The Protonix Ghostbusters
Shadows of the Past
It's Spooktober, so why not?
Chapter 1: Business As Usual
November 4th, 2013
New York City, New York
The urban jungle, the Big Apple, The Empire City, The City So Nice They Named It Twice, all names that people have called the landscape that is populated with around eight million people.
Everywhere you looked, you had a high possibility of seeing something strange even by NYC's standards. Either it is a car that shouldn't be on the roads or a person trying to bring back a fashion trend from the 90s. However, what caught pedestrians off guard the most now, despite being so used to hearing police, fire engines, and ambulances racing by, was the sound of a siren that was much different. It whirled more than the rapid clicks emergency vehicles were common for when responding to a situation.
At the corner of fifth avenue and East forty-fifth street, the usual bustle of the city was at it every day. As a red light on fifth held lines of cars on each side allowing citizens to cross while traffic flowed in the other road, the canyon-like formation that the skyscrapers made was increasingly echoing out a 'reeeeee' sound with a mass of lights came barreling through. Even though the lights turned red, the vehicle passed traffic into the intersection. It's top-heavy roof rack pulling it down with its momentum as its tires squealed against the pavement. Several horns and shouts all being aimed in its direction as it sped down Fifth.
Its destination only four blocks away and closing.
Many who know what happened in 1984 would know about the Public Library. A place where something happened that would change the world by three men after being scared off. But the sight now of an Ectomobile racing down the street, coming to a screeching halt directly in front of the building, would make one think they were back for revenge. As the siren died down to silence, the emergency lights fading to a faint pulse as only four blinker lights remained flashing, indicating a parked emergency vehicle, the front doors both clicked and swung open.
Stepping out of the driver's door was a twenty-year-old who looked more like a twenty-seven-year-old. He stood around five foot eight, possibly an inch or two taller due to the combat boots he was wearing, dressed in an outfit that comprised of hot rod red elbow and knee pads, a blackwork coat with a white undershirt being sandwiched between the coat and even more black motocross chest armor. Around the top holding his faded black jeans was a belt that fit on a variety of pockets, sensors, holsters, clips, and pouches.
The teen in question that made him look hold had a much thicker hairstyle than he did some time ago, being an almost brownish mass with it curling slightly in the back around his neck when he wore a hat for long durations of time but yet was a bit messy. Beard stubble was already starting to reclaim his chin, though it remained relatively short to being almost a tan line of hair.
Derek Stewart looked at the building before him. Being that this wasn't the first time he's been to the famous Public Library since he came here, he still was more or less having deja vu that the most recent call came from this place.
"You said Leo was sure he got something?" he asked over to the figure stepping out of the passenger door.
This time they donned a one-piece navy blue jumpsuit with grey pads and boots just like Derek's. The only other contrasting color other than the No-Ghost logo on her right shoulder was her left breast pocket with a name tag in the equally red-colored text saying 'BUCKER' on it with her jet black hair tied up in a bun.
Rachel nodded, looking at her new iPhone 5s on the report they got from the library by Leo, "He seemed pretty sure to me. When he said to bring the grenades, I thought he was joking." she headed around to the back of the SUV. Both meet each other as Derek popped open the trunk.
Inside was a real eye-catching sight of dozens of tools, wires, and sensors all over the back of the GMC. On the trays that took up most of the space, two large proton packs sat side by side waiting to be dawned. Pulling out the tray, Derek first grabbed the pack that had a purple coloration to the ribs, cyclotron rings, and straps, one of the personalizations Rachel, like the others, did to her pack—holding the hundred sixty-pound pack up for her to slip the straps on. Having gotten used to having put it on, she quickly strapped herself in and buckled the waist strap.
Letting her body now take the brunt of the weight. Derek, on the other hand, flung his pack over like it was a regular backpack. Having been that when he started over a year ago, the pack itself weighed 200 pounds, being lighter, only helping to ease the pain his back would sometimes get. Once both were strapped in, they started grabbing the various equipment around the trunk.
"I'm just saying this to point out the possibility of an energy source here is still a one out of ten-thousand chance." she grabbed her pistol from a side rack. Locking the holster around her leg as she reached back to connect the cable.
"I know," Derek slid his rifle onto his belt, going to grab the traps, "But with what's been happening all over this place, what are the odds it was just four blocks from around the corner from where we're staying at?" he clipped on both a wireless trap and a pressure trap with its cord wrapped up around the handle below it.
"That's not what I meant." she said, grabbing a Pke meter as Derek dawned his own and goggles, "Leo said it could be animators again."
