The Post-Apokélyptic Horror
by Princess Artemis
A completely mindless RGB/Pokémon crossover
Ó S.D.Green, 1999-2000, except for RGB and Pokémon!
Author's Note: This occurs in Nebulous Time Ô . That means I don't feel like localizing it in the space-time continuum...it would be too much work, a fic in and of itself! I wanna write an RGB adventure, not ten thousand explanations for how they've come to inhabit the same year as Pokémon...so there :P Suspend your disbelief!
Raymond Stantz was a man who enjoyed games and toys. He loved his comic book collection; he even had a near-mint condition Captain Steel first annual special issue; it was worth a pretty penny. He was also a man who was easily entertained by the most innocent and unsophisticated things. Keeping this in mind, his friend Peter Venkman had given him a Game Boy video game and a Pokémon cartridge for his birthday. Ray had taken to the game like a fish to water. Every spare moment he had was filled with catching little Pokémon animals and training them. By the time he caught as many as were available in his version, the rest of the Ghostbusters were sick to death of hearing Pokémon this and Pokémon that. Ray was officially obsessed.
"Come on Peter, it's fun!" Ray exclaimed as the two traveled to the grocery store.
Peter rolled his eyes just before turning Ecto-1 into the parking lot. "No, no, no no no no no, no! For the last time, I'm not getting the other version! You're just going to have to find some other victim."
Ray's face fell as it had every other time he tried to cajole Dr. Venkman into getting the red version of Pokémon so he could trade for the Pokémon not available in his game. "But Peter, where am I supposed to find someone with a red version?" he asked as he got out of the converted hearse.
Peter shut the door. "I dunno! An elementary school!"
"They like the card game better," Ray muttered as he grabbed a shopping cart and started rolling it to the entrance.
Peter made a frustrated noise. "How'd I get stuck shopping with you anyways…"
* * *
Somewhere nearby, in a spirit plane separated from ours by the merest sliver of space, a large black shadow hovered a few feet to the left of the grocer's sign. It looked down at the adults entering the store with a detached interest. It was far more interested in the children, for it was through them that it sought to gain entrance to this world.
But then it spied the short red-haired man with a Game Boy in his pocket. The shadow clapped its hands in delight, knowing exactly who that man was. He was a Ghostbuster. And nothing sounded like so perfect a gateway to the human world as a Ghostbuster. There would be plenty of ambient psycho-kinetic energy near that one, enough to make it very easy to manifest in the physical realm.
The shadowy shape grinned and called to its companion nearby. "Xerox! Come, we have work to do."
* * *
Peter stood before the international food aisle with arms outstretched and a dark look in his eyes. "Step away from the borsch, Ray."
Ray looked warily for an opening in Peter's guard. "A friend of mine gave me a recipe and I promised her I would try it," he stated slowly.
"Oh ho!" Peter exclaimed. "You promised her, huh? Have we met this 'friend' of yours yet?"
Ray instantly dropped his arms and blushed bright red. "She's just a friend." Ray defended meekly.
"Uh huh," Peter grinned, taking the now flustered Dr. Stantz in tow, slowly directing him away from the exotic foods. "Come on, let's go finish shopping."
Ray went with him, sulking a little. She really was just a friend.
Just as the two rounded the corner of the frozen food aisle, a small, dark-haired boy bumped into them. "Oh, gosh, sorry sirs! I guess I got carried away playing my game!" The gangly little kid had a Game Boy in his hands and…and a Pokémon Red!
"That's OK, little guy," Ray said, trying not to sound too excited about the prospect of possibly trading Pokémon. "Say," he added in a conspiratorial tone, "is that Pokémon you're playing?"
The boy looked down at his game. "Yeah, it is. I was hoping to run into someone I could trade with…"
Ray smiled wide and bounced once. "I," he declared, "just happened to have the Pokémon Blue cartridge in my pocket. Why don't we trade some?"
In the background, Peter groaned.
"Yeah!" the kid replied. As he fished a cable out of his pocket so the games could be linked, he said, "My name's Harry Gheist."
"I'm Ray Stantz," Ray said while he grabbed his Game Boy out of his pocket.
"Wow! I'm gonna trade Pokémon with a Ghostbuster!!"
Ray grinned from ear to ear.
* * *
Egon and Winston help the muttering and growling Dr. Venkman unloaded groceries from the back of Ecto-1. Ray was useless, absorbed as he was in his game.
While the three carried grocery bags upstairs, Janine walked up, on her way out for the evening. She peeked her head into Ecto-1 and smiled at the lone occupant.
"You know, I always thought the Vulpix was the cutest."
Ray's head snapped up in surprise. "Oh! I didn't see you! You like Pokémon?"
She shrugged. "My nephew plays the card game. He made me buy him a few overpriced packs. Anyway, you should probably get out of the car before one of the guys comes and neutronizes your game."
The look of horror on Ray's face was priceless. "I have all hundred and fifty-one! They wouldn't!"
Janine laughed. "Watch 'em! Anyway, I thought there were only a hundred and fifty."
"Oh, there's a very rare one. The boy I trade with at the store gave me one! It's a Mew. He gave me a Gengar, too! Well, it was a Haunter but it evolved when we traded."
Janine nodded her head and smiled, obviously pretending she knew what Ray was talking about.
"Sorry," Ray said sheepishly. "Look, I'll show them to you." He then brought up the Pokédex, the file that had data on all the Pokémon. He showed Janine the Gengar, which proved to be a black ghost Pokémon, and then the Mew, which look like nothing so much as a simplified white kangaroo rat. Sensing mild interest, Ray proceeded to show Janine all of his new acquisitions.
He was finally stopped, and Janine rescued, by Winston's bodily removal of the shorter Ghostbuster from Ecto-1.
* * *
"Raymond Francis Stantz, if I hear one more word about Mews or Gringos or—"
"Gengars," Ray corrected as he slipped on a nightcap, eyes still focused on the screen.
"BAH!! Gengars or Pokémon in general, I swear I will burn that cartridge!"
"Pete," Winston said reasonably, "you bought it for him. It's your own fault."
Peter shot Winston a dark glare, unhappy to have that terrible truth pointed out to him. Winston just laughed.
