Manhattan, New York
June 2, 1993
The night was hot and muggy. Heat hung in the air, moist and wretched. Car horns blared as the city that never slept kept going, its human pulse stronger in the night than it ever was during the day. Captain James Frump of the New York Police Department rode in the unmarked police car’s passenger seat. He took a napkin and mopped up the beads of sweat on his forehead as the old brown Ford Crown Victoria hit a pothole, bouncing hard, its shocks groaning. The lights of the buildings gleamed and the streetlights glared, flaring off of the glass in sparkling specks of artificial sunlight, sunlight that tried to pierce the heart of one of the blackest nights the city had seen in many years, yet even it failed on nights such as this.
The light pollution blocked out most of the stars and the moon wasn’t even out tonight. One of his detectives, Felicia Stone, was driving. She was a small but tough young woman. She had seen her fair share of violence in the city and had seen all kinds of horror that people could do to each other.
Frump looked her over and wondered how such a woman came to be interested in the law. She was built like an athlete, with brown hair that she kept short. Her eyes were sharp, the eyes of a predatory bird, always watching for the most minute details. She had the brains too. Woman was like a living computer. Her only problem was that she wasn’t one for interacting with people. Then again, Frump thought, that was what quite a few people said about him. He caught a glimpse of himself in the passenger’s side mirror as they passed a well lit intersection, turning towards their final destination.
He was in his late thirties, nearing forty years old he grimaced. He was a tall man, very broad and large, heavy set but was still powerful and quite imposing. He had switched out his police blues for the white business shirt, dark overcoat and black business slack once he hit detective a year ago and had kept the look ever since. He studied his lined face and his tired eyes. Need to lay off the drink a bit, he thought, chewing the toothpick that he always carried with him.
“What’s the address again?” he asked, his gruff voice tainted slightly by his Brooklyn accent.
“487 north 87th street, apartment 305.” Stone replied, her voice even and level. She took the last turn to hit 87th street properly and instantly the neighborhood changed. The streets suddenly weren’t so clean. Litter, paper and trash cluttered the corners. The buildings here were made of old brown stone. What he saw through the windshield confirmed what he was dreading inside their destination. Up ahead, there were three police cars with their blue lights flashing, strobing in the dark, creating a strange staccato effect.
There were police barricades set up, blocking off access to the apartment building that was apparently he focus of all the attention. A white cargo van with a blue stripe sat outside as well, its rear doors open. Its sides were unmarked but Frump knew what it was. Everyone did. Around it, men and women in blue hazmat suits were cataloging things in plastic bags.
Stone pulled the car up to the curb just in front of the coroner’s van and killed the engine.
“You ready for this?” She asked, reaching for her door handle.
Frump made a sound in his throat. “I’ve been doing this for twenty years. You’re never ready for it, no matter how much you think you are. Let’s get it over with.” Sighing, he opened his door and with a little effort, extricated himself from the car. Stone did the same making sure her gun was in its holster on her side under her jacket. They approached the barricade where a young man, a beat cop, probably no more than twenty three years old stood, shivering in his police blues. Frump could hear his teeth rattling. It wasn’t cold.
“Sir, this is a crime scene, you can’t come through here.” He said stammering.
Frump pulled out his badge and flashed it in front of the young cop.
“Relax, half-pint. Captain J. Frump, NYPD, homicide division.”
Recognizing his superior, the young man fumbled and moved the barricade quickly out of the way as Stone and Frump moved behind it, walking purposefully towards the steps leading up to the old brownstone in front of them. Officers, both in uniform and plain clothes hung around the building, trading notes, checking in evidence. The air here was tense, painfully so. Anyone who spoke did so in quiet whispers. Mounting the steps, Frump lifted the yellow police tape to let Stone enter first.
As they moved down the hallway to the stairs leading up to the third floor, nervous tenants had their heads stuck out of doorways looking at the action going on around them, their eyes wide and their voices silent. Death had paid a visit to the building tonight and it was clear that he was not kind during his visit from the expression’s on people’s faces.
“You familiar with the report?” Frump asked. He liked keeping his detectives on their toes.
“Yes, sir. A neighbor called to report that she had heard what sounded like fighting. There were some loud bangs and a woman’s scream. Then it was quiet. Being curious, the neighbor stepped out of her unit and made her way over to 305. She called us when she noticed the blood pool seeping out from under the doorway.” Stone recited in her practiced objective manner.
“So why did they call me in?” Frump wondered aloud.
