INVASION OF THE DANISH SNATCHERS<!52103W>
By Fritz Baugh<!40803t>
GBI Case File GBNY-1991-9/125
Where's Janine? his instincts screamed...I smell her....Scarlet Seduction Number Five, her favored perfume...I...he squinted, realizing his glasses were missing, and as his eyes adjusted to the darkness...
He turned bright red. Janine was unconscious right next to him. They were thrown together in an extremely awkward position--her left breast was about a half inch from his nose. He quickly reached to her neck, and was relieved to discover that she was still breathing.
"...Boss gonna be happy?" one of the creatures was saying.
"You bet. We got a pile of his favorite danishes, and some linguine, and even some snails to boot."
"What about Zuk?"
"Zuk knows the way---he's probably just pigging out at the restaurant. No self control."
"Like you're one to talk. What about the softskins we left there?"
"Like they can hurt us."
"So why did we kidnap these three, anyway?"
"They've assaulted the Galdori. We must take them to the Boss to recieve their judgment..."
Judgment? Egon mused to himself. I don't like the sound of that...
But the creatures didn't elaborate any further, and he wasn't going to make any indication he was conscious yet. But he did do one thing: he flipped a switch on his cell phone...
"Egon's alive!!!" Ray shouted excitedly. 555-2020 was the Ghostbusters' telephone number. 103 was Egon's official ID number in the Ghostbuster data files (Venkman being 101, Ray 102, Janine 104, Winston 105, and Louis Tully 106.)
Winston was loading several large bottles from the back of the ECTO-1. "So how hard will it be to find him?"
Ray was adjusting a PKE meter. "Not too bad...remember how we found Janine when the Crime Lord kidnapped her? After that Egon scanned and downloaded all of our PK traces into the meters' databases. He kinda neglected it for a while, but updated it after the whole lostasbucks mess. The aura of a living human doesn't radiate as strongly as a ghost's, but hopefully all three of them are together...that should help..." He looked at Winston. "What are you up to?"
"Buying us a little insurance." Winston replied, as Ray noticed that the larger man was slinging around two gallon bottles of dishwashing liquid.
Winston went over to a cabinet, and dragged out a large, bulky device that Ray knew very well--he'd built it, after all--but hadn't had occasion to see or use for quite a while.
"The slime blowers?"
"You designed the thing to spray around Vigo's mood slime, right? But at it's root, it's a pressurized liquid system--I don't see why a mix of water and dishwashing liquid could be much of a problem for it..."
Ray beamed. "Damn!!! You're right!!! Winston, that's brilliant!!! Sorry I'm out of Snickers..." The mention of candy brought Slimer into the garage, looking around eagerly.
Winston chuckled. "Quite all right, man...so you dig up anything yet?"
"Huh? Oh yeah...something was coming up just when I got the call from Egon..."
They went upstairs and looked at the Compendium screen.
no match found
"Crap" Ray fumed.
Winston nudged him affectionately. "Hey, it happens. Think of it this way--they'll be an exclusive in YOUR inevitable tome of occult lore."
"Yeah..." Ray smiled weakly. "As long as it doesn't carry three posthumous dedications"
"And that's why we need to quit yakking and get our asses in gear."
"Are you all right, Janine?" She opened her eyes to see Egon beside her, eyes shining with concern.
"Better now, I'll admit." she couldn't help but grin.
Then she heard Peter Venkman making mock barf noises.
"Nice to see you too, Doctor Venkman. More or less."
They were in a large cave filled with discarded clothing, empty boxes, half-eaten food, and various dirty magazines (in both the figurative and literal sense) thrown all about.
"They're awake...Boss!!!" Gork shouted into the stone floor.
"'Boss'?" Janine wondered.
"Hey, fellas, not that the little tussle and the deluxe accommodations on the ride here weren't fun--because they weren't--but could you tell us just what the Hell are you up to?"
"You have been brought to our Boss to receive judgment for attacking us!" Spok explained.
Egon adjusted his glasses. "You mentioned that earlier. What does that mean?"
Gork held up a hand to cut Spok off. "Let the Boss explain, Spok. Geez, you ramble on like nothing else..."
Venkman couldn't help but smirk and spare a look at Egon. "I feel your pain, little guy..."
Then the whole place began to rumble.