Egon, laying in his bed and having pointedly ignored the entire conversation (or having attempted same; he knew more than he ever wanted to know about those electronic scourges just by diffusion), declared, "I suggest we retire, gentlemen. We have an early job tomorrow." With that he rolled over and pulled the covers over his head.
Peter growled something incoherent before he too yanked the covers over his head.
Winston grabbed Ray's Game Boy out of his hands and turned it off on his way to bed. Ray sighed and gave in to the inevitable as Winston clicked off the lamp.
It didn't take long for any of them to fall asleep and begin dreaming dreams.
* * *
The dark shadow that had watched Ray enter the grocery earlier that day grinned maliciously. It was one step closer to entering the human world—in fact, it had, in a way, already crossed the line. Quietly, Heridos the Gengar went to work.
* * *
Peter's dreams that night were filled with sparks of static electricity and thunderous bolts of lightning.
Finding nothing strange at all in this, Peter rolled over and wrapped his long tail around him and over his nose so it wouldn't get cold.
* * *
Egon began humming in his sleep right around 3 a.m. As he hummed, the snoring around him quieted, giving way to deeper slumber. He tried to scratch an ear, but his arm was far too short to reach.
* * *
Winston turned in his bed and promptly fell out of it, splitting a few floorboards where he landed. Still deeply asleep, he floated back over his covers and settled in, wrapping his arms over his head.
* * *
The first thing Ray saw when he woke up was three strange balls on his nightstand. He blinked the sleep out of his eyes and sat up to take a closer look at the objects. Each was about the size of a softball, ringed around the middle with a black stripe. Above the stripe was red, below white, and right in the middle of the ball, on the black, was a small yellow button. They looked like nothing so much as Pokéballs. Confused, Ray reached for one, then stopped. His Game Boy was still on. He knew Winston had turned it off the night before. He picked it up and was surprised to see it on the Pokédex, showing several numbers after 151, which was Mew. On screen it looked much like this:
151 0 MEW_____| SEEN:
.152 0 ??????? | 151
.153 - - - - - | OWN:
.154 0 ??????? | ???
.155 - - - - - |_______
.156 0 ??????? | DATA
.157 - - - - - | CRY
.158 - - - - - | AREA
.159 0 GENGAR__| CANCEL
Concerned, Ray moved the cursor down to look at the first Pokémon with question marks, No. 152. On the data screen, it showed a picture of a small-mouse like Pokémon, almost identical to a Pikachu. It had no name or any data in the file. Frowning, Ray moved on to the entry for the next Pokémon his game claimed he had, which turned out looking like a Jigglypuff. The next looked like a Geodude. The last, labeled GENGAR, also had no data on it, even though Ray already had an entry for Gengars earlier in the Pokédex, right where it was supposed to be.
Ray scratched his head for a moment. "Hey, Egon, come look at this."
No answer came.
His frown deepening, Ray called again, louder, "Egon, wake up!"
Still nothing. There wasn't even any sound of snoring. It was absolutely silent in the bunkroom.
Now really concerned, Ray threw his covers off and walked over to Egon's bed. It was empty…at least it was empty of its most important contents, namely, Egon. His nightshirt and cap were still there however. Ray glanced around the room and found Winston and Peter's beds in similar condition.
Unsure now what to think, Ray sat back down on his bed. He didn't think his friends would leave their nightclothes not only on their beds but also under the covers, but there they were, just the same.
Absently, Ray picked up one of the Pokéballs and nearly fell off his bed when it moved. He dropped the ball in shock, triggering the opening mechanism. A bright flash accompanied a strange, small gasp, and suddenly, standing before his very eyes, was a Pokémon. And not just any Pokémon, but a Pikachu, probably the most famous of them all.
At least, at first glance it looked like a Pikachu, right down to the yellow fur, lightning bolt shaped tail, and red cheeks, but there was something different about this one. It stood there, blinking its big black eyes at Ray, opening and closing its little mouth, while running one paw through the shock of very familiar dark brown hair on its head. There was also something strangely familiar about how it stood. A few more blinks of its glossy eyes and it said, "Pitachu? Pita pi pi chu?" in confusion.
The Pokémon sounded exactly like Peter Venkman.
"Peter …?" he ventured uncertainly.
"Pita! Pitachu!" the Pokémon exclaimed. Then it covered its mouth with one paw. "Pitachu?" it said in horrified awe.
"Oh no! Oh no!" Ray shouted, then grabbed the other two Pokéballs, scared at what he might find inside. He tossed them on the ground, pressing the yellow buttons as he did.
When they opened, two more Pokémon popped out. One was like a Jigglypuff, covered in pink fur, except for the blond pompadour and tail…and the tiny red glasses, laughably out of proportion to its huge, liquid blue eyes. The other Pokémon floated in mid-air, a Geodude through and through, except for the wide nose, familiar human eyes, and the black, curly hair.
The pink Pokémon looked down at itself, squeaked, then promptly fainted. The rock Pokémon looked down, then at the yellow Pitachu, then at Ray. It gaped, then shook its head, or body rather, as it only had a head and two long arms. "Windude, dude … Windude. Win windude win win."
"Winston!?" Ray gaped.
"Oh no!! You guys have been turned into Pokémon!!"
* * *
Ray sat looking at is Pokédex. The information on the three unknown Pokémon had been filled. The Pokémon that Egon had become looked to be called a Spenglypuff. Said Pokémon had not yet recovered from its swoon.
His? Its? Ray didn't quite know what to call his transformed friends. He looked over at Peter…Pitachu, who was carefully practicing moving in his new form. He stumbled a lot, landing on his tiny black nose.
Winston, or Windude, watched over Ray's shoulder, muttering something utterly incomprehensible in Windudish. He seemed highly frustrated by his inability to speak English. He understood it fine, however.
Ray looked at the file for the extra Gengar again, but could find nothing new. "Maybe if I put it in my party…" he muttered to himself as he went to get the Gengar in the game.
Windude pointed at the screen, where there were clearly three Pokémon much like the transformed Ghostbusters waiting to be put in Ray's party. Ray nodded and placed them in his party so he could check their statistics.
"Looks like you know some interesting attacks, Winston," Ray commented.
"Windude, win windude win."