“That, sir, is what I would like to know. The lead detective just told me to get my ass over here now and to bring you. He said you’d know what to do with it.” She replied as they mounted the stairs.
“I don’t like this, Stone. I’ll be the first one to tell you, something doesn’t feel right about this. I mean, it’s a murder, yeah but something….something is just wrong here….” He said as they hit the first floor landing.
“What do you mean?” she asked, turning down the second hallway, their footsteps strangely loud in the confined space.
“Don’t you feel it?”
Stone shook her head. “It seems quiet, quieter and less busy than most crime scenes I’ve seen. I don’t know what I’m supposed to be feeling.”
They finally reached the third floor and the apartment itself was obvious. Four uniformed cops stood outside, each one not really looking towards the door to the unit, each trying to stay busy. Even the lead coroner and detective were standing outside. Frump scowled. They had a job to be doing.
“Look alive you clowns,” he said gruffly as he approached. “What happened here?”
The lead detective looked up and stammered before giving up.
“I don’t know….I’ve never seen anything like this…”
“Step outside. Get you some coffee and then come back, kid. You look like you’re about to pass out. What do you have, Rodgers?” Frump asked, looking from the pale faced detective to the much older coroner. Dennis Rodgers had been with the NYPD for forty years, and his lined wrinkled face had seen everything from murders, to suicides to mass killings. While his hair was mostly gone, his mind and memory were still unbelievably sharp. His glasses were smudged with a streak of red, Frump noticed. The man was also shaking.
“Captain, I’ve never seen the likes of what happened in that room. I don’t know what to tell you other than you need to see it for yourself.” His voice was quiet and rushed as though he were trying hard not to vomit. The man had an iron stomach. Rodgers dug out a pair of latex gloves and gave a pair to both Frump and Stone.
Feeling the tingle of dread start to creep up his spine, Frump turned slowly to the apartment door was currently closed. Looking down where he stood, Frump saw that the clean up team had at least cleaned up the blood in the hallway; the floor bore the marks of intense scrubbing and looked much lighter than the floor around it. Snapping on the gloves, Frump turned the knob to the apartment door and swung the door open.
His eyes widened.
His breath froze in his lungs. His heart fluttered so fast for a moment he thought he was going to have a heart attack. His stomach protested and lurched as the smell hit him. The coppery iron smell of wet blood. It was thick, the air tainted. Every breath was like breathing in and tasting death itself.
“Jesus Christ….Mary and Joseph….” He said, unable to bring himself to cross the thresh hold. Putting his hand to his mouth, he looked around the living room…what had been the living room…now it was more like something out of a meat butchering plant. The furniture was tossed around as if a tornado had exploded into the small space. The couch was torn into two pieces, each one shredded…the ends….looked chewed.
The walls had been white but now they too were scarlet as blood ran down them in drying sheets. Everything was coated. He saw something that was tinged blue with ragged edges hanging from a light fixture. It looked pale in the light, as scarlet dripped from the torn edges at what been an elbow.
It was the victim’s arm.
Hung like a trophy.
His eyes moving, unable to blink finally found the victim herself. Her body was mangled, torn, shredded, her innards strung around the room, spilling their funk and bile. Her right foot was missing.
There were strange marks on her arm that was remaining, on her torso, on her neck….strange U shaped marks….
He felt the world swim a bit as he realized he was looking at human bite marks.
On the walls, there was more than blood. There were strange deep gouges, five of them, dragged down through the plaster and dry wall, each gouged lined with flecks of gore…one even had an eyelid stuck in it. These rips were all over the room. A greenish-black liquid oozed from the bookshelf across the room and puddle up on the floor. The room itself was cold, far too cold. He realized he could see his breath condense in front of his face.
He looked at the victim again.
He realized she had no face. It had been ripped away, even her nose.
It looked like a rabid animal had been set loose in the apartment; there was simply no way this could have been another human being. It couldn’t have.
The cold in the air…the green slime….the rips in the wall….
This was something beyond a normal homicide…..this was….something else.
“Get me a phone.” He said, stumbling back as he closed the door to the apartment.
“What’s wrong?” Stone asked, standing in front of him, blocking him from moving.
“Get out of my way before I throw up on you, and get me a goddamned phone…NOW!” He barked at her and she jumped to do as she was told. Frump quickly made the three flights out of the building and barely made to a nearby trash can before his stomach contents finally made an appearance, splashing all over the pavement, missing the can entirely.
