(not a classical crossover)
Diese Remington Steele/Real Ghostbusters/Gargoyle Fan-Fiction Story wurde von "Gryph"
Die Geschichte wird hier mit freundlicher Erlaubnis der Autorin präsentiert.
Ich habe die Story in zwei Teile geteilt:
Part I // Part II
Siehe auch Gryph's Fanfic Library.
Zurück zur RS Fan Fiction
The Ghostbusters sat at the living room table, Egon with a few sheets of paper at his side, Ray with the book.
"The situation is serious, gentlemen," the blond physicist began.
"I already love it," Peter muttered.
"I completed my analysis of the two frequencies we picked up in the apartment. One is a Class-4, not very strong, normal valences. The readings were faint, mainly because it wasn't present when we arrived.
"When we arrived?" Winston echoed.
"Yes, Winston. I theorize that the ghost is still connected to the apartment, but only appears for special occasions."
"Weddings, birthdays and stuff like that?" Peter quipped.
Egon shot him an annoyed look. "Since we can't trap it if it doesn't show," he continued, "we have to devise a way to make it materialize."
"Could be done," Ray said immediately. "Ghosts react to certain stimuli just like humans, so if we find the stimulus we can trap it."
"Correct. But then there is the second reading, which had me confused for a long time. It is negative and exceeds every scale I can put it up to."
"You mean it's stronger than even the Ghostmaster?" Peter asked in disbelief.
"I wouldn't say stronger, Peter. Its readings are not measurable with our machines, but it's not stronger than the Ghostmaster." Egon studied one of the sheets of paper. "It must be corporeal to radiate those negative readings and I believe it was in the apartment before the ghost was there. Shortly before that, to be correct."
Winston frowned. "Didn't the owner of that apartment building tell us that the tenant died in there?"
"Maybe he had an encounter with the other being," Peter said, suddenly thoughtful.
Egon looked at him, blue eyes serious. "That's what I was thinking about as well. I firmly believe that the ghost of the deceased, and the deceased, had contact with the negative entity."
"It killed him," Ray muttered sadly.
"We don't know that for sure," Peter immediately said.
"Could you find a trace of what kind of negative entity it was?" Winston asked.
"It's very difficult because Tobin's has many entities of this strength, but their negative valences don't match the creature's strength as picked up with the P.K.E. meter."
"So we're looking for a corporeal being that reads stronger than it really is?"
Egon nodded. "Correct, Peter. I don't know what could be responsible for this mismatch. Normally entities display the level of power they read on a P.K.E. meter, but not this one."
"What now?" Peter wanted to know.
"I could configure the P.K.E. meters to pick up the signals of this being, but it will take some time." Egon didn't look pleased.
"Maybe this will help us in our search," Ray said and held up the book. "It's a very interesting piece of literature. The book is very old and was handwritten. As far as I was able to find out it is a Handbook of Magic, something that's even more rare than a real sorcerer's book. Handbooks are written by several people, wizards, magicians, sorcerers, witches and so on. The power in those books is incredible!" Ray's eyes were aglow with enthusiasm about his findings.
"A Handbook of Magic?" Winston muttered. "Wonder how that got into the hands of the dead guy."
"Very good question, Winston, since McCauly is not of the occult circles," Ray explained. "I checked that. No one ever heard of a guy like him, and the owners of such magical objects are rather well-known throughout the communities all over this country -- and the world."
"Could you read what's written in that book?" Peter wanted to know.
Ray shook his head. "No, it's a coded language, the language of the magically talented. I guess I could find someone who could translate some things, but it's all spells and recipes."
"Recipes?" Peter grinned. "Pizzas and pastas witch style?"
Ray grinned as well. "In a way. I guess those are potions from various people."
"Have you called officer Cord yet?" Egon wanted to know.
"Yes, I tried, but he's out. I left a message."
"So," Peter leaned back, "what now?"
"I will work on the detector to find the negative valances," Egon said.
"I think I'll drive down to Harry," Ray decided. "He might know whom this book really belonged to."
"Mind some company?" Winston asked.
"No problem," Ray grinned. "Let's go."
"Don't stay too late, kids," Peter called. "It's already getting dark." Ray stuck out his tongue and they disappeared downstairs. "Well," the psychologist said and stretched, "I guess that leaves me with the slouching duties." He chuckled. "I love it."
Egon only grimaced, ignoring Peter and walking up to his lab. Peter kept on grinning and sat down on the couch, grabbing the remote.
"Let's see what's on tonight."
Laura smothered a yawn and stretched. It was only 7 p.m. but she was so burned out it felt like it was 2 a.m. and she had partied all night, not that she usually did .... Her visit to Mrs. Smith-Martinez had proven quite unnerving, since the woman had talked her ear off and on again with stories, rumors, gossip and what she thought herself had happened. After over an hour of non-stop talk Laura said good-bye, with some more information, but even more gossip.