She turned to him with a deadpan expression; seeing this, he halted in his task. "What?"
Rachel didn't reply as she turned away to head to the building. Still confused, Derek grabbed a small silver briefcase before shutting the gate down and quickly jogging back up as he locked the car to get back up to Rachel's side.
"You remembered that time during that trip to Buffalo?" She said once he was behind her.
"The Patterson house? What about it?"
"What about it?" She looked back, "They claim that some paranormal force is trying to take their son and have said to drag the parents out of the house when it was just them falling down the stairs at night and being half asleep."
"But you forget Rachel, the EVPs that transpired at night was something to take into consideration."
"Oh… Derek," she sighed, "You stared at a computer monitor watching three days worth of surveillance footage from 16 different cameras. What did you see?" she turned to him fully. Both were now standing at the central doorway to the library.
"I just feel that this job is already gonna put us into retirement in the next three months."
"Hey, come on! It hasn't been that bad." she didn't look fazed. Making him have to continue with the more unfortunate part. "Yet."
Rolling her eyes, she grabbed him by the strap and pulled him forward. Locking their lips for just a second, it was fast, but it held a lot.
"Come on," she said, pushing the door open, "Let's go find Leo and get this job done."
Following behind her while still smirking from her little act, Derek followed her towards the main reading hall. The trip up the steps was still a trudge up with all the weight on them. By the time they reach the third floor of any building, they're usually patting by now. The hallways were an interesting one, the looks they got from people passing by as they stayed close to the edge. When they got to the doorway to the reading room, it was a beautiful sight. With all the windows lining the walls letting in the rays of sunshine to make all the fine wood that made up its floor, tables, book stacks, and so on.
Stepping right passed the door; they could vaguely hear the level of noise in the room drop a bar.
"No need to worry, folks!" Derek announced, they keeping his voice down, "Just an investigating in a spook sighting." It seemed to unnerve some, however, most simply returned to their business. Figuring it was enough, the two marched forward. They were passing down the center towards the back room.
"Hey," Rachel slowed her pace down. Pointing ahead to a dirty blond man wearing an olive green jumpsuit sitting cross-legged on the floor with a stethoscope holding it up to the underside of the table. His eyes were only glancing at times to his watch. Derek looked to Rachel with a devilish smile; if there was a movie camera nearby, he was sure to break the fourth wall at what he was about to do.
Rachel didn't stop him. She was just standing there, trying to prepare herself for Derek to reenact a famous movie scene again.
Walking right up behind him, which was a bit incredible that the man didn't hear him with all the rattling equipment, slowly lowered himself over the table with the knuckles of his gloves clicking on the hardwood.
"Ooooo… Leooooooooo…" he said in his best 'spooky voice'. The man was suddenly looking up at hearing the strange clicking coming from the table.
With his prey distracted, Derek went for the kill. He was reaching back as he grabbed an encyclopedia off the table behind him while still clicking. In a quick motion, he grabbed the bottom of the book with both hands before slamming it on the table.
Leo jumped to his feet when the slam sent a shockwave into his ears. Even people around doing what they were doing all looking over to them. Some even laughing or even clapping at such a funny sight. Rachel couldn't hold it; she let a slight chuckle escape her hold that opened the floodgates.
"HAHAHA Jesus, Leo, you set yourself up for that one!"
Grubbling Leo pulled the stethoscope off, "We are in a library, you know." he practically hissed.
"Yeah, and next you're going to say you didn't try drilling a hole through your head. Dr. Spengler." Derek teased.
"It's was in the name of science! GAH! Did you bring the stuff?" Derek held up the briefcase to him. Leo was swiftly taking the case as he headed towards the back of the reading room.
"So, what do we got here?" Derek said, knowing it was fully working time now.
Stuffing the scope away, Leo pulled his Pke up. It was the same one he liked using for the past year now. Saying that he liked the heavy feeling it gave him felt like he held some kind of power. Pulling the antenna out of the protective housing to prevent it from getting snapped off, the two small arms pulsed a steady red light as the bar graph recalibrated to the area's current measurements.
"There is definitely something here. I had several different spikes hitting around the area, but I haven't had the chance to look around the building since I got here."
"You thinking it could be black slime?" Rachel asked, hoping it wasn't. None of them did. Sure they had the slime blowers on their packs now actually able to do their jobs, but it was bad enough when just a puddle of the stuff was nearby. Ever since they got here, reports started coming in about the stuff; they had neutralized must of the oil refinery over a month ago and kept some for research and tests. To have it in or around a heavy traffic area like this would just spell out incoming disasters.