Six blocks away, Club DuRant was pumping its music into the night, its bright neon lights flashing, its music thumping the walls. Men and women dressed to the nines went into and out of the club in a steady stream. One woman, a young beautiful blonde wearing a black leather miniskirt, fishnets, black stilettos and a crop top came out of the club. She was laughing, her white flawless teeth flashing a seductive grin. She tucked her purse under her arm and began to walk down the sidewalk, bouncing to a tune only she could hear. As she passed the alleyway between Club DuRant and the convenience store next door, movement caught her eyes.
A trash can fell over, and rats ran scurrying, squealing into the street. She gasped as a man came into view. He was strange looking, crouched over, like an animal. He was covered in what looked like dirt and mud. She couldn’t really tell. His clothes were torn in places and his skin looked strange…his fingertips were black and blue, like someone suffering from frostbite. Frostbite in June?
He was shivering, as if he were freezing. She could hear his teeth clacking together and she felt a swell of pity for him. She knew what it was like to live on the streets. Hell, they were her home half of the time. He was probably coming down off of his drug of choice, the real demons of the street. Sighing, she walked over towards him as he crouched low to the ground.
“Hey, mister. Do you need help? Maybe let me call an ambulance for you? You don’t look so good.” She said. Up close, she could smell him. It was the most awful smell she had ever encountered; rotting flesh, bile and well, shit. He stank of shit.
He lurched forward and she dropped her purse to catch him. She didn’t know what made her do it but hell, he was human after all, no matter how much of a needle junkie he was.
“Easy there! Lemme call you someone. You got a girl or a guy? What’s their number?” she said, trying to stand up. She found she couldn’t. The man while he looked weak was terrifically strong. His grip on her shoulders was like a metal vice, his touch colder than a winter’s frost.
“I….” he spoke, his voice sounding like he was speaking through dirt….through grave dirt… “I….I’m so….so hungry….”
“Okay hun, no problem. I can probably get you a burger or something…” she offered, trying again to stand.
“So…hungry…” he said again, his eyes lingering on her neck.
It must have been at trick of the light because his eyes seemed to change, change colors, into a fiery yellow sulfur red.
“What the hell are you?!” she stammered and tried to pull away.
With a inhuman growl, the man yanked her hard back into the shadows.
For a moment, there was the sound of a struggle, violent blows and then a strange wet ripping sound followed by a sickening popping crunch. A pair of a red eyes stared out from the shadows followed by a wet sounding voice, a voice that sounded like someone who was speaking with their mouth full.
By: Anthony Milhorn
Based on characters created by Harold Ramis, Dan Aykroyd and Ivan Reitman. All copyrights to characters belong to Sony Pictures © 1984-2014. Original story by Anthony Milhorn.
14th North Moore Street
New York, NY 10013
June 3, 1993
“I don’t like this, not one bit.” Dr. Ray Stantz said as he leaned over the lab table. Before him pages upon pages of data, graphs and charts were laid out. Each one showed spiking numbers, levels and readings. Next to him, his colleague and long time friend, Dr. Egon Spengler, similarly leaned over the table, his black round glasses near the tip of his nose, his eyes moving quickly from one page to the other. Both men were dressed in their civilian clothes, easy business slacks, and shirts with long white lab coats on. The only difference was where Egon wore shined dress shoes, Ray wore beat up sneakers.
“Your concern is a valid one. Ray, these data indicate large spikes all over every scale we have. Massive PKE fluctuations all over the city and even outside New York.” Spengler said, pushing his glasses up on his face and straightening up.
A tall African-American man, Dr. Winston Zeddemore came up the stairs from the lobby and approached the table. Unlike the other two, he was a powerfully built imposing figure but with a heart of a gold. His black mustache gave him the bearing of a police officer or a Marine. Fitting, because he had been in the Marines as an electronics warfare specialist. Since joining the Ghostbusters in 1984, his interest in the paranormal and history had shifted his studies into Egyptology.
“Egon’s right. Every case we’ve had, from Amityville to Utah to the Altoona and even here, in New York with that shisha, has been getting harder and more violent. We used to bust an average of two or three Class two’s and three’s a week. What’s going on, fellas?” he said, pulling up a chair at the table, rolling up the sleeves on his plaid shirt. Running a hand through his brown auburn hair, Ray shook his head and shrugged.
“I don’t know, Winston. From all the data we’ve collected from every case in the last six months, especially in the last two, the readings are stronger, longer lasting and the manifestations have became more dangerous. Its almost like Gozer all over again.”
“Great. Another big Twinkie.” Winston muttered.
Egon shook his head. “No, I don’t think its another Gozer manifestation. His energy was utterly obliterated by Shandor when he converted his own form three years ago. Gozer, for all intents and purposes, doesn’t exist anymore.”
