A Ghostbusters/Hell Girl Crossover
By Jonathan "KnightMysterio" Spires
All characters copyrighted to their original owners and used without permission for non-profit amusement reasons. Comments, compliments, constructive criticism are all encouraged and appreciated. Set after the game, which is why everyone has the upgrades to their proton packs.
=== Ghostbusters HQ… ===
A lone man walked into the dingy old firehouse that served as the home of the Ghostbusters. His suit was neatly pressed, and his blonde hair and goatee were neatly trimmed. He walked with an air of dignity and utmost pomposity. He glared at the red-headed receptionist at the desk, and she returned the glare.
"What do you want, Mr. Peck?" the receptionist said, crossing her arms underneath her chest.
Walter Peck frowned. "Ms. Melnitz… I wish…" he said, cringing and looking as if he wanted to throw up, "…I wish to hire the Ghostbusters. I need their protection."
Janine Melnitz blinked. She lowered her eyeglasses, giving Peck an incredulous look. "…You're serious?"
Peck scowled. "Do you honestly think I would waste my time coming to people I loathe with every fiber of my being if I wasn't deadly serious?"
Janine snickered despite herself, pressing the intercom. "Hell's frozen over, guys. Our special friend is here and wants to hire us to protect him."
From the room above came giddy giggling in a voice that Peck knew very well. Soon after, Peter Venkman, the source of the voice, casually slid down the pole, strolling over to Peck. He tried to say something, and began giggling again, running a hand through his balding head of brown hair and sitting down. A few moments later, the rest of the team came down the fire pole. They were smirking, but thankfully, they weren't openly mocking him yet. Egon Spengler stood off to one side, pulling out a PKE Meter, while Winston Zeddemore sat down next to Peter.
"This… certainly comes a surprise, Mr. Peck," Ray Stantz said, the boyish-faced man shaking Peck's hand, "What can we do for you?"
Peck sighed. "…I believe I am about to become the target of an assassination attempt."
"Best the list of suspects is pretty long," Peter said, trading high fives with Winston. Ray and Egon glared at Peter and then traded concerned looks.
"Mr. Peck," Egon said, "If you believe this, then you should go to the police…"
Peck shook his head. "Not that kind of assassination. Yesterday, a little after midnight, I found one of my assistants browsing a website called Hell Correspondence. One thing I saw was on the website was 'We Will Release Your Hatred.' I didn't think much of it at first, but then I felt something similar to when that Shandor lunatic tried to take over."
Egon blinked. "Did you say 'Hell Correspondence?'"
Everyone looked at Egon curiously. Peck nodded. "You know of it?"
Egon nodded. "This is very bad… I don't know if we'll be able to help at all on this one…"
Peter frowned, his curiosity getting the better of him. "All right, I'll bite. What is 'Hell Correspondence?'"
Egon frowned. "…There's an old legend that I've only recently started to investigate, mainly due to a series of inexplicable disappearances… The NYPD came to me discreetly on it… It started out in Japan, many years ago. People would write out requests for revenge on slips of paper, leaving them in certain places at certain times. Once the deal was made, an agent of Hell itself would come and drag the person listed on the slip to Hell for all eternity. In exchange, the person who made the bargain would go to Hell as well once their time came. As time went on, the method of contacting the agent of Hell became more modern. There were want ads in the paper, and now they've moved up to the Internet. I know little else beyond that, as my specialty is in more European and Eurasian myths and legends…"
Peck paled visibly. Winston blinked. "You really can find anything on the 'net…"
Ray frowned. "I need to brush up on my Eastern mythology… Is there any way for Peck to avoid being taken?"
Egon shook his head. "Best guess? Sincerely confess your sins and pray for forgiveness when they come to you. I never was too clear on certain aspects of religious mythology, despite all my studies."
"I've done nothing wrong!" Peck snapped, "I need you four to protect me… What happened to that new guy?"
Peter shrugged. "Sent him to California to start a new Ghostbusters franchise there. He's doin' well, from everything I heard. Got a girlfriend and everything."
Peck shook his head, not really listening past 'sent him to California.' "Enough. Will you take the case?"
Egon frowned. "Honestly, I am half-tempted to do so simply for the beautiful irony of us helping you, our biggest detractor," he said, scowling at Peck, "Another, less logical part of me is tempted to just leave you to your own devices. After all, we had things perfectly under control the first time around until some brainless idiot decided to turn off our containment grid and allow a GOD OF DESTRUCTION to come into the world and turn into a giant killer marshmallow man!"
Winston chuckled. "Someone's still bitter."
Peter grinned lazily. "Repressed anger issues. Bookish types always have them." Winston and Janine both giggled appreciatively.
Ray rubbed his temples. "People, please. Our own extraordinarily low opinion of Peck aside, we have a duty as paranormal investigators and eliminators to do our best to try and help him."
Egon, Peter, and Winston traded looks, and eventually all nodded.
"Sure, why not? A little good karma never hurt anyone," Winston said.
"It would be a chance to see how well we fare against other types of Hellbeast," Egon said, idly fingering the PKE Meter he had with him and turning it on.
Peter chuckled. "And if nothing else," he said, grinning impishly at Peck, "It'll give us something to hold over you FOREVER."
