Author: Mendeia PM
It's just an ordinary day for the Mighty One, beating down the bad guys to save the world and all, but when he teams up with the Ghostbusters, that ordinary day becomes a little more extraordinary. Finished at last!Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Adventure/Supernatural - Chapters: 12 - Words: 46,358 - Reviews: 14 - Favs: 6 - Follows: 4 - Updated: 07-02-12 - Published: 05-15-10 - Status: Complete - id: 5972532
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Yep, it's been forever since I added anything to the Mighty Max fandom, but I haven't been idle, I promise! This came to me a long while back, and I'm still working my way through some roadblocks, but I figured perhaps somebody might want the beginning of the road. Thus, I submit to you this crossover of Mighty Max with The Real Ghostbusters.
Disclaimer: I do not own Mighty Max, The Real Ghostbusters (or any fake Ghostbusters, for that matter), Tarzan, the Yankees, or anybody else who appears in this chapter. This is for no profit and probably not a lot of public recognition, but because my muse will absolutely pummel me to death if I don't create it!
Max chuckled to himself as he rounded the corner at Main Street and headed for the snazzy office building that was the jewel of downtown. He looked entirely out of place, a kid in jeans and a t-shirt wading through the sea of corporate humanity on their way to another day at the office. But if anyone spared the boy a glance, he didn't bother to notice. After all, there were far worse places he'd been summoned to.
"But…the toy in a cereal box? Really, Virgil?" Max sighed to himself, shaking his head. Of course, after the countless cryptic and specially-placed messages, very little surprised him anymore; he practically expected to receive a summons every time he turned around. Still, this was definitely a feat, even for a ten-thousand year-old Lemurian. "How'd he get it into the box, anyway? I better ask Felix if his Super Crunchy Sweeties had the demo CD and get it from him. Figures. Felix gets the new song by V-Pop, and I get a new mission from V-irgil."
As he followed a particularly distracted man through the revolving door that was the skyscraper's entrance, he shrugged to himself. Actually, Felix could keep the CD. It was kind of small potatoes compared to saving the world.
Waving away the woman at the front desk who began her routine of, "excuse me, sir, guests must check in at the desk" prior to noticing that he was, in fact, a kid, Max felt a skip in his heart. The portal was close; he could tell. The long list of adventures on his resume, along with more than one experience of touching the very cosmic power that fueled the Cap, had sharpened his senses over time. Before the Cosmic Cap even began its customary glow, Max knew where he would find his destination. Fortunately, it was within yards.
Unfortunately, it was also in the middle of the office complex's elaborate water fountain. About four feet behind a guard.
But Max wasn't the Mighty One for nothing. With a sudden sprint, he ducked under the arm of a corporate suit talking loudly on her cell phone and made for one of the odd ceramic shapes that passed for art at the edge of the fountain. The guard, apparently woken from the obvious boredom of staring at the 8am rush, lunged for him. However, a portly company security man was definitely no match for a determined kid, especially a determined hero kid.
"Sorry, but I gotta catch a chicken!" Max quipped with a smile. With a practiced motion, he dodged the guard's grab, setting his foot squarely on the outstretched arm, and used it to launch himself to the top of the sculpture. Though wet and not a little slippery, the Cap-Bearer quickly regained his balance even as the portal before him opened with a sound of distant thunder. Cognizant of the many staring eyes from the lobby, Max leapt easily from his perch to the spinning vortex, hitting it with the precision of an Olympic diver. The office disappeared, and the portal carried him to wherever his next adventure waited. With a familiar jolt in his middle, Max braced himself for the end of the ride, when the real world would come rushing back. There was the customary flash of light…
And the Mighty One fell into empty air.
He was falling forever, rushing through space as gravity prepared to do its damage. Turning over and over in the wind, Max felt a shout fail to get past his heart and stomach which had jumped into his throat. He was vaguely aware of greyness all around him and below him, but that "below" thing was really what worried him. He was becoming light-headed in the fall and wondered if this time Virgil had made the worst possible miscalculation.
