gone_byebye: (oh god it's gonna eat me)
I don't know if any of you guys are still out there, but I know over the past year I've had the occasional indicator of interest from people reading this journal who may or many not read Ray's Milliways posts. This is addressed to you guys.

I'm sorry it took me so long to finish the October plot and set up Gozer vs. Cthulhu. I'm also sorry that I decided to convey the ending of that plot to Milliwaysers in a purely IC fashion, rather than writing it up as an OOM. Since I know the possibility exists that some of you may be interested in seeing how it ended, I'd like to point you at the threads where Ray tells his Milliways friends exactly what happened instead.

Ray tells Tyler Marlocke

Ray tells Annabelle Newfield

I'd been planning to end it this way for months, but couldn't figure out how to write it properly, so this seemed like the best way to convey it without blowing the whole thing. Thank you for your patience, and I'll do my best not to pull this on you again.
gone_byebye: (oh god it's gonna eat me)
On December the second of 1940 the United States and the United Kingdom clinched a deal. In exchange for fifty destroyers with which the British government could fight Hitler on the high seas, the United States was granted land in a number of British possessions, for the purpose of establishing naval or air bases on ninety-nine year rent-free leases. One such base, Beane AFB, lies on the western coast of St. Lucia.

It was quite natural, of course, for the pilots at Beane to be on alert that October night given what had just happened in the Pacific. It was similarly quite natural for them to scramble all their jets immediately when the two-hundred-foot bogey appeared on the radar due south of their position and started heading westward.

They probably didn't expect the orders to swing south to Mustique and pick up four passengers and their nuclear accelerators, though.



"Whooooeee." The Hornet pilot shakes his head, squinting out the jet's window. "That Gozer guy's hauling some serious ass."

"No more than we are," says Ray. He's trying not to let the jet's motions get to him. Ray's all right with flying, but small planes move around far too much for his liking, and even a full-sized multipurpose fighter like the Hornet still qualifies as 'small' compared to the beasts that take off from La Guardia. "We're all in the same boat this time."

"Yeah, but I've got a jet to do it with," the pilot points out. "That guy's about as aerodynamic as a brick. Hey, how's your passenger holding up back there?"
gone_byebye: (aiiiiiigh)
"So, uh," began Peter as Stanley and Gladys took their positions on the roof of the Mustique Island hotel, "question for you, Ray."

Ray fiddled with the strap of his proton pack. It was more than a little disturbing how familiar the Sumerian temple architecture looked, even here in the land of hurricanes. "What, Peter?"

The chanting started. There hadn't been chanting last time. Then again, there hadn't been Gozer cultists last time.

"If you're right, and this guy can beat Cthulhu..."

Overhead the clouds began to gather, swirling and circling into one with an unwholesome purplish light.

"What do we do with him afterwards? If he can punch out a Great Old One-"

The chanting got louder. Ray was trying very hard not to listen to it, but it wasn't easy.

"-then what makes you think we've got any kind of chance against him?"

"Mostly I'm hoping that Cthulhu puts up enough of a fight that even this form's resources will be severely depleted by the time it's all over," Ray said. "It's not exactly the most honorable way in the world to win a fight, admittedly-"

Lightning seared across the Caribbean skies, illuminating the 'are you on crack or something, Ray?' look on Winston's face, and the nearly identical one on Egon's.

"-but given the alternatives I don't really think fairness ought to enter into it. And we may just have an opportunity to try to get to Milliways for help at the last moment. Hang on tight, Jhalak, my readings are spiking."

A weird, unearthly wail joined the cultists' chanting, the wind howling up out of nowhere, spinning in mad circles around the rooftop. It was all Ray could do to hold his footing. Lightning followed moments after, striking in so many places around the rooftop that it was all but impossible to see. Thunder rolled-

"What the hell is going on?" Winston yelled. "I don't remember this happening before!"

"Gozer didn't have active worshippers to bring him through last time," Egon shouted back. "Just the building. The amount of effort being actively put forth right now is phenomenal!"

KRRRRAKOOOM.

Oh, great, Ray thought as he reflexively pawed at his eyes in the wake of the roof-wide thunderbolt. I can't see a thing.

Then again, he didn't have to. In the moment of whirling winds that followed, a booming, gravel-growling voice he and the other Ghostbusters knew only too well rang out:

"SUBCREATURES! GOZER THE GOZERIAN, GOZER THE DESTRUCTOR, LORD OF THE SEBOUILLIA, VOLGUUS ZILDROHAR, THE TRAVELLER HAS COME."