Peck sneered at him. Ray smiled, patting Peck on the shoulder. "Peter's snarking aside, there's also something else to consider: This assistant may not type your name in the site at all. She may be targeting someone else."
"I rather doubt that," Egon said, sounding extremely tense. Everyone turned to him, Peck paling in fright as he saw the PKE Meter's dials completely in the red.
"Oh my God…" Peck said.
Egon held up a hand. "This only means that a tremendous astral force is in the area. It may not be coming after you yet…"
Peck wasn't listening. "You have to help me… You can't let them take me to Hell… I've done nothing wrong!" he wailed, gripping Peter's uniform. Peter brushed him off, annoyed, and turned to Egon.
"What's the plan, big guy?" Peter asked.
Egon hmmed thoughtfully. "Peter, first thing, gear up. Then I need you to look through that new edition of Tobin's Spirit Guide I just got in, see if there's any reference to the spirit involved in Hell Correspondence. Ray, Winston, I need you to help me set up a perimeter around the firehouse. Traps, proton bombs, boson mines, slime blowers, anything. I suggest we put Slimer in a trap and store him somewhere safe. Janine, you should probably take the rest of the day off."
Janine nodded, turning off her computer and gathering her possessions. "Works for me," she said, "I'll call Louis and tell him not to come in this evening."
Egon nodded, pulling a proton pack out of a nearby locker. "Mr. Peck, I suggest you stick with one of us at all times. We still aren't sure about all the details on the spirit that's coming for you, and may have to react quickly."
Winston groaned. "You mean we have to let him be clingy?"
Peter rolled his eyes as he started back upstairs, a pack slung loosely over his shoulder. "We are SO charging you triple fee for this," he muttered, bitter feelings about his first few encounters with the man flowing through him.
But at the same time, a twinge of memory was tugging at the back of his thoughts…
Throughout the rest of the day, Egon, Ray, and Winston set up a host of traps and weapons in the lobby of the firehouse, turning the room into a figurative death trap for any specter that tried to enter. Ray used his occult knowledge to set up spirit wards as well, Winston contributing to this by asking his church's priest to come and bless the building.
Halfway through the setting up process, Peter came back down, Tobin's Spirit Guide in his hand. "Found something," he said, "Our 'assassin' is a spirit called 'Jigoku Shoujo,' whatever that means."
"Hell Girl," Egon said, frowning deeply. Peck whimpered.
Peter blinked. "A girl huh… Okay then. Says here, that this girl used to be human before she committed some great act of revenge that put her in Hell's service as an avenger. She goes to people who have enough hatred in their hearts to see the offer in whatever medium it's currently in, and gives them a straw doll made from one of her three servants. This doll, see, it's got a red string tied around it, so if they change their mind, they can just not pull the string off. But when they do pull the red string off the doll, the spirit the doll was made out of goes to soften up the poor schmuck for its boss to take him or her to Hell, trying to see if he or she will confess their sins and try to repent. But there's a catch: Once you make the deal and send the person you want to Hell, you get damned to Hell as well. Do not pass go, do not collect two-hundred dollars, just instant damnation upon death. Which begs the question, Pecker: Who in blazes did you piss off this much?"
Peck squirmed uncomfortably for a moment, and sighed. "The intern I mentioned… She's a big fan of the Ghostbusters… You in particular, Venkman… I may have been… somewhat 'harsh' with her… and maybe a little inappropriately crude in some of the things I said about her…"
The four Ghostbusters stared at Peck for a long moment. Peter chuckled. "You just live to make friends, don't you Pecker?"
"My name is PECK."
Winston glowered at him. "Your name's whatever we want it to be until this is over, Pecker," he muttered, setting up a slime blower, "Damn crazy to be fighting Hell…"
Peck started to sputter something again, but Ray held up his hand. "Mr. Peck, I know you have issues with us. We have issues with you. It's a mutual disrespect. But for the sake of keeping us motivated to help you, would you please refrain from speaking? Please?"
Peck stammered for a moment and then fell silent. Ray sighed, and continued making some adjustments to the super-trap on Ecto-1.
Once the room was properly guarded, the Ghostbusters all took up sniping positions at various points in the room. Slimer's trap lay underneath Janine's desk, the green gluttonous ghost sensing what was going on and willingly let himself be captured. The door to the containment unit area was sealed, as was any exit to other rooms other than the lobby.
Midnight came. Egon's PKE Meters suddenly jumped into the red.
Ray, who was guarding Peck, nodded. "It's time…" he said softly, each Ghostbuster priming their proton packs, ready to trigger the other traps in the lobby if need be. Peck whimpered, ducking under Janine's desk with Slimer, Ray standing directly in front of the doors.
For a brief moment, there was silence.
Then the Ghostbuster symbol on the back of Ecto-1 started to look around.
Ray yelped, aiming his pack's neutrona wand at the car. Winston cringed, admonishing him to be careful.
The symbol grinned, and then shifted form, Ecto-1's white paint during black as the symbol morphed into a giant green eye.
Ray composed himself after a moment and glared at the eye. "Servant of the Hell Girl," Ray said, "You are not welcome here. As stated in the annals of the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights, Walter Peck has a right to trial by his peers to prove his innocence or guilt. Hell has no jurisdiction here. You are to exit the building immediately and return to your mistress. Peck is under our protection."