“Except for the left over energy we have in our grid downstairs.” Winston reminded him pointedly.
Frowning, Ray replied. “I wouldn’t worry about Stay Puft. He seems harmless enough now that the negative energy has dissipated from his ectoplasm .”
Egon’s eyebrow drifted north towards his hairline but he didn’t say anything.
For a moment, the three of them studied the readouts and Ray finally sighed in frustration, throwing up his hands in surrender.
“I just don’t get it. There’s no central source for any of this. No reason it should be occurring.”
Glancing outside, he saw the sky was darkening and storm clouds were rolling in. A few seconds later, he heard the grumble of thunder.
“Even the weather is changing.” He added quietly.
The phone rang loudly, the jangle piercing the silence that had suddenly invaded the lab and Janine had the day off.
“I got it.” Ray said, jumping up from the table. Winston knew very well that when Ray became frustrated, he got antsy.
Across the room, Ray picked up the extension headset, sliding it over his ears. Adjusting the microphone, he tapped the pick up key.
“Ghostbusters. This is Dr. Ray Stantz. How can I help you?”
Egon and Winston watched as Ray’s face grew darker as his eyebrows knitted together into a frown.
“Yeah. I understand. I’ll get everyone down there now. Bye.”
Ray clicked the off key and took off the headset, setting it down on the table in front of him with a soft clack. He turned to his friends.
“That was the strangest call I think we’ve ever gotten.”
“Who was it?” Winston asked, standing up, feeling the uneasiness radiate off of Ray like a heat wave.
“It was Frump. He wants us to come down the police station.”
Winston shook his head. “Whatever it is, we didn't do it.”
“No, it isn’t that,” Ray told him, putting his hands in his lab coat pocket. “He said he needs our help on a case….a murder case.”
Egon and Winston both looked at each other.
“Let’s head down before it really rains,” Ray said as the first drops of water began to splatter against the firehouse’s windows. “I’ll wake up Pete.” He said, moving off towards the dorms.
A few minutes later, they were each dressed in dark trench coats and were walking down the stairs, with Peter Venkman looking less than awake.
“Should we take any gear?” Winston asked as they approached the long white 1959 Cadillac ambulance they called Ecto-1 in the main garage.
“The car’s loaded. Bryan recharged and loaded it before he left on his vacation. We should have plenty if we need it.” Egon replied, opening the passenger door and sliding across the front seat, settling into place. Winston slid in next to him, the car’s dark green leather seating cold through his jeans. Peter sleepily eased himself into the right rear jump seat shutting the door clumsily behind him.
“Where are we going?” he asked, his speech slurred as he yawned.
“The police station.” Ray told him as he took the driver’s seat, putting the jangling keys into the ignition. Peter instantly snapped awake.
“Because our old pal Frump asked us to.”
“Do I need to get my own lawyer? I’m not asking Louis.” Peter said quickly, brushing his hair down flat and back from his forehead.
“No lawyer, Peter. There was a murder last night. Frump thinks there’s something unusual about it.” Ray said, starting the huge car’s massive V8 engine.
The motor roared to well-tuned life. Hitting the dashboard switch, Ray opened the twin garage doors. The big wooden doors clicked as their lock disengaged and they swung wide, letting the big car out onto the street. Ray pulled the long ambulance out into the street and as usual people stared. It wasn’t often that one saw a car that old, with its spotless white paint, fat white-walls and long severe red rocket tail fins, not to mention the countless pieces of tracking and ectoplasmic study gear on the roof top, along with the blue police lights which for now were dark.
The red NO-GHOST symbol on the driver and passenger door however was familiar enough. A few people pointed. Usually, they associated the car with weird stuff happening somewhere and most gave it a wide berth. Ray stopped the Ecto-1, put in park and got out, going back to lock the big doors and the smaller one. Since Janine wasn’t here, he didn’t want nosey folks getting into the firehouse and causing some kind of cross –rip event by touching the wrong thing. Satisfied, he returned, and shut the driver’s door with a hard THUNK just as the rain finally began to pour in earnest. It splattered and spat on the windshield, quickly blurring any visibility to zero. Lightning split the dark clouds and Ray flicked on the wipers and headlights.
“This is not going to be a good day, is it?” Peter said from the backseat, looking out his window at the storm which had now grown to cover every visible inch of the sky.
“And just think, its barely after noon.” Winston quipped, resting his arm on the door panel as the Ecto-1 pulled into traffic and headed downtown.