Leo thought, shook his head, "I don't think so. What I've been getting points to just a stray manifestation. Possibly because of all the energy in the air; if it had enough to form it formed here."
"And you said there were witnesses?"
He nodded, "Few glimpses from the corner of the eye but nothing solid. Book levitation, a horrid smell, and the sound of someone shushing them."
"Did you check with the librarian?"
He leads them to the backroom that went across the back of the reading room. In the right-wing, there were two people waiting. A well-dressed man in a casual gray suit that looked more concerned than one should and woman had to at least be in her fifties dressed in a mix of purple and white that told anyone that this was a person who liked to enjoy her time with a nice moment. She was laying across a table with a coat covering her like a blanket with another under her head being propped up by two books like a pillow. Her hands with gripping the edges of the table but couldn't get a grip due to her shaking so badly. Upon hearing the door creak open, the women tensed, making the man look up as they watched the trio join them.
"Guys, this is John Delicore. He's the library administrator and the one that called in the report." Leo pointed to the man who reached his hand out with a newfound smile.
Derek reached out, shaking it with a small smile of his own, "Hi, Derek Stewart of the Ghostbusters. So we heard you have a little problem, eh?"
He slowly shook his head, "Yes, well, thank you for coming. I hope we can clear this up quickly and quietly."
"Let's not rush things." Derek said in a more serious tone, "We don't even know what you have yet."
All the while, Rachel had quickly gone to the women's side. Looking up, the woman actually eased her shaking only slightly upon seeing the Ghostbuster, "Hi there, miss. My name's Rachel, what's yours?"
"A-Alice." She spoke in a way someone would if they were freezing.
"Alice," Bucker got down in a crouched position despite the equipment. Reaching down into one of her pockets, she pulled out a small white case with a red cross on it. "I'm gonna run just a few checks and ask some questions if that is alright with you?"
She nodded. Popping the case open on the table, she first fished out a small orange flashlight, standing back up as she briefly shined it in the librarian's eyes, checking pupil constriction. They shrank a little, but remained as big as someone almost scared to death would be. Putting the light away, she pulled out a small thermometer bringing it up to Alice's quivering lips.
"Alright, first question, When did you last see your doctor?"
"Roughly a month ago…" Alice muttered with the rod in her mouth.
"And you're not on any medication, no complications or sickness of any kind?" She shook her head. Rachel then pulled the thermometer out, she was running a little high, but thankfully all that she would most likely was a rest and maybe a cold washcloth.
"Temperature is normal."
Derek, coming up to the other side of the table, then asked, "When you first saw the entity, what happened before that?"
"Well, I… I was putting away some books when I felt like there was literally someone watching me. I thought not much of it until all the card shelves started to fly out. I tried running back towards one of the exits, and that's when I saw it. I didn't see any legs, but it definitely had arms because it tried to reach out and grab me."
Derek reached up, scratching his stubble when thinking of the entity's description, "Maybe a Class 4? Full body apparition? Did it look human?"
Alice nodded, "For the most part, it was, but for when it tried to attack, it changed into a complete monster." This made Derek think deeper. Pulling out his Pke, he pulled up the Entity-Lists, or basically the entire collective data they had gathered since day 1, for possible matches for strength, abilities, and maybe an easier way to bust it.
Rachel then proceeded to lift up Alice's left arm, holding her by the wrist as she pressed two fingers against the inside. "Have you had any past encounters with strange anomalies of any kind?"
She glanced away for a moment before looking back, "My grandfather thought he was the philosopher's stone. He would keep on breaking his finger, thinking that all he had to do was just stick it in his mouth, and it'll be fixed."
Several confusing brows went up at the moment. Rachel was looking over to Derek with a face that told him that alone was a bit too strange.
"Guys," they turned to see Leo standing in the doorway that leads down to the bottom floors, his Pke buzz and pulsing faster than it was last time with the wings now higher, "It's moving. It may still be in the same area as when Alice encountered it."
Without much hesitation, the two jumped up, Rachel quickly packing the case back up as Derek reached back, pulling his massive thrower off the pack. Feeling the nearly ten-pound gun in his hands, his thumb reached up to the large toggle switch that once he flipped it up, the entire proton pack lite up with its famous hum. The power cell building up as the cores began to glow red with the monitor and status bars powering up and running a startup cycle.
Marking down the spiraling stairs into a much darker part of the building, the team could collectively feel the temperature actually start dropping. They soon came into a small reading room with 3 of the walls covered with bookshelves with a large table near the middle of the room.