Peter, who was standing in a sniper position at the top of the stairs, rolled his eyes. "Why do you keep thinking that'll work?"
Ray fumed. "It never hurts to be civil, Venkman."
The eye moved up on the shadowy mass Ecto-1 had become, a grinning mouth forming. The mouth began chuckling.
Ray frowned. "What's so funny?"
"Forgive me," the spirit said, "But the irony in this is amusing. You people hate Peck even more than she who summoned me, and yet you defend him with everything you have. You wouldn't believe how hard it was to get past the blessing and the spirit wards. Granted, you'll fail in your task, but it's refreshing to see that truly good souls do exist. I admire your willingness to help your enemy."
Peter smirked. "That, and it helps that we're charging him triple our normal rate for this. And speaking of failure, watch this."
He pressed a button on a remote, and a silvery bomb-like object shot down from a weapon mount in a shadowed corner. It struck Ecto-1 and exploded in a mass of green slime. The spirit sputtered, the shadows covering Ecto-1 starting to coalesce into a humanoid form, the shadows growing hands to try and wipe the slime off. All four Ghostbusters opened fire with their slime blowers, the positively charged ectoplasm slowly driving the spirit out of Ecto-1. Once the shadows had been fully removed, the spirit took the form of a handsome young man of Japanese decent. He staggered, trying to brush the positively charged slime off of his body.
"Not bad," he admitted, spitting ectoplasm, "This won't change anything, though. We'll still get him, one way or another."
"It won't be you that gets him," Ray said, "FIRE ALL!"
Four proton streams slammed into the specter, lifting him into the air. Boson darts pummeled him, the spirit losing his human form and turning back to its original form, that of a katana. The Ghostbusters bounced the ghost off of the walls a few times before triggering one of the trap mines mounted on the wall, sucking the spirit in.
The trap's cartridge fell out of its hold, crackling slightly with electricity. Winston picked it up, smirking.
"One down," Ray said. Peck said a prayer of thanks, but wisely kept his mouth shut.
Winston set the trap down on the desk, and sighed, idly patting Ecto-1. "Sorry about that, old girl."
Egon straightened his glasses. "Look at it this way, Winston," he said, "This slime is far easier to clean up than, say, the slime Vigo manifested. Plus, touching it leaves you feeling an almost euphoric state."
Winston sighed. "I know, I know, it just hurts to see my baby all glopped up like this."
Peter coughed. "Winston's car fetishism aside, we still got two more spirits and Hell Girl herself to worry about."
Winston glared at Peter, but decided to ignore him. Ray nodded in agreement with Peter. "We can't drop our guard yet."
Peck suddenly screamed, running out from under the desk and scrambling up on top of a shelf. Ray whirled, the sound of feminine laughter coming from underneath the desk. "Come out with your ectoplasm up!"
Peter snorted. "Geez, Ray, what hack is writing your dialogue?"
"'Come out with my ectoplasm up?' Heh. If you insist," said the sensuous voice. At which point the floor dissolved into blood, skeletal hands reaching out to grab at Ray, Egon, and Winston from their hiding places, gripping their boots tightly.
"Hey, leggo!" Winston snapped, beating at the skeletal hands with his proton pack's neutrona wand. Egon did a quick calculation, taking aim at the hands, while Ray panicked, trying to struggle away from the clawing, ripping hands. Peter, who had taken a sniper position up on the staircase, frowned.
"See, this is why it always pays to go for the high ground," he said, pressing another button on the remote. From on the ceiling, a roof mounted proton pack charged up, six neutrona wands set up on turrets aiming at the desk and firing, obliterating the desk and forcing the second of Hell Girl's servants to reveal herself.
For a brief moment, Peter was stunned. The woman was beautiful, a buxom Asian beauty clad in a kimono that bared just a portion of her supple flesh, but just enough to be enticing. She was straight out of Peter's fantasies. Then the fantasy dissolved when parts of her flesh dissolved away, revealing the skeleton underneath.
She grinned viciously at Peter. "Purehearted souls… Why protect someone so vile? His crimes are greater than you know… I could most definitely make it worth your while."
Peter grinned, the expression almost manic. "Lady, I lost the first girl I loved when she couldn't handle the constant ghost incursions, and the other girl I was interested in turned out to be even more bookishly boring than Egon. Despite these MASSIVE setbacks, I ain't desperate enough to start dating a demon!" He opened fire on the woman, the demoness easily dodging Peter's wild attacks. Ray managed to scrabble free of the demonic hands, climbing on top of the slime-coated Ecto-1. He looked up, saw the skeleton woman easily dodging Peter's attacks, and turned to Egon.
With a few precision blasts that left only his boots slightly charred, Egon freed himself, climbing on top of the lockers and freeing Winston as well, allowing him to climb up onto Slimer's storage container. "Any ideas?" Winston asked.
"Shotgun blasts," Egon said, switching the setting on his neutrona wand, "Try to weaken her with constant blasts and then use the ceiling turrets for the proton guns and the slime blowers to move her into one of the wall traps."
Ray, Winston, and Egon began firing purplish blasts of energy at the skeleton woman. The first shot caught her off guard, slamming her up against the ceiling. After taking a few more shots, she was able to get out of the way, only to land in a crossfire between Peter's proton stream and the proton streams of the ceiling turrets. She tried to cast nightmarish illusions, her eyes glowing ominously, but she had to move out of the way of the turrets to do it, which put her in range for the slime blower turrets. Green goop coated her, the energy in the slime disrupting her powers and making the hell hands vanish.
