OLD EVIL {GBA#9} ('I' hereinunder = Peter Venkman) (See GBA#0 'Our Equipment' for notes)

The phone in our base rang before Janine had time to take her coat off.

"Hallo? Ghostbusters." she said in a routine manner.

"address, Long Island. Our children keep saying they've seen ghosts and vampires. They're too frightened for it likely to be pretending. We haven't seen anything, and the neighbours haven't." a man said.

"When was the house built? What was on the site before? Any previous record of hauntings or rituals there?" Janine asked.

"1936. Fields. No. When can you come?" he said curtly and urgently.

Meanwhile I heard her talking, and called the other three of us. I took the phone and said "We'll come now.", for we had no other jobs waiting. At least New York's ghost population let us finish our breakfast this time. Egon came from partway to his lab. Ray got into the Ecto-1 instead of tinkering in its works as planned, and drove it to the main entrance. Winston put down a list of baseball match dates. We kitted up and set off, during the morning rush but luckily going the other way.

We arrived and were let in. The children, who seemed thankful at our arrival, looked closely at the bulky heavy proton packs strapped to our backs, noticing the differences from the small simplified hollow plastic toy models of them that I saw in their open toy chest. We searched the whole house and its gardens but found no PKE or other signs of the paranormal at all, and said so. We were about to leave when a floorboard in one of the children's bedrooms moved when Egon stepped on it. He got on hands and knees to lift the floorboard.

"No - please Mr.Ghostbuster - don't - the ghosts don't live down there." one of the children said in a panicky manner, and tried to hold the floorboard down.

"Sorry, we've got to check everywhere." Egon said.

"No, please, they're not down there." the child said, a bit desperately.

"I'll decide what we look at or not. We need to look everywhere, even if you've got a stash of something furtive under there, even if it's drugs, you three 'seeing things' and then acting like that. Don't mess with that stuff or you'll never get unhooked from it." Egon replied with a tone of threat.

They looked scared as Egon pried the board up. Under it we found not drugs but a foot-thick pile of old yellowing comics from the early 1950's. The titles of many of them were a memory of ancient evil and the old feared publisher's initials 'EC' (= (so-called) 'Entertaining Comics') which had been put a stop to long ago in 1954. We leafed through some of them. A crime story in one that I saw had a big frame showing a 'Dr.Brown, Psychiatrist' gagged and bound in his office by an intruder; the image stuck in my mind for some reason. A far too common sort of theme in pre-1954 comics. Winston recoiled away from the one he was reading and ran to the toilet and was sick. We called the parents.

"These are your 'ghosts': your children getting addicted to extreme horror far too soon. Much of this is strong stuff even for adults!" I said.

"We've only been here since 1963. They must have got them from somewhere." their mother said, looking at a few of the comics and recoiling back from them, and then to the children: "Where did you get those comics from!?".

"We were exploring about. We found a floorboard loose. We wanted to see what was under them. Those comics were in there." one of them said.

"The children of the people who had this house before us must have hidden them there away from their parents." said their mother, and then to the children: "Don't read that nasty old stuff ever again, giving you bad dreams and telling you how to do bad things. There are much better new comics in the shops now. There could have been live wires or scalding hot pipes or sharp nails sticking out or anything under there.".

That was not the only time that sort of thing happened. In there were space stories, cowboy stories, crime stories (far too many, telling far too much about how to commit crimes, and the USA still feels the effects of that), superhero stories, supernatural stories, stories retold from literature, many sorts of stories, but all befouled, defiled, made cruel and suggestive and crudely violent, published over many years until in 1954 public anger, helped much by Dr.Wertham (a psychiatrist), forced an end. The long list of forbidden subjects in the 1954 'US Comics Code' is evidence enough of how bad things had got. It was many years before the comics trade recovered. That time faded into history and children found other things to do and read while the grass and brambles of thirty years covered the accursed cleaned-out sites of the 'Vault of Horror' and 'Crypt of Terror' whose Keepers and occupants were once all too well known to children who were then of the comic-reading age but now in their 50's sometimes look back on them with misplaced nostalgia for their childhood things.

