THE WEREWOLF OF NOTRE-DAME
"[I was done half an hour ago, you loafer! About time you caught up!]"
"[Hey, Jean-Claude, how about you go fuck yourself, eh?]"
"[Such language in a church, Pierre! This place has suffered enough the last couple of years, the last thing it needs is a lightning strike setting it on fire again!]"
The cathedral of Notre-Dame (full name, Notre-Dame de Paris, meaning "Our Lady of Paris") had begun being built in 1163 and was largely completed in 1260, and is regarded as one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture ever constructed. Popular culture brought the cathedral lasting attention with Victor Hugo's 1831 novel "The Hunchback of Notre Dame", subject of numerous adaptations.
Pierre and Jean-Claude were here because, just three years before, the cathedral had suffered a catastrophic fire. The next two years were spent simply stabilizing the structure; the construction company that the two men worked for had been involved with the rebuilding that had started afterward.
"[So what do you think?]" Pierre asked. "[Will we really have the old place ready for the 2024 Olympics?]"
"[My part will be. They'll be conducting the opening ceremonies and you'll still be spackling a flying buttress!]" Jean-Claude guffawed.
When he stopped laughing, they still heard laughing.
"[I thought the rest of the guys already went home?]" Jean-Claude asked. "[Robert? Micheal?]"
The laugh came again. Deeper this time.
Something moved up in the rafters.
"[What is that?]"
"[Some damn rodent?]"
"[Maybe it's Quasimodo?]"
"[They gave him the week off.]"
"My French ain't so good..." a growly voice came from the rafters, in English. "But you said 'flying buttress'! heh heh hehheh hehehheh..."
"...Ooo...oo's there?" Pierre asked, also in English.
From the shadows, it lunged at them. Seven feet tall, covered in dark brown fur...like a giant canine, but reared back in its hind legs like a human being. "AWOOOOOOOOO!!!"
The two men ran from the howling monster, the smell of soiled underwear wafting in the air
The younger woman, right around thirty years in age, nodded. "[I thank you for letting me be here, Monsieur Lucien.]"
"[Nonsense, Mademoiselle LaMarche...the team leader specifically requested your aid in this matter.]"
The younger woman chuckled. "[Well, we attended UCLA together. She's never been to Paris, while I live here. I volunteered to help show them around and translate.]"
Lucien rolled his eyes. "[Please, make sure it doesn't take two days for them to actually look at the problem.]"
Ms. LaMarche looked quizzical.
Lucien cleared this throat. "[Never mind. Forget I said that.]"
Coming out of one of the processing areas were three women; the first was of African ancestry, wearing a blue jacket over a yellow shirt.
The second had wild blonde hair that looked like she'd stuck her finger in a light socket and left it that way, and was sporting thick amber sunglasses; shabby, oversized clothes; and a necklace with a bolt being driven through a capital letter "U"
The third obviously had some Asian ancestors; her long dark hair was held back by an incredibly cool looking green and yellow checked headband. She wore a t-shirt with Generoman (star of the Nineties Genero Fighter video games) on it, and blue sweatpants.
"Clarice!" the dark-skinned woman exclaimed, before they hugged like the old friends they were.
"Well this just got more interesting." the Asian woman said.
"Oh yes." the blonde nodded.
"And you must be Monsieur Lucien." the African woman continued. "My Father sends his regards."
"And extend mine back to him, Doctor Zeddemore." Lucien replied, kissing her hand.
"Oh yes, I get to congratulate you in person..." Clarice smiled. "It is now Doctor Charlene Zeddemore. It sounds so stuffy."
"Yeah, yeah..." Charlene rolled her eyes. "Guys, this is Jean-Marc Lucien, from the French Department of Paranormal Affairs."
Lucien made a dismissive noise. "It would be more accurate to say that I am the Department of Paranormal Affairs. It's not much of a job...but it's normally an easy one."
Charlene nodded. "And this is my old UCLA classmate, Clarice LaMarche."