She snarled angrily, energy crackling around her hands. "My compliments, heroes. I've never had to attack this directly before."
Before she could do anything, the ceiling turrets began firing at her. She tried to dodge, but her path carried her into the shotgun beams of Ray, Winston and Egon. Battered back, she threw up a defense shield, wincing each time the blasts bounced off of it. She slowly backed away, unknowingly heading towards a wall trap, trying to ignore Peck's cheering. She turned to Peter, wondering why only the turrets and the other three were shooting at her…
…and her eyes widened, seeing the remote in Peter's hand.
"I'd say 'catch you later…'" Peter said, triggering the wall trap. The ghost woman screamed in rage as she was sucked into the trap, the cartridge closing behind her and falling to the floor.
Peter chuckled. "…But I just caught you now, didn't I?"
Even Egon had to chuckle at that.
Ray smiled. "You know, I actually like this set up, what with the turrets and the launchers on the ceiling. I think we should keep it after this is over."
"We're winning," Peck said, laughing hysterically.
"We haven't won yet," Winston muttered.
"THAT'S RIGHT, HEROES," thundered a deep, male voice, "I RESPECT YOUR FERVOR, BUT WE SHALL NOT REST UNTIL OUR CONTRACT IS COMPLETED. REN AND HONE-ONNA WERE EASY, BUT WANYUDO SHALL NOT FALL SO SWIFTLY!!"
Before any of the Ghostbusters could react, a massive flaming wheel with a human face burst through the roof, destroying the ceiling turrets for the slime blowers and neutrona wands. The packs thankfully didn't detonate, but they fell to the ground, useless, leaving only the Ghostbusters themselves to face the demon hunting Peck. Peck himself screamed again, scrambling off into a corner, the wheel demon floating around the room, spewing hellfire at the Ghostbusters, scattering them whenever they tried to mount an attack.
"I COMPLIMENT YOU ON YOUR TENACITY," Wanyudo thundered, pausing briefly to incinerate the slime mine thrown his way, "BUT CONFESS TO BEING A LITTLE CONFUSED. WHY DEFEND ONE SO WICKED? WHY STOP US FROM DOING OUR JOB?"
"Because Hell Correspondence is a flawed system," Egon snapped, "It could too easily be used to condemn an innocent."
Wanyudo chuckled. "WHILE IT IS TRUE THAT HAS HAPPENED IN THE PAST, WE ARE MERELY SERVANTS. WE CANNOT DISOBEY THE WILL OF OUR MASTER, AND IN TURN HER MASTER. SURRENDER PECK AND WE WILL LEAVE YOU UNHARMED. THIS ACT OF BRAVERY WILL NOT COUNT AGAINST YOU IN HEAVEN."
"If you know this is the kind of thing that wouldn't be counted against us," Ray said, "Then you know exactly what we're going to do."
Wanyudo laughed. "AH, HEROES. SO RARE NOWADAYS. IT SEEMS THAT ALL HOPE FOR HUMANITY IS NOT LOST YET."
"Yes, yes, we're wonderful," Peter said, "Meantime, haven't you been wondering what we're doing?"
"YOUR CANNONS CANNOT HURT ME. THE SLIME CANNOT TOUCH ME. WHAT CAN YOU POSSIBLY DO?" Wanyudo said, floating directly up to Peter.
Peter, sweating, laughed nervously and coughed, trying to calm himself down and not panic in the face of the extraordinarily scary creature. After a moment, he composed himself, and said, "What can I possibly do? Not much, to tell you the truth. I'm more of a businessman than a scientist. But what I can do, at least in this case, is get you to hold still long enough for the guys to switch their packs to a new setting."
Wanyudo blinked, and whirled… only to get hit in the face by a trio of stasis streams. Peter, when the wheel demon turned, quickly switched the setting on his neutrona wand and added his own stasis stream as well. Wanyudo screamed in surprise and frustration, trying desperately to break free of the energy that had frozen his form.
"Peter, keep up your stasis stream! Everyone else, blast him! Pummel him with boson darts!" Ray shouted.
Peter kept up his stasis stream, the paralyzing beam of purple energy holding Wanyudo in place as the Ghostbusters pummeled him with beams and surges of energy. Finally, Wanyudo was freed, but he was too weak to resist as the Ghostbusters slammed him off of the walls, Winston throwing out a spare trap to capture him.
"Yeesh," he muttered, staring at the trap cartridge that held Wanyudo.
"Now comes the big boss… Where's Peck?" Ray asked.
"Hiding under Venkman's desk until this is over!" the businessman wailed. "And then, after that, I'm going to find the bitch that sicced them on me and FIRE HER!!! She won't be able to get a job as a HOOKER once I'm done with her!!!"
The four Ghostbusters scowled, a brief but intense desire to let the three they just captured out and let them take Peck to Hell arising in them. But their heroic natures won out, and they decided to keep their guard up. For a long moment there was nothing.
Then came a rather surprising thing: a discreet knock at the door.
The Ghostbusters aimed their neutrona wands at the door, but relaxed slightly when they heard a familiar voice.
"Guys?" Janine said, "I think I left my purse here… Is it safe to come in?"