There was a moment of silence.

"ARE THESE FOUR MEANT AS A SACRIFICE?"

"N- no, dread Lord." Ray's vision had cleared fractionally, enough to see the palely terrified face of Gladys and Stanley's grandson. "I- I realize they're your enemies, but-"

Ray flinched away from Gozer's wrath just in time to preserve his vision. When he looked back, the young cultists lay sprawled in an ungainly heap against the base of one of the temple spires. "EXPLAIN YOURSELVES," thundered the god.

He swallowed, and forced himself to take a step forward. "Gozer the Gozerian?"

If it had the same form as last time, Ray didn't see it. The light from all around was too eye-watering to make out more than a pair of blazing red rageful eyes. He almost thought he could hear a hissed 'You again' on the wind.

"As a duly-constituted representative of the United States Paranormal Responder Corps, and on behalf of Mustique Island, the Caribbean region, the southern Pacific region, the United States of America, the Planet Earth and all its inhabitants... you have competition."

The red eyes narrowed. A sense of bared teeth and a barely suppressed growl filled the air.

Fighting the urge to pull his shoulders up around his ears, Ray continued. "And in light of that fact I have been authorized by your present surviving followers to make the choice of your incarnate form." He paused. "Again."

There were no words, only a sense of baleful promise; if there were any repeats of last time...

Ray closed his eyes and concentrated.

"THE CHOICE IS AN ACCEPTABLE ONE," thundered Gozer at last. "YOU WILL EXIST A WHILE LONGER."

"Why doesn't that make me feel better?" Peter muttered as the god's already vaguely-defined form suddenly wreathed itself in green fire. Ray backed up hurriedly; the sparks and flames streaking in from every direction to join the swirling energy mass weren't exactly reassuring, either.

"You sure you got it right, Ray?" asked Winston. "Looks like he's gonna explode, to me."

"Positive, Winston," says Ray. "Trust me, I can't not remember every single detail of this form. I'm not going to blow our only chance."

"He's spiking," Egon reported tersely. "Everyone cover your eyes!"

The final blaze of light seared through closed eyelids and hands alike. Ray would've fallen over backwards, if Peter hadn't been there to block his fall. "Sorry, Pete-"

"Just get off me!"

"Okay, okay, I-"

Three words seared through the world around them, silencing all other thought: "I LIVE AGAIN."

And Ray looked up- and up, and up, and up- and saw that he had, indeed, chosen the form of the Destructor.
gone_byebye: (civvies)
The Gozer worshippers- Stanley, Gladys, their grandson, the handful of other people- are staring at the Ghostbusters. Finally, Stanley clears his throat. "What do you mean, 'someone beat Gozer to the punch'?"

"I mean exactly what I said, Mr. Wolcott," says Egon. There's a peculiar gleam in his eye. "One of the most powerful, if not the most powerful, of the Great Old Ones capable of manifesting on Earth just awoke in the South Pacific."

"And judging from the fact that the Waller Protocols didn't work he's already survived at least one direct nuclear strike," Ray adds. "Which means that not only is he physically manifest, he's physically manifest, angry, and radioactive."

Stanley and Gladys eye the Ghostbusters, then turn to their own group. After a moment, Gladys says, "Just how dangerous is this Cthulhu fellow, anyway?"

"They used a nuclear weapon on him," Winston points out. "You don't think that's enough?"

"And you boys run around with those nuclear zap machines," Gladys points out. "I read that Discover article on your gear way back when. You four fellows are just as dangerous."

"I'm flattered, really," says Peter. "Seriously, though, this Cthulhu guy is bad news. Really bad news."

"Frankly, ma'am, he makes your god look like Little Mary Sunshine by comparison," Ray says. "I've spent a good quarter of a century studying up on Cthulhu lore and believe me, there is nothing like him in the annals of recorded theology in anybody's religion."

"Mostly because anybody human who encounters him for long enough goes too completely and irrevocably insane to record it," Egon adds. "The level of destruction and madness Cthulhu brings to everything around him without even taking action is unprecedented in human history-"

"So he'd be doing Gozer's work for him, then?"
gone_byebye: (dammit...)
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Uruguayan Fishing Vessel Vieras-1
Vicinity of 48°52.6′S 123°23.6′W
Captain's Quarters


"Are they still on our six, Bauzá?" asked Hector Forteza without lifting his head. The fishing boat's captain hadn't slept in days- not since the Australians had come after them- and no longer trusted his own judgment.