"Monsieur Lucien, Clarice, my team: Dr. Jillian Holtzmann, Spengler Labs Institute for Metaphysical Examination." The blonde woman nodded.
"So...how wild were the sex parties you and Charlene had? I've heard stories about you French women..." Holtzmann said.
"A true lady does not talk about such things." Clarice replied. "I don't either."
Holtzmann laughed. "Yeah, I'm gonna enjoy this mission."
"And this is Marie Lupin, Ghostbusters New York."
"I'm part French on my father's side." Marie said, shaking Lucien's hand. "My grandfather was Arsene Lupin III."
"That cannot be true." Lucien rolled his eyes.
"Well, it's what my Dad Arsene Lupin IV always says...but he does lie from time to time."
Lucien, deciding he had more important issues to deal with, shook her hand. "A pleasure to meet you all. But I was told there was four Ghostbusters sent?"
Charlene rolled her eyes. "They ain't let her out of customs yet."
Lucien groaned, and dialed a number on his phone. He started talking angrily to someone else in French. "[I thought the GBI agents were being expedited!!! Why is one of them still being processed?!]"
"I know why..." Holtzmann said in a sing-song voice.
"[We did what we could, Monsieur, but there are special extra procedures when a UK national is involved]"
"[Anyway, she is finished and should be coming out in a moment or two]"
Lucien thanked the official and hung up, grumbling "[Fucking Brexit...]" under his breath.
Sure enough, thirty seconds later a cross looking young woman with thick, disheveled brown hair and a rumpled green sport coat stomped out of the processing area. "Fucking Brexit...I didn't even vote for that rubbish..."
"And this is TJ Anderson, Ghostbusters New York, previously of the London Metropolitan Police Department." Charlene explained.
"Looks like you had a fun time." Marie elbowed the disgruntled shorter woman; TJ's hair had been a lot less disheveled and her clothes less rumpled the last time Marie'd seen her a few minutes earlier. "How jealous does Johnny need to be?"
"Piss off." TJ growled.
"Mademoiselle, my apologies." Lucien said.
"Not your fault, Monsieur Lucien." TJ exhaled, managing to slip back into a more normal mood. "The price I pay for having a bunch of ignorant buggers living in my country."
"Unfortunately, no country in the world has a monopoly on ignorance." Lucien shook his head.
"We're trying in the States, though." Marie said brightly.
Lucien ignored her--perhaps wisely--and continued. "We will take you to your hotel, and then we can discuss the reason you are here."
"I assure you, Ms. Lupin, we have plenty of food besides that." Clarice rolled her eyes.
"They're civilized." Holtzmann noted. "I saw a Krazys on the way here. Mystery Clown Spices are universal."
"So what do you call the fried potatoes they serve?" Marie asked. " 'American fries'?"
"Pommes frites is the usual term." Clarice answered.
"We call them 'chips' where I come from." TJ chimed in as she entered the room.
"And there's a superfluous 'U' or two in there also." Marie quipped. "Having a cigarette after the experience at customs?"
Charlene sighed and shook her head. "I still feel bad about that. Tully said the whole reason they sent an ad hoc team instead of GBUK was because a bunch of English nationals with dangerous nuclear equipment coming into the EU straight from England probably couldn't have even been allowed in right now."
TJ rolled her eyes. "It's over and done with. And the ladies who conducted the check were professionals doing their job, not stars of one of Lupin's pornographies--let's let the matter drop, shall we?"
Marie stuck her tongue out at her. "Now, see, once you marry Johnny, drop an anchor baby or two, and become a US citizen you won't have to worry about this anymore!"
Just about then, Lucien entered the room. "I trust the accommodations are acceptable?"
" 'Acceptable'?" Holtzmann laughed. "My New York apartment isn't as big as my room. And probably costs more a night."
"I think that means it's okay, Monsieur." Charlene shook her head.
"Yes, well, perhaps we may get down to the business at hand." Lucien nodded.
"I'm all for that." Charlene agreed. "So to cut to the chase--you have a werewolf in Notre-Dame?"