Ray frowned. "Not really…" he said, looking around, spying Janine's purse on the wreckage of the desk, "But if you come in and out really quick, I guess it'd be all right." Ray looked at the others, who nodded reluctantly.
The door opened slightly. Janine nervously peered inside, looking at the wreckage. "Geez, what happened here?"
"Three minions down, one big bad to go," Winston said, "Now please, just get in and get out quick, we don't know when their boss will show up."
Janine gulped nervously. "Right," she said, "I'll just get what I came for and then get out of here…"
She stepped gingerly into the room, looking at the various remains of the lobby. "The insurance can't cover all of this," she moaned, "I can almost hear Louis griping."
"Don't be too sure," Peter said, smirking.
Egon rolled his eyes. "Peter slept with the insurance agent. Got us an incredible deal. I'm still not sure how that worked out logically, mind you…"
Peter tsked. "Every time you try to insert logic into anything I do, God kills a kitten. Please, Egon, think of the kittens."
Ray and Winston snickered, while Egon rolled his eyes again. Janine managed to giggle nervously, and went over to pick up her purse…
…walking right past it in the process.
Winston blinked. "Janine? Your purse is…"
A horrible thought occurred to all four Ghostbusters at once.
"Janine?" Egon said, "What, exactly, are you looking for?"
"Something that's mine," she said, "I'll get my purse in a minute." She walked around Peter's desk, and crouched down, looking under it.
Peck blinked, confused… and then he saw Janine's eyes. Janine just stared at Peck, her eyes devoid of all emotion, glowing as red as blood.
"It's her…" he wailed, "It's HER!!! IT'S HELL GIRL!!!"
The Ghostbusters reacted quickly, switching settings on their neutrona wands. The Hell Girl-possessed Janine stood up, gesturing and throwing Peter's desk aside.
"You have denied your fate long enough, Walter Peck," Janine/Hell Girl said, her voice a combination of both women, "You will come with me."
"LEAVE ME ALONE!" Peck shrieked, wailing pitifully, "YOU CAN'T DO THIS TO ME!!! EVERYTHING I'VE DONE HAS BEEN IN THE CITY'S BEST INTEREST!!!"
Janine/Hell Girl started to say something else, but before she could, slime from all four Ghostbusters weapons struck her, coating Janine in green goop, the energies inherent in the slime charging Janine's body so that Hell Girl could no longer possess her. Janine collapsed, falling unconscious for the rest of the confrontation, revealing the true form of Hell Girl. She drifted out of Janine's body, floating above the ground, staring emotionlessly at the four Ghostbusters, all of them momentarily taken aback by her appearance.
She was no more than a girl, a long-haired Asian youth with blood red eyes clad in a black flower-print kimono, a small bell on a string of prayer beads around her wrist. She stared at them all with a gaze so cold that the four Ghostbusters could feel their very souls begin to freeze.
They recovered quickly, switching the settings on their weapons and preparing to attack, when Hell Girl's eyes flashed, knocking all four men to the ground. Peck stared at her, frozen in fright.
"I am Ai Enma," she said simply, "I am the one you call Hell Girl. I have come to collect Walter Peck. You will not stop me."
"Lady, we have to," Ray said, struggling to get into a firing position, "We can't let someone be taken to Hell, even if they deserve it."
"You have no idea how much Walter Peck deserves it," Ai said, "If you will not be forced, then you will be convinced. Witness his crimes."
She gestured, the bell on her arm ringing once. The lobby of the firehouse became covered in light, blinding the five humans in the room that were still conscious. When the light faded, they found themselves in an office high rise, one Peck, to his growing fear, realized was the one he worked in…
A young woman was chatting on her phone, enjoying her lunch break. Peck stalked by her desk, clearly in a foul mood, still wiping marshmallow goo off of his outfit. The Ghostbusters realized that this must have been just after they had defeated Gozer and destroyed the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. The woman, a pretty, short-haired brunette with fetching green eyes and otherwise average features, caught sight of Peck. She tried to stifle the giggle that bubbled up in her throat at the sight of her boss in such a state, but failed. Peck whirled on her, his eyes raging. He saw the Ghostbusters memorabilia in her cubicle, his lip curling in a sneer.
"And just what are you giggling at you little cunt?" he snapped.
The woman gulped nervously. "I'm sorry sir, it won't happen again."
Peck snarled, and stormed into his office. "No. It won't. Nobody in this office will ever laugh at me again," he said, glaring at her.
The image faded, changing to the next day. The woman was busy at work, minding her own business, when Peck came up to her, casually putting an arm on her shoulder.
"So," he said casually, picking up the Ghostbusters mug on her desk, "You're fond of these charlatans, are you?"
The woman frowned. "Sir, I don't think they're charlatans. They did help out when that Marshmallow thing appeared."
Peck grinned viciously. "And how do you know they aren't responsible for its appearance, hm?"
The woman shook her head. "I… If they were, it was probably couldn't be helped so they just got it in a beatable form."
Peck actually seemed to consider that for a moment, and nodded, setting the mug down, looking over the magazine covers on her cubicle walls. "You certainly seem to have a lot of stuff on them, Matilda."
Matilda giggled nervously. "A-After my cousin was helped out by them, I started to become a fan."