The drunk in the alley took another swig of his bottle. "Maroons. Not even my brother Gilly's dumb enough to go pokin' around down there..."
Ray and Winston entered the sewer. They walked quite a way, tiptoeing around a sleeping alligator.
"So that urban legend's true, then. All I can say is, we run into ninja turtles throwing a pizza party down here, I'm going back home and going to bed." Winston grumbled.
Eventually, Ray led them to a hole in the sewer wall. On the other side was a stone passage; they were about fifty meters into the tunnel when the whole place began to rumble and shake. The arms on Ray's meter went up and began to flash quickly
"There's a paranormal trace appearing!!! It's blotting out the signals from Peter and the rest--but it looks like it's coming from the same place!!!" Ray shouted. ep"Crap in a hat." Winston said simply.
"Fascinating." Egon remarked simply.
The creature removed it's feet from the floor one at a time with a loud, almost slurping type of noise.
The Galdori began to chant to it, in words that meant nothing to Venkman. Egon's brow furrowed....but more surprisingly, Janine blinked and looked at Egon.
"Egon...some of the words...I haven't taken any classes since I was a kid...but is that Hebrew?"
"I believe so...but it's older dialect. Thirteenth century AD at the latest."
Venkman opened his mouth and looked like he wanted to say something, but just shook his head. "Mister Ancient Languages scholar showing off once again..."
Janine stuck her tongue out at him.
The giant creature began to speak in a rumbling, loud voice.
"The same language, yes."
"Now you're finishing each other's sentences. You realize how scary that is?"
Egon gave him his most withering glare. Not something he did very often, but effective when he does.
"Egon, I can't follow it...I pick out a word or two but..."
"He says...he's the Guardian of the Covenant of Gald...and...that we attacked his children, the Galdori..."
"I'm not sure I like where this is going..." Venkman interjected.
"And that we must face judgment for the deed..."
Janine grabbed Egon's arm. "Talk to it. Explain everything. Good grief, tell him I'm Jewish if you think it'll help."
"If it'll keep us from being smooshed, tell him I'M Jewish!!!" Venkman added. "Why would that matter, anyway?"
"It bears a resemblance to ancient Judaic tales of the Golems, the protectors of the Hebrew peoples." Egon explained. "And it does speak a Hebrew dialect..."
The Galdori were giving their take out bags to the Guardian...their "Boss" He poked through them, and eagerly ate the one full of cheese danishes, bag and all. He scarfed down the linguine and the roast duck. He looked at the last bag in disgust and threw it at Pud, covering him in escargot bits.
"Hey!!! It wasn't my fault!!! Nad was the one who brought you the snails!!!" Pud whined.
Boss rumbled several instructions to his small minions. They responded by starting to grab the three humans and drag them along...
"Hey!!! Watch the hands!!! You're not my type--wrong sex, wrong race, wrong kingdom..." Venkman complained.
"Egon..." Janine started to ask him.
"He said something about...a sacrifice..."
"Sacrifice!? I'm too young to be sacrificed!!! Too studly to be sacrificed!!! I haven't slept with Sharon Stone yet--my life just isn't complete!!!"
"Think we can get them to sacrifice him first, Egon?" It may not have been the most sensitive thing for her to say, but it had been an exasperating evening...
"Getting some residuals..." Ray noted. "Something powerful was here recently--only a few minutes ago"
"Pete and the others?"
"Let me try to filter out higher frequencies...I bet Egon could do this in his sleep but..."
"And if he was here, we wouldn't be chasing him"
They heard, at a distance but distinct, the voice of Peter Venkman shouting obscenities.
"Forget the meter!!! Follow the screams!!!" Winston barked, taking off.
"You have assaulted my children, the Galdori. Moreso, I can no longer feel the spirit of Zuk...for this I blame all of you...Chosen of Issac some of you might be or no..."
"Then you are a Golem..."
"I was created to guard the Covenant of Gald. They abandoned me when it suited their purposes to do so...I was alone and hunted...I came to this place long before the Chosen of Issac or the Crusaders of Yaesu or the Spawn of Ishmael knew of this land. I was abandoned by the Chosen of Issac. the Crusaders or the Spawn of Ishmael would destroy me for being a blasphemy to their beliefs. I allow my Children to enter the world of the humans from time to time...but I cannot allow the humans to learn the truth about us!!!"
