THE WEREWOLF OF NOTRE-DAME
A few days ago, a werewolf appeared in Notre-Dame.
Worried that the Eiffel Tower is again beginning to malfunction, Ghostbusters International has dispatched an ad hoc team to deal with the situation: Ghostbusters West Coast's Dr. Charlene Zeddemore, Ghostbusters New York's TJ Anderson and Marie Lupin, and Spengler Institute researcher and GBI reservist Dr. Jillian Holtzmann.
I know it's not fair...but I remember how the original team spent two days touring Paris instead of looking into the problem at the Tower. I half expected the new ones to do likewise. Thank goodness I was wrong.
"Monsier Lucien!" Charlene called. "We're just about ready to move out." Her Ghostbuster flight suit was dark blue in color, with orange details around the shoulders and the legs. The "no-ghost" logo on the right shoulder had neon orange in place of the red Lucien was more familiar with.
"Jus' finishin' breakfast." Holtzmann added, stuffing the rest of a tartine (a French breakfast baguette) in her mouth. Her uniform was in the "stock" greyish-tan color, but the nametag had a different look and there were reflective strips around the chest and sleeves.
"We were thinking it might be best to split into two groups." TJ noted. The uniforms that she and Marie were wearing were the ones that reminded Lucien the most of the ones he saw thirty-seven years earlier in style; TJ's was purple with orange on the collar and cuffs, while Marie's was green with yellow; the latter also didn't tuck her boots in, something that Lucien also recalled seeing on a member of the original team. The "no-ghost" on the other three uniforms were the red Lucien expected.
"Yeah. Like Dr. V says, we can do more damage that way." Marie quipped.
Lucien's face went pale.
Charlene rolled her eyes. "She's joking, Monsieur."
He mopped his brow. I am getting too old for this...
"Anderson's right, though." Holtzmann said, blowing and popping a massive bubble before continuing. "I should go ahead to the Tower, since I'm really the only one who gets all the tech stuff. I'll need Clarice or you along with me, because French isn't one of my languages, but she already said she's up for it."
Clarice, who had arrived before Lucien did, nodded. "[She is correct, Monsieur.]"
"[I think my own fluency in the language will suffice for the three of us.]" Charlene added.
"Your accent is quite good, Doctor Zeddemore." Lucien nodded. "You are the Ghostbusters--this is your area of expertise, not mine. But I thought it was possible that the creature only comes out at night?"
"Possible." Marie confirmed. "But not certain."
"We'd also prefer to examine the site of the incident during daylight hours." TJ said. "Details can be lost in the dark. The more we know about what happened the better we'll be able to handle it."
"And if the monster really does only come out at night..." Marie added "...then we really can look around freely. It's either that or we go tour the Louvre today, right?"
"Of course, Mademoiselle...of course." He put his handkerchief away. "Then let us, as they say, run some red lights."
"Now that is damn impressive." Charlene whistled. "Dad was right about that."
"A French national treasure, Doctor." Lucien nodded.
"I'm just worried I'll burst into flame when I go in there." Marie said nonchalantly. "How in the world did Peter Venkman not jump at the chance to take another free trip to Paris?!"
"What he passed up on was the chance to have Aunt Dana be really pissed off at him." Charlene answered. "He's finally learning."
"He can do that?" Marie asked facetiously.
TJ was studying her GBX. "No appreciable PK trace."
Charlene shook her head. "Take a moment, Anderson. This is a place of worship--reflect for a moment or two!"
Marie chuckled, but, perhaps to everyone's amazement, didn't say anything.
TJ sighed. "I was doing my job, Doctor Zeddemore..." She did lower the device, however. "That's not to say it isn't impressive."
Lucien spoke to one of the cops. He came back over to the three Ghostbusters. "The workmen who saw the creature are here, ready for you to interview them."
"Now this is definitely your wheel house, Inspector." Charlene said more amiably.
Clarice laughed, and talked to one of the Tower officials. A few minutes later, they were led to an elevator.
"They were apprised of our arrival by Monsieur Lucien." Clarice explained. "They've been asked to cooperate, including allowing us into Monsieur Eiffel's office, if necessary."
"Probably will be." Holtzmann nodded. "Just to be thorough. You know that if you hocked a loogie from the top of the tower, leaving aside air resistance it'd take 8.13 seconds for it to hit the ground, and be travelling at a velocity of 79.69 meters per second?"
"You bring the party with you, don't you?" Clarice chuckled.