The abrupt change in direction, from downward to sideways, stole any remaining breath from the Cap-Bearer's lungs, but he didn't care. On the most primitive level, he was aware of himself going weak as he no longer felt himself falling to his death. But on another, slightly more useful level, he recognized the voice that had exclaimed in his ear, and that voice meant that everything would be all right. He gulped air.
"Hang on, Mighty One," Norman said. The Guardian was, of all bizarre things, swinging back and forth on a rope between two enormous buildings like an urban Tarzan. Evidently, he had been positioned perfectly to catch the Cap-Bearer mid-fall on one of his wide arcs. Norman gripped his boy tightly under one arm, the other holding firmly to the stout rope, and, with the agility of a cat, twisted his body such that their momentum carried them over the rooftop of a nearby, lower edifice. He released the rope and landed precisely next to where Virgil stood waiting.
"Well done, Norman," Virgil said nonchalantly as the Viking set the boy on his wobbly feet. "Greetings, Mighty Max."
"Hiya Virg," Max replied, still trying to get a normal amount of air into his still-tight chest for purposes of respiration. "That was some ride. Very fun. Can we never use that portal again? Ever?"
"I apologize, but it was the quickest way to get you here, and of course I calculated the exact moment of your arrival to coincide with Norman's timing, so no harm done. In general, I too would prefer some other means of getting you here whenever possible."
"Where…? All right!" The Cap-Bearer broke off his question as he took a look around and exclaimed with excitement, his recent, near-fatal fall paling in significance compared to the dawn of a new adventure. It took only a moment to identify the skyline around him, and the possibilities therein. "So, what's the trouble in the Big Apple? The Empire City? The City So Nice…"
"New York," Norman interrupted. He knew that look on Max's face – the boy could go on for quite a while if he weren't stopped before he got into his rhythm.
"Evil has reared its ugly head once again, Mighty One, and you are the only one who can avert it," Virgil intoned. Max nodded, but kept listening. Virgil said that, or some variation on that line, every time they called on him. He wondered if it was part of the Lemurian's contract. "There has been an unprecedented uprising in the number of demonic attacks in the city of late, and they portend something sinister on the horizon. The very world may be at stake."
"Demons? What, like taking over people and making them spit up and turn their heads all the way around?"
"I eat demons for breakfast," Norman smirked.
"If you two are quite done, this is rather serious," Virgil admonished. Though his tone was severe, somewhere inside the Lemurian smiled. Their levity may have been out of place, but it was a way in which both the Guardian and the Cap-Bearer chose to cope with the danger that often surrounded them, and it signified, among other things, that both of them were well in spirit, ready to take on whatever horror might be waiting. It was the day that the Mighty One lost his humor that Virgil dreaded, for that was the day these tasks would begin to eat away at a soul surprisingly resilient, but young and innocent nonetheless. There were hardened warriors who might not have endured all that Mighty Max had survived in his short time as a hero, and that he did it and remained whole was as much a miracle as the rest of his inborn destiny.
"As I was saying," the fowl continued, "there has been a rash of incidents involving demons lately in the city, and I fear that without our aid, some catastrophe may befall the world. But there is no time for speculation now."
As Virgil gestured, Max followed his feathered finger to the scene on the street below. People were spilling out the doors and even the first-floor windows of a nearby building, and their panic was evident. Inside, on the second floor, the boy could make out a form through the windows, and he suppressed a shudder. Demons. Great.
"Why can't we ever have a normal day out?" Max joked, tugging absently on the brim of his Cap. Its presence, and the odd warmth that had nothing to do with temperature that it radiated, reassured him. Virgil nodded with a knowing look. Norman gave his boy a thumbs-up.
"Okay, then. Time to punch in!"
"Note to self," Max said as he bounced off a doorframe before successfully taking cover around a corner, "battling in a brownstone is not fun."