Now she was waiting for Mr. Steele to arrive from his bookshop search. She smiled. What had gotten into him to try that dead end? He wasn't really convinced that the book had been sold to some second hand bookshop, was he?
Yawning again she sat down on the bed, removing her shoes. Maybe a little nap would do her some good, she decided.
She fell asleep before her head even hit the pillow.
"Don't be afraid," the griffin said, sitting down on his haunches. "We won't hurt you."
Remington Steele stared at the mythical being, the griffin. His brain was working at lightspeed to try and cope with the events, and his rational side told him that he had to be dreaming. But the believer in him awoke with a smile on his face, finally coming to see what he had always been told existed somewhere.
"Who ... what are you?" he whispered.
"They are the figments of humanity's dreams and stories; myths and legends brought to life," Cord said softly behind him.
Steele whirled around. He had totally forgotten about the detective. "They are .... real?"
"As real as you and Michael," Athena said and smiled. "We were borne from humanity's dreaming, the stories written about mythical creatures, legendary heroes, ancient foes and friends. We are as alive as you are, though not brought to life in any manner known to you."
"Whenever someone invented a new character, wrote about him and the readers believed in him, he was brought to life," Cord explained. "Gods became alive because of their worshippers, and they disappeared just as fast when the belief dwindled. They are still out there, but their power is gone because no-one believes in them any more."
"So, it's all a matter of belief," Steele muttered.
The griffin nodded. "Gods really have a bad time because they need worshippers. We, for instance, don't need worshippers. We are the figments of stories written about our kind."
Steele looked at Athena. "But you are a goddess, aren't you?"
She smiled. "Yes. I lost a lot of my power together with my worshippers thousands of years ago, but since people still believe I existed once, here I am. I don't have my powers, but I can still fight Evil."
"Evil? Good?" Steele shook his head. "There is never anything like purely good and purely evil." His suspicious streak struck again and he eyed the mythical entities through narrowed eyes. "How can I trust you?"
Athena smiled, but it was Cord who explained, "In reality there is no pure good and pure evil. But this isn't reality. They aren't real. They were created by dreams, stories and songs. And in stories there is always the good and the evil. Gods, demons, faeries, elves and all the others are cathegorized by us; we say which side they are on, and on this side they will stay forever, unable to switch to the other side, unable to betray."
"What .... what do you want from me? Why did you reveal yourself?" Steele finally asked after some time of silence.
"Because you are a believer, my friend. And you are working against the cause of Good right now, though you don't know it," the griffin explained. "You are being used by Evil to complete their plans. The man you hunted was a friend of ours and he was killed by Evil. They want the book he stole from Hathor's minions."
"Hathor? You mean Mrs. Hatmore?"
"That is a name she uses in this world to conceal her origin," the man said. "My name is Ptah," he introduced himself and bowed a bit.
"Our friend got the book from her servants before she could lay her claws on it," Athena explained. "But they found him anyway and killed him. Our friend was able to conceal the book and Michael took it to safety again. Evil hired you to find it for them."
"Why?" Steele asked, totally confused. "Why use Laura and me to find this book? They could just have popped in somewhere an taken it!"
"That's where you are wrong, my friend," Athena disagreed. "Evil, just as Good, is forbidden to interfere directly in the affairs of mortals. The book is in the hands of mortals and taking it by force from them is against the Law. That our friend was killed must have been an accident. Hathor will have to answer to their Master for that. Like us Evil can't just show up and take the book by force; it has to be brought to them by a mortal. Schemers as they are they hired you."
"And you hid the book through officer Cord here," Steele concluded.
The three supernaturals exchanged glances. Cord only shrugged.
"A safe haven for now," the griffin finally said. "We can't tell you where exactly because that would endanger the book. Your knowledge could become Hathor's knowledge."
"Okay, I understand that, but what do you plan to do? Keep on hiding the book?" He crossed his arms in front of his chest.
"No, we can't do that forever. We need some more time to open the gateway to a safe place for the book," the Faerie said. "Since it takes time and power, and since we don't have much of the last, we have to stall a bit. That's why Michael decided to bring you in on it. We can't have you working against us."
Steele mulled that over. "What about Laura?"
"She is not a believer," the griffin said immediately. "She is a rationalist, a logical one. She won't believe in us and that is one reason why she never saw anything suspicious in Hathor, unlike you."
"How do you ...." Steele started.
Athena smiled. "We have ways."
"The portal will be open by midnight. Tonight it will be over, the book will be safe." The griffin stood and walked over to him. "It is very important. By tomorrow morning everything will be back to normal."
"Uhm...." Looking at the part eagle/part lion creature made him a bit nervous.
Cord placed a hand on his shoulder. "Let's go, Mr. Steele, before your friend becomes suspicious."
Steele only nodded. He looked at the three mythical beings again, then turned and let himself get led out of the amusement park. Outside he inhaled deeply. "This is too much," he muttered.