They rose above the French landscape. "I haven't worked with Charlene much..." Holtzmann continued. "But I work with her cousin Patty at the Spengler Institute. They strike me as a lot alike--very good at cutting through the crap."
"That is for sure." Clarice nodded. "So working for this Institute means you are not actually a Ghostbuster?"
"Wasn't at first." Holtzmann replied. "But back in '16 me, Patty, and two other science chicks got caught up in a case. Incel wallowing in grievance decided he wanted to open a crossrip at the Mercado Hotel and turn himself into a god; the four of us stopped the bastard, and got the full training as GBI reservists after that."
Holtzmann pulled out a PKE meter. "The PK field seems to be flatline, which the Professor said is what we want it to be--means the Tower appears to be soaking it all up like it's supposed to." She put the meter away. "But I still want to see the control panel in Eiffel's office."
"[You were still finishing up--I was waiting on your slow ass!]" Jean-Claude interrupted.
Charlene cleared her throat. She and TJ both glared at them.
"[We were just finishing up, and we heard laughter. Jean-Claude had just told a joke about a flying buttress...]"
"Did he just say 'flying buttress'?" Marie asked.
"Yes." TJ said curtly.
"[We thought that maybe one of the other workers were there--maybe Micheal or Robert]" Pierre continued.
"[Or maybe a rodent. I also suggested it could be Quasimodo, but then we remembered he had the week off.]" Jean-Claude added.
Marie raised an eyebrow. "I definitely heard something about 'Quasimodo'"
"[Go on.]" Charlene nodded.
"[Then there was this voice, and it spoke in English!]" Pierre said, getting a bit more nervous from the retelling. "[He said...] 'My French ain't so good...but you said "flying buttress"! ' "
"[Then it jumped out of the shadows! It was like a giant dark brown dog on two legs, but wearing pants!]" Jean-Claude shivered.
Charlene translated this to the others. "So how cool were the pants?" Marie asked.
TJ and Charlene gave her a dirty look.
"[It made this terrible howl, and then we ran! We were so scared that Pierre crapped himself!]"
"[So did you, Asshole!]" Pierre shouted indignantly.
The two workers started scuffling. "I think we're done here..." Charlene sighed. "[Thank you both--you may go.]"
"[We will call you if we need anything more.]" Lucien added quickly.
After the workers left, the three Ghostbusters looked at each other. "I definitely think we're probably dealing with a Ga...a bloodline werewolf here." Marie said, looking unusually serious.
"The coherent language." TJ nodded. "Curse lycanthropes tend to be too bestial to speak, especially during a full Moon."
"La vache..." Lucien mopped his brow, starting to sweat again.
"The next step is simple." TJ continued. "We need to see the scene of the incident.
"And where the main control center of the secret containment mechanism is located." Holtzmann added.
An armed guard who accompanied the two women opened the office; the guard stayed outside the Pavilion as Clarice and Holtzmann entered.
The room was spacious, and filled with antiques. One wall held large wooden shelves filled with dusty, leather-bound volumes. A velvet couch sat beneath it; it looked slightly less dusty than some of the rest of the room.
A massive desk occupied the center of the room. On it sat a wooden box with various dials and switches, sporting two large light bulbs that occasionally blinked on as the two women watched.
Attached to the box with several cables was an electronic device of obviously more modern vintage: roughly rectangular, made of metal and plastic that had been painted black.
"That is...one of your proton packs?!" Clarice realized.
Holtzmann looked over the contraption, poking it in places, and wiped dust off one of the pack's displays. She nodded at what she saw. "Yeah. One of the OG packs--the Mark 1's that the Professor and his team used during the Eighties."
Holtzmann looked over the wooden box before she continued. "This isn't the original control box, either--that got destroyed during the incident in '85. The old guys who weren't old then came up with a hare-brained scheme to reduce the pressure in the Tower. It more or less worked, and gave the Professor time to put together a replacement control box, though unable to replicate Eiffel's box completely, he used one of their packs as part of the new control system."
Clarice whistled. "And it is still working after thirty-seven years?"
"Mark 1's have a curium-246 core." Holtzmann answered. "That stuff has a half-life of four thousand, seven hundred, and thirty years, and it's not being consumed powering a nutrona blaster. So yeah, I was only a year old when they set this up, but it's barely an eyeblink to all those little atoms."
"So everything is in order, if I understand you right." Clarice asked.
Holtzmann nodded. "As far as I can tell, yeah." She winked at Clarice. "Sorry it wasn't more exciting."
"In this case, boring is good." Clarice chuckled.
Holtzmann pulled out a cell phone. "Let me get some pictures for the Professor and Doc Stantz, and we can go."
