gone_byebye: (bust this)
Ray has tried to make a habit of using the same door to go to Milliways every time, except when there's an emergency. The door in the alley was inaccessible for obvious reasons- the Miliways side might change size freely, but the Firehouse side? Ha. It's the door from the garage into the street, or it's nothing.

Which means, essentially, that the hearse backs out of the Bar and onto a street scene that looks like this, or possibly this. It pauses a moment.

"You okay back there, Dominic?"
gone_byebye: (ecto basic)
When Ray rolled back into the Firehouse from Milliways, Ecto wasn't in the garage. That was probably a good thing. If nothing else, it meant that she was at least getting out and about, even if it was only upstairs or down into the basement. "Janine?" the car called. "Janine, are you there?"

"In the bathroom, Dr. Stantz!" came the muffled answer.

"Oops! Sorry-"

"Not a problem!"

The total lack of biology made it impossible to feel properly embarrassed, since such a hefty component of the emotion was feedback from the physiological components of the response, but Ray still sort of wanted to duck his head and hunch his shoulders all the same. Instead he allowed himself the illusion of a sigh (forcing anything in or out of the radiator just didn't cut it) and sent out a series of pings.

"WHURF," came the answer from the electric kennel. Francis snapped into waking mode, came to his feet, and trotted over to the car's side.

"Good dog," said Ray. "Francis? Initiate find and retrieve behavior sequence. Scent identity to follow." It was easier to refer directly to his own entry in Francis' stored scent data in a stream of ones and zeroes than it was to explain names or appearances; he'd found the link to the Hound's data storage within a few minutes of returning to the Firehouse from the Empire State debacle. Working at a lower, more direct level of interface than the symbolic concatenations of language was simultaneously seriously funky and vaguely unnerving. Part of being human was not working with things directly, after all. That was what language and image were for.

"WHURF," the Hound answered, and dashed off up the stairs in search of Ecto. "WHURF WHURFWHURF WHURF whurf."

"Coming, Daddy!" Ecto called, and there were footsteps. Ray settled back on his rear suspension a little more and waited. He sort of wished Ecto could come to the garage via the pole, just so she'd know what it was like, but she was still getting used to bipedal locomotion and ordinary balancing. The variables involved in sliding down the poles without damaging the body were way more than she wanted to risk, or so she'd said. Privately, Ray wondered if she were afraid of heights. It wasn't like Ecto had ever been up so much as a flight of stairs before, after all. Looking down from the top of the pole was probably kind of unnerving to somebody for whom semicircular canals were a novelty.

Ecto arrived a moment later, somewhat awkwardly coming to a stop at the bottom of the stairs without tripping over Ray's- her own- feet. "What is it, Daddy?" she asked, swaying a little back and forth.

"Unlock the knees first," Ray suggested. "It'll be easier that way."

"Oh- right." A moment later she'd bent at the knees just a touch and had achieved a somewhat better balance. "Sorry, Daddy."

"Nothing to apologize for, kiddo. You're doing really well for someone who's only had legs for a few days." Ecto beamed. "I wanted to tell you, though- I got you some limbs."

Ecto blinked a few times, opening and closing Ray's mouth without actually saying anything. He almost laughed. He knew what having an empty speech queue could be like. "Waldoes?" she asked at last. "Like Dr. Octopus?"

"You've been reading my comic books," Ray said, a little surprised.

"Well, yeah," Ecto admitted. "I can turn the pages now. Will I still be able to? With the waldoes?"

"They're not waldoes exactly," Ray said. "They're arms. Real arms. Have a look."

One of the retractable arms slid out of its housing underneath the passenger side of the car and unfolded itself. It was jointed in several places, more so than a human arm, but it had to be; the body that it might have to reach around wasn't anywhere near as flexible or maneuverable as a human one. The mechanisms involved in the arm were infinitely more complicated than the simple musculature and bones and nerves of the human arm, too, since they had to fuel the same levels of strength along every centimeter of the limb- and, according to Ratchet, maintain the sort of fine motor control that would allow the user to catch an egg thrown at them without so much as scratching the shell. Ray was especially pleased with that, since it meant the five-fingered hand could turn paper pages as easily as a flesh hand might do.

"Wow," Ecto breathed. Her expression was one of pure fascination. "Where did you get that? Did Bonnie do that?"

