Episode 7: Down Spirits

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The fact that the Des Moines Ghostbusters were becoming overwhelmed with work was an understatement. Since the chairman had unsuccessfully tried to eliminate Cynthia Palmer from the playing field, the reports of spiritual activity had skyrocketed.

In the time that the Chairman made his brief appearance in their lives, the Ghostbusters had been sleeping in shifts to handle the overflow of spirits. They had been lucky that most of the ghouls and slimers had been located within the Des Moines Metro Area, but they were also very aware of the fact that this wasn't a good thing. The more ghosts in the Des Moines Metro was indicative of Erra and the Seven consolidating their power.

Regina was the first to ask if whether or not this volume of spiritual energy had always existed and if they were only just now noticing it as the rest of Iowa began to adopt the PKE Meter phone application. Simon answered that by explaining that the application wasn't their only detection method and that they had been able to pick of the city's residual PKE reading before the app had existed. The app was mostly valuable in the fact that it pinpointed where spikes in that residual energy manifested, helping the Ghostbusters to find specific incursions from the spirit world. Unfortunately, this wasn't a scenario of a tool doing its job too well, and was more a situation in which the city's level of PKE was steadily climbing without any end in sight.

Which was why, exhausted and without options, Cynthia had organized a conference call with the franchise headquarters in New York City.

The Des Moines squad was huddled around a table in the small conference room that came with their rented office. Cynthia had only just finished pleading her case for support when a snarky voice on the other line replied.

"What this sounds like to me, Ms. Penner-"

"It's 'Palmer'," Cynthia stated for the third time.

"Right, Palmer," the voice replied, "What this sounds like to me, Ms. Palmer, is that your team isn't strategizing properly. Instead of hunting down every spook in Iowa," the voice paused before adding, "What even is Iowa? Is that a state?" When they didn't dignify his obvious barb at their state with a response, the voice continued. "Instead of hunting down every ghost in Iowa, why not use that wonder app that your team put together to classify the nasty threats first. The low level threats can wait until you've nailed down this...uh...what did you call him?"

"Erra," Jordan supplied.

"Erra? That doesn't sound so bad. Not like a Gozer or a Tiamat. More like a small mistake you can handle with white out or an eraser."

His voice grew distant as he leaned away from the phone.

"Ray, have you ever heard of beast that goes by the name of Erra?"

"Oh yeah, Peter!" An excited voice could be heard from further away. "Really nasty guy. If I recall, Marduk chose to relinquish his throne to Erra instead of dealing with him."

The first voice, Peter, grew louder as he returned to the phone. "I just consulted with my spiritual liason, and he said that you could easily take out this Erra guy without any support."

Cynthia's head hit the table.

"Listen," Peter continued. "Kick Erra's ass, break for coffee, and then spend you're newly found spare time cleaning up his left overs. If you're lucky, most of the residual PKE should leave with him when they see you beat up the big guy."

"So," Regina asked, a hint of pleading tone in her voice, "you're not going to send anyone to help us?"

"We're not heartless, sweetheart," Peter let out a sigh. "If it gets any worse, we'll consider it. I'm sure Louis is around here and he's been itching to put the proton pack back on for years." His voice suddenly took on a hurried pattered. "Anyway, have a nice day, call back really soon. Don't be a stranger. Bye!"

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