"What are we going to do?!" Ray's normally boisterous mood was seriously dampened. Usually, he thought things like this were great, but not when they were so unexpected and inexplicable.
Windude shook his body. "Dude…."
Ray sighed and took his Game Boy into the lab where his PKE meter was stored. He dare not touch Egon's beloved meter except in dire emergency, and bizarre as this was it wasn't yet life-endangering. Windude followed and after Pitachu hefted Spenglypuff up on his back, he followed as well.
Placing the Game Boy on the counter, Ray pointed his meter at it. Sure enough, there was a reading, a strong one at that. "Looks like it's been used as a portal of some sort…possibly a small scale dimensional rip."
Pitachu nodded, causing his rather long, pointed ears to flop. He didn't bother trying to talk, knowing by now all that would come out was "Pitachu" or some variation thereof.
Before Ray or any of the 'Pokébusters' could say more, Spenglypuff came to. He blinked slowly, rubbing his huge eyes with tiny pink fists "Spenglypuff?" he questioned, the only one of the three whose voice had changed any. It was very much the same, except smoother, clearer, more like a deep bell. As soon as he realized what he said, he repeated himself. "Spenglypuff?"
His pink cat-ears flicked back, flat against his very round body. His already large eyes widened even further. Pitachu hopped down off the lab bench and smiled over at him. He poked him in the belly, which was more his chin then anything, and said in a thoroughly amused tone, "Pita pi pita pi-chu."
"Spenglypuff!!" With that, the pink ball of fluff formerly known as Egon Spengler bolted out of the lab at top speed. Tripping on the way, Spenglypuff rolled the rest of the way into the bunkroom. Ray, Windude, and Pitachu followed closely, arriving in time to see a pink flash disappear into a Pokéball.
Ray picked up the quaking ball and looked at it. He tapped a finger against the side, prompting a sharp jiggle. "Egon, you can't hide in there forever. We are all going to need your help figuring this out."
Spenglypuff muttered quietly and morosely from inside his Pokéball. It was clear he was having a good deal of trouble adjusting to his new state. Possessed, maimed, tortured, killed, altered, and humiliated, that Egon could handle.
But becoming possibly the cutest Pokémon, so sweet it was even the color of saccharin, was far out of his league. And he wasn't coming out of his Pokéball for love or money.
Pitachu hopped up on Ray's shoulder and set a paw on the Pokéball he held. A slow smile spread across his features, then he grabbed the ball and hopped down. Putting the ball between two paws, Pitachu closed his eyes.
Windude grabbed Ray and pulled him out of the way, just as electricity began crackling about Pitachu's cheeks. A second later, he shouted, "Pita-CHU!!" letting loose a huge bolt of lightning straight into the occupied Pokéball.
The ball becoming thus uninhabitable, Spenglypuff shot out like a bat from Hell. His short pink fur singed and covered with soot, the Pokémon frowned menacingly and adjusted the tiny glasses that perched above his little mouth. Spenglypuff shook his fist and started a tirade against Pitachu, consisting entirely of "Spenglypuff-speng-puff-spenglypuff."
Pitachu just shrugged and smiled, for Spenglypuffese was as impossible for him to understand as Pitachu was for anyone else. Windude rolled his eyes and picked up Spenglypuff and Pitachu by the scruffs of their necks and floated back into the lab.
Ray followed the three Pokémon, wondering to himself how all this had happened, and wishing his colleagues could say more than their new names. When he got back in the lab, he found that Windude had set his charges on the lab table and Spenglypuff had grabbed the PKE meter and was trying to pick it up. Meanwhile, Pitachu had started up the resident computer and was booting up a program.
Ray picked up his Game Boy and looked at the GENGAR file again. "You know, this sounds really strange, but the only thing I can figure is that this Gengar has something to do with this. Gengar are one of the only ghost Pokémon after all. You guys agree?"
Pitachu and Windude both nodded their heads. Spenglypuff was busy trying to operate the meter.
Pitachu finished booting up the program and motioned for the others to join him. "Pitachu chu pi pi pitachu," he said, pointing at the screen.
"Windude dude dude," Windude nodded.
Spenglypuff looked slightly optimistic. The program Pitachu had opened was the very same one Ray had designed so Slimer could type in words and have it speak for him.
"Good idea, Peter! See if it works!" Ray exclaimed, excited.
Pitachu smiled and cracked his knuckles. Then he set about pecking some words into the machine. "Testing, one, two, three…is this thing on?" the computer said in its calm, collected Hal 9000 voice. Ray and Pitachu hopped up and down excitedly, and Windude clapped his hands, making a few accidental sparks.
"All right! We have communication!" Pitachu type happily.
Windude floated over to the keyboard and began typing his own words. "So what are we gonna do, Ray? My girlfriend just won't accept this," the computer spoke, while Windude grinned, humor written all over his granite face.
"Your girlfriend? What about the rest of the female population! What will they do without the great Peter Venkman?"
Ray laughed and said, "Actually, my game says that Pitachus can make most women swoon just by looking at them."
"Pita?" Pitachu perked up, forgetting to type his response into the computer.
"Give him ideas, why don't you," Windude typed.
Spenglypuff growled something inarticulate, which sounded a bit like Egon's regular 'we have work to do so quit your frivolous snipping and get to it already!' grumble.
"Aw, c'mon, Spengs," Pitachu typed, "we're just having fun."
"Besides, Egon, it would probably be a good idea to get used to the fact that we aren't in our normal states. It might make it easier for us to beat this thing that way," Windude suggested.
"Spenglypuff," the erstwhile physicist growled under his breath. He was in no mood to adjust to being a pink ball of sickeningly sweet fluff.
"Winston's right," Ray said while he looked at the rest of the entries in his Pokédex. "It certainly couldn't hurt any."
"So," Pitachu asked, "just how are we going to get back to normal? You said that Gringo in your Game Boy made us like this?"
"Gengar," Ray corrected. "And yes, I think that's what happened. Nothing else makes any sense."
"So you suppose if we defeated the Gengar, we would stop being Pokémon?"
"Maybe. It's worth a try." Ray looked back at the Gengar on his game. "Looks pretty powerful. Says it's level one hundred. You guys aren't even evolved."
"Huh?" typed Windude.