"Nope," said Ray, with what would've been a grin if he'd had a face to grin with. "These babies aren't even Earth technology. They're Cybertronian work-"

It took him a moment to recognize the high-pitched sound that he was suddenly hearing. The eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! noise was coming from Ecto, who was grinning furiously as she reached out to touch the alien hand with one of Ray's own.
gone_byebye: (ecto basic)
When the car backs through the front door of Milliways (turn around and drive out? With this thing's turning radius? HAH), it does so onto a New York City street paved in cobbles and surrounded by medium-sized buildings. It sits very still for a moment- there is, after all, no one else coming down the one-way street- and then eases forward into the Firehouse as if nothing unusual were happening.

Probably it's a good thing that no one noticed the rather conspicuous lack of driver.

Inside, a cot's been set up in the garage, right next to the electronic 'doghouse' where Francis deactivates at night. Under more normal circumstances it would be said that Ray was sleeping on it, only, well, he's currently operating a rather larger and significantly more wheeled body than he's used to. Said body lets out a very quiet little aaoogah noise from one of the sirens. Janine looks up from her desk, where she's keeping tabs on the situation. "Dr. Stantz? You okay there?"

"Yeah, Janine," he says in the slightly tinny voice the car's voice synthesizer insists on giving him. "I'm okay. How's she doing?"

"You left two seconds ago. She's exactly the same." Janine slides her glasses up her noise with one finger. "Anybody at Milliways have any ideas?"

"A couple. I've only just started asking. I did bring Bob back with me to see if he could help her adjust a little, at least until we get things put right."

Janine nods. "You three want some privacy in the meantime?"

"That might not be a bad idea. Thank you, Janine."

As Janine gathers up her papers and heads for the kitchen upstairs, Ray turns his attention to the data storage area that was the digitizing laser's target zone. "Bob? Can you hear me?"
gone_byebye: (are you crazy? is that your problem?)
September 5, 2007
14 North Moore St
Manhattan


Whappawhappawhappawhap came the knock at the Firehouse door. “JANINE!” Peter bellowed. “Would you mind getting that? I’m too jet lagged to move!”

“That’s a lousy excuse, Doctor V!” Janine shot back, but she got up anyway. “Yeah, yeah, I’m coming, I’m- oh. Hi, Detective Chen.”

“Hi, Ms. Melnitz,” said Chen, running a hand over his disheveled hair. “Can I come in? We’ve got an emergency.”

“Sure,” said Janine. “I’ll get the guys.”

A few screeTHUNK noises later, all four Ghostbusters were clustered in the garage and Ecto’s blue scanner-light was sliding back and forth in the pattern of attentive listening. “How’s it going, Detective?” asked Winston.

“Not good,” Chen said. “We’ve got a screamer.”

“Huh, boy,” said Peter. “Serious, or just off his rocker and loud about it?”

Chen made a disgusted face. “Lemme put it like this,” he said. “Take your standard Port Authority crazy, okay? A really good one. Lots of endurance. The kind who’s still ranting when you get him into the holding tank.” He gratefully accepted the cup of coffee Janine put into his hand; they all knew him pretty well by now. “Now assume the guy’s got the ability to raise the dead.”

“Eew,” said Ray. “Anyone in particular?”

“Yeeeeah,” said Chen. “Leona Helmsley.”

“That’s not much of a challenge,” said Peter. “She’s barely been dead long enough for them to get to the will.”

“I know,” said Chen. “But this guy, Ivan von Stabbington-“

“What?”

“That,” said Chen, “is the name he gave us. Ivan von Stabbington the Third.” He said it with the kind of massively injured sense of propriety that you normally got in zookeepers when the white rhinoceros suddenly recovered from a week of constipation ten seconds before the emergency suppository was about to be administered. “The man’s a complete freaking psycho. He’s got Helmsley running around as a zombie, he says he’s holding a crate of kittens from the Bide-a-Wee shelter hostage, and you do not want to know what he did with a five-gallon container of ice cream.”

“No, probably not,” said Egon, pushing past Peter (whose expression indicated that his imagination had already gone there and that it was not a good place at all). “You said he was holding kittens hostage. Why haven’t police snipers taken him down yet? I thought the NYPD had issued tranquilizer rifles and long-range tasers to the Spook Squad.”

“It has,” said Chen. “Slight problem, though. You’re familiar with the concept of the dead-man’s switch?”

“Got one in my lightsaber,” said Ray. “If I drop it, the blade switches off.”

“Right,” said Chen. “Von Stabbington says he’s got something like that in place on the Empire State Building. The whole building. He won’t tell us what it is, but the air around the place tastes like chewing on tinfoil and those My First PKE Meters you gave my guys are going bugnuts. We need you to come up to the ESB and verify it before we knock this bozo out.”

“Why didn’t you say so in the first place?” said Peter. “We’re on our way.”

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Raymond Stantz

February 2014

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