"Egon, whatever you're saying I don't think it's having much effect..." Venkman cried. The three Ghostbusters had been tied to stalagmites. Boss was towering over them.
"I...I'm sorry..." Egon admitted, looking down. "I can't think of anything else to do..."
Janine was close enough to grab his right hand. "Egon, if I have to die...I can't think of anyone else I'd rather check out with. I..." Her eyes were welling with tears. "I love you. I have since the moment we met."
"I love you too, Janine." he said with emotion and ease that surprised him. "I wish I had realized it sooner...wish I had allowed myself to admit it sooner...wish I had time to say it more..."
Venkman looked at the two of them, his usual insincere gleam gone. At least you two get to die together...his brain raced, and a tear or two started to come to his eye...I wouldn't change a minute of it...not with Egon, or Ray, or Winston, or Janine, or even Slimer....but if there was one thing I could change...
The Boss reared a massive rocky fist back, ready to pulp Peter Venkman's head...
I love you Dana...
"PETER!!!!" Ray Stantz's voice rang in the cavern.
A charged particle beam splashed against the Guardian of Gald's rocky hide, doing no damage but causing him to turn to face the source of the assault.
Ray Stantz and Winston Zeddemore bounded into the cavern, Ray firing at the Guardian again and again. "You just get the hell away from them!!!"
"The other two softskins, Boss!!!" Gork shouted. "They're the friends of the mates and the weasel-faced one!!!"
"Well, they still can't hurt us with their little light show!!!" Nad snarled, pulling out a carving knife he'd carried back. "Charge!!!"
"I'm gonna enjoy this." Winston smirked, activating the slimer blower. He hosed the four Galdori but good, the cavern becoming filled with a lemon-fresh scent.
"What? Your electric attack failed now you resort to insults? This is really pissing...why are my legs starting to dissolve?" Gork noticed suddenly.
"Winston, it's working!!!" Ray said excitedly, as the four Galdori started to melt, as Zuk had before them...
"I'm meeeeelting!!!" Nad screamed.
"It appears that they have blasted us with some sort of solvent that is affecting our corporeal structures..." Spok noted.
"Shut the hell up and do something, Spok!!!" Pud cried.
The Golem howled with rage, and lunged back toward the three prisoners.
"Winston!!! Spray the monster!!!" Ray screamed.
Winston complied. The spray seemed to only annoy the giant creature, but enough that it turned it's attention away from Egon and the others once again.
"Why isn't it working???" Winston snarled.
Ray went over to the three near-sacrifices, and slashed Janine's bonds with his pocket knife.
Winston kept moving away from the Golem; fortunately the creature was as ponderous as it's bulk suggested.
Janine was attacking Egon's bonds as Ray was freeing Venkman. "Not the kind of exciting evening I had in mind, Egon..." When he was free, she hugged him like she was afraid to let go.
"Not..my intentions either, Janine." he admitted.
"Oh, for grife's sake, you two can get a room after we get out of this place..." Venkman grumbled, his humor coming back. "So what the hell kept you so long? I almost got my head literally caved in..." he asked Ray.
"Maybe next time if you let us know where the monsters are planning to take you..." Ray retorted, grinning at his old friend.
Winston cursed loudly, as he nearly got cornered by the Boss.
"Perhaps we should aid Winston..." Egon commented.
"Well, duh..." Venkman answered.
Ray, meanwhile, had turned to the four Galdori, who were now quite noncorporeal. "I got two traps, but there's four entities and only my proton beam..."
"But you got three traps!" Janine observed, still clutching Egon's right arm.
"The third one's full--it's the one who got left in the restaurant."
Egon was going to enjoy hearing this story later, but right now..."Ray, trap two of them anyway--it may strengthen our hand."
"If nothing else, I'd think the little snots can't recongeal and attack us in there..." Venkman nodded. "I'm gonna see how Winston's doing..."
Ray had two of the Galdori boxed in record time--freed from their bodies, their ecto-forms were listless and plodding.
"They trapped Nad and Pud!!!" Gork was howling.
"Perhaps we should leave to avoid similar capture..." Spok's essence suggested.
"Fuck that!!! We gotta do something to stop them!!!"
Ray slung the full traps onto his belt and pack. With that, the three other Ghostbusters ran off in the direction of Winston and Venkman.