Lucien exhaled. "You must understand, Doctor, this part of France has had absolutely no significant supernatural activity at all since the Eiffel Tower was fixed. That was thirty-seven years ago."
"Case file GBNY-1985-3/230" TJ noted, looking at her tablet. "It's one of the ones I reviewed during the flight."
"The werewolf accosted two of the workers doing the restoration." Lucien continued. "They barely escaped with their lives."
"I'd almost guess it didn't really want to hurt them." Marie mused. "What night was this again?"
"Vendredi dernier...er, last Friday...it would have been the Ninth." Lucien answered.
Marie nodded. "Night of the full moon. Stands to reason."
"We would like this resolved before the next full moon." Lucien continued.
"Full moon may not matter, Chief." Marie shook her head. "Depends on what kind of werewolf we're dealing with."
"Oh?" Lucien asked, confused.
Holtzmann peeked over TJ's shoulder at the list of files showing on the younger woman's tablet.
"You read all of those on the way over?" Holtzmann asked.
"Yes." TJ answered simply.
"And here we wasted our time sleeping." Holtzmann rolled her eyes. "No wonder Lupin's shipping you with one of the Spengler kids..."
"There's actually two kind of werewolves, Jean-Luc..." Marie continued.
"Jean-Marc." Lucien tried to correct. Marie ignored him.
"There are ones just like you think of--guys that have been inflicted with a curse that turns them into howling sheep murderers during the full moon, and can turn others into lycanthropes by biting them. Since the attack was during the full moon, sure, it could have been one of those. I'll have to interview the victims to be sure." Marie explained.
"You can see why she's on this mission, Monsieur." Charlene said. "She's one of GBI's authorities on lycanthropes." Because her father's a werewolf himself she added silently.
Marie smirked slightly as she continued. "But the other kind is actually more common, they just do a better job of hiding themselves: bloodline werewolves."
"La vache..." Lucien mopped his forehead.
"Bloodline werewolves are born that way. And they don't all look like Micheal J. Fox or Jason Bateman either. They're more powerful during the full moon, sure, especially ones who were born under the full moon...but absent some mental block--which has been known to happen--they can actually change into their howling sheep murder form any time they want to. If you have one of those, we don't have the luxury of waiting another three and a half weeks for it to come back."
"Which is why we're here." Charlene added. "Well, one of the reasons."
"As you said, Monsieur, the Tower's kept Paris pretty safe for the last hundred thirty years, except that spot of trouble in '85." Holtzmann said. "If there's a werewolf showing up, especially if it's the curse type, there may be something going wacky with the Tower again. As an engineer familiar with both Professor Spengler's work and his notes on Eiffel, that's why I'm on this mission."
"We are indeed worried about the possibilities of the Tower malfunctioning again, yes, Dr. Holtzmann." Lucien nodded, mopping his forehead. "We are glad we made that clear."
"There's a reason behind every one of the selections to this team." Charlene continued. "Both Anderson and Lupin have been with GBI for over a year, and have been in high-stakes situations already during that time. Before joining GBI, Ms. Anderson spent three years with the London Metropolitan Police Department, and was a member of their Occult Crimes Unit."
"In addition to being fluent in French." TJ broke in. "Dr. Zeddemore has a dozen years of experience with GBI. She started out as a summer intern, and is now a full field agent of the Ghostbusters West Coast Division in Los Angeles. Her last name was not a factor in her getting this assignment."
Charlene glanced at TJ for just a second; that last part seemed a bit conspicuously forceful to her as a trained psychologist. "Uh...yeah. I've seen everything from vampire near-apocalypses to chaos frogs. So not my first rodeo either, as they say back in the States."
"We are very happy to have you, Doctor." Lucien nodded. "All of you."
"We're gonna get a good night's sleep to get over jet lag as best we can, Monsieur Lucien." Charlene finished. "But no two day tourist rounds--we're getting right on your problems tomorrow morning."
The four Ghostbusters nodded as one.
"I only see one of the, what do you call them, proton packs?" Clarice asked.