The detective smiled. "You'll get used to it, Mr. Steele."
Steele smiled wryly. "Well, I was prepared. The Irish are world class ghost story tellers."
Cord patted his shoulder. "Which is why you were not influenced by Hathor as much as your friends."
He sighed, looking around the evening street. With surprise he noted that it was already past nine. "Laura will be mad," he muttered.
The detective chuckled. "Good luck."
Remington Steele sighed again. This was just great.
"Sorry I'm so late," Cord apologized to Peter, who was letting him in.
"No problem. We're open 24 hours a day. Ray and Winston are still roaming the streets somewhere and Egon's stuck to his work. You've come for the book?"
Michael nodded. "I have to take it back to the evidence room. It's a miracle I was allowed to take it out in the first place and the lieutenant will have my head if it doesn't appear back there by tomorrow morning's shift. I heard Ray called and left a message for me. What did you guys find out?"
"Ray said it was some kind of magic book. He went to his friends to find out if someone knows it." Peter shrugged. "He said something about healing potions and spells, but he couldn't translate it."
"So it is something special." Cord nodded. "Thought as much. It was kinda unusual. Do you have it here?"
Peter nodded. "It's upstairs."
Both men walked up the stairs where they met Egon, who was getting some coffee in the kitchen.
"Hi, Egon," Michael greeted him.
"Hello, Michael. You have come for the book?"
"Yeah, I've got to put it back with McCauly's belongings in case it is needed as evidence. Getting it to you guys was hard enough."
"I understand. Ray is still inquiring about its origin," Egon said. "We will inform you of our findings."
Cord nodded. "Thanks."
Peter held out the book to him, which the detective took and slipped into his jacket. "Thanks again, guys, see you around."
Cord left. Peter frowned a bit.
"You know, this is really strange, Egon," he said slowly.
Egon raised an eyebrow. "Strange? In what way, Peter?"
"Mike storms in here, gives us the book, then comes back here and after a quick 'thanks guys' he's gone. This doesn't make sense." Peter leaned back against the couch's back. "When he told me the lieutenant wanted the book back in the evidence room it sounded a bit like a lie."
Egon looked closely at Peter. He knew that Peter, as a psychologist, was very good at reading people, and that the dark-haired man acted a lot by instinct. And, thinking about it that way, there was no denying Michael's strange behavior.
"What do you propose?"
"That we inquire a bit about the whole matter."
Egon smiled. "And how do you want to do that? We can't exactly ask the police."
"No, but what about that doohickey of yours? Could you change it so it picks up the book? Ray said it had measurable readings and
we do have samples. This way we could track him." Peter raised an eyebrow.
The blond physicist nodded thoughtfully. "It is possible. It would take about half an hour to configure the detector to search for the book. Since it has a unique reading we can find it."
"Then go for it, big guy. I'll call the precinct nevertheless to find out if Mike's on duty tonight or not." Peter gave him a clap on the shoulder and then walked down to the phone.
Remington Steele was suspicious by nature, though not overly so, but healthy suspicions never hurt. Even the conversation with the supernaturals had not completely made him trust either officer Cord or them. Because of that he had decided to follow Cord to wherever the detective was going. It had been tricky, especially after Cord had picked up a car at the precinct, but the cabby driving him had been very enthusiastic
to be part of a secret mission, as Steele had told him. The boy hadn't been in the business long enough to be so hardheaded as to tell the P.I. to go to hell with his special wishes.
Now he waited opposite an old firehouse building with the sign of the Ghostbusters above the door. So Cord had gone to pay the Ghostbusters a visit. Why? What did they have to do with the supernaturals? Steele rubbed his aching head. Faeries, griffins, gods, all alive in modern days. This was incredible. And Laura and he were working for the Evil side of those mythical entities, helping them steal back what had been stolen from them.
"What have we gotten ourselves into?" he muttered.
He wondered what the real reason for the supernaturals had been to show themselves to him. They could have misled him until midnight, until the book had been safe, but something had made him special. And it couldn't be his background. There were more people than just him who believed in fairy tales. Steele didn't think he and Laura would have presented any danger to the supernaturals. They had not been far enough in the case to really know what was going on, and if the supernaturals were telling the truth than everything would be over by midnight.
The door of the firehouse opened again and Cord came out. He was in quite a hurry and drove away from the curb so quickly Steele had no time to hail a cab. Ah, well, he thought, let's pay those Ghostbusters a visit.
He crossed the street and knocked at the door. A minute went by and then a dark-haired man in a dark brown jumpsuit opened. "Sorry, buddy, but we're closed."
Steele smiled. "I know. My name is Remington Steele. I'm working with Officer Cord."
"Just missed him," the dark-haired man said.
"Do you know where he went?"
"Sorry, no idea."