Egon had procured Ray's PKE meter and was taking readings. "Definitely some sort of minor tectonic entities...possibly, they were attracted to the Golem and recognized it as a sort of kindred spirit"
Ray was berating himself. I should've brought Slimer along, had him lug an extra proton pack or two...
When they caught up with Winston, they heard Venkman shouting. "That's it!!! Hose that asshole down!!!"
Winston was cornered, but the Golem was covered in the dishwashing concoction. He had at long last slowed down, and was on one knee. His rocky body was starting to blob and melt.
"Winston, cease fire." Egon ordered.
Winston looked at him, confused, but knew Egon well enough to know he had a reason. The slime blower stopped spraying.
Egon spared a quick, affectionate look at Janine as he gently removed her from his right arm. He went over to the Golem with one of the ghost traps.
"Your lost child is right here, Guardian..." he told it in Hebrew. "We will release him and both of the others we've contained, in return we simply want to leave. I give you my word that no humans other than us will learn of you--as long as you do no harm to the humans above."
"I understand. But I have halted the attack--you will recover in time. Please...accept my promise." Egon's eyes narrowed with implied threat "Do not force us to destroy you."
The Golem looked at Egon...certainly this one is not a follower of the ways of Issac, yet some of his favor shines through him nonetheless..."You give assurance...that none shall learn of this place? None shall learn of us?"
"You have my word, Guardian."
"BOSS!!!" Gork shouted as he and Spok's ecto-forms approached him.
"Let us merge our powers..." Spok suggested.
"And crush the softskins together!!!" Gork finished.
"Oh hell..." Egon cursed.
Before any of them could react, the two entities flew into the Boss...Winston used the few seconds to get out from his corner and move closer to the others, and it turned out to be a good thing.
The Golem stood up, his form firming and reshaping. In a scant moment, he was restored--save that the leering heads of Gork and Spok were now sharing his shoulders.
"For daring to assault the Galdori, prepare to die!!!" Gork and Spok's heads shouted in unison.
"Winston!!!" Venkman shouted.
Winston reactivated the slime blower, spraying another layer of cleaner on the Golem. It writhed and howled in anger and pain.
"Same tune, punk, same results..." Venkman sneered, beginning to do an endzone dance.
"Power level is continuing to drop" Egon said flatly. We almost avoided this...
And then the blower sputtered and quit.
"Oh shit." four of the five said in unison.
"Run!" Egon said first, grabbing Janine by the arm.
"Make your peace with Yahweh or whatever pretender you worship, softskins..." Gork was gloating.
Ray shot that head in the mouth. It didn't really damage it any, but it made Ray feel better.
The five ran to one side of the cavern. "Fortunately, Ol'Boss ain't gonna be running the Boston Marathon any time soon..." Venkman quipped.
"No. But he's between us and the only way out." Egon stated.
"Egon's right. He's got us boxed in--all he has to do now is wait." Ray added.
"Then we gotta come up with a plan!!! Any ideas, Egon?" Janine asked him.
"None yet that don't involve rocket propelled grenades."
Winston unstrapped the empty slime blower, regarding it's metal pressure canisters and sprayer, connected by a thick conduction line. "Maybe we gotta just trip him up..."
The Golem stood almost like a statue by the doorway. As the Ghostbusters had also surmised, this was the only way out. All they had to do was wait. The voice in it's head that was Gork hated the idea of waiting, but the Guardian of Gald proper had learned patience from centuries of existence. A few hours or even days would not bother it.
Still, it took less time than expected for one of the humans---the dark skinned one that had fired the painful liquid--to come over to it, carrying his weapon in his arms, his face downbeat and contrite.
"So...gonna surrender to your fate quickly, huh?" Gork's head chuckled.
"Yeah. I told the others I'd rather get it over with than prolong the agony. Here..." Winston said, putting the blower at the Golem's feet. "I offer my weapon in humble tribute; all I ask is that you make the end quick."
Spok spoke. "For your bravery, human...the Boss shall honor that request."
Ray Stantz sweated and drew a bead. He was never going to be mistaken for a sharpshooter, and the charged particle beam of a proton pack wasn't a sniper weapon by any stretch of the definition.
I only get one shot...
"I thank you." Winston answered. Then he abruptly jumped back.
The crackle of a particle beam rang out.
It struck it's target dead on.
The pressure canister at the side of the slime blower.
