likely to hurt themselves that one of us--I mean, look at this piece of crap Kylie brought back. They ain't gonna hurt anyone with that."

"True." he admitted.

"Now maybe you'd better get back up there--the little monsters are being waaay too quite for my liking."

"True enough. They might be trying to rewire the satellite box again..."

"Well, we know which side of the family they get that from..."

Egon Spengler laughed, spared a quick kiss to his wife's cheek, and went upstairs to see how their children were getting along.

"Besides, if you think I'm goin' up there with 'This Horse's Ass' running, forget it" she smirked, and plopped back down at her desk.

Questions? Comments? Go to the Ectozone Message Board
Based on Ghostbusters Created by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis

Extreme Ghostbusters Created by Fil Barlow