Angel by Whedon and Mutant Enemy. Ghostbusters by Akroyd, Ramis and Columbia Pictures. The Real Ghostbusters by Columbia Pictures, DiC and Coca-Cola.

'The Purple People Eater' by Sheb Wooley, 1958

The "Never Deal With a Dragon" saying is from FASA Entertainment's Shadowrun RPG and might have first been made by Michael Mulvihill.

The festival here is fictional but Suffolk County, New York has made great strides in agriculture :)


New York City:

"... if we think of J. Edgar Hoover, then J. Edgar Hoover will come and destroy us!"

"You mean, if we think of the Flying Purple People Eater, he'll just come down, out of the sky?"

"The form of your destruction has been chosen. Prepare to meet your DOOM!"

"Holy Hell, Winston!" Peter fumed. "I can't believe you just did that! I mean if it were Ray..."

"Hold on a second, I wasn't thinking about it. It was just a suggestion."

"Guys, it might still be my fault, I mean when he mentioned the song, it kinda... flashed through my head."

"Shut up, Ray. It doesn't matter who thought what! We've got bigger problems to deal with."

"You just had to say that, Egon, didn't you? Well, guys, there it is. Hope you're happy."

"It's hovering well out of the range of the beams, want to take bets on what that 'horn' sounds like?"

"No. Let's concentrate on how to deal with an enemy, outdoors, who has full three-dimensional movement."

"I'm just happy it wasn't the gigantic Twinkie you were talking about back in the cell. That'd be completely indestructible."

"Yes, truly... It seems to be circling... somewhat aimlessly... Let's hope that it's bound by the immense amount of words in the song."

"If that's 'undergrowed' I sure don't want to see it's mamma!"

##

"Guys, I was waiting for a better time to bring this up but, there's a soda company that's willing to give us one of their helicopters - they're calling it 'Ecto 2' - if we sign a contract endorsing a new toyline."

"Ray, why didn't you say that sooner? Especially when we friggin' had to walk up all those steps?"

"Well, we have to accept the toyline as is. They've pretty much done a good job of distilling our 'essence' without looking exactly like us. Which really doesn't make any sense when you consider they're keeping our names... Hey, I do have a couple of the proofs rights here..."

"I'm not real happy about my toy having white hair... Janine looks about right, but the rest of you just come off as goofy."

"That really isn't too much of a stretch."

"Hey!"

"... And remember that green glutton ghost that slimed Peter? The company also wants us to include him on the team as a good guy!"

"In real life, or just for the toyline?"

"Hmm, you know, they weren't that specific..."

##

"This doesn't look good. Whatever that thing is, it's flying East."

"If it's 'bound by the words of the song', then we don't have to worry about it, right? It's only come here to eat purple people and join a rock and-"

"Yes, Peter. We wouldn't have anything to worry about if Suffolk County wasn't holding it's 'First Annual Grape and Eggplant Festival.'"

Ray smiled. "Yep, they sure are proud of their agriculture, you know they're beginning to outcompete Cali-"

"Let's save the brochure for later. Ray, you've got to make that phone call."

##

Los Angeles:

The phone rang at the main desk of Wolfram and Hart's Entertainment Division, so the new department head answered it. The conversation was short, but it pulled Lorne out of his favored 'relaxed, legs-crossed on the desk' position, to a 'sitting stiffly, can't believe what I'm hearing' pose. He hung up, feeling nostalgia for the days when his biggest worry was bad vibrations.

After a few seconds, he composed himself, forced a smile onto his face and left the room. On his way to his destination he ran directly into his very good friend, Fred.

"Hey, is everything okay?" she asked, reading him like a book.

"No time to talk, sweetie," he said, nodding kindly, but firmly. "I just got a call from our New York Branch and I need to teleport there in the next fifteen minutes. Appears it's up to me to save the world."

##

Suffolk County:

"Hey, there it is! I see it!"

"Yeah, Ray, I have to admit that this helicopter was a good idea. Now let's catch up to it and do some shooting!"

"Everybody, it's important to keep your beams at half-power until we can force it into a less populated location."

"I thought the object was to destroy this thing."

"Not like we did before, not just a neutronization... We can't afford to have it reintegrate into an uncontrolled form. With this many sentient minds in the area, the possible consequences could be disastrous."

"Now he tells me..."

##

New York City:

"Well, that was a rush," Lorne said, stumbling out of the local Wolfram and Hart offices and onto the private runway. "Funny. I should have my time zones pinned down by now, but I was expecting daylight..."

The shades-wearing pilot took pity on him and pointed up.

"Whoa! All that nasty weather's coming from that building? Let me guess, you guys... we... financed the construction? No, wait," Lorne said, waving his hands as he climbed into the two-rotored helicopter. "I don't want to know. Just get me a Sea Breeze."