"Thanks," Steele muttered. There was a question on his mind, concerning the existence of supernaturals, but he bit that down. The door closed after him and he leaned back against the wall. "Damnit, where did you go, Cord?" he muttered.
He whirled, coming face to ...eh ... beak with the griffin. The large creature looked at him with displeasure.
"How .. what are you doing here?" Steele asked, shocked to the core.
The griffin cocked his head. "Trying to keep you from spreading trouble. Why didn't you return to your hotel?"
"Because I want to know what's going on here. And why I was brought in on it."
The griffin sighed. "Walk with me, Mr. Steele."
"Walk? Aren't you a bit suspicious the way you look?"
"No. The people here won't see me."
"Invisible griffins. Great," Steele muttered and followed the creature.
"We brought you in on the secret because we believed we had more to fear from you if you worked ignorantly of what you were doing than otherwise. We thought that you would leave the case, wait for the outcome, and accept the money Hathor so graciously gave you. But you didn't." The griffin chuckled. "Humans are so unpredictable, unlike supernaturals. You act by emotions and logic, a combination that is very hard to follow and to predict."
"But you predicted me coming here."
"Oh, there is some predictability with some humans, you for instance. We knew that you wouldn't simply do what we told you."
"Okay, and what is the other reason?"
The griffin stopped. "The other reason?" he echoed, looking innocently at him.
"Don't toy with me, you big bird!" Steele hissed angrily. "I couldn't have interefered with anything! If everything is really over by midnight, that is. Laura and I were no closer to solving the case than being a bit suspicious about Cord. I had no idea of what was going on and everything would have returned to normal after midnight tonight. So why reveal yourselves?"
The griffin sighed. "Okay," it said slowly. "The truth is, Miriel -- she's a witch -- said you might be essential in our battle against Evil tonight."
The griffin spread his wings. "Come."
"Come, onto my back. I'll get you to the place where the book will be sealed safely for all time. We might need you. I promise I'll stay below lightspeed." The large creature chuckled again.
"Why me?" Steele muttered and climbed onto the broad, warm back. He didn't know why he was doing this at all, except that a part of him told him quite clearly to get a move on and help.
"Hold on," the griffin called and then flew off into the night sky.
Passers-by never saw a griffin take off and fly away.
Laura's gonna kill me, Steele thought as he desperately clutched the feathers and fur.
"Something is out there," Egon said and pointed the P.K.E. meter toward the wall facing the street. "Something of a negative valence and it's moving away."
He raced down the stairs, closely followed by Peter. "There was a guy outside just a minute ago, searching for Mike," Peter called as they arrived downstairs. "You think he was .... it?"
"Only if he had wings. The reading I get is from several feet above ground and moving fast. We have to follow it, Peter. It's our only lead of the other entity which was in the room with the Class-4." Egon looked at him. "We have to find it."
"Hey, guys, guess what we ...." Ray entered Ghostbuster Central and stopped. "Where are you off to?"
"We got a lead!" Peter called.
"A lead to what?" Winston wanted to know as Peter raced past him to Ecto-1, which was parked outside.
"The negative entity and possibly the book," Egon answered. "We have to move now."
"You got it man." Winston slipped behind the wheel again and Ray closed the passenger door.
Winston started the engine and they left Ghostbuster Central. "What about the book?" he asked.
"Well, the book is connected to Mr. McCauly and his death. If it was his ghost in that apartment, then I believe that he might have been killed because of this book." Egon looked grim.
"Now Mike has the book and this creature was outside Central," Peter mused out aloud. "Damnit, it must have seen him take it back!"
"Then why did it stay around for so much longer?" Egon asked reasonably. "I picked up the reading fifteen minutes after he left."
"Then maybe this guy at the door, Steele or something, was the entity after all," Peter concluded. "He asked for Mike and where he went!"
"What are you talking about?" Ray asked.
Peter gave him a quick summary of the last few hours and the occultist nodded. "I had a long talk with several friends and what they told me isn't good. The Handbook of Magic was stolen a few weeks ago, the previous owner murdered."
"Left," Egon said and Winston turned left.
"The book appeared and disappeared in a few cities all over the States," Ray went on, "until it showed up in L.A."
"And McCauly brought it to New York?" Peter asked.
"Yes. He stole it from those who had stolen it from the owner."
"Apparently they got to him, too," the psychologist muttered.
"Yes, but the police interfered this time and Cord brought the book to us to be examined," Ray added.
"Though I'm not sure he had that in mind when he brought it here," Peter muttered, his suspicious streak showing again. "He claimed it back too fast, unwilling to wait for what you two guys would find out."
Winston frowned. "Why would he give us the book in the first place? And who is after it?"
"The creature with the negative readings," Ray said with conviction.
"It's moving away from the precinct," the physicist suddenly said. "It's aiming for Central Park."
Winston floored the pedal and Ecto-1 shot forward, also aiming at Central Park. "Why would Officer Cord go to Central Park?" he asked. "This is getting more and more confusing."