"It means you aren't at your most powerful forms," Ray explained. "I think you have two stages of evolution, just like a Geodude, while Egon and Peter have one stage each. We'll probably have to evolve you to fight a level one hundred Gengar."
Both Windude and Pitachu nodded. Spenglypuff was still fiddling with the PKE meter, trying to ignore his plight as best he could.
A second later, they heard Janine walking up the stairs. A singular look of terror crossed Spenglypuff's features. He turned this way and that, frantically searching for his Pokéball. Unfortunately, it was not there. And perhaps worse for him was the fact that a Spenglypuff's ability to remain upright is precarious at best. He was on his back and trying in vain to right himself when Janine finally came in the lab.
Pitachu glanced at Windude, his expression expectant. Windude seemed to find the prospect of Janine's reaction to Spenglypuff something to look forward to.
"Good morning, guys," Janine said automatically. Then she paused. Ray looked over at her with a strange expression.
Janine slowly stepped over to the computer where the two Pokébusters stood, poised before the keyboard. She gave them an appraising look, then shook her head, quite certain that while this turn of events should have been incredible, she just couldn't disbelieve it. Pitachu flashed his most disarming smile up at Janine.
"I swear you guys get into the strangest messes. I'd quit if it weren't so entertaining," Janine declared as she gave Pitachu's tail a solid yank.
"Pita chu!" he said in mock disgust.
"So where's Egon?" she asked, a slightly sinister edge to her voice. Windude grinned and directed her gaze to the sprawling Spenglypuff. This caused Spenglypuff to hike up his struggle to regain his footing approximately ten-fold.
Janine walked over to where the pink fuzz-ball lay. Spenglypuff shrieked in dismay. Janine picked him up and held him in her hands. She smiled wide and said, "Aren't you just too cute for words!"
If Spenglypuff hadn't been frantic before, he was now. He squirmed and struggled and squeaked and screamed bloody murder in a futile attempt to wrench his small, soft body out of Janine's hands. But her hands held on firmly. She was far beyond amused at this. This might even be better blackmail material than those photos she had of when Egon had turned into a baby. In a moment that was perhaps as much sadism as it was anything else, Janine nuzzled the protesting Spenglypuff, giggling at how soft his fur was.
"Calm down, Spengs," Pitachu typed. "You'll just hurt yourself. Besides, I always thought you wanted some snuggling from Janine."
"What's the matter, Egon? Why do you care what Janine thinks of you?" Windude added. "Or do you?"
Ray couldn't resist. "I wonder why? You don't suppose he'd be reacting this strongly if he didn't care, hmm? Sounds to me like he cares a lot."
Spenglypuff emitted a strangled squeal. Janine winked at him, then set him back down on the table. He instantly ran behind a box to hide, all the while making soft, embarrassed noises. No one felt at all bad for him; in some ways, he was even more vain than Peter himself, and if he couldn't stand to look ridiculous in front of Janine, whom he had been secretly doting after for what seemed like forever, then he deserved every inch of what he got.
"OK, since Spengs is too busy trying to retain his dignity to help, let's ignore the little cream-puff and try to get us back to normal!" Pitachu typed. Spenglypuff made a snorting noise from behind the box.
"Sounds like a plan, Pete. So...any ideas?" Windude replied.
"Well," Ray began, "I think the first thing to do is get you guys evolved. I just tried to evolve your game counterparts, but it didn't work. So we're going to have to find some real-life equivalents...."
"What do you need?" Janine asked. "I only know how to play the card game."
"To evolve a Pikachu, you use a Thunder Stone. So I imagine the same goes for Pitachu."
Pitachu typed, "So maybe a lode stone? They have magnetic fields."
"Yeah! A lode stone!" Ray said happily. "So we'll need a lode stone. For Jigglpuffs, the game uses a Moon Stone...."
"We can take Egon to the natural history museum. There's a moon rock there," Janine offered.
Ray nodded vigorously. "Yeah, this is great! For Winston...well, we should go get him some candy. There are things called Rare Candy in the game that raise a Pokémon's levels...I can't think of any other way to do it, since there are no Pokémon for him to fight."
"All of us should eat the candy, right?" Pitachu typed. "That way, all of us will be at level one hundred, right?"
"Oh, yeah, huh," Ray replied. "Yeah, everyone gets to eat candy."
Pitachu smiled, then typed, "Just keep Slimer away from it! I don't want to eat slimy sweets."
"Well, mister Pokémon Trainer, let's get the show on the road," Janine said, getting into the swing of things. "I'll take Egon to the museum," she said with a slow grin. The box Spenglypuff hid behind shook a little.
"Sounds good. I'll go to the lapidary shop with Peter to get the lode stone," Ray answered, bouncing up out of his chair. "C'mon! Let's go!"
Janine, Windude, and Pitachu followed Ray out of the lab to get the Pokéballs. The Pokébusters might not like being cooped up in the little balls, but it was safer that way; they didn't want to accidentally cause a panic if people saw them in their current condition.
Ray picked up two of the balls while Janine took the third. Ray pressed the buttons on his two, allowing Pitachu and Windude to hop in. They disappeared with a flash and the lids snapped shut over them.
Janine was about to flick open her Pokéball to let Spenglypuff in when she realized he hadn't followed them. She rolled her eyes and exhaled through her teeth, then stomped back into the lab. Ray heard a strangled squeak. Janine stomped back into the room. She shook the Pokéball roughly. "Quit being such a baby, Egon," she growled at the red and white ball.
Ray shrugged and said, "He'll just have to live with it for now. Let's go. This'll be fun!"
* * *
Ray drove Ecto-1 as he always did, that is to say, like a complete maniac. Pitachu thanked all the patron saints he could bring to mind for letting him be safe in a small Pokéball. Fortunately, Pokéballs seemed to have dampening fields, so he didn't feel all the rolling and bouncing he knew the ball was doing. He would have hated to get seasick in a small space like this....
They finally arrived at the lapidary and Ray picked up the balls and brought them inside. Pitachu heard Dr. Stantz haggling with the proprietor, who happened to be female. Knowing this, and wishing to spend as little money as possible, Pitachu banged around his ball until Ray noticed and opened it. "What is it, Peter?" Ray asked after Pitachu materialized on the counter.