Peck nodded, his face never losing its slasher smile grin. "And do you have any favorites in particular?"
The woman blushed. "Well… I do think that Venkman guy is a cutie."
Peter smirked despite the situation. The next few sentences wiped that smirk off of his face.
Peck, in the memory, sneered. "Venkman, huh… Tell me, would you suck his cock if he asked you to?"
Matilda blinked. "…E-Excuse me?"
Peck chuckled. "It's a valid question, my dear. Would you suck Venkman's cock if he asked you to do so?"
Matilda stammered, "I-I don't know, I…"
Peck laughed mockingly. "Oh come on, Matilda. You look like the type Venkman likes. Stacked, slutty, and stupid."
Peter was fuming by this point, casting glances of sheer hatred at the real Peck, who just gave Peter an indignant look in return. The other Ghostbusters were in a similar mood about their protectorate.
The visions continued, showing Peck's behavior towards Matilda get worse and worse, going into outright sexual harassment.
Then the visions showed the night of Matilda contacting Hell Girl.
Ai appeared before Matilda, who sat sobbing in her chair, telling the story of her hatred to Hell Girl. The demoness, clad in a black schoolgirl uniform, sat motionless, letting Matilda vent her rage and sadness. She motioned to one of her servants, a young, handsome man with a kind face. He nodded, kissing the pendant he wore around his neck and vanishing, reappearing in Ai's hand in the form of a blue straw doll with a red string tied around its neck.
She gave it to Matilda, the girl staring at it curiously.
"This is for you. If you truly desire your tormentor eliminated, then pull the scarlet thread from around the doll's neck," Ai said.
Matilda, almost immediately, gripped the string to pull it. Before Ai could finish explaining, Matilda had pulled the string off. Matilda smiled apologetically, and said, "I'm sorry, what were you saying?"
Ai stared at her for a moment, Wanyudo and Hone Onna trading surprised looks. After a moment, Ai said, "…You have just entered into a covenant with me. Once your tormentor is taken to Hell, another grave will be dug. One for you. For vengeance comes with a price. When you die, your soul will be taken to Hell for all eternity. You will never know the joys of Heaven now. You will be condemned to forever wander a realm of pain and suffering."
Matilda barely noticed the covenant mark on her chest. She chuckled weakly. "Is that all?"
Ai blinked, confused. Matilda chuckled wearily, taking out a revolver that she had been keeping in her desk. "That just makes it official, I guess. Father Benton always said that suicide was a sin anyway… I guess now I can go to Hell knowing I'm taking Peck with me."
Before the startled eyes of the gathered spirits, Matilda brought the gun to her head and fired, blowing her brains out the side of her head, spattering her computer screen in dark red.
The vision paused, all four Ghostbusters turning smoldering gazes upon Peck. Peck, annoyed now, pointed at the image and snapped, "You can't put that on me. It's not my fault she didn't have the courage to stand up to me."
"You son of a bitch," Winston muttered.
"Oh PISS OFF you miserable little token!" Peck snapped, "She was too stupid to live anyway. Anyone stupid enough to be taken in by you idiots deserved to go to Hell."
"The fact that we have a corporeal manifestation of an agent of Hell itself in front of you should have convinced you that we aren't faking this, PECKER," Ray snapped.
Peck snarled. "I'll admit Gozer and Stay-Puft were real. I'll admit Vigo was real, and I'll admit the Shandor mess was real. But nothing you idiots can do will convince me that you weren't faking your first few cases to try and get attention. For all I know, you brought Gozer into the world by violating some sacred burial ground!"
Peter rolled his eyes in irritation. "You're dumber than you look, Pecker, and that just boggles the mind…"
Peck fumed. "Forget all that! Just do your goddamn jobs!!!"
"There is more," Ai said, gesturing again. The vision changed, showing Egon in his lab as he was examining the Vinz Clortho possessed Louis Tulley years earlier. Ai continued, saying, "This is what would have happened if Walter Peck hadn't interfered."
The visions moved on, showing Egon studying Vinz and eventually learning how to extract him, causing him to invent the slime blowers years earlier. Louis was freed, and eventually Dana Barrett was as well, a few images being shown of Peter and Dana's relationship progressing steadily to the point where Oscar was born as PETER'S child rather than another man's…
The images faded, the firehouse lobby appearing around them.
"Oh my God…" Ray said, stunned by the revelation.
"We could have avoided the whole thing…" Winston almost moaned.
Egon and Peter remained silent, both main glaring at Peck with such fury that it was starting to show up visibly, magenta slime starting to appear.
"All your fault…" Egon snarled, "We could have ended it without any damage to the city… Gozer wouldn't have even appeared… You ignorant FOOL…"
"I could have stayed with her…" Peter said, his voice almost a whisper, "It could have worked out… I could have stayed with Dana… No Gozer to think about… Maybe not even Vigo…"
"Don't lay that on me," Peck said, "Especially you, Venkman. If you had just cooperated instead of insulting me…"
"Is it MY FAULT you can't take a goddamn JOKE!?" Peter snarled, almost aiming his neutrona wand at Peck.
Egon actually was aiming his neutrona wand at Peck, his hands shaking in his fury. "You son of a bitch… I could have fixed it… Gozer wouldn't have had a foothold in this world if you had just left well enough alone… All your FAULT…"
Ray looked at Egon and put his hand on his friend's wrist. "Egon… Calm down… We can't give in like this… We're Ghostbusters. We BUST ghosts, we don't hand people over to them."
