Recruiting a Rookie

Ghostbusters Video game

Rating: K (clean as a whistle)

Disclaimer: The Ghostbusters, Rookie included, are owned by Misters Reitman, Aykroyd, Murray, Ramis, and Hudson as well as Columbia Studios.

The open house was not a success. Even by New York standards, the weirdos came out. The ones who had the physical strength to lift a pack didn't have the mentality and the ones who had the mentality either couldn't lift the pack or seemed more inclined to worship what they ought to be busting.

"Call it a day," Winston grumbled. "I'm beat."

"I'm ready to call it," muttered Egon. "I calculated our odds of success, gentlemen. You all now owe me twenty dollars apiece."

Ray held up his hand. "Guys, we still have an hour. Give it a chance."

Twenty minutes from closing, Janine escorted a young man upstairs. The young fellow could pass for any number of near-indistinguishable grad students, but he had a sturdy build and cropped hair. He wore a NYU sweatshirt and jeans. A a heavy-looking backpack was strapped to his back.

"Tried to talk him out of it," Janine said. "But this is open house. Your call, boys."

The young man looked around the room and suddenly seemed to lose the steadiness he had earlier.

"Hello there," Ray said, approaching the young man and shaking his hand. Courtesy went a long way in a city like New York. At least, that was the thought that let him sleep at night.

The young man let go of Ray's hand, put a bit more at ease. Do you understand ASL?

"Sign language? Sure." Winston signed as he talked. "Are you deaf?"

Not deaf. Ghost stole my voice when I was twelve.

"Sounds like a Class Three or higher," Ray speculated. "Maybe a minor demon. Could always look into it."

"Look, kid," Peter drawled. "We're the right guys to call, but maybe you misunderstood the meaning of the open house."

The young man jutted out his chin and stood firm. No. I did understand. I'm here to join you.

Even Ray was skeptical. "Join us? Umm, kid?"

The backpack came off, and the fellow opened it up. Inside were thick tomes the Ghostbusters knew well – dog-eared copies of Tobin's Spirit Guide, Liber AL vel Legis, Musaeum Hermeticum – along with a three-ringed notebook that he pulled out and set on the table. Egon, still having a professor's mentality, picked it up and began to leaf through it.

Just graduated from NYU with a parapsychology degree, cum laude. I also took physics as my elective classes.

"I bet you have the student loans from hell," Winston remarked.

Not really, the young man signed. Football scholarship. Played offensive tackle!

"NYU? C'mon, we're all Columbia men," Peter said, half-jokingly.

"Speak for yourself. NYU here," Winston said.

"And I'll never let you live it down," Peter countered.

"I'd take him," Egon said, still leafing through the notebook with interest. "I'd give this a B-plus. Maybe even an A-minus."

"Egon, Hell literally froze over when you gave out an 'A' grade. We have proof," Peter snarked.

"Seriously? I gotta see this!" Ray went to look over Egon's shoulder. After looking over a couple pages, he shrugged. "Kid passes the academics. And that backpack he's carrying means he could handle the proton packs."

"What about the fact the kid can't speak?" Peter asked.

"Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. If he can do the job with reasonable accommodations,there's no reason not to hire him. The five of us, Janine included, can utilize ASL," Egon said. "Since his backpack and scholarship indicate he can handle the physical demands of the job, and the notebook indicates he has more than a rudimentary grasp of the physics and parapsychology fields, I'd say there is no logical reason not to hire the kid."

Ray grinned. "Told you guys this was a great idea!" He clasped his colleagues on the back and then put a hand on the young man's shoulder. "Welcome aboard, Cadet. You're going to be our new experimental equipment technician. Report in at nine AM sharp."

The man blinked and grinned. Really? Thank you! It's an honor.

He shouldered his pack, shook their hands, and walked down the stairs to be escorted out by Janine. Ray turned to the others with a cheeky smile.

"Egon, I believe that you owe me the twenty dollar bill."