The only 'Tale from the Crypt' that we ever ventured to draw was one by Ray (for our reading only, we haven't published it!) showing Dr.Wertham on a bulldozer at the head of an avenging squad breaking into the Crypt and leading them through the foul passages with proton guns and ecto-fire destroying its evil guardians (Ray was too angry to care about the anachronistic kit) and releasing the children's minds that were held captive in there. They left the place open to weather, and healthy natural decay cleaned up what was left. Their uniform shoulder badges had, like ours overlain by a red stop sign, not our badge's ghost but a withered half-skeletal thing that Ray said was the Old Witch. She was one of the three purported undead editors of some 1950's EC comics. To Ray and many others she was a symbol of all that must be kept out of children's reading. In 1954 USA comic publishers saw sense just in time, else federal censorship would have come in despite freedom of publication traditions. Not until, much later, Marvel Comics and others got us to help them make a comic and videocartoons about our work did comic writers venture in force again into the paranormal/ We try to keep a light and pleasant atmosphere, and avoid drawing crypts and vaults and death and blood and suchlike that awake too many bad old memories. Once, to honour his timely and heroic cleanout job, I found Dr.Wertham's grave and buried a sew-on Ghostbuster badge under its turf.

This time there was nothing ecto-active about to let ecto-matter gradually leak through from its own dimension to ours and make some 35-years-ago horror comic artist's nasty ideas from paper and overwrought addicted mind images into living moving reality, or as near as ectoplasm can manage. Sometimes there is, and a ghost shaped like an octopuslike giant space alien from one such story is a typical sample of what can result {GBC}: what we actually saw looked far more unpleasant than what we dared show in the cartoon reconstruction. I suspect that many of the more horrific sorts of ghosts that we get called to were started in the early 1950's by that sort of means. We recorded an NX, gave them the name of a good psychiatrist, and left taking the comics away with us to a rubbish incinerator, where we threw them in, to avoid the place's workmen keeping them to read.

Time passed. Our secretary Janine went on three weeks holiday, so I hired a temp. What came was three temps who alternated rota on different days. They said they were Olivetta Whitting and Violetta Karla and Charlotte Karla, all very pretty - too pretty and I felt a suspicious seductiveness, but (a routine precaution) a PKE meter read zero at them. Olivetta, who was in on their first day, received and passed onto me a tedious phoned complaint from a tedious woman who accused our comic of "being sadistic".

"Where?" I said, in case anything undesirable had crept in, "We are very careful to keep bad stuff out. I'm not going to let our comic get like the bad old EC stuff! Whatever you don't like, tell me where it is. We've got copies of everything that people have written about us.". After I said "EC", Olivetta looked undefinably strange for a few seconds.

The woman gave me issue and page and frame number. I got that issue out of our files and found the place in it. "Are you sure you told me the right place? That frame's only Egon mending a proton pack." I said.

"Yes. It's his head!" she said.

"What about his head? It's a perfectly ordinary Egon head duly attached to his body." I said.

"Yes! Like all the other Egon heads in there!" said the woman, "No sadism towards characters, but plenty towards me! Here am I with straight dingy mousy hair that won't hold a perm more than two days and splits at the ends if I let it grow a decent length, and many other women have the same: and you mock us by drawing that beautiful head of long naturally curly naturally blonde hair on a MAN!! I wish my hair was like that! I once saw a rough-looking workman in dirty overalls driving a building site dumper blowing smelly diesel exhaust sideways - that ultimate in unattractively functional small vehicles - with long curly blonde hair trailing from under his helmet. For several nights after that I dreamed of having hair like his, but when I woke it was always back to how it is.".

"That's just how his hair is." I said, "There's as many natural blondes and brunettes and curly heads in men as in women.".

The details of coiffure are not my strong point. This discussion continued pointlessly for a little longer; then she hung up. We went back to equipment maintenance. Slimer (our pet ghost) floated through looking for food and dived at Olivetta's pizza, but recoiled away from her and it as if electric shock prodded; a PKE meter clipped to my belt read a short powerful burst of PKE.

Passing the temp hire firm's mail address returning from a ghost bust, I enquired there, and found there only a mailbox and a girl who took and forwarded telephone messages. After some trouble I found their working address.

Someone who we send comic copy to, sent some of it back saying that it was too scary for them. I complained to Egon, who had drawn it. An uncharacteristic lapse: most complaints about Egon matter are from children about text and speech balloons being full of long words forcing frequent recourse to a dictionary. He apologized, saying that something had come over him. The days passed.