"If he hadn't…" Egon snarled.
"Egon," Ray said, "This isn't you." Ray turned to Peter, and added, "Peter. You're better than this. We have a job to do."
Egon and Peter both glared at Peck for a long moment. Egon, finally, took a deep breath and straightened his glasses. "You're right. This is unprofessional."
Ray nodded. "Peter?"
Peter stared at Peck for a long moment, before turning to Ray and snapping, "Quintuple. We charge him quintuple our usual rate."
"That's fine," Ray said.
Peter nodded, taking a deep breath and starting to calm down. "Okay. I can work with that. Okay."
Peck sighed in relief, the four Ghostbusters turning their attention back to Ai Enma, who had been floating impassively the whole time. They took aim at her and fired, Peter and Egon using their blast streams, firing waves of boson darts, while Ray tried to use the slime blower to soften her up, Winston trying a stasis stream.
Ai held up her hand, generating an energy shield that kept the beams from touching her. But unfortunately, it also prevented her from attacking as well, slowly forcing her back towards a wall trap. Ray and Winston switched to blast streams as well, pummeling Ai's shield even harder. Ai braced herself in midair, forcing the four of them back, pushing outward with her shield.
Egon did a quick calculation in his head and nodded. "Start bringing the streams together. The more focused attack might drive her back. Don't cross them, though, I don't think we're that far along yet…"
The Ghostbusters kept up their attack, slowly moving into a side-by-side position, the energies from their beams inter-mixing and strengthening.
Ai frowned, glancing back towards the trap. She hadn't want to do this, but it looks like she had badly underestimated the Ghostbusters.
"I require aid," she said, to apparently no one. "If I release you, then you must become my servant for all time, and obey me without question. Do you accept?"
"I do," thundered a voice. "Anything's better than remaining trapped here for all time."
Winston blinked, and looked in the direction the voice came from. His eyes widened, and he moaned. "Guys? I think we forgot something…"
The others, still keeping their streams up, turned around, and gasped.
The painting of Vigo the Carpathian, their second greatest rival, had briefly changed forms upon defeat. But when Vigo returned the painting and began taunting the people there, the museum forced the painting on the Ghostbusters, who agreed to guard it. That painting, laying to one side of the lobby, was now melting, a viciously grinning Vigo in full armor stepping out of it.
"No… NO!" Ray shouted.
"Oh yes," Vigo thundered. Before any of the Ghostbusters could react, Vigo thrust his hands forward, magenta energy lancing from his hands and slamming into the four heroes, leaving them screaming in agony as white hot pain burned through every cell of their bodies.
Ai Enma, freed now, went to each trap and released her other servants.
Ren, back in his human form, staggered a little, still dizzy from being slammed around. "Heh. That was interesting…"
Hone Onna shivered. "I never want to go through that again," she muttered.
Wanyudo, in his human form, chuckled. "So long as we're careful, we won't. Um, speaking of which…" he said, pointing to Vigo, who had yet to release the Ghostbusters from his energy pulse.
Ai Enma put a hand on Vigo's arm. "Enough," she said. Vigo glared at her for a moment and let the Ghostbusters go, the four heroes slumping to the ground, unconscious.
"Heh. My apologies," he said, chuckling, "But I've been waiting for even the smallest measure of revenge against the four of them for years now."
"Your revenge will be gained by their failure to protect Walter Peck," she said. She turned to where Peck was hiding…
…only to find that he had run off, having dashed out while Vigo was torturing the Ghostbusters and gotten into his car.
Ai frowned. She looked around the lobby, and paused upon seeing Ecto-1, getting an idea…
=== Several blocks away… ===
Peck, laughing hysterically, drove as fast as he could down the empty streets, not pausing to consider why the streets were so unnaturally empty.
"I'm gonna get away… Stupid Ghostbusters… Hahaha… I'm gonna get away…" he ranted, giggling as he swerved through the city, heading for the bridge out of Manhattan. He yelped as a loud, obnoxiously buzzing siren came from behind him. Peck looked hesitatingly in his rear view mirror, screaming when he saw his pursuer.
It was a blood red version of Ecto-1, exact down to the last detail except for the paint job and the license plate, which read Ecto-666.
Behind the wheel was Vigo, Ai's other three servants riding alongside, each one wearing a dark black Ghostbuster uniform.
"No! NO NO NO!!!!" Peck wailed, pressing the gas pedal down to the maximum. It didn't seem to matter, though, as the Ecto-666 seemed to be possessed of demonic speed.
The Ecto-666 easily caught up to Peck's vehicle. Ren leaned out the window, smiling warmly. "I'm afraid I have to ask you to pull over, sir. You're exceeding the speed limit."
"LEAVE ME ALONE!!!" Peck wailed, making several wild turns to try and get away, Vigo driving expertly to keep up with him. Finally, Peck took a turn wrong, spiraling out of control and crashing into a storefront.
Peck's car, a black Cadillac, crumpled in front. Because it was so well made, the cab wasn't damaged too badly, but Peck had forgotten to wear his safety belt, his head bouncing off of his steering wheel.