"It sure is," Peter agreed.
The griffin landed near a small lake in Central Park and Steele climbed off its back, legs shaky. He walked a few steps away from the supernatural and looked around. Here he was, close to midnight, in Central Park ...
"I must be mad," he muttered.
The griffin chuckled. "All believers are mad to some degree."
"I see you found him," a voice said and Steele discovered Athena walking toward them. She was no longer dressed in jeans and a sweat shirt but in tight leather outfit. Steele stared at her, feeling his hormones make a jump. Athena was followed by two women and two men, all wearing different clothes.
"So this is the mortal hired by Hathor," one of the men said with a pleasant dark voice. "It is good to see you are a believer."
One of the two women held up the book. She looked as stunning as Athena. "Our mortal friend gave this to me, Athena. We are ready."
Athena nodded. "Friend of many names," she addressed Steele. "We brought you here to prevent you from getting yourself into trouble. Walking around the streets now would be dangerous since Evil has sent forth an army of mortals to try and retrieve the book before it is sealed. You, as a former, though unknowing, servant of Hathor, could be a target since you were searching for our friend Michael and the book."
Steele nodded, feeling like taking part in a fantasy movie. This was getting too much. Another supernatural appeared, this one not disguised as a human. It looked like a medieval monster with wings and a tail, but there was also a beauty to it that was hard to deny.
"Delia will be your guard for the Sealing. We expect the forces of Evil to come any minute now."
"You're expecting an attack?" Steele looked nervously around.
"Yes." Athena turned and walked toward the lake. "Bring the book, Diana."
Steele wanted to follow the little troop, but his guardian stopped him. "We will wait here," Delia said.
Steele eyed her nervously. "May I ask what you are?"
Delia smiled. "A gargoyle."
"Oh, yeah, sure." He shook his head, then looked anxiously around.
The gargoyle smiled. "You will be safe here in case of an attack."
Steele wasn't so sure. He wasn't so sure at all.
Laura woke with a start. It was dark inside her room and only the light from the streets and the other buildings around her came through the window. For a second she was confused as to where she was, then she remembered. A glance at the clock beside her bed told her it was somewhere close to eleven p.m.
She had slept for over three hours! She got out of the bed, slipped into her shoes and was on the way to the door when she noticed a movement. Laura turned and saw a dark shadow move toward her. She wanted to scream to alarm someone, but a strong hand was clasped over her mouth.
"Don't scream, mortal," a rough voice said and she thought she saw a pair of red glowing eyes. Then everything went black around her.
"We're in Central Park, at midnight, possibly together with a bunch of hoodlums hiding in the shrubbery, and we're searching for a creature we don't even know where it came from." Peter checked his proton rifle again. "Can it get any better than this?"
Winston smiled grimly. It was true that Central Park wasn't the safest of all places, especially at night, but they had the proton packs, in case something happened.
"We are very close to the entity," Egon reported. "It seems there are more of them than just the one we followed."
"More than one?" Peter repeated. "Oh, goody."
"All of the entities show high negative readings, but all of them display a power unnatural to their classification." Egon walked on, eyes on the illuminated screen. "Very unusual."
Peter, Ray and Winston readied their throwers as they approached the place where those entities were, following Egon's readings. Suddenly something popped up in front of them. The P.K.E. meter squealed as the negative energy overloaded it, then went up in smoke.
"Take cover!" Winston yelled and fired at the creature, which looked like a large bird.
The bird roared like a lion and swiped its claws at the Ghostbusters. The four men split up and attacked the creature.
"We can't trap it!" Ray yelled. "It's corporeal!"
"Great!" Peter yelled back. "So what are we gonna do?!"
"Try to ward if off!" Egon ordered.
"Ward it off," Peter muttered, trying to keep out of range of the sharp claws. "Sure."
And then he was grabbed from behind. He gave a cry of protest as strong hands twisted his arms. The thrower switched off automatically and fell to the ground as he was forced to let go.
Ray aimed at his attacker and Peter heard a pained cry as the proton beam hit its target. The close range to the ionized protons made Peter's hair stand on end. He jumped forward and rolled away from the attacker, groping for his rifle. As he looked at his attacker he was surprised to see a blond, muscular man in what looked like a Conan outfit. The man was holding a hammer in one hand and was whirling it around.
Suddenly a dark cloud seemed to turn the darkness even darker. The little light the proton streams and a few lamps shed was drowned in the blackness. About a dozen men appeared out of the darkness and attacked the two who had attacked the Ghostbusters.
Peter got to his feet and ran over to Egon. "What's going on here?"
"The men are not paranormal; they are humans. But those two are of the same origin as the ghost in the apartment." Egon shook his head as he looked at his spare P.K.E. meter.