"I don't have room to swing," Norman grunted, as he brought his sword forward into a defensive posture. The building, probably an office converted from an old sweatshop, had low, cramped rooms which were now cluttered by cubicles. It had been hard enough for the enormous Guardian to make his way against the rush of escaping people without inadvertently crushing them; now, trapped between an 8-foot ceiling and a dozen tiny workstations, he was less than amused.
"Even if you could, I believe you would do more harm than good," Virgil replied, gesturing to the already somewhat-decimated office. The Lemurian considered climbing on a desk for a chance of seeing above the cubicle walls, but decided against it. Everything else aside, he'd never live it down if he admitted to being too short to see.
"So what do we do about it?" the Mighty One asked, scrambling over a fallen chair to stand beside Norman. The first few minutes of their encounter had not gone particularly well. The demon, a weird cross between an alligator and a gorilla, seemed primarily interested in lobbing large pieces of computer equipment at anyone in the vicinity. And after gracelessly avoiding two monitors and a computer tower, tumbling into an open filing cabinet in the process, the Cap-Bearer was ready for this fight to be over.
"I'm all for fighting fire with fire," Norman decided. Sheathing his sword, the Viking grabbed a printer-copier from a cart and flung it at the demon. At the same time, the creature, perched on the top of one of the cubicle dividers, hefted a giant coffee-maker and launched it in their direction. The pieces of office equipment met in midair with explosive results. Ink, hot water, shards of plastic, and pieces of metal flew everywhere. The Guardian instinctively curled down to protect Max and Virgil from the debris.
"I don't think that worked, big guy!" the Mighty One shouted. "But it did give me an idea!"
Sprinting from his friends, Max took a flying leap and landed on a mail cart, sending it zipping down the open aisle between desks. Picking up velocity with every second, he angled himself for a fallen stack of binders. The mail cart hit the improvised ramp at top speed and launched into the air. The Cap-Bearer rode it like a skateboard, flipping up the heaviest part of the cart just before leaping to safety. The cart hit the demon head-on, knocking it from its place and slamming it into the wall. Max stood up with his arms raised in triumph.
"And the crowd goes wild! Let's hear it for Extreme Office Sports!"
"Mighty One!" Norman shouted a warning.
Max whirled to see the demon rising from the mess of letters and packages, its eyes burning. It snarled once in abject fury.
"Nice demon…" the Cap-Bearer chuckled nervously, backing slowly towards where his Guardian was gamely trying to force his way through the mess to his charge. "No hard feelings, right?"
With a scream, the demon attacked, practically taking to the air as it targeted the boy. Max instinctively flinched and ducked, dropping down and backwards.
"Now!" came a new voice. There was a crackling roar that almost reminded the Cap-Bearer of the portals, and a bright flash of light. When he looked up from the floor, he blinked in amazed, and grateful, surprise. From the direction of the stairwell, four streams of energy, bright as lightning but somehow coarser, were holding the demon in mid-air, confining it against the demon's most vicious struggling. Max pulled himself to his feet as Norman and Virgil reached him.
"Throw the trap, Peter!" shouted another voice. From over a cubicle wall, a small metallic object, about the size of a shoebox, came soaring, trailing a cord behind it like a tail. It landed almost at the Cap-Bearer's feet.
"Whoever you are, get clear of the trap and close your eyes!" That was all the warning Max and his friends needed; as one, the heroes ducked to the side. With a sudden whoosh, like a cyclone being released, the trap sprang open. A blinding light flashed and the demon screamed. Norman pulled Virgil and Max down, shielding their faces from the light. The air around them pulled inward, and for one heart-stopping moment the Mighty One felt the Cosmic Cap being sucked off his head. Then there was an audible snap, and the wind, the light, the noise, and the demon all vanished.
"What a rush," Max commented, extricating himself from Norman and standing up. He touched the Cap briefly, assuring himself it was still there, before turning around. There was a crunch of someone, or several someones, wading through the ruined office, and four people appeared. They all wore modified versions of the same jumpsuit, carried serious artillery openly in their hands, and yet somehow seemed entirely unfazed by the recent disaster.