"No, Captain." Bauzá shook his head. "The Coast Guard dropped off the radar some time ago. Are you all right?"

"I wish." Forteza ran his hand over his face. "This whole trip has been nothing but fiasco from beginning to end."

Bauzá glanced at his captain, trying to judge how much Forteza meant what he was saying. Finally he said, "It was a good idea in theory. The toothfish haul was fantastic."

"You don't have to make me feel better." Forteza shook his head. "A nation doesn't send ships with men with guns after foreign fishing boats and then just let them go. There'll be Australian lawmen waiting at the docks in Montevideo. We're all screwed. You watch."

"Well, we were fishing in their waters," Bauzá said. "That was factored in, though, wasn't it? We all knew-"

"Captain!" came a cry from Vieras-1's main deck. "Captain, come quickly!"

Forteza shook himself off and jumped to his feet. That was one of the Hierro brothers, and neither Raumar nor Luis was the kind of man to get excited lightly. "What's happening?" he called back.

"Just get up here! Now!"

Forteza swore.

Bauzá reached the cabin first, but it didn't much matter. Forteza was right behind him, and Raumar Hierro was all but hopping up and down and flailing his arms. "Captain," he said, pointing at the ship's instrument panel, "look at the bottom scan, first, and then ."

Forteza blinked, but did as he was told. After a moment's staring at the navigational display he said, very quietly, "I haven't slept since Sunday morning, Hierro. Is the ocean floor supposed to be that close?"

"No! It's not! And neither are they!" Hierro jabbed a finger towards the sonar, where-

"Madre de Dios. The Australians called their friends," was all Forteza could think to say at the sight. There were at least twenty vessels closing in on their position from all sides.

"What do you want us to do?" Bauzá asked. "Run for it?"

This was not the sort of thing a man wanted to have to deal with unless he had a good deal more coffee in him than Forteza did; he rubbed at his eyes, trying to think-

"Attention," crackled the radio suddenly. "Fishing vessel Vieras-1, this is the captain of the People's Liberation Army Navy destroyer Harbin. Your course leads you into internationally forbidden waters-"

"What the hell is he talking about?" Forteza demanded of the other men. "What internationally forbidden waters? We're nowhere near the Antarctic sanctuary!"

"-reverse course immediately or face full military sanction-"

There was a burst of static and another voice overrode the first. "Vieras-1, this is the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force Chikuma-"

Another crackle. "-guided missile destroyer USS Pinckney-"

"Jesus Christ, Captain, who did we piss off?"

"Captain," said Hierro quietly, "the sea bottom is rising…"
gone_byebye: (not good)
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Mustique Island
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Mustique Company Private Airport


"Hey, Ray?" said Peter, peering out the small plane's window as it rolled towards the end of the runway. "The natives are restless."

"That's not funny, Peter."

"No, seriously, have a look."

Ray squinted out the window himself. A party of about twenty people had gathered near their jetway. Several of them were carrying what looked like protest signs. "That's weird," he commented. "Anti-American protests, you think?"

"Ray, this is one of the most exclusive private resort islands in the hemisphere," Egon commented from his seat. "I doubt those signs read 'Yankee go home'. This is something else."

"What do you-"

"This island and at least six others in the Grenadines, not to mention five others elsewhere in the Caribbean, have all been plagued by massive supernatural activity in the past year, spiking in the last several weeks. The area has no coordinated anti-paranormal response plan of any kind. If anything, they're probably demanding to know why we're only showing up now."

"I don't think it's that simple," muttered Winston. "Check 'em out, guys, they're all old..."
gone_byebye: (civvies)
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
14 North Moore Street
Manhattan


Ray really should've seen it coming.

Not the phone call from Washington. He knew that was coming the instant Dr. Tsybenko submitted the most heavily profanity-laced facsimile the Firehouse had ever received, regarding the sudden and vicious phenomenological onset in the Caribbean. Not the news from the Australian Coast Guard regarding the Vieras-1, the Uruguayan fishing vessel that'd been dropping nets recklessly in Lemurian waters; he'd been tracking that boat just in case, because nothing said 'diplomatic incident' quite like making a sentient population into fried calamari. Not even the constant stream of cackling and muttering from Walter Peck's fishbowl. That was sort of inevitable.