More entities appeared, battling the men. The men were clad like street hoodlums, wielding baseball bats, knives, guns and chains. The entities' army was made of the griffin, the blond man, a unicorn, and male and female humanoid creatures in clad various styles. Though they were supernaturals they battled as if they had no powers at all. There were no lightning attacks, no fires coming from their fingers, no floating around and stuff like that.
From one second to another a column of light shot into the sky. The Ghostbusters flinched and turned.
"It's coming from the lake!" Winston called.
"Then let's take a look at it," Peter decided grimly.
The gargoyle flinched as if something had hit her and Remington Steele looked at her. "What?" he asked.
"They are here," she muttered darkly. "The portal will open soon and ....." She opened her wings, which were shaking slightly in anticipation.
Without any warning something jumped at them out of the darkness. It tackled the gargoyle and she roared in pain as a knife was driven into her muscular arm. She flung back the attacker and a second one took his place.
"Run!" she cried.
Steele didn't need to be told twice. He ran toward the lake. A bright white light shot up into the sky, blinding him, but he stumbled on. Someone took him by the arm and pulled him aside. Instinctively he tried to get free.
"It's me," a male voice said. "Thunderbird."
Steele recognized one of the men who had greeted him with Athena. "What .. what's going on here? Who are these men?"
"Evil sent its troops to get the book. There are so many of them we can't hold them back. We're too weak, no more powerful than a human." Suddenly Thunderbird tensed. "They've broken through! The book!"
He disappeared and Steele decided he had to follow. He ran toward the lake, which was glowing brightly, evading the attackers as best as he could. Since they were mainly focused on fighting supernaturals and getting to the book it wasn't too hard to do so.
And then he saw it. The book. It hung in the air, glowing softly. One of the hoodlums grabbed for it and began to ran directly toward Steele, clutching his prize. The dark-haired P.I. made a quick decision and the guy collided with his fist. Shaking his smarting hand he took the book and slipped it into his pocket, hiding it from sight.
"Mr. Steele," a well-known female voice said, cutting through the sound of the battle all around him.
Steele whirled around and came face to face with Mrs. Hatmore ... Hathor. She was dressed in an Egyptian piece of ... not much. Her bronze colored body was displayed in the bright light from the lake and her cat shaped eyes were triumphant. She had a body every man could only dream of and if it had been another occasion, Steele would have made an advance.
"Give me the book," she said softly.
She raised one delicate black eyebrow. "No? Why, I thought we had an agreement. I'd pay you for your services to retrieve the book and you'd return it to me."
"You never owned it."
"I never said that. Now, give me the book."
"No," he ground out between clenched teeth, moving away from her.
"I'm sorry, Mr. Steele, but then I'll have to revert back to threats. Either you give me the book or your lady friend will experience what it means to be in Anubis' hands."
A man stepped out of the bushes, and he was holding Laura. She had been bound, but she was conscious. Her wide eyes took in the scenery, then locked onto Steele.
Steele felt anger and rage built up inside of him. "How do you dare!? Release her!"
"Only in exchange for the book, Mr. Steele."
His hand touched his jacket's pocket where he had the book. If he gave the book to Hathor Evil would win. If he didn't Laura would die. Either way it was a bad choice.
"Hey, lady!" a voice suddenly called. "How about a little haircut!"
A bright stream of energy hit Hathor and she cried in pain. Another energy stream made Anubis let go of Laura. Steele jumped forward to catch her but the Jackal God was quicker. He lashed out, his sharp claws hitting Steele at the temple. He felt pain exploding behind his eyes and the ground rushed to meet him. Laura gave an exclamation of fright and he saw her roll past him on the grass.
"Puny mortal," Anubis growled and grabbed the front of Steele's jacket. He was lifted off the ground effortlessly and stared right into two red glowing eyes. The grip the Egyptian entity had on him was as painful as it was choking. "If I had my old powers you'd fall to dust in my hands!"
"Yeah, right," Steele coughed and kicked the man where it hurt the most.
Anubis howled and Steele thought with a grin that there was no difference between a god or or man..... except maybe that the gods recovered much quicker! Anubis lunged for him, his claws scraping Steele's leg, leaving deep cuts. Steele screamed in pain and tried to get away.
"Holt on, buddy, help's here!" someone called and the energy stream from seconds before made Anubis howl again.
"He's corporeal, Peter!" another voice shouted. "You can't hold him!"
"I know, Egon, but I can give him one hell of a headache!"
Steele crawled over to Laura, who was fighting against her bonds. He helped her untie herself.
"What's going on here?" she wanted to know, her eyes wide with a mixture of fear and confusion. "Who are those people?"
"Later," he gasped, his mind racing to find a solution to get out of this mess alive.
Steele looked up and found that the dark-haired Ghostbuster, who had been at the door, was standing beside him.
"You better get out of here pronto! These guys mean business!"
The P.I. pulled Laura to her feet and shoved her away from the lake. "Run!" he ordered.
Laura looked at the battle not far away and immediately turned to face him. "You want me to run into that brawl?"
