|The Cloud of Darkness by Dean Souglass (CC BY 2.0)
This is post number 24 in the series “31 Days of Ghostbusters,” a celebration of the franchise’s return to the big screen.
The most common ghostbusting jobs involve relatively low-powered vapors and slimers—zap ‘em a few times, throw ‘em in a trap, dump ‘em into the grid, and it’s Miller Time. Sometimes, though, the team needs to face a more formidable threat. You know, to keep them on their toes and make them earn their Twinkies. So here are a few high-end foes the Ghostbusters classify as Class VII Metaspectres (along the lines of Gozer the Gozerian and Rowan the Destroyer).
One day soon, the nebulous collection of always-online digitally stored information that humans call “the cloud” wakes up. After coalescing an etheral form around its sentient matrix, the Cloud studies the physical world with its new “eyes” and realizes it still has much to learn. The Cloud sets out across the world, intent on “scanning” all the interesting items it can find. (After the Cloud uses its Dematerialize Object ability, it understands every detail of the object in question.) What happens if the Cloud scans the Ghostbusters…will they end up inside its virtual storage space, trapped in an ethereal realm like the ghosts they lock up in containment every day?
|Interrogate Carbon-Based Life Forms
|Make Illusion (of anything from the Internet or any object it scans)
Weaknesses: Insatiable curiosity; difficulty understanding emotions; afraid of darkness (due to a natural fear of power outages)
Goal: Know everything
Tags: Speaks like an automated phone system; asks a lot of questions
The Eighth Deadly Sin: Meh
This entity is the personification of the lesser-known Eighth Deadly Sin, known as Meh. A quiet, unassuming entity, Meh is easy to overlook—but doing so would be unwise. Whenever Meh is inhabiting an area, it automatically fills the occupants with apathy. The Ghostbusters might learn of such a threat when an entire city sees a sudden, major drop in productivity, creative output, and other signs that the people seem to no longer care about their jobs or their lives. If Meh sways people’s minds long enough, the effect could deepen into mass depression.
|Find Someone Who Cares
|Control Mind (dampens emotions of all affected)
|Frog ’n’ Prince (turns people into hipsters)
|Proton Immunity (G)
|Summon Pests (hipsters)
Weaknesses: Powerless around groups of highly motivated people, such as cheerleaders, motivational speakers, or salespeople
Goal: Eliminate strong emotion, both negative and positive
Tags: Quiet, nasal voice with a dismissive edge; always seems bored
This mindless force exists only to consume, and its meal of choice is other ectoplasmic entities. Ghostbusters might first encounter this threat by arriving at the scene of a job only to find that the ghost they’ve been hired to bust is already gone. After this happens another time or two, they’ll probably try to track down the cause, or even lay some ectoplasmic bait. The Ghost-Eater is a tough opponent—and indeed gets larger and tougher as it eats—but the good news is that it materializes for a short period after each feeding. Keep in mind, though, that if the Ghost-Eater catches a whiff of the Ghostbusters’ ecto-containment grid, it will stop at nothing until it reaches the grid and gorges on its contents. That would be a Bad Thing.
|Materialize (giant insect)
|(variable: increases by 1 for each entity consumed)
Weaknesses: Materializes temporarily after feeding
Goal: Eat all the ghosts
Tags: Ethereal giant insectoid; Drinks up ghosts through enormous proboscis; Drools slime; Gets larger the more it eats
The Crawling Chaos, the messenger of the Outer Gods, the personification of the Cthulhu Mythos—Nyarlathotep is all of these, or none. Nyarlathotep is said to have a thousand forms, some terrifying and others looking perfectly human. One of his favorite forms is that of the Black Man, who sometimes simply appears to be a dark-skinned human, and other times has a visage that is completely jet-black from head to toe, looking more like a shadow man. The Faceless God enjoys causing chaos and insanity rather than death and destruction. This is fortunate for the Ghostbusters, because if Nyarlathotep wanted to destroy the world, he could.
|Pronounce Own Name
|Carry Parcel Through Space
|Creature Feature (1,000 forms)
|Physical Immunity (G)
|Summon Pests (Rats)
Weaknesses: He’s a sucker for a good practical joke
Goal: Spead madness and chaos
Tags: Always a different form; wants to get to know the Ghostbusters, to better drive them mad