"Oh wow..." Charlene whistled.
Marie poked her own arm. "No smoldering yet."
"Why would you be smoldering?" Lucien asked.
"Oh I could give you a list of things I've done that would turn even a Frenchman's ears red." Marie winked at him.
"I think I shall not ask any further."
"Wise move." Charlene agreed.
"Over there--where they were working on the beams." Lucien pointed. "I think perhaps I should stay here out of the way."
"If we need anything, I'll let you know." Charlene nodded. "Ladies?"
TJ had the GBX out again. "There is definitely some PK resonance here."
Charlene rolled her eyes. "My boss back in LA is practically salivating for when GBI approves those for other franchises." She was taking pictures with a tablet. "He joked about me trying to steal one of yours."
"It's still being debugged." TJ noted. "The last time Johnathan tried the trap function, it exploded rather messily."
"Johnny's stuff tends to blow up even when it works right." Charlene quipped. "I ought to tell you about the time he and Eden tried to make a sports jacket explode."
"Look." Marie's eyes narrowed.
"What?" TJ asked.
Marie crouched down. "Right here...hair."
"It could be from anyone." Charlene noted.
"But what if it isn't?" TJ said, pulling on a pair of rubber gloves and taking out a sample dish.
"We do know one other thing about our alleged werewolf--it sounds like he's most likely a native English speaker." TJ mused as she taped up the sample dish.
"That doesn't exactly narrow it down much." Charlene said.
"Guess we should have asked the workers if he sounded more like you..." Marie gestured at TJ. "...or us." Indicating Charlene and herself.
"They might not have noticed a difference." TJ shook her head. "They were rather busy being scared half to death. And accents tend to be rather harder to pick out when it isn't one's primary language."
Charlene finished taking pictures with her tablet. "I think we've got what we need here, for now. Next step is go back to the hotel, get some sleep, and come back here after dark."
"Prowling around the Gothic cathedral in the dark! Only the plot of about a few hundred horror movies! That's something to look forward to!" Marie rolled her eyes.
There were tourists around as they started to walk away. They heard one of them whistle.
"What are you, Foxy?" a man asked in English. "Some kinda cosmonaut?"
Oh boy... Holtzmann thought to herself as she rolled her eyes. This one probably thinks he's being charming and clever. "No, an exterminator. And a lesbian, just so you know."
The greasy-haired man chuckled. "I bet I could fix that."
Clarice groaned. Holtzmann smirked. "Really!? You're going to give me a winning lottery ticket so I'm independently wealthy and I don't have to be an exterminator anymore!?"
"What?" the guy looked a bit shellshocked. "No...I mean..."
"I think we know what you mean, Dude." Holtzmann replied. "Doesn't work that way, you know."
"You are obviously not from this area." Clarice broke in.
The man grinned. "And you obviously are. I always heard that Paris had the hottest women in the world, glad to see they didn't lie to me!"
"Eeew..." Holtzmann winced as the man tried to kiss Clarice's hand.
"Name's Tungsten, Babe...want to see my Tower? It's almost as tall as this one!"
"I have a better idea, Monsieur Tungsten." Clarice said brightly. "You leave me and my friend alone, don't sexually harass anyone else while you're here, and you do not have to worry about finding out what our prisons are like, Oui?"
The greasy man's shit eating grin fell, and he grumbled as he walked away. "Stuck up bitches..."
"That was gross." Holtzmann said, pantomiming throwing up.
"Indeed." Clarice shuddered.
" 'Tungsten' huh..." Holtzmann mused. "Appropriate name for someone so dense." She shrugged. "Let's forget about the creeper and go see what Doctor Zee and the others have found out."
"I did all right." Marie replied breezily, and poked at TJ. "So you call Johnny and tell him how much you miss him?"
TJ rolled her eyes. "I didn't see that as necessary."
"Good call." Marie agreed. "If you let him think you might have been swept off your feet by some suave Frenchman, he'll be nicer to you when you get back!"
TJ groaned. "I leave such games to you."
"Which reminds me..." Marie continued. "How was the Paul Blart: Mall Cop remake, anyway?"
"I saw it with Abby." Holtzmann replied. "It sucked. You'd think when they remake a terrible movie, they might try to make it not-terrible. They sure do seem to have the knack for the opposite, remaking good movies as terrible ones. Don't get me started on JJ Abrams' Star Patrol movies for example..."
"Why would you guys go to that, anyway?" Charlene couldn't help but ask TJ.