"Signals getting stronger…" Leo was the first to progress into the room. His meter held out so that he could try and track it better. Derek followed closely behind, jerking his head down to allow the ecto-goggles to fall over his eyes as he scanned the room as well. Rachel followed in closing the doors; they didn't want some poor bastard running in scaring them or getting attacked or accidentally shot at.
Derek scanned across the room for anything that seemed out of the ordinary that no one else could see. Passing over the bookcases, he found that there were traces of pke but as if the entity only barely ran a hand across it. It gave the appearance that someone ran a blob of snot, and it eventually blended in. He shifted over to the other side of the room, passing over Rachel as he scanned over the reading area. It was fine until the red display ring shifted into the yellow middle ring, and that was joined by the center green one.
Everything that wasn't nailed down or weight a crapload started rising off the ground. First, it was the chairs and some books, but that was joined by the whole tables and even the couches.
"Woah, full-on levitation!" Derek said with excitement. It wasn't that often when they had the opportunity to record these kinds of events from start to finish without being attacked.
"Derek…" Leo called out quietly.
"You got something?" He turned to Leo's direction.
"I got something… right here." He pointed his meter at the bookcase in front of him, from the goggles. Like the floating objects, the rings resynced on the case, though this time, the bar graph on display shifted from all green to all red.
Slowly approaching, Derek pointed his thrower forward, ready to blast anything that would appear. Rachel came up with her hand waiting on her pistol, ready in case that if Derek missed, she could quickly take a shot. Leo instinctively backed up; his meter was already almost maxing out the graph in spiking red.
Then, in what sounded like a gust of wind forming and blowing past, the entity formed with its back turned to them. It was a ghostly pinkish white color perfectly resembling a human that floated roughly two feet off the ground without any form of legs visible. Its hair was tied in a bun similar to Rachel's, but the hair itself and face told them that the women were fairly old in of herself. Derek went to step forward, but Leo looked back with a finger held to his mouth. Taking the hint, Derek retracted back as Johnson returned to the ghost.
"Alright, everyone quiet… Let's get a solid scan."
But the entity, who up until that moment seemed to ignore them, looked away from her book at the trio. She too brought a finger up to her lips and let out a low spine chilling 'Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh' before completely turning around. Leo had to quickly sidestep her as she flew nearly through him towards the door leading to the other parts of the library.
Thought Derek quickly acted, his thumb smashing down on the trigger as the proton stream erupted from the barrel, just barely grazing her and hitting the door as she passed through. Once she was gone, everything that was levitating had suddenly lost its powers and fell violently to the ground. Something smashing into splinters from the force as books were thrown off shelves.
"Dammit." Derek growled, yanking his goggles back up, "Missed her."
Eying the extensive damage a thought came to Leo; from his earlier investigation and talk with the admin, he clearly spoke in concern about the old, rare, and special collections and possibly collateral damage. "The administrator said there was a lot of old stuff in here, so we need to keep damage to as minimal as possible."
Derek nodded; it was something they didn't need happening that would result in them shelling out more cash. "Then I guess it will be best to use the stasis streams. If it moves as fast as the reports say that we really need to slow it down before we try to trap it."
Flicking his thumb across the top of the rear handle of his thrower, his glove caught onto a rigid dial similar to a coin, flicking it a few times until a dark blue tab appeared aligning itself with a small triangle that points up at the wheel. The pack reacted to the change; red light on the thrower changed to a dark blue as the twelve ribs that covered the three gearboxes on the pack suddenly flashed to life with bars that looked like smaller versions of the power cell. The cycling cores on the cyclotron went dark for a moment before flashing the same blue as the thrower light.
Marching up towards the doors, Derek heaved his right leg up with as much force as he could and brought his boot against the center of the doors just below the hands. Both violently swung open as the next room showed the same results as the last one, only now was the ghost floating at another bookshelf. Almost immediately, she turned around and flew down the hall. Before the trio could give chase, the shelf she was at turned almost a complete 90-degrees and slamming up against the wall, blocking the doorway completely.
Quickly running up, Derek tried prying the shelf loose, but it failed to move. "Damn. She got away." Derek seethed as he tried even shaking it. Still no effect.
"Readings are hot, Derek. Whatever it definitely has some high levels of Pke coming off of it."
"All the more reason to get her in a trap as soon as possible." He headed towards the side door that leads to one of the main storage rooms that linked into other areas of the floor. Stepping out and down a small flight of stairs, he took the lead as he scanned the maze of bookshelves all over the place.
And then there was a deep groan throughout the building, and all the lights went out.
With only their equipment and some emergency lights in some spots being the only illumination they had, they only stopped walking until they were mostly in darkness.
