Epilogue: The Dead End

Partially covered in marshmallow goo didn't seem to hinder the Ecto-1 all that much as it drove like a dream with Dr. Stantz behind the wheel. The Ghostbusters fought bravely and had become the greatest heroes of New York City…and even the entire world. Rest was well-deserved for them that afternoon, and even Spengler knew that, being as exhausted as he had been after their confrontation with Gozer. The team went straight back to the firehouse headquarters along with Barrett, who they decided to let spend the night.

After traveling several blocks, the Ecto-1 pulled into what was left of the firehouse after Peck had shut down the containment grid. The entire rooftop was obliterated, but there was still enough left of the half-charred firehouse to suit for at least a decent five hours of rest. Of course, all of those pleasant thoughts of finally getting into bed (or, in Venkman's case, finally getting into bed with Barrett) seemed to have gone away once they spotted someone standing near Melnitz's desk upon their arrival.

"Oh, God," Stantz uttered, "Please tell me this isn't another job."

"After all we've been through today, it damn well better not be, man!" Zeddemore grumbled.

Stantz parked the Ecto-1 in the garage, and the passengers climbed out. As they had done so, Venkman told Barrett, "We'll handle this stiff. There should still be some beds upstairs that haven't been incinerated."

Barrett smiled and nodded. "I'm sure I can manage." Barrett then left Venkman's side and headed upstairs, leaving the Ghostbusters to handle the stranger who they presumed to be a customer…at least, from how the stranger appeared, they hoped he was one.

This guy was quite the freak show – or "stiff" being the appropriate term that Venkman used a second ago. His head was bald and near-skeletal and his skin was severely pale, contrasting heavily with the dark, striped business suit that he wore, which fitted perfectly with his slim frame. After surveying the stranger, Venkman asked, "May we help you?"

"Hey, guys." The stranger waved with a slightly bony hand. "Uh, name's Ha…" He stopped himself and chuckled, seeming lost in thought for a brief second. "You know what? Call me 'Mr. Woods.' Yeah, that seems to suit me nicely now."

Stantz shared an awkward glance with his team before asking "Mr. Woods," "So, uh, what can we help you with, Mr. Woods? As you probably know, we've just faced the most cataclysmic threat this world has ever known."

"I highly doubt that." Woods remarked with a grin.

His words made the Ghostbusters confused and even a little cold.

"How familiar are any of you with Chernabog?" Woods inquired.

Spengler pondered over the name. "Pagan deity often referred to as 'Satan' in a few sources."

"His name in Slavic means 'black god.'" Stantz added.

"And a character in a Disney cartoon, the last time I checked." Zeddemore stated with great sarcasm. "I ain't buyin' what this guy is sellin'. I say we throw him out before…"

"Your world and every other one that exists beyond this one are coming to an end soon." Woods quickly stated. "This isn't some Mickey Mouse business; I'm talkin' about the real thing."

Venkman stepped forward and close to the stranger, almost sensing some intense heat emitting from him as if standing close to a fireplace. "Okay, Mr. Wood."

"Woods."

"Say that we buy into this 'End of the World' gig you're shootin' us, regardless of the fact that we've just prevented one…how much are you willing to pay us for the job?"

Woods' grin grew larger. "Enough to retire you all from this business for the rest of your natural lives."

The Ghostbusters liked the sound of the offer, even if in the back of their minds they knew it was all too good to be true. From the way this stranger was dressed so sharply, they figured he had to be as wealthy as Donald Trump – maybe even more so. After all they had been through in the past twenty-four hours, the thought of retirement sounded beautiful to them. In a more scientific perspective, whatever job Woods was giving them could prevent another global disaster like the one with Gozer or possibly rid the world of ghosts forever.

The more the team thought of the job offer, the better it was sounding.

"Alright, Woods. You've got yourself a deal." Venkman agreed. "How soon do you want the job done?"

"You guys can rest easily for a while because it'll probably be a while before my contacts let me know when the time is right. They're pitchin' in on the purchase of this job also…and if you think what I'm offering is huge, wait until you see their paycheck."

Now the deal was sounding flawless to the Ghostbusters, especially Zeddemore.

Venkman nodded with a huge smile and offered a hand to Woods. "Then, congratulations, Mr. Woods…you've just hired the Ghostbusters."

Woods took Venkman's hand and shook to settle the deal. "Thank you, Doctor…?"

"Venkman. Peter Venkman."

Coming Soon

Disney's Ghostbusters: The Dead End