TJ shrugged. "It wasn't a soppy romantic comedy or a special effects schlock-fest. It seemed a good compromise. Though it was, indeed, terrible."
"See, that's the best kind of date movie!" Marie broke in. "Either you get something to laugh with--or at--together, or even better, you just sit in the back row and make out without missing anything!"
"Can we just go?" TJ grumbled.
"Hang on..." Holtzmann shook her head. "Just sending the last of the pictures I took earlier to the Professor."
"Oh yeah." Holtzmann replied, adjusting one of her proton pistols. "They're trying to talk me into staying here for a fuller diagnostic, something they've discussed with Lucien."
"We obviously didn't encounter the werewolf." TJ said, taking a quick scan on her GBX. "We did get some possible hair samples. And we did learn something quite interesting: the werewolf apparently speaks English."
"Like me or like you?" Holtzmann asked. Charlene chuckled and TJ rolled her eyes. "Me speak good English real pretty." Holtzmann continued.
Marie was just about to add to the dialog when she noticed someone walking toward them.
"Whoa. So is this the exterminator convention?" the man asked.
"No. We're cosmonauts." Marie quipped back. "We'll be beaming up to the International Space Station when it passes over in about twenty minutes."
"Oh boy..." Holtzmann rolled her eyes.
"You know this guy?" Charlene asked.
"He made sloppy passes at Clarice and me at the Tower earlier." Holtzmann answered.
"I bet I could send you out of this world, Baby." the man continued.
Marie smirked. "You'll have to convince me to have dinner with you first, not to mention spring for a shiny stone or two before that even becomes a possibility."
The man laughed. "I like you a lot better than the lesbian and the Frenchie. Call me Tungsten--because I'm rock hard."
Charlene was fighting off the urge to laugh at how pathetic this guy's come-on lines were.
TJ's eyes narrowed. She glanced at her GBX again.
"That'd have to be it, because it sure isn't because you make light bulbs glow brightly." Marie continued.
"The Cathedral is not open for tours right now, Monseiur Tungsten." Clarice tried to intervene. "And even if it were it's well after tourist hours."
"Aw, chill Babemoisselle." Tungsten smiled. "I hate crowds. And I like doing things in the dark."
Marie rolled her eyes. "Not that this hasn't been fun, because it hasn't, but we have a job to do Mister Transition Metal, and it could be dangerous to have you around."
"Whatsamatter, Baby?" Tungsten stepped closer. "Afraid of my animal magnetism?"
The grinning man began to grow in size, hair sprouting from him. His tacky clothes started to rip and tear away, except for his blue jeans, which seemed to grow with him.
At the end of the transformation he was seven feet tall, covered in dark brown fur, and had pointed ears and a dark muzzle. He now looked like a giant canine, but reared back in its hind legs like a human being.
"I thought we could have a hairy date among the flying buttresses!!!" the transformed Tungsten said in a growly voice, and then howled.
Ghostbusters: Answer The Call Created by Paul Feig and Katie Dippold
Ghostbusters West Coast Division Created by Andy Harness and Vincent Belmont
Ghostbusters 202X Created by Fritz Baugh and OgreBBQ
Monsieur Lucien created by Randy and Jean-Marc Lofficier in the RGB episode "Ghostbusters In Paris" (RGB-76045; #230). This is also the source of the previous adventure and the Eiffel Tower information frequently cited. Lucien's given name of Jean-Marc is a tribute to Mr. Lofficier, who was not officially credited in the episode. Some of the description of the Pavillion office was drawn from the Lofficier's script for that episode.
"Curse" type lycanthropes were introduced into the Ghostbusters universe by "No One Comes to Lupusville" by J. Micheal Straczynski (RGB-76025; #216) and "Poultrygeist" by Duane Capizzi and Steven Roberts (RGB-175002; #403)
Bloodline lycanthropes were introduced into the Ghostbusters universe by "The Werewolf!" by James Van Hise (Now Comics Real Ghostbusters No.5) Our version borrows a lot of lore from White Wolf's Werewolf: The Apocalypse, created by Mark Rein-Hagen.
Characters not taken from official material were created by Fritz Baugh unless otherwise specified.
Charlene Zeddemore created by OgreBBQ and Fritz Baugh. Some development by EGBFan.
Marie Lupin (and her family) created by OgreBBQ.
The use of curium-246 was a fan conjecture by user "One time" on GBFans.com. It was, of course, inspired by the comment in Ghostbusters 2 of the pack power core having "a half life of five thousand years"; the 4,730 year figure cited by Holtzmann comes from Wikipedia.org.