We went to investigate suspected gremlins in a light engineering works. Ray drove. Egon as usual objected to the pop music on the Ecto-1's radio, for he preferred classical music. Ray and I replied that we need whatever channel has local traffic delay news, as we don't earn while sitting in traffic jams. Winston wanted a baseball match commentary instead. Egon and Winston, trying to solve this chronic dispute, both pulled small radios from inside their uniforms and switched them on each to his preference. They and Ray gradually each turned his radio up to hear it properly above the other two, then started to argue about it. While waiting at lights Ray reached over back and switched Winston's radio off and demanded quiet, to hear traffic news properly. Winston switched it on again. Three miles further a player made a noisily-cheered home run in Winston's baseball match as traffic news started on Ray's radio. Ray demanded quiet. The argument got louder. There was the short buzz and then whining hum of a proton pack starting up, and its gun switches being clicked, and a threat. Matters had now gone too far. Round the corner I called Ray to pull in, and issued a direct order about radio channel discipline. We finally arrived; the gremlin turned out to be an ordinary non-paranormal chronically malfunctioning machine. On the way back I wondered what was coming over us since those three temps started: never before had we been at guns against each other over entertainment radio usage.

Something that Ray drew about how some machinery worked was sent back to us by a publisher, not for overtedious detail but overly graphic description of what it could be misused for. This was again an uncharacteristic lapse, and he gave the same excuse or reason as Egon did before. Days passed as the three temps came in one at a time by rota.

We went to a baseball match to get away from ghosts for a while. It was reasonably exciting as baseball matches go. Winston expressed surprise that the British call it "rounders" and consider it only a children's game. When we got back to base all three of the temps were there discussing something. Winston set up a drawing board and drew a scene from the game, to keep in practise in drawing. In passing I looked at what he was drawing - and did not want to eat any more. I dropped the rest of my pizza, too shocked to object when Slimer scooped it up.

"What in Ponquadragor's {GBM46:3} name!?" I asked him, "Your usual fault's being so much a pure picture artist that you don't leave enough space in the composition for speech balloons; but what you've used as playing pitch markers doesn't look like good picture art either?! You've never drawn anything like that before!! What's happened to you and to everybody round here!?".

He replied with a gloating cackle totally unlike his usual manner, but like something that I knew from long ago. My PKE meter screeched and its needle hit its high end stop with a click. He cursed it and grabbed at it. I fled and he chased me: and he is stronger than me. As he returned to drawing, I got to an equipment locker and put a small fueltanks-in-gun ectoflamethrower behind my back and went back to Winston, pretending to appreciate his drawing. He agreed, cackling nastily. While he gloated, I backed two paces and took the gun out and fired. He squirmed in pain briefly as the jet of ecto-flame went through him and cleaned something out, then was unhurt and back to normal friendly cheerful Winston; the strange cackling hostile witchlike manner was gone. He looked once at his drawing, reacted with even more disgust than I had, and burnt it in our yard with a proton gun shot. "I don't know what came over me." he said, shaking. I knew or suspected what was happening; it was not Winston's fault.

An automatic alarm sounded. I put a proton pack on and went into our bedroom: there was a ghost in there. When I went to bust it it said "Please don't shoot!" in a thin voice. I recognized its face, without much surprise, as that of the 'Dr.Brown, Psychiatrist' who was gagged and bound in the comic that I saw on Long Island. Likely yet another reader obsessively reading and rereading the same story near something ecto-active had created a ghost copy, which then tried to warn people of one of the imminent dangers that abounded in the violent fictional world that it was copied from. As I reached over my shoulders to get my proton gun and a ghost trap to summarily zap it into, I in tired irritation told it so: "You're just another ghost copy of some nasty old trash fiction. Leave people alone and stop haunting and messing about. I've got enough to cope with with those three strange temp secretaries. This ghost is toast.".

"No! Please!" it said, "That comic character was a renamed copy of me. Those comic publishers didn't like me acting against them, but they couldn't stop me, so they drew me like that to get what wish fulfilment they could. I finished my work and later died of natural causes, and lay quiet for a long time, but something disturbed me recently. Somehow I knew that I better come here.".

"Dr.Wertham!?" I replied, surprised, guiltily guessing what ecto-active object near a grave had caused this ghost. Loose objects in our base sometimes get ecto contaminated and stay so until we go round with PKE meters finding and cleaning them. The ghost looked enough like a photo of Dr.Wertham in our files; but even if identity is proved, past-life repeaters often have the will but not the skill to carry on their life's work. Egon and Winston and Ray came in. I told them what had happened. The ghost drifted into reception, then yelled and fled back in here, nearly knocking us down, scrabbling at the flaps of a ghost trap slung on Egon's proton pack. I reached up and squeezed its pedal, and the ghost vanished inside.