Pitachu smiled and turned to the woman at the counter. "Pitachu," he said in his most winning tone. He winked. Suddenly, the proprietor's face melted into a silly grin.
Hmm,Pitachu thought, there might just be something to this Pokémon gig...
"Pita pi pitachu chu pitachu," he continued. Somehow, the woman understood well enough that she just handed Ray the lode stone and waved lazily at the erstwhile psychologist.
"Thanks," Ray said, his tone laced with surprise. He picked up Pitachu and walked out of the store. Pitachu waved to the proprietor, smiling the entire time. As soon as the door closed, he looked down at Pitachu. "Wow. How'd you do that?"
"Pitachu," the Pokébuster said easily with a flip of his hand.
Ray shook his head and returned to Ecto-1. As soon as he closed the door, Windude's Pokéball started jiggling. "OK, OK, I'll let you out. So much for keeping secrets."
As soon as Ray triggered the yellow button, Windude hopped out and said very slowly, "I think I found a way for us to talk!"
Ray could hardly believe his ears. "Winston! You can talk!"
"PITACHU!!" Pitachu shouted excitedly.
"Yeah," Windude explained, "I was just sitting there in my ball, thinking about being a Pokémon. I thought to myself, 'Winston, you've just gotta make the best of this.' So I started relaxing, started gettin' comfortable with the idea, and suddenly, I could talk! Just a matter of bein' content with my lot, I guess."
"Wow! Maybe you could try that, Peter!"
Pitachu nodded slowly. It was certainly worth a try. And besides, if there was anything he, Peter Venkman, could get used to, it was being cute and irresistible. And since he was pretty darn cute and extremely irresistible in this form, it seemed like an easy enough task. So he sat down and thought about it for a bit, thought about all the special attacks he had, especially the ability to put lopsided grins on women even without his normally dashing good looks, thought about having a tail and electrified red spots on his cheeks... Then, when he felt pretty relaxed and at peace with the Pokémon world, he tried to talk.
"Am I pi talking? Can chu understand me?"
Windude pumped his fist. "All right, m'man!"
"Yeah! Yeah, we understand!"
Pitachu did a little jig. "Chu! I can pita talk! Stand aside pi chu world!" He was extremely relieved. Even if his speech was peppered with various pi's and chu's...Gotta mind my pi's and chu's!...it was satisfying to speak English.
After a moment to relish in their new-found ability to speak, Windude asked, "So now what? Do we evolve Pete?"
"No, if we evolve him now, he won't learn any new attacks. It's different for you, Winston, since you will probably evolve when your level gets higher," Ray answered.
"Pita, then we have chu get some pi candy?" Pitachu asked.
"Yep. Let's go back to the Firehouse. I asked Janine to stop by See's and get some of the most expensive candy for you."
"Pita?! Expenchu candy? What were chu thinking?" Pitachu shouted, holding a paw over his chest to forestall the heart attack he knew he was going to have.
"Well," Ray shrugged sheepishly, "we need rare candy. I didn't think a bag of M & M's would cut it."
Windude chuckled. "At least we get to eat quality candy, eh?"
"Chu muchu? How muchu are we spend-pita-ing?"
"She's getting three hundred pieces...," Ray informed matter-of-factly.
The yellow mouse Pokémon nearly fainted.
* * *
Janine placed Spenglypuff's Pokéball in her purse then entered the museum proper. She knew about the fact that Pokémon evolved with Stones rarely learned new attacks, but she didn't think there was any way for her to snatch a piece of moon rock without security being all over her like white on rice, so she figured Egon would just have to live with whatever attacks he had now.
She knew just how she would get the reluctant Pokémon out of his ball, too. She fingered the cigar lighter she had borrowed from the gift shop. Fortunately there were very few people here today.
When she finally arrived at the section of the museum with the moon rocks, she looked around for one exposed to the air. It didn't take her long to find a reasonably sized rock without glass over it. Looking this way and that to ensure her privacy, she carefully pulled the Pokéball and the lighter from her purse. Satisfied that she was alone, she struck the lighter, which spit out a fairly large flame. She held the ball over the blue flame and waited.
Soon, the Pokéball burst open, expelling a very hot Spenglypuff right onto the moon rock. Before the pink bit of fluff could turn around and glare murder at whomever had so unceremoniously toasted his fur, he began to evolve. With a flash of bright, colorful light, Spenglypuff became Spenglytuff.
His body was more oblong, about three feet long. Now instead of cat ears, he had rabbit ears. And as impossible as it seemed, his huge blue eyes got even bigger. He pulled at one of his ears with his paw, gaping at it. "Spengly-tuff! Tuff speng spengly spenglytuff!"
"Quit whining, Egon," Janine huffed. She grabbed Spenglytuff by the ears and plopped him back inside the still-warm Pokéball. He tried to crawl back out, but the ball had snapped shut too quickly for him.
The red-head shoved the full Pokéball back in her purse, and on the way out, surreptitiously slipped the cigar lighter back into its slot in the gift shop. Maybe the rest of the world wouldn't appreciate the service that lighter had been enlisted to, but she sure did.
Although if it was to turn Egon back into a human or burn his fuzzy pink feet, the world will never know.
* * *
Ray returned to the Firehouse not minutes before Janine did. Pitachu and Windude sat perched on the edge of her desk while Ray went to get his Game Boy. When he came back down, Janine was walking in, a large box of See's candy in hand. "Here ya go," Janine said.
"Hey, do you smell that. That has got to be the nicest smelling candy ever. Man, that had to cost a pretty penny," Windude commented, partly because it was true, and partly because he knew it would give Pitachu a coronary.
"Chut up, rock-for-brains," Pitachu groused. "It had pita taste like chu-heaven."
"I betcha it will," Windude replied.
"Cost four hundred and fifty dollars for those truffles," Janine informed them matter-of-factly. "Now wait a minute, how can you talk?"
Pitachu smiled wide. "Chu just got in pita touch with my inner Pitachu."
"Ah. I always knew that deep down you were a rat."
Pitachu stuck his tongue out at her.
Ray smiled and licked his lips. "You guys are at level five, all three of you...so we can spare a few candies...," he rationalized as he opened the box. He picked up a truffle and popped it in his mouth, nearly melting into a puddle of chocoholic goodness. "Mmmmm...!"