##

Suffolk County:

"We're the Ghostbusters," Peter shouted into the bullhorn. "This is not a publicity stunt! The flying purple people eater circling over our heads, that has not landed and started to feed right now - thanks to us - is real. If everyone would wash their face paint off and evacuate the festival in a calm and orderly manner, maybe, just maybe, we can beat this thing!"

"Good job, Peter! I think they're listening."

"Now if that thing would land, then maybe we'd get somewhere... How much juice left in the packs?"

"Not nearly enough to buy enough time to get everyone out of the area, unfortunately. I-"

He trailed off, his words being muffled by the sound of an approaching vehicle.

"Ray... Did you order another helicopter, one of those large tandem rotor things with a much better paint job?"

"No, but let's hope he's on our side." Ray did a double-take as the craft landed and a demon in a cream-colored business suit climbed out. "Guys, are you seeing what I'm seeing?"

Egon whipped out a scanning device. "Amazing! A full body, completely corporeal, semi-humanoid netherwordly manifestation!"

Peter shook his head. "Enough with the paranormal double-speak, Egon. It's clearly not a ghost, it's green and it has horns. Let's just call it a demon."

"No problems, gentlemen, that's what I am." With a flourish, Lorne handed out four of his business cards. "An interdimensional expatriate with no ties to the underworld, if that helps any. The name's Krevlornswath - Lorne for short - and I'm here representing the Los Angeles branch of the company who's handling the contract you just signed in order to get 'Ecto 2' up and running so quickly. Seems like you've done a good job keeping track of the 'problem' and preventing any fatalities, but I'm here to solve it. Would you be so kind as to hand me the bullhorn?"

"Why, sure."

"Ray!"

"What? He seems nice."

##

The Ghostbusters covered their ears as, after having walked a short distance away, Lorne turned the bullhorn up to maximum and shouted: "Hello, Mr. Purple People Eater! If you would be so kind as to land in that empty field over there, I have contracts for you to sign concerning a record deal!"

Peter snorted. "Like that's gonna work... Well, at least it's better than our other option of hoping we're all 'too tough'. I mean the only one that really fits is Egon..."

"Hey, I resent that remark."

Winston gave a cautious grin. "Guys, he's landing."

##

"... record deal... lifetime supply of short shorts... concert tour... all this for you and the main thing you have to do is sign away your ability to cause death or harm to any sentient creature on Earth or other Earth-type planets, as well as your ability to cause massive property damage," As Lorne finished his lengthy spiel, he held out a pen to the Purple People Eater. "The terms will take effect immediately, though we retain the option to void it next week in case you turn out to have zero talent."

"That won't be a problem," said the monster in a gravelly voice that was unusually high-pitched for its bulk, as it signed the contract.

As soon as the ink had dried, the monster began to play an intricate melody through its horn, carrying the clear sound of a set of panpipes. It switched to upbeat jazz and the clarinet, segued into the pure, thought-provoking sound of the oboe, then broke out again in full swing.

The people from the somewhat evacuated festival soon crowded into the large field and began to cheer the monster on to new musical heights.

"Hey, not to question your methods," Ray asked, after tapping Lorne on the shoulder. "But why didn't you wait until after this demonstration before signing the contract?"

"This is just your first thwarted apocalypse, so you probably didn't notice that the song left this pigeon-toed ex-Force of Destruction the option of really knocking everyone dead by playing rock and roll music through the horn in its head, above and beyond any question of its diet."

"Wow! Hadn't even thought of that..."

##

After the impromptu concert was over and the monster had agreed to follow Lorne's helicopter back to the city, Lorne paused to shake the hands of the heroes and offer a few parting words.

"We'll be seeing more of each other. Because you guys are the 'good' guys I'll be handling your contract, personally."

The Ghostbusters huddled around the bulk of their new single-bladed helicopter and watched the larger Boeing twin-rotored aircraft lift off the ground.

"I somehow have a bad feeling about this..."

"What's that phrase floating around the streets," asked Winston, staring off into the distance. "Watch your back, shoot straight, conserve ammo and never cut a deal with a demon?"

"Close, but no. The last word's 'dragon.'"

"Not too much of a stretch," Egon muttered, staring up at the bulk of the Wolram and Hart helicopter flying overhead, complete with stylized green dragon scale paint job and glowing yellow 'eyes'.

Silently, they climbed into their much plainer 'Ecto 2' and began the flight back.

##

"So, what are we going to do about that?" Egon asked, pointing towards the thick clouds that were blocking out sunlight over a large part of New York City and the presumably still open portal they were centered around.

"Guys, maybe just this once we can let someone else deal with it," Ray said, thoughtfully. "Maybe Lorne could sell it as a tourist attraction. It is, after all, the largest supernatural event since the Tunguska blast of 1908. If the guy can literally talk an incarnation of Gozer the Gozerian out of killing anybody he might be capable of anything."

"Yeah, Ray. That's exactly what we're afraid of..."

"Oh."

##

##

Tequila!