No, what Ray should've seen coming was the part where he opened the door to the side alley that he and Jhalak always used to get into Milliways and saw only an alley...
gone_byebye: (civvies)
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Columbus Circle, Manhattan
Mid-afternoon


"Uh," said Ray, stopping mid-stride with an angrily smoking trap dangling from one hands. "Does anyone else see that?"

"See what, Ray?" asked Winston, the only one of the four to not have been vigorously slimed in the face. "Everything's looking pretty normal to me."

"Actually, I'm reading a small, diffuse spike in local PKE." Egon held up the meter. "Something is going on-"

"Okay, so it's not just my imagination that there's a Windows option box floating in midair about a yard in front of me?"

"I wouldn't necessarily say that for certain, but-"

"Wait a second," said Peter. "Windows option box? You're seriously seeing computer messages, now?"

"Well, sort of," said Ray. He made a small, vague gesture towards what gave every appearance of being an ordinary patch of air. "This one's a little specific, though."

"What's it saying?"

"'Warning: A sorceror has engaged a summoning spell protocol whose key phrase is 'the greatest living enemy of the Ghostbusters'. Do you wish to allow'- And then its font changes, like a form letter inserting a personalization, and it says 'Walter Elias Peck'-"

Peter and Egon exchanged glances. Winston just shook his head.

"'-to respond to the summons? Y/n'."

"Say N," chorused all three men.
gone_byebye: (finger slime)
Tuesday, 7 October, 2008
Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station
Center for Experimental Hoofstock
Foran Hall
New Brunswick, NJ


"Thank you for coming, Dr. Stantz," said Bob Castile, the Center's director. "I know how busy you and the other Ghostbusters are at this time of year."

"I can't stay long," Ray warned him. Dr. Castile nodded and gestured for Ray to follow him down the corridor. "I have to be in Elizabeth before sundown."

"That's all right. I don't think this'll take nearly that long," Castile said as they walked. "It's about the aurochs herd."

"Dr. Mezga's animals?" Ray asked. "I'm surprised. I would've thought they'd've gone to dust by now."

"Well-" Castile hesitated. "That would be why I asked you to come here, you see. We did find that their body cells disintegrated within a few minutes of being removed from the animal. I assume that that had something to do with whatever sort of energy Dr. Mezga was using to sustain their body processes. Our studies were completely inconclusive- there were no biological indictors of impending cell death whatsoever. One moment all cellular processes were functioning at normal capacity, and the next-" He jerked his hands apart in a paff! gesture.

Ray nodded, glancing out a window as they passed. Foran Hall's most recently added division consisted of a handful of agricultural zoologists and another handful of very bewildered paleontologists. From the look of things, most of both groups were outdoors in a high-fenced paddock feeding Belle, Dr. Mezga's resurrected Indricotherium. "Have the results you've been getting changed that much?"

"And how," said Castile. "I know you hypothesized that they'd be degrading over time. I can't pretend that I know much about the kind of energies you study in parapsychology- I wouldn't even acknowledge it if it weren't for, well-" He waved towards the window. "No offense."

"None taken. It's a young science."

"Right, well- I can't vouch for energetic degradation, but… here." Castile stopped and unlocked a laboratory door. "This sample was taken from the epithelium of one of the herd bulls. Have a look."

Ray leaned down to peer through the microscope. "They look like perfectly normal cells to me."

"They are, Dr. Stantz. They're about half of the original sample. Most of the rest of the cells we took went to dust an hour and a half ago." Castile fidgeted. "These survived."

"How-"

"I don't know. Our best guess is that as we've been feeding these animals, they've been replacing whatever passed for the original body cells with newly divided cells made from real, life-worthy matter rather than cells dependent on whatever called them into being in the first place."

Ray pondered the prospect, eyeing the microscope thoughtfully. "Is it happening to all the herd, or just this one bull?"

"The whole herd."
gone_byebye: (civvies)
Monday, October 6, 2008
14 North Moore Street
Manhattan
Morning


While Admiral Calavicci was technically in charge of the Paranormal Threat Reduction Agency, in everyday practice, virtually all information relevant to the United States' paranormal defense and response passed through the Firehouse eventually. This being October, 'eventually' meant 'somewhat before the Fulton Fish Market opened in the morning':

- The Harlem Hellfighters unit stationed in northern Manhattan was experiencing poltergeist struggles between two apparent factions of restless spirits in the vicinity of Fort Washington Park, massive levels of PKE activity from the vicinity of the Doomsday Door under Second Avenue, and the birth of a fire-breathing sea lion at the Bronx Zoo.