Groaning, Peck clambered out the wreck. He staggered to his feet, clutching his aching skull, wincing as he touched the bloody gash on it. He looked around frantically, seeing Ai's servants and Vigo coming towards him, all wielding proton packs.
"Get… Get away!!" Peck said.
Hone Onna smirked. "You ready to confess your sins yet?"
"FUCK YOU!!!" Peck yelled, "YOU CAN'T BLAME ANY OF THAT ON ME!!! THAT GIRL JUST DIDN'T HAVE THE GUTS TO TAKE IT, OR SLAP ME AND REPORT ME LIKE ANY REAL WOMAN SHOULD!!!"
Ren chuckled. "What about the sins you directed against the Ghostbusters?"
Peck screamed incoherently, rage overriding his fear and common sense. "The Ghostbusters? Those HACKS?! They deserve everything that comes to them!!"
Ai's servants traded amused looks. Vigo chuckled wickedly. Peck snarled, dusting himself off. "To Hell with all of this. I don't believe in it anyway. I probably just had too much to drink tonight," he said, walking off in a casual manner.
"Nuh uh, I don't think so," Ren said, taking aim with his neutrona wand and firing a capture stream. The lightning wrapped around Peck, ripping in and out of his body, his insides feeling like they were melting. Hone Onna, Wanyudo, and Vigo fired their own capture streams as well, Peck thrashing about in agony as they lifted him up into the air.
Hone Onna. "Typical sinner. Absolutely guiltless."
Wanyudo chuckled. "Well, you heard him," he said.
Peck, despite his agony, managed to turn, spotting Ai standing nearby, clad in a black Ghostbuster uniform like the others, only with the same floral printing as her kimono and the prayer beads and bell still around her now gloved wrist. She kneeled, a ghost trap in her hands, and rolled it over to Peck, the box stopping right underneath him. She looked up at Peck, her eyes solemn and intense.
"Oh pitiful shadow lost in the darkness," she intoned, "bringing torment and pain to others. Oh damned soul wallowing in your sin."
She quirked her head to the side, staring at Peck intently. "Perhaps it is time to die."
She waved her arm, the bell ringing, the flowers on her uniform floating off and swirling around the trap. The trap opened with a click, black light erupting from it in a wide column. Vigo, Ren, Hone Onna, and Wanyudo turned off their streams, letting Peck fall into the trap, falling completely into darkness…
When Peck was able to get his sense of place back, he was someplace else entirely. He looked around, finding himself on a longboat in the middle of a lantern-lit river path. The entire world around him was gray and cloudy, the only visible light coming from four purple lines in the clouds arranged in a cross formation. Ahead of them was a massive Japanese gate, shrouded in even thicker clouds. Peck looked to the rear of the boat, seeing Ai, clad in her kimono once again, passively moving it along. At her waist were tied four straw dolls, a black one, a red one, a blue one, and a dark brown one.
"What… What's going on?!" Peck demanded, "Where the fuck am I?"
He started to stand up, but a blob of magenta slime formed on the deck, wrapping around his hands and feet, pinning him in place. He tried to struggle out of it, but the slime sent a massive electrical shock through him.
"This is vengeance," Ai said softly, "So I am to ferry you to Hell..."
Peck stared at her in horror, struggling desperately to get out of the slime despite the shocks. As he passed through the gate, a bell rung softly.
=== The next day… ===
"So… wait, you're telling me that Peck was taken physically to Hell?" the mayor asked incredulously.
Egon sighed, rubbing his temples. "With everything that's happened in this city, you can still doubt?"
Ray shook his head. "We never should have taken Vigo's painting in… We almost had it won…"
The mayor shivered. "So this Hell Girl chick not only got past you, she got Vigo as well? This isn't exactly helping my opinion of you, boys."
The four Ghostbusters, sitting in chairs in the mayor's office, just glared at the mayor. They were still bitter over their failure, and really not in the mood.
"It's weird," Peter said, "How easy it is… You want vengeance on someone, you just wait until midnight, go online, and baboom. Instant damnation for your enemies or anyone you want. Granted, you go to Hell too, but there's something satisfying in taking someone down with you."
The mayor blinked. "That's how the girl did it? Just through clicking a website?"
Egon nodded. "The Hell Correspondence only appears at midnight. Enter in the name of the person you want gone, and the Jigoku Shoujo, the Hell Girl, will come to explain terms to you. If you accept, then it's done. That's really all there is to it."
The mayor shivered again. "You said that Hell Girl showed you who sent her after Peck. Do you have a name? Could we arrest her?"
Winston scowled. "She killed herself after sealing the deal. After everything Peck put her through, she couldn't live with herself anymore."
The mayor slumped in his seat. "This is nuts…"
The Ghostbusters traded looks, and nodded, getting up. "We'll send you our bill, sir," Ray said.
For a moment, the mayor considered not paying it, since the job was a failure. But common sense won out, and he just nodded. "There any way to avoid getting this girl sent after me?" he asked.
Peter snorted. "Suck up to everybody. And apologize for everything, even if you don't think you did something wrong. Beyond that, I neither know or care."
The Ghostbusters filed out of the room, leaving the mayor to his thoughts.
And in Hell Girl's sunset dimension, Ai crouched before a burning candle that bore Matilda's name on it. She stared at it thoughtfully for a moment, and blew out the flame.
"Your grievance has been avenged."