"Oh, that's just great," Rachel muttered, flicking on her flashlight as the others did the same.
Then, with every meter suddenly spiking inactivity, a purplish mist rocketed out from the wall near the backside of the shelves.
"There it is!" Derek immediately dashed forward into the shelves. His sudden sprint caught the others off-guard for a moment, making them run after him. But before Leo, who was right behind him, was about to go down the aisle, one of the shelves along the wall whipped around like a massive door blocking his path.
"What the?!" With their path block, he immediately went to the next aisle.
Only for that one to do the same thing. After the third one, he came towards the middle of the room, just barely seeing Derek run by.
"Derek! Wait up!" He shouted. Dashing around as Rachel tried keeping up.
But like what happened to Leo, two shelves suddenly came out in front of her like massive doors blocking her way between them. There was a gap between them since they weren't big enough to reach across completely. She could squeeze through, but when she got close, another shelf from behind came and cut that idea.
"LEO!" Rachel shouted, trying to move the bookcase with no vale. There was one more opening left that leads into the maze to her right, and she jumped to get around it quickly-
The case on the other side came flying forward, pushing her back in a spray of books. The force was nearly knocking the wind out of her as it was enough to drop her shields by a bar.
Rubbing her head from the sudden impact of hitting the top of her pack, she slowly got back up, "Oh, that's just even better..."
"Well... that happened..." Derek's voice crackled through the radio with some interference.
"Yeah, I'll say that was well thought out..." Leo replied through much clearer.
"Okay, the new plan is to fan out." There's three of us and only one of her, so we should be able to nab her."
"Flexible approach, Derek."
"There's three of us and only one of her. So we should be able to nab her."
"So what the hell am I suppose to do?" Rachel shouted through the mic while gesturing to no one her blockade. "Every through is-"
There was another heavy groan. Much like the other shelves did before moving. From the corner of her eye, she could see one closer to her start moving and step out of the way. Carefully leaning around the corner, she could see down the aisle that turned a corner to the right.
"What was that, Rachel? You cut off then heard something slam."
*sigh* "I'll see you guys in a bit." Tightening her grip on her thrower, she spun the dial into Stasis. Being this enclosed was something that has a weapon like Shock Blast paid to have at your side.
Tracking down the alley, she kept her gaze on everything she could. With ghosts that were even remotely smart enough, they could come flying through the wall and ambush you. Passing under an emergency light that gave off a low orange glow that barely lite the corner, Rachel hugged the bookshelf closely, peering around to see if anything would pop out.
With no sign of anything, she crept around. The bookcases were forking with one way going straight down the middle and the other going around the next part of the wall.
"Temp's dropping." Leo voiced from the radio, "Event imminent. Keep your eyes open and meters out at the ready."
"HEY! UGLY JUST SHOT AROUND THE CORNER!" Derek yelled as the sound of an inhuman roar, and a proton stream went off in the background.
Wincing at the sound, Rachel concluded on following the path along the wall. Rounding the bend, she could feel a shiver rocket through her body. Leo wasn't kidding when the temperature was dropping. It already felt so cold she could actually see her breath every time she exhaled.
Reaching around, she went and plucked her Pke out. Carefully juggling it over to her free hand as she held the thrower in her right hand. It was heavy; even without the same upgrades, Derek had to hold 10+ pounds of a gun on the end of the stick was just burning her wrist. How Derek used to this was beyond her given the fact he can hold two and still easily use them.
She came to a small junction in the cases. A clearing with a middle case and a path leading to the left. But as she got closer, the meter began to spike. The wings rapidly rising as a detection beep sounded that readings were rapidly climbing.
Rachel nearly jumped back when the ghost lady came flying through the bookshelves to her left down the hall. As fast as she had appeared and disappeared, the meter began to calm down but still spiking. Reframing her grasp, she came to the edge of the bookcase, looking around the corner for anything else. The meter spiked some more, signaling she was getting closer to her target, meaning having to follow that ghost where ever she went.
Taking a deep breath that even in the overhead lights from the next room over, she could see the mist form, she mustered up her determination. But that was a bit peeving when your hand is getting cramped up. With reluctance, she reached back, clipping her gun back. It was a bad idea; she knew that. Her team knew that. God probably knew that, but so far, its been mostly sight encounters. As if she was being led somewhere.
The room next door was thankful, lite. Unlike the mess of the main room, this one didn't seem all that out of the ordinary. A normal room full of books and not nightmares. A quick glance at the wall sign told her where she was heading; Juvenile, Rare, New Books, Curriculum, and Current.