He grimaced. Brawl.... "They'll ignore you, believe me, Laura." He gave her another push. "Please, run!"
Delia suddenly landed beside him. She looked a bit worse to wear and her arm was covered with blood. "Do you have the book?" she asked, ignoring Laura's startled gasp.
"Yes, I do, but ...."
"The gate is open for only so much longer. You have to get it there!" she ordered.
Steele, whose leg was hurting badly and who was feeling very lightheaded, stared at her. "What?"
"As you told your friend, the combatants will ignore you because you are not one of us!"
"What about Cord?" he asked.
"He won't be ignored. He is of our heritage." Delia gave him a pleading look. "Get the book into the gate!"
Steele nodded, feeling numb and completely out of his league. "Take care of Laura," he said and then ran as fast as he could to the lake. He wasn't very fast because he was unable to use one leg to one hundred percent.
"Mr. Steele!" Laura cried, but he ignored her.
One of the Ghostbusters appeared on his side. It was the dark-haired one, Venkman, as he read from the name tag. "What are you still doing here?" he demanded. "This isn't exactly a picnic!"
"Wouldn't have realized that," Steele retorted.
"Then what ..." He stopped and shot at something that reminded Steele of a vampire. The creature shrieked and fled the painful energy stream.
"The book," Steele replied cryptically. "We have to seal it away from them!"
"Later." Steele grabbed the book from his pocket, clutching it with all strength. The lake was very close and the light coming from it was blinding. He didn't exactly know what to do, but something like instinct told him. The dark-haired man inhaled deeply. The book in his hands was pulsating with the energy, the power, locked inside, giving off heat. Steele felt light-headed as he lifted his hand. Then he threw the book in the lake.
The light intensified and Steele flung up his hands to shield his eyes. From one second to the next everything went dark. Blinking into the sudden darkness he noticed that the Ghostbuster was still beside him, looking awed.
"What the ....?" he muttered.
Steele had no explanation for this. All he wanted was to sit down somewhere and rest. His legs gave way under him and he decided here was a place as good as anywhere to sit.
"Are you all right?" Venkman asked and looked him over. He discovered the cuts and cursed softy. "Egon? Winston? Ray?" he called.
"We're here," a deep bass voice answered calmly and a blond man stepped to them. He looked a bit bruised and singed, like the other two men following him, but nothing serious.
"Who's that?" the auburn-haired one asked.
"Steele, right?" Venkman asked and looked at Remington Steele.
He nodded. "Yeah, the one and only." He was so tired.
"Mr. Steele!" That was Laura. She rushed to his side, kneeling down beside him.
"Hi, Ms. Holt," he muttered.
More shapes appeared around them and Steele faintly recognized Athena, the griffin, Delia and several more. The four Ghostbusters tensed, but Athena lifted her hand.
"Please," she said softly. "It is over. We mean no harm. Evil has been defeated today." She looked at Steele. "And you need help."
He summoned a smile, feeling Laura's hand on his arm.
"Care to explain what this ILM show was all about?" Venkman asked.
"I will because I know you wouldn't rest until you knew it all." Athena smiled. "But now we have to tend to the wounded."
Steele was aware that his consciousness was fading and that Laura was holding him. It felt good. Very good. His last conscious thought was that he might get more of that treatment from her if he played sick for a while ..... Then everything went black.
The next morning -- very early morning -- came to see the Ghostbusters sit in their living room area, together with several mythical creatures. Ray was fascinated by them, Egon was taking never-ending readings, while Peter and Winston saw the whole thing much more practically. Athena had explained to them the basics of their existence and what had really gone on in the last few days. Peter couldn't say he was thrilled to hear that they had been used as a cover for Evil.
"What would have happened if the baddies had found out where the book was?" he asked.
"They would never have dared to enter your home and steal it from you. They would have sent their minions, mortals who serve them willingly."
The one called Ptah -- husband of Hathor in Egyptian legends, as Egon had readily explained -- smiled. "Yours was the last place any of Evil's servants would ever have considered. Hathor is a clever woman, but she wouldn't think we'd dare to use you as a cover. We are as endangered by you as they are."
"Didn't look that way last night," Winston interjected.
"You did great damage to Evil's entities," Athena said. "Though we are corporeal and should have great power, we haven't. Hathor, just like Anubis and any other god," she smiled at Ptah and gestured at herself, "has lost her power because there are not enough worshippers. The few still believing in the Ancient Gods don't worship them like in the old times. We are immortal, but we can't do what we did eons ago."
"Your energy streams hurt them," the griffin added. "And we know you have conquered such paranormals like the Bogeyman; you have the power to trap us if you want."
"You don't have anything to fear from us," Ray immediately told them.
"We know." Athena gave him a gentle smile.
"What about Steele?" Winston wanted to know.