"You guys all right? You know, most people run away from ghosts and spooks, not towards," the red-haired man smiled, his face friendly and open.
"Well, we're not most people," Max returned good-naturedly. "But then, neither are you. You're the Ghostbusters, aren't you?" Any kid worth his salt knew all about the protectors of New York City, and the Cap-Bearer could easily identify the strangers from everything he had ever seen or heard or read or dreamed about them.
"That's what it says on our uniforms," Peter quipped, winking at the boy.
"Wow! The real Ghostbusters! Wait a minute. How come you guys don't look like the guys in the movies?"
"I'm getting real tired of that question," Winston grumbled, kicking some office-equipment remains from the path.
"It's the way of the 'biz' kid," Peter answered theatrically, "a mystery unto itself."
"Hey! Look out! A were-chicken!" Everyone turned to where Ray was pointing. Immediately, the four men raised their weapons and pointed them towards Virgil.
"Not again," groaned Egon as a pained look came over his face.
"A…what?" Max asked confused. Norman, however, did not hesitate. Although his duty as Guardian technically only involved the Mighty One himself, the Viking was not about to let four gadget-wielding geeks hurt the Lemurian with whom he had spent the last five thousand years. Grunting a challenge, Norman interposed himself, sword drawn.
"Nobody touches the chicken."
"I am NOT a chicken!" Virgil protested from behind the Guardian.
"Wait, wait, wait a minute! Everybody chill out," Max said, waving his arms and carefully stepping between his Guardian and the Ghostbusters. "Give me a minute here, big guy." Norman obediently relaxed his posture, but he left the sword in plain view.
"If that thing's a were-chicken, it's really bad news," Winston said reasonably. Another shrill "I am NOT a chicken!" was ignored.
"Actually," Egon said, having pulled out his PKE meter, "they're telling the truth. I'm not getting the right readings for a were-chicken, and believe me, I should know."
"You sure?" Ray asked. Virgil peeked around Norman's side, his face indignant.
"For the last time, I am not a were-chicken. I am not a chicken at all. I am a Lemurian fowl, actually," he said in his most prim voice. Of course, the effect of it was slightly lost due to the hulking Viking scowling at everyone beside him.
"I'm sure. They're definitely not normal, though," Egon said. As the other Ghostbusters relaxed only slightly, the blonde adjusted his meter and focused it on each individual before him. "The chick…er, fowl, was it? The fowl is not like anything I've ever seen before. He's not human, and he's not exactly mortal, but his PKE level is surprisingly low. The gentleman with the sword," causing his companions to blink and Max to giggle at the word applied to the outwardly barbaric Guardian, "has a higher PKE level, but appears to be largely human."
"I am human," Norman snorted.
"And the boy," Egon ignored the comment and turned his reading towards Max, "is perhaps the most unusual of all. Definitely human, but he's got a PKE that's almost off the charts."
"I do?" Max asked. Then, snapping his fingers, he pulled off the Cap and held it out from his body. "No, it's this you're seeing."
"A ball cap?" Peter asked. "What, does it guarantee that the Yankees win or something?"
"No, he's right," Ray said, leaning over Egon's meter as the latter adjusted his target. "Whatever it is, it's not what it looks like."
"Fascinating," Egon said.
"Look, we can explain things but maybe now's not the best time." The Mighty One put a hand on Norman's arm, a silent signal to stand down. The Guardian grunted once, then sheathed his sword and crossed his arms. Peter nodded to the Ghostbusters, who stowed their proton accelerators as well.
"All right. Why don't you come back to the firehouse with us and you can tell us about it?" he offered. Max nodded and even Virgil managed to look less offended. The Ghostbusters turned to lead the way out of the building. "In the meantime, it's time to get paid!"
"Hey Virgil?" Max asked as they cleared the disaster that had been an office an hour before.
"Yes, Mighty One?"
"How come I don't get paid for this?"