Pitachu flicked an ear back. He liked chocolate as much as the next guy...Pokémon...whatever, so he went over to the box and picked up a truffle in both paws. He sniffed it. Smelled good...maybe the taste would offset the horrendous price. He took a bite...and oh sweet deities of all things chocolaty, they were worth every penny. "Pitachuuuuuuuuu...!"
Windude smiled and picked up a box then started eating the truffles one at a time. "Good stuff. Oh yeah."
Janine reached into her purse and extracted the Pokéball. "Time to get your grub on, Spenglytuff." She dropped the ball on the table, but the Pokémon refused to exit.
"Chu don't want pi to zap chu again, Spengs, chu chu?" Pitachu threatened.
The occupant of the Pokéball snapped a muffled "Spenglytuff." It was probably Spenglytuffese for something completely unrepeatable.
Windude grabbed the ball and said, "Egon, get your pink furry backside out of that ball or I'll tell Slimer it's a big jawbreaker."
"I so would."
With a huff, Spenglytuff jumped out of the ball and landed on the desk. Pitachu grabbed one of his rabbit ears and yanked on it hard. "Now chu better stop pita throwing pi tantrum or else, bucko."
Spenglytuff winced and tried to get his ear out of Pitachu's fist but to no avail. Then he narrowed his eyes. "Spenglytuff...," he warned.
"What? Pita are chu going to hit pi, I mean me?"
Spenglytuff raised a bit of fur over his eye that in this case served as an eyebrow. Then he started singing. His voice was perhaps the most exquisite sound Pitachu had heard in a long, long time. The magic of his voice wound its way through Pitachu's mind, and he promptly fell asleep.
And so did everyone else. Spenglytuff frowned; he hadn't meant to put everyone to sleep. Then he shrugged, thinking he would have to get better at directing his singing, then set about eating his share of the candy.
Not long after, the rest of the actual and erstwhile Ghostbusters woke up. Spenglytuff had polished off his box of candy and was now sleeping peacefully.
Pitachu shook his head, wondering how on earth Egon could sleep with that much sugar in his system. He shrugged and hopped back to his box and began munching on his own candy. It seemed to be working; he felt stronger and stronger with every piece he ate.
It was working indeed. After eating several of his own, Windude had evolved into a Zeddemore, a rather larger Pokémon that had four arms and a very round, gravelly appearance.
"Great," Ray said. "We'll beat that Gengar yet."
It didn't take much longer for the two Pokébusters to finish their candy. Ray checked the files in his game, and found it said all three Pokémon were at level one hundred. But there was still a file left in the Pokédex after the Zeddemore, so Ray knew there was still one more evolution left for Winston. He thought about it for a moment, then exclaimed, "Ah! We need another game! It looks like Winston will get his last evolution by trading."
"What?" Pitachu asked, certain he didn't like this.
"It means that when I trade the Zeddemore to a new cartridge, it should evolve. So we'll need to go get another Game Boy and another Pokémon game."
"CHU!! Not another pitachu game! That's pi hundred more chu-dollars!"
Janine laughed. "This little escapade has put you behind a bit, hasn't it. Good thing for you that you paid me yesterday!"
"Pita, I can still chu put a stop pita on that check."
"If you do, I'll bring my nephew over to meet you, and he just loves Pokémon."
"Pita." That was quite a substantial threat, not to be taken lightly.
"So," Zeddemore said, returning to the subject at hand. "We should go get that game now, right?"
"I think we should evolve Peter first," Ray answered, reaching into his pocket to retrieve the lode stone.
He handed it to Pitachu, and in a flash, he became a Venkchu. He was quite a bit bigger, with curly decorations on his ears and a much longer tail tipped with a lightning bolt shape. He reached back and grabbed his tail tip to examine it. "Ah, I venk this will work nice-chu-ly." He pointed the tip of his tail toward the garage, away from everyone. After a moment of concentration, he shouted, "Venk-CHU!"
A stream of proton fire leapt from the tip of his tail, just as it would from their proton rifles. "Venkchu," the Pokémon said in satisfaction.
"Wow, I bet that will work well against ghost Pokémon!" Ray exclaimed.
"I bet it will," Zeddemore replied. "Now let us go get that game and bust some heads!"
"Yes, let's," Venkchu answered, swinging his tail around smugly. Then he hopped off the desk and ran on all fours toward Ecto-1. Zeddemore followed, choosing to float rather than roll on the ground. Janine carefully picked up the sleeping Spenglytuff and followed as well. Ray set his game down and bounced after them.
"I'm driving," Janine insisted. "I want to live through this day, thankyouverymuch."
"I don't drive that bad," Ray insisted.
"About as well as you cook," Venkchu muttered.
Ray brightened considerably. "Maybe after all this is over, we can have that borsch my friend told me about!"
The Venkchu's expression was quite ugly. Zeddemore shook his body. "Not if I can stop you."
"Aw, it would be good, though!"
Janine shut the driver's side door and started the converted hearse. "I'll get the ingredients. You can tell me how it turns out."
The wide-eyed shock the two Pokémon wore on their faces was priceless.
* * *
As soon as the five left the Firehouse, Ray's Game Boy began to glow. Soon several small, ethereal spirits formed in different places in the garage. The spirits coalesced just enough to have narrow, cat-like eyes and sharp teeth, but nothing more. The rest of their transparent bodies consisted of thin, purple-black smoke.
After the seven Gastlies materialized, three more deep purple-black ghosts made their way out of the possessed Pokémon cartridge. The Haunters each had a face with black dagger-like teeth and two long horns. Short spikes covered the backs of their heads. They had no other body except for a pair of thin hands.
Shortly thereafter, a thick, gray substance began oozing out of the cracks of the Game Boy. When it hit the ground, the Ditto shifted into the form of a small, gangly boy named Harry Gheist.
Lastly, the Gengar appeared. It was a black shadow made solid, with two horns of its own and many spikes along its back. Of all the ghost Pokémon occupying the area, only Heridos had arms and legs. The ghost smiled wide, exposing a row of gleaming white shark teeth. "Come, let us array ourselves for battle. The Ghostbusters plan on fighting us on our terms, and this is well!"