"His wounds will heal, we saw to that. He received payment for the case he was hired for already and Hathor won't dare to touch him." Ptah smiled grimly. "She is bound by the Law."
"Will he tell others about you?" Ray asked.
Athena shook her head. "No. His friend will ask questions, but she will keep her quiet. Her logical brain will start to push the events into the depths of her mind to forget, because she can't explain what happened."
Ptah nodded his agreement. "She will brainwash herself, in a way."
Egon shut down the P.K.E. meter. "This is very fascinating. I wish I could study your kind longer."
The griffin chuckled. "Sorry I can't say your wish is our command."
Egon sighed, but he understood. Athena rose from her chair and smiled at all of them.
"We have to go now. I thank you for your help in the name of Good."
"You are welcome," Ray immediately said.
Peter rubbed a bruised spot on his thigh. "But next time, come without the other half of the company, will you?"
The griffin chuckled. "We will try." Then it walked over to the open window and climbed outside. Spreading its wings it flew up into the approching dawn.
Ptah and Athena decided to leave through the door and soon the four Ghostbusters were alone again.
"Well, so much for the night," Peter yawned. "I, for one, will spend the next two days in bed. I hurt all over."
Winston clapped him on the shoulder. "I'm with you, m'man."
Egon didn't look like he'd get any sleep soon. He eyed the readings on the P.K.E. meter as if he was contemplating to trade sleep for enlightenment. Peter grabbed his arm and gave him a mock stern look.
"No, no, no, Egon. We won't work now. We will go to bed. Be a good boy and don't put up a fight, will ya?"
Egon wanted to protest, but a yawn smothered all he wanted to say. "Maybe that really is a good idea," he finally managed.
About half an hour later the firehouse was silent, the silence only disturbed by the soft snoring of the four men.
Remington Steele rubbed his slightly aching leg and then leaned back in the stuffed chair of the hotel room. It was close to five in the morning and he was still unable to sleep. The action of the last few hours and the blood loss should have made him sleepy, but his adrenaline level was still too high for event he thought of getting rest. He had woken from unconsciousness a few minutes after his blackout, finding most of the mythical entities gone, Laura still at his side, and the Ghostbusters talking to the remaining few supernaturals. Laura had not asked many questions, simply accompanied him silently to the hotel after one of the supernaturals had taken care of the injury. Steele wasn't sure what he had done, but the pain was mostly gone, though the wound remained and might bother him for a few more days.
That thought made him look over to the door connecting their rooms. To his surprise he found it open and Laura leaning against the frame. She had changed her clothes, wearing her pajama and a bathrobe from the hotel. What had the supernaturals told him? She would forget about what had happened in time, push the events back until she no longer felt frightened by what she had seen.
"Hi," he said softly.
She smiled and came over, sitting down on the edge of the bed close to him. "How do you feel?"
Steele decided that her voice was too calm. She was still trying to cope with what had happened, and that wasn't easy. Accepting the supernaturals as what they were was hard, even for a believer like him.
"Tired, but unable to sleep," he said truthfully.
She nodded. "Same here.
May I ask you something, Mr. Steele?"
He raised an eyebrow. "What?"
"How long did you know?"
He was silent for a minute. He had seen the ghost when she hadn't, and he had seen Cord's reaction to the lie with the book. When had he really found out that something supernatural was going on?
"I guess I suspected something was wrong when .... when Cord lied about the book. It was a hunch and it turned out to be right." No reason he should tell her about the ghost. Supernaturals were bad enough. "I followed him and then he confronted me with the supernaturals."
She looked at him for a long, long time. Finally she asked, "Would you have told me about them if I hadn't been so directly involved?"
"No," he answered truthfully.
Laura looked stunned. "No? Why?"
"Because," he said and rose from the chair, walking stiffly over to the bed and sitting down beside her, "you are thinking too much with reason and logic to believe in something like that.
I'd have made a fool out of myself." He laid an arm around her shoulders.
Laura leaned against him, seeking comfort. "You always do, so this would have been no exception," she murmured sleepily.
Steele kissed the top of her head and smiled. "Thank you, Ms Holt."
A real smile crossed her lips and she snuggled closer. "You're welcome, Mr. Steele." There was a short time of silence, then she asked, "Will they come back?"
He shook his head. "No. We helped them, they helped us. It's over." He leaned over and kissed her passionately onto the lips. "It's only the two of us," he whispered as they parted. Laura responded with another kiss and both sank down onto the bed. Steele wondered dimly if he wasn't taking advantage of her confusion, but that thought died a quick death as the woman he loved embraced him, returning his passion just as he did.
Outside the sun was rising. On the balcony of their room sat a lonely guardian. Delia had her wings stretched protectively, and there was a smile on her lips; a smile of satisfaction. She glanced back over her shoulder, sneaking a last look of the couple in the room, then turned to face the sun.
As the rays of first morning light touched her she turned to stone, following the legend the humans had written for gargoyle kind.
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