Rounding the corner through the door into a small hallway, Rachel couldn't help but feel something was very, very, off-putting in the air. It wasn't cold, the meter had only spiked little, and she had yet to hear anything for the others on the radio.
But as she went down the next corner that had a hallway with two doors and a drinking fountain, she nearly jumped out of her suit when she looked down the hall from where what sounded like a little girl laughing came from. And a toy panda being dragged across the floor from behind the fountain into the door like a child would pull their toy.
A quick glance at the door at her left, she immediately tried the handle. Nothing.
With a sigh, she slowly approached the door the bear had gone through. Looking behind the fountain for anything before looking around the door frame. The room was dark with some lights on, but it was mostly dim to where her flashlight was a better source.
Upon stepping at least 5 feet into the room, she could faintly see the same toy panda sitting across the room, staring ahead towards her like it was placed there to spook her purposefully.
It worked the first time, and her mind quickly made up a new decision, "Okay, yep, room full of nightmares." she turned back around. "Definitely do not want to go-"
The door slammed shut with enough force that it seemed to go a bit further than it should of.
There was a silent but very noticeable giggle. She blew out a deep sigh knowing full well that she had literally walked into that one.
The meter suddenly whirled and flashed, picking up another signal in addition to the others. Immediately Rachel spun around scanning across the room for any spikes that would determine where it was coming from. When she raised it, it spiked. Following it up towards the ceiling, she thought that because of the overhead lights being out, it was mostly a dark color to begin with.
But the ceiling was moving. It whispered, warped, and had shades of red and purple mixed in with a thick black. The meter was spiking heavily in green with the wings rapidly flashing with the center bar topped out as if a finger pointing at the source.
Black Slime, a lot of Black Slime.
Rachel gasped and quickly ducked lower, nearly eye level with the child-sized bookshelves as her flashlight showed there was even more black slime around the room covering most of the entire ceiling she was under and not wanting to be under it any longer than she apparently was towards what looked like a reading nook. The slime went from the ceiling to clinging on the wall around to the corner where a puppet stage was surrounded by little chairs.
The meter flashed again as she got closer, stepping towards the stage as the sounds of several children filled the room. The small circle of chairs and even some scattered books slowly lifting off the ground as the same panda before suddenly appeared from behind the stage and played what she felt was like a lullaby tone.
She stood there, watching and listening as the toy bear seemed to 'dance' with some laughter and cries echoing through the room.
Then as if someone had hit the pause button, the entire room seemed to stop with everything dropping. Chairs, books, and the bar graph all falling to the floor as the sounds seemed to stop altogether, and the meter returns to what it was before.
Not taking her eyes off the stage and backing up just a bit, she reached back for her radio. "Uh... guys, where are you?"
"I don't know! I'm in some kind of dark tunnel heading towards a bright-OW-" the radio cut off from Derek's end.
"I think I'm in the periodic section," Leo replied, "and I'm pretty sure I'm close to Derek, I just heard one hell of a crash somewhere near-"
"BATS!" Derek yelled.
"What? Like book bats?"
"NO! JUST BATS! THERE'S DOZENS OF THEM!" Neither Rachel nor Leo decided to comment on the situation Derek was apparently having. Already hearing Derek frantically yelling as there was some strange background noise, they both felt that it was something he could easily handle.
There were at least a good thirty seconds before Leo came back on, "So what's your status, Rachel?"
"I'm in the Juvenile section. There is black slime..." she trailed off, glancing back at the ceiling, "almost everywhere in here. Also, getting some strange spikes in here."
"Hmm..." there was another long pause, "it might be possible that the slime is bringing forth past spiritual energy. Wouldn't rule it out as being the first, but it's possible. Given how this place is almost a hundred twenty years old, its got plenty of history to draw energy from."
Heading towards the exit door, she reached for the handle, swinging it into a brightly lite staircase, "So what should I do?"
"Well, depending on what's happening on Derek's end and me without a gun, is it possible for you to stay put and maybe get a thorough scan of the area?"
Before she could reply and stepped through the doorway, a women's voice came from what sounded like everywhere.
"Yeah, No.," she practically ran down the stairs after hearing that, rounding the corner until she was in a more decorated room.
Glancing around, she found that there was another set of stairs going up. However, the top was blocked off by the front face of a bookshelf pressed up against the door. A quick glance to the left told her where she was now in relation to where she and the others had started.
A more reserved area with rare and valuable books and the Pke was spiking in its direction. A glance over her should to check and see that her pack was still in Stasis mode she slowly head inside.