There was a loud explosion that left the five humans in the cavern deaf for five seconds, but they were ready.
When the smoke cleared, the Golem was staggering in shock and surprise--it's right leg completely gone from the knee down.
Winston howled an Ibandi war cry and body checked the larger creature, knocking it to the ground--and away from the door. It's little hat rolled into the darkness.
Venkman, Ray, Egon, and Janine ran past them for all they were worth. Once they made it through, Winston hastily made his retreat as well, barely missing a grab by the enraged, hurt Boss.
"Winston!!!" Ray shouted back, not even sure if Zeddemore could hear him, being closer to the actual blast.
Winston caught up to the others. "He's down but not out. Time for part two..."
Venkman handed Winston the other pressurizing canister, which had been removed from the blower before it was "offered". Winston scanned the walls, his years in construction guiding him..."There". He pulled a roll of duct tape from his belt pack, and attached the canister to the wall.
Ray unbuckled his proton pack and gave it to Winston. "That was a shot for the ages, Ray..." Winston said, meaning it. "But let the pro do this one."
Ray didn't argue. The main reason the Ghostbusters were such a successful team was their blending of strengths. When you needed something fixed, Ray was the one. Mind-blowing events deciphered, Egon. The bills paid and order maintained, Janine. Obstructing bureaucrats charmed, Venkman. You want a precision shot--that was Winston Zeddemore's area.
Winston gestured for the rest to go on, get further away before he set off another explosion. Venkman clapped him on the shoulder. "Be careful, buddy."
Egon spared one last look down the shaft. Somehow, Janine just...knew...why: he had come so close to solving the problem without a lot of violence, and the failure of his efforts was saddening him. She couldn't help but fall for him all over again.
The others ran out of his sight. Winston primed the thrower as he noticed a sound...scraping. Like something large was dragging across the stone floors...or dragging itself...
Here goes nothin'...
"Winston!!!" they all cried down the shaft. Smoke was beginning to come out of it, and ominous rumbling as it started to shake and collapse...
"I see him!!!" Ray shouted, as the black Ghostbuster dodged a part of the ceiling trying to collapse upon him.
Winston hurled himself out of the cavern, landing among his friends in a cloud of dust. He caughed a few times, some of it coming back out of his mouth. Ray and Venkman helped him up.
"Let's not do that again anytime soon." Winston grumbled, shaking his head.
"Let's not do that again, like, ever." Venkman agreed.
"Aw, c'mon, Peter...you gotta admit that this was a more exciting night that just staying at home and having Winston and I kick your butt at Genero Fighter II Hyper Ultra Mondo Turbo Deluxe Super Galactic Editionover and over again"
Venkman grumbled something indecipherable but probably dirty back at him.
"If it makes you feel any better, there's a $9000 check from the Chateau Ritz waiting for us."
Venkman made another, far less hostile, grumble.
The bum in the alley whistled approvingly when Egon helped Janine out of the manhole. She shot him a middle finger.
"Obnoxious monsters, Golems, being dragged through a sewer, bums whistling at me...you sure know how to show a girl a good time, Professor..." She said with a fond smirk.
He echoed it. "Maybe next time I can come up with something more exciting."
Venkman made mock barf noises for the third time that night.
"Perhaps I can begin making this up to you right now. For one thing, we never did get to eat..."
"But the restaurant is closed...hell, so's most of the really good places right about now..." she countered resignedly.
"True. But your car is still at the Chateau Ritz...and, well, there is a Wendy's just down the street. They're open late..."
"You're not riding with us?" Ray asked.
Egon looked at his watch, and arched an eyebrow at the other three. There was just the hint of a smirk. "If memory serves, I am under strict orders not to return until after three AM. Which means I have almost three hours to occupy."
Venkman shot him an approving grin. "Eat slow" he said simply, leading Winston and Ray back to the ECTO-1.
"That jerk..." Janine smirked, putting her head against Egon's chest.
"Shall we be going? I could really use a cheeseburger."
As they walked to the little yellow Volkswagen, his thoughts drifted back to this evening's discoveries. If they other two Galdori hadn't intervened, I would've reached the Guardian....prevented the violent and destructive end of this encounter...and maybe learned what this "Covenant of Gald" was..or is...there are mysteries surrounding today that still need to be solved.
He looked at Janine.
But not right now...