"Again! The ghost that busted itself!" Ray said with a laugh. But Egon did not laugh, for it reminded him too much of when the ghost of Tobin who had written Tobin's Spirit Guide fled here from the Beyond and suicided on Egon's proton gun beam to escape torment {GBM16:15 'Tobin's Spirit'}, for Tobin had revealed to men much about demons and the Beyond that he had sworn to demons that he would keep secret; some of that knowledge is very useful to us. Such are the perils of the paranormal. But what was 'Wertham' so scared of?

"Don't put him in the containment: I'll keep that trap aside." I said, and clipped it to my belt. We went and had dinner, this time uninterrupted.

Later that day as I was crossing Ecto-1's garage a man came up to me.

"Can I help you? Reception's just inside the front door." I said.

"Sorry, the receptionist is busy reading something. An uncle of mine died and left me a roomful of occult stuff that I didn't know he had. Do you think you better look at it in case?". he said.

I took down some details quickly and he left. I then went to see what Olivetta was doing instead of attending to callers. She was reading a copy of Ray's abovementioned 'Cryptbusters' story, looking first fascinated then angry; then she controlled herself. Then she got near the end, where the Old Witch, ungallant at the last as the last of her followers scattered all ways, was overtaken by Wertham, who after bulldozing through all the walls that she used her powers to flee through, and breaking open all the dungeons where she and her two fellow Keepers had kept children's minds captive, dismounted and fought her with proton gun against wand and slew her. Reading this, Olivetta cackled strangely, looked fearsomely enraged, and seemed to go semitransparent, revealing below her skin a withered oozing semi-skeletal form with sharp fangs; there was a filthy smell and a very high PKE reading. She went back to normal in a few seconds and started varnishing her fingernails. I talked about the weather with her and the other two temps for a while, to avoid showing that I had seen anything, then went upstairs and called the rest of us. Some very skilled paranormal beings can masquerade as living people even to the extent of not emitting PKE unless something distracts them.

We armed ourselves as heavily as we easily could and went to Reception. As well as wearing as a proton pack, I had the same tanks-in-gun ectoflamethrower, in a big holster. As we rushed in I drew it and fired it across the three temps, shouting: "This won't hurt you if you're what you're trying to look like!". They jumped away from the hot jet of ecto-fire with unnatural agility, and our PKE meters sounded. I fired again. This time, as they jumped aside, Olivetta's outer skin disappeared altogether, revealing again a shrivelled oozing inner form; and so did Violetta and Charlotte. The PKE reading went high and stayed so. They stank. I recognized the three undead beings all too well.

"The ghosts or demons possessing these three were not recently made." said Egon after quickly running his PKE meter in several modes and studying squiggles on its screen. I realized. So the scruffy 1950s EC comic story about how the two who ran EC Comics, when exploring a sewer for ideas, ran into three possessed corpses called the Old Witch and the Vault Keeper and the Crypt Keeper, who let them go under promise to let the three join EC's editorial staff, may not have been fiction after all! Such can happen when evil powers get loose and there is no-one to detect or stop them. The temp firm's working address was in a building that EC Comics had once used; recent digging there to lay computer network links had disturbed something. Now we knew. I felt cold at seeing for real a nastiness that I had long been thankful was only a figment of very diseased imagination.

"I bet you daren't look in our chamber of creepyness! Come on!", and so on, the Old Witch cackled, not in ignorable trash fiction but in reality, in words that too many children in the 1950's had read too often, and then: "Never mind: I'll let you all in free! Leave all big luggage at the cash desk!". With a powerful skilled burst of PKE she opened an interdimensional door. As we were sucked into it, my proton pack started to 'fade away'. Luckily Egon has his gun at the ready, and fired. The effort of withstanding the beam distracted her, and we got through still armed, into a dark foul tunnel lined with cell doors. We seemed to feel the minds of years of children distorted by reading nastiness because they could not afford or reach anything better interesting.

"Welcome to the Crypt of Terror! Naughty, bringing luggage in: you'll damage stuff. We'll call someone to take it away and store it!" one of them screeched, and summoned a host of followers, ghosts and demons in the shape of a great variety of bad characters human and alien and paranormal from pre-1954 comics. The battle did not go as quickly their way as they had expected. Our proton beams lit up the place and made them keep their distance. They brought heavier weapons and started to push us back. Three beams broke a cell door and several ghosts escaped, welcoming us as liberators. 'The Three' and their followers all ran into side passages and vacant cells as if sheltering. We started shooting open as many cell doors there as we could to try to start a general rising of prisoners, who ran out into the tunnel in a crowd.