Already were the tables and chairs levitating like before, "Great. Go from one room of nightmares into another."
Walking past the floating furniture, she headed further into the room. Staying along the left wall away from the bookcases that covered roughly half the space. The meter was spiking higher now than it had this entire time since they first encountered the ghost, and it was making her nervous as hell.
Crossing each aisle, the meter would rise and fall, but didn't spike any higher than 3/4 of the way. When she came to the far end where the room ended with some closed off shelves, Rachel became a bit stumped. There was nowhere else to go, the room and the readings themselves were at a dead end.
"Guys, I'm in Special Collections, and the readings aren't taking me anywhere."
"Well, we did technically have to make one big loop around this place. Are you sure you're in the right place? Sometimes the readings could be centered on something above or below you."
"I'm telling you there's nothing-" she stopped herself when her breath became visible. Goosebumps racketed her body as she felt the air suddenly become thinner and cold. The meter itself changed, wings dropping to just slightly raised with a spiking red screen.
A ghost was nearby. The bars were already climbing like it was moving towards her. Then a clock chimed, the ringing seemed to echo off the stone walls as the already dim lights seemed to grow just that level more.
The meter flashed and whirled again, spiking past the midway with both sides spiking the same height. She knew what it meant for her to turn around when the screen showed that. But right now, she really didn't want to.
Shakingly, she reached up. Not to her gun, but back to her radio, "Guys."
There was a momentary crackle, "What's Up?" Derek answered.
"Right behind of me," she stressed the words out. Feeling the back of her hair start to stand up.
"What's your location? Are you still in Special Collections?"
"We're coming up to the juvenile section now. We'll be there as soon as possible. Can you reach your thrower?"
Flexing her left hand, she tried to reach down to her pistol, her thumb brushing over the loop that kept it in the holster as she wiggled it free. She wanted to do it as slowly and unnoticeable as possible, but the ghost behind her clearly saw it and wasn't about to let it happen.
In a roar of rage, something that made Rachel immediately, and instantly regrets doing, turned around as she saw it morphed from its human form back into a monstrous state. Its eyes became black pits with its face extending out like a muzzle with dual rows of sharp teeth. Its dress vanishing with its replacement of what could be described as heavily flaked skin and scars with no clear indication of legs except loose tears of would could have been the dress. Its arms became longer and equally damaged, with each hand morphed into claws.
Looking at her straight in the eyes, a brief moment of direct contact between both. Something that Rachel saw in those voids of eye sockets made her instinctively take a step back. But the ghost took the sudden action as the time to strike. It roared like a mixture of human agony, demonic laughter, and grinding stone it as it flew at her with its claws at the ready.
She brought her arms up, doing the best she could to try to protect herself as the ghost came charging at her with its arms out wide. "AHHHHHHH!"
It was then in a split second that right when the ghost was close enough that it was easy to see through it, Rachel saw two figures step into the room with one firing a dark blue and black coiling stream at the entity.
Then everything went green.
The front doors of the public library slammed open. Nearly cracking the glass as the loud crack made several people exiting or entering the building to stop and look. If it were a cartoon, then people would possibly see smoke pouring out of Rachel Bucker's ears as she stormed down the stairs back to the car through many could see why she was angry, as from her knees up was doused in a palish green mucus that smells like raw fish in a dumpster fire.
Leo was close behind, though his focus was more towards the small samples he kept trying and, at times, successfully getting off his friend. It wasn't typical for one of them to actually get slime in the way it was done in the movies; they had no idea what could happen to either side. He knew Jack was going to have a field day having to clean the equipment, Rachel would probably skin them alive if she was ever put in that type of position again, and yet, in the end, it was another successful day.
Derek was the last one to come out with the administrator with the loaded trap hanging off his belt. "Once again, thank you very much for your help."
He extended a handout, which Derek grabbed, "It's a pleasure. Hopefully, that was the only thing in there." Reaching down into his coat pockets, he brought out his phone and a flip pad. "Now would that be cash, check, or plastic?"
The administrator sighed; this was one part that the group knew people hated the second-most under the actual supernatural threat; the bill. Sure they had the massive collection that they really only used a small chunk to pay everyone; they still felt that they needed a source of income to help get every penny they could get once work on the firehouse started. The man reached out into one of his pockets, producing a brown leather checkbook. With a pen, he wrote out the four-digit cost that would usually make anyone cry.
With a very reluctant tear, he handed Derek the check. Making sure that everything was as it should be, something he to catch when they did start accepting checks quickly, he smiled and nodded.
"Thank you, and have a good day, sir."