One of the Haunters grinned and said, "Haun ha ha haun...."
"Yes, Kelisar, that is why I chose them! For battling us on our terms will release us from the confines of the game! It is a risk, but a faster escape then to wait for some child to use me in a battle with their friend."
Xerox the Ditto smiled and said, "Stantz was an easy target. They all will be."
"Gast gas astly gastly!"
"Haunter haun ha ha haun haun!"
Heridos laughed, a strangely quiet sound, the noise of wind through dead trees. "They expect one Pokémon to battle! They shall have a fight indeed!"
* * *
Ray bounced out of the toy store, holding his special limited edition Pokémon Game Boy Color complete with Pokémon Pikachu, also known as the Yellow version. Janine carried the nearly-fainted Venkchu while Zeddemore fanned him with one of his many hands.
"One chu-hundred venk dollars! Chu!"
"But we needed it, Peter," Ray replied, unfazed.
"But we chu have got the old Game Boy! Venk those venkchu only forty dollars!"
"You know how it is, Peter! The old Game Boy will be obsolete soon."
"And chu venk I care? We only got this one so we chu, I mean could venkvolve Winston," Venkchu growled.
Ray just smiled, knowing that no matter how much Venkchu might protest, the money was already spent and it was to late.
Venkchu knew it, too, so he gave up and muttered to himself all the way back to the Firehouse.
* * *
The garage was eerily silent as Janine switched off Ecto-1's ignition. Normally there were some noises, the sound of electricity buzzing or at least Slimer's squelching, but even those common sounds were gone. Ray stepped out of the vehicle, looking around warily. Seeing nothing, he relaxed a little and walked over to Janine's desk and picked up the Game Boy.
Janine followed with the second Game Boy, preparing it for the trade so Zeddemore could evolve. The process took almost no time at all, and once finished, Zeddemore disappeared in a flash, quickly replaced by Winstone, a large Pokémon indeed with a round, plated stone body and smooth marble arms and legs. He still had his characteristic curly hair and face.
As soon as the flash from Winstone's evolution faded, the four heard a whooshing sound. Suddenly, they found themselves surrounded on all sides by purple and black spirits. One stood before Ray, almost standing up to his shoulder.
"Greetings, Ray Stantz. I trust you are ready for the battle that awaits you?" the Gengar asked, its voice like a cold wind. Right beside the Gengar stood the young boy, Harry Gheist.
Ray blinked. "You're the kid I trade with! How did you get mixed up with these characters?" Ray asked incredulously, motioning with his arms to encompass the horde of Gastlies and Haunters.
The boy smiled, almost viciously. "My name isn't Harry. It's really Xerox. You see, I'm actually a Ditto."
Janine took a moment to poke Xerox in the arm, then made a disgusted noise and yanked her hand back. Her finger came back covered with a thin haze of ugly gray slime. "Yuck."
Winstone tromped heavily over to the Gengar and tried to poke it in the chest. His stone hand went right through. He frowned, not letting that deter him. "So tell me, slimeball, what business have you turning us into Pokémon? What good does it do you?"
The Gengar smiled its shark smile. "The name is Heridos. And I might as well tell you why, since there is no way for you to hinder me. See, all my comrades and I need in order to remain in this realm is to win one Pokémon battle. And with three against twelve, that should be very easy!"
"That's what chu venk, Gringo," Venkchu growled as he grabbed his ling tail and trained the tip of it on Heridos. "I venk it's just about time chu bust heads!"
"That's right, Heridos," Winstone added. "You're not getting away with this."
"Oh really, you amuse me. What pray tell are you going to do? You can't hope to defeat all of us." The other Ghost Pokémon assented with a round of Hauns and Gastlies.
Ray had just about had enough. "Well, Heridos, I think you just picked on the wrong Pokémon!" With that, the newly made Pokémon Trainer shouted, "Venkchu! I choose you!"
Janine followed up by grasping her Pokéball and adding, "Spenglytuff! Go!"
Venkchu and Spenglytuff both stood facing the Gengar. Spenglytuff tried his best to look menacing, but failed miserably. Heridos just laughed and barked, "Fine! So be it! Sephiros, I choose you!" At Heridos' command, one of the Haunters floated down to face the two Pokébusters.
Janine put her hand by her mouth and whispered to Ray, "Now what?"
Ray shrugged. "We have to tell our Pokémon what to do, I guess."
That did not seem to be the case, however. Sephiros immediately tried to put Venkchu to sleep, without any direction from Heridos. This cought Venkchu off guard, but it wasn't totally successful. Venkchu was only dazed. Spenglytuff shrugged, at long last deciding to actually do something about his unacceptable condition. He huffed and puffed until he was twice his normal size, then with a loud "SPENGLYTUFF!!", he blasted the Haunter with a crackling blast of proton fire. The Haunter screamed and fell, fainting dead away.
Heridos was outraged. "That's not fair! No Pokémon has that attack!"
Ray smirked. "You're right, no ordinary Pokémon has that attack. But mine aren't ordinary. They're the Pokébusters!"
Two Gastlies blinked in horror and tried to flee, but Venkchu and Spenglytuff caught them both with their proton beams. "Winston, venk us a trap!" Venkchu shouted, battling a Gastly with his tail-rifle.
"Will do, Pete," Winstone saluted, then bounded over to the closet where the traps were kept.
In the mean time, Heridos was having a fit. "This is not a Pokémon battle! You can't do this! You have to fight fair!"
"Says who?" Janine shouted as she grabbed her own proton pack. "All I see are ghosts who need busting." Ray also equipped himself with a pack.
The Ditto jumped up and down. "I say so! If you don't battle us on our terms, you will be Pokémon forever!"
Venkchu glanced over at Xerox. "That chu? I mean true?"
Spenglytuff shook his head, which caused the Gastly he had confined to shake as well. Winstone dropped a trap under Spenglytuff's Gastly and opened it, sucking the ghostly Pokémon in. Then Spenglytuff tried to explain, but all that would come out was Poké-speech.
Janine unholstered her thrower and aimed it at a Haunter. "I say we trap 'em all, and if that doesn't work, then we fight on their terms."