We soon found why the enemy were sheltering. Seven five-foot-long ecto-metal torpedo-shaped jet craft with folding wings came out of a slot in a wall some way away and flew over with their front ends open in four doorlike curved jaws emitting suction force fields and in one pass sucked up all the escapers. Our proton beams had no effect on them. As their efficient-looking streamlined shapes disappeared round a bend with their holds packed full, Ray knew all too well what they likely did with their loads and how they could make ecto-fire fuel to run on, for he had examined the remains of Nekkdasgeddon's machine {GBA#0; GBM46:3 'Ponquadragor II'}. "Did that spoil your plan, dearies? Thanks, Egon!" the Old Witch cackled. The hoped-for allies were no more, and the enemy fast returned.

Egon did not have time to wonder what she meant. In that evil place rang out the 'sound of last resistance', the bumping of our four proton packs against each other as their wearers backed against each other into a square with a gun firing each way. Demons and imps and monsters and ghost thugs screeched and backed off; the three urged them on. Something hit the ghost trap that was clipped to my belt, and it opened, and the Wertham ghost got out in the place that he feared the most, dismayed to find that it was real. I felt an inner fire of guilt at bringing him here. I threw my ectoflamethrower to him, hoping that its small fuel tanks would last out; he took it and fired it with us.

The next lot sent against us looked like Nazi concentration camp guards, another type of too-frequent pre-1954 comics character, hoping to weaken our will by the sight of ancient evil arisen again; but, like such guards, they were less eager against an enemy that could shoot back. The Crypt Keeper ordered them off in a foul mixture of German and Infernal, for they were getting badly in the way. An enemy charge that was meant to take us in the rear collided with them in confusion as we all fired at the Crypt Keeper's bodyguard in the risky mode of beam-crossing, causing a heavy ecto-explosion which destroyed many of them. Wertham rushed at the Crypt Keeper and fired at him, destroying the possessor demon but badly draining his gun's small fuel tanks and taking a shoulder wound. The now-depossessed foul old corpse lay inert. So perished one of the three who had led so many to evil and harm.

The Old Witch took command. They started throwing things. Something knocked me over and dazed me. Wertham went to rush out to save me from further shot. "No, don't! I'll get him. Ghosts can't catch living normal matter as easily as they could catch a ghost." Egon started, but it took too long to explain. Wertham ran out, grabbed me, and pulled me back to the rest of us, who pulled me down into a sheltered crack, but before he could jump in after me one of the ecto plane things came back. Our proton beams bounced in vain off it as it swooped, folding its wings upwards in V shape to fit between floor and wall, opening its front end in four curved doors emitting its force field, and Wertham was gone. He fired his last ecto-burner fuel at the Vault Keeper as his trailing arms vanished behind its closing doors as its streamlined underbelly and jet blast rushed above us. So he perished, gallant in his ghost life as in his earthly life. His gun fell, and I still have it.

As it banked and rose and flew away its jet blast caught the Vault Keeper and two of his followers. They backed off, swearing at it. That gave us time to bust him, a harder job than with an ordinary ghost because a normal-matter possessed body shields the ghost from proton beams, and our ectoflamethrower was empty; but Winston sucked the possessor out of the body with a ghost trap before enemies came back. That left the Old Witch: she had as many lives as a cat, but yielded finally, and we had her possessor demon in a trap. A cold empty wind blew through the place. All the cell doors fell open. Their occupants came out and seemed to fade away as they went to a better place.

We investigated the slot that the jet craft had come out of. One was still in there. Egon and Winston with ecto-handling gloves carefully took it out. Its jets started, but we held on to it while Egon quickly decoded the demonic markings on it and opened a hatch in its roof, revealing a ghost or mini-demon compressed tightly into a tiny pilot's compartment. The ghost expanded out and fled, and the craft's jets stopped. We carried the craft away between us.

Suddenly Egon shouted: "Look out! The Vault Keeper!". I looked. The foul rotting body was indeed moving. But we read no PKE - at least no more than in that place's background reading, for it 'stank' of PKE.

"Oh my God! He's alive - not undead but properly alive like us! In that state!" Ray said in dismay, "Get him back out of here while we can!".