He headed back to the car, where Leo was already helping Rachel load in her pack. He slipped the check in front of his phone, taking a picture to have it deposited into their account. He was making a quick note in the pad about the time and date of the amount sent. Satisfied, he finally came up to his friends and was taken back by how forcefully she dropped Leo's pack onto the rack.
Upon seeing him she wanted to say something, but wanted just to get back to the hotel, she glared at him with a look that told Derek he wasn't out of the woods yet because of this. She finally broke off and went around the driver's side of the car, hopping into the passenger seat.
"You know what's gonna happen, right?" Leo asked his friend, as he put away his tools.
"Yep." Derek bluntly said as he started unbuckling his gear.
"Was that the plan, or what did you expect?"
"Say forty percent I thought we would corner her. Fifty-five percent Rachel would have actually gotten here, and the last five, well, really that could've been anything." He shrugged at the last part. It's not like he wanted to piss his girlfriend off by having her be slimed. It was just one of those wrong place at the wrong time situation.
With a good slam of the tailgate, he went around the side, avoiding getting hit by a car, and, while avoiding looking at the pissed off look of what was essentially his team medic, he slid into the driver seat just as Leo closed his door.
"Anything else?" Derek asked.
Leo pulled out his phone, checking for any alert. Thankfully the inbox had no new jobs. He shook his head, "We're clear. Maybe we can end the day early."
There was a small sense of relief in the vehicle. Having days off was a gift in of themselves that the team would take full advantage of it. They were technically divided into shifts; the three of them and Ben would be the usual day shift while the others were on night watch. Though that shift for the past two months has been mostly of Derek running solo with Roger teaching Mike on the go in the truck. Jack and Mike had yet to clarify what the team had officially dub basic training for the two to become full-time members, though Mike was going for a more part-time as to keep himself part of the city's police force.
They knew Roger was probably busy back at the hotel, helping them understand the gear more and teach the Smiths some new things they hadn't gotten to yet. Which meant once they got back, they'll end up doing the same.
Switching the car back on the emergency lights flashed one before quickly going into a slow pulse with no siren. Like a pulled over police car vehicles in the street took somewhat heed, as it was New York after all, and moved a bit out of the way though he made sure to roll down all the windows a fair bit before he pulled them onto the street.
So here it is. The really quickly posted sequel that will create a huge chunk of the PGB lore—everything from stories, adventures, new teams, new technology, and more on the eight themselves.
This story is called Shadows of the Past as it will literally be that for the coming future. As Broken Reality was meant to establish that our world is no longer the way it was, SotP will bring about the construction of the forthcoming stories that will take the team to a whole new level. (As some stories like the crossover Ghost of the Dragon actually shows where they go from here a few years later.)
This story itself, or this note and chapter, was written at the time of when the 21st chapter for Broken Reality was only a few days old after release—as with me, making this now will give me the drive to continue on. However, unlike BR, this story has a lot of things to cover within just a 3-4 year timeline. Due to its nature as BR was built a while back when the crossover was still new, upon releasing it making me have to refine its history a bit more, and that it had several time-jumps, Shadows will be much tighter with its events happening on a weekly to a monthly timeline with roughly a month or two-time gap between shifts with a few skipped during either arch changes or dead zones. These parts can possibly have fuller to build something more to branch out, such as setting up other teams, events, and/or crossovers. These chapters are having the possibility of being added as a #.# chapter that tells of when the events took place between the already established story. These being either posted at the end of the information or having the whole list shift for the room. Because of this, I have yet to develop a full rundown and chapter list. The list being that it helps me break down what will follow in that chapter and see if I can minimize the number of branches into larger ones. (As this story alone is going over 50 chapters at the moment of this writing.) But I do have a fair bit for a start though it will be considerably longer along with its eventual continuation.
So this is a bit different compared to what I had envisioned. For one, the story was to take place in 2014 as a '1 Year Later' sort to have the team more established in New York. But after figuring the time, it would take between them buying the firehouse to start renovating it, and construction would be both shorter and more prolonged. Second is that this current form allows for the development of Jack and Mike as they undergo training like what I didn't show Danny and Ben going through.
Funny thing though, I didn't know the Roosevelt Hotel was so close to the Public Library when I thought about it.
As you can see, the whole first part was a mix between mostly GB1 and two intros, with the library scene a cross between the movie and video game. This kind of referencing is mainly in the case of the team doing what their doing will end up in semi to very familiar situations. The whole library scene is actually a mix of both locations from the first movie of them going there and their encounters with Slimer in the hotel.
I got a long road to go on this one now. And I hope you'll enjoy it.