"We don't think we're dealing with ghosts." Charlene answered. "Plus we don't want to take any more chances that we have to with damaging the cathedral."
"We're making due with smaller, less cumbersome weaponry on this mission." TJ added. "Like this, for instance." She held up a foot-long metal cylinder, like a flashlight.
Marie chuckled. "I remember you saying something about 'I wanted to become a Jedi and sex up Ewan McGregor' the day we met, so I'm not surprised your eyes lit up when Doc Stantz showed you that little beauty."
"I'm pretty sure that's not what I said." TJ said brusquely.
"Not in so many words." Marie rolled her eyes.
"I'm personally using these nifty gadgets." Holtzmann broke in, holding up a high-tech pistol. "Both the Professor and Old Doc Hazzard had made their own mini-proton guns, but I think mine's cooler. Unlike Hazzard's design, I can jack it into a proton pack--or the Mark 3's belt pack."
"Yeah, yeah, you guys and your mad science gizmos." Marie smirked, starting to open a stained leather satchel. "I like to go a little more old school on this one."
Inside was a gleaming silvery knife with a guard wrapped in stained strands of leather matching the satchel.
"It is quite impressive, Mademoiselle Lupin..." Clarice admitted. "But I do not understand why that is of use against ghosts?"
"Most ghosts, no." Marie nodded. "But this weapon is called a klaive--and it's designed to be lethal against werewolves. Think it looks like silver? Well, it's 'cause it is silver."
Clarice's eyes went wide.
"They put a lot of bullshit in the movies and shit, but the silver part's totally legit." Marie continued. "Trust me on this. Oh, and not all werewolves look like Taylor Lautner either--but they're usually better actors, though."
"We've also brought a number of other potential solutions." TJ noted. "This thermos contains a batch of wolfsbane soup that Doctor Stantz himself brewed up." She paused for a second. "Professor Spengler says not to use it unless we have to."
"It sounds as though you have everything well in hand, Charlene." Clarice quickly hugged her. "I hope you resolve this quickly--it would be nice to get a chance to catch up on old times."
"Same here, Girl, same here." Charlene replied. "But right now, I think we need our sleep."
"Adieu, all." Clarice nodded, leaving the four Ghostbusters to their own devices.
"[I read you, Agent Yellow.]"
"[The Ghostbusters are here, Sir. I cannot tell you more on the phone.]"
"[No need to hurry, Clarice. Continue to monitor the situation.]"
"[Acknowledge. Yellow out.]"
She hung up the phone, and walked into the night
Ghostbusters: Answer The Call Created by Paul Feig and Katie Dippold
Ghostbusters West Coast Division Created by Andy Harness and Vincent Belmont
Ghostbusters 202X Created by Fritz Baugh and OgreBBQ
Monsieur Lucien created by Randy and Jean-Marc Lofficier in the RGB episode "Ghostbusters In Paris" (RGB-76045; #230). This is also the source of the previous adventure and the Eiffel Tower information frequently cited. Lucien's given name of Jean-Marc is a tribute to Mr. Lofficier, who was not officially credited in the episode.
"Curse" type lycanthropes were introduced into the Ghostbusters universe by "No One Comes to Lupusville" by J. Micheal Straczynski (RGB-76025; #216) and "Poultrygeist" by Duane Capizzi and Steven Roberts (RGB-175002; #403)
Bloodline lycanthropes were introduced into the Ghostbusters universe by "The Werewolf!" by James Van Hise (Now Comics Real Ghostbusters No.5) Our version borrows a lot of lore (including the klaive stuff) from White Wolf's Werewolf: The Apocalypse, created by Mark Rein-Hagen.
Characters not taken from official material were created by Fritz Baugh unless otherwise specified.
Charlene Zeddemore created by OgreBBQ and Fritz Baugh. Some development by EGBFan.
Marie Lupin (and her family) created by OgreBBQ.
Victor Nightstalker and Joshua Stevens created by Kyle Stevens, from Ghostbusters West Coast fan fictions.
Leon Vega from fan fictions of the Ghostbusters UK and Nightsquad teams.