We ran back carrying him to where we could see natural light from our base coming through the interdimensional door, which was still there. We came through and destroyed the doorway after us. The body was indeed alive, with hardly any skin left, burnt with proton beams, half eaten away, but alive. We threw him into the Ecto-1 and got him to hospital. He lived, and healed in body after a fashion. There was much work on him for a plastic surgeon, and for a dentist carving his fangs down to something like normal human teeth. He took longer to heal in mind, with over thirty years news to catch up on and the endless memory of evil done and evil places seen and evil taken part in and evil powers used.

Those three had got Reception into a foul condition both normally and ecto, and we had a big cleanout job before Janine came back. When they heard what had happened, the temp hire firm called us in to search and clean their premises very thoroughly. Normal life resumed.

"Now lets look at this ecto mini jetplane that we got hold of in the Crypt. Lucky that like our ghost traps its field didn't pull at normal matter also." Egon said to Ray next time we had a slack period. They put on ecto-handling gloves and unscrewed and removed the craft's roof and looked inside. The first thing they looked at inside was the suction field generator and intake hold.

"Oi! That's my ghost trap's insides!" Egon said annoyedly on seeing it, "The same including that bit of circuitry over there. Modified as necessary to make it all out of ecto-matter somewhere 'over there'. 'Thanks, Egon!' indeed, as the Old Witch said!".

"To be expected from publishing details of how things are made." Ray said with a sound of inevitability, "A new sort of handy little patroller and disorder suppresser for the rulers of the Beyond to use. Intake hold feeds into this onboard ecto RD [= recycler destructor] like in Nekkdasgeddon's machine {GBA#0} but far smaller and with no heavy-duty grinder, and this time we've captured it intact. This is one thing from 'over there' that we can't use, with this tiny cockpit which no living man could fit in since people can't be compressed like ghosts, running on ecto-fire fuel that no pump on earth supplies.".

"Whatever designed this thing's as clever as me. The big risk is that he'll go even further than he has." Egon said, "When we got 'over there' into that ghost city that time {GBC 'Flip Side'}, those three ghosts called the Peoplebusters had to catch us by shooting that semi-ecto slime that set into stringy stuff tying us up, a very short-range weapon. Those planes but with a suction field that could catch us as well as ghosts, big enough to cope with us not being compressible, ecto RD that could consume normal matter, all ecto-matter so they can go through walls over here to catch people ... No thankyou!".

"Nor me." I said grimly, "I saw plenty of Nekkdasgeddon's spare machine's work when that king's magician 'over there' conjured me up to get rid of it for him {GBM110:3 'Venkman the Barbarian'}. Not demons for once but a largely normal matter area with live people descended from some that got over there and never got back. Nothing and nobody left for miles around that castle hill where it denned up - Ectoblackhill the place's name means, it had a bad reputation in the area from long before, and nobody there now knows who dug those caves under it or what for - their writing system that makes anything written in it look like a black magic spell, I suppose our language and writing are just as exotic and mystic to them.".

"Or all normal matter so they can go through walls over there after us next time we go over there to get ectoflamethrowers or whatever." said Ray. They finished examining the craft, and fastened its roof back on.

Slimer, having made the usual morass of slime splattering himself in vain against the ecto-proof force field round our stored food, came in to see what was happening. He happened to get in line with the craft's front end on his way to be slimily affectionate towards me. "If only I could ..." I thought; and Egon actually did, lifting a cover in its roof and pressing a button. Its front end opened and sucked Slimer up, squirming and protesting, and pumped him down inside with a sound of finality. But in the mode that Egon had used, the craft's much-travelled 'one-way road' had a detour, and it packed him into its control compartment, which was plain rectangular without seat or visible controls. I suspect that was its pilot's usual way in. Slimer afterwards said (as decoded from his excited gibberish) that once in the control compartment he felt like he was the craft rather being inside it. Egon worked out later more or less how its control systems interfaced with its pilot by PKE emissions. The craft took off and made the wildest aerobatics as Slimer learned to control it; thankfully it was pure ecto and went harmlessly through the many walls and objects that it hit until he got somewhat used to it and landed it and got out of it. I stored it securely away before he had a chance to get plane-mad and drain our captured ectoflamethrowers (our only good source of ecto-fire fuel) into its fuel tank to repeat his experience.

Egon, reflecting that one pinched design idea deserves another, started to design a remote controlled (or sentient computer controlled, if computer technology advances enough) normal-matter model plane with a ghost trap built in (but without RD).

Note: all EC comic text referred to, was published in reality