"Sounds good to me," Winstone agreed as he grabbed eight more traps.
Venkchu, tired of being ignored, yelled, "Get me a venking trap fer chuness sake! My tail is getting' hot!" Winstone shrugged an apology and tossed a trap over. Soon, the Pokébusters had two down and ten to go.
Heridos suddenly became anxious. It had to get out of that Firehouse! Just as he turned to run, however, it was speared by four proton beams at once. Furious beyond the capacity for English, Heridos screamed, "Gengar! GENGAR!! GENGAR!!"
But it was no use. Heridos was caught, and soon his frantic shouting was silenced by the trap doors that closed over his head. With their leader and Trainer gone, all the rest of the Pokémon just floated in silence, not trying to leave or attack. Even Xerox did nothing more than glop dejectedly.
"All right!" Janine whooped. "We beat 'em!"
"Cool! I should get a Trainer Badge for this!" Ray cried enthusiastically.
"You're trippin', Ray," Winstone commented fondly.
Venkchu swung his tail around and tossed it over his shoulder, just like he would a proton rifle. "I venk that went chu quite smoothly, if I chu say so myself."
"Speng," Spenglytuff agreed.
"So," Venkchu asked, "What chu we chu with all these Pokémon? I'd venk bad about it if we just trapped them…after all, they venk aren't even moving." He pointed up at the remaining Gastlies and Haunters, every one of them with the saddest look on their face. Sephiros shook off his swoon and floated up to join its companions.
Ray scratched his head. "They do look an awful lot like lost puppies, don't they."
"I think you should catch them in your Pokéballs, then set them free in your Game Boy," Janine offered.
Winstone nodded. "Seems fair enough. They won't do anything without a trainer, and you're the only trainer around here, Ray."
"Yeah," Ray nodded. He grabbed his three Pokéballs and walked over to stand in front of the ghostly Pokémon. He cleared his throat, then said, "Hey, Gastlies and Haunters…um…I was wondering, since your trainer is gone, if you would like to be my Pokémon?"
The ghosts exchanged glances with one another. Then, one at a time, the Pokémon started moving toward Ray's Pokéballs, apparently in an attempt to cram themselves in all at the same time. Surprisingly, it worked; the ghostly Pokémon took up almost no space, and they all fit in the three balls. Xerox continued its pathetic gloping.
"I'll get to you in a moment," Ray promised as he took his Pokéballs and set them next to the haunted Game Boy. Then he opened each ball and allowed the ghosts to return to their own plane of existence. One by one, Gastlies and Haunters faded away when they reached the game, all except for one. The last Haunter hesitated, looking back at Ray with a wistful expression.
Ray, in a moment of pure unadulterated Rayness, said, "OK, you can stay."
The Haunter, which happened to be Sephiros, clapped happily and returned to the Pokéball, while Venkchu, Spenglytuff, Winstone, and Janine all gaped.
"No venking way! Not on chu life! I've had it up chu here with Pokémon!!" Venkchu shouted, holding a paw high over his head.
"But it looked so lonely," Ray countered as he turned to gather up the Ditto and return it to the game. Xerox was only too happy to leave, and it squelched into the cartridge as fast as it could.
"I suppose we should let the other two Gastlies go," Winstone commented.
"Yeah, let's do that," Ray answered. He retrieved the two traps and opened them, setting the Gastlies loose. He told them they were free to go, and they also disappeared into the game.
The moment the last Gastly disappeared, Spenglytuff, Winstone, and Venkchu felt a change begin in their bodies. Spenglytuff's already huge eyes went even wider, and he scrambled up the stairs. Venkchu blinked, then as realization dawned, he too shot up the stairs.
"What's a matter with them?" Janine asked.
Winstone knitted his brow. Then he too remembered. "Oh. I'll tell you in a second, gotta go." Then the megaton Pokébuster bounded up the stairs, denting a few on his way.
Ray and Janine just looked at each other in confusion. They both shrugged and followed after their colleagues.
When the two arrived in the bunk room, they suddenly understood what the rush was. Each bed except for Ray's was occupied with a real human Ghostbuster, apparently wrestling their pajamas on under the covers.
"Oh," Ray said. "I guess it was a matter of decency."
Janine twisted her lips into a sort of disappointed frown. "Drat. That would have been even better than the Polaroids I snapped earlier."
"You didn't," Peter asked, apprehensive under his set of sheets.
"I so did."
A collective groan made its way out from under three sets of bedding, and both Janine and Ray burst out laughing.
* * *
"We have to do it, Ray," Peter said, now fully human again and in his jumpsuit. He aimed a thrower at the haunted Pokémon Blue cartridge, while Ray tried to block the way.
"But Pe~ter! I have all one hundred and fifty-one!"
"Ray, you know we have to do this," Egon added, adjusting his glasses, which now were the right size for his regular, normal eyes.
"Yeah Ray, especially after we found that trap empty. Since Heridos lost the battle, he must have returned to what ever plane it came from, and it might try again," Winston, resplendent in human form, reasoned. "And I for one don't want to be that kind of rolling stone again."
"I second that. I've heard enough of Janine's rodent jokes to last a lifetime."
"But you made such a nice rat, Dr. Venkchu," Janine quipped. Peter rolled his eyes. Somehow he had the feeling he was not going to hear the end of that anytime soon.
And while Egon had nothing to add, they all knew he would rather die a hideous death (again), than be a pink fuzz-ball any longer. Janine's threat had proven to be true; she had several Polaroids of each Ghostbuster in Pokémon form.
"Besides, contrary to everyone's better judgment, you kept that Haunter, so it's not like you don't have a rare Pokémon," Peter continued.
"Well, I suppose…if you have to…," Ray pouted as he moved out of the way.
"Yes, we have to," all three former Pokébusters said in unison. Then Peter fired, instantly neutronizing the Pokémon Blue cartridge. All that remained was a black smudge of soot. Ray let out a sigh. Then, after a few moments of mourning, he reached into his pocket and withdrew his second Game Boy, the special Pokémon Pikachu edition.
The other three Ghostbusters gasped in horror, then proceeded to tackle Ray. Very shortly, an all out chase ensued, with Ray protecting his Game Boy for dear life.
Janine and Sephiros the Haunter just laughed themselves silly.