- The Intangibles unit, in Chicago, was swamped with 'demon baby' calls and haunted municipal offices, and a building on Wacker Drive that only existed if approached from a very particular direction.

- The New Orleans Swamp Rats, under the command of a former state trooper named John Raymond Legrasse III, had been visited by a little old lady who thanked them for being 'such nice young folks comin' to make sure them young rowdies learned some manners' before disappearing. Upon consultation of local records, the little old lady matched the description and existing portraits of the late Marie LaVeau.

- The Galveston Stormwatch, very much on edge given what almost got called out of Galveston Bay in 2006, was faced with rains of distinctly non-standard rain items four days running. Fish, perhaps, they could understand- waterspouts, after all, did that. Red stuff from the sky, too, as there had been red tides in the region before without blood being involved. Even the rain of what appeared to be sea sponges could be understood. The clear, gelatinous substance that splattered into the Galveston area and dissolved into a fine grey dust upon being picked up in sample tubes was something else again.

- The lights in the sky over Alcatraz had nothing whatsoever to do with on-site electric equipment, the San Francisco Miners unit reported. The prison walls were starting to bleed at random intervals, though; that was probably related. At least the ghosts of baseball players the 16th Street Safeway supermarket security cameras caught wandering the aisles were largely behaving themselves.

- Dr. Tsybenko, the ex-cosmonaut who'd signed up for the Paranormal Responder Corps as soon as the announcement was made on the condition that he get an assignment somewhere warm, reported that every single one of the Caribbean hotels he'd been assigned to investigate was plagued with guests reporting nightmares and visions, regardless of prior psychic senstivity and experience or the lack thereof.

- And the satellites aimed at Point Nemo as part of the implementation of the Waller Protocols were reading a peculiar slow, steady rise in local sea temperature, coupled with significantly less oceanic wildlife than usual.

It was enough to make a man wish he'd never gotten out of bed in the morning. Honestly, some days Ray almost wished it was still 1905.
gone_byebye: (cartoon Janine)
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
14 North Moore Street
Manhattan
Early Morning


Janine Melnitz had always prided herself on getting to work early in the day, even when traffic was out of hand and the subways were misbehaving. Bonus points accrued if she managed to reach the Firehouse before the guys were awake. She kept track of how many in the back of her mind; when she reached a thousand points, she felt she was entitled to a little extra snippiness towards Dr. Venkman. Not that she ever needed an excuse, but it gave her a feeling of righteous justification.

She eased the Firehouse door open and poked her head in. "Hey, Ecto," she called, her voice barely above a whisper. "Are the guys up yet?"

"Hi, Aunt Janine," the car answered, equally quietly. "They're all still asleep."

"I hope you realize that I plan on eviscerating you all the first chance I get," interjected a helium-squeaky voice from across the room.

"Mr. Peck's awake, though," said Ecto with a sigh.

"Oh, yeah, big surprise, like he's got eyelids." Janine shook her head and headed for her desk. "You better watch your mouth, Walter. I don't have to give you those tubifex worms you like so much."

"The mere fact that I even have to admit to a fondness for those things is humiliation enough to fuel a lifetime's worth of infinitely worse plans," the betta in the five-gallon tank on her desk answered. "Never bring them up again."

Janine rolled her eyes. "That's what you said last week. Why did you even bother learning to talk again if you're just gonna repeat yourself?"

"Vile wench," muttered the fish, but he went silent.

"That's better," said Janine, and tapped the morning's fish food flakes into the former EPA bureaucrat's bowl. "Okay, now, let's see what we-"

The phone rang.

Normally, early morning phone calls were fairly rare at Ghostbusters HQ. The majority of cases could wait, especially since there were multiple units operating in the five borough area now. This was, however, October. All bets were off. Janine reached for the phone. "Ghostbusters, Manhattan South," she said. "What've we got today?"

She didn't speak again for a while. When she did, she stabbed the Hold button on her phone with astonishing force and stood up. "Ecto?" she said.

The car made an inquisitive beep? sound; she'd been immersed in a data feed from London.

"Get your dad. Right now. It's Mike. And he's gone sane."

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gone_byebye: (Default)